CSc 59866/7 Capstone I/II Fall 2022 -Spring 2023

BEAT+: Adding Branding and Entrepreneurship for Real-World  Applications Using Emerging Technologies: AI, AR/VR, AT, and Apps

Congratulations to Class 2022-2023!


Technical Instructors:

  • Zhigang Zhu, Herbert G. Kayser Professor, Department of Computer Science

Branding and Entrepreneurial Instructors:

Community Partners:

Application Information and Links

Program Description

The program BEAT+ is an extended version of the last three years success, and we emphasize four components: Branding, Entrepreneurship, Applications, and Technologies. Undergraduate Seniors in CS and CpE will work in teams to design emerging technical solutions in Artificial Intelligence (AI), Augmented and Virtual Reality (AR/VR), Assistive Technology (AT), data analytics and app development skills to solve real-world application problems for social good and national priorities. Teams will  learn basic branding principles (how to design user interfaces and communicate with end users and community partners about their technical solutions). Teams will be encouraged to participate in academic research projects, the CCNY Zahn Innovation competitions and NYSID’s CREATE competition. We will invite collaborators from both academia and industry as the BEAT+ mentors and evaluators.

Senior Design Wiki Pages (Internal Use Only)

Capstone I Course Syllabus Fall 2022

(Fall 2022 academic calendar)
Capstone I Class Meet Time & Location: Monday 10:00AM – 12:30PM In-Person [NAC 5/109] or occasionally over Zoom Link  for presentations to or by the community partners (passcode will be sent via email)
Office Hours: Every Thursday  2:00 pm – 4:00 pm, [Online meeting Zoom Link]

  • Week 1 (08/29). (1) 10:00 am – Introduction (Zhu). (2) 10:45 am- CREATE Opportunities [promotion video] (Megan L. Tatro, Social Media and Marketing Strategist, NYSID) (3) 11:15 am Goodwill Industries OPWDD Independent and Employment Services (Celina Cavalluzzi, Assistant Vice President, Goodwill NY/NJ). (4) 11:45 am – Past project showcases (slides) and project design brainstorming. Assignment 1. Please submit a 1-page resume with your interest for a project topic and teaming. Email to Professor Zhigang Zhu at Due on 09/07 (Wednesday midnight). — Grading So Far.
  • Week 2 (09/12)- zoom meeting. (1) An entrepreneurial seminar  on entrepreneurship and Zahn Center competitions (Chris Bobko – Zahn Innovation Center). Here is a page with links to key events of the Zahn Center. (2) Project topics from domain experts: (a) Digital Twins for Navigation and Safety (Arber Ruci/Fani Maksakuli/Jin Chen, Nearabl); (b) AR/VR for Simulation and Training (Professor Hao Tang, BMCC/CUNY); (c) Gamification for Vision Training (Dr. Bill Seiple, Lighthouse Guild); (d) Adaptive Systems for Inclusive Urban Space (Zihao Zhang, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Cybernetic Environment Lab, Graduate Landscape Architecture Program, Spitzer School of Architecture, The City College of New York).
  • Week 3 (09/19). [SITE VISIT] We will arrange in-person visit to Goodwill site of the Possibilities & Advance Programs at 413 East 120th Street, 5th floor, Harlem NY 10035, so we will not have a regular class meet. Besides their ASD programs Goodwill is also running programs for people with intellectual disabilities (ID/DD)and serve a few people with physical disabilities, visual impairments, and hearing loss in these programs.
  • Week 4 (09/29 Thursday but on Monday schedules). Project proposal development. (1) Please do check online for literature and existing projects that have similar ideas of your projects. (2) [SITE VISIT] We will arrange in-person visit to Goodwill site of the Possibilities & Advance Programs at 413 East 120th Street, 5th floor, Harlem NY 10035, so we will not have a regular class meet. (3) I will host two zoom sections using the class Zoom Link to discuss with two groups of teams on your topic refinements: [Group A] 10:00 am – 11:00 am: The four teams visited Goodwill on 09/19; [Group B] 11:30 am – 12:30 pm: The four teams visited Goodwill on 09/29 (today). Assignment 2. Team Wiki page creating after you decide your team and title of the project, proposal quad chart (template) and team entrepreneurial (E)-enhanced proposal writing. (1) For access the wiki page, please create an account using your ccny email. Details will be sent via CUNYFirst.  (2) Please consider the Zahn Center competition instruction as well as the CREATE instruction in writing your E-enhanced proposal ( 3 – 5 pages). Detailed Instructions for the CREATE Proposal can be found here. (3) Please submit your quad chart to (one submission per team please) and write the E-enhanced proposal (a quick draft would be okay) as a separate page link to your wiki page. Due on 10/02 (Sunday)
  • Week 5 (10/03) – zoom meeting. (1) A BIC seminar on branding and storytelling (Gerardo Blumenkrantz). (2)  An entrepreneurial seminar on customer discovery (Chris Bobko/Kesia Hudson – Zahn Innovation Center and/or Arber Ruci, NYC I-Corps Node/Nearabl)Assignment 3. (1) Team BIC-enhanced proposal (by revising your E-enhanced proposal with an abstract in the ABT formula of And..But…Therfore) in your wiki page, (2) your revised quad chart [ considering ABT – see the slides and the video for branding, a theme picture – such as a diagram of your system, a conceptual design of your app, or an illustration of your solution, formats (fonts, colors) – in all slides, and a tentative logo – please out them up with the project name in the quad chart] , (3) your presentation slides for 10/17 [including a title slide, “A” slides, “B” slides, “T” slides, summary slides including the quad chart and a work plan]. (4) While you are working on them, please also fill the BIC Logo Design Brief. Here are two samples [1], [2] for your reference. Please also send (2) and (4) to Prof. Zhu via email at Due 10/14.
  • Week 6 (10/17) – zoom meetingInvited community partners from Goodwill/Lighthouse Guild/Zahn/Nearabl etc as judges for customer discovery and Team Proposal First-Round Presentations (Zahn – recommended for all; CREATE – selective up to four teams; VentureWell – with recommendation). You will use your slides from Assignment 3, organized in a way you feel most comfortable. Here are my suggestions to align your proposal (& quad chart) with the ABT formula, with considerations of B.E.A.T. Each team has total of 15 minutes for presentation and Q&A. We will use Zoom Breakout Rooms, so you are expected to present multiple times, and shall be prepared to be flexible in time since some evaluators won’t be able to stay the full period of the class. To be specific, please have a flexible plan to have your ideas presented from 3 minutes to 5 minutes to 7 minutes, and allow some time for questions.
  • Week 7 (10/24) [Individual SITE VISITs and User Interviews] no class meetTeams revise their proposals by visiting partner institutions including Goodwill, Lighthouse Guild and other contacts for submitting to CREATE, Zahn and VentureWell competitions. I will be in my office NAC 8/211 between 10:30 am – 12:30 pm to meet with individual teams for discussions. If you prefer to do this online then please use my Office Hours Zoom Link.  Note the deadline for team proposal submissions to VentureWell/CREATE/Zahn:  (1) Zahn Competition Proposal (required for all; due on Sunday, November 13th, 2022 at 11:59PM to Zahn. (link). Send the application directly to Zahn by following the above link and then print out the proof of application in a PDF and send it via email to right after your submission. This will be part of Assignment 4 and bonus below. (2) CREATE proposal (by invitation only) in docx by 10/24 Monday midnight to Prof. Zhu via email, and I will give you feedback for submitting a revision (proposal in docx, quad chart in pptx) due by midnight of Monday October 31st to Professor Zhu (I will collect all proposals to send to CREATE by Nov 4). This will be part of the bonus below. (3) VentureWell E-Team proposal (optional – up to the team) by October 5th to VentureWell (link). This will be part of the bonus below.
  • Week 8 (10/31)– zoom meeting. (1) Proposal further development and refinement .  (2) Technical seminarhuman and machine perception [download with Firefox or Safari] (Prof. Zhigang Zhu)
  • Week 9 (11/07) [Individual SITE VISITs and User Interviews]] No Class MeetProject development and revision with user feedback . (1) Please schedule individual times with me during the class time if needed, by sending email to my ccny account. Any individual meetings will be through my Office Hours Zoom Link. (2) Assignment 4.  Zahn proposals (Deadline: Sunday, November 13th, 2022 at 11:59PM); After your submission at Zahn, send Professor Zhu the application contents and the proof in a PDF via email to by the end of the same day of your submission.  Assignment 4 grading: (8: Submitted to Zahn; 9: Submitted and Interviewed; 10 Submitted and Invited to Semifinal). Grading So Far.
  • Week 10 (11/14). Technical seminar: machine vision: feature extraction (Slides [download with Firefox or Safari]| Lecture Notes by Zhu). Assignment 5. Vision questions on feature extraction. Due on 11/21. — Grading So Far (with Assignment 5 and updates for A4).
  • Week 11 (11/21)– zoom meetingTechnical seminar: machine vision: stereo and motion (Slides [download with Firefox or Safari]| Lecture Notes on Stereo and Motion by Zhu) .  Assignment 6. Vision questions on stereo and motion Due on 11/28. Grading So Far (with Assignments 5 &6 ).
  • Week 12 (11/28). [SITE VISIT and Final Presentation Preparation] No Class Meet; please visit your users in-person or online to make sure your designs meet their needs; please schedule individual times with me during my office hours (Dec 1, Thursday 2-4pm) if needed, by sending email to my ccny account. Any individual meetings will be through my Office Hours Zoom Link.
  • Week 13 (12/05). Team presentation dry runs (in-person) for the final presentations (see blow for requirements)Assignment 7 (part I). Final BEAT-proposal as shown on your wiki pages. Due on 12/11 (Sunday)
  • Week 14 (12/12) – zoom meetingTeam evaluation wrap-up.  Each team please prepare your digital poster or deck of slides and present it to the evaluators (community partners).  We will evaluate the four categories: Branding (names, logos, designs etc), Entrepreneurship (customer discovery, market segment, business models etc), Applications (social impact, significance of your research, economical impact, user feedback, etc), and Technologies (tools, systems, algorithms, etc).  For a more uniform implementation of your final proposal, please upload two files before your presentation: the final proposal (in PDF) and the final proposal slides (in PDF or a link to a shared PPTX file etc) under Reports and Documents in your wiki page, by the end of Sunday Dec 11. This will be counted toward Assignment 7 (part II). When you write your final proposal , please put some more details (like logos, images, diagrams, schedules) from your slides, as well as considering the feedback from the evaluators. Bonus: (1) An application to the Zahn program with invitation into the competition will get 5% bonus points for the semester. (2) Teams recommended and then selected for the CREATE projects will get 5% bonus points for the semester. (3) Teams create deliverables to your customers (e.g. funding agencies for funded research) will get 5% bonus points. Final Grading to be submitted to CUNYFirst by December 26 Monday noon. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! [Updated and Posted to CUNYFirst!]

Capstone II Course Syllabus Spring 2023

(Spring 2023 academic calendar)
Capstone II Class Meet Time & Location: Monday 09:30AM – 12:20PM Room: NAC 6/136 (In-person class meets for the kick-off meeting, the final poster presentations, and 3 updates. For the in-person updates, each team please send your slides to or bring your USB stick to class so I might play your slides for you . ) Capstone Zoom Link for one update meeting with Prof. Zhu and one midterm review meeting with external evaluators]
Office Hours: Thursday 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm (Online meeting Zoom Link or by appointments )

  • 01/30/2023First Class of Spring 2023Kick-off meeting (in person): Class Schedule, Grading Rubrics, and Team Quick Updates. Spring class schedule is mostly aligned with the Zahn Bootcamp Schedule, considering CREATE timelines.   For the teams who are invited to Zahn Competitions, please follow the Zahn schedule for your progress but tailor your reports to the class based on the following class requirements for all teams, for the development of the B.E.A.T. components. Each team please fill all your 12 weekly wiki logs (except the first Monday [today] and the last Monday, and two holidays among the 16 Mondays). We will only have 7 class meets: including a kick-ff meeting (today), a mid-term review meeting, and a final review meeting (the last Monday). Overall Grading Rubrics: 12 Wiki logs (12*2%) + 4 B.E.A.T. Updates (4*3%), Midterm Evaluation (20%), Final Evaluation (20%), Final Report (24%), Bonus (including: Zahn Awards, CREATE Awards, Publications, e.g., in IEEE URTC 2023 ; up to 5% [Teams]; Attending Access Futures Club Tech Showcase in April, 1% [Individuals]; Attending GSOE Engineering Day in End of May, 2023, 1% [Individuals]).
  • Weeks 1 – 3 . Technology and System Development. Teams will have about three weeks to develop your systems, especially your technological solutions. [Zahn: Customer Discovery – Interview Insights and User Personae; Business Model & Value PropositionClass Meet on 02/21/2023 (in-person and it is a Tuesday since Monday 02/20 is a holiday) for Technology Solutions updates [T. Updates, 3% of your final grade]. Grading Rubrics: (a) Technology solutions (soundness, novelty, relevance and your understanding ) – 10/10 pts; (b) System functions (by showing a demo of what you have done – a partial implementation or a mock-up) – 10/10 pts; (c) Trends of values (please do a survey e.g. using Google Form to users and your fellow classmates for how they like the proposed functions: hard data needed!) – 10/10 pts.
  • Weeks 4-5Branding and Interface Development. Teams will have two weeks on your user interface designs, including logos, GUIs and presentations to users. [Zahn: MVP Development; Team Dynamics] Class Meet on 03/06/2023 (in-person) for Branding and Interface Component updates [B. Updates, 3% of your final grade]. Grading Rubrics: (a) The interface design details of your systems or apps (logos, GUIs, and features) – 10/10 pts; (b) Demo of features of your systems ( e.g. a use case presentation) – 10/10 pts; (c) Users’ feedback on your branding, features and user interfaces (via a survey: hard data needed!) – 10/10 pts.  
  • Weeks 6-8Midterm Evaluation. Each team will showcase your first prototype mostly on internal technological solutions and external features, developed over three weeks, with the user feedback from the last two rounds (T and B rounds). [Zahn: Understanding the Cost, Defining Your Market, and Analyzing Your Competitors; Pitch Practice] Class Meet on 03/27/2023 (over Zoom with Breakout Rooms for Teams) for Midterm Evaluation [20% of your final grade] for presentations to judges and class for feedback (ORAL PRESENTATIONS). Grading Rubrics: (a) Problem definition (users and needs) – 4 pts; (b) Functions and technology solutions – 8 pts; (c) Features and interface designs – 4 pts; (d) Branding and presentation – 4 pts [ Evaluation Form]
  • Weeks 9-11Entrepreneurial Components: Customer Discovery. Teams please refine your customer segments, considering your value proposition, users’ need, cost and revenue within the three weeks (including a week for spring break 04/05 – 04/13). [Zahn: Future Development Plans and Pitch Practices with Zahn Staff(1) For the four CREATE teams: Your project videos are due by April 14, 2023. Please note that while final papers are due at the conclusion of the spring semester, videos must be submitted prior to the symposium in order for the judging panel to become familiar with each project in advance. It is very important that this deadline is met as I will be sending your initial project proposals along with links to your videos to the judging panel on April 14, 2023. So please share with me a link of your YouTube video by Friday, April 07, 2023 (note this is during Spring Break so if you cannot work on this during the break, please share your link before the break) so I can give you feedback. Don’t forget to put names of members, mentors and affiliations on the cover page of both the report and the video. (2) Class Meet on 04/17/2023 (in-person) for Entrepreneurial Component updates [E. Updates, 3% of your final grade]. Grading Rubrics: (a) Technology (value proposition) refinement based on user feedback – 10/10 pts; (b) Branding and interface (selling points and features) refinement based on user feedback – 10/10 pts; (c) Market and customer segments and cost & revenue analysis – 10/10 pts. 
  • Weeks 12-13Assistive Application Evaluation. Evaluation of your system with real users over two weeks . [Zahn: Customer Acquisition /Customer Journey and Pitch Practice(1) NYSID/CREATE Symposium (Monday April 24, 2022- Confirmed) in Albany, NY. In light of the ongoing COVID-19 situation, the location of the symposium is subject to change and may be remote. NYSID will fund reasonable travel and hotel expenses for two representatives from each CREATE team, their professor and a representative of the participating NYSID Member Agency. Students will display their inventions to the public or, if that is impractical, will display videos of their inventions. (2) Class Meet on 05/01/2023 (tentatively over Zoom)  for Assistive Application’s User Evaluation Component updates [A. Updates, 3% of your final grade]. Grading Rubrics: (a) The needs of users addressed – 10/10 pts; (b) Differences from similar existing technologies in terms of functions and user friendliness – 10/10 pts; (c) User feedback in terms of functions, interfaces, acceptance, and suggestions for improvement – 10/10 pts. 
  • Week 14-15Warping Up All! (pretty much what you have): Please have your Slides and Videos ready (see below)! [Zahn: Demo Week, Demo Day Pitch Off , Final Pitch Night (1) Class Meet on 05/15/2023 ( in-person in Steinman Hall Exhibit Room with a work lunch provided).  FINAL PRESENTATIONS [20% of your final grade]: Tentatively, we will do poster presentations. A three-fold poster board with your US letter size pages printed from your PPTX presentation and pasted on the board is recommended as the simplest solution, but if you want to present a real poster please make sure you have a poster board to put it up. Check the [Evaluation Form] for what you will be graded. You will have to be there the whole time (2.5 hours) and probably need to go through your poster multiple times for the evaluators. Free free to show demos via videos, pptx slides or even running programs if you like. (2) Final Project Report [24% of your final grade]. Requirements for (1) and (2) can be found here . Note you have to emphasize all the four aspects (B.E.A.T.) in both your presentation and report/video. Please specify contributions of each individual member in your report, since your report will be graded differently for each of the team members. Please upload your report and and slides, and provide the link to your video on your wiki page by the end of Monday May 15, 2023.   
  • 05/18/2023. Final Grading will be submitted on Wednesday May 24, 2023. Please check your individual wiki pages for comments and suggestions for your final presentation, final report, and submission for IEEE URTC 2023 (see below). Have a great summer!

Student Teams: Watch out for IEEE URTC 2023 at MIT. The deadline for submitting a paper is August 4, 2023 so we have plenty of time.

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