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ETHistory 1855-2005 | Living memory | Departments | D-INFK | Education |




Education in computer science at the ETH did not start only with the foundation of the Division for Computer Science in 1981. Long before, students from different divisions - mainly mathematicians, physicians and electric engineers - were able to attend courses in computer science. They could inscribe for computer science as a minor subject or attend more specialised courses to receive a computer science certificate. From this point of view, the computer scientists had been service or education providers for various divisions. This situation often caused difficulties and misunderstanding regarding the organisation and communication among the people concerned.

With the foundation of a separate division, the computer scientists certainly gained autonomy. On the other hand numerous additional tasks came up, most importantly the need to define and maintain a curriculum. While the structures of the basic program could be set up more or less according to related curricula, the contents of the program for more advanced semesters was a topic of discussion. The adjustments which were made during the subsequent years represent this insecurity and search for the "ideal curriculum".

A first climax of the division regarding its education activities was the issuing of diplomas in 1984, when the first twenty computer science engineers left the ETH.
At the same time, the society of computer science students (VIS) was founded, which was to become an important player in the department's commission for education as well as in the organisation of the internship, an integral part of the curriculum.

The number of students rapidly increased from the first year - the graduation program complied with a pressing need - and reached a preliminary peak at the end of the 1980s. This sharp growth in just a few years posed serious difficulties to the division. The growth of the teaching staff and the supply of infrastructure could not keep up with the student numbers.
© 2005 ETH Zurich | Credits | July 26, 2005 | !!! This document is stored in the ETH Web archive and is no longer maintained !!!