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December 03, 2021, 02:21:55 pm

Author Topic: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings  (Read 1420404 times)  Share 

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hums_student

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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #840 on: July 17, 2021, 05:50:38 pm »
+3
Subject Code/Name: ECON30020 Mathematical Economics

Workload: 1 x 2 hr lecture and 1 x 1 hr tutorial per week

Assessment:
5 assignments (individual) throughout the semester worth 10% each - your 4 best marks will be counted
Final exam worth 60%

Lectopia Enabled: Yes, with screen capture

Past exams available: Yes, but the course was significantly changed in 2021.

Textbook Recommendation: Mathematics for Economics, 3rd ed, Hoy et al

Lecturer(s): Simon Loertscher

Year & Semester of completion: 2021 Semester 1

Rating: 0 out of 5 :(

Your Mark/Grade: H1 (85)

Comments

Content-wise, the subject is split into three parts:
- univariate calculus and optimisation
- linear algebra
- multivariate calculus

I really wanted to like this subject. Despite my high hopes, it unfortunately ended up being my least enjoyable.

Backstory - I did ECON20002 Intermediate Microeconomics in 2nd year with the legendary duo Svetlana Danilkina as my lecturer and Daniel Tiong as my tutor. They made me, an arts student with a horrific maths background (raw 34 in VCE Methods) become fascinated with the maths of economics. When Daniel suggested to me to do Maths Econ in 3rd year (which Svetlana taught and he also tutored for), I was doubtful as I barely passed high school maths, but I decided to go for it.

Well, plot twist - a new coordinator came by the time I entered 3rd year. This subject ended up being a dumpster fire. The subject guide was released only about two weeks after the semester started, the Canvas page was horribly disorganised (lecture recordings were posted on the home page instead of under 'lecture capture'), and for some incomprehensible reason, Simon refused to annotate slides - instead, he wrote on spare pieces of paper, using a ballpoint pen that made markings his camera could barely pick up, and at the end of each lecture, posted photos of these scribbles for the rest of us to decipher.

The only saving grace was Svetlana who uploaded her own notes (typed up, too, so that they were actually legible) each week, oversaw the discussion board and answered all questions. What I found amusing was that the subject coordinator actually put a disclaimer on Svetlana's notes saying that these are not official course notes. They certainly were much more helpful than the "official" ones he put up.

Disorganised was honestly too mild of a word to describe it. Our first assignment was literally released an entire week late, and was actually only uploaded when multiple students emailed the lecturer or their tutor saying that they couldn't find it. When it was finally uploaded, it was actually Svetlana, not the subject coordinator, who made the announcement letting students know that the assignment was finally released.

And if you think I am going a bit hard on this subject coordinator, I wasn't the only one with complaints. My tutorial size dropped from 21 students in the first week to only 3 by the census date. Yes - I repeat - THREE. Also, from reddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/unimelb/comments/lxj867/thoughts_on_econ30020_mathematical_economics_2021/

For future students - only take this subject if the coordinator is Svetlana.
2019-21: Bachelor of Arts (Politics & Int'l Relations / Economics)

hums_student

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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #841 on: July 17, 2021, 05:51:32 pm »
+3
Subject Code/Name: ENGL30051 Comedy

Workload: 1 x 2 hr seminar per week + also 30 minutes of online weekly material

Assessment:
1,500 word essay due week 6 (40%)
2,500 word research essay due after SWOTVAC (50%)
Class participation also counts for 10%

Lectopia Enabled: Yes, with screen capture

Past exams available: N/A.

Textbook Recommendation: N/A

Lecturer(s): Sarah Balkin

Year & Semester of completion: 2021 Semester 1

Rating: 3 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1 (80)

Comments

ENGL30051 is one of the new subjects UniMelb began offering in 2021, as such I went into it with a lot of doubts, especially as, before this, I had not taken a single English/Theatre Studies subject at uni. Admittedly, I do come from a theatre background, which absolutely came in handy during this subject. The subject also has some focus on the more historical aspects of comedy (eg. Ancient Greeks), so as someone who loves history this was a major plus. Aristophanes was by far the best part of this entire course.

Since I had no other university Literature/English/Theatre Studies subjects to compare this with, I found myself constantly comparing the subject to high school English and VCE Literature. There is definitely an overlap with VCE Lit but obviously ENGL30051 goes into a lot more depth and detail. I definitely struggled with both the midsemester essay and the final research assessment, and I had a feeling that both my essays was very "VCE-like". It definitely becomes a much more straightforward subject once one gets a better understanding of what is required.

ENGL30051 is absolutely subject that students who do English and Theatre Studies as a major / minor would find much more easy, unlike a few other arts electives I've done where the way they were structured or taught seemed to cater for students who don't actually major in it. To be absolutely honest, I don't even have any idea as to why I got the score I did (I'm very happy with it, but also very confused), since I did very badly on the first essay but very well on the second, but I felt that my first essay was way better than my second. The criteria honestly confused me a little.

Overall I'd say that ENGL30051 is a very interesting subject in terms of content, though its assessments may be a bit of a struggle especially for those who have never done any ENGL subjects prior to this.
2019-21: Bachelor of Arts (Politics & Int'l Relations / Economics)

hums_student

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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #842 on: July 17, 2021, 05:52:31 pm »
+4
Subject Code/Name: ISLM30018 Diplomacy: Engaging the Muslim World

Workload: 1 x 1.5 hr lecture and 1 x 1 hr tutorial per week

Assessment:
1,000 word review article due in week 4 (30%)
1,500 word group project due in week 10 (35%)
1,500 word research essay due after SWOTVAC (35%)

Lectopia Enabled: Yes, with screen capture

Past exams available: N/A.

Textbook Recommendation: N/A

Lecturer(s): Matthew Nelson

Year & Semester of completion: 2021 Semester 1

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H2A (77)

Comments

Just a general note - In 2019 and 2020, this subject was known as 'Crisis Zone: Age of Uprisings', and before that it was 'Crisis Zone: Islam and Resistance'. As you can probably guess, it has gone through some changes in content as well.

Topics covered included
- The War on Terror
- The Arab Spring (Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Libya, Syria)
- The Islamic State
- General Turkish and Iranian history and politics
- Themes including youth, women + gender history, and media.

This is not like any other arts subject I've taken before in regards to assessments. In most other arts subjects (not including the non standard ones like languages/economics/psychology), a "research essay" would have to be at the very least 2,000 words. In 3rd year they're usually 2,500 words. And even then, it's never enough to cover the breadth and depth of whatever issue or topic the research essay is discussing. So you can guess my disbelief when I found out that the assessments in this subject are 1,500 words max. For a third-year subject which covers such complex and hotly debated issues, I found this to be incredibly strange. And perhaps because of this, I struggled with the assessments as I found myself constantly exceeding the word limit, and clearly I had rather poor judgement of what sections to cut and what to keep.

Overall though, it was a very decent subject and the content covered is both relevant and useful. I think the nature of the short assessments makes the subject a lot more accessible for non-arts students who may not be as comfortable with writing essays, and there was certainly a lot of students in my tutorial who were doing it as breadth. Overall, it was an interesting subject. As a politics student who has always wanted to do an Islamic studies subject, who also had no space for electives left on his study plan, this subject ended up being perfect as it also counted towards the Politics and International Relations discipline.

I should mention in regards to the short assignment though - this is purely based on the preferences of the subject coordinator. I know in previous years the research essay was 2,500 words. So I can't guarantee this information will be accurate for future students.
2019-21: Bachelor of Arts (Politics & Int'l Relations / Economics)

itsmonica

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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #843 on: August 14, 2021, 03:22:45 pm »
+2
Subject Code/Name: CHEM10006 Chemistry for Biomedicine

Faculty: Science

Workload: 3 x 1hr lecture weekly, 1 x 1hr tutorial weekly, 6 x 3 hour practicals over the semester, and 3 x ILTs.

Assessment: 3 x 30 minute online tests (6%), 6 x reports for the practicals (20%), 3-hour end of semester exam (74%).

Lectopia Enabled: Yes, with screen capture

Past exams available: 2015-2019 with answers!!

Textbook Recommendation: P. Mahaffy, R. Tusker, B. Bucat, J. Kotz, G. Weaver and P. Triechel, Chemistry: Human Activity, Chemical Reactivity (2nd International Edition), Cengage Learning, 2014.

Lecturer(s): Sonia Horvat for physical chemistry, Craig Hutton for organic chemistry, Gavin Reid for bioorganic chemistry and Megan Maher for inorganic chemistry.

Year & Semester of completion: Semester one, 2021.

Rating: 3/5

Your Mark/Grade: 77 (H2A)

Comments:
I have quite a bit to say about chem for biomed, so I'm going to go through each part bit by bit.

Let's start with the physical chemistry which was lecturered by Sonia Horvat. I personally found Sonia to be one of the best lecturers, she was really enthusiastic, motivated, clear, concise, and she gave great examples. She is also one of the tutors, and was a fantastic way to begin the course with.

Organic and bioorganic chemistry is where a lot of people (including myself) find this subject to go a bit downhill... The content is certaintly a lot more difficult, the lecturers are not particularly good, and there is a lot to remember. I would really recommend reading the text book for this part, asking your tutor / Campuswire as many questions as possible, completing the OWL cengage questions (which I personally think are a lot more useful than the textbook questions), and making mind maps / summaries, especially of the reaction types and mechanisms. This section of the course will definitely demand a lot more of your attention, and was 100% the part I struggled the both with in terms of the exam. There is a big focus on applying new mechanisms and labelling compound (E vs Z, R vs S etc) in the MST and exam.

Some people didn't really like the inorganic section or the lecturer, but I personally found it to be very fascinating, especially as it covered a lot of biological molecules (eg. haemoglobin) which we had previously learnt about at the surface level in biology. There's a lot to remember / take in for all those biological molecules, so I once again recommend making summaries / mind maps with a good picture of the molecule, the formal charge, the denticity etc as this will come in handy, especially during the exams.

I personally felt that I put in quite a lot of effort in this subject throughout the semester (yet still just scraped a H2A), and I definitely recommend good summaries / notes, completing the OWL questions and tutorial questions, and asking as many questions as possible.

Overall, it is a really interesting subject!
University of Melbourne Bachelor of Science Student and bio nerd :)

itsmonica

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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #844 on: August 14, 2021, 04:07:09 pm »
+1
Subject Code/Name: ITAL10006 Italian 5

Faculty: Arts

Workload: 18 1-hour language seminars scheduled across the semester, a 1-hour conversation class per week, eight 1-hour Contemporary Italy lectures scheduled across the semester, three 1-hour seminars related to the WIL project scheduled across the semester, four 1-hour tutorials scheduled across the semester, three 2-hour film screenings scheduled across the semester, 6 x 1-hour school placements in the second half of the semester.

Assessment: 3 x 200  word (or equivalent) online language tests (15%), 400 word contemporary Italy mini-project (aka short answer questions) (10%), 1200 word contemporary Italy history project (aka an essay) (30%), 800 word group assignment based on the work-integrated learning project, and 1000 word (or equivalent) exam (25%).
You also must attend a minimum of 75% of all classes, and all pieces of assessment must be submitted, in order to pass the subject.

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture etc.

Past exams available: No past exam available.

Textbook Recommendation: They supply all necessary texts, but you could always buy a copy of Pinocchio if you would like.

Lecturer(s):
Matt Absalom runs the language seminars, Antonella Cavallini runs the conversation class, and Elisabetta Ferrari runs the lectures and the tutorials.

Year & Semester of completion: Semester one, 2021.

Rating: 4/5

Your Mark/Grade: 86 (H1)

Comments:
Since Italian 5 is the common entry point after VCE units 3/4 Italian, this subject is somewhat more of a step-up, but unlike other subjects you may have done previously (or at least for myself, coming from a biomed / science background), hard work and organisation definitely pays off.

There's a lot to cover for this subject, so I'm going to do based on class-type and assessment-type, as there is quite a lot to cover (and there is literally no reviews for this subject online)

First off, there is language seminar one, run by Matt. Basically in this hour Matt will just read out a story to you in Italian and then put you into break out rooms (this was done on Zoom) to discuss the story / answer some questions. In terms of assessment preparation (especially as we had a question about which story was our favourite in a quiz), I had a notebook where I would write down key terms / some notes on what was being read, and I always wrote down the discussions / answers to questions which were covered in the break out rooms. (However, these stories covered were typically more difficult than the listening tasks covered in assessments).

There is also language seminar two, also run by Matt, which is a bit of alternative grammar class. When I did this subject, we focused on agreements, but in the context of inequality within the Italian language against women and gender-neutral people. A lot of people really did not like this take, but I thought it was really interesting, as well as really important within today's age. As all the assessments were open book, I really recommend making summary tables / mind maps based off the content taught by Matt, the class discussions, and the articles and videos shared on the LMS by Matt. This won't take long (like max 30 mins after each seminar), but it as a lifesaver come the exam.

Language practice is run once a week by Antonella (such a lovely lady!), covering a bunch of topics about Italian culture (eg. schools, family dynamics, history), as well as just general conversation and story-telling techniques. This was such a nice way to meet people in the class, as well as just have a bit of fun with the Italian language. As the "content" from Antonella's class is covered in the exam, I once again making brief summary notes / tables as you go throughout the semester on what you have been learning.

Elisabetta (who is actually the sweetest person ever) covers the lectures and tutorials. When I did this subject, this covered the original story Pinocchio, the associated history of the story at the Risorgimento, and some of the many film adaptations of the story. This is definitely the part of the subject which people find the most difficult, as it does take a bit of hard work on your part to do well in. Reading and making summary notes on Pinocchio, watching the lectures, completing the set readings, and watching the film adaptations is pretty much left entirely up to you. It will take some motivation, but I recommend making a document with dot points and citations / references for all the readings set (they're not too long, don't stress), a document comparing the film adaptations vs the original Pinocchio, as well as a document on the actual story of Pinocchio (I included things like a chapter-by-chapter summary in English and Italian, and a quotes bank based on character and theme). Trust me, it will make the two assessments SO MUCH easier. Also, I really recommend doing the tutorial questions, and taking note on the discussion which happens in the tutorial, as they can really guide what is expected of you during the assessments.

You may be a bit confused when enrolling for this subject, as there is also seminar three and language practice two. These are essentially the same thing, but let me explain... The first language seminar three covers a bunch of theories on how to teach a foreign language (make a summary table, it comes up in later assessments), and the second is where you meet the teachers who will be running the mini-internship you do in a school. Matt will organise a couple schools (I think he found three or four for us), but you are welcome to contact your own high school or primary school and go there instead, especially if travel distances are an issue. The other seminar three or language practice two sessions are actually just in the timetable to account for the hour you will spend at the school each week, which I think was from weeks seven to twelve. Not going to say the school I went to for privacy reasons, but it was a high school and I was with the year 12 class. It was quite enjoyable to watch the class and help the students with their speaking and grammar. (However, if you are in your first year of uni and are female like myself, I wouldn't recommend going into a year 12 co-ed class.... you may find it difficult to be taken seriously).

Now onto assessments! The language tests are relatively easy, as long as you have notes (note these might change from year to year). The first one covered the language teaching theories and has a listening task, the second covered language seminar three content about making things inclusive and your favourite story from seminar one, and the third covered a listening task, how you felt you have improved your Italian, and inclusive language. The first one was timed, the other three were not.

The "Italy mini-project" was actually three short-answer questions and timed to ~65 minutes. One question was a text analysis from Pinocchio, the second was recounting the events from the Risorgimento, and the third a question about the historial context of Pinocchio. Not too bad, but definitely why I recommend reading Pinocchio and making good notes.

The essay was definitely more tricky, with ~6 topics being released ~two days before. I personally wrote a quick plan (my main contention, my main point for each paragraph and the associated readings I needed), and it really helped. I was very nervous before writing the essay, but it actually went okay. Yes, it was in Italian, and yes, it was timed at ~75 minutes.

The exam was very much like the language quizzes. We were only told that there would be a question about each of the four main classes (ie inclusive language from seminar 3, listening from seminar 1, Pinocchio from lectures/tutorials, and ~something~ from the language pracs). There was an inclusive language question, a listening task, a recording about the historical context of Pinocchio, and a question on the content about the language pracs (mine was about motivations for travel).

Finally, there is the project about the mini-internship. First off, you have this table of observations that you have to fill out about each visit you make to the school (do it straight after, don't be me). This is part of a OneNote document, where you just record any resources used by the teachers, and some other general observations. You then make a video (in Italian) with ~two others who went to the same school as you about ths experience, what you learn / saw / reflected on, as well as how it relates to those teaching theories.

All in all, a great subject, but it definitely involved a lot of work!
University of Melbourne Bachelor of Science Student and bio nerd :)

ganksau

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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #845 on: September 01, 2021, 08:02:24 pm »
+3
Subject Code/Name: ANCW20015: Classical Mythology 

Workload:  1 set of short lecture videos every week + 1x2h seminar per week (3 seminar per week in winter)

Assessment:  Document analysis (15%), Research essay (40%), Take home exam (35%), Weekly quizzes (10%)

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture etc.

Past exams available:  Some past exams available from the library.

Faculty: Arts

Textbook Recommendation:  All texts are provided.

Lecturer(s): Dr. Monique Webber

Year & Semester of completion: 2021 Winter

Rating:  4.5 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: 84

Comments: Overall, I really enjoyed this subject. It's brilliantly coordinated and delves into really interesting topics such as heroes and monsters of the ancient world and sexual violence. No prior knowledge of the classics is needed, but it does help, especially because greco-roman mythology has a lot of characters and names being thrown around, so I would recommend reading some re-tellings before taking this subject, those by Stephen Fry are a great start.

I recommend taking this as an intensive in the winter, mainly because you get it done in 4 weeks, but it is intensive. There are quite a lot of readings to do before every seminar, and all the assessments rely on them. The primary readings are the most important and will be the ones discussed in the seminars, so for the love of god, read them. You will get called out if you don't and it's just a bad situation all around; if you do the readings you get to interact with the class and join in really interesting discussions, which makes this subject so much better. Personally, I didn't find it hard to do the readings because unlike other subjects, these I found genuinely interesting. You're basically reading stories about heroes and monsters, Odysseus and Apollo, Athena and Dionysus, literally the best readings you could ask for. The secondary readings are less of an issue, but you should still know what they talk about for the assessments.

Speaking of assessments:

- Document analysis: a 750 word assignment analysing a primary text, likely Hesiod's Theogony. Pretty much go through it in the seminars, so do the reading and join the discussion and you will be a-okay.

- Research essay: 1750 word essay researching a topic. You basically have to choose a topic (you can choose your own) and form an argument for a question and back that argument up with both primary and secondary sources of your own finding. All the topics were really interesting and the tutors are always open to discuss your ideas and help you along the way. It did take work, but it was also very rewarding and a genuinely fun experience (as someone from science, writing arts essays is a whole different ball game, but this one was really fun).

- Take home exam: 1500 word essay on topic given. No research necessary, but not penalised. You're meant to use the resources given and discussed in class to show what you took from the subject. The topics are quite broad which allow you to take in many different directions and didn't find it particularly challenging, though still requires a fair amount of work and reading.

- Weekly quizzes: alternate between mcq and 1 saq worth 100 words. Pretty easy, just watch the content videos and you'll be fine.

This is probably my favourite breadth I've ever done and recommend it 100%. But please do the readings, I feel like I missed out on a lot that this subject could offer because my peers never did their readings so a lot of our seminars were just the tutor asking people what they thought and them either saying they didn't read them or fully ignoring them (gotta love zoom). So many awkward silences. And I felt like my tutor was really invested in getting everyone involved, which I appreciate, but that meant those of us that did do the readings got to discuss less and just sit there in silence. I also felt at times that my tutor was a bit tone deaf. When you're teaching about a sensitive subject like colonisation, you can't say Alexander the Great colonised the Indians to "share" his culture and "improve" civilisation. The staff were very conscious of trigger warnings and issues surrounding the content, there were just some comments that didn't quite fit, and I truly don't believe they meant anything bad with them. So be aware that there are quite a few trigger warnings.

All that aside, it's a fantastic subject with fun assignments and really well coordinated. Monique was super engaging in the content videos and all tutors are super interactive and engaging in the seminar discussions. Also, if I managed to get H1, so can you. I went from 67 on my previous arts breadth to 84 by just doing the readings and putting in some work in the essays. And it was all done in a month. Highly recommend.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2021, 05:25:11 pm by ganksau »

ganksau

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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #846 on: November 23, 2021, 08:50:39 pm »
+1
Subject Code/Name: BCMB30004: Cell Signalling and Neurochemistry 

Faculty: MDHS

Workload:  10 content modules, with 1x 2h workshop per week looking at the module of the previous week

Assessment:  5x Small written assignments (7% each); 2x MCQ MSTs (10% each); SAQ Final exam (45%)

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture

Past exams available:  Yes, but no answers and some questions outdated

Textbook Recommendation:  N/A

Lecturer(s): Paul Gooley, Daniel Scott, Justine Mintern, Ian van Driel, Laura Edgington-Mitchell

Year & Semester of completion: 2021 Sem 2

Rating:  4.5 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: 87

Comments: This has become my favourite BCMB subject. It is very well coordinated with super interesting content and engaging lecturers. Overall, there was a lot more cell signalling than neurochemistry, which I personally didn't mind but I am a biochem major so that kind of played to my strengths. If you're a neuro major, I'd still recommend taking it, though be aware that neuro content doesn't really start until module 8-10. The first 4 modules were also quite heavy in protein structure, which took me a bit by surprise. However, the content becomes fairly straightforward once you get used to the pace and style of the subject.

Gooley takes modules 1 and 4 (intro and nuclear receptors), Scott takes modules 2 and 3 (GPCRs), Mintern takes modules 5-7 (ubiquitin, autophagy and cell death), van Driel takes module 8 (immune privilege and signalling) and Edgington-Mitchell takes modules 9 and 10 (pain signalling).

I personally enjoyed Mintern's content the most and van Driel's the least (felt very disorganised and superficial). The assignments were pretty easy and straightforward. The first 2 were to use PyMol to design protein figures, the 3rd was using Prism to analyse data and make experiments and the last two were to read papers and answer questions about them. Gooley and Scott were great at giving individual and group feedback, but Justine just uploaded a vague "answer sheet" and was also very harsh with the marks which left a lot to be desired. Still, better than Ian's, who didn't give us any feedback in any way, shape or form.

The MSTs were fair, but I found the first one much more challenging. If you don't do so well in the first mst, honestly, don't get disheartened, like I said, it does take a while to get used to the pace of the subject. The subject as a whole is quite content heavy, so if you're considering it, make sure you do one module a week and attend all the workshops. It's super important to be on top of things, otherwise you will be swamped with content by exam time. Also, exam questions are similar in style to questions given in workshops, so make sure you know how the lecturers expect you to answer those, it will give you a good idea of how to answer exam questions. The exam itself I found very fair but very long (3.5 hours) and incredibly exhausting so make sure you get a good meal and water before you sit it (this was during COVID, so it might change once exams are back in person).

Overall, I really loved this subject and would highly recommend as an elective to anyone in the bcmb major, but it is content heavy, so go in motivated and make sure you do the work every week so you don't feel overwhelmed and unprepared by exam time.

dahyun

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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #847 on: November 24, 2021, 07:18:16 pm »
+1
Subject Code/Name: KORE20002 - Contemporary Korea

Workload: 1x 2 hr lecture, 1x 1 hr tutorial per week

Assessment: 
  • Proposal (10%)
  • Mid-term Paper (30%)
  • Oral presentation (20%)
  • Final Paper (40%)

Note: there is a hurdle via the 80% tutorial participation rate, meaning you can miss up to 2 tutorials without special consideration explaining your absence.


Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture. Lectures were delivered live, then uploaded later onto Canvas.

Past exams available: N/A (final essay subject, BUT there were samples of final essays from previous years. Read more below.)

Textbook Recommendation: On Handbook it says the lecturer's upcoming text, but given it is an arts subject you'll receive weekly readings - some compulsory, some optional. Otherwise no large encompassing textbook.

Lecturer(s): Jay Song & Andrew Eungi Kim (Andrew took the first 6 weeks, but Jay is the subject co-ordinator and the marker of the final paper)

Year & Semester of completion: 2021 Semester 2 (online)

Rating: 4.6/5

Your Mark/Grade: H2A

Pre-requisites: None (you don't need a prior knowledge of Korean...just English...)

Comments: I took this subject as a breadth (commerce), given my interests in Korean culture prior to this subject. The tl;dr here is only do it if you actually enjoy writing essays and like doing readings, since hallyu is only one topic in this subject!

Lectures and content
This subject delves into contemporary Korean history and society (i.e. subject does as advertised). This means you'll explore Korea as a nation from the 1950s (Korean War) to modern day Korea. There is some analysis of the two Koreas, but it is largely focused on South Korea (referred to as Korea from here on). As this is an arts subject, you will be expected to complete readings to enhance the lectures, since they are mostly a shallow dive of each topic. Jay mentioned a few times that this subject was merely a glance at contemporary Korea, focusing on breadth rather than depth of the topics. This means you don't need to have a good knowledge of Korean society to appreciate much of the subject!

Let's talk about content. In twelve weeks, you'll learn about:
Week 1 - Introduction to Korean Culture (A)
Spoiler
This reminds me of OB lol - just an intro to culture and how it can be analysed, then an introduction to Korean culture and what makes it different to Australian culture, or Japanese or Chinese culture.
Week 2 - Religions and Values (A)
Spoiler
Moving towards religion in general and in Korea - particularly, how Christianity spread across Korea, and comparing it to Christianity in Japan and why that outcome is different.
Week 3 - Women in Korean society (A)
Spoiler
Self-explanatory, but an analysis of how women are viewed and treated within Korean society, and how traditional values etched within society are starting to unravel in modern day Korea - see the #MeToo movement for more information. Analysis of cosmetic surgery is also here.
Week 4 - Multiculturalism in Korea (A)
Spoiler
Korea is one of the most homogenous countries in the world! So an increasing number of foreign residents (especially non-East Asian) in Korea and its effects on society are the things you'll analyse here.
Week 5 - Hallyu!!!!!!111 (A)
Spoiler
This is why you probably even considered the subject - the majority of people in my class certainly chose it for this reason. This week analyses how Hallyu came to dominate the world, and the consequences of Hallyu for Korean society.
Week 6 - Korea's economy (A)
Spoiler
Being a commerce student this was the most interesting week for me 8) but nah this is a good week detailing how Korea came from a war-torn nation to being one of the global economic powers.
Week 7 - North Korea's Nuclear program (J)
Spoiler
Pretty topical as always. Analysis of how we even got to where we (Trump and Kim, Moon and Kim etc.). I don't remember too much about this ngl lol
Week 8 - Japanese colonialism and its effects upon Korean society (J)
Spoiler
Comparison of colonial subjects across the world, and the legacy of Japanese colonialism (see: comfort women). Jay is very passionate about this topic, and I think that itself says something about the effects of colonialism!
Week 9 - Post-Korean War (J)
Spoiler
All about the Korean war and the immediate time period after it. This was quite a personal topic for me, so it was extra interesting to analyse how this war affected families across the border.
Week 10 - Juche: Socialism in North Korea (J)
Spoiler
Explanation of Juche, the ideology of North Korea, then more analysis on modern day North Korea under Kim Jong-un's rule.
Week 11 - Human rights in Korea (J)
Spoiler
This was definitely a surprise topic for me when I read the subject guide. Analyse human right violations in Korea (both sides, but a large focus on North Korea) and how the South can help mitigate this issue.
Week 12 - Korea Diasporas (J)
Spoiler
Korean diaspora across the world! Where have Koreans in the last 100 or so years have migrated? Who was the first Korean migrant(s) to Australia? Find out more this week!!!


Tutorials
This subject was held entirely online unfortunately, owing to the COVID-19 related lockdowns in Melbourne. However, the people in my class were really good and always willing to talk about the week's content in the discussions. This is very refreshing when compared to commerce tutorials...lol. Anna was the lone tutor for this subject who did a similar subject a few years ago, and definitely made the tutorials a lot more fun and engaging. Probably my favourite part of the subject. As mentioned before, you'll need to attend at least 10 of the 12 tutorials (there's a tutorial week 1) to pass the subject. Special consideration can be applied for if you were sick for a week, but I'd ask Jay about this whenever you run into such an issue. These tutorials could sometimes turn into QnA sessions whenever an assessment was due soon, but other than that no complaints.

Assessments
The first assignment, a research proposal (10%) is pretty easy and not too bad. You'll need to declare what topic (out of the 12 possible covered) you want to write your paper on, and explain the structure, and include references with some analysis of the references themselves (e.g. was it a Korean anthropologist that wrote this reference? Or did you pick an American psychologist instead? Justify why you did so etc.) This isn't too hard and you can always book a consultation to either Jay or the head-tutor.

The oral presentation (20%) requires you to do an oral presentation on a topic which is NOT the topic you chose to write your proposal on. This could be done in week 4 or week 12, with the week 12 list of prompts being released in week 9. During this semester, we had to record a PowerPoint/slides presentation and upload the presentation as a video with audio. With that being said, for 2022 (hopefully!), this will be done in tutorials in person. Not hard but I did mess up here a little bit.
 
The mid-term essay (30%) essentially is a first draft of your paper. I was quite confused at what they wanted from us, but again, going to a consultation does solve this issue. The final essay (40%) is what it is - a 3000 word essay that you spend the semester working on. Now, if you are smart, you would have done what I just said, and not instead, write 3000 words on the day before the due date. Now who would do such a thing...but in all seriousness, this felt very satisfying to finish and seeing the culmination of your hard-core research into a neat 3000 word essay is amazing! While you do get a sample of previous essays (2017), they are not done in the same format as done these days so don't copy it I suppose. Just a quick tip for my non-arts peeps: use high quality references. A random reference from a dodgy publication won't suffice (cough cough OB) here!

Concluding remarks
Brilliant subject, and has actually made me think of doing an arts masters lol, or even an arts degree. We'll see, but I think I have a new passion for anthropology now lol...or maybe I'm just a koreaboo (lol after writing this all up, I just realised my atarnotes username and profile picture...lol)...who knows...anyways this subject is ran extremely well, and the content is very interesting and the assessments help build knowledge on a topic you (should) be passionate about! Thanks for reading and I think expect further arts breadth reviews!


2018: Religion & Society, Vietnamese SL
2019: Literature, Methods, Specialist, Computing: Software Development, Economics, MUEP Mathematics (RIP)


Commerce @ Unimelb

Feel free to DM me about uni!

huy8668

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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #848 on: November 28, 2021, 11:51:07 pm »
0
Subject Code/Name: MAST90056 Riemann surfaces and complex analysis

Faculty: Science

Workload:  On the surface, 3 one hour lectures

Assessment:  3 assignments, 20% each and exam 40%

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture

Past exams available:  Yes, 2 but useless, I did not use them and will never recommend them

Textbook Recommendation:  Ahlfors and Forsters book. Definitely recommend for reasons I will discuss. But it's up to you whether to get it or not, of course.

Lecturer(s): Paul Norbury

Year & Semester of completion: 2021 Semester 2

Rating:  1 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: 92

Comments:

This subject is the meeting point of topology and complex analysis. We learn a little bit more complex analysis but mainly study these objects called Riemann surfaces which are surfaces with some additional complex structure, loosely speaking.

This will be a review to help you decide whether or not to take this subject.

To give a useful review, lemme start with the pros. Riemann surfaces are interesting objects to study in its own right and Paul is a strong mathematician, quite knowledgeable who is fair in his marking and believes in conscientiousness. Provided that you honestly worked through the assignment as best you can, he'll give you a good mark that you will deserve, regardless of anything else (I'll leave you to interpret that however you like). My understanding is that Paul likely knows that this subject is a little too difficult (in the wrong way) and adjusts his marking accordingly, which is always nice to see. The exam was a beautifully written exam for a 3 hour session but since we were only given 2 hours to do it, I found it to be extremely difficult, but I believe was scaled which was very fortunate. He is also very willing to help students, always staying back after lectures for as long as needed to answer questions and giving 3 hours of consultations per week which is quite a lot I reckon.

With that said, to save you some time let me just say that if you're just looking for some random maths subjects to do for your Msc then do not pick this subject. Otherwise, if you know some differential geometry and either have a specific reason to study Riemann surfaces or are interested in it then this subject is for you. There are a lot of problems with this subject, particularly its structure, the way it is taught and the assignments. Before I go into this, lemme just say that yes I did ok in this subject but not without a lot physical and mental pain throughout the semester. I had to pay a high price for it, let's put it that way.

As for the structure of the course, students are only required to know complex analysis to be able to take this course. However, from the way it is delivered, it is obvious that you do need to know some differential geometry, geometry and topology for sure. I would say that the real prerequisites for this subject are metrics and hilbert spaces, geometry, complex analysis and differential geometry. My understanding from what the lecturer said is that if he puts all that in the description then the number of students taking this subject will be too low. He said that we are expecting a different kind of maturity here, meaning that students should take the subject and drop it if they find it not to be their cup of tea at around week 3. There are obvious flaws in this argument imo but I didn't wanna start a debate with him. In any case, if you take this subject you can imagine its like taking on a subject with twice as much workload since you have to be teaching yourself topology and differential geometry at the same time. The students who have had all the background knowledge (most definitely not me) will find this subject to actually be pretty chill.

As for how it is taught, like I said Paul is a strong mathematician but having been at the top for so long he likely forgot what it was like to be a student and is imo not very organised and horrible at explaining/motivating concepts. There are no prewritten notes and he pretty much handwrites everything as we go which I do not mind too much. My problem with this is that the statements that Paul writes down are very terse and in many important cases not rigorous and even wrong which really makes the studying process a lot more daunting. At times I would wonder if I don't understand the material or the statement was just wrong. In addition, each lecture will consists of him just pumping out content for us to learn, without any motivation or at best just some obvious explanation that certainly is insufficient for a student. In many cases he'll just give some terse explanations so that you can go through the book yourself to learn the rest of the details. This again is understandable and one would expect that a Msc student can do such a thing but it certainly takes a lot of time for those with weak backgrounds and together with all the other factors piling on top of one another, it is not helpful for students' learning imo.

Finally for the assignment, I understand that they are worth 60% of the course and so they are meant to be more difficult. My opinion though is that they are too difficult and we are given like a week to do them which is far too short. Paul said it himself that the assignments are designed to hurt you and make you better for it. I feel that the difficulty level was a little too great for us, especially considering how most of us, like myself, did not have much background in differential geometry (let alone those without a background in topology). In addition, Paul said it himself that despite giving us a week to do it, he does not expect people to spend a week working on it, meaning that his intention is to have us work on it for like 3 - 4 days and that's it. I, however, had to spend like an entire week only on that assignment, could not study any of my other subjects which puts me really far behind. Idk maybe I'm just dumb but again my opinion is that the assignment was far too difficult in many many ways. Btw, one of the assignment required you to read one of the reference book and explain it so that's another reason to grab the books.

The bottom line is, unless you're well prepared in advanced with all the background knowledge and studying skills (you'll be left to your own device for most of the semester due to the unreliability I've stated above), you'll be playing an unfair game against you, where even basic things like precision, correctness and rigour of statements will be scarce lol

« Last Edit: December 01, 2021, 07:52:27 am by huy8668 »

huy8668

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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #849 on: November 29, 2021, 04:36:09 pm »
+1
Subject code/name: MAST90133 Partial differential equations

Faculty: Science

Workload: 3 one hour lectures

Assessment:  4 assignments, 10% each and an exam 60%

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with capture

Past exams available:  Not sure but don't recommend it

Textbook Recommendation:  Princeton lecture on analysis, Fourier and Real analysis. Must have!

Lecturer(s): Volker Schlue

Year & Semester of completion: 2021 Semester 2

Rating:  2 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade:

Comments:

This subject was definitely a fun one and up my alley (analysis). If youíre after the content of the course, itís at the end. Iíll begin with just the negative review on how kind of terribly ran the subject was. Itís probably one of my very first negative reviews on a subject because in most other cases, even if a subject is poorly ran, I wouldnít know and Iíd just conclude that I just was not good enough and thus struggled. Now that Iíve gotten a bit stronger, I can tell that the subject is just terribly ran lol
This a relatively new course, being taught for the second time this year. Although new, the structure was well-designed, and the pace was ok for an Msc level subject. In saying that, because I spent all my time on another subject, I really struggled to keep up. This subject actually ended up being one I pay the least amount of attention towards. In any case, we were provided with typed up lecture notes, which was essentially a summary of a number of chapters from a number of books. Btw, it may be a good idea for you to brush up on your multivariate calculus and Hilbert space theory before entering this course. Hilbert space theory will be introduced again but multivariate calculus will not.
The lecturer is a somewhat knowledgeable guy in this field and his explanations to the lecture content were ok but ones in the notes were not that good tbh. The notes were typed up neatly which I am quite grateful for, but not a great deal of thoughts were put in them. In many cases I had to read the extra content in the reference book to really know what was happening. Also, he could not give very good answers to many additional questions (which Iíd expect lecturers to be able to answer) asked in consultations or outside lecture time in general. It was a busy semester for the guy so he screwed up in a few places, more on this later, but he tried his best to make it work so kudos to the guy.
The assignments are, from my understanding, not designed to be extremely scary and just some problems that require you to think like ones you would see in undergrad. Although intended to be that way, it was not created nor designed that way this semester lol How it works is that the lecturer will find problems in the reference book that are doable for students and set them as assignment questions. The issue is that what Volker considers ďdoableĒ is not quite doable. He would ask problems that are far too much where for example, unless you are lucky (in its literal meaning) you really most likely will not be able to solve it. Me being a lucky one, I found it odd that such a problem can be set for Msc students to do as an assignment question and asked him about it. He said he made a mistake and mentioned that he set the problem with the intention of testing a certain topic when in fact the problem tests a very different topic. It gets worse on another assignment where he again accidentally sets an entire assignment which was mostly too difficult and outside of the scope of the course. It got so bad that in one of the problems where youíre asked to prove a biconditional statement, as long as you prove one direction youíll get the full mark. This fixes things up a little bit but was rather frustrating for many of us who spent so much time proving both directions, especially since we did not get any bonus marks. The worst part, though, had to be his hints to the assignment lol His hints made the problem more difficult in certain cases and in my case, even put me off the right track. Letís just say that the assignments were all over the place.
For the exam, I honestly donít know whether to judge it a fair exam or not. Subjectively I found the exam to be fair Ďcause he tested what was in the course, nothing new that weíve never seen before. Like if you know how to study for this exam then youíll be good to go. But then at the same time, after talking to friends, I found that objectively, the exam structure was a little off since it had no free marks and all problems were pretty difficult, with one question being poorly worded and screwed me over. In addition, part III of the course was rushed and he promised to ask very basic questions on the exam. I definitely did not find the questions asked to be ďbasicĒ lol In any case I guess I managed to preserve through a lot of the stress and pain during the revision period and it paid off. Apparently, I got the highest mark with a 95, yay!
This subject is an introduction to studying linear partial differential equations. If youíve done any kind of study on differential equations on the past, youíll know that this stuff gets very difficult very quickly. Thus, eventually we canít even solve them anymore and rather can only deduce existence and uniqueness of a solution. The course is split up into three parts and its content is probably the best part about the subject, at least for me. Iíve always enjoyed the analysis stuff.
Part I: solving PDE using the Fourier series, Fourier transform and some applications. Youíll study the Fourier series, Fourier transform in a little more detail.
Part II: studying PDE using Hilbert space theory, trying to deduce existence and uniqueness of whatís know as a weak solution. Weak solutions need not be differentiable but behaves in the same way as a strong solution in many ways we care about so theyíre cool stuff. Youíll study these things called harmonic functions, which are like holomorphic functions, and find some interesting stuff about them. Many new interesting techniques in mathematics like smoothing will be taught to you.
Part III: studying PDE using distributions. Now things get so difficult that solution arenít even functions anymore, but rather distributions which is just a generalisation of what a function is. Again these are cool stuff but I did not get too much time to study these. I only knew some of the basic stuff so donít ask me on this lol