• Projects are for 3 students each. Given the fact that the number of students may not be divisible by 3, you may form groups of 2 or 4. However, this is strongly discouraged. A small group is at risk as soon as one bails out. A large group is expected to deliver more. In other words, a great project for a team of 3 is probably a somewhat less great project for a team of 4.

  • Get people to complement your skills. If you have a team of 3 clones, you'll get along really well but will be weak in the same aspect. And it'll be boring.

  • Discuss the project with your TAs. Or discuss it with the lecturer. It's a good idea to get feedback before spending a month working on it.

  • Teams of 1 are not OK. The entire point of the project is that you hone your teamwork skills. Otherwise it would be called homework.

Heilmeier's Criteria

  • What are you trying to do? Articulate your objectives using absolutely no jargon. What is the problem? Why is it hard?

  • How is it done today, and what are the limits of current practice?

  • What's new in your approach and why do you think it will be successful?

  • Who cares?

  • If you're successful, what difference will it make? What impact will success have? How will it be measured?

  • What are the risks and the payoffs?

  • How much will it cost?

  • How long will it take?

  • What are the midterm and final “exams” to check for success? How will progress be measured?

These criteria are amazingly useful in making sure that you won't try the impossible, or solve a really boring problem.


  • Team formation must be complete by January 28, 2015. Email to TAs to register your team. Post on Piazza if you need teammates.

  • Project proposals are due on February 9, 2015. You must submit a two page summary. Use the ACM Template for two-column papers.

  • Project presentation dates are April 27 and 29.

  • Project final report is due on May 8.

Final Report Requirements

  • ACM Template is mandatory.

  • Maximum of 8 pages. You may have an extra page as the reference section.


Contact Di Xu with project related issues after making a post on Piazza.