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University Bulletin
Undergraduate Degree Programs

These course descriptions are not being updated as of August 1, 2016. Current course descriptions are maintained in LionPATH.

Computer Science (CMPSC)

CMPSC 487W Software Engineering and Design (3) Software development process, life cycle; requirements analysis, specification, design, prototyping, testing, project management, and documentation.

CMPSC 487W Software Engineering and Design (3)

The primary goal of this course is to familiarize students with the wide variety of techniques and methodologies used in software engineering to assist in the development of large software systems. Issues discussed include the human factors involved in developing software, models of the software development process, the use of formal methods in software engineering, software validation and verification, and software maintenance.

A second goal is to help students understand the importance of written communication in software engineering, and to provide opportunities for students to improve the quality of their writing - specifically in describing software systems. The primary means of accomplishing this goal is a semester long project in which students write requirements for a large software system. In writing these requirements, students describe the system for non-technical readers (clients and users) and specify it for technical readers (other system developers).

A final goal is to emphasize the role of teams in software development. Modern software systems are simply too large to reasonably be produced by one person, so the ability to work as part of a team is vital. To support achieving this goal, techniques and tools for working in groups are discussed in the course, and students work on the semester project in teams.

This course is a required course in the computer science (COMP) BS curriculum, and is intended to be taken by seniors as the capstone course for the major. As such, the course integrates material from many (potentially all) of the undergraduate computer science courses. This course is also available as an elective for students in the MS COMP program.

General Education: None
Diversity: None
Bachelor of Arts: None
Effective: Spring 2014
Prerequisite: ENGL 202C, CMPSC 221, CMPSC 462

Note : Class size, frequency of offering, and evaluation methods will vary by location and instructor. For these details check the specific course syllabus.


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Course descriptions are stored in LionPATH, the University-wide student information system. Please visit the LionPATH Course Catalog to access current course descriptions. At that point, you will be leaving the University Bulletin website.

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