Opportunity For Companies: UCF Students Solve Computer Science Design Challenges

COP 4934 & 4935: Computer Science Senior Design, Professor Mark Heinrich

		  Union Pegasus

In the two-semester long Senior Design course at UCF, Computer Science students are tasked with using the skills they have learned to solve a realistic and meaningful problem. Professor Mark Heinrich is seeking companies with a substantial software design challenge to propose a scope of work for student teams to tackle. The proposed project should be a substantial piece of work appropriate for a student team to design and implement over the course of roughly eight months.

How it Works:

  • Interested companies should submit a completed Proposed Project Description Form to Dr. Mark Heinrich at least one week prior to the beginning of the Fall or Spring semester in which the project will start.
  • If the proposal is accepted, the company will be invited to appear in class and deliver a 15-minute pitch of their project to the student teams (not all proposals may be selected).
  • If selected by a student team, the company will provide limited guidance and mentoring to the student teams as they work to solve the challenge over the course of two semesters.

Project Timeline:
During the first semester, students choose their projects and carry out the design of the project (determining objectives, tasks, task assignment to group members, programming language and technology determination, researching and solving design problems, documenting related and prior work, etc.).
  • Final Design Document (at least 30 pages per team member) is submitted at end of semester.

During the second semester, the primary task is project implementation.
  • Formal in-class design review presentation is held two months into the second semester, where sponsors are encouraged to attend.

At the end of the semester, student teams make a final presentation to a faculty panel and their sponsor, and participate in the UCF CECS Senior Design Day.
  • Final project documentation is due and a Web page for the project is launched.

Submission Criteria:
Proposed projects should contain a significant amount of design, where students are presented with an open-ended problem that they have to figure out how best to solve, make design decisions regarding what languages, technologies, services or systems to use, etc. Proposed projects should not serve as a company's attempt to hire contract workers.

Dr. Heinrich will work with each potential sponsor company to tailor the proposal so that the project is the appropriate amount of work for the design teams. It is encouraged that sponsors provide a team donation of $1,500 to help defray the costs of running the CS Senior Design program. The intellectual property for any sponsored projects stays with the sponsor unless different arrangements are made between the sponsor and the project team. Sponsors may optionally require team members to sign NDAs.

For questions about the program or to seek assistance in completing the Proposed Project Description Form, please contact Dr. Mark Heinrich.

Course Outline

Harris Engineering Center, home to EECS and our Senior Design Lab


In the first semester (COP 4934: Senior Design I), students are rapidly exposed to a variety of potential project topics from faculty members and representatives from local industry or non-profit organizations. There are also lecture topics on intellectual property, information privacy, security, entrepreneurship, and exposure to a wide range of relevant software environments and technologies from mobile development environments to database-backed web services. Students form groups and jointly agree on a project topic with the instructor. At the end of the first semester, the overall approach and design/architecture of the project must be completed so that it can be effectively implemented in the second semester.

In the second semester (COP 4935: Senior Design II), the students must implement their chosen project to functional completion. Students will encounter the need to assign responsibilities to team members and to rely on other individuals to perform necessary work for the successful completion of team goals. It is this interaction with other team members, working toward a common goal that typically proves most memorable and rewarding. Teams must give a formal final project presentation to the instructor, sponsor (if applicable), and two other faculty members, each of whom will evaluate the project and the presentation. A written final project document is also submitted to both the instructor and the project sponsor (if applicable)

Interested in sponsoring a project? Download the Project Proposal/Description form now!

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Did You Know?

UCF was the first university in Florida to offer a Ph.D. in Computer Science, and the CS Ph.D. program was also the first Ph.D. program of any kind at UCF.

Computer Science is part of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science


We would love to hear from you regarding your ideas for supporting, mentoring, or sponsoring Computer Science Senior Design teams at UCF. You can either contact us or call and leave a message at +1 (407) 882-0138