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Using The Internet In A Computer Science Senior Project Course

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1999 Annual Conference


Charlotte, North Carolina

Publication Date

June 20, 1999

Start Date

June 20, 1999

End Date

June 23, 1999



Page Count


Page Numbers

4.585.1 - 4.585.8

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Paper Authors

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Michael Werner

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 1647

Using the Internet in a Computer Science Senior Projects Course

Michael Werner Department of Computer Science, Electronics and Mechanical Wentworth Institute of Technology 550 Huntington Avenue Boston, MA 02115


Project courses in Computer Science require a student to discover a feasible software project, do independent research to see how his/her project fits in with similar and related projects done elsewhere, acquire the necessary knowledge and tools to build the project, and finally, present the project for both peer and teacher evaluation. Use of the Internet can be a powerful tool towards meeting the student’s needs.


This article describes the use of the Internet as a resource in a computer science senior project course. The aim of the project course is to allow the student to consolidate the knowledge and skills gained both by taking courses, and from required on-the-job coop experiences. They demonstrate their abilities in the form of an original project, which they build themselves or as part of a small team. The special nature of this kind of course necessitates a different teaching approach, one that is student-centric, in that the student bears much of the burden for deciding what knowledge should be obtained, and the mechanics for obtaining, mastering and utilizing it.

The aim of this article is to show that the Internet can be used as a key enabling technology for a student-centric course. It was successfully tried in a course given in the summer of 1998. Among the unanticipated issues that came up in the teaching of this course was a lively discussion of intellectual property rights.


Wentworth Institute of Technology is a medium-sized technical college located in Boston, Massachusetts, with concentrations in Environmental, Electronics, and Mechanical Engineering Technology, Architecture, and Computer Science (CS). For some time, the non-CS programs required students to do a senior project as part of a capstone course to demonstrate and consolidate what they had learned in the program. In 1998, this requirement was extended to include Computer Science as well.

Werner, M. (1999, June), Using The Internet In A Computer Science Senior Project Course Paper presented at 1999 Annual Conference, Charlotte, North Carolina.

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