Staff Student Rep Meeting – Wednesday 22nd November

In attendance: Stuart Anderson, Director of Teaching; Jennifer Oxley, Computing Support; Kendal Reid, ITO.

UG1
The students still feel that they need more practical examples for INF1-CL, the Rep is going to to write a report and submit it directly to the course lecturer.  Stuart said INF1-CL and INF1-FP are currently under review to see if it possible create a more integrated course in the future.  This review process will have student representation.

UG2
INF2C-SE it was asked when the marks for coursework 2 would be released, this would be useful before the deadline for coursework 3 is due on the 28th November. Stuart will look into this.
INF2A the students felt the responses on the Piazza page weren’t as responsive as they would have liked.

UG3
No feedback.

UG4
BDL  – There have been some problems with the server.  Stuart will talk to Aggelos.

UG5
TSP coursework was not released until 9th November and the deadline was set for the 17th, it was requested to the lecturer for an extension but it was declined. Stuart will look into this.

MSc
MLP the DICE machines were running really slowly when the students were trying to submit their coursework, but due to the size of the class and everyone using the system it is bound to be slow at peaks times, the School is purchasing 200 new GPUs for next Semester, so hopefully the resources will improve.    Students felt the feedback inconsistent because of different markers for a large course.  Some students felt more structured feedback was required.  The School is looking into moderation mechanisms in general, particularly for large classes where it is impossible for a single individual to mark all submissions

General

It was asked if the School could supply another microwave in the kitchen area of level 3, Appleton Tower.  This will be looked into.

Can the ITO supply whiteboards erasers? The ITO does not supply whiteboard erasers any more as these appear to make more mess, they can however supply on request clean kitchen paper and whiteboard cleaner which can be collected and returned from the ITO.

It would have been better if the course surveys were completed after the exams, the students feel that the it would be better to include feedback from the exams.

All students should now be supplied with print credit, and if additional credit is required for tutors and demonstrators this can be done via a request to Computing Support.

The Staff Student Liaison Meetings should now be organised for all years, these will be held in revision week.  This is an opportunity to meet with the Year Organiser and Year Lectures to discuss anything regards to the course structures.  Stuart will circulate the SSLC policies.

The light that appears to be flashing in the main lab on Level 6, has been reported.

There are still on-going issues to get the contracts sorted out, this is done via Human Resources and they have a large back log that need to be manually entered, hopefully this will be resolved soon.

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Staff Student Rep Meeting – Wednesday 15th November

In attendance: Alan Smaill, Deputy Director of Teaching; Neil Heatley,
ISS Manager; Paul Anderson, UG1 Course Organiser; Lindsay Brown,
Computing Support; Kendal Reid, ITO;

Apologies: Stuart Anderson, DoT.

Follow up from last week’s meeting:

  • Two Reps have volunteered to sit in the Teaching Committee and Board of
    Studies Committee.
  • Every student should now have print credit, allowances differ between years and tutors will be allocated additional credit to account for their duties.
  • The ITO are now in the process of arranging Staff Student Liaison Meetings which will be held in Week 11, this will allow the Reps of each
    years to meet with their Course Organiser and course lecturers.
  • The course Introduction to Modern Cryptography is now being recorded but the lecturer for Computer Design does not wish to have theirs recorded
    and they are not obliged to do so.

UG1
The Reps said that the UG1 Facebook page is up and running and students
can use this to post anonymous comments on it, and the Reps will
feedback to the meeting anything that is relevant.

INF1-CL the students are still requesting more practical examples.

UG2
No issues, it appears to be hard to work out who is the Demonstrator in
the labs.

UG3
Professional Issues: the students feel the marking was biased, these were
videos that were submitted.  (This has been discussed on the Piazza but may need further clarification).

Introductory Applied Machine Learning: the students felt the feedback for coursework 1 and 2 was inconsistent and was late in being returned, this
didn’t help the students who are due to submit coursework 3 tomorrow –
16th November, as they needed the feedback for the next part.

UG4
Compiling techniques: the afternoon test doesn’t appear to be working but
the evening one is.

MLPR is reported to be a very good course.
MLP the feedback from coursework 1 has still not being returned and the
feedback is required for coursework 2.

UG5
Extreme Computing cluster has been down alot, although it has now been fixed and the students were granted an extension, it has appeared to be quite problematic and the lecturer wasn’t to helpful, saying it was a Computing Support issue.

General

Alan asked the students if anyone would like to become a Fire Steward for AT, this would entail training which would last about 30 mins and be able to assist in vacating the building in the event of a fire alarm, including out of hours.  Gillian Bell ITO Manager will send out an email to all students, asking for volunteers.

The locks on the ladies toilets on level 6 are both broken.

The lack of plug sockets on level 6 are still an issue, the School is aware of this but the reason for this was for health and safety reasons as most of the sockets come from the floor, but there are alot more sockets on level 5.

There is still in an on-going issue of submitting time sheets and contracts, there is an automatic email going out from our system which is causing confusion, but students have to just keep continuing to submit their time sheets and the system for dealing with these is planning to go live on Monday 20th November.

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Reps Meting 8/11/2017

Staff Student Rep Meeting – Wednesday 8th November 2017

In attendance:  Stuart Anderson, Director of Teaching, Neil Heatley, ISS Manager, Sarah Taylor, Communications and Recruitment Officer, Ross Armstrong, Computing Support, Kendal Reid, ITO

Note: I note we usually just record the staff in attendance – it would be better to list everyone?  What do you think?

Stuart asked the Reps if the Reps could agree amongst themselves if someone would be willing to attend the School’s Teaching Committee Meeting, this committee covers things like the day to day running of the courses and teaching and Board of Studies covers suggestions for new courses and programmes etc.

The Reps reported that they have all done their EUSA Rep training, they said that the felt the training is more focused on information but our Reps feel that our meetings are more dynamic as we have our meetings weekly unlike other schools.

Stuart suggested it might be good for the Reps to have access to post to the blog so they can maybe suggest agenda items for students to comment on, or they can just email Stuart or Kendal directly.

Stuart also mentioned that we have a Staff Student Liaison Committee meeting which is held at the end of every Semester, this will include the course reps and the course organiser for the year, this will allow the specific years to discuss any issues that could be related back the specific course lecturers.  These are likely to be held in web commencing  Monday 4th December.

Stuart has contacted the course lecturers for the issues with INF1-CL and AILP and is currently awaiting a response, also for CS he has suggested the lecturer could use the document camera for her Maths part of the course.

Regarding CSLP Stephen Gilmore has agreed to run some additional labs both for SELP and CSLP.

MLP the lecturer has apologised for the inconsistencies in the coursework published in the pdf and the Piazza forum.

IMC Ross Armstrong is going to see if he can look into the possibility of scheduling recordings.  [This should have recorded the Monday 13 Nov Lecture]

UG1
The reps have decided not to send out a class survey, as Mike Fourman has already done this and he is able to answer directly to the results.
The reps have also set up a UG1 facebook page to let the students know who they are and they are able to comment on the page with any issues or feedback they may have.

UG2
Any issues that have arisen have now been been fixed.  A student survey was sent out and the reps will put the feedback into a document and forward this on the lecturers.

UG3
CD is currently not being recorded, this could be due to the location rather than the lecturer, Ross will look into this. [Stuart has checked with the Lecturer and the lecturer does not wish mohave the lecturers recorded.]

UG4
MLP an email was sent to the students by the lecture stating he was surprised that not all the class had signed up for the Piazza page, some of the students did not think this was a mandatory part of the course and caused some confusion as they weren’t sure if all the updates were on the course web page or Piazza.  DBS only uses Piazza for any course related issues and not the course web page, so one source of information should be made clear.

EXC the students felt the marking for the coursework was harsh and didn’t give any reasonable feedback, the questions for the 2nd coursework are similar, so better feedback would have been good enabling them to correct their wrongs for coursework 2.  They asked if a marking scheme could be made available.

MSc
It was asked if the Reinforcement Learning will be running next Semester, as there is no lecturer in place, but Stuart reassured the students that this course will be running in Semester 2.

BIO1 is being taught in Room 6.06 and students have asked if the lecturer could wear a microphone, as this class has 44 students enrolled, it is too big for the smaller rooms and too small to have the full use of the lab so other students are also using room 6.06 making it hard to hear, it was requested if it was possible to reserve the front rows while it is being taught.

General
There is still no contracts being issued, but Neil told the students to submit their time sheets anyway until the contract situation is resolved.  HR who currently hold a Service of Excellence award are currently dealing with this and they have over 1000 contracts to manually enter into the system.

It has been requested that students stop eating in the labs, there has been complaints about strong smells and messy work stations, if students cannot be respectful to others then eating in the labs will be banned completely.

AT holds a weekly fire alarm test at 11am every Wednesday, if an alarm goes off any other time and for more than 15 seconds ALL students must evacuate the building at once and once vacated they must clear the entrances to allow others to evacuate.  The lifts will not be in action if an alarm goes off but you can exit the building via the main stair case and the west staircase.

Neil stated the Mulled wine and Mince Pies event will likely be held in Revision week, starting Monday 4th December.

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Reps Meeting 1/11/2017

UG1
The Reps are still putting together a class survey.  UG1 is currently under curriculum review and one option is a move to 2 20 points courses one in each semester.  Students will be included in any decision to change the current structure.

UG2
INF2A students are enjoying the course and the coursework was fun to do.
INF2C-CS Students feel this course should be a 20 credit course, as it has quite a heavy workload.

UG3
SELP has no labs, the students feel labs would be helpful and give them a bit of guidance.
AILP there appears to be bugs in the pdf, and the Piazza response is very slow.
CS is reported to be very good, Kami records her lectures and Myrto doesn’t, Myrto’s lectures are maths based.  Stuart said some lecture theatres have a camera installed to capture the blackboard or document camera could be used (MLPR reportedly uses the document camera).
PI the students feel that 2 sessions at 2 hours is too long.

UG4
NC students are complaining that there is no Piazza page available and when the lecturer is emailed for anything they are very slow in replying, also there was miss communication about lectures resulting in some students missing 2 lectures.  There is also not enough tutorials.  Stuart said he is looking at look at the possibility of using Collaborate for open tutorials and possibly running revision tutorials for Honours courses not just Non Honours.

MLP there was updates to the coursework on Piazza but nothing on the pdf file, this caused confusion, Stuart will talk to the lecturer to make it more clearer and have one just one source for information.

UG5
MLPR and PM have been reported to be a very good course.
BDL apparently is not very well organised.
IMC does not have any lecture recordings available.

MSc
ANLP there has been complaints from students about other students talking through the lecture, disrupting others.

General
Tutors are still waiting on contracts and cannot submit time sheets, as they do not have employee reference numbers.

Computing Support are going to update all students with print credit, UG4/5 students will be given extra credit to cover at least 2 copies of their dissertation and tutors will also be given extra credit to allow them to print any tutorial sheets required.

DMMR will be an open book exam, and students will be allowed to take in notes, as some students do not have access to the recommended book.

Travel funding will be made available for students wishing to attend competitions etc, but we need to compile a list of what it is happy top pay for and what it’s not.  The reps were asked to consider what could be eligible for funding.

Some students are not happy with other students eating in the labs.

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Followup to Reps Meeting 25/10/2017

INF1-CL: Lecturer contacted, awaiting reply.

UG3
AILP: lecturer contacted – awaiting reply

Compiling Techniques: Lecturer contacted: he responded in detail – I will post a summary shortly but we can discuss at the 1/11/2017 Reps meet.
UG5
Extreme Computing: Lecturer contacted – awaiting reply

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Reps Meeting 25/10/2017

In attendance: Stuart Anderson, Director of Teaching, Neil Heatley, ISS Manager, Kendal Reid, ITO.
Stuart updated the Reps from the issues of last weeks meeting:

  • Professional Issues the course slides are now available on the course page and indications of what chapters of the book have to be read.
  • Stuart will talk to the Programming Club about the use of the main lab on level 6 and taking up the space and evicting students from the lab while it is on.
  • Attendance recording in MLP via Tophat, this is purely done as an engagement process to target any students that don’t show to classes due to any course or health issues etc.
  • Print credit will be looked into by Computing Support, especially for tutors and UG4 students working on their 4th year project.

UG1
The students have just had the INF1-FP mock exam and the feedback from it was good.

The reps are going to put together a questionnaire to give out to the students to get feedback regarding INF1-CL and INF1-FP, they are going to talk to the course lecturers.

INF1-CL the students would like more support for this course, it was suggested it would be good to maybe have a couple of sessions a week in Infpals to be dedicated on INF1-CL, it was also suggested that the students could email the Infpal leaders asking them what they would like to be covered.  Also INF1-CL only provides slides and the students have requested that there are more resources are made available a reading list would be useful, Stuart will talk to Mike.  Students could also look at the past papers on the library web page http://www.inf.ed.ac.uk/teaching/exam_papers/

UG2
INF2A coursework one has been released and it was reported that it is well written and understandable.

INF2C-CS
The deadline is tomorrow Thursday 26th October and all appears to be well with this.

UG3
AILP: the students asked why this is called Artificial Intelligence Large Practical when it doesn’t cover anything in AI.  This will be raised with the course lecturer.

The feedback from part one of Compiling Techniques has not been returned to the students and part 2 is due tomorrow (Thursday 26th October), each coursework for this course is dependant on one another and they relay on the feedback first to enable them to complete the next part correctly. Stuart will talk to the lecturer.
UG5
Extreme Computing has not released any coursework dates to the students, Stuart will talk to the lecturer.

MSc
No issues.
General

  • Neil explained that if any students are picked up on our system as using Bitcoin mining, using the School or University’s resources for personal wealth will be given a fine, these kind of things are picked up when monitoring a students data use.
  • The ladies toilets on level 4 the door locks are still missing or broken, Neil will look into this as he thought it had been fixed.
  • Neil will talk to the UG4 students about their ideas on designing final year hoodies.
  • The exam timetable will be issued on Thursday 26th October.
  • Stuart thanked the students for going along to the Coffee morning in the Forum last week, it was well attended and good for the students and staff to mingle.  There was a suggestion by Neil of a mulled wine and mince pie event nearer Christmas and some dates were asked but not agreed, but the students felt before the exam diet starts would be a good idea.
  • Computing Support has asked the students not to unplug any of the machines in the labs.
  • The School has a budget for students who wish to apply to attend certain events such as computing competitions, Neil will develop a proposal for an application process and consult.  We need to identify suitable events:  Could reps identify any events that would be worthwhile?
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Followup to Reps Meeting 18/10/2017

UG3

  • Programming Club excluded people from the lab because they were doing a mock interview exercise.  This was for one week only.  We will look at timing any such events better in future.
  • Professional Issues should be up to date now.

UG4

  • School is revisiting the issue of print credit and will resolve this shortly – in particular pruning to support tutoring/demonstrating will be covered.

MLP

  • We take attendance to help monitor engagement so we can identify students with issues that should be contacted by their tutor.  No event in Informatics is compulsory and the attendance is only taken to monitor engagement.

General

  • The blog is operating now – there were some issues in it being taken over by the new director of teaching.
  • The lifts will be a problem until all the work in the Appleton Tower is complete.  When three lifts are operating the system seems to work well (for those who are able, using the stairs is a healthy option…)
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Reps Meeting 18/10/2017

UG1
No issues

UG2
No issues

UG3
There was complaints about a Programming club being held in the main lab on level 6, Room 6.06 on Friday 13th between 11am – 1pm, none of the students were able to access the room and there was coursework deadlines, the ITO are looking into this.
Professional Issues the students who have bought the book which was recommended have still not be told what chapters they are meant to be reading.

UG4
The students were asking about print credit some of them are tutors and have to print off documents for tutorials and they don’t appear to have an extra free credit.

Computer Graphics the students feel one lecturer is very good and the other is unprepared, Alan said that if the students feel the content of the course is not be covered correctly, then talk to the lecturer.

MLP it was asked why the lecturer is taking attendance in the lectures, the lecturer has decided to do this as there is no tutorials for this course to record attendance, so he is using Tophat to record attendance as an engagement point for the course.

General
The Reps were asking when the blog would be updated, and there are still complaints about the lifts.

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Reps Meeting Wednesday 11/10/2017

In attendance: Reps, Alan Smaill, Deputy Director of Teaching, Neil Heatley, ISS Manager, Kendal Reid, ITO

UG1
INF1-CL and INF1-FP had lectures slot swaps at the start of the Semester and although the students were informed by email and the information was on the course web pages, some students taking the course optionally didn’t get an email! INF1-FP there was ATOM issues with Haskell.

UG2
There is an issue with DMMR with the dot-cam and the sound, students at the back of the lecture theatre cannot hear or see the screen.  It was asked why the DMMR weekly submissions have been changed from a weekly paper submission to electronic submissions, this was changed due to the amount of admin the weekly submission was to the ITO.  It was asked if the ITO could consider having allocated tutor group boxes for them to submit?  Some tutors also said they find the pdf files that are submitted are quite hard to read.  Alan will talk to the lecturers.

UG4/5
The question asked at last weeks meeting regarding the lack of available machines or use of the machines when classes are on, is when Level 7 re-opens there is a plan to install some machines in there and also possibly installing wall mounted machines on level 9. Level 9 will only be open to final year students around mid November and MSc students during the Summer period while they work on their Dissertations, this space will hold roughly 70 people.

IQC is not being recorded, the School is not obliged to record lectures, it is up to the lecturer, the students can request this but the decision lies with the lecturer.

TTDS
This course has a new lecturer but when the first coursework was released it was a slide deck and had no specification, extra tasks which are vague are still being added and the students still have no real idea of what is expected of them for this coursework.  Alan will talk to the lecturer.

MSc
IRR some tutorial groups still do not have any tutors, the ITO is aware of this and it is a staffing issue, it is being dealt with.

General
Computing Support are looking at putting together a web page that indicates what labs are being used and when, allowing students to see what is available and if the labs will be at full capacity while the classes are on.  Currently Appleton Tower does not have any defined study space but the students can go onto MYed and find find bookable rooms within the University.

There are no locks on the ladies toilets doors on level 4, Appleton Tower.  Neil will look into this.

There is still an issue with the lifts, one is being used solely by the contractors on level 9, but the plan is for level 9 to be handed back to us soon, then the use of this lift will be fully functional, the other lift is still under renovation and hopefully be back in use by December.

The Reps asked if it was necessary to sign in and out of the Forum every time, Neil explained that this is for security as the Forum is a research facility is it essential that everyone signs in and out, so we know who is in the building but he could look into the possibility of just showing their student ID instead.

Microwave this has now been cleaned by a volunteer students, this will be situated on Level 4, kitchen area, as no food or drink is allowed on level 6.  If this is not kept clean by users then will be permanently removed by the ITO.

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Followup on Reps Meeting 4/10/2017

General Issues

  • Map of available machines – this appears to be difficult to do immediately but we will look into it more thoroughly and report back.  There is an approved project proposal for this but it has not so far been resourced.
  • People running jobs in the background, response from computing officers: “Running background jobs is allowed. However students doing so are told to use “nice”( a linux command) and are told to logout and not to put up signs saying “do not use this machine”.  Students are also told that they can reboot any machine they cannot use because of a background job or that has any sign on it like this. Students cannot kill others students jobs themselves, but they can easily log out other students on machines without having to reboot, and they are told how to do this.

    We are going to send out a reminder. Having a sheet stating the
    policy in the labs themselves (on every desk is probably overkill)
    seems like a good idea though.”

  • Additional Power: This is the response from health and safety: “All the open areas on each floor (3,4,5,6) have spare power sockets round the walls. Most L3,4  labs have additional sockets round the walls and/or on the desks.

    The difficulty might be in the labs on levels 5 and 6 where most sockets are used for our PCs. Both lab areas are heavily used and are not setup for additional connections (lab equipment sharing bus bars with student equipment is not usually allowed because a fault in student equipment could cause issues with lab power).

    On L5 we have a minor works project in the coming year and there may be the opportunity to add additional sockets then.

    Additional sockets were not added to L6, due the inability to provide separate bus bars.

Professional Issues
Slides and reading should be available now.

IMC
There are some issues with this – we are still investigating what can be done

 

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