Final Project Ideation
Preparation [15 minutes]
Think back over MP4 (and your other MPs), and complete Reflection and Teaming Survey 4
Read through the Final Project assignment description to get a sense of where we’re going.
Priming [10 minutes]
Individually, engage with the following prompts that will help you identify some important factors when designing your final project experience.
My ideal final project would…
- achieve impact beyond this class (e.g., create value for a group of users).
- connect to things I’ve already done.
- expand my skills.
- be personally meaningful to me (for whatever reason: personal history, personal goals).
- be consistent with my ethical/political priorities.
For each of these, ask yourself why you care (or don’t) about each of these.
Identify the learning goals that are most important for you to achieve during the final project. These could be software engineering skills, ways to apply computational principles, teaming strategies, communication skills, etc. If you wind up with a high number of these (> 5), try to either eliminate less important goals or condense similar goals into a single goal.
Individual Project Topic Ideation [7 minutes]
On post-its, jot down ideas for final projects. Once you’ve transferred your ideas to post-its, categorize your ideas based on whether or not they are well-aligned with your project hopes and goals (perhaps group them into low, medium, and high coherence with these).
Some possible areas to get you started thinking:
- Computer vision
- Educational tools
- Natural language processing
- AI / machine learning
- Computational biology / bioinformatics
- Collaborative / social applications
- Data visualization
- Applications for people on campus
- Productivity tools
If you are interested in drawing inspiration from past projects, check out our catalog of SoftDes Final Projects (a work in progress).
Share with your neighbors [15 minutes]
As sharer: Share your hopes and goals. Share two ideas that you came up with that you think are well aligned with your hopes and goals and two ideas that you are either unsure of the alignment or that you think have low / moderate alignment. As you get feedback from the folks you are sharing with, you may consider jotting down new topics or modifying existing ones.
As listener: especially for projects that the sharer doesn’t think are particularly well aligned with their hopes and goals, offer suggestions about how these two things could be brought into better alignment. Alternatively, if you think there is a real tension that prevents a project topic from being compatible with someone’s hopes and goals, you can offer that opinion as well.
Clustering and Generation [8 minutes]
We’ll work together as a class to cluster related ideas around the whiteboards, and generate further ideas inspired by combinations of what is already on the post-its.
Hang out near the cluster(s) you are most drawn to, and take turns pitching your favorite projects with the people sharing your interests. If you hear an idea that is particularly exciting, ask some clarifying questions or offer some suggestions.
Narrowing and Teaming
As you narrow down to a particular project idea and team, register your interest on the class spreadsheet (link on Canvas).
With the rest of the time remaining in class, start putting together your proposal (due next time).