Software Engineering Senior Project Spotlight
Writer(s): Kristyn Childres
CS 40700, the senior capstone course in software engineering, offers students a real-life software development experience with the opportunity to use the skills they have gained throughout their Purdue coursework to create a professional-quality project.
Professor H.E. ("Buster") Dunsmore, who is responsible for CS 40700, said "In this capstone course, software engineering students bring together everything they have learned in classes, internships, and on their own. The students put a lot of effort into what they create, so the projects are always good. However, a major reason for the projects’ high quality is the attention and direction students receive from Alina Nesen and Hasini Gunasinghe, both of whom bring real-world software engineering experience to their roles as our project coordinators.”
Gunasinghe said, "It is fascinating to walk through the software development lifecycle with multiple CS 40700 teams. The products they create span across numerous domains, using numerous technologies. It is great to see that many of the students have already gained certain qualities that professional software engineers need, such as technical skills and the abilities to work as a team and meet deadlines successfully."
Below, read about four teams from this semester's class whose projects are representative of the high quality of all these senior projects.
Kristin Beese, Janka Gal, Rajalakshmy Iyer and Joyce Kao created PackMap, an iOS application that helps travelers plan and pack for their vacations. PackMap generates a packing list for a trip based on the destination’s weather data, as well as user-entered data like trip length and planned activities. The app helps users remember vacation essentials like phone chargers or toothpaste. It also reminds them to pack weather-based items like an umbrella, if rain is in the forecast.
Alina Nesen said that the PackMap team is CS 40700’s first all-female team. Kristin Beese said, “This experience was different than ones I’ve had previously. My internship at Google last summer was on a team of twenty males, and I was the only woman.”
Janka Gal said, “We had worked together before, so it was more that we knew we were a good fit, rather than choosing each other because we were all women.”
Ryan DeSalvio, Nicolas Bratton, Garrett Kizior and Keith Droll worked together to create a video game that combined elements from the first-person shooter and tower defense genres.
“Combining these genres allowed us to create a unique experience that put a fun twist on existing games,” said Ryan DeSalvio.
Andrew Burdiak, Lauren Carr, Dylan Mackey, Hyunjae Song and Jackie Sung created NightRider, an Android/iOS app that automates the process of queueing riders, assigning drivers and giving driving directions for designated “sober drivers” during fraternity and sorority events.
“Anyone who is a part of Greek life knows that sober driving can be one of the most confusing and difficult aspects of hosting a function, so we hope to make it a breeze with our app,” said Lauren Carr.
Ai Li Yew, Jing Zheng, Michael Mertz, Weifeng Huang and Qian Zhang worked with the Chicago Police Department to develop an app that aggregates and analyzes crime data, providing heat-map visualizations that will help the police department identify patterns and visualize relationships more effectively.
Qian Zhang said, “In previous class projects, we have used made-up data. But for this project, we used real-world data from the Chicago Police Department. That made this experience seem much more akin to the real problems we might face in industry.”