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School of Computer Science
Level 4
Ingkarni Wardli Building
SA 5005

Telephone: +61 8 8313 4729
Facsimile: +61 8 8313 4366

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Specialised Programming

Course Offerings

2016 Semester 2 (current)

Course SELTS

  • 2015 Semester 1 Course SELT summary
  • 2014 Semester 1 Course SELT summary
  • 2010 Semester 1 Course SELT

  • Background

    Programming is the discipline of creating software machines to solve a diverse range of problems.

    Programming is a skill. Like any skill, programming can be learned with practice, feedback, and the application of useful tools.

    This course aims to measurably improve your programming skills by

    • working on interesting programming problems that leave room for creativity;
    • encouraging group-interaction for learning, practice, and teaching;
    • providing basic, graduated, instant feedback on potential solutions; and
    • presenting material that focuses not only on basic algorithmics but also on higher-level programming skills.

    Course Outline

    This course is based on group-learning and individual assessment. The basic components of the course are:
    Lectures (1-2 hours per week)
    will cover basic algorithms as well as higher-level skills such as understanding a problem, drafting a basic design, debugging, and testing. Some lecture content will be tailored to the needs of the class.
    Practice Sessions (1-3 hours per week in class + 6 hours per week out of class-time)
    group-work in a laboratory: learning, and teaching, how to solve programming problems. Sessions in class time will be supervised. Groups are expected to spend more time practicing outside of class.
    Practical Exams (approx 3 hours per fortnight)
    will be held under exam conditions. Most of your marks for this course will come from practical exams. You will work individually in the practical exams though there will be formal recognition of outstanding team and individual performance. Each exam will consist of a mix of more and less challenging problems.
    There is no written exam for this course. All marks come from writing solutions that pass the tests used in practical exams. Groups are carefully allocated on the basis of performance in exams in order to minimise academic differences between groups.


    Programming questions are chosen (with permission) from the large number of problems available on TopCoder. Students are encouraged to use this site but access to it is not compulsory for this course.

    Brad Alexander, Febrary, 2008.