Staff Student Rep Meeting – Wednesday 31st January 2018

In attendance: Neil Heatley ISS Manager, Lindsay Brown Computing Support, Kendal Reid ITO, Katey Lee ITO, Sarah Taylor, Communications and Recruitment Officer

Several students said that they would like official solutions to be released to the weekly INF1-OP lab exercises, in the same way they were released last semester in INF1-FP. Currently Junit tests are provided to test homework solutions, but all they do is tell us if we did something wrong, not necessarily if we solved the problem optimally.

Response: We have asked the Inf1-OP lecturer and will respond next week.
INF2D lecture on a Thursday in G.07, Meadows Lecture Theatre is too small, it is very cramped.  (Action: Neil H. will look into this. ) There is also no schedule for this lecture to be recorded, although the room is equipped for this.  Some tutors are showing up late, Stuart explained that due to some timetabling issues it might be unavoidable but he will look into this.

Response: We emailed the person responsible for the recording schedule to ensure all the lectures are recorded.  We will report back next week.
AILP students are displeased with the lack of information and communication, the School is aware of the situation and Stuart will be meeting up with the lecturer to discuss this.  There will also be a meeting with the class to explore the issues.
PI was an open book exam and the students felt that there was too much paperwork to be taken into the exam, possibility of minimising the paper or doing the exam on a DICE machine.
OS is a 20 credit course, and it only has 2 hours of lectures a week, there are no tutorials, no recordings and not on Learn, Stuart will talk to the lecturer.

Response: The relevant people have been contacted and we will respond at the next meeting.
CS has still not put up the lecture recordings.

MLP coursework was a couple of days late being released.

RL there has been complaints about the structure of the course, the curriculum is not clear on the website, Stuart is planning to have a meeting with the lecturer.

University Strike Action

Only those signed up to UCU are taking part if they wish and only have to inform the School on the day.  We will do our best to minimise any disruption.  Action Stuart for more information

It was reported that Level 9 is really cold, Neil is currently looking into this, and he reported that Level 9 will not have any heating after around 20h00 in the evenings.

Level 4 is too hot.

It was asked when the exam results will be sent out, Informatics have followed the Universities deadline of the 31st January, so all results will be out by the end of the day.  Some Schools are able to distribute their results quicker, but our results go through several checks before distribution and we have very large classes to check.

The ITO are running time slots to allow students to view their exam scripts, we recommend that students read the following web pages as a guide to viewing their exam scripts for further clarification:

Computing Support are currently putting together an app which will allow students to view what spaces are available in the lab on the PC’s.

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Staff Student Rep Meeting – Wednesday 24th January 2018

In attendance: Neil Heatley ISS Manager, Gordon Reid Computing Support, Kendal Reid ITO, Katey Lee ITO, Sarah Taylor, Communications and Recruitment Officer

The Reps have now set up a Facebook page and are happy that the students are using it.  INF1-DA students are happy with the notes that are being supplied by the lecturer and excited about the new layout of INF1-OP.

INF2D lecturer has been finishing lectures earlier than scheduled and the students feel he is not familiar with the content of the slides and it would be helpful if he was available on Piazza.  The lectures on a Tuesday and Friday are being recorded but not on a Thursday.
INF2C-SE coursework 3 has now been returned to the students.

OS is well organised.
PI coursework marks have now been returned.
ITCS is not being recorded, it can be decided by the lecturer, at the moment their is no official policy on making this mandatory.

AGTA material is now available but still not on Piazza.
MLP will not be recording Guest Lectures at the request of the guest.

RL the students are finding the course structure a bit odd, there are typos in the slides and they have not been updated on-line and the lecturer is not well prepared.

IRR is due on Thursday 25th January, but some tutors appeared to have sent their feedback to the students already, a consistent plan should be set to follow one guide, so students get feedback at the same time.
DME lecturer didn’t take a break in his 2 hour lecture slot.

It was asked by the MSc students why they do not have access to level 9, Neil said it was purely due to numbers, the 4th years have access to it just now as a personal study space as they have been students in the School for 4 years but when the students finish, the space will be handed over to be used by the MSc students in the summer when they start work on their Dissertations.

Informatics students are arranging an Ice Skating Disco on 8th February from 7ap – 9pm at Murrayfield, to be announced, also an INF Ball to be held on the 8th April in the Jam House, Queen Street, Edinburgh, also to be announced.

Toilets on level 7, 8 and 9 have been refurbished and now level 5 and 6 are currently being done.

Neil is looking to hold an Open Doors to level 9, to allow members of Informatics to see level 9, this is to be confirmed.  Also the door seems to be setting of the alarm, this has been reported to Estates.  If the door breaks then students can access level 9 via the back stairs from level 6, using their student card and PIN.  It was asked if DICE machines would be made available on level 9, Neil said this can be done but they are not keen to turn it into a lab, and keep it as a study space the students will ask and get the opinions of how many they think would be required and where to put them.

National Student Surveys will soon be released and students are encouraged to complete these when prompted.

It was asked about a potential staff strike in February, but Neil had no information but if one does go ahead then anyone in the Union is not obliged to say until that day.

If printers run out of paper, paper can be supplied from the ITO.

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Staff Student Rep Meeting – Wednesday 29th November

In attendance: Alan Smaill, Deputy Director of Teaching; Neil Heatley, ISS Manager; Sarah Taylor, Computing Support; Kendal Reid, ITO

Apologies: Stuart Anderson, DoT.

No issues – they had their Staff Student Liaison Meeting this morning (Wednesday 29th November)

There don’t appear to be any lab demonstrators visible in the lab session in Room 6.16, there is suppose be support available for coursework for INF2A, Alan will email the course lecturers.  There isn’t any other issues, they are busy with deadlines due this week for INF2C-CS/INF2C-SE/INF2A

No Reps in attendance

There is still an issues of the machines taking a long time to run their work for MLP, new machines will be purchased in the New Year, hopefully resolving this issue. Also with the INF1-FP mocks exams being on this week the big labs are in use and if they students are running MLP in the background, their job is  killed.  The deadline has been extended to take account of this

There appeared to be some confusion of the availability of the use in Room 6.16 between 6pm – 8pm on Monday 27th, there was various students working in the lab and it had been booked for INF1-CL on Monday morning, so the students were asked to leave, students can see what rooms are available through their myed pages.

No Reps in attendance.

The Mulled Wine and Mince Pie event to be held on Tuesday 5th December will be postponed until the start of next year.

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Staff Student Rep Meeting – Wednesday 22nd November

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

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.

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.

No feedback.

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

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.

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


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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.


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]

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.

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.

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.]

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.
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.

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

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

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

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.
Extreme Computing has not released any coursework dates to the students, Stuart will talk to the lecturer.

No issues.

  • 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


  • 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.


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


  • 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.


  • 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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