6.033 | Spring 2018 | Undergraduate

Computer System Engineering

Design Project

Design Project Overview

The primary assignment in 6.033 is the design project. This project is where the students get to design their own system, which is the primary objective of this course.

The design project requires you to develop a detailed system design to solve a real-world problem. This project will extend over most of the semester and will be done in teams of three students, all of whom attend the same writing tutorial (with exceptions for extenuating circumstances). The project will involve a preliminary report, an oral presentation, an extended final report, and a peer review. The feedback we give on your preliminary report and presentation will aid in writing your final report.

Your design project will be done in teams of three. Real-world systems are not built individually; it’s always a team effort. Part of the design project assignment is to learn to work productively and effectively in this setting. We will give you tools for doing so in the writing tutorials.

The Preliminary Report for the design project will be evaluated by your Recitation Instructor and your Tutorial Instructor. Your Tutorial Instructor will evaluate it according to the grading rubric and assign a letter grade. Your Recitation Instructor will evaluate the preliminary report to make sure your design is on the right track; you should incorporate their feedback into the presentation and report. 

The Presentation will be graded by your Recitation Instructor. Your presentation should reflect the feedback you got on your preliminary report; feedback on your presentation should inform your final report. We will release guidelines for the presentation as the due date gets nearer, but in general, your presentation will focus on any changes you have made since the preliminary report, rather than re-capping the entire system. 

The presentation will receive a grade of check, check+, or check-. A check+ will move your preliminary report grade up one letter, a check- will move it down one letter, and a check will not change it. (E.g., if you receive a B on the preliminary report, and a check+ on the presentation, your “preliminary report + presentation” grade is an A.) Together with your preliminary report, this will be worth 10% of your final grade.

The Final Report will also be graded by your Recitation Instructor and will receive a letter grade. This will be worth 20% of your final grade.

The Peer Review will be graded by your Tutorial Instructor and Teaching Assistant and will receive a letter grade. This will be worth 4% of your final grade.


Below are all DP deliverables and related material. The dates deliverables are assigned and due are available on the course calendar.

Examples of Past Design Projects

These writing examples were created by MIT students taking 6.033 in a previous iteration of the course. For an overview of the assignment, please view the Relevant DP Spec (PDF).

DP Preliminary Report

DP Final Report

Course Info

As Taught In
Spring 2018
Learning Resource Types
Lecture Notes
Written Assignments
Projects with Examples
Instructor Insights