Senior Design

Each fall, CS Lecturer Michael Woodley welcomes a new group of students to the 2-semester senior projects course (CS 492/4). He invites the students to apply to work on projects with corporate clients, or he matches them with projects for clients in the non-profit sector. Either way, the students begin one of the most  challenging yet valuable classes in their undergraduate career.

According to Woodley, in eight short months, the students will apply years of knowledge to solving a real-world problem. In the process, they will have learned how to: work with colleagues—a typical project has four students—define a problem, develop and test a solution, and communicate their progress to their client.

This past spring, more than 140 students completed 30+ projects—the most ever in the course’s 14-year history. In April, they presented their research results to clients, faculty, and fellow students at the Senior Projects Showcase in Siebel Center. One of those projects, SugarCUB3D, taught children introductory programming concepts and then rewarded them by 3D printing their initials with icing on an Oreo cookie.

Other memorable projects over the years include real-time facial recognition and memory software for Rockwell Collins, a mobile app that enabled cancer patients undergoing treatment to easily schedule help from their friends with meals and other tasks, and geographic information technology that converts map data into games.  

Woodley encourages companies to consider sponsoring one or more projects, especially since students interested in working for a corporate client submit their resumes as part of the matching process at the start of the course.

In the spring 2017 semester, Woodley will offer a similar projects course for juniors, which will benefit both the students and the clients.

Interested in sponsoring a CS 492/4 course senior project?

  • Visit the Project Sponsor FAQ Page
  • Contact Mike Woodley at: mwoodley@illinois.edu
  • Cost is $12,000.
  • Course runs from late August until mid-April.
  • Company representatives pitch their projects to all the enrolled students at the start of the fall semester. After reviewing student resumes, company reps can help select students for their project.