A week in the life
Every day this week I will be posting here to this blog to try to communicate to you, the reader of this blog, whoever you may be, what the average week in the life of a Computing Science student is all about.
I study at the University of Aberdeen where my course lasts for four years. I’m currently about half way through the second half of my third year at the moment. I’m studying five courses in this semester.
The first course I’m studying is Enterprise Computing. The course provides a modern introduction to business computing. It is centred around the concept of an enterprise data model, that is, how an enterprise looks after its information and how it can use what it already knows to make better business decisions.
The second course is Distributed Computing. The course teaches the technologies underpinning modern systems used in enterprises, including the way in which computers communicate with each other and share workloads between themselves in order to be as efficient as possible.
The third course is Languages and Computability. Of the courses I’ve taken in Computing at the University, this is definitely one of the more theory heavy courses. It provides a basic-level introduction to computability via the notion of a formal language. Computability is the ability to solve a problem in an effective manner, which is a fundamental part of Computing Science. A formal language, unlike English or other spoken languages, is a language that is defined in a precise mathematical way in order to allow computers to understand them with ease.
The fourth course is Software Engineering: Principles and Practice. This course runs across the entire year, and teaches how to undertake a large software engineering project. The practical part of the course, which takes place in this semester, is done as a group. My group’s aim is to produce a piece of software than can take in details of the availability of part-time staff members and then match them to shifts that a manager would like to be filled.
Finally, I also take an optional course, Communication in Computing. This course aims to develop Computing Scientists who are effective and skilled communicators, capable of making computing science interesting and accessible to a lay audience and of mentoring the lower level Computing Scientists.