COS 333 Project: Demo Information

Fri Apr 22 15:35:43 EDT 2005

Demos will be on Thursday, May 5, to avoid conflicts with the CS department's affiliates visit on May 4.

This page describes in more detail the requirements for Demo Day on May 5, what you have to submit by Dean's Date, May 10, and how grading will be done.

Apr	17 18 19 20 21 22 23	alpha test
	24 25 26 27 28 29 30	beta test
May	 1  2  3  4  5  6  7	project demos
	 8  9 10 11 12 13 14	Dean's date; project due by 5PM
	15 16 17 18 19 20 21	someone must be around in case of trouble

Remaining stages

  • April 22: Alpha test. An "almost working" version of the core functionality of your project, to be demoed for your TA. ("An alpha version or alpha release represents the first version of a computer program or other product, likely to be very unstable but useful for demonstrating internally and to select customers.")

  • April 29: Beta test. Your code should largely work, all intended features should be installed and working, drafts of written material and web page should be pretty much done. ("The beta version of a product still awaits full debugging or full implementation of all its functionality, but satisfies a majority of the requirements.")

    May 5: Demo day

    Project demos will happen May 5, probably in Friend 004 and probably 1:00 to 5:30. Each team will give a 30 minute public presentation of their work to Chris, Aquinas and me; other groups are strongly encouraged to attend, for edification and moral support, and visitors are welcome. I'll post a signup sheet for demo slots during the last week of classes.

    You can divide up the presentation responsibilities any way you like; there is no need for everyone to speak, but all team members must attend.

    These demos will determine a significant portion of your grade, so you (and we) want them to go as smoothly as possible. In order to assure this, start thinking about your demo now. You could picture your demo as a presentation that will make or break your "company" -- you'll be on the spot in a foreign place, with an audience. You might think of the audience as a group of skeptical but hopeful and very supportive potential customers or investors.

    What should you cover in your presentation? That's entirely up to you, but it will likely include an overview of what your system does and why it's worth doing; what's in it, how it was constructed and how it works; a demo of its most basic or interesting features; and maybe a bit about what you learned and what you might do next. Leave 5 minutes for questions at the end.

    For the demo, what kind of hardware and software and network access will you require? One solution is to install your project on a laptop that one of your group members owns. (This is a good chance to check out your installation procedure.) We will supply a computer projector and an overhead projector. If you need Internet access, you may have to register with CIT and also CS staff to get mobile IP set up for your laptop; don't count on wireless access just in case I can't get a proper room. I will try to have the room available for dry-run testing the day before.

    If using your own laptop is not feasible, I will bring my laptop running Windows XP SP2, with an Internet connection (behind the CS department firewall), an X Windows emulator, and Powerpoint. That provides access but you won't be able to install much of anything. Any requirements beyond these are likely to be a problem. No matter what, allow some lead time to make sure everything works.

    Whatever you plan to use for your demo, you should still be able to present if something breaks. Murphy's Law applies to all of us: bring along something that you can use in an emergency.

    May 10 (Dean's date): Final submission

    Everything must be submitted by 5PM on this date, without exception.

    Your final submission will have to include

    Here is what you will have to do (subject to minor refinements over the next couple of weeks):

    Submission: Collect everything for submission in one place.

    Be sure that your code is complete after it is copied to the submission directory. We will be reading through your source code to get an idea of what you did and how well it was done, so everything should be there.

    Documentation: The documentation must include the following:

    All documentation other than your seduction web pages must be in straightforward HTML, GIF and JPEG that works with Firefox and Internet Explorer. It should be written in good English, free of spelling and grammar errors. It should be thorough but not exhaustive; the total submitted documentation should not exceed 15 printed pages. I am particularly interested in thoughtful and interesting reports, so don't skimp on this part.

    A working system: We will be experimenting with your system starting on Dean's Date, so you must provide us with some kind of access to a running version. If the system is web-based, make sure it's up and running and we have access to whatever passwords and other controls are necessary to play with the system; that includes administrative rights if part of the functionality involves administration, though we will try to be very careful not to intrude or to break things.

    If your system is meant to run standalone on Windows, you can include a self-installing executable or a zip file that contains all the necessary files, along with any project files for the compiler you used.

    You should test carefully to ensure that someone not in your group can exercise all aspects of the system.

    It will be a great help if you follow these directions and try to make it easy for us to look at and play with your project. If things go well, we tend to be happy; if things go badly, we get grumpy. Happy graders tend to give better grades.


    (This part is definitely subject to fiddling.) The project is worth about 65 percent of the overall grade. Every team member gets the same project grade except for a small discretionary component in the unlikely event of significant dereliction. The project grade will be derived from considerations like these: Important: We will be experimenting with your system starting May 11, so it has to stay up until May 17 and someone has to monitor its behavior, and also respond to mail in case we have trouble. Thanks.