Many generations of CMSC435 students knew SEAM's original mission statement:

The University of Maryland SEAM program trains software engineers by integrating their traditional classroom opportunities with live project experiences in an industrial setting provided by SEAM partners.

Historically our department's capstone course CMSC 435 "Software Engineering" has enjoyed high demand among students, for the simple reason than graduates who excel in the class enjoy equally high demand among area employers. In recent years, we've transformed the class into a lab experience that delivers a sound base of the field's knowledge at the same time it helps students hone practical skills.

An essential aspect of the lab is construction of 'real' software in a group environment, on the theory that software engineering is chiefly about what developers do when the scale of the application becomes large and complex. Over the years we've cultivated partnerships for our class, relying upon outside clients to provide demand and the reality which cannot otherwise be found alone on a campus.

SEAM formalizes this instructional approach. We work with our SEAM partners to identify specific technical opportunities in their organization, and tailor classroom presentations so the software engineering concepts are illustrated in terms of the concrete project on site. The close coupling of classroom and lab practium distinguishes our approach from a simple internship approach.

Our students get a superior training opportunity, a better educational experience and find increased demand in the marketplace as the value of their UM degree rises. Our partners of course get software solutions they might not have found otherwise.

For information on becoming a SEAM partner, please contact Professor Jim Purtilo, purtilo at

(2013-01-15) Sorry - we really tried, but in recent years did not get permission to offer the classes. (You are welcome to our timeline of attempts.) Time to stop pretending. The original SEAM cooperative is a thing of the past.