Master of Science in Computer Systems and Software Design
First, read the Studio Guide ( February 2010 Edition, MS Word Version). It contains vital information about the Studio and its place in the program as well as instructions for the preparation of the final Exposition. Paper copies of the Guide are available from the MCIS Department Office, Ayers Hall 119.
The Introduction to this Guide contains the following:
"This is an intense, applied, project-oriented activity that lasts for two semesters, and allows the student the opportunity to apply most, if not all, of the knowledge acquired from the course component. The Studio component is usually the final step in completing the program. During this component, the student, with guidance from a faculty committee, either researches a computer science topic in depth to advance the field or develops a systems solution to an existing, real-world problem. This activity culminates in an expository paper, similar to a thesis, that reviews and summarizes the work accomplished."
Steps in planning the Studio.
The proposal is the first document presented by the student for a studio project. It addresses the Feasibility/Justification of the project (sometimes called the Business Case). It also provides a basis for assigning grades at the end of the two courses.) Most of the Proposal will be incorporated into later documents.
The proposal provides the context of the project; an overview of the product to be produced by the project, and speaks to the feasibility that the project can be accomplished within the time and with the resources available. The proposal explains the proposed project with sufficient detail that a committee of faculty members can decide if the project is of the correct level for academic credit and can be accomplished in the amount of time available. It is developed in consultation with the student's project advisor. It should be developed and submitted for approval at the start of the semester prior to the start of the first Studio semester (see below for dates).
There are no set rules for what a Studio may entail. Many students have opted for software development activities that produce a product usable by the University or an outside firm. Examples have included new Student Rating of Instruction system, an online Senior Survey, and a project to eliminate duplicate entry of data for a hosiery dying and packaging firm. Other students prefer to set up and perform experiments to advance the field. A very nice example was an experiment to test the effectiveness of wireless communication in a noisy factory environment. Many other models are possible. It is the student and the advisor by creating a proposal who determine what the studio will entail, subject to the approval of a committee of graduate faculty. All studios, however, entail hands-on work with computers and communication of plans and results.
The following aids are available:
Sample Proposal (software development)
Sample Proposal (computer research)
During the semester prior to the Studio I Semester, work with a graduate faculty member to create a project proposal. When it has the approval of the advisor, submit it to the department along with the STUDIO INITIATION FORM. This is normally done by March 1 or November 1. The department head then appoints a Studio committee and a proposal presentation is scheduled. At the conclusion of a successful presentation, the STUDIO PROSPECTUS FORM is signed by the committee and returned to the department. The department will then register you for CS 595 Studio Component I.
The Studio I semester is the preparation semester and it starts with you preparing a project management plan for distribution to the Studio committee for their approval.
During this semester, you must do a thorough literature search and write up the results in a document acceptable to the committee. A library handout on the Web to help students with article searches for computer science is at http://www.jsu.edu/depart/library/graphic/handouts/cshandout.pdf. A Web site with many links to technical writing Web sites is at http://webster.commnet.edu/writing/writing.htm.
Other activities to be done and documents to be produced during this semester depend on the type of project and are detailed in the approved proposal (possibly modified by the approved project management plan). Changes to the work documented in the Proposal and/or Project Management Plan must be approved using a STUDIO CHANGE FORM.
Some useful files for a software development Studio are an SRS Template, Sample SRS, SDD Template, Sample SDD, Testing/QA/V&VP Template and a Sample Testing/QA/V&VP. Please note that these samples and the templates may not be exact matches. The formats of these documents are guides, not requirements. For more details on these documents, see your notes for CS 521.
We have fewer recommendations available for software research. We have an excellent set of sample documents for a project accomplished for a recent Studio. (The proposal for this project is the computer research proposal above.) These documents include a Literature Review and three development documents paralleling the software development structure. There is an SRS which describes the experiments to be conducted, an SDD which describes the hardware and software needed to conduct the experiments, and a testing document which describes the actual testing and planned analysis of results. While these models have been excellently adapted, all of the information could have been contained in a single experimental design.
The Studio II semester is the implementation semester and it starts with you preparing a progress report for distribution to the Studio committee. This should be in the form of an updated project management plan.
During this semester, you undertake the work defined and described in writing during the Studio I semester.
This semester culminates in you preparing a final Exposition paper for submission to the department. This paper must follow the instructions contained in the Studio Guide. A template incorporating many of these instructions is available:
With a major warning that every Exposition is different and must answer the needs of its own Studio, the following sample Studio Exposition can be viewed:
When the committee has approved the draft of this document, you will defend it to the committee. The committee signs a MANUSCRIPT APPROVAL FORM to indicate its approval (a copy is in the Exposition template). This signed form becomes the first page of the formal Exposition paper, which is given to the department for binding. See the Guide for full details.
All student work referenced here used with the permission of the student.
The department location is Ayers Hall 119.
700 Pelham Road North
Jacksonville AL 36265-1602
Telephone: (256) 782-5269