Information Technology Projects
Information Technology Projects (Projects) offers students real-world
experience understanding and solving Information Technology software and
system problems. The course involves a set of projects at clients such
as local corporations and other institutions. We organize students in teams
of about four. Each team undertakes one IT project that lasts the semester.
In the classroom we study project management and network software. The
project issues include project specification, consulting project management,
technology planning and training, and communicating to management. The
network software issues include distributed system design, software standardization,
and technology trends.
Professor: Arthur Goldberg
Course home page: http://goldberg.cs.nyu.edu:8888/itp/SU97/index.html
Update history: Apr. 15, 21, May 21
Time: Wednesday, 6:00 to 8:20 PM, plus about one day a week
at your client
Place: Room 101, Warren Weaver Hall
Email beacon: firstname.lastname@example.org
Email: email: email@example.com
Office: 715 Broadway, Room 711
Home page: http://goldberg.cs.nyu.edu:8888/
Office hours: Meetings by appointment only
We recruit local corporations and other institutions to provide interesting
projects. We will select projects that teach students about technologically
important systems. We seek problems which involve widely used technologies
of growing influence. These technologies include the Internet, the World
Wide Web, Intranets, Java, Lotus Notes, and parallel programming. To increase
the resources available to students, we also try to obtain projects which
use technologies that are available in our campus computing environment.
We will consider projects involving other important technical areas of
mutual interest to students and clients.
In the past three years we've worked with the following clients and completed
the following projects.
Andersen Consulting, LLP: Evaluate and select an Intranet based shared
Home Box Office (HBO): Design DB scheduling for www.hbo.com and for film
The Hypertext Neurological Knowledgebase (THyNK): Design infrastructure
for a Web site containing 20,000 pages of information about neurology.
ILX Systems, Inc.: Produce GIFs of stock prices and analyses of late programming
Lehman Bros.: Analyze the speed performance of Lehman's Intranet.
Union Bank of Switzerland: Design and build NetChat, a combination of Netnews
and Internet Relay Chat, for use by traders.
Andersen Consulting: Configure and install network management software
Cybersurfer Dream Team Studios: Build entertainment code for www.restaurantcity.com
ILX Systems: Design and develop Java code for distributing real-time market
Simon & Schuster: Develop intranet interfaces to product and phonebook
United Neighborhood Houses: Develop and deploy an intranet phonebook system
ComputerWorld quoted a student and Prof. Goldberg discussing this course
in the Fall 96 Campus edition, saying:
Andersen Consulting: Evaluate operations software for the Financial Ideas
Citicorp: Assist HR with technology and policy issues related to connecting
to the Internet
Republic National Bank: Evaluate and test tools for converting legacy documents
Sony: Evaluate tools for an entertaining Web site
"It was very easy getting used to work. I knew it would be," says Sandhya
Gabbur, a New York University Business school graduate who started working
in the IS field as part of a college course. Gabbur is now an assistant
Java programmer at ILX Systems, Inc. in New York, the financial services
firm where she worked during college. She develops Java-based charging
applets for calculating market data.
Arthur Goldberg, a professor at NYU's Stern School of Business, agrees.
"My experience has been that workers in corporations work mostly on projects
with teams under certain deadlines and students needed to get those experiences
in school" to limit stress once in the workforce, he says.
Clients For Summer 97
As of May 21, I have arranged projects with the following organizations:
In exchange for our assistance, our clients are required to provide adequate
resources for students to learn and to succeed on the project. A client
technical manager will spend one half to one a day a week supervising students.
The client is also required to provide facilities, such as computers, software
and office space for students to make significant progress during the course.
Interactions with clients may provide opportunities for full-time employment
following the course. Four students have obtained jobs during the last
Some clients will be donating significant money to NYU in recognition
of the work we do in the course.
Students will work in teams composed of CS and MS in IS students. At the
first class meeting each student will rank each proposed project's desirability
on a scale from 1 to 10. Prof. Goldberg will assign students to teams by
the second class. He will try to maximize the class's total satisfaction,
assign students to projects for which they're skilled, and allocate some
CS and some MS in IS students to each team. Each expertise and talent will
support the other, so CS students with relatively modest management and/or
English experience can feel comfortable, as should MS in IS students with
less technical experience.
We encourage clients to break projects into 1 and 2 person tasks so
team members can work fairly independently.
In the summer of 1997, the Projects course can accommodate at most 16 students
in 4 projects.
To work productively on a project a student must possess sufficient technical
and/or managerial skills. These skills can be obtained by academic training
and/or experience. In particular, for CS students, the Software Engineering
course is a pre- or co-requisite.
As the set of skills cannot be precisely specified, interested students
should contact Prof. Arthur Goldberg (firstname.lastname@example.org) for permission to
register. Email a resume or short biography. Prof. Goldberg will respond
via email, within 2 weeks or by May 12, whichever occurs first.
Anina Karmen-Mead will email admitted students a 4-digit access code. Register
for the course as "Advanced Laboratory in Information Systems" (G22.3812.001).
CS students can register by calling TorchTone and providing the access
code. Unfortunately, students enrolled in Stern must appear in person at
Students who work must consider whether participating in a project--and
interning for a Projects course client--will involve a conflict-of-interest
with their employer. Prof. Goldberg has checked, and none of our clients
consider it a conflict if a student intern works elsewhere, as long as
the employer does not compete with the client. Students should obtain
their employer's approval to intern, if they feel it is necessary.
At some clients, students will access proprietary information protected
as trade secrets. Student interns at these clients may be asked to sign
a legal document called a non-disclosure which promises that they will
not communicate trade secrets learned at work outside the client. If you
indicate interest in a particular project, we assume that you're willing
to sign a non-disclosure for that client. Prof. Goldberg will sign the
non-disclosure too. Students who work should obtain their employer's authorization
to sign the non-disclosure, if they feel permission is necessary.
Projects, like all graduate CS courses at NYU, demand significant effort.
Doing a good job requires about 10 hours of work a week; doing a great
job requires more.
We meet as a class about 9 out of 12 weeks. The tentative semester schedule
is below. Class attendance is mandatory, as class meetings include technical
and operational lectures by both students and Prof. Goldberg.
Most clients are corporations which work "regular business hours". Projects
involve coordination among students, and between students and the client.
Students and clients are strongly urged to arrange a mutually convenient
weekday on which students will work weekly at the client site. Some clients
may work weekends and/or evenings, and may be able to schedule the regular
meeting outside of business hours.
Students who are full-time employees
Some students who work full-time want to take Projects. They may do so.
Students unable to work at client sites during "regular business hours"
should apply for projects whose regular meetings occur outside of business
hours or at NYU. Prof. Goldberg will attempt to assign them accordingly.
However, no student can be guaranteed assignment to a project that works
outside regular business hours.
Resources for running special individual projects are not available.
Semester project schedule
To complete the projects during our 12 week summer semester, Projects is
scheduled tightly. The Summer '97 schedule follows:
May 15: Prof. Goldberg enrolls a selected group of students.
By May 20: Prospective clients submit project proposals. Proposals will
be published on NYU's Web to advertise the course to students.
May 21: Students rank proposals. The projects which really excite the
students get staffed. In past years, Prof. Goldberg's been able to assign
95% of students to projects that they rank 9 or 10 out of 10. Winning and
losing clients are notified immediately.
May 22: Students are told their project assignments by email.
May 22 through May 30: Liaisons schedule kickoff meetings at clients.
One student, designated the liaison, is responsible for scheduling the
kickoff meeting and for scheduling a mutually convenient weekly time at
which the client's project manager(s) and the student team can meet and
work together at the client's site. The meeting should be scheduled as
early as possible.
May 26 through June 6: We hold a 3 hour kickoff meeting at each client.
The student team and Prof. Goldberg meet the client's authorizing and project
manager(s). The client explains the set of projects we could work on in
much greater detail than the proposal. Together, we select a mutually satisfactory
subset of projects to pursue. We identify each student's particular responsibility.
Each student leaves with the beginnings of a clear understanding of the
project they will work on.
June 2 through August 7: Each team works for about 10 weeks with their
client. Students meet weekly with their project manager. Prof. Goldberg
supervises and teaches the class at a weekly meeting at NYU. We study technology,
project management and presentation skills.
Week of July 7 to 11: We hold a 2 hour mid-course correction meeting
at each client. The student team and Prof. Goldberg meet with the
client's project manager(s). We evaluate the project's progress and set
clear goals for the rest of the work.
Weeks of August 4 to 15: At a 2 hour wrap-up meeting at the end of the
semester the team and Prof. Goldberg meet with the client's authorizing
and project manager(s) at the client. Students present their results and
hand-off their work to clients.
August 7: At a half-day Demo Show at NYU all teams present their results
to all clients, interested faculty and other students.
Class Meeting Schedule
Both students and Prof. Goldberg will speak in class. The schedule will
be revised as the semester progresses. As of April 15, the lecture schedule
21-May: Professor: Information Technology Projects: Introduction and Logistics
28-May: Professor: How to deliver a technical lecture; network application
software; teamwork and problem solving skills
4-June: No Meeting
11-June: Students: Technical Lecture
18-June: Students: Technical Lecture
25-June: Professor: Programming Principles Applied to Reviewing Code
2-July: Student Progress / Code Review Presentations
9-July: No Meeting
16-July: Student Progress / Code Review Presentations
23-July: Professor: Topic to be determined
30-July: Students: "Demo Show" dry run, Part I
4-August: : Special Monday meeting - "Demo Show" dry run, Part II
6-August, 6 p.m. to 11 p.m.: "Demo Show" 'dress' rehearsal
7-August, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.: "Demo Show"
Student Responsibilities and Evaluation
Each student is primarily responsible for working on their project, making
progress towards its goal, and transferring their results to the client
at the end of the semester.
In the classroom, each student will make three presentations to the
class: an overview of the technology involved in their project, a discussion
of their project and its progress, and a final presentation of their accomplishments.
These presentations serve several purposes: Motivate you to become more
skilled in the software you'll be using; give you practice delivering presentations;
and teach the rest of the class.
Each student will be expected to write a report describing their work;
the report will be delivered to the client at the end of the semester.
Student evaluation is distributed as follows:
Three in-class presentations (technical,
progress, Demo Show) 30%
Emailed progress reports 5%
Accomplishment in the project 40%
Final report 25%
Whenever possible, clients will provide computing resources. In addition,
the CS department will provide.
Unix machines - Prof. Goldberg will have accounts created and disk space
allocated on Warren Weaver Hall machines as needed.
PCs - The course owns one Pentium 100 MHZ, 1.6 G, CD-ROM, high speed video
card, multimedia PC. It will be located in a public place. We'll use it
to test and develop software. It runs Windows NT 3.51.
Email and the email beacon
All students and client supervisors must read and respond to Internet email
daily. All students should join the email@example.com
class mailing list. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with
in the message body. Prof. Goldberg will use it to multicast email to the
class. Each project will form its own mailing list, named "projects_<project_name>".
Team Web Page
Each project will need a Web page. The page will contain
One student, called the Project Web master, will have primary responsibility
for maintaining the Web page. Everyone else will be able to contribute
to it. We will make the page visible to students in the course and
the client, but invisible to the rest of the world.
A description of the project
Names and contact information for students working on the project
Names and contact information for the project's manager(s)
Pointers to Web resources of use in the project
Copies of presentations students have delivered about the project
Other materials produced in the project, including
Each team needs a team liaison responsible for organizing interaction
with the client. The liaison's job includes
If you want to be your team's liaison, volunteer.
Schedule initial and final meetings with team, client and Prof. Goldberg.
Schedule first couple meetings between client and team.
Each student must send Prof. Goldberg a weekly email progress report
on Thursday before class. While this sounds bureaucratic and impersonal,
but it's the only way I can efficiently track all the students in the course.
Spend 5-15 minutes composing the progress report (so if you work 8 hours/week
on the class the report takes at most 3% of class time). Writing the report
will help you evaluate how you're doing. The report contains:
Please email the report with a subject line of:
Description of the week's goal(s)
Description of progress towards the goals(s)
Description of obstacles (s) making progress difficult
List of ways, if any, Prof. Goldberg could help progress
Projects; "client name"; "week number"
where weeks are numbered starting with May 28, so Prof. Goldberg's
software can parse and organize reports.
This document and associated materials were authored or compiled by
Arthur Goldberg. This compilation and supporting electronic teaching materials
may be freely used for non-commercial use provided any electronic or print
version includes this notice. All rights reserved. Copyright Arthur P.