Assignment: Mini-Proposal (Fall 2015)

Due: Saturday, September 12th, 2015, by 11:59PM UTC-12 (Anywhere on Earth).

Assignment Instructions

You’ve spent the last two assignments identifying the problem or phenomenon you’re interested in solving or investigating, and reflecting on the current status of that problem or phenomenon in industry, research, or society. Now, it’s time to pitch your idea.

What problem or phenomenon are you going to solve or investigate for your project? How are you going to go about it? What work will be involved? Provide, essentially, your elevator pitch. Imagine you’ve encountered myself or your mentor on a long elevator ride at a conference or convention, and you have just a couple minutes to convince us that it’s worth going to dinner with you to hear more about your idea.

The primary goal of this assignment is to learn to articulate the connection between a problem and a solution, or similarly, a phenomenon and a research strategy. Although this may seem simple, in practice people often have enormous difficulty demonstrating how a product will actually solve a problem, rather than simply exist in the same space as the problem. Similarly, it’s often difficult to demonstrate how a research technique or methodology will actually lead to useful answers about a phenomenon, rather than just additional information about it. The secondary learning goal of this assignment is to provide your mentor with the information necessary to work with you quickly on your ultimate project proposal, as well as to again help connect you with students that might be interested in similar phenomena or problems.

Your assignment should be approximately 500 words long. This is neither a minimum nor a maximum, but rather a heuristic to simply describe the level of depth we would like to see. Feel free to write more, or if you believe you can complete the assignment in fewer words, feel free to write less.

Submission Instructions

Please submit your assignment as a .pdf, .docx, or other common document file via T-Square. You can find the assignment submission page by going to T-Square, clicking CS6460, clicking Assignments, and then clicking the assignment title. Resubmission is allowed any number of times up to the due date.

Late work is not accepted without advanced agreement except in cases of medical or family emergencies. In the case of an emergency, please contact the Dean of Students.

Grading Information

Your assignment will be evaluated on the extent to which it follows the directions and achieves the learning goal on a simple rubric: Does Not Meet Expectations, Meets Expectations, and Exceeds Expectations. Any assignments graded as Does Not Meet Expectations will have the opportunity to revise and resubmit once.

Peer Review

After submission, your assignment will be ported to Peer Feedback for review by your mentor and classmates. Grading is not the primary function of this peer review process; the primary function is simply to give you the opportunity to read and comment on your classmates’ ideas. All grades will come from the graders alone.

You will typically be assigned four classmates to review. Peer reviews are due one week after the due date of the assignment, and count towards your participation grade.