COS 333: Project Ideas


There are many individuals and groups on campus who have really interesting problems that could be profitably attacked by folks in COS 333. Here are some of them. They have come from a variety of friends on campus, and are suitably broad in topic and scope.

Yael Niv ( writes ...

I am an associate professor in neuroscience and psychology, working on computational neuroscience of decision making. We are starting a large scale research project in which we would like to measure the statistics of natural decision making tasks. To do this, one task that we are focusing on is navigation. We would like to utilize a phone app that would track GPS coordinates of participants on campus, and sporadically ask them questions (e.g., 'where are you going?'). Students who are interested can contact me ( or my graduate student Gecia (

Sorat Tungkasiri ( writes ...

The McGraw Center currently has a project called Principedia and would like your students to construct version 2.0.

Christopher Moretti writes (inspired by Margaret Martonosi) ...

The COS333 Meta-project! There has been a fair amount of research on the issue of how sociological and diversity matters overlap with project team dynamics and team selection methods. What has been the experience in COS333? Looking back on previous projects, do 333 teams show self-selection along gender or under-represented-minority lines?

(When combined with project outcomes, this becomes an interesting CSEd project ... but to stay in scope for the class project, it would probably be more of a statistical query system or data visualization engine of previous groups' demographics.)

Andrew Hamilton ( writes ...

I am a fellow in the Society of Fellows and a lecturer in the Art and Archaeology Department. We have recently been discussing a computer-programming project that would provide students with a more effective way of discovering the different cultural traditions represented in Princeton's curriculum.

Students have cultural interests that transcend disciplinary boundaries, and that we could do more to help them explore these interests. A solution might be to create an online cartographic representation of Princeton's course offerings. Upon entering the page, students would see a map of the world tallying the number of courses pertaining to each continent in a given semester. As the students clicked and zoomed on continents, the numbers of courses relating to each country would manifest. Hovering over these numbers might create pop-out menus showing the titles and home departments of the courses. Clicking might open the registrar listing in a new tab.

A second benefit of a cartographic representation of Princeton's curriculum is that it might help faculty to determine which cultural traditions are taught more than others. Students have recently requested that more courses be taught on marginalized peoples, and this would be a first step toward identifying where there is room for improvement -- not department by department, but within the curriculum as a whole.

Here is a list from a previous offering of the course. These might still be of interest, both to you and the proposed clients ... link