05 December 2018 Minutes

Meeting minutes of the third Board of Studies meeting for 2018/19 held at 2pm on Wednesday, 5th December 2018 in Informatics Forum, Rooms - 4.31 & 4.33.



Present: Stuart Anderson, Alan Smaill, Alexandra Welsh, Vicky Mactaggart, Qais Patankar, Martin Girgonis, Rik Sarkar, He Sun, Sharon Goldwater, George Kinnear, Michael Mistry, Alex Lascarides, Kami Vaniea, Colin Stirling, Sam Stewart, Mary Cryan, Karen Davidson, Iain Murray, Bob Fisher, Paul Jackson, Paul, Anderson, Volker Seeker, Chris Lucas, Tariq Elahi,  Rico Sennrich, Kousha Etessami, Frank Keller, Adam Lopez, Piotr Jander, Andras Bence Varadi.


Apologies: Shay Cohen, Don Sannella, John Longley, Phil Wadler, Angela Nicholson, Amos Strokey,


Minutes of Previous Meeting  - 07 November 2018

Draft Minutes of Penultimate Previous Meeting – 3rd October 2018:

the minutes were reviewed by the committee members and the following actions were noted as ongoing;


Item 1) Guido to contact Stuart to finalise costings spreadsheet for CDT in Biomedical AI and submit to ISS/College ASAP.

Item 4)  Alex Lascarides is still to report back from IGS regarding potential writing courses.

Item 10a) Nigel to provide ISS with full course proposal for CD+CAR merger.

Item 10b) BoS full course proposal form updates – discussions ongoing regarding format (SG, SoA, ISS). Vicky noted it may be replaced by Service Excellence EUCLID updates in the future.

Item 11) MSc DPT changes – discussions ongoing (SG).

Item 12) Agreed to create a Semester 2 instance for Business School students only for 2019/20 entry. Enrolment will be managed by reducing the quota to zero until sign-ups are known.

Item 13) Stuart advised that Arno had confirmed that despite plans to flip the DME course, there are no plans to turn it into a distance learning course. No BoS action required.


Draft Minutes of Previous Meeting – 7th November 2018:

the minutes were taken as read and the following actions were noted as ongoing;


Item 1) 30/11/18 - still to receive full course proposal from Boris Grot.

Item 1) Sharon/David still to review credit loading, semester workloads and draft up DPTs and check for any pre-requisite course issues that could affect Years 3 or 4.

Item 2) 30/11/18 – updated CDT-BAI paperwork provided and submitted to College for approval at CCAPB on 10th December 18.

Item 2c) 30/11/18 – updated CDT-BAI paperwork provided and submitted to College for approval at CCAPB on 10th December 18.

Item 2d) 30/11/18 - ISS to create course on EUCLID once receive College approval of programme at CCAPB meeting 10th December 18.

Item 2e) 30/11/18 - ISS to create course on EUCLID once receive College approval of programme at CCAPB meeting 10th December 18.

Item 2f) 30/11/18: ISS to create course on EUCLID once receive College approval of programme at CCAPB meeting 10th December 18.

Item 3) Computer Support is finalising the New Full Course Proposal Form formatting to allow the form to be made live. ISS and Computer Support are aware of teething issues with forms initial use, as form was not yet ready to used.

AOCB Item 1) Aggelos Kiayias submitted CDT in Computer Security documentation (Stage 1 form, Stage 2 form) to this December BoS.

AOCB Item 2) Stuart and Vicky still to meet in December to plan duty allocations and related tasks. Stuart is working on Duty Allocations.

AOCB Item 3) Sharon still to meet with Ben Morse to discuss resourcing/quota strategy.



1) New Proposed Updates - Informatics Curriculum Plan - Sharon Goldwater

There was a discussion with the committee about the vision on the curriculum plan, which most people seemed happy with. It was noted that the students have not been consulted with regarding this proposal, however there has been feedback on INF1B proposal. Both staff and students need to be consulted.

The proposal covers a plan over two years with new courses INF1B and IADS.

INF2A and INF2B cannot run in their current form. All courses in the proposal are either on today’s agenda or have already been approved.

It was noted that there needs to be some changes in DMMR in the interim year. The changes are not substantia, but are required. DMMR would have material to cover Python and Probability. Graphs would be taught in the first half of IADS. There were concerns regarding IADS and it was discussed that if IADS is taught using Python, that it would be the only course in 2nd year doing Python. DMMR is textbook Maths, but the course requires expanding beyond the textbook chapter. It was discussed that IADS needs more detail for a coherent course.

It was discussed that Sharon Goldwater and Stuart Anderson could have a paper explaining interim arrangements in order to look at approving the plan. The committee would be voting in the belief there is a solution.

It was discussed that the school needs to go forward with what it has in order to plan for next year. The school would look at 2019/20 first, then 2020/21.

A consultation has taken place regarding pre-Hons years. INF2A will be dropped. A few committee members were concerned regarding the core requirements.  George Kinnear (School of Mathematics Representative) was also concerned that Maths is also reviewing its courses and how it will fit in with this proposed plan. Sharon is aware.  

ACTION: Sharon Goldwater and Stuart Anderson to come up with minor modifications for IADS regarding Python and Graphs. DMMR not to change for 2019/20.

ACTION: Sharon Goldwater and Stuart Anderson to bring interim paper to next Board of Studies meeting.


2) New Proposed Course - IADS Proposal - Sharon Goldwater

It was discussed that, moving forward, the person lecturing would need to flesh out the course.

OUTCOME: Approved, pending modifications discussed in item 1.

ACTION: Assigned lecturer to flesh out course.


3) New Proposed Course - Introduction to Software Engineering using Object Oriented Programming (INF1B) - Volker Seeker

This is also part of the new curriculum plan from item 1 and will merge courses together. This would be a 20 point course that would concentrate on practical programming with regular submissions of exercises, with an aspect of group work. The group work would have individual contributions assessed individually.

The curriculum plan is based on books called ‘Objects First’ (same as IJP).

Around 200 students signed up to INF1A with 150 participants in tutorials - there is too much content to cover in 2 weeks. Students would have programing experience in INF1A then follow n with INF1B. The course would introduce more programing in 1st year, but be course work only.

There was dissent as some board members felt that the course is too large to be course work only as it would be difficult to catch plagiarism. Mary Cryan believes that the course should be at least 50% exam as the exam can examine the basics. There was a discussion around whether an all course work course would be duty bound to provide course work resits. There was a discussion around the assessment and how it would fit together. Volker clarified that there is not a lot of detail yet, but that the idea would be to have lab exercises passed at 70% over 10 weeks of submissions with 2x assignments; 1 formative (group) and 1 in bigger context but similar in structures and approach with individual components. Frank Keller felt that the proposal was the right way to teach a programming course. Would be similar to how exam works in INF1-OP. Sharon stated that the courses are trying to move away from % of assessments as there are competencies throughout. The intention would be not to have numerical marking.

There was a discussion around how resource intensive this course would be in relation to Teaching Support as the lecturer couldn’t use UG tutors. It was noted that INF1-OP already has resourcing issues. The counter point was that course work and exam courses are more resource intensive than just course work only courses. It was felt that if an exam was to be considered it should not be a multiple choice. Paul Anderson is against the idea of having an exam. It was agreed that as long as there was quality assurance in a controlled manner an exam would not be needed. It was agreed that the course could be monitored and tracked for information next year.

It was discussed that despite the concerns raised in relation to assessment and resourcing that the committee seemed to support the item.

OUTCOME: Approved, pending changes to assessment plan.

ACTION: Volker and Paul to come back with amended, non-invasive assessment plan.

 ACTION: Volker and Paul to come back to BoS in September 2019/20 with report.  



4) New Proposed Course - Research Methods in Security, Privacy, and Trust - Kami Vaniea & Tariq Elahi 







5) New Proposed Course - MSc Quantum Cyber Security - Petros Wallden (Arriving at 3PM)







6) New Proposed Programme - (CDT) Data Science & AI- Amos Storkey






7) New Proposed Programme - (CDT) Security, Privacy & Trust - Aggelos Kiayias






8) New Proposed Programme - (CDT) Robotics and Autonomous Systems  - Michael Mistry






9) New Proposed Programme - (CDT) Lightweight Verification - Paul Jackson (presenting) & Phil Wadler (absent)






10) New Programme Proposal MSc Business Informatics - Tiejun Ma

This item is to be rescheduled for the next Board of Studies meeting in January 2019, at the Convenor’s request, as it was not ready to be presented today.

ACTION: Come back to next Board of Studies meeting.


11) Programme - BSc Data Science (Graduate-Level Apprenticeship) – Tony Venus & Stuart Anderson






12) CDT Amended Degree Programme Proposal - Informatics: ILCC (MSc R) (Addition of exit route for CDT in NLP) - Adam Lopez & Frank Keller






AOCB (Any Other Current Business)

All attendees were reminded that the next Board of Studies meeting will take place at 2pm on Wednesday, 16th January 2018.