CSc 59866/7 Capstone I/II Fall 2021 -Spring 2022

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

Congratulations to Class 2021-2022!


Technical Instructors:

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

Branding and Entrepreneurial Instructors:

  • Katherine Olives, Program Manager, Zahn Innovation Center
  • Kesia Hudson, Interim Director, Zahn Innovation Center
  • Steven Monzon, Program Manager, Zahn Innovation Center
  • Gerardo A Blumenkrantz, Associate Professor, Branding + Integrated Communications (BIC) Creative Track Director
  • Nancy R. Tag, Program Director, BIC Program, CCNY
  • Marlene Leo, Program Specialist, BIC Program, CCNY

Community Partners:

Application Information and Links

Program Description

The program BEAT+ is an extended version of the last two 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 2021

(Fall 2021 academic calendar)
Capstone I Class Meet Time & Location: Monday 11:00AM – 01:30PM over Zoom Link (passcode will be sent via email)
Office Hours: Every Thursday  2:00 pm – 4:00 pm, [Online meeting Zoom Link]

  • Week 1 (08/30). (1) Introduction (Zhu). (2) 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 09/08(Wednesday midnight). 
  • Week 2 (09/13). (1) An entrepreneurial seminar  on entrepreneurship and Zahn Center competitions (Katherine Olives / Kesia Hudson / Steven Monzon – Zahn Innovation Center). (2) Project topics from domain experts (Digital Twins for Navigation and Safety, Arber Ruci/Fani Maksakuli/Jin Chen, Nearabl; Autism Transportation, Cecilia Feeley, CAIT @ Rutgers; AR/VR for Simulation and Training, Hao Tang, BMCC/CUNY; Gamification for Vision Training- Bill Seiple, Lighthouse Guild).
  • Week 3 (09/20). (1)  CREATE Opportunities (Megan L. Tatro, Social Media and Marketing Strategist, NYSID) (2) Partnership with Goodwill for ASD (Celina Cavalluzzi, Assistant Vice President, Goodwill NY/NJ). (3) We will visit (virtually) a Goodwill site in Harlem. 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 (09/27). Project proposal development. (1) Please do check online for literature and existing projects that have similar ideas of your projects. (2) 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. But I will be in the class zoom meeting between 11:00 am – 12:30 pm for those who have questions and want to talk with meAssignment 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 have been 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 10/03 (Sunday) => Grading for Assignments 1 and 2.
  • Week 5 (10/04). (1) A BIC seminar on branding and storytelling (Gerardo Blumenkrantz). (2) A potential project topic on 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). (3) An entrepreneurial seminar on customer discovery (Katherine Olives / Kesia Hudson / Steven Monzon – Zahn Innovation Center). 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 10/18 [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. => Grading for Assignments 1 to 3.
  • Week 6 (10/18). Invited community partners from Goodwill/Lighthouse Guild/Zahn/Rutgers/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.  => Grading for Assignments 1 to 3 and Proposal Presentation (First Round) .
  • Week 7 (10/25). Teams revise their proposals for submitting to CREATE, Zahn and VentureWell competitions. Assignment 4. Team proposal submissions to VentureWell/CREATE/Zahn. Due on their deadlines  (1) Zahn Competiton Proposal (required for all; better to do early, but regular will be okay in Week 9). Early Decision Deadline: Sunday, October 24th at 11:59pm to Zahn (link). Send the application and the proof in a PDF via email to right after your submission. (2) CREATE proposal (by invitation only) in docx by 11/08 Monday midnight to Prof. Zhu via email, and I will give you feedback for submitting a revision due 11/15 for me to submit before 11/19 (confirmed!) (3) VentureWell E-Team proposal (optional – up to the team) by Oct 26, 2021 to VentureWell (link). Note the links of submission requirements are provided for both Zahn and VentureWell.
  • Week 8 (11/01). (1) Proposal further development and refinement .  (2) Technical seminarhuman and machine perception (Prof. Zhigang Zhu)
  • Week 9 (11/08). Project development and revision . (1) 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. (2)  Zahn proposals (Final Deadline: Sunday, November 14th 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 11/14 (the same day). This is part of the Assignment 4. => Grading for Assignments 1 to 4 and Proposal Presentation (First Round)
  • Week 10 (11/15). Technical seminar: machine vision: feature extraction (Slides | Lecture Notes by Zhu). Assignment 5. Vision questions on feature extraction. Due on 11/22
  • Week 11 (11/22). 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 for Assignments 1 to 5, Zahn Participation and Proposal Presentation (First Round). Happy Thanksgiving!
  • Week 12 (11/29). 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 12/06
  • Week 13 (12/06). Team presentation dry runs on project designs and brandingAssignment 7 (part I). Final BEAT-proposal as shown on your wiki pages. Due on 12/12 (Sunday)
  • Week 14 (12/13). Team 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 12. 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. (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.
  • 12/26/2021. Final Grading will be submitted to CUNYFirst after noon of Dec 27, 2021. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Capstone II Course Syllabus Spring 2022

(Spring 2022 academic calendar)
Capstone II Class Meet Time & Location: Monday 10:45AM – 01:15PM Room: NAC 7/313A (In-person class meets for the the 4 updates: Each team please bring your own laptop for your presentation. Please download the VIA app which allows you access to the NAC classroom projectors, all of which are now wireless. You might want to try this first when you are on campus. As a backup, please bring your USB stick to class so I might play your slides for you if I can connect my my laptop to the projector. ) [ Capstone Zoom Link for 1 kick off meeting and 2 review meetings with external evaluators]
Office Hours: Thursday 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm (
Online meeting Zoom Link or by appointments )

  • 01/31/2022. First Class of Spring 2022Kick-off meeting (over Zoom)Class Schedule, Grading Rubrics, and Team Quick Updates. Spring class schedule is mostly aligned with the Zahn Bootcamp Schedule [Zahn: XXX], 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, Games for Change Awards, Publications in CSUN Assistive Technology Conference 2023 or MIT URTC 2022 (note: these two conferences have not been updated); up to 5% [Teams]; Attending Access Futures Club Tech Showcase in April, 1% [Individuals]; Attending GSOE Engineering Day in May 25, 2022, 1% [Individuals]; IC CAE Events, 1% per event [Individuals]).
  • Weeks 1 – 2Technology and System Development. Teams will have two weeks to develop your systems, especially your technological solutions. [Zahn: Business Model & Value Proposition, User ID Research & Insights.] Class Meet on 02/14/2022 (in-person) 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 3-5Branding and Interface Development. Teams will continue to develop your technology solutions for one more week (Monday 02/21 is a holiday), but in the following two weeks will more focus on your user interface designs, including logos, GUIs and presentations to users. [Zahn: Customer Discovery [by conducting 10 customer interviews]., MVP Development, Round Robin [A pitch practice with Q&A facilitated by Zahn staff] Class Meet on 03/07/2022 (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.  Grading So Far. Note that we will have our MidTerm Evaluation in three weeks.
  • 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: Team Dynamics, Defining Your Market, Competitor Analysis.] Class Meet on 03/28/2022 (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] Grading So Far including the MidTerm Evaluation. Comments from some evaluators were posted on each team’s wiki page.
  • Weeks 9-10. Entrepreneurial Components: Customer Discovery. Teams please refine your customer segments, considering your value proposition, users’ need, cost and revenue within the two weeks. [Zahn: Round Robin [A pitch practice with Q&A facilitated by Industry Mentors; Conducted 10 customer interviews], Understanding the Cost of Doing Business.] (1) For the four CREATE teams:Your project videos are due by Friday, April 15. 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 Monday, April 21. So please share with me a link of your YouTube video by April 11, 2022 (in class) 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 04/11/2022 (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.  [Grading So Far]
  • Weeks 11-13Assistive Application Evaluation. Evaluation of your system with real users over three weeks (including a week for spring break 04/15 – 04/22) [Zahn: Future Development Plans, Pitch Practice, Round Robin [A pitch practice with Q&A facilitated by Standard Chartered].] (1) NYSID/CREATE Symposium (Monday April 25, 2022) 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 05/02/2022 (in-person changed to online due to train suspension) 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.  [Grading So Far]
  • Week 14-15Warping Up All! (pretty much what you have): Please have your Slides and Videos ready (see below)! [Zahn: Demo Week (5/2-5/5), Demo Day Pitch Off (5/3 12:15-1:45pm), Final Pitch Night (5/5 @ 5:30-8p).] (1) Class Meet on 05/16/2022 (over Zoom with Breakout Rooms for Teams).  FINAL PRESENTATIONS [20% of your final grade]: We will do oral presentations, each team having 10 minutes for presentation and 5 minutes for QAs [Evaluation Form]. (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 Sunday May 22, 2022.   Here is the [Final Grading] which will be submitted on or before 05/26/2022 Thursday noon. Have a great summer everyone!

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