November 17, 2009

Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering
Minutes of the Departmental Meeting on November 17, 2009.

Present: B. Boulet, C. Brown, P. Caines, C. Champness, L. Chen, M. Coates, D. Davies, F. Galiana, F. Labeau, O. Liboiron-Ladouceur, D. Lowther, Z. Mi, D. Plant, M. Rabbat, G. Roberts, M. Rochette, R. Rose, I. Shih, M. Vu, J. Webb.

Regrets: K. Fraser, A. Hamoui, G. Joos, A. Kirk.

The meeting was called to order at 3:10 pm.

1. Adoption of the Agenda:

D. Plant asked if there were any additions to the agenda. B. Boulet, seconded by F. Galiana. Carried.

2. Adoption of the Minutes (September 29, 2009):

No changes. D. Lowther, seconded by M. Rochette. Carried.

3. Remarks from the Chair: ECE Departmental Meeting Briefing Notes – November 17, 2009:

D. Plant announced that we are starting to mobilize for the upcoming accreditation visit scheduled for fall, 2010. There have been significant rule changes that Lawrence will detail later in the meeting. In anticipation of the visit and in order to address the rules changes, I have stuck an Accreditation Task Force to be co-led by Benoit Boulet and Lawrence Chen in their capacities as Chair of the Teaching Assignments and Teaching Loads Committee and Chair of the Curriculum Committee, respectively. It is not clear at this time what the consequences of the new rules mean for us as a department, but I will keep you apprised. I will say this: our four programs are currently accredited, as status I intend to maintain. Licensure remains the key sticking point, something we will be addressing aggressively in the coming weeks and months. As Chair and on behalf of the leadership team of Associate Chairs, Directors, and Committee Chairs, this issue is now our top priority.

Please advise Debbie if you are home with the H1N1 flu. The university is taking anonymous statistics.

Please submit to Anas Hamoui your e-mail me their comments on the schedule from simulation 4 and their teaching availability/constraint form.

D. Lowther is a Faculty Representative on the Dean’s Selection Committee. Please send him any comments or feedback that you may have.

Don’t forget the Department Holiday Party scheduled for December 17th starting at 4:00. Funds raised will go to Sun Youth.

Please allow me to take this opportunity to wish everyone an enjoyable and restful holiday.

4. Graduate Admission Data

M. Coates presented slides to the department on statistics for Graduate Admissions. He commented that the number of graduate applications for the 2009/2010 academic year were approximately the same as the previous two years, but the number of students that eventually registered increased significantly. Much of this increase was due to an increased enrolment of PhD students, with a substantial increase occurring in the number of incoming Canadian PhD students.

5. Report of the Curriculum Committee:

1. Housekeeping Items:

a. Honours EE program

Action: Remove the equivalence between MATH 248 and MATH 264

Rationale: There have been recent changes to the engineering math courses and MATH 248 and MATH 264 no longer cover the same topics. In particular, MATH 264 covers an introduction to partial differential equations which is not covered in MATH 248.

Motion to accept the changes: B. Boulet seconded Unanimous.

b. ECSE 429 Software Validation

Action: Change the pre-requisites from ECSE 321 Introduction to Software Engineering to ECSE 321 or COMP 303 Software Development

Rationale: The CS department has restructured their SE program and students will no longer take ECSE 321. However, they will still take ECSE 429. The instructors of ECSE 321 deemed that COMP 303 is equivalent to ECSE 321 and the instructor of ECSE 429 has agreed that either ECSE 321 or COMP 303 is sufficient background to take ECSE 429.

Motion to accept the changes: B. Boulet seconded Unanimous.

c. Bachelor of Software Engineering program

Action: Replace COMP 361 Systems Development Project with ECSE 211 Design Principles and Methods

Rationale: The CS department has restructured their SE program and COMP 361 is being changed to a 6 credit course. Students in the BSE program take COMP 361 and as such, the program credit count would increase by 3 credits. Instead, we are proposing to replace COMP 361 with a suitable ECSE course. ECSE 211 will provide BSE students with an early introduction to engineering design. Software Engineering also forms a good part of ECSE 211. Finally, ECSE 211 will strengthen the BSE program from a CEAB accreditation perspective: the course is based on 30 AU’s of Engineering Design, all of which count (COMP 361 only counts for 9 AU’s, none of which count).

B. Boulet commented that it is important to think this through since we need to gain AU’s, that Prof. Robillard, who teaches the course, is licensed and 211 is more an introduction than 361 which is more advanced. J. Webb stated that he thinks it is a mistake to go with 361 since we can’t control Computer Science, early design is missing experience and there will be some loss but not so dramatic.

L. Chen requests that everyone should please think about this and return feedback to him.

2. Preparation for CEAB visits next fall:

L. Chen explains that with the CEAB’s next visit there will be bean counting and will they will review us more like US schools. He suggests that we be proactive and put a plan of action in place. The Teaching and Learning Committee for the Faculty level have a plan but the department should have their own. Perhaps we can have surveys of students that have left the programs and we should have mapping.

After much discussion it was decided that consistency is the key. L. Chen also stated that if you are a junior engineers for more than 5 years without a license, you won’t count. B. Boulet stated that it is imperative to review this licensing issue again and encourage new professors to obtain their licenses. D. Plant stated that we now need to get licenses. G. Roberts mentioned that this has an impact on the way the department hires.

3. Other Business:

D. Plant asked for any items for other business. None.

4. Adjournment:

D. Plant asked for a motion to close the meeting. Motion to adjourn: G. Roberts at 4:40 pm. Carried.

D. Davies, Secretary