LBSC 690 - Information Technology
Fall 2008 - Section 0101
Fall 2008 Projects
The project in LBSC 690 is designed to allow students to integrate and
extend knowledge acquired throughout the course and to apply that
knowledge to solve a problem of substantial scope. Students are
required to work in groups of 3, and teams should plan to devote
approximately 125 hours outside of class to the project over the
course of the semester (6 hours per person for 7 weeks). Except in
unusual circumstances (and with the approval of both professors), all
team members should be registered for the same section of LBSC 690.
Experience suggests that successful teams require expertise in design,
implementation, and project management.
Immediately following the midterm exam, project groups will meet in
class to nail down the details of their planned project. Each team
will then make a brief (4-minute) minute presentation the following
week to solicit feedback on their plans from other members of the
class. Each team will produce a single written report and will
present a 12-minute demonstration of their project during the last
Both the Professor and the Teaching Assistant will be available for
consultation with project teams by appointment. Because project teams
will be working with a diverse array of technologies and application
environments, this assistance will necessarily focus more on
strategies than details.
Projects are required to make substantial use of at least two of the
key technologies introduced in the course, integrated in a manner that
is appropriate for their intended application:
Projects are also required to include significant real content;
mock-ups that contain only a limited quantity of content for
demonstration purposes would not be acceptable.
- Web-based content delivery
- Synchronized multimedia content delivery
- Relational Databases
For your 4-minute presentation in the class session after the midterm,
your objective should be to solicit reactions that might change theway
you think about your project. You should use three slides: one to
describe your goals, one that illustrates what a user would see, and
one that describes the scope (i.e., what limitations you anticipate).
This presentation is not graded. This presentation should be given by
one person, but it should reflect the ideas of your entire team. The
time constraint must be rigidly enforced if we are to stay within the
scheduled class period.
For your 12-minute final presentation, your objective should be to
help people to understand what you did and to share with your
classmates some of the unique things that you have learned. This
presentation should be given by the two members of the group that did
not present in the 4-minute presentation. The structure of this
presentation will naturally vary depending on the nature of your
project, but to the extent possible you should try to help your
classmates to actually experience the use of what you have created in
some way. As with all presentations, the time constraint must be
rigidly enforced if we are to stay within the scheduled class period.
The sole role of the project report is to convey information that
cannot be conveyed as effectively during the final project
presentation. The key here is the content, not the style of the
report. So there are essentially no style guidelines except that I
would like to be able to understand it (so it is helpful if it is well
written), and I would like it to be reasonably concise (in my mind,
about 5 pages, single spaced). The content of the report should
address at least:
Of course, different groups will devote more or less space to each of
these, and some groups will add other things. For example, some groups
might talk about changes that they made to their vision of who their
customer really was along the way as they learned more. Others might talk
about suggestions for supportng project groups in future semesters that
would extend their capabilities. Others might want to write about group
dynamics (perhaps as a form of "group therapy":). So there is no cookbook
recipe for a good project report. The key is to learn a lot, and to
describe what you have learned.
- Why you did this
- How you went about it. This has two aspects: (1) how did you learn
what was really needed (did you just make it up, or do you have a real
customer? If you have a real customer, how did you use their
understanding of the true problem to guide your work?), and (2) how did
you organize your efforts - Mythical man-month kinds of issues.
- What you learned about the nature of your problem
- What you learned about the capabilities and limitations of the
technologies that you chose to work with
- What you know about how well your system meets the needs for which
it was created? Did you test it? How? What insights did you gain?
- What plans are there for a continued life for what you have created?
Will some customer adopt it?
Teams should discuss their project plans with the professor no later
than the planning session following the midterm exam. It is important
that the chosen project be sufficiently substantial to represent a
significant accomplishment, but that it not be so complex that
completion within the available time would be unlikely. Teams may
select any topic for their project, but they should be careful to
select a project for which the required content can be obtained in the
available time. The following topics are offered as examples (which
nobody has every chosen!):
- Apollo Archives:
The Apollo missions to the moon, flown between 1968 and 1972, were the
most extensively documented voyages of exploration ever conducted.
Thanks to the efforts of a number of enthusiasts and companies, many
of these records are now available in digital form. Each item
documents one aspect of an event, but achieving a holistic
understanding often requires simultaneous access to multiple
perspectives. For example, recordings (and/or transcripts) are
available from the control center, the spacecraft, and the radio
transmissions between the two. Photographs are available from as many
as five cameras at one time. There are a lot of interesting aspects
of this problem that could be explored, and several application
environments that might be considered (scholarly access, school
library media centers, museum visitors, ...). Probably the best way
to start is to check out http://www.hq.nasa.gov/alsj/frame.html
to get to know some of the available content. If you are interested
in this project, you should also see me to discuss digitized audio and
video that is available from other sources.
- Oral History:
Students at the Saint Andrews Episcopal School in Potomac, MD create
oral histories as part of their studies. They presently make
transcripts of those oral histories available at http://www.DoingOralHistory.org.
The school is interested in working with a local university to also
make the audio from the interviews available as streaming media. This
could involve synchronized delivery of audio and the video (see http://uaf-db.uaf.edu/Jukebox/PJWeb/pjhome.htm
for an example) or a less tightly coupled approach (see http://www.stg.brown.edu/projects/1968/
for an example of that.
The most exceptional project of the semester may be nominated for the
Award. Some professional societies also offer awards for which
you can compete (e.g., from the the Art
Here are some example projects from prior semesters that are still
available on the Web. Some additional projects can probably be found
by following links from my home page during earlier semesters using
the Internet Archive.
- Spring 2008
- Earlier Semesters