CISC 490/846: Software Design Methodologies (Winter 2021)


Instructor: David Alex Lamb
Office hours: TBA (via Microsoft Teams during the pandemic)

This course will be offered remotely, with synchonous sessions via Microsoft Teams or Zoom (TBA).

The undergraduate version of this course (CISC 490) has a different assessment scheme from the graduate version (CISC 846). It requires registration in a Computing plan and a B- in CISC 322.

The graduate version may be used as a Systems token for the PhD program. The undergraduate version may be used as a SOFT_Design optional course in SODE and, for 2020-21 only, in the Security focus of the major and CSCI.


Software design is the software development activity that occurs between requirements analysis and implementation. It focuses on developing an overall architecture (division into parts) and specifying relationships among the parts. Object-oriented methods for software design seem dominant today, but a wide variety of alternative paradigms have been proposed over the last 30 years. This course exposes students to these varied possibilities. It overlaps somewhat with requirements analysis and software implementation, but only to establish the context for software design.

Topics include but are not limited to

How The Course Works

This course has a significant amount of reading. We will meet once or twice weekly via MS Teams to discuss and expand upon that week's assigned readings and engage in classroom activities to deepen your understanding of them.

A set of primary course readings will be available in the Campus Bookstore; other readings will be available via OnQ. There is no final exam for CISC 846; evaluation is based on term work. Whether CISC 490 has an exam will be determined by the first week of classes.

The content of many sessions is based on student responses to questionnaires on the readings; don't rely on lectures and videos to cover the basics, and do allow enough time to read each item more than once.

Read the syllabus (when it is available) for further information, including the grading schemes for the two versions of the course. Also read the School's page on standard syllabus elements for the winter term once it is available; for now, see the one for the fall term.

Questions? Contact the instructor.
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