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May 13, 2021, 09:50:09 pm

Author Topic: UNSW Course Reviews  (Read 122515 times)  Share 

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owidjaja

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Re: UNSW Course Reviews
« Reply #240 on: December 21, 2020, 11:26:42 pm »
+8
Subject Code/Name: DESN2000 - Engineering Design and Professional Practice

Contact Hours:
Lectures: 1x 2 hours, 1x 1 hour
Tutorial: 2x 2 hours

Assumed Knowledge:

Assessment:
Design Journal: 25% (two check-ins during the term)
Interim Presentation: 15%
Preliminary Report: 15%
Pitch Presentation: 10%
Final Report: 30%
Peer Review: 5%

Lecture Recordings? Yes

Notes/Materials Available: Sample reports, video guides for reports

Textbook: Engineering Design: A Systematic Approach (Third Edition) by G. Pahl, W. Beitz, J. Feldhusen, K. H. Grote - no need to purchase it because you can easily access it online but it's useful for a section of the final report

Lecturer(s): Dr Ang Liu

Year & Trimester of completion: 2020 T3

Difficulty: 1/5

Overall Rating: 3.5/5

Comments:
DESN2000 is the new version of MMAN2100. The only difference is that DESN2000 takes on students from different schools of engineering and your classes are based on which engineering you're doing (e.g. MECH, CIVIL, SPREE, ELEC etc.) - I did the MECH stream. Ang is a great lecturer, but he goes through a lot of content and examples that are sometimes not necessary. The content itself isn't too hard because a lot of the time you're just following the steps outlined in the lecture slide. My main issue with the course is how ambiguous the instructions are. This is the first time DESN2000 is run, which is understandable, but sometimes it gets a bit yikes when you're trying to ask for help and the response you get is "well it's your choice." The other annoying thing is that in the final report, there's a section where they ask you to discuss stuff you learnt from other courses. The examples they listed were FEA, FMEA and electronic schematics. This would've been fine if DESN2000 wasn't a 2nd year engineering course - these examples are professional electives so it's not guaranteed that everyone knows FEA. The other annoying thing is that they asked us to our product onto CAD. It's understandable for them to ask us to draw on CAD, if MMAN2130 was a prerequisite or at least a corequisite with the course. Because we're generating a complex product on CAD (since we designed a chair), not everyone in the team was either confident to do so since they're taking MMAN2130 during the term or can't do it because they haven't done MMAN2130 or don't have access to CAD.
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blasonduo

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Re: UNSW Course Reviews
« Reply #241 on: December 22, 2020, 01:17:51 pm »
+8
Subject Code/Name: CHEM1011 - Chemistry 1A: Atoms, Molecules and Energy

Contact Hours:  1x 1hr lecture, 1x 2hr lecture, 1x 1hr lab 'prep, 1x 3hr laboratory, 1x 1hr tutorial a week.

Assumed Knowledge: HSC Chemistry

Assessment:  8x laboratory weekly quizzes (10%), Online laboratory core skills (10%), had to get 100% on each test, maximum 4 attempts. A fail would result in a fail for the course. 3x validation tests (40%) 90% or higher was needed on each test to obtain the full amount, failure to do so would result in a fail for the course. Final exam (40%)

Lecture Recordings?  A given yes due to covid.

Notes/Materials Available: Online learning moodle modules were also provided in conjunction to the lectures. Extra materials for further reading was also provided.

Textbook: Allan Blackman, Siegbert Schmid, Mauro Mocerino, Uta Wille, Steve Bottle (2018) Chemistry, 4th edition, Wiley & Sons.

Lecturer(s): Prof. Scott Kable (1st half), Prof. Alex Donald (2nd half)

Year & Trimester of completion: 2020 T3

Difficulty: 3.4/5

Overall Rating:  4.3/5

Your Mark/Grade: 80 DN

Comments:
UNSW does a really good job with first year science courses, and this one was no exception.

Although very overwhelming when initially looking at the course, once you understand it all, you can clearly see that this course has been very carefully structured to reduce workload, stress and difficulty of the course. One of the best things about the course is that everyone that sat the final exam had already passed the course, something I think all courses should be following.

The course was split into two main categories; threshold and mastery content. To put it simply, threshold content was the simple part of the course, and was the minimum requirements to pass the course. The mastery content extends from the threshold, and is what gives us higher marks (CR,DN,HD). Each week, there was initially a threshold lecture, and then a mastery lecture, it all flowed really well.

 Scott Kable is a really good lecturer, even with the harder online times. Very interactive, supportive and taught at a very good pace. The only critique is the fact that if we ran out of time, it got too fast to comprehend almost anything.
Alex Donald tried to follow the same, and it didn't work as well, but I'll throw this onto being inexperienced. He was very monotone, and the "read off the slides" type of guy.

The assessments were also really good. I'm an avid fan of assessments being under 50% weighting and actually rewards hard work, and this course followed this mentality. Although the validation tests were stressful, they were an easy 40% if you consistently kept up with the content. The final exam was all an online moodle test, and it worked flawlessly.

The biggest downside to the whole course was simply the online laboratory sessions, it was very boring, and I didn't learn as much as I should've. However, I don't blame the course here, but rather the situation.

To sum this up, look forward to this course, if it were this good online, it'll be even better face-to-face. Just stay on-top of the work!
2018: UNSW B science (physics)/B education

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blasonduo

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Re: UNSW Course Reviews
« Reply #242 on: December 23, 2020, 12:50:00 am »
+8
Subject Code/Name: PHYS3116 - Astrophysics

Contact Hours:  1x 2 hr lecture, 2x 1 hr lecture, 1x 1 hr tutorial a week

Assumed Knowledge: None, really.

Assessment:  2x Assignment (questions) 20% (10% each). 1x mid-term (20%), Final exam (60%)

Lecture Recordings?  A given yes due to covid.

Notes/Materials Available: None. (lecture slides are given)

Textbook: “An  Introduction  to  Modern  Astrophysics” by Carroll and Ostlie, 2nd Edition

Lecturer(s): A/Prof Kim-Vy Tran (1st half), Prof. Prof Sarah Brough (2nd half)

Year & Trimester of completion: 2020 T3

Difficulty: 3.0/5

Overall Rating:  2.3/5

Your Mark/Grade: 76 DN

Comments:

As a physics elective, if you want a really easy, but interesting course, this is the course for you. This is by far the easiest elective out there.

That being said, the whole course is really underwhelming. The lectures themselves were alright (albeit the bland nature of the lecturers), but the slides made it almost impossible to study on for exams, and with no supporting material, it made the whole studying really difficult. This is really a textbook focused course. The whole of the first assignment was just questions picked out of the textbook.

This course could be way harder, with integrals, however (luckily for us) the majority of the questions are simply 'plug and chug', a real positive. There really isn't much more to say apart from don't expect much effort from the course coordinators, just stick to the textbook and it'll be pretty easy
2018: UNSW B science (physics)/B education

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Opengangs

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Re: UNSW Course Reviews
« Reply #243 on: January 26, 2021, 08:51:13 pm »
+6
Subject Code/Name: ECON2101 - Microeconomics 2

Contact Hours:
- Lectures are pre-recorded (3 lectures per week).
- 1 x 1 hr Workshop tutorial.
- 1 x 1 hr Q&A session.

Assumed Knowledge:
- ECON1101 is a pre-requisite; a basic understanding of differentiation is recommended (if you've taken ECON1202 or MATH1131/1141/1151, you'll be fine with the maths).

Assessment:
- 5 x Weekly quizzes (60%).
- 2 x Extra Questions (10%).
- Final exam (30%).

Lecture Recordings? Lectures are pre-recorded.

Notes/Materials Available: Lecture slides are sufficient.

Textbook: Intermediate Microeconomics: A tool-building approach by Samiran Bannerjee is the prescribed textbook and I highly suggest you get it.

Lecturer(s):
- Lecturer: Aleksandra Balyanova.
- Tutor: Ping Richard Gong.

Year & Trimester of completion: 2021 Summer Term

Difficulty: 2/5.

Overall Rating:  2.5/5.

Your Mark/Grade: 74 (CR).

Comments: I mainly did this course purely out of economic interest and seeing how this is a fairly math-sy course, I thought it'd be an interesting experience. The course states that you need to put in at least 25 hours per week during the summer but in all honesty, 5 hours is sufficient. The course material is fairly easy to follow and not much from ECON1101 is really required for the course.

The course begins with a light introduction to the concept of preferences and builds a mathematical framework into how consumers rank certain choices using the idea of a utility. We then take a detour into the supply side of the market and build similar frameworks to that of the consumers. The last few chapters of the course concerns itself with the relationships between consumers and suppliers (monopoly, game theory and oligopoly).

One of my biggest issues with the course is the fact that quiz concepts aren't really taught (whether it's explicitly or implicitly) in the lectures. As a result, we had to make a few wild assumptions (turned out to be the right assumptions) in order to answer the problems. This was quite a frequent experience for a lot of the quiz problems, coupled with the fact that it's primarily graded based on the first attempt and is weighted pretty highly, is a bit concerning. I do like the fact that if we don't get full marks in the first attempt, we can earn 2 marks if we reattempt the quiz and get 100% - I found that to be a really nice added incentive to understand the concepts taught in the quizzes.

The extra questions were a bit vague as well -- I struggled to understand what they were trying to ask in the first place. Conceptually wasn't challenging but having to read through a lot of meaningless words was not really my vibe.

With the lectures being pre-recorded, I do like the added Q&A sessions and workshop session. Those sessions were really helpful. I also liked the incentive of giving away bonus marks for contributions on Piazza. Teaching others is the best way to learn so having a chance to earn an extra 1% in the course AND learning something new is a win-win in my book.

Overall, I wasn't really expecting much with the course. I did it mainly because I wanted to do a bit of economics. There were a few issues here and there, but I think this course has significantly improved since its last offering - at least I think so. Would I recommend it as an elective? Probably not. Do I regret taking it? Ehhh not really. It was certainly an experience. They definitely overestimated the amount of time needed to do well in the course.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2021, 02:41:17 pm by Opengangs »
Computer Science (Artifical Intelligence), Advanced Science (Pure Mathematics Major)
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Opengangs

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Re: UNSW Course Reviews
« Reply #244 on: April 20, 2021, 03:02:41 pm »
+7
Subject Code/Name: COMP3311 - Database Systems / COMP9311 - Database Systems (postgraduate equivalent)

Contact Hours:
- Lecture hours vary each week depending on the length of the pre-recorded video (approx. 2 hours of lecture material were taught).
- 1 x 2 hour live QnA session
- 1 x 2 hour lab (weeks 1 - 5)
- 1 x 1 hour tutorial (weeks 7 - 10)

Assumed Knowledge:
COMP2521 or COMP1927 are the pre-requisites. It is worth noting that many students who have done INFS1603 would have seen a lot of the first half of the course before and students who have done COMP1531 would have been exposed to the ER models that were taught in the first two weeks. In saying that, COMP3311 / 9311 covers these topics again and in greater depth.

Assessment:
- Weekly quizzes (from Weeks 2 to 10 - 8 quizzes): 10%
- 2 x assignments (20% each)
- Final exam (50%; hurdle is that students must score at least 45% in the final exam to pass).

Lecture Recordings? Lectures are pre-recorded and available 2 weeks before.

Notes/Materials Available: Lecture slides are sufficient.

Textbook:
None prescribed.
Recommended:
  • Fundamentals of Database Systems  (Elmasri and Navathe, 7th edition, 2016, Addison-Wesley)
  • Database System Concepts (Silberschatz, Korth, Sudarshan, 6th edition, 2010, McGraw-Hill)
  • Database Systems: The Complete Book  (Garcia-Molina, Ullman, Widom, 2nd edition, 2008, Prentice-Hall)
  • Database Systems: An Application-Oriented Approach (Kifer, Berstein, Lewis, 2nd edition (Complete Version), 2006, Addison-Wesley)

I used the first textbook and found it really useful. It was a bit verbose at times but they offer complementary slides for revision.

Lecturer(s):
- Lecturer: Raymond Wong.
- Lab instructor: Nanway Chen.
- Tutor: Yi Zhuang.

Year & Trimester of completion: 2021 Term 1

Difficulty: 2/5.

Overall Rating: 3/51.5/5.

Your Mark/Grade: SoonTM.

Comments:
I have quite mixed opinions about this course. While the course serves as a good introductory course to database system management, I felt like I didn't really learn much from the course and it left a great deal to be desired. Coming into the course, I was expecting to build a database from scratch (or at least build off of a pre-existing database). Rather the assessments were just reading off a database (which isn't a bad idea for an assessment) but the focus shifted more to using Python / Postgres / PlpgSQL to read queries. As a result, I'm still unsure of how to construct a database schema and how you would properly manage the database. This is important because COMP3311 / 9311 might be the only database course a Computer Science student would take and leaving them without the skills of developing a database can be a detriment.

The first assessment was really fun and I thoroughly enjoyed building SQL queries. The second assessment felt a bit unnecessary. To this day, I don't see what the point of building an assessment around "degrees of separation", particularly in a database course. It seemed to be more fitting to a course akin to COMP2521 where algorithms and data structures are the focus of the course. The first two tasks were fine, but the last task was lengthy, dry, and somewhat irrelevant.

The lectures were basically taught by jas and I enjoyed his antics. The lectures were interesting, although a bit slow at times, and the QnA sessions were really interesting to attend. The quizzes were fairly easy and, with enough revision, you can blitz through them in about 10 minutes.

An overall okay course; if the assessments aligned with the core of the course, then it would be a lot more interesting to do them and the reward of completing them would far exceed the painstakingly long hours of debugging SQL queries.

An update: the final exam experienced soured my taste for the course. It is deserving of a 1.5/5. The theory side of the exam was actually alright and was quite fun, so the rest of the rant is solely based on the practical part of the exam. But holy fuck. The exam was so poorly written. The exam was cluttered with ambiguous specifications and when we asked for further clarifications, we were asked to refer to the specifications. To put it bluntly, no one who I talked to understood what was asked. And when we did, we didn't know whether what we were writing was evenly vaguely correct. This was caused by the lack of autotests or sample outputs - each question only had one partial output that doesn't address any of the ambiguity that the questions provided. It was possibly the worst exam I've taken to date and if it's completely automarked, there's going to be a barrage of complaints from the students.
« Last Edit: May 01, 2021, 07:42:48 pm by Opengangs »
Computer Science (Artifical Intelligence), Advanced Science (Pure Mathematics Major)
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fun_jirachi

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Re: UNSW Course Reviews
« Reply #245 on: April 20, 2021, 10:01:43 pm »
+9
-snip-

Saw this and having done the same course in the same offering, thought I might as well drop my thoughts *now*.

Difficulty: 2/5.

Overall Rating: 3.5/5.

Your Mark/Grade: Later

Comments:
Lectures were a bit dry - but I honestly expected that given that Jas had already taught basically everything in prerecorded lectures. After a poor lecturing term in COMP2521 last year, I really can't put it better than Opengangs; it was a breath of fresh air, really.

It should be noted that I had different Lab Instructors and Tutors to Opengangs - but I honestly don't think my experience would be too different. Jas's prerecorded material was honestly enough and any extra content covered felt a bit redundant unless you were struggling with a particular concept.

I also share a lot of the same annoyances - while I perhaps do understand how to build a database to some extent, it was not to the extent that I'd like to believe we were promised. In the first week of term where something along the lines of 'first half building databases and database queries, second half making sure database framework is logical and lacks redundancy' was mentioned. While this was fulfilled for the most part, it's probably more something you can slap on a resume (I can do sqlite3 and PostgreSQL!) rather than confidently profess any sort of proficiency for (like you may do for a programming language like Python, as an example).

The first assessment was very dry - while I found it built some proficiency it was really hard to work with and was often convoluted at times (which I have heard led to a low-ish average mark, though this is just chatter given I'm not one to make too many friends at uni). The second assessment was much more interesting, but I agree with Opengangs - if the point was to teach us a method of linking databases to a 'conventional' programming language, it could've been done with laboratory tasks or tutorials rather than an extensive assessment that in all honesty had less to do with databases than you'd think.

While this review does seem disparaging, the content was probably the saving grace, especially the first half (the second half is rather boring imo). Handling databases remains somewhat interesting and the fact that they're so extensively used everywhere while persistently maintaining some relative standard is even more amazing. Why they work the way they do is curious and as such, I've rated this course in much the same way as COMP2521 in 20T3 - mild annoyance tempered with interesting core content.
Spoiler
HSC 2018: Mod Hist [88] | 2U Maths [98]
HSC 2019: Physics [92] | Chemistry [93] | English Adv [87] | 3U Maths [98] | 4U Maths [97]
ATAR: 99.05

UCAT: 3310 - VR [740] | DM [890] | QR [880] | AR [800]
Guide Links:
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UCAT Question Compilation/FAQ (2020)
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HelpICantThinkOfAName

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Re: UNSW Course Reviews
« Reply #246 on: April 22, 2021, 06:25:08 pm »
+6
Subject Code/Name: ECON1401 - Economic Perspectives

Contact Hours:  2 x 1.5 hour lecture per week. 1 x 1.5 hour tutorial per week.

Assumed Knowledge: ECON1101

Assessment:

Oral Presentation - 15%. A nice short 3-minute long video of you talking about an economic issue to people who don't understand economics.

Lecture and Tutorial Participation - 20%. 6% from feedback given to students on their oral presentation, 6% from completing short quizzes in lectures, 4% for participation in tutorials (showing up and doing fun activities that were surprisingly educational), 2% for submitting your course journal throughout the term, 2% for participation in the two tutorial debates. Honestly fairly easy stuff to get, as long as you just show up and keep up with the work it's an easy 18/20.

Written Essay - 45%. You have to analyse one of four given economic issues facing Australia from the perspective of two economic thinkers, and then suggest ways to combat this. 4,000 words total. Interesting topics, but would've been much better as two separate essays, instead of one large one.

Course Journal (Reflections) - 20%. This is where the course fails the most. Each week you're given a set of readings, and to ensure that you've actually read them you're required to write about your reactions to them in a course journal. 500 words for every ~30 pages you read, along with 500 words on each week's lecture and tutorial content. 10,000 words total. Seems ok right? Only 1,000 words a week? No. Not at all. There are two weeks where there were no classes, three weeks with no readings, so in reality, it's closer to 1,500 words a week. That's before you realise that there are weeks where you just don't learn anything at all. I spent hours just trying to make up my reactions to course content. It needs to be changed to only require reflections on readings.

Lecture Recordings?  Yes.

Notes/Materials Available:  Full slides given out, only really useful to reference when writing your reflections though.

Lecturers:
Gigi Foster, 3.5/5. Ok lecturing, but she dedicated a half-hour of every class to just discussing economic issues which was good fun, especially when there were a few people all debating over a topic.

Nalini Prasad, 3/5. Decent lecturer, but very limited by the course content. Similar to ACCT1501, there's only so much you can do to make this interesting.

Year & Trimester of completion: 2021/T1

Difficulty: 1/5 Content. 4.5/5 Assessments. The content is very simple, you don't really need to "learn" any of it, just be awake enough in class to get a broad understanding of the topics. The assessments are nuts. 10k+ words for reflections is way overkill, could have easily been 7,500 and we would've gotten the same out of it. 10k+ is just begging for students to make up their own reactions, needlessly extend their response, and was an unnecessary amount of stress. The essay was alright, but really was just two essays submitted at the same time. I would've much preferred how the essay portion was handled in previous years as two different submissions, instead of one final one. It's not difficult, it's just a lot of things to balance all at once, and I easily spent twice as much time on this subject as my other two combined.

Overall Rating:  1/5. Soley for the assessments.

Your Mark/Grade: Coming soon.

Comments:

Way too much to handle at times, especially for a first-year course. I spent so much time just trying to extend my reflection to reach the word count, which felt like a waste of time when it only made up 20% of my final grade. The assessments need to be urgently rebalanced, a sentiment felt by many others doing this course this term.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2021, 10:37:27 am by HelpICantThinkOfAName »
Studying Economics/Mathematics @ UNSW

HelpICantThinkOfAName

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Re: UNSW Course Reviews
« Reply #247 on: April 23, 2021, 10:08:08 pm »
+7
Subject Code/Name: ECON3104 - International Macroeconomics

Contact Hours:  2 x 1.5 hour lecture per week. 1 x 1.5 hour tutorial per week.

Assumed Knowledge: ECON2102

Assessment:

10% - 4 sets of tutorial problems, 2 of which randomly chosen to be marked. Not as bad as macro 2, where 25% of your grades came from this structure, and the tutorial problems were genuinely fun to complete.

20% - Midterm (sorry, in-session quiz). Really rough grade distribution for this one, 20% of students failed, and another 40% got between 50 and 64. Very telling of the difficulty in the first half of the course. Just grind out your textbook questions and you'll be set for this though.

10% - Oral Presentation. A really interesting 3-minute presentation where we had to link economic growth to currency pegs.

10% - Essay. A short 1,000-word essay where we had to analyse the impact of a (very theoretical) global pandemic on Australia's account balances.

50% - Final Exam. 35 multiple-choice, 5 written/long response. Same as the midterm, just grind out the textbook questions and you'll be set. Focused on the second half of the course.

Lecture Recordings?  Yes.

Notes/Materials Available:  Full slides given out.

Lecturer: Stanley Cho, 4.5/5. Sometimes he went a bit too fast through topics, but attending lectures live made it possible to just ask him to slow down and go over things again. 100% go to his lectures/watch them live.

Year & Trimester of completion: 2021/T1

Difficulty: 4/5 at the start, 1.5/5 at the end. Another front-heavy econ course, but this time it came from the difficulty of having 4 or 5 topics that seemed completely distinct from one another. By the end, you'll learn the mechanisms by which they all interact and it'll all slot into place.

Overall Rating:  5/5.

Your Mark/Grade: Coming soon.

Comments: I never really felt like I was a better mathematician after taking any of my mathematics courses, just better at doing a new calculation/proof. This made me feel like I was a better economist at the end of it. You gain a much greater appreciation for all the ways that international economies interact, how domestic issues affect foreign countries, and so much more. Really interested in doing my econ honours in this area now. If you've got any interest in macro and are competent in algebra, take this course (no calculus involved at all).
Studying Economics/Mathematics @ UNSW

fun_jirachi

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Re: UNSW Course Reviews
« Reply #248 on: April 24, 2021, 09:39:57 pm »
+5
Subject Code/Name:
COMP3331/COMP9331 - Computer Networks and Applications

Contact Hours:
2x 2 hour lectures
1x 2 hour tutorial/lab

Assumed Knowledge:
Prerequisite: COMP1927 or COMP2521 or MTRN3500

Assessment:
20% Lab Exercises
20% Mid-Term
20% Assignment
40% Final

Lecture Recordings?
Yes

Notes/Materials Available:
On course website

Textbook:
From Course Outline 21T1

Course Textbook:
Computer Networking - A Top-Down Approach Featuring the Internet, J. Kurose and K. Ross, Pearson, 7th Edition, 2017 (Sixth edition will suffice for most parts).

Reference Texts:
Unix Network 1 - Networking APIs: Sockets and XTI, W. Richard Stevens, Prentice Hall, Second Edition, 1998.
Java Network Programming, E. R. Harold, O'Reilly, Third Edition, 2004.
Learning Python, Mark Lutz, O'Reilly, Fifth Edition, 2013.
Computer Networks: A Systems Approach, Larry Peterson and Bruce Davie, Morgan Kaufmann, Fifth Edition, 2011.
Introduction to Computer Networks and Cybersecurity, John Wu and J. David Irwin, CRC Press, 2013.
Computer Networks, Andrew Tanenbaum and David Wetherall, Fifth Edition, Pearson, 2010.

Lecturer(s):
Wen Hu

Year & Trimester of completion:
21T1

Difficulty:
3/5

Overall Rating:
3/5

Your Mark/Grade: Later

Comments:
Assessments: The midterm was okay, as were the labs (the tutorial/lab sessions were basically 1 hour shorter than prescribed most of the time, and you got all the answers to the lab questions in them, all in detail, with a Q&A at the end) but the assignment was super frustrating to work through. Now it wasn't particularly hard if you broke past the few roadblocks, but the roadblocks were absolute killers. For those not well acquainted with key concepts not taught either in this course or in any prerequisites (multithreading in particular), it was a real struggle to get started. After this, though it was okay to work through. The assignment also had only minimal overlap with core content; while I get it was supposed to teach how TCP and UDP worked on low-level applications, this was only a small portion of core content. It felt more like a software development assignment than a networks one, and was eerily reminiscent of a COMP1531 assignment.

The course was otherwise above the minimum standard from what I'd expect from university - it wasn't absolutely brilliant or absolute garbage by any measure (it's really hard to describe!). Personally, the core content was slightly boring but I think it was taught well. If I can describe this any better I'll come back to this :)
Spoiler
HSC 2018: Mod Hist [88] | 2U Maths [98]
HSC 2019: Physics [92] | Chemistry [93] | English Adv [87] | 3U Maths [98] | 4U Maths [97]
ATAR: 99.05

UCAT: 3310 - VR [740] | DM [890] | QR [880] | AR [800]
Guide Links:
Subject Acceleration (2018)
UCAT Question Compilation/FAQ (2020)
Asking good questions

Justin_L

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Re: UNSW Course Reviews
« Reply #249 on: April 24, 2021, 10:36:18 pm »
+5
Subject Code/Name: MATH1131 - Mathematics 1A

Contact Hours: 6

Assumed Knowledge: HSC Mathematics Extension 1

Author's Note: In my opinion a Band 5 in Mathematics Advanced will be enough for you to pass this course, but knowledge of Extension 1 and especially Extension 2 will make your life much much easier

Assessment:
10% Online Tutorials (Maple TA)
10% Assignment
30% Lab Tests (x2)
50% Final Exam

Lecture Recordings? Yes - Lectures delivered entirely online through Blackboard Collaborate

Notes/Materials Available: Course notes, lecture slides and past papers.

Textbook: S.L. Salas, E. Hille and G.J. Etgen, Calculus – One and Several Variables, any recent edition, Wiley (Not required)

Lecturer(s):
There were 2 lecture streams, I was in stream 2:
Course Authority: A/Prof Jonathan Kress
Algebra: Prof Frances Kuo
Calculus: Dr Lee Zhao

Year & Trimester of completion: 21T1

Difficulty: 3.5/5

Overall Rating: 4/5

Comments:
I thought that this was a difficult but fair course. The staff were very understanding of the fact that this was one of the first university courses that many of us were taking and the delivery of the course and assessments online was well refined after a year of online learning. I think that they've removed supplementary for the final due to UNSW's new "Fit to Sit" policy, although the staff were generous with extensions for online quizzes and offered a supplementary for the first lab test because Maple kept crashing due to the influx of users.

As someone who dropped from Extension 1 to Advanced, the content was manageable although I felt I had to put in a lot more hours than my peers who did Extension 1 or 2 just to get through the weekly exercises. Although there is still a fair bit of support for the course through the Maths Drop in Centre and Consultation Hours, it felt a lot less accessible for me online and so I mainly sought help outside of the course through group chats.

In terms of lectures, France's algebra lectures were absolutely amazing - they introduced difficult content in an understandable manner and she obviously put in a lot of effort to make things fun and interactive despite lectures being in a virtual format. Unfortunately, I had a lot of difficulty following Lee's calculus lectures and I often opted to read directly from the course notes or the Maple TA quizzes.

For anyone taking this course in the future, I would recommend you try to hit the ground running and try to work a week ahead in the Maple TA quizzes - lectures cover content a week ahead and so it'll allow you to start assessments and quizzes the week they're released and allow you a breathing room in case something comes up. Content is quite crammed and goes from 0 to 100 quite quickly, so pay attention even to seemingly easy content as it'll build. Despite the difficulty of the course, I chose to give it a 4/5 because of how well it was organised and the the design of the course such that content is easy to learn but hard to master, which is also reflected in the layout of assessments which allow you to nearly pass before taking the final.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2021, 10:26:35 am by Justin_L »
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Justin_L

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Re: UNSW Course Reviews
« Reply #250 on: April 25, 2021, 12:02:43 am »
+4
Subject Code/Name:
ENGG1000 - Engineering Design and Innovation

Project eEVee (Evolving Electric Vehicles for Emerging Economies)

Contact Hours: Depends on project

Assumed Knowledge: None

Assessment:
NOTE: Varies based on project
Impromptu Design Writing Task - 5%
Design Journal (checked twice) - 15%
Engineering Design Process - 15%
Professional Communities - 10%
Team Evaluation - +/-25% (Used to moderate marks within teams)
Design Performance - 20%
Design Commercialisation - 15%
Final Report- 20%

Lecture Recordings? Yes, available on Moodle and Teams

Notes/Materials Available: Depends on what project you chose

Textbook: Dym, C.L. and Little, P. (2014). Engineering Design: A Project-Based Introduction, 4th edition, John Wiley and Sons (Not required)

Lecturer(s): Varies based on project

Year & Trimester of completion: 21T1

Difficulty: 1/5

Overall Rating: 1/5

Comments:
For context, ENGG1000 is an introduction to design course generally taken in the first term of any engineering degree, and is setup so that students can preference projects to choose (I've attached the list available in T1, feel free to PM me if you want the detailed project pitch for anything)

21T1 Projects
Airborne Terrain Mapping
Autonomous Container Delivery
Battling the Big Dry
Bionic Hand
Project eEVee
Impact-proof Buildings
Mars Regolith
National Emergency Supply Equipment
Renewable Energy from Waves
Robots to the Rescue
SunRay Speedway
In response to previous reviews, the Impromptu Design Challenge has been moved to the start of the course. While this is nice in terms of not being disruptive, it also meant that we only got our group and project assignments well into in Week 3, which is a pretty significant amount of time into the term for a Trimester considering that we also had to do safety and lab inductions before we could even start work.

I picked and got into Project eEVee (Evolving Electric Vehicles for Emerging Economies), a chemical engineering project focused around designing an effective battery to drive a lego car, with the actual electric vehicle component being secondary. This project requires that you supply your own PPE (Lab Coat, Safety Goggles, and Face Mask) as well as some other precautions like closed shoes and long pants to be able to work in the chemical engineering labs.

While this project specifies no prior knowledge is necessary, you're basically screwed if you haven't taken HSC Chemistry or equivalent. While the course offers technical lectures on electrochemistry, it's simply not enough to facilitate more advanced cell designs which require a strong foundation in chemistry. Similarly, little to no support is given for the car design and things like torque, current, and gear ratios are never taught. I felt that I learnt more from my group members than from the teaching staff, which is a problem when you consider the massive disparities in skillset between groups.

Overall, I think this would be a fun course if you were adequately prepared and had the background knowledge to work systematically and effectively. As it is now, it feels like you're being thrown headfirst into a project with little to no support, with your success being entirely determined by the team you're assigned. While I was lucky to have a good team who was able to teach me a broad range of concepts, I know friends who ended up learning little to nothing in their projects as well teams who couldn't get a working battery by the end and so couldn't participate in final testing. With only 6 effective weeks to work on the project, it was difficult to do anything meaningful and to develop the technical knowledge needed before actually starting work.

I also dislike the assessment format, with things like structured reflections feeling very forced in that questions are specifically written to direct you towards certain insights to get marks. The Professional Communities assignment was also a bit strange in that it gave credit to people who attended camps and required you to create a LinkedIn profile. In the end, you do get exposure to lots of different areas of engineering (at least in this project) but I agree with earlier reviews that the course seems like a massive waste of time, and that these skills could be much more effectively gained through things like participation in student led projects and internships.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2021, 10:33:25 am by Justin_L »
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fun_jirachi

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Re: UNSW Course Reviews
« Reply #251 on: April 25, 2021, 11:34:25 am »
+4
Subject Code/Name: MATH2111 - Higher Several Variable Calculus

Contact Hours:
2 x 2 hour lectures, 1 x 1 hour lecture
1 x 1 hour tutorial (there were three separate tutorial sessions, you were free to attend anywhere from 0-3 sessions)

Assumed Knowledge:
Prerequisite: MATH1231 or DPST1014 or MATH1241 or MATH1251 each with a mark of at least 70

Assessment:
10% Week 4 MapleTA Quiz (repeatable quiz) + Hand-in Proof
20% Week 7 MapleTA Quiz (repeatable quiz) + Hand-in Proof
20% Week 10 Class Test
50% Final

Lecture Recordings?
Yes

Notes/Materials Available:
Yes, supplied on Moodle

Textbook:
None that I can recall being mentioned

Lecturer(s):
Anita Liebenau, Guoyin Li

Year & Trimester of completion:
21T1

Difficulty:
3/5

Overall Rating:
5/5

Your Mark/Grade:
To be added

Comments:
In short, brilliant course. While some concepts were difficult to wrap my head around at first, every single thing taught was taught extremely well, and the assessment structure, as well as the teaching style, was extremely accommodating. I honestly wish every maths course had this assessment structure - the lack of compulsory weekly tests on a dodgy platform (looking at you, 1141/1241) meant there was less work to get through weekly and less overall panic. This allowed us to work at our own pace and focus on learning stuff for what it was, not because it would let us pass tests. The complete lack of rigidity, especially with tutorials (and the aforementioned assessment structure, oh my goodness) made for the most comfortable learning environment I've been in since I started uni. Really.  The fact that this was employed without a hand-holding feeling was probably the best part of the course.

I know I should stick to strictly course-related things here, but it's impossible to skate over how good the lecturers were; they really knew their stuff and ran through their content well enough that most questions were about extensions to course content and not follow-up/clarification questions. They also had actual personality and some epic memes, which was seriously refreshing.
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HelpICantThinkOfAName

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Re: UNSW Course Reviews
« Reply #252 on: April 26, 2021, 09:32:42 pm »
+2
Subject Code/Name: ECON3121 - Industrial Organisation/Managerial Economics

Contact Hours:  2 x 1.5 hour lecture per week. 1 x 1.5 hour tutorial per week.

Assumed Knowledge: ECON2101. I would also recommend taking ECON2112 before this.

Assessment:

25% - Midterm exam. Nothing difficult here, just do your tutorial problems. Done in moodle though, so be careful when putting in your answers.

25% - Group Project. An interesting project where we had to read a research paper, summarise it, analyse it, and then propose a new research question that extended the original research.

50% - Final Exam. Same format as the midterm exam, just do your tutorial problems and you shouldn't have any issue here.

Lecture Recordings?  Yes.

Notes/Materials Available:  Full slides given out.

Lecturer:   Shengyu Li, 3/5.

Year & Trimester of completion: 2021/T1

Difficulty: 1.5/5.

Overall Rating:  3/5.

Your Mark/Grade: Coming soon.

Comments: I was kinda bored of this course for most of it if I'm being honest. The first 5 weeks were essentially revision from ECON2112, while the last few were spent extending a few ideas that we'd already touched upon. Not a bad course, but don't expect anything radically different from ECON2112 like I was expecting here.
Studying Economics/Mathematics @ UNSW