Computer science and computer science and information
systems capstone students are putting all of the techniques
learned throughout their degree program to work, and gaining
valuable experience, by developing software for professional
The senior seminar class CSCI 4921, Software Project Management,
combines students from both CS and CSCI. CS majors focus with
the software programming while CSCI majors work primarily in
management. The students work in three groups to develop software
or a Web site for one organization.
This spring, they are working with the Oceanic Institute[OI],
Hawai‘i Council on Economic Education [HCEE], and Dr. Kristi
West, a marine science professor at HPU. “I’m excited
this semester,” said Carl Farrell, associate professor
of computer science. “All three of the projects the students
are working with are wonderful, and they are working well.”
Farrell said students who have taken the class in the past have
been able to receive higher entry level positions because of
the experience they acquired in the class.
I can expect that I will do this kind of job [software development]
in the future,”said Woo Hyuck Choi, a student in the class, “[this
course] helps me to prepare for that.”
Kenny Kamiya, the team leader of the HCEE group, said that one
of the benefits of taking this course was to gain professional
experience prior to graduation.
I try to provide a bridge from a college classroom environment
to a professional environment of productivity so when they graduate
they can leave here and hit the road running,” Farrell
Hawai‘i Council on Economic Education
One group of capstone CSCI and CS students is designing a registration
system for HCEE that will allow teachers to create accounts and
sign-up for workshops on a variety of subjects, particularly,
The goal for this team of five young college professionals is
to provide their client, a nonprofit organization, with a more
robust database. Tara Anderson, from Ewa Beach; Woo Hyuck Choi,
from South Korea; Kenny Kamiya from Ewa Beach; Lay Yong Tan from
Malaysia; and Yichi Xu from China, make up this group. They wanted
to work with HCEE because of their interest in working with databases
and Web site development.
So far, they’ve met with their client twice and have established
four phases of their project’s development. They have assigned
a deadline to each phase, and are currently working on wrapping
up phase one and moving into phase two. They expect to present
the final product to their client on May 9.
The Five Star group, a name obtained from the Mead Five Star
line of office products, is working with Oceanic Institute (OI)
to help revamp the Web site with a new design interface that
is user-friendly and easy to maintain.
Members of the group include Michael Armstrong from Kalihi, Naoko
Hosoda from Tokyo, Nelson Kawada from Pearl City, Chang Ning-Hsaing
from Taiwan, and Troy Villar from Honolulu.
To avoid error with the graphic design and Web layout, Five Star
first had its client’s representative, Paula Bender, OI’s
communication specialist, draw out the specifications of what
she wanted. Working from this, the group will have their client
sign a formal contract specifying the option she selects. This
will help eliminate questions about the project and makes the
job easier for the group.
I think good feedback from the client and team members is important,” Villar
said. “We don’t choose the options for them. We present
them with options [within their capabilities] so that they can
choose the direction they want.”
The group doesn’t have prior graphic design experience,
but through the course of the class they’re gaining the
knowledge needed to produce the Web site.
If someone is looking for someone with Web design experience,
I can say ‘oh, I helped create the Oceanic Institute Web
site’,” Kawada said.
HPU Marine Science program
In an effort to generate a formula that will help to determine
the age or the length of a dolphin, specific to gender and species,
five CSCI students formed a group that they called the “Fighting
Fins.” Kauka Castro, Jason Fowler, Josh Medearis, Audrius
Peciukas, and Liane Yoshimura are working with an Assistant Professor
of biology, Dr. Kristi West, to develop a program that will allow
researchers from various locations to determine the age of a
dolphin by measuring its length, or the length of a dolphin by
measuring its age. “There are more than 90 species of dolphins,” said
Dr. West. “My hope is that this software will be set up
in a way that it would be applicable for any of those species
[of dolphins] and that we will one day be able to use it in lab
The team is utilizing all of its members’ knowledge from
prior computer information and programming classes to help them
to develop a program for long-term use by dolphin scholars from
all over the world.
We only have one CS major and the rest are CSCI majors, but we
are making it work to our advantage,” said Kauka Castro.
The team has been working diligently through the analysis phase of the project,
assisting Dr. West in her efforts to be able to interpret the data without harming
any live dolphins. The group is now in the design phase, putting together all
the requirements and information that will best suit the needs of dolphin researchers
in any marine biology department.
The students in all of these groups are gaining valuable hands-on experience
that they can use in their professional endeavors,” said Farrell.
Farrell’s advice to students is to learn as much as you can from all your
classes because they will benefit you in your senior seminar classes. Also, he
added, find the thing you like doing and that you can do well at because it’ll
be easier for you “to wake up every morning because you’re doing
something you like doing and you’ll be rewarded greatly.”
CSCI students study age and length of dolphins.
Courtesy Kristi West
Students working on the HCEE project work out the details with
Photo by Eddie London