Computer Science

Senior Design Center

Spring 2019 Syllabus
Sections 1 – 4

Instructors & Laboratories


Ms. Margaret R. Heil
heil AT
Office hours by appt.

Associated Faculty / Technical Advisors

Dr. Lina Battestilli
lbattestilli AT
Office hours by appt.

Dr. Jamie Jennings
jajenni3 AT
Office hours by appt.

Dr. Jason T. King
jtking AT
Office hours by appt.

Dr. David B. Sturgill
dbsturgi AT
Office hours by appt.

Technical Consultant

Mr. Michael DeHaan
mpdehaa2 AT

Teaching Assistants

Mr. Zachary Cleghern
zbcleghe AT

Mr. Abhishek Pandy
aapandey AT

Ms. Sarah Elder
seelder AT

Mr. Brantley Collins
bjcollin AT

Senior Design Center Lab




Course Prerequisites

CSC 326, Senior Status

Student Learning Objectives & Outcomes

The primary objective of this course is to provide seniors in computer science an opportunity to relate classroom topics to the working environment of a computer science professional; they will demonstrate the ability to participate in professional practices related to software engineering.

The outcomes associated with this objective are that, upon completion of CSC 492, students should be able to:

  1. Negotiate, clarify, and document customer requirements
  2. Apply knowledge of fundamental algorithms, programming language concepts, and design patterns to determine an overall design for a software system
  3. Implement a fully specified system
  4. Test a fully specified system
  5. Plan and monitor the progress of software projects to ensure on time delivery of a high-quality system

Another objective is that students will be able to communicate effectively about computer science-related topics.

The outcomes associated with this objective are that, upon completion of CSC 492, CSC students should be able to:

  1. Deliver an audience-sensitive oral technical presentation
  2. Write an audience-sensitive technical document

The final objective of this course is to provide students with experience in teamwork, by creating an environment in which it is necessary to cooperate with each other to achieve a technical goal.

The outcome associated with this objective is that, upon completion of CSC 492, CSC students should be able to contribute to software-based system development teams

Required Text

Spring 2019 Course Pack (online resource).

Course Organization & Scope

Lecture Topics

  1. Team Formation & Development
  2. Software Engineering Process From a Team Perspective
  3. Project Management
  4. Team Task Planning
  5. Sponsor & Team Meetings
  6. Writing & Speaking

Operating Rules & Expectations


All projects in CSC 492 are based on formation of teams and appropriate teamwork throughout the semester. Teams are expected to:

  1. Develop ground rules, assign roles, & function as a unit.
  2. Participate in project activity & observe deadlines:
    1. Project development via a defined software engineering process.
    2. Manage project using GitHub tools.
    3. Documentation & presentation preparation.
    4. Posters & Pies: Date/Time TBD
    5. Final project delivery & final presentation to sponsor
  3. Meet with faculty and/or industrial sponsor approximately every 1-2 weeks to review progress.
  4. Provide instructors/team members/sponsors with team meeting agendas & minutes.
  5. Keep lab space orderly & garbage free. Teams will be subject to penalties for unkempt team spaces.


As an individual member of a team, you are expected to:

  1. Join a project team & fully participate. This means that there must be evidence that each team member has contributed to design, coding, or testing
  2. Attend all team meetings & all class meetings
  3. Maintain project documents -- rotate responsibility
  4. Give progress presentations to entire 492 class at regularly scheduled class meetings -- rotate responsibility (help each other with presentation content and preparation)
  5. Keep an Individual Project Log (i.e., a personal journal of individual project activity - see web site) and summarize monthly individual contribution using the personal contribution section of the peer eval. Project Logs will be collected four times during the semester per the calendar.
  6. Check email on a daily basis and keep boxes under quota so instructors' email is not blocked. Since the instructors' main vehicle for communication with students is via email, this is extremely important

Noncontributing individuals: Evaluation of an individual's contribution comes from three sources: instructors, sponsors, and peers. During the course of the semester, if any two of these three elements judge an individual's contribution as negligible or belligerent, that individual will be "fired" from the team. Such a determination will not be made lightly, will imply that numerous attempts at reconciliation have failed, and will have serious consequences on the grade of the individual. In particular, their grade for the course will become zero and the individual will be immediately removed from any responsibility for the assigned team or project. Alternatives for a subsequent course of action are:

  1. A late drop recommendation will be made to the Dean
  2. An individual project may be negotiated between the instructors and the student for which the maximum grade will be 'C' if all project goals are met by semester's end

Projected Schedule of Reading Assignments

See course calendar.

Schedule of Assignments

See course calendar.


The grading scheme for CSC 492 will be based on the degree to which course objectives are met and mutual accountability of individual team members.

Grade Calculation

Your grade in CSC 492 is based on an individual grade and a team grade.

Your Individual Grade (I), worth 50%, is a weighted sum of grades for:

  • Your Personal Activities (30%)
    • Oral Progress Report (15%) = IO
    • Personal Tasks (15%) (based on your logs & Statements of Personal Contribution) = IT
  • Your Personal Contribution To The Team Effort (20%)
    • Peer Evaluations (10%) = IP
    • Instructors' Observations (10%) (your project leadership & professional demeanor) = II

Your Team Grade (T), worth 50%, is a weighted sum of grades for:

  • Project Progress (40%) = TR

    Based on quality, content and timeliness of completed code or activity and written progress reports, as follows:

    • Interim Project Report (Total, 10%)
    • Final Report (30%) (For report format and content, see course pack).

  • Team Cohesiveness (10%) = TC

    Based on instructors' evaluation of teamwork as evidenced by team planning, team participation in progress reports (both oral and written), and team participation in final delivery of project product (includes Posters & Pies deliverables: Presentation, Poster & Demo).

Finally, your Course Grade = I + T = (IO + IT + IP + II) + (TR + TC)

Other Grading Information

  • Team documents returned as unsatisfactory will be counted as non-existing
  • All deadlines must be met (or revised -- with justification). If a document is given to the instructors after established deadline, a 10% penalty/day will be imposed
  • Peer evaluation -- Each team member will rate the performance of fellow team members four times during the semester. See calendar for due dates and access forms via web site. If an individual does not submit a timely peer evaluation for other members of his/her team, that individual's peer evaluation score will be 0%
  • Oral Progress Reports - One graded Oral Progress Report per student (15%) - lowest grade will be dropped
  • In some cases sponsor evaluations may be counted
  • Attendance - Your attendance during class time (lecture, oral progress reports, and Team Work Days) is mandatory. You will be allowed a total of two excused absences from class. Excused absences from class require written permission in advance. Judgment of instructors is final. For each unexcused absence, there will be a 3-point deduction from your total semester numeric grade (see A above). Tardiness is unacceptable as it disrupts the class or team meetings, and it displays disrespect toward our learning community. Two "tardies" during class time will count as one unexcused absence. On Team Work Days (see calendar), you are required to work in your assigned lab space. Attendance will also be monitored on Team Work Days. If you will not be in the lab on a particular Team Work Day because of a sponsor meeting, please notify Ms. Heil before that class period.

    Friday Sessions: Check the calendar carefully. Attendance at course events pre-scheduled for Fridays is mandatory [1/11/19, 1/18/19, 1/25/19, 2/15/19, 3/22/19, 3/29/19 (for P&P presenters only), 4/5/19 (for P&P presenters only); if Posters & Pies is held during class on 4/26/19, this will be a mandatory Friday]. If sponsor schedules require Friday meetings, then Friday attendance is mandatory. If instructor or faculty mentor schedules require Friday meetings, then Friday attendance is mandatory. Otherwise, attendance at Friday sessions is optional.

Grading Scale

  • 98% <= calculated grade <= 1XX% ➔ A+
  • 92% <= calculated grade <= 97% ➔ A
  • 90% <= calculated grade <= 91% ➔ A-
  • 88% <= calculated grade <= 89% ➔ B+
  • 82% <= calculated grade <= 87% ➔ B
  • 80% <= calculated grade <= 81% ➔ B-
  • 78% <= calculated grade <= 79% ➔ C+
  • 72% <= calculated grade <= 77% ➔ C
  • 70% <= calculated grade <= 71% ➔ C-
  • 68% <= calculated grade <= 69% ➔ D+
  • 62% <= calculated grade <= 67% ➔ D
  • 60% <= calculated grade <= 61% ➔ D-
  • 0% <= calculated grade <= 59% ➔ F

Extra Credit Opportunities

Various extra credit opportunities are available in CSC 492. Points will be added to your Instructors' Observation grade (amount to be determined by activity and announced during semester). They include (but are not limited to):

  • Fidelity Investments Lecture Series (1/31, 2/28, 3/26)
  • Technology Sessions (2/1 and others TBD)

Policies On Incomplete Grades & Late Assignments

See 8. Course Grading.


See 8. Course Grading.

Academic Integrity

All students are expected to maintain traditional standards of academic integrity. You should be aware of the University policy on academic integrity found in the Code of Student Conduct, which can be found at

Communication Guidelines

Students can expect a 24- to 48-hour turnaround time on most email queries made to the teching team. Similarly, students are expected to respond to email queries from the teaching team in the same amount of time. Professionalism and courteousness are expected and appreciated.


Reasonable accommodations will be made for students with verifiable disabilities. In order to take advantage of available accommodations, students must register with Disability Services for Students at 1900 Student Health Center, Campus Box 7509, 515-7653. For more information on NC State's policy on accommodating students with disabilities, please see

Risk Assumption on Field Trips

In some cases, field trips to sponsor sites may be necessary. Students are at their own risk during travel.

Extra Expenses

In some cases, field trips to sponsor sites may be necessary. Student travel to local sponsor sites is not reimbursable.


In some cases, field trips to sponsor sites may be necessary. Students are expected to provide their own transportation to local sponsor sites.

Online Class Evaluations

Online class evaluations will be available for students to complete from November 18th at 8am until December 5th at 8am. Students will receive an email message directing them to a website where they can login using their Unity ID and complete evaluations. All evaluations are confidential; instructors will not know how any one student responded to any question, and students will not know the ratings for any instructors.

Evaluation website:
Student help desk:

University Honors Program (UHP)

A student who intends to use anything related to their CSC senior design project to fulfill the requirements for the UHP Capstone MUST declare an intent to do so by Wednesday, January 16, 2019; to declare your intent, send an email to Ms. Heil and the associated technical advisor in charge of your section. Furthermore, a written proposal for the Honors Capstone project MUST be submitted by Friday, February 1, 2019 to Ms. Heil and the associated technical advisor in charge of your section. Please be advised that an Honors Capstone project must go above and beyond the deliverables required to successfully complete your CSC senior design project.

Entrepreneurship Resources

The NC State Entrepreneurship Clinic is a space that facilitates real-life experience to students while still in school. Through the Clinic's engagement with startups and innovation labs, students can tackle projects and develop critical skills. Additionally, students can also submit their own startup projects to get help from interdisciplinary teams.

Learn more at

For updates on startup events, job openings, top tech articles, and Clinic news, subscribe to the Clinic Courier.

List of events and descriptions

Supporting Fellow Students in Distress

As members of the NC State Wolfpack community, we each share a personal responsibility to express concern for one another and to ensure that this classroom and the campus as a whole remains a healthy and safe environment for learning. Occasionally, you may come across a fellow classmate whose personal behavior concerns or worries you, either for the classmate’s well-being or yours. When this is the case, I would encourage you to report this behavior to the NC State’s NC State Cares website: Although you can report anonymously, it is preferred that you share your contact information so they can follow-up with you personally.

Campus Safety

The University Police Department is a fully sworn, armed, well-trained and well-equipped police department here to serve the university community. NC State University Police Officers have the same powers and responsibilities as your local police and sheriff’s departments. On campus, the University Police enforce North Carolina law, investigate crimes, respond to emergencies, patrol university property and provide safety education. The Department operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Uniformed police officers patrol campus in cars, on horseback, bikes and foot.

For a list of services provided by the NCSU Police Department, go to: