CSc 59866/7 Capstone I/II Fall 2020 -Spring 2021

BEAT: Branding and Entrepreneurship of Assistive Technology for Social Good


Technical Instructors:

Branding and Entrepreneurial Instructors:

Community Partners:

Program Description

The CS/CpE/EE joint senior design program builds on our existing the six-credit capstone/senior design course structure in CS, CpE and EE, but with a new concentration on assistive technologies for people in need. In the past nine years, over 200 students have graduated from our joint program. In Fall 2019- Spring 2020, supported by the course innovation grant from Moxie Foundation, we at the Grove School of Engineering worked with the Branding + Integrated Communications (BIC) Creative Track in the Media and Communication Department and Zahn Innovation Center to push our Assistive Technology program to a new level. We will continue the collaboration this year across school board, and the common theme for the three parties – GSOE, BIC and Zahn will remain to be the promotion of social good.

Capstone I Tentative Course Syllabus Fall 2020

(Fall 2020 academic calendar)
Capstone I Class Meet Time & Location: Monday 11:00AM – 01:30PM Room: Capstone Zoom Link
Office Hours: Every Thursday  10:00 am – 12:00 pm, Room: Office Zoom Link

  • Week 1 (08/31). (1) Introduction (Zhu). (2) Past project showcases and project design brainstorming (slides). Assignment 1. Please submit a 1-page resume with your intention for a project topic and teaming. Email to Professor Zhigang Zhu at Due on 09/08(Tuesday).
  • Week 2 (09/14). (1) A entrepreneurial seminar (Katherine Olives and Kesia Hudson – Zahn Innovation Center) on entrepreneurship and Zahn Center competitions. (2) Team forming discussions. An important announcement for Zahn: This year, Final Pitch will take place virtually on Thursday, September 24th from 5:30pm-7:45pm. You will still hear the top teams in each of our four tracks (Kaylie Hardware, Standard Chartered Women+Tech4NYC, and Zahn Technology & Social Impact) pitch live, judges will still ask them pressing questions, and our sponsors will announce the winners of our top prizes totaling $150,000. Register here, hold it on your calendar, and you’ll receive the Zoom link a day before the event. **Please note that you will not receive the Zoom link unless you register. We do not share the Zoom link prior to a day before the event for security reasons.** 
  • Week 3 (09/21). (1) Project proposal development Please do check online for literature and existing projects that have similar ideas of your projects. Assignment 2 (part 1). Proposal quad chart (template) first version presented in class today, and then submit it to (due 09/27) for me to make revision and to create a wiki page for you.  (2) Technical seminarhuman and machine perception (Prof. Zhigang Zhu)
  • Week 4 (09/29 – Tuesday). Assistive Technology Applications for Social Good (Celina Cavalluzzi – Goodwill NY/NJ, Bill Seiple – Lighthouse Guild, Cecilia Feeley – CAIT @ Rutgers). Assignment 2 (part 2). Team Wiki page creating, proposal quad chart revision (template) and team entrepreneurial (E)-enhanced proposal writing. (1) For access the wiki page, please create an account using your ccny email. Details have been sent via CUNYFirst. (2) Please consider the Zahn Center competition instruction as well as expanding your quad chart in 3-5 page writing. (3) Please submit your quad chart to and write the E-enhanced proposal inside your wiki page by clicking the title of your team project. Due on 10/06.
  • Week 5 (10/05). A BIC seminar on branding and storytelling (Blumenkrantz). 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 10/19 [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 (10/14 – Wednesday). Teams of the CS/CpE/EE students develop your Logo Design Briefs for their proposed projects and branding – targeting to Zahn Competitions. Grading So Far .
  • Week 7 (10/19). Invited community partners from Goodwill/Lighthouse Guild/Zahn/Rutgers etc as judges for customer discovery and team proposal presentations (Zahn – recommended for all; CREATE – on-hold this year so no submissions; VentureWell – 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 7- 10 minutes for presentation and 3-5 minutes for Q&A. We will use Breakout Rooms with Zoom. Grading for the proposal presentations are posted on the course website. Each team please check your wiki page for specific comments of your project, and I would like to hear your responses to them on 10/26 in class so that you can refine your proposal to the Zahn applications.
  • Week 8 (10/26). Teams revise their proposals for submitting to Zahn competitions . Assignment 4. Team proposal submissions to Zahn (Early Application Deadline November 1 Sunday). Then send Professor Zhu the application contents and the proof in a PDF via email to by the end of the same day. Grading so far.
  • Week 9 (11/02). Technical seminar: machine vision: feature extraction (Slides | Lecture Notes by Zhu). Assignment 5. Vision questions on feature extraction. Due on 11/15
  • Week 10 (11/09). Proposal further development and refinement (No Class Meet; 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). Zahn Competition Regular Deadline  November 15th. Then send Professor Zhu the application contents and the proof in a PDF via email to by the end of the same day. This is part of Assignment 4 if you haven’t made the early deadline.
  • Week 11 (11/16). Technical seminar: machine vision: stereo and motion (Slides | Lecture Notes on Stereo and Motion by Zhu) . Assignment 6. Vision questions on stereo and motion Due on 11/22.
  • Week 12 (11/23). Project development and revision and final presentation preparation (No Class Meet; 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). Grading so far.
  • Week 13 (11/30). Team presentation dry runs on project designs and branding. Assignment 7. Final BEAT-proposals on your wiki pages. Due on 12/06 (Sunday). 
  • Week 14 (12/07). Team evaluation wrap-up.  (1) An application to the Zahn program with invitation into the competition will get 5% bonus points of the final for the semester.  (2) Each team please prepare your digital poster or deck of slides and present it to class. We will evaluate the four categories: Branding (names, logos, designs etc), Entrepreneurship (customer discovery, market segment, business models etc), Assistive (social impact, user feedback, etc), and Technology (tools, systems, algorithms, etc).

Senior Design Wiki Pages (Internal Use Only)

Other Useful Links