Final Project

For the final project, you will initiate a research project addressing an outstanding issue in interactive data analysis. You will first identify and articulate the problem you'd like to address. You will then develop an interactive prototype tool for facilitating analysis. Your project should focus on a compelling need with real-world stakeholders. In other words, know your users and their data!

You are encouraged, but not required, to address one or more of the issues raised throughout the quarter. Be mindful of the many feedback loops that arise during data analysis! When brainstorming project ideas, you may wish to look ahead and skim the topics and readings for later weeks.

The final project will be the focus of your assignments for the rest of the quarter. The project is structured as a set of milestones, described below.

Draft Abstract (Due 4/25)

Write a one paragraph abstract describing your envisioned project. Your abstract should identify the problem you are addressing, why it is important, and what you plan to do. If applicable, you should also state how you plan to evaluate your work. Note that this is a draft abstract. You are not committed to what you propose here. Instead, this milestone is intended to help you think through your project idea and solicit feedback from the course staff.

Project Proposal (Due 5/2)

Your project proposal is a document consisting of three components: an abstract, a description of stakeholders, and related work. Six weeks is a short time to develop a research project; scope your goals accordingly. Choose project goals that are amenable to creating a working, testable prototype by the end of the quarter.

Abstract – Your abstract should be a one paragraph description of your proposed project, as described above. Use 200 words or less; aim for ~150 words.

Stakeholders – In addition, write one descriptive paragraph for each stakeholder your project concerns. Stakeholders include representative users (e.g., a corporate analyst), those affected by analysis (e.g., executives making decisions based on an analyst's results), and the data itself. This requires that you know in advance what data set(s) you will be using to inform and evaluate your work! In your paragraphs, be sure to note how you expect your work to affect each human stakeholder.

Related Work – Finally, you should provide a bibliography of related work. Typically, this will be a list of 10-20 references to other research papers or projects. Pick one reference that you believe is most similar to your proposed project. In one paragraph, describe how this piece of prior work relates to your project, and clearly delineate how your work will differ or improve upon previous efforts.

Proposal Presentation (Due 5/4)

Once you've chosen your project, you should present your initial ideas to the class. This will take the form of a short presentation that should not exceed 3 minutes in length. Note that 3 minutes is not a lot of time, but is plenty to get your main ideas across. Do not worry about describing your stakeholders or related work in detail — that is the goal of your proposal. Instead, concisely introduce your project goals and then share your initial design ideas. Present your ideas in the form of sketches, architectural diagrams, and/or early stage prototypes.

Send the slides for your presentation to the course staff by 8am on Wed May 4. For your final slide, formulate a list of 3 questions you'd like to pose to the class for feedback. You will not read these questions out loud, simply place them on your final slide so that the class can read them.

Initial Functional Prototype (Due 5/18)

For this milestone, you should have an initial working prototype of your research system. It is perfectly fine for the system to be skeletal and incomplete in many respects. However, you should be able to demonstrate a primary usage scenario that illustrates how your approach will improve interactive analysis. The form of the prototype may vary substantially depending on your chosen project. Consult with the course staff if you are uncertain of any aspects of your design process. Ideally, your prototype should be sufficient to enable user studies to inform your design.

To submit this assignment send us a link to, or attachment containing, the working prototype. You will likely wish to include sample data sets for use within the tool. The course staff should be able to use your prototype without significant installation effort; please include instructions for use.

In addition, send the course staff a status report describing your remaining goals for the quarter and how you intend to complete them on-time.

Advanced Prototype (Due 6/1)

For this milestone, you should have a near-complete version of your research prototype system. Send your prototype to the course staff in a manner similar to the previous milestone.

Final Prototype, Presentation and Paper (Due week of 6/6)

The final deliverables for the course are:

Final Presentations will be held Monday June 6, 5-8pm in 124 Wallenberg.

Final Papers and Prototypes are due Wednesday June 8 at 5pm.

Submission Details

For the final project, you may work in groups of up to 3 people. To be clear, you are also free to work in pairs or on your own. You should submit the requested materials for each milestone as indicated above. Unless stated otherwise, submit your materials via email to cs448g@cs prior to the start of class on the due date. If your submission includes large attachments (> 5MB), please send us a hyperlink or give us access to the files via a sharing service such as Dropbox.