Term Paper/Project

Assignment 4 — Principles and Patterns of Organizing Systems Spring 2011

Assigned: Tuesday, March 15th, 2011
Due: Monday, May 9th, 2011 6pm


This assignment presents the requirements and key dates for a proposal, interim and final deliverables for a term paper or project.


Part I: Proposal Stage (due 6pm March 28th)

Write a brief proposal for a term paper or project. Brief means a title and 100 words that identify the question or topic that you propose to work on. Some suggestions for a topic:

  • An analysis of a classical design challenge and its typical resolution as it is manifested a wide range of organizing systems (for example: authority, provenance, granularity, warrant, revision, navigation/browsing/journeys…)
  • An analysis of how organizing systems in some domain might differ because of different functional and architectural choices (for example: different kinds of libraries [traditional, digital, tool, seed, etc.], museums, archives, food courts, information-intensive e-business models). Use the design dimensions or principles we identified in the first few weeks of the semester.
  • A detailed description and analysis of a specific organizing system (e.g., the Library of Congress, the Exploratorium in Second Life, YouTube, Flickr) using the design dimensions or principles with specific and plausible recommendations for improving it.
  • An analysis of some particular principle or mechanism of web architecture or implementation as it might be applied in a wide range of organizing systems (for example: microformats, unique identifiers, typed links).
  • A specification for an organizing system to support collaboration between different schools that are using the book we're writing for the Ischool gateway course. Assume that schools will want to share (define this carefully) resources including the draft text, additional documents or reports like the term papers youre writing, lecture notes, blog posts… but that they won't or can't change the course management system they are currently using.

Feel free to propose something else — as long as it is of sufficient scope and intellectual depth to give you enough to write about in a 1500-2000 word paper and a 300 word summary by May 9th. If you propose something other than a written paper you'll need to convince us (and your classmates) that it represents an equivalent body of work.

Two or more of you can propose related and complementary projects but you need to be clear about what each of will do because we want to be able to evaluate your work as an individual.

This proposal is due by 6pm on Monday 28 March. Submit it to ppos-admin@lists.berkeley.edu.

On Tuesday 29 March you will take a minute or two presenting your proposal to the class and we'll discuss it briefly. This should refine your proposal and put everyone in a better position to help each other during the last 5 weeks of the semester.

Part II: Progress Report (due 6pm April 11th)

Submit a one-page progress report that includes an outline with at least two levels (i.e., a list of topics, issues, or examples organized into sections) and a list of resources (web sites or published articles) that you expect to discuss in the paper. If you're not doing a written paper, submit a one-page artifact that demonstrates the progress you've made — a requirements specification might be appropriate.

Part III: Final Report (due 6pm May 9th)

Part IV: Final Presentation (10 minute presentation in class on May 10th)

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