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Undergraduate Project Instructions

Undergraduate Project Instructions

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Undergraduate Project Instructions
Undergraduate Project Instructions

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GUIDELINES FOR UNDERGRADUATE PROJECT Engineering design is the creative process of identifying needs and then devising a product

or a process to fill those needs. After a need has been identified, the purpose of an engineering design project proposal is to succinctly communicate to interested parties:          Benefits of the product or process to the end customer Project objectives tied to the project specifications Strategy for achieving project objectives Detailed plan of action divided into a number of tasks to be performed by individual members of the design team to achieve the project objectives Time schedule depicting weekly progress and individual/team assignments Cost analysis Design verification procedures Procedures to quantify prototype performance

Ideally, undergraduate research should focus on a well-defined project that stands a reasonable chance of completion in the time available. A literature survey alone is not a satisfactory research project. Neither is repetition of established procedures. The objectives therefore of EEE 199 are: 1. 2. 3. 4. Applying and integrating the classroom material from several courses; Introducing the professional literature; Gaining experience in writing a technical document, and Enhancing employability through the evidence of independent work.

1.0 PROPOSAL FORMAT See the attached format for the EEE 199 Project Proposal. Times New Roman size 12 fonts. I. Title Page (center justified, right-left, top-bottom) Title – All capital letters, font size 16-20 Proposal for ECSE-xxxx Senior Design Project Names of team members (one per line, font size 16) Date Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute You may choose to add a team logo on top of the title. Use multiple spacing between various items for a good visual effect. II. Body of the Proposal Introduction What is the project about and what is your/sponsor‟s motivation to select/sponsor the project? Review any prior work in the subject area. What is the state of the art? Who are the expected end users? Describe in detail customer requirements, preliminary specifications, related technology areas, competitive benchmarks, and any related patents. Comment on the scope of effort involved in general terms. Objectives Describe the project goals and intended functions and features. Carefully state how you have narrowed or broadened the scope of the project based on available time and labor resource. Comment on critical design parameters and what challenges might stand in the way of accomplishing your design objectives. Be ever alert to professional and societal context of the design objectives as it relates to engineering standards, and realistic constraints that include one or more considerations of economics, environment, sustainability, manufacturing, ethics, health and safety, and social and political impact. Make sure your objectives are clear. Clear objectives lead to a clear plan for generating the tasks to accomplish the design goals. Design Strategy

and with super blocks designed by other teams. Your strategy would be to generate information to be used by another team working on the same project in the following semester. Keep a running log of cost and schedule in your notebook. for example. does not lead to a well-rounded experience. and how the tasks will be shared among the team members. lab equipment. A block diagram format for design strategy presentation may. describe one engineering component or subsystem that most affects the performance of the project. Integrate prototype. If. along with any insights you have gained while performing the analysis. Compute labor cost for each team member on the project as follows: Assumed dream salary ($/hour) * 2. and/or shop service.5 * hours spent = $Total Itemize total labor cost for all partners. Test integrated system). Include a discussion on the interface with other blocks of your super block. This must be decided on case-by-case basis. Design that. papers. and the overall system. and yet another testing. Each block in the super block must be as modular as possible. or more than a semester is needed to finish the project. Separate test procedures should be given for testing individual modules and integrated subsystems. as applicable. or may not be suitable. NOTE: The actual costs and schedule will be part of your Final Report. Assemble this. A typical documentation chapter is between 10-30 . Assemble that. The tasks should be linked to the objectives and the design strategy components.e. Include a list of parts. Cost and Schedule Cost Analysis: Include a cost estimate of the project based on labor and material. Select architecture. and measured values that will assess the project performance. The tasks should be explicitly divided among the team members for a well-rounded experience for all. by week). and websites relevant to the project. on the other hand. all material cost and cost of specialized lab equipment and shop service and determine the grand total for the project.If the deliverable at the end of the semester is a product . use a general block diagram (super block) to convey your design strategy. another simulation. ORGANIZATION OF THE FINAL PROJECT DOCUMENTATION Your project documentation should be written with sufficient details and explanations that a new student can read it and continue your work. so that it can be implemented independently and re-assembled later. Verification Testing Procedures: Outline the test procedures and resulting tables. though not necessarily in exactly the same proportion. Refine prototype. Tolerance Analysis: As part of your project. Prepare mockup. Design this. then your strategy would have to be modified accordingly. All must share these activities. Plan of Action The plan of action consists of various tasks needed to implement the design strategy. or a combination of the two. Describe the function of each block briefly and explain how it contributes to the overall design and feature list above. Schedule: Include a timetable showing when each step in the expected sequence of design and fabrication work will be completed (generally.a piece of hardware or software. the technology needed for product development is not mature. your project were exploratory in nature because. one person doing all the analysis. and another implementation. GUIDELINES FOR UNDERGRADUATE DOCUMENTATION I. graphs. Buy parts. Give the estimated cost of any such items. References Consulted A list of books. To be specific. (i. Later on you will test this component at extremes and include the result in your notebook and final report. as appropriate.

describing procedures. charts. usually between five and 10 pages. and findings are summarized. the project objectives. techniques. If the experimental section is lengthy and detailed. 6. Conclusions and Recommendations . the ones presented in Chapter 1). relevant data. the scope and limitations. It should present some background about the research area. Summary. Also. What are the expected results? Compare this with actual results (plot or tabulate). Results and Discussion This chapter presents in detail all of the experimental procedures actually implemented in the conduct of the study as well as an analysis of all test results. The crux of the report is the analysis and interpretation of the results. Although the organization of every undergraduate project/ research documentation is slightly different. observations. This section should describe what was actually done. What are the mechanics of the test or the procedure for testing? 3. and so on. In this section. the typical documentation consists of the following chapters: Chapter 1. equations. Introduction This chapter is relatively short. every chapter should begin with an Introduction section and end with a Conclusions section. algorithms. It normally consists of several sections related to your research objectives (i. the testing strategies should be presented. and a brief overview of the plan of action. as in synthetic work. What do these results mean? How do they relate to the objectives of the project? Interpret and discuss the significance. Specifically. Chapter 5. and circuit components to use. Literature Review This chapter should present a critical review of the relevant published literature. Chapter 3. This should include block diagrams. Its placement will depend on the nature of the project and the discretion of the writer. and figures can be used effectively to present results clearly and concisely. With the exception of the Introduction chapter. Methodology This chapter includes details about the experimental procedure(s). the motivations for the project. for each test/ procedure. What is the purpose/ objective of the test/ procedure? 2. it can be placed at the end of the report or as an appendix so that it does not interrupt the conceptual flow of the report. What are the quantities to be measured? What are the specific inputs and outputs? 4. Chapter 2. Chapter 4. the following questions should be answered: 1. special precautions.e. It ends with a brief description of the contents of the remaining chapters.pages long including figures. 5. It should be sufficiently detailed that other experienced researchers would be able to repeat the work and obtain comparable results. To what extent have you resolved the problem? Discuss all the errors/ problems encountered during the test and how they were resolved (present troubleshooting techniques). Tabulation of data. the design specifications and implementation details. instrumentation. along with the schedule of implementation (Gantt Chart) and cost analysis. It is a succinct exposition of the laboratory notebook.

Define technical terms once. raw data. codes. when first used.txt” file as in item 2.g. Keep all draft versions of your project documentation until you graduate so that you can keep track of your progress. Make a separate file for every figure.fig file. Refer to your figures in the text of your project documentation. Use descriptive names (e.This chapter is mainly a concise statement/s of the conclusions given in earlier chapters. include a dictionary of variables.g. Back up your files – code. See notes on References. The last section should present recommendations (and basis thereof) for continuations of your research. etc. Appendices Items such as long calculations. ON CODES AND PROGRAMS 1. 3. Add comments to the rest of your program so it can be understood by someone else (your adviser or those who will continue your project…) 5. B. specifications and schematic diagrams. 5. At the top of each program you write. e. should be placed in the appendices. drawing or picture. For example. and documentation . part drawings.txt” in each subdirectory containing details of the contents of all the files in that subdirectory. . 6. 2. 4. Subdirectories can help with this. if you use MatLab to create graphs. General points: A. when first used. save each as a . whenever possible. Also. References References should be numbered in the order they appear in the documentation. Define acronyms once.frequently. Keep and organize all your data files. data files. general_blk_diagram. be careful to use the same term or symbol representation throughout the project documentation. ON THE DOCUMENTATION PROPER 2. For example.jpg) and create a “readme. if writing code in MatLab: % Dictionary of Variables: % A[] Array of coefficients for the polynomial A(z-1) … % thB Base angle of the robot… 4. do use „three-phase‟ and then „3-f‟ or „3-phase‟ in another section or chapter. Be consistent. 3. Create a “readme. Always include page numbers.

e. AC for alternating current). 5. (see sample References) 8. e. 2. Try to keep your writing concise. ON THE LITERATURE REVIEW 1. figures and tables by including the chapter number and the figure number. If you are reporting the final result of a calculation. and of your own work. 5. 9. Number all equations. figures and step-by-step algorithms instead of just words whenever possible. TABLES and EQUATIONS 1. Do not create paragraphs that are too short. A paragraph should be normally at least three (3) sentences long. D.g 4. e. Define all symbols and units.g. “as shown in Figure 4.g. Refer to prior studies in the past tense. Use quantitative (and not qualitative) descriptions whenever possible.” This applies to your entire document. A good rule of thumb is to put no more than two figures per page.g. . C. For example. Only start a new paragraph when discussing a new topic. 4. Include reference numbers and all authors‟ surnames for all work that is not your own. Use SI units always.” only if the paper has more than three authors.g.1 (if the figure is in Chapter 1 and it is figure #1). 7. figures and tables in the documentation by their numbers.g Figure 1. Shorter sentences are preferred because they are easier to read. a “rule of thumb” is to use 3 significant digits. the minimum size should be about 100mm by 100 mm.g. Do not copy-paste equations as figures. 6. or you are reporting theoretical values. You should use the first author‟s surname followed by “et al.7. A measurement should be reported only with the digits you exactly know. If the accuracy of the measurements is unknown. Results should be presented as graphs or tables. then use it. When you resize. e. make sure you keep/lock the aspect ratio. Use equations. Make sure your figures are not too small. Put the figure on the same page as the paragraph the refers to it whenever possible. Be careful with significant digits (also called “significant figures”). do not use VC to refer to a voltage in one chapter and to refer to a velocity in another chapter. e.2…” 4. Use unique names for your variables and constants. “the accuracy is ±2mm” AND NOT “the accuracy is good”. 5. 3.92 mm/s. ON FIGURES. e. it should be reported with the minimum of the number of significant digits of the measurements used in the calculation. “the adaptive algorithm improved the tracking error by 25% in comparison with the PID controller. 2. Comparisons are also desirable. Point out the disadvantages AND disadvantages (or limitations) or prior work of others. Refer to equations. If a standard term or symbol exists for what you are describing (e. “they used” and not “they use”. including literature review. 3. Use Equation Editor or MathType for all equations.

6. 2. it is good to group closely related work together (even if people are from different universities). Wikipedia) unless no other source is available.” is sufficient. It is not necessary to say “in reference [27]…” “In [27]…. References must be numbered in the order in which they appear in the text. You should refer to the original source for the information. If the authors‟ do not state numerical results. Every (important) word in the title of a book must be capitalized. and the lines of each entry indented. The bracketed number should be on the line. (no comma before et) after the name of the first author.” 4. The names of all authors should be given in the references unless the number of authors is greater than six. then get them yourself from their graphs. 10. Phrases such as “for example” should only be given in the text. 11. The reference list must be listed in the order they were cited (numerical order). List only one reference per bracketed number. and before the punctuation: “… end of the line for my research [12]. If there are more than six authors. and what the limitations of the work are. for example: “Cruz’s group at MSU-IIT [8-10] have…” Other examples are: “Brown [7] determined that…” “Smith and Jones [1] and Roberts and Chang [2] produced similar findings.7. Do not use websites (e. if no experimental results were given in the paper. 12. Once you label the source. 5. . Do not mention the date of the reference in the text. A literature review should not simply be a catalog or summary of previous work. For example. [5] or [1] – [5] . Also. 3. you may use et al. 8. ON REFERENCES 1. To cite more than one source at a time: [1]. provide numerical results rather than words like “good” or “excellent”. It is not necessary to mention the author(s) of the reference unless it is relevant to your text. 11. E. Each reference number should be enclosed by square brackets on the text line. In the literature review. 10. The references must not be in alphabetical order. [3]. Subsections are also helpful in this chapter.8. For each paper or article. then state this in your documentation. use the same number in all subsequent references. Usually websites copy information from books or older papers. with a space before the bracket. what the contributions of the work are. 9. Footnotes and other words and phrases not part of the reference format should not be included in the reference list. For formatting of references: use the IEEE style (see sample Reference).” Or if several papers involve microcontroller-based design (for example) then group them together. you should point out what specifically was accomplished. 9.g.

Capitalize only the first word of a paper. Capitalize the “v” in volume for a book title but not for a periodical. and July. June.13. acronyms. or book chapter. Punctuation goes inside the quotation marks. May. You must either spell out the entire name of each periodical you reference or use accepted abbreviations. 18. etc. Every (important) word in the title of a journal or conference must be capitalized. 21. 111-222. but you must either spell out all such occurrences or abbreviate all. December. You may spell words such as volume. etc. Capitalize only the first word of an article title (except for proper nouns. You do not need to abbreviate March. use only one p: p. 19. .111. 17. thesis. To indicate a page range: pp. 14. 16. You must consistently do one or the other. But to reference one page only.) 15. 20..

Argonne. Canada. [6] N. Lasers. [5] J. M. R. Leondes. BUT UNPUBLISHED [8] H.References BOOKS [1] S. Ed. Zhang. “Defuzzification of the outputs of fuzzy controllers.S. “A local adaptive protocol. [9] K. and H. T. K. MANUAL [2] Bell Telephone Laboratories Technical Staff. Bell Telephone Laboratories. Transmission System for Communications.” Argonne National Laboratory. M. Rezi and M. PAPERS PRESENTED AT CONFERENCES. 19. Rep. Egypt. thesis. Ed. New York: McGraw-Hill. Allam. Cairo. REPORTS (technical reports.” in Control and Dynamic Systems. 137-142. Waterloo. France. THESIS or DISSERTATION “Ph. Elliot and C. Y. Vau. thesis. pp. “Techniques in array processing by means of transformations. 1997. June 1997.” [1] H. PERIODICALS [4] G. “TDM and TWDM de Bruijn networks and shufflenets for optical communications. M. Jordan. pp.” presented at 5th International Conference on Fuzzy Systems. A. “The prospects for GaAs MOSFET technology in dc-ac voltage conversion. E. “Delay-insensitive networks. C. Liu. Tech.” M. Reisman. Greene. 564-579. ARTICLES FROM PUBLISHED CONFERENCE PROCEEDINGS The word in before the conference title is not italicized. [3] D. “Power considerations for the modernization of telecommunications in Central and Eastern European and former Soviet Union (CEE/FSU) countries. dissertation. Sarunyagate. 69. Soft Science.” in Proceedings of the Fourth Annual Portable Design Conference. Beveridge and E.” in Second International Telecommunications Energy Special Conference. pp. 1995. Vol. 1997.” IEEE Transactions on Computers. Multidimensional Systems. Osifchin and G.. 1996. vol.” but “M. pp. ON. June 1997. “How easy is matching 2D line models using local search?” IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence. F. 695-701.D. 133-180. 1996. Saskatoon: University of Saskatchewan Press. Al Kuran.S. Lee. 1995. Hemmingsen. memoranda) Provide number and month if available. 46. 916-1010-BB. CLASS NOTES . University of Waterloo. vol. San Diego: Academic Press. internal reports. [7] S. pp. 1997. 1997. 9-16. Nimr. [2] A. 1997.

. 1997. Patent 14.860. MWM-1.uiuc.” U. NY.electronics. Note 935. Brooklyn. July 4. Wein (private communication). December 14.ece." Hybrid plasma equipment model: Inductively coupled plasma reactive ion etching reactors. Winter 1997. Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. I. Appl.ac. University of Illinois at UrbanaChampaign.be). http://uigelz. 25-29.” December 1995.design. Optical.[3] “Signal integrity and interconnects for high-speed applications. CATALOG Catalog No.” class notes for ECE 497JS.S.edu/Projects/HPEMICP/index. M. Lipeless. Kimura and A. . APPLICATION NOTES [7] Hewlett-Packard. W. PATENTS [8] K. “Re: Question on transformerless power supply.html [6] D. Poelman (dirk_poelman@rug. 1996.” Usenet post to sci. Microwave Corp. and Discharge Physics Group. FROM THE INTERNET [5] Computational. pp.040. 1997. “Fuzzy Controller Component. University of Illinois at UrbanaChampaign. Microwave Components. PRIVATE COMMUNICATION [4] T.

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