The primary purpose of EECS Senior Design course sequences, ECE 401/402 and COSC 401/402, is to provide EECS seniors with a design experience. A design process will be taught and adhered to during the course. Students organized into teams of 3-5 will complete two design projects (one per semester, with some exceptions). The first project is not intended to be technically challenging. Its purpose is to reinforce the concepts behind the design process and teamwork. The second design project is selected by each team, and may be from a posted list of possible projects compiled for the courses or suggested by the team. Design project selections are subject to approval before work commences. Each design project must have a project supervisor, who may be a person not otherwise affiliated with the University. The project supervisor should be listed with the project description on the above site.
The senior design sequence is not about teaching new analysis methods or skills – it is about the integration of what the students know from their coursework and the use of this knowledge to explore alternatives to the solution of challenging design problems and carry through this process to completion. It is also about learning to function effectively as members of teams, learning the ethical responsibilities of engineers and computer scientists, learning to communicate effectively, both in writing and orally, learning to appreciate the local and global impacts of engineering and computer science on society and civilization. While new analysis techniques are not taught, it is certain that new techniques must be learned throughout the course. Engineers and computer scientists must continue to learn throughout their professional lives in order to be productive, remain relevant – and, at a very fundamental level, ensure that they remain employed. Self-directed learning is necessary in this course, and the skills that are utilized should remain useful throughout each student's career.
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