Computer Laboratory

Understanding the short form Computer Science timetable

The short form of the Computer Science timetable is very clever but can also be difficult for a novice to read. The cleverness comes from managing to squeeze all the timetable information onto a single sheet of paper. The difficulty comes because all the information is squeezed onto a single sheet of paper.

Each term's timetable is divided into the different time slots: 09.00-10.00, 10.00-11.00, 11.00-12.00, and so on. Within each time slot, all of the lectures that occur at that time are listed. Each course is given a separate line. The name of the course is given at the right hand end of the line. The lecturer's initials appear immediately before the course name. A plus sign (+) after the initials means that more than one person lectures on this course.

Your first task is to work out which lines refer to the courses that you are taking. This is encoded in the first set of letters on each line. Each letter refers to a different group of students. The letters are:

NPart IA Computer Science student
MNST Part IA or PPS Part I student taking Computer Science (Paper 1 only)
PPart IB
QPart II

Having worked out which courses you are doing (use a highlighter pen) you need to know where the courses are held. This is the next letter across, and there is a good key at the bottom of the timetable. If you don't know where a room is then you'll need to ask someone. The middle part of the page shows the days on which the lectures take place. At the top of the page are the dates of the Mondays of each of the weeks. The two dashes (--) show the weekend (Saturday and Sunday). By a tedious process of counting squares across you can work out the days on which you need to turn up. The letter that is used to mark a lecture is the initial letter of the lecturer's surname.

An example:

         --13Oct--20Oct--27Oct--3 Nov--10Nov--17Nov--24Nov--1 Dec
10.00-11.00
MN   A   --P P P--P P P--P P P--P P P--P P P--     --     --    LCP FoundsCS

After a little effort we can work out that the Foundations of Computer Science (FoundsCS) course is given by Professor Larry Paulson (LCP) to Part IA CST students (N) and to Part IA NST or Part I PPS students taking Paper 1 only (M). It takes place in Room A of the Arts School (A). Lectures are from 10.00 to 11.00 and take place on 13, 15, 17, 20, 22, 24, 27, 29, 31 October and 3, 5, 7, 10, 12, 14 November.

In the case of the afternoon classes, it is often not possible to tell what time these will start and finish from the short form timetable. For these, the full timetables should be consulted.