School of Computer Science Suggestions Box

Currently in the box...

Date Name Subject Suggestion Response
Thu Feb 8 2018 15:14 Ana Pandrea Quiet lab I know this is an ongoing problem, but the quiet labs are never quite. But just because it is a persistent issue, it needs some action to be taken as it is not acceptable. My best solution is to have some member of staff to check on it hourly or something similar. I assume that if people will be told repeatedly to be quiet, they will get used to it at some point or at least they will go to a different lab. Response from School pending.
Wed Feb 7 2018 20:09 anonymous Sound quality of podcasts The podcast system for the lectures in Kilburn needs to be improved, I find that the sound quality is very low and I struggle to hear what is being said (this could be because lecturers are not wearing mics?). Although not necessary having a camera towards the lecturer/board would be useful as they sometimes write information on the board. The Computation lectures in the Roscoe building on the other hand are great, sound is very clear and the addition of a camera makes it easier to follow. Response from School pending.
Wed Feb 7 2018 14:47 Mihai-Cristian Olteanu Quiet Lab freezing I believe someone should moderate the vents in the Quiet Lab since they create a cold air current at the PCs next to the window (e.g. E-C07KIL1809) and it's also too hot in here to wear a coat :) Hope that helps Response from School pending.
Mon Dec 4 2017 19:22 anonymous Hot water in Kilburn In the past years, the issue on the hot water has been previously raised, but it was denied due to health and safety reasons. The thing some of the students are not happy with is the fact that hot water for drinks is available, but only at Byte for a fee Response from School pending.
Thu Oct 15 2015 15:06 anonymous Not Enough Linux machines in University There are not enough Linux computers in the School/University for us to do lab work. For example, all of LF31, G23, Tootil0 and Tootil1 are reserved for lab sessions in Thursday afternoons. Other people have no computer to use for lab exercises outside their lab session. Can we have the number of computers increased? Or have Linux in other computer clusters as well? The latter is a common practise in other Universities. Response from School pending.
Sun Nov 2 2014 00:05 Sarah Tutor Contact on Placement Years I think that there needs to be more contact with a placement tutor in the first few weeks of a placement year. This is where problems can arise, and most students would not feel confident in their first few weeks speaking out to their managers. An initial placement meeting, rather than report, may fix this sooner - as it is too late when the meeting after Christmas happens. Response from School pending.
Sat Dec 21 2013 20:24 Nic Garner Make old syllabus and materials pages more obvious During my time in the undergraduate school I have often come across this niggle: it's sometimes easy to stray onto course unit syllabus and materials pages for previous years. For example, Using Google to search for COMP36111, the top result is for the 2012 page. I've even known someone to accidentally complete a piece of coursework for the previous year by mistake! All I suggest is making it more obvious when you are not on the page for the current year, through some highly visible warning. Thanks, we'll look at this. Toby (6/1/14)
Fri Oct 25 2013 12:18 anonymous People talking in 1st year Java lectures my last two Java lectures I have been sat nearby groups of people who have talked for about 80% of the lectures. I find it impossible to understand what Professor Latham is teaching because of this and keep misunderstanding points. I am very happy that Professor Latham usually stops these people and am not really sure what he can do about it. I am too embarrassed in lectures to put my hand up and complain in lecture. perhaps John could be stricter with talking people? Thanks -- we are anxious that students are not distracted during lectures and we will consider what we can do to prevent this.
Thu Aug 29 2013 00:44 Miljan UoM @ Coursera? I was thinking that it would be an excellent idea for the school to create one course that would be publicaly available on a site such as Coursera and that it would be very beneficial for the school in a couple of ways. -It would help promote the university as well as the school -It will show many students what we have to offer and put in their minds an idea of possibly studying here -We really have so many amazing lecturers here and we should show that Thanks very much for your idea. We're aware of the growing interest in publically-available courses and are considering whether this is an area we can contribute to. Thank you for your positive comments about our lecturers!
Sat May 18 2013 18:37 anonymous Eye Health Posters I've noticed some posters up around the school regarding correct posture at a work station. I think it should be made clearer to all those in labs that it is very important to look away from the screen (to a long distance) every 10-15 minutes. I've noticed, throughout my undergraduate time here, that many many students who did not ever wear glasses in first year, are now wearing glasses for long distances. Posters on eye health and risks of looking at a screen for too long are important. Thank you -- this is an important issue and we're reviewing how best to raise awareness of it.
Thu Apr 18 2013 14:16 Biser Milanov Microwave and HDMI cables. Dear CS administration, It would be nice to have a microwave around the Byte Cafe (if the current one cannot be used as-is). And some HDMI cables in the Collabs would be great as well. Microwave: sorry, we have investifgated this and I'm afraid this won't be possible (health & safety, who cleans it, etc). As for HDMI... we need more details of what it is you want, please.
Sun Feb 24 2013 21:55 David Edwards Out-of-hours sign-in book at goods entrance. Can the requirement for students to use the sign-in book be revoked? I'm sure the sign-in book provides some theoretical benefit, but in practice it is just a hindrance. The sign-in book delays entrance for an individual, and queues can form to sign the book. In terms of security, the book offers no benefit as students can only enter if they have an out-of-hours pass, the guards do not check your sign-in. In terms of fire-safety, the book fails to account for those who didn't enter out-of-hours. We're currently reviewing the way out-of-hours Kilburn access is managed, and the role of the sign-in book is part of this review. Toby Howard -- 27/02/13
Wed Feb 6 2013 17:21 anonymous Regarding MSEC31131 Second CW Essay Marking Message concerning the second cw essay marking for the MSEC31131 module. Along with the brief of the essay being extremely badly written with I feel absolutely no scope of doing well . Extremely hard to research. I put in as much effort as I could but really heavily struggled with it and did as well as I could with I feel no appreciation at all. Marking was v harsh and comments were rude. Disheartening and really upsetting experience. We'll investigate. -- Toby 6/2/13
Mon Feb 4 2013 20:19 anonymous Third Year 1st Semester Exam Results Hello, Could you consider releasing Third Year First Semester Exam results sooner than you do? It would definitely help every Third Year student to know half of their degree grade as soon as possible during this very anxious time of the degree. I appreciate your concern in wanting to get exam results as soon as possible. The situation we have at the moment is the fastest possible that we can provide -- the marking and checking process takes time, and we publish the provisional marks absolutely as soon as we are able, about 4 weeks after the end of the exam period. Given the enormity of the task, this is actually a remarkable achievement!
Tue Jan 15 2013 13:01 Jack Voting System for Department Changes There's been a large amount of discussion in the online facebook groups about various changes to the department, and petitions have sprung up as a way of people representing their interest. The normal response to this by the SSCC reps is that "It has been/will be raised in an SSCC meeting, and the staff will discuss this with us". However, this does not allow us to represent or discern the volume of interest behind an idea. Why don't we have a system for voting on issues raised by SSCC Toby Howard is liaising with Jack for more details. 15/1/2013.
Sun Dec 9 2012 17:12 Nic Garner 1.1 projector screens Hi, I asked for this to be raised at the most recent SSCC meeting but a miscommunication meant that it didn't happen. There has been something wrong with the projectors and screens in the 1.1 lecture theatre for a couple of months now, and it has inconvenienced a couple of lecturers and interfered with learning, particularly in COMP251 and COMP211. I'm slightly amazed this hasn't been fixed yet, could it be please? Hi Nic, this has been reported some months ago the repair work is now due to be carried out the week after term finishes. We're sorry it's take so long, and we have been pressing the University to make the repairs ASAP. -- Toby 12/12/12
Mon Nov 26 2012 19:22 anonymous A kettle Please could we have a kettle located somewhere as many students stay in Kilburn for many hours and pay £1 for each cup of tea/coffee they have; for me personally I drink many cups of tea per day as it keeps my concentration up! Would it be possible to have an area where a few kettles are located? This would save students so much money and a lot of students bring flasks in anyways! Hi, this has been reviewed in detail at SSCC, and we are unable to provide a kettle due to health&safety concerns, I am afraid. -- Toby 12/12/12.
Wed Nov 7 2012 17:52 Neha Agrawal Moodle page Hello, When I try to access the Moodle page from these links: or and it redirects me to the Moodle website (I sign-in), it says "This course is currently unavailable to students". I have to go to the main menu(on moodle) and then go to the course directory. Could this error please be looked into. Thanks. This has now been resolved. --Toby 1/12/12
Sun Oct 21 2012 22:35 anonymous authentication with university username In one of the emails received from a student rep, we were told that the university is considering some infrastructure changes and one of the consequences would be the use of the university's username (the mbax one) instead of our CS one. I believe this is a very bad idea, since most of the labs are already very busy and this change would enable any student from any school to come and use the computers designated for us. I do believe the current infrastructure is the most advantageous for us. Hi, no this isn't a worry. We will ensure that our labs are kept for Computer Science students. They will not become facilities that anyone on campus can access. -- Toby Howard (21/10/12)
Sun Oct 21 2012 22:35 anonymous Lab seating Most of the seating in the ground floor lab was replaced a year or two ago, but most of the chairs in the third year lab (and perhaps the other labs too, I've not checked) are creaky and often can't be adjusted, usually resulting in bad posture which becomes uncomfortable when working for any length of time. Any chances we could get these chairs replaced with newer ones like in the ground floor lab? We have carried out adjustments to all the chairs, which should improve their adjustability for posture. We are looking at the costs of replcing the chairs with newer models. -- Toby Howard (21/10/12)
Tue Oct 9 2012 14:36 anonymous Board Visibility When lecturer do writing on the board in the front of lecture theaters (every lecture theater) It is always too dark to see the hand-writing content. If turn on light of lecture theater then it would be too bright for the content presented by projector to be clear. Is it possible to install lights just for the board in the front of each lecture theater and inform lecturers to turn it on every time he/she want to write something. Many thanks We're investigating this. -- Toby Howard (21/10/12)
Mon Oct 8 2012 11:56 anonymous Third year lab is too noisy People just keep talking loud regardless of whether others are working or not and most of their talks are non-study related. Students should be allowed to talk in labs but there should be a limit. At least a sign in the lab... Thanks Sorry to hear that about this. We will put signs up immediately. I will also raise this with the Staff-Student Committee. -- Toby 8/10/12.
Mon Sep 17 2012 16:30 Dumitru-Alin Simoiu Temperature in laboratories I really like the new PC's but it is bad that the labs are just too cold to do some work. If this problem gets fixed the labs will be a great place to study. We're keeping a close eye on temperature throughout the building. Please email whenever you feel the temperature is wrong in a room, and they will take immediate action to get it fixed. -- Toby 8/10/12.
Wed May 16 2012 13:47 anonymous Recordings of Lectures It would be very helpful if there are recordings of lectures. I'm sure a lot of students will agree with this. Most of the other schools have this facility and from what I've heard it is very helpful to those students. It would be great if this could be done for the next semester. Atleast for a few modules. We are looking into this. Meanwhile, you can always take in a small recorder and record the lecture for your own use. Ask the lecturer first as a courtesy. But this is the way forward while we look at the wider issue. -- Toby 8/10/12.
Tue May 8 2012 13:07 Brendan Jackman Eronomic workstations I'm sure I'm not the only one in the CS school who worries about RSI, back problems, carpal tunnel syndrome, etc. I believe some of the hardware on the lower first is being replaced next year. If this includes monitors and keyboards, could ergonomics be taken into account when choosing where to buy from? The screens in the ground floor lab are height-adjustable, which allows you to keep a straight neck while you work, but the lower first labs aren't. Thanks -- I will investigate this with our Health & Safety manager. -- Toby Howard 08/05/12
Tue Apr 24 2012 12:56 anonymous Dedicated silent areas for reading and writing Silent working areas could greatly help the students, who want not to be distracted by the conversations between other students in the labs. Silent areas for reading and writing, without necessarily using a computer, are lacking. There does not seem to be such place in Kilburn building at the moment, where students can really focus on revising or getting coursework on paper done. Thanks for the suggestion. I am actively looking into what we can implement. -- Toby (29/4/12).
Mon Mar 19 2012 09:46 Michael Pearce Designated Demonstrators I'm not sure how feasible it may be, but I would just like to suggest designated demonstrators for either marking or helping people out but not both. The problem is when there's a long list of people with long (and possibly many) exercises to get marked there is little time to help students who have problems with assignments. Or there are times when so many people, need so much help that not even marking gets done and people fall behind with marking, and the vicious circle continues. Thanks. This situation does sometimes arrive, and we need to react to it on a case-by-case basis. I would suggest that you tell the Lab Supervisor (the member of staff) at the time the problem exists. They may then be able to deploy the demonstrators as you suggest. --Toby 19/3/12
Wed Mar 14 2012 20:13 anonymous Make redirect to or return page automatically It is common practice for websites to use both and addresses for the web server of that domain. It feels that is long enough for it to have "www." perfix. Frankly speaking, before applying to the university I myself tried and got nothing back, only later discovering the full address. This can potentially mislead other prospective undergraduate students as well. We will investigate this. -- Toby, 19/3/12.
Wed Mar 7 2012 11:23 anonymous Two computers in LF34 do not have Linux installed on them. Two computers in LF34 do not have Linux installed on them. It would be helpful if you could please identify those machines. Thanks.
Mon Feb 27 2012 15:54 anonymous Could the damaged "KILBURN BUILDING" sing be repaired? I has been about two months since the building sign facing Oxford road, stating "Kilburn Building", has been damaged. Could you tell if any action has taken place in regard to this? If so, could you give an estimate on how soon it is going to be fixed? The damage is currently (27 Feb 2012) being inspected and assessed by the University to decide how best to repair it. We don't yet have an ETA on the repair, but the School is chasing this.
Sat Nov 26 2011 13:08 anonymous The contents of Events and News pages should more prominent on the home page of the Schoold of Compu There are often some quite important and interesting announcements appearing on the News and Events pages ( and However, I have noticed that I do not visit them very often (maybe because the links are not very noticeable), and occasionally miss or forget about some important announcement. Maybe it would make sense to bring a summary of the recent news and events into one feed on the home page of the Good idea -- we're looking at this.
Mon Nov 14 2011 10:24 anonymous wonky water tap at water foutain the water tap at the water fountain in the byte cafe is lose and moves and it slightly irritating when trying to use it Thanks This has been reported for repair, 14/11/11.
Mon Oct 24 2011 16:46 anonymous Hot Water 50p for hot water is just silly! I think there should be a hot water vendor! This was raised at SSCC on 26/10/11, and Eamon Griffin is investigating.
Mon Oct 24 2011 15:50 anonymous Vending Machines Hi, the cost of the new vending machines is ridiculous. Charging 80p for a packet of crisp/ chocolate bar is extortionate! A lot of students have been complaining about this. This was raised at SSCC on 26/10/11, and Eamon Griffin is investigating.
Mon Oct 24 2011 13:11 anonymous Hoddy Is there any hoddies for computer science school this year?? This is an issue for CS Soc, who sell the hoodies.
Fri Oct 21 2011 12:17 anonymous G23 Working Conditions G23 is too hot to work in, I can barely concentrate in labs and usually opt for the extension just so I can get out Within an hour of this being received, staff visited G23 and the University engineers were asked to fix the problem. The fix is due to be implemented on Monday 24 October 2011. - Toby Howard, 21/10/11
Thu Apr 7 2011 18:07 Christopher Hackett Roll over print quota for wIE placments Students on placement pay half fees however they are unlikely to use many of the university resources over this period. It would be better if print credit and any allowances normally provided during the roll over into the students final year. After all it has already been paid for. In future we will roll over print credit. - Toby Howard, 17/8/11.
Tue Feb 22 2011 15:17 Christopher Hackett Publish results in more locations As well as results been published on the exam notice bored, can they not also be published in more locations like each year groups notice bored so it is easier to get results Duplicating results and posting them in several places is rather staff-time intensive, and we can't commit to doing this, at the moment. - Toby Howard, 17/8/11.
Sat Feb 19 2011 18:07 Yegor Guskov Standardize course web pages Make sure every course web page has the same design and structure. Possibly move the course web pages to Moodle to achieve that goal. Make sure no students have to go through the painful process of visiting the Blackboard system to access the content required for the course units. An admirable goal! In practice this would be extremely difficult to achieve, but we are keen that course pages should conform to a few basic standards. - Toby Howard, 17/8/11.
Sat Feb 19 2011 18:00 Yegor Guskov Sound of computers in laboratories Test all the machines in the computer laboratories and make sure they can produce the sound. Even though this issue has already been addressed on the Q and A site, there are still a good number of machines in every computer laboratory that do not generate any sound output for some unknown reason, along the many similar machines that do play sound well. This is a maintenance issue. If you find a machine with broken sound, please report it ( and it will be fixed. - Toby Howard, 17/8/11.
Sat Feb 19 2011 17:53 Yego Guskov Clean the tables in the computer laboratories from dust and dirt Ask the cleaners of the building to wipe the surfaces of the tables in Unix and Tootil laboratories occasionally in the future. At the moment it is sometimes the case that the working spaces in the labs have noticeable amounts of dust, grease and hair. We make every effort to keep the labs clean, and of course students (and staff) have a role to play in this too. If you find somewhere to be unacceptably dirty, please report it immediately, to - Toby Howard, 17/8/11.
Sat Feb 19 2011 17:46 Yegor Guskov New edition of tanenbaum book for second year operating systems course Update the "Modern Operating Systems" Tanenbaum book used for the operating systems course to the most recent 3rd edition. The latest version is 6 years ahead of the 2nd edition. Make sure that the university library has a sufficient number of copies of the most recent edition. This has been done. - Toby Howard, 17/8/11.
Sat Feb 19 2011 17:38 Yegor Guskov Code Style of Exercise Programs Convince all lecturers to adopt the same coding style for C and Java exercise programs, so that students can read the source files with less effort. The preferable coding style to be uniformly adopted is the one John Latham uses in his introductory Java course. If maintaining a universal coding style turns out to be unfeasible, then ask the lecturers to check that their own coding style is consistent across all the source files they have produced. The School has taken this suggestion on board, and will be publishing a set of coding standards guidelines for staff, starting Academic Year 2011-12. - Toby Howard, 17/8/11.

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