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Course title

EECS 348: Software Engineering -- Spring 2024 (53444)
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2:30 pm - 3:45 pm, Eaton 002
Teaching website: people.eecs.ku.edu/~saiedian/Teaching


Professor Hossein Saiedian
Office: Eaton Hall 3012
Telephone: 785-864-8812
E-Mail: saiedian AT ku.edu
WWW: people.eecs.ku.edu/~saiedian
Office Hours: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 1:00-2:00 PM (and by appointment)

Teaching assistants

Agraj Magotra (agrajmagotra@ku.edu), EATN 2005B, W, 3:00-5:00 PM
Toye Oloko (toye@ku.edu), EATN 2005B, Tu, 11:00-1:00 PM
Liangqin Ren (liangqinren@ku.edu), EATN 2005B, W, 3:00-5:00 PM

Labs hours

W 01:00 - 02:50 PM (53510), EATN 1005B, Toye Oloko
W 01:00 - 02:50 PM (55162), EATN 1005D, Liangqin Ren

Th 09:00 - 10:50 AM (53511), EATN 1005C, Agraj Magotra
Th 11:00 - 12:50 PM (53512), EATN 1005B, Toye Oloko

F 12:00 - 01:50 PM (53513), EATN 1005B, Liangqin Ren
F 02:00 - 03:50 PM (53514), EATN 1005B, Agraj Magotra

Course description

This course is an introduction to software development fundamentals and software engineering. It incorporates a thorough introduction to a compiled programming language. A baseline knowledge of tools and utilities is covered including the shell, common programs, version control, IDEs, editors, and build tools. Topics include: software development principles (e.g., design patterns, modularity, loose coupling), extending larger codebases, developing larger codebases, continuous integration, continuous deployment, debugging, unit testing, test-driven development, and databases. Grade of C (not C-) required to progress. Prerequisite: EECS 268.

Course outcomes

Master the SDLC. Gain a solid understanding of the software development process, from concept to deployment. Explore various development models to choose the right approach for your projects.

Project management fundamentals. Learn essential project management skills like planning, scheduling, and communication. Effectively manage your work and contribute to successful software projects.

Teamwork for software development. Understand the importance of collaboration in software engineering. Learn to work effectively within teams to design, develop, and deliver high-quality software.

Core software engineering concepts. Understand the fundamentals of requirements engineering, architecture, design, testing, implementation, and deployment. Build robust and maintainable software systems.

Essential tools for software engineers. Master industry-standard tools like Git/GitHub for version control and IDEs for efficient coding. Explore programming languages for various tasks (C/C++, shell scripting, web development) and server-side scripting (e.g., PHP) for building web applications, and SQL for backend database access and processing.

Popular SE textbooks

The following are two recommended softwre engineering textbooks:

Ravi Sethi
Software Engineering
Cambridge Press, 2022.
Roger Pressman and Bruce Maxim
Software Engineering: A Practitioner's Approach
9th edition, McGraw-Hill, 2020.

Other useful resources

There are plenty of resources, tutorials, and Youtube videos on UML.

Two interesting professional software engineers' podcasts:

Students are responsible for lecture notes, reading assignments, as well as items distributed during the classroom sessions. Important reading materials as well as lecture slides will be placed on Canvas:

Lecture notes (Canvas)
Readings (Canvas)
Project resources (Canvas)

Evaluation (subject to revision)

Evaluation criteria. Students will be evaluated as follows:

Weekly labs: 25%
Term team project: 25%
Exams and quizzes: 50%

Labs: Some of the lab assignments will have to be completed while in the lab and at the presence of the TAs to meet the required academic integrity standards. If those labs are completed outside the lab, they will receive no credit (points).

Term project. The term project will be team-based (teams of 5-6 individuals). The team project requirements will be discussed class. The description of project components (artifacts) will be placed on Canvas. The student teams will have to decide what computing platform. Term projects will have to be implemented in C++. The TAs will provide direction and support for the project artifacts. All project artifacts and code should be maintained on GitHub.

Exams and quizzes will be in-person, in classroom, closed book and notes and on Canvas. Always bring a device that allows you to connect to Canvas to take an exam or quiz. While taking an exam or quiz, no other devices is to be used other than the device used for connecting to Canvas. No other file or app other than Canvas should be open. If using a browser to connect to Canvas, only one tab for connecting to Canvas should be running.

  • On exams, quizzes, and lab assignments: For questions with multiple parts, like "name three parts of...", ditch the single-paragraph trap! Treat each part separately. This prevents muddled answers and makes your understanding clear. Use clear identifiers, like "(1)", "(2)", "(3)", to easily navigate your response. Remember, for answers exceeding three parts, only the first three will be assessed.
  • On exams, quizzes, and lab assignments: Show us your class engagement! Responses pulled from generative AI, Wikipedia, or similar online sources won't win you points. We seek responses rooted in what was discussed and presented in class and captured in your lecture notes. This demonstrates your attentiveness, study effort, and ability to connect concepts from class to your answers. We will be rewarding students who attend class, take notes, study their own notes, and provide responses that connect to the classroom discussions and contents.
  • On exams, quizzes, and lab assignments: Technical explanations and specific details are your allies! Vague and incomplete answers leave us guessing about your grasp of the concepts. To award full credit, we need confident evidence of your understanding. So, strive for accuracy, comprehensiveness, and technical soundness and avoid vague response. Remember, an answer that's almost there but lacks precision or strays from the target won't earn full marks.

Grading scale

A = 90%..100%
B = 80%..89%
C = 70%..79%
D = 60%..69%

All written work must be typeset and submitted on Canvas.

Tentative weekly schedule (re-visit for updates)

Overview of the course
Striving for successful teams
Intro to Git and GitHub
Software life cycle

Software tools
Software development models
Software products vs software projects
Agile software development

Lab 1: Git and GitHub

Minimal product (project) management
Requirements engineering
Domain engineering
Why modeling

Project part 1 assigned: Project management plan

Lab 2: Shell programming, make

UML use case modeling
UML class modeling

Lab 3: Use case modeling

UML class modeling (continued)

🚦 Thursday February 15: Exam 1

Project part 2 assigned: Project requirements

More on UML class modeling

Compiled programs: C/C++ programming

Lab 4: UML class modeling (must be completed and submitted in lab); tool: Visual-Paradigm

Compiled programs: C/C++ programming

Extra credit lab: UML class modeling (must be completed and submitted in lab); tool: Visual-Paradigm

Compiled programs: C/C++ programming

Lab 5: Eclipse/VS IDE, compiled programs, C/C++ programming, git

Detailed-design concepts: Modular design, object-oriented design, design patterns

Lab 6: Eclipse/VS IDE, compiled programs, C/C++ programming, git

Project part 3 assigned: Project architecture and design

Detailed-design concepts: Modular design, object-oriented design, design patterns

Polymorphic design: operator overloading, template classes, parametric polymorphism (function overloading), abstract and interface classes, static and dynamic binding

🚦 Thursday March 28: Exam 2

Project part 4 assigned: Project implementation

Software design

Lab 7: Web programming with HTML, CSS, JS, and PHP

Software design (continued)

Concepts related to writing programs (documentation, self-describing programs, coding conventions, pre- and post-conditions, interpreters vs compiled programs, the compilation process, "make" and "git")

Project part 5 assigned: Project test cases

Lab 8: SQL programming

Software testing

Lab 9: Debugging and testing

Cloud-based software
Microservices architecture
Reliable Programming
Security and Privacy

Project part 6 assigned: Project user manual

Lab 10: Container programming

UML revisited: modeling behavioral properties
DevOps and code management
Emerging trends in software engineering

Project implementation due: updated project management plan, requirements, design, test cases, C++ code, user manual

Lab 11: Regular expressions

🚦 Comprehensive final Monday May 6 at 1:30-4:00 pm

Common policies

Attendance. Attendance is important and required. Throughout the semester, attendance may randomly be taken; each three absences (in classroom or lab) will result in a letter-grade drop (will show when the final grade is posted). Furthermore, if a student misses a class session, he or she will be entirely responsible for learning the materials missed without the benefit of a private lecture on the instructor's part. Furthermore, the student will be responsible for finding out what assignments may have been given and when they are due, any updates to the term project, schedule or the course syllabus.

Late-work, makeup policy. No late work will be accepted. No makeup option (for a lab, quiz, or exam) will be provided.

Exceptions will be made for .

Verification (documentation) of an excusable absence will be required. An excusable absence requests must be submitted in advance and approved by the instructor, unless it is an emergency. Verification documents must be attached to the request.

Make-up quizzes and exams for excused absences will have to be completed before the following session when the quiz/exam key becomes public. Make-up for an excused lab absence should be completed within one week.

Technical problems. If you experience technical problems with your EECS account or the EECS servers or the lab equipment, please submit a support request help at: https://tsc.ku.edu/request-support-engineering-tsc.

Inside classroom policy. Students are expected to come to the class on time, be attentive and engaged, conduct themselves professionally, and avoid anything that could cause a distraction or detrimental either for other students learning or for the instructor's presentations. Profanity and swearing is not allowed.

Students are expected to actively participate in all classroom presentations and discussions, ask questions, and regularly make contributions such as offering comments, responding with good answers, and providing feedback.

Canvas announcements. Announcements is a Canvas tool to post important information and updates to all members of a course. It is your responsibility to regularly check your Canvas account for such announcements (students may also receive an email notification when a new announcement is posted).

Email communications E-mail communication is fast, flexible, and effective. You have an @ku.edu email account and you are expected to regularly check it. Important information will also be communicated via email.

You are a student registered in a course offered by the School of Engineering at the University of Kansas, a top regional and a nationally ranked institution. Your communications, especially written communications (composition, grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc), must reflect that status. Please follow these email guidelines and etiquettes.

Send text-only emails in text-only format. All classroom assignments, labs, or projects should be typeset and submitted on Canvas. Other documents (e.g., documents for an excusable absence) shoud be emailed in PDF or a well-known image format (e.g., JPG or PNG). See the Guidelines for submitting electronic documents.

Grade and absence clarification or correction. If you believe your grades on an assignment, lab, quiz, or exam are incorrect, you should formally submit a grade appeal via email to the instructor within one week of receiving the graded work. Similarly, if you have an excusable absence, and you did not provide documentation prior to the absence, submit relevant documentation within one week of the absence. Failure to address concerns within these timeframes will result in the decision becoming final. This timeline ensures timely resolution and fairness for all parties involved.

Late exam-taking policy. If a student will have to take an exam or a quiz at a later time (due to an excused and verified absence), he or she will be asked to make the following statement: I understand that I have been granted the opportunity to take this exam or quiz on [date of rescheduled exam] due to an excused absence from the original exam on [date of original exam]. In making this arrangement, I affirm that I did not and will not, by any means (in writing, speaking, or through digital communications), obtain any information about the exam content or details from anyone who has taken it at the original time. I understand that violating this pledge may result in disciplinary action, including receiving a failing grade on the exam.

Cell phone policy. Cell phones should be turned off before coming to the classroom. Cell phone use for the purposes of texting, email or other social media should be avoided. Earphones for music are OK during lab work or individualized problem solving, as long as the volume allows you to hear announcements. Also cell phone or other cameras may be used to photograph projects and the whiteboard but avoid shots that include the presenter or other students.

Laptop/electronic device policy. The use of laptops, tablets or similar devices is common for taking notes but turn off audio and avoid any possible uses that could cause distraction for others (e.g., Web surfing or social media visits).

Incomplete grade policy. "Incomplete (I) grades are used to note, temporarily, that students have been unable to complete a portion of the required course work during that semester due to circumstances beyond their control. Incomplete work must be completed and assigned an A-F or S/U grade within the time period prescribed by the course instructor. After one calendar year from the original grade due date, an Incomplete (I) grade will automatically convert to a grade of F or U, or the lapsed grade assigned by the course instructor."

Accommodations for students with disabilities. The University of Kansas is committed to providing equal opportunity for participation in all programs, services and activities. Requests for special accommodations may be made thru the KU Student Access Services.

KU's diversity policy statement. As a premier international research university, the University of Kansas is committed to an open, diverse and inclusive learning and working environment that nurtures the growth and development of all. KU holds steadfast in the belief that an array of values, interests, experiences, and intellectual and cultural viewpoints enrich learning and our workplace. The promotion of and support for a diverse and inclusive community of mutual respect require the engagement of the entire university.

The University of Kansas prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, national origin, age, ancestry, disability, status as a veteran, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, gender identity, gender expression, and genetic information in the University's programs and activities. Retaliation is also prohibited by University policy. If you have questions about filing a report of discrimination, contact the Office of Civil Rights and Title IX at civilrights@ku.edu.

KU's sexual harassment policy. The University of Kansas prohibits sexual harassment and is committed to preventing, correcting, and disciplining incidents of unlawful harassment, including sexual harassment and sexual assault. Sexual harassment, sexual violence, and a hostile environment because of sex are forms of sex discrimination and should be reported. (“Sexual Harassment” means behavior, including physical contact, advances, and comments in person, through an intermediary, and/or via phone, text message, email, social media, or other electronic medium, that is unwelcome; based on sex or gender stereotypes; and is so severe, pervasive and objectively offensive that it has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with a person’s academic performance, employment or equal opportunity to participate in or benefit from University programs or activities or by creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working or educational environment.)

Under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, harassment based on sex, including sexual assault, stalking, domestic and dating violence, and harassment or discrimination based on the individual’s sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, and pregnancy or related conditions, is prohibited. If a student would like to file a complaint for Title IX discrimination or has any questions, please contact KU’s Title IX Coordinator (Lauren Jones McKown, Associate Vice Chancellor for Civil Rights and Title IX, Dole Human Development Center, 1000 Sunnyside Ave, Suite 1082, Lawrence, KS 66045, civilrights@ku.edu, 785.864.6414).

Mandatory reporter statement. The University of Kansas has decided that all employees, with few exceptions, are responsible employees or mandatory reporters who must report incidents of discrimination, harassment, and sexual violence that they learn of in their employment at KU to the Office of Civil Rights and Title IX. This includes faculty members. As such, if you share information about discrimination, harassment, or sexual violence with me, I will have to relay that information to the Office of Civil Rights and Title IX. I truly value your trust in me to share that information and I want to be upfront about my requirement as a mandatory reporter. If you are interested in contacting KU’s confidential resources (those who do not have to make disclosures to OCRTIX), there are: the Care Coordinator, Melissa Foree; CAPS therapists; Watkins Health Care Providers; and the Ombuds Office.

Commercial note-taking ventures. Pursuant to the University of Kansas’ Policy on Commercial Note-Taking Ventures, commercial note-taking is not permitted in this course. Lecture notes and course materials may be taken for personal use, for the purpose of mastering the course material, and may not be sold to any person or entity in any form. Any student engaged in or contributing to the commercial exchange of notes or course materials will be subject to discipline, including academic misconduct charges, in accordance with University policy. Please note: note-taking provided by a student volunteer for a student with a disability, as a reasonable accommodation under the ADA, is not the same as commercial note-taking and is not covered under this policy. In fact, we often have students needing help with note taking (including this very course). If you are able to take well-organized and detailed notes, have legible handwriting, and regularly attend the class, your help will be greatly appreciated and will be recognized with a a KU certificate. Please visit with me.

Concealed handguns. Individuals who choose to carry concealed handguns are solely responsible to do so in a safe and secure manner in strict conformity with state and federal laws and KU weapons policy. Safety measures outlined in the KU weapons policy specify that a concealed handgun:

  • Must be under the constant control of the carrier.
  • Must be out of view, concealed either on the body of the carrier, or backpack, purse, or bag that remains under the carriers custody and control.
  • Must be in a holster that covers the trigger area and secures any external hammer in an un-cocked position.
  • Must have the safety on, and have no round in the chamber.

Suggested readings Textbooks are excellent survey and tutorial resources. Most up-to-date topics on topics discussed in class can be found in technical journals and recent conference proceedings. Students should develop a habit of regularly browsing IEEE Software, IEEE Computer, Communications of the ACM, IEEE Security & Privacy, IEEE Network, IEEE IT Professional, IEEE Cloud Computing, and similar magazines.

LLM and generative AI tools

You may use ChatGPT and other generative AI tools in some instances. That includes generating ideas, outlining steps in a project, finding sources, getting feedback on your writing, and overcoming obstacles on papers and projects. Using those tools to generate all or most of an assignment, though, will be considered academic misconduct. If you are ever in doubt, ask. In your course work, you will be asked to explain in a reflection statement how you used any generative AI tools.

How to use generative AI ethically. Using ChatGPT and similar tools to avoid the intellectual work of your classes is wrong. If you simply copy what a chatbot creates and turn that in as your own, it will be considered academic misconduct. It is the same as copying and pasting from a webpage or having a friend write a paper for you. All of the assignments in this class are intended to help you develop intellectually and professionally. Learning can be challenging, and working through those challenges – and failures – will help you be more successful in this course, in other courses, and in your profession.

Instructors and students everywhere are trying to negotiate the boundaries of generative AI in learning. Many areas are murky. Here’s how I see things: The work you submit in this class has your name on it and should represent your intellectual efforts. Using generative AI for assistance is much like working with a partner. You exchange ideas and offer feedback to each other, with a goal of improving each other’s work. If you ask your partner to do the assignment for you because you are tired or sick, you deserve no credit because the assignment with your name on it is a lie. The same holds if you have generative AI do the work. So always ask yourself: What intellectual work have I done? Is this really my work?

Create reflection statements. Each GAI-assisted assignment you turn must include a reflection on how you went about the work. That includes the steps you took to find information, the way you organized your information, and the steps you took in creating the assignment. If you used generative AI, explain which tool you used, how you used it, and to what extent. Also explain what you learned from the process. Were AI tools helpful? If so, what approaches do you want to use next time and what approaches should you avoid? Did the use of generative AI make the assignment feel less like your own work? Or were you able to edit and use other strategies to shape the work into your own?

Academic integrity

The University of Kansas, the School of Engineering, and in particular, the Department of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science (EECS) have zero tolerance for academic dishonesty and academic misconduct.

The institutional definitions and consequences of institutional academic integrity policies will used. Academic dishonesty includes any form of plagiarism (cheating) as well as "giving or receiving of unauthorized aid on examinations or in the preparation of assignments or reports, knowingly misrepresenting the source of any academic work, falsification of research results, and plagiarizing of another's work." An absolutely minimum consequence of an academic integrity violation will be a zero for the item in question (e.g., a lab, an assignment, an exam or quiz), but depending on the severity, the consequence may be a lower grade, or simply an F for the course, and the case may be forwarded to the SoE committee for additional penalties and disciplinary measures.

LMS features.To further facilitate academic integrity, the following features of Canvas learning management system (LMS) will be utilized:

  • Each exam and quiz will be conducted synchronously in classroom, will be scheduled on a regular weekly session.
  • Each exam or quiz will have a limited and narrow time (set via a timer) to be completed and each person will get only one chance to do it.
  • Each exam or quiz will have about the same amount of time as a paper exam or quiz, plus some additional LMS overhead time.
  • Exam and quiz questions will be randomly numbered for each person. Furthermore, the multiple choice, matching and similar questions will have randomized choice selections. As a result, a choice like "All of the above" or "None of the above" may not be the last choice and refers to the other choices.
  • Exam and quiz questions will be displayed one-at-a time, with no backtracking.
  • The "originality checking" mechanisms of LMS will be utilized for exams but also assignments. LMS is able to check written responses against online databases of previously published works and trace sentences or clauses to other sources.
  • LMS features to prohibit printing, copying/pasting of exams will be turned on.
  • LMS lockdown feature will be employed.
The ACM's and IEEE's code of ethics. As IT and computing professionals and/or as engineers, you should be familiar with the ACM's (IT, computing) and IEEE (engineering) codes of ethics and apply them during your academic and professional careers. These are lifelong commitments to integrity and professional conduct.

We will review these during the first class session, but you are strongly encouraged to review these codes in detail:

From the ACM's preamble: Computing professionals' actions change the world. To act responsibly, they should reflect upon the wider impacts of their work, consistently supporting the public good. The ACM Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct ("the Code") expresses the conscience of the profession.

From the IEEE's preamble: We, the members of the IEEE, in recognition of the importance of our technologies in affecting the quality of life throughout the world, and in accepting a personal obligation to our profession, its members and the communities we serve, do hereby commit ourselves to the highest ethical and professional conduct and agree.

The School of Engineering Statement on EdTech. "With the switch to online teaching as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, professors and instructors at the KU School of Engineering are aware that some students are actively posting assignments, laboratory, and exam questions and responses to EdTech services (e.g., Chegg) even during exam time frames.

Keep in mind that when a person signs up to participate by either uploading, and/or downloading, and/or using posted material from these sites, the “terms of service” that are agreed to do not protect the person when KU and/or the School of Engineering decide to conduct investigations related to academic misconduct (e.g., plagiarism and/or cheating).

In fact, EdTech services, like Chegg, retain contact information of students who use their services and will release that information, which is traceable, upon request. Using these services constitutes academic misconduct, which is not tolerated in the School of Engineering. It violates Article 3r, Section 6 of its Rules & Regulations, and may lead to grades of F in compromised course(s), transcript citations of academic misconduct, and expulsion from the University of Kansas.

If unsure about assignments, it is important that students use the allowable available resources, such as instructor office hours, graduate teaching assistants, and/or tutoring. The School of Engineering wants students to be successful; cheating is not the way to attain that success."