Department of Computing Sciences
Director of Graduate Programs: Dr. Vijay Gehlot
Many graduate students in the Department of Computing Sciences undertake a Grand Challenges (GC) project. Typically this is one of the last courses a student takes, so that it can build upon the material of the other courses. During your GC course you will work independently, with guidance from an advisor, on a topic that you and your advisor have determined.
It is your responsibility to arrange for an advisor and a topic for your GC project. You must have an advisor and topic determined before you register for the course, although changes are permitted later.
The amount of time required for a successful GC project will vary of course from project to project. You should dedicate at least as much time as that needed for any 3 credit course - a rough estimate is a solid 150 hours. Define a good project, work consistently on it, three to eight hours per week, communicate well with your advisor, and wrap things up by the end of the semester, and all will be well.
Your advisor is solely responsible for assigning your grade for the Grand Challenges (GC) course. Your advisor must report those grades to the GC Coordinator no later than the beginning of final exams. Therefore, advisors need time to carefully evaluate the project materials and read the final report, and often insist on having two weeks to do so. However, the specific deadline for getting your materials to your advisor can be worked out between the two of you.
Some general guidelines for GC grading are:
There is no good reason for a GC project to receive a poor grade, but unfortunately it happens all the time. There are three main problems students have regarding IS projects that result in low/failing grades:
Be careful you do not fall into any of those traps.
The integrity of the work you submit for your Grand Challenges project will be held to the highest standards. It is your responsibility to understand what is and what is not acceptable concerning the content of your work and the use of previous work. When in doubt, consult your advisor!
Please visit and study the material on the university's Academic Integrity Gateway. Familiarize yourself with both the Academic Integrity Code and the Academic Integrity Policy. Be sure to take the interactive quiz before leaving the site. You should also review the department academic integrity page.
A Grand Challenges project requires that you integrate and synthesize information from various sources. We don't expect every idea in your work to be your own. But we do require that you give credit where credit is due.
It is important that you and your advisor have a clear understanding of the goals of the project relative to the use of previous work. Sometimes the primary goal of a project is to investigate and report on the work of other people. In other cases, previous work is the springboard from which you launch your own efforts. Discuss this balance carefully with your advisor.
For a Grand Challenges project, academic integrity issues include the following:
Unfortunately, we've had a few students in the past violate the principles of academic integrity during their Grand Challenges project work. In these cases the students received a failing grade for the course and we have submitted them for disciplinary action at the university level. We take academic integrity very seriously. You should as well.
A GC project is expected to be completed in one semester. These projects, however, sometimes require a second semester. If the situation dictates and your advisor approves, we will grant an extension of your project into the following semester. Students that extend their GC must sign up for CSC 9021.
Please note that extensions are NOT granted because a student procrastinated or was "busy" doing other things. You must demonstrate satisfactory progress to be granted an extension.