Final Project

The climax of this course is its final project. The final project is your opportunity to take your newfound savvy with programming out for a spin and develop your very own piece of software. So long as your project draws upon the course’s lessons, the nature of your project is entirely up to you, albeit subject to the staff’s approval. You may implement your project in any language(s) as long as the staff approves. You are welcome to utilize any infrastructure, provided the staff ultimately has access to any hardware and software that your project requires. All that we ask is that you build something of interest to you, that you solve an actual problem, that you impact campus, or that you change the world. Strive to create something that outlives this course.

Inasmuch as software development is rarely a one-person effort, you are allowed an opportunity to collaborate with one or two classmates for this final project. Needless to say, it is expected that every student in any such group contribute equally to the design and implementation of that group’s project. Moreover, it is expected that the scope of a two- or three-person group’s project be, respectively, twice or thrice that of a typical one-person project. A one-person project, mind you, should entail more time and effort than is required by each of the course’s problem sets. Although no more than three students may design and implement a given project, you are welcome to solicit advice from others, so long as you respect the course’s policy on academic honesty.

Graduate and professional students are expected to produce a final project that is 50% greater in scope than what is expected of undergraduate students.

Extensions on the final project are not ordinarily granted, except in cases of emergency.

Ideas

Here are just some of the possibilities. Discuss any and all with your TA! And if you’d like to solicit collaborators for an idea you have, do post in the course’s Q&A forum!

  • a web-based application using JavaScript, Python, and SQL, based in part on the web track’s distribution code
  • an iOS app using Swift
  • a game using Lua with LÖVE
  • an Android app using Java
  • a Chrome extension using JavaScript
  • a command-line program using C
  • a hardware-based application for which you program some device

If you’d like to borrow or buy some software or hardware for a project, email heads@cs50.yale.edu, and we’ll do our best to lend a hand.

Combining Courses

If taking some other course this semester that has a final project, you are welcome and encouraged to combine this course’s project and that course’s project into one, toward an end of applying lessons learned in CS50 to some other field, so long as the joint project satisfies this course’s and that course’s expectations. Before pursuing a joint project, though, you must disclose to both courses and receive approval from both courses (as from your TA in CS50).

Specifications

Extensions on the final project are not granted, except in cases of emergency.

Preproposal

due by Sun 11/10, 11:59pm

Intended to promote early thought, the preproposal is your opportunity to bounce one or more ideas off of your TA. If collaborating with one or two classmates, each of you should submit a preproposal, even if identical.

Here’s how to submit your preproposal. Log into CS50 IDE and then, in a terminal window:

  • Execute cd to ensure that you’re in ~/ (i.e., your home directory).
  • Execute mkdir project to make (i.e., create) a directory called project in your home directory.
  • Execute cd project to change into (i.e., open) that directory.
  • Execute wget http://cdn.cs50.net/2018/fall/project/preproposal.zip to download a (compressed) ZIP file.
  • Execute unzip preproposal.zip to uncompress that file.
  • Execute rm preproposal.zip followed by yes or y to delete that ZIP file.
  • Execute ls. You should see a directory called preproposal, which was inside of that ZIP file.
  • Execute cd preproposal to change into that directory.
  • Execute ls. You should see a file called README.md therein.

Edit that file in CS50 IDE, answering the questions therein.

Then execute the below from within your ~/project/preproposal directory, logging in with your GitHub username and password when prompted. For security, you’ll see asterisks (*) instead of the actual characters in your password.

submit50 cs50/problems/2019/yale/project/preproposal

Proposal

due by Sun 11/17, 11:59pm

The proposal is your opportunity to receive approval and counsel from your TA before you proceed to design. If collaborating with one or two classmates, each of you should submit a proposal, even if identical.

Your TA will either approve your proposal or require modifications on your part for subsequent approval. Your proposal, even if approved, is not binding; you may alter your plan at any point, provided you obtain your TA’s approval for any modifications. Projects submitted without approval may not receive credit.

After submitting your proposal, a TA other than your own may be appointed your advisor and grader for the remainder of the final project, depending on your proposal’s nature.

Here’s how to submit your proposal.

Step 1 of 2

Submit this form.

Step 2 of 2

Log into CS50 IDE and then, in a terminal window:

  1. Execute cd to ensure that you’re in ~/ (i.e., your home directory).
  2. If you haven’t already, execute mkdir project to make (i.e., create) a directory called project in your home directory.
  3. Execute cd project to change into (i.e., open) that directory.
  4. Execute wget https://cdn.cs50.net/2019/fall/project/proposal.zip to download a (compressed) ZIP file.
  5. Execute unzip proposal.zip to uncompress that file.
  6. Execute rm proposal.zip followed by yes or y to delete that ZIP file.
  7. Execute ls. You should see a directory called proposal, which was inside of that ZIP file.
  8. Execute cd proposal to change into that directory.
  9. Execute ls. You should see a file called README.md therein.

Edit that file in CS50 IDE, answering the questions therein.

Then execute the below from within your ~/project/proposal directory, logging in with your GitHub username and password when prompted. For security, you’ll see asterisks (*) instead of the actual characters in your password.

submit50 cs50/problems/2019/yale/project/proposal

Status Report

due by Mon 12/2, 11:59pm

Not only is the status report intended to keep the staff apprised of your progress, it is an opportunity to keep yourself on track. If collaborating with one or two classmates, each of you should submit a status report, even if identical.

Here’s how to submit your status report. Log into CS50 IDE and then, in a terminal window:

  1. Execute cd to ensure that you’re in ~/ (i.e., your home directory).
  2. If you haven’t already, execute mkdir project to make (i.e., create) a directory called project in your workspace directory.
  3. Execute cd project to change into (i.e., open) that directory.
  4. Execute wget https://cdn.cs50.net/2019/fall/project/status.zip to download a (compressed) ZIP file.
  5. Execute unzip status.zip to uncompress that file.
  6. Execute rm status.zip followed by yes or y to delete that ZIP file.
  7. Execute ls. You should see a directory called status, which was inside of that ZIP file.
  8. Execute cd status to change into that directory.
  9. Execute ls. You should see a file called status.md therein.

Edit that file in CS50 IDE, answering the questions therein.

Then execute the below from within your ~/project/status directory, logging in with your GitHub username and password when prompted. For security, you’ll see asterisks (*) instead of the actual characters in your password.

submit50 cs50/problems/2019/yale/project/status

CS50 Hackathon

Tue 12/3, 7pm – Wed 12/4, 7am

The CS50 Hackathon is an epic all-nighter across the river atop the i-lab during which you can dive into your final project’s implementation alongside classmates and staff. If you choose to partake, you’ll be asked to propose three milestones for yourself that evening: a “good” one that you intend to achieve no matter what; a “better” one that you think you can achieve; and a “best” one that you hope to achieve.

Dinner will be served around 9pm, second dinner will be served around 1am, and those still standing around 5am will be treated to breakfast at IHOP.

Transportation to and from the CS50 Hackathon in Cambridge will be provided, with buses leaving Yale by 4pm and returning to Yale by 10am.

Implementation

due by Sun 12/8, 11:59pm

Ultimately due are implementation and documentation of your final project. Your submission thereof must include all of the below.

  1. Documentation for your project in the form of a Markdown file called README.md. This documentation is to be a user’s manual for your project. Though the structure of your documentation is entirely up to you, it should be incredibly clear to the staff how and where, if applicable, to compile, configure, and use your project. Your documentation should be at least several paragraphs in length. It should not be necessary for us to contact you with questions regarding your project after its submission. Hold our hand with this documentation; be sure to answer in your documentation any questions that you think we might have while testing your work.
  2. A “design document” for your project in the form of a Markdown file called DESIGN.md that discusses, technically, how you implemented your project and why you made the design decisions you did. Your design document should be at least several paragraphs in length. Whereas your documentation is meant to be a user’s manual, consider your design document your opportunity to give the staff a technical tour of your project underneath its hood.
  3. Any and all files required to run your software (even if intended for some infrastructure other than CS50 IDE), including source code as well as, if applicable, configuration files, Makefiles, sample inputs, SQLite databases, and so forth. Needless to say, all source code should be thoroughly commented.
  4. A short video (that’s no more than 2 minutes in length) in which you present your project to the world, as with slides, screenshots, voiceover, and/or live action. Your video should somehow include your project’s title, your name and year, your dorm/house and concentration, and any other details that you’d like to convey to viewers. See CS171’s tips on how to make a “screencast” though you’re welcome to use an actual camera. Upload your video to YouTube as “public” or “unlisted” and take note of its URL.

How to Submit

If you have collaborated with one or two other students, each of you should submit via this same process.

If your project requires (for execution and testing) hardware or software other than that offered by CS50 IDE, be sure that the TA advising you is aware of and has approved your project’s needs.

Step 1 of 2

Execute the below from within whatever directory contains your final project, logging in with your GitHub username and password when prompted. For security, you’ll see asterisks (*) instead of the actual characters in your password.

submit50 cs50/problems/2019/yale/project/implementation

If your final project is not in CS50 IDE, you can install submit50 on your own computer by running pip3 install submit50 (after first installing Python 3). You can also upload a ZIP of your project directly to submit.cs50.io.

Step 2 of 2

Submit this form!

This last form is on the longer side, so no worries if you start it before the deadline but finish a bit after.

CS50 Fair

Thu 12/12, 1pm – 3pm, subject to change

The CS50 Fair is an epic display of final projects, your opportunity to showcase your work not only to us but also to others on campus. You will be expected to bring to the CS50 Fair a laptop with which to demonstrate your project. Plan to tell attendees what you have done and why you have done it. And perhaps have in mind a few anecdotes about lessons you learned, roadblocks you hit, or the like.

The CS50 Fair will take place in Yale on York.