CS 190, Computer Science Design Project, Fall 1999 - Course Organization, Administrative Information

Originally Prepared 9/7/1999; Current Version Last Edited 1/16/03

A. Klinger 3531-H Boelter Office (3532-J Mail Slot) http://www.cs.ucla.edu/~klinger
Class meetings: Tues/Thurs 10-11:50 AM 4413 Boelter Hall
Secretary: Ms. Nancy Velasquez, 3532-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.


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. Client Source A project based on a real customer's needs. Compose a work statement based on the steps in 1. Consider whether the task has any general aspects. See list below or propose your own client.

CS 190 Computer Science Design Project Fall 1999

Project Sources

3. Commercial MarketplaceAnalyze features of at least three internet/world-wide-web firms active in electronic commerce (examples: Amazon.com, Ebay, Geocities, Yahoo, Tripod, and CyberCash) to design a new product in that area. The product would have new features meeting other needs of electronic consumers - either the large populace or a special niche. Create a work statement (or several) expressing aspects of a design needed to implement your concept. [You may want to use the world wide web; see online shopping below.]

4.Interactive TelevisionCurrently only twenty percent of U.S. homes have computers while almost all have television and telephones. Digital television and other technological developments offer computer design project opportunities. Learn about set top boxes and other hardware issues associated with this changing technology. Explore adapting video to viewer-actor-combinations. [You may want to use the world wide web; see online shopping below.]

Commercial Developments, e.g. Online Shopping Prior CS 190/199 students' work can be incorporated in a project. Any market product based on others' contributions should include them. Several previous projects have been very similar to current world wide web shopping sites.

A nondisclosure agreement (NDA) can open information about a new way to work using networked computers to cooperate on a task. If interested send an email request for the nondisclosure agreement to klinger@cs.ucla.edu. Include your name and U.S. mail address.

5. Combining Judgements Rand reports on Delphi (see SEL library) describe a method to combine opinions of many people without one having too much influence. Use the method as the central part of new group support web-based software. (See statement on Commercial Development. Read about voting systems.)

6. International Computing

Computer technology plays a central role: it is a world-wide agent of communication and political change. Substantiate statements in the report by net and library research. Points raised by an editor at the publication Science will be available to those requesting detail by email to klinger@cs.ucla.edu.

7. Puzzles

Existing book items need to be matched to contemporary computer-communication technology. New ways to teach problem-solving and mathematical thought are needed to acquaint teachers and K-12 pupils with the basis of computing. Explore web site and references listed at http://www.cs.ucla.edu/~klinger/math.html; read about gaming - Las Vegas gambling - and video game systems. (See above re commercial developments.)

Project Descriptions The following project examples, broad overviews of work needed, include ways to reach out to potential clients. Realistic project descriptions take these items forward by including detail on deliverables. Move from these general statements to joint items written by all team members. [Items that follow are generally situations where project work can assist worthy non-profit organizations. For further opportunities to serve see Assignment One.]

8. Partially Sighted Web-Site Aiding involves creating improved computer software for people with disabilities. Audio-Extended Web Browser. World-wide web browsers, present problems for users who work with Braille and sound output. Many people have partial sight. They could benefit from a system that involves a web site with audio links. Contact Kate Rosloff at the Center for the Partially Sighted or email the founder Samuel Genensky.

9. Near Earth Asteroid-Tracking (NEAT). Caltech's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) needs reprogramming to speed an algorithm since data is coming in faster than current software can process it. A hardware upgrade caused incoming data to outstrip processing of time-adjacent images. The software now takes all the time between the end of one night and the beginning of the next to locate entities moving in a straight line. Point data is either a star, i.e., a fixed object, or a planetary body, an asteroid, comet or planet. The goal is to detect Near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) and comets more than 1 km in size for scientific study and to evaluate whether they may be hazardous to the Earth. Since Dec. 1995, 6-12 nights each month, data has been obtained. The recent upgrade resulted in a factor of 2.5 increase in sky coverage to 300 square degrees per night: a typical night yields 10 GB of image data - which usually yields 100 asteroids.detected, one a possible NEA. http://huey/jpl.nasa.gov/~spravdo/neatl.html

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

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.

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.

McKeever, M., How to Write a Business Plan, 4th ed., Nolo Press, 1992.


Anawalt, H. and Enayati, E., IP Strategy - Complete Intellectual Property Planning, Access and Protection, Clark Boardman Callaghan,1996.

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.

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. [The Venice Family Clinic, UCLA Film & TV Department, 4 Art, and local museums are examples.]

1/16/03 Version http://www.cs.ucla.edu/~klinger/stW99.html
©2002 Allen Klinger