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NLP sentiment analysis of restaurant reviews: In this project, a student analyzed a dataset of thousands of restaurant reviews to determine the sentiment (positive or negative) expressed in each review. They trained an NLP model like BERT to classify each review as expressing positive or negative sentiment based on the words used. This type of sentiment analysis has applications in determining customer satisfaction.

Predicting bike rentals using weather and calendar data: For this project, a student used historical bike rental data along with associated weather and calendar features (holidays, day of week, etc.) to build and evaluate several regression models for predicting the number of bike rentals on a given day. Features like temperature, precipitation and whether it was a weekday significantly improved the models’ ability to forecast demand. The models could help bike rental companies plan fleet sizes.

Predicting credit card fraud: Using a dataset of credit card transactions labeled as fraudulent or legitimate, a student developed and optimized machine learning classifiers like random forests and neural networks to identify transactions that have a high likelihood of being credit card fraud. Features included transaction amounts, locations, and other attributes. Financial institutions could deploy similar models to automatically flag potentially fraudulent transactions in real-time.

Predicting student performance: A student collected datasets containing student demographics, test scores, course grades and other academic performance indicators. Several classification and regression techniques were trained and evaluated on their ability to predict a student’s final grade in a course based on these factors. Factors like standardized test scores, number of absences and previous GPA significantly improved predictions. Such models could help identify students who may need additional support.

Diagnosing pneumonia from chest X-rays: In this project, a student analyzed a large dataset of chest X-ray images that were manually labeled by radiologists as either having signs of pneumonia or being healthy. Using techniques like convolutional neural networks, they developed models that could automatically analyze new chest X-rays and classify them as showing pneumonia or being normal with a high degree of accuracy. This type of diagnostic application using deep learning has real potential to help clinicians.

Predicting housing prices: A student collected data on properties sold in a city including features like number of bedrooms, bathrooms, lot size, age and neighborhood. They developed and compared regression models trained on this data to predict future housing sale prices based on property attributes. Factors like number of bathrooms and lot size significantly impacted prices. Real estate agents could use similar models to estimate prices when listing new homes.

Recommending movies on Netflix: Using Netflix’s anonymized movie rating dataset, a student built collaborative filtering models to predict rating scores for movies that a user has not yet seen based on their ratings history and the ratings from similar users. Evaluation metrics showed the models could reasonably recommend new movies a user might enjoy based on their past preferences and preferences of users with similar tastes. This type of recommendation system is at the core of how Netflix and other platforms suggest new content.

Predicting flight delays: For their project, a student assembled datasets containing flight records along with associated details like weather at origin/destination airports, aircraft type and airline. Several classification algorithms were developed and evaluated on their ability to predict whether a flight will be delayed based on these features. Factors like temperature inversions, crosswinds and aircraft type significantly impacted delays. Airlines could potentially use such models operationally to plan for and mitigate delays.

Predicting diabetes: Using medical datasets containing biometric/exam results of patients together with diagnoses of whether they had diabetes or not, a student developed and optimized machine learning classification models to identify undiagnosed diabetes cases based on these risk factor features. Features with the highest predictive value included BMI, glucose levels, blood pressure and family history of diabetes. Physicians could potentially deploy or consider similar models to help screen patients and supplement their clinical decision making.

As demonstrated through these examples, machine learning capstone projects provide students opportunities to work on real-world applications of their skills and knowledge. Some key benefits of these types of projects include: gaining hands-on experience applying machine learning techniques to solve problems, developing skill in data preparation, feature engineering, model development/evaluation and interpretation. They also help students demonstrate their abilities to potential employers or for further academic studies. Capstone projects are an ideal way for students to showcase what they’ve learned while working on meaningful problems.


Nurse mentorship programs have been shown to be an effective strategy for improving nurse retention. When nurses have the support of experienced mentors, they are more likely to feel engaged in their work and committed to their organizations long-term. Here are some examples of successful mentorship programs that have demonstrated positive impacts on retention:

One of the largest and most comprehensive nurse mentorship programs is the University HealthSystem Consortium/AACN Nurse Residency Program. This year-long program pairs new graduate nurses with experienced nurses to help with their transition from education to clinical practice. Over 10,000 new nurses have completed the program since it began in 2007. Studies have found that 1 year retention rates for nurses who complete the program are over 90%, compared to only around 57-60% retention nationally for new nurses without a residency program. After 3 years, retention is still around 85% for program graduates versus only around 33% for new nurses without mentorship support.

Another well-established program is the University of South Alabama Medical Center Nurse Internship Program. This 8 month internship pairs new nurses with mentors who are experienced BSN-prepared nurses. Mentors guide the interns through orientation, skill building, and help them adjust to their new role. Retention rates after the program are over 94% at 1 year and over 90% after 2 years for program graduates. In comparison, retention rates before the program was introduced in 2010 were only around 60-70% at 1 and 2 years.

At New York Presbyterian Hospital, they implemented a nurse mentorship program specifically focused on specialty units like oncology, cardiac care, neonatal ICU, and behavioral health. Experienced nurses are trained to be mentors and have protected time each week to meet formally with new nurses and be available informally as well. After completion of the 6-12 month program, over 90% of nurses remained working in their specialty unit, and 98% remained employed with the hospital. This specialty mentorship program helped address higher than average turnover in specialty areas.

Another approach is OHSU Hospital’s nurse residency program in Portland, Oregon, which includes didactic education and clinical mentoring over the course of 13 months. After completion of the program, 1 year retention was above 93% compared to only around 60% before the program was implemented. Even 5 years later, over 78% of graduates were still employed at OHSU, demonstrating strong long-term retention impacts.

At Boston Medical Center in Massachusetts, they found that new graduate nurses were leaving within their first year at an alarming rate of 50%. To address this, they launched a nurse residency program pairing new nurses with experienced mentors. The focus of the mentorship was on improving confidence, competence, and coordination of care. After the first year of the new program, retention increased to over 92%. Now in its 10th year, they have retained over 90% of new nurses annually who complete the residency program.

A systematic review and meta-analysis published in the Journal of Nursing Management examined the impact of nurse residency programs on new graduate retention and competence. The analysis of data from over 2,700 nurses across multiple health systems found that nurse residency program graduates had a 71% lower odds of leaving their first job in the first year when compared to new graduate nurses without a residency. Residents also demonstrated higher competence scores on objective skill evaluations.

Clearly, nurse mentorship plays a vital role in supporting new nurses and easing their transition into practice. When done well through formal residency programs with dedicated mentors, it can significantly improve retention both short and long-term. The financial impact of higher retention is estimated to save organizations over $22,000 per nurse retained according to the University HealthSystem Consortium. With the continuing nursing shortage, retention should be a top priority – and mentorship has proven to be highly effective strategy for keeping nurses in the profession and with their current employers. Future research could explore best practices for mentor selection and training to optimize program outcomes. But overall, the examples here provide strong evidence that mentorship is a strategy worth adopting to boost nurse satisfaction and career longevity.

The nurse mentorship programs described demonstrate very promising results for enhancing retention of new nurses beyond their first year on the job, as well as long-term retention over several years. By pairing graduates with experienced mentors who help ease the transition to practice, providing dedicated time and support, these programs have boosted 1 year retention rates to over 90% consistently – well above the 50-60% rates typical without mentorship. This investment in onboarding and supporting new nurses through mentorship clearly pays off to improve workforce stability for healthcare organizations and enrich careers in nursing. Formal, standardized mentorship should be regarded as a best practice for easing nurses into their roles and keeping them satisfied and committed to the profession and their employers over the long run.


Communication is key. Students should meet regularly with their capstone advisors. They should come prepared to meetings by having made progress on their projects, having compiled any questions or issues they are facing, and by bringing materials like outlines, drafts, or results to discuss. Regular check-ins, whether weekly, bi-weekly or monthly, allow the advisor to monitor progress and provide timely feedback. It also gives students accountability to stay on track. During meetings, students should ask specific questions, be open to criticism and suggestions, and leave each meeting with clear next steps and an understanding of what their advisor expects to see by the next check in.

Ensure documentation of all advising sessions by emailing advisors a summary of what was discussed after each meeting. This serves as a written record and reminder of action items and deadlines. It also allows advisors to confirm their understanding of the discussion. Proper documentation protects both parties in case of any miscommunications down the line.

Build a support network beyond just their advisor. They should identify other faculty, graduate students, peers, friends or family who are willing to support them. This could include brainstorming ideas, helping to test or gather preliminary results, providing feedback on drafts, acting as a sounding board during difficult phases of the project, or helping to relieve stress. The more objective feedback and support individuals a student has to keep them accountable and moving forward, the better.

Develop a detailed timeline and project plan with milestones. This timeline should include not just major due dates but also specifications for completing all necessary research, drafting different sections, integrating feedback, testing, revising, and final polishing. It should outline what needs to be accomplished weekly or monthly to stay on track to meet major deadlines. Regularly revisiting this timeline and making adjustments based on unforeseen delays or additional work needed helps keep the project moving forward in an organized, efficient manner. The advisor can provide guidance on creating a feasible timeline.

Use project management tools. Tools like Google Drive, Dropbox, MS Project or other software help organize materials, manage versions, and give the advisor visibility into the student’s progress and process. Having all relevant documents, drafts, data, and correspondence together in one collaborative space streamlines advising sessions. It can also help the advisor provide feedback on drafts between face-to-face meetings. Version tracking prevents work from being lost or overwritten. Calendaring and task features help students and advisors maintain shared understanding of upcoming deadlines.

Stay organized throughout. Students should create consistent file naming for all materials, take comprehensive notes in meetings and research, and maintain dated logs of tasks completed so nothing falls through the cracks. Organization makes revisiting earlier phases of the project or relearning concepts easier down the road. It also reassures advisors that the student is handling the complexity and volume of work for a successful final product. Tools like Evernote, OneNote or concept mapping can help with organization as projects evolve.

Seek clarification promptly when confusion arises. Rather than struggling alone with roadblocks for too long, students should contact their advisor as soon as any part of the project is unclear. Advisors can then address misunderstandings before they spiral and set the student back significantly. Asking for help shows initiative rather than failure. Many times, other capable students have faced similar challenges in the past, so advisors are well equipped to get the project back on track quickly. The earlier issues are addressed, the less catching up has to occur.

Set realistic expectations and adjust goals if needed. Capstone projects involve complex, multi-stage work that can encounter unexpected delays outside a student’s control. Rather than stressing over unachievable milestones, discuss adjusting the timeline or scope with the advisor if research takes longer than expected or results prove more complicated than anticipated. Advisors want students to produce high quality work, not at the cost of health or sanity. Minor scope adjustments are usually acceptable to still demonstrate the intended learning outcomes. Knowing when to adapt keeps projects doable instead of becoming overwhelming.

Commitment to regular, productive advisor meetings; documentation of all advising sessions; building a support network beyond just the advisor; use of planning, organization and project management tools; prompt clarification of any confusion; and flexibility to adjust goals and timelines if needed will help students gain the guidance and support crucial for navigating the demands of a capstone project successfully. With open communication and collaboration between student and advisor, capstone work can serve as a meaningful culminating experience despite inevitable challenges along the way.


One major concern that many clients have is the cost of life insurance. They worry that the premiums will be too expensive and financially unfeasible for them to afford long-term. The monthly/annual cost of life insurance policies can vary quite a bit depending on the type of policy, coverage amount, age and health of the insured. It’s important for clients to get quotes from multiple reputable insurers so they can compare rates and find the most affordable option that fits their needs and budget. Agents can also work with clients to find ways to reduce premiums, such as choosing a higher deductible or lower coverage amount.

Clients also commonly worry about being denied coverage or having to pay higher premiums due to pre-existing medical conditions. This is understandable given that medical history does factor into underwriting and pricing. Agents will guide clients through the application process and let them know upfront if any health issues could cause issues with approval or rates. Clients also have the option to apply for guaranteed-issue policies that do not require medical exams if they have conditions that would lead to higher-risk ratings. It’s also worth noting that many temporary or minor conditions may not impact insurability. Working with an experienced agent can help manage expectations around what conditions could pose problems.

Another concern is not trusting that the insurance company will really pay out the death benefit if needed. Life insurers are highly regulated and must maintain strong reserves to ensure they can pay all valid claims even during economic downturns. Agents can show clients financial ratings from credit agencies to prove the stability of potential carrier choices. Clients should also feel confident knowing that the death benefit will generally be paid out quite promptly to beneficiaries, often within days or weeks of filing the claim.

Clients often worry about policy costs increasing drastically over time. Most permanent life insurance policies like whole life and universal life have level, guaranteed premiums that will not rise regardless of age or health changes as long as premium payments are maintained. Term life premiums do tend to rise upon renewal, but rates are also locked in for the initial 1-5/10/20 year term period. Agents can demonstrate premium illustrations outlining how rates are structured to reassure clients.

Another concern stems from not understanding all the policy details and options. For example, clients may be unsure of whether to choose term or permanent insurance or what riders are available. This is where working with a knowledgeable agent makes all the difference. Reputable agents will take the time to thoroughly explain the differences between policy types, review illustrations of projections, discuss available riders, and answer any questions. They can help determine the best solution based on individual goals, budget and timeline.

Some clients worry about coverage being canceled unexpectedly. Life insurers have strong incentives to retain customers long-term for the recurring premium revenue. Policies are also contracts, so they generally cannot be terminated without valid reason. Non-payment of premiums is usually the only cause for cancellation. And even then, policies have grace periods and options to reinstate coverage by paying overdue amounts. Agents can ease this concern by addressing continuation protections upfront.

Clients also sometimes fear that beneficiaries may encounter challenges or delays collecting death benefits. The claims process is built for efficiency – agents provide beneficiaries with the required claim forms upon a policyholder’s passing and help them through quick submission. Insurers then review and generally issue payouts promptly according to policy and state regulations. Death certificates are the primary documentation needed in most straightforward cases. Agents and carriers take compliance and customer service seriously regarding timely and hassle-free benefits distribution.

Worries about contract language and overly complex policy details are commonplace as well. To assuage such qualms, reputable agents fully disclose all policy particulars upfront in easy-to-understand terminology. They address any parts of the contract that need clarification and give clients time to review documentation before committing. This educational approach helps clients make informed decisions and feel at ease with the agreement.

Purchasing life insurance does involve several typical concerns. Addressing these worries through open communication with an experienced agent can provide knowledgeable responses, set realistic expectations and help find the right coverage solutions to meet individual needs and budgets. With the proper guidance, clients can feel confident in their life insurance choices and know their loved ones will receive financial protection as planned for if tragedy strikes. An agent acts as a trusted advisor to lead clients through the process and ensure peace of mind regarding any protection uncertainties. With the prevalence of online sales models, the value of such professional life insurance advice and reassurance cannot be overstated.


One project focused on increasing access to health resources in an underserved rural community. A group of nursing students conducted a needs assessment to identify barriers residents faced in accessing primary care. They found that many residents struggled with transportation and were unaware of programs offering free or low-cost health services. The students worked with local officials and healthcare providers to start a weekly mobile medical clinic. They secured a donated van and recruited volunteer doctors, nurses and medical students to staff the clinic. On designated days, the van would travel through the community stopping in different neighborhoods to provide basic healthcare services. They centered the schedule around bus routes so it was easier for residents without vehicles to get to the stops. This significantly increased access to primary care for over 200 residents.

Another group of social work students focused on helping homeless youth in their city. Through research and interviews with social service providers, they learned there was a lack of emergency shelter beds for teens experiencing homelessness. To address this, they partnered with a local non-profit to repurpose an empty building as a transitional living facility for homeless youth ages 16-21. The students fundraised in the community to gather donations of furniture, kitchen supplies, books and other items to furnish the building. They also recruited volunteers to help with minor repairs and renovations. Once the shelter was complete, the students created an education and job training program for the residents to help them gain independence. Two years after opening, over 50 homeless youth had benefited from the new shelter and support services established through this capstone project.

Some engineering students worked to improve the water quality and reduce pollution levels in a nearby river that ran through their town. They tested water samples along the river and identified several areas with high levels of contaminants from agricultural and stormwater runoff. To address this, the students designed simple pollution filtration systems using readily available materials that could be easily installed and maintained. They taught local landowners how to build and deploy these systems on their properties near the riverbank. The contained areas where standing water attracted mosquitos, so the students also designed and built mosquito traps made from recycled materials that organic pest control agents. By trapping larvae and reducing the mosquito population, they helped curb the spread of diseases like West Nile virus in the community. Water testing showed pollution levels dropped considerably after these interventions.

A group of public health students noticed many elderly residents in low-income senior housing complexes struggled with social isolation and lacked access to nutritious foods. For their project, they started a community garden and cooking program. They worked with property managers to identify plots of unused land that could be converted to garden space. There, they involved residents in planting vegetables, herbs and fruits. The students also held weekly cooking demonstrations and exercised classes in a common area. By bringing people together regularly for these activities, they helped combat loneliness among residents. Excess produce from the gardens was also donated to a local food pantry, addressing both social and physical needs of community members. Evaluations showed the program significantly improved quality of life for over 100 older adults in the area.

Some architecture students were concerned with lack of accessibility in many older buildings in their downtown area. In their project, they surveyed different structures to assess ADA compliance and identified priority areas most in need of modifications. They partnered with small businesses to retrofit store entrances, add handicap parking spots and restroom accommodations based on their design recommendations. They installed automatic door openers, ramps, grab bars and other features to improve access for individuals with mobility and visual impairments. Not only did this make local shops more inclusive, it also helped businesses improve compliance with disability rights laws. It encouraged even greater community participation and civic engagement among members with varying abilities.

These are just a few examples of the diverse and meaningful capstone projects students across various fields have undertaken to enact positive change through community improvement initiatives. Whether addressing public health needs, enhancing accessibility and inclusion, generating solutions to environmental issues or developing new services and programs, these efforts work to holistically enhance quality of life for residents through hands-on, needs-driven approaches. Capstone projects provide valuable opportunities for applying classroom knowledge to real-world problems facing communities. The collaborative and multi-disciplinary nature of these initiatives also cultivates leadership, teamwork and partnership-building skills that serve students long after graduation.