Draft Minutes of Teaching Committee Meeting 2 June 2006

The meeting was opened at 2.05pm.
Present: billw (chair), Adam Brimo, Christopher Chua, Rupert Shuttleworth, anymeyer, bgaeta, ckutay, compton, elgindyh, huig, kenr, mahbub, morri, nadinem, odiessel, rkwok, salilk, sowmya, sridevan.
Apologies: bradh, jas, potter, richardb
Minutes of the meeting on 31 March 2006 had been previously circulated electronically and corrections sought from attendees and incorporated.

  1. New course proposal: COMP4336 (rtf)/ COMP9336 (rtf) Mobile Data Networking - Mahbub Hassan
    Approved. Proposal now goes to Faculty Undergraduate Education Committee.

  2. New course proposal: COMP4337 (rtf)/ COMP9337 (rtf) Wireless Security - Salil Kanhere
    Approved subject to correction of COMP3335 to COMP4335 in two places in section 1.6. Proposal now goes to Faculty Undergraduate Education Committee.

  3. New Thesis courses for Computer Engineering: Thesis A, Thesis B - Sri Parameswaran
    Corrections to COMP4930 proposal: Name becomes "Thesis Part A" at both 1.2 and 1.3. Pre-requisite becomes just "120UoC passed" at 1.9 and in 1.10. At 1.17, change assessment grades to be used from Full range of grades (HD ... FL) to Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory.
    Corrections to COMP4931 proposal: Name becomes "Thesis Part B" at both 1.2 and 1.3. Pre-requisite becomes COMP4930 at 1.9 and in 1.10.

    There was extensive debate about this proposal, with the discontent focussing on the change from 18 UoC to 12 UoC for Thesis Part A and Thesis Part B combined. This, of course, had already been approved as part of the revisions approved in 2005. However, we don't all have to like it. It was pointed out that there would be problems having examiners assessing 12 UoC theses for CE, (15 UoC theses for BI,) and 18 UoC theses for CS Honours and SE. It was suggested that SE and CS could move to 12 UoC theses, as in other Engineering Schools (this would not work for BI because of factors relating to the Life Science co-supervisors). Alternatively, a back-door 18 UoC thesis could be introduced, either optionally or compulsorily, by introducing a Thesis Part C (6 UoC) for CE. This would address the Dean's desideratum of all Engineering Courses being 6 UoC. It was noted that there is already available a course code COMP3901 Special Project A (6 UoC) that could be used to extend a thesis from 12 to 18 UoC if that was only required occasionally.
    It was not possible to proceed with introducing Thesis Part C at the meeting, as a proposal to do so had not been available to the School prior to the TC meeting.
    The proposal to introduce COMP4930 and COMP4931 was passed by 7 votes to 3 (with several abstentions).
    It should be noted that the new CE degree is being brought in a year at a time, and that the thesis courses, while we have been asked by the Faculty to get them approved now, will not actually be used until 2009.

  4. New Project courses for Computer Engineering: COMP3601 (rtf), COMP4601 (rtf) - Sri Parameswaran
    Approved on shows of hands (nem. con.) after a lengthy discussion. It was noted that Computer Engineering is being differentiated from CS and SE, and that the introduction of these two design courses is another desideratum coming from the Dean (design course in every year, with the first and second year design courses in CE being ENGG1000 and COMP2911).
    Following circulation of draft minutes, by e-mail to attendees, Hossam Elgindy made the following request in relation to this part of the minutes: "I would like that the point that I made (very lengthy) that the topic of the design courses (specially the year 4 course) has a very narrow interest of its teacher and not the degree graduates be mentioned in the minutes."
    The proposer, Oliver Diessel, asked to summarise the response he had made at the meeting, stated that "COMP4601 attempts to illuminate use of FPGAs for prototyping, expose concepts of hardware/software partitioning, and provide experience at implementing configurable logic and hybrid processor-logic solutions for high performance/low-power problems. These foci were arrived at following extensive discussion with students and staff and are believed to balance the need to expose 4th year Computer Engineering students to hardware design while meeting the requirements of the program."

  5. Should we introduce soft skills as a compulsory part of our programs? - Brad Hall
    Item deferred in Brad's absence and due to lack of time, though there was incidental discussion of soft skills in the course of the meeting.

  6. Proposals from Student Representative Rupert Shuttleworth:

  7. Discussion of the conduct of courses in 06s1 - led by Student Representatives
    A summary of problems reported to Student Representatives was given. The Student Representatives have been asked to forward the material that they have received to the relevant lecturers for consideration by them. Note that this material is not regarded as proven allegations, but as material for comment. Some of it may already have been dealt with. A process, whereby such reports of problems coming via the Student Representatives will be tracked by the School Teaching Management Committee, was discussed.

The meeting was closed at 5.05pm

School of Computer Science & Engineering
The University of New South Wales
Sydney 2052, AUSTRALIA
Phone: +61 2 9385 6876

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