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Module

CSC2034 : Introducing Contemporary Topics in Computing

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Ken Pierce
  • Lecturer: Professor Paolo Missier, Dr Ahmed Kharrufa, Dr Jaume Bacardit, Mr Richard Gordon Davison, Dr Paolo Zuliani
  • Owning School: Computing
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semesters
Semester 2 Credit Value: 30
ECTS Credits: 15.0

Aims

The module provides students with an introductory understanding of a range of advanced areas in computing, including Bio Computing, Data Science, Computer Game Engineering, Human Computer Interaction, and Modelling and Reasoning. These are the research areas which the School of Computing at Newcastle is renowned for (and not covered in other Stage 2 modules). The module acts as introduction to these contemporary topics, and gives students insight into optional modules and project choices in preparation for Stage 3, while building on skills learned in Stages 1 and 2, accruing experience of how they are applied into more advanced areas of computing.

Outline Of Syllabus

•       Bio Computing: Introduction to cellular and molecular biology, the computational needs of modern biological data analysis, biological concepts and the development of novel computational approaches and the principles of how computational systems can be used to engineer biological systems.
•       Data Science: Predictive modelling, similarity, visualization, ethical challenges, and examples of how data science is used to solve problems in a range of domains.
•       Computer Game Engineering: Introduce students to each step of the programming tool-chain pipeline used in the video game industry by utilising an industry standard games engine to develop a video game. Focus on the programming and visual interfaces to game construction, allowing provided game assets to be utilised in the production of a video game.
•       Human Computer Interaction. Key concepts and issues in HCI, theories and history of HCI, understanding users (human factors, requirements engineering), HCI Design (Principles, standards and guidelines, input and output technologies, and designing interactions), prototyping, evaluation techniques for usability and specific application areas.
•       Modelling and Reasoning: Introduction to computer modelling techniques and tools. Introduces key concepts including abstraction of process and data, modelling paradigms and analysis techniques; motivates modelling and describes relevant case studies.

Teaching Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture62:0012:00Seminars on reflection / writing
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion401:0040:00Lecture follow-up
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture421:0042:00Traditional lectures
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical402:0080:00Computer classroom
Guided Independent StudyProject work251:0025:00Implementation and report
Guided Independent StudyProject work151:0015:00Paper review
Guided Independent StudyProject work101:0010:00Reflective log
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study761:0076:00Background reading
Total300:00
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The module combines lectures and practical sessions providing students with a learning framework across the range of specific computing topics that the school is renowned for. Students experience lectures from leading researchers in each field. Coursework gives students a chance to explore a contemporary topic in computing through background research and analysis, and implementation of a specific application in a related field.

Assessment Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Reflective log2M20Reflection on each topic (5 x 500 words)
Report2M30Review of paper in minor topic (2000 words)
Practical/lab report2M50Practical implementation and technical report (2500 words) in major topic
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The reflective log ensures that students engage with their understanding of each of the five topics and reflect on their learning overall. The limit of 500 words per reflective entry ensures that students have space to reflect on their experiences properly. While this means the total is 2500 words for this submission, the work spread over the first half of the term with dedicated sessions to help students complete the log. The paper review and longer implementation/report act as minor and major assessment and allow students to engage more deeply with two of the topics of their choice. The paper review provides experience in reading and critically evaluating research papers, as well as providing an opportunity to engage with research aspects in one topic. The implementation/report enable students to test their practical skills in one of the topics and reflect of what they’ve learned.

Reading Lists

Timetable