UWA Handbook 2017

Unit details

CITS1401 Problem Solving and Programming

Credit 6 points
  Offering
(see Timetable)
AvailabilityLocationMode
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 1 core unit in the Data Science major sequence
  • Category B broadening unit for Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Design students
  • Level 1 elective
Content Problem solving is a key intellectual activity. Computer technology has become an important tool to help solve problems in a wide range of disciplines, from the natural sciences, engineering and mathematics to business, architecture, the social sciences and medicine. The strength of computer technology is that it can be programmed to perform nearly any task. While effective programs are available for many kinds of tasks, each program can only perform the tasks anticipated when it was designed. Thus to fully utilise the potential of computer technology, it is necessary to build programs that are specifically designed to solve a particular problem. Students taking this unit learn to solve problems via programming, with a focus on building small programs for specialised tasks. The unit is organised around a number of problems that the students solve as the unit progresses. Many of the problems have a focus on data, and require tasks such as data retrieval, extraction, conversion, aggregation, cross referencing, filtering, calculation, processing and storage. Other problems involve techniques such as search, enumeration, backtracking and 'divide and conquer'. To implement solutions, students learn the fundamentals of programming using a high-level programming language. In addition to solving particular problems, the unit includes a focus on the problem-solving process itself including problem definition, analysis, generalisation, decomposition into sub-problems, reduction to previously solved problems and evaluation of solutions.
Outcomes Students are able to (1) solve many kinds of problems using programming as a primary tool; (2) write programs using a high-level programming language, including programs for data retrieval, extraction, conversion, aggregation, calculation, processing and storage; and (3) demonstrate a generic understanding of problem solving as a process and be familiar with common approaches for problem solving.
Assessment Typically this unit is assessed in the following ways: (1) a mid-semester test; (2) projects; and (3) a final examination. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit except in the case of a bachelor's pass degree student who has obtained a mark of 45 to 49 overall and is currently enrolled in this unit, and it is the only remaining unit that the student must pass in order to complete their course.
Unit Coordinator(s) Associate Professor Michael Wise
Unit rules
Prerequisites: Mathematics Applications ATAR or WACE Mathematics 2C/2D or MATH1720 Mathematics Fundamentals or equivalent or higher
Contact hours lectures: 2 hours per week; labs: 3 hours per week; workshop: 1 hour per week
Unit OutlineSemester 1 : http://www.unitoutlines.ecm.uwa.edu.au/Units/CITS1401/SEM-1/2017
Semester 2 : http://www.unitoutlines.ecm.uwa.edu.au/Units/CITS1401/SEM-2/2017

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