| MS&E Dept
MS&E 108 Senior Project
Five Fridays, 10:00am in 370-370
(Class times and location might be different for final presentations.)
Each team should upload electronic copies of their report and their presentation to the
Course Archives by then end of the day on March 15.
Presentation tutorials with the Technical Communications Program (TCP):
Tutorial time slots will be posted a week or two in advance at
and are available until twenty-four hours before the tutorial.
All team members are expected to come to the session prepared, but only one person should sign up
for a tutorial time slot.
At the appointment time you should all report to the TCP office, Huang 049.
Please try to use one of the posted times if you can, but if none of the time slots available
work for your team, please contact the TCP manager, Matt Vassar,
with several blocks of time your whole team is available, so he can try to arrange one.
MS&E 108 Course Description
The course faculty this year are Margaret Brandeau, Feryal Erhun, Riitta Katila, Elisabeth Pate-Cornell,
and Ross Shachter (course coordinator)
Faculty contact information is on the Contacts page.
This course is devoted completely to your senior project.
You form four-person teams, preferably by December 2011, but no later than January 13, 2012.
Each team is responsible for identifying an organization with a project that can be addressed using
methodology learned in your MS&E courses.
MS&E faculty have contacts at a number of local organizations with potential projects.
Contact Prof. Shachter as soon as possible for details if you anticipate needing assistance identifying a project.
(You must form and register a four-person team before requesting project leads.)
The learning outcomes of this course are to help you further develop the following skills:
Your team will be assigned a faculty advisor who will serve as a combination consultant and
supervisor throughout the quarter, and who must approve your project.
Both a written and an oral report are required.
You should work with the Communications Program in the School of Engineering for help with your oral report.
Finally, just as in the "real world," deadlines are crucial, and missing them bears consequences.
- Formulation: identifying, formulating, and solving engineering problems;
- Analysis: using the techniques, skills, and tools necessary for engineering practice;
- Communication: communicating effectively; and
- Teamwork: functioning effectively on multi-disciplinary teams.
Your advisor will assign grades to your team based primarily on your final oral and written reports.
Advisors will also take into account your contribution to the team's efforts,
and your attendance at class and project team meetings.
Standards for Professional Behavior
The course prepares our students for careers as professionals applying the concepts of management science.
Students should think of 108 as training for the real world where tardiness and absences reflect on your qualifications.
We expect professional behavior from students, including being proactive and assuming responsibility
rather than making excuses for progress not made.
Being punctual for meetings with your faculty advisor and industry clients, attending all class and group sessions,
and delivering quality written materials on time are part of these norms.
Your grade will reflect your ability to meet these norms.
The Project Description
is due from all teams by 9pm on Tuesday January 22, 2013,
submitted via the course web site, regardless whether you have finalized your project.
It describes the problem your team will be tackling, what you plan to do, and how you plan to do it, and it allows us to assign faculty advisors to teams.
It contains the following sections:
- Project title;
- Administrative information (client organization; names, telephone numbers and emails of all team members and your organization contact);
- Statement or description of the problem, approaches you plan to use, and nature of the results you plan to deliver; and
- A schedule of 5-6 available meeting times (one hour blocks between 8am-6pm, Monday-Friday) when your entire team
can meet with your faculty advisor.
Project Team Meetings
All teams will be responsible for scheduling weekly meetings with their faculty advisor at a mutually convenient time.
All team members are expected to attend each meeting.
In preparation for each meeting, your team should email a one or two page summary at least 24 hours prior to the meeting,
copying everyone on the team.
The summary should contain these items:
To facilitate preparation for your team's meeting with your faculty advisor, you should schedule a second,
working meeting with your team once each week, several days prior to the meeting with your faculty advisor.
- A review of work accomplished since the last meeting,
- A description of what work will be done next, and
- A list of questions and issues to be discussed at the meeting.
You submit your final written report to your faculty advisor (in hardcopy), the oclient organization, and the course archives.
Your written report should contain these items:
- letter of transmittal to the client organization (attached to the report)
- cover page
- one-page Executive Summary
- one-page table of contents
- report sections as follows (modified to suit your particular project):
- introduction (including organization background, nature of the problem, and project description)
- methods (including any model and data collection)
- conclusions and recommendations
- technical appendices
Please use at least 1.5 line spacing and reasonable font size for readability;
number body pages 1, 2 . . . and Appendix pages A-1, B-1, B-2, C-1 . . . and use those numbers when referring to material in an Appendix.
There is no minimum or maximum number of pages in the body of the report or in the appendices.
Typical reports will have a body length of between 10 and 20 pages and between 5 and 15 pages of Appendix material.
Discuss the content with your faculty advisor.
Ideally, you should prepare sections of the report (e.g., project description, methods, etc.) as you progress along the project timeline.
Your grade will almost surely suffer if you leave all the writing to the end.
The written report will comprise the majority of your course grade, as modified by your
attendance and your contribution to the project's success.
In grading reports, faculty advisors evaluate both technical content and presentation style
(including such things as appropriate organization, use of headings, clear explanations and charts,
and absence of grammatical errors or misspellings).
The report should clearly reflect the effort you exerted during the quarter as well as
the quality of your solution; in other words, it should represent your achievement.
You may ask your advisor to discuss with you specifics of what he or she expects in the context of your particular project.
You should submit the final written report to your faculty advisor, your client organization, and the course archives
by the last day of class (March 15, 2013).
Near the end of the quarter, each team will make a 12-minute oral presentation to the class.
All team members should participate equally, both in time and effort.
Please bring your presentation to class on your computer with any necessary adapter,
along with a copy on a flash drive as a backup,
and submit it afterwards to the course archives.
Dress code is business professional, such as suits.
Please inform the people you have worked with at the client organization
that they are welcome to attend our final oral presentations and a lunch afteward.
They truly enjoy being invited, being introduced to the class, and listening to the results of projects.
You should also offer to present your findings to the organization.
All teams are expected to schedule and attend at least one tutorial with the staff of the
School of Engineering's Oral Communication Program in the Terrace level of the
Huang Engineering Center, at least a week before your presentation in class.
Do not wait until the last minute to schedule your tutorials.
Every year Accenture sponsors monetary awards to be split between the top two senior project oral presentations in MS&E 108.
The course faculty determines the winning teams based on the oral presentations, and the awards will be presented at commencement.
Criteria for judging the presentations include ample motivation for the problem,
sufficient support for the methodology, clear explanation of the results,
and quality of presentation skills.