CSCI 487 Senior Project

Instructor: Tobin Maginnis (
Phone: 915-5357 (CSCI dept: 915-7396)
Office: Weir 220
Office Hours: Monday, Wednesday, & Friday 8-10AM or by appointment
Class Time/Place: MW 4:00-5:15 / 235 Weir Hall
Class Homepage:
Required Text: None

Catalog Description:

Each student conducts an in-depth study of a current problem in computer science or related area. Upon completion, the student presents the results in both oral and written forms.


Senior standing in Computer Science (that is, successful completion of all courses specifically required in the C.S. curriculum that are numbered less than 400). Our preference is for students to take the course in their final semester.

Course Goals and Learning Objectives:

This course represents the capstone experience for students seeking a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science. During this course, you will have the opportunity to integrate your undergraduate training and experiences by solving a non-trivial problem in computer and information science. Working individually and largely independently, you will demonstrate proficiency in:

Oral Communication Expectations:

The University of Mississippi expects all of its graduates to be competent in basic oral communications skills. In this and other Computer Science courses, students are expected to demonstrate this competency by exhibiting the following fundamental skills:

Professional Conduct:

As a student in CSCI 487, you are expected to conduct yourself in a professional manner according to the Honor Code of the School of Engineering, the Information Technology Appropriate Use Policy, the M Book, and any other relevant policies. The first three by-laws of the School of Engineering Honor Code are reproduced here for your reference:
  1. The Honor Code shall apply to all undergraduate students seeking degrees through the School of Engineering, registered in School of Engineering courses. Graduate students in the School of Engineering are subject to the Academic Discipline Code published in the University of Mississippi M Book. Undergraduates from other disciplines who are registered for courses in the School of Engineering also are subject to the M Book's Code. The Honor Code shall be understood to apply to all academic areas of the School such as examinations, quizzes, laboratory reports, themes, computer programs, homework, and other possible assignments. Only that work specifically identified by the class instructor not to be under the Honor Code is excluded. The intent of the Honor Code is to recognize professional conduct and, thus, it shall be deemed a violation of the Honor Code to knowingly deceive, copy, paraphrase, or otherwise misrepresent your work in a manner inconsistent with professional conduct.

  2. Enforcement of the Honor Code shall be the duty of each student and faculty member in the School of Engineering. Failure by a student to report a violation of the Honor Code will, in itself, be a violation of the Honor Code.

  3. Academic dishonesty is serious. It is important to recognize that applications for graduate and professional school as well as applications for employment and professional licenses frequently require the applicant to state whether he or she has been found guilty of academic dishonesty. Moreover, when the penalties of suspension and expulsion are imposed for academic dishonesty, they will be recorded permanently on a student's transcript.

Student Disabilities Services Statement

"It is the responsibility of any student with a disability who requests a reasonable accommodation to contact the Office of Disability Services (915-7128). Contact will then be made by that office through the student to the instructor of this class. The instructor will then be happy to work with the student so that a reasonable accommodation of any disability can be made."


CSCI 487 is a regular, graded course. Your semester grade will be based on the instructor's overall evaluation of the quality of your work. You are expected to attend all required class meetings, to prepare high-quality materials and presentations, to submit all required material on time, and to interact with your sponsor, instructor, and fellow students in a professional and effective manner.

The instructor will not view the grading for this course as a strict point system. The following factors with the given relative weights, will contribute to the determination of your semester grade:

Assignment Weight
Prospectus 5%
Bibliography 5%
Design Specification and Presentation 10%
Statement of Work Contract 5%
Software License 5%
Users' Manual & Overall Product Usability 15%
Product Implementation and Documentation 20%
Final Oral Presentation 10%
Sponsor Evaluation 10%
Final Report & Overall Project Quality 15%

Department Grading Policy

It is the policy of the Department that no grades of "I" (Incomplete) will be assigned in this course for failure to complete the project on schedule. If you do not complete the project by the end of the semester, a grade of "F" will be assigned.

Honor Code Statement

All aspects of CSCI 487 fall under the provisions of the School of Engineering's Honor Code. For each document that you submit as part of your project, you must attach and sign the following Honor Code statement:

In keeping with the Honor Code of the School of Engineering, I affirm that I have neither given nor received assistance in preparing this assignment.

Signature: ______________________________

Documents will not be accepted by the instructor unless the Honor Code statement is included and signed.

Important Note on Grading of Assignments

This is a senior-level class at an institution of higher learning, designed to be taken during the final regular semester of your undergraduate computer science program. This course is the culmination of your entire undergraduate degree program. Thus your written work, your oral presentations, and your interactions with your instructor and sponsor, as well as your programming and technical work, must be at the highest level of quality and professionalism.

Your written work must reflect that you have a college degree; there must not be any misspelled words or grammatical errors in any document that you submit. The instructor will deduct 20 percent of the total points on any assignment for each misspelled word or grammatical error.

The instructor may, in some circumstances, ask you to revise and resubmit a document within some specified period of time.

Similarly, your oral presentation must also reveal that you have a college degree; your final presentation must be free from grammatical errors. If there are more than five grammatical errors, then the presentation will have to be repeated and the grade for the course will be automatically dropped one letter grade.

Take advantage of the features (e.g., spelling and grammar checking) of your word processor and, especially, of the resources provided by the University. The University provides the Writing Center and the Williams Learning Center to help you with these problems. The Speech and Hearing Center will provide you with help in dialect reduction if you feel that your dialect prevents you from speaking without grammatical errors.