Minutes of Teaching Committee Meeting - 28 July 2000

Present: Daniel Woo, Angela Finlayson, Steve Matheson, Andrew Taylor, Ashesh Mahidadia, John Shepherd, Ada Lim, Brett Nash, Paul Compton, Gernot Heiser, Tim Lambert, Arcot Sowmya, Richard Buckland, Tammy Beshay.
Apologies: Oliver Diessel.
The TC chair apologises to Daniel Koo, who was accidentally left off the list of e-mail addresses for the meeting agenda.

  1. Second year CS program: this was discussed at length but with no obvious consensus. One group felt that COMP2021 could and should be revised in a way that made it fairly equally accessible to both CE students and to CS students without Physics or ELEC1011. [SE students don't have these either, but with their high UAIs it doesn't seem to be a problem.] Another group seemed to feel that no such revision would be possible, and that the disparate backgrounds would continue to be a problem. Thus two versions of COMP2021 (perhaps with different course codes) should be taught. Load balancing between first and second sessions was also discussed - having the CS students in session 2 helps in this regard. The protagonists have promised to summarise their cases and on receipt they will be linked here: gernot, odiessel.

    Also discussed under this time was the possibility of balancing the CS program by moving COMP2041 to first session (or teaching it in both sessions, but this has resource implications). This raised the possibility of CS students taking 3 COMP courses in first session of their second year, and then potentially taking 3 COMP3 courses in second session of second year. Some expressed the view that CS students should be forced to have some breadth and not study almost exclusively COMP courses.

    A possibility not discussed but which I now raise is that of revising the CS program so that it requires a minor in some other discipline (i.e. at least 4 courses at level 2/3 in a single non-COMP discipline. Responses to this point: jas

  2. Special facilities for special teaching needs. Proposals for a lab of 20 Macintoshes for HCI teaching, and for a cluster of screenless workstations for Distributed Systems COMP9243 were approved by the TC as educationally desirable and referred to the Facilities Committee. Case for HCI lab.

  3. Plagiarism handling policy. A task force with membership Paul Compton, John Shepherd, Richard Buckland, Andrew Taylor, and Ashesh Mahidadia was set up (after a discussion), to formulate a School Policy aimed at containing plagiarism. Its terms of reference include This task force was to report by Friday 8 September (Friday of week 8).
    Convener: TBA

  4. Deadlines for subcommittees. Following the setting of a deadline for the plagiarism task force, the TC decided to ask the Potter committee to report on its original brief by the same date (Friday 8 September) and to ask the Elgindy Committee to report on its brief by Friday of week 9 (Friday 13 October). All three groups are asked to circulate their reports to the standard audience for TC meeting announcements at least two days before their particular Friday deadline.

  5. Summer session 2001 (01x1): We will offer COMP1021 and COMP3421/9415. Tim Lambert and Waleed Kadous will run COMP3421/9415, and negotiations are still under way for a lecturer for COMP1021. The committee noted John Albani's information about the amount of lab-related work that needs to be done in summer 2000-2001. A schedule should be planned as soon as possible to determine how summer session lab use would be interleaved with the necessary work on the labs.

The following items were left for a later TC meeting.

  1. COMP9022 in second sessions. We are currently feeling the displeasure of PG students who have been forced to enrol in COMP2021 in second session because COMP9022 is currently only run in first session. Should we reconsider on this? Should all/popular/core PG courses have repeat lectures so that they are available day and evening? Particularly UG/PG pairs like COMP3231/9201, COMP3131/9102, COMP3111/9008, COMP3121/9101 (using second session examples)? John Shepherd will introduce the discussion.

  2. The TC's attention is drawn to the fact that a competitor, Sydney University, runs a talented student program. Should we be doing this as well? Comments.

  3. The School of Physics has a person, the "Physics Friend" who I am told spends her full time sorting out students' problems and giving course advice (particularly in difficult areas such as double degrees). Should we be taking this approach too?

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