CS 9622 - Fall 2017 : Course Outline for Computer Science 9622a: Nonfunctional Software Requirements: Safety, Accessibility, and Sustainability


2017 – 2018 Academic Year

  1. Course Information:
    • Course Calendar
      • 11 Sept 2017: First Class Meeting
      • 2 Oct 2017: Proposal for In Depth work due
      • 9 Oct 2017: Canadian Thanksgiving Holiday https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thanksgiving (this is also Undergraduate Fall Reading week)
      • 16 Oct 2017: First Progress Report due
      • 30 Oct 2017: Second Progress Report due
      • 13 Nov 2017: Third Progress Report due
      • 4 Dec 2017: Writeup due
      • 4 Dec 2017: Presentation/Demo due (note: if necessary, presentations will continue into the following weeks until done)
      • 8 Dec 2017: last day of undergraduate Fall semester before final exams
    • Room and Time:
      • Middlesex College – MC 300; Monday,  2:30 – 5:30
    • Requirements:
      • This course does not require any particular programming skills in any particular language or on any particular operating system.  Of course the more experience you have with developing computer systems, the more accessible some aspects of the course content will be.
      • The target audience for the course is graduate students who are interested in how requirements like safety, accessibility, and sustainability impact the specification, design, implementation, and testing of software systems.  Safety arises in the context of medical devices as well as various automated transport systems (elevators, cars, subways, trains, planes).  As we increasingly create a society where people have to interact with various automated systems, we need to be concerned about whether these systems could cause personal harm.  W3C's Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) are legal requirements for public organization web sites in many regions (including Ontario).  More generally, there is the question of how to design a computer system that is not implicitly biased in favour of one portion of the population over another.  In automating the infrastructure of society, the relation between society and the environment becomes more clear and issues of the sustainability of that relationship can be more clearly addressed.
      • The course's primary website is CS 9622 - Fall 2017 Home (https://wiki.csd.uwo.ca/display/CS96222017/CS+9622+-+Fall+2017+Home) which provides a wiki for collecting material relevant to the course discussion.  As a fall back position, if there are problems with the wiki, information regarding the course will be provided at http://www.csd.uwo.ca/~webber/CS9622/ .  The material discussed in class (and the source for the exam questions) will be freely available through the wiki (in conjunction with UWO's digital library subscriptions).
    • Senate regulation: Unless you have either the requisites for this course or written special permission from your Dean to enroll in it, you may be removed from this course and it will be deleted from your record. This decision may not be appealed. You will receive no adjustment to your fees in the event that you are dropped from a course for failing to have the necessary prerequisites
    • note: As a computer scientist, you should recognize the above as a case of patching flawed software (in this case the registrar's online enrollment software) with `blame the user' policies. Hopefully you will never do anything like that in your future undertakings.
  2. Instructor information: Robert E. Webber, MC384, webber@csd.uwo.ca (include course number in subject line), office hours on course announcements page (I am usually available immediately after class). 
  3. Course Syllabus
  4. Course Materials
    • The course material will be accessible through the digital subscriptions of the campus library system.  It will primarily consist of published papers, but also video talks of interest.
    • Course web page: The course web page can be found ?. On it are links to this course outline and a frequently updated page of announcements relating to the course. Marking is done on the assumption that people check the announcements page of the course web page on a regular basis (in particular, the day before anything is due). Once Atlassian accounts have been set up for everyone who added the class by the add date, the course announcements will move to ?
  5. Methods of Evaluation
    • Exam: There will be an exam worth 20% of the course mark.  The purpose of the exam will be to ensure that people have a basic understanding of the vocabulary of the course and the major quotations from the readings.  A collection of short-answer questions (and accompanying answers) will be made available to the class that address these matters.  The actual exam will be a random sampling of 50 questions from the provided collection.  Two hours will be available to complete the exam in.  Makeup exams will be generated from the same collection using a different random number generator.
    • In Depth Study:  The remaining 80% of the course mark relates to individual activities undertaken to get an in depth understanding of some aspect of the area of nonfunctional requirements.  There are a number of approaches one could take to this, the two most obvious are a) to undertake a literature review of some issue in the area of nonfunctional requirements and b) to undertake a programming project with particular focus on the management of some nonfunctional requirement.  Both approaches can be seen as involving four stages: 1) a proposal of what is to be undertaken (5%); 2) the undertaking (with progress reports (3 progress reports, 5% each)); 3) the writeup of the undertaking (50%); and 4) the presentation/demo of the undertaking (10%).
  6. Additional Statements
    • Statement on Use of Electronic Devices: The exam will be closed book, closed notes, with no electronic devices allowed, with particular reference to any electronic devices that are capable of communication and/or storing information.
    • Statement on Use of Personal Response Systems: Clickers will not be used in this class as it is nearly impossible to use them and protect student privacy, as any Computer Scientist should know.
    • Statement on Academic Offenses: Scholastic offenses are taken seriously and students are directed to read the appropriate policy, specifically, the definition of what constitutes a Scholastic Offence, at the following Web site:http://www.uwo.ca/univsec/academic_policies/appeals/scholastic_discipline_undergrad.pdf
    • Statement on Academic Offenses (graduate version): Scholastic offenses are taken seriously and students are directed to read the appropriate policy, specifically, the definition of what constitutes a Scholastic Offence, at the following Web site:http://www.uwo.ca/univsec/pdf/academic_policies/appeals/scholastic_discipline_grad.pdf
    • Regarding Plagiarism-Checking Software: Such software will not be used in this class as it is nearly impossible to use them and protect student privacy, as any Computer Scientist should know. In the case of both material handed in and tests and/or exams, any plagiarism checking will be done the old fashioned way, by a person looking at the material in question.
    • Senate regulation: Students who are in emotional/ mental distress should refer to Mental Health @ Western http://www.uwo.ca/uwocom/mentalhealth/
    • Senate regulation: For UWO Policy on Accommodation for Medical Illness and a downloadable SMC see:http://www.uwo.ca/univsec/pdf/academic_policies/appeals/accommodation_medical.pdf [downloadable Student Medical Certificate (SMC): https://studentservices.uwo.ca/ under the Medical Documentation Heading] Students seeking academic accommodation on medical grounds for any missed tests, exams, participation components and/or assignments worth 10% or more of their final grade must apply to the Academic Counselling office of their home Faculty and provide documentation. Academic accommodation cannot be granted by the instructor or department.
    • Department specific information

  7. Specification for this document