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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Joseph J Simpson
CSS 390
Bothell Campus

Special Topics

Examines current topics and issues associated with computing and software systems.

Class description

This introductory course covers key aspects of the history, application and practice of large-scale, complex systems engineering activities. Undergraduate students with interests in large-scale systems integration, technical management, computer science and systems engineering are the primary audience for this course. The course is divided into three sections: 1) systems concepts and terminology, 2) tools and methods used by individual contributors, and 3) process and management skills required for the development and integration of complex systems.

Student learning goals

Understand the social context that is shaping a systems approach and methodology.

Identify key differences between and among science, engineering and a systems methodology.

Identify common aspects of large-scale systems management practices applied by major corporations and government agencies.

Identify and use basic system analysis techniques and methods.

Understand and demonstrate use of structured communication techniques.

Understand the fundamentals aspects associated with the engineering of complex systems.

General method of instruction

The class is organized around selected readings, class lecture and student projects. Each team of students will be responsible for the production of a publication quality course report.

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading

The course project is approximately 70 percent of the grade split 35 percent for the midterm review and 35 percent for the final review. The other 30 percent of the grade is split between individual assignments and class participation. Extra credit assignments are available for interested students.

Structured review of course report and demonstrated understanding of the course material.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Joseph J Simpson
Date: 02/19/2013