Teaching information for 300-level COSC students in 2018

Welcome to third year!

This page gives you the information you need to know about 300-level COSC courses in the first semester, along with some general guidelines on working at 300-level in the department.


Papers in semester 1

Course co-ordinators are shown in bold face. Log into eVision for tutorial and lab streaming information. Essential changes to tutorial stream will be handled by course co-ordinators if you are unable to make the changes yourself.

You can help yourself to the information available through the Otago Timetable System.

Paper Schedule (per week) Lecturer(s)
Effective Programming
  • No lectures
  • One town hall meeting
  • Two two-hour labs
  • Steven Mills
  • Paul Crane
  • Hamza Bennani
Theory of Computing
  • Two one-hour lectures
  • Two two-hour tutorial
  • Brendan McCane
  • Yawen Chen
Computer Graphics
  • Two one-hour lectures
  • One two-hour lab
  • Steven Mills
  • Hamza Bennani
Artificial Intelligence
  • Two one-hour lectures
  • One two-hour tutorial
  • Lech Szymanski
Software Engineering
(First half of full-year paper)
  • One one-hour lecture
  • One one-hour tutorial
  • Andrew Trotman
Network Management
  • Two one-hour lectures
  • Two two-hour labs
  • Zhiyi Huang

Internal assessment

Paper Percentage of final mark Notes
COSC326 100% All assessment happens in class or in labs.
COSC341 30%
COSC342 40%
  • No lab in week one.
  • 5% internal assessment from blackboard discussion and participation.
  • Extra sessions on tutorial if needed.
COSC343 40% 12% internal assessment derived from tutorials.
COSC345 40% A whole-year group project in four parts, each worth 10%
COSC301 50%
  • 45% for lab assessments + 5% for pratical test
  • Labs start in week 1 (check paper web page for details).
  • Students must achieve 40% or above in the final exam to pass.

Semester 1 Assignment schedule

Week begins COSC301 COSC341 COSC342 COSC343 COSC345
1 [2018-02-26 Mon]          
2 [2018-03-05 Mon]          
3 [2018-03-12 Mon]          
4 [2018-03-19 Mon]          
5 [2018-03-26 Mon]   Thu 10%   Tue 14%  
- [2018-04-02 Mon] n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
6 [2018-04-09 Mon]     Tue 15%    
7 [2018-04-16 Mon]         Mon 10%
8 [2018-04-23 Mon]   Fri 10%      
9 [2018-04-30 Mon] Prac test (5%)        
10 [2018-05-07 Mon]          
11 [2018-05-14 Mon]       Tue 14%  
12 [2018-05-21 Mon]   Fri 10% Tue 20%    
13 [2018-05-28 Mon]   n/a n/a n/a Mon 10%

Papers in semester 2 and summer school

Departmental web presence

The department has significantly reduced its use of printing, so dissemination of information through the department’s web site (http://www.cs.otago.ac.nz/) is the norm. Please explore this site. Also, the department has a Facebook page (like it if you like it!) https://www.facebook.com/ComputerScienceOtago.


Much departmental communication is based on e-mail. All emails from this department to you will be sent to your university-provided student e-mail address. If you want your e-mail delivered to some other address, it is up to you to arrange this. Please make sure you read your e-mail frequently.

Computing facilities

You will need a usercode for a CS account to use machines in any of the labs. Most of you will already have such an account, but for students who do not have one, please visit cshelp (i.e., the department’s IT team, above the CS office). Note that use of your CS account implies agreement to abide by our rules and regulations as well as official OU policies / computer regulations, links to both of which are at http://www.cs.otago.ac.nz/student/resreg/resreg.php.

Weekly seminars and other (non-departmental) events of interest

As our senior students, you are invited to come along to the department’s seminars. Seminars are held on Fridays from 1–2pm, in Owheo G34. The atmosphere is informal, and many interesting topics are discussed. This is your chance to learn about things we cannot include in the lectures, and to get a taste of research in computer science. Also, as soon-to-be graduates, you might also consider attending the monthly Codecraft Dunedin meetings http://www.meetup.com/Code-Craft-Dunedin/

Guidelines for using department premises

The department’s home is the Owheo building (133 Union St East). As COSC students, you have 24-hour access to the building. We are a happy department because we all trust one another not to abuse privileges.

Guidelines on copying and plagiarism

In your assignments and coursework, a simple honour system applies. The basic idea is that you should never submit for assessment any work except your own. Any exceptions to this rule, e.g., for group work, will be clearly indicated by lecturers. Since communication with your fellow students and tutors is an important part of learning that we don’t want to limit unduly, let’s look at some examples of what is normal and acceptable, and contrast these with examples of what is dishonest and unacceptable. First, note that there is a difference between routine lab work and assignments. During routine labs, discussion with fellow students is encouraged. But an assignment is like a take-home exam—it is essential that you do it all on your own.

In some labs, code will be provided to help you get started, but you are expected to produce all remaining code yourself. Using someone else's code is cheating. The University takes a very serious view of dishonest practices, and the Department regularly runs software to detect similarities between programs submitted for assignments. It is hard to fool us. Cheating is simply a bad idea.

What the University has to say, is in the next section, and further information is provided in the Academic Integrity Policy, and the Student Academic Misconduct Procedures

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity means being honest in your studying and assessments. It is the basis for ethical decision-making and behaviour in an academic context. Academic integrity is informed by the values of honesty, trust, responsibility, fairness, respect and courage. Students are expected to be aware of, and act in accordance with, the University’s Academic Integrity Policy. Academic Misconduct, such as plagiarism or cheating, is a breach of Academic Integrity and is taken very seriously by the University. Types of misconduct include plagiarism, copying, unauthorised collaboration, taking unauthorised material into a test or exam, impersonation, and assisting someone else’s misconduct. A more extensive list of the types of academic misconduct and associated processes and penalties is available in the University’s Student Academic Misconduct Procedures. It is your responsibility to be aware of and use acceptable academic practices when completing your assessments. To access the information in the Academic Integrity Policy and learn more, please visit the University’s Academic Integrity website at http://www.otago.ac.nz/study/academicintegrity or ask at the Student Learning Centre or Library. If you have any questions, ask your lecturer.

Students with disabilities

Students with enquiries about disabilities of any kind, including temporary ones, should contact Kaye Saunders (kaye@cs.otago.ac.nz; 03 479 8397) for further information.

Māori and Pacific students

Alistair Knott (alik@cs.otago.ac.nz) is the department’s Māori support person (kaikaiawhinawhina), and also has links with the Pacific Island centre. If you would like information about support or mentoring, or have any questions, please contact Alistair.

Special consideration and impairment of performance

Students wishing to claim special consideration (e.g. due to impairment of performance) in a final exam should do so through eVision.


We hope that you have an enriching and enjoyable year!