2nd Year Project Guidelines

I. CHOOSING A TOPIC AND COMMITTEE

SPRING and SUMMER

Adviser and student begin preliminary discussions to identify possible topics, summer readings, potential committee members, etc. during SPRING of the first year.

SUMMER

Student names a committee of three department faculty--the adviser plus two other faculty--and obtains approval of the faculty to serve on the committee. Email the final committee names to your Graduate Committee and cc the Graduate Coordinator.

II. THE PROSPECTUS

Monday October 3rd at 12:00pm (Third Week FALL QUARTER)

Four copies of the first draft of the prospectus are due: one for the department (email pdf to Grad Coordinator) and one for each committee member. The draft must be at least one page. You can find examples from years past below.

Inferring Mechanisms of Structured Learning in a Serial Choice Reaction Time Task 
Studying patterns of user organization in the personal computing space using ethnography and statistical modeling 
Visualization to Aid Video Navigation 
Graphical models for functional connectivity 
H-means: Using Human Judgments to Find the k in k-means 

 

Monday October 24th at 12:00pm (Sixth Week FALL QUARTER)

Four copies of the final prospectus are due: one for the department (email pdf to Grad Coordinator) and one for each committee member. The final prospectus must include an abstract at least one paragraph long. Abstracts will be made available to the entire faculty.

Committee evaluates the prospectus for:

  • design
  • animal and human subject procedures and required approvals
  • statistical techniques
  • feasibility
  • content
  • etc.


Sixth Week SPRING QUARTER

Committee individually or collectively meets with the student to discuss prospectus and timetable. A revision may or may not be requested. If a revision is requested it must be resubmitted in final form within 21 days.

III. THE PAPER AND PRESENTATION

FALL, WINTER, and SPRING QUARTERS

Student should consult regularly with the committee and keep them apprised of progress. It is the student's responsibility to contact faculty regularly.

Monday, May 15th at 12:00pm (Seventh Week SPRING QUARTER)

Student provides a first draft of the entire paper to each committee member and emails a pdf of the document to the Graduate Coordinator. At minimum, this will include a 3-5 page outline of the entire report, including introduction, methods, results and discussion. All sections must be included.

Monday, May 15th – May 19th (Seventh week SPRING QUARTER)

Students may expect committee members to provide feedback on drafts of their report if given to them in a timely manner.

Monday, May 29th at 12:00pm (Ninth Week, SPRING QUARTER)

Four copies of the final paper are due for evaluation by faculty, NOT for subsequent revision (one for each committee member and email a copy to the Graduate Coordinator).

Monday, June 12th (Finals week SPRING QUARTER)

Student presentations will be scheduled for a day during finals week, usually Monday of finals week.

IV. EVALUATION AND M.S. DEGREE

Ninth Week SPRING QUARTER

Committee members evaluate the final paper. The paper should be of professional quality and will be evaluated on all of the same criteria as the prospectus with the additions of clarity of exposition and review of the relevant literature, and scientific results. The overall grade for the 2nd year project is based primarily on the written paper as submitted on 5/23, although the oral presentation and question answering thereafter are also important.

End of Ninth Week SPRING QUARTER

Committee members inform the student's adviser of their grades assigned the paper. Adviser works with the committee to decide on a final grade. Committees report to the student and entire faculty (at time of SPRING evaluation) whether paper is acceptable. Adviser informs Graduate Coordinator whether or not student passed.

The final decision regarding the M.S. degree is based on the student's gpa, the second year project, and yearly faculty evaluations. The committee makes one of the following three recommendations: pass, M.S. only, and non-pass. Pass means that the student may proceed toward the Ph.D. Those given M.S. only evaluations are granted the degree (providing they have met all course requirements), but may not continue toward the Ph.D. In either case, a student's committee may ask that the written second year project be revised.

Students whose second year paper is not acceptable but whose work in the department is satisfactory in other respects may be given one opportunity to revise the paper, or redo the 2nd year project according to a timetable set by the committee. An unacceptable revision will result in the student being asked to withdraw from the program.

V. ENROLLMENT AND GRADES

Student enrolls in 210A-B-C (Second-Year Project) in Fall, Winter, and Spring quarters, respectively. Adviser assigns a grade of IP (in progress) for 210A-B; a letter grade is assigned for 210C which retroactively replaces the IPs in 210A-B.