Requirements for Course Project

The course project is your opportunity to take the subject of the course in a creative direction that complements your own interests.


This is the culmination of the course and arguably its most interesting week. All participants are required to present and to attend each others' presentations. We may invite guests to see our work.

This is your opportunity to make a positive contribution to the course by incorporating your own ideas with the materials presented in class with the previous challenges and critiques, the written discussions on assigned readings, presentations made by your classmates, the 200-plus simulations on our webpages, and other materials from outside the course. Feel free to write your own code, steal code from the Internet, or modify the code on our webpages in order to create an application of your own design.


You will probably find that ideas come quickly but your ability to implement them in code progresses much more slowly. It is easy to be overly ambitious. Discussing your project topic regularly with the instructor will help you strike a balance between what you want to do and what is practical and doable within the framework of this course. Typically, you will propose an elaborate and sophisticated application and discuss how it should be constructed, outlining its functionality in pseudocode, and its proposed relationship and contribution to understanding cultural complexity. This is an excellent beginning, but then you sould also rein in your ambitions and build a smaller version of that goal to implement in code. You might think of the application that you write as a proof-of-concept of the larger model. You may wish to develop that larger model for a project in another course, a thesis or a dissertation.


These require approval beforehand. The project team as a whole will be required to account, in writing, for the contributions of their individual members. This should be included in the report in writing.


Your project must be presented in the format of the simulation challenges.


You must include a discussion similar in depth and spirit to your discussions of assigned readings. This can either be in writing or included as part of a PowerPoint presentation (see below).


You must present your project in the final week of class. Do this as you would for a professional presentation at a conference. You may wish to create a PowerPoint explanation of your project which includes the discussion section (see above).