SI 485: Information Analytics Project

The goal of the UMSI Information Analytics (IA) final project course is to give seniors in the BSI project an experience of excellence in working on real-world projects that involve data gathering, manipulation, analysis, and visualization, in cooperation with a project sponsor.

A small team of students works over the course of about 15 weeks to solve a problem specified by the sponsor that requires building software to process, integrate, and analyze existing datasets, or to create new datasets.  

Teams consist typically of four students, with each student working 10 to 15 hours per week throughout the main project term (currently Winter).  Student teams have their initial meetings with the sponsor during a preparation period in the fall term to define project requirements and desired outcomes, and then meet regularly (e.g. once per week) during the winter term while the actual project is in progress.  At a few designated milestones, sponsors provide feedback and evaluation that forms part of the final course assessment.

Ideal projects

Projects for the UMSI IA final project course have the following characteristics:

  • The project should be data-centric and revolve around large-scale dataset(s), with students working on problems of data manipulation, analysis, and visualization of data
  • The project should involve significant technical work, with corresponding amounts of programming and/or data analysis scripting
  • The project should represent about 60 hours per week of work during the winter semester (acknowledging that ech project will be matched with a team of four students. Each student should be working about 15 hours per week.)

 Example of good projects might include:

  • Parsing, analyzing and interpreting Web log data for your organization/commercial enterprise
  • Using enterprise-scale data to improve performance, outcomes, or understanding of a problem
  • Developing a data manipulation/cleaning pipeline with Web-based visual summaries for your dataset(s)

 Examples of less desirable projects would include:

  • Mission-critical components, or processes with critical dependencies on other projects
  • Projects that do not involve significant technical/programming work
  • Projects that do not have a well-defined outcome or path to judging success

Expectations of clients

Each project sponsor is required to designated a project liaison. The liaison's responsibilities include: meeting initially a few times during the fall with the students to define the project requirements, and then regularly (e.g. once per week) during the winter term while the actual project is in progress. At a few designated milestones, the liasion would provide team feedback and evaluation that forms part of the final course assessment

Project proposal submission

Interested organizations may send project ideas to Associate Professor Kevyn Collins-Thompson by October 28.

Contact information

Kevyn Collins-Thompson
Associate Professor
734/615-2132
kevynct@umich.edu