Final Project

Presentation: Thursday, Dec 5th in class
Writeup: Thursday, Dec 12th 11:59PM AoE
There are no extensions on the final project

The main learning experience of CS398 is a final project where you get to create a contribution to computational education. Your final project will be either be:

  1. Recreating an advanced idea in computational education
  2. Producing a novel research idea or
  3. Making a new tool
We will help you along the way. You will present your final project on the last day of class (Dec 5th) and a corresponding write-up is due on Dec 12th. All deadlines are "hard" deadlines. There are no late days or grace period extensions for the final project. Lets make some impact!

Milestones and dates

Oct 30th (week 6), teaching team 1 on 1 to get started. Book a time.

Nov 5th (week 7), lighting talk to the class (edit slides). Arrange a walk with your mentors

Nov 14th (week 8), abstract and baseline, or equivalent, milestone

Nov 28th (week 9), lab talk in class. Explain what is hard. Touch base with mentors before the break.

Dec 5th (week 10), project presentations in class.

Peer Mentorship

A novel feature of a project in CS398 is that you are also going to be a mentor on two other projects! As a mentor, you aren't responsible for implementation, but you are a support and a guide. It is a lot of fun to get involved in other people's projects -- and you can learn a lot from helping. As a mentor we want you to meet twice with your mentees. We are going to be assigning mentorship on week 7. This is also one of the many ways that I am trying to break the preconception that we are competing against each other -- and instead to create a community where we all want to make forward progress on open problems.

Teaching Team Help

We are going to be here throughout your journey. We are excited about your project and keen to be helpful. Make sure to reach out to us when you think you need help. Help can come in many forms: strategic, technical, etc.

What makes for a good project?

We are going to be evaluating projects on the following dimensions:

  • Creativity. We are looking for original ideas that showcase unique thought. This dimension will be reflected in how novel your work is. Similarly, we encourage work that is aesthetically interesting.
  • Impact. We will give special consideration to work that seems to have the potential for positive social benefit.
  • Academic Sophistication. This dimension is based on the difficulty of the underlying probability, how well the ideas relate to the concepts presented in CS109 and how well you are able to articulate your ideas.
  • Grit. A lot of research comes down to perseverance. Do you experiment when you get stuck? Do you put in the necessary energy to overcome obstacles?
An entry does not have to be strong on all evaluation dimensions. For example, a submission that is an expression of a truly impactful idea would be well received, even if it does not use the hardest concepts from CS398 (and vice versa).

Presentation Format

In class we are going to present our projects. I am going to invite people to come see what you have done! The format: Quick intros followed by demos / posters.

At the start of class, each project will get 1 min to quickly give the audience and idea of what they have done. We will then have 1 hour for an open demo/poster session. Have something prepared that allows you to show off what you have done. The format is your choice. Good options include: a poster. A demo that you can talk through. Or even slides that you can run off a screen. If you want to use one of the screens in the room, message me! Part of your final grade will be your presentation.

Submission Format

After the presentation you have 1 week to turn your work into a written format. You have two options (1) a technical writeup written in the SIGCSE paper format. Your papers should be maximum 6 pages. Or (2) a website hosted anywhere, eg a blog, locally etc. The website is unrestricted, but should have substantially less text than a technical writeup.

Beyond CS398

Computational education is a nacent field, and as such there is a lot of room for your ideas! In CS398 you will get mentorship on how to get your ideas spread more widely -- which is of course optional. One way to make impact is to submit your final paper towards a peer reviewed conference. Educational Data Science has its submission deadline on Dec 16th, is hosted at Stanford, and the best paper will win a $2000 prize.