School of Computer Science
COMP00900 Foundation Year Project - Computer Science Project 2019/20
Dr A. Galata
Last updated: 28th February 2019
- Project title:
- Markup Languages and Scripting
- Time and Room:
Mondays 14:00 - 17:00 in Kilburn 1.8
The main aim of this project is to introduce you to the discipline of
Computer Science and the role of Computer Science at the University of Manchester.
The generic objectives and deliverables (ICT skills, finding information,
writing reports, making presentations, etc.) are important, but much more
important is to show you how Computer Science differs from other
disciplines, and also from some of your previous computing experiences
(e.g. using Microsoft Windows and Office, or playing computer games).
In particular, Computer Science is about creating applications, rather than
just using them, so it involves a lot of practical work. You have to be able
to analyse and research a problem, and then design, implement and validate a
solution. Usually, this means using computer languages to create or modify
programs, but it can also involve building hardware, and being aware of the
limitations of the hardware and software platforms that you are using. It
also usually involves using much more specialised and powerful tools than
Because of this, we will include some scripting i.e. simple programming, as
programming is central to the discipline of Computer Science, and it would
not be realistic to avoid it completely, despite the difficulty of doing
anything significant in the time available.
We also want you to develop your intellectual skills (e.g. to be able to
compare alternatives to select the best in a given context) and
professionalism (e.g. to be aware of the range of possible alternatives, or
at least be able to find out about them).
Formal languages play an important part in Computer Science - for example,
programming languages such as Java, Basic, Pascal, C and Python. You will be
learning programming using Java next year. For this course-unit, we want to
look at some simpler computer languages, known as "Markup Languages", such
as RTF, HTML, XML, and LaTeX.
These are not normally used to write programs, but are instead used to
describe the purpose of chunks of text - this is a section heading, that is
a paragraph, these make up a list, and so on. Various programs, such as
browsers and document processors, can then be used to convert these
marked-up texts into nicely-formatted documents for humans to read.
This project consists in the main of you finding out about and using two
different markup languages: HTML and LaTeX.
You will work in groups of 3 or 4 for most of the project.
Formally, in semester 2 you will be expected to attend in the School
Science each week to further your work and to discuss your progress with us.
This will happen during our Monday tutorial sessions in "Kilburn 1.8".
Informally, you can use the Computer Science PCs at any time, as long as you
can find a spare seat. There are three main sets of rooms you can use: the
Linux lab (LF31), the Tootill labs (LF9), and the Ground-Floor lab
(Kilburn building 39)
Activities & Tasks
Introduction to Linux (individual) -- 2 weeks.
( Linux Introduction Old Linux tutorial)
Introduction to (Linux Bash) Scripting (individual) -- 1 week.
Turing (our input list used in the tutorial)
Introduction to writing documents in LaTeX (individual) -- 1 week.
LaTeX lab instructions
helpful latex notes
Introduction to HTML (individual) -- 1 week.
Create a website with facts about the Foundation Year Project, the University of Manchester and the School of Computer Science (group) -- 2 weeks.
This website will include sections about LaTeX and HTML, information about health and safety, some facts about the university extracted from other sources using scripting as well as facts that you find interesting about the School of Computer Science.
Try to impress the other groups with the coolest finds and a nice design of your website.
Report: Markup Languages and Scripting (group) -- 2 weeks.
What have you learned in the Foundation Year Project, what have you experienced, has it helped in growing your CS skills?
Project Presentation (group) -- 1 week.
For the various documents and web-pages, and especially your project
report and presentation, remember that:
- We don't just want you to regurgitate
information. We want you to progress to higher levels in
from knowledge to comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, and
- Where you make use of anything written by someone else, you must make
it clear where you found it e.g.
Guidance on plagiarism and other forms of academic malpractice from Manchester University.
If you copy any text verbatim, rather than summarising it in your own words,
you must also make it clear exactly which words you have copied e.g. using
quotation marks: "Plagiarism is presenting the ideas, work or words of other
people without proper, clear and unambiguous acknowledgement."
Similarly, if you use any information about HTML or LaTeX code, e.g. from an
on-line tutorial, you must add a comment in your code saying where
you found the original, and make it clear if you copy any code verbatim e.g.:
<!-- HTML copied from ... -->
% LaTeX copied from ...