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Saint Louis University
Dept. of Math & Computer Science

Computer Science 4961/4962
Capstone Project

Michael Goldwasser

Fall 2015

If you wish, you may download a printable version of the syllabus, containing the same information that is on this web page.

Table of Contents


Instructor: Dr. Michael Goldwasser
Email: goldwamh at our university domain
Office: Ritter Hall 355
Phone: (314) 977-7039
Office Hours:    
  • Tuesdays:
    • 2:00pm-3:00pm
  • Wednesdays:
    • 2:00-3:00pm
  • Fridays:
    • 12:00pm-1:00pm
  • or by appointment


The Capstone Project serves a a concluding achievement for graduating students, allowing them to apply knowledge that they have gained from the Computer Science curriculum toward a year-long project. Formally, the project is completed as part of a two-semester, sequence of 2-credit courses: CSCI 4961 (Capstone Project I) and CSCI 4962 (Capstone Project II).

Key roles in the capstone course are as follows:

The Supervisor and the Instructor will work together in grading the performance of the teams. The Client has no formal responsibilities in regard to evaluation.

Project Selection

During the opening weeks of CSCI 4961, students are responsible for working with the instructor, potential supervising faculty, and peer students in order to build teams, explore project ideas, and develop a concrete plan for the year, culuminating in a formal contract (see below).

Typically, the instructor will circulate a list of potential projects to consider. These projects are often suggested by CS faculty members based on research endeavors or educational tools, are based on requests coming from members of the broader SLU community, or in some cases from external non-profit groups. Student teams are also welcome to suggest their own projects for approval. The goal is to pursue projects that have an appropriate scope for a year-long sequence, having a richness in both design aspects and use of technology. For the sake of example, we provide this list of some past project descriptions.

At the conclusion of the initial period, teams must sign a contract, together with the Supervisor and Instructor, providing a high-level project description and detailing the requirements for successful completion, and key checkpoints during the process. This year, the contract must be signed by Friday, September 11, 2015 .

Project Timeline, Deliverables, Presentations

Each project is unique, and teams may adopt one of a variety of project management styles. However, all teams must adhere to the following checkpoints and timeline (details of which follow).

Required Work Deadline
Contract Friday, September 11, 2015
Weekly reports submitted each Friday
CSCI 4961: Deliverable #1
CSCI 4962: Deliverable #3
Friday, October 9, 2015
Midterm presentation TBD, week of October 12-16
CSCI 4961: Deliverable #2
CSCI 4962: Deliverable #4
Friday, December 4, 2015
Final presentation Tuesday, December 8, 2015
Team self-assessment Tuesday, December 8, 2015


Each semester of the capstone project is graded based upon the performance during that semester. The evaluation of students artifacts and presentations will be made by a combination of the Instructor and project Supervisor. The overall grade will be weighted as follows:

Letter grades will then be assigned based on the following formula.

Student percentage above 90% will result in a grade of A or better.
Student percentage above 87% will result in a grade of A- or better.
Student percentage above 83% will result in a grade of B+ or better.
Student percentage above 80% will result in a grade of B or better.
Student percentage above 77% will result in a grade of B- or better.
Student percentage above 73% will result in a grade of C+ or better.
Student percentage above 70% will result in a grade of C or better.
Student percentage above 67% will result in a grade of C- or better.
Student percentage above 60% will result in a grade of D or better.
Student percentage below 60% will result in a grade of F.
Although team members will typically receive similar grades, in some cases the Instructor and Supervisor may consider the relative contribution of individual team members in assigning individual grades.

Repository for Project Artifacts

All teams will be required to use git repositories on turing for all project artifacts (e.g., weekly reports, all deliverables, source codes, presentation materials). More details about the process will be forthcoming.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is honesty, truthful and responsible conduct in all academic endeavors. The mission of Saint Louis University is "the pursuit of truth for the greater glory of God and for the service of humanity." Accordingly, all acts of falsehood demean and compromise the corporate endeavors of teaching, research, health care, and community service via which SLU embodies its mission. The University strives to prepare students for lives of personal and professional integrity, and therefore regards all breaches of academic integrity as matters of serious concern.

The governing University-level Academic Integrity Policy can be accessed on the Provost's Office website. A more detailed policy statement is given by the College of Arts & Science, also applying to this course.

Supporting Student Success

In recognition that people learn in a variety of ways and that learning is influenced by multiple factors (e.g., prior experience, study skills, learning disability), resources to support student success are available on campus. Students who think they might benefit from these resources can find out more about:

Students with a documented disability who wish to request academic accommodations are encouraged to contact Disability Services at 314-977-3484 or visit the Student Success Center. Confidentiality will be observed in all inquiries.

Michael Goldwasser
Capstone Project, Fall 2015
Last modified: Monday, 09 November 2015
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