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University | Computing Science | Modules | CSCU9A1 | Syllabus
CSCU9A1 has moved to Canvas! Some old material is still available here. Autumn 2016
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has moved to Canvas! Some old material is still available here.

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Syllabus

Overview

This is a semester one module designed for students taking degrees involving Computing Science. It introduces the basic principles of computer systems and computer programming.

Lecturers

Dr Savi Maharaj (Coordinator), Room 4B119, Email

Dr Sandy Brownlee, Room 4B69, Email

Prerequisites

None

Credit

20 credits at SCQF level 8

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module students will acquire:

  • problem-solving skills that can be adapted and used in many other situations where structured analytical thought is required;
  • an understanding of computer structure and functioning;
  • skills in abstract, language-independent computational thinking;
  • an understanding of fundamental imperative programming constructs and their use;
  • the ability to program simple algorithms in a high-level programming language;
  • an appreciation of the relevance of computers and computing in society.

Students will be required to demonstrate the ability to apply theory and techniques to unseen problems without reference to notes, and to work independently and under a time constraint.

Contents
  • Computer systems
    • Basic computer architecture
    • Operating systems
    • Distributed and networked computing

  • Programming
    • An introduction to programming using Java
    • State, variables, and data types
    • Control structures: sequencing, conditionals, iteration
    • Construction and use of methods and control flow
    • Scope
    • Collections or sequences of data (arrays)

  • Computational thinking
    • Solving problems by computation
    • Designing algorithms

  • Advanced topics or guest lectures
    • These vary from year to year. Typical topics include Computational Intelligence, Information Security, and Limits of Computation.

  • Social and professional issues in Computing
Assessment
  • Practical checkpoints (50%)
  • Social and Professional Issues presentation and group wiki assignment (25%)
  • Class test (25%)
Module requirements

To be eligible to pass the module, students must:

  • Attempt the Social and Professional Issues presentation;
  • Submit the group wiki assignment;
  • Attempt the class test.

If you do not fulfil the requirements you will be awarded grade X for the module. [See paragraph 61 of the Undergraduate Regulations on Assessment]

Coursework extensions

Students who can show good cause may be permitted extensions to coursework deadlines. "Good cause" may include illness, for which a medical certificate or other evidence will be required. Students must request an extension by contacting the module coordinator, supplying relevant evidence, no later than seven days after the published assignment deadline. Extensions will be granted for acceptable reasons only, and will not normally be beyond such time as solutions and feedback are returned to the rest of the class. [See Section 6.2.6 of the Academic Policy Handbook]

Late submission of coursework

Coursework that is submitted late will be accepted up to seven days after the published deadline (or expiry of any agreed extension) but the mark will be lowered by three marks per day or part thereof. After seven days the piece of work will be deemed a non-submission. [See paragraph 66-68 of the Undergraduate Regulations on Assessment]

Repeat assessments

Students who fulfil the module requirements, but obtain an overall fail mark (0-39) are eligible for repeat assessment. In most cases, this will be a repeat class test. Repeats are not permitted for laboratory checkpoints or group work. The mark following any repeat assessment is capped at 40.

Discretionary repeat assessments

In exceptional circumstances, a student who has not met all the module requirements, following the Main examination period, may be permitted a discretionary repeat. This may be a repeat class test. Repeats are not permitted for laboratory checkpoints or group work. The mark following any repeat assessment is capped at 40. If you are granted a discretionary repeat assessment but do not attempt it, you will be awarded grade X for the module.

In deciding whether to grant a discretionary repeat, the Examiners will consider your record of attendance and engagement in the module. Students with a poor attendance record will not normally be permitted a discretionary repeat.

Attendance recording

Attendance at lectures, tutorials and practical classes will be recorded. If you are unable to attend a class, please email the module organizer, and submit a self-certification of absence via the Portal, if appropriate. The University has a policy of monitoring attendance. Repeated absence will be followed up in order to identify any problems at an early stage and to offer students appropriate support.

Textbooks

  • Computer Science Illuminated (6th Revised Edition, 2015), Nell B Dale, Jones and Bartlett Publishers Inc, ISBN: 1284055914/ISBN: 978-1284055917 (highly recommended)
  • Earlier (paper-based) editions, with the title "Java for Everyone", are also suitable.
  • Java Concepts: Late Objects, Enhanced eText (3rd Edition, 2016), Cay Horstmann, John Wiley and Sons Inc., ISBN 978-1-119-32102-6 (essential)

Email savi@cs.stir.ac.uk - Web www.cs.stir.ac.uk/~sma - Tel 01786 467421 - Fax 01786 464551
Mail Computing Science and Mathematics, University of Stirling, Stirling, Scotland, FK9 4LA
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