COSC 3P99 / 4F90 Project Courses
This is the website for
computer science project courses - COSC 3P99 and 4F90. The
intent of these courses is to help prepare you for future large
scale projects; both in terms of workplace as well as those
considering a Masters degree.
These notes refer to the organization and evaluation of COSC
3P99 and 4F90, being the half-credit and the full-credit project
courses for individual students, correspondingly. One of the
purposes of the project courses is to assess whether a senior
student can work independently towards the delivery of a major
piece of work. Each project is supervised by one faculty member
('the supervisor') from the Department of Computer Science and
requires the on-going production and submission of written work.
It culminates in the submission of the final documents, with an
oral presentation to the thesis examining committee, and interested
students and staff (this is optional for 3P99 projects).
Optionally, there may be a second, external supervisor
from another department at Brock. Students taking or intending
to take COSC 3P99 and 4F90 courses are strongly encouraged to
attend the departmental seminars. This will facilitate the
selection of a proper career path in general, and of a suitable
project topic in particular. In order to further their career
goals, students are strongly encouraged to propose their own
project topics in consultation with a potential supervisor.
Given that computing as a discipline owes much of its success to
its multidisciplinary relevance, students are particularly
encouraged to seek out the project topics of multidisciplinary
nature. Alternatively, the project topic can be selected from
the Project List
(which also includes projects proposed from outside the
2. Project Selection
A student (and the supervisor) must complete a
Topic Selection form and the Responsibilities form, obtainable
from the Project Coordinator (room J314). These forms must be
returned to the Coordinator after they are signed. Once these
have been submitted then the student can register.
2.1. Student Project Proposal
A student wishing to undertake a project should
normally seek a faculty member willing to act as a
Projects that are designed with the involvement of a computer
science faculty member are automatically given approval status.
Before the student proceeds with the project, the
project should be written up in the proposal format below.
This document will be put in the student's file.
Should the supervisor desire feedback on the proposed project,
the proposal can be circulated among the department for comments.
Occasionally, projects can be proposed and supervised by faculty
or individuals outside of the Computer Science department.
These projects should be written up as a proposal (see below)
and circulated for department approval. A computer
science faculty member must be willing to be a co-supervisor,
before the project can proceed.
A student wishing to propose her/his own project, but has not
yet found a supervisor, should write a brief (one to two pages)
proposal. The proposal
should be submitted to the Project Coordinator for approval
by the department, which may take up to two weeks. If a
student is unable to find a supervisor, the Chair should be
contacted and he/she will try to find a faculty member or
decide whether the project is feasible within our
2.2. Project Proposal
The format of the project proposal, to be submitted by
e-mail, is as follows:
Project Title: Title_text
Project Type: (Research, Development, R&D)
Credit Sought: COSC 4F90, COSC 3P99)
Project Status:(Open, Reserved for Student_Name)
Proposer: Faculty or Student_Name, Computer Science
Supervisor: Faculty_Name, Department_Name
Hardware: (Mac, PC, Linux, etc.)
Software: (Ada, C, C++, C#, Java, etc.)
Prerequisites: (As required by prospective supervisor)
The text of description comes here. The description
should contain sufficient information to enable faculty
to evaluate the proposal on both academic merit and
the amount of work required.
2.3. Selection from
In the case of a student selecting a project from the list
of available projects, there is no need for a project
proposal- the student must contact the project supervisor
and get his/her approval. If this person cannot be contacted
for whatever reason the Project Coordinator should be
A student must have a project selected prior to registration in
the course and supervisor. The student must ensure that he/she
has submitted the signed override to the Project Coordinator
Students may withdraw from the course by the date specified
in the University Calendar without academic penalty - please
check the University Calendar for exact dates. A student
will normally not be allowed to select the same project at a
3.2. Challenge for Credit
The course may be 'challenged for credit'. This challenge is
designed to provide credit at the undergraduate level for
skills acquired through learning and experience outside the
University (see the University Calendar). If challenged, the
Department will consider, among other things, the following:
- the project was
completed by the challenger while he/she was employed;
- a satisfactory report is
received from the challenger's immediate manager or
supervisor regarding the original proposal, stating who
was responsible for the work.
The project will still have
to be presented orally, and be supported by appropriate
reports. All software (including source code) must also be
made available to the Department.
3.3. Independent Work
If a student has started a piece of work independently, then
he/she should have the project approved through the normal
channels (as if the work had not yet been started), and
register as normal for the course. There is no onus on the
faculty to approve such a project, and in fact additional
work may be suggested. This is not the recommended route.
The student assumes the responsibility for the research,
design, implementation and documentation of his/her project.
It is the responsibility of the student to arrange, in
consultation with his/her supervisor, a suitable schedule of
meetings, with the understanding that these will be met,
except in extenuating circumstances, such as sickness. It is
the responsibility of the student to be thoroughly familiar
with the project guidelines and to ensure that the various
deadlines are met.
The project supervisor acts as consultant on such matters as
the structure of the reports, and the department's
expectations on content. In addition, supervisors help
students locate reference material, work out system
specifications and solve technical problems related to the
project. It is the supervisor's responsibility to make time
available, within reason, when the student requests a
Before setting out on the project, the student and/or
supervisor must make sure that the necessary
hardware / software is available and ready to use. Requests
for installation of new equipment should be discussed with
the Chair prior to the project assignment.
4.4. Forms to be Signed
The Project Responsibilities form and the Topic Selection
form (obtained from Departmental Secretary, Room J314) must
be completed and signed by both the student and the
COSC 3P99 projects will be marked by the supervisor.
At the discretion of the supervisor, a final oral presentation may
For COSC 4F90 projects an examining committee (consisting of the
supervisor and a member of the Department's faculty) will be
formed, at the start of the project, by the Project Coordinator,
typically based on the areas of interest of faculty and an
equitable workload. The examining committee will be present for
the final oral presentation. After the presentation the
examination committee will meet in camera in order to arrive at
the overall project mark, following the standard evaluation
6. Department web site
At the discretion of both the student and supervisor, final results of a
project may be placed on the department's web site. This can be a useful
way to advertise and promote the student's accomplishments, possibly for