COMP592

MEng Individual Project

Aims

  1. To give students the opportunity to work individually, in a guided but independent fashion, on a substantial problem that allows to show innovation and/or creativity and allows to make practical use of principles, techniques and methodologies acquired elsewhere in the programme.
  2. To give experience of carrying out a large piece of individual work involving the synthesis of advance information, ideas and practices in order to provide a quality solution together with an critical evaluation of the process and the solution.
  3. To enhance communication skills, both oral and written, in particular through producing a dissertation that documents the conduct of the project, the solution produced and giving a critical evalution of process and solution.

Syllabus

Guidance on various aspects of the project will be provided via seminars, tutorials, and through the project supervisors.

Recommended Texts

  • Christian W. Dawson: Projects in Computing and Information Systems (A Student's Guide). Addison Wesley (latest edition).
  • Justin Zobel: Writing for Computer Science. Springer (latest decision).

Further texts are recommended for specific projects as appropriate, depending on the nature of the project.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of this module students should be able to:

  1. work effectively as an individual on a substantial problem that allows to show innovation and/or creativity and allows to make practical use of principles, techniques and methodologies acquired elsewhere in the programme;
  2. specify formally a problem, showing awareness of the wider context and identification of issues that such context might cause, and produce a plan to address this problem;
  3. manage their time effectively so as to carry out a project plan;
  4. locate and synthesise general and research information on concepts, ideas, and practices, relevant to a given project;
  5. undertake research on their own on a substantial Computer Science problem and to devise an efficient solution using an appropriate methodology;
  6. evaluate in a critical fashion the work they have done, and to place it in the context of related work;
  7. prepare and deliver formal presentations, including, where appropriate, an overview of the methodology used, the design of a solution, and the demonstration of software;
  8. structure and write a dissertation describing the conduct of the project, the solution produced and giving a critical evalution of process and solution.

Learning Strategy

In the project we wish to foster independent learning, within a framework provided by a series of reviews.

Each student is expected to work largely autonomously, guided by two members of staff, a supervisor and a co-supervisor. Students are expected to mantain regular contact with their supervisor and co-supervisor throughout the project to obtain direction and advice as needed.

Prior to the start of the module an introductory seminar will outline details of the project scheme, documentation detailing the framework and expectations will be provided, and the process of project allocation will be explained. Thereafter tutorials will be held prior to the four reviews allowing to discuss any questions that students might have related to these reviews.

Four reviews will be conducted over the course of the project:

  • specification (oral presentation and documentation, week 3)
  • interim presentation and progress report (oral presentation and documentation, week 7)
  • final presentation including, where appropriate, software demonstration (week 11)
  • dissertation (written, week 12).

These reviews are each carried out by two members of staff, and give opportunity for monitoring progress and giving formative feedback.