Capstone Project

The Capstone course gives students the opportunity to work on real-world projects with tech companies in the Bay Area and Silicon Valley, or with an academic organization on a research project. The course is similar to an internship, but with the added bonus of academic guidance and access to the department’s resources. It’s a great way for students to apply classroom knowledge in a practical setting, and to make contacts in the industry as graduation nears.

Capstone projects begin in August and January. At the beginning of the semester, potential sponsors pitch projects. Students form teams of 3 to 5 members and begin the software development process. Guided by faculty, industry, and non-profit sponsors, students work on their capstone project 10-15 hours a week for 15 weeks. Students gain the experience and confidence to land the jobs that they want doing what they love. Some obtain jobs with the company they work with or from the contacts they make — jump-starting their careers even before putting on their caps and gowns.

Our Projects

AI Dashboard

Working alongside Consilient Labs, an AI startup focused on memory-based learning, students keep engineers and customers in mind when they built a user-friendly dashboard to simplify use of the current API. The dashboard uses the Angular framework, D3 for visualizations, and Bootstrap for structure — and contains functionality for user authentication, uploading data to the knowledge engine, making queries about that data, and viewing status information about the knowledge engine itself.

Animal Colony Management

Researchers doing animal studies typically use spreadsheets to keep track of their animal colonies, a process which is both laborious and error prone. To address this, students created an easy-to-use web application that allows researchers to keep track of their colonies online. Based on input from researchers managing animal colonies, students integrated a variety of features that support research and cut down on costly mistakes. These include error-checking to ensure that incorrect data is never inputted into the system, a comprehensive search algorithm that makes it easy to navigate and manage large animal colonies, and an improved image gallery that allows users to easily sort and manage photos of their colonies.

BART: Analyzing Station Sign Information

Students built dynamic dashboards and interactive data visualization tools to help BART engineers identify and correct platform sign inaccuracies. They took a data-driven approach to improving platform sign accuracy by using Splunk to process and analyze train log data to identify recurring conditions associated with sign inaccuracy — allowing BART analysts to take a closer look at cases where inaccurate delay data occur, show how often they occur, and which trains and platforms are susceptible to these issues.

FaceX: Facial Recognition System

EdgeX Foundry is an open-source platform supported by VMware that provides an infrastructure to build and deploy IoT applications. Utilizing a custom EdgeX instance on a Raspberry Pi, the student team's project FaceX provides users with an IoT application that performs facial recognition of pictures taken by a camera module connected to a Raspberry Pi. FaceX analyzes pictures for faces using a convolutional neural network and then pushes its result to a web service that displays information about the matching individual. The main goal is to implement a keyless entry system. This system will be deployed as an open-source software package that anyone can download and deploy to a Raspberry Pi with a camera module to provide a facial-recognition based entry system for a home, shelter, facility, or other restricted-access environment.

Oasis Wellness App

Oasis Mobile is a mobile application designed to engage users in wellness practice through its menu of personalized mindfulness exercises and programs. Currently, Oasis operates through a Chrome Extension. Working with their sponsor team, students developed a mobile application that allows users to access Oasis programs and exercises at any time or place while also including additional features such as breathing exercises, tracking of user activity, and mood journaling. Students built their project using React Native on the front-end and NodeJs and Express on the back-end.


NewsKG uses state-of-the-art natural language processing tools (backed by machine learning models) to process hundreds of thousands of news articles from a variety of media sources in order to extract purported facts and entity references. Students created a portal for NewsKG users to search the enormous database of extracted information for people, organizations, or places they are interested in, filtering by media source or date. The portal displays information in interactive relationships, with a dynamic node-link-diagram visualization that encourages exploration of the dataset. It allows researchers to find answers to such questions as how various media sources portray news subjects differently, how coverage of certain stories changes over time, and more.

Reading for Racial Justice

Action for Racial Justice (ARJ) is a non-profit organization that helps justice-minded people learn about race issues and press for policies with equitable outcomes. Reading for Racial Justice is a sub-service of ARJ, specifically a book club application that helps form communities of activists to learn more about the history and principles of what they are fighting for. Once users are logged in to the ARJ service they can navigate to their dashboard to view their active clubs, create or join a new club based on a specific book, goals, or interests, and view short descriptions of the books available to them. Students used React on the front-end and Golang in the back-end with a MySQL database.

Showcase: Automated Portfolios For Coders

Showcase is a social network for the tech community. Showcase provides coders, data scientists, and product designers with a platform to share, explore, and get hired by featuring their top projects in a portfolio. Specifically, Showcase provides project insights and demos, allows exposure to a wider industry network, and offers visibility to employers. Student groups have worked on overall application design, user interfaces, and feature enhancements.

UCSF Medical Center

Students developed game-like Kinect software that allows patients suffering from stroke, back pain, sports injuries, and other conditions to do physical therapy at home.