A number of labs are available, none of which are designated for any particular class or year-group:
- Jack Cole student lab
- John Honey student lab, also known as the Quiet Lab, and the Philip Lee Laboratory
- John Honey teaching lab
- John Honey break-out area
As far as possible, scheduled, booked activities are confined to the John Honey Teaching Lab; normally the Jack Cole Lab and Quiet Lab are free for student use. In some cases, though, it may be necessary to hold scheduled teaching events in these labs.
When scheduled teaching is taking place in a lab, students not involved in the class are expected to show courtesy and consideration by working silently and avoiding causing any distractions.
Demonstrator support for sub-Honours modules is provided on certain weekday afternoons: see details.
Priorities and Behaviour
The principal uses of the labs are practical work and lectures. Labs may also be used for other purposes, with priority given as follows, in descending order:
- students attending scheduled lectures or exercise classes
- students working on School of Computer Science modules
- staff or other students doing other academic work
- non-academic activities
At all times, a relaxed and informal atmosphere is encouraged, so long as it remains conducive to work. Music should not be played in the labs (headphones are fine), and loud conversations should be taken elsewhere to avoid disturbing those working. The Quiet Lab should be used in the same way as the library study areas, i.e. making no significant noise.
Students are encouraged to make use of lab facilities and other School services for personal computing-related projects, but priority is always given to those engaged in academic work.
Conditions of Use
Students are bound by the Policies and Conditions of Use of University ICT facilities. It is the responsibility of students to familiarise themselves with these conditions of use.
The software available on lab computer systems is copyrighted, and is available to students for their own use only, on the machines allocated for their work. Except where explicitly permitted, students are forbidden to:
- make copies of any software or documentation provided for use in laboratories
- download copyrighted materials such as, but not limited to, images, music, films and books
If you are searching for room availability (e.g. for running a meeting or experiment) you can access the Web Timetables (including rooms such 0.30, 1.33a etc.) at http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/webtt/
Do I need my own personal computer
Under normal circumstances we usually advise that students do not need their own computer, but the ongoing global pandemic has changed the situation significantly. The School provides all the compute facilities required for completing our degree programmes, but it is important that students can access those services and have the facility to work locally on their own computer.
The School’s primary teaching platform is Linux (Fedora) but we do not recommend that this is run as a daily-use operating system. Instead, we advise that students have a personal computer (laptop or desktop) that can support local native development and can run a modest VM. In more concrete terms, we recommend a system with at least a 4-core CPU, 8GB of memory and 250 GB SSD. There is no specific requirement for a particular operating system and there is not necessarily any advantage in running Linux natively on your own computer. Most of our students run Windows or macOS on their personal computers. Note that this recommended specification is tailored to support local development for situations where you must work remotely, rather than to cover all the requirements of the degree programme. In many cases it will be necessary to use the School’s systems, possibly accessing them remotely, to run computations and host services.
Many computer brands, such as Lenovo, Microsoft, Apple, and Dell offer educational discounts, but we do not endorse any particular brand. The PC and laptop market offers a huge range of choice and the best value will depend on your requirements and budget.