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MSc in Information Technology/Advanced Computing/
Computing for Financial Markets/Software Engineering/
Big Data
Project Workbooks

Project Workbook Structure

You must submit a project workbook along with your final dissertation. The workbook is intended to be a collection of notes, both informal and formal, for your benefit. The assessors may look at the workbook for clarification as they are marking the dissertation, but the workbook itself is not formally assessed. Your workbook will be returned to you after the assessment process is complete.

Although the workbook is submitted only at the end of the project period, your supervisor will expect to review it regularly and to initial it as having been seen. The workbook should be written as you go along, not after the fact!

For example you may find it surprisingly difficult to remember why you made certain design decisions one month earlier, or may have lost a reference to a book, paper or web page you found useful. Every entry should have a date so that you can review the history of the work. The workbook will be a personal resource for you.

The workbook should be maintained spontaneously. For this reason, it is quite acceptable that entries be handwritten. Indeed you should treat it like a scrapbook in which you record anything useful as you find it, as it happens, as you think of it, and not a place to write elaborate, time-consuming essays. You could also glue items in (program listings, screen shots, etc)! It is suggested that you use a loose leaf binder or a hard-back exercise book. A4 size will allow easier inclusion of diagrams than A5 would.

At a minimum the workbook should contain:

Header
Give your project title, name, student registration number and supervisor name.

Weekly Progress
Record what you did on a week by week basis.

Supervisor Meetings
Record key items from discussions with your supervisor.

And the entries will usefully include things like:
References
Write down references to any paper you read or URL you consulted.

Problems and Solutions
Record any problems you found. Also record the solutions you considered and why you chose a particular approach.

Sketches and Diagrams
GUI mock-ups, software structures, class/sequence/state diagrams, database designs, ...

To Do
Make a note of things you have to do so that you do not forget them, and things that you would like to do or perhaps ought to do but might not have time for.

Be honest in your workbook - it is meant to be a useful record for you rather than a Utopian view for some other reader! When we assess your project you will not be penalised for recording things that went wrong - and indeed recording things that do not work, or are not very effective, provides valuable information for the future! There is no reason to be tempted to go back over your workbook and edit out the 'problematic' parts!

Project Workbook Assessment

The project workbook will be formally reviewed by your supervisor and your second marker. The workbook is not assessed in itself, but it can influence how the assessors judge the work that you have done. For example, your workbook could confirm a methodical approach to the project or could act as evidence of difficulties beyond your control.

Project Workbook Sample

The following suggests the kinds of things your workbook might contain.

Project Workbook: Telecommunications Service Engineering

Student: Kurt Jenner, 9801432

Supervisor: Dr. John Brown

25/05/99: Agreed preliminary project definition with JB

To Do: Write up more detailed project plan over summer, get hold of Recommendation Q.1200

18/08/99: Meeting with JB

Reported work over the summer: studied IN recommendations, looked at BT's Select Services, experimented with Visual C++.

JB suggests using Java rather than C++ for implementation. Also look at papers in LNCS 1049 and March 99 issue of CACM. Study credit card billing and charge card services first; leave call waiting and call return till later.

To Do: For next meeting, update project plan with changed deliverables. Get hold of good Java book! Check SUN web site for current version of AWT.

20/08/99: Downloaded JDK 1.4 but it doesn't work. Maybe the search path is wrong or I forgot to install some classes?

24/08/99: Got Java working - wrong version of class library. 'Hello World' and 'Calculator' examples run OK. Found a URL that explains how Netscape handles Java:

  http://developer.netscape.com/docs/manuals/htmlguid/index.htm

Also found Hinge & Bracket book in library on developing telecomms software in Java. Don't forget to reference JB's most recent paper:

John Brown. An Architectural Foundation for Relating Features. In P. Dini, R. Boutaba and L. Logrippo, editors, Proc. Feature Interactions in Telecommunication Networks, pages 226-241, IOS Press, Amsterdam, 1997.

Found following picture in this paper. Stick into dissertation, but get permission first!!

Image to paste into workbook
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