CSE Teaching Committee, Minutes of Meeting, Friday 11 Dec 2009

The meeting commenced at 1:10 PM.

Present: Arcot Sowmya (chair), Paul Compton, Eric Martin, Bruno Gaeta, Bill Wilson, Sri Parameswaran, Salil Kanhere, Wayne Wobcke, Ken Robinson, Richard Buckland, Arthur Ramer (scribe)

Apologies: Peter Ho, Alan Blair, Jingling Xue, Cassandra Nock

  1. Minutes of the previous meeting held on 30 Oct were approved.

  2. Actions following from Minutes

    1. CN's confirmation that handbook information on BA majors have been updated is awaited.
    2. Program directors are reminded to contact DC, f not already done, on revision of BE/BA program.
    3. EM stated that he would bring revisions to convert current courses into hybrid ones in the new year.
    4. Two working groups (thesis, and ethics) have met, and reports from them and ensuing discussions appear later on in the minutes. The group on the project management courses has not been able to meet, as reported by MC by email.
    5. RB is reminded to contact WHW to discuss S2, 2009 experience on COMP 2911, prior to S1, 2010 teaching.

  3. Report on Academic Matters

    AS reported on FoE UGEC meeting on 16th Oct, combined with the Postgraduate Education Committee meeting, and attended by AS and EM respectively:

    1. To progress program reviews, FoE needs an education development person.
    2. new system for online course approvals and workflow management MAPPS (centrally managed) to be trialled by engineering early next year.
    3. L&T grants of 90K have been received by FoE, and will be distributed; 45K is meant for program reviews and accreditation.
    4. Blackboard 9.0 deployment is coming in the new year. However, it has been found not suitable for many engineering courses. Therefore FoE will pilot Moodle for 20 courses initially. ENG 1000 will continue to use WebVista in S1, 2010. CSE courses may continue using WebCMS if so desired.
    5. BE/BA and BE/BMus program revision/proposal will take place next year. For combined programs, do schools enforce the 65 WAM to stay in them? During discussion, WHW reminded that these rules should be enforced in a humane way. While school office may handle routine cases, program directors should decide on borderline cases.
    6. IEAust accreditation is likely in early (March?) 2011. Documentation should happen in second half of 2010. All program revisions should be completed by August, therefore program reviews by schools are recommended by Mar/April 2010. AS is still trying to get a copy of the last accreditation report. DC's suggested list of issues to consider during program revisions:
      1. flexibility in second year
      2. design strand at second year
      3. graduate attributes at program end and how they are built through the courses
      4. overlap between programs in the faculty
      5. should any program be eliminated, given we have 23 currently
      6. how good is s2 entry
      7. given the university's push on summer session, can we do more? It might help with providing flexibility, facilitate mid year entry
      8. faculty wide framework for fourth year thesis is being considered by a committee chaired by Graeme Bushell, and reports is expected shortly
      9. use of the Design workshop


    1. CN to check on enforcement of 65 WAM to stay in combined programs

    2. AS to obtain copy of last accreditation report.

    3. Program directors to start reviews of their programs, and report to TC in time.

  4. Reports from Working Parties

    WW reported on the deliberations of the working party on the professional issues an Ethics content in programs. Discussion focussed on requirements of different programs rather than the specifics of the existing course, and on he requirements for accreditation. The issue of whether Software project management should be incorporated into the he professional Issues and Ethics course, or elsewhere, was also discussed. The conclusion was that SENG and COMPSC were happy with the existing course. For BINF, the main issue is to cover both professional issues and Ethics and Software project management within two existing courses, which could be done id SPM is included in a Software project course. BINF would also prefer bio-ethics to be included as a topic in the current courses, which has been agreed to for next year. For COMPENG, there were differing opinions; the view of the program director is that the requirements of professional issues and ethics are already being met by current courses. The working party's view is that accreditation is the responsibility of the program director. During discussion, KAR stated that he has come to the view that SPM cannot be taught outside a project course. AS asked if the project management content could be distributed into one or more project courses. There was discussion on whether the accreditation requirements included SPM or just PM, and how best to meet them. AS suggested that providing a uniform student experience is desirable, and PC stated that such a uniform approach would also assist the school in managing the course offerings. PC suggested a 3 UOC course on Ethics and another 3 UOC course on PM. There was also some discussion on what the contents of the PIE course should be, and it was suggested that accreditation requirements for the different programs should be checked for further guidance.

    ACTION: program directors to check accreditation guidelines on this topic, and work with each other during program revision early next year, to come up with a reasonable outcome.

    SK presented his report from the working party on theses.

    SK reported that currently CSE theses vary from 12 to 18 UOC across the programs, and the working party recommends that this be rectified to be consistent. The faculty is moving towards recommending a base thesis at 12 UOC and an advanced thesis at 18 UOC. While 12 UOC is acceptable for the base level thesis for some programs, the ones that offer 18 UOC base level theses currently are not in favour of a reduction in UOC. There was discussion on level and quality of theses. PC suggested that the school position on these be unified, for example 18 UOC for the base thesis in all programs, no advanced thesis option, and the mark would be used to differentiate the thesis quality.

    ACTION: Program directors to take this on board during their program reviews.

  5. Discussion items

    1. pre-requisites for Level 3 courses: AS reminded that the COMP 2911 pre-requisite for many Level 3 courses should be reviewed. Also, during recent discussions around the new combined CS/Law program, it was noted that the level and number of Mathematics courses in the combined program was lower than that in the CS program. WHW reminded that many CSE Level 3 courses assume a certain level of Mathematics knowledge/maturity, and do not explicitly state these as pre-requisites. AS and WHW suggested that Level 3 course pre-requisites be reviewed and the expectations on Mathematics knowledge be noted more explicitly, to act as guidance to students choosing the courses. WHW also noted that co-requisites have been removed since a few years now.

    ACTION: All Level 3 LIC's to review pre-requisites and propose any necessary changes.

    2. Advanced Science Degree in CS: WHW noted that the Faculty of Science has proposed changes to the testamur issued to Advanced Science graduands, to emphasise that the degree is Advanced Science (not just Bachelor of Science). He suggested that, in light of this development, CSE might like to keep its CS honours program competitive; CSE might like to consider offering an elite program with entry to honours from Year 1, subject to maintaining WAM of 65.

    ACTION: CS program director to consider this option during program revision.

  6. Any other business: KAR alerted TC to a new Diploma in Innovation Management being offered by ASB, which is open to our students. ASB has asked whether CSE students already take courses in professional issues and ethics, and project management. ASB may be contacted for further information.
Meeting closed at 3:10 PM.

School of Computer Science & Engineering
The University of New South Wales
Sydney 2052, AUSTRALIA

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