This course will give you the opportunity to work as part of a team to integrate knowledge acquired in other courses and to apply skills and ideas in computational and data science such as data management, machine learning, statistics, and visualization. You will have the opportunity to work across knowledge domains to solve complex real-world problems by applying cutting-edge tools and methods.
While working on a substantial and challenging project with your partner organization, company, or research lab, you will practice your professional skills. Upon completion of the Capstone Project Course you will be prepared to conduct research at a professional level. The projects are selected so that current statistical, machine learning, computational, and engineering methods can be used. Most projects have been designed to address important contemporary business and societal issues.
A significant component of the course will be the substantial feedback and guidance from the professor and the teaching fellows, including explicit measures of evaluation, feedback on all aspects of the project and its implementation, as well as self-assessment and peer evaluation. This feedback process will begin with the data acquisition and data exploration phase and extend through the design and implementation phase of the project.
We expect you to work with your team members to develop your collaborative skills such as group management and conflict resolution, and to sustain good interpersonal relationships. You will be asked to evaluate each team member’s contribution as well as your own contribution to the project. Many employers consider the ability to engage in productive teamwork a requirement for success.
Town Hall Meetings (a.k.a class time)
There will be a weekly two hour “Town Hall” meeting of the whole class once a week throughout the semester. These meetings will be designated for short tutorials or guest lectures on non-technical subjects such as communicating in the professional world (being on time, being courteous, dressing appropriately, etc.), understanding Intellectual Property, making presentations, etc. Attendance is mandatory.
Group Meetings with your Teaching Fellow
Each group will meet with their assigned TF each week.
Bi-Weekly Meetings with the Professor
Each group will have 45 minute bi-weekly update meetings with the professor. At the end of each Phase, there will be a 60 minute milestone meeting during which you are expected to present the progress of your work. You will be graded on this presentation.
You will keep a diary/workbook of your work and share it with the professor and TF so they can familiarize themselves with your progress before each meeting. This communication will ensure the meetings are productive.
Meetings with the Partners
You will meet with your partner organization a few times during the semester; these meetings are for consultation and feedback only. We have high expectations for these meetings and expect students to be courteous, punctual, and well prepared. At the end of each phase you will write a report which will be sent to the partner (approved first by the TF). Some partners are more hands-on than others and you will have the opportunity to determine the level of partner involvement jointly during the course.
Midterm and Final Presentations with the Professor
Each team will make a presentation of their project during midterms and finals.