In all of my undergraduate classes, I require a term project, done in groups of 3-4 students. Though the topic is specified, it is largely open-ended, a level of “freedom” that many students are unaccustomed to. However, some adapt quite well. The topic this quarter was to choose a CRAN package that does not use any C/C++, and try to increase speed by converting some of the code to C/C++.
Some of the project submissions were really excellent. I decided to place one on the course Web page, and chose this one. Nice usage of Rcpp and devtools (neither of which was covered in class), very nicely presented.