COMP SCI 3013 - Event Driven Computing

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2015

Event driven paradigm: Finite State Automata, their behaviour and implementation. Correspondence with regular expressions. Examples of embedded systems. Introduction to interconnected state machines, Petri Nets, and concurrency. Concepts of state-space and relationship to testing. Building Graphical User Interfaces: model view controller paradigm. Building GUIs with the Java Swing library. Ease of use and human-computer interaction issues. Introduction to design patterns for managing complexity in large systems Practical projects cover the use of FSAs for control logic and GUI design.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code COMP SCI 3013
    Course Event Driven Computing
    Coordinating Unit Computer Science
    Term Semester 2
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 2.5 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites One of COMP SCI 1007, COMP SCI 1009, COMP SCI 1103, COMP SCI 1203, COMP SCI 2103 or COMP SCI 2202
    Assumed Knowledge COMP SCI 2006
    Assessment written exam, assignments
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Nickolas Falkner

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

    You can find the schedule of lecture topics on the course webpage:
  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    The course provides an introduction to finites state machines, and the event-driven programming paradigm.
    Upon completion of this course you will be able to:
    1. Describe the different ways a finite-state machine can be represented;
    2. Explain how a finite state machine recognises an input string;
    3. Explain how a non-deterministic finite state machine works;
    4. Explain the behaviour of regular expressions;
    5. Translate a regular expression into a corresponding finite-state machine;
    6. Build GUI-based software systems;
    7. Explain a few basic design-patterns, and know when to apply them.
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Knowledge and understanding of the content and techniques of a chosen discipline at advanced levels that are internationally recognised. 1,2,3,4,5,7
    The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 1,2,3,4,5,6,7
    An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 1,2,3,4,5,6,7
    A proficiency in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies. 6
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    There is no required text-book.  
    Comprehensive lecture notes are available for most parts of the course.

    Recommended Resources
    You can perform all the exercise work required for the course in the University computer Labs.
    The programming language used is Java, which is similar to C++ (but with most of the disgustingness removed...)
    However, if you want to be able to work at home, you could consider installing Java on your own system.
    For more information, go to the Java website --- simply Google "Java".

    Online Learning
    You can find the general information about this course at

    Specific information about this year's offering can be found under the heading "current offerings" near the top of the page.  Links to lecture-recordings, examples, exercises, and tutorials will be posted on this page.

  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    The course will be taught with lecture/demonstration sessions.
    There will also be tutorial classes, and practical exercises.
    You are expected to attend the lectures and take part in the activities, and attempt tutorial questions before the scheduled tutorial session.

    All lectures will be recorded, but things can go wrong --- equipment failure, lecturer failure, etc.
    It is unwise to rely on the recordings as your only source of the lectures.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    You are expected to attend all scheduled lecture classes (2hrs per week).
    In addition to the schedule contact hours, you are expected to spend an additional 2-4 hours per week after each lecture to consolidate your understanding of it.
    You will need to allocate up to 5 hours per week to work on the assignments and tutorials.
    Learning Activities Summary
    There is an approximate schedule of the topics that will be covered on the course website.
    The exact timing will depend on the times of public holidays and other eventualities.
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    The assessment will comprise two parts:
    Three programming exercises (10%+10%+10%); and
    A final exam (70%).

    Assessment Detail
    All practical assignments require you to write programs, which will be marked by an automatic testing script.
    You are strongly encouraged to begin the exercises early, to allow time for seeking help when needed.

    You will find that the marking script is aggessively hostile --- it will seek to break your program.

    To encourage you to test your own program,  access to the tester will be limited to only three test runs.
    The first test run will occur on the due date for the execise, and the subsequent two runs will be at about 4-day intervals afterwards.

    The test script does not tell you exactly what is being tested, and may provide little or no information that is useful in finding errors. 
    If you submit your exercise at the last minute, and hope to use the automated tester to help you debug your program, you will be seriously disappointed.

    You should build your program in small stages, and test it thoroughly.

    The testing regime is like this because, you will most likely soon graduate, after which there will be no more automatic testers available --- you will need to learn how to test, and write you own testers.
    All practical assignments must be submitted using the School of Computer Science online Submission System.
    Details are included in each assignment description on the course website.
    At the time of submission, some elementary tests will be run to ensure that your program is fundamentally OK.  
    If you fail any of the handin tests, you will likely fail almost all of the real tests...

    If you hand in your work late, you will miss the test-runs, and deprive yourself of vital evidence that might help you debug your program.

    Start early, test often!
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

    You can find the latest SELT survey results on the course website, here:

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.