As part of the MPS program, students carry out a semester-long project either in the fall or spring semester. This required project offers students an opportunity to experience working with a client to complete work on time and to the satisfaction of the client. Projects are completed in teams of 3-4 students, giving students an opportunity to practice work distribution and team skills. Students may enroll and receive credit in the MPS Project course in both the fall and spring semesters. Read about some of our recent MPS Projects, from Fall 2019 and Spring 2019.
Projects consist of social/behavioral component, technological component, or both. Projects often consist of elements relating to user experience (e.g., user research, design, development, and evaluation), natural language processing, information policy, data science and analytics, machine learning, network analysis, mobile technologies, design, and so forth.
Check out our most recent projects completed by MPS students.
Students work in teams of 3-4 students over 14 weeks of the semester, for approximately 10 hours per week per student.
A week before the semester, students receive a document with project descriptions available for the upcoming semester. Students bid on projects, listing their project preferences and skills. The MPS project instructor matches between students and projects based on preferences, skills, and the project requirements. Students and clients will be notified during the first week of the semester.
A client representative will be designated for each project, serving as the person of contact to the student team and to the MPS project instructor. Students are to communicate with the representative once a week via email, Skype, phone, or other means of communication, to report on updates, progress and challenges they are facing. The client representative provides the students with ongoing mentorship, motivation, advice, guidance, and feedback on the project, and at times has attended the semester-end poster session.
Progress and deliverables
Students will provide the client with the following deliverables:
- Project proposal (Week 4): students present to the client a proposal on how they plan to address the challenge they have taken. Project goal, work plan, feasibility testing, competitors review, timeline, division of labor among students, are all suitable components of the project proposal.
- Progress report (Week 8): students present what they have accomplished so far in the project. The client representative will define the expectations from what needs to be accomplished for the progress report milestone.
- Final report (Week 14): in this document and presentation the students present the entirety of the project they had accomplished, including background, methods, and results. In addition, the students will provide the handover package to the client representative.
Intellectual property and non-disclosure agreements
The client and students will agree at the outset of the project on the ownership of any intellectual property (IP) that may be created during the project: client-owned IP, student-owned IP, or placing all IP into the public domain. Students are encouraged to consult the University Counsel or the Cornell Center for Technology Licensing. Students will sign NDAs with the client as appropriate.
A primary objective of the project is to provide students with a learning experience on addressing real-world challenges posed by the organizations within and outside Cornell. At the end of the semester, the faculty advisor of the project will assign students with grades to their project based on:
- Project deliverables, including the project proposal, progress report, and final report.
- Self and peer evaluation forms filled out by students.
- An assessment of the client representative that indicates satisfaction from the project process and outcomes.