Representative Projects

Every semester, we gather students after the end of semester party to present projects they have done in courses, as part of independent study courses, or jointly a research projects. To see an array of projects pursued by students, you are encouraged to read through these project descriptions below. Note, we include both early and late-stage students in these presentations.

For more information on courses focused on research, projects, and/or engaged learning, see the following:

  1. Independent Study (COMP 398/490)
  2. Research methods in Computer Science (1 credit hour, COMP 397 spring semester)
  3. Computer Science Seminar (1 credit hour, COMP 399)
  4. Engaged learning courses (COMP 312/412, 390, 392, 391/499, 398/490)
  5. UNIV 102: Intro to CS projects and research (for freshmen)

Projects are the bread and butter of the CS experience. Beyond the learning experience and credit you receive they are often uniquely fun and rewarding. And don’t forget, we always celebrate projects at the end of each semester with quick presentations after the end-of-semester party.

  1. COMP 398/490: Independent Study

If you want to pursue a project outside the scope of a class, this is the most general route to receiving credit toward graduation. It’s also the simplest way to receive significant advising, as many projects are collaborations with faculty who also maintain related resources.

You sign up for a COMP 398 (undergrad) or 490 (grad) after discussion with the faculty member you will partner with - criteria for working on these differ slightly among faculty by design, but here’s a helpful orientation, since independent study typically comes in two flavors. Some faculty will only take independent study students who are interested in contributing to long-term research efforts, generally aimed at producing results available to the wider academic community - often team efforts requiring more than a semester from start to finish so your efforts will often be a piece of a larger project. Another common option is developing an independent study for a personal project or independent learning experience; note, however, that often these efforts must be independent efforts with less faculty involvement, so establishing clear goals and criteria for completion are the student’s responsibility.

To pursue an independent study project, first consider if you have the required experience to pursue a project of interest - often it is best to do independent study projects after foundational courses are out of the way. Second, if you have an idea of your project goals, contact the relevant faculty member. Once you have mutually agreeable goals, you will be enrolled through an email send to the department.

Note that pursuing an independent study course is not intended to be a substitute for performing well in traditional courses. Faculty may wish to look at your record before agreeing to supervise an independent study project, and students should anticipate that faculty may insist students have at least a 3.0 GPA.

  1. COMP 397: Research Methods in Computer Science (1 credit hour)

The spring research seminar supplements the CS Seminar by specifically aiming at students who will directly engage in research and to facilitate their contributions in their ongoing projects. This course is designed to emphasize the tools and techniques in research collaboration, analysis, and presentation to help project groups outside the course to focus on content. Progress is encouraged and tracked in projects outside the course through milestones such as abstracts, small fellowship-style proposals, informal updates, and outcome-oriented goal setting where appropriate.

  1. COMP 399: CS Seminar (1 credit hour)

The CS seminar is an opportunity to engage with other students as well as the various speakers and events supported by the CS department. Past seminars have include internal faculty speakers and external speakers focusing on such topics as Big Data analytics, spatial statistics, STEM outreach, game design, and digital music. The seminar also supports local competitions such as a recent Loyola hackathon competition in the Fall and a Datafest analytics competition in the Spring. Requirements include reasonable attendance expectations and brief write-ups about your experiences.

  1. Engaged learning courses

These are courses specifically with a project-oriented or applied learning focus, satisfying the Engaged Learning Core requirement for undergrads at Loyola. These engaged learning courses can be used towards the “Practicum” requirement applicable to most computing majors.

  1. UNIV 102-X: Intro to CS research for freshmen - FYRE program (Spring)

This course will introduce students to the project-focused environment that is part of a typical undergraduate student experience in computer science. In CS, interesting projects are performed as group projects in courses, independent study research experiences with faculty, or in collaboration with industry partners. The course may also selectively coordinate with COMP 397/399 for opportunities to observe interesting work and learn some of the tools used in performing those projects.