Senior Capstone Project

COMP 97 and 98, Tufts University Department of Computer Science, 2013 - 2014


Course Description

This one year experience will cover the modern practices, methods, and theory of building large-scale, complex, quality, and secure software in teams. Students will practice and apply the methods in a project that is driven by a customer for the senior capstone project. In this experience, you will deal with unstructured and open-ended problems from a customer, and will face situations where you have to make careful decisions that will have consequences towards a project --both are normal in the professional world.

Requirements analysis and design of a senior capstone project will be completed by the end of the fall semester. Implementation and testing of the project will be done in the spring semester.


Class Time

  • Tuesdays and Thursdays, 12 - 1:15 PM in Braker Hall 226

Teaching Assistant

  • Taylor Lentz


  • None


  • Senior standing or permission by instructor
  • COMP 40: Machine Structure and Assembly-Language Programming
  • It is strongly recommended that you have taken COMP 105 - Programming Languages


  • Requirements and design of senior capstone project (85%)
  • Subjective factors (including attendance, insightful contributions to group discussions; 15%)


Schedule for COMP 98 (Spring 2014)


  • Code Review
  • Testing
Date Agenda Deliverables
Thursday, January 16th Review  
Tuesday, January 21st  
Thursday, January 23rd Teaching Software Architecture: with GitHub  
Tuesday, January 28th "How I Got Here" (or looking back at the last 30+ years)  
Thursday, January 30th    
Tuesday, February 4th Laws and Ethics. Guest Lecturer: Professor Alva Couch  
Thursday, February 6th Individual Team Meetings  
Tuesday, February 11th Promotion. Guest Speaker: Professor Ron Lasser, Professor of the Practice, Tufts University  
Thursday, February 13th    
Tuesday, February 18th  
Thursday, February 20th NO CLASS  
Tuesday, February 25th Software Security  
Thursday, February 27th Working Day  
Tuesday, March 4th Guest Speaker: Mark Bouchard, Engineering Manager at Twitter  
Thursday, March 6th Individual Team Meetings  
Tuesday, March 11th Promotion (continued). Guest Speaker: Professor Ron Lasser, Professor of the Practice, Tufts University  
Thursday, March 13th Copyright, Copyleft, and Licensing. Guest Lecturer: Hashem Nasarat (Class of 2013)  
Tuesday, March 18th SPRING BREAK  
Thursday, March 20th SPRING BREAK Best Picture of Students Having Fun Over Spring Break Contest (must email me original photo)
Tuesday, March 25th Spring Break Photo Contest  
Thursday, March 27th    
Tuesday, April 1st    
Thursday, April 3rd Individual Team Meetings  
Tuesday, April 8th
  • 360-Degree Performance Review
  • Letter to Next Year's Seniors: What to do and what not to do concerning your senior capstone project and the class
Thursday, April 10th    
Friday, April 11th Joint Poster Session with EE98 in Halligan 102 from 11 AM - 2 PM. Lunch will be provided.
Tuesday, April 15th Retirement Planning. Guest Speaker: Christine Marcks, President of Prudential Retirement Services Inc., Prudential Financial Inc.
Thursday, April 17th Individual Team Meetings (if necessary)  
Tuesday, April 22nd Looking Ahead  
Thursday, April 24th My Final and Personal Thoughts  
Friday, May 2nd from 12 - 2 PM Final Presentations in Halligan 102

Schedule for COMP 97 (Fall 2013)

Date Agenda Deliverables
Tuesday, September 3rd Course Introduction Assignment 0: Class Sign-In (Please complete ASAP)
Thursday, September 5th  
Tuesday, September 10th
Thursday, September 12th Colloquium: "Fast Splittable Pseudorandom Number Generators" by Guy Steele, Jr., Oracle Labs
Tuesday, September 17th  
Thursday, September 19th    
Tuesday, September 24th Requirements Elicitation  
Thursday, September 26th Guest Speaker: Robin Kahan, Associate Director, Employer Outreach and Engineering Career Services
Tuesday, October 1st Agile  
Thursday, October 3rd   NOTE: Grace Hopper 2013
Tuesday, October 8th Presentations
Thursday, October 10th Guest Lecturer: Mike Champion (E '01), Tech Lead at HubSpot
Tuesday, October 15th NO CLASS (Monday Schedule)
Thursday, October 17th
Tuesday, October 22nd  
Thursday, October 24th Risk Management and Analysis  
Tuesday, October 29th Individual Team Meetings  
Thursday, October 31st Project Management
Tuesday, November 5th Prototyping  
Thursday, November 7th  
  • New Competency Proficiency Demo
Tuesday, November 12th Design  
Thursday, November 14th Colloquium: "Let's Stop Trusting Software With Our Sensitive Data" by Srini Devadas, MIT
Tuesday, November 19th NO CLASS (I'm speaking at Mobile & Smart Device Security 2013)
Thursday, November 21st Individual Team Meetings
Tuesday, November 26th NO CLASS  
Thursday, November 28th NO CLASS (Thanksgiving)
Tuesday, December 3rd and Thursday, December 5th Proof of Concept Demonstrations