Syllabus for INFO 5901: MPS Project Practicum (Spring 2020)

Instructor: Kyle Harms; he/him/his;;\ Office Hours: Tuesdays 2:30pm-4:00pm, Thursdays 10:00am-11:00am, Gates Hall 224.

Credits: INFO 5901 – 2; INFO 5900 – 1\ Lecture/Studio: Mondays, Thursdays, 4:40pm-5:30pm, Upson Hall 142

Email Contact:\ Course web site:\ Course Grades:

Course Structure

In this course (INFO 5901) students will receive guidance toward working on their MPS project (INFO 5900).

Class will consist of two primary activities:

  1. MPS Project: This course is adjacent to working on your INFO 5900 MPS project, a semester-long project sponsored by an industry or academic client. Students will apply the skills they learn in the MPS program to a real-world project that includes requirements, project management, deadlines, and deliverables. Substantial class time will be dedicated to specific activities related to the team project.

  2. Project Management Lectures: lectures and case studies in key professional disciplines such as communication, presentations, teamwork, risk management, project management and execution. The purpose is to help students develop project skills during the semester that will benefit them in their future employment.

MPS Project

In your semester-long project, you will be working in a team for an industry/academic client, to define the problem, come up with a project plan, research into the problem space, apply a broad design thinking perspective to address the problem, and complete milestones and deliver artifacts and presentations.

Project teams will be assigned at the beginning of the semester based on a match of the project needs and students’ skills. Each team will have diverse skill-sets to draw upon. This will be valuable to you as well as to the companies that are sponsoring the project. It will provide you with the knowledge and skills required to work on a real-life problem faced by a company and thus prepare you to excel in your careers.

Confidentially & Intellectual Property

You are required to sign Cornell’s Standard Project Agreement (CSP). This agreement protects your client’s intellectual property. Once signed you are legally obligated to meet the conditions specified in this agreement.

Many of your clients will sign the CSP using Option C: The Organization is the owner of all Intellectual Property. If your client signs with this option, you are required to sanitized any privileged information when submitting assignments.

At the end of the semester, you must destroy all confidential information and intellectual property!

Communication & Getting Help

For all course related communication please email Please do not email the course staff (instructor and TAs) directly. As a general rule of thumb, please communicate any issues with the instructor in advance.

Attendance & Absences

You should come to class. Students who come to class, learn more and often receive higher grades than students that don’t come to class. Attendance will be taken for recording purposes only; attendance is not taken for credit.

Deadlines & Late Submission

Assignments are due as stated. Late work will receive a 0. Under exceptional circumstances late work may be accepted at the discretion of the instructor. Exceptional circumstances will be considered only if discussed with the instructor in advance.


I grade to a scale, not to a curve and I do not round grades. Like your GPA, letter grades are assigned by the integer-part of your percentage; the decimal-part is not a factor. For example: 96.01, 96.5, and 96.99 are all A’s. 97.0 is an A+.

Letter Percent Letter Percent Letter Percent Letter Percent
A+ 97-100% B+ 87-89% C+ 77-79% D+ 67-69%
A 93-96% B 83-86% C 73-76% D 63-66%
A- 90-92% B- 80-82% C- 70-72% D- 60-62%
            F 0-59%

Your grade for INFO 5900 (1 credit) and INFO 5901 (2 credits) is computed using the following weighted averages. I reserve the right to change this if necessary.

  Total INFO 5900 INFO 5901
Credit 3 credits 1 credit 2 credits
Assignments 20% 0% 30%
• Lecture & Reading Reflections 10%    
• Individual Status Updates 5%    
• Project Status Updates 5%    
Project 80% 100% 70%
• Milestone 1 15%    
• Milestone 2 20%    
• Milestone 3 20%    
• Poster & Presentation 5%    
• Final Report 10%    
• Deliverables 10%    
Total 100% 100% 100%


Diversity, Inclusion, and Wellness

Diversity, inclusion, and belonging are all core values of this course. A sense of belonging can also affect students’ mental health and wellness. All participants in this course deserve to and should expect to be treated with respect by other members of the community.

Academic Integrity

All students are expected to abide by the University’s Code of Academic Integrity.

Academic Accommodations (SDS, Title IX, religious, athletic, etc.)

This course has built-in deadline and attendance flexibility. This flexibility is specifically intended to support most student accommodation needs (e.g. medical issues, family emergencies, religious observance, athletic participation, etc.) Further, all assignment deadlines are known well in advance; plan for your absences. For most accommodations I expect you to use this flexibility and/or complete your assignment in advance of your absence.

Note to students with disabilities: If you have a disability‐related need for reasonable academic adjustments in this course, provide the (Instructor, TA, Course Coordinator) with an accommodation letter from Student Disability Services. Students are expected to give two weeks notice of the need for accommodations. If you need immediate accommodations, please arrange to meet with your (Instructor, TA, Course Coordinator) within the first two class meetings.

If you need additional flexibility, please come talk to me. You must request accommodations/considerations well in advance; the day before the deadline is not sufficient. There is very little (read: nothing) that I can offer as an accommodation after an assignment deadline has passed. If you are requesting an accommodation for an assignment, you must demonstrate your progress on the assignment (i.e. push your current progress). I am willing to work with you on your individual circumstance to help you succeed in this course, but you must come and see me first. The sooner the better.

Laptops and Cell Phones

In lecture, laptops and cell phones distract you from fully engaging with the material. Laptop use is strongly discouraged. Cell phone use is not permitted.

Photography & Recording

Please do not take photos or record any portion of lecture without first obtaining permission from the instructor.

Selling Course Materials

Course materials are intellectual property belonging to the author. Students are not permitted to buy or sell any course materials without the express permission of the instructor. Such unauthorized behavior constitutes academic misconduct.