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university_of_sydney_notes [2010/06/23 14:47] (current)
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 +Meeting with Josh Poon also included Eric van Wijk and Veronica Wong from the Study Abroad Office. ​ (Was met by Veronica; Shari Lee, School Manager was out ill, as was head of school, Sanjay Chawla).
 +
 +They made the transition from Science to Engineering in 2007.  Coincided with a physical move.  After arrival in their new building, they were informed that they had also changed colleges (!).
 +
 +Josh provided PowerPoint slides on "​Undergraduate Studies in The School of Information Technologies"​.  ​
 +
 +They have two degrees: a four-year BIT (Bachelor of Information Technology) and three-year BCST (Bachelor of Computer Science and Technology). ​ Both degrees are a balance of theory and practice. ​  BIT degree requires higher GPA than BCST.  BIT 3rd year project is larger.
 +
 +They have an agreement with Accenture to participate in at least one of their courses, a project management course. ​ Accenture employees are guest lecturers. ​ The course is a core requirement of both degrees. ​  ​Course is INFO 3402.
 +
 +Students take four courses ("​subjects"​) per semester; two are IT related. ​ Other two are more general. ​ Generality and flexibility for students are recent changes--previously the degree was focused much more fully on the content area ("​unlike the US"​). ​ This issue came up at other universities (e.g., UNSW); the trend is to give students more breadth, like US colleges.
 +
 +All students have a team project course at the end of their studies.
 +
 +Josiah signed forms for three students to participate in Exchange programs last week.  ​
 +
 +Each degree (BIT and BCST) has two "​streams",​ like majors.
 +
 +They teach Java in their first year, then C.  Faculty divided over using Python in first year.
 +
 +Architecture course in first year.
 +
 +Typical intro course is two lectures per week plus two or three lab hours per week (led by senior or PhD student). ​ They are transitioning from recitations to labs.  Students didn't like recitations--want hands on--despite faculty attempts to emphasize "​design"​.
 +
 +Labs have about 20 students. ​ Lectures have 70 to 270 students (some courses have 750 students but are broken down into 3 parallel lecture sections).
 +
 +Three math classes are required, covering topics like linear algebra, statistics, discrete mathematics,​ and calculus.
 +
 +Many science degrees in Australia don't require (much) math, but IT does (as does Engineering).
 +
 +Six courses taken during year three. ​ Two are required: the 3402 Mgmt course and a software development course (3400 or 3615, see chart).
 +
 +Software Engineering is in Engineering (not this IT department). ​ Courses from Software Engineering are used/​required for both CS & IS streams.
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 +IT is more applied (than Engineering).
 +
 +Honors degree in fourth year is possible. ​ BIT is the more prestigious degree. ​ Entrance requirements are 97 (of 100) for BIT, 82 for BCST.  (Numbers are for a standardized entrance exam and are percentiles.)
 +
 +Combined degrees are possible. ​ See chart.
 +
 +"​Constant practice is required for CS." ​ The project course must follow soon on content courses, rather than deferring until after combined degree (e.g., Law) courses taken.
 +
 +Handbooks are available on the university website. ​ Engineering portal site includes details.
 +
 +Enrollment dropped from 1000 in circa 2000 era to now around 250.
 +
 +They adopted Problem-Based Learning approach to teaching, but have stopped using so much in recent years. ​ They had mixed success. ​ Some advantages, but it was (1) difficult to create problems that covered a wide breadth of material, and (2) the best students did well, but the marginal students were able to slack off.  Problems mainly at first year level; upper level classes seem better.
 +
 +They did fun presentations at end of 1st year course. ​ Years later (at graduation) parents remembered seeing the project sessions.
 +
 +Abolished faculty-specific research labs--labs are not assigned to projects, but are just places where students and faculty work.
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 +Research areas include algorithms, cloud computing, CHI, machine learning, data mining, and databases.
  
university_of_sydney_notes.txt ยท Last modified: 2010/06/23 14:47 by jtkorb