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FIT2044 Advanced project level 2 - Semester 2 , 2008

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Unit leader :

Ann Nicholson

Lecturer(s) :

Tutors(s) :


  • TBA


Welcome to FIT2044 Advanced Project level 2  for semester 2, 2008. This is a zero-credit-point unit designed to challenge the more advanced 1st and 2nd year students in the B. Computer Science, B. Software Engineering, B. Science majoring in Computer Science, and other related double degrees. Here is a chance to do something special and creative for the "honour" of it. The unit  is intented to introduce students with more advanced programming skills to topics that they might not otherwise encounter until later in their courses and give them an opportunity to work on a more substantial programming project.

Unit synopsis

The subject is to begin with a series of informal lectures on topics or skills outside the students' current curriculum. These will begin in 1st semester, although enrolment in the subject does not take place until 2nd semester. These lectures will serve several purposes:

  • introduce the students to interesting material;
  • get them started on skills they may find useful for the projects to be run in 2nd semester;
  • help determine (both for the student and the Subject Co-ordinator) whether the student would benefit from enrolling in the subject FIT1016/2044.

At the start of 2nd semester, students are allocated to project supervisors to work on an advanced project. This will usually be a programming task, but occasionally may involve hardware. The students may work individually or in groups, as determined by the supervisor of a particular topic. The topics are chosen to cover a range of areas of Computer Science. They will give the students opportunity to further investigate the areas or develop the skills to which they were introduced in the lecture series.

After the end of 2nd semester, the projects are demonstrated to anyone in the School who is interested, and the work is assessed by a panel consisting of the Subject Co-ordinator, the Assistant Lecturer and the student's Supervisor to determine whether the grade Pass is to be awarded or not.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

This unit introduces students to a variety of topics outside the curriculum, and provides an opportunity to write programs (or, rarely, to build hardware) in an area of interest to the student and the School. The subject operates in an informal manner, and the programming tasks are designed to be interesting and challenging to advanced students.

On completion of this subject students will:

K1. understand concepts from several areas of Computer Science not covered in their normal curriculum;

K2. know where to find further information on a range of topics on computer programming and computer science;

K3 understand, from their own experience, some of the difficulties that can arise in larger programming tasks;

K4 be able to learn new programming languages and tools on their own, without formal instruction.

Attitudes, Values and Beliefs

Upon completion of this unit, students will:

A1. be aware of the diverse range of tools that can be used to solve computing problems;

A2. be aware of the breadth of the Computer Science discipline;

A3. have an appreciation of the nature of Computer Science.

Practical Skills

On completion of this subject students will:

P1. have skills in using a programming language or technology not covered in their normal curriculum.

Relationships, Communication and TeamWork

On completion of this subject students will:

R1. have experience demonstrating a computer program;

R2. have experience giving an oral presentation of a computing project.


Students must attend a preliminary session to hear about the projects being offered, and attend a final presentation session. During semester, they may have weekly meetings with the supervisor, but the nature and duration of these meetings will be determined by the supervisor and student together.

The amount of work required will vary depending on the project and the existing knowledge and programming experience of the studen, however 2-6 hrs personal study (gaining the required background knowledge, developing and implementing a solution, then writing up the project) would be a reasonable expectation.

Unit relationships


Students may undertake this unit by invitation only. Their previous academic results in IT (particularly programming units) will show D or HD achievement. They will be expected to have established programming skills. Before being considered for this unit you must have satisfactorily completed FIT1002 or CSE1301, or equivalent.


FIT2044 is an elective unit in the BCS, BSE, BSci (CS sequence) and BCS double degrees.

Continuous improvement

Monash is committed to ‘Excellence in education' and strives for the highest possible quality in teaching and learning. To monitor how successful we are in providing quality teaching and learning Monash regularly seeks feedback from students, employers and staff. Two of the formal ways that you are invited to provide feedback are through Unit Evaluations and through Monquest Teaching Evaluations.

One of the key formal ways students have to provide feedback is through Unit Evaluation Surveys. It is Monash policy for every unit offered to be evaluated each year. Students are strongly encouraged to complete the surveys as they are an important avenue for students to "have their say". The feedback is anonymous and provides the Faculty with evidence of aspects that students are satisfied and areas for improvement.

Student Evaluations

The Faculty of IT administers the Unit Evaluation surveys online through the my.monash portal, although for some smaller classes there may be alternative evaluations conducted in class.

If you wish to view how previous students rated this unit, please go to http://www.monash.edu.au/unit-evaluation-reports/

Over the past few years the Faculty of Information Technology has made a number of improvements to its courses as a result of unit evaluation feedback. Some of these include systematic analysis and planning of unit improvements, and consistent assignment return guidelines.

Monquest Teaching Evaluation surveys may be used by some of your academic staff this semester. They are administered by the Centre for Higher Education Quality (CHEQ) and may be completed in class with a facilitator or on-line through the my.monash portal. The data provided to lecturers is completely anonymous. Monquest surveys provide academic staff with evidence of the effectiveness of their teaching and identify areas for improvement. Individual Monquest reports are confidential, however, you can see the summary results of Monquest evaluations for 2006 at http://www.adm.monash.edu.au/cheq/evaluations/monquest/profiles/index.html

Unit staff - contact details

Unit leader

Associate Professor Ann Nicholson
Associate Professor
Phone +61 3 990 55211
Fax +61 3 990 55146

Lecturer(s) :

Tutor(s) :

Teaching and learning method

Students will be given a project specification and then have regular (usually weekly) meetings with their supervisor. The supervisor will suggest background reading material, discuss possible approaches to the project and answer student questions as the project is undertaken. However most of the work will be done in personal time by the student.

Communication, participation and feedback

Monash aims to provide a learning environment in which students receive a range of ongoing feedback throughout their studies. You will receive feedback on your work and progress in this unit. This may take the form of group feedback, individual feedback, peer feedback, self-comparison, verbal and written feedback, discussions (on line and in class) as well as more formal feedback related to assignment marks and grades. You are encouraged to draw on a variety of feedback to enhance your learning.

It is essential that you take action immediately if you realise that you have a problem that is affecting your study. Semesters are short, so we can help you best if you let us know as soon as problems arise. Regardless of whether the problem is related directly to your progress in the unit, if it is likely to interfere with your progress you should discuss it with your lecturer or a Community Service counsellor as soon as possible.

Unit Schedule

Week Topic Key dates
1 Topics will be determined week by week in conjunction with your supervisor.  
Mid semester break

Unit Resources

Prescribed text(s) and readings

Text books are available from the Monash University Book Shops. Availability from other suppliers cannot be assured. The Bookshop orders texts in specifically for this unit. You are advised to purchase your text book early.

Recommended text(s) and readings

Required software and/or hardware

Students will need to program on a computer. The particular programming language or operating system may vary, depending on the project and the previous knowledge of the student. It would be expected that the student could complete the project in general access student labs.

Information about computer use for students is available from the ITS Student Resource Guide in the Monash University Handbook.

Equipment and consumables required or provided

Students may use the facilities available in the computing labs. Information about computer use for students is available from the ITS Student Resource Guide in the Monash University Handbook. You will need to allocate up to 10 hours per week for use of a computer.

Study resources

Study resources we will provide for your study are:

Individual supervisors will provide study resources as required by the project.

A unit web site is also provided.

Library access

The Monash University Library site contains details about borrowing rights and catalogue searching. To learn more about the library and the various resources available, please go to http://www.lib.monash.edu.au.  Be sure to obtain a copy of the Library Guide, and if necessary, the instructions for remote access from the library website.

Monash University Studies Online (MUSO)

All unit and lecture materials are available through MUSO (Monash University Studies Online). Blackboard is the primary application used to deliver your unit resources. Some units will be piloted in Moodle. If your unit is piloted in Moodle, you will see a link from your Blackboard unit to Moodle (http://moodle.monash.edu.au) and can bookmark this link to access directly. In Moodle, from the Faculty of Information Technology category, click on the link for your unit.

You can access MUSO and Blackboard via the portal: http://my.monash.edu.au

Click on the Study and enrolment tab, then Blackboard under the MUSO learning systems.

In order for your Blackboard unit(s) to function correctly, your computer needs to be correctly configured.

For example:

  • Blackboard supported browser
  • Supported Java runtime environment

For more information, please visit: http://www.monash.edu.au/muso/support/students/downloadables-student.html

You can contact the MUSO Support by: Phone: (+61 3) 9903 1268

For further contact information including operational hours, please visit: http://www.monash.edu.au/muso/support/students/contact.html

Further information can be obtained from the MUSO support site: http://www.monash.edu.au/muso/support/index.html


Unit assessment policy

To complete the project, the student must:

  • give a presentation at the completion of the project
  • submit a brief written report on the project
  • give a demo to their supervisor of the project
The unit is pass/fail.

Assignment tasks

  • Assignment Task

    Title : Final presentation

    Description :

    Oral presentation on project

    Weighting :

    Criteria for assessment :

    Students will be assessed on the quality of the presentation, in particular they should make it clear what the aim of the project was, the approach they took to the project and what they have achieved.

    Due date : Last week of semester (TBA)

  • Assignment Task

    Title : Final demonstration

    Description :

    Demonstrate project to supervisor

    Weighting :

    Criteria for assessment :

    Something has been produced that is a solution to at least some part of the problem addressed.

    Due date : By the end of semester

  • Assignment Task

    Title : Final report

    Description :

    Written report on what has been done for project.

    Weighting :

    Criteria for assessment :

    • Clarity of written expression
    • Description of project and its aims
    • Description of approach taken
    • Description of what has been achieved in the project

    Due date : End of semester

Assignment submission

Assignments will be submitted by paper submission to your supervisor. 

Assignment coversheets

Coversheets can be downloaded from http://www.infotech.monash.edu.au/resources/student/assignments/

University and Faculty policy on assessment

Due dates and extensions

The due dates for the submission of assignments are given in the previous section. Please make every effort to submit work by the due dates. It is your responsibility to structure your study program around assignment deadlines, family, work and other commitments. Factors such as normal work pressures, vacations, etc. are seldom regarded as appropriate reasons for granting extensions. Students are advised to NOT assume that granting of an extension is a matter of course.

Requests for extensions must be made to the unit co-ordinator, Reza Rafeh. You will be asked to forward original medical certificates in cases ofillness, and may be asked to provide other forms of documentation wherenecessary. A copy of the email or other written communication of anextension must be attached to the assignment submission.

Late assignment

Assignments received after the due date will still be considered for assessment, as long as there is sufficient time for the supervisor to assess before results must be submitted to the University.

Return dates

Students can expect assignments to be returned within two weeks of the submission date or after receipt, whichever is later.

Assessment for the unit as a whole is in accordance with the provisions of the Monash University Education Policy at http://www.policy.monash.edu/policy-bank/academic/education/assessment/

Plagiarism, cheating and collusion

Plagiarism and cheating are regarded as very serious offences. In cases where cheating  has been confirmed, students have been severely penalised, from losing all marks for an assignment, to facing disciplinary action at the Faculty level. While we would wish that all our students adhere to sound ethical conduct and honesty, I will ask you to acquaint yourself with Student Rights and Responsibilities (http://www.infotech.monash.edu.au/about/committees-groups/facboard/policies/studrights.html) and the Faculty regulations that apply to students detected cheating as these will be applied in all detected cases.

In this University, cheating means seeking to obtain an unfair advantage in any examination or any other written or practical work to be submitted or completed by a student for assessment. It includes the use, or attempted use, of any means to gain an unfair advantage for any assessable work in the unit, where the means is contrary to the instructions for such work. 

When you submit an individual assessment item, such as a program, a report, an essay, assignment or other piece of work, under your name you are understood to be stating that this is your own work. If a submission is identical with, or similar to, someone else's work, an assumption of cheating may arise. If you are planning on working with another student, it is acceptable to undertake research together, and discuss problems, but it is not acceptable to jointly develop or share solutions unless this is specified by your lecturer. 

Intentionally providing students with your solutions to assignments is classified as "assisting to cheat" and students who do this may be subject to disciplinary action. You should take reasonable care that your solution is not accidentally or deliberately obtained by other students. For example, do not leave copies of your work in progress on the hard drives of shared computers, and do not show your work to other students. If you believe this may have happened, please be sure to contact your lecturer as soon as possible.

Cheating also includes taking into an examination any material contrary to the regulations, including any bilingual dictionary, whether or not with the intention of using it to obtain an advantage.

Plagiarism involves the false representation of another person's ideas, or findings, as your own by either copying material or paraphrasing without citing sources. It is both professional and ethical to reference clearly the ideas and information that you have used from another writer. If the source is not identified, then you have plagiarised work of the other author. Plagiarism is a form of dishonesty that is insulting to the reader and grossly unfair to your student colleagues.

Register of counselling about plagiarism

The university requires faculties to keep a simple and confidential register to record counselling to students about plagiarism (e.g. warnings). The register is accessible to Associate Deans Teaching (or nominees) and, where requested, students concerned have access to their own details in the register. The register is to serve as a record of counselling about the nature of plagiarism, not as a record of allegations; and no provision of appeals in relation to the register is necessary or applicable.

Non-discriminatory language

The Faculty of Information Technology is committed to the use of non-discriminatory language in all forms of communication. Discriminatory language is that which refers in abusive terms to gender, race, age, sexual orientation, citizenship or nationality, ethnic or language background, physical or mental ability, or political or religious views, or which stereotypes groups in an adverse manner. This is not meant to preclude or inhibit legitimate academic debate on any issue; however, the language used in such debate should be non-discriminatory and sensitive to these matters. It is important to avoid the use of discriminatory language in your communications and written work. The most common form of discriminatory language in academic work tends to be in the area of gender inclusiveness. You are, therefore, requested to check for this and to ensure your work and communications are non-discriminatory in all respects.

Students with disabilities

Students with disabilities that may disadvantage them in assessment should seek advice from one of the following before completing assessment tasks and examinations:

Deferred assessment and special consideration

Deferred assessment (not to be confused with an extension for submission of an assignment) may be granted in cases of extenuating personal circumstances such as serious personal illness or bereavement. Information and forms for Special Consideration and deferred assessment applications are available at http://www.monash.edu.au/exams/special-consideration.html. Contact the Faculty's Student Services staff at your campus for further information and advice.