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University | Computing Science | Big Data Msc. | CSCU9YO | Syllabus Updated 9/01/15 10:19
CSCU9YO Big Optimisation Spaces Spring 2015







CSCU9YO Syllabus


10 credits at SCQF level 10

Undergraduate Course



Learning Outcomes

The student should know and understand:

  • Basic concepts and concerns surrounding optimization
  • A number of key algorithms including single point search and population based methods such as genetic algorithms
  • Typical problem domains and applications
  • Some of the difficulties in research in optimization

Transferable Skills

  • Students should be able to understand problems from an objective perspective.
  • Students should be able to make informed decisions about the design and evaluation of optimization algorithms and algorithms more widely
  • Students should understand some of the open questions and difficulties surrounding the areas of research into metaheuristics and optimization


  • Mathematical definitions
  • Optimization; means, methods and results
  • Single point search methods e.g. simulated annealing
  • Population based methods e.g. genetic algorithms
  • Applications
  • Theoretical Foundations
Students should also be able to demonstrate the ability to apply theory and techniques to unseen problems without reference to notes, to work independently and under a time constraint.


There are 0 assignments:
One exam worth 50%


In order to obtain a pass grade for the unit you must:
  • Submit all items of assessed coursework
  • Attend the examination.

Non-submission of the assessed coursework will result in the award of an X Grade for the module as a whole. Assessed coursework submitted late will be accepted up to seven calendar days after the submission date (or expiry of any agreed extension) but the grade will be lowered by three marks per day or part thereof. After seven days the piece of work will be deemed a non-submission, and will result in a fail grade for the module as a whole. This rule (regarding coursework) may be relaxed for students who can show good cause for failure to submit. Good cause may include illness (for which a medical certificate or other evidence will be required).

If a student is unable to attend the Main examination, he/she must apply to the Student Programmes Office for a Deferred examination. If a Deferred examination is not granted, then the Examiners may allow a Repeat examination.

Assessment guidelines can be found here

Extenuating circumstances

Students may encounter personal difficulties outwith their control that affect their ability to study or complete assessments. In most cases, these situations can be handled by requesting extensions of deadlines or deferred exams. In exceptional cases where these remedies cannot be applied, the student may wish to make a request for consideration of extenuating circumstances. Requests can be made using the Extenuating Circumstances form. Note that the form must be submitted no later than two working days after the final assessment for the module.


You are expected to attend all lectures, tutorials, and practical classes, in order to derive the maximum benefit from your time at University. It is your responsibility to make the most of the opportunities for education offered to you by the University.

Note that lectures are recorded, so you may also be recorded if you speak while the recording is in process. Recordings are published online and are publicly available.


Plagiarism means presenting the work of others as though it were your own. The University takes a very serious view of plagiarism, and the penalties can be severe (ranging from a reduced grade in the assessment, through a fail grade for the module, to expulsion from the University for more serious, or repeated, offences). See the University guidelines on this at


You will receive a copy of the Computing Science student handbook. You should read this carefully, particularly the sections on assessment and plagiarism. There is also useful information in there about course structure, which will help you plan your future module choices in Computing. The handbook is also available online at
Coordinator John Woodward, Room 4B102
Email - Tel 01786 467286 - Fax 01786 464551
Mail Computing Science and Mathematics, University of Stirling, Stirling, Scotland, FK9 4LA
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