18 January 2017 Minutes

Meeting minutes from the Informatics Board of Studies meeting held at 2.00pm, Wednesday 18th January 2017, Forest Hill, Room 1.B10.

18 January 2017 Minutes

Meeting minutes from the Informatics Board of Studies meeting held at 2.00pm, Wednesday 18th January 2017, 1.B10, Forrest Hill


Present: B Franke (Convenor), A Smaill (Academic Secretary), S. Tomlinson, L. Haworth, B. Webb, B. Fisher, D.K. Arvind, F. Keller, H. Thompson, M. Wolters, M. Herrmann, N. Goddard, P. Patras, S. Goldwater, T. Hospedales, V. Mactaggart (secretary).


1. Apologies: J. Kirby, C. Sutton, I. Murray, R. Shillcock.

B. Franke opened the Board of Studies, welcoming all Board Members.


2. Minutes of Previous Meeting s

Item 4: Action: Update the 'with Management' DPTs for 2017/18 (ITO)

Outcome: Unknown.

Item 5: Action: Remove information about hurdle from relevent DPTs (ITO).

Outcome: Unknown.

Item 6: Action: Update the relevent collection for 2017/18 (ITO).

Outcome: Unknown.

Item 10: Action: Discuss resource implications (B. Fisher, M. Rovatsos).

Outcome: Note as complete – BF to discuss admin resource requirements with ITO. Distance learning budget is available if required.

AOCB C: Action: Set up working groups to evaluate UG4/MSc courses (B. Franke).

Outcome: Ongoing.  Workload model still to be applied to UG4/MSc courses.

All completed actions are recorded in the minutes, relevant updates have been recorded.  


Items rolled forward from BoS 2 November 2016

Item 22: Action: Confirm progress on the Security and Privacy working group (D. Aspinall).

Outcome: No further update provided.

AOCB A: Action: Marking Guidelines for IRP must be tabled at next Board of Studies (M. Van Rossum).

Outcome: Discussed at latest Informatics Teaching Committee.

AOCB B: Action: Confirm progress on the BSc Computer Science and Economics Degree (K. Etessami)

Outcome: No further update, presumed not going ahead.

All completed actions are recorded in the minutes, relevant updates have been recorded.


3.  Matter Arising

The Committee requested that the meeting agenda be circulated earlier, and if possible, to find future meeting rooms in the Forum.


4.  Update to the MSc Specialist Areas in the MSc Handbook – P. Jackson.

The MSc Handbook needed the Specialist Areas section updated, and the Semester 2 course options advertised to students.

Outcome: Complete.

Action: None.


5 and 6. Course Proposal (assessment change): Advanced Vision – B. Fisher.

The assessment for both the campus based and distance learning version of the Advanced Vision 10 credit course was proposed to be reduced from two assignments worth 15% each, to one assignment worth 25%, with effect from 2017/18.. The workload will be slightly higher, but will bring the course in line with the School’s policy for 10 credit Honours courses.

Outcome: Approved.

Action: Change the assessment information on EUCLID (ITO).


7. Course Proposal (assessment change): Case Studies in Design Informatics 1 & 2-M. Wolters.

Measure 1: CDI1 assumes that incoming students are all capable of group work, however non-native English speakers struggle with this requirement. As such, it was suggested that the assessment be changed from 100% group work to 50%, with effect from 2017/18, to reflect the diversity of students and reduce the pressure on group work performance. The Board suggested reducing the assessment workload by making the proposed MCQ Learn tests a formative exercise, and increasing the individual components to 20% reading comments, and 30% reflective report.

Outcome: Approved.

Action: Update the course assessment information on EUCLID for 2017/18 (ITO).


Measure 2: CDI1 and CDI2 are currently taught together but a decoupling was proposed to allow Year 2 students more formal support for their thesis, and act as mentors for the Year 1 case study groups. This would require more resources both in terms of rooms and staff as separate classes would need scheduled for CDI2, and marking would increase. However the class size only averages ~15 so could class as a tutorial group. The Board noted that it is a core course so by accepting changes, the School must commit to teaching it.

Outcome: Approved.

Action: To ensure sufficient resources are available and assess if new structure is working next year, and to update the course proposal and submit a new course proposal to College ASAP (M. Wolters).


8. Course Proposal (assessment change) – Introductory Applied Machine Learning – N. Goddard.

For both the distance learning and campus based version of IAML it was proposed that the exam: coursework weighting be changed from 75:25, to 50:50, to more accurately reflect the amount of time students spend on the coursework. The Board discussed the need to free up time and reduce workload in order to accommodate the increased ICA component, such as by reducing the conceptual course content.

Outcome: Approved.

Action: Meeting to be arranged with IAML teaching staff to discuss course content changes (N. Goddard).

Action: Submit revised course proposal to BoS (N. Goddard).


9. Course Proposal (assessment/learning outcome change) – Applied Databases - S. Maneth.

Sebastian Maneth was not present at the meeting so will be asked to present the proposal at the next Board of Studies.

Outcome: S. Maneth to be invited to present at the next BoS (ITO).


10. Course Proposal (re-submitted) – The Internet of Things - P. Patras and B. Franke.

The original proposal for a new course ‘The Internet of Things’ to replace ‘Embedded Systems’ met with continued concern due to a possible overlap with course content in ‘System Level Integration Practical’ and a new 20 credit course proposal also being considered by D.K. Arvind.

Outcome: All three course proposers to come to a compromise regarding course content and merge the course proposals into one, whilst retaining the course title ‘The Internet of Things’.

Action: Merge course content and submit revised course proposal to next BoS (P. Patras, B. Franke, D.K. Arvind).


11. Course Proposal (replace) – Robot Learning and Sensorimotor Control – M. Mistry & S. Vijayakumar.

M. Mistry and S. Vijayakumar were not present at the meeting so will be asked to present the proposal at the next Board of Studies.

Outcome: M. Mistry & S. Vijayakumar to be invited to present at the next BoS (ITO).


12. New Course Proposal – The Human Factor: Working with Users – M. Wolters.

This course is currently taught by Informatics staff (M. Wolters) but has historically come under the School of PPLS and it was proposed that the course should move to be owned by Informatics. The Board agreed that it makes sense for the income to come to Informatics and no additional resources would be required. There was debate over increasing the course credits from 10 to 20, but it was felt that having a 10 credit HCI option allowed for more flexibility. The course assessment was discussed and it was agreed the two Learn quizzes worth 15% will be made formative and the remaining ICA adjusted accordingly.

Outcome: Approved.

Action: Revise ICA weightings and submit new course proposal to College (M. Wolters).

Action: Delete previous PPLS course from EUCLID (ITO).


13 & 14. New Course Proposal – Image and Vision Computing – T. Hospedales & B. Fisher.

Two new courses were proposed in IVC – a campus based and distance learning version. The campus based course would take students from the current UG IVR course, which would help improve the negative UG/MSc shared course feedback. An identical distance learning version would be run synchronously as part of the online MSc in Data Science, Technology & Innovation for 2017/18, but expected to eventually move to the new online PgCert in Informatics, once the new programme is approved.

Outcome: Approved.

Action: Reduce suggested contact hours  (need clarity) and submit course proposal to College (T. Hospedales).


15. New Course Proposal – Natural Computing (Distance Learning) – M. Hermann.

A distance learning version of the campus based Natural Computing INFR09038 course was proposed to replace it, as it hasn’t been delivered since 2011/12.  The Board discussed the lack of policy regarding distance learning workload, which has so far not counted towards staff teaching quotas. Currently staff teach ODL as a hobby, though this may need reviewed in the future if numbers increase.

Outcome: The Board approved the proposal, but clarified that it may not be able to be resourced. M. Hermann noted that he is happy to take on the teaching for the distance learning course.

Action: To submit new course proposal to College and delete the INFR09038 version from EUCLID  (M. Hermann/ITO).


16. AOCB

a) The Board noted that future meetings need to consider resource implications when approving amendments and additions to the curriculum.