Instructor: Aline Normoyle

Important Dates:

Deliverable Due

Updated Proposal

Jan 28, 2pm ET

Extended Abstract

Feb 11, 2pm ET

First Draft

Mar 4, 2pm ET

Second Draft

Mar 25, 2pm ET

Demo Day!

Apr 8, 2pm ET

Final Draft

Apr 15, 2pm ET

Senior Presentations

Apr 29, 2pm ET

Meeting time and location:

Activity Location Time

Class meetings

Park 337

Friday 2:10pm - 4pm

Course Info

Welcome to CMSC 399!. This course is a capstone to your undergraduate Computer Science education, in which you will have the opportunity to identify, plan, design, implement, and evaluate a computing-based solution to a real-world problem.

In completing this course, you will gain experience in:

  • identifying a computing-related problem and potential solutions, and exploring and evaluating different solutions' benefits and drawbacks

  • designing and implementing a high-quality computing artifact.

  • assessing the effectiveness of a computing solution, i.e. the extent to which it addresses the problem it is trying to solve

  • communicating the high-level goals and low-level details of a computing solution via written documents and oral presentations

Whether your next step after graduation is industry, academia, research, government, or non-profit, these are the sorts of skills you will need in your career as a successful computer scientist and engineer.

The main deliverable of this course is a final report that describes the motivation for your project, details about the solution/implementation, an assessment of its effectiveness, and your own personal reflection on the process.


Students are expected to attend all class meetings. Please notify the instructor in advance if you are unable to attend a meeting or if you know you will be late.

More information about each deliverable will be provided once the course gets under way. In addition to attending the class meetings described above, you are expected to meet with your faculty advisor on a regular basis, preferably once a week, to ensure that you are making progress on your project.

Week Date Agenda


Jan 21

Course overview and logistics

  • Brief team introductions

  • Brief meetings with instructor

  • Discussion of next deliverable


Jan 28

Project proposals

  • Project proposals due at 2PM ET. (Moodle)

  • Project proposal presentations

  • Discussion of next deliverable


Feb 4


  • Project status updates


Feb 11

Extended abstracts

  • Extended abstracts due at 2PM ET. (Moodle)

  • Extended abstract presentations

  • Discussion of next deliverable


Feb 18


  • Project status updates


Feb 25


  • Project status updates


March 4

First draft

  • First draft due at 2PM ET. (Moodle)

  • First draft presentations

  • Discussion of next deliverable


March 11

Spring Break

No meetings this week!


March 18


  • Project status updates


March 25

Second drafts

  • Second draft due at 2PM ET. (Moodle)

  • Second draft presentations, demos

  • Discussion of next deliverable


April 1


  • Project status updates


April 8

Demo Day!

  • Share your work in a hands-on way


April 15

Final report

  • Final report due 2PM ET (Moodle)

  • Final report presentations

  • Discussion of next deliverable


April 22

Final presentation practice

  • Presentation practice


April 29

Final presentations

  • Presentation slides due at 2PM ET. (Moodle)

  • Presentation to the CS department

  • CS Picnic and party

Grading Policies

All graded work will receive a grade, 4.0, 3.7, 3.3, 3.0, 2.7, 2.3, 2.0, 1.7, 1.3, 1.0, or 0.0. At the end of the semester, final grades will be calculated as a weighted average of all grades according to the following weights:

10% Class attendance and participation


Submission of milestone deliverables (proposal, extended abstract, first and second drafts)


Progress reports and status updates


Final presentation


Final report

Your project advisor will also recommend a grade for your work this semester. The above grades will be combined with your advisor’s recommendation: 70% advisor and 30% instructor.

Class Policy

It is essential that all members of the course community work together to create a supportive, inclusive environment that welcomes all students, regardless of their race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexuality, ability, or socioeconomic status. All participants in this course deserve to and should expect to be treated with respect by other members of the community.

Class meetings and group working time should be spaces where everyone feels welcome and included. In order to foster a welcoming environment, students of this course are expected to: exercise consideration and respect in their speech and actions; attempt collaboration and consideration, including listening to opposing perspectives and authentically and respectfully raising concerns, before conflict; refrain from demeaning, discriminatory, or harassing behavior and speech.

Late Policy

Students are expected to submit deliverables by the specified due date and time.

If you know that you will need additional time to finish a deliverable, you are expected to notify the Instructor before the due date, otherwise the submission will receive a late penalty, or may not be accepted at all.

Covid Policy

If you test positive for covid, please let the instructor know and do not come to class. You should still submit deliverables even if you test positive for covid.

Academic Integrity

All students in this course are expected to abide by the Bryn Mawr College Honor Code.

This can, of course, be tricky to navigate when it comes to working with data, frameworks, technologies, etc. that are new to you but also well-documented on the Internet. If you are intending to use code written by someone outside your project team, be sure to discuss this with the instructor in advance.

Health Resources

Your mental health and wellness are of utmost importance to the course Instruction Staff, if not the College as a whole. If you or someone you know is in distress and urgently needs to speak with someone, please do not hesitate to contact BMC Counseling Services: 610-526-7360 (610-526-7778 nights and weekends).


Students needing academic accommodations for a disability must first register with Access Services. Students can call 610-526-7516 to make an appointment with the Director of Access Services, Deb Alder, or email her at to begin this confidential process. Once registered, students should schedule an appointment with the professor as early in the semester as possible to share the verification form and make appropriate arrangements. Please note that accommodations are not retroactive and require advance notice to implement. More information can be obtained at the Access Services website .