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The goal of the course project is to dive more deeply into a particular topic. The project can be completed in groups of one or two. A good project could lead to some kind of publication. This project could take different forms:

  • Conceptual: Develop a new technique, extend an existing method, or explore a new application
  • Experience report: Experiment with an implementation, trying out different examples and describing the overall experience. Or implement something new.
  • Literature survey: Select a couple (3-5) of closely related papers in a recent research area. Summarize the significance, then compare and contrast.
  • Other: Feel free to propose other kinds of projects.

If at any point you have trouble finding a project, run into difficulties, or just don't know what to do, please come talk to us as soon as possible and we will help you get unstuck.


In order to keep projects on track, each group will turn in two milestone reports along the way, 1-2 pages each. At one-third of the way through, you should have settled on a project goal and made some exploratory steps.

  • Milestone 1. Describe the project goal as concretely as possible, summarize what preliminary things have been tried, and plan out directions to explore next. Heilmeier's Catechism is a good set of questions to keep in mind.

At two-thirds of the way through, the project should be progressing and it should be clear what remains to be done.

  • Milestone 2. Clarify the project goal, summarize current progress, and plan out how to finish remaining items. Describe what you think can definitely be done, along with reach goals to try if things go well.

We will contact groups to set up times to discuss after each project milestone.

Besides the milestones, the main deliverable of the project will be a written final report, around 10-15 pages in length (in some reasonable format). Reports should be written in a research paper style, covering the following areas in some reasonable order:

  • Introduce the problem and the motivation.
  • Review background and preliminary material.
  • Develop the main technical core of the project.
  • Evaluate the results.
  • Survey related work.

At the end of the course, each group will give a brief project presentation.