CSE 7314/5314 (Spring 2007): Course Project

Prof. Jeff Tian (tian@engr.smu.edu)


You project is a major part of your CSE 7314/5314. It will consist of the following parts: The details are given below.

Acceptable project types

There are two types of basic choices for your course project:
  1. An application of some specific testing techniques/models to some programs/products you are developing/testing/maintaining/supporting. For example, you may choose to construct control flow and data flow models to test a module you are developing at your work. Another example is the development, validation, and usage of an operational profile for a large software systems you are working on.

    It's generally a good idea to consider multiple testing techniques and actually use a couple of them in your project to get a hands-on feeling of how different techniques and models work in practical applications.

    Pay special attention to the evaluation of your testing/analysis results. Be prepared to answer this type of questions:

    You answer can be based on either the practical evidence (executing several types of testing cases and observing the results) or based on logical arguments (suitability of certain testing technique on certain types of products), or both. You are expected to study relevant material from Part IV of our textbook (to be covered after final exam) to prepare your for the analyses above.

  2. You may choose to focus on performing various other quality assurance activities and document the results. Possibilities include comprehensive inspection, defect prevention and process improvement, formal verification, and fault tolerance. You may also collect inspection/testing/QA records for a product at your work, and construct quality models to analyze the results, to assess the effectiveness of your inspection/testing/QA techniques, or to identify high-defect modules for focused quality improvement actions.

    If you choose this second type of project, I still want you to perform at least some small scale/amount of testing because it is such an important part of our course. For the QA part, make sure you are focusing on quality that can be quantified and analyzed. (For example, a process definition/improvement initiative with only a logical argument for its superiority is not suitable for this class.)

Where to find something to test or to perform QA on?

Project proposals

You project proposal should be around 3-4 double spaced pages in length, and should include the following information: In case of a group project, please also provide information regarding roles and responsibilities. The amount of work proposed for a group project should be appropriate for the group size. For our class on 4/14/07, please be prepared to talk briefly about your chosen topic, for about 2-5 minutes.

Project summary or presentation? The choice is yours

You are required to prepare a project summary, in presentation slide format (2-3 slides), suitable for an 2-5 minutes in-class presentation if you are not doing a full presentation (see below) in class. You summary should focus on the main results from your project for us to get the basic picture. Here is a template from a previous semester. You might want to use it as a guide to prepare your summary.

You may choose to do a (full) project presentation. In that case, you don't need to prepare a project summary. Each presentation should last about 10-15 minutes. You need to highlight the problem/solution-strategy/results/analysis for us to get the basic picture, but not necessarily all the details, which would require much more than 15 minutes.

Project report

The project report should be treated as a term paper, around 15 double-spaced pages in length, but no longer than 20 pages. It should clearly and comprehensively states the background, problem, strategy, activities, results, result analysis, lessons learned, followup actions, and a high level summary (and an abstract at the beginning). Additional material, such as graphs, models, test cases, etc. produced, information sources and raw data, customer surveys, etc., can be included in the appendix and clearly marked as such (so it will not be counted towards your 20 page quota).

Prepared by Jeff Tian (tian@engr.smu.edu).
Initially posted: March 21, 2007. Last update: March 22, 2007.

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