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DISCS Planning Kick-Off Meeting, March 26, 2003
Issues / Plans
New Chair: Didith Rodrigo
Research Program
Curriculum Review
Some ideas
The Plan
Dialogue about Visual Basic
CS Hour
What to do
Before BM1
Big Meeting #1
Note on new personnel
Tasks and Grouping
After Big Meeting #1
Big Meeting #2:
Industry scan
Curriculum review: Dr. Sarmenta



You can e-mail me at sacha@sachachua.com for a copy of cc2001.pdf .


You can e-mail me at sacha@sachachua.com for a copy of journal.pdf .


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Cross-reference: 2003.03.30:8

DISCS Planning Kick-Off Meeting, March 26, 2003

Issues / Plans

New Chair: Didith Rodrigo
Research Program

Goal: create more structure in our research

Proposal: form "research groups"

"Hard to actually come up with a formal research group, unlike in the US where research groups are composed of several faculty and students and they actually get grants and funding. We don't necessarily have that, but we can at least form research groups. Take a look at the LCS website. You can see that they have general topics, and then under these are particular groups. If you go to their group website, you'll see that typically the group website is divided into people, publications and projects. Directory. Different projects. It's kind of a loosely formed group, and maybe that's something we can do for now. My idea is basically, I want to be able to - well - organize our webpage and say in Ateneo we have these research groups, and list the faculty, students, theses and ongoing projects. This can be a loosely organized group. It doesn't have to be a focused group. For example, you can list all the multimedia stuff together. At least a semblance of structure. Eventually, when you have these groups, then people can talk to each other. They know what different people are working on. We're hoping that more people will be encouraged."
example: MIT's LCS
many different research groups
each group's website usually follows the format - faculty, students, projects, publications
faculty do not necessarily have to be working directly with each other
need to push students and faculty to publish
research directory?

Proposed groups

Now that we have the groups, maybe someone in that group can take care of collecting projects and fixing the web page

Curriculum Review


ACM 2001 - look at page 17 to 21, list of body of knowledge. Page 20, 21 - example of how you can do a curriculum. Different approaches.

New things in ACM Curriculum 2001

New Topics I think We _Should_ Integrate

web-centric computing
web front-end programming, web services

enterprise computing

you probably have to deal with enterprise systems, and I don't know what you need in order to be able to do that. We should think about that.
distributed systems (incl. WAN systems and clustered systems) beyond what we teach in CS21B and think about that. I don't know if we need to add another class where they do distributed computing. Required class perhaps for enterprise computing?
database-backed web-based systems (incl. JDBC, .NET, etc)
B2B, B2C
Data mining, data warehousing, etc. Mentioned in MIS101. All Doc Luis's batchmates are doing Oracle data warehousing. Something to look into.
(note: this may also be relevant for e-learning). I think e-learning is still a specific thing for now. Knowledge management.
Didith: Our interests are dovetailing because they mix strong capabilities in certain areas. We should work again on the core CS competencies and reinforce them. So many of our efforts have focused on our interests and bahala na yung core subjects. I think it's a good idea to go back to our core subjects. I don't quite know how to deal with the research subjects. If it's just to fill the 3 units, why don't you get something else? Unless you see yourself as practicing, it's not going to be relevant to you. They seem to cater to a very specific crowd, and I don't know. It needs to be rethought.
Luis: Maybe we can think about generalizing what you learn... Instead of e-learning, think of knowledge management.
Need to rethink for the undergrads. While it's nice that the classes are filled, you can see that they're only taking it for the credits...
Luis: ACM, number of hours per topic. You dedicate one or two lectures on this topic and put it in some class. We might be able to put e-learning as a required topic in some other class.
Didith: Even the multimedia... fine, we have the intro to multimedia class. Some people are looking for something more advanced. Computation. They want to get into compression and rendering algorithms. (Mention of Eric Vidal). There seems to be interest in more advanced multimedia topics. Niches? Development of simulations. Simulations are not necessarily for learning. It can be offered as an elective. Discussed under CAI, but lip service. Simulation can be a subject in itself. For example, scientific.
Fr. Nebres. Thrust toward computational science.

mis buzzwords

crm, scm, cmm
advanced topics elective in MIS

open source

including methodologies and tools such as CVS, etc.
CS161, CS23 - maybe some things on methodology


to what extent do we integrate it into our curriculum?

quality assurance suggested by Ariel

any others?

doesn't have to be a separate subject. Could just be a quick lecture.

Bong: One person should do an industry scan. Luis: We need to involve alumni. Self-survey. We haven't been involving alumni directly into our curriculum reviews for the past few times. I think maybe one person or a small group of people can be in charge of doing the industry scan, and everyone else is welcome to contribute. Point person for that. We'll assign tasks later.

Didith: Suggestion. Consult with our mentors and advisors from the different schools so that we can get their perspective. Didith will do it. Pierre also, from his position.

Some ideas
design patterns
RMI and/or servlets
discuss clustering
introduce data mining, data warehousing, etc.
Feedback: we should discuss performance and ways to improve it, like clustering and stuff.
Ariel: Nagging problem. Time constraint. This sem we weren't able to discuss JDBC because of time constraints. Nagging problem, explored in the last curriculum review. Solution proposed, two semesters?
JPV: clarifying curriculum review direction. need a process for making key decisions.
Luis: Topics *:* course
suggestion for CS, CS161+CS23 -> CS162a&b
Luis: Was talking to William. Kind of a mess this year. I think we should split the MIS and the CS again.
Ariel: Ayoko na!
CS112: Programming Languages
XML, Perl, LaTeX, Python, make your own language, etc.
New course. Structure of programming languages.
Intent: Compiler theory. Part of automata.
JPV: Sequencing is important. Problem of irreconcilable groups.
Luis: Try to map out what we have right now by the hour.
(Note. Doc Luis flunked the programming part of the MIT diagnostic thing because it was in Scheme.)
Design patterns
Web services
Enterprise systems

These are just a few random ideas

The Plan
Dialogue about Visual Basic
CS Hour
What to do
Before BM1

Deliverable by 1 week before Big Meeting #1

Big Meeting #1
Last weekend of April (26-27)
Hotel in Manila?
What do we do?
Present deliverables :: Include outside faculty and alumni
Rough curricula - coarse grouping of topics - CS, MIS, Grad :: Clustering of electives - Suggest minors? :: Agenda for BM #2
In charge of organizing
Didith - Ortigas Center
Note on new personnel

New teachers: Albert, Edwin, Jon, Sacha, Stanley (part-time)

(Note: Marivi is leaving on April 1st to study. Grace will replace her. Has been working for the Registrar's office for 2 years.)

Tasks and Grouping
CS130Doc Mana
CS112Doc Mana
Grad programReena
MIS141 (SOM)Bong
MIS151 (SOM)Bong
MIS ElectivesBong

Note: Service courses. CS30, multimedia.

After Big Meeting #1
Big Meeting #2:
Last Saturday of May (31)
What do we do?
Present Deliverables
Validated curriculum
Todo list

Need to propose items for the agenda.

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3. Meeting on April 26, 2003

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Dr. Sarmenta still isn't here, so...

9:19. We begin.

Dr. Rodrigo: No touchy feely stuff so we're just going to jump right

in. Luis is not yet here, so what Toby was suggesting was that we'll just start with a look at the various subcultures at the department and our research interestes. Perhaps we can begin with a few words from our dean.

Dr. Dayrit: Good morning. Well I'm glad that DISCS is undertaking the planning meeting. Just for the info of everyone, each of the departments was given the option to do their own planning meeting. In fact chem, bio, ES, math, ECE, Physics... you're the last group in the school. The planning meeting is really all about.. when you make juice and you leave it for a while, the flavor settles at the bottom. The planning meeting is all about stirring up the juice and making it taste better. After this the cahirs will have a planning meeting, so we'll do it at all the levels. I just have a few words I have prepared, and then maybe you can do an open forum if you want to ask questions. The first thing I'd like to talk about is the department itself, and here I'm referring to culture and culture management. I guess it's something that many groups take for granted. What makes Ateneo different from other schools? The culture. What makes DISCS unique? The culture of DISCS in relation to other departments and other schools. Might not be into that business, but that's how people work together. Likes, dislikes, priorities... Two departments that have a fairly well-established culture. Chem: in the case of chem, you can see that for the longest time (15 or 20 years) there have been 4 prominent personalities: Schmitt, Kapawan, Chua and Javellana. Those four people, when they came in, I took my chem 1971, they were there. When I returned, they were still there. They didn't start passing away until 96 or so. THey're very strong - maybe to a fault - but they really took pains to establish the practices and ways of doing things and very important was mentoring, the way they took care of younger faculty and students. That's one example of a group - certainly you need people who are senior within the group to take care of the culture and the set it. The other department would be Math. What happened there was that long ago, the seniors were Dr. Manalastas, Dr. Marasigan, Mari-jo Ruiz, Quimpo, but now that they're moving along, they also have to build up the next line. They have a number of next line faculty who are ready to take up the responsibilities. I guess I'm mentioning this because although we don't recognize it in many departments, we should be aware that there is such a thing. In the case of DISCS - because most of the computer programmers are young and the turnovr is fairly high - (entrance of DocV: eto, isa pang bata 'to) the models of Chem and maMath might not be appropriate, but the need is there. You need culture-bearers. It's useful for everyone to be aware of this, and perhaps the senior faculty will be more aware of their role. What we really need is mentoring, and for everyone - we're really trying to develop the practice of mentoring. The other thing that is unique about DISCS is that you have two main programs. WHile both are about computers, the backgrounds are not the same. Both ahve their own demands professionally as well in terms of research. I don't know all the details about how you plan to differentiate between CS and MIS, but that's for the group to talk about. I don't think it's a matter of separating them, but knowing what the expectations are for people who are dedicating themselves to either field. Obviously the ways the fields move are different. The other thing about DISCS is that we should have people interact more with each other. We're working on some interdisciplinary projects, so it's important for the DISCS faculty to be involved with the other departments. Priority setting. DISCS and ECCE are both pulled in many directions. What would be important for the group (you've heard the analogy of big rocks and little rocks? If you had a container and you had different-sized rocks, you put the big ones first, that's basically what priority-setting is about.) Personally, what are your big rocks? You put in the others after you have put in the big rocks. What are the big rocks for the group? THe goalds and projects that are most important for the success of the group? After you have put that, you can put the smaller rocks in. I think that's very important, because you have many rocks to put in. After having done that or while you are doing that, you should set clear and verifiable goals. Tendency is that you make attractive-sounding goals, but you don't say how to find out if you are moving in that direction. Say you want to be the leader in HPC, but what are the achievables? It also means that those should be strategic, since there are so many things that attract your attention. You need to identify the most important ones and which ones you can let go. Note about the AMA advertisement. You're not in the same marketa s AMA, but you also have to project your own personality. FInally, I'd just like to mention some of the priorities which we'd like to do in the school. Plan to put up compuational sciences program. We've been discussing this for a few months now. Last summer's workshop among the faculty on computer science - the problem with most of the faculty, especially (not counting Phuysics and ECCE), most faculty are experimental. They got their degrees through experimental work. Not much background in computational stuff. For computational sciences to work, the three components that you need are an upgraded or appropriate background in math, the computer science part, and the discipline. If we're going to make computational science work, we need those three things. Maybe a double-degree, the way ChemCE and PhysicsCE are organized? First degree would be in any of the sciences, and the second would be in computational science. Example. One possibility. The other possibility is that if they already have the appropriate background, we develop a masters or PhD program in computational science. Question from Dr. Rodrigo. Modeling, high performance computing. For example: weather modeling, modeling materials, pollution.. using computer tools with the appropriate mathematical theorems to come up with the model. The two possibilities there are dualdegree program or, if they have a strong BS degree already, do a master's in computational science. Fr. Ben mentioned a few months ago when we talked that in terms of capabilities and maximizing our resources then that's a good way to dgo. Related to the computational science thrust is, of course, facilities. We have to fix and upgrade beowulf and bayanihan. We already have a handle on these two resources, but we need to get them to work and people to use them. And of course you all know about the Java wireless center. Luis has already signed a MOA about it. The other big activity of the DISCS group could be the e-learning stuff. These three big things are enabling centers, because other departments can use them and you can use them for your own purposes. So that's a big chunk of work. The other thing that I7d like to discuss with you is... when you go to school, the basic skills that are taughts are languages and math. That's for general education. AS for science, it's been math. So everyone takes math. But I think that we should make computer languages standard for everyone. Computer literacy - raising the level. I think we should raise the bar a bit higher. Knowledge in Linux? discipline-specific? upgrading the comkputer skills of both students and faculty is something we shoudl cosnider. Upgrading students is easier, since we just add a course requirement. Harder to upgrade faculty. We want to have faculty teach other faculty and get credit for it. We can get courses where one of the faculty members teaches the course and the students are other teachers who want to learn the topic. So anywya, those are the ideas that I7ve put down, so if you have any questions or comments that II'd like to hear from you...

Question from DocV: Since you mentioned computational sciences, there was informal talk on a SoSE core... Is that going to happen in the short term? SHould we take that into consideration when we review?

It's really actually more for the other departments that do not have an explicit computer science requirement in their curriculum. Biology does not have an explicit computer science requirement. You can't just add a new course, so we have to merge it into another course - biostats?

Maybe you can give your students the option to take bio, chem or ES? It might be useful for them to have a science base. I guess the approach there would be... In a way, DISCS and Math have the same problem. The math people also have to improve their background in any of the sciences. On the experimental sciences side, it's for them to upgrade their computer and math skills, and on the computer science side... Better if we do it as a school.

DOc Mana: Are we to understand that as a matter of policy, the SoSE is requiring a common computing course for all BS degree holders? Maybe not common, because they all have different needs. At least the level of their computational training will be higher than what it is now. If they don't have the background to determine what they need, we have to help them. If the biologists don't have an idea of what their computational needs are, we'll try to look for a way to support that. It varies field to field. In ES, there isn't anyone with a strong CS background, so they'll probably need help.

DocV: "Science and engineering majors shoudl take these topics in science and at least three units in computing methods?" We might be short on science, they might be short on CS and math... Consensus of all the departments, so that the rationale is clear. Their curricula are full, so drastic changes will meet resistance.

DocV: Maybe we can call a meeting about math. . Sectioning?

DocV: IT minor? Eteves: QMIT offers IT courses for the minors, students are allowed to take subjects from DISCS. DocD: It's difficult to control. Lots of demand for IT. Program or product level. What edge does an MIS major have over someone that completes that program? Maybe that's a good way of looking at it. The bar is being raised every so often; the bar for excellence in IT. Maybe we should keep track of that so that MIS has its own personality. DocV: Nomenclature? DocM: I think that if other departments want to teach an IT course for their needs, they might be better at doing that. For example, if Physics wanted to do that... CS and IT are very new, being defined from year to year, it's a growing field. We should be tolerant so that all the other departments think they can do a better job. (<laugh>) DocV: Later on, you'll encounter issues of equivalence... More of coordination instead of turf. DocD: See how the program stay ahead of everyone. DocG: What body coordinates this? DocV: Curriculum doesn't handle the issues. THe're only beginning to hangle the issue of minors. It's not part of their explicit mandate to worry about that. DocD: Maybe you can talk to Chita. DocR: Queena chairs the committee, right? DocG: Maybe there should be agreement enforced by certain bodies in the university. DocV: Interdisciplinary courses should probably need the approval of the main department. DocM: Need automatic dialogue. DocR: Even just a protocol. If QMIT wants to ffer an IT course, maybe they should come to us first. DocT: Also, there's confusion outside. They think that expertise is in the management group or in CS, it creates a bit of confusion there. DocR: Extending that idea, we need to be very clear about what our majors are supposed to be when they graduate. Our MIS majors and our CS majors ahve the exact same entry positions. Long term we'll talk about it. What is the product we're trying to create? DocM: I think the fresh graduates are hired not because they're CS majors, but because they're Ateneo graduates. DocD: Well, I guess the other thing which we're trying to push would be the publications, and I think that if you can get your enabling centers running well, computational faciltiies, etc., the people who approach you and seek your help, if you do collaboration well, that actually increases your chances for publication without you doing everything. Later on,t that's how you build up your reputation. Maybe that's another thing we can try to work in. Priority areas of DOST - bioinformatics is one. The other would be space technology. We're not going launch any satellites, but it's more of data we can use from space technology - GPS? Anything you can gather from satellite tech. If there's anything you can mine from that... environmental quality, water, air... If you put all these together, you actually have opportunities for getting funding and publishing.

Industry scan

What we basically want to clear out is the undergraduate programs for CS and MIS. There are actually two major inputs over and above Toby's input: the ACM documents and the industry scan.

We e-mailed our graduates from CS and MIS. It was convenience sampling. We put together 5 questions - batch, position, corporation, entry-level positions for our rads, career path, skills, tech dominant next five years, implication on our curriculum. Targeted people still in the CS and MIS fields. For the CS part, a lot were already AVPs, project managers, technical managers... Many were working for consulting companies. A couple are with insurance companies. A lot were with vendors. A few from media - inq7 and some media houses that make web pages. Without exception, our graduates come in as programmers. To get in, employers are lopoking for a combination of technical and soft skills. Career path: big companies, management-oriented. Long haul, really more management oriented. To advance, need technical, but premium on soft. Java, Java, Java. Wireless. wearables. Web servies. More SAD, SE, change management, client and provider relationship management.

Doc Mana: Wireless, what do they mean?


Technical track - very vertical, takes time.

Doc Tagle: Usually, programmers who have soft skills have more avenues of progressing up the ladder. Differentiates them from those from other schools.

Curriculum review: Dr. Sarmenta

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