CSE Teaching Committee, Minutes of Meeting, Friday 25 Sept 2009

The meeting commenced at 2:05 PM.

Present: Arcot Sowmya (chair), Paul Compton, Alan Blair, Richard Buckland , Eric Martin, Bruno Gaeta, Peter Ho, Tim Lambert, Cassandra Nock, Bill Wilson, Srikumar Venugopal, Arthur Ramer (scribe)

Apologies: Wayne Wobcke, Ken Robinson, Sri Parameswaran

  1. Minutes of the previous meeting held on 28 Aug were approved.

  2. Actions following from Minutes

    1. The only 3 UoC GenEd course in CSE GENE8000 has been reviewed by current and past lecturers. It has been recommended that the course be revised soon to become a 6 UoC GenEd course in 2011.
    2. The updated course proposal for Information Retrieval and Web Search has been submitted to Faculty UGEC.
    3. A CS revision document has been prepared and is on the agenda of TC (see later item).
    4. SE program revisions and revisions to thesis courses are awaited.

  3. Report on Academic Matters

    AS reported on FoE UGEC meeting on 7 Aug and AB related matters:

    1. 3 UoC GenEd courses to be discontinued by end 2011.
    2. More regular program reviews are being recommended.
    3. New cover pages for new course and program proposals, as well as course and program revisions, will be released soon.

  4. CS program Revision and New Program proposal

    1. CN, joined later by TL, presented revisions to the CS program to replace 3111 with 3711, and COMP2920 (3UoC) with SENG4921 (6 UoC). There was general discussion on ACS requirements, meeting which may be affected by the latter change. TL undertook to check and report on it. Subject to this and other minor corrections, the CS revisions were approved.
    2. A new course proposal for BSc (Computer Sci) Bachelor of Laws was introduced. This is necessitated by the need for a separate program code for this combined program. A combined BSc LLB program (4770) has existed for many years, and covers all BSc LLB programs administered by Faculty of Science. It has been used by default for BSc (CS) LLB in recent years. However, changes to 4770 program have recently been approved without consultation with Faculty of Engineering that administers BSc (CS) LLB. Hence the proposal. With the direction to make the small changes being made in the CS revision above, the proposal was approved.

  5. First Year Course Name Revision

    RB, as First Year Director, submitted a minor course revision proposal to rename first year courses. The current course naming convention confuses first year students, as they do not accurately portray the roles of these courses in programs. The first year computing courses have never run in the higher/lower format, and the use of "higher" has discouraged some CSE students from enrolling in these core courses, leading to problems. The purpose of the revisions is to make the names, especially the short ones, informative. CN clarified that long names appear only in transcripts. General discussion centred around the use of Comp 1A, Comp 1B, Comp 1, Comp2, with the requirement that COMP1A+1B contains COMP1. In diagrammatic form, 1921 intersects both 1917 and 1927 and 1911 is contained in 1917. The proposed short names were accepted as the best compromise, and CN undertook to clarify the descriptions. The proposal was approved, with suggested clarifications.

  6. Specific Priorities for 2010 and beyond

    1. Hybrid Courses and effect on programs: AS stated that DC wants a clear separation between undergrad, postgrad and hybrid courses, and no re-badging of courses. Discussion ensued on questions of school image, use in retraining courses, 'real' level of courses and number of students likely to take advanced postgraduate courses. Undergraduates may take postgraduate courses. AS summarised that there is need for guidelines to separate the contents of hybrid and postgraduate courses.

      ACTION: EM to review current postgraduate courses and report.

    2. 3 UoC Courses: AS stated that 3 UoC GenEd courses will be eased out by end of 2011. DC has asked for review of ALL 3 UoC courses. We have some thesis Part A courses (BINF4910, COMP4910), BINF4920 Professional and Ethics for Bioinformatics, GENE8000 and 4 Software Eng workshop courses (SENG2010, 2020, 3010, 3020). SK is currently reviewing thesis courses, and will work with the Program Directors on thesis course revisions. The software engineering workshops will be reviewed as part of KAR's proposed SE program revisions. The Professional Issues course needs to be reviewed, maybe along with all other such courses.

      ACTION: SK on thesis courses, KAR on SE workshops, AS on Professional Issues and Ethics across all programs.

    3. Project Courses Refinement: CSE has 4 project courses on the books: COMP 3901, 3902, 9596 and 9945. The handbook entries for all 4 have nothing on assessment criteria, and very little about how a project is to be organised. There *are* some timelines for the postgraduate ones, though nothing on assessors or assessments. EM approves the postgraduate project proposals and organises assessment. The undergraduate ones have no useful descriptions at all. These courses, including their handbook entries, webpages, course outlines and assessment criteria, require maintenance and revision if necessary. AS noted that in the interests of equity and openness, there is a need for better advertising. It was agreed that SK would be requested to take over the undergraduate project courses along with the thesis courses, as was the case in the past. There are also 3 GSOE project courses administered by CSE- GSOE 0006, 0012 and 0024. The postgraduate course COMP 9930 Readings in CSE also appears to be light on requirements.

      ACTION: EM (Postgraduate, GSOE) and SK (undergraduate) to refine the course material, and administer the courses.

    4. Bioinformatics Revision Plans: BG presented a review of 3 UoC courses in BINF, and possible revisions. After some discussion, it was agreed to defer any change till after the accreditation.
  7. Any other business

    AS raised the new Networks Architecture course proposal from EET, proposed to be taught jointly with CSE. On discussion of SJ's idea to make it a GSOE course, CN stated that sharing of money and/or course coordination becomes problematic. CN undertook to summarise the situation in this regard.

    Postscript: Discussions are still ongoing with EET in view of Faculty meetings on Oct 16th, at the time of writing the minutes.

Meeting closed at 4:12 PM.

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

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