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Due over Blackboard as PDF by 5:00pm, March 22.

There is no formal description of the final project in this class, because the forms of different projects can take many different directions. The purpose of this assignment is to set on paper a firm version of what, exactly, you will doing.

The scale of this project should sufficient to demonstrate your ability to explore some question

Your final project will be in scope and form very like a conference poster. If your project relies on specifically interactive elements, it may also be a web page of similar size and scope. If you have not seen or prepared a conference poster, spend some time researching online so you can understand the form.

Your final project proposal is due Friday, November 18th and will be submitted in two parts, totaling 1,500 words. Both of these parts should answer the questions posed so far.


Problem and motivation (about 750 words)

Describe the problem you are solving and the resources that exist to solve it. This can be a place to describe a larger problem or motivation that you may not immediately be able to address.

  1. What is the question or problem that you are solving?

  2. Where will you find the specific data this project will use? Has it been identified and explored, at least provisionally? What problems or shortcomings does it pose?

  3. What questions will the project use the data to ask (and hopefully answer)? There should be one big, central question and likely several smaller, related questions.

  4. How does this project fit into a larger framework? What might the “blue sky” version of this project look like, were time and money no object?

  5. Who, specifically, will care about this project’s findings? In other words, what impact could it have? What are the stakes?

Work plan and deliverables (about 500 words)

In this section you will outline precisely what you will accomplish during the final weeks of this course, and describe a deliverable that you will submit to Prof. Schmidt and Prof. Offenhuber as your final assignment. You should describe the analyses you will perform, what software you will use, and what visualizations you will create.

Be sure to think about what text needs to be written to support the final product and what form it will take. Reasonable forms include but are not limited to:

  1. A website.
  2. A paper, as PDF, with figures and/or tables.
  3. A poster with images and accompanying text.

Also plan out which elements must be ready for the final project workshop in the last week of class. Not everything need be done by that date, but there should be enough that you can present some work in progress.

Group work plan (up to 500 words)

(If you are working alone, do not include this portion).

If you have multiple group members, explain:

  1. Why this is a project that can benefit from more hours of work
  2. Exactly what work each of you will be doing, and (if relevant) how that maps to distinct skills or experience you each bring.
  3. How that division of labor fits into the timing of the work plan.

It’s fine to share elements of the work plan. keep in mind that this is your project with each other as well as with us.

In general each member of a group will receive the same grade on a final project, but in extreme circumstances we may use the responsibilities in this section to decide how to split up different elements.