computer science


Rules for the use of Computers

During your association with this department, you will be using our computers. This may mean that you have access to a particular research laboratory, or it may mean that you will have access to one of the various student laboratories, or it may mean that you have access to a computer for your sole use.
Since our resources are limited, we have to make sure that our computers are used by authorised people for their intended purpose. In this we need your cooperation.

We also have to make sure that we do not break the law by copying software which we don't have the right to use and that we protect your private data from access by others. Again we need your cooperation because our systems cannot be made secure without also making them much less convenient to use. The regulations set out in this document do not cover all the ways in which a computer user can behave antisocially. We are asking you to commit yourself to helping us by observing the spirit and intention of these rules, not merely following them to the letter.
Everyone who uses departmental computing / networking facilities is responsible for using them in an ethical and legal manner.

Please read the rules carefully before signing your user registration form, as your signature is regarded as acceptance of notice of the conditions of use, and agreement to abide by them. We regard breaches of these regulations as serious matters which will result in disciplinary action. This may include any of (for example) a ban from laboratories (even when assignments are due), loss of marks for assignments, or referral to a disciplinary authority, with the possible consequence of a fine, suspension or expulsion from papers or from the University. Where appropriate, you will be required to indemnify the University (or any of its parts) in respect of any legal liability incurred as a result of your actions.

Users are at all times subject to the University Computer Regulations and Student Conduct Rules as published in the University Calendar.

The following is a quote of the Introduction to the Student Conduct Rules, which may be found in the University Calendar under the section on Discipline Regulations:-

"The purpose of these rules is to safeguard the recognised objectives of the University. These are to provide the greatest opportunities through teaching, study, research, and rational discussion for the increase and dissemination of knowledge and for the development of wisdom and sound judgement. To enable all members of the University to enjoy these opportunities to the utmost, conduct by individual members of the University which impedes or prejudices the attainment of these objects must be controlled, but controlled in a manner which will accord with basic principles of justice and which will promote the development of wisdom, maturity and responsibility."

Student Conduct Rules

(taken from "Part 1: Misconduct" in the University Calendar)

The following are the basic rules of University conduct;
No student shall -

(a) disrupt any teaching, study or research or the administration of the University either wilfully or by engaging in conduct which ought reasonably to have been foreseen would cause disruption;
(b) wilfully obstruct any member or employee of the University in academic work or in the performance of duties;
(c) wilfully misuse, damage or deface, steal or wrongfully convert to the student's own use any property of the University;
(d) wilfully acquire by theft or deception the benefits of any service provided by the University, or any academic advantage;
(e) engage in any dishonest practice as described in regulation 5(b) of the Examinations and Assessment Regulations in connection with an examination or other method of assessment of academic work which counts toward the attainment of a pass in any subject;
(f) fail without reasonable cause to comply with any penalty imposed under the Disciplinary Proceedings Regulations;
(g) attempt to commit an act of misconduct as set out in the foregoing rules;
(h) act in a manner contrary to that described in the University of Otago Ethical Behaviour Policy.

Terms and Conditions with regard to Proprietary Software

In general, the software and manuals in use in the Computer Science Department have been purchased under various licensing agreements. Please note the common restriction of use these materials are obtained under :-

"No part of this work may be reproduced in any form (in whole or in part) or by any means used to make a derivative work (such as a translation, transformation or adaption). Under the law, copying includes translating into another language or format. All rights reserved."

Please comply with the spirit of these requirements!

Specific requirements are :-

1. Copies of proprietary software must not be made or held by users without the prior consent of the licensee.
2. Proprietary software available at the University of Otago must not be made available for use by any organisation (e.g. bureau or computing or software centre) or any other institution or individual providing similar facilities.
3. None of the documentation or other supporting literature may be copied or reproduced under any circumstances without the written permission of the licensor.
4. If application programs containing embedded proprietary software, in whole or in part, are to be distributed outside Otago University (e.g. by publication in a journal), written permission of the licensor is required for each instance of distribution.

The first point of contact for 3 and 4 will be the licensee who may then make arrangements with the licensor for various permissions to be granted. Please contact the Computer Science Department office for information regarding the details of specific licensing agreements.

No licensing agreements or contractual obligations shall be undertaken by a student purporting to represent the department without the express permission of the department. Please contact the Computer Science Department office for advice.

Computer Regulations (taken from the University Calendar)

1) In these regulations, unless the context otherwise indicates, "System means a computer system or computer equipment controlled and operated by the University. "Controller", in relation to any System, means the person authorised by the University to control that System. A "User" of a System is any person who makes use of, or attempts to make use of the System.
2) No Users of a System shall:

(a) gain access or attempt to gain access to the System without authorisation as a user by the controller;
(b) obtain, modify or remove from the System any information to which they are not entitled to have access, nor attempt to perform these actions;
(c) use or attempt to use the System so as to cause costs to be incurred
    (i) by the University without the consent of the Head of Department concerned; or
    (ii) by any person or organisation without the consent of that person or organisation;
(d) use the System or any part thereof to attempt to gain unauthorised access to any other computer system;
(e) use the System in such a way as to contravene any requirements for its its use notified by the Controller.

3) Any breach of regulation 2 of these regulations by a student member of the University shall be deemed to be a breach of the Disciplinary Regulations of the University.
4) Any person who, in the opinion of the Controller, is engaged in misconduct in breach of regulation 2 may be immediately excluded from the use of the System by the Controller.
Exclusion of a student for more than one day when the student is using the system for course work shall be reported to the Head of the Department involved.
Any exclusion for more than three days shall be reported to the Vice-Chancellor.
Any person aggrieved by such an exclusion may appeal to the Vice-Chancellor or, if a student, to the Discipline Board for the matter to be reviewed.
The Vice-Chancellor or Discipline Board may suspend the operation of an order or exclusion until the appeal has been heard and determined.
5) Any person who contravenes regulation 2 will be held liable for any damages claims made against the University in relation to that contravention.

Computer Science Department Laboratory Rules

No student shall :-

(i) use Computer Science Department equipment for non Computer Science work without prior permission;
(ii) use a usercode other than any assigned to you personally by the department on a Computer Science machine, without the express permission of the Controller (as defined above);
(iii) allow another user to use your usercode(s) to access a Computer Science machine, without the express permission of the Controller;
(iv) copy copyright software without lawful permission; (In particular, unless permission is given by an authorised staff member, software provided by the department may not be used on non-departmental equipment.)
(v) access, amend, or attempt to access or amend, any files which are not owned by you, unless given express permission by the owner; (This includes files which comprise the Operating System of a machine. Please do not assume that just because your access to such files has not been restricted that the owner thereby invites you invade their privacy.)
(vi) use unlicensed or unauthorised software on Computer Science equipment;
(vii) act in a way likely to cause damage to equipment (e.g equipment may not be opened up or peripherals disconnected, nor do we permit the connection of non-departmental equipment to our equipment);
(viii) remove, from any laboratory, any departmental property (e.g. hardware, books, notes), or any property belonging to another person, without express permission;
(ix) display or send to other users material which is obscene, racist, abusive or otherwise offensive;
(x) smoke, chew gum or consume food or drink in laboratories; (Smoke, food and drink can cause damage to equipment.)
(xi) connect to any university computers through a departmental computer unless authorised to do so, and then only to do Computer Science coursework;
(xii) play computer games. (We do not have the resources to provide this facility.) Permission may be given for senior students to indulge in such activities (for relaxation purposes) outside term time and only between the hours of 11:00pm to 6:00am, but this would depend on the availability of the lab., and the impact on other users.

At various times, e.g. for tutorials or seminars, access to Computer Science laboratories may be restricted to participants. Where necessary a booking system may be introduced to spread resources. Persons found in any Computer Science laboratory may be asked to provide proof of identification to staff, and may be asked to leave the laboratory if such proof is not produced.
Persons found in any part of the Computer Science department's buildings may be asked for the purpose of their presence, and may be asked to leave if such purpose is not sufficient cause for their presence.

If you find anything which appears to have been forgotten, and left in a laboratory by its owner, please hand it in either to a teaching fellow, if one is around, or hand it in to the Office at Archway West.

The department reserves the right of inspection by the Controller of any files owned by a user, at any time, should there be reasonable grounds to do so.

No one except departmental technical staff may alter in any way any item of hardware within the department. This includes the University network hardware. As a consequence, for example, no portable equipment of any kind may be connected to, or disconnected from, any network outlet or laboratory computing equipment.
Those who find that this rule is causing them some hardship with regard to the satisfactory performance of their course requirements may discuss the matter with the Head of Department.

The resources belonging to the Computer Science department are scarce and valuable, and the department reserves the right to protect them to the best of its ability so that all of its students may benefit by their existence.

Please feel free to report any apparent contravention of these rules to cshelp. You may also use this e-mail address to request assistance . If you are having a problem with any situation to which these rules apply, please send a message to cshelp to request assistance.