Collaboration: Unleashing Ingenuity
The Computer Science curriculum provides students with experiential learning, working in teams to solve problems collaboratively. This approach begins in the very first semester and culminates with Senior Design. The program emphasizes a practical approach and ensures that students are able to understand and appreciate the relevance of what they are learning and how it is applied to solve real world problems. Experiential learning also encourages and develops creativity and innovation. By their senior year students have already put their studies into practice, solving problems of increasing complexity and significance. Senior Design is a capstone activity where students are given an opportunity to apply their knowledge to tackle a significant and challenging real-world problem that benefits society. By the time they graduate, students are prepared to confidently address real-world challenges in complex software systems.
Senior Design is a sequence of two courses (CS 423 and CS 424) that all Computer Science and Cybersecurity majors take in their senior year. Students divide into groups of approximately 4-6 and work on a project from September to May. The course instructor, Prof. David Klappholz, recruits "real clients:" clients inside or outside of Stevens (usually outside) who have a real-world software need. The need may be for a program written from scratch, for a re-design of a flawed or outdated program, for integration of incompatible systems, etc. Teams meet with their clients throughout the year but client contact is especially important at the beginning of the year. During this time teams elicit project requirements from the client. Later during the year, teams move on to design, coding, test, and delivery phases.
Senior Design Projects 2013-14
We are developing a video game for Proxemic Technologies, a start-up that is looking to use games as a tool to combat the growing number of university students dropping out of STEM programs due to difficulties retaining information. The hope is that a video game developed for a mature audience will be able to engage with students in a way that educators cannot. The key to this effort will be to create a game that stands on its own merits as an entertaining video game, yet also happens to teach the player class material. Our project will be focused on teaching introductory calculus concepts, and will use Microsoft’s Kinect motion controller to completely immerse the player in the game world.
- Tax Vault
The Tax Vault application is a platform for the secure communication of confidential financial documents to meet both personal and professional needs. The user uploads and shares documents with complete control over who is allowed to interact with them, and with complete confidence in the documents’ security. The Tax Vault is designed to remove the hassle involved in dealing with dozens of separate entities over the course of the fiscal year by keeping the information the user needs in one simple, secure location.
- Parse Calculator
The problem addresses by Parse Calculator is how does one objectively measure a politician when one agrees with them on some issues, but disagrees with them on others – or how well any individual or organization meets one’s needs? Parse Calculator addresses the problem by creating a unique objective score for any measurable dataset based on the user’s preferences and priorities. In the case of politicians, in this case members of the House of Representatives, Parse Calculator allows voters to see how closely their preferences and priorities jibe with those of politicians in their geographic areas. There are 6 subject areas with 10 questions each which the user answers. The subject areas are healthcare, education, housing, employment, taxes and social issues. The questions require the user to rate a particular bill if it is of interest. For example, to rate H.J.Res. 84 Head Start Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2014. The ratings over a number of bills are scored and the app shows the user how close the politician is to his or her interests and values.
- Smart City Front End
The Smarter Cities Consortium at Stevens Institute of Technology is engaging in a pilot field project to implement smart city technologies for Hoboken, NJ. The project seeks to leverage information technology advances and smart devices to evolve cities into learning and adaptive urban system of systems that can cater to the changing needs and conditions of the urban environment. In academic year 2012-2013, a CS senior design team created an initial architecture and basic functionalities for the Smart City Hoboken app. Functionalities developed include Parking availability, energy consumption, Hoboken 311, emergency status and Swift 911. The current team will build on the existing app architecture developed by last year’s students to create additional functionalities, such as mapping of sensor data inputs for environmental, noise and traffic situations, improvement of the parking app, commuting options, integration of PSE&G energy consumption information, creation of an urban innovation exchange functionality and city government poll features.
- Smart Cities Back End/API
Smart Cities Back End/API is developing a back end architecture and API that will enable any interested city to use its own data resources to construct a Smart Cities app like the one being worked on for the city of Hoboken.
The TLCengine is a tool that helps people with their search for a new home. It considers the many facets of living expenses to help home buyers select the most affordable option available. The engine will use lifestyle information, such as use of electricity, commuting distance to work, and many other factors to calculate the true cost of living in a particular location. This is be done using real life data such as tax information, electrical costs, and cable package rates, among many others. As a result, the TLCengine will provide an accurate picture for the home buying and renting experience.
- Tour Guide
Tour Guide is a mobile app – Android and iOS – that will show the user a list of tours available nearby, will enable the user to choose a tour, and will “take” the user from stop to stop on the chosen tour, giving him/her information about the stop. A related administrative-side web app will enable administrators to add tours, stops, and relevant information. Initial tours will include a tour of Stevens Institute of Technology and tours of various parts of Hoboken.
The goal of Pallus is to create a platform to help all high school students, regardless of place of birth or race, to have equal access to high quality academic and college counseling in order to help them achieve their goals. Specifically, this project will enable highachieving urban high school students to construct profiles that can be accessed by higher learning institutions and scholarship programs. Colleges and universities will be able to search for and connect to low socioeconomic status students, while Pallus (www.pallus.org) will, through the platform, provide the advice and counseling these students need to realize their full academic potential.
The software being developed models/simulates the viral infection of a cell under several types of conditions. By adjusting relevant variables, including attributes of the cell, the specific steps the viruses take, the speed at which the viruses move through the steps of infection, etc., the user can learn the effects of each variable on the viruses’ behaviors. The software will produce a 3D animation of the viruses’ infection, a graph of the levels of infection over time; it will also produce information that will be useful for education and for testing of theoretical models of viral infection. More specifically, the software will provide researchers with an easy to use platform to test hypotheses against in-lab results.
Senior Design Projects 2012-13
- Efficient eBay
Many people use eBay occasionally to find household goods, clothing, furniture, etc. On the other hand, serious collectors of various types of objects typically use eBay very frequently and for significant amounts of time -- often daily for an hour or more. This project is aimed at developing software to help frequent users of eBay to save a good deal of time in searching for items of interest.
- Quantitative Finance
The goal of this project is to build an application to support efficient and effective portfolio and risk management. The application will provide tools and analytics to drive investment decisions. For example, it will support portfolio construction, position and trade analysis, risk metrics, and performance monitoring. The application will feature a selection of market models and an optimization engine to identify risks and trading opportunities. The user will be able leverage these tools to build a custom strategy based on quantitative analysis.
Students about to enter college who intend to live in dormitories are often paired with incompatible roommates. The purpose of this project is to develop a software system that will aid students in avoiding this sort of problem. Students about to enter Stevens -- or upper class students about to request dormitory rooms -- will be invited to take web-based compatibility-related surveys, surveys developed through the use of focus groups of both freshmen and upperclassmen who live or have lived in dormitories; the results of the surveys will be used to suggest potential matches to entering students, and the system will then enable them to communicate with one another by email; once students have made their decisions, the system will enable students to forward them to Residence
Life, the Stevens office that operates the dormitory system.
- Smart City
The concept underlying smart city software is to provide residents a way to interact with their city via their mobile devices in order to foster sustainable living, better governance, efficient use of city services, and ultimately a higher quality of life. IBM has invested a good deal of capital in smart city software around the world. Cities such as Singapore and Amsterdam are already making great strides toward attaining recognition as smart cities. The initial purpose of the Smart City project is to develop a mobile application that collects data that Hoboken residents seek on a daily basis and displays it in a manner that allows them to interact with their city in a new way. The final product of the Smart City project will be a generic platform that any city can easily adapt to its own use.
- Solar Decathlon
The U.S. Department of Energy's Solar Decathlon is an award winning program that challenges college teams to design, build, and operate solar-powered
houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient, and attractive. The purpose of this project is to work with teams from other disciplines at Stevens Institute of Technology to build a successful entry to the next solar decathlon competition. The development team's goal as a part of the larger team is to develop the software that will control the entire house and will ensure that energy is used in the most efficient manner possible. The software created will receive data from sensors monitoring the house and will use that information to make decisions.
- Study Plan
The Study Plan Organizer will be a web application that allows advisors and students to streamline the process of constructing individualized schedules of courses, schedules that will enable the students to graduate in the desired numbers of semesters in a department whose degree requirements are rather complex and will, as a result, help reduce errors, and the stress that advisors and students regularly go through.
Senior Design Projects 2011-12
Prof. Klappholz's site provides detailed descriptions of these 8 2011-12 senior design projects:
- Autism Teaching Suite Project
- Bayonne Economic Opportunity Foundation (BEOF) CMS/Website Project
- Hoboken Transportation/Parking Dashboards Project
- ID8 Marketing and Sales Tool (IMAST) Project
- OpenMRS Project
- RescueMe Android Phone/Tablet Project
- Rip Current Tracker Project
- XIPRR (Experience-Informed Project Risk Reduction) Project