CS109 – Topics in Computing 1

TIMETABLE TEACHING MATERIAL
Credits 10
Level SHE Level 1
Prerequisites None
Availability Semester 1
Elective Yes
Contact 11 lectures/11 practicals (2 hours)
Assessment 100% coursework, completed in small groups
Lecturer Dr Alex Coddington

Aims and Objectives

To help the student to develop a broader perspective of computer science and to develop problem solving, team working, presentational skills, as well as personal and professional development skills.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the class, a student should be able:

  1. To appreciate the wider problems and challenges in computer science.
  2. To appreciate the importance of working effectively as a team in solving problems.
  3. To appreciate how to present effectively in written, oral and graphical form the results of investigations.
  4. To use a variety of resources such as the University library, databases and the internet to find relevant material.
  5. To appreciate the relationship between material from different computer science classes.

Syllabus

The class is based around a number (typically two) of group projects based on a variety of interesting challenges in computer science. Students work in teams to solve these with support from the teaching staff and present their results in a variety of formats (written reports, oral presentations, etc).

Assessment and Exemption

There are (typically) two group-based assignments, each worth 50% of the overall mark for the class. The marks allocated to the assignments will be based on written reports, oral presentations and practical demonstrations of work performed. Assessment will consider both the achievement of the group and the contribution of each individual within that group.

Resit

The resit for the class will take the form of a piece of individual coursework, designed to cover the content of the practical assignments. The mark returned for the resit attempt will be based on this piece of coursework alone.

Indicative Reading

The four challenges vary from year to year, so specific texts and references will be given by the individual lecturers.

An indication of the kind of challenge problems used in CS 109 can be gained from reading The Code Book: The Secret History of Codes and Code-Breaking by Simon Singh (Fourth Estate Ltd, 1999)