Information Sciences

This is the webpage of the the Honours Programme (HP) of the Information Sciences department (Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence and Information Science), Faculty of Science. If you are looking for other webpages of the HP, see the section ‘Related Pages’ at the end of this document.

Why?
If you are a talented and motivated student, the VU Honours Programme offers you the opportunity to invest more in your own area of study and to broaden your horizon. So enroll in the Honours Programme (HP), choose your tracks and topics of deep study, fulfill their requirements, and you will gain knowledge and experience that can change your life.

What?
The Information Sciences department has an unique offer: each student can mix and match courses, effectively creating individual tracks of excellence. There are two main types of courses:

1. Focused on a high quality, scientific research project that is unique for each student. This is the research-oriented track.

2. Focused on learning in the structure of a traditional course. This is the coursework track. 

How many courses should you take?
The general structure of the HP at the VU offers the prestigious HP annotation to their BSc degree, upon completing at least 30 ECs over the regular programme of 180 ECs (extra credits). This means you can tailor your own track to include 30 ECs or more extra credits; if you include more than 30 ECs, you invest in an even deeper study in your HP.

Which courses can you take?
Consult the extensive section ‘How to complete the Information Sciences HP?’

Who can apply, how, and when?
Are you highly motivated, have good grades, and have passed all your first year courses? Then you can apply for the Honours Programme! 

The application procedure is the same across the entire VU HP, so check the detailed requirements, the application form, and the next application deadline here:

https://www.vu.nl/nl/opleidingen/overig-onderwijs/honours-programme/application/index.aspx

How to complete the Information Sciences HP?
Are there any general restrictions about the courses you can take? The general structure of the HP at the VU requires that the 30 ECs must include at least 12 ECs and at most 18 ECs obtained from intra-departmental / intra-facultary courses, and at least 12 ECs and at most 18 ECs obtained from inter-departmental / inter-facultary courses. Here are a few examples, which are also depicted in Figure 1:

1. The track including all the courses in the top row of the figure consists of 18 ECs from courses in the research-oriented track (they are intra-facultary), plus 12 ECs from inter-facultary courses.

2. The track including all the courses in the bottom row of the figure consists of 18 ECs from courses in the coursework track (they are intra-facultary), plus 12 ECs from inter-facultary courses. Note that the individual tracks with (partial) coursework all include the Big Ideas in Computer Science (BIICS) course. 

Will the successful completion of the Honours Programme show on my transcript?
A student who has met the requirements of the regular Bachelor's programme within the nominal duration of study, who has achieved an average weighted mark of at least 7.5 for all components of the Bachelor's programme (excluded the honours components) and who has also met the requirements of the honours programme will receive a Bachelor diploma with a transcript indicating that he or she has successfully completed the honours programme.

schema_honours 
Figure 1. An overview of the individual tracks that are possible for students who choose to get 18 ECs from intra-facultary courses and 12 ECs from inter-facultary courses. BIICS stands for Big Ideas in Computer Science, a course commonly taken by our students.

Are there any specific restrictions for the courses I can take? The HP-level, intra-facultary courses offered by the Information Sciences HP are:

1. Any student can take the Caput Elective course, which for 2019-2020 is going to focus on Big Ideas in Computer Science. For enrollment and details, contact the teacher, Ellen Maassen <e.m.maassen@vu.nl>.

2. For other courses, you can only take the courses that are not already part of your own program. This means, for example, that if you are a student in the Computer Science (CS) programme, you can only choose to follow for your HP courses from the AI programme.

a. Courses you can take if you are enrolled in the CS programme: from the AI sub-programme Socially Aware Computing, the courses Robot Interaction, AI in Health, and AI in Health Project (only after completing AI and Health); from the AI sub-programme Intelligent Systems, the courses Computational Intelligence and Embodied AI.

b. Courses you can take if you are enrolled in the AI programme, sub-programme Socially Aware Computing: from the CS programme, the courses Computer Networks, Software Design, Logic and Modeling; from the AI sub-programme Intelligent Systems, the courses  Datastructures and Algorithms for AI, Computational Intelligence, and Embodied AI --OR-- Automata and Complexity.

c. Courses you can take if you are enrolled in the AI programme, sub-program Intelligent Systems: from the CS programme, the courses Computer Networks, Software Design, Logic and Modeling; from the AI sub-programmme Socially Aware Computing, the courses Robot Interaction, AI in Health, and AI in Health Project (only after completing AI and Health).

d. Courses you can take if you are enrolled in the IS programme: from the CS programme, the courses Computer Networks, Software Design, Logic and Modeling; from the AI sub-programme Socially Aware Computing, the courses Robot Interaction, AI in Health, and AI in Health Project (only after completing AI and Health); from the AI sub-programme Intelligent Systems, the courses, Computational Intelligence and Embodied AI.

What is in the research-oriented track? 

By the end of these modules, you (the student) will learn the skills and knowledge corresponding to the level of a starting, independent researcher with high potential for further development. It is possible that the successful project will end with a high quality publication in a prestigious scientific venue -- this mostly depends on you!

Within the research track, you will have the choice of pursuing a scientific research project, on one of the possible three variants, of at least 6 / 12 / 18 ECs respectively (see details). For the former two, the remaining credits to reach the minimum of 18 ECs intra-facultary credits, so 6 / 12 ECs, require more intra-facultary coursework. This track is a pilot for Information Sciences, not available across faculties. 

Can I continue a research project beyond the 18 ECs?
You can. The HP does not limit the maximum number of ECs, it just specifies the mandatory minimum. For example, some of the successful students in the research-oriented track could choose to earn additional credits training for and then attending various conferences and seminars, where they can present their work to the national and international community.

Contact
For all emails about the Honours Programme, make sure you include the string “[vu] [hp]” in the subject of your email.

For more information about procedures and administration, contact Selma Zaghow at s.m.a.zaghow@vu.nl.

For more information about content, contact Prof.dr.ir. Alexandru Iosup <a.iosup@vu.nl>. He may delegate your questions related to the AI tracks to dr. mr. Charlotte Gerritsen <cs.gerritsen@vu.nl>.

Community
The HP has a community on Canvas, to which we invite all students who have been accepted for the programme.

Related Pages
If you are looking for the inter-departmental / inter-facultary courses, start here:
https://www.vu.nl/nl/opleidingen/overig-onderwijs/honours-programme/interdepartmental-courses/index.aspx

If you are looking for other departments within Beta, start here:
https://www.vu.nl/nl/opleidingen/overig-onderwijs/honours-programme/departmental-courses/index.aspx

If you are looking for the VU-wide HP, or for the HPs of other faculties, start here:
https://www.vu.nl/nl/opleidingen/overig-onderwijs/honours-programme/index.aspx