Next spring 2018 semester, the course Computer Science-595 will undergo a curriculum change in how master’s students can meet the requirements to compete their capstone projects. Professor Mukul Goyal PH.D suggested that the students should be able to do their project on an internship or job they are currently holding during the semester, to complete the requirement.
This can only be done if they have approval from their employer as well as their professor. As of now, there is still discussion on how evaluation can be best done with regard to assessing program outcomes.
On the morning of Nov. 3, the computer science faculty at UW-Milwaukee met for their monthly meeting on the seventh floor of the EMS Building to discuss several matters about the computer science professional master’s program.
The first order of business was in regards to the mandatory capstone projects that master’s students must complete when they are enrolled in certain courses. A capstone project is an extensive project in the subject or issue the student is interested in and ready to research. It usually takes the whole semester to complete and is an opportunity to build a resume.
“Students must submit a project description to define their project for approval before the semester starts,” said John T. Boyland, professor and computer science chair. “They also must have a letter from a supervisor with approval to do the project while they are working there. We are doing this because it essentially helps the student put real work into their project by having their internship or job be a part of that experience.”
Allowing the students to use their internships and jobs as a part of capstone projects also helps take a little bit of pressure off of the already busy master’s students.
Another important topic that was discussed: The new requirements for master’s students wanting to change from the professional track to the research track, and vice versa. In order to switch from either tracks once they are already accepted or studying the specified area, students must have approval from their professor to do so.
Boyland told the faculty that the program is now public on the campus program website and available to students who are asking to transfer tracks. Besides permission, they must also redo all of the initial application forms. Once the switch is made, not all courses will be transferred and, if they decided to switch back, they must meet certain requirements. No matter what track they are on, they must complete a capstone project and the required courses and credits.
“Currently 80 to 90 percent of master’s program applicants are being denied because they may not be able to be successful,” said Susan McRoy PH.D “That’s why it’s important that when they choose a track, they stay on it.”
There was also discussion on whether students should self-select their track upon enrolling into the master’s program or should it be selected by the admissions committee. As of now, it was agreed that the admissions committee would select the track. The process of transferring tracks is now available to be done through their UWM paws account at www.paws.com, with approval.
For those students not wanting to take the course CompSci-351, Boyland has designed an online course for the co-operative APC program and online course for students wishing to get a credential for teaching computer science at a secondary school level. Computer Science 751- Applied Computing will now be available to be done completely online. This is a UWM extension course that is being funded through the Marquette grant. The course will have the same design, data structure and algorithms as the Computer Science-351 course, but will be more rigorous and serve as a replacement for those who do not want to enroll in CompSci-351. It is scheduled to be held during the summer of 2018.