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CO538 Anonymous Questions and Answers Keyword Index

This page provides a keyword index to questions and answers. Clicking on a keyword will take you to a page containing all questions and answers for that keyword, grouped by year.

To submit a question, use the anonymous questions page. You may find the keyword index and/or top-level index useful for locating past questions and answers.

Keyword reference for teaching


Question 77 (2011):

Submission reference: IN2150

Hi, I was curious as to what options were being offered after I returned from my year in industry, so had a look at the modules currently being offered. I remember someone saying that there was an advanced concurrency module and was curious as to why it's no longer running, given that the vast majority of pcs in use these days are multi core systems?

Answer 77:

Very many apologies to whoever asked this question so long ago (2 Aug 2012). We didn't know how to answer this properly. Belatedly, I (Peter) will have a go.

We've had the advanced concurrency module (Co632) prepared for several years, first presenting it in the academic year 2006-2007. Sadly, that was the only year we were allowed to offer it. The withdrawal of the Co632 option was a decision taken the the Board of Studies (now the Learning and Teaching Committee) for the School of Computing. The reason was the need to reduce the number of options offered, prompted partly by course restructuring (with more compulsory modules) and partly by falling staff numbers (voluntary redundancies). Each year, we have tried to reinstate it – without success. If anyone would like to get the Co632 materials, please contact me or Fred Barnes.

For information, next year (2012-2013) is the last year this module (Co538) will be offered. Further restructuring of the degree means that Concurrency will become part of the core (compulsory) modules, but probably spread over Stages 2 and 3. Final arrangements (timing, contents) have still to be settled. It will likely be very different from Co538.

My personal belief is that concurrency is fundamental to Computer Science and should be introduced at the same time as sequence is introduced in programming. So long as a sane concurrency model is taught, going parallel is no harder than looping and communicating between processes is no harder than assignment between variables. Start early and it will be easy.

Keywords: advanced , teaching , future

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Last modified Mon May 20 13:50:33 2013
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