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2009/10 Computer Systems - Course Rules


The course will be managed by a coordinator appointed by the Office of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and a committee.

The committee will consist of:

The number of professors representing each department will be calculated after course projects have been assigned and will be proportional to the number of full-time professors in each department (two part-time professors will be equivalent to one full-time professor). These professors will be appointed by the department chairs.



The course will have three deliverables with common submission dates:

Late submissions will not be accepted.
All submissions will be posted on the Facultad de Informática's intranet (e.g., using Moodle) and be accessible to all of the course's professors.


Work Plan

The students' first task will be to document the description of the project according to the instructions given by their professor. This document will clearly specify the objectives the student is expected to achieve and will also contain a preliminary work schedule. The document should be no more than four pages long should be divided into four parts:

  1. General description of the project with a list of objectives
  2. List of tasks
  3. Gantt Diagram (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gantt_chart)
  4. A copy of the project proposal which was initially written by the professor

Recommendations for grading: 30% of the grade for each of the first three parts of the document and 10% for the overall presentation.

Progress Report

In the second deliverable, students will submit a document describing the work completed to date, including any modifications that they have had to make to their original work plan. The document will be no more than five pages long and will be divided into five sections:

  1. Summary of the work completed
  2. Explanation and justification of any changes made to the original work plan
  3. Revision of the project description and list of objectives
  4. Revision of the list of tasks
  5. Revision of the Gantt Diagram

Recommendations for grading: 30% of the grade corresponding to the evaluation of each of the first and second parts, 10% to each of the other three parts, and 10% for the overall presentation.

Final Report

Students must upload their final reports to the course's electronic repository before the first day of the applicable exam period. The first two pages of this report will contain a brief summary describing the computer system developed during the course (if this system is based on another existing system, the report should stress the changes made). Each project's supervising professor will define the structure of the remainder of the document and the maximum number of pages.

If a student does not wish to opt for a grade of 7 or higher, the final report will be graded by the student's supervisor.

To opt for a grade of 7 or higher, students must present their work in a public session before a board of professors belonging to the course's committee. Students should inform their supervising professor that they would like to present their assignment at this session before the first day of the applicable examination period.

The presentations will take place on the day and at the hour specified for the course in the official exam schedule. The day and time of these presentations can not be changed without the express permission from the Office of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. Students must apply for permission at the Facultad de Informática's general registry following the procedures stipulated in the Examinations Policy.

Students will present their work in several sessions will be held simultaneously. There will be a board of three committee members in each session. Students will not be allowed to present their work at a session where their supervisor is on the board.

Students will be given no more than 10 minutes to present the computer system that they have produced. This will be followed by a five-minute question and answer session. These time limits will be strictly observed.

The day before the public presentations, students must upload their presentation in PowerPoint, Open Office or PDF format to the course's electronic repository. Students must use a laptop provided by the Facultad de Informática for the presentation, and software demonstrations (e.g. requiring configuration or additional software to be installed, connection to the Internet, etc.) will not be possible. Students will download their presentation from the electronic repository at the time of the presentation. This way they will not have to connect any device to the laptop to transfer the files.

If, for any justified reason (speech difficulties, diction problems, anxiety, neurosis, agoraphobia, etc.), any students consider that they should not be expected to present their work under the same conditions as their fellow students, they should notify the course's committee at least one month in advance of the date of the examination so that the circumstances can be evaluated, and if necessary treat the case as an exception to the rule.

Project proposal and assignment

Project proposals

  1. Constraints
    • No one proposal can have more than three supervisors
    • No one proposal can have a quota of more than four students
    • No one professor can propose assignments with quotas that sum to more than eight students
    • The workload for each proposal should be 150 hours. The most significant part of the workload should be spent on configuring, designing, managing and evaluating computer systems.
  2. Proposal structure
    • Supervisor name(s) and project name
    • General summary (10 lines)
    • List of specific project objectives
    • Maximum quota of students that can work on the project
    • Is there potential to continue the work as a final-year project? If so, how many?
    • Breakdown of total project workload in hours
  3. Dates
    • The course committee will meet three times each year to review the project proposals submitted by professors. These proposals can be presented during three periods, before the 5th June, before the 3rd July or before the 18th September. After each of these dates the committee will meet and publish a list of accepted proposals.

Project assignment

  1. Students must complete a web-based form listing their choice of projects before 16th October and before registering for the course.
  2. Assignment
    1. The coordinator will provisionally assign all students to their first choice.
    2. Supervisors of projects with too many provisionally allocated students (a number over the quota) will select the students they intend to admit. Students not admitted will be provisionally assigned to their second choice. This process will be repeated until all students have been assigned a project or until the quotas of all the projects selected by students are full.
    3. The coordinator will contact students that have not been assigned a project to assign them one, as far as possible in accordance to their preferences.
  3. Publication
    • The selection process will end no later than 30th October, when the Office of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs will publish the final list of project assignments.


Each student's final grade will be based on the grades of the three deliverables and the presentation: Work Plan (10%), Progress Report (10%) and Final Report (60%), Presentation (20%).
The three deliverables will be graded by the project supervisor and the presentation will be graded by the board with the limitation that no student can receive a final grade of 7 or higher without having made a public presentation. The committee will review these submissions and their grades.

Supervisors will assign a grade (accompanied by a brief text) to the final report and enter that grade in the course's electronic management system before the date of the oral presentations. The examination board will award the final grade taking into account the supervisor's grade and remarks.

Additionally, assignments could be selected at random for presentation by their authors in public sessions.

Students who are repeating the course

Students who are repeating the course can, with the permission of their supervisors, continue with the project which they were assigned in the previous academic year or they can request a new project. When a repeating student chooses to continue with their work from the previous year they decide whether they wish to maintain the same grades for their Work plan and Progress report or then can resubmit them (to be re-graded). Students who opt for new projects need to submit new Work plans and Progress reports.