COM4520 Darwin Project
||The Darwin research project provides the opportunity for
students to engage in a substantial piece of research work.
It is undertaken in groups.
Unlike the individual project, it is not primarily
concerned with software development, although software
development may be involved as part of the process of
carrying out the research, for instance to construct the
'experimental apparatus' required for it.
suggested and supervised by Department of Computer Science
staff. Students form groups and choose a project
which interests them, then refine the scope of the
research by conducting a thorough analysis of the topic
area and formulating a solution also with the help of
their supervisor. The project is developed under strong
supervision and appropriate interim reports are produced
The project culminates with the production of a publication
of the research finding and a full report of the work
carried out, as well a final conference style presentation.
||Academic Year 2017/18
||Prof. John Derrick
||The aim of the Darwin project is to give students at
advanced undergraduate and masters level insight into the
research process. The objective of the module is for
students to learn how to apply scientific research
methodology to a small group research project.
|| By the end of the unit, a candidate will ...
- have a very good understanding of the process of
- be able to conduct a complete and concise literature
review of the topic area;
- be able to form a research proposal and attempt to
solve it based on a thorough understanding of a topic
- be able to write a journal quality scientific paper;
- be able to present research orally;
- understand the process of working within a team.
||The content is determined by the research projects.
Students have to research the relevant literature, plan the
research work, implement and experiment, write reports,
papers and give presentations to experience a complete
- The course begins with a number of lectures/lab sessions outlining how research projects are conducted and the resources available to students. The latter inlcude: Linux, the Emacs text editor,
LaTeX, MATLAB, scripting languages and collaborative tools
(wikis, SVN, git, blogs).
- Group Meetings. From week 6, each group will meet the
project supervisor for a full hour every week. These
meetings are for the group to report to the project
supervisor on progress so far, and to allow the
supervisor to provide feedback on progress. These
meetings should be minuted and those minutes should be
available through the project wiki. Project milestones
and interim deliverables will also be discussed or
modified. Bi-weekly reports will be submitted at every
other meeting and reviewed by the supervisor. These
reports will reflect individual contributions to the
main project and any particular sub-tasks an individual
may have carried out.
||The students will receive immediate feedback during lab
sessions and in presentations. Project supervisors will give
detailed feedback in weekly supervision and on submitted
||Dependent on research projects.