Projects in Computing Information Systems

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					Students Develop Real-World Web
and Pervasive Computing Systems

                Charles C. Tappert
School of Computer Science and Information Systems
                 Pace University
        Real World Projects 2001-2
   Total of 18 Projects with 64 Students
       Average of 3.6 students per project
   Two courses in M.S. Computer Science Program
       Software Eng 2-Sem Capstone: 12 Projects/45 Students
       Pervasive Computing elective: 6 Projects/19 Students
   Students Build Systems for Real Customers
       Within university – various departments
       Local community
    Student Team Make-up
   Architect-Designer
   One or two Implementers
   Quality Officer
   Coordinator-Liaison (usually team leader)

(Note: several team member functions
 can be combined for small teams )
Team Responsibilities
   Meet once a week in addition to
    independent project work
   Work as a unit – for example,
    communication (including e-mail)
    between team and customer, or team
    and instructor, should be done as a
    group or through the team leader
Team Member Changes
   Team members usually stay together for
    the duration of the course
   Teams sometimes reconstituted due to
    problems with student class schedules,
    personality conflicts, unforeseen changes
    in the needs of the project, etc.
   We might experiment with planned team
    rotation on projects
    Customer Affiliations 2001-2
   Pace University
       School of Computer Science and Information Systems
       Lubin School of Business
       Lienhard School of Nursing
       Department of Information Technology
       Doctor of Professional Studies in Computing Program
       Office of Planning, Assessment, Research, and
        Academic Support
   Outside Organizations
       Northern Westchester Hospital
       Psychology Department at SUNY New Paltz
       IBM T.J. Watson Research Center
    Types of Systems 2001-2

   10 Web interface to backend database
    client/server systems
    4 Medical application systems
    3 VoiceXML and InkXML systems
    1 Cluster/grid computing system
Web Interface to Backend DB
Client/Server Systems
   Online Course Survey System
   Project Group Assignment System
   Test Item Reliability Analyzer
   Genealogy Web Application
   Dean’s Communication System
    Web Interface to Backend DB
    Client/Server Systems (cont)

   PC Maintenance/Tracking System
   Doctor of Professional Studies Website
   Handwriting Forgery Quiz System
   Rare Coin Grading System
   User Verification System
Medical Application Systems
   Nurse Information System (NIS)
       A physical assessment application on a proprietary
        device running an obsolete OS was ported to
        J2ME on the Palm OS handhelds
       A C++ conduit allowed transfer of data to a PC
   NIS Wireless Extension
       Allowed the handheld to wirelessly e-mail a data
        attachment via Java servlets to a specified address
Medical Application Sys (cont)
   Emergency Pre-Hospital Care
      Communication System
       Preliminary investigation of currently available and
        on-the-horizon wireless technologies
       Recommended three alternative approaches to
        Northern Westchester Hospital
   Medical Vital Sign Wearable Computer
       Designed and built circuitry
       Monitors pulse, blood pressure, temperature,
        oxygen saturation of blood
       Product – VivoMetrics LifeShirt
    Cluster/Grid Computers
   Cluster computer first semester
       1 master, 4 slave Pentium PCs running Linux
       Networked with a Linksys 10/100 switch
       Benchmarked on ray tracing graphics program
        adapted for parallel execution
       Result – significant decrease in computation time
   Grid computer second semester
       Tested on room of student computer lab PCs
       Compute intensive molecular simulation (NAMD)
       Result – the more nodes attached to the simulator,
        the less intrusive was the job to the PC users
    VoiceXML and InkXML Systems
   VoiceXML Application Development Facility
        IBM WebSphere Voice server
        Web server, LAN, PSTN
        Cisco 2600 router
   VoiceXML Applications
        Absentee system
        Other applications – e.g., student grade system
   Multimodal Voice/InkXML System
        Created an architecture for developing applications
         using the voice and ink modalities
Example Systems
   Web Interface to Absentee System
    (voice enabled using VoiceXML)
   Project Group Assignment System
   Online Course Survey System
   Handwriting Forgery Quiz System
   Rare Coin Grading System
   Web-based Genealogy System
Benefits of Real World Projects
   Stellar real-world learning experience for
   Customers receive valuable systems
   Promotes interdisciplinary collaboration and
    Pace and local community involvement
   Furthers student and faculty research
   Enhances relationships between the university
    and local technology companies
   Increases national recognition of the university
Stellar Real-World Learning
Experience for Students
   Develop individual technology skills
       Web interface to backend database systems
       Client/server systems
       Cutting edge pervasive computing skills
   Develop team skills
       Ability to work with others
       Intellectual integrity and humility
       Fair-mindedness
   Learn to be computing professionals and
    provide real value to customers
    Cost of Real-World Projects

   Soliciting and setting up projects
   Forming teams and assigning projects
   Managing systems development process
   Project development infrastructure
Soliciting & Setting Up Projects
   Instructor solicits projects from
       Contacts with CSIS faculty interested in creating
        research-related systems, sometimes in
        collaboration with other universities or local
        research companies
       E-mail to various university departments
       Non-profit organizations in the community
   Instructor sets up projects
       Sizes and shapes projects to be appropriate
        educational experience for students
       Posts project information on course Web site
Forming Teams and
Assigning Projects
    Last year 2001-2
         Students formed their own teams
          (usually based solely on friendship)
         Each teams submitted 5 project preferences
         Instructor assigned teams to projects
          (tedious, far from optimal, can be perceived as unfair)
    This year 2002-3
         Project group assignment system automatically
          forms teams and assigns projects
          (automatic, close to optimal, unbiased and objective)
    Managing Systems
    Development Process
   Requirements analysis
       Through use cases and use scenarios
   Analysis and design – tools/methodologies
       Depend highly on type of system being developed –
        e.g., database requires database methodologies
   Construction of the system
   Test system to ensure
       It meets customer’s requirements
       All functions operate correctly
        Project Development Infrastructure
   Development servers
       Pentium II NT server (upgraded this year)
       Solaris Unix server (added this year)
   Software
       Database software
            MySQL, Microsoft Access, Oracle (added this year)
       Scripting software
            Active Server Pages, Cold Fusion, PHP Hypertext Processor
       Tomcat for Java servlets, etc.
Software for Eleven 2001-2
Web Interface to DB Systems
   Database software
       MySQL – 4 systems
       Microsoft Access – 7 systems
       Oracle (added this year)
   Scripting software
       Active Server Pages (ASP) – 4 systems
       Cold Fusion – 4 systems
       PHP Hypertext Processor – 3 systems
       Perl & others (anticipated this year)
Pervasive Computing Areas
    Pen Computing
         Handwriting Forgery Quiz System
    Verification/Identification
         User Verification – Face, Voice, Handwriting, Fingerprint
    Handheld/Wearable Computers
         Nurse Information System in Palm OS Handheld
         Medical Vital Sign Wearable Computer System
    Wireless Technology
         Nurse Information System Wireless Extension
         Emergency Pre-Hospital Care Wireless Communication
    Pervasive Computation
         Grid Computing System
   Anticipate increased level of professionalism in
    project development this year
   Real-world projects are a stellar learning
    experience for students
   Win-win situation for all
       Students
       Customers
       Instructors and other involved faculty
       School of CSIS
       University

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