10/6/99 Version Computer Science Design Project Fall 1999 www.cs.ucla.edu/~klinger/stF99.html
Course Organization and Administrative Information
Instructor: Allen Klinger 3531-H Boelter Office 3532-J Boelter, Mail Slot Meet: T-Th 10-11:50 AM, 4413 Boelter
Secretary: Ms. Nancy Velasquez3532-F or 4532-G <nancy@cs.ucla.edu> 310 825-1322 or 54033

Objectives: Learning to work in a group and set one's own goals. Developing 1) skill at transmitting ideas, and 2) fundamental ethical standards. Acting to innovate and to accomplish things in computer hardware, software, or analytic-models. Sharing knowledge with fellow students.

Talks and Reports: Each person gives three or more individual talks to the class: at least two are on the project tasks he/she undertakes. There are many types of first presentations. One can explain a project idea, possibly with the goal of recruiting partners. A book on an issue in the professional development area, a new aspect of computing, or information found from a web site, can be the basis of a talk. Practice is the central concern: a talk can cover any topic of interest to computer science students. JAVA, registering domain names, and CGI scripts, have been among the many topics for talks.

Talks that describe things done (on a project) or learned (professional development) this quarter are often the best. At least one talk must show something you have done. A very good way to do that is focus on preparing figures, graphs or tables before the talk. Then either by xeroxing them or developing film transparencies you can get your peers to look at your results while you speak about them.

Activities and Grades: Developing a personalized ten-week plan of objectives. Selecting reading material. Choosing a project. Creating a common, jointly-prepared/approved work effort culminating in preliminary and final reports and a briefing. Attendance and active participation at course meetings. Contributing to other projects by comments at talks, and reviews of progress reports and paper drafts. Course grades reflect team results, initiative and work quality; and individual participation. Use of Web should help: see http://www.cs.ucla.edu/~klinger.


Initiating a Project: The first three weeks begin with team formation and project selection. Project teams of three or four members begin to address combining different visions of what will be done. Teams can work on coordinated projects, or do the same project independently. Student-originated projects must have instructor-approved of their written description, deliverables, and specifications. Extensive office hours and available computer files enable projects to evolve from instructor's interests and prior work by students.


1. Work with partners to create two high-quality written project reports.

2. Read, write, and compute. Distill that work into presentation material.

3. As an individual prepare and give presentations to the class.

4. Write weekly individual progress reports.

5. Submit a letter describing the group experience at course conclusion.

6. Participate in all evaluation activities; responsibly comment, contribute and reporter in class.

7. Speak twice about your own work on a project: specific contributions and accomplishments .

8. At course conclusion submit a letter describing the group experience

Course Organization and Administrative Information

Presentations: The course work involves discussions and talks. Students ask questions about, and comment on, each other's work. Numerous course handouts, reports, figures, suggestions on giving talks, and material on computer innovation appear in the course web site. Everyone must give a talk that is from new visuals composed for that purpose, even if the items used are photocopies.

Team Size: Teams with less than four members need commentors. These are non-team fellow students who read drafts, make written comments and give managerial suggestions about the work flow. The commentors efforts are an "outside the classroom" activity.

Web Sources

World Wide Web Sources: Some sites enable discovery and learning that can motivate a talk. E. g.,

http:// www.sjmercury.com/ San Jose Mercury News

http://wsj.com/ Wall Street Journal

http://nytimesfax.com/ N Y Times

http://www.usatoday.com/ U S A Today

http://www.washingtonpost.com/ Washington Post

http://www.latimes.com/ L A Times

http://www.cc.columbia.edu/acis/bartleby/bartlett/ Bartlett's Familiar Quotations

Quality: Since we all start from different places students often accomplish markedly diverse kinds of work. This course allows for variation but encourages and rewards excellence. Participant responses to surveys on how comments, talks and project work met individuals' accomplishment standards, become part of the course grade.


There are different ways to start a project. This section is an overview of approaches you can take.

1. Innovation [alternative is Assignment. See the following numbered suggestions and consider outreach as mentioned in Assignment One.] ]. Innovation represents a project based on student suggested ideas.

1) Write out your idea, the first sketch (email is ok).

2) At least one person gives a short talk in class describing the task.

3) Each person creates their own draft project description (short title, sentence or two, specific thing he/she will do).

4) All work to combine the drafts of the prospective participants.

5) At least two people present the combined project description draft to instructor (but see below).

2. Adapt A project that begins with a real customer's needs. Compose a work statement based on the steps in 1. Consider whether the task has any general aspects. See items posted to the web at pointers stored in Directed Projects. Alternatively, propose your own client/customer. One way to do that is volunteer: find a hospital or similar under-funded worthwhile organization. Interview people there to determine their computer-related needs.

CS 190 Computer Science Design Project Fall 1999

Project Sources

3. Research An example could be in electronic commerce: it would begin by investigating at least three internet/world-wide-web firms. While consumer examples like Amazon.com, Ebay, Geocities, Yahoo, Tripod, and CyberCash, come to mind readily, design to enable business-to-business transfers is where the greatest amount of revenue will come. Examining bank and stock brokerage sites may be of use. Seek ways to improve existing designs or create a new product. Develop features meeting needs of special groups of clients, e.g., regional, large populations linked other ways, special niche groups like individuals who are color blind. Write out a draft listing aspects of a design needed to implement your concept.

4. Technology Change The increasing percentage of U.S. homes having computers (almost all have television and telephones) combines with changes in video and web technology to make interactive television and broadband computer access interesting. High-definition or digital television, tv-programming-storage-systems, broadband - e.g.,information delivery by cable, etc. - all involve technological developments. New systems offer computer design project opportunities. One example is to learn about set top boxes now in place for cable television.

Project Descriptions This basic item is a page-long statement. It uses simple language to explain what the team is trying to design. By avoiding jargon, acronyms and a wall of technology, and employing words that are generally understood, it clearly presents a concept.

The following two examples are based on work done in 190 or referred to the class as needed. Note that the language is broad: it involves an overview. As the project evolves these descriptions can be rewritten to add detail on deliverables: things done. When that is done the item becomes a part of the final project report called variously the abstract, summary, or executive summary.

The idea is to begin with general items drafted by individuals and to merge them into joint items written by all team members. Then as the team does parts of the design, to adapt and refine this page into an overview item included in the final report.

Partially Sighted Web-Site Aiding involves creating improved computer software for people with disabilities. One form uses a screen-reader and voice-synthesizers. A potential product from the work is an Audio-Extended Web Browser. World-wide web browsers, present problems for users who work with Braille and sound output. People with partial sight could benefit from such a system. The project will begin with a visit to the Center for the Partially Sighted.

Asteroid-Tracking. Caltech's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) needs reprogramming to speed image analysis algorithms: in some cases data is coming in faster than current software can process it. One goal is to improve processing of images covering adjacent parts of the sky to locate points moving in a straight line. Points either are stars: fixed objects; or planetary bodies: asteroid, comet or planet. The project will begin with in-depth study of the web site at http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/.

CS 190 Computer Science Design Project Fall 1999

A. Klinger 3531-H Boelter Office (3532-J Boelter, Mail Slot) Tues-Thurs 10-11:50 AM 4413 Boelter

References - Books and World Wide Web Universal Resource Locators


Lumsdaine(s) Creative Problem Solving, McGraw-Hill, 1995.

Ulrich and Eppinger Product Design and Development, McGraw-Hill, 1995.


Lynch, Daniel C. and Rose, Marshall T., Eds., Internet System Handbook, Addison-Wesley, 1993.

Thomas, B., The Internet for Scientists and Engineers, SPIE/IEEE Press, 1996.

Dern The Internet Guide for New Users, McGraw-Hill, 1995.

Graham The HTML Sourcebook, Wiley, 1997; http://www.hprc.utoronto.ca/HTMLdocs/NewHTML/htmlindex.html


Fisher, R. and Ury, W., Getting to YES, Houghton Mifflin, 1981.

Cohen, H., You Can Negotiate Anything, Lyle Stuart, 1980.

Starting a Company

Kushell, J., No Experience Necessary, Random House, Inc., 1997 (out of print).

Siegel, M., How to make a fortune on the internet, Harper Perennial, 1997.

Gillis, T., Guts & Borrowed Money, Bard Press, 1997.

Dawson, G., Borrowing to Build Your Business, Upstart Publishing Company, 1997.

Merrill, R. and Sedgwick, H., The New Venture Handbook: Everything You Need to Know to Start and Run Your Own Business, Revised, AMACOM/American Management Association, 1993 (out of print).

McKeever, M., How to Write a Business Plan, 5th ed., Nolo Press, 1992.


Anawalt, H. and Enayati, E., IP Strategy - Complete Intellectual Protection, Access and Planning Clark Boardman Callaghan,1999.

DeForest,T., Inventor's Guide to Successful Patent Applications, McGraw-Hill, 1988.

Magid, L., "Software, Web Sites Offer Help to Inventors Applying for Patents," L A Times, 3/18/98 http://www.cs.ucla.edu/~klinger/patent_software.html


Strunk, W. and White, E. , The Elements of Style, NY: Macmillan,1972.

http://www.cc.columbia.edu/acis/bartleby/strunk (the 1918 version by Strunk).

Sageev, P., Helping Researchers Write... So Managers Can Understand, Columbus OH: Battelle, 1995 .

CS 190 Computer Science Design Project Fall 1999

A. Klinger 3531-H Boelter Office (3532-J Mail Slot) Tues-Thurs 10-11:50 AM 4413 Boelter

Assignment One

Come to the 10-7 class meeting with your:

1. One-page reaction comments on something you read.

2. A statement - a paragraph - describing the project you want to work on.

3. Readiness to present a short talk based on web access CS 190 material.

4. Ability to discuss some CS 190 exercise posted on the web. Please begin by referencing the url


Then please look in the text there: it includes (under a header Working) several exercises and pointers to pages that help clarify the problem statements.

5. List of first four-week class meetings when you'll present a talk.

6. Contact communication: notes from a phone conversation or copy of email exchange. Approach a volunteer, educational, or nonprofit organization. [E.g., Venice Family Clinic, local hospitals/museums, Wired 4 Art.]