Independent Study Proposal Guidelines

Professor Krebsbach


Students wishing to do an independent study in computer science with Professor Krebsbach must submit a written proposal at least one month in advance of the relevant term. The proposal process is an important and necessary part of the overall project, and you should expect it to take 2-3 iterations to reach agreement on the details of the project, so early submissions are encouraged.


Please use the following outline when preparing your proposal. Areas not satisfactorily addressed at the outset will need to be rewritten prior to approval. A good proposal can probably be written in about two single-spaced pages.


Problem Statement


One paragraph describing the problem to be solved, why it is interesting, and how it is different from already-solved problems. While an independent study need not be cutting-edge, original research, it cannot simply be a re-creation of an example from a textbook or other source. The work should be original to you.


Technical Background


Less than one page (plus diagrams if appropriate) describing the technical details necessary to understand the goals of the project. This section should summarize well-understood principles from your preliminary reading, details you’ve already worked out, and any other information to allow the general reader to understand the problem you proposed to solve in the Problem Statement.


Statement of Work


Two to three paragraphs stating specifically what activities you intend to engage in and the goals these activities are intended to achieve. This section should be as specific as possible.


Specific Plan of Action and Timeline


One paragraph (possibly with a chart or diagram) describing when you expect to begin and end each activity listed above. This section should make it clear that you will have sufficient time in the course of a term to complete all activities and achieve your goals by the end of the term.


Testing Strategy


One to two paragraphs summarizing how you intend to demonstrate and test what you’ve created. In particular, this section should make it clear how we will determine when the project is done, and whether the project has succeeded.