Semester Project: Part 1

Background Research

CS 321 Homework, Dr. Lawlor, 2006/02/03.  Due Friday, Feb 10 at 5pm.

You'll be working on a single software development project all semester long, and you get to choose the topic and the scope. It should be a topic that can be scoped big enough to make sense to work on it for months; but it shouldn't be so big you can't get anything running in one semester.  Figuring out the scope of a given task is probably the hardest problem in computer science!  Luckily, knowing something about the topic makes it a lot easier--and that's the real point of this assignment.

I'd like you to give me one text file, including one paragraph describing your topic--generally what kind of a thing you'd like to build.  See the example projects below for ideas.

In your text file, I'd like you to include two links to websites that describe projects on similar topics.  For each link, include a one-sentence summary of what it does, and another sentence describing how your project will be different or better.

I'd also like you to include links to five "reference" websites, that include information you think will be specifically useful in completing the project.  Don't just give me a meta reference like "" or a website describing security topics in general--if there's not an obvious & direct linkage to your project, it doesn't count!

This assignment is not about the scope of the project.  I don't want to you to start planning exactly what to do, or how you plan to do it.  It's about the topic--figure out what's out there, and how you can add something.  This is actually the first step you should take in any real project!

Turn in your text file by attaching it to Blackboard under "proj_bg".  30% of the grade is for the one paragraph topic description, 20% is for the links to two similar projects with short analysis, and the remaining 50% is for the five bare reference links (so they better be good links!).  All seven links have to be different from each other (where "different" means at least having different domain names).

Note that students taking 693 are expected to complete more ambitious projects, and they will be graded to a higher standard.

Example Projects

Choose one, or make up your own!