back to main page — COMP 526 Applied Algorithmics

This is an archived version of this module from Spring 2020.
Click here for the current iteration.


The main objective of the prior-knowledge survey was for me to get a better picture of strengths and weaknesses of the audience – so that I can adapt my teaching to it – but also to expose the heterogeneity of the group to all students. In that sense, it was a diagnostic assessment.

To encourage honest answers, including “I don’t know”, the survey was anonymous.


Here are the questions posed in the survey.

They test a broad range of math and programming skills, as well as some more general computer-science knowledge. It is important to stress that the questions were not chosen to reflect necessary prerequisites for this module, but rather to be indicative for a broad range of topics. Some questions are also purposefully tough.

As a consequence, not being able to answer all questions is not at all a reason to be worried about COMP526. (Make sure you do not to fall behind on material and coursework, and do get in touch in case of problems.)

I also included a quick question on why students chose the module, and whether they are planning to do a PhD.

Most students finished the questions after 20-30 min.


The tallies of answers are available here.