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Capstone Ruminations

First, an email I recently wrote:


I have been planning to take the Robotics Capstone this spring, although I have also been paying attention to this year’s 477 capstone because of my interest in the hardware-software interface. However, because of my rather full schedule, I thought it unwise to take the two lead-up classes to 477 (they would have pushed me to 19 and 18 credits, respectively), so I stuck with the Robotics plan.

Looking ahead to next quarter, however, I am wavering on my commitment. There is a Bioengineering class that I am interested in taking as my final Bioengineering senior elective and it happens to conflict with the Robotics capstone. In the interest of exploring all possibilities, would there be a problem with me taking the 477 capstone even though I am tentatively signed up for robotics and I haven’t taken either of the two lead-up classes?

Please let me know if this would cause any problems, or if it is even possible at this juncture.


~Ryan McElroy
Computer Engineering and Bioengineering
University of Washington

The “final senior elective” I refer to is Systems and Synthetic Biology, taught by Herb Sauro. If I ever get the proper credit for Neural Engineering, I don’t technically need another senior elective, but I’m here at the UW to gain interesting and useful knowledge, not just to get a degree, so I am still interested in taking it.

All this thinking about next quarter also led to a rather improbable thought: What if, instead of slacking off next quarter, I decided to go for broke and took an additional 9 credits of research, allowing me to graduate with distinction (departmental honors) from the CSE department (I am already on track to do this in Bioengineering, where the requirements are not quite as demanding as in the CSE department).

To do this would require that I find a professor willing to put up with me doing 9 credits of research in one quarter, but I know at least one professor who might be crazy enough to consider the idea.

2 Responses to “Capstone Ruminations”

  1. Ben Says:

    Are you crazy!??! I’m not against stretching yourself…but do be mindful of the costs. You will have no life outside of research and school by pushing for 9 research credit hours. And after the first couple of weeks it will royally suck unless the research is really interesting and has a lot of different elements. Anyway that’s my 2 cents worth.

  2. Shai Says:

    I thought Ryan being crazy was a given. Did I miss something?

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