4 October 2017 Minutes
Meeting minutes from the Informatics Board of Studies meeting held at 2.00pm on Wednesday, 4th October 2017 in Appleton Tower, Room 7.14.
(This meeting replaced the scheduled 27th September 2017 meeting)
Present - Stuart Anderson (BoS Convenor), Alan Smaill, Vicky Mactaggart, Barbara Webb, Helen Pain, Julian Bradfield, Frank Keller, Sharon Goldwater, Mark Van Rossum, Michael Herrman, Chris Lucas, Pavlos Andreadis, Subramanian Ramamoorthy, Tim Hospedales, Amos Storkey, Kenneth Heafield , Alex Lascarides, Don Sannella, Mary Cryan, Richard Mayr, George Kinnear, Alexandra Welsh (Secretary).
Convenor gave apologies from - Jane Hillston, Richard Shillock, Paul Anderson, Christophe Dubach, Jon Oberlander, Iain Murray, and Nigel Goddard. Convenor advised that Bob Fisher also gives his apologies.
Minutes of Previous Meeting - 3rd May 2017
This minutes were taken as read and deemed to be an accurate record.
Barbara Webb raised a question about Item 8, Consistent SCQF Level for Introduction to Vision and Robotics, as she was under the impression that the DL IVR course was being replaced with IVC. It was agreed that clarification needed to be sought from Bob about this.
ACTION: ITO to seek clarification and add to next BoS on 18th October.
ACTION: Bob Fisher to present revisited item at next BoS meeting.
Items 1-3 were considered at altogether by the BoS members as they all propose the same kind model of distance learning courses.
- New Course Proposal - Software Testing Distance Learning Course Proposal - Ajitha Rajan and Bob Fisher
Neither Ajitha, Bob nor nominated representative were present at the meeting to table this item. Stuart Anderson advised that he had spoken to Ajitha and that she made it clear that she didn’t want to flip her course. Stuart asked the board if they would approve the proposal submitted for Ajitha’s course and the board voted not to accept it.
OUTCOME: REJECTED. Proposal submitted not accepted.
ACTION: ITO to report outcome to Ajitha and Bob.
2. New Course Proposal - Performance Modelling Distance Learning Course Proposal - Bob Fisher & Jane Hillston
Neither Jane, Bob nor nominated representative were present at the meeting to table this item. Stuart Anderson advised that he had spoken to Jane Hillston and recognised that she had put a lot of work into converting her course to make it flipped (distance learning compatible). In addition, Stuart stated that the School of Informatics had been given funding to provide a PgCert (60 credits) and had an obligation to deliver. After clarifying that the results of this decision would not set a precendent for future distance learning courses, the board members took a vote with 10 for approving the submitted proposal and 5 against.
OUTCOME: APPROVED. To be submitted to College.
ACTION: ITO to advise Jane Hillston and Bob Fisher and submit proposal to College.
3. New Course Proposal - Image and Vision Computing Distance Learning Course Proposal - Bob Fisher & Tim Hospedales
Bob was not present to table this proposal however, Tim Hospedales joined the meeting late, in time to discuss this item. Tim advised that he had put in a lot of time and effort to make this course Distance Learning compatible after a discussion with Bob Fisher. Stuart again asked the members to vote, resulting in 7 for approving the submitted proposal and 2 against.
Again, the board agreed that if approved, the decision would not set a precendent for future distance learning courses.
OUTCOME: APPROVED. To be submitted to College.
ACTION: ITO to advise Bob Fisher and submit proposal to College.
It was noted that voting was necessary as there was dissidence with the proposed distance learning courses. It was acknowledged that it would be an individual lecturer’s choice whether to flip the on campus course or not however, academic considerations needed to be made. It was discussed that flipped on-campus courses to distance learning courses were considered to be ‘cheap’ to set up but there were concerns that these costs have been misrepresented as flipped courses are more costly to run. Some members questioned whether the impact had been properly considered as it would result in sub-standard courses being delivered and maintained. Concerns were also raised around the existing issues surrounding resources within the school that members felt could not be ignored. Stuart clarified that the resourcing issues are the responsibility of the Head of School and the Strategy Committee.
It was clarified that the School of Informatics had been given funding to provide a PgCert (60 credits) and had an obligation to deliver.
4. Course Update - Minor Changes to Course Descriptor: Decision Making in Robots and Autonomous Agents (INFR11090) - Subramanian Ramamoorthy
Ram would like to change the course description. The current focus is on robotics issues. The change would follow a new structure and rebalance the course content in 2 halves – 1) mathematics/algorithms of decision making and 2) topics and models. There is some overlap regarding some topics in Reinforcement Learning and Algorithmic Game Theory but this course will emphasize issues of modelling.
ACTION: ITO to make changes to the DRPS for next offering.
5. Course Update Required - Course weighting for Applied Databases (INFR11015) - Gill Bell & Vicky Mactaggart
There was an issue with the course work split not being consistent between DRPS and Theon which then caused issues with marking.
OUTCOME: APPROVED. Change to 60/40 weighting.
ACTION: ITO to ensure DRPS course page wording reflects the 60:40 weighting.
6. Course Change Proposal - Change to assessments and weightings for Database Systems - Paolo Guagliardo
Paolo wasn’t at the meeting to present this item. The proposal is to change the coursework from 3 assignments to 2 assignments worth 10% and 15% of the final marks. The exam has also been moved to December, allowing students to be done with course work earlier and prepare for exams.
ACTION: ITO to make the changes to the DRPS.
7. Course Change Proposal - Revised Distance Learning Courses - Consistency Queries and Impact of Change & Consistent SCQF Levels for Campus and Distance Learning Courses - Bob Fisher
Clarification is required regarding the inconsistent levels of the same courses across the on-campus, DSTI and Distance Learning versions of the same courses. As Bob was not at the meeting today, Stuart request that this item be brought back to the next BoS.
OUTCOME: RETURN. BoS convenor requested this item come back to BoS.
ACTION: Bob to bring this item to the next BoS on 18th October.
8. Minor DPT table changes - BSc Cognitive Science and Computer Science and Electronics (BEng Hons) - Alan Smaill
Some courses have changed in other schools requiring Informatics to tweak some of its DPTs. BSc Cognitive Science - LASC08016 A Brief Introduction to Language replaced with Linguistics and English Language 1A (LASC08022). Linguistics & English Language 1 LASC08015 (was 40 credits now 20 credits) is replaced with Linguistics and English Language 1B (LASC08023).
Computer Science and Electronics (BEng Hons) - Year 3 has 2 compulsory courses, Analogue Circuits 3 and Signal & Communication Systems 3 however, Signal & Communication Systems 3 is not being delivered this year (despite still appearing on the DPT). The Electronics and CS BEng has no compulsory courses in year 3. Alan suggests that Informatics should mirror the EE DPT, with no compulsory courses.
It was acknowledged that the above needs to be tidied up for the next offering but need to be mindful of prerequisites. It was suggested that something like ‘recommended to take 40 points of linguistics’ could be added to the DPT collection’s comments for students.
ACTION: Alan Smaill to provide ITO with wording to update DPT.
ACTION: Alan Smaill to look at Computer Science and Management Science (BSc Hons) DPT
It was discussed that Informatics doesn’t have a DPT co-ordinator to liaise and work with external degrees. It was noted that having an Electronics representative at the BoS would be useful.
ACTION: Stuart Anderson to get contact points for external DPT changes.
UPDATE: ITO have replaced BSc Cognitive Science - A Brief Introduction to Language (LASC08016) with Linguistics and English Language 1A (LASC08022) and removed the previous version from DPT. Ito have replaced Linguistics & English Language 1 (LASC08015 - 40 credits) with Linguistics and English Language 1B (LASC08023 – 20 credits).
9. Proposed - AI degree proposed closures and changes (AI+maths, AI+SE degrees, CS+maths degree) – Sharon Goldwater
Informatics has lots of degrees with very few students enrolled on them. Sharon proposes to close the Artificial Intelligence and Mathematics (BSc Hons) and Artificial Intelligence and Software Engineering (BEng Hons) degrees, sighting that students on the Software Engineering (BEng Hons) degree already have enough flexibility to do almost all choices for Artificial Intelligence and Software Engineering (BEng Hons). Sharon noted that Software Engineering students can take all course options for Artificial Intelligence and Software Engineering (BEng Hons), providing they take Software Engineering Large Practical in 3rd year instead of choosing their Large Practical and take a minimum of 20 credits Software Engineering courses in 4th Year.
The Computer Science and Mathematics (BSc Hons) degree can be made slightly more flexible to permit all the same choices as Artificial Intelligence and Mathematics (BSc Hons). Sharon proposes to have these changes implemented for 2019.
School of Mathematics representative, George Kinnear, advised that students have a requirement to take statistics in 2nd year - consideration would need to be given to programme requirements. The question was raised as to whether INF2D would be replaced with a compulsory statistics course in Maths. It was discussed that there would be room with regards to points in the joint degree with Mathematics, but not with semester dates. The board was generally supportive of consolidation, where it could be done.
The Board discussed the marketing impact of losing degrees with ‘Artificial Intelligence’ as the perception and branding of ‘Artificial Intelligence’ is valuable. The Convenor reminded the Board of Studies members that admin and marketing were separate issues.
OUTCOME: APPROVED. The Computer Science and Mathematics (BSc Hons) degree should be broadened as outlined in the proposal to permit all options currently available on Artificial Intelligence and Mathematics (BSc Hons). Artificial Intelligence and Mathematics (BSc Hons) degree to be closed effective 2019/20.
Artificial Intelligence and Software Engineering (BEng Hons) degree to be closed effective 2019/20.
ACTION: ITO to update the DPT for Computer Science and Mathematics (BSc Hons) according to the proposal, and to implement closures effective 2019/20 of the Artificial Intelligence and Software Engineering (BEng Hons) and Artificial Intelligence and Mathematics (BSc Hons) degrees.
Sharon also proposed removing the requirement for Automated Reasoning in 3rd year of the Artificial Intelligence and Mathematics (BSc Hons) degree. This is the only compulsory course in year 3.
ACTION: ITO to remove Automated Reasoning in 3rd year of the Artificial Intelligence and Mathematics (BSc Hons).
UPDATE: AR removed as Year 3 compulsory course from 2018/19 DPT. Course is still available to choose from optional collections (Hons 3rd Year AI collection).
10. Course Closure/Kill List – Vicky Mactaggart & Stuart Anderson
List of courses that have been replaced/superseded by current courses which should go up to College to be closed -
- Computer Communications and Networks (INFR09027)
- Introduction to Vision and Robotics (INFR11126)
- Agent Based Systems (INFR10072)
- Advanced Vision (INFR11127)
- Introduction to Java Programming (INFR09049)
- Introductory Applied Machine Learning (INFR11143)
- Embedded Systems (INFR11120)
OUTCOME: APPROVED. BoS members agreed courses should be closed as now redundant.
ACTION: ITO to send the agreed above courses to College to be closed.
11. Information Only - Close Computer Programming for Music Technology Course for 2018/19 - Gill Bell & Bjorn Franke
To summarise - Gill Bell and Björn Franke (as DoT) had a meeting with the relevant person in the School of Music in academic session 2016/17, and tried to convince them to severe their ties with Informatics around Computer Programming for Music Technology. The School of Music representative agreed and it was decided that Informatics would close Computer Programming for Music Technology after it had been delivered for one more year (2017/18). Both the School of Music and School of Informatics would review their needs for first-year programming courses.
12. Information Only - Introduction to Theoretical Computer Science availability to Maths students - Julian Bradfield
As the rest of the items on the agenda (items 12-20) are information only, the BoS convenor requested that members review these items in their own time.
13. Information Only - KIS Learning & Teaching & Assessment Reports for Checking, Action and Anomalies - Vicky Mactaggart
14. Information Only - Changes made to Text Technologies for Data Science course - Walid Magdy
Changes made to the Maths, Programming and Team-work entry requirements.
15. Information Only - Minor updates to AI DPT's for 3rd Years - Sharon Goldwater
ACTION: Stuart asked Alan Smaill to bring models for 3rd year CS courses to the next BoS on 18th October, relating to earlier item 9 from this meeting.
16. Information Only - Types and Semantics for Programming Languages move to Dec exam – Stuart Anderson
The proposal was introduced by the DoT and discussed by the Committee. It was agreed that the TSPL exam would be moved from both December and May diets to December only.
UPDATE: this has been implemented by the ITO.
17. Information Only – Elevated Hurdles - Update from Teaching Committee – Stuart Anderson
Proposal to Remove Elevated Hurdles for Progression to Honours. Last Teaching Committee meeting held 13/09/2017 has action on DoT to contact other schools regarding Joint programmes.
18. Information Only – with Management DPT pushed up to college to be removed – Vicky Mactaggart
UPDATE: this items has been done.
19. Information Only – Distributed Systems (Level 11) & Extreme Computing – Stuart Anderson
CLARIFICATION: Stuart advised that he should have taken this item off the agenda as there was no information to present.
20. Information Only – Computer Communications and Networks (INFR10074) Exams – Stuart Anderson
CLARIFICATION: This course has been moved to Semester 1 and given a December exam due to a staff resourcing issue.