Current Topics


Here are the current Hopo (internal and external Hopo) listed and a bit described. The description is kept minimal, so that they are interesting for reading. But they are too simple and cannot reflect the whole complexity of a topic. Therefore read with caution and don't use this list alone to form your opinion. If you are interested in more information about a topic, please contact hopo(at) or go to the Hopo-Treff.

Effective 22.03.2020

Master Reform (intern)

The new regulations of the Master of Computer Science will come into force in HS20. As you have already been informed, the new Master includes 120 credits and the standard period of study is 4 semesters, with a maximum duration of 8 semesters. The main goal of the department is to increase the number of credits at the same effort, in order to adapt the standard period of study to the average duration of studies. Most of the known speciallisations are combined. Instead of many specialisations with rather few offers, there are now fewer specialisations, now called Majors, but with more choice of subjects. In addition, the Minors should contribute to the diversity. The VIS was able to ensure that too many failed attempts in the core subjects of the Majors do not lead to exclusion from the study programme. You can find the studyguide here

4th LAB (intern)

The long promised 4th LAB is scheduled to pass through the UK this semester and will then be offered in HS20. It is the Cybersecurity LAB. The LAB is offered in the old as well as in the new master regulation.

Timetable Reform (extern and intern)

The school management decided to introduce the timetable reform [1]. It will be here in HS20. The day from 8:00 to 20:00 is divided into blocks of 2 hours each and then the courses are distributed among these blocks. The general lunch hour is omitted and we are replaced by a free 2h block between 10:00 and 16:00 o'clock. You can read the exact rules according to which the schedulers create the timetables by hand (!) here [2]. The main reason for this reform comes from the acute lack of space at ETH Zurich, which the academic services are trying to cope with by making better use of the rooms. We are called upon by the rector to give feedback on the implementation of this reform so that the new timetables can be improved after HS20.

[1] [2]

Most other study associations see this reform as very problematic, as the learning places have not been taken into account in this reform. It is feared that the load on learning places will increase as students have more holes in their timetables. The ETH is aware of this problem and has hired one extra person with the main task of exploring potential learning places everywhere. If you have a suggestion, report it to our HoPo team.

In the VIS, this reform is perceived as less problematic. Since the courses in the computer science are only held in the centre and not on the Höngg and the courses in the first years are given as a package, it is easier to create a more pleasant timetable. The Hopo team has already been able to look at some drafts and they look very reasonable. Higher semesters are more difficult to optimize because of the freer choice of lectures. There it can lead to more holes in the timetables, but this is already the case and is not problematic.

rETHink (extern)

ETH is in the process of restructuring itself in terms of organisation and strategies. On the one hand, this involves the growth of ETH in terms of faculties and number of students, but also general strategic planning with regard to teaching and research. VSETH is involved in this and can contribute to this on behalf of the students. If you have any suggestions or questions on this topic, please contact the VSETH-Hopo-Team. You can find more information about the project here

Data Policy (extern and intern)

Another topic since a few semesters is the use of external cloud services in various courses, including Piazza. The VIS wants to avoid forcing students to use platforms they do not feel comfortable with, because they might give user data to third parties. The D-INFK was made aware of our concerns on our part. The LET, which was also made aware of the topic by the students, has developed a draft that should regulate the use of cloud services at ETH. ETH internal platforms are to be preferred. External platforms can be used once they have been reviewed. However, the draft is still subject to discussions. So this topic is running at ETH level and we are trying to follow this process.