CS173: Intro to Computer Science - Final Project (100 Points)

Assignment Goals

The goals of this assignment are:
  1. To demonstrate the fundamental concepts of programming in a unified project
  2. To work effectively as a member of a small group using collaborative tools for software development

The Assignment

In this project, you will propose a topic of your choosing and a group of at least 2 and up to 3 total members. The project must be approved by the instructor before it may commence, but the topic is entirely up to you. Multidisciplinary projects with a broader impact are encouraged, and you are welcome to collaborate with a stakeholder outside the department for inspiration on potential projects (this person is not to contribute code, only disciplinary context).

In addition to the class in which you will write your main() function, your project should include and utilize at least one additional class with at least one constructor and at least one non-static method inside. Your project will take input from a text file to initialize at least some of your variables.

You may use git or another version control system to coordinate between your team. Each student shall contribute by checking in meaningful contributions to the project on the version control system. If a version control system is not used, code sections should be commented with the initials or recognized pseudonym of the student.

Finally, prepare as a team a project presentation that you will present live to the class for final presentations. Each student must have a speaking role at the presentation.

Group Formation

To form a group, students should draft a text document including the names of all students in the group, a summary of the proposed project, and a breakdown of each student’s responsibilities on the team. Each student should send this identical document to me for approval via e-mail. I will respond via e-mail to the entire group notifying them that the project has been approved, and which members are on the team. If I add or remove members from the team, I will notify the entire group via e-mail. This shall constitute agreement of the project responsibilities by all members of the team.

Students who do not submit the proposal document described above (even if they are named in another group’s proposal) within 3 days of the project hand-out date will be assigned to a group and notified via e-mail.

Should a member of the team fail to participate to the standards set in the proposal document described above, one or more members of the group shall notify that student via e-mail of specific tasks from the proposal document that have been agreed to, along with a deadline to communicate with the group (copy me on the e-mail message). If the student does not respond within 2 days of that message, the group should notify me via e-mail, and I will investigate and, if appropriate, I may re-organize the team by moving one or more members to other groups (whom I will notify via e-mail), or by removing the student from the group (whom I will notify via e-mail).

Version Control (15% Extra Credit)

See this video for more information on using Git as a version control system to synchronize your project with your partners, and this video for a tutorial on using Git with NetBeans.


In your submission, please include answers to any questions asked on the assignment page in your README file. If you wrote code as part of this assignment, please describe your design, approach, and implementation in your README file as well. Finally, include answers to the following questions:
  • Describe what you did, how you did it, what challenges you encountered, and how you solved them.
  • Please answer any questions found throughout the narrative of this assignment.
  • If collaboration with a buddy was permitted, did you work with a buddy on this assignment? If so, who? If not, do you certify that this submission represents your own original work?
  • Please identify any and all portions of your submission that were not originally written by you (for example, code originally written by your buddy, or anything taken or adapted from a non-classroom resource). It is always OK to use your textbook and instructor notes; however, you are certifying that any portions not designated as coming from an outside person or source are your own original work.
  • Approximately how many hours it took you to finish this assignment (I will not judge you for this at all...I am simply using it to gauge if the assignments are too easy or hard)?
  • Your overall impression of the assignment. Did you love it, hate it, or were you neutral? One word answers are fine, but if you have any suggestions for the future let me know.
  • Any other concerns that you have. For instance, if you have a bug that you were unable to solve but you made progress, write that here. The more you articulate the problem the more partial credit you will receive (it is fine to leave this blank).

Assignment Rubric

Description Pre-Emerging (< 50%) Beginning (50%) Progressing (85%) Proficient (100%)
Algorithm Implementation (40%) The algorithm fails on the test inputs due to major issues, or the program fails to compile and/or run The algorithm fails on the test inputs due to one or more minor issues The algorithm is implemented to solve the problem correctly according to given test inputs, but includes only a single class, or would fail if executed in a general case due to a minor issue or omission in the algorithm design or implementation A reasonable algorithm with multiple classes is implemented to solve the problem which correctly solves the problem according to the given test inputs, and would be reasonably expected to solve the problem in the general case
Test Cases (20%) Testing was performed outside of the unit test framework, or not performed at all Trivial test cases are provided in a unit test framework Test cases that cover some, but not all, boundary cases and branches of the program are provided Test cases that cover all boundary cases and branches of the program are provided
Code Quality and Documentation (20%) Code commenting and structure are absent, or code structure departs significantly from best practice, and/or the code departs significantly from the style guide Code commenting and structure is limited in ways that reduce the readability of the program, and/or there are minor departures from the style guide Code documentation is present that re-states the explicit code definitions, and/or code is written that mostly adheres to the style guide Code is documented at non-trivial points in a manner that enhances the readability of the program, and code is written according to the style guide
Presentation and Participation (10%) No presentation was provided, the presentation could not be viewed, or the presentation was not on the subject of the final project; one or more students did not participate in the project and the matter was not addressed by the team to the instructor A presentation was provided that summarizes the project, but does not provide a demo or discuss broader impacts; each student participated in a meangful way A presentation was provided that summarizes the project, provides a demo, and discusses broader impacts; all students participated in either the project or the presentation A presentation was provided that that summarizes the project, provides a demo, discusses broader impacts, and highlights challenges overcome and methodologies for developing the system as a group; all students participated in both the project and the presentation
Writeup and Submission (10%) An incomplete submission is provided The program is submitted, but not according to the directions in one or more ways (for example, because it is lacking a readme writeup) The program is submitted according to the directions with a minor omission or correction needed The program is submitted according to the directions, including a readme writeup describing the solution

Please refer to the Style Guide for code quality examples and guidelines.