Minutes of Meeting on 08/03/2017

In attendance: Bjoern Franke (Director Teaching), Christophe Dubach (UG3 Course Organiser), Neil Heatley (ISS Manager), Alison Downie (Computing Support)

Bjoern informed the Reps that the late return of the AILP mark has now been escalated to the Head of School.  IRR feedback has now been released – this was late due to some tutors returning their marks late.  There was a Theon error that caused there to be a problem with the distribution of the ATFD and PM marks, this has also been fixed.  The April exam timetable has now been released.

UG1
No issues.

UG2
There was a problem with the INF2D coursework 1, the files were not up to date and this caused some confusion, the students had tried to contact the TA and lecturer with no response. It was asked if an extension could be given. Bjoern has now spoke to the lecturer and an 3 days extension has now been granted until Tuesday 14th March.

The Reps are happy with the exam timetable being quite spaced out between exams.

UG3
No Reps attended, due to a coursework deadline.

UG4/5
No Reps attended as the UG4 Rep meeting was being held with the Course Organiser.

MSc
The Reps felt that the RL coursework was difficult and very time consuming, and should be reviewed for next year.  Some students did not realise that the IRR course was just a pass or fail.  MLP coursework 3 has been returned but the students would have liked to have more feedback on the marking and the grades issued.  Steve Renals has emailed the DoT with more information on the marking – please contact the lecturer if there are specific questions.

General
The bins in Forrest Hill are overflowing, it was asked if there could be more supplied.  There is some concern over the well-being of some students. Neil will send out a general email about students taking care of themselves in the lead up to the exams.  It was also asked if showers will be available in Appleton Tower, but this would need to be looked into.

Neil also said that K9 (canine massage clinic) Scotland has invited Informatics to take part in a 20 minute dog stroking session, this would be held in Teviot with 100 slots available to book possibility around the 14th April.

There is still issues with students running jobs in the back ground on the PC’s, Computer Support have been checking the labs and kicking people of the PC’s who are stopping others from using them.  They are currently updating the CS web page with information on how students can log people of on their own and will put up more posters.

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18 Responses to Minutes of Meeting on 08/03/2017

  1. s1478565 says:

    The dog stroking session sounds interesting!

  2. s1678551 says:

    Can we get some official clarification on the marking scheme for IRP? Is this also pass/fail or will we receive a mark for it? Who will be marking it?

    • keller says:

      IRP is marked numerically, on the usual 0-100 scale. The IRP reports will be marked by the project supervisors, who are also the ones delivering IRP.

      Frank Keller
      (convener of the MSc board of examiners)

      • s1678551 says:

        Thanks for the reply.
        Isn’t IRP delivered in groups by separate tutors? So are they the ones marking IRP or is it our main project supervisor (who will also mark the final dissertation)?

      • s1686429 says:

        Is there a mark scheme for IRP, please? I can’t find one.

        Even though IRR was only pass/fail, it did have a mark scheme here: https://www.wiki.ed.ac.uk/download/attachments/181673930/IRR-Feedback-Sheet.pdf

        • bfranke says:

          Marking of the IRP was considered at a Teaching Committee meeting last year and it was agreed that it should be marked according to five main criteria (1 Literature: Concise review of literature, correct
          referencing; 2 Introduction: Accessible to non-experts; motivation and relevance; audience; 3 Objectives:
          Clear statement of objectives; hypotheses; 4 Approach:
          Method; plan of work; evaluation metric; time-table; 5 Presentation Reasonable length, correct English, correct
          level). For each of these criteria there are several possible high-level outcomes: absent poor fair good v. good excellent. There will also be summaries of strengths, weaknesses, and areas of improvement.
          Overall, final marks will be derived (in line with the University’s Extended Common Marking Scheme) as follows:
          80+: Excellent proposal (very rare). Typically excellent on all criteria.
          70-79: Very good proposal (rare). Typically very good on most criteria, excellent on some.
          60-69: Good proposal, but could be improved on one or various criteria. Typically good on most
          criteria, very good on some.
          50-59: Fair proposal, but could be substantially improved on one or various criteria. Typically fair
          on most criteria, good on some.
          40-49: Fail for MSc, pass for diploma. Typically poor on some criteria, fair on others.
          0-39: Inadequate. Major deficiencies. Poor or absent on many criteria.

      • s1667278 says:

        Thank you. And this mark counts toward our semester and program averages?

        • bfranke says:

          There’s no such thing as a semester average. But all your course marks (appropriately averaged considering coursework and exam weights) including IRR and IRP feed into the progression decision in June, initially, and then later together with your project mark these marks determine your final average.

          • s1667278 says:

            I was under the impression that a 70 or greater was required each semester to get distinction? Perhaps that was wrong.

            But the more general question is: are the IRR and IRP grades used in any averages, whether determining distinction or otherwise? Or is the numerical grade (beyond a simple pass/fail) just used for our own feedback/knowledge?

          • bfranke says:

            Award of a distinction requires both a course average of >=70% (across all courses from both semesters and including weighted coursework and exam marks for each course, and weighted by course credit value) and a project mark >=70%.

            IRR/IRP are included.

  3. s1682454 says:

    The computer facilities in FH are very overcrowded in the periods before deadlines. The noise levels are sometimes very high and it is difficult to concentrate. The quite room is fairly small and more imporantly is not treated as such by the majority. Can we have some more dedicated quite/silent spaces in FH!

    Thank you!

    • bfranke says:

      We are aware of the situation in FH, which is far from ideal. In fact, both students and staff are unsatisfied with the crowded situation at FH and this is the very reason why work is underway to provide us with more and better teaching space at Appleton Tower becoming available to us in September.

      Given the time frame for our move back to AT and the very intensive use of FH also for group work, which naturally implies higher noise levels, it is difficult to create more quiet spaces in FH, though. However, we will remind students to honour the existing quiet spaces in FH.

      Please note that some space (without computers) is available on level 3 of Appleton Tower. In addition, there are quiet spaces available in the library.

  4. s1337682 says:

    Has there been any further information about AILP marks?

  5. sramamoo says:

    Regarding RL homework assignment, we will indeed look into the time required to complete the tasks. Based on my discussion with several of the students, and the TA’s much more extensive discussions with students, two areas stood out: (a) further tune the framework setup process to reduce time spent in getting started, (b) scope the exploratory questions to make clearer that there is no need to tune performance beyond a certain basic level – which suffices to explore the conceptual issues that form the main focus of the assignment.

    Beyond that, the core programming task (to implement Q-learning) is not very different from what we have used in earlier offerings.

    The instructor and TA are of course happy to have further discussions with students, especially if there are specific ideas about ways in which the homework can be made more educational while keeping it manageable.

  6. s1018295 says:

    On numerous occasions recently I’ve had remote emacs sessions and logging interrupted by students abusing `wall` to broadcast annoying messages to users on schiff or vulcan. I’ve tried adding ‘mesg n’ to my bashrc but no joy. These messages are intensely irritating and can result in having to filter logs. Perhaps `wall` can be disabled except for root?

    • bfranke says:

      Ok, thanks for letting us know. I have passed this on to our Computing Support Officers, who will look into this.

      Could you please try creating a file called ‘.brc’ in your home directory and add ‘mesg n’ to this file?

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