Guidelines for Belinda Thom and Christine Alvarado's
2005/2006 Clinic Team
Purpose of this document
Clinic is a difficult but rewarding course. To help you enjoy and
structure this experience, this document identifies what we expect from
you as your clinic faculty advisors and how you will be graded.
|Clinic Project:||Fair Isaac
|Team Members:||Matt Reynolds (PM),
Kristen Kurimoto, John McCullough, Will Shipley
||On Wiki, here|
Our participation as faculty advisors
Our purpose is to monitor the team's progress, direct the team in important
decisions, sign off on the final deliverable given to the client, and assign
Getting hold of us
During the fall semester, please feel free to contact either of us any
time you need to discuss something clinic related, be it technical,
administrative, or interpersonal. Both Belinda's weekly
schedule and Christine's
weekly schedule are posted on the Web. Feel free to drop by anytime
(and knock, we are both often in the office when the door is closed).
Email to Belinda and/or Christine is a great way to get
hold of us, but for technical content, use the clinic group mailing list to
ensure that each member remains "in the loop." Also, feel free to
call one of us (Belinda: 607-9662; 982-9247; Christine: 607-0443;
714-680-4407). No calls after 10pm please.
In the spring semester, Belinda will be on sabbatical and Christine
will become the sole faculty advisor. In the spring, you will be
contacting solely Christine with questions or concerns.
Our grading policy
We will assign each member a grade individually.
Your grade will be based on four
relatively equal-weighted considerations:
- How constant and reliable are you as a group member?
- What is the quality of your technical contributions?
- What is the quality of your oral and/or written contributions?
- How well does your attitude facilitate a healthy, functional group dynamic?
Within the A to D range, our grading scheme is a relatively linear
function of your performance. Maximizing your grade can be
accomplished by performing well on each of the items listed above.
However, if you do not meet a minimum time threshold, you risk not
In the CS Department's clinic handbook, clinic is described as a 10 to
15 hour a week commitment. In order for you to pass clinic under our
guidance, you must demonstrate that you have spent no less than 9
hours per week on clinic (including meetings). Note that this is
strictly a lower bound---there will likely be weeks where you'll have
to spend more than 9---but by working consistently, our hope is that
you'll never have to spend more than 15 :-).
Your weekly ability to meet the 9 hour minimum will be assessed via:
Should an emergency arise, exceptions can be made from time to time,
but it is your responsibility to ensure that exceptions don't
negatively impact the group---work out necessary make-up schedules
- The content of your weekly status report.
- Your active participation in meetings.
- The opinion of the project manager.
Group work block
The safest way to ensure that you meet this minimum 9-hour-a-week commitment is to set up a regular 6-hour block
of time (Meeting Schedule) in which all team members work in concert.
The other 3 hours can then be easily met with the following mandatory
Times, deadlines, and locations are Meeting Schedule
on the Wiki, here.
We will monitor your status reports and attendance at general clinic meetings.
For other meetings and the 6-hour work block, the group should keep logs on the Twiki.
You should rotate who logs each meeting. Be sure to include
attendance as well as tardiness.
- 1 hour: Attend general clinic meeting.
- 45 min: Attend weekly group meeting with faculty advisor.
- 45 min: Attend weekly group meeting (without advisor).
- 1/2 hour: compose your weekly status report.
Keeping the group's meeting logs and your weekly status reports up to date
should receive very high priority.
You must submit your own status report weekly.
These will be due every Monday at midnight (exceptions when vacation is involved
will be made as needed).
You should maintain a wiki topic that contains your own logs (most recent entered first).
These will be kept in the Wiki in the
By using the
command, along with appropriate headings, a high-level table-of-contents of your
logs will be automatically generated (use the date for each log's heading).
This report is extremely important because it allows us to independently assess your performance.
Please provide a comprehensive and compelling description of your efforts on clinic that week.
You should shoot for several bulleted lists or paragraphs per week outlining things like:
tasks you've completed that were explicitly assigned to you,
tasks that you did that were not explicitly assigned,
tasks that were assigned that are not yet complete (along with current progress),
issues that have arisen, concerns that you have, etc.
It is very important that these reports (as well as your attendance to meetings) be on-time
because they directly measure your constancy as a team member.
Repeatedly neglecting to turn in status reports (or having to be reminded/nagged
to do so) will definitely lower your grade.
One of us must sign off on the team's oral presentations and written documents
well before their final due dates.
We will not be very flexible regarding deadlines, especially draft due dates.
These dates are outlined in your clinic handbook; be intimately familiar with them.
Although all members are not required to speak at all presentations,
each member's active participation should be evident in the
presentation's content. Per presentation, we expect to attend one (or
more) practice talks, the first at least two days before the actual
presentation is scheduled. Furthermore, you must set up a meeting to
go over your slides with one of us (or at the very least simply submit
your slides for comments) at least one full day before the scheduled
All members should attend all practice talks, even if they are not
speaking. The speaker (or another member of the group) should
distribute a printed set of slides for each attendee (even if you just
submitted slides the day before) at the beginning of the practice
talk. We expect the whole team to actively participate in improving
the talk. This includes arriving on time, staying until the end, and
asking good questions and making substantive comments after the talk.
Regarding written reports, each team member should
significantly contribute (e.g. one reasonable model would be every
member writes at least one chapter). However, the entire document
should flow consistently from start to finish. This includes
a standard tone, tense and writing style throughout. We will enforce
these consistencies starting very early on in the writing process, so
sit down and discuss these issues before you do any writing.
You must submit an outline for approval before you start
writing a draft of any report. Obviously, this outline should be
submitted well in advance of the draft deadline (think weeks, even
months). Your outline should contain a title for each major section
and subsection, as well as topic sentences or brief statements of
section content whenever possible.
Regarding the final clinic deliverables, note that, although meeting
the sponsor's reasonable expectations is a key concern, clinic is an
educational experience. Ultimately, we are the ones that will need to
approve of and sign off on your team's final deliverables.
Periodically, we will schedule individual meetings with team members
so that we can chat about your clinic experience. These meetings will
help us address issues or concerns you might have and will also
provide us with an idea of how well your team is functioning as a
group. Expect one interview per semester.
Towards the end of each semester,
we will also have each of you assess your own personal contributions and
the contributions of each of your colleagues.
This information will be considered when we assign grades.
Project manager (PM)
The PM's key duties include:
To ensure that these goals can be met, the advisors and PM will meet once a week
typically for 1/2 hour.
There, we'll review the PM's log book, and the online status reports and meeting minutes.
We will also agree upon that up-coming week's work-plan. The PM will then
distill the results of this meeting into a weekly task-plan, outlining each member's
anticipated contributions for that week. The PM will need to maintain a task
list log on the Wiki, which should be updated weekly by Wednesday at midnight.
- Managing the resources available to the team (most importantly, the team's time and labor).
- Monitoring individual team members' progress and ensuring that everyone has well-defined, doable assignments.
- Dealing with attitude and personality problems among team members should they arise.
- Maintaining at all times fluid communication between the team, the faculty advisor, and the liaison.
As a result of the additional work-load that these management duties will have,
the PM may not contribute as much technical content. At the same time, the PM
should directly contribute to some aspect of the project's technical
development. Towards this end, we recommend early on that the PM identify some
well-contained piece of code to take ownership of.
Team Members Whatever each member's relative strengths,
every team member should be involved in: communicating effectively
with the group, time management, technical contributions, written
reports, and oral presentations. One of your most important
contributions as a team member will be to provide feedback early and
often: What technical aspects of the project do you most want
to "own"? Do any procedures feel like "time wasting" and if so, how
can these be addressed? Is there anything the PM or faculty advisors
should be doing be doing differently? etc.
One of clinic's most difficult (and yet rewarding aspects) is working
as a team. This becomes much easier and more fun to do if everyone is
open, honest, and has their heart in the right place.
And with no more ado, lets Have Fun!