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An academic environment for undergraduate software engineering projects
Erlinger M., Tam W., Springer-Verlag New York, Inc., New York, NY, 1989. Type: Book (9789780387968407)
Date Reviewed: Jul 1 1991

As stated in the abstract,

In this paper we list the requirements for software projects that are essential in providing maximum benefits to the students. We describe the approach taken by Harvey Mudd College, known as the Clinic program.

The authors deliver on their promise by describing a well-administered program at Harvey Mudd College. They provide the reader with sound advice supported by considerable experience. They give worthwhile guidelines for instructors who are managing student project teams working on real-life software projects from government and industry. Juniors and seniors participate in the college Clinic for one or two semesters.

While the authors’ evidence is only anecdotal, they claim that “the clinic program has shown to be an ideal environment for supporting the software project that is needed in software engineering education.” As well-managed as their clinical approach is, this claim would seem to be almost axiomatic. Their basic philosophical tenet of “good liaison and good project” is presented well.

The paper is a good description of a successful clinic program. Such clinical instructional formats may be common in computer science programs in the future. I hope the authors plan to substantiate the efficacy of this clinical approach by presenting some tests, client and student interviews, and analysis of results in a future article.

Reviewer:  W. Frederick Review #: CR114286
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