Staff-Student Rep Meeting – Wednesday 28st October 2020

Staff Student Rep Meeting – Wednesday 28st October 2020

In attendance: Neil Heatley Head of Student Services, Jade Gilhooly Deputy Teaching Organisation Manager, Lisa Branney Student Support Officer, Alex Burford Learning Technologist, Kendal Reid ITO

Apologies: Bjoern Franke Director of Teaching


Purvi – there is a strong desire for in person tutorials and activities. Neil said that they are waiting for an update from the government and will then decide what we can facilitate. As well as this, Purvi asked for an email update regarding teaching in Sem 2 to be sent out. Neil confirmed there is a draft email being worked out and it will be sent out shortly.

Yuto expressed that Phil Wadler is “super kind and responsive” and has responded to the students’ feedback and allowed an FP reading week. Michael Fourman has also responded to feedback by increasing class tests from 40 minutes to 60 minutes. The reading week is especially helpful.

The workload for ILA is very high still. However, ILA tutorials being in person helps a lot as it provides space for interaction and study groups.

Purvi – ILA tutorials are in person; wants FP and CL in person too.

*Action Neil*


The students are really busy with coursework deadlines and are questioning why the deadlines are on the same day DMP and INF2-FDS both have a deadline for Friday 30th October at 1600.

*Action Neil*

INF2C-CS the students are really enjoying the lectures, the lecturer is very good but they did find the coursework quite difficult.

INF2-FDS the students find the labs helpful but they find they are spending a lot of time looking up references and they are self teaching themselves.

INF2-IADS the students really enjoy the music John puts on at the start of his lecture.

It was asked if Informatics do a loan service of tablets like the School of Maths, at the moment it isn’t something that Informatics supply but it could be something that they could look into.

*Action Neil*


Some students want an integrated MSc with Informatics and Physics or Informatics and Maths? A 5 year course instead of 4 years, MInf is not the solution. It would be a new programme and people would have to be able to apply for it. Neil will take the suggestion to Teaching Exec on Tuesday and will feedback on Wednesday to the group.

*Action Neil*

Gabrielle asked for an increase in the amount of time students can book lab space (it is currently 6 hours). Neil confirmed this has been increased to 10 hours a week. There are not as many people using space as anticipated, but more time can be added if needed. Level 5 is busier this week, so there is some improvement in the use of space.

IAML lectures are very good and labs and soltuions to the labs are very good.

ILP lectures are also very good.

IVR the lecture slides are from 2014, Neil explained that the content of the course hasn’t changed, only if the content was wrong them we would look into it.

PI the lectures are a few weeks behind, there is a delay in them being uploaded.

*Action Neil to speak to the lecturer*

ADS there has now been a Piazza page set up and the tutorials are due to start on Monday but they havne’t had any information emailed out, the students feel that the lecturer needs to be more engaging with the class.

*Action Neil to talk to the lecturer*

IDB has errors in the examples and they are too long.

*Action Neil*

HCI it is difficult to work on the group project without physically meeting up with the other group members.

MLP the students feel that they are not being taught anything and they are self-teaching using on-line videos, there are no challenges set and would prefer to in person activities.


NAT was having audio issues with the live lecture so it has now been moved to pre-recorded but there is now lot of background noise. The students also feel that the course load is to heavy for a 10 credit course they feel that they spend a lot of time going over the lectures and taking notes. Alex mentioned that a 10 credit course should equal roughly to 10 hours learning a week.

*Action Neil to talk to the lecturer*

PDIoT the students feel that the course is hard to keep up with and asked if an extension can be given allowing the students to try and at least complete 50% of the work.

*Action Neil to talk to the lecturer*

BDL coursework feedback was not well received, the students were not informed that the coursework had been released and they have not had any response from the lecturer.

*Action Neil to talk to the lecturer*

Positives Feedback from Students

Natural Computing: Interesting concepts. My tutor (Imrie Calum) is probably the best part about this course – he tells us stories from his personal experience/research with Natural Computing and makes the course more exciting.

MLP: I really like the Labs. Finally working with Deep Neural Networks is very exciting!

PDIoT (Principles & Design of IoT Systems): A unique course and it’s interesting to learn about IoT devices. The project (building a “fitbit” to recognize human activities) is quite exciting too.

Honours Project: My supervisor (Prof Shay Cohen) has been very responsive and helpful with my project – having weekly meetings and answering our questions. I wanted to give him praise!

Databases coursework is useful.

Computing in the Classroom and Judy Robertson who teaches the course are simply the best. Never had so much fun in a course. Judy deserves a recognition medal if such a thing exists.

Human Computer Interaction is also awesome, love the meaningful coursework of fixing usability problems with Learn, hoping this might have a real world impact.

I found the 1st MLP coursework to be really well executed. Really enjoyed having to put together a report to have something to show for what I’ve learned so far. The literature review also gave me some exposure to some fascinating research.

Really enjoyed the TTDS coursework!


The exam diet has now been published and the Reps asked if it was possible for some changes as they feel that there is no gaps between each one, Neil explained that the exam timetable is set by Examinations that use an algorithm that works out so there is no clashes and it can be the case the students will have exams either one in the morning and one in the afternoon or an exam two days in a row. As the exams are now online Neil asked the Reps to send him the information and can bring it up with the Examinations Team.

*Action Neil*


Matt – can an email be sent out about email etiquette – people “replying all” to mailing lists. Neil will look into it as student should not be able to email the mailing list

Pablo – 30-40 minute lectures are better than short lectures for algorithms.

Rayo -when you book a place in AT, you get an email with an Outlook invite that you can accept (which is cool), but when you accept it, you get an email back saying that you can’t email that address

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