CSc 59866/7 Capstone I/II Fall 2023 -Spring 2024

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

Sample Projects for the Past Cohorts


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) and basics of entrepreneurship (customer discovery, business models, etc.). 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. Students are expected to learn new software/hardware tools and skills by doing their projects.

Senior Design Wiki Pages (Internal Use Only)

Capstone I Course Syllabus Fall 2023

(Fall 2023 academic calendar)
Capstone I Class Meet Time & Location: Monday 11:00AM – 1:30PM In-Person [Room NAC 6/329] 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 office hours Zoom Link]

  • Week 1 (08/28). (1) 11:00 am – Introduction (Zhu). (2) 12:00 pm –  Upcoming innovation and entrepreneurship through CUNY I-Corps (Ariella Trotsenko and Jin Chen) (3) 12:30 pm – 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 09/05 (Tuesday midnight)  [09/04 Labor Day College Closed]Grading So Far.
  • Week 2 (09/11)- zoom meeting [Recorded Video]. (1) 11:00am –  CREATE  Opportunities  [promotion video] (Megan L. Tatro, Social Media and Marketing Strategist, NYSID) (2) 11:30 am- Goodwill Industries OPWDD Independent and Employment Services (Celina Cavalluzzi, Assistant Vice President, Goodwill NY/NJ). (3) 12:00 pm – A Customized Employment Observation App (Abby Cooper, Kennedy Douglas Consulting, and Celina Cavalluzzi, Director and AVP, Goodwill NY/NJ). (4) 12:30pm – Custodial Training for Workers with Disabilities Using VR (Edie Weber, AHRC NYC, and Ed O’Donnell, SVP, Goodwill NYNJ )
  • Week 3 (09/18)- zoom meeting [Recorded Video]. (1) 11:00 am- 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) 11:45 am- Project topics from domain experts: (a) Gamification for Vision Training (Dr. Bill Seiple, Lighthouse Guild and Max SEHAUMPAI/CCNY); (b) Digital Twins for Navigation and Safety (Arber Ruci/Fani Maksakuli/Jin Chen, Nearabl); (c) AR/VR for Simulation and Training (Professor Hao Tang, CCVCL, BMCC&GC/CUNY); (3) Team Forming and Project proposal development  [09/25 No Class Scheduled] . Please do check online for literature and existing projects that have similar ideas of your projects.
  • Week 4 (10/02) .  [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. 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 10/08 (Sunday)
  • Week 5 (10/10) – zoom meeting. [10/09 College Closed, but 10/10 follows a Monday schedule].  (1)  An entrepreneurial seminar on customer discovery (11:00 am Chris Bobko/Kesia Hudson – Zahn Innovation Center and/or 11:45 am Arber Ruci, NYC I-Corps Node/Nearabl). (2) A BIC seminar on branding and storytelling (12:30 pm Gerardo 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 10/17 [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 10/16.
  • Week 6 (10/16) – [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. Each team shall have at least 15 customer interviews to form your proposal before the 10/23 meeting in Week 7. I will meet with individual teams for discussions online: please use my Office Hours Zoom Link.  Note the deadline for team proposal submissions to VentureWell/CREATE/Zahn that would gain bonus at the end:  (1) Zahn Competition Proposal (optional – up to the team; due on Sunday, November 12th, 2023 at 11:59PM to Zahn. (link). Send the application directly to Zahn by following the above link. (2) CREATE proposal (by invitation only) in docx by 10/23 Monday (TBD) 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 30 to Professor Zhu (I will collect all proposals to send to CREATE by Nov 02). This will be part of the bonus below. (3) VentureWell E-Team proposal (optional – up to the team) by October 4th to VentureWell (link). This will be part of the bonus below.
  • Week 7 (10/23) – 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. Each team shall have at least 15 customer interviews to form your proposal ideas. 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 8 (10/30). (1) Proposal further development and refinement .  (2) Technical seminarhuman and machine perception [download with Firefox or Safari] (Prof. Zhigang Zhu)
  • Week 9 (11/06) – [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)  Zahn proposals  (optional – up to the team) (Deadline: Sunday, November 12th, 2023 at 11:59PM).  
  • Week 10 (11/13) – zoom meetingTechnical seminar: machine vision: feature extraction (Slides [download with Firefox or Safari]| Lecture Notes by Zhu). Assignment 4. Vision questions on feature extraction. Due on 11/20.
  • Week 11 (11/20). Technical seminar: machine vision: stereo and motion (Slides [download with Firefox or Safari]| Lecture Notes on Stereo and Motion by Zhu) .  Assignment 5. Vision questions on stereo and motion Due on 11/27. 
  • Week 12 (11/27). [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 (12/04). Team presentation dry runs (in-person) for the final presentations (see blow for requirements)Assignment 6 (part I). Final BEAT-proposal as shown on your wiki pages. Due on 12/10 (Sunday)
  • Week 14 (12/11) – 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 10. This will be counted toward Assignment 6 (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 3% bonus points for the semester. (2) Teams recommended and then selected for the CREATE projects will get 3% bonus points for the semester. (3) Teams create deliverables to your customers (e.g. funding agencies for funded research) will get 3% bonus points. 

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