Unique First Year Courses

UNSW Campus at dusk showing the UniWalk and Electrical Engineering

All of our students obtain the same fundamental computing skills regardless of which of the four computing programs they undertake.

COMP1917 Computing 1

All students with a computing major study COMP1917 Computing 1 in their first semester. This is taught without any assumption of previous computing experience, but with enough challenges to keep experienced programmers interested. COMP1911 Computing 1A and ENGG1811 Computing for Engineers are not for students undertaking a computing major. First year computing is rounded out with COMP1927 Computing 2, which covers data structures and algorithms, in semester 2.

UNSW COMPUTING has seven contact hours per week for first-year computing (amongst the highest in Australia) and tutorial sizes are limited to 18 students (amongst the smallest).

MATH1131/1141 and MATH1081

All computing students also study MATH1081 Discrete Mathematics which is about the role of proofs in mathematics, logical reasoning and implication and different types of proofs. They also have an option, depending on Year 12 results, between MATH1131 Mathematics 1A and MATH1141, Higher Mathematics 1A in their first semester, and then MATH1231/MATH1241 in semester 2.

ENGG1000 Introduction to Engineering Design and Innovation

All Engineering students are required to take ENGG1000 and it is highly recommended as an elective for Computer Science. In previous years, students in the Engineering Design course worked in teams to build and Program Lego robots. There are two competitive challenges for the teams: Robot Sumo and Robot Rescue.

In Robot Sumo, two robots are placed in a ring and each one tries to push the other out. The robots have light sensors so they can detect the boundary of the ring and touch sensors so they can tell when they touch another robot. In Robot Rescue, a robot must find its way through a maze containing twists and turns and dead ends, find a victim (represented by a small bottle) and carry the victim back out of the maze. The fastest robot to do this wins the competition.