IT691 (CRN 71238) & CS615 (CRN 70127)
Computer Information Systems Projects

Three classroom meetings: Room 313, 6 pm, Grad Ctr, White Plains

Instructor: Dr. Charles Tappert    Email   Website   Conferences   Pace Portal
Office hours by appointment: Goldstein 325 PLV
Other Info: Webopedia   SurveyMonkey   1 Pace Plaza

Textbook:    Bookstores
Projects in Computing and Information Systems: A Student's Guide, Christian Dawson, Adison-Wesley 2005, ISBN 0321263553

Course Prerequisite: Twelve credits of 600-level course work or permission of the instructor.

Course Description:
This semester we are combining CS615 with IT691. Because IT691 is a 3-credit course and CS615 is a 4-credit course, those taking CS615 will be expected to contribute more to their project. Also, since there will not be a follow-on CS616 course in Westchester, the CS615 students will be permitted to take an elective in place of CS616 to fulfill the capstone course sequence requirement.

This is a one-semester web-assisted course on project systems development for CSIS majors in all departments. Project teams of 3-5 students will develop Computer Information Systems (CIS). The course focuses on the process and practice of developing robust systems, on the management of software projects, and on technical skills necessary in developing these systems. Students learn the importance of a systematic approach in CIS design, how to conduct requirements analysis, and how to develop real-world systems for actual customers. By developing real-world systems the students learn the appropriate skills - both technical and soft skills - for filling meaningful roles in the professional IT workplace.

The goals of the course are to understand what a CIS is, the importance of a systematic approach in CIS design, and how to conduct requirements analysis and develop real-world systems for actual customers. Some projects may involve the development of client-server systems, such as those with Web interfaces to backend databases. The technical skills that students learn will include relational databases, web design and interfaces, HTML, and scripting languages such as PHP and Cold Fusion for accessing databases through web interfaces. Emphasis is placed on developing skills and knowledge in technical areas that have realistic value in the workplace. In addition to technical skills, students develop problem-solving, critical thinking, communication, and teamwork skills.

Although this is essentially an online course, we will meet face-to-face three times during the semester: toward the beginning, at the midpoint, and at the end of the semester. These three meetings will take place at the graduate center in White Plains. Attendance at these meetings is required for international students and highly recommended for other students. Exceptions can be made for those students at great distances from the New York City area.

Team Work:
A team is a group of individuals that has the responsibility to jointly accomplish an objective, and in this course the objective to to successfully complete a project. Research has shown that work in teams enhances learning, creating an "active learning process." Student teams have been found particularly effective when the students actually need each other to complete the project. It is also the norm for employees to work in teams, and teams are used in all kinds of organizations, such as in industry, education, and government.

Course Website:
An extensive course website presents all the course information (Blackboard is used only for quizzes and the Discussion Board). Links in the left menu area are to:

Student Responsibilities

Pace University's Appropriate Use Policy for Information Technology

Graded Events and Grade Scale

Ten open-book quizzes. Quizzes are to be taken via Blackboard with a 20 minute time limit. The quizzes are designed not only to check that you read the assignments but, more importantly, to increase your capability to quickly process and comprehend related computing and information technology material.

A Team Project focuses on developing a CIS that meets a real customer's real needs. Although the requirements for the projects come from the customers, the course instructor is the “boss” or “Chief Executive Officer” of the project teams – that is, the person who makes all the major decisions. Most of the systems will involve one or more of the following: programming, a database, a computer network, a Web interface. Java is the preferred language for projects that require programming. Non-programmers or weak programmers can contribute in many ways other than programming. A team consists of 3-5 students as follows:

Be sure to read the project deliverable information on the Project Deliver link. Also, the Project Support link describes supporting equipment that includes project development and staging servers, which may or may not be useful to your project effort, depending on the nature of your project.

For project development work we will use the agile methodology, particularly Extreme Programming (XP) which involves small releases and fast turnarounds in roughly two-week iterations.

Each team will deliver a prototype system that performs the basic required functions to their client at the halfway point of the semester. This should be possible since, according to the 80-20 rule, 80% of the project can be completed in 20% of the time it would take to deliver the complete 100% system. A complete, high-quality system will be delivered at the end of the semester.

This is a project-oriented course with no midterm or final exams. Therefore, most of your grade will depend on your contribution to the work of your project. Evaluation of your contribution will come from your instructor, your project customer(s), and your project teammates.

We anticipate that technical papers related to most of these projects will be presented at Pace University's CSIS Research Day that takes place in May, or will be published as Pace University CSIS Technical Reports.

An instructor provided grade (IPG) is for your individual participation, contribution, positive influence, etc.

Incompletes: in order to be fair to those students who complete the course in a timely manner, my policy is to reduce the grade of those students taking an incomplete by a full letter grade for each semester, or portion thereof, that the incomplete is in effect.

Graded Events: 1000 points total
Event Points and Percent
Quizzes (10 * 20 points) 200 points = 20%
Team Project 700 points = 70%
(Prototype 200, Final 300, Paper 200)
Instructor Provided Grade 100 points = 10%


Grade Scale: 1000 points = 100%
Grade Assigned Score Definition
A  93-100% 930 or more points Dominates the Material
A-  90-93% 900-929 points Masters the Material
B+  87-90% 870-899 points Good Understanding
with Flashes of Stellar Work
B  83-87% 830-869 points Good Understanding
B-  80-83% 800-829 points Aptitude for the Subject
Incomplete/Failure
Less than 80%
Below 800 points Weak for Graduate Work