On Dec. 17, 2020, the Master of Computer Science (MCS) and Master of Software Engineering (MSWE) programs held their first-ever virtual Capstone Showcase. The two professional programs, offered by the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences (ICS), joined forces this year to highlight the 142 students graduating on Dec. 18, showcasing their innovative projects. Both the graduation and showcase were virtual because of the pandemic, but that didn’t stop the students from presenting live, 15-miniutes pitches and demos over Zoom for the showcase. They then answered questions from the more than 80 guests in attendance, including industry professionals and UCI colleagues.
“We are really happy with how it turned out,” says Jessica Shanahan, the program manager for MCS. “At the end of the evening, students were congratulating each other on a job well done. They had a lot of fun and were thankful for this experience.”
The Inaugural MSWE Cohort
This was the first graduating cohort for the MSWE program. The 34 graduates started their 15-month journey in September 2019. After spending an estimated 1,300 hours writing, reading, analyzing and testing code, these students spent the final quarter of the program designing and implementing their capstone project. Students worked in teams, delivering the following 10 projects:
- ACED (ANTrepreneur Center Entrepreneurship Database) is a system that effectively manages student profiles and entrepreneurial activities (Junxian Chen, Wen-Chia Yang, Zihua Weng, Rafael Oliveira).
- Chat Roulette is a speed-dating feature for the Clowdr virtual conferencing platform (Bingfei Zhang, Yijia Zhang, Xiling Li).
- MACMODS is a web-based mapping solution that visualizes the potential of building and operating seaweed farms to maximize the macroalgal yield in California (Soobin Choi, Duo Chai, Guowei Li, Tianyu Qi).
- Helpgram lets you ask others for help with tasks such as grocery shopping, or you can offer to help others, perhaps picking up a prescription for an elderly neighbor (Aman Bhatia, Anjana Krishnakumar Vellore, Santhiya Nagarajan, Vaishakhi Pilankar).
- Spell-with-Maven is a web application that helps young children learn spelling (Tianlun Li, Zeyu Huang, Yue Zhang).
- SpiderSense is a software testing platform that can show line-level coverage data and automatically get new commits from GitHub (Dongxin Xiang, Jing Chen, Weihuan Fu, Marc Andrada).
- Surfline is a custom news feed delivering the latest in surf forecast journalism (Nicolas Grantham).
- Team1 developed a financial projection tool that allows faculty at UCI’s Stem Cell Research Center to efficiently consolidate and manipulate financial data (Harry Duong, Armin Hamidi, Thuc Nguyen, Chunqi (Deon) Zhao).
- UnoKiwi is a state of the art, easy-to-use iOS application for clothing design and customization (Xiaolue Peng, Shikun Xiong, Yilin Wang, Yitian Ma).
- The WorkerDrones team enhanced CloudStation, a cloud-based drone piloting system (Chris Zhang, Hyun Jay Yang, Lindsey Garcia).
More than 100 MCS Graduates
Eighty-nine percent of the previous MCS cohort, which graduated in 2019, secured full-time employment within three months of graduation, and 71% received salaries between $100,000 and $150,000 at companies such as Amazon, Cisco, Google, IBM, Intel, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Oracle, Salesforce, SAP, Tesla and Yahoo. Of the 2020 cohort, 72% had already secured employment prior to their December graduation.
“MCS offers a comprehensive understanding of computer science with the variety of subjects it has to offer,” says Junaid Jabbar Magdum, an international student who joined the program right after completing his undergraduate education. “From resume workshops to career fair preparation seminars, the program helps you make significant strides in securing a job. Furthermore, the professors and staff are extremely helpful and are available at all times, which makes MCS a clear choice for any student looking at a Master’s program.”
Magdum was one the 108 students in the 2020 cohort, and his team’s capstone project used gaming to help people learn how to better protect themselves against COVID-19. In fact, more than a handful of the 36 projects dealt with either the pandemic directly or healthcare more generally:
- BattleCovid-19 is a 2D platformer game designed to spread awareness about the safety measures for COVID-19 (Isha Manoj Pongde, Junaid Jabbar Magdum, Ritwick Verma).
- Dynamic Duo is a virtual health journaling software that helps senior patients prepare for doctor visits (Yixing Wang, Jing Yu).
- Focus Now helps students find places to study during pandemic (Hanying Leng, Hua Chen, Siyi Le, Zhihong Zhang).
- Treehole Online provides an anonymous web-based platform for people to share their feelings and lives (Zehua Peng , Yuhao Dai , Jiaming Mo).
- MyFitPlanner generates and tracks personalized workout routines to achieve your fitness goals (Bryan Roth, Joshua Sun, Huanzhi Zhang).
- PharmEasy integrates and streamlines healthcare services with Secured Data Store using Blockchain (Rushikesh Joshi, Romit Shah, Ankitesh Gupta).
- Virtue Office is a web-based 2D online game that connects distant people, boosts their productivity, and brings joy to the virtual workplace (Chung-Yu Chi, Siyu Shi, Yuanbo Han, Zhanyan Zhu).
Other projects were more entrepreneurial in spirit:
- Bartr is a web application that lets users exchange items they don’t want with other users (Amay Kadre, Christopher Dinh).
- Beauty Deals helps you find the best deals on beauty products (Lian Liu, Jie Yin, Qingxue Zhu).
- Dreamcatcher helps get you on a path to acquiring your dream job (Anand Abhay Deshpande, Burhanuddin Lakdawala, Yash Uday Kulkarni).
- UCI Secbook provides a platform for UCI students to buy and sell or give away used books (Yiwei Pan, Mei Yang, Shuo Wang, Yi Liu).
- InvestorZen is a platform that helps you identify opportunities and connect with entities from a database of vetted startups and investors (Aneri Shah, Subash Kotha, Sukriti Chhabra).
- Virtual Career Fairs is an online platform that simulates a real life career fair experience for recruiters, universities and students (Akanksha Kaushik, Samarth Khare, Vindiya Singh).
- WeTrading is a campus trading platform focused on second-hand product trading for students (Chen Cui, Zhexuan Dong, Heyong Zhang).
- Zot-Books is a website where students can sell and rent books (Pranay Morye, Anuj Maheshwari, Siddhant Deshmukh).
There were also projects focused on entertainment, games and social connections:
- ConnectZen is an app that helps users stay connected with loved ones (Mamta Shah, Shrishti Jain, Shreya Kunjibettu).
- Game Dev Done Quick is a game that teaches the player game development concepts through level design (Emma Wunderly and Marcus Chiu).
- GamersHub is a platform that combines the various gaming services from managing different accounts to streaming recommendations (Aditya Agarwal, Prasad Sawant, Anurag Sengupta).
- Memory Manager is a common media platform for sharing selfies and other content with family and friends (Thomas Mathew Parayil, Laveena Chetan Kottwani, Ashutosh Singh).
- Rubiks lets you play the Rubik’s Cube online and view tutorials (Ping Sun).
- TreeUs is an app that helps long-distance couples maintain their relationship (Zipeng Lin, Austin Yin, Yun Dai).
- WasGo, an extension of the Godot game engine, lets game developers make games in various languages while protecting gamers from malicious code by enabling the usage of WebAssembly (Michael Liu Yuan, Ram Malyala, Ruilai Cui, Brandon Hung).
- WeLink is a social media web platform that focuses on users’ privacy with grouping features (Shihan Tang, Jiannan Zhu, Hao Yao).
- WeTrip helps people find someone to travel with (Lijie Song, Yuhang Guo, Zuoxi Wu, Yulin Zhang).
Finally, there were projects that helped people save time or gather and share information in a variety of ways and for a variety of reasons:
- Bye-bye Spam is a lightweight online chat application, which can automatically detect and highlight spam messages and send timely notification in order to filter out the unwanted messages (Xiangzhe Meng, Zichun Zhang, Haihan Jiang, Chen Wu).
- CodeFactoryCI is a light-weighted continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) application that is open source and not SaaS (Peixuan Li, Xingyou Ji).
- DPAD is a new decentralized collaborative editor (Yu Cheng, Lijie Shao, Lan Qiao).
- Fruit Recognizer is a full-stack fruit recognizer based on a machine learning algorithm (Ming Cai, Le Ma, Yifeng Zhang).
- GLADFS is an open-source, fault-tolerant distributed filesystem (Adam Monahan, Daman Kumar, Shubham Gupta).
- GroupHub is a public forum that lets users join interest groups, give reviews and share opinions (Luyao Jin, Yingfei Wu, Congcong Jin).
- Hotel Guidance Robot helps guests who are blind easily find their rooms at hotels (Michael Karachewski, Jiawei Li, Khaja Yasin Zuhuruddin).
- Dormitory Management System is a web application that is deployed on Heroku with features such as splitting bills, scheduling house cleaning and sharing information using sticker information boards (Han Song, Feihong Qian, Yushi Meng).
- Summarize It provides meaningful summaries of large text in one click (Amit Somani, Rishabh Saxena, Jash Ashwin Sohni).
- Softflow is a cloud-based workflow automation application that makes it easy to manage and track business processes (David Qiao, Jia Yao, Ken Le).
- Survey Generator creates and distributes a survey and collates responses (Chaitanya Ujeniya, Kenneth Chungath, Surya Rao Shedimbi).
- Survey Market is a product that empowers customers to survey the right way (Probuddho Chakraborty, Sagar Alavandar, Anant Simran Singh, Mehul Jain).
Join the MCS or MSWE Professional Program
More information about the ICS graduate programs is available online, including how to apply for the MCS and MSWE programs. Applications open in September and close mid-December. For Fall 2021, MSWE will be accepting domestic applications until mid-March. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com if you have questions or if you are a company interested in sponsoring a capstone project.
— Shani Murray