As required by UNSW, CSE referred a copy of the COMP3171 proposal to the School of Maths as part of the approval process. Here are their comments:
Thank you for the chance to comment on the proposed course on computational complexity and related areas as attached. [Attachment has been removed.]
The School of Mathematics Academic Committee considered this proposal at it meeting on Wed 16th March and comments as follows.
We strongly support the introduction of such a course - however the content is clearly Mathematics and as such we feel that the School of Mathematics is the natural group to teach such a course.
We could offer a course like this at year 2 or 3 so that it preceded or followed COMP3121 whichever was thought most appropriate.
Some of the material in this course is already taught by us, in particular the Optimization section. The sections on Summation and Recurrences are basic extensions of what we teach already in MATH1081. Up until recently we taught a course on Automata and Algorthims that included material on Asymptotic Analysis. (This course was cancelled due to lack of student numbers - being only 3 uoc not many CSE students took it.) We also teach Maple and Matlab extensively to our students.
Mathematicians are as interested in "teaching problem solving skills" and practical applications of mathematics as they are in teaching "mathematical theory".
Maths would also welcome closer interaction with CSE and NICTA.
On a more personal note, I and a number of others in the School of Mathematics have wished for years to introduce a course or courses loosely following Knuth's book "Concrete Mathematics" but have not been able to due to resource implications.
The School of Mathematics would welcome further discussions with CSE on the best way to provide courses on this type of material to Computing and Mathematics students. There is a natural overlap between Computer Science and Mathematics in many of these areas.
We have asked our Head of School Prof Michael Cowling to consult with your Head of School Prof Paul Compton on this issue.
Acting Chair of Maths Academic Committee
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