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Computing and Information Science | 2003

“Electronic Workflow in Synthesis Courses Computing and Information Science”

Hod Lipson


The Introductory Mechanical Syntheses course (MAE 225) teaches fundamental collaborative product design processes to approximately 100-140 sophomores each year. To date, students have been required to use paper notebooks to track and share design concepts and data throughout project development. This limits sharing and collaboration outside of group meetings and while instructoirs grade their notebooks. Students are also not prepared to use electronic workflow processes common in industry, and would benefit form exposure to emerging issues in data integrity and electronic intellectual property. This project proposes to implement a digital system that will allow students to store and access group data and development notes online.

CVS (Concurrent Version System) workflow software tracks versions during the process of coding. A user-friendly web interface was developed to provide students and teaching staff access to all group data without requiring local client software. Students were also introduced to Microsoft's OneNote application for tablet PCs so that they could synchronize notes and audio recordings of group meetings and archive the notes with other project documents.


  • Customized GUI (graphical user interface) for web- based workflow software, CVS (Concurrent Version System)
  • Tablet PCs
  • Microsoft OneNote software that synchronizes notes and audio recordings
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