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95542 CSC 175N - 0 - Software Engineering
95543 CSC 177N - 0 - Senior Project

Fall 2002
CSC 175N Tuesday, 12:30 pm - 3:20 pm , Brookhaven Campus A204
CSC 177N Tuesday, 11:20 am - 12:20 pm , Brookhaven Campus A204
Herbert J. Bernstein (yaya@dowling.edu)



This web page is http://www.bernstein-plus-sons.com/.dowling/CSC175/CSC175_Syllabus.html
Copyright © 2002 Herbert J. Bernstein and other parties. All rights reserved.

This is the syllabus for CSC 175N and CSC 177N for Spring 2002. As the course moves forward, students should return to this page frequently for updated material.

Catalog description:

CSC 175N. Software Engineering

3 credits

This course gives the student a working vocabulary in classical and modern software design and techniques. It also provides an opportunity for the student to work with state-of-the-art software design tools in a realistic software engineering project with other students to gain insight into the application of his/her CS knowledge to real world projects. Problems and solutions in real life software design will also be presented. Evaluation will consist of two exams and a large group project. Prerequisite: CSC 071. Corequisite: CSC 177. Offered: 2002-2003.

CSC 177N. Senior Project

1 credit

Students work in teams to design and implement a software project involving multiple areas of the CSC curriculum. Emphasis is placed on the development process itself, as well as on the product. Teams are expected to develop a work plan and to track and document their progress. Students will meet with the faculty advisor for guidance only. Students will at times need to do research on their own, and will convene once each week in a classroom setting to present project status reports and to address project problems and issues. Prerequisite: CSC 071. Corequisite: CSC 175. Offered: 2002-2003.

The Fall 2002 schedule is:

Through 12 Sep 2002 CSC175 met TR 12:30 pm - 1:50 pm in A204 at the Brookhaven campus;
CSC177 met R 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm in A204 at the Brookhaven campus.

Effective 17 Sep 2002 CSC175 meets T 12:30 pm - 3:10 pm in A204 at the Brookhaven campus;
CSC177 meets T 11:20 am - 12:20 pm in A204 at the Brookhaven campus:

Computer Science
CRN Subj Crse Sec Credits Title Campus
Start Date End Date Days Times Bldg Room
95542 CSC 175N 0 3.00 Software Engineering Brookhaven Center
Sep 04, 2002 Dec 16, 2002 T 12:30 pm - 03:10 pm BROOK1 A204
Instructor(s): Herbert J. Bernstein
95543 CSC 177N 0 1.00 Senior Project Brookhaven Center
Sep 04, 2002 Dec 16, 2002 T 11:20 am - 12:20 pm BROOK1 A204
Instructor(s): Herbert J. Bernstein


Office Hours:

*** Note: Office hours changed as of 9 September 02 and again as of 17 September 02, due to changes in course assignments for the instructor ***

Note that, in general, the instructor will be at the Oakdale campus on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays and at the Brookhaven campus on Tuesdays. If at all possible, please use email to schedule meetings in advance to avoid conflicts with other students and other obligations of the instructor.

For more information see http://www.bernstein-plus-sons.com/.dowling/HJB_Contact_Info.html.


Students are expected to have their text books no later than the second week of class.


The process of work on the project is more important than the results of the project. In order to be able to evaluate student involvement in that process, students must attend regularly and participate actively. Therefore, attendance will be taken at all class meetings. All absences must be explained in writing (or via email). Students who miss 2 or more lectures must meet with the instructor to review their progress in the course. Grades will be reduced for unexcused absences (see grading policy, below).

To help ensure punctuality and to help in evaluating student progress, there will be a short (1 - 4 questions) project-related quiz at the start of each meeting of the class. There will not be any opportunity to make up these quizzes when they are missed due to lateness or absence. The best 80% of these quizzes will count for 40% of the project grade. The remaining 20% will be counted for extra credit.

Each student will be required to maintain a laboratory notebook of their project work. The required notebook allows the creation of a carbon of each page. Each student will be required to turn in notebook carbons each week, to maintain a project status web page, and to submit a formal written project report at the midterm and at the final.

Grading Policy:

The grades for CSC 175N and CSC 177N are inter-related. Failure to complete the major components of work in either course will result in an incomplete or failure for both courses. If all the major components of work for both courses are done, then the final grades will be determined as follows:

There will be reading assignments and homework assignments to help prepare students for project work, classroom discussions and for the two examinations, but the homework will not be submitted for grading. Instead, the instructor expects to see the lessons of the readings and homeworks reflected in all other work for the course. In particular students will be expected to present and discuss answers to homework problems during class meetings. Students who have difficulty with the homework should see the instructor as soon as possible to discuss the issues involved.

An open book, open notes midterm and an open book, open notes final will be given. In general, no makeups will be given for missed quizzes or examinations. Requests for exceptions to this policy will be considered only for the most pressing reasons (illness requiring hospitalization, death in the family, reserve call-up, etc.), must be submitted in writing in a timely manner, and will be granted only if the instructor has sound reason to believe that the student is highly likely to master the material of the course within the current semester.

Course Syllabus

The syllabus and the course objectives that follows are derived in part from the IEEE/ACM "Computing Curricula 2001 Computer Science" - Steelman Draft - (August 1, 2001) by the Joint Task Force on Computing Curricula, IEEE Computer Society, Association for Computing Machinery. We quote from the section on Software Engineering, http://www.computer.org/education/cc2001/steelman/cc2001/SE.htm:

Software engineering is the discipline concerned with the application of theory, knowledge, and practice for effectively and efficiently building software systems that satisfy the requirements of users and customers. Software engineering is applicable to small, medium, and large-scale systems. It encompasses all phases of the life cycle of a software system. The life cycle includes requirement analysis and specification, design, construction, testing, and operation and maintenance.

Software engineering employs engineering methods, processes, techniques, and measurement. It benefits from the use of tools for managing software development; analyzing and modeling software artifacts; assessing and controlling quality; and for ensuring a disciplined, controlled approach to software evolution and reuse. Software development, which can involve an individual developer or a team of developers, requires choosing the tools, methods, and approaches that are most applicable for a given development environment.

The elements of software engineering are applicable to the development of software in any computing application domain where professionalism, quality, schedule, and cost are important in producing a software system.

Time does not permit covering all the relevant material in a one-semester undergraduate course. The following syllabus represents a starting point for further study.

Useful links

Course Objectives

Upon completion of the course, the students will:

  1. understand and adhere to professional ethical standards the system development and modification process, especially by accepting responsibility for the consequences of design decisions and design implementations;
  2. have actively participated in the design and implementation of a significant software system;
  3. have learned to gather information relevant to the definition of problems;
  4. have learned to determine system requirements and to create a logical design for an information system;
  5. have learned to investigate alternatives and to determine the feasibility and risks of alternative course of action;
  6. understand how to evaluate what value, if any, is added by an information system to the operation of an organization;
  7. understand the appropriate use of CASE tools;
  8. understand project management and the role of teams in system development;
  9. understand project scheduling, project dependencies and techniques to ensure timely completion of projects;
  10. have developed and enhanced teamwork, critical thinking and communication skills, through active involvement in project teams and in cooperative learning groups.


The best way to develop an understanding of modern software engineering is by applying the tools of software engineering to a significant software project. The class will form into a small number of groups (perhaps only 1). Each group will work as a team to implement a significant software system. Each group will be given the opportunity to identify a suitable project. Students are urged to interview Dowling students, faculty and administrators to find software projects that need to be done. Examples would be new and useful record-keeping databases for departments or divisions, middle-ware query systems which would extract new and useful reports from existing systems, a new and useful scientific API, etc.

Students will be given two weeks to voluntarily form groups and select projects. At the fifth meeting of the course, the class as a whole, under the guidance of the instructor, will evaluate all proposed projects and all proposed groups, and attempt to make a consensus determination of project assignments. If this process fails to achieve resolution within one class meeting, each student will be required to write a detailed report with copies for all members of the class as well as for the instructor. The report will analyze the outstanding problems and recommend a course of action, and will be presented at the sixth meeting of the class. If that does not result in resolution of outstanding problems, the instructor will intervene as "chief decision maker" and make the necessary assignments. No further changes in project or in group assignments will be permitted during the semester.

Some students may not have an adequate preparation in programming to undertake the homework assignments and the course project. The text is oriented towards java, and java is fast becoming a major production tool. However, some projects may require programming in other languages. It is important that students be able to adapt to other languages. For those students who have difficulty in breaking free of the strictures and conventions of java, it may help to consult:


from the Cornell University CS414 Operating Systems course by Emin Gün Sirer. Our thanks to Gueorgui Kitchoukov for pointing out this useful resource.

Dowling Computer Club

If you're interested in joining with your fellow students in developing and maintaining a web site, or pursuing your exploration of computer hardware or software, you might want to consider joining the Dowling Computer Club. Just follow the link for further details:

Dowling College Computer Club Web Site

Useful Links

Updated 22 Oct 2002.