What is the goal of the first course, Capstone Design Proposal?
In the first quarter, you will create a detailed proposal that explains your design, gives a schedule that shows how and when you will implement the design, and computes the cost of the design. At the end of the quarter you will give a formal presentation to the class describing your design. You will also order as many parts as possible.
What is the goal of the second course, Capstone Design?
In the second quarter you will receive the parts you ordered, build and test each component, integrate the components, test the overall design, and then give a formal presentation and demonstration to the class. The presentations will be judged by a team of practicing engineers.
Where can I get a copy of the syllabus?
Where and when do we meet for class?
At the beginning of the quarter, you will meet in your regular classroom with the entire class. After that, you will meet with your Capstone instructor every week. The location of these group meetings will be determined later.
What should I do during the first weeks of class?
During the first weeks of class, you should form a group, pick a group leader, and come up with a rough idea for a design project. Your group leader should send email to firstname.lastname@example.org before the third class indicating the title of your project, and the names and email addresses of students in your group.
What makes a good group?
Your group should have between 5-6 students. Successful groups usually include students with a range of backgrounds, for example students with both applied and theoretical backgrounds, students from both computer engineering and electrical engineering, etc.
What makes a good group leader?
Your group leader is the main point of contact between your group and your instructor. The group leader is in charge of scheduling meetings, making sure all group members know when and where they need to be, and letting the instructor know about the group's progress and any problems. The group leader is also the main contact person for the instructor. The group leader for the proposal phase (i.e. the first quarter) can be different from the leader for the design phase.
What should the group leader do during the third week of class?
After the second class, the group leader should figure out all time slots during the week when all group members are free. Send these slots to your instructor who will pick one.
I haven't been able to find a group to join, what should I do?
During the first and second classes, talk to students about project ideas and see if you can find a good match. If you haven't found a group by the end of the second class, talk to one of the instructors.
What makes a good project?
A good project is one that:
What have people designed in the past?
Past computer projects have included:
What makes a project difficult to complete in two quarters?
Students typically get stuck because they have trouble getting the parts they need, or because they have trouble integrating complex components. It's important that your design be based on parts that you can actually get, either for free or using your Capstone budget. Also, try to limit the number of different components that have to work together since this is usually the most difficult part of the project. If you have a great idea and a clever design, you will still be penalized at the end if your prototype doesn't work.
My group isn't sure what our project should be, what should we do?
Discuss your ideas with one another, and then talk to your instructor. It's important that you come up with a design that you can complete in two quarters, and your instructors have experience with problems you might encounter.
Where can I get ideas for projects?
Project ideas usually come from: - Personal experience: what would you find useful in your everyday life? - Coop: what would your coop employer find useful? - Classes: get ideas from class projects.
What happens during the quarter?
Once you've formed a group and selected a project, you will meet with the instructor once per week at a regular time. At that meeting you will describe the progress you've made over the past week, and discuss any problems you've encountered.
Where is the Capstone Lab?
The lab is next to the engineering labs in the basement of Haydn Hall. Ask your instructor for the code to the door.
When can my group use the Capstone Lab?
The Capstone Lab will be extremely crowded this quarter as the design students complete their projects. As a result, during the Capstone Proposal class your group should not use the Capstone Lab.
Where do we get the equipment and parts we need?
You can get equipment the following ways:
Is there financial support for projects?
Yes, we will reimburse you for purchases you make to complete your project. The maximum amount we can spend per group will depend on how much money all the groups need. Each group can definitely request up to $500, and more money might also be available.
How do I get reimbursed for purchases?
Buy the equipment yourself and keep the original receipts. At the end of the spring quarter 2004, we will give you instructions about how to get reimbursed. There will be no reimbursements before the end of spring quarter.
Can we leave equipment in the Capstone Lab?
Student in ECE 1504 can use available lab space in the Capstone Lab while designing their projects. However any valuable equipment that you would not want to disappear should not be left in the lab. You should store your equipment in one of the lockers. Your instructor will assign you a locker.
What are the proposal presentations? When are they?
At the end of first quarter, each group will present their proposal to the class. The presentations are approximately 10 minutes long and should use some presentation software like Powerpoint. Each group member should speak during the presentation. You should dress nicely, but formal clothing isn't necessary.
How will the proposals be evaluated?
You should imagine that you are writing a proposal asking for funds to support your project. The funding agency must be convinced that your project meets a real need, that you can actually build it, and that the cost makes sense. Your written and oral proposals will be evaluated on the degree to which it would convince a funding agency to commit funds to the project.
Is there also a written proposal?
Yes, you will also turn in a written proposal that:
How will we prepare for the oral presentations?
Your group will give a practice talk to your instructor before giving the final proposal presentation. You will get detailed feedback and suggestions.
What is the design competition? When is it?
A the end of the second quarter, each group will present their design and give a demonstration for a team practicing engineers and faculty members. The presentations are approximately 15 minutes long and should use some presentation software like Powerpoint. Most people dress formally for their presentations (i.e. jackets and ties, or the equivalent).
How will the final projects be judged?
The best projects have the following three characteristics: 1) they solve a real problem, 2) the are well designed, and 3) there is a working prototype. Projects without a working protype do not win. You should expect the judges to ask hard questions about your concept, design, and prototype.
What do the winners receive?
The groups whose projects are judged to be the best receive prizes ranging from $100-$1000.