CSE Teaching Committee, Minutes of Meeting, Friday 15 May 2009

The meeting commenced at 2 PM.

Present: Arcot Sowmya (chair), Paul Compton, Richard Buckland, Wayne Wobcke, Sri Parameswaran, Oliver Diessel, others?


  1. Minutes of the previous meeting held on 27 Mar were approved as a true record.

  2. Actions following from Minutes

    1. AS has called this special TC meeting to discuss stability in first year course content.

  3. Report on Academic Matters

    The major item to report was AS's attendance at Engineers Australia's Accreditation Workshop held at UTS on 8th May. The presentations included background information on the process and accreditation criteria. Tying criteria to competency standards is important, in particular Graduate attributes set by the university. The accreditation process follows a five year cycle. Information on current standards and other documents are available on Engineers Australia's website.

  4. Program Revisions for 2010

    1. Computer Science Co-op Program Revision was tabled by Oliver Diessel. The Co-Op program is to be aligned more closely with the standard Computer Science program to offer students more flexibility. The proposed changes entail:
      1. Requiring students to take the undergraduate course COMP3311 Database Systems in Year 2 instead of the postgraduate course COMP9311 Introduction to Database Systems in Year 1;
      2. Eliminating the requirement that students take an Advanced Database course in Year 2; and
      3. Recommending that students take COMP3121 Algorithms and Programming Techniques and COMP3331 Computer Networks and Applications as electives instead of requiring them to take these courses as core
      Oliver informed the meeting that some current students as well as sponsors had been consulted. The changes have been necessitated by changes in the school's offerings and icnreasing stduents' flexibility. TC agreed to the proposed course revisions.
    2. Program revision of the Computer Engineering program, including its joint/concurrent versions, was tabled. The main revision is to require COMP 3211 Computer Architecture as a core course for CompEng students, and consequently remove \ it from the breadth elective list. The revision is bringing back the status quo with previous CE students. A number of students who have elected not to do this subject lack competency for the core course COMP4601. There will be no effect on concurent/joint programs. After some discussion, TC agreed to the proposal.
    ACTION: AS to take the two program revisions to the Faculty Undergraduate Education Committee for approval and further action.

  5. Ensuring Stability in first year course content

    All current and recent first and second year course lecturers, as well as First Year Director Richard Buckland, were invited to the discussion of this item in particular.

    AS opened the discussion, stating that she planned a series of discussions on this important topic, and suggesting that the starting point was to agree on the goals for the discussions. The pros and cons of maintaining stability in first/second year course offerings were mentioned. AS suggested that the meeting should agree on goals, process and schedule for these discussions.

    The current status is that there is a new syllabus in place since 2006, in particular with new first and second courses across the programs. The sequencei of courses offered to students are:

    1. ENGG1811: terminating for non-CSE engineers
    2. COMP1911-->COMP1921: terminating series, with goal to produce solid C programmers
    3. COMP1917-->COMP1927-->COMP2911: for CSE majors; leads to COMP[3/4]xxx courses
    Non-CSE majors take one of the first two options, depending on background. Option 1 will produce just literacy.

    PC spoke to the necessity and advantages of course stability, and RB spoke about the core curriculum and need to ensure stability. RB's suggestions included writing the exam paper before start of teaching, retaining and making available copies of previous set of slides/notes for the new lecturer, and developing and recording detailed syllabus on a weekly basis.

    After much discussion, the following was agreed upon:

    A working group headed by Richard Buckland to be set up. It would discuss:

    1. Outcomes and Objectives of first and second year courses
    2. High level dependencies between first and second year courses
    3. Detailed topic list for the sequence COMP1917->1927->2911 in the first instance
    The working group is NOT to perform major syllabus redesign at this stage. The group is to report back to TC in 4 weeks' time. Weekly meetings at the very least are recommended.

    ACTION: AS to set up the WG by mailing all first and second year lecturers, inviting them to join the WG.

  6. Deferred Items

    The following items were deferred to the next meeting:

    1. 2010 program and course initiatives

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

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