Overview/important dates

For CIS 194 you will complete a final project which will tie together some of the things you have learned and give you some practical Haskell development experience. The expectation is for you to spend around 15-20 hours working on the project. Here are some important dates:

Get started early!


You may work by yourself, or in pairs. Note, however, that projects for pairs will be held to somewhat higher standards than those for individuals.

There are two types of projects you may complete:

  1. Application/library

    For your project you may write some sort of Haskell application or library which does something fun/useful/interesting. Your imagination is the limit. Some possibilities/suggestions include:

    • A program to play a game (like tic-tac-toe, Connect 4, othello, gomoku, poker, mancala, …) against the user.

    • A program to solve puzzles like sudoku or kenken.

    • A program to generate random mazes and let the user interactively solve them, or to solve mazes input by the user.

    • An implementation of some interesting data structure like red-black trees, 2-3-4 trees, binomial heaps, or Fibonacci heaps.

    • An parser and interpreter for a small programming language, such as a while language.

    • A raytracer.

    • Take an interesting program you have written in some other language, and figure out how to port/re-implement it in idiomatic Haskell.

    • Write an alternative to a common command-line tool in Haskell; something simple like grep or netcat is OK. For the intrepid, consider implementing an ssh client, HTTP daemon, or similar.

    • Do something cool with APIs available on the Internet. For example a Twitter, Slack or Facebook bot, perhaps?

    • Write a serverside library in Haskell to streamline pragmatic access to some dataset over an HTTP API.

    • Find an existing web service who does not have an official Haskell wrapper and write one yourself. A good example that came up recently in a personal project is Lob.

    • Write a toolkit to normalize/transform data: this toolkit would include, for an example, data structures/functions to take a messily-formatted phone number and normalize it to E.164, data structures/functions to take a human name and store it in a standard format (caveat), data structures/functions to normalize US postal addresses, etc. This could be massively helpful to other developers who use Haskell for scraping and data processing.

    • Build a parser and theorem prover for intuitionistic propositional logic.

    • Build a parser, type checker, and interpreter for the lambda calculus.

    • Whatever else your creativity suggests!

  2. Open-source contribution

    For your project you may choose an open-source library or application on Hackage to contribute to. Contributions may include bug fixes, new features, and/or documentation. You are free to work on any project you like, as long as you can find a reasonable way to contribute.

    Open-source projects students have contributed to in prior years include a package to efficiently compute prime numbers using a mutable-array-based sieve and Haskell bindings to the Kinect.

Project proposal

You must submit a project proposal by November 1st. This gives us a chance to discuss your proposal and ensure it will make a suitable project.

Proposal submission will be on Canvas. Your proposal should answer the questions: What do you propose to do? What do you hope to learn from the project? What are some concrete goals, i.e. how will we judge the success of your project?

There is no formal formatting requirement for the proposal, but I will ask you to revise proposals that are too vague. I should have a decent idea of what the final product will look like, so that way, the TAs and I can evaluate if you achieve what you set out to.

Final submission

Final submissions are due by December 6th.

Your final submission should consist of any and all code you have written, along with a document describing your project (a simple text file is fine). The document should contain

Submit your project as a compressed file (.tar.gz, .zip, etc.) through Canvas.

If you contributed to an external project, then your submission should contain a specific listing of what, exactly, were your contributions. The code itself can be on, e.g., GitHub – you don’t have to submit a copy.

Grading will be as follows:

Project demos

A project demo should show off your hard work, show us what’s interesting about your project, and highlight a particularly challenging bit of code. I do not expect PowerPoint slides!

The demo day will be most likely be some time during reading days and is a combined demo with students from the other CIS19x courses. Lunch will be served. The demos will be presented in a “science fair” format, with folks wandering around from presenter to presenter. Come with a laptop and show off your work.

The demo is a required part of the final project.