Computer Laboratory

Warning: these pages are currently being updated for 2015–16

Advice for students at MIT taking Part IB CST


Students proposing to spend a year at Cambridge should have taken the following courses in their first two years at MIT:

The following Cambridge material is also relevant:

  • Read the syllabus for Part IA (the first year) of the Computer Science Tripos.
  • Look at some recent examination papers on the material.
    Papers 1 & 2 are taken by first-year students; incoming students should be able to answer the questions on Digital Electronics, Discrete Mathematics I & II, Operating Systems, Algorithms, Probability, Object-oriented Programming with Java, and Regular Languages & Finite Automata. It should also be possible to understand the questions on Foundations of Computer Science even if the syntax of ML is unclear.
    Papers 3, 4, 5 & 6 are taken by second-year students; it would be interesting to know if any of the questions look too obvious.
  • Work through the self-service Java course taken by first-year students at Cambridge.
  • Complete Workbook 0 for the Further Java course before arriving in October.

The course Web pages change for the new year over the Summer, so it may be necessary to check the material for a previous year if no details are available for the current year.

The Cambridge course

Visiting MIT students take the whole of Part IB (the second year) of the Computer Science Tripos. Some of the material may already be familiar, in which case students can skip the lectures but they will still have to take the full set of four examinations at the end of the year. Some questions will just be easier than others. All students undertake assessed practical work including a group project in the Lent (Spring) Term.

For details, see:

It is also possible to take courses other than the simple second-year Part IB Tripos. In particular, it might be possible to take some Part II (third year) courses in place of any Part IB courses being skipped. However, the full set of examinations for Part IB will still be taken and further credit for the additional courses given on the basis of supervision reports.

Part IB includes some lectures on Economics and Law that can count towards the HASS requirement at MIT, but MIT students should have secured adequate HASS credit for their degrees before coming to Cambridge. Students who are particularly well organised and energetic can take a foreign language course in the Department of Engineering at Cambridge. MIT will assign 12 units of HASS credit for this, but the work load is considerable. It is not sensible to study a second subject while taking the Computer Science Tripos at Cambridge.

Small group teaching in Cambridge is given at supervisions. Each college has a Director of Studies who will explain the details.


Information about individual colleges can be found through their Web sites. Their locations are shown on the University's on-line map of Cambridge. The Computer Laboratory is shown by the red pin on the University map or the marker on Google maps.