[Dedicated to the memory of Professor Phil Dorin, teacher, mentor and friend.]
Design and implementation of large programs in a group setting, including use of the Unified Modeling Language (UML) for specifying, visualizing, and documenting models.
This is your senior capstone project course, which will be done as a group project. You will pick your own software application to implement. As a group, you will propose, specify, document, develop, present, and manage a piece of software which is non-trivial, encompasses all [or nearly all] of the concepts and technologies you have learned here at LMU, and which will be captured in a team github repository. You will be using many different tools, one of which MAY be the UML diagramming tool, but it is not required. More on that later.
In addition, what is NOT stated in the bulletin paragraph is that there is MUCH more to software engineering than just writing code and making it work. What this course is really about is the mindful, creative, disciplined act of creating a software application. As such, you will do the following activities:
deliverable documentsthat will be submitted and evaluated as part of your project, including:
Don't be afraid to take risks! There are SO MANY new and exciting technologies that are available now, and more being developed every day. This is a good place to learn and use them!! Remember that by doing this you will not only learn the new tech, but you will also learn how to learn and use new technologies when they appear on the scene.
Software Engineering, like anything else, takes practice. You should be willing to make mistakes, to learn how to fix them, and to learn not to be afraid of them. Humans [and now even computers!] learn by making mistakes, and this is the place to do so without fear!
The main objective of this course is to introduce you to the essential software engineering principles that guide the design, development, implementation, and management of modern software projects. The emphasis is on real-world application of these principles so that you will be prepared for the professional job environment.
A further goal of this course is to present to you the rationale behind the concept of software engineering as a discipline, to aid in a more fully functional understanding of the process-related concepts. To that end, frequent references to the Unified Process and the Agile development method, along with acquaintance with CMMI, TDD, and other methodologies will help you understand these important topics so you will be able to recognize and apply them. Some use is made of the Unified Modeling Language [UML] in lectures, several assignments, and some project documentation.
A further development of this course is the inclusion of
Another addition to this new philosophy is the inclusion of interdisciplinary projects which include elements of mechanical and/or electrical engineering, as well as Psychology, other science disciplines like physics or biology, and collaboration with the Entrepreneurship program from the CBA. There are often capstone projects from other colleges at LMU which need software as part of their integrated system. Representatives from those projects will also be coming in on during class to present proposals and answer questions.
Topics covered in the course include most, if not all, elements of the software engineering life cycle and development process, including the following topics [list order not significant]:
The scale [scope] of the semester [or year-long] group project makes this course rather intensive. The group nature of the project makes it essential that each student fully participates in every aspect of the class. Students are expected to be prepared for this type of environment going into the course; thus, it is in the students' own best interest to attend every class meeting.
PLEASE BE AWARE OF THE FOLLOWING REMINDER: the nature of software development when you are working in an industry workplace has lots of non-coding activities. A subset of these will be a part of your work for the semester, so do not misunderstand – those activities are JUST AS IMPORTANT TO THE SOFTWARE ENGINEERING PROCESS AS WRITING CODE AND ENDING WITH A WORKING PROJECT. You will be given ample opportunity to work on your code during many of the class times, BUT NOT ALL. You are expected to work on your code, and other related activities OUTSIDE OF THE CLASS as well as during provided times during class meetings.
In accordance with the LMU Credit Hour Policy, this 3-unit course will require 9 hours of work per week, which includes the time spent in class and lab sessions. This work will consist of homework, a project, watching and commenting on some videos about software projects and related topics, and reading/study of textbook material.
What *you* will do:
All group project information will be neatly organized in a public GitHub repository, so that the professors in our deparment can see what you are doing. We professors will be looking, helping, making a few random comments and suggestions, and making commits of homework and documentation evaluation results as the semester goes on. It is mandatory that there be access, which is why your Git Repo must be public [if AT ALL possible ~ I realize there may be exceptions].
In addition, starting with a Git repository from the
Git-Go [see how I worked that in there?!]
will help you maintain your work — it is exactly what GitHub is designed to do, and will be what
you must do in your jobs after school on project teams in the industry. You may as well
to it now, if you aren't already.
One note on terminology from the outset: In the good old days when Diplodocus roamed the
earth, there was a big, fat, doorstop of a three-ring binder [or sometimes several of them] that
was called the
FAIR WARNING!!! FAIR WARNING!!! FAIR WARNING!!!
Your repository should be complete and up to date for every class, and might be spot-checked at any time. If there are corrections in process they should be so indicated. In addition, all documentation that is created must also be committed, as must your homework assignments.
By the way, when you see
Configuration Management Repository in these pages, you can safely
substitute the words
repo with no
loss of fidelity [unless for some odd reason your team elects to use another repository system like
SVN, CVS, or Continuus].
There is neither a mid-term exam nor a final exam for this course; instead, the final project presentation and demonstration serves the purpose of the exams, and the deliverables replace tests during the semester. The final presentation will be in front of as many faculty, alumni, and selected invitees from industry as can attend, as well as family and friends of the students. Grades for the course are assigned according to the weighting factors shown in the tables below. Finally, other professors will be invited to all of the presentations, not just the final presentation, and will be asked to provide the students with questions about their project designs, and to make presentation suggestions.
There will be one or two written assignments from past texts and other sources during the course of the semester. The following caveats apply:
All written assignments are expected to be submitted by the start of class on the date the assignment is due. Deviation from this process requires prior consent of the instructor.
The final words on assignments: we treat this stuff seriously, just like it would be treated in a real job
in the industry. Therefore, spelling and grammar, proper punctuation, and so forth all count for every assignment. If you already excel at these details, you are ahead of the
game! If you have any questions, I have a basic grammar help web page
that is available under the
Class Pages link on the course website menu. CHECK IT OUT!
There are two textbooks for this course. The first is required, and the second is optional, but recommended:
The Head First book provides you with an in-depth look at the Agile Software Development Process,
better known as simply
Agile. It is also a fun read, lots of pictures, easily understandable but
well-written text, and a bit of silliness to keep you engaged. You can probably read the entire book
in about 4 hours. There will be ONE written assignment from this book, and you will be expected to
know and understand the material it contains, and you will be using the Agile method during
the course of the semester to develop your projects.
The UML book provides you with a very concise reference for using the Unified Modeling Language to document and communicate your project design. This is a somewhat controversial topic, both within the LMU computer science department, and in the industry at large. Many people thin, that UML is completely obsolete. Just as many people do not agree. For this reason, I will acquaint you with the basics of this language, so that you will know it when you see it in the wild, and so that if you are called upon in your job to use it for documentation pyurposes you will have an understanding of how to do it properly. I recommend this book for your desk reference set.
Your final grade for the course will be weighted as shown in the following table. Note that the total project grade, which is itself a sum of parts, constitutes 80% of the total grade points available.
|Total Project Grade||80%|
|Homework and paper/synopsis assignments||10%|
Your final grade for the project will be weighted by deliverable sections; in other words, the 80% of your course grade is broken down as follows:
|Project Proposal Document/Presentation||5%|
|Requirements Specification Document||8%|
|Development Schedule [in SDP; 2 deliveries]||2%|
|Software Development Plan [SDP]||5%|
|Software/Database Design Description [arch. view]||10%|
|Software/Database Design Description [detail view]||10%|
|Critical Design Review [CDR] Presentation||5%|
|ALPHA/BETA Presentation and Demonstration||10%|
|Unit/Integration/Acceptance Test Plan||5%|
|Final Product Delivery [SDF] and Presentation||30%|
|Users Manual [2 – 3 deliveries]||6%|
|Oral and Written Status Reports||4%|
Final letter grades for the course will be assigned based on the following scale:
|Percent||Letter||Rating and Achievement|
|91 - 100%||A / A-||Professional work; outstanding|
|81 - 90%||B+ / B / B-||Entry level work; above average, shows extra effort and interest|
|71 - 80%||C+ / C / C-||Satisfactory work; expected with reasonable effort|
|61 - 70%||D||Substandard work; minimal effort shown|
|60 or less||F||Thank you for playing; see you next semester|
Class participation is assigned for each class meeting based on the following rubric:
|Class Participation Criteria||Value|
|Absent *without* prior notification/agreement of professor||0|
|Absent *with* prior consent/agreement of instructor||2|
|Present in class, and hopefully:|
Demonstrates excellent preparation from readings and other material.
Offers analysis, synthesis, and evaluation; puts together pieces of the discussion to develop new approaches that take the class further.
Also of note…
An incomplete will be granted only when the requesting student has done at least 80% of the coursework, and has at least a B average in the course work completed. This policy is standard LMU policy.
Leave of Absence/Withdrawal Policy:
Please read the policy in the University Bulletin.
All work is evaluated for both technical merit and quality of written and/or oral presentation.
Find yourself a good spelling and grammar checker, or a trusted human editor, if you
are having any difficulty with the rules of standard English language usage. Another excellent resource
is the Academic Resource Center, located
on the south side of Daum Hall. The center takes appointments, and also allows drop-in consultation
sessions, and they have a number of good benefits. Call (310) 338-2847 to schedule an appointment.
(For those that don't know, Daum Hall is the building where the LMU Security and Parking office used to
be. ARC is on the second floor.)
Another thing to remember is, your coding style is an important part of your assignment evaluations. I WILL NOT HESITATE to take points off for code that has hard-coded number
FAIR WARNING!!! DANGER WILL ROBINSON!!! FAIR WARNING!!!
In this class, documentation which is not of professional quality is no longer acceptable. Spelling, grammar, and internal document consistency all count and will cost you big-time if not correct! I will not hesitate to knock off a full letter grade on an otherwise perfectly correct assignment if there are egregious and/or numerous spelling/grammar errors. In addition, coding style will play a large part in determining the grade on the code for the homework/labwork. It is the job of each student to properly structure, comment, and indent, to select the proper names for variables, and to nothard-codevalues. NO MAGIC NUMBERS!
FAIR WARNING!!! DANGER WILL ROBINSON!!! FAIR WARNING!!!
Student feedback on this course provides valuable information for continued improvement. All students are expected to fairly and thoughtfully complete a course evaluation for this course. All course evaluations for the Seaver College of Science and Engineering are administered online through the Blue™ evaluation system. You will receive an e-mail notification at your Lion e-mail address when the evaluation form is available. You may also access the evaluation form on Brightspace during the evaluation period. A few minutes of class time will be reserved for you to complete a course evaluation near the end of the semester. Please bring a laptop, smart phone, tablet or other mobile device to class on this date so that you can access the online evaluation platform.
Loyola Marymount University is a community dedicated to academic excellence, student-centered education, and the Jesuit and Marymount traditions. As such, the University expects all members of its community to act with honesty and integrity at all times, especially in their academic work. Academic honesty respects the intellectual and creative work of others, flows from dedication and pride in performing one's own best work, and is essential if true learning is to take place. As an LMU Lion, by the Lion's Code, you are pledged to join the discourse of the academy with honesty of voice and integrity of scholarship.
Academic dishonesty will be treated as an extremely serious matter, with severe consequences that can range from receiving no credit for an assignment or test to failing the class, to expulsion.
LMU Honor Code and Process.The LMU Academic Honor Code and Process can be found at: https://academics.lmu.edu/honesty/.
unauthorized useand, therefore, prohibited
Students with special needs who require reasonable modifications, special assistance, or accommodations in this course should promptly direct their request to the Disability Support Services [DSS] Office. Any student who currently has a documented disability [ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Learning, Physical, or Psychiatric] needing academic accommodations should contact the DSS Office [Daum Hall 2nd floor, 310-338-4216] as early in the semester as possible. All discussions will remain confidential. Please visit http://www.lmu.edu/dss for additional information.
Students should also keep in mind that resources are available through the Library [https://library.lmu.edu] and Information Technology Services [https://its.lmu.edu]. The DSS Office can help students connect with the appropriate person at the Library and ITS.
As an LMU Lion, by the Lion's code, you are pledged to join the discourse of the academy with honesty of voice and integrity of scholarship and to show respect for staff, professors, and other students.
The following LMU documents are available to reference:
For more information on this or any other conduct issues, please refer to the Student Codes and Policies section in the Community Standards. You can find any and all other related data from the Office of Student Conduct & Community Responsibility web page. Also check the main Student Affairs Department Website.
Electronic Devices: Pretty easy — please turn off your cell phone ringer during class time. That's it for me, but there's more from LMU at this link.
The official LMU language for this is:
Please turn off and put out of sight all electronic devices (other than those and when allowed) during class-time. The interruptions and/or distractions they cause disrupt class and interfere with the learning process. Even if you are not on video, it's distracting to you.
Netiquette. Your instructor and fellow students need a safe, online learning environment. All opinions and experiences shared, no matter how controversial they may be perceived to be, must be respected in the spirit of academic discourse. You are encouraged to critique an idea but should not attack an individual. Working as a community of learners, we can build a respectful space for discourse. Below are some tips for good netiquette:
Students and faculty have a reasonable expectation for privacy in all learning spaces. Bimodal and remote learning can involve the use of synchronous video conferencing, asynchronous recorded lectures, live and online discussions, as well as online forums. In these venues, privacy is a priority for a safe learning environment. See Lion's code.
As a member of our online community, please follow these privacy guidelines:
Because of the nature of the class
delivery method during remote
zoom times we will
also take a look at a document which will serve as a guide for everyone in the class. This
Netiquette Document is published here
and on the Brightspace
site for this class. We will take a look at it during the first week of class and will work to make
it agreeable to everyone involved.
Public Safety can be reached 24/7/365 at 310.338.2893 [or x222 from a campus phone]. In a life-threatening emergency, call 911 first and then call Public Safety if possible. To report an incident, call Public Safety, submit an e-report on the Public Safety website or via the Rave Guardian mobile app, or visit Public Safety in Foley Annex. Review evacuation information and other safety tips posted in each learning space. Make sure you're registered to receive emergency alerts – confirm your contact information at lmu.edu/alert, and download Rave Guardian in the Apple or Google Play store. For more information and emergency preparedness tips, visit https://publicsafety.lmu.edu.To report an emergency or suspicious activity, contact the LMU Department of Public Safety by phone (x222 or 310-338-2893) or at the nearest emergency call box. In the event of an evacuation, follow the evacuation signage throughout the building to the designated safe refuge area where you will receive further instruction from Public Safety or a Building Captain.
For purposes of evacuating the building, our
safe area is the sunken gardens. There will be people
to guide you.
For more safety information and preparedness tips, visit http://www.lmu.edu/emergency.
Office hours are listed at the top of this syllabus page. I will make every effort to be available during
those hours, and if I cannot for some emergency reason, I'll make sure you all know about it in advance if
possible. Office hours, [due to the pandemic] will be held on zoom in my personal meeting room. A link to
office hours z'room is provided on the
BrightSpace course page
I am also always available by e-mail at: my LMU mail address
There is a class slack channel on the LMUCS workspace, named
cmsi-286_fall2020. I post to that
channel with information at times, and it's a good place to ask/answer questions. It won't hurt you to
join! You can also DM me in that workspace.
Beginning in Fall 2020, the LMU CS department is trying a new communication method using Discord for our
virtual office hours, and as a virtual
Keck Lab environment. Feel free to join up there as well,
and post there with your colleagues in the department!
YOU MUST CHECK YOUR LION EMAIL ADDRESS OF RECORD. I will start
by sending all email blasts to everyone's
lion.lmu.edu email address. If you specifically provide
me with a preferred alternative email to use I will be happy to oblige. I create a distribution list
to which I send all general communications in addition to the slack channel, so it is important for me to
have an email address which you will check on a regular basis.
If necessary, this syllabus and its contents are subject to revision. Students are responsible for any changes or modifications announced or distributed in class, emailed to students' LMU Lion accounts or posted on LMU's course management system, Brightspace. If you are absent from an in-person or online class meeting, it is the your responsibility to check Brightspace [and/or the course website] and to check with the professor to see if you missed any important class announcements. Students should not rely on word-of-mouth from classmates.