Associate Professor & Head of Department
GC Wells, MSc(Rhodes), PhD(Bristol), MICS, MACM
PG Clayton, PhD(Rhodes), FICS, MCSSA, MACM
PD Terry, MSc(Rhodes), PhD(Cantab), FICS, MACM
EP Wentworth, PhD(UPE), FICS, MCSSA, MACM
SD Bangay, PhD(Rhodes), MACM
RJ Foss, BSc(Natal), MSc(UNISA), PhD(Rhodes), MACM
KL Bradshaw, MSc(Rhodes), PhD(Cantab), MACM
BVW Irwin, MSc(Rhodes), CISSP, MACM
BCC Biko, BCom, BEd(Rhodes), MACM
AJB Ebden, TEng(PNL), FTC(CGLI), BSc(Hons)(TCU, Lond), MACM
HE Slay, BA(Adelaide),BSc(Adelaide),PhD(South Australia), MACM
MK Wright, MSc(Rhodes), MA(Cantab), MACM
ML Halse, BSc(Rhodes)
D Riordan, BSc(Rhodes), MSc(UPE), PhD(Carleton)
Computer Science (CSC) is a six-semester subject which may be taken as a major subject for the degrees of BSc, BSc(InfSys), BSc(SofDev), BCom, BJourn, BA and BEcon.
To major in Computer Science, a candidate is required to obtain credit in the following courses: CSC 101; CSC 102; CSC 2; CSC 3; MAT 102 or MAT 1. See Rule S.23.
Candidates who aim to major in Computer Science are advised to register for the ancillary course in Discrete Mathematics (MAT 102) in their first or second year of study; permission will not normally be granted to repeat MAT 102 concurrently with CSC 301 and CSC 302.
Two, or in some cases four, Computer Science semester-credit courses are allowed as credits for other degree/diploma curricula in the Faculty of Humanities.
Besides the major courses, the Department offers a semester-credit computer literacy course CSC 1L.
The attention of students who hope to pursue careers in the field of Bioinformatics is drawn to the recommended curriculum that leads to postgraduate study in this area, in which Computer Science is a recommended co-major with Biochemistry, and for which two years of Computer Science and either Mathematics or Mathematical Statistics are prerequisites. Details of this curriculum can be found in the entry for the Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Biotechnology.
The attention of students who hope to pursue careers in the fields of Computing and Information Systems in general is drawn to the degree of BSc (Information Systems), in which Computer Science and Information Systems are the usual major subjects, supported by other appropriate courses from the Faculties of Science and Commerce.
Students who wish to become professional software developers or software engineers should also consider the BSc (Software Development) degree. This is a four-year Honours level qualification combining Computer Science and Information Systems, together with other supporting subjects, that prepares students for careers in software systems development.
The courses offered in Computer Science concentrate on the technology, engineering, project management and professional topics of computing, such as programming and application development, algorithm and system design, software engineering, operating systems and real-time computing, graphics, virtual reality and multimedia, artificial intelligence, networks and distributed computing, telecommunications and electronic commerce, and formal computer science theory. Management and organisational aspects of computing are handled more specifically in courses offered by the Department of Information Systems, and aspects such as computer and digital electronics and hardware are complemented by courses offered in the Department of Physics and Electronics. In all courses, students are required to perform practical work on the computer, the marks of which count towards the final assessment.
See the Departmental Web Page http://www.cs.ru.ac.za for further details, particularly on the contents of courses.
There are four discrete first-year courses in Computer Science, each contributing a semester-credit towards a degree.
CSC 101 is offered in the first semester only, and leads on to CSC 102 in the second semester. This is the conventional first year combination, which provides a broad introduction to the use of information technology, and prepares students for further study in the subject. Credit may be obtained in each of CSC 101 and CSC 102 separately and, in addition, an aggregate mark of at least 50% will be deemed to be equivalent to a two-credit course CSC 1, provided that a candidate obtains the required sub-minimum in each component. However, students who wish to major in Computer Science must obtain credit in both CSC 101 and CSC 102. Students admitted to the Science, Commerce or Humanities Extended Studies Programmes, or who have little or no experience of computers, may be required at the discretion of the Dean and Head of Department to complete CSC 1S/1C/1H before registering for CSC 101.
CSC 1L is offered in both semesters, and is intended as a terminal course.
CSC 1S/1C/1H are single semester-credit courses, but offered over a whole year, under the auspices of the Science, Commerce and Humanities Extended Studies Programmes. Entry is normally restricted entirely to first-year students accepted into those programmes; the course may be required as a prerequisite to CSC 101 for students who lack the necessary background to register directly for CSC 101. Students who have followed an Extended Studies Programme may obtain credit in both of CSC 1S and CSC 101.
Supplementary examinations may be recommended in each of these courses, provided that a candidate achieves a minimum standard specified by the Department.
Because of physical constraints, the Department exercises the right to limit entry to courses. Only the top 150 students who pass CSC 101 are guaranteed admission to CSC 102; another 30 places may be allocated on the basis of individual performance, written motivation and additional background experience.
CSC 1L: Computer LiteracyCSC 1L is intended as a non-continuing course for students who require computing principles and skills to support their activities in other disciplines. It is intended to be taken by students who have no previous experience with computers.
Topics include an introduction to the fundamental concepts and applications of hardware, computing environments, editing and word processing, spreadsheets, databases, other software packages, networks, the Internet, social issues, and the logic of problem solving. The examination of CSC 1L comprises a practical and a theoretical paper. Practical reports and class tests collectively comprise the class mark, which forms part of the final mark.
CSC 101: Problem Solving with Computers
CSC 101 is the first course for students who intend to continue to CSC 102 and INF 201, and is offered in the first semester. The course introduces students to a modern computing environment, and provides an accelerated introduction to core computer literacy skills such as office tools and networking. It also provides an in-depth introduction to problem solving techniques and principles using integrated computer toolsets and programming. Practical reports and class tests collectively comprise the class mark, which forms part of the final mark.
CSC 102: Introductory Programming
Candidates are required to obtain credit in CSC 101 before they may register for CSC 102.
This course provides a sound introduction to computer programming in a high-level language. Topics include event based programming, programming design principles, data structures, and developing applications for Windows-based user interfaces.
CSC 1S/1H/1C: Computer Skills
Introduction to some of the concepts of hardware; software; operating systems; computer logic; problem solving; editing and word processing; graphical user interfaces; spreadsheets; data bases; presentations; networks.
There are two second-year courses in Computer Science. CSC 201 is held in the first semester and CSC 202 in the second semester. Credit may be obtained in each course separately and, in addition, an aggregate mark of at least 50% will be deemed to be equivalent to a two-credit course CSC 2, provided that a candidate obtains the required sub-minimum in each component. No supplementary examinations will be offered for either course. Practical reports and class tests collectively comprise the class mark, which forms part of the final mark.
Credit in Computer Science (CSC 101 and CSC 102) is required before a student may register for second year courses. Adequate performance in CSC 201 is required before a student may register for CSC 202.
Because of physical constraints, the Department exercises the right to limit entry to courses. Only the top 100 students who pass CSC 102 are guaranteed admission to CSC 201; another 20 places may be allocated on the basis of individual performance, written motivation and additional background. Students who fail CSC 201 will be allowed to repeat the course only once, and will be judged by their CSC 102 performance for entrance purposes.
The second year of Computer Science is devoted to foundational computing and system design concepts.
Machine organisation and low-level programming; advanced data structures and data abstraction; object oriented principles; theoretical foundations of computing; advanced programming concepts. The practical work covers low and high-level imperative programming and design principles.
CSC 202Object oriented programming; designing for Windows systems; database theory and query languages; modelling. The practical work covers the use of software engineering techniques, object oriented application design, and database design and query.
There are two third-year courses in Computer Science. CSC 301 is normally held in the first semester and CSC 302 in the second semester, but the department reserves the right to offer them in either semester, according to timetable constraints. Credit may be obtained in each course separately and, in addition, an aggregate mark of at least 50% will be deemed to be equivalent to a two-credit course CSC 3, provided that a candidate obtains the required sub-minimum in each component. No supplementary examinations will be offered for either course. Practical reports and class tests collectively comprise the class mark, which forms part of the final mark.
Credit in Computer Science (CSC 2) and in Discrete Mathematics (MAT 102 or MAT 1) is required before a student may register for CSC 301 or CSC 302.
The third-year of Computer Science is devoted to systems programming and systems analysis.
Object oriented analysis and design; theory and implementation of computer languages; formal aspects of Computer Science. Practical work covers these aspects of systems programming, and includes an exercise in maintaining a large system.
Data communications and computer networks; functional programming; the theory and practice of operating systems. Practical work covers these aspects of systems programming and systems analysis.
A fourth-year level course in Computer Science is taken by students following the BSc(Software Development) curriculum, together with Information Systems 4.
The course consists of five modules covering a range of Software Engineering topics, including formal methods, unit-testing, distributed and parallel processing, web services, enterprise systems development, computer and network security, and a practical internship module. In addition, there is a series of seminars throughout the year, which covers a range of general topics in Software Engineering.
The course consists of a selection of six topics and a large project, or eight topics and a minor project. To this selection is added a compulsory module in project management and corporate communications, and a portfolio of practical assignments.
The course work comprises the advanced treatment of an approved selection from the following list of topics (not all topics are offered in every calendar year): Distributed multimedia; Java programming for multimedia; computer graphics and virtual reality; networks and data communications; distributed and parallel processing; security and cryptology; computer audio engineering; computer based education; artificial intelligence; human computer interfaces; telecommunications; advanced computer architecture; microcomputer hardware and interfacing; operating system design; systems analysis and design methodologies; functional programming; real-time programming; data abstraction; modelling; formal aspects of computer science; bioinformatics. At the discretion of the Head of Department, the course may include topics from Electronics, Information Systems, Pure and Applied Mathematics, Mathematical Statistics, or any other disciplines approved by the Head of Department.
MSc degree in Applied Computer Science *
* This degree is not offered at present.
This is a one-year course open to candidates holding the BSc (Honours) degree, or its equivalent. Applications may be considered from candidates holding the BSc degree who have a minimum of three years relevant experience.
The degree is taken by a combination of seminars, essays, practical work and projects. A dissertation on a topic selected in consultation with the course leader must be submitted before the appointed date in January of the year following the course.
The course is designed to cover areas of practical application in the computer industry. Visits to installations using particular applications and in-house courses by visiting experts in the application areas form an integral part of the course.
Approximately 15 weeks are devoted to seminars, course work and on-site investigations. The remainder of the year is devoted to the dissertation.
Postgraduate Diploma in Computer Science (DipC&IS(PG)) *
* This Diploma is not currently offered
The Department offers a one-year Postgraduate Diploma in Computer Science, which is open to candidates transferring from other tertiary institutions who wish to undertake postgraduate study at Rhodes University. Such candidates should have an initial degree in Computer Science, Information Systems, or in a subject with a similar course content, but for which the degree structure is substantially different from the requirement for normal entry into the Honours programme at Rhodes University (for example, students from Technikons holding Bachelor of Technology degrees). The course comprises selected topics from the senior undergraduate and Honours programme, and is tailored towards individual candidates' previous experience and interests. Further details are available from the Head of Department on request.