Minutes of Meeting on 23/11/2016

This week’s meeting was attended by Alison Downie from Computing Support.

UG1
INF1-CL has improved and appears to be more organised.  INF1-FP Mock exam allocations for next week have been realised.

UG3
Computer Security was slightly delayed in the realise, it came out in parts over the weekend and the students couldn’t start on the coursework until the Sunday evening instead of the Friday.  It was asked if a extension would be allowed, but the School can’t have extensions after teaching has finished in week 11, due to various reasons, i.e student plans for travel etc.

IAML has seen improvements (in particular, Q&A sessions delivered by a tutor).

MSc
Neural Computation is behind in the course, this was due to issues at the start of the course.  Extensions have been requested, Bjoern will talk to the lecturer.

IRR many students are not happy with the course, they claim it is a very vague course and expectations and delivery varies a lot between tutorial groups.

General
There appears to be some machines that have log in issues, all computing issues should be reported to Computer Support.  There are also reports of some students being logged on the machines hall day when there is no-one using them.  Alison will send out another email, as this is not acceptable.

It was also reported that the printer in the drill hall won’t print. Alison said the printer had originally had a configuration issue, but all further problems should be reported to Computing Support and providing sufficient information on the problem.

Alison also said that Computing Support are looking into making on-line videos of help explaining how run jobs, printing, VPN, NX etc. Any other suggestions would be welcome.

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Minutes of Meeting on 09/11/2016

This week’s meeting was attended by Alison Downie, User Support Manager,  Computer Support; Neil Heatley, Head of Student Services; Don Sannella, Honours Project Co-ordinator and Heather Walker, Communications Officer.

Don wanted to discuss with the students about the final year Dissertation Workshop and Project Feedback Day, that he had circulated to the students in a previous email. This is something new for this year.

Don asked the students about the timing of these events, would ILW Week be good, Wednesday’s or early evenings, there is space to hold these events on Thursday and Friday of ILW week, Heather Walker will do a Facebook Poll to gather opinions. The students generally think this is a good idea and especially for the student doing their project to let
others see and it would be good if this could be opened up for other years to attend to give them an insight of what to expect in their final year.

Update: Link to the survey https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/ZJWLT8W

UG1
INF1-CL lecture recordings are now all available on-line. There was a good response to the mid semester surveys.

UG2
INF2C-SE the feedback was good for coursework one. The second coursework for INF2C-SE was 8 hours late in being issued, which wasn’t too much of a problem but the students are saying that the Piazza page has contradicting posts from both the lecturer and TA, which is causing confusion (Update: The lecturer has emailed students about this issue subsequent to this meeting). Still waiting on the feedback for INF2A and INF2C-CS
courseworks one.

UG3
AILP still doesn’t have a Wiki or Piazza page set up and the second coursework is due this week 11th November, maybe one can be set up for the next coursework submission on the 21st December. CSLP still no feedback yet, but the lecturer has been unwell, the students are concerned that the second coursework is due on Friday 11th and as it is worth 50% and they have no feedback to work with. IAML there is a delay in the feedback for coursework one and two. (Update: Further issues regarding flipped-classroom lectures have been raised after the meeting and how lectures could be more interactive. The lecturer has been made aware of the concerns and I will try to meet with him and discuss possible solutions).

UG4
MLP coursework apparently requires much more time than what is written in the course description. DS coursework is vague/difficult to understand (Update: Clarification has been provided both in class and on Piazza).

General

Can more staplers be provided outside the ITO, this has now been fixed.

The students mentioned that there has been printing problems in the Drill Hall, with the command printing, the printers appear to print 2 copies and there are also problems with Cloud printing. Web print keeps saying it is unavailable and logging into DICE asks you for your password twice. Alison asked the students to report all problems through the web site, so they can keep on top of all problems the
students are having.

 

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Minutes of Meeting on 03/11/2016

 

Björn explained that the School needs a Rep to attend Board of Studies and Teaching Committee Meetings, these are held approximately once a month during semester times. These meetings are open to students and Björn will post the link to where all the
minutes are held, also anyone wishing to attend can do so.

Board of Studies is attended by Teaching Staff and covers things such as course changes, programme proposals and new courses. Teaching Committee covers general things such as policies.

Board of Studies: 

http://web.inf.ed.ac.uk/infweb/admin/committees/bos

Teaching Committee: 

http://web.inf.ed.ac.uk/infweb/admin/committees/teaching-committee

 

UG1
INF1-CL has had no recordings available since lecture 9 and it would useful if there was a list of resources and study material available. Björn will take this up with the lecturer.

UG2
It was reported that recently some students asked if it could be possible to receive a copy of submitted files attached to the emails we get for coursework submission confirmation. For example, when we receive the emails “Submit Feedback” a file confirmation would be nice just to be sure it’s the right files or versions of them we sent out.

UG3
IVR the students reported that they felt the coursework was far to much for this course being a 10 credit course and students are spending double the amount of time on the work that is stated.

CSLP
It was asked if the code for this course be tested more often, maybe 2 or 3 times a week rather than once a week, this would be to enable the students to get more accurate feedback.

EPL Can a Piazza page be set up?

AILP Urgent: Can it also have Piazza or a Wiki set up?

UG4/UG5
CCS It was reported that the students aren’t finding one particular tutor very helpful, there are 4 tutorials and only 2 tutors including the lecturer.

CS/MLPR/IRR Feedback was well received.

General
There will be no PC’s installed in Appleton Tower due to on-going work, although the students are still able to use Level 3 as a study space.

Also if anyone want to organise an social events such as a ceilidh, there are funds available.

The University has a 15 working day policy on coursework being returned although the School try and turn this around in 10 working days.

The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in
Scotland, with registration number SC005336.

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Minutes of Meeting on 26/10/2016

General

There have been complaints about the smoking at the front of the building at Forrest Hill, staff and students have been asked to move from the main entrance.

Update: This seems to have escalated in the meantime and is now beyond our control. Following an incident yesterday staff of the University’s Communication and Marketing Team have passed this on to the Security and Estates and Buildings teams, respectively. Communication and Marketing staff have been advised by their management to immediately report any incidents of smoking in the designated non-smoking areas to the University’s Security Team.

The School runs a Mechanical Workshop and there is a chance to have guided tours to show the equipment is has, it may prove to be useful for projects. Some of the equipment we have to aid us in this are; milling machines, including a 2-axis CNC mill; lathes; power saws; welding equipment; CAD packages; PCB router; digital storage scopes and other related electronic meters.

After last weeks meeting with the Architect from Appleton Tower, it was discussed about moving more lockers in, but after consideration this may take up a lot of useful space, so we will just be taking the lockers we have at Forrest Hill with us. There are still lockers available in FH, indicating the current provision meets the demand.
UG1
INFPals is proving to be very useful.

UG2
DMMR: It was reported that the students are finding the lecturer Kousha is going through the lectures to fast and they are struggling to keep up.

INF2C-SE was realised 8 hours late but the deadline has been extended.

INF2C-CS the students are really struggling with the first coursework. For a 10 credit course it states that both coursework’s can be done within 30 hours but it isn’t proving to be the case.  Questions asked on the Piazza page are being directed to the labs, but there is only one lab demonstrator available and the labs are very busy, so the students aren’t benefiting from his help.  The course in general is good though.

UG4/UG5
IAML the students are still waiting on the feedback.  The quizzes for the course the students are not finding it helpful.  Piazza has lots of posts and it is very difficult to find useful comments, they are getting lost in all the posts.  Some coursework clarification was provided through Piazza and not everyone has seen it, this would be been better to be sent out via the class list.

ANLP
It was asked if Henry’s lectures could be more structured (actual course content should be given priority and anecdotal context could be provided as an add-on towards the end of the lectures) and his slides could have a better layout.

MLPR is not being recorded as the lecture theatre is not equipped for recordings.  Bjoern suggested that the students ask the lecturer if they can record them themselves.

IRR is proving to be inconsistent and it is not clear of what is expected from the students or tutors. Reading workload varies from 1-2 papers per week in some group to 10 papers per week in others.

MLP labs are held in the Drill Hall and a lot of students aren’t able to get a seat to attend this as there are other students using the space to study.  It would be useful to have timetable so students can see what is booked into the rooms.

IVR: it was mentioned that the coursework was quite a lot, although it was reduced from last year.  There is also 2 lectures a week, they are available on-line but they are very hard to follow as there is a lot of background noise.  There are no lectures notes available – only slides.

Kami Vaniea joined the meeting to explain to the Reps that she is now Equality and Diversity Officer and said that they are going to start doing Career focus groups for females in studying in Informatics.  Our female intake is increasing every year.  There will be a video on-line giving students opinions which will be in various languages.  She is also going to be working closely with Hoppers and CompSoc.  Bjoern mentioned it is possible for the School to fund any staff student social events.

It was asked if the school could pay for refreshments etc if the students were to set up student-run study groups, as lot of students don’t know one another and this kind of thing would help.

 

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Minutes of Meeting on 19/10/2016

Update from last week:

Bjoern has spoken with the lecturer Mike Fourman from INF1-CL and he said he would try and get the tutorial solutions and lecture slides posted on-line a bit quicker. He has also spoken with the MLPR lecturer Iain Murray (see comments section following my previous post).

Students can go to Information Services and create outgoing email aliases, for student rep email.

Neil Heatley will look into getting more toilet rolls and bins supplied especially for the weekends.

There will be an update on the refurbishment on levels 6 and 9 from the Architects at 1.30pm and they will ask for advice from the Students regarding the internal layouts of the floors.

UG1
INF1-FP has a class text next week but there will be no lectures as the lecturer Don Sannella is away. It was believed that Don did swap some of his slots with Mike Fourman. It was advised that the students should use their spare time for revision. There was an issue of the INF1-CL lectures not being recorded, there was a problem with some of the
equipment and hopefully it has been fixed, the University is currently looking into replacing the equipment.

UG2
So far all the coursework’s are on time, INF2A was actually released earlier than planned which was good.

UG3
It was reported that IAML review sessions are not listed on Learn. CD has 2 assignments Part 1 and Part 2 but students found it hard to complete Part 2 and Part 1 was not clear.

IVR lectures are starting at 9.10am – 10am, but they are meant to start at 9am – 9.50, allowing students to get to their next class in time.

AILP website says it should have a Wiki page set up but it doesn’t and there is an assignment due.

CS Labs: the machines didn’t have the software installed that was required (GPG?). Bjoern said that the lecturers are asked well before the session starts if anything is required and if they don’t tell Computer Support then it isn’t done.

UG4/UG5
The side lab in the drill hall has 30 PCs installed but they hold tutorials in them and sometimes there are only 3 students in attendance and the students asked if they could also use the room at the same time to utilise the space. Lecturers are encouraged to allow students in the room during tutorials with low attendance if space permits and students are quiet.

There is still an ongoing issue with the machines in the Drill Hall being held up with people running jobs in the back ground and going away stopping others from using them. It was asked if the School has any  policy of how long is right and can others force a log off after a certain time. This is something that Computer Support should be able to advise (Alison Downie recently sent an email about acceptable use policies, which also cover locking machines).

MSc
MLPR the students find the material covered in the tutorials is quite intense and would prefer the tutorials to be fortnightly rather than weekly. Alternatively, some kind of management of expectations would be useful, indicating how to make best use of tutorials even if students haven’t managed to keep up with their workload.

There are lots of big deadlines this week and it was asked if these could be staggered but these deadlines depend on what courses students take, they can’t suit everyone.

General
The Drill Hall is still very overcrowded, Bjoern advised that the students can use the space on Level 3, in Appleton Tower, there is no PCs available but it was pointed out that there is no desks either (Update: David Hamilton is currently looking into this).

It was reported that external students taking Computer Programming Skills had a delay in getting their DICE accounts.

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Minutes of Meeting on 12/10/2016

  • UG1
    INF1-CL lecture slides are only uploaded slowly – sometimes up to a week after the lecture. Similarly, INF1-CL tutorial solutions are often only released late. INF1-CL tutorials try to address students with different backgrounds, but with mixed success. Some students find the tutorials too easy, whereas others in the same group are lost. Maybe consider streaming? Lectures are sometimes a bit unstructured (jumping around topics). Students were advised to always ask questions and also to make use of the Piazza forum.
  • UG2
    Coursework has been released on time – great!
  • UG3
    There’s potentially an issue around the balance of available course in semesters 1 and 2. More input and concrete examples of problems would be appreciated.
    Computer Security coursework was handed out a week late, and now the deadline clashes with IVR. Students praised Kami’s teaching!
    AILP software system initially wouldn’t run correctly on DICE. This has now been fixed, but caused a delay. Responses to the problem were slow.
    Students comment on Computer Design – a great course! Question regarding demonstration of CD coursework and submission should be directed to the course lecturer.
    DBS tutorials appear to be crowded. Enough tutors?
  • UG4/UG5
    IAR coursework returned early – and with useful feedback!
    HCI lecturers and tutorials are very good. Kami has created new tutorial groups.
    Doodle polls for tutorial organisations can cause problems if not recorded by ITO.
    Final year project group meetings are scheduled for this week and next week.
  • MSc
    NC haven’t had lectures for last 1.5 weeks. It appears that (some) students haven’t received cancellation email.
    MLPR tutorial questions would require more clarification.
    Update on IRR tutorial groups: These have now been allocated and scheduled.
    ANLP lecture is of high quality!
  • General
    The School would like to support CompSoc and Hoppers to organise social events involving students and staff. The School can provide funding and organisational support.
    Students would like to be able to see room bookings – currently there’s no access to the room booking system at all for students. Would it be possible to provide read-only access to check which rooms are available and when?
    AT Level 3 can be used now as independent learning space.
    Weekend access to FH requires PIN – this is not generally known to all students and PIN is also not easy to find on MyEd.
    Extra toilet paper and bins are required at FH over the weekends. Glass recycling crates should be provided.
  • Computing Infrastructure
    Student rep email aliases are for incoming email only. Could they be configured such that email could be send by student reps?
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Minutes of Meeting on 28/09/2016

Björn started the meeting of by introducing himself and the students proceeded to introduce themselves and their degree programmes.
Björn explained that these meetings are held on a weekly basis and they are to go over any issues the students or staff may have and hopefully resolve them, he also said that there is the chance to either have someone attend from Computing Support, EUSA, or actually anywhere in the University.
UG1
INF1-FP workshop that was held on INF1-FP (“laptop clinic”) was very popular, the students said it was really helpful. The lectures however are very crowded and cramped, due to course being taken by external students, but over the
next few weeks there should be less people attending as some students drop the course after a few weeks. These lectures are recorded so they are available on-line. INF1-CL the students asked if more practice material can be made available for the exam.
UG2
DMMR there are alot of spam messages through Piazza, Björn said there is a way to opt out from individual/day/… updates, he explained that Piazza is a good communication channel for students and lecturers.
UG4
The students felt the UG4 Introduction Talk was too long, it was 2.5 hours. Hopefully next year it will be much shorter. It was also mentioned that if any students have trouble trying to get in touch with their Project Supervisor to inform Björn.
General
There is talk of Informatics Hoodies becoming available, either to buy from the shop but the School is looking into available funding so they can be discounted.
The new keyboards in the Drill Hall are to small. Some students are still using the DICE machines to run long jobs, so an email should be sent out about this.
Machine Learning and Pattern Recognition and Introduction to Modern Cryptology lectures are both at the same time, but these should be available on-line.
The School’s web page is very hard to navigate, it is easier to Google what you need to find.
The ITO are very busy with the course registrations and are working hard to trying and get the students enrolled. The students said that when they went into Path to submit they didn’t get a notification that their choices had been sent, so ended up hitting submit more than once, causing the choices to go through multiple times. Also they couldn’t find some courses, Björn explained that if a course does not have a confirmed room booking with the Universities Timetabling unit, then the course doesn’t show, which shouldn’t be the case and it is being looked into.
It was mentioned that the lecture recording isn’t able to pick up what is on the written on the whiteboards, just the slides, but Björn suggested the students could ask the lecturer if they can take photos and email the lecturer who could scan and post them on-line.
It was asked if the Informatics School of Summer Code will be running this year, and it will be it is a good opportunity for students to do projects and have a mentor over the summer and good for their CV, this doesn’t have to be done on-site.
Can more information be made available on research for UG1/UG2.
Research Internships are geared round UG3/4 and are emailed to the students.

The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in
Scotland, with registration number SC005336.
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Minutes of Meeting on 02/03/2016

UG1
Nothing to report
UG2
Students were happy that the 1st coursework for INF2B was split into 2
parts. INF2D coursework one was realised early so that was good.
UG3
AILP the marks have now been returned to the ITO although they were unacceptably late due to sickness with the lecturer, another lecturer stepped in to help finalise the marks. Individual emails will be sent out to the students with their feedback. This issue will be looked into by the School to stop this from happening again, arranging to have a
stand in to step in, in the event of this happening again.
ABS the students felt the feedback could have been more informative.
UG4
TCM there was an issue with the consistency marking, the lecturers have stepped in to do the marking themselves.
AGTA Tutorials don’t seem to supply solutions and they are finding the tutorials informal and not being helpful towards examinations.
PMR Amos Storkey is considering an extension of a few days for the coursework due on 8th March 2016.
MSc
Nothing to report.
General
Bjoern asked the MSc Rep if he could get the other MSc Reps to reply to the message Maree Mathieson sent out regarding the MSc Staff/Student Liaison Meeting.
There are a lot of deadline clashes in week 9, this is due to there not being allowed any deadlines afterwards, due to project submission deadlines. Bjoern explained that there is a big overhaul of 3rd courses coming (and later 4th year and MSc) and 10 credit courses will have one piece of assessed coursework and 20 credit courses will 2 or 3 pieces of coursework but there will be fewer courses to do. This will also limit the amount of December exams (if and when we introduce them).
The Drill Hall air conditioning has been looked at again and the engineers have turned off the cold air and set it to a air circulation setting. The students are saying that at 11pm every night the air conditioning goes on full blast with cold air. This will be looked into.
ITO opening hours from Monday 7th March will now be open from 9.30am and closing at 4.30 pm, with a lunch closure from 12.30 pm – 1.30 pm.
Edit: I (Bjoern) incorrectly mentioned 4:30pm in the meeting. The ITO will close at 4:00pm, but remain open longer on days where submission deadlines have already been announced.
Ian Stark the Informatics Feedback Officer attended the meeting to ask if the students could drum up some support in asking their fellow students to complete the ESES and, in particular, NSS Survey, we need at least 50% of students to complete this or our results and feedback will not be publicised. He also asked if some of the reps would be willing to go into some of the larger Honours courses and do a 5 minute presentation on the importance of completing the National
Student Survey.

The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in
Scotland, with registration number SC005336.
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Minutes of Meeting on 03/02/2016

UG1
INF1-CG there was an issue last week that the students did not understand Question 3 in the tutorial, this has now been resolved as there was a drop in lab held today to cover what the students didn’t understand which was very helpful. The “Fundamental” tutorials are much larger populated than the “Advanced” tutorials, and the student/staff ratio could be improved for the “Fundamental” ones or even hold two tutorials and do the “Advanced” one at a later date.  The tutorial exercises are being covered in the lectures after the submission deadline, could this be reversed?

INF1-DA lectures are very good and the lecturer Ian Stark always provides slides before the lecture.

UG2
INF2B Probabilities in Hiroshi’s lectures have been covered for the last month’s of lectures and the students claimed that Probabilities was also covered for the last month of Semester One, they are finding this too much (or, actually, redundant).

There was questions at last week’s meeting regarding the use of Matlab on their own PC’s but Bjoern commented the open-source package Octave can be used instead of Matlab.

UG3
AILP coursework is very late in being returned but it is an ongoing issues and it is being dealt with.

DBS the second coursework was late in being returned and the feedback wasn’t helpful at all, there was no explanation as to why students had lost marks.

UG4
MLPR coursework 2 the students found this very difficult and too much work for a 10 credit course, although they felt they had learned a lot from the course, the work had to be done over the Christmas holidays, causing them to have a delay on making a start on their Honours Projects. It was also suggested to provide better facilities for remote working, given that the project is done over the Christmas break. Bjoern said a review of courses is now being looked into and it could be possibly changed to a 20 credit course.

MSc
Again the MLPR coursework was difficult and a lot of students had to work on this at home through the holidays using the remote login (see above).

RSS the first lecture was cancelled and the students feel there should be a catch up lecture arranged in its place.

General

The Reps were asking if they could be kept updated with the Appleton Tower Renovations and emailed the PDF file of the renovation plans.

Drill Hall air conditioning is still to cold.  I have emailed Neil Heatley asking if this is being dealt with along with the vending machine requests.

It was also requested the the front door of the Forrest Hill, if the alarm could be adjusted to sound off after a minute of the door being opened and not 20 seconds.  I have sent a request to EBIS.

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Minutes of Meeting on 27/01/2016

In attendance: Lindsay Brown, Computing Support
Apologies: Björn Franke (DoT)
1st Year
INF1-CG in last week’s tutorial sheet there were three questions and the 3rd one the students couldn’t answer as the topic had not been covered in the lecture yet!
The Reps asked if the students could have access to Matlab on their own PC’s? Lindsay said she wasn’t sure as she knew that MSc students do but not Undergraduate’s but she will look into it.
Comment from DoT: Often the open-source package Octave can be used instead of Matlab.
2nd Year
The Reps were asking if they could get some information on how the INF2A exam paper was marked with the question that had an error in it, I suggested they email John Longley, the exam marks are now published on EUCLID.
They also asked Lindsay about “right click” to open another terminal (not sure what this was), she replied that sometimes with upgrades things disappear, but she will look into it.
3rd Year
No Reps due to an SDP lab.
4th Year
No Reps
MSc
Tony Knapp mentioned if it would be possible to have their Project proposals before the Christmas periods, so they could think about them over that time.
General
It was asked again about vending machines!
Drill Hall air conditioning is going on full pelt at 11pm every night.
DICE is SL7 available to student, again Lindsay will look into this.
Lindsay is going to email you Bjoern with her responses.
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