If you are a regular reader you would know by now that I am a student at the Computer Science and Informatics Department at Cardiff University. Now I know most of you readers would just roll your eyes and think (Of course it is, you study there) when I would say that it is the best department, which offers great resources to its students. But it’s actually true, as we are ranked as the top Computer Science School in Wales in the Guardian League Table, and as a University we’ve also moved up one rank to the 27th top University!
The Computer Science department offers many resources for the students, including 3 different labs, consisting of Microsoft, Linux and Mac suites, which are all only available for the Computer Science department students, including free printing.
Trevithick library is situated in on the 1st floor and is shared with the Physics and Engineering department. It is very spacious, and quiet, and I spent hours in there revising, doing group work and completing work in the spacious working areas. There are rooms available separate from the library, sponsored by different companies, which can be booked for group work, and also includes a flat screen which students can connect their laptops too, which makes group work much easier!
Follow this link for a few photos of the Library- http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/insrv/libraries/trevithick/
I’ve just finished my first year here, and I can’t believe how fast it has gone ! So for anyone wanting to study at the department, or would just like an insight as to what it was like to study at the department! Below i’ve given a insight into my year here, and the modules i’ve studied. My first semester (11 weeks if you’re wondering!) consisted of 3 Modules- Computational Thinking, Web Applications and Problem Solving with Python, and the Spring-Summer semester consisted of four modules including- Managing the Modern Organisation, Fundamentals of Information Systems, Developing Quality Software and Professional Skills
The Computational Thinking module was set over the first 2-3 weeks, which involved group work mostly, where the whole class was mixed together, and sent to do various tasks, some together in the library, some were set out around Cardiff where we had to collect information- which was a great way of seeing the city in your first few weeks there, and finding your way around.
Problem Solving with Python, and Web Applications were modules that ran alongside each other. Both modules consisted of both coursework and an exam. Python is a programming language which we had to learn, and well.. guess what we had to after we learnt how to program using Python.. Yes the problem solving. This was a challenging module for me personally, but was enjoyed by many. As i mentioned Web Applications was run along side Problem Solving with Python, in which we were taught the how to use HTML, and CSS. Our coursework consisted of designing our own website on a business of our own choice.
The second semester is aimed more to specific courses, and as a Business Information Systems Student, our modules included Managing the Modern Organisation, and Fundamentals of Information Systems, compared to Computer Science and Software Engineering Students who had modules such as – Fundamentals of Computing with Java, and Architecture and Operating Systems
Managing the Modern Organisation was based mostly on financial aspects of a business. As i studied business at A Level I felt that I thought I knew some amount, but in this module it concentrates more on looking on in-depth aspects of business such as drawing up accounts as a part of the coursework- ( trying to get my accounts to balance stressed me out.. I wont lie.. I re-started doing my coursework 3 times, but by the end I FINALLY got it to balance!). The module looked at aspects such as Tax and VAT and which was applicable for what businesses.
Fundamentals of Information Systems concentrated on how valuable information is to a business. It looked different categories of information, and different ways of storing information such as XML, or Databases. Organisations are also systems, and this module included learning on Systems thinking and Communication within Systems.
All first year students had to participate in the Professional Skills, and Developing Quality Software. Professional Skills helps students with various university aspects such as -Referencing, Reflecting, Essay Planning and more..
Developing Quality Software was a group project, where we were presented a scenario to create software. Using the programming language Tkinter, groups of 4-6 had a number of weeks to work together creating to create functioning software. This again was a challenging task, but also rewarding when you finally get a piece of code to work. It again was also a good way of getting to know people within your course better!