Senior Project is a capstone project completed by every Software Engineering senior. Small teams of students are assigned to solve challenging, real-world software issues for companies and organizations. External corporate, non-profit, and internal RIT business unit sponsors submit proposals for projects that teams of 4 or 5 students will work on.
Over the course of two terms, each team works with the customer, applying the software engineering skills that the students learned in class and on co-op. They carry the project from inception through the software development lifecycle to deployment. The end result is a functional software system ready for use by the organization.
Here is a description of a typical project from start to finish:
In the first term, the team will typically grapple with learning the domain of the project. A kick-off meeting is held to familiarize everyone with the project, and assign rolse. Within the first few weeks of the project, the team will create a project plan. This plan is not cast in concrete, but rather will serve as the guide throughout the entire project. The team will also be starting to define the software requirements. Depending on the particular software process methodology chosen for the project, this may be a full requirements elicitation, or just enough for the first project iteration or sprint, and to build up a project backlog. At the end of the term, the team will make an interim presentation that concentrates on how the project was setup, the project requirements, and the architectural design.
The second term shifts, if the project has not done this already, to focus more on the implementation details building on the accomplishments of the previous term. At the end of the project, the project team will deliver a working software system to the sponsor. The team creates a project poster, talks about the project to SE Industrial Advisory Board members in front of their poster on SE Senior Project day, make a public final presentation, and go through the final handoff to the sponsor.
Companies and organizations that have sponsored senior projects include:
- Bike New York
- Genesee Valley Region National Ski Patrol
- Harris Corporation, RF Communications Division
- J P Morgan
- Lockheed Martin
- The MITRE Corporation
- PAETEC Communications
- RIT School of Film and Animation
- RIT Office of Cooperative Education and Career Services
- Society for Total Emergency Programs (STEP) Council of the Genesee Region
- United States Food and Drug Administration
- University of Rochester
- Wegmans Food Markets