CSCI-788-03C3: Master's Project Colloquium (Fall 2016)

     RIT Department of Computer Science
CSCI-788-03C3: Master's Project Colloquium (Fall 2016)

Lecture Room: GOL-2690
Instructor: Prof. Richard Zanibbi ( rxzvcs(at) )
Office Hours: W 10-11:50am, Fri. 2-2:50pm
Class: Thursdays, 11am-12:15pm

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Catalogue Description

This course is a weekly colloquium for the project capstone of the Master's Degree Program. Students select from a set of possible projects and confirm that they have a project adviser. Students enroll in a required colloquium component that meets weekly, during which they present information, related to their projects. Projects culminate with delivery of a final report and participation in a poster session open to the public.

Important Notes: Students completing their MS Project must register for both the MS Project (CSCI-789) and the MS Project Colloquium course (this course). Students without both a project topic and advisor by Friday of Wk 1 will need to withdraw from the course.

Course Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

Instructor Contact

Richard Zanibbi, PhD
Office: GOL-3551, Phone: (585) 475-5023
Email:, Web:

Course Policies

Selection of Project Topic and Advisor

A student registers for the capstone project by choosing a faculty-defined project topic by the end of Week 1. The faculty member who agrees to work with the student on a project will act as the student's advisor. Students are expected to work closely with their advisors over the semester to complete their project requirements.

Finding a Project: Available project topics are posted online in the Computer Science Project Wiki (requires login using your Computer Science account): MS Project Descriptions. In some cases faculty may consider supervising projects not listed in the Project Wiki. Students must contact faculty directly about project details, and secure approval from a faculty member prior to beginning work on one of their projects.

Project Milestones and Report Format

Early in the semester, students will need to work with their advisor to define three milestones due in weeks 4, 8 and 12, along with a brief description of the format for the final project report (e.g., 8 pages in ACM conference format using a LaTeX template, or a Word document of 12-15 pages length including references in 12 point font).

Milestones may be any step towards project completion agreed upon by a student and their advisor. To help insure steady progress throughout the semester, it is helpful for each milestone to include an outline or draft for portions of the final project report. For example, an outline for the final report may be included in the first milestone (Week 4), completion of the related work, methods (e.g., algorithms) and (preliminary) results in the second milestone (Week 8), and a complete draft for the final report might be included in the third milestone (Week 12). Additional results and edits can then be incorporated into the final report due at the end of the semester (see below).

Milestones are graded by the student's advisor, and materials for each milestone are submitted directly to the advisor, who will submit their grades through MyCourses. Milestones are due at the end of Weeks 4, 8 and 12.

In-Class Presentations and Exercises

Students will be presenting and writing about their progress throughout the semester. Students are required to attend all classes, where they will provide feedback to their peers on presentations and participate in in-class exercises. In-class presentations will be 10 minutes in length, including 1-2 minutes for questions.

Students will be assigned to two groups, and give a presentation in one of the two weeks preceding each milestone.

Presentation slides should be submitted on-line using the appropriate dropbox in MyCourses. The dropbox will close before the start of the class for which work was assigned.

Presentations will be evaluated using a 'plus-check-minus' grading system, with corresponding percentages plus: 100%, check: 85%, and minus: 70%.

Final Report and Poster Presentation

The course will culminate with a poster session where students will present their project to the CS Department at large. Failure to attend the poster session for the course will lead to a failing grade for the course.

Posters are due before class in Week 16 through MyCourses. The instructor will print these posters, which should be in .pdf format, printable on A1 size paper. A1 paper has the same aspect ratio as A4 paper, which is not the same as US letter-size paper (Wikipedia Paper Sizes Article).

Final reports should be submitted to advisors by Friday of Week 16, to provide advisors with adequate time assign a grade for the report.

Late Policy

No late submissions are accepted for this course, other than in exceptional cases when an extension has been granted by the instructor in advance of a deadline. Late submissions will receive a grade of zero.

Disability Services Office

If you have special needs for seating, tests, note-taking services or other matters due to a disability, please contact the Disability Services Office ( If you receive approval for accomodation within the course, please contact me as soon as possible so that we can make the necessary arrangements.


Final project grades are assigned during final exams week. Note: Incomplete grades (I) are only granted under exceptional circumstances, e.g., medical situations.

Component Evaluated by Weight
Class Participation (Attendance, Reading, Exercises)  Course Instructor 5%
Poster Evaluation CS Faculty at Poster Session   15%
In-Class Milestone Presentations Course Instructor 15%
Milestones (Weeks 4, 8, 12) Advisor 20%
Final Report Advisor 45%

CS Common Course Policies Include: