COMP 737: Real-Time Systems

Fall 2017

Instructor: Prof. Jim Anderson


Each student must complete a class project. You are responsible for defining your own project. Your project can be either an experimental investigation or a survey or research paper. The project must be a fairly significant piece of work. Students are encouraged to take on projects that involve experimental efforts or proving new results (or both). Survey papers should be considered an option of last resort --- if you take this option, your survey paper should be fairly extensive. It would also be much preferable to survey research that is more "cutting edge" rather than work from 10 or 20 years ago. As an example, I would consider a paper that discusses to what extent existing timing analysis results can be applied on newly available (and proposed) multicore platforms as quite interesting.

It is perfectly fine to use research from an RA position as the basis for your class project. However, your project may not be based on work from another course without the permission of me and the instructor for that course (permission will be granted only if the total work involved is commensurate with the amount of effort expected in both courses combined). Two-person projects may be permitted, provided the total work involved is about twice that of the typical single-person project.

Project Proposals

You must have your project approved. The process is as follows.
  1. Email me a one- or two-paragraph description of your proposed project.
  2. If approved, go to step 3. Otherwise, go to step 1.
  3. Write a short proposal (about 2-4 pages) that provides more detail. This document will serve as our "contract" for the project. There is no prescribed format for this. Some students turn in a detailed outline (like you learned how to do in your high school English class). Some turn in a skeletal version of their paper. I just need enough detail to be confident your project is appropriate.
  4. Conduct your research or implement your project.
  5. Write a technical report (about 10 nicely formatted single-spaced pages, though it may be longer) describing your research or project and the results you obtained.
Step 1 (approved) should be completed by October 17 (the last class before fall break). Step 3 should be completed by November 2. If possible, you should try to complete Step 3 earlier than this, as it leaves more time for getting all the work done. Your final report is due on December 5 (our last scheduled class). Alumnus Steve Goddard has put together a nice webpage on paper formats. Please have a look at this webpage before writing your proposal or final report. I'm quite picky about writing and will grade accordingly. If you are a non-native English speaker, you may find a tool called grammarly useful.

Projects Ideas

I encourage you to come up with your own project ideas. However, for those of you panicking because you cannot come up with a project idea, here are some projects you might consider.

Jim Anderson <>
Last modified: 19 July 2017