• ✈️ End of week 9 updates

    Posted by Hayden Smith Friday 30 July 2021, 09:46:48 PM, last modified Friday 30 July 2021, 10:26:32 PM.

    Hi everyone!

    I hope you're all keeping your head mostly OK throughout lockdown. I know it's a tough time for all... I do have some updates for you below, though!

    Assignment 1 marks released

    Assignment 1 marking has been completed.

    You can find your grade for assignment 1 on the Webcms3 grades page .

    You can find the details of your marking and associated feedback by clicking the "Collect Submission" on the assignment 1 page .

    If you believe errors in the automarking could have been fixed by a few simple changes to your code (either because it didn't compile or didn't pass tests), then please fill in this form .

    If you have questions about your style or other subjective feedback, please email your tutor & lab assistant.

    CSESoc COMP2521 competition with prizes!

    If you're looking for a chance to review COMP2521 content in a fun way, with the chance of winning prizes, then sign up to CSESoc's event here:

    The event is in a few days, so hurry!

    MyExperience is now open

    MyExperience for T2 is now open! It's open for a bit over a week, so no rush, though please make sure you take the time to fill in the forms and leave the feedback. It's a vital part of the evolution of every course (this one included!). As you know this is my first time running COMP2521 so I'm super excited to hear how you've all found it and what you think we can do better at :)

    Exam information now available

    Some exam information has been provided on the exam page . Take a read of it! We will talk through this more and answer questions you might have in the the week 10 lectures.

    Informal chats & catch Up

    At the end of this term, I'm going to hold a 90 minute open meeting/call/chat with anyone in CSE that wants to come and talk about courses they've done in the past, courses they might do with me in the future, have conversations about education, or just chat about anything amidst this fairly isolating world of COVID.

    It will be 1:30pm-3pm on the 26th of August. The zoom link can be found here:

    It is open to literally everyone. So come hang out and chat - if you want a reminder about it either put it in your calendar or shoot me an email so I can remind you!

    See you on Tuesday! :) Sad this term is nearly over. Good luck with assignment 2.

  • From CSESoc!

    Posted by Hayden Smith Tuesday 20 July 2021, 11:26:00 PM.

    This weekend, CSESoc and SecSoc are running an introductory Capture The Flag competition targeted towards first-year students. Our team was wondering if a notification could be sent out to students undertaking your course to promote this event. The event details/blurb are as follows:

    CSESoc & SecSoc bring you Newbie CTF! CTF’s are Capture the Flag Competitions 🏁 where you can hack! When participating you are given flags from finding exploits. Come along to get a taster of what Cyber Security involves!

    ⭐️ Event: πŸ—“ When: Friday 23rd July 10am - Saturday 24th July 4pm

    πŸ“ Where: Online,

    Thanks for your time and continued support!

  • πŸ₯‘ End of week 7 updates

    Posted by Hayden Smith Saturday 17 July 2021, 07:25:50 PM.

    Hi everyone!

    I wanted to share a big congratulations to most of you for submitting assignment 1. I've definitely seen some sighs of reliefs and the occasional concerned email come my way.

    I think one thing I want to leave you all with is just a reminder that however you end up doing in these assignments, they're always learning experiences. If you worked hard and don't get the mark you want, you learn something about where to improve. If you didn't work hard because of procrastination, you have a chance to reflect on how to do better next time. If you were battling other priorities, it's always more learning about how you can manage them differently in future. These are weekly battles that you will continue to face for years to come. I continue to make mistakes regularly that impact me negatively!

    So if you are feeling a bit beat down, don't worry. Do you remember what specific marks you got 4 years ago when you were ~16 years old? Probably not. Did it ruin or solve all your life problems? Very unlikely. In 4 years you'll feel the same about the details of a lot of what happened this year. Lockdown or being locked out of the country makes things harder, but I believe in you all for getting through the mud.

    So! Some updates:

    • We're releasing the rest of the tutorials and labs on Monday.
    • There is a quiz and a lab due on Monday (just like most weeks! Nothing new).
    • A new quiz will be available on Monday.
    • Assignment 2 has been released and we have talked about it in the Thursday lecture (recording uploaded tonight, live link here ).
    • Expect to see your assignment 1 marks returned to you around start-mid week 10 (it takes about 2 weeks to mark everyone).

    See you on Tuesday!

  • πŸ’€ Monday 12th July update (UNSW Outage)

    Posted by Hayden Smith Monday 12 July 2021, 04:13:50 PM.

    Hi everyone,

    UNSW had a major power outage today which led to intermittent CSE systems for 5 hours between 11am-4pm. In light of this there are some core updates about due date changes:

    1. Lab05 is now due at 9am on Tuesday the 13th of July (16 hour extension)
    2. Quiz04 is now due at 9am on Tuesday the 13th of July (16 hour extension)

    I didn't feel comfortable extending the deadline by only a few hours given the length of the outage. I also would normally like to extend the deadline a little later in the morning tomorrow, but we need to get the automarker running before the first Tuesday tutorials. We we appreciate your understanding!

    Some other key updates for you:

    1. Assignment 2 has now been released . I am aware no one is going to look at this yet - that's fine, we're just letting you know it's released because we said we'd release it today :) It is due on the Friday of week 10.
    2. A clarification regarding assignment 1 : Some students have asked what penalty will be incurred for memory leaks or other memory errors (basically anything that Valgrind gets angry about). We've decided on a 10% penalty on the performance section of the marks. That means a total mark loss of up to 8.5% . Please understand it's extremely difficult to assign "partial penalties" for this topic, so just assume that if Valgrind has issues whilst your program is run, you may lose those marks.

    Anyway! I hope you had a good flex week. Sorry about the UNSW outage today and the stress that might have caused. Good luck with your ongoing work and I'll chat to you tomorrow during the lecture :)


  • 🍍 End of week 5 updates

    Posted by Hayden Smith Friday 02 July 2021, 07:05:39 PM.

    Hi everyone!

    I hope you get a chance to take a little bit of a break (even if one day) during flex week next week. It's been a busy 5 weeks and I'm sure some of you are tired! Very limited updates this week:

    • Nothing is due in week 6 - the week 5 quiz and lab are due on the Monday of week 7 (so you have 2 weeks instead of 1).
    • To get the marks for lab05 you need to demonstrate it to your tutor no later than the week 7 lab.
    • If you didn't see it last week, checkout the daily running of your assignment code + leaderboard that Kevin made last weekend. It's very cool!

    A big thanks to your great tutors as always for helping make what is a fairly difficult course a lot more manageable.

    If I don't have any updates over the break, the next we'll chat is Tuesday of week 7!

  • 🌻 End of week 4 updates

    Posted by Hayden Smith Monday 28 June 2021, 01:37:59 AM.

    Hi everyone!

    Not much to report on this week. Just smooth sailing. Hope everyone is keeping OK with all the COVID insanity. If you're feeling lonely in isolation just post something fun on the forum :) A life hack I'm sure many of you are familiar with: If you're feeling cooped up inside and a bit restless try putting on some headphones and listening to the rain .

    General Updates

    • Kevin is working on a leaderboard / centralised runner of your assignment code. Information will be posted here prior to the lecture on Tuesday (it's still a work in progress). I will briefly mention it at the start of that lecture.
    • Quiz 4 will automatically be available 9am Monday of week 5.
    • Week 7 tutorials and labs have been released.
    • Week 7 lecture's will be released this week.
    • To get the marks for lab04 you need to demonstrate it to your tutor in the week 5 lab (if you haven't already).

    See you on Tuesday :)

  • ENGG2997 and GSOE9997

    Posted by Hayden Smith Thursday 24 June 2021, 08:36:27 PM.

    Slides from today:

    You can contact Sarah on:

  • β˜‚οΈ End of week 3 updates

    Posted by Hayden Smith Saturday 19 June 2021, 11:39:31 AM, last modified Saturday 19 June 2021, 11:53:54 AM.

    Hi everyone!

    It was great to see such an engaged crowd in our trees lecture this week! Thank you. I also just want to say a big thank you to Kevin & your awesome tutors for keeping this course flowing so well. It really is one of the more difficult level 1/2 courses to teach, so big thanks to the teaching staff.

    We're officially one third through the time of the course (if you exclude flex week). If you're feeling a bit tired early on, don't worry, in 13 days you'll be at the beginning of flex week.

    Here are some key updates about everything 2521:

    1. Content & Work reminders

    • Assignment 1 will be released at 9pm on Monday night (week 4) . We will try and discuss it briefly in the Thursday lecture.
    • Quiz 3 will automatically be available 9am Monday.
    • Week 5 tutorials and labs have been released.
    • Week 5 lecture's will be released on Monday.
    • To get the marks for lab03 you need to demonstrate it to your tutor in the week 4 lab (if you haven't already).

    1. Other updates

    • I have updated some of the binary tree code in the week 3 lecture code ("Exercises") to be a little bit cleaner for everyone.
    • A student gave feedback around changing their name to their correct name on Webcms3. If you email me directly I can help you out with that. Sadly Webcms3 (I didn't design it) isn't synced to those UNSW databases, so things need manual changes.
    • Thanks for being patient with some of the odd little mistakes and typos in the lecture. New slide decks + first time I'm lecturing this course. They're fixed up pretty quick, but just wanted to say thank you and that I appreciate your understanding.

    See you on Tuesday!! Guess what we're talking about? More trees!

  • 🌷 End of week 2 updates

    Posted by Hayden Smith Sunday 13 June 2021, 08:48:42 AM.

    Hi everyone!

    I hope you've had a great week 2. I think what's been the best part for me is having seen people "warmed" up into things. Week 1 always feels like a bit of a flurry because you're just back from break and then there are linked lists, pointers, queues, compilations, debugging, etc etc etc. But just talking to students and being on the forum this week it feels like you are all getting into the swing of things :) That isn't to say that you're finding everything "easy" (I wouldn't call it an "easy" course), but it's to say people are showing confidence in being able to pursue and tackle hard problems - and that's awesome. So keep it up.

    Here are some key updates about everything 2521:

    1. Content & Work reminders

    • Quiz 2 will automatically be available 9am Monday (tomorrow). This quiz, like others, will sometimes require knowledge taught in week 3 to answer.
    • Week 4 tutorials and labs have been released.
    • Week 4 lecture's will be released on Monday (tomorrow).
    • To get the marks for lab02 you need to demonstrate it to your tutor in the week 3 lab (if you haven't already).

    1. Other updates

    See you on Tuesday!! We'll be discussing trees this week. 🌲 🌲

    I hope you are enjoying your long weekend. Make sure to go outside so you don't turn into an icicle πŸ₯ΆπŸ₯Ά

  • πŸ”₯ End of week 1 updates

    Posted by Hayden Smith Saturday 05 June 2021, 07:47:07 PM.

    Hi everyone!

    Thanks for a great first week together. It was awesome seeing so many people at the lectures! And a few of the tutors I talked to said they had a great time with classes this week. I hope that it's been a balanced introduction to some of the new content. We've re-structured some of the labs so that we don't hit you with lecture content as quickly as previous terms (e.g. week 3 lab is mostly on week 2 lectures).

    Here are some key updates about everything 2521:

    1. Lab 1 due on Monday, demonstrated week 2

    A reminder that you must submit your lab01 via give no later than 5pm on Monday (7th June) . There is no late penalty for late submissions, we simply don't accept them.

    Submitting via give is not what guarantees you the marks though. To receive the remaining marks and confirm your automarks you are required to show your work to your tutor during your lab this coming week (week 2). There they will confirm your automark and award the rest of your mark.

    2. "Working together" in labs

    I would like to clarify something from the course outline. For the statement "Labs will be done individually or in pairs":

    • You ARE allowed to discuss the labs in pairs, design strategies to solve it, work on pseudocode (week 2) etc.
    • You are NOT allowed to work on the same code together, nor submit the same code. We will be running plagiarism detection on all submitted lab code from week 2 onward to sanity check this.

    I understand a handful of people were confused about this in week 1, so we are not fussed if some students decided to work on the week 1 lab in pairs. Let's just get it clear going forward from next week :)

    3. Quiz 1 released on Monday

    Quiz 1 will be released on Monday (7th June) at 9am. You will have more than a week to complete the quiz.

    The first quiz has a couple of questions focused on week 2 content, so don't be alarmed if you don't feel confident completing them until after the Tuesday lecture in week 2.

    For new content, your week 3 tutorial/lab has been released, and the lectures for week 3 will be released on Monday.

    See you on Tuesday!!

    Have a great weekend.

  • πŸ₯³ Welcome to COMP2521 21T2 πŸ₯³

    Posted by Hayden Smith Friday 28 May 2021, 06:38:49 PM, last modified Saturday 29 May 2021, 02:07:23 AM.

    Hi everyone!

    Welcome to COMP2521 21T2 :)

    This is my first time running COMP2521, and I hope you're as excited as me. Is this the easiest CSE course? Or the hardest? Probably not. Is it the most interesting? Well, that depends on who you ask. However - this will certainly be one of the most impactful courses any of you do at CSE in terms of how it helps you grow as a computer scientist.

    We're going to be exploring the nuance and detail of how computers store data and process that data when solving problems. Most importantly, we'll be exploring how different storage and processing methods have vastly different outcomes at scale . It's easy to do anything in life once, but the real challenge is making something feasible when dealing with millions or billions of inputs. And that's going to be the journey we go on.

    I'm going to be working with a teaching staff team of 30 tutors, many of whom have more experience teaching this course than I do, and I'm excited not only to work with them, but for you to have them support you throughout the term.

    Key Points for now

    1. First lecture is Tuesday 1st June, 2pm-4pm, streamed on Youtube - link will be ON THIS PAGE .
    2. Join our Forum (on EdStem) if you haven't already joined it. Introduce yourself, and ask any questions you have.
    3. Pay attention to your tutorial time and location . All tutorials and labs are run on Blackboard Collaborate, just like COMP1511.
    4. Lectures for week 1 & 2 will be released on Tuesday of week 1.

    About the course

    I would encourage you all to take a moment to read the COURSE OUTLINE , because it highlights virtually everything. I will also go through this a little bit on Tuesday.

    In terms of assessment, the course has 3 major components:

    • 35% assignments (2 assignments)
    • 25% labs & quizzes (Completing activities or multiple choice questions)
    • 40% exam (no hurdle)

    See you soon!

    I'll see you all on Tuesday :)

  • Enjoy your holidays!

    Posted by Hayden Smith Saturday 22 May 2021, 10:29:16 PM.

    Hi everyone. I'll be sending a notice at the end of this week (Friday) to welcome you to the course and share more information. I prefer to stick to radio silence for now so you can try and enjoy your break. :)

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