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About Capstones

Capstone are senior-level project courses that allow you to solve a substantial problem with knowledge gained from many areas in computer science and engineering. Students work in teams to define a problem, develop a solution, produce and demonstrate an artifact that solves the problem, and present their work. Class time focuses on the project design and implementation, but it may also include lectures on the practical application of advanced topics. Interdisciplinary projects that require interaction with other departments are encouraged.

A Capstone course is not simply an advanced course in a particular sub-area, nor is it an unstructured project course. A Capstone is designed to be a culmination of your learning, and a chance to develop and express many skills at once: For example, techical expertise and communication ability.

Capstone Goals

  • Projects must be large enough to require teams of several students to work on over one quarter.
  • Students must apply concepts from more than one sub-area of CSE (at the 300-level and above).
  • The work must involve a substantial design effort.
  • Students must present their work using formal oral presentations and written reports.
  • Efforts must culminate in an interesting, working artifact.

Links of Interest

Capstone Registration

Capstone pre-registration will open on Monday August 20th, 2018 and priority registration will be given to those who complete the request form by August 29th.

We'll notify people of their Capstone placement by August 30th , and send add codes for Autumn Capstones. After this initial survey, any remaining space will open in the courses during normal registration. If you have further questions, please contact the advising staff at ugrad-advisor@cs.

Computer Engineering majors are required to complete a capstone course as part of their graduation requirements. Computer Science majors are encouraged to take a Capstone, although it is not required for CS. Every effort is made to assign students to one of their preferred capstones. An add code is e-mailed to all students signed up for a capstone prior to registration for the quarter in which the student is taking it.

2018-2019 Capstones

Fall 2018

  • CSE/EE 475: Taught by CSE - Bruce Hemingway
    • Prereq: CSE 369 and 474


  • CSE 481 A: Cloud Capstone - John Zahorjan
    • Prerequisites: TBD
    • Description:TBD


  • CSE 481 V: Virtual and Augmented Reality - Sankar
    • Prerequisites: CSE 332, and at least 1, CSE 400 level course recommended
    • Description: Students will work in small project teams to build applications and prototype systems using state of the art Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) technology.  Seattle is a nexus of VR tech, with Oculus Research, Valve, Microsoft (hololens), Google (cardboard, jump), and teams in the area.  We will be developing on the latest VR/AR headsets and platforms, and will bring in leading VR experts for lectures and to supervise student projects.  Students will experience the  end-to-end product cycle from design to deployment, and learn about VR/AR technology and applications.


Winter 2019

  • 481i Sound and Media Capstone: Bruce Hemingway
    • Pre-req: CSE 351, 332 and ideally one 400
    • Description: This capstone will build projects utilizing computer audio and video techniques for human interfacing, sound and video recording and playback, encoding and decoding, synchronization, sound synthesis, recognition, and analysis/resynthesis. Projects may contain any types of media. Students will work in teams to design, implement, and release a software project utilizing some of the techniques such as those in the links below.

We have two Oculus-VR development kits, two Tobii EyeX Eye-tracking Controllers, and 15 Leap Motion controllers for use in building musical/audio/media interfaces. We also have three Nvidia Jetson TX1 Developer Kits for high-performance Deep Neural Network learning and computer vision.


  • 460 Animation Capstone: Barbara Mones (note: requires application and admission in summer)


  • 481C Robotics Capstone: Prof. Maya Cakmak
    • Prereq: CSE 332; CSE 351; either CSE 331 or 371
    • Description: The robotics capstone teaches Computer Science & Engineering students the basics of robotics and gives them experience programming a mobile manipulator robot. The course covers robot motion, navigation, perception, manipulation, and user interaction through mini-lectures, labs and assignments. Students integrate these components to create autonomous or semi-autonomous robotic functionalities for a realistic robotic application. They learn to use libraries and tools within the most popular robot programming framework called ROS (Robot Operating System). The project gives students team-work experience with large scale software integration and gets them to explore opportunities for using robots to make people's lives easier.


  • 481S Security Capstone - Yoshi Kohno
    • Prereq: CSE 484
    • Description: Student teams will be tasked with creating a computer security themed product. The work will progress from product conception to requirements to design to implementation to evaluation. Along the way, students will incorporate key computer security tools and practices, including threat modeling, penetration testing, and bug fixing. Examples include password managers, censorship resistance systems, and mobile payment systems.


Spring 2019




  • CSE 428 Comp Bio Capstone: Spring 2017 Professor Larry Ruzzo
    • Prerequisites: CSE 312; CSE 331; CSE 332.  CSE 427 and a basic knowledge of biology are desirable, but *not* required; we will provide whatever background is necessary.
    • Description: Catalog Description: Design and implement a software tool or software analysis for an important problem in computational molecular biology.

      Molecular biology and genomics are being explosively transformed by availability of enormous datasets  arising from DNA sequencing and other high-throughput technologies, with data growth that is significantly outpacing “Moore’s law.”  This motivates (and demands) significant computational innovation to turn “data” into “knowledge.”  Students will work in small teams to develop novel tools and/or analyze data in this arena.  Past offerings of CSE 428 have produced widely-used web-servers for “DNA sequence motif” discovery in bacteria, tools for analysis of noncoding RNA, and de novo genome assembly, among others.
  • CSE 441: Human-Computer Interaction Capstone Professor Katharina Reinecke
    •  Prereq: CSE 440
    • Description: Students will work in groups of three or four on a single project that parallels the experience of delivering an interactive prototype within a company or with a customer. Students are expected to already possess knowledge of appropriate HCI methods, and will focus on independently applying those methods in the context of your project. There will therefore be little lecture material in this course. Course staff will instead work closely with students to critique and advise on their group project. Students will experience the end-to-end product cycle from design to deployment.


  • 481D Technology for Resource Constrained Environments - Richard Anderson
    • Prereq: CSE 332; CSE 351
    • Description: TBD


  • 481NLP Natural Language Processing Capstone: Noah Smith
    • Prereq: CSE 447, CSE446 (ML) is recommended
    • Description: Algorithms that deal with text or speech, either as inputs as outputs, are increasingly part of our everyday lives.  Systems that translate accurately between languages, read many documents and summarize or answer questions about them, and even hold conversations with us, are on the horizon. Successfully designing and implementing such systems requires understanding and integration of ideas from linguistics, statistics, and computation, and testing them rigorously requires a strong grasp of experimental methodology.  This capstone course gives hands-on experience with selecting a natural language processing problem and with crafting and evaluating a solution.



  • 482 Accessibility Capstone: Anat Caspi
    • Prereq: (recommended) CSE 490D, (recommended) CSE440
    • Notes: This course has a DIV designation and fulfills the diversity requirement
    • Description: Accessibility is quickly emerging as a leading consideration for product design and engineering. Disability is part of the human condition – almost everyone will be temporarily or permanently impaired at some point in life, and those who survive to old age will experience increasing difficulties. Disability is complex and heterogeneous, and the technological interventions to accommodate different abilities are wide ranging and vary with context. Many familiar technologies like voice recognition, text-to-speech, and gaze detection were initially engineered to assist people with disabilities gain more access and increase participation in daily life. Students will work in interdisciplinary project teams that include community members with expertise on project needs. Groups will follow participatory design practices and apply design and engineering skills to create technology solutions that increase independence and improve quality of life for people of all abilities. Teams will complete one end-to-end product iteration cycle: ideation, design, specification refinement, prototype and usability testing