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Computer Science
2020 Project Proposal

Vassar College Artifacts Database

Marc Smith (Computer Science)

The Vassar College Artifacts Project (VCAP) is a college-wide effort to discover, identify, preserve, and catalog forgotten teaching artifacts from Vassar's history. The WordPress site ( contains more information about the project, as well as galleries, photographs, information, and stories about the artifacts themselves. However, the VCAP Database itself is not yet available online as it is still under development. During fall 2019 two students (Noah Ari'20 and Norman Kuang'21) in my CMPU-381 Relational Databases Intensive began work on the design, implementation, and population of this database. This effort included beginning the development of SQL queries, and working with the actual VCAP data. Noah and Norman are continuing to work on the VCAP database this spring as part of joint Senior Independent Work. I'm looking for a student to continue this effort during URSI 2020, and possibly beyond, with the eventual goal of integrating access to the VCAP database with the VCAP WordPress site. This could be a companion web application cross-linked with the existing VCAP WordPress site. Depending on how far Noah and Norman get this spring, this project will require elements of database and query design, and agile web application design, development, and testing.

CMPU-145 and CMPU-203. No prior experience with relational databases and SQL required.

How should students express interest in this project?
Students interested in this URSI project are encouraged to email me at and introduce themselves. Please let me know all the ways this project interests you and why you are applying for this project. I don't expect students applying to have any prior experience with databases, only an interest in learning about them. I don't expect students to have software development experience beyond what is covered in CMPU-203, but students who apply should genuinely enjoy software development. Finally, while I'm not asking for a commitment beyond the summer, students who are genuinely interested in the Vassar College Artifacts Project and open to the possibility of continuing to work on this project next year are especially encouraged to apply.

This is an 8 week project running from May 27-July 17.