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Electrical and Computer Engineering

ELEC 599 – Spring Semester 2016 

First Year ECE Ph.D. Research Projects – and milestones to be met 

599 Project Evaluation - Spring 2016 - Grading Rubric Descriptions (pdf) 


ELEC 599 is the student’s chance to demonstrate his/her ability to perform independent research and present results to a faculty committee in both oral and written formats.  After jointly formulating a research topic and objective with the student 599 advisor, all aspects of the project are your responsibility, including regular meetings with your advisor to ensure that your progress is on track.

ELEC 599 serves two roles: 

  1. It allows students to begin research early in the Ph.D. program. Projects selected often serve as catalysts for publications and thesis work.
  2. It serves as the ECE Ph.D. qualifier and the student must pass with a grade of A- to remain in the Ph.D. program. 


ELEC 599 milestones: 

Nov. 1 - ECE faculty will have project titles posted for selection on the ECE website.

Nov. 27 - Students must submit to Michelle Atkinson their first, second and third choices of project/faculty advisor by 5pm.

Dec. 16 – notification of 599 advisor.

Jan. 15 - Students must submit to Michelle Atkinson their project abstracts and timelines by 5pm. (Sample - pdf)

Jan. 29 - Students must submit to Michelle Atkinson their revised problem statements by 5pm. 

Feb. 26 - Students select and confirm at least two project committee members in addition to a project advisor, and complete an informal mid-term project progress evaluation with their advisor*. Three committee members must be Rice faculty members with a primary appointment in ECE. Additional committee members with adjunct or joint appointments may be added as appropriate. Please submit names of the committee members to Michelle Atkinson.

* Advisor can determine the format of the mid-term evaluation. Some advisors may require a written draft; some may require a verbal meeting; others may require a slide presentation. 

April - Michelle Atkinson will schedule oral presentations for all 599 students. Presentations are limited to 20 minutes with a maximum of 20 slides, and questions by committee are limited to 5 minutes. 

 April 22 - Students are to submit a written project report to each member of their committee as well as to Michelle Atkinson. Reports must not exceed 10 pages, should be formatted in 11 pt. font and should follow the Latex or MS Word templates given for the IEEE transaction style.

April 28, 29, May 2, 3 - Oral presentations - Michelle Atkinson will schedule.

May 13 - Upon completion of the oral presentations, the Graduate Committee meets to determine final ELEC 599 grades, after which individual evaluation letters will be sent to each student. At this meeting, the Committee will also determine whether or not previous Master’s degrees will be accepted; the student will be informed in the evaluation letter.

-Updated 10/30/15