ATAR Notes: Forum

Uni Stuff => Universities - New South Wales => University of New South Wales => Topic started by: jamonwindeyer on December 23, 2016, 12:21:21 am

Title: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: jamonwindeyer on December 23, 2016, 12:21:21 am
(http://cgi.cse.unsw.edu.au/~kevine/images/UNSW_logo.jpg)

UNSW Course Reviews

This thread is a collection of course reviews and ratings for the University of New South Wales. Only reviews can be posted in this thread;  for all other purposes, use the general chat thread or message the person who posted the review.

We encourage everyone to review any/all courses they have taken, even if other reviews for the course already exist. The more reviews we have, the more useful this collection will be! :)

Scroll down for the review template!

Note: The views expressed in these reviews are those of the authors and do not represent the opinions of the university or ATAR Notes.  Keep in mind that despite best efforts, information provided may not be accurate.

Index

Click the spoilers below to see the available reviews for each faculty (this index will be updated regularly) :)


Faculty of Built Environment





Faculty of Science
BABS1201 - Molecules, Cells and Genes

BIOS1101 - Evolutionary and Functional Biology
BIOS2061 - Vertebrate Zoology

CHEM1041 - Higher Chemistry 1B: Elements, Compounds and Life
CHEM2021 - Organic Chemistry: Mechanisms and Biomolecules
CHEM2041 - Analytical Chemistry - Essential Methods

CLIM1001 - Introduction to Climate Change

DATA1001 - Introduction to Data Science and Decisions

MATH1081 - Discrete Mathematics (1) (2)
MATH1131 - Mathematics 1A (1) (2) (3)
MATH1141 - Higher Mathematics 1A (2)
MATH1151 - Mathematics for Actuarial Studies and Finance 1A
MATH1231 - Mathematics 1B (1) (2) (3)
MATH1241 - Higher Mathematics 1B
MATH1251 - Mathematics for Actuarial Studies and Finance 1B
MATH2018 - Engineering Mathematics 2D
MATH2069 - Mathematics 2A
MATH2089 - Numerical Methods & Statistics
MATH2099 - Mathematics 2B
MATH2111 - Higher Several Variable Calculus
MATH2241 - Introduction to Atmospheric and Oceanic Science
MATH2601 - Higher Linear Algebra
MATH2621 - Higher Complex Analysis
MATH2701 - Abstract Algebra and Fundamental Analysis
MATH2901 - Higher Theory of Statistics (2)
MATH2931 - Higher Linear Models (1) (2)
MATH3201 - Dynamical Systems and Chaos
MATH3411 - Information, Codes and Ciphers
MATH3611 - Higher Analysis
MATH3701 - Higher Topology and Differential Geometry
MATH3821 - Statistical Modelling and Computing (2)
MATH3871 - Bayesian Inference and Computation
MATH3901 - Higher Probability and Stochastic Processes
MATH3911 - Higher Statistical Inference
MATH5505 - Combinatorics
MATH6781 - Biomathematics

PHYS1121 - Physics 1A (2)
PHYS1131 - Higher Physics 1A
PHYS1141 - Higher Physics 1A (Special)
PHYS1160 - Introduction to Astronomy
PHYS1221 - Physics 1B
PHYS1241 - Higher Physics 1B (special)

SCIF1121 - Advanced Science: Professional Perspective and Practice (2) (Old version of SCIF1131)
 

Template

Use the following template for your reviews (copy and paste into your reply, then fill in the gaps!) ;D

Code: [Select]
[b]Subject Code/Name:[/b] [url=insert link here]SUBJECT CODE - SUBJECT NAME[/url]
Insert the handbook link for the subject, and replace SUBJECT CODE SUBJECT NAME with the appropriate details)

[b]Contact Hours:[/b]  Specify how many lectures, pracs, tutes ect. and their duration

[b]Assumed Knowledge:[/b] Prerequisite courses, or knowledge that is useful heading into the course.

[b]Assessment:[/b]  Give a rough/detailed outline of the various assessment methods, and if possible, their weightings.

[b]Lecture Recordings?[/b]  Yes, Yes but audio only, No (etc)

[b]Notes/Materials Available[/b]:  If possible, provide links to any resources available to help with the subject.

[b]Textbook:[/b] What is the textbook? In your experience, is the textbook required, recommended, or completely useless?

[b]Lecturer(s):[/b] List your lecturer(s)

[b]Year & Trimester of completion:[/b] EG - 2016/2

[b]Difficulty:[/b] Out of 5

[b]Overall Rating:[/b]  Out of 5

[b]Your Mark/Grade:[/b] If you wish to provide it

[b]Comments: [/b]
Give your comments on any and all aspects of the course (refrain from overly denigrating lecturers, keep it objective)

Here is a duplicate version of the templates without the descriptions, for the sake of convenience in copying and pasting. However, please use the above descriptions as your reference ;)

Code: [Select]
[b]Subject Code/Name:[/b] [url=][/url]

[b]Contact Hours:[/b]

[b]Assumed Knowledge:[/b]

[b]Assessment:[/b] 

[b]Lecture Recordings?[/b] 

[b]Notes/Materials Available[/b]: 

[b]Textbook:[/b]

[b]Lecturer(s):[/b]

[b]Year & Trimester of completion:[/b]

[b]Difficulty:[/b]

[b]Overall Rating:[/b] 

[b]Your Mark/Grade:[/b]

[b]Comments: [/b]


Note: Trimesters begin in 2019.

Updated as of Reply #142
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: jamonwindeyer on December 23, 2016, 01:00:04 am
Subject Code/Name: ELEC2133 - Analogue Electronics

Contact Hours:  3 Hours of Lectures, 3 Hours of Laboratory, 1 Hour of Tutorial

Assumed Knowledge: ELEC2134 is a prerequisite - You need to be really good at AC circuit analysis (Kirchoff's Law and such)

Assessment:  Mix of assignments, lab work, lab tests and online quizzes. Final exam weighs 60%!

Lecture Recordings?:  Yes

Notes/Materials AvailableELSOC provides lots of notes and past papers, and some are provided by the lecturer also.

Textbook: Sedra & Smith, Microelectronic Circuits - Useful for extra study and additional exercises, not essential.

Lecturer(s): Aron Michael

Year & Semester of completion: 2016/2

Difficulty: 5/5

Overall Rating: 1.5/5

Your Mark/Grade: 85 HD

Comments:
This was an extremely difficult course for me, even with what I believe to be a strong underlying knowledge of the basics of circuit analysis. The laboratories seemed really unorganised - The demonstrators contradicted each other and the lecturer in the answers they obtained and how they obtained them. I don't feel I was taught the content effectively in lectures; the lecturer did not explain things well (in my opinion, obviously) and did not do enough exam style scenarios - Only a combination of tutorial work and lots of independent study helped me even start to access the concepts.

This course has the reputation of being the hardest course in the whole electrical engineering program - Right now, I'd say it is far ahead of any other in terms of difficulty, and this is worsened by the sub-par course structure and teaching quality that I experienced. Definitely not one to be taken lightly. It gets points for interest - You learn some really interesting stuff and go into lots of depth, which I loved!
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: RuiAce on December 23, 2016, 11:08:06 am
Subject Code/Name: ACCT1501 - Accounting and Financial Management 1A

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

Assumed Knowledge: Some good skills at handling numbers is recommended, but otherwise nil.

Assessment:  Tutorial participation makes up 10% of the marks. The final exam is weighted 55%, with the remainder spread over weekly online quizzes and a mid-sem exam.

Lecture Recordings?:  Yes

Notes/Materials Available: The same past paper is offered every year for the mid-sem and finals. In general, resources are hard to scavenge for.

Textbook: Trotman, K. Gibbins, M. & Carson, E., 2016 Financial Accounting: An Integrated Approach 6th edition + Management Accounting Supplement - Necessary, as tutorial questions are taken out of it. Note that the supplement must be purchased separately.

Lecturer(s): Yongdeok Lim (LIC), Jeffrey Knapp, Radzi Jidin

Year & Semester of completion: 2016/1

Difficulty: 2/5

Overall Rating:  3.5/5

Your Mark/Grade: 95 HD

Comments:
All students that study a degree offered by the UNSW business school must take this course. The first few weeks feel tougher than the later few, for someone like me who had no business background. Concepts are foundational and relatable to HSC Business Studies, however far more numbers are present now, requiring a calculator. It's not "about" certain concepts, it's actually demonstrating them using figurative examples.

The lecturers appeared to have changed in the next semester (not sure if it will stay the same). Between the lectures, some were better than others. This lead to people getting easily bored of this course (which damages people's marks easily), because the last few weeks of lectures were significantly more interesting. Participation in tutorials is easy provided you actually try.

In general, a WAM booster provided you're not bored to the point you don't understand stuff.
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: RuiAce on December 23, 2016, 11:18:13 am
Subject Code/Name: ACCT1511 - Accounting and Financial Management 1B

Contact Hours:  2 hours of Lectures weekly, 2 hours of Tutorial fortnightly

Assumed Knowledge: ACCT1501 is a prerequisite as it is the immediate follow-up course. The first 5 weeks of ACCT1501 are essentially 'elementary knowledge'.

Assessment:  A team quiz and an individual quiz for every tutorial (excluding the first tutorial - practice week). The final exam is weighted 60%, with a challenging multiple choice section (worth 3x the marks of the objective responses).

Lecture Recordings?:  No - Instead, they have these 10-20 min clips which explain the concepts via questions more briefly

Notes/Materials Available: All tutorial questions are based off past paper questions, hence you do past papers as you go. The past papers are provided on Moodle. But there's little to no resources for multiple choice - serious scavenging required.

Textbook: Trotman, K. Gibbins, M. & Carson, E., 2016 Financial Accounting: An Integrated Approach 6th edition + Management Accounting Supplement - As opposed to 1A, generally not used at all.

Lecturer(s): Per Tronnes (LIC), Victoria Clout, Kevin Li

Year & Semester of completion: 2016/2

Difficulty: 3.5/5

Overall Rating:  3.5/5

Your Mark/Grade: 87 HD

Comments:
Conceptually, equally difficult to its prerequisite course. This course aims to fill in the gaps left behind 1A, thus provide everything you need to commence second year accounting.

This was the first time since 2.5 years they switched BACK to the lecture/tutorial scheme. Note that prior to this semester it was taught in a 'seminar' style. Lectures are, in general, similar to 1A. The fortnightly tutorials are taught in "The Place" (ground floor, ASB) and put a nice emphasis on group work, that is, if you try to work with your group. Personally, I managed to make some good friends out of the tutorials.

Quizzes are usually free marks, but they're not easy per se and it's possible to mess up. Final exam was a shocker; questions that were usually in the style of long responses got condensed into multiple choices and I found myself changing my answers too often. Definitely more content heavy than 1A, but if you did well in that then you can do well here.

It is generally recommended to take 1B (if you must take it) RIGHT AFTER you do 1A. Otherwise, you forget too many concepts too easily.
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: RuiAce on December 23, 2016, 11:28:26 am
Subject Code/Name: MATH1151 - Mathematics for Actuarial Studies and Finance 1A

Contact Hours:  2 x 2 hours of Lecture, 2 x 1 hour of Tutorial

Assumed Knowledge: It is highly recommended that either of the following are achieved given the difficulty and depth of the course:
- Across 2U Mathematics and Mathematics Extension 1: A combined mark of 140
- Across Mathematics Extension 1 + 2: A combined mark of 175

Assessment:  Spread out across online quizzes, tutorial quizzes and computing (MATLAB - to be self taught) quizzes + laboratory test. Final exam is weighted an ugly 64%

Lecture Recordings?:  Algebra - Yes. Calculus - Mostly yes, however he uses an overhead projector for hand-written working so sometimes audio only. (Note that in general, yes or no always depends on the lecturers you have for MATH courses)

Notes/Materials Available: The course pack offers all the notes required for the course, including past exam papers. However, the past tutorial papers are outdated and somewhat irrelevant, in fact, too easy more often than not. My tutorial papers are available upon request.

Textbook: Not even the lecturers recommend the textbook. Just buy the course pack and you're set.

Lecturer(s): Josef Dick (Algebra), Ian Doust (Calculus)

Year & Semester of completion: 2016/1

Difficulty: 4/5

Overall Rating:  4.5/5

Your Mark/Grade: 90 HD

Comments:
Functionally similar to MATH1131/41, taken by science and engineering students, this course is designed in an altered and heavier format to target students taking the mathematically intense degree of actuarial studies. Difficulty is around the same as MATH1141.

The aim of first year first semester mathematics is to formalise many of the concepts just arbitrarily introduced in high school. Whilst it is possible for any exceptional mathematics student to perform well, many struggle to attain HD due to the sudden spike in abstractness in mathematics. The lecturers do look for places to give you marks, however become far more nitpicky with things like quoting the correct theorem, and setting out your proofs in a more presentable manner. Can be a struggle dealing with this course at times - lots of number crunching in algebra, and lots of cautious setting out in calculus.
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: RuiAce on December 23, 2016, 11:34:48 am
Subject Code/Name: MATH1251 - Mathematics for Actuarial Studies and Finance 1B

Contact Hours:  2 x 2 hours of Lecture, 2 x 1 hour of Tutorial

Assumed Knowledge: The precursor course MATH1151 is a prerequisite.

Assessment:  Spread out across online quizzes, tutorial quizzes and computing (MATLAB - to be self taught) quizzes + laboratory test. Final exam is weighted an ugly 64%

Lecture Recordings?:  Calculus - Yes. Algebra - Audio only (lecturer uses blackboards)

Notes/Materials Available: The course pack offers all the notes required for the course, including past exam papers. However, the past tutorial papers are outdated and somewhat irrelevant, in fact, too easy more often than not. My tutorial papers are available upon request.

Textbook: Similar to 1A, however the textbook wasn't even brought up this time round.

Lecturer(s): Denis Potapov (Algebra), Thanh Tran (Calculus)

Year & Semester of completion: 2016/2

Difficulty: 3/5

Overall Rating:  4.5/5

Your Mark/Grade: 90 HD

Comments:
Same as first paragraph of MATH1151, albeit now with MATH1231/41. Note that MATH1251 learn two topics that the other two courses do not - functions of several variables, and double integrals

The aim of first year second semester mathematics is to take the now formalised concepts and start applying them to methods in mathematics. The shift in emphasis has resulted in a trend that students finding this course easier than the previous (however definitely not always the case). Only some knowledge of MATH1151 calculus is required for MATH1251 calculus, but all the algebra (excluding probability - used in ACTL1101) should be known here.

A step up in abstraction occurs in algebra, but a step down happens in calculus.
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: RuiAce on December 23, 2016, 11:49:34 am
Subject Code/Name: MATH1081 - Discrete Mathematics

Contact Hours:  4 x 1 hours of Lecture (painfully disgusting), 2 x 1 hour of Tutorial

Assumed Knowledge: MATH1131/41/51 serves as a corequisite. It is recommended that a combined mark of 100 was achieved between Mathematics and Mathematics Extension 1. (Whilst not specified by the school, a combined mark of about 140 is the corresponding value to between Extension 1 and Extension 2)

Assessment:  Four online quizzes as with MATH1131/41/51, however no more computing component. The final exam is weighted a massive 80%!

Lecture Recordings?:  This semester, half yes half audio only

Notes/Materials Available: The course pack offers all the notes required for the course, including past exam papers. However, the past tutorial papers are outdated and somewhat irrelevant, in fact, too easy more often than not. My tutorial papers are available upon request.

Textbook: None, but the following textbook has been recommended: Franklin and Doud - "Proof in Mathematics". Not really needed, but a good read, since tutorial problems have been taken out of here.

Lecturer(s): James Franklin, Peter Brown

Year & Semester of completion: 2016/2

Difficulty: 3/5

Overall Rating:  5/5

Your Mark/Grade: 91 HD

Comments:
Unlike MATH1xx1, success in high school mathematics has generally no impact whatsoever on success in this course. The course places an emphasis on clarity in mathematics, requiring far more carefulness with setting out proofs, as well as the more computational and algorithmic side of mathematics. Whilst students majoring in mathematics need to take this course, the main focus is therefore to people studying a degree offered by the school of CSE.

Abstractness is essentially the same as for linear algebra, but in a different manner. Whilst some computer scientists are still hammered down by this course, in general they like it TREMENDOUSLY more to how they feel about MATH1xx1. The course is designed to be more friendly towards them.

The huge weighting on the final exam speaks for itself; consistency is key but relatively speaking, a greater focus towards the end will be required here.

This course, on the other hand, sometimes hammers down on people who are good at maths otherwise. It is nonetheless a 'fun' course to take, and many interesting things are taught here, which usefulness is far more than what meets the eye.
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: RuiAce on December 23, 2016, 12:30:54 pm
Subject Code/Name: ACTL1101 - Introduction to Actuarial Studies

Course overhauled in 2017.

Contact Hours: 2 hours of Lecture, 1 hour of Tutorial on lecture topics, 1 hour of Tutorial on R software

Assumed Knowledge: MATH1151 is a prerequisite for this course. It is expected that you are good at handling matrices, integration and especially probability and statistics.

Assessment:  An open-book weekly quiz served free marks, but people seemed to get anxious all the time so this may be abolished. Other than that, a mid-sem and an assignment is included. Finals are weighted only 40% - this will not happen for second year ACTL courses and onwards.

Lecture Recordings?:  Yes

Notes/Materials Available: A bunch of past papers were posted on Moodle; some more can generally be found by asking actuarial students in older years (ASOC is a tight bunch).

Textbook: Sherris, Principles of Actuarial Science - Good if you make good use of it. But because it is so old and has no formatting whatsoever, it was too painful for me to read and I gave up after a while.

Lecturer(s): Benjamin Avanzi

Year & Semester of completion: 2016/2

Difficulty: 4/5

Overall Rating:  3/5

Your Mark/Grade: 87 HD

Comments:
There is a wide variety of things taught in this course. Being a legend among actuaries, Benjamin has taken action to reduce the content, but this course is inevitably going to be a bit over the place. The course is definitely introductory - whilst mathematics is definitely involved, it isn't outrageous yet and most calculations are kept to a reasonable difficulty. Can be a bit painful to study due to this nature of being over the place. The direct consequence of this is that there are heaps of methods that you need to remember.

The introduction of the R tutorials add one extra annoying contact hour, but pays off. Any actuary will need some skill in computing to stand out in modern society, and this is one way to get it going.

(I have to break a guideline and talk about the lecturer here: If you ask many people in my cohort they may evoke hatred for Benjamin. But if you ask ANYONE else, they'll say he is the best, which I believe.)

(This course does NOT contribute to obtaining Part I exemptions. Note that CT2 is fulfilled by ACCT1501, ACCT1511 and FINS1613, and CT7 is fulfilled by ECON1101 and ECON1102. You may only commence fulfilling other CTs in second year. For reference, CT stands for 'Core Technical'.)
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: RuiAce on December 23, 2016, 01:19:28 pm
Subject Code/Name: ECON1101 - Microeconomics 1

Contact Hours: 2 hours of Lecture, 1 hour of Tutorial

Assumed Knowledge: Nil, but I've heard that knowledge of Preliminary (Year 11) economics is beneficial. General maths skills would also help.

Assessment:  20% of the marks are free because you just have to play through a game to get them. Other than that, essentially every mark counts, because the 15% weighting quizzes are out of 15, and the 50% weighted final exam is 50 multiple choice.

Lecture Recordings?:  Yes

Notes/Materials Available: Extremely limited. Usually gotta count on higher years having scavenged hard enough.

Textbook: Dobrescu et. al., Principles of Microeconomics - An online textbook written by the lecturers specifically for this course. You will need it. Note that it also comes with some video recordings.

Lecturer(s): Scott French (LIC), Alberto Motta (Other lecturers include Peter Nichols, Sarah Walker)

Year & Semester of completion: 2016/1

Difficulty: 1/5

Overall Rating:  4.5/5

Your Mark/Grade: 96 HD

Comments:
By nature, economics builds upon itself. This course is somewhat hard to self-learn, but regardless of how you learn (I seriously liked the lectures) you find that everything links to each other. It is not content heavy, and is in general, regarded as the easiest of the first year business courses.

This course is mandatory to all students undertaking a degree offered by the UNSW Business School, with the exception of B Information Systems.

Some courses are nice to give free marks, but I haven't seen them "as freely" as here. All you're doing is playing a game, and it actually helped me understand economics concepts better. The final exam is a bit of a shocker because it shows you how difficult multiple choice is, but for many people it still isn't hard enough to push them out of an easy HD.

This was my favourite course. It was the first time I loved something over my life-long passion for maths.
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: RuiAce on December 23, 2016, 01:29:58 pm
Subject Code/Name: SCIF1121 - Advanced Science: Professional Perspective and Practice

Course removed in 2017 - All students now take SCIF1131, which was overhauled.

Contact Hours: 2 hours of Discipline Stream, 2 hours of Graduate Attributes

Assumed Knowledge: Nil

Assessment:  Split evenly across the two. Each have 5% devoted to participation. The discipline stream varies depending on which discipline you chose (e.g. biology). Graduate attributes feature a classmate biography, followed by an interview with a scientist video task. NO exam.

Lecture Recordings?: N/A due to nature of this course.

Notes/Materials Available: N/A. You have to find your own materials for all assignments.

Textbook: N/A

Lecturer(s): Graduate attributes - Sue Schibeci. Math discipline stream - Pinhas Grossman

Year & Semester of completion: 2016/1

Difficulty: 1/5

Overall Rating:  1.5/5

Your Mark/Grade: 84 DN

Comments:
This course was free marks, but was dry for me. Graduate attributes was really just talking about general life skills e.g. interview preparation, ethics. The assignment for the discipline stream was too broad; nothing specific.

It's not necessarily a bad course. But definitely not my cup of coffee. It's also hard to describe because it's completely different to what you're used to at university, AND it changes too often.

This course is one of two options that all advanced science students must take (unless they combine with engineering and have done ENGG1000). The other option is SCIF1131.
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: jamonwindeyer on December 23, 2016, 03:31:57 pm
Subject Code/Name: COMP2041 - Software Construction

Contact Hours: 3 hours of lectures, 1 hour of tutorial, 2 hours of lab

Assumed Knowledge: All programming languages used are taught from scratch, but they assume basic programming knowledge. COMP1917 or COMP1921 are the prerequisites.

Assessment:  Final exam is worth 60%, two assignments worth a total of 30%, with the remaining 10% assigned to lab work.

Lecture Recordings?  Yes (there is an online stream)

Notes/Materials AvailableThe CSE website has a heap of resources for the course. There is also usually a course forum.

Textbook: Useless - Lots of recommended reading but everything you could need is Google-able

Lecturer(s): Andrew Taylor (woo!)

Year & Semester of completion: 2016/2

Difficulty: 3/5

Overall Rating:  5/5

Your Mark/Grade: 84 DN
Comments:
A really fantastic course; the lab work is interesting and you see the practical applications immediately. Any course where the final assignment is building a website is fantastic in my books. The content is easy, but mastering the languages and developing your problem solving skills is the hard bit, and that is a continuing challenge. You get out exactly what you put in. Andrew was an awesome lecturer too! :)
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: jamonwindeyer on December 23, 2016, 03:55:57 pm
Subject Code/Name: ELEC2142 - Embedded Systems Design

Contact Hours:  3 hours of lectures, 1 hour of tutorial, 2 hours of lab work

Assumed Knowledge: The prerequisites are ELEC2141 and COMP1921/COMP1917, but basically, you just need to have done a bit of programming. No actual assumed knowledge is taken (though some of the initial topics are rushed since they were covered in 2141).

Assessment:  Final exam is worth 60%, a lab test worth 10%, a mid sem exam worth 20%, and 10% for lab work.

Lecture Recordings?  Yes

Notes/Materials AvailableELSOC provides notes and past exams

Textbook: None prescribed, but there are several recommended. I never used them though.

Lecturer(s): Dr. Chamith Wijenayake

Year & Semester of completion: 2016/2

Difficulty: 3 out of 5

Overall Rating:  4 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: 81 DN

Comments:
This course is interesting on paper, learning about how microprocessors handle tasks and such. At times it is great, but coding in assembly can get really tedious when you aren't doing anything exciting with it. The content isn't hard, but there are lots of intricacies that can trick you when you are coding solutions to problems. The lab exam screwed me big time; the final exam (theoretical) was actually quite nice so it balanced.

A lot of people get scared of this course because of coding in assembly, but it's really not as bad as people say!! Having complete control over what gets done is really cool, even if the specific applications in this course are a bit 'dry.'
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: jamonwindeyer on December 23, 2016, 04:08:40 pm
Subject Code/Name: ENGG1000 - Engineering Design and Innovation  ELECTRICAL STREAM

Contact Hours:  3 hours of lectures, 2 hours of lab work

Assumed Knowledge: None

Assessment:  Totally depends on what stream you do, but it will usually be mostly based on an engineering report, and assessment of your project

Lecture Recordings? May depend, but I did not have them.

Notes/Materials Available: Depends on stream.

Textbook: None.

Lecturer(s): Depends on stream, I had an Industry Rep from Cochlear as my lecturer for the ELEC theory sections.

Year & Semester of completion: 2015/1

Difficulty: 3/5

Overall Rating:  2/5

Your Mark/Grade: 87 HD

Comments:
This is a course where you pick a stream, get into a group, and engineer a solution to a design specification. For ELEC, it was a self-driving car (scale working model). It had to be able to automatically respond to lane markings and traffic lights and such.

If this course was put in the 2nd year, after we actually learned some things about circuits, then I'd have been much happier with it. But as it stands, you are thrown into a problem you have no idea how to solve, and then you are taught how to solve it in a very rushed way while solving it. It doesn't feel like a deliberate problem solving exercise using things you understand; it feels like a desperate scramble to learn just enough to put together even a basic solution, and even when you have it, you only have a loose understanding of how it works. Too soon, and too rushed. I heard from a distance that they almost expect groups to fail to meet the spec, and it felt like that.

That said, engineering something from scratch is fun. There is group work, which is both a positive and a negative (there is always one person who doesn't contribute). You can do well if you document your processes well. That's what I took away from it more than anything - How to document a design process. I forgot everything I learned about electrical circuits, which seems like a massive waste of time.
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: jamonwindeyer on December 23, 2016, 05:24:30 pm
Subject Code/Name: MATH2099 - Mathematics 2B

Contact Hours:  4 hours of lectures, 2 hours of tutorials (split evenly between Stats/Algebra), and then 1 hour of stats lab)

Assumed Knowledge: First year math is the prereq, but really, not that necessary. For Stats, no assumed knowledge, they literally go through how to find means and medians again. For Algebra, they'll assume you can do matrix arithmetic and will race through the concepts you did in 1st year (about half the algebra course is old content).

Assessment:  Final mark is the average of Stats mark and Linear mark. For both, the final exam is worth 60-70%. Stats does the rest through online quizzes, and mid sem exams (theory and lab). Linear spreads the rest through fortnightly quizzes in tutorials.

Lecture Recordings?  Stats yes, but linear only had audio (David uses the physical blackboard, not a camera)

Notes/Materials Available: ELSOC has notes available

Textbook: Useless; no one referred to it ever.

Lecturer(s): David Angell for Algebra, Scott Sisson for Statistics.

Year & Semester of completion: 2016/2

Difficulty: 3 out of 5

Overall Rating:  4 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: 88 HD

Comments:
The Stats stream was quite difficult; lots of new concepts and all quite theoretical. Formulas are disgusting, thank goodness for the provided sheets in exams. Scott was a great lecturer, but I feel like he had to rush to get through everything at times. Lots of work in Matlab, which is similar to Maple from first year math subjects (and a little better imo). Really, really interesting content though. The final exam is easy to prepare for because it is almost always the same format.

The Algebra stream was much easier, because half of the course was revision of first-year theory. The latter half of the course was more difficult, but not as difficult as the Stats stream. David was a fantastic lecturer, he did a heap of worked examples, and moving quickly through the easy stuff meant he could move slowly when needed. A little dry at times, but a good balance in the difficulty. The fortnightly quizzes force you to keep up with the content (but having a quiz due every fortnight can be really nasty when other assessments are due).

As the last math course for many engineers, this was a nice finale.
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: jamonwindeyer on December 23, 2016, 05:35:38 pm
Subject Code/Name: ECON1101 - Microeconomics 1

Contact Hours: 2 hour lecture, 1 hour tutorial

Assumed Knowledge: None

Assessment: 50% final exam, 30% tutorial quizzes, 20% Playconomics (a video game based on economic principles - Surprisingly easy, and literally a guaranteed 20% because all you have to do is finish it)

Lecture Recordings?  Yes

Notes/Materials Available: -

Textbook: Definitely required, you can buy it with Playconomics to make it easy. It was written specifically for this course.

Lecturer(s): Sarah Walker (there is a team of lecturers over several streams)

Year & Semester of completion: 2016/2

Difficulty: 1 out of 5

Overall Rating:  5 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: 92 HD

Comments:
I took this as an elective - This is a really enjoyable course - Also the easiest course I've taken. 20% of the marks are literally free, most people I know who actually gave a damn in this subject got either a D or a HD. Playconomics is actually surprisingly enjoyable as a game, it's not a chore to play, just do it periodically to avoid massive all nighters near the end of semester to finish. The content is very interesting (though if you did HSC Economics, probably a bit repetitive), and although there is math involved, it's not hard. If you did alright in Year 10 math, this will be fine for you.

Sarah was good as a lecturer, but in the end I found it easier to self teach from the textbook (not difficult, the textbook is fabulous).

I highly recommend this as a Gen Ed. Not too difficult conceptually, so it won't take heaps of time away from more difficult courses from your stream, but very interesting nonetheless!
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: jamonwindeyer on December 23, 2016, 08:07:53 pm
Subject Code/Name: ELEC2134 - Circuits and Signals

Contact Hours: 3 hours of lectures (2 for circuits, 1 for signals), 3 hours of tutorial/lab hybrid

Assumed Knowledge: ELEC1111 is the prerequisite, basic circuit analysis skills (just Kirchoff's Laws, basically, and they reteach that too)

Assessment:  20% lab/tut work, 20% mid-sem, 60% final

Lecture Recordings?  Yep, for both

Notes/Materials AvailableA full extra set of video lectures available here

Textbook: “Fundamentals of Electric Circuits”, Alexander and Sadiku - A useful resource for practice questions (not many are provided otherwise), but it is not absolutely essential

Lecturer(s): Rukmi Dutta (Circuits), Julien Epps (Signals)

Year & Semester of completion: 2016/1

Difficulty: 4 out of 5

Overall Rating:  4 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: 92 HD

Comments:
This was the hardest course I'd taken at the time (that was then obliterated by ELEC2133). The circuits part, while there is lots to remember, isn't overly difficult and was explained pretty well by Rukmi. It can get a little dry at times though. The signals part was more interesting, but also much more challenging. Very intense calculus. Julien was a fantastic lecturer but I feel like 1 hour per week wasn't quite enough to cover everything properly, felt a little rushed on occasion.

The lab/tuts are ridiculously difficult. Be prepared to spend more than the allocated time on them, unless you have someone who can explain things to you. The tutors are really helpful too. The lab/tuts are pretty boring compared to other ELEC courses; it is more tutorial work and math than actual circuit work.

This is the first time the ELEC program starts to put the pressure on, in my opinion. But I enjoyed the content and it isn't too difficult; just be prepared to give it lots of time.
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: jamonwindeyer on February 20, 2017, 12:02:08 am
Subject Code/Name: COMP1917 - Computing 1

Contact Hours:  3 hours of lectures, 1 hour of tutorial, 2 hours of lab

Assumed Knowledge: None

Assessment:  A significant portion of the marks in this subject aren't based on coding; but instead tutorial participation, and a blog/portfolio you maintain throughout the semester. Several assignments, individual and group, as well as a final exam weighing about 60% (mix of theory and practical coding problems).

Lecture Recordings?  Yep - Used them instead of actual lectures/

Notes/Materials Available: They'll provide you with HEAPS, plus, there are a lot of resources around for beginner programming in C

Textbook: Not needed at all, especially given the subject matter

Lecturer(s): Salil Kanhere (and Richard Buckland for the videos)

Year & Semester of completion: EG - 2015/1

Difficulty: 3 out of 5

Overall Rating:  5 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: 92 HD

Comments:
Really fantastic course to introduce you to programming. It is the advanced version, but don't let that scare you. I'd never done any coding (at least, beyond isolated hours in Python for shits and giggles when I was a little younger), but I kept up with only a reasonable amount of work, certainly no more than I'd expect to spend on a university subject. The online aspects of delivery were excellent - Richard is a great teacher, and Salil's lectures were great too (though I only went on occasion, the videos are just that good).

Assignments are challenging but not unfairly so - You could always access the problem at hand. 2/3 assignments were group work, so be ready for that. Lots of tutorial problems to prepare you for the trickier stuff in assignments and exams :)

Overall, highly recommend anyone who has the chance, even if you don't think coding is your thing, to give this subject a go. It really could surprise you ;D

Note: This subject is the old version of what is now COMP1511!
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: RuiAce on February 20, 2017, 12:03:09 am
Subject Code/Name: COMP1917 - Computing 1
Dropping a comment here: As of 2017 this course has been replaced by COMP1511
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: jamonwindeyer on February 20, 2017, 12:04:59 am
Dropping a comment here: As of 2017 this course has been replaced by COMP1511

Ah yes I know! My COMP lecturer this year mentioned it was being overhauled, I was surveyed on it ;D I'll pop a note in my review above :)
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: jamonwindeyer on February 20, 2017, 12:14:45 am
Subject Code/Name: ELEC1111 - Electrical and Telecommunications Engineering

Contact Hours:  3 hours of lectures, 1 hour of tutorial, 2 hours of lab

Assumed Knowledge: None, but knowledge of complex numbers will be immensely useful. It's taught in all the 1st year math courses, or you may have learned it in MX2. If not, not too difficult to catch up on. Some basic knowledge of Electrical Circuits is helpful (the level taught in Prelim Physics), but not mandatory)

Assessment:  60% final exam, 20% mid semester exam, 20% lab and lab exam

Lecture Recordings? Yes (with audio only at times, from memory)

Notes/Materials Available: ELSOC has heaps!

Textbook: “Fundamentals of Electric Circuits”, Alexander and Sadiku - It is used in later courses too and it is useful here; try and find a cheap used version.

Lecturer(s): We swapped between two lecturers, one of which was Dr Georgios Konstantinou (not sure of the other, unfortunately)

Year & Semester of completion: EG - 2016/2

Difficulty: 3 out of 5

Overall Rating:  5 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: 84 DN

Comments:
I really enjoyed this course! The content was extremely interesting and not overly challenging, and the laboratories strengthened my understanding further (unlike so many labs that just seem to make things confusing). Assessment was fair - Got a bit wrecked by the mid semester but most did, overall the material is not super difficult as long as you are willing to do lots of practice (the textbook is the key there). The lecturers were good, not incredible, and I did self teach a fair bit of content.

My advice to electrical engineering students is to know this content really well - Everything builds, and if you don't know this stuff by the end then it causes real trouble in your 2nd year. It's not difficult, and it's interesting! Just be prepared to invest the time it deserves :)
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: jamonwindeyer on June 27, 2017, 10:13:28 pm
Subject Code/Name: DIP1112 - Introduction to the Workplace

Contact Hours:  0 in person hours, online activities are 2 hours a week max. Then two full F2F days, mine were in my midsem break.

Assumed Knowledge: -

Assessment: 10% online participation, 30% resume, 30% video interview task, 30% organisation analysis (an interview with someone from industry)

Lecture Recordings? Mixture of different material for online activities

Notes/Materials Available: -

Textbook: -

Lecturer(s): Mixture of people from the UNSW Careers and Employment Office

Year & Semester of completion: 2017/1

Difficulty: 0 out of 5

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: 97

Comments:
Great course, does teach you some great stuff about the job market, LinkedIn, interviews - Lots of good little nuggets of information. Easy assessments, as long as you do the stuff on time there is virtually no way to fail this course. Works extremely well as a Gen Ed ;D
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: RuiAce on July 03, 2017, 03:28:01 pm
Subject Code/Name: MATH2111 - Higher Several Variable Calculus

Contact Hours: 4 x 1 hour lectures, 1 hour tutorial

Assumed Knowledge: A mark of 70 in either one of MATH1231/MATH1241/MATH1251. You should be well versed with the introductory several variable calculus taught in the first year courses. MATH1251 is slightly advantageous - Lagrange multipliers and double integrals done in advance.

Assessment:  12% - Reading/Writing Assignment, 2 x 14% - In lecture tests. The finals are weighted 60%

Lecture Recordings?  Somewhat for first half (blackboards obviously do not get recorded), Yes for second half

Notes/Materials Available: Detailed (albeit a bit confusing) notes by the lecturer for first half, limited for second half. Quizzes available on request. Most finals are uploaded onto the UNSW library website.

Textbook: N/A

Lecturer(s): Dr. Denis Potapov, Dr Jan Zika

Year & Semester of completion: 2017/1

Difficulty: 4.5/5

Overall Rating: 3/5 

Your Mark/Grade: 92 HD

Comments:
This is one of the three compulsory Level 2 courses to all mathematics disciplines, offered in semester 1. It is the higher counterpart of MATH2011. Students intending to major in mathematics and statistics must take this course or the standard version.

This course is generally regarded as the hardest of the three. It draws upon knowledge of elementary linear algebra and combines it with calculus in a more thorough and formal manner than in MATH1151/1231/1241. Mathematical analysis properly commences here, and throws students off within the first few weeks of the course.

Grasping the concepts of this course is not easy and requires quite a significant amount of time. In general, this course is only recommended to the students who believe they are capable of handling an appreciable amount of maths. Of course, lower courses have their maximum marks capped so if you feel you can achieve well you are encouraged to take this higher counterpart.

Please be advised, in advance, that this course can be a massive struggle if you're unfitted for it. MATH2011 is more computational than this course and can be easier to understand.

The final exam in 2016 baffled students to the point that this course got scaled outrageously. On the contrary, in 2017 the finals were much friendlier as they were really reflective of what was in the quizzes. Whilst the quizzes were certainly difficult, the easiness of the finals means that this course has been the easiest it's ever been since a good 6 or so years.

This was Dr. Jan Zika's first time ever at lecturing. He certainly tried his best, but I hope he keeps the improvement going.
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: RuiAce on July 03, 2017, 03:42:45 pm
Subject Code/Name: MATH2601 - Higher Linear Algebra

Contact Hours: 2 x 2 hour lectures, 1 hour flipped-classroom tutorial

Assumed Knowledge: A mark of 70 in either one of MATH1231/MATH1241/MATH1251. You will mostly be needing only linear algebra (no probability) with a side of differential equations at the end.

Assessment: 3 x 10% - In lecture tests. 10% - Writing assignment. The finals are weighted 60%. (Note that this is the first year this means of assessment was used.)

Lecture Recordings?  Not really, as the lecturer uses the blackboard.

Notes/Materials Available:  The lecturer's notes are absolutely amazing. You may find extra material elsewhere, but the notes are all you need. The flipped classroom involves doing questions on the spot during the tutorials, and they become an extra question bank for you. Quizzes available on request. Most finals are uploaded onto the UNSW library website.

Textbook: N/A

Lecturer(s): Dr. David Angell

Year & Semester of completion: 2017/1

Difficulty: 3.5/5

Overall Rating: 4/5

Your Mark/Grade: 94 HD

Comments: This is one of the three compulsory Level 2 courses to all mathematics disciplines, offered in semester 1. It is the higher counterpart of MATH2501. Students intending to major in mathematics and statistics must take this course or the standard version.

This course is the first of many that emphasises the nature of proof on top of the actual content. Whilst a substantial amount of computation remains in this course, a huge shift towards the theoretical side of mathematics and the necessity of formalising concepts comes into play. Concepts from linear algebra in MATH1231/41/51 are explained in greater depth, and tools (e.g. rank-nullity theorem) are no longer verified, but properly proven and then used in other proofs. Essentially, all the gaps in first year linear algebra are filled here.

Many students come to appreciate the nature and/or power through linear algebra thanks to how it's been taught and through the content. David Angell, much like the recently retired Peter Brown, is regarded as one of the best lecturers in the faculty and potentially at the university.

As this was the first year a 2 hour exam was introduced (instead of a 3 hour paper), the final exam ended up being too long and students struggled. I am highly positive that scaling came into play this semester.
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: jakesilove on July 03, 2017, 03:43:21 pm
How do you all get such unbelievably high marks.
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: RuiAce on July 03, 2017, 03:44:41 pm
How do you all get such unbelievably high marks.
Please... Some people in my cohort got 98 in 2 courses this sem...

(No idea how  :o )
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: jakesilove on July 03, 2017, 03:46:46 pm
That is literally sickening. If anyone gets higher than an 85 in any of my courses, they are hailed as the next Einstein/Geoffrey Robertson (depending on which degree obvs).

Edit: If someone reminds me when I get back to Sydney, I'll post up all of my subject reviews
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: RuiAce on July 03, 2017, 03:49:24 pm
I'll post up my shittier mark one next then lol
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: RuiAce on July 03, 2017, 04:05:57 pm
Subject Code/Name: ACTL2111 - Financial Mathematics for Actuaries

Contact Hours: 2 hour lecture, 1 hour Excel laboratory, 1 hour tutorial

Assumed Knowledge: The prerequisites specified are ACTL1101 and MATH1251. Alternatively, students undertaking Adv Maths majoring in Quantitative Risk are only required MATH1251. Whilst concepts are reintroduced, you should know what's going on in the finance side of ACTL1101, else this course becomes ridiculously hard even at the start.

Assessment: 15% Mid-semester exam, 15% Assignment (Broken into 4 mini-submissions; 4 Excel submissions with the final submission including a report). Final exam weighted 70%

Lecture Recordings?  Yes

Notes/Materials Available: On Moodle, ample tutorial exercises and past papers are posted up. Short video recordings of Assoc. Prof. Benjamin Avanzi explaining the concepts are also available for you to view.

Textbook:  Broverman, S.A. (2015), Mathematics of Investment and Credit, 6th Edition (5th Edition also permissible). Not compulsory, but from what I was told it contains some nice summaries and questions. A separate solutions manual to the questions can be purchased.
Sherris, M. (1996), Money and Capital Markets, Pricing, Yields and Analysis, 2nd Edition, Allen & Unwin. Never heard of anything about this one.

Lecturer(s): Dr Jonathan Ziveyi

Year & Semester of completion: 2017/1

Difficulty: 3.5/5

Overall Rating: 2/5 

Your Mark/Grade: 71 CR

Comments:
This course is compulsory for any student undertaking actuarial studies to meet their Part I exemptions. This course contributes to CT1.

This course draws upon certain and contingent cash flows demonstrated in ACTL1101 as well as a few elementary concepts in probability. The first half of the course is mostly revision of material in ACTL1101, however more complex cash flows are also observed (e.g. the increasing annuity).

Proper treatment is given to various other concepts such as bonds. Unfortunately, I feel as though many concepts such as forwards, options and swaps were not explained very well. This lead to quite a disaster on my part in that I had attained substantially high marks prior to the exam, but the inability to do a whole module (there are 6 modules) lead to a mark I never wanted to see at uni.

Many concepts in Excel are very introductory, however powerful tools such as VLOOKUP are certainly studied. Much of the assignment is based off Excel as well. Note that the finals did not examine Excel,

This course helps make concepts in ACTL1101 appear more clearer, however it is of my opinion that without FINS2624 (Portfolio Management, compulsory to all finance majors in commerce degrees) this course can be substantially difficult than what was perhaps intended. Note that not everything in the course was hard; only certain aspects of it.
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: RuiAce on July 03, 2017, 04:35:45 pm
Subject Code/Name: MATH2901 - Higher Theory of Statistics

Contact Hours:  2 x 1 hour + 1 x 2 hour (Total 4 hours) lectures, 1 hour tutorial

Assumed Knowledge: One of MATH1231/MATH1241/MATH1251. As the course outline is combined with MATH2801, no explicit requirement of a mark of 70 was stated. You should be familiar with basic probability and are expected to know elementary calculus techniques such as integration by parts.

Assessment: 20% In-lecture Mid-semester exam, 2 x 10% Assignments (2017 - Group assignments. 2016 and prior - Individual.)

Lecture Recordings? Yes (First time this has happened as the lecturer was encouraged by students to use the document camera)

Notes/Materials Available: An online course pack is uploaded onto Moodle and to be honest it has too much. The lecturer is nice and is selective of content to teach, and his notes that he uploads should be used as the primary reference. Whilst rarely, sometimes the course pack also explains differently to how the lecturer teaches it (in particular hypothesis testing).

Textbook: N/A

Lecturer(s): Dr. Libo Li

Year & Semester of completion: 2017/1

Difficulty: 2/5

Overall Rating: 5/5

Your Mark/Grade: 95 HD

Comments:
This is one of the three compulsory Level 2 courses to all mathematics disciplines, offered in semester 1. It is the higher counterpart of MATH2501. Students intending to major in mathematics and statistics must take this course or the standard version.

This course can (and should) be used to replace ACTL2131, the course that contributes to CT3. However, MATH2901 must be combined with MATH2931 to fulfil the exemption requirements.

The level of statistics taught in MATH1231/41 is quite minimal, and serves to be at most an introduction to the subject area. This course, along with its ordinary counterpart MATH2801, seeks to commence a formal treatment of statistics and some of its uses in society. Whilst number crunching is not avoidable, it is to be reminded that this course is theory of statistics. The emphasis on the theory of statistics means that it focuses on how the actual models of stats has been developed, and techniques that fall out of results we prove.

In practice, the theory of statistics is ignored and taken for granted. This course serves as a reminder as to how everything came to be, so that concepts observed from here onward makes sense.

Statistics is something I thoroughly enjoy now that I'm at uni (it was terrible in high school). I personally loved this course. However it is worth mentioning that the maths in this course is FULL of tricks and a good understanding of algebraic/calculus techniques is required to perform excellently.
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: RuiAce on July 04, 2017, 10:17:56 am
Subject Code/Name: FINS1613 - Business Finance

Contact Hours: 2 hours lecture, 1 hour tutorial

Assumed Knowledge: Nil, but an equivalent of 2U mathematics is highly recommended so that the maths make sense.

Assessment: 10% - Participation (A bit easier to earn than in ACCT1501), 10% - Homework (You have unlimited attempts at the questions), 10%+15%+15% (Total 40%) Separate quizzes, with the first quiz being super easy. Finals weighted 40%

Lecture Recordings?  Yes

Notes/Materials Available: In semester 1, there are HEAPS of resources offered. Live streams before the quizzes and finals, the entire QUESTION bank for quiz 1, and sufficient past quizzes for the other forms of assessment as well. Tutors are generally really nice and send you their tutorial slides as well. 

Textbook: Fundamentals of Corporate Finance (2nd Australian Edition), by Berk, DeMarzo, Harford, Ford, Mollica, and Finch, Pearson Australia, 2014. Not necessary at all; preferably use the lecture slides and MyFinanceLab.

Lecturer(s): Dr. Robert Tumarkin, Ying Dou

Year & Semester of completion: 2017/1

Difficulty: 1.5/5 (Biased!)

Overall Rating:  4.5/5

Your Mark/Grade: 94 HD

Comments:
This course is one of the choices for the first year electives of all commerce students. This course introduces students to the bread-and-butter of finance and makes up the fundamentals of everything in the finance major. It becomes a core course for actuarial students to fulfil CT2.

This course was ridiculously easy for me given that I had undertaken ACTL1101 in advance. Most actuaries are aware that taking this course before FINS1613 makes it significantly easier than otherwise, and hence the bias in the difficulty rating. For many students, this course tends to achieve a difficulty of 4/5 as they are either not well versed with maths equivalent to 2U level, understanding of how multiple cash flows work or feel bombarded by the lengthiness of several questions.

This course does not neglect theory altogether, however the focus is on the calculations. FINS1612 (only required by finance majors) introduces more theoretical concepts.

It is imperative that students understand quickly what goes on in the first few weeks of the course as everything is somehow tied to it. Topic 3 (Capital budgeting) is notorious for being the hardest of the lot; students who are currently taking (or have previously taken) ACCT1501 find it slightly easier, withs students having taken ACCT1511 finding it a breeze as it's just ACCT1511 dumbed down.

Many students highly recommend this course be undertaken in semester 1 and here are the reasons for it
- The lecturer influences this the most. Robert Turnarkin is a godsend; he literally sets his assessment tasks in the best interests of the students (no details disclosed here). His level of 'chill' rivals that of the legendary ECON1101 lecturer Alberto Motta.
- The amount of resources in semester 1 is abundant. The amount of resources in semester 2 is very limited (not even many past papers let alone the livestream)
- The assessment is generally easier in semester 1.
It should be noted that the lecturer for semester 2 is not "bad". He just discloses limited stuff compared to Rob.
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: jamonwindeyer on August 20, 2017, 06:31:43 pm
Subject Code/Name: ELEC3104 - Digital Signal Processing

Contact Hours: 3 hours lecture, 3 hours lab

Assumed Knowledge: ELEC2134 (particularly the part of the course on transform methods), as well as a variety of techniques from 1st and 2nd year maths courses

Assessment:  50% Final Exam, 10% Labs, 15% Assignment, 25% Prokect

Lecture Recordings?  Yes

Notes/Materials AvailableComplete online video course

Textbook: S. K. Mitra, Digital Signal Processing, McGraw-Hill, 2011. Explains stuff well, good buy if you are planning to do later courses in DSP.

Lecturer(s): Dr Vidhyasaharan Sethu

Year & Semester of completion: 2017/1

Difficulty: 4 out of 5

Overall Rating: 5/5

Your Mark/Grade: 83 DN

Comments: This is the first course in Digital Signal Processing that you can take, and it's a prereq for all the 4th year DSP courses.

This is a really, really interesting course, and if you put the work in super enjoyable! Project is fun and lets you do as much as you can handle (you can do a little bit and pass easily, or do a heap of work to try and scape out the full mark). Labs are really long but good, overall - Wish they'd do more to teach you the sorts of questions you'd get in the final though. Lecturer is good, explains stuff well, but could really do with some slides/notes to guide his explanations. Hard to know what the important stuff is sometimes - Very few lecturers can get away with just scribbling on a document camera for 2 hours and he probably isn't one of them. That said, put a bit of work in yourself and he'll give you the ins and outs nicely ;D

This is a mandatory course for Electrical Engineers, and it's a good one. Get ready for lots and lots and LOTS of coding in Matlab (it is criminal that they don't really have you do much properly with it until this point) :)
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: jamonwindeyer on September 18, 2017, 04:18:19 pm
Subject Code/Name: ELEC3106 - Electronics

Contact Hours: 3 hours lecture, 2 hour lab, 1 hour tutorial

Assumed Knowledge: 2133 - Analogue Electronics, but that's not super essential. Circuit knowledge from 2134 is probably enough to scrape by. Also need knowledge of logic circuits from 2141.

Assessment: 10% labs, 10% lab design task, 10% quizzes, 70% final

Lecture Recordings?  Yes

Notes/Materials Available: Not a whole lot, but the lecturer provides quite a lot!

Textbook: A. S. Sedra & K. C. Smith, Microelectronic Circuits. Oxford University Press, 6th ed., 2011.

Lecturer(s): Torsten Lehmann

Year & Semester of completion: 2017-1

Difficulty: 4 out of 5

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: 78 DN

Comments:
This is probably one of the most interesting courses I've done in terms of what was covered - It's all about why the theoretical stuff you've learned to this point kind of goes to shit in practical applications. It's real world stuff and Torsten teaches it so well. It's the style of teaching you want - He literally just teaches with a pen and paper, and while it demands you to make sure you've done a bit of reading/know what's vaguely happening, if you do that his teaching style rewards you. Super cool.

What lets this course down, for me, is the labs. My demos weren't great, I don't think the structure of them with the reports really facilitated much additional understanding. Just felt like a slog. Plus I got buggy chips that screwed my final design task - :P

Overall, really cool course though. Challenging, but rewarding :)
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: RuiAce on November 30, 2017, 10:42:55 pm
Subject Code/Name: MATH2621 - Higher Complex Analysis

Contact Hours: 3 x 1 hour lectures, 1 hour tutorial

Assumed Knowledge: The formal prerequisite is a mark of 70 in one of MATH1231/MATH1241/MATH1251. However, a "lecture 0" is provided as revision and is essentially sufficient as a basis for the course.

Assessment: 2 x 45 minute quizzes (each weighted 20%), final exam weighted 60%

Lecture Recordings? Yes, but in saying that you miss out on anything drawn on the blackboard

Notes/Materials Available: Extremely comprehensive lecture notes provided, accompanied with lecture slides. Quite an abundance of past quizzes and exams.

Textbook: Nil

Lecturer(s): Dr Alessandro Ottazzi, Dr Michael Cowling

Year & Semester of completion: 2017/2

Difficulty: 3/5

Overall Rating: 4/5

Your Mark/Grade: 90 HD

Comments: This course serves as compulsory for two of the primary mathematics majors, and one viable choice out of two for the statistics major (the other being MATH2221). For the most part it was brilliant; everything about the maths in this course was fun. (This is also what draws students majoring in statistics to this course over MATH2221.) It is the higher counterpart of MATH2521.

This course, much like the first semester courses, is a continuation of what's been taught in MATH1231/41/51. Simply put, the first year math courses teach the algebra of complex numbers, whereas this course teaches the calculus of complex numbers. Many proofs in this course are examinable, but have the luxury in that you can figure them out on the spot, so long as you know all the basic ingredients.

The lecturers are very funny and keep you engaged decently well. In particular, Dr Michael Cowling drops hints on what might be in the exam, based off previous years. It still ended up being a bit of a bomb though with more twisted questions this year, but for the most part it is fairly relaxed. (In fact, if the final exam didn't drop the bombs, the difficulty would've only been 1.5/5)

The course really depicts how different and surprisingly beautiful the adapting of calculus to complex numbers can be. Many things that hold for real analysis are broken when taken to complex numbers, but more powerful results are derived.

Note that this course is the expansion of the former course MATH2620 (3 UoC), and was first taught in 2014.
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: RuiAce on November 30, 2017, 11:25:50 pm
Subject Code/Name: MATH2701 - Abstract Algebra and Fundamental Analysis

Contact Hours: 3 x 1 hour lectures, 1 hour tutorial

Assumed Knowledge: The formal prerequisite is a CR in MATH1231/MATH1241/MATH1251 or enrolment in Science (Adv Maths) or Adv Science, but you really should have a bare minimum of DN in MATH1241/MATH1251 if you are considering this course.

Assessment:
  - Analysis half: 5 x small assignments (each weighted 2%), can collaborate with your peers and the internet on how to do the problems. 1 take-home test
    (weighted 15%), must be done alone.
  - Algebra half: A mixture of 10 minute quizzes and assignments (combined weighting of 25%)
  - Final exam weighted 50%

Lecture Recordings? No

Notes/Materials Available: Analysis half - Decently comprehensive lecture notes provided. Algebra half - The lecturer provides his notes, but they are hand-written and often hard to read. Notes written by a student also published but they are very brief. A few past papers provided; some more obtained through the lecturer.

Textbook: Nil

Lecturer(s): Dr Lee Zhao, Dr Jie Du

Year & Semester of completion: 2017/2

Difficulty: 5/5 - This course's difficulty is well beyond any other math course in the first two years.

Overall Rating: 3.5/5

Your Mark/Grade: 88 HD

Comments: This course is generally regarded as the pure mathematics "trademark" course. It is what distinguishes this major for the rest. It forms the bridge between the mostly computational nature of first year courses, and the extent of proof in the later pure courses. As implied multiple times above, it is divided into an analysis half, and an algebra half.

Analysis is the formalisation and extension of every idea used in modern calculus, whereas 'algebra' is the exploration of various structures that build and are used in mathematics. They generally involve quite different ways of mathematical thinking, but form the two main blocks (and debatably, pathways) of a pure mathematician.

Analysis is just intense by nature, but was something that I found quite neat and challenging. It is common to just spend hours at a problem and not get anywhere, and at the same time it's always a huge excitement when you figure it out. This half encourages you to draw upon ANYTHING you've been previously exposed to, and produce neat results out of it. Some topics include the big 'O' notation, inequalities and p-adic analysis.

The structures of abstract algebra are mostly groups and fields. Group theory is used in this section but to a small extent; the course's name feels like a misnomer as it's mostly focused on geometries (including projective geometry and transformations). Unfortunately, it really didn't work well with me for several months; I only managed to figure everything out at the end after receiving a lot of help. (There may have been other factors influencing this problem.)

Given the nature of pure mathematics, a bridge between first and third year is certainly necessary and this course serves that purpose quite well. However, whilst it may be easier than what's to follow, the content you learn can be a huge shock, hence the significantly lower candidature for the course. Most people do well in this course, but it's usually because they're just that capable.
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: MLov on December 01, 2017, 12:19:49 pm
Subject Code/Name: ACTL2102 Foundations of Actuarial Models

Contact Hours:  1 x 2 hour lectures, 1 hour tutorial

Assumed Knowledge:  Prerequisite:ACTL2131 or MATH2901 and (enrolment in 3154, 3155, 3586, 3587, 3588, 3589 or 4737)

Assessment:
  - Mid semester exam weighted 20%
  - Group Assignment 20% (16% report + R codes, 4% reflection + peer reviews)
  - Final exam weighted 60%

Lecture Recordings?  Yes

Notes/Materials Available: N/A

Textbook: Ross, 'Introduction to Probability Models'

Lecturer(s): JK Woo

Year & Semester of completion: 2017/2

Difficulty: 2.5/5

Overall Rating:  4.5/5

Your Mark/Grade: HD

Comments: This course is regarded as one of the easiest ACTL courrses. It does not require a lot of knowledge in finance, and as the name suggest it has a lot of statistic components. The course can be broken down into two main components, Markov Process and Time Series. However, this course does need some knowledge about computing, as you will learn how to simulate different kinds of distributions (e.g. non-homogenous poisson, exponential, normal etc.) and implement them on R.

The application of Markov process should be the hardest component of this course, it requires you to have a strong understanding about the properties of Markov process and teaches you the necessity to consider every factor in your calculations(which is hard) like all other ACTL courses.

Overall, the course will be like a pleasant break after your suffering in ACTL2131 and 2111. :D
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: MLov on December 01, 2017, 09:44:22 pm
Subject Code/Name: MATH2931 - Higher Linear Models

Contact Hours: 3 x 1 hour lectures, 1 hour tutorial-laboratory (alternating every week)

Assumed Knowledge:
 - Prerequisite: MATH2901 or MATH2801(DN)
 - Not prerequisite: MATH2601 or MATH2501 but treated as assumed knowledge throughout the course

Assessment:
 - 3 x group assessments, each worth 10%
 - Final exam weighted 70% 

Lecture Recordings? yes

Notes/Materials Available:  N/A

Textbook: N/A

Lecturer(s): Dr. Libo Li

Year & Semester of completion: 2017/2

Difficulty: 2.5/5

Overall Rating:  3/5

Your Mark/Grade: HD

Comments: This course together with MATH2901 can be used to replace ACTL2131.

The course is pretty dry. It starts off with simple linear models, and then expands to take into considerations of higher dimensions and other factors such as non-normally distributed errors and non-constant variance. More than half of the course is implementing R outputs and "understanding the philosophy" behind them.

(Prepare yourself for all kind of hypothesis testing!)

Other half of the course is proofs. The proofs are mainly linear algebra (and some vector/matrix calculus).

(Now please take a moment of silence for those who enrolled in MATH2931 without learning MATH2601/2501)

Overall the course is relaxing and not time consuming as there isn't too much content, but you can easily lose motivation. Just lay back and listen to Libo's wonderful voice :D
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: MLov on December 02, 2017, 12:04:55 pm
Subject Code/Name: ECON1102 - Macroeconomics 1

Contact Hours: 1 x 2 hour lecture, 1 hour tutorial

Assumed Knowledge: Prerequisite: ECON1101

Assessment:
  - In game quiz weighted 10%
  - Class quiz weighted 10%
  - Mid semester exam weighted 20%
  - Final exam weighted 60%

Lecture Recordings? yes

Notes/Materials Available: Macroeconomic notes are all over the internet

Textbook: N/A

Lecturer(s): There are multiple streams, and multiple lecturers

Year & Semester of completion: 2017/2

Difficulty: 1.5/5

Overall Rating: 3.5/5

Your Mark/Grade: DN

Comments: If you think this would be the same as ECON1101, you have came to the wrong place.

This course talks about the economic system from an aggregated scale and introduces how government and central bank influences our economic system. Instead of analysing the behaviour of a single agent, you will be taught how the entire population responds to events like change in price, inflation and policies under specific assumptions.

This course requires much more mathematic computations and interpretations than ECON1101. The mathematics uesd in this course are very simple (you are not expected to know why those formula works, they are further explained, in greater depth, in later courses). However, there are quite a lot formulas you need to memorise.

You need to get your head around the ripple effect: how multiple events affect each other (you are recommended to construct a network of the relationships between each event, e.g. government buy bonds -> more money supply -> higher inflation -> weaker currency wrt foreign currency -> less import -> ...  ) and the beauty of equilibrium.

(Also you will know much more about what the economist are talking about on tv)

Overall, it is a really fun and relaxing course and give you a macroscopic view of our world. It is slightly drier than ECON1101 (less games, more theories) but more relevant to the real world.

Side note: they are currently building a game just like playeconomics for this course. :D
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: RuiAce on December 04, 2017, 09:38:03 pm
Subject Code/Name: MATH2931 - Higher Linear Models

Contact Hours: 3 x 1 hour lectures, 1 hour tutorial

Assumed Knowledge: MATH2901 is a prerequisite. For this course, some elements from MATH2501/MATH2601 are implicitly assumed (although not explicitly examined).

Assessment: 3 x Assignments (10% each), finals weighted 55%.

Lecture Recordings? Yes, but you miss quite a fair bit of what's done on the blackboard.

Notes/Materials Available: As with MATH2901, Libo releases his lecture notes.

Textbook: N/A

Lecturer(s): Dr Libo Li

Year & Semester of completion: 2017/2

Difficulty: 2/5

Overall Rating: 2.5/5

Your Mark/Grade: 80 DN

Comments: This course is basically the continuation of MATH2901 and essential to any statistics major student. It takes the concepts of statistical inference introduced in its predecessor and essentially seeks to introduce basic model fitting and analysis. Much of the content in this course revolves around R; you are not required to write R code but you will need to interpret given code in assignments and in the exam.

For me, this course felt significantly more dry and bland than its precursor. The first half of the course introduces all the essentials to model fitting and the concepts behind it, but it gradually turns into just grind and rote. It becomes more memorisation in the later half, and whereas the proofs are decent they start becoming very convoluted. It's more or less about how to fit a model that does whatever it does, and just what deductions you can make out of it. You also need to know the uses of various forms of measure (e.g. Mallow's Cp and the PRESS statistic for goodness of fit).

This course would've been rated a 1/5, but every course is made better by the presence of Libo and that can't be denied.

I don't regard this as a difficult mark despite getting a considerably lower mark in it than MATH2901. I just find it a lot less interesting.

It should be remarked again that linear algebra (MATH2501 OR MATH2601) is not a prerequisite for this course. Linear algebra is just an aid used for the proofs in this course. Remember that MATH2931 assumes MATH2901, WHICH assumes MATH1231/41/51, so elementary linear algebra concepts should not be foreign. Stuff like spectral decomposition, may, however, be a bit unfamiliar.

Note: The lectures for this course are combined with its ordinary counterpart MATH2831. This is due to the cohorts being appreciably smaller than that of MATH2801/MATH2901. MATH2831 students aren't expected to deal with much of the linear algebra components and have a few less things to memorise.
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: RuiAce on December 13, 2017, 02:03:04 pm
Subject Code/Name: COMP1511 - Introduction to Programming (later renamed to Programming Fundamentals)

Contact Hours: 2 x 2 hours of lectures, 1 hour tutorial, 2 hour lab

Assumed Knowledge: Nil. But the nature of computing courses is that ANY prior programming experience is recommended.

Assessment:
- 10% allocated to milestone writeups
- 5% allocated to labs
- 30% allocated across three assignments (weighted 5%, 10%, 15%)
- Final exam weighted 35% (30% for theory, 5% for practical)

Lecture Recordings? Yes

Notes/Materials Available: The materials they provide for the lectures, tutorials and labs are all you really need. (Well, and of course assignments.) Exam skeletons provided which reduce reading time required in the actual exam room. Fairly abundant in quantity.

Textbook: As implied above, not required

Lecturer(s): Andrew Bennett (occasionally substituted in by Jashank Jeremy)

Year & Semester of completion: 2017/2

Difficulty: 3/5

Overall Rating:  3.5/5

Your Mark/Grade: 82 DN

Comments:
This course is one of the new courses introduced as part of UNSW CSE's massive renovation. It is the second time it's been offered (first offering was last semester), and replaces the old course COMP1917. It is generally regarded as the more intense of the bundle for engineering students that need only 1 computing course for their degree (the alternatives being COMP1911 and ENGG1811).

This course introduces C, which is essentially one of the fundamental languages of the programming world. The focus isn't necessarily on just C syntax itself, but its applications in solving relatively simple problems. Attempting to design methods to solve these problems is generally the hard part, not necessarily the actual coding element.

Content wise, the course is brilliant. It pretty much introduces all the basics expected for an introductory course without overkilling it. Everything is introduced from scratch, which really reflects the "no assumed knowledge" statement. Math required is fairly minimal (no calculus and such for sure). Teaching staff were also very helpful and taught really well. The staff and the content itself basically make up the bulk of the rating given. The extra .5 comes out of interesting assignments (again, content wise).

The teaching staff did their best to cut down on this, which was definitely something I appreciated, but personally I just find blogs effort when I'm marked on them. So any bit of it damages it for me, but it doesn't really damage it enough to make me dislike the course. It was also nice seeing some increase in marks towards the end, regardless of the reasons behind it and how little there were.

A small remark I do want to make before talking about the cons - you can never really know if you'll like coding unless you give it a go. Some people really loved doing it (including me) and other's hated it. This is just because coding doesn't work well with many people's brains; it's a bit algorithmically intense to be fair, and hence why the difficulty rating was above 2/5. So if it's of some interest, give it a shot, and then abort it only when you actually know you really dislike it.

A surprisingly large amount of my marks seem to have fallen from style during the second half of the course. The style guide is something essential to the first course - I've seen outrageously disgusting code be written by some programmers and it just isn't legible. But the extent of its strictness felt too far in some regards (not EVERY regard), and it resulted in many marks going to waste.

As well as being uncertain of where my code was incorrect every now and then. Quite disappointingly, just one of the three assignments ended up drowning away all of my expectations for my results (the other two were really great).

So essentially, marks negatively bias my ratings (at least, when they are a cause of disappointment and not expected). But I maintain the relatively good quality of this course. Apart from a bomb thrown in the final practical exam, everything did feel quite easy for me. Any student capable enough should give this course a try.
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: jamonwindeyer on December 21, 2017, 10:26:11 pm
Subject Code/Name: ELEC3117 - Electrical Engineering Design

Contact Hours: 2 hours lecture (though none of them went for more than an hour or so), 3 hour labs

Assumed Knowledge: ELEC3106

Assessment: 40% on proposals and reports, 30% on final presentation, 5% attendance, 25% final exam

Lecture Recordings?  Yes

Notes/Materials Available: -

Textbook: Pretty much any textbook could be useful in this course depending on your project.

Lecturer(s): Dr Beena Ahmed, Dr Alex Von Brasch

Year & Semester of completion: 2017/2

Difficulty: 3/5

Overall Rating: 3/5

Your Mark/Grade: 91 HD

Comments: So this is the course you take as a prerequisite for doing your Thesis in Year 4 - It's a big design project. You pick a partner, and you build a consumer product prototype. No real assistance, no restrictions.

The project itself is really difficult because, I don't care if you got 90+ scores in every electronics course so far, that doesn't teach you how to design something. You need to be able to program a microcontroller, design a PCB, do stuff that no course teaches you (and this course won't either). That's my biggest criticism of this course - It would be the chance to have industry professionals come in and teach you things you'll actually use, introduce actual industry software and methods to help with the projects. But nope, they waffle on about phases of design and let you figure out the important stuff on your own. Don't get me wrong, some of it is really good to know, but it falls so far short of the potential of a course like this.

Labs are well designed - A few really knowledgeable people are around to help you navigate issues in what is essentially free time for your projects (you need every 3 hour session, and so much more time at home, to get it right). I envy them - $50 an hour (or something) for doing mostly nothing ;) assessments are fair, a couple of reports, a presentation and attendance are the things directly related to the project - Good practice on documenting things for industry.

Then there is the Final Exam, which is based on the almost completely useless lecture content. Waffle your way through it and it shouldn't be too difficult, and it weighs nothing (compared to other exams) anyway.

If you enjoy building and designing something from scratch that is yours (who wouldn't!), and you have a good partner, this course is fine. But it had the potential to be the best course they offered and instead it's just - Meh.
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: jamonwindeyer on December 21, 2017, 10:40:15 pm
Subject Code/Name: ELEC3145 - Real Time Instrumentation

Contact Hours: 2 hours lecture, 1 hour tutorial, 3 hours lab

Assumed Knowledge: First year Mathematics, ELEC2141, and a fundamental programming course (COMP1511 or similar)

Assessment: 10% lab checkpoints, 10% lab exam, 10% midsem, 10% assignment, 60% final exam

Lecture Recordings?  No

Notes/Materials Available: -

Textbook: None prescribed, anything on Real-Time systems could be useful. Your textbook for Control Systems could come in handy.

Lecturer(s): Dr Branislav Hredzak

Year & Semester of completion: 2017/2

Difficulty: 2/5

Overall Rating: 5/5

Your Mark/Grade: 92 HD

Comments: This is a good course to take at the same time as Control Systems, because much of the content overlaps. I found the two courses nice to do in tandem because they expanded and played off each other - Made things easier to remember for me.

The course is essentially in two halves - An analytical section focusing on the mathematics behind certain control systems, and then a programming section on how you actually code using a real-time kernel. The two don't overlap in any meaningful way, and the programming section is far more useful and interesting than the analytical section. The analytical section is not that difficult - The programming section is extremely easy if you are a decent programmer.

Overall though, an interesting and enjoyable course. Branislav teaches it quite well - His style is always quiet but methodical, I've never gotten to the end of a segment of info and gone, "Wait, wtf did that mean." He knows his stuff, enjoyed his lecturing more here than in ELEC1111. The labs are fun, the exams are not difficult if you put a bit of work in. Overall, really good third year elective!! ;D
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: jamonwindeyer on December 22, 2017, 12:32:52 pm
Subject Code/Name: ELEC3105 - Electrical Energy

Contact Hours: 3 hours lecture, 1 hour tutorial, 3 hours lab

Assumed Knowledge: ELEC2134, ELEC3115 (particularly this second one is important)

Assessment: 20% lab checkpoints, 2% online quizzes, 10% midsem, 8% assignment, 60% final exam

Lecture Recordings?  Yes

Notes/Materials Available: -

Textbook: None prescribed, a variety could come in handy as the topics do cover a fair few different disciplines of Elec

Lecturer(s): Dr Rukmi Dutta

Year & Semester of completion: 2017/2

Difficulty: 4/5

Overall Rating: 2/5

Your Mark/Grade: 88 HD

Comments: Another semester, another course with Rukmi - Read any of my reviews above this one to get my opinions. She has still not ever done a full worked example in any of her lectures. Her explanations are, okay - But prepare for lots of work to make them actually relate to any realistic problem. Tutorials also handled by Rukmi, and she doesn't do worked examples there either.

The content is interesting, I'll give it that. It's really fascinating to explore how our motors and generators actually operate, even exploring things like solar cells and thermal engines. It's cool - It's just taught in a really boring way. The labs are really good, though the instructional videos for it are laughably bad. Just give them a chance.

This course normally has a huge fail rate - The quizzes and labs are fine, but the exams and assignment are brutal. However, someone must have been upset with so many people needing to repeat up above, because our final exam was the easiest exam for the course in years and years. So that was lucky.

Not a highlight in the program, that's for sure :(
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: jamonwindeyer on December 22, 2017, 12:42:36 pm
Subject Code/Name: ELEC3114 - Control Systems

Contact Hours: 3 hours lecture, 3 hours lab, 1 hour tutorial

Assumed Knowledge: ELEC2134, and second year mathematics

Assessment: 4% quizzes, 12% labs, 30% midsem, 54% final exam

Lecture Recordings?  Yes

Notes/Materials Available: Hendra provides a really great set of online video material, which is excellent

Textbook: N. S. Nise, Control Systems Engineering, John Wiley & Sons, 6th or 7th Edition, but they provide essential excerpts if necessary

Lecturer(s): Dr Hendra Nurdin

Year & Semester of completion: 2017/2

Difficulty: 5/5

Overall Rating: 3/5

Your Mark/Grade: 77 DN

Comments: Control is probably the hardest course I've taken so far, but luckily I was warned how tough it was going in - Hopefully you are now as well. The content is really quite interesting, and Hendra teaches it decently well. Like Rukmi, some full worked examples on paper in front of us, and not just pointing at already derived results in sequence on a slide, would make things so much better. But anyway, he does a good job explaining things for the most part provided you are willing to work to fill in the connections to problems a wee bit.

Tutorials in this course are amazing, if you get Arash (not that Hendra is bad I just didn't have him). He re-explains the theory as he does a single problem covering everything from the lecture that week - I had the tutorial right after the lecture, and my god did it help. There's a heap of extra problems given for later revision too.

Labs were the let down for me in this course. There weren't enough demos, the demos we did have were not very good at all, and the links to our content were awkward at best and just non-existent at worst. Just a slog to me - If the labs were better I'd probably have a way better opinion of the course.

Quizzes are fine, but tough. Big questions and the slightest mistake gives you zero, but they aren't worth much. Midsem and exam are tough but they have to be for a course like this - I didn't study anywhere near enough for our final though, it was tougher than the last few years  ::)

It's a really tough course, but if you know that going in, it is manageable. Just grit your teeth, put up with the shitty labs, and get a heap of marks in the midsem because it is almost always easier ;D
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: Mechonics on January 11, 2018, 12:22:22 am
Subject Code/Name: DATA1001 - Intro to Data Science and Decisions

Contact Hours:  A 2 hour lecture every Monday, and 2x one hour labs every week

Assumed Knowledge: No formal prerequisites. But you will actually die if you don't know advanced statistics including things like Baye's Theorem, lots of probability theory, monte carlo methods etc.

Assessment:  3x 15% assessments and a 55% final exam.

Lecture Recordings?  Yes

Notes/Materials Available:  Lecture slides will be available on moodle. No other specific material that will help with the content.

Textbook:  N/A

Lecturer(s): Three different lecturers for the three different parts (Business, Computing and Maths)

Year & Semester of completion: 2017, sem 2

Difficulty: 4/5

Overall Rating:  1/5

Your Mark/Grade: 72

Comments:
Not a very well designed course at all. Firstly, let's sort out the data science part. This course is not real data science, it is basically business intelligence and data analytics. Real data science involves machine learning algorithms and artificial intelligence, which was not at all even mentioned in any aspect of the course. It was more related to SQL, business analytics and statistics etc. The ideal real data science course would have discussed ground-breaking advancements in AI such as deep learning, convolutional neural networks (and other types of neural networks), general AI, etc. Also, the mathematics section of the course had the cohort up in arms. The mathematics lecturer had a PhD in statistics and the content was extremely difficult, and definitely not suitable for this level - I would even argue that it would be at a masters level.

The 3x 15% assessments were pretty easy, I ended up with like 90+ in that, but then the finals were brutal (partially because I didn't put much effort into that, but also because of the statistics part of the course being extremely difficult and unsuitable) - I'd hope they'll improve on this after all the criticism received.

Overall, do not do this course if you don't need to (e.g. as a gen ed or elective). It is not worth it.
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: Mechonics on January 15, 2018, 12:12:25 am
Subject Code/Name: ECON1101 - Microeconomics 1

Contact Hours:  3 (2 hr lecture, 1 hr lab)

Assumed Knowledge: None, but high school economics would help a lot.

Assessment: 20% free marks from an online game called Playconomics (which you have to buy for like $30), 2x 15% short answer exams, 50% multiple choice finals.

Lecture Recordings? Yea 

Notes/Materials Available:  Will be provided with playconomics when you purchase it.

Textbook: All playconomics!

Lecturer(s): Alberto Motta

Year & Semester of completion: 2017, Sem 1

Difficulty: 4/5 for me, 2-3/5 for literally everyone else

Overall Rating: 3

Your Mark/Grade: 73 

Comments: Very important if you're studying economics or commerce or anything of that sort in the Business School. For me it was just a course which needed to be completed, despite being irrelevant to my degree. Please take this review with a grain of salt, I'm sure you'll fly through it if you're passionate about economics or even if you try a little bit (which I didn't really).
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: Mechonics on January 15, 2018, 12:40:33 am
Subject Code/Name: MATH1141 - Higher Mathematics 1A

Contact Hours: 6

Assumed Knowledge: Combined mark of 175+ in Maths ex1 + ex2. If you did 3 unit maths, consider taking the 1131 variant, unless you did really well in 2u+3u.

Assessment:  4x class tests worth 20% (best 3/4 count), 8% from online tutorials (maple), 8% maple lab exam, 4% maple practice exams, 60% final exam

Lecture Recordings?  Yes

Notes/Materials Available:  Available on moodle upon enrolment

Textbook: N/A

Lecturer(s): Professor Wolfgang Schief (Calculus), Dr Alina Ostafe (Linear algebra)

Year & Semester of completion: 2017 Sem 1

Difficulty: 2.5/5

Overall Rating: 4/5

Your Mark/Grade: 76

Comments:
Very enjoyable course. It is split into two parts, Linear Algebra and Calculus. Your final mark pretty much entirely depends on the 60% finals. The remaining 40% is pretty much all free marks.

You will have a total of 12 online maple tutorials - one each week. Your best 8 will count to give you 8% of the course marks. These tutorials are very easy and you're allowed to check your answer before submitting it (There's literally a "How did I go" button which you can exploit an infinite number of times). Try and do a tutorial every week to finish all 12, as they can be pretty helpful. However, worst case scenario you can skip 4 weeks of work and still get full marks if you complete 8/12 of them. Make sure you get all 8% of these free marks.

There will be a 4 class tests throughout the semester. They are very short tests - you are given 20 minutes and there are 10 marks in each test. The first test is in like week 5 and the remaining are evenly distributed throughout the rest of the semester. These are very very easy tests and very similar to the past tests that are provided at the very back of your course pack. If you do them all (or even a few), you should be getting 10/10 for every test. Your best 3/4 class tests will be counted. i.e. each of your best 3 tests are worth 6.6666..% to give a total of 20% of the course. Make sure you get all 20% course marks here!

There will be a maple lab test in around week 10. It will test your understanding of the Maple software, which is used to perform many mathematical calculations. Here is a list of literally every possible question that can come - https://www.scribd.com/document/156497903/1131-and-1141-Maple-Exam-Sample-Solutions. They will choose some of these (not all) for your final exam. Make sure you memorise these (it's not hard, very repetitive). I started memorising the night before the test and got full marks, it's a very easy test - don't lose any of the 8% here.

4% of the remaining marks will come from 2 very simple and short maple practice questions (worth 2% each). These two tests will test your understanding of the maple syntax. There are only two questions in each test, and it is done online. You'll need to use the maple software to enter your answers. Each test should only take you like literally 5 mins at max, so don't put this off.

The remaining 60% of the marks is from final exams. These are harder than the normal class tests you do, so don't get complacent. I got all 40% of the course marks above easily, and underestimated the finals. That's why I only got a total of 76. Study very hard for the final exam, do all the past papers you possibly can do, and get an easy HD!
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: MLov on January 18, 2018, 08:20:26 pm
Subject Code/Name: FINS1612 - Capital Markets and Institutionshttp://www.handbook.unsw.edu.au/undergraduate/courses/2017/FINS1612.html

Contact Hours: 3 (2 hour lecture + 1 hour tutorial)

Assumed Knowledge: N/A

Assessment: 
-2 Quizzes each worth 20%
-Tutorial participation 15%
-Final Exam 45%

Lecture Recordings? Yes

Notes/Materials Available: http://www.unistudyguides.com/wiki/Capital_Markets_and_Institutions

Textbook: N/A

Lecturer(s): N/A

Year & Semester of completion: N/A

Difficulty: N/A

Overall Rating:  3.5/5 ??

Your Mark/Grade: N/A

Comments:
From my perspective, anyone who wants to pursue a business career should take this course first. It provides you a basic business framework and introduces you to many financial/business basics which many degrees neglect to teach. (ACTL especially treated this course as assumed knowledge and they will throw many business jargons at you without definitions.)

If this course is not one of your core courses, then I highly recommend you to study this by yourself. It is very simple and you do not have to stress out preparing for quizzes and exams. There is an abundant amount of related materials online (also on Khan's Acadamy), and you will not have trouble finding definitions and examples. Should take you about 2 weeks (one lecture a day)
(Also saves you bunch of money, now calculate its present value!)

Once you sleep through this course, you will be prepared for ACTL1101!
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: jyh6 on March 09, 2018, 05:50:58 pm
Subject Code/Name: ELEC3105 - Electrical Energy

Contact Hours: 3 hours lecture, 1 hour tutorial, 3 hours lab

Assumed Knowledge: ELEC2134, ELEC3115 (particularly this second one is important)

Assessment: 20% lab checkpoints, 2% online quizzes, 10% midsem, 8% assignment, 60% final exam

Lecture Recordings?  Yes

Notes/Materials Available: -

Textbook: None prescribed, a variety could come in handy as the topics do cover a fair few different disciplines of Elec

Lecturer(s): Dr Rukmi Dutta

Year & Semester of completion: 2017/2

Difficulty: 4/5

Overall Rating: 2/5

Your Mark/Grade: 88 HD

Comments: Another semester, another course with Rukmi - Read any of my reviews above this one to get my opinions. She has still not ever done a full worked example in any of her lectures. Her explanations are, okay - But prepare for lots of work to make them actually relate to any realistic problem. Tutorials also handled by Rukmi, and she doesn't do worked examples there either.

The content is interesting, I'll give it that. It's really fascinating to explore how our motors and generators actually operate, even exploring things like solar cells and thermal engines. It's cool - It's just taught in a really boring way. The labs are really good, though the instructional videos for it are laughably bad. Just give them a chance.

This course normally has a huge fail rate - The quizzes and labs are fine, but the exams and assignment are brutal. However, someone must have been upset with so many people needing to repeat up above, because our final exam was the easiest exam for the course in years and years. So that was lucky.

Not a highlight in the program, that's for sure :(


Good work! I'm wondering if there's a review for 3115 as well. Heard this is a tough one. Also like to know how important the textbook (Field and Wave, David K. Cheng) is for this course. There seem to be a lot of mathematical proofs but not sure if they will be examined on.
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: katie,rinos on June 08, 2018, 12:59:32 pm
Subject Code/Name: EDST1104-Social Perspectives in Education

Contact Hours:  2hr lecture, 1hr tute each week, 80% attendance required & rolls passed around

Assumed Knowledge: Nil

Assessment:  600 word Article analysis (20%), 1800 Research Task (mix of 3 article analysis and school description, 40%), 2000 word sociological research report (40%). All education assessments must be passed to pass the course.

Lecture Recordings?  Yes

Notes/Materials Available:Slides were uploaded by the education society for help with assessments, however not much extra was needed.

Textbook: Education, Change and Society. I borrowed it from the library and it is also available as an ebook through the library. It wasn’t really necessary however was used sometimes in tutorials.

Lecturer(s): Dr Greg Leaney, Tutor-Sara Mashayekh

Year & Semester of completion: 2018/1

Difficulty: 2.5/5

Overall Rating:  2.5/5

Your Mark/Grade: 76 D

Comments:
I went into education really excited and found this course to be boring and a bit of a letdown. Though some of the information we learnt was important (topics such as inequalities, geographies of schooling and special needs), I felt like I’d already seen it happen only last year at school. I zoned out a lot during lectures, and the lecturer read from the slides which didn’t help.

There was a lot of help with assessments so they weren’t as daunting as they could have been. The education society ran workshops for each assessment that you could attend if you needed help, and also posted the slides on a Facebook group afterwards. The assessments were also discussed in detail in the tutes and lectures.   
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: katie,rinos on June 08, 2018, 01:43:30 pm
Subject Code/Name: MUSC1701-Performance Lab 1

Contact Hours: 2hr Lecture/Masterclass weeks 1,4,7,10,13, 2hr Studio wks 2,5,8,11, 2hr ensemble contribution per week

Assumed Knowledge: You must be enrolled in a Bachelor of Music to be in this degree stream. Arts students can do MUSC1703.

Assessment:  Performance critiques/blogs (15%, must do 3 out of 5, 400 words each), Performance workshop demonstration (15%, 5-10 minutes), Ensemble contribution/performance/part-checking test 20%, Practical exam (50%, 15-20 minutes)

Lecture Recordings?  No

Notes/Materials Available:  Nil

Textbook: No-however some readings for critiques are available on Moodle

Lecturer(s): Kim Burword, however had guest lecturers for some masterclasses.

Year & Semester of completion: 2018,1

Difficulty: 3.5/5

Overall Rating:  4/5

Comments:
The class was only every three weeks so there wasn’t a large amount of contact hours. Even though it was a performance class, I only had to perform twice, once in week 5 which wasn’t marked and again for the performance workshop. The environment when performance was always really supportive. The masterclasses were very interesting, even though some of them were on instruments I didn’t know a lot about.

Assessment wise, you need to be part of an ensemble that meets weekly and makes up 20% of your total assessments. There is a list here of all the ensembles you can be involved in, I really enjoyed wind symphony. There is a part checking assessment where you get into small groups of 4-5 people and play some of the pieces that you played for the concert.

The performance exam is worth 50% and needs a 15-20 minute set of pieces. You must play a study, pieces, and then do sight reading.  For the course, you need to have at least 10 hours of lessons with a registered UNSW music teacher. I was lucky enough that my clarinet teacher was already on the list. You are given a $600 subsidy for these lessons.
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: katie,rinos on June 09, 2018, 01:26:41 pm
Subject Code/Name: MUSC1101-Music Reinvented

Contact Hours: 2hr lecture, 1hr tute per week

Assumed Knowledge: None

Assessment:  400-500 word definition of term (12.5%), 400-500 mini biography of composers early life (12.5%), 2000 word essay (45%), music literature/listening test (20%), Ethnomusicology test (10%)

Lecture Recordings?  Yes

Notes/Materials Available: Some readings and a listening list are available.

Textbook: Nil

Lecturer(s): Dr JJ Napier

Year & Semester of completion: 2018,1

Difficulty: 3/5

Overall Rating:  4/5

Your Mark/Grade: 70 CR

Comments:

I really enjoyed this course and most of the content in the lectures. The first half of this course focuses on the musicology of the early 20th century and is a mix of both historical background and different pieces/composers. The 2nd half of the course focuses on ethnomusicology and the music of different cultures.

With the writing assessments, there were three different topics that you could choose from (Modernism, Impressionism, and Nationalism). The definition, biography and essay built on your knowledge of the topic and you were able to use information from your bio and definition in your essay. There is a listening list of pieces that you need to know for the listening test, which is worth 20%. Napier could play any section of the pieces and you need to be able to recognise the piece and write down the title, composer, genre, section/mvt and 25-50 words of historical significance/techniques. This is something that definitely can’t be studied overnight and needs a lot of work.
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: blasonduo on June 25, 2018, 10:20:17 pm
Subject Code/Name: EDST1104-Social Perspectives in Education

Contact Hours: a 2-hour lecture and a 1-hour tutorial each week, 80% attendance is required to pass the course.

Assumed Knowledge: None (A mark of 80+ in HSC English recommended).

Assessment:  600 word Article analysis (20%), 1800 word Research Task (40%), 2000 word Research Report (40%). All assessments must be passed to pass the course.

Lecture Recordings?  Yes (but weirdly still needed to attend :/ )

Notes/Materials Available: None - The education Society did hold sessions where they explained how to complete the assignments.

Textbook: Education, Change and Society. This is NOT needed unless you are aiming for 80+ marks. Tutorials do base some content off the textbook, but nothing googling can't solve.

Lecturer(s): Lecturer: Dr Greg Leaney, Tutor: Sara Mashayekh

Year & Semester of completion: 2018 Semester 1

Difficulty: 1.6/5

Overall Rating:  1.2/5

Your Mark/Grade: 68 CR

Comments:

This course was kind of all over the place; it didn't feel like a course that was caring. Their communication skills would vastly improve the overall quality of the course.

The staff almost never answered questions on the courses question forum, out of the 34 different questions asked during the semester, 3 of them got responded to by staff. This was very lazy of them and annoyed the cohort, we felt lost. Although the feedback in assignments wasn't actually that bad, it never gave me a defining explanation on what to improve on for the next task (like 1108 did).

The worst part of it all was the dates in which we should have received our marks back. The last two assignments were delayed by a week, and we weren't notified about this until 2-3 days after the due date, leaving us confused, it shouldn't be hard to let us know beforehand about the change of dates.

The lectures were fine for the quality of the course, just a man reading off the slides about things that were kind of already known (such as lower SES students struggle more in schooling). The lectures overall were very slow and easy to understand, and conversations about the content were encouraged which was nice.

The tutorial sessions mainly consisted of concepts introduced in the weekly readings or textbook. If you had already done the readings, this hour was spent by explaining to others what the concepts meant, but (on my table at least) just had everyone google them. :P

The assessments were quite fitting and actually quite enjoyable, and were the defining aspect of the course, they allowed for the insight of schools and the complexity of them, and the theories and strategies a certain school implements. The assessments were not hard to complete, but they were hard to get right, and this is where the tutorials and readings were able to help. Constantly in the feedback, I was told that the way I did an aspect of the assignment was not the way they were looking for, and hence losing marks, but  I really enjoyed this.

Overall, if this course were able to better communicate to us, the course would have been much better overall. Was this worth the $800? No. Should it be needed to get a teaching degree? Yeah, I think so, just needs a few tweaks. :)
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: fantasticbeasts3 on June 25, 2018, 11:05:57 pm
Subject Code/Name: ARTS1510 - Introductory German A

Contact Hours: 5 - 2 hour lecture, 2 hour tutorial and 1 hour tutorial

Assumed Knowledge: None

Assessment: 3x portfolios (45%), speaking test (15%), listening test (15%), written exam (25%)

Lecture Recordings? Yes

Notes/Materials Available: There was so much extra content on Moodle like grammar exercises, stuff about German culture, song recommendations, listening exercises - you name it, it's probably on Moodle.

Textbook: Kontakte 8th Edition

Lecturer(s): Dr Miriam Neigert, Tutor: Denise Hantel

Year & Semester/Trimester of completion: Semester 1, 2018

Difficulty: 3.5/5

Overall Rating: 4.5/5

Comments:

I really enjoyed this course! The course itself was quite organised - lecture slides go up a day or two before the lecture, and additional material is released pretty early which is quite helpful. The teaching staff were great. Any questions people had were answered and in general, the teaching style was super engaging. Intro German is also quite a small course (~90 people) which created a good learning environment because especially in the lectures, there aren't as many distractions and it's not as intimidating when speaking German in class! I was also really fortunate to have been in a small tutorial.

As for the assessments, my goodness the portfolios dragged on. The first one was fun, but the second time it came around... there was already one too many portfolios. The tests were all okay - just your standard language exams.
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: blasonduo on June 25, 2018, 11:12:36 pm
Subject Code/Name: EDST1108-Indigenous Perspectives in Education

Contact Hours: a 2-hour lecture and a 1-hour tutorial each week, + a compulsory cultural walk mid-semester. 80% attendance is required to pass the course.

Assumed Knowledge: None (A mark of 80+ in HSC English recommended).

Assessment:  1500 word Teacher ‘standpoint’ statement (45%), 5-minute video + 1500 word film justification on support teaching and learning (55%) All assessments must be passed to pass the course.

Lecture Recordings?  Yes (but weirdly still needed to attend :/ )

Notes/Materials Available: None - The education Society did hold sessions where they explained how to complete the assignments.

Textbook: Phillips, J. & Lampert, J. (2012). Introductory Indigenous studies in education (2nd Ed.). This is NOT needed unless you are aiming for 70+ marks. Tutorials do base some content off the textbook, but nothing googling can't solve.

Lecturer(s): Lecturer: Dr Greg Vass, Tutor: Katherine Thompson

Year & Semester of completion: 2018 Semester 1

Difficulty: 3.7/5

Overall Rating:  2.4/5

Your Mark/Grade: 58 PS

Comments:

 This is a difficult course, the fail rate is high, and this is only because you do not get told what you need to do for the assignments, you are left in the dark. As for the content itself, it's not difficult, only implementing it in a resourceful way in the future, makes it difficult.

Apart from the vagueness in the assessments, most of the time, they would answer questions on the forum. Out of the 56 different questions, 52 were responded to by staff. The feedback in the assessments was impeccable, the critique and feedback were extremely useful, and it was shown that extra time was utilised to help us as much as possible.

The lectures were very repetitive imo, although the content was different, it continuously directed onto the same couple of points. The lecturer was very slow and monotone, it took forever for him to convey a certain point. I feel like the lectures could've been done by week 5.

The tutorials normally consisted of one whole big discussion where some students would always be the ones to share their opinions, rarely you are forced to comment, and that is terrifying :) The tutorials were normally based on set readings and the textbook, but going to the tutes without reading them does not affect anything.

The assessments, sadly were just the most mind-numbing frustrating thing, you have to be very particular and careful in which you are trying to convey, which was very difficult to do. It felt very repetitive, and you feel like you've done everything wrong. The 5-minute video that was required was just terrible (but better than a speech I guess haha).

Although much harder than the 1104 equivalent, this course was much more helpful and organised, which was really great.
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: fantasticbeasts3 on June 25, 2018, 11:16:32 pm
Subject Code/Name: ARTS1090 - Media, Culture and Everyday Life

Contact Hours: 3 - 1.5 hour lecture, 1.5 hour tutorial

Assumed Knowledge: None

Assessment: Concept reflection (20%), annotated bibliography (20%), literature review (30%), final exam (30%)

Lecture Recordings? Yes

Notes/Materials Available: Yes - there was a bit of guidance for the assessments

Textbook: Media, Culture and Everyday Life

Lecturer(s): Scott Shaner, Tutor: Heather Ford

Year & Semester/Trimester of completion: Semester 1, 2018

Difficulty: 2.5/5

Overall Rating: 1/5

Comments:

This course was such a bore especially when compared to my other ones this semester. I dreaded going to the tutorials, and never went to the lectures, choosing to watch them online instead. The course wasn't hard; like the concepts aren't hard to grasp but some of the readings were quite complex. As for the textbook, buy second hand if you can! Some of the readings are from there but most aren't so it's not worth it to buy brand new.

Usually Media/Communications subjects don't have exams, and this one did which was really strange. The assessments were okay - they weren't hard, but they were very annoying to do and I don't think there was enough guidance, especially because most people who did ARTS1090 were first-years who had no idea what a concept reflection, annotated bibliography or literature review was, let alone how to write one. I was really fortunate to have had a great tutor who was super helpful with the assessments and the readings.
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: fantasticbeasts3 on June 25, 2018, 11:36:20 pm
Subject Code/Name: INST1005 - Key Debates in International Studies

Contact Hours: 3 - 2 hour lecture, 1 hour tutorial

Assumed Knowledge: None, but if I'm not mistaken you have to be enrolled in B International Studies to take this course

Assessment: Weekly tutorial presentations (25%), essay (25%), final exam (50%)

Lecture Recordings? Yes

Notes/Materials Available: Extra readings every week, sometimes extra video content, assessment guide

Textbook: None

Lecturer(s): Anne Bartlett, Tutor: James Dhizaala

Year & Semester/Trimester of completion: Semester 1, 2018

Difficulty: 3.5/5

Overall Rating: 3/5

Comments:

This course was actually quite interesting. It's really hard to describe but it's mostly theories which are then applied to current world issues. I think the course tried to introduce a practical aspect to International Studies through the tute presentations which had a different topic each week relating to the lecture. However, one thing I didn't like about the tute presentations was the lack of feedback given, which was pretty much none. Marks really varied across different tutorials, and standards weren't consistent at all which was a pain. There weren't any comments with the marks either. This was the same with the essay, which we had hardly any guidance for. As for the final exam, there was always an air of mystery around it because we had no idea how it would be structured, yet it was weighted 50%. Despite this, a list of key terms from each week was provided for exam prep.

This course also had a lot of reading, but it wasn't really necessary because they were always summarised in the lectures. The lectures were very engaging and there was always a lot of room for discussion which was great. As for the tutorials, I didn't really like them because although we had the tute presentations, those took up a lot of the allocated hour, and an hour was definitely not enough to cover everything that could be discussed, especially with the readings - if there were questions, you couldn't have them answered in the tutorials.
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: fantasticbeasts3 on June 25, 2018, 11:50:17 pm
Subject Code/Name: MDIA1002 - Media Industry Contexts

Contact Hours: 2.5 - 1 hour lecture, 1.5 hour tutorial

Assumed Knowledge: None, although if I'm not mistaken you have to be enrolled in B Media (Comms/Journalism or PR/Advertising) to do this course.

Assessment: 10x tute prep tasks (20%), multiple choice quiz (20%), 2x professional writing tasks (60%)

Lecture Recordings? Yes

Notes/Materials Available: Extra readings

Textbook: Media and Journalism: New Approaches to Theory and Practice

Lecturer(s): Louise Ravelli, Tutor: Diane Nazaroff

Year & Semester/Trimester of completion: Semester 1, 2018

Difficulty: 2/5

Overall Rating: 3/5

Comments:

Out of the two Media courses I completed this semester, this one was way more enjoyable. It definitely related more to actual Media rather than just a ton of theory so I didn't feel like I was wasting money.

The lectures were pretty much just the lecturer reading off the slides, so they were easy enough to skip and you could do alright just by reading the slides provided. The tutorials were much better - my tutor explained concepts in more depth than the lecture and especially with writing, gave detailed feedback on the tute prep tasks and assessments both in class and comments on the actual assessments.

In terms of assessment, marking was fair. The minimum requirement for the tute prep tasks were that you completed 6 in order to pass that component (and I think the course as well) and as long as you did them and it looked like you put effort into them, you got 100%. They were also quite simple to complete which didn't make them a huge burden. The MC quiz was okay, but there wasn't any content for preparation which was inconvenient because you didn't know how questions could be asked, and this semester there were two questions worth four marks at the end of the quiz which was strange. As for the professional writing tasks, you could choose to do either a news article or press release because the course is for both journalism and PR students. In my opinion, they were marked fairly and there was a lot of feedback which was helpful.
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: katie,rinos on June 26, 2018, 11:14:19 pm
Subject Code/Name: MUSC1602-Materials and Structures of Music 1 Harmony Tute Stream.

Contact Hours:  1hr Lecture, 1hr Studio, 1hr Tute per week.

Assumed Knowledge: Basic knowledge of music theory, Recommended (but not needed) to have completed AMEB Musicianship grades (possibly grade 5 level?).

Assessment:
I found that there were a lot of assesments in this course compared to some of my others.
Portfolio of Harmony & Composition Exercises: In-class test during lecture (2 worth 15% each), Written Composition Assesment (20%).You must receive 50% or higher in this part to pass the course.

Portfolio of Harmony exercises/melodic dictation exercises: In-class quiz during tute (10%), Take-home exam (15%), two melodic dictation exercises held during the last two weeks (5% each)

Auralia test and progress: Student progress during Auralia exercises (5%), On-line Auralia test (10%)

Lecture Recordings? No :(

Notes/Materials Available: Some examples of music to analyze as well as definitions of non-harmonic tones. We also had to buy a program called Auralia for aural training. I didn’t find there was a lot of examples of excerpts to practise to prepare for the tests in the lectures: the lecturer expected that we could find pieces to use online.

Textbook: The musician’s guide to theory and analysis. It was really expensive so I brought it secondhand, however I think it can be used for all four M&S courses. The textbook did really help explain some of the more difficult concepts.

Lecturer(s): John Peterson: Lecturer, Brad Taylor-Newling: Harmony Tutor, David Taylor: Aural Studio Tutor

Year & Semester/Trimester of completion: 2018, 1

Difficulty: 4/5 (but would definitely depend on your prior knowledge of music theory)

Overall Rating:  2.5/5

Comments:
As someone who didn’t really have a lot of music theory or knowledge of piano chords going into this course I struggled at times and found the beginning of the course a bit difficult. The classes were also a little bit boring sometimes, which didn’t help. However, towards the end of the semester, I realized how much I had learnt and improved in analyzing music and chords.

The course is loosely split into three different parts: the harmony lecture, tute and aural studio.

The harmony lecture went for an hour a week and was unrecorded (which was annoying as I wasn’t able to listen to parts that I hadn’t understood during the lectures). During the lectures, we covered topics such as triads/chords, inversions, dominant 7ths, non-harmonic tones, & cadences. The lecturer worked on a whiteboard and moved fairly fast each week which would have been difficult to catch up if you had missed a class. He didn’t really make sure everybody understood a concept before moving on (which was difficult as everybody had a different level of theory knowledge going into the course). He picked on people to answer questions about chords which was terrifying as I wasn’t very confident. I found the two tests during the lectures to be fairly difficult, especially with the 50 minutes time limit. However, we did have some help/guidance with the composition assessment.

The harmony tute (which was the stream for people who weren’t at a high level of theory) mainly went over content that was covered in the lectures. It was a small class (around 10 people) and Brad was really helpful in trying to make sure we all understood the concepts and we were able to ask heaps of questions. The harmony tests and what we needed to study for them were both explained very well and were some of my best marks.

The aural studio was with everyone in the course (around 70 people) and began to teach us basic singing. We began just learning simple warm ups and then progressed to four-part harmony pieces in smaller groups. This felt weird at first because I’d never sung before, however was really fun, learning how to sing in four-part harmony especially with our last song ‘Chasing Cars’.
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: RuiAce on July 02, 2018, 02:18:46 pm
Subject Code/Name: MATH3611 - Higher Analysis

Contact Hours: 3 x 1 hr lectures, 1 hr tutorial

Assumed Knowledge: Formal prerequisite involves 12 UoC of Level 2 mathematics courses, one of which must be (MATH2111 or MATH2011(CR)). Essentially, first year calculus and MATH2111 concepts are assumed knowledge. MATH2701 gives you useful skills to make this course easier, but is not required.

Assessment: 
- 3 x Short assignments, each 10%
- Main assignment, 20%
- Final exam, 50%

Lecture Recordings? No

Notes/Materials Available: The lecture notes and the past papers provided are generally all you need. Some other past papers may be floating around if you look hard enough.

Textbook: A.N. Kolmogorov and S.V. Fomin: Introductory Real Analysis (Dover, 1970; Call number: P517.5/125). All content is taken out of this textbook, but it's really unnecessary; the notes are enough

Lecturer(s): Dr. Pinhas Grossman

Year & Semester/Trimester of completion: 18 s1

Difficulty: 3.5/5

Overall Rating: 4/5 

Your Mark/Grade: 85 HD

Comments:
This course is one of the core courses for a major in Pure Mathematics.

Analysis generalises the concepts of limits, continuity and all of the basic stuff taken for granted in calculus. It goes into the theory of all such concepts, and expands their applications into not just involving what you see IRL, such as numbers and vectors. Analytic tools can appear less rigid; the whole notion of limits is not something that's really observed and requires us to believe in some kind of 'extension' on what we can actually see.

Personally, I find it works better with my brain. Especially after losing it with algebra, I needed some kind of pure maths left in my soul. I found that I was alright with constructing counter-examples a lot and didn't have too much figuring out the proof, but probably lacked the ability to write it out properly at times. More or less accepting this grade whilst biting my teeth because hey, an HD is an HD, but I would've much preferred a 90+.

Some analysis proofs are pretty long, whereas others are no-brainers. A part of the skill in this course is spot what you can do easily and then come back to the hard stuff later. Finding examples and counterexamples is pretty common stuff. Perhaps the other thing I'd say is that you really want to know all of your definitions and theorems. Because I've found that with analysis proofs, bashing definitions and theorems is quite a fair bit of what you do.

There's a mix of hard and soft analysis in this course, but I think there's slightly more soft analysis; epsilons were everywhere but still a fair bit of the course involved topological spaces and compactness.

(The course outline isn't really accurate in my year; the course content was somewhat cut down. Quite grateful to Pinhas for it; I had a better understanding of what was examinable as a result of it.)
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: RuiAce on July 02, 2018, 02:39:42 pm
Subject Code/Name: MATH5505 - Combinatorics

Contact Hours: 3 hours of lecture per week (1 x 2hr, 1 x 1hr)

Assumed Knowledge: Formal prerequisite is 24 UoC of Level 3 mathematics courses, but it can be wavered by permission from the lecturer. Having said that, MATH1081 is seriously strongly recommended as this course builds directly on it. MATH5425 is a recommended co-requisite.

Assessment:
- 3 x Assignments - 20%
- Open-book final exam - 40%

Lecture Recordings? Yes

Notes/Materials Available: Lecture notes and lecture slides released. (Also Facebook group.) Although no past papers

Textbook: N/A

Lecturer(s): Dr. Thomas Britz

Year & Semester/Trimester of completion: 18 s1

Difficulty: 4/5 (somewhat skewed - its difficulty could be as low as 1/5 for an actual honours/postgrad student)

Overall Rating: 4.5/5

Your Mark/Grade: 88 HD

Comments:
This is one of many courses offered in postgraduate pure mathematics studies and is typically offered once every 2 years.

Combinatorics is, from what I've been able to see, quite a unique and beautiful part of maths. Questions like "how many ways can we do something" and "what is the least/most amount of things we require for something" can seem quite elementary, but in practice actually requires deep thought. Yet these thoughts can be turned into seriously amazing proofs and results. It also helped me think algorithmically, which is good because I'm now in computer science.

I took on a gamble and subbed out one of my 3rd year electives for this postgrad course. The fact that I still came out with HD despite being carried the entire semester makes me pretty satisfied with it.

The course is taught somewhat differently to most traditional teaching methods. Lectures are more or less used to present amazing (although mindnumbing) proofs of pretty challenging results. The course's difficulty goes down as the semester progresses (the hard stuff is blasted out of the way first). No tutorials and problem sets are released; your thinking during the semester is mostly through the assignments. Assignments involve very proof-based questions and challenge you quite heavily, although sometimes you can do some research and then source a solution you found online. Final exam was very fair; half of it involves essentially free marks whilst the other half are somewhat lighter difficulty proofs. I couldn't get out every question on the exam but I found I was able to get at least halfway with almost all of them.

Thomas Britz was my supervisor for my summer research project, and also the lecturer for this course. As always, he's one of the nicest lecturers in arguably the entire university. Won't talk too much about why here though ;)

This is perhaps the most theoretical course I've done at uni so far. Definitely challenged me a lot more than what I ever had thus far. Which is to be expected for a postgrad level course really, but it was ultimately a fun one.
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: Opengangs on July 02, 2018, 03:08:44 pm
Subject Code/Name: MATH1131 - Mathematics 1A

Contact Hours:
Lectures: Two 2 hour lectures per week; each lecture is split an hour each between Linear Algebra and Calculus.
Tutorials: One 1 hour tutorial per week, starting from the second week of semester.

Assumed Knowledge: A combined mark of 100 across both, Mathematics and Mathematics (Extension 1)

Assessment:
Class tests: Done twice in the semester; each class test is 45 minutes long on the timetabled class "Tut 1/2". They consist of both, Linear Algebra (25 minutes) and Calculus (20 minutes).
Maple lab test: Done once in the semester; you will just need your ID card.
Weekly online tutorials: Done each week through Maple TA. There is the theory component and then the Maple component at the end of each tutorial.

Lecture Recordings?  Yes.

Notes/Materials Available: The course packs are available in the book shop; I believe they're $40, which consists of the Linear Algebra and Calculus notes, as well as a past paper booklet. Alternatively, they can also be found digitally on Moodle for download.

Textbook: N/A

Lecturer(s):
Calculus: Dr. Christopher Angstmann
Linear Algebra: Dr. Daniel Mansfield.

Year & Semester/Trimester of completion: 2018, semester 1

Difficulty: 3/5

Overall Rating: 3.5/5

Your Mark/Grade: 76 (DN)

Comments:
Overall, most of the content can be done with 3U knowledge. MATH1131 started off quite nicely, introducing concepts that has been taught at high school level. However, it becomes apparent that new content can be quite difficult to grasp for many students (ie. formal definition of a limit, fundamental theorem of Calculus), and so extra support may be needed (which is provided through tutorials and the drop in centre).

Content-wise, nothing was too hard to understand conceptually, but applying these ideas to the questions can be quite difficult. And this was evident in the finals, which was seemingly more difficult than the previous years (at least for me). Definitely was a step up from high school, but if you have a good grasp and foundation at high school level, you should be okay with this course.

This is also a prerequisite for most engineering courses, and is a prerequisite for MATH1231.
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: RuiAce on July 09, 2018, 09:57:38 pm
Subject Code/Name: COMP2521 - Data Structures and Algorithms

Contact Hours: 3 hours of lecture, 1 hour tutorial followed by 2 hours laboratory

Assumed Knowledge: COMP1511 is the sole prerequisite and is sufficient for this course.

Assessment: A bit complicated. Involves labs, assignments, prac exams and final exam.
Calculation
labs = mark for lab exercises (out of 5)
pracLabs = mark totalled over both lab exams (out of 12)
ass1 = mark for first assignment (out of 9)
ass2 = mark for second assignment (out of 14)

Finals:
finalPracExam = mark for practical component of finals (out of 36)
finalTheoExam = mark for theory component of finals (out of 24)

To pass the course, either one of the following two must be satisfied (similar to a double-pass criteria):
- finalPracExam >= 26
- finalPracExam >= 18 AND pracLabs >= 6

Calculation of mark:
assMarks = ass1 + ass2

// Convert marks into percentages:
assPerc = assMarks as a percentage
pracPerc = practical component of exam as a percentage

// Adjusts assMarks only if necessary:
if (assPerc > pracPerc) {
     adjusted_assPerc = (2 * assPerc * pracPerc)  / (assPerc + pracPerc)
    assignmentMarks  = 23 * (adjusted_assPerc / 100)
}

Then, the final mark is the sum:
marks + assignmentMarks + pracLabs + finalPracExam + finalTheoExam
The idea is that if you lose too many marks in the practical component of your final exams, your assignment marks get dragged down. The factor is in accordance to the harmonic mean (with appropriate weightings)

Lecture Recordings? Yes

Notes/Materials Available: Lecture notes, lab exercises, tutorial exercises all uploaded to webcms3.

Textbook:
- Algorithms in C, Parts 1-4: Fundamentals, Data Structures, Sorting, Searching (3rd Edition)  by Robert Sedgewick, Addison-Wesley
- Algorithms in C, Part 5: Graph Algorithms (3rd Edition)  by Robert Sedgewick, Addison Wesley
Both are VERY good, but not needed for this course.

Lecturer(s): Dr. Ashesh Mahidadia

Year & Semester/Trimester of completion: 18 s1

Difficulty: 2/5

Overall Rating: 3.5/5

Your Mark/Grade: 85 HD

Comments:
This course is one of the immediate continuations of COMP1511. It replaced COMP1927. UNSW CSE recommends taking it in second year, however there really is no problem taking it in the second semester of first year. It is a prerequisite to almost all future computer science courses.

The disappointing amount of marks I threw away in the final exam killed a bit for me. It's really my own fault and the course ain't to blame for it, but it does skew my rating quite far away from what it should've been.

Algorithms are perhaps the most fundamental tool computer science students use. The study of algorithms involves trying to solve problems as efficiently as possible and also create the program to do so. On one hand, you need to understand how the algorithm works, but then on the other hand you need to know (or figure out) how to implement it. They're quite fun to explore when you sit down and attempt to understand it.

This course serves as the introduction to algorithms, with two areas of focus: sorting and graphs. Sorting is quite self explanatory, but I think this video helps introduce the fun behind it all. The graph structure forms the basis for shit tons of stuff we do (it becomes clear that even Facebook is essentially just a huge graph). It leaves you with pretty much all the basic needs for you to get a job as a computer scientist, and you really should never forget what you learn in this course. It's just that important.

At times, I found some of the lab exercises and assignments quite draining. The only thing that bugged me was that occasionally, our tasks weren't clear enough with what we had to do.

I feel like the rumours that maths helps computer science starts here. My mathematical background certainly simplified a lot of bizarre algorithms for me a lot. But I don't think they're necessary though. At the end of the day, the algorithms are backed by logic, and that's a skill any computer scientist must have.
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: MisterNeo on July 10, 2018, 01:56:39 am
Subject Code/Name: ACCT1501 - Accounting and Financial Management 1A

Contact Hours:  One 2 hour lecture and a 1 hour tutorial each week.

Assumed Knowledge: English and Mathematics, but only need to be good with numbers and a calculator.

Assessment:  Throughout the semester, there were 3 online quizzes on Moodle, each out of 20, and altogether made up 15% of your total course mark. There is also a mid-semester in-tutorial exam which was weighted 20%, and tutorial participation (including a group presentation) was worth 10%. The final exam is worth 55%. (Double pass course too, must get at least 50% overall AND in the final exam to pass)

Lecture Recordings?  Yes.

Notes/Materials Available:  The lecturers give out lecture slides before/after the lectures. They give out some practice papers before the mid-sem exam and the final exam too (usually the same every year). If you ask around, some of the higher years may have notes.

Textbook: Trotman, K. Gibbins, M. & Carson, E., 2016 Financial Accounting: An Integrated Approach 6th edition and a supplement for Management Accounting in the last couple weeks.

Lecturer(s): Dr Youngdeok Lim (LIC), Dr Chuan Yu, Dr Conor Clune.

Year & Semester/Trimester of completion: 18s1

Difficulty: 2/5

Overall Rating: 4/5

Your Mark/Grade: HD

Comments:
I found this course quite interesting, having done business studies, the content in the first couple weeks were mostly revision of the finance topic (accounting equation and financial reports) however it did get a bit confusing when they introduced the accounting concepts that weren't covered in the HSC such as Debits/Credits and accrual basis. Towards the middle of the semester, the content became quite heavy in theory, which I found quite dull and did require some memorising. The last few weeks, especially in management accounting, they threw quite a lot of ratios/formulas at you and required some basic mathematics to work out what they do.
Overall, a good course with great lecturers and definitely something you'd enjoy if you loved business studies.  I think doing the tutorial questions and reading the necessary sections of the textbooks would be sufficient in understanding the basics of the course.
Lost a fair amount of my marks in the finals because my balance sheet didn't balance and lost track of time.

Also, there is a Kahoot game every lecture!!!!!!! (They gave us default names cos we got carried away with nicknames :P)
And the tutors are the nicest people you'll ever meet.  ;D
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: blasonduo on July 10, 2018, 06:17:09 pm
Subject Code/Name: PHYS1121 - Physics 1A

Contact Hours: 3x 1-hour lecture, a 2-hour laboratory and a 1-hour problem-solving workshop each week.

Assumed Knowledge:  HSC Physics and Mathematics Extension 1 or equivalent. (however, in my opinion, math 2u is just fine)

Assessment:
10x weekly laboratory excersises (15%, 1.5% each)
10x weekly pre-laboratory online quizzes (5%, 0.5% each)
6x fortnightly online quizzes (10%, 1.67% each)
2x invigilated quizzes based on the fortnightly questions (20%, 10% each)
Final exam (50%)

Lecture Recordings?  Yes (but the blackboards weren't so it made it difficult to rewatch)

Notes/Materials Available: A really well made online set of videos based on the content, weekly homework question booklet.

Textbook: Halliday, D., Resnick, R., & Walker, J. (2014). Fundamentals of Physics, John Wiley & Sons. A really good textbook, but with the content this course provides, it isn't needed.

Lecturer(s): Lecturers: Dr Dimi Culcer (first half), Dr Elizabeth Angstmann (second half)

Year & Semester of completion: 2018 Semester 1

Difficulty: 3.3/5

Overall Rating:  4.7/5

Your Mark/Grade: 78 DN

Comments:

This is a really great course.

First off, this course mainly consists of mathematical questions, a vast contrast to HSC physics. This course has online videos which go over all the content in the course; they are short, succinct and very informative. They are also integrated into non-assessable quizzes which allows you to recognise if you have understood the concept. These videos are very entertaining and engaging, and a really great idea that I think should be used more often in other courses.

Out of the 687 different questions asked on the forums, 680 were answered by staff (most within 12 hours), which is absolutely amazing, the staff have really been on their toes. The forums also included weekly updates on the content that will be taught, and what we are expected to do in this week, which was really nice.

For the content itself, it really isn't that complicated, both the thermal and wave/oscillations topics are both pretty standard, the questions are all very similar, and the content itself isn't that difficult to understand. However, the difficulty does come with the mechanics side of the course. It at times is conceptually difficult to grasp, and the questions that come out of it can be almost anything, and at times, very difficult to understand. The mechanics questions are the ones that normally trip most people up in the final exam.

The lectures were great, it had a good balance between the concepts and questions, and it included regular practicals/demonstrations that were actually really cool, and probably the highlight for me. It was these demonstrations that will allowed me to think back and analyse my answers in exams to see if I got the expected result.

As for the lecturers, Dr Culcer was really great at showing applications to the concepts and completed questions at the end in a clear manner which was great. However, when explaining concepts, he does "blabber" on and it can get very easy to lose track on what he was saying which made it quite difficult to catch up in the lecture.
Dr Angstmann really had a lively environment and brought energy into the lectures, her explanations for the concepts were extremely clear, and had other resources to help. She was really engaging and really explored how fun physics is. However, the only complaint I had was the fact that we couldn't review what she was writing on the board, so it was difficult to revise. (luckily she had prerecorded ones anyway, but it would have been nice)

The workshops were quite nice and really empty, but I do emphasise the importance to at least look at the worksheets given out and to know how to answer them and to get the answers, these questions are like the final exam questions so if you don't understand a certain concept which they are covering in the workshop, go. These are in place to really help, and they do :)

When it comes to the assessments, it is really easy to get high marks and should be easy to receive a 40+/50 in the finals marks.

The labs, in my opinion, are really really really fun, they are just so fascinating, but are mostly simple. However, they are all assessable and are given about 2.5 hours of work to do in 1.8 hours, so if you don't know what you are doing walking in, you will not finish and lose marks. You are required to do this with a lab partner, so my recommendation is to find a good partner which you work well with and these marks are quite easy.

The fortnightly questions can be redone, and the highest mark counts, so this is really easy to get 100% (10% overall) I really liked these, it really allowed you to know what sections you were struggling with, this was the first year with these quizzes, so it did have many errors in it, but should fine fine in future years. Although the questions are more on the difficult side, you need to understand each question. Otherwise, you will struggle in the invigilated quizzes, and these are worth 20%. The invigilated quizzes are probably the only thing that I didn't enjoy in this course. They do consist of 4 question from the online quizzes, but the range of difficulty was large, some questions were incredibly difficult, while some were deadset easy. It felt a bit like chance where you were hoping you got the easy questions, because if you got a question which you found significantly difficult, you could say goodbye to 2.5% of your overall mark.

The final exam does not have any multiple choice but consists of questions such that it asks you to find certain properties (e.g. find the total work done) The exams normally don't have a consistent difficulty, and tends to spike occasionally, some of the questions are really enjoyable and really makes you think. The thing most people struggle with here is time, and most people struggle to even finish 80% of the exam and is the reason why I didn't achieve as high as I could've. You are also unable to double check your answers due to this time restraint.

I worry that this course may struggle in trimesters as the course worked out really well with the 14-ish weeks, it allowed for a consistent timetable that made it easier to know what was due, and also made it flow from one concept to another really easily.

Overall, this course was bloody good, it has been nurtured and the staff really really care about this course, it is clear that so much time and effort has been placed in this course to make it as prestigious as it is.
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: HelpICantThinkOfAName on July 14, 2018, 09:32:04 pm
Subject Code/Name: BABS1201 - Molecules, Cells and Genes

Contact Hours:  2 x 1 hour lecture. 3 hour lab every other week

Assumed Knowledge: HSC Biology OR HSC Chemistry OR HSC Physics OR HSC Earth & Environmental Science

Assessment: 
2 x Mid Semester Exams (Completed Online) - 10% Each
Science Communication Project (Group Project) - 35%
5 x Mastering Biology Online Quizzes - 1% Each
Final Exam - 50%

Lecture Recordings?  Yes

Notes/Materials Available:  Lecture slides are available on Moodle. No past papers available, but questions are taken directly from Mastering Biology (An online version of the textbook). Course Manual is required for labs. It can be bought from the bookshop or printed from moodle.

Textbook: Urry et al. 2014. Campbell Biology. Mastering Biology has all the relevant information and is available for free in moodle. Don't bother buying the textbook.

Lecturer(s):
Rebecca LeBard, Anne Galea, John Wilson

Year & Semester/Trimester of completion: 2018 Semester 1

Difficulty: 2/5

Overall Rating:  4/5

Your Mark/Grade: 76 DN

Comments:
This course is fairly straightforward and enjoyable. The first few weeks are the only real difficult part of the course, where you are introduced to dozens of new terms to describe cells and cell function that you need to memorise. If you are able to overcome this then the rest of the course falls into place and it becomes easy to get a respectable mark.

Mastering Biology is the online component of the textbook. It has a dedicated study area where you can test yourself using multiple choice questions and flashcards. Lots of questions for the mid semester exams and the final exams are taken directly from the study area.

The group project serves as an interesting introduction to university presentations. You are assigned a group in your first lab and choose a topic from a list given in the course manual. You first write an individual essay analysing sources relating to your topic, a primary research article and a secondary review article and relate them to the course content. You then are tasked with making an educational presentation to your lab, due in the final lab. At first the group project seems like a waste of time, but it helps legitimise the content you have learnt in your lectures by linking the content to real world research.

The labs are the opposite of physics labs. Instead of having too much work to do, it often feels like they are taking a 1.5 hour lab and stretching it out to a 3 hour long lab. By the end of the lab you are exhausted and want to lie down. The labs are not marked, but content from the labs does appear on the final exam, and the group project primarily takes place in the lab.
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: Brun on July 21, 2018, 04:08:21 pm
ECON1101 (Microeconomics
Ease: 8.5/10 - This is supposed to be the easiest core commerce subject. 20% of the marks come from simply completing the Playconomics game (however, the game was really riddled with bugs and server crashes, and I found the game didn't really relate to the content we learnt and was not useful). The two tutorial tests can be quite difficult due to the strict marking criteria. The finals is multiple choice but can have some difficult questions.
Lecturer: 8/10 - Alberto was an engaging lecturer and explained most concepts well.
Interest: 8/10 - Interesting to learn about introduction to basic economics.

ECON1203 (Business and Economics Statistics)
Ease: 5/10 - This is considered by many to be the most difficult core commerce subject. There is an overwhelming amount of new content every lecture and many new formulas to learn (only a fraction of these formulas are provided in exam). Lots of effort, with fortnightly quizzes, a project, a week 11 exam and finals. Make sure to go to the PASS classes - they are really helpful for revising content.
Lecturer: 6/10 - Lecturers weren't the best at explaining difficult concepts.
Interest: 6/10 - Kind of interesting learning how businesses use stats, but mostly not that great.

ACCT1501 (Accounting & Financial Management 1A
Ease: 8/10 - Not too bad, but there is quite a bit of new content to learn if you've never done accounting before.
Lecturer: 7/10 - A mixed bag, with some good some mediocre lecturers due to rotation system.
Interest: 7/10 - Many find accounting boring, but it is kinda interesting learning how a business records all its transactions. Good intro to accounting.

LAWS1052 (Introducing Law and Justice)
Ease: 6/10 - Most law students found the course overwhelming due to how much you are expected to learn and do for a first law course. The court report and case note were tough to score highly in. If you are well prepared for the final exam, with good notes and learned the relevant skills, you should be alright.
Lecturer: 10/10 - Jennifer Moore was a really engaging and funny lecturer. She is always so infectious in her enthusiasm for the subject.
Interest: 7/10 - Detailed intro to law but a bit too much history for me.
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: katie,rinos on November 01, 2018, 11:11:08 am
Subject Code/Name: MUSC1604-Western Music: A Panorama

Contact Hours: 2 hr lecture & 1hr tute per week

Assumed Knowledge: Nil

Assessment:  Listening tests (10% wk 4, 25% wk 12), Lecture material tests (10% wk 4, 25% wk 12), Tutorial presentation (5% presentation, 10% executive summary), Tutorial participation (10%)

Lecture Recordings?Yes (however 80% attendance is required).

Notes/Materials Available: No, apart from the online listening list

Textbook: A history of Western Music by Burkholder, Grout and Palisca. This was really helpful for the presentation/executive summary but I’d definitely suggest to borrow it from the library.
The Oxford History of Western Music-Taruskin (available as ebook/online from the library)

Lecturer(s): Emery Schubert

Year & Semester/Trimester of completion: 2018, 2

Difficulty: 3.5/5

Overall Rating:  4/5

Your Mark/Grade: 68CR

Comments:
I found the lectures rally interesting and a great overview of Western music. In the lectures we looked at the Renaissance, Baroque, 18th C, Bethoven, Romanticism, Wagner/Verdi and the 20th Century.

Both the listening and lecture tests were completed through moodle and were either multiple choice or drop drop options.
   Listening tests: The 1st listening test in week 4 had 9 pieces and went for 10 minutes while the 2nd in week 12 had around 40 pieces and went for 20 minutes. For the listening tests, you can’t leave studying to the last minute because it’s something that needs a lot of time to go well. To study, I would make a Spotify playlist of all the pieces and then listen to it so I would be able to recognise them. I also had a table that included details such as the piece’s title, composer, era/date, genre, instrumentation and stylistic features.
   Lecture tests: The 1st test in wk 4 went for 30 minutes, while the one in wk 12 went for 40min. For the lecture tests it is expected that you are reading external resources such as the textbooks to get a higher mark. There were questions in these tests that weren’t covered in the lectures but were in these textbooks.

For our tutorial presentations, we were each given a piece to research (composer/historical background, technical aspects of piece) and make a 500-word executive summary about it. We needed to do a 5-minute presentation in class on the piece and had to be prepared to answer any questions our class may have about it. Each week, we had about 3 people do their presentations. There was a large focus on the use of scholarly sources and correct referencing throughout the tutes.

Tutorial participation marks were worth 10% and based on both talking in class and in the online moodle forum. We were meant to ask questions/clarify definitions after people’s presentations in class, or add extra information through moodle. I think I did 3-4, 200 word moodle posts and I got 90% so it wasn’t too bad. I also found that the communication on moodle was very good and all questions were answered quickly.
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: fantasticbeasts3 on November 04, 2018, 05:47:38 pm
Subject Code/Name: MDIA1003 - PR & Advertising Foundations

Contact Hours: 3 - 1.5 hour lecture, 1.5 hour tutorial

Assumed Knowledge: None, but to do the course you have to enrolled in a Media degree

Assessment: Campaign Analysis (20%), 1000 word essay (35%), Client Pitch [45% - Part A (10%), which was a group pitch and Part B (35%), your individual pitch which is ~2500 words]

Lecture Recordings? Yes

Notes/Materials Available: All on Moodle

Textbook: None

Lecturer(s): Lecturer - Dr Michael Richardson, Tutor: Dr Jonathan Foye

Year & Semester/Trimester of completion: Semester 2, 2018

Difficulty: 2.5/5

Overall Rating: 4/5

Comments:
I really enjoyed this course. It went into a lot more depth and was infinitely more interesting than MDIA1002 and a great overview for PR/Advertising. The lectures were quite interactive but you don't miss out on much if you don't go, but if you do, you don't have to do the readings because they're summarised in the lectures.

However, if there's one thing that's not fair about this course is marking which I don't think had specific guidelines to ensure equality across tutors. Some tutors marked a lot more leniently than others. To put things into perspective, my friend had a more lenient tutor and got 80+ in all her assessments, and another friend had a different tutor and was lucky to get a 70; and they both put in a similar amount of effort for their assessments. This was very common across the cohort.

In saying that, half the assessments are group work. You don't get to pick for the Campaign Analysis, but for the Group Client Pitch you do. Make sure you're prepared at least two days before the assessment dates so you're not pulling everything together at the last minute. The final assessment (Individual client pitch) isn't explained very well so ask lots of questions!!
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: fantasticbeasts3 on November 04, 2018, 05:59:09 pm
Subject Code/Name: ARTS1511 - Introductory German B

Contact Hours: 5 - 2 hour lecture, 1 hour tutorial, 2 hour tutorial

Assumed Knowledge: A1 level of German at the European Framework for Languages or equivalent

Assessment: 3x Portfolios (45%), 3x tests (55%, writing and speaking)

Lecture Recordings? Yes

Notes/Materials Available: Extra resources on Moodle

Textbook: Kontakte 8th Edition, Tschirner

Lecturer(s): Lecturer/Tutor - Silke Schoppe

Year & Semester/Trimester of completion: Semester 2, 2018

Difficulty: 3.5/5

Overall Rating: 3.5/5

Comments:
Compared to Intro A, Intro B wasn't as good. I came out of Intro A having done really enjoyed the course and doing well, and Intro B flipped everything.
 
While I still find studying German very interesting, the concepts were harder this semester and I found it more difficult to go out of my way and actually practice. Frau Schoppe is new to UNSW and it took a while for her to get into the swing of things, but as the semester progressed, I did find German getting better. Poor timetabling is part of what made me not so happy about the course because on a Monday morning I had the 2 hour lecture and then the 1 hour tutorial straight after.

However, I definitely felt a sense of accomplishment after completing this course because the concepts taught tie up a lot of loose ends from Intro A. I feel like I can actually write a decent sentence without consulting Google Translate after this semester :-)
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: fantasticbeasts3 on November 04, 2018, 06:17:35 pm
Subject Code/Name: ARTS1091 - Media, Society, Politics

Contact Hours: 3 - 1.5 hour lecture, 1.5 hour tutorial

Assumed Knowledge: None

Assessment: 1000 word essay (20%), Discussion Paper (30%), Research Portfolio (50%)

Lecture Recordings? Yes

Notes/Materials Available: All on Moodle

Textbook: None

Lecturer(s): Lecturer - Dr Collin Chua, Tutor - Dr James Dutton

Year & Semester/Trimester of completion: Semester 2, 2018

Difficulty: 3/5

Overall Rating: 3/5

Comments:
This course wasn't as bad as ARTS1090, but it wasn't amazing either. It seemed very promising at first, but gradually it gets so tedious -- especially the assessments.

I'll start wth the content: I will give points to the lectures and content in general for trying to be relevant with the 21st century, but that's about it. The discussion in tutorials could be quite interesting and it provoked deeper thought on current issues in relation to media consumption and activity based around it. On the other hand, the assessments were awful. There's nothing else to say about them but tedious and boring and I hated every second of the assessments. The good thing is instructions are clear but the actual act of writing them wasn't enjoyable whatsoever.
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: fantasticbeasts3 on November 04, 2018, 06:36:10 pm
Subject Code/Name: INST1006 - The World in Transition

Contact Hours: 3 - 2 hour lecture, 1 hour tutorial

Assumed Knowledge: None, but you do need to be enrolled in B International Studies

Assessment: 2x essays (60%), mid-term (30%), group presentation (10%)

Lecture Recordings? Yes

Notes/Materials Available: All on Moodle

Textbook: None

Lecturer(s): Lecturer - Dr Emma Christopher, Tutor - Dr James Dhizaala

Year & Semester/Trimester of completion: Semester 2, 2018

Difficulty: 3/5

Overall Rating: 2.5/5

Comments:
This course was so promising. The content is really interesting but the execution was terrible. As a history lover, looking at historical events and seeng how they shaped the world today was very fascinating and the course provided me with a better understanding of different perspectives regarding the world today and how history (and more specifically, colonialism) impacts current events. The course is structured like this: colonial theories are taught in the first few weeks and then there are case studies based on the continents of the world for the rest. Sometimes there were guest lecturers who were experts on certain topics and they were amazing.

What I didn't like, rather, despised were the tutorials and assessments.

I'll start with the tutorials. The tutorials required students, who in groups of 2 were to create a presentation on the lecture and readings from the week prior. What was so annoying about this was these presentations weren't assessed and it took so much time to make them. For some people, they didn't do readings in certain weeks because they didn't want to focus on that specific region of the world for their essays which makes sense, because some of them were ridiculously long (one week had over 150 pages). The tutor just sat at his desk and didn't really foster discussion later and didn't clarify questions on the readings because most of the time students tried to understand the readings but didn't really get them.

The assessments are another story. The mid-term was fine because it was straightforward, but the hand-in tasks... my goodness. Both essays had such vague instructions to "encourage discussion", "room to move", and "creative arguments" to the point where no one knew what they were doing. The essays were framed as totally different tasks, but upon reflection they were so similar I felt like I spent 4500 words repeating myself. The marking is another story in itself, which was very inconsistent (we didn't have marking criteria) and were told what was right or wrong after we had submitted the essays -- and apparently the vague instructions were supposed to allow us to form unique arguments and discuss different things? The group presentation was fine, however, the feedback across different groups contradicted each other.

I'll give points to the content, which speaks for itself because it's super interesting and I liked the guest lecturer thing, but the assessments and marking were awful.
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: katie,rinos on November 08, 2018, 10:12:22 am
Subject Code/Name: MUSC1704-Performance Lab 2

Contact Hours:
2 hr lecture/masterclass:wks 1,4,7,10,13
2 hr studio:wks 2,5,8,11
2 hr ensemble weekly

Assumed Knowledge: You must be enrolled in a music degree (Arts students can choose MUSC1706). I think you need to have done Performance Lab 1 as well.

Assessment:  Workshop demonstration (20%), Ensemble contribution/part checking (20%), Performance critiques (choose 2 of 5-5% each), Performance Exam (50%).

Lecture Recordings?  No

Notes/Materials Available:  Nil, however some small readings/Powerpoints for critiques.

Textbook: None

Lecturer(s): Laura Chislett

Year & Semester/Trimester of completion: 2018,2

Difficulty: 3.5

Overall Rating:  3.5

Your Mark/Grade: 69CR

Comments:
This course is changing next year for trimesters: each performance lab unit will be 12 uoc, and 1yr/3terms long from 2019. There may also be changes to the course structure/assessments.

This course was incredibly similar to performance lab 1 in terms of structure and assessments (however, we were expected to be at a slightly higher level than last semester). Therefore, I already knew the general structure, and expectation of our assessments and the marking.

However, I found the communication worst then last semester. There were heaps of times where I would email or ask the lecturer a question and she would either take ages to reply or would tell me to go and talk to the SAM office which was really frustrating.

The lectures were normally pretty interesting and it was a mix between masterclasses (Singing, performance anxiety, viola de gamba) and class performances (jazz & class concert). The critiques were 500 words each and we had a week to do each one (the questions were released either during/after the lectures). We had to do 2 questions out of the 5 lectures and each was worth 5%. The first two studio classes were intro performances, and the last two were the assessed performance workshops. The performance workshop was a 3-5 minute presentation where you had to play a piece and then talk about it (technical/interpretative issue).

Ensemble/Assessment: As part of the course, you must be a part of an ensemble and attend at least 80% of all weekly rehearsals, and the concert. There is a list of ensembles here. I was in wind symphony this year and it’s been really fun! The part checking assessment is in small groups 4-5 people, and you play through parts of the pieces from the concert.

Performance Exam: The performance exam is 20 minutes long and includes a study, pieces and sight reading. The course includes a subsidy for private lessons (10 lessons- $600). If you want to practise at uni make sure you book a room in advance because they can fill up very quickly.
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: RuiAce on November 22, 2018, 11:01:05 pm
Subject Code/Name: MATH3701 - Higher Topology and Differential Geometry

Contact Hours: 3 x 1 hours of lecture, 1 hour of tutorial

Assumed Knowledge: 12 UoC of Level 2 mathematics courses is required, but within that 12 UoC it is expected that 6 UoC comes from one of the following: MATH2111 or MATH2601 or MATH2011 CR or MATH2501 CR. However, I would recommend bare minimum DN in both MATH2111 and MATH2601, because whilst comparatively little linear algebra and calculus are used explicitly, a lot seems to get mentioned in passing.

MATH3611 or MATH3711 completed beforehand is highly recommended to understand the more abstract concepts, but not necessary.

Assessment: 30% Midsem Exam, 40% Assignment, 30% Finals Exam

Lecture Recordings? No

Notes/Materials Available: Handwritten notes. Have cons but the handwriting is very legible. A reasonably abundant supply of past papers is provided.

Textbook:
 - Topology (2nd Edition) by James Munkres - This one can be hard to read, but I've been reported that it's really useful.
 - Elementary Differential Geometry by Andrew Pressley - This one is awesome

Lecturer(s): Dr. Mircea Voineagu

Year & Semester/Trimester of completion: 18 s2

Difficulty: 4/5

Overall Rating: 2.5/5 

Your Mark/Grade: 89 HD Potentially subject to change, but if this comment is not edited out then assume no change was necessary

Comments:
Please be advised that this review is subject to becoming outdated immediately. The course structure in 19 t3 is expected to be different under the new lecturer.

This course is one of the core courses for a major in Pure Mathematics.

Topology is sort of a bridge between analysis and algebra - it uses concepts in both. Whilst its roots seem to stem from elementary set theory, it adds in various algebraic and analytic structures. It is of course, the field of maths that talks about the coffee cup and the donut. Whereas differential geometry is, as I like to summarise it simply, putting some kind of calculus (differential structure) on curves and surfaces that we already know of. (Although it does touch on manifolds, which generalises upon surfaces.)

I had a lot of trouble with this course throughout the semester. I found it difficult dealing with the fact that I had to forfeit any sense of mathematical rigour to understand the concepts, because many rigourously defined things were just too bizarre (although fortunately not examinable either). Eventually I relied heavily on two things - intuition and rote learning. Intuition can be helpful especially when dealing with topology because trying to formalise something built on algebraic topology can be hard, but being able to picture a loop or some shit in your head turns out to be sufficient most of the time. Same goes for certain aspects of differential geometry, most notably the basic definitions. On the other hand the rote learning was disappointing - I still don't fully understand Van Kampen's theorem or geodesics (or other unlisted stuff) yet. I've mostly been taking for granted how to use it.

I definitely do advise "intuition" as something to develop and utilise in this course. It pushed me through a fair lot of the course despite constantly being in agony over it.

What was certainly a bit of a shock was that this course had some very nasty computations. I wasn't expecting that for a level 3 pure mathematics course and it can get quite annoying, so that's something to keep in mind about. But other than that, the proofs in this course didn't require full detail (or so I felt). So long as you displayed some understanding of the concepts, something wishy-washy wasn't necessarily so bad it seems.

The teaching quality was something I was really uncomfortable about with this course. Occasionally concepts made sense, but at other times they were just skimmed with insufficient intuition. On the other hand things I found the consultations were a lot more life-saving (the 1-on-1 help helps a lot) and I am very thankful for both the 40% assignment and the generous marking across all tasks. I believe that the lecturer's personality should be praised.
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: katie,rinos on November 23, 2018, 02:40:42 pm
Subject Code/Name: MUSC1603-Materials and Structures of Music 2

Contact Hours: 1hr lecture, 1hr aural tute, 1hr rhythm studio per week

Assumed Knowledge: MUSC1602-M&S1

Assessment: 
Harmony lectures: 2 in-class tests (wks 4 & 8, worth 20% each), Composition (20%). You must receive 50% or higher in this part to pass the course.
Auralia: Progress (checked twice during the sem, 5%), Test (wk 11, 10%)
Aural tute: Transcription (10%), Sight singing (5%)
Rhythm workshop: 2 in class tests and a Rhythm etude/exercise (10%)

Lecture Recordings?  No

Notes/Materials Available:  Some notes and practise exercises were available on moodle for the harmony lectures and the rhythm studio.

Textbook: The musician’s guide to theory and analysis. It’s the same textbook as last semesters course, and can be used for M&S 3&4 (next year’s courses). The textbook does explain some concepts well but I didn’t use it too much.

Lecturer(s): Lecturer: Harrison Collins, Aural tutor: David Taylor, Rhythm Tutor: Steven Machamer

Year & Semester/Trimester of completion: 2018, 2

Difficulty: 4/5

Overall Rating:  2.5/5

Comments:
Some of this course and assessments are very similar to M&S1, however it is a step up and I did find it a bit difficult. All of the content from last semesters course is quickly revisited at the start of the course, but is all assumed knowledge and the foundations for later content. Although, I did find it a difficult class it was one that I learnt a lot of new information and concepts.

I found that the harmony lectures were pretty interesting most of the time and that Harrison tried to go over new concepts in a way that was easy to understand. He went over concepts both with simple definitions and examples (that he made up, and from piano music). We started the semester with revision (cadences, minor/major scales, secondary dominants) and then moved to secondary leading tone chords, pivot chord modulations, non-harmonic tones, periodicity/phrases & structure. I found the 2 in class tests really difficult, especially in 50 minutes, however the composition wasn’t too bad (as you could check off everything that was needed). Harrison was approachable if you had any questions and he put up extra practise exercises on moodle when anyone emailed him. He also set up an extra harmony tute, the week before a test, going over some of the concepts which helped improve my marks.

The aural studio mainly just included us listening to music, and answering question (normally in a small group). We also needed to use an online program called auralia (which we brought last sem), consistently work through it for our progress mark and had a test on it at the end of the sem. Some people didn’t put too much effort into this and got a really low mark, however it is easy to get 90’s for progress if you do a few exercises a week.

The rhythm studio was incredibly boring and started off very easy. The lecturer wasn’t very interesting and some of the later concepts, I didn’t fully understand when I’d left the class. The course was only worth 10% but we had three assessments: two tests (one on signs of duration/binary time, the other on polyrthyhms), and also had to perform an etude (by doing conducting patterns, and speaking the rhythms using comparative counting (1e&a, 1234, Ta ka di mi).
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: RuiAce on November 27, 2018, 03:02:46 pm
Subject Code/Name: MATH3411 - Information, Codes and Ciphers

Contact Hours: 3 hours of lecture (chopped up into 1+2 this year), 1 hour tutorial

Assumed Knowledge: The listed prerequisite is MATH1081 or MATH2099 or CR in: {MATH1231 or MATH1241 or MATH1251}. I do highly agree with the MATH1081 prerequisite, but the only 1231 stuff you really need is just vector spaces and an understanding of eigenvalues.

Assessment:
- 1 x 10% in-lecture test
- 2 x 15% in-lecture tests
- 60% final exam

Lecture Recordings? Yes

Notes/Materials Available: Course pack, Thomas's notes, Thomas's slides, past papers for tests back to 2011. (Also Facebook group and Piazza forum.) That equates to tons in my opinion.

Textbook: See page 6 of the course outline, but honestly none of them are necessary given the resources already available.

Lecturer(s): Dr. Thomas Britz

Year & Semester/Trimester of completion: 2018 s2

Difficulty: 0.5/5 for me. A first year student taking this course would probably give it a 3.5/5 though.

Overall Rating: 4.5/5

Your Mark/Grade: 96 HD

Comments:
This is one of the few third year mathematics elective courses that falls under Pure Mathematics. Of course, you do not need to be taking that major to be eligible to enrol in the course.

Essentially this course is an introduction to the theory of encryption. Topics included error correcting codes and compression codes etc., which essentially provide differing perspectives on how information can be transferred from one party to another. Many fundamental techniques are covered such as Huffman coding, however there's also some more advanced applications. Plus a fun chapter on cryptography at the very end.

This was the first course ever where I was able to walk into every lecture, and pretty much almost always understand everything. The only times I got lost were when I zoned out myself. All of the non-mathsy stuff made complete intuitive sense to me and the maths was just stuff I had already seen over and over again in the past. I found that this course was basically just the first time I saw some real-world based applications of stuff I already understood conceptually.

The learning spike in this course starts in topic 5 where number theory and abstract algebra is introduced. But as opposed to MATH3711 content which I didn't comprehend, this stuff barely scratches the surface of algebra and only teaches the few things you require for BCH coding (which was one of the hardest things in the course). Usually if you can get your head around topic 5, you've gotten your head around the entire thing.

Topic 7 (cryptography) should probably be treated as a standalone thing. It was examinable, but the concepts are (slightly) more independent from the rest of the course and should hopefully be more of an enjoyable topic.

I mean, all I have for this course is praise. Biggest WAM booster I've had and comparatively speaking one of the easiest courses I had ever touched. Some people do actually take this course in first year sem 2 (they take MATH1081 in sem 1 which is sufficient as a prereq), but even then whilst it'd be harder for them relatively speaking, it's still manageable. Every maths student should consider taking it for either ease or the chance to witness some cool applications of the stuff they learn, but it does also work as a gen ed for anyone who has taken MATH1081 previously.
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: RuiAce on November 27, 2018, 03:38:34 pm
Subject Code/Name: MATH3871 - Bayesian Inference and Computation

Contact Hours: 2 hours of lecture, 1 hour of tutorial, 1 hour of laboratory

Assumed Knowledge: MATH2801 or MATH2901, but the latter is seriously recommended. (Apparently the lecturer was told by someone that MATH2931 was also a prerequisite when it was not, but fortunately he kept the 2931 content minimal. Although even if not mandatory, MATH2931 is still helpful.)

Assessment:
- 20% Group Assignment
- 15% Individual Assignment
- 5% Class Participation (not too hard to get)
- 60% Final Exam

Lecture Recordings? Mostly yes - at times Zdravko used the whiteboard, but not frequently.

Notes/Materials Available: Lecture slides (+ notes for the MCMC section) and tutorial/lab exercises provided, but that was it. Felt insufficient, but it seemed to be fine - you just had to be able to redo the tutorial exercises.

Textbook: Statistical Modeling and Computation, D.P. Kroese and J.C.C. Chan, Springer, 2014. Was not necessary but it was still a decent textbook.
Also provided was Handbook of Monte Carlo Methods, D.P. Kroese, T. Taimre, Z. Botev - had some helpful techniques included.

Lecturer(s): Dr. Zdravko Botev

Year & Semester/Trimester of completion: 18 s2

Difficulty: 3.5/5

Overall Rating: 4.5/5 

Your Mark/Grade: 92 HD

Comments:
This is one of the third year electives for a Statistics major. Completion of this course along with the three core gets accreditation with the Statistics Society of Australia.

Bayesian inference stems from a probabilistic approach of inference - it literally falls out of Bayes rule. In the classical frequentist approach, parameters to be estimated were fixed, but Bayesian approaches treat the parameter itself as a random variable, consequently invoking lots more probabilistic techniques (credible intervals, hypothesis tests, expectation of the parameter, predictive distribution etc.)

This course also introduced simulation techniques. Basic methods (inverse transform, accept/reject method) were covered but there was a lot of depth put into Markov-chain Monte Carlo.

The computations in this course are quite interesting. On one hand, some of them are fairly straightforward thanks to the shortcuts you're introduced in weeks 1 and 2. But then at other times they get completely chaotic and it feels a bit like a war trying to fight through all of it (cough Bayes factors). A part of the course was recognising distributions, because that helped you simplify down nasty integrals (including multivariate integrals).
Those tricks were so convenient though. Trivialised pretty much half of the computations you saw in this course.

The simulations were examined through making you do a few computations in advance and also writing pseudocode. For example, with the usual rejection sampling you had to understand high school optimisation to find the optimal enveloping constant. But you pretty much just had to adapt your distributions/values/etc. to the algorithm itself to write out the pseudocode, and there was no strict style guide for it either.

Much like with combinatorics last sem, I found I actually liked this course despite having various difficult concepts. It helped that the tutorials/assignments/exam were all made fairer by the new lecturer (this course used to be a 5/5 difficulty course). But it was still pretty easy to get lost in the lectures because the lecture examples were much harder to grasp (a lot of multivariate computations).

You did need to know all the definitions, techniques and tricks the course teaches you to do well in the exam. A bit of all of that was asked.
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: MLov on November 27, 2018, 08:15:41 pm
Subject Code/Name: MATH3821 - Statistical Modelling and Computing

Contact Hours: 2 Hours of Lecture, 2 Hours of Laboratory

Assumed Knowledge: MATH2831/MATH2931 is prerequisite

Assessment:  2 * 10% Assignments, 20% Mid-semester (Lab) Test and 60% Final Exam

Lecture Recordings?  Yes

Notes/Materials Available: N/A

Textbook: N/A

Lecturer(s): Dr. Pierre Lafaye de Micheaux

Year & Semester/Trimester of completion: 2018/2

Difficulty: Depends entirely on your effort, but I would say it is pretty easy 2/5

Overall Rating: 4/5

Your Mark/Grade: HD

Comments:

If you think this is an easy computing course, then you've walked yourself to the wrong door. MATH3821 is a *Math* course, so it is bound to have massive amount of theory (mathematical proofs). It serves as an introduction to statistical modelling (mostly regression analysis). It is *very* fast paced and it gives a brief overview of parametric and non-parametric modelling method (both theory and computing), as well as introducing Bayesian inference and Monte Carlo simulation. The main software used in this course is R (or R-studio, but be sure to know how to use R-Markdown for assignments. Iirc, Python is also acceptable for assignment, but you may be asked to write R codes for the final exam).

This course is fairly easy as long as you put efforts in, but it is very daunting if you leave it until the last minute (good luck catching up 800+ slides). Unlike level 2 statistical courses, this courses has huge amount of content (it pretty much covers the entire 2931 in the first week), which is really easy for students to lose their motivation. There is a large variability in terms of marks distribution: several high (even full) marks but the average is really low (probably a lot of slackers). Which is probably why there are mostly bad reviews across the internet.

To summaries, this course gives you a glance at what is statistics (unless you are satisfied with just linear models) and it is fairly easy to achieve high grades if you put slightly more effort than you use to.
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: MLov on November 27, 2018, 08:37:44 pm
Subject Code/Name: MATH3901 Higher Probability and Stochastic Processes

Contact Hours: 3 Hours Lecture and 1 Hour tutorial

Assumed Knowledge: Theres a lot haha

Prerequisite: MATH2901 or MATH2801(DN) and MATH2501 or MATH2601 and MATH2011 or MATH2111 or MATH2510 or MATH2610.

Assessment:  3 * 5% class tests, 25% mid-semester exam and a final exam. (yep, no assignments)

Lecture Recordings?  Yes

Notes/Materials Available:  N/A

Textbook: Introduction to Probability Models by Ross

Lecturer(s): Dr Gery Geenens

Year & Semester/Trimester of completion: 2018/1 (i know, my memory sucks)

Difficulty: 2/5

Overall Rating:  5/5

Your Mark/Grade: HD

Comments:

Level 3 statistic courses usually have a lot of contents (700+ slides iirc), you will learn a lot of interesting stuff like Markov chains, Queueing theory, Branching process etc. It is fun and challenging, you would learn a lot of new ways to solve probability related questions. If you are doing ACTL/Adv Sci (Math), it is pretty much a revision of ACTL2102 without time series. But be sure to be familiar with brownian motions, stochastic differential equations (SDEs) and martingales, coz ACTL3182 pretty much assumes them and straight away jump into the derivation of Black Scholes models and other stochastic models.
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: MLov on November 28, 2018, 09:06:03 pm
Subject Code/Name: ACTL 3182 - Asset-Liability and Derivative Models

Contact Hours: 3 Hours Lecture, 1 Hour Tutorial

Assumed Knowledge: ACTL2111 and ACTL2102

Assessment:  20% Assignment, 20% Mid-semester Exam, 60% Final

Lecture Recordings?  Yes

Notes/Materials Availablehttps://www.business.unsw.edu.au/degrees-courses/course-outlines/ACTL3182#course-resources

Textbook: https://www.business.unsw.edu.au/degrees-courses/course-outlines/ACTL3182#course-resources

Lecturer(s): Dr. Jonathan Ziveyi

Year & Semester/Trimester of completion: 2018/2

Difficulty: 4/5

Overall Rating:  4/5

Your Mark/Grade: BAD (idk... marks not released yet, but not confident) ;( (... okay I got a HD surprisingly, but I do reckon I did pretty bad in the finals)


Comments:

This course is mostly about valuation of assets and financial derivatives. You will go through the whole derivation process of CAPM and APT model (using Modern Portfolio Theory and factor models). Then you will be introduced to the Fundamental Theorem of Asset Pricing and go through the derivation process of the infamous Black Scholes model that you've always heard about, and close the course with interest rate models. The entire second half of the course is on stochastic process and solving SDE's, so be sure you are familiar with martingales and brownian motions (If your lecturer decided to skip those during ACTL2102, ...., good luck.)

The course is very enjoyable to do (except for the exams, Ziveyi expected HD average out of all of us, cough cough, but we 'slowly cooked' ourselves to a 50% average.), you get to build a portfolio of your own choosing for the assignment and see your CAPM fails miserably in predicting expected returns! But do expect lots of math in this course (Its Ziveyi, what else would you expect?).
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: MisterNeo on December 03, 2018, 06:51:59 pm
Subject Code/Name: ACCT1511 - Accounting and Financial Management 1B

Contact Hours:  2 hour lecture every week, 2 hour tutorial every fortnight.

Assumed Knowledge: ACCT1501

Assessment:  20% Team Quiz (in tutorials), 20% Individual Quiz (after team quiz in tutorials), 60% Final

Lecture Recordings?  No, they have recordings from past years.

Notes/Materials Available:  Same textbook as ACCT1501, weekly student handouts/readings.

Textbook: Same as ACCT1501

Lecturer(s): Dr Per Tronnes, Dr Hien Hoang, Victoria Clout, Brian Burfitt (in that order)

Year & Semester/Trimester of completion:  18s2

Difficulty: 2.5/5

Overall Rating:  3/5

Your Mark/Grade: HD

Comments:
Overall, this course was alright compared to ACCT1501.
Doing 1A was maybe a bit more challenging since we were introduced to new concepts such as double-entry accounting, so in my opinion, 1B was a bit easier.
They explored further into the recognition of assets, liabilities, equity, revenues and expenses.
20% of your marks come from a Team Quiz, and luckily I got assigned to a good group who do their readings and homework.
Both team and Individuals Quiz are based directly from the homework questions, so you MUST do them. (The fortnightly tutorials makes it easy to forget about the homework but you should practise often.)
The format of the final exam was the same as 1A with 60% in multiple choice and the rest in short answer questions.
They recommend you use the textbook from 1A, however it is possible to only use the handouts they give, otherwise resources outside of Moodle are quite scarce. Also there aren't any current lecture recordings, or maybe I'm not looking hard enough.
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: RuiAce on December 07, 2018, 09:42:47 pm
Subject Code/Name: COMP1521 - Computer Systems Fundamentals

Contact Hours: 2 x 2hr lecture, (1hr tutorial followed by 2hr laboratory)

Assumed Knowledge: COMP1511 is the sole prerequisite and is sufficient.

Assessment:
- 10% spread across 6 quizzes
- 9% assignment on assembly code
- 11% assignment on C
- 10% spread across labs
- 60% final exam

Lecture Recordings? Yes

Notes/Materials Available: Lecture slides on webcms3 - seemed sufficient

Textbook: None prescribed. Recommended was "Computer Systems: A Programmer's Perspective , by Randal E. Bryant and David R. O'Hallaron, Prentice-Hall" but I never had to use it.

Lecturer(s): Dr John Shepherd

Year & Semester/Trimester of completion: 18s2

Difficulty: 3/5

Overall Rating: 4/5 

Your Mark/Grade: 94 HD

Comments:
This course is one of the follow-ups to COMP1511, generally taken in the next semester (but can be delayed a fair bit for students not studying CompEng or not considering OS later on).

There are two halves to this course in my opinion. The first half essentially focused on what was going on within/inside the computer when programs are being executed - hence the discussion on assembly. The assembly language used was based off the MIPS architecture (although we used the SPIM simulator when writing up MIPS code), Conceptually it wasn't really hard understanding MIPS - all we had to do was convert C code into it, but it can be quite tedious. The MIPS assignment was straightforward but certainly time consuming and not something that could easily be winged. (Most people understood MIPS well enough as required by the course towards the end of the semester. but it may have caused difficulty during the learning phase.)

But it wasn't just assembly, like MIPS only lasted 2.5 weeks or so. There's also a slightly more in depth discussion with memory management and also the introduction of bit fields/unions. All of that stuff though I think I just rote learnt and took for granted.

The second half presented all the systems - we looked at the Unix file systems and tools and techniques that software/hardware developers used (e.g. sockets, concurrency). Moral of the story with all of that - know how to use the man pages. The manual is a lifesaver for this course (in the labs, assignments and for the exam).

For me, I felt having done COMP2521 (which I'd say was harder) in advance and coming back down to here did help. That course was about things you can do with your code (thinking like a computer scientist) whereas this actually explains all the behind-the-scenes stuff about the computer itself. But most people either do this course first, or take it concurrently with COMP2521 which is fair enough in my opinion. The stuff was pretty cool and more often than not seemed to make sense. (Although, I got VERY lost towards the end with sockets.)
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: Opengangs on December 13, 2018, 08:34:27 pm
Subject Code/Name: MATH1231 - Mathematics 1B

Contact Hours: 2 x 2hr lectures (1hr Algebra, 1hr Calculus), 1hr tutorials from Weeks 2 to 13.

Assumed Knowledge/Pre-requisites: Completion of MATH1131/1141.

Assessment:
- 4 quizzes (best 3 marks count towards the final grade); contributes 20% of the final grade
- Online Maple tutorials (best 8/12 count); contributes 12% of the final grade
- Maple lab test; contributes 8% of the final grade
- Final exam; contributes 60% of the final grade

Lecture Recordings: Yes.

Notes/Materials Available: The Course Pack covers the entire Algebra and Calculus booklets with the problem sets and theory, as well as solutions to past exam papers.

Lecturer(s): Algebra - Dr. Daniel Mansfield; Calculus - Dr. John Roberts

Year & Semester/Trimester of completion: 18s2

Difficulty: 2/5

Overall rating: 3.5/5

Your Mark/Grade: 88 HD

Comments:
For the most part, I quite enjoyed it! It was a good continuation to MATH1131/1141, and most of the content itself was quite interesting. Algebra was basically a bit more on vectors (how we define vector spaces, subspaces, etc), before diving into the ideas of transformations and probability/statistics. It wasn't hard and required minimal studying to get by, and I recommend doing most of the problem sets (although quite tiresome and repetitive) if you're really aiming for a Distinction or High Distinction. Otherwise, minimal studying is required to pass.

For Calculus, we began discussing the idea of polynomials as a way to approximate a non-polynomial function. This was captured in a topic called "Taylor Series". Most of the Calculus-related aspects could technically be taught in Extension 1 or 2, as they aren't hard concepts to grasp. As mentioned above, minimal studying is required to pass so if you're looking for a pass/credit, you don't need to do much. But this should be a subject where you're getting Distinctions/High Distinctions.

From week 2 to week 13 (not sure what it is now due to trimesters; week 10 I think?), there is a Calculus/Algebra online tutorial that you must complete and the best 8/12 of them counted. It should be an easy 12% to achieve since you have unlimited amount of attempts so uh you should technically be getting close to 100%.
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: blasonduo on December 15, 2018, 02:33:13 pm
Subject Code/Name: EDST1101 - Educational Psychology

Contact Hours: a 2-hour lecture and a 1-hour tutorial each week, 80% attendance is required to pass the course.

Assumed Knowledge: None (A mark of 80+ in HSC English recommended).

Assessment:  Multiple choice test (15%), Tutorial presentation (group work) (20%), 1500 word Research Paper (40%), Short answer and Multiple choice test (25%). All assessments must be passed to pass the course.

Lecture Recordings?  Yes (but weirdly still needed to attend :/ )

Notes/Materials Available: None - The education Society did hold sessions where they explained how to complete the assignments.

Textbook: Cognitive Psychology and instruction. This is NOT needed unless you are aiming for 85+ marks. Tutorials do base some content off the textbook, and the textbook does lay out the content very nicely, but all information is pretty easy.

Lecturer(s): Lecturer: Dr Slava Kalyuga, Tutor: Pavel Guba.

Year & Semester of completion: 2018 Semester 2

Difficulty: 0.7/5

Overall Rating:  3.4/5

Your Mark/Grade: 92 HD

Comments:

Out of the first year education courses, this is by far my favourite, the content in the course is really interesting.

The tutorials did seem like a cop out though, with each group presenting a topic as an assessment, which meant we are mainly reliant on other people in the tutorial to explain the concepts for us. Although our tutors would include anything that was not mentioned, my tutor seemed like they weren't 100% sure on what they are trying to explain. It mainly felt like a waste of time and a lazy way in making the students learn the content.

With only one of the assessments being an essay, I found the assessments much easier than normal, (since I find exams and presentations easier to get good marks in) which really helped in my ridiculously high mark. The exams were mainly multiple choice, which made it much easier to get marks, as the questions rarely ever try to trick you, but more to see if you have a basic understanding of a certain concept. Even with the essay, the essay didn't demand vague questions to be answered (like 1108) and was also not bad to complete.

The actual content of the course was actually very interesting and very basic, talking about Long term memory and Working memory for the majority of the course. It includes methods to increase capacity of both and then to sum up with educational implications of these. There were other things like the visual sketchpad, but those are the main concepts, which aren't that difficult. However in a 2 hour lecture, can become a bore. :P
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: MLov on December 16, 2018, 08:33:45 am
Subject Code/Name: ACTL3162 - General Insurance Techniques

Contact Hours:  3 hrs. Lecture + 1 hrs. Tutorial

Assumed Knowledge: Prerequisite: ACTL2102 and MATH2901 if you are in math stream

Assessment:  20% Assignment + 20% Mid-sem + 60% Final exam

Lecture Recordings?  Yes

Notes/Materials Available:  N/A

Textbook: N/A

Lecturer(s): AProf. Eric Cheung

Year & Semester/Trimester of completion: 2018/2

Difficulty: 3.5/5

Overall Rating:  3/5

Your Mark/Grade: HD

Comments:

This course is described as the most practical course amongst all level 3 ACTL courses. As the course title suggests, it will go through many general insurance techniques including application of generalised linear models, bayesian models and surplus process in the field of insurance. It will also go through run-off triangles, reserve calculation and some game theory at the end.

Comparing to ACTL3182, this course covers much broader material but less in depth. The notations used in this course is not so pleasant and elegant if you came from a mathematical background, especially if you have recent done Bayesian inference. As per usual for ACTL courses, lots of memorisation is needed, because even if the algorithms covered in the lecture are in the orange book, it will look completely different, which makes you wonder why are even they doing this.

Since this is probably my second last ACTL course that I will do, I will give you guys some thought about the program from  ACTL/MATH point of view. At the start of the degree, I was actually surprised to see there are quite a few ACTL/MATH students. The common trait is that we generally can handle the mathematical component pretty well, but stumble in essays and reports (coz they generally need a lot of bs haha). And the majority of us become less interested in ACTL around 2nd to 3rd year, and later on only doing it for the sake of completing the degree.

It maybe rumoured a rewarding degree, but it is much drier than what we initially expect. At first I would describe ACTL as the study of quantifying contingent events with financial / insurance applications, now I would just say it is the applications of contingent methods in the field of insurance. The field is getting narrower and narrower as you move up to higher years, which is not something that I enjoy. Lots of people are not doing their part II's, and I know many gods who excelled at the courses (Avg 90+ WAM) just switched to tradings and computer science (e.g. Master Rui) and other fields. Therefore when people talk about the high drop out rate in ACTL, it is actually not because the degree is how crazily hard, it is mainly because it is much less interesting that what we initially expected, and most people would move on to the field that they do enjoy. As such, I really admired those who continued on with the degree and they deserve the high payroll at the end. However, the first year ACTL content can generally be transferred to most business and science degrees, so there really is not that many harm doing ACTL for one year, get a taste of what it feel like, meet interesting people and then decide from second year onwards.

Finally, I will give some advice for future students that are planning to do the same degree.
- First, if you are planning to go on exchange, do it in your second year. Otherwise it is really hard to course match in your third year and onwards.
- Second, DON'T DO MGMT1001 in the first year, you can do it in exchange so that it won't affect your WAM that much.
- Third, join societies, meet motivated friends, go to peer mentoring programs etc, they have A LOT of resources that can help you through your future courses, also you can get an overview of the degree by talking to them.
- Fourth, carefully read through the orange book, it has a lot more information than you would expect. And, DONT FORGET to bring it with you to exams.
- Fifth, honestly, enjoy your time at uni. As many studies have shown, what universities bring the most is not knowledge, not skills, not ideas, but connections. And you will be surprised how far these connections can take you after university.
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: katie,rinos on December 17, 2018, 12:20:09 pm
Subject Code/Name: EDST1101-Educational Psychology

Contact Hours: 2hr lecture, 1hr tute each week (was meant to have 80% attendance but lectures were never marked).

Assumed Knowledge: Nil

Assessment:  Multiple choice test (15%), Tute group presentation (20%), 1500 Essay (40%), Multiple choice/Short answer test (25%) All assessments must be passed to pass the course.

Lecture Recordings?  Yes

Notes/Materials Available:  None except a few readings. The education society held lectures before some of the assessments and shared slides with the people who attended.

Textbook: Cognitive Psychology and Instruction. I didn’t really need this except for the tutoral presentation and essay. I borrowed it from the library halfway through the sem.
 
Lecturer(s): Slava Kalyuga, Tutor: Sue-Ann Lim

Year & Semester/Trimester of completion: 2018, s2

Difficulty: 1.5/5

Overall Rating:  3/5

Your Mark/Grade: 75D

Comments:
I found the content of this unit a lot more interesting than my last education subject, social perspectives. We went over aspects such as working and long term memory, their capacities, and how this effects the education of students. However, the 2 hour lectures could still easily become really boring, especially as the lecturer mainly just read off his slides.

My tutorials normally only consisted of the group presentations. The group presentations had around 3-4 people, went for 25-30 minutes and had our classmates explaining the concepts for us (e.g I did working memory). After the presentations, my tutor would try to get us to discuss concepts in groups, but would normally fail and we almost always left early (once 30 minutes).

The assessments were pretty easy to get higher marks in, and nothing was set up to trick you. 40% of the course was only multiple choice/short answer about the basic concepts covered in lectures and didn’t need too much study to go well in.
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: blasonduo on December 17, 2018, 08:23:18 pm
Subject Code/Name: BIOS1101 - Evolutionary and Functional Biology

Contact Hours: 2x 1-hour lecture and a 3-hour laboratory each week, 80% attendance to the labs is required to pass the course.

Assumed Knowledge: None

Assessment: Dissection worksheet (5%), Animal test (10%), Group video (10%), Leaf function and climate change report (10%), Final practical exam (15%), Final exam (50%).

Lecture Recordings?  Yes

Notes/Materials Available: There were practice multiple choice questions for the final exam and revision papers for the final practical exam.

Textbook: Campbell Biology: Australian and New Zealand Edition. NOT needed, more for interest.

Lecturer(s): Prof Mike Archer, Dr Stephen Bonser, Dr Hayley Bates, Dr R Bonduriansky.

Year & Semester of completion: 2018 Semester 2

Difficulty: 2.3/5

Overall Rating:  3.8/5

Your Mark/Grade: 78 DN

Comments:

Dr Hayley Bates has put a lot of effort into this, she would host weekly revision sessions for the practicals where at points would set up the lab to be a complete mock practical, she put a lot of effort in places she didn't have to, but this was greatly appreciated.

The course had a whole emphasis on "critical thinking" where they said the questions would be based off more the "why" and less the "what". This is not true at all. You do not score better by studying the explanations of things (eg why Tikaliks have webbed feet) you just needed to know that it had webbed feet. This makes the course a somewhat dry and just a "remember it all" type of course, which gave me a bit of an upset during the Animal test. This makes the course very boring when it comes to studying.

When it comes to the assessments, the Leaf function and climate change report was not a report at all, and at most 200 words. This was very easy marks as the graph they make you complete is very simplified (ie no uncertainties).
The hardest assessment is definitely the group video as, to say it lightly, a lot of the students in this course don't care nearly as much. So unless you pick your groups wisely and well, expect an all-nighter, and a submission 5 minutes before the due date. Some of the marks here are allocated to creativity, which again, with a lazy group, makes marks in this area difficult to achieve.

All other assessments (apart from the final) came from the content in the laboratories, which all came from the laboratory books. All questions asked were in the book, meaning that studying for these tests just meant memorising the content from them. However questions did arise from very obscure places, leading to very difficult questions, also leading to you know it, or you don't, which I'm not a fan of.

The final exam is only multiple choice and was only based on questions from the lectures, not the labs, so to help with this, the lecturers gave out practice multiple questions to help us study. However, these "practice" questions were in the final exam, and made up about 50% of the exam, making the final exam basically a joke (The exam also had many typos). Which makes my final mark lower than expected.
 
The content overall has some really interesting bits, but also some really dull and boring bits. Half the course is focused on animals and the other is focused on plants. Personally, I preferred the animal section more as I find the adaptations animals have based on their environment more interesting than plants, but it's still fun. The laboratories hence being 3 hours, does become mind-numbing, as most of it is just copying stuff into your lab book.

Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: blasonduo on December 18, 2018, 10:44:19 pm
Subject Code/Name: PHYS1241 - Higher Physics 1B (special)

Contact Hours: 2x 1-hour lecture, a 2-hour laboratory and a 1-hour tutorial each week.

Assumed Knowledge: PHYS 1121/1131

Assessment:
10x weekly pre-laboratory online quizzes (2%, 0.2% each)
3x Laboratory Reports (18%, 6% each)
4x Assignment worksheets (20%, 5% each)
Final exam (60%)

Lecture Recordings?  Yes (also personalised ones from Liz)

Notes/Materials Available: A Video series made by Liz, online quizzes from 1231 (not assessable for us, but assessable for 1231), past exams with answers from Liz's section.

Textbook: Halliday, D., Resnick, R., & Walker, J. (2014). Fundamentals of Physics, John Wiley & Sons. A really good textbook, but with the content this course provides, it isn't needed.

Lecturer(s): Prof Elizabeth Angstmann (First half) & Prof Michael Gal. (2nd half)

Year & Semester of completion: 2018 Semester 2

Difficulty: 3.9/5

Overall Rating:  4.3/5

Your Mark/Grade: 78 DN

Comments:

Compared to 1121/1131, the laboratories in 1241 are way more fun. They don't get assessed, and you get to do legit what you want to do at the end. Basically, for the first hour, you attempt an investigation related to the lectures. The next hour, you have to do extension investigations, investigating something similar. This allows for some really cool and imaginative investigations, also making labs a lot less stressful. However, Lab reports are required to be written up every 3 weeks, and to get perfect marks, a lot of effort is needed to be put into them (by the end of the semester, I had written 125 pages in my lab book, but the average was around 85). This spent me hours to do, as it required uncertainty graphs and long discussions and neat tables, probably spent the most time doing these at home, then anything else in semester 2.

The assignments were normally 6 questions ranging from pretty okay, to "wtf is this, how is this possible to solve". Luckily, about half of the questions could be googled, which allowed a sense of security. The others required you to discuss with other members of the course, and you need to do this to get good marks (unless you are very, very smart (like Rui)). I suggest making/joining a group chat for the course.

The final exam questions, for the most part, is extremely difficult (about half) and requires quite a lot from you for a 2-hour exam, making it quite difficult to do well. Also, the past exams only have the first part of the exam with answers, as Gal thinks it's silly to have answers. So it can be difficult to study the 2nd half of the course. Otherwise, as long as you attempt past papers, the final exam won't be too awful.

As for the lectures, Liz is fantastic at the actual content, with an explanation of the content, with an experiment, followed by solving questions. This way of lecturing was fantastic for reviewing and knowing if you really understand what was taught, and has a bit of fun with experiments. Also has extra ones on the internet to follow along with. An overall fantastic lecturer.
Gal is fantastic at being so engaging and making physics so fascinating. He would show physical applications and you'd sit there, like a child with a bedtime story, it was great. However, the relevance to the course was very minimal, and so the questions that were asked in practice exams or tutorials felt foreign, and thus meant that self-teaching was occasionally needed.

The tutorials require you to explain a question by writing and speaking, it does help with confidence and with future tasks that require public speaking and problem solving (like TA!)

Overall, this course is very fun but very, very time-consuming. (probably spent 45% of my study/homework time on this course) Even if you think you aren't the smartest (like myself) and are majoring in physics, I highly recommend doing this course, it allows you to meet other physics majors and you get a feel for 2nd-year courses (lab reports and LaTeX writing).
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: Jack89 on December 21, 2018, 12:41:32 pm
Subject Code/Name: ELEC2141 - Digital Circuit Design

Contact Hours: 3 hours of lectures, 2 hours of labs, 1 hour tutorial.

Assumed Knowledge: ELEC1111, especially the last part on Boolean algebra but they quickly go over this in week 1. COMP1511 is also helpful but not essential as there is a bit of verilog coding and having done a COMP course will make this part a bit easier to pick up.

Assessment: 15% labs, 5% lab exam, 5% fortnight online quizzes, 10% midsem, 15% assignments (2 assignments worth 7.5% each), 50% final.

Lecture Recordings? Yes

Notes/Materials Available: ELSOC has plenty of materials and past papers. The lecturer also posts up a couple of past papers on Moodle.

Textbook: I used "Digital Design" by M.Morris Mano but this is not completely essential.

Lecturer: Beena

Year & Semester/Trimester of completion: 2018/1

Difficulty: 3/5

Overall Rating: 4/5

Your Mark/Grade: 95 HD

Comments: Overall a good course that introduces Boolean logic, sequential circuits, verilog code, CMOS gates and the basics of computer hardware right at the end. Sequential circuits take a bit of getting used to but they aren't too difficult.

The assignments, especially assignment 2, are quite challenging but fun and rewarding and very very beneficial to understanding the course content.

The labs are quite long and the last couple are very challenging - make sure to prepare well before otherwise you'll lose marks for going over time. The program they use, Xilinx, was a bit of a headache since there were two versions on the computers and if you open your lab work with the wrong version then it screws it up. As part of marking, the lab demos sometimes ask you very specific questions about the lab, but they're quite lenient with the marking.

The midsem and final were nice and balanced.
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: Jack89 on December 21, 2018, 01:23:12 pm
Subject Code/Name: MATH2069 - Mathematics 2A

Contact Hours:  4 hours of lectures, 2 hours of tutorials. Half are for complex analysis, half are for vector calculus.

Assumed Knowledge: MATH1231 or MATH1241.

Assessment:  4 quizzes worth 10% each and a final worth 60%. There are 2 quizzes each for complex analysis and vector calculus. The final has 2 questions on complex analysis and 2 questions on vector calculus.

Lecture Recordings?  Yes.

Notes/Materials Available:  Plenty of notes and past papers on ELSOC.

Textbook: For complex analysis no need for a textbook. For vector calculus, "Calculus One and Several Variables" was very useful to study from but it's not essential.

Lecturer(s): Alessandro Otazzi for complex analysis and Dmitriy Zanin for vector calculus.

Year & Semester/Trimester of completion: 2018/S1

Difficulty: 4/5

Overall Rating:  5/5

Your Mark/Grade: 96 HD

Comments:
Overall a really good course. Vector calculus especially is very very interesting as it relates well to physics (especially the electromagnetism section in PHYS1231 which is very important for some third year electrical engineering subjects). The first few topics are straightforward but the final few topics are a bit challenging (e.g. Gauss' divergence theorem, Stoke's theorem, surface integrals).

The lecturer for complex analysis was really good and explained concepts thoroughly. This half of the course essentially is about how functions work in the complex domain - how to differentiate, integrate, how trig functions and logarithms work in the complex domain (e.g. evaluating cos(1 + i)).
All the trig identities (e.g. cos(A + B)) are used and must be memorized so there's a fair bit of memory work involved. 

This course has a large number of topics both in vector calculus and complex analysis so it definitely requires dedication but if you put in the time you should do well. The in class quizzes are not too difficult and the final is quite similar in structure to past papers so you should be set by practicing a few before the final.
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: HelpICantThinkOfAName on May 12, 2019, 10:16:05 pm
MATH 2241: Introduction to Atmospheric and Ocean Dynamics

Contact Hours: 4 hours of lectures, 1 hour tutorial

Assumed Knowledge: MATH 1231/1241/1251. I strongly recommend  having taken PHYS 1121/1131/1141 as some of the topics are assumed and are assessable, and drawing free body diagrams is necessary to succeed in this course

Assessment:  4 12.5% Assignments, due every other week. 50% final exam 

Lecture Recordings? No

Notes/Materials Available:  A set of comprehensive notes are available on Moodle. Some of the notes are messy, but context and the textbook make it easy to understand

Textbook: Not required, but the entire course is based on Atmosphere, Ocean, and Climate Dynamics by Marshall and Plumb. Assignment questions are sometimes taken from here. Single physical copy available in library, but I believe that ebook is available on the library website

Lecturer(s): Mark Holzer

Year & Semester/Trimester of completion: 2019/T1

Difficulty: 5/5. This is by far the hardest course I’ve taken so far. Marks are incredibly easy to lose, and having an incredibly strong grasp on first year physics is necessary to succeed.

Overall Rating:  2.5/5 Despite difficulty I still enjoyed this course. Mark’s lecturing was very hands on, and focused on building equations from the ground up. It also took a more chronological approach, and he would often go into detail about how and why these equations were developed, and give us a short history on the particular oceanographer who discovered the equations

Comments: This course takes a dive into the physical forces behind the weather, and is an extremely interesting course. The transition to trimesters has not helped the course though, and I feel that often content was rushed in order to finish on time.

Even if you don’t have to take it, I would still recommend it to any physics student interested in atmospheric physics, or a mathematics student looking for a hands on, applied math subject.

Also there’s a $600 prize to whoever achieves the highest grade in the course, so there’s your motivation!
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: DrDusk on May 13, 2019, 12:37:36 am
Subject Code/Name: PHYS1141 - Higher Physics 1A(Special) - Physics Majors only

Contact Hours: 4 x 1 hours of lecture, 2 hours of tutorial, 2 hours of laboratory

Assumed Knowledge: None

Assessment:
- 2 x 10% - Invigilated quizzes
- 10% Online quizzes
- 20% Laboratory experiments
- 50% Final Exam

Lecture Recordings? Yes - however blackboard is used frequently which isn't in the recordings

Notes/Materials Available: Lecture slides + Web-stream lecture and tutorial/lab exercises provided, past papers and that was it. Pretty sufficient if you ask me.

Textbook: No one I know really used a textbook, and neither did I

Lecturer(s): Mechanics: Professor Joe Wolfe.
                   Thermodynamics,Waves and Oscillations: Professor Chris Tinney

Year & Semester/Trimester of completion: 19 s1

Difficulty: 3.5/5

Overall Rating: 3/5 

Your Mark/Grade: HD, 92

Comments:
Being a course for Physics Majors, it still forces us to attend the same lectures as all the other students studying Engineering which was a disappointment. With there being so many people in the lecture asking the intriguing questions that I have is quite difficult, especially because the Professor can't really hear you if you sit away from the very front.

The following applies to all of Phys1121, Phys1131 and Phys1141:
Now the first half of the course i.e. Mechanics is taught really well with lots of demonstrations and intriguing examples by Professor Joe Wolfe, however the latter half of the course was taught terribly. Most people stopped attending lectures after Mechanics because we had the other Professor. Nothing was explained properly and everything felt rushed as though we were just trying to get through the remaining weeks.

Basically I would not recommend people to rely on the Professors to adequately teach you the content, they are rather there to 'present' it to you. The only reason I did so well is because I had already learnt all of it before the course began. So yes second half of the course was VERY disappointing.

Quizzes are also especially annoying as they are done on a computer. I physically cannot concentrate when I have to constantly look up and down from a computer screen, it disrupts my thoughts. Also the answer you give must also be in their exact format, i.e. you can lose marks for Sig- Figs etc.

Largely the course did not meet my expectations and felt like a let down. Attending such a highly regarded uni I would've expected much better to be honest. 
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: fantasticbeasts3 on May 13, 2019, 11:15:35 am
Subject Code/Name: INST2003 - Research Methods in International Studies

Contact Hours: 4 - 2 hour lecture, 2 hour tutorial

Assumed Knowledge: None, but you have to be enrolled in B International Studies and have completed either INST1005 or INST1006.

Assessment: 3 minute presentation (15%), Research Proposal (40%), Data Analysis Essay (45%)

Lecture Recordings?: Yes

Notes/Materials Available: Not really, everything is on Moodle

Textbook: None

Lecturer(s): Lecturer: Dr Marilu Melo Zurita, Tutor: Charishma Ratnam

Year & Trimester of completion: 2019, Term 1

Difficulty: 3/5

Overall Rating: 1/5

Comments:
This review comes from an extremely biased person, but I hated this course. Research Methods is a really important part of International Studies as a lot of work in this field is research and field-based so it makes sense that this course is compulsory for a BInSt degree. However, the course was so boring, the way it was run wasn't the best and assessments weren't practical enough for my, and other students' liking.

The course teaches students about research methods, but most students (myself included) struggled to find the methods relevant to International Studies as there weren't enough links to fieldwork or other practical examples. Further, there was a disconnect between the assignments and the content being taught, as the assignments were based on hypothetical situations. This meant we chose research topics, but didn't actually conduct primary research (surveys, interviews, etc.). We used the research methods we had learned in class and placed them into our research proposals, like we were going to conduct the research ourselves. Because of this, students didn't take the course seriously because everything was hypothetical. Also, there wasn't nearly enough guidance for the assessments and we were very confused as to what was expected because of subjectivity; particularly as we all had different research topics and how we would conduct research for our respective topics would be different.

Despite the subject being so incredibly boring, tutorials were run very well and the teaching staff were amazing. I believe there will be changes made to the course due to many complaints, and the lecturer has said there will be more clarification on assessments in the future.
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: katie,rinos on May 13, 2019, 02:19:22 pm
Subject Code/Name: Materials and Structures of Music 3

Contact Hours: 1 1/2 hour lecture, 1 1/2 hour studio (aural choir), 1 1/2 hour tute each week.

Assumed Knowledge: M&S1 and 2 (MUSC1602 and MUSC1603)

Assessment: 
Harmony lecture: In-class test wk 4 (15%), In-class test wk 9 (15%), Composition Assessment (30%).

Aural Tute: Transcription Exercise (10%), In-class aural test (5%), auralia progress (5%).

Aural Choir: Singing group test (5%)

Music Literature: Listening test (15%)

Lecture Recordings?  No :(

Notes/Materials Available:  Some exercises, explanations and pieces on Moodle, not a huge amount.

Textbook: The musician’s guide to theory and analysis. It’s the same textbook as last years courses and can also be used for next term. It does explain things pretty well, however, I probably used the the internet and youtube for explanations more than the textbook this term.

Lecturer(s): Lecturer: John Peterson, Tutor: Harrisson Collins

Year & Trimester of completion: 2019,1

Difficulty: 4/5

Overall Rating:  3.5/5

Your Mark/Grade: 67 CR

Comments:
I was pretty concerned with this course going into trimesters and having less time, because I felt there was so much content in 13 weeks last term. To counteract this our lectures, studios and tutes were raised from 1hr to 1hr 30min. Due to this, the lectures especially seemed to drag on sometimes and I did get bored towards the end. However, I found this M&S course to be one of the more interesting ones. I felt like everybody was closer to the same pace (compared to previous M&S courses) and nobody was far behind or in front of the class. Most of our assessments were very similar to M&S1 & M&S2 so we already knew what was expected of us and what the format of the assessments would look like.

Lectures:
We only had 1/2 a lesson revision of the M&S1 and M&S2 content so if you had forgotten a lot of things it was easy to feel lost in the first couple of weeks. Peterson also picks on people to answer questions which I really hated most of the time (especially when I wasn’t sure of the answers). Throughout lectures, we focussed on Augmented 6th chords, Neapolitan chords, Modulating to unrelated keys, Dominant 9th and Non-Dominant chords. We also looked at analysing different types of music. I found that some lessons I would walk out completely confused because John would have shown us a new concept in music but not explained it enough to fully understand. I needed to do a lot of revision for this part by looking over Youtube, websites and doing extra exercises to make sure I understood the content. I found the two class tests to be difficult but (possibly because I had studied more) not as bad as the tests that I had done last year. The tests were both around an hour long and we had needed to write examples of chords as well as complete some analyses. The composition was 16-20 bars based on a Chopin Nocturne and we had a list of aspects we needed to include.

Tute:
I enjoyed the aural tute a lot more than last year. It mainly started with a melodic dictation (which I was terrible at), and then moved into looking at pieces on our listening list. We would listen to parts of the pieces while looking at the historical/significant aspects of the piece. I found that this prepared us really well for the listening test. The listening test went for around 40 minutes and we were given a 2min excerpt of a piece and needed to identify aspects such as the composer, title, movement, date, and significance.

Studio:
The aural studio was similar to M&S1. Each week we’d go over a new piece, which mainly consisted of Bach chorales, Rounds, as well as Uni Caritas and O Magnum Mysterium. Our assessment was in small groups of 6, to perform one of the Bach chorales we had gone through in class. I had a really good group so we practised after class for a few weeks and the assessment worked out really well.
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: blasonduo on May 21, 2019, 09:16:14 pm
Subject Code/Name: EDST2003 - Learning and Teaching: Language, Literacy and Numeracy

Contact Hours: a 2-hour lecture and a 1-hour tutorial each week, 80% attendance is required to pass the course.

Assumed Knowledge: 24 units of credit at Level 1

Assessment:  Reflection on your language, literacy and numeracy experiences as a student (40%), Lesson Planning and Analytical Paper (60%). All assessments must be passed to pass the course.

Lecture Recordings?  Yes (but weirdly still needed to attend :/ )

Notes/Materials Available: Previous DN and HD assignments were provided to allow a benchmark on what we were expected.

Textbook: Gibbons, P. (2009). English learners, academic literacy and thinking: Learning in the challenge zone.
Portsmouth NH: Heineman. This is given to you as an online resource.

Lecturer(s): Lecturer: Dr Andy Gao, Tutor: Dr Andy Gao.

Year & Trimester of completion: 2019 Term 1

Difficulty: 0.6/5

Overall Rating:  3.1/5

Your Mark/Grade: 79 DN

Comments:

This is a pretty laidback course, pretty straight forward, but a vital course for the degree in my opinion. As with all the previous courses, the lectures and tutorials felt extremely bludge like, and it's compulsory nature led to me doing other courses during this time. The readings were vital, and in my opinion were the best part of the content, very challenging and informative!

The assignments were suitable for the course, and I really enjoyed the second one, where we've been introduced to aspects of lesson plans, and also made us identify the strengths in our plan with content learnt in the course. It's a fantastic introduction to the actual applications of teaching, something that was missing in first-year education courses.

Overall, a pretty easy course, but the face to face aspects were lacking, but the assignments and readings were great.
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: katie,rinos on May 21, 2019, 10:13:57 pm
Subject Code/Name: EDST2003- Learning and Teaching: Language, Literacy and Numeracy 



Contact Hours: 2hr lecture, 1hr tute per week. 80% attendance required to pass the course (password required at each lecture).



Assumed Knowledge: Must have completed EDST1101 & EDST1104, & be enrolled in an education degree. 24 units of credit at Level 1. 



Assessment:  1500 word reflection paper (40%), 3000 word Lesson plan and critique (60%)

Lecture Recordings?  Yes

Notes/Materials Available:  Previous DN and HD assessment samples were provided.



Textbook:
Gibbons, P. (2009). English learners, academic literacy and thinking: Learning in the challenge zone.
Henderson, R. (Ed.) (2015). Teaching literacies in the middle years: Pedagogies and diversity
However, I didn’t use the textbooks, as we were given a lot of weekly readings that we could use for our assessments (33 readings in total). 



Lecturer(s): Lecturer: Andy Gao, Tutor: Lisa Gilanyi



Year & Semester/Trimester of completion: 2019,1



Difficulty: 1.5/5



Overall Rating:  3/5

Your Mark/Grade: 76 D

N

Comments:
This course felt a lot more relevant to actually teaching, than the first year courses that I did last year. While the lecturers and tutors tried to make it interesting (we often had kahoots and videos almost every week), it often felt like a bludge. There were times when I was doing work for another subject, or would just zone out halfway through the lecture.

I really enjoyed both of the assignments and didn’t find them too difficult to do. The 2nd one was about making a lesson plan and analysing the strengths in relation to the course-and was relevant to our future teaching practises. I also felt like I had a lot of time in tutorials to go over both assignments so I knew what was expected of us (we had 2 weeks just to work on our 2nd assignment and ask questions).
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: RuiAce on May 22, 2019, 10:36:12 am
Subject Code/Name: COMP1531 - Software Engineering Fundamentals

Contact Hours:
- 4 hours lecture
- 1 hour tute + 2 hours lab

Assumed Knowledge: Prerequisite is COMP1511 and of course you do a bit of programming, but I don't think it contributes too much.

Assessment: 
- 3 x 1% week-long quiz
- 12% labs (there were 7 of them this term)
- 10% mid-term take-home exam
- 25% group project
- 50% final exam

Lecture Recordings? Yes

Notes/Materials Available: Basically just whatever's put on webcms3, i.e. lecture slides, tutes/labs and some revision questions in preparation for the finals.

Textbook: N/A

Lecturer(s): Dr. Aarthi Natarajan

Year & Trimester of completion: 19 T1

Difficulty: 3.5/5 (mostly due to the project - everything else I'd say 2.5/5)

Overall Rating: 1.5/5

Your Mark/Grade: 89 HD

Comments:
This course is one of the first year core courses in UNSW CSE degrees. It's focus is essentially on what the course title says - software engineering.

The course was essentially written from the lecturer's brain (using her own experiences) in an attempt to make it as practical as possible. A software engineer more or less needs to go through the entire design process (search: software development life cycle) and actually build the software from scratch, as opposed to just coding away based off specs. The process was mostly achieved through the group project. (I say 'mostly' because the reduced time frame from the trimester model makes it hard to truly reflect the software development procedure.)

Fact is though I just found things dry and didn't enjoy a lot of what I learnt. I don't see myself going into a software engineer's world if I have to go through that design process. Design was never something I liked greatly. I also found myself rote learning and relying on getting carried by my peers way too much for my liking in this course. On the programming side of things, the python coverage is quite little (it is NOT a programming course!) and I didn't really understand much of the web dev stuff either.

Project can be a time drainer depending on how you approach it. If you have friends taking the course though, try to enrol into the same tute and do it with them.

In saying that, I can still see how the course was 'intended' to be useful at least. I've been told that quite a fair bit of the stuff you learn here does get used in the real world. (After all, who's gonna write Google/Microsoft/... their specifications? They have to it themselves surely.) Possibly one day I'll appreciate having to take this course.

My only praises about this course (and literally where all the 1.5/5 rating points came from) were that the lecturers and tutors were extremely nice with how they ran the course and evidently marked leniently. (Worthwhile mentions: Midterm was meant to be sat in class, then swapped with a 24hr take home test, then extended to a 48hr take home test. Also, web dev was not examined - thank goodness.) This was more or less a course where I just could not put up with the content (and only the content), but that alone affected things greatly.
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: RuiAce on May 22, 2019, 05:03:36 pm
Subject Code/Name: MATH3911 - Higher Statistical Inference

Contact Hours: 2 x 2hr lectures, 1hr tutorial

Assumed Knowledge: For the higher version, MATH2931 or DN+ in MATH2831. However knowledge from linear models is only used a select few times - the course mostly builds and relies on MATH2801/MATH2901.

Assessment:
- 2 x 10% assignments
- 20% midterm exam (w/ 1 one-sided A4 page cheat sheet)
- 60% final

Lecture Recordings?  No, but he does upload handwritten notes on what he covers at every lecture (if it's not already in the course notes)

Notes/Materials Available: Lecture notes (+ slides) that basically cover everything and tutorial problems that do reflect the exams quite well. Lack of past papers however - 1 midsession and a very old finals paper. Also blackboard scribbles that Spiro does but converted into pen/paper form.

Textbook: Recommended: Garthwaite, P., Jolliffe, I., Jones, B. (GJJ), Statistical Inference. Second Edition. Oxford University Press (2002). I didn't use it though.

Lecturer(s): AProf Spiridon Penev

Year & Trimester of completion: 19 T1

Difficulty: 3/5

Overall Rating: 4.5/5

Your Mark/Grade: 99 HD

Comments:
This course is (the higher counterpart of) one of the core courses for a major in statistics. Inference is essentially concerned with the decision making in statistics. The aim is to be able to construct and then use the most optimal tests for a much greater variety of scenarios, as opposed to the one or two special cases covered in MATH2901.

This course completely surpassed my expectations. I went in not expecting much but despite the lack of past papers, Spiro clearly knows how to manage/teach a course. Assessments were definitely doable and I doubt I can achieve such a result again.

I had an interesting experience with this course. Assignment 1 was released, I'd learn up to everything needed for it, and then be too tired to continue. Midterm starts looming, I learn everything up to that point, and then be too tired to do more. Assignment 2 released, same thing happens. (And then of course finals come and I need to know the entire syllabus.) Moral of this story though is that it's perfectly possible to do well in this course provided you stay on track when you need to. There's quite a fair bit that gets asked and at times I got confused easily (much like in MATH3871), but so long as you know what you need when you actually need it, it's mostly fine.

Some remarks: I think bootstrapping/jacknifing/robustness doesn't really pop up in exams - only assignments. (Doesn't mean you should purposely ignore them obviously, but if you're running short on time, well you know what to prioritise.) The Bayesian inference part only goes for one week and definitely not anywhere in depth as with MATH3871 - having done that course first made that week easy for me. Also I think actuarial students do have an edge, having seen a lot of the tests already (Wilcoxon, Kolomogorov-Smirnov, chi-squared GoF etc.)

Also, definitely try to keep on track with the lectures and tutorials for this course. There were times when my brain switched out in the lectures, but for the most part properly understanding what was going on basically made life way easier. And then the tutes filled the gaps - he selects what problems to do carefully.
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: kierisuizahn on May 24, 2019, 10:31:42 pm
Subject Code/Name: COMP1511 - Introduction to Programming.

Contact Hours: 2x 2hr Lecture, 1x 1hr Tutorial + 2hr Lab (combined).

Assumed Knowledge: Effectively none; knowing how to use a computer.

Assessment:
Lecture Recordings? Yes - screen and voice recorded.

Notes/Materials Available: Lecture slides and all tutorial materials were posted online (WebCMS). Only a sample past exam (with only a couple questions and a basic outline of the final exam) was posted prior to the final. As this was the first year COMP1511 was offered, there was no other preparatory material, but some COMP1917 exams were found with questions to attempt by the students (similar content). The tutors created a repository of questions to attempt as practice, as well.

Textbook:
Lecturer(s): Andrew Taylor

Year & Semester of completion: 2017 S1

Difficulty: 4/5

Overall Rating: 4/5

Your Mark/Grade: 89 HD

Comments: Most of the difficulty of the course was in the two assignments. Previous experience in programming will help significantly. Getting a decent mark in the course is not difficult, however, getting a good mark will require effort in the assignments. The labs are somewhat optional, however each lab exercise needs to be marked in person at a lab, and can only be marked the week it was due or the following week, so attendance is "mandatory" or about half the lab sessions. The hurdle system in this course required successful completion of a practical arrays and linked lists question. Completing specific questions in the two lab exams and the final counted towards this hurdle, and failing to meet this requirement would result in a UF grade (basically a fail) regardless of your mark.
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: kierisuizahn on May 24, 2019, 11:03:12 pm
Subject Code/Name: MATH1141 - Higher Mathematics 1A.

Contact Hours: 2x 2hr Lecture, 2x 1hr Tutorial.

Assumed Knowledge: Combined mark of 175 in HSC Maths Ex1 and Ex2.

Assessment:
Lecture Recordings? Yes - screen and voice recorded.

Notes/Materials Available: Course pack sold by school, and a PDF copy of it posted on Moodle after semester started - cheaper to print and bind it at Officeworks or somewhere, but more convenient to just buy yourself, or free if you don't mind an only-digital copy. It contains course notes, past exams with solutions (though I don't think all of them have solutions), and Maple notes. The course notes cover everything in the course to good depth, and can basically replace the lectures (if you don't mind not having concepts explained). About ten past final exams available, and past class tests as well, so lots of practice materials.

Textbook:
Lecturer(s): A/Prof. Daniel Chan & Prof. Wolfgang Schief

Year & Semester of completion: 2017 S1

Difficulty: 2/5

Overall Rating: 4/5

Your Mark/Grade: 95 HD

Comments: Much of the content in the calculus half is revision or expansion on things taught in HSC Maths Ex1 and Ex2. The algebra content is mostly new, and generally brought the most conceptual difficulty to the course and final exam. The harder questions in the final exam make up the bulk of the interest in the course and difficulty overall, but they're so sparse that it's a pretty easy course overall. Past exams and the problems in the course notes are a must - the more of them you do, the better you will go.
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: iregretdoingactl on May 24, 2019, 11:42:35 pm
Subject Code/Name: MATH6781 - Biomathematics

Contact Hours:  3 hours of Lectures, 1 hour of tutorial

Assumed Knowledge: "12 units of credit in Level 2 Mathematics courses including (MATH2120 or MATH2130 or MATH2121 or MATH2221), or both MATH2019 and MATH2089, or both MATH2069 and MATH2099". Realistically, knowledge of first year mathematics is sufficient.

Assessment:  3 class tests worth 10% each, 1 assignment worth 10%, 1 final worth 60%

Lecture Recordings? No

Notes/Materials Available:  Skeleton notes available on moodle.

Textbook: Lecture material seems to be directly plagiarised from the textbook: https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.cttq9530?fbclid=IwAR0bgtLkLtsQnABuQywzWSaagy0P9hiiJRN3cQQEN7fUnFzdKLEk5NMpTrw

Lecturer(s): John Murray

Year & Trimester of completion: 2018 S2

Difficulty: 2.5/5

Overall Rating:  4/5

Your Mark/Grade: 86

Comments:
Essentially, what this course aims to provide an introduction to mathematical modelling and data analysis for biological and biomedical systems, with heavy focus on the spread of diseases and its iteration with the human body amongst other things.

This course is quite a refreshing and enjoyable one, perhaps due to the fact that the mathematics that is being taught builds upon and models real world phenomenon unlike what those nerds do in pure maths/statistics. However, as with all applied mathematics, the bulk of this course is, you guessed it: ODEs, so a rigorous foundation is preferable.

2018 was John Murray's first year teaching the course, so whilst incredibly experienced in the field of biomathematics, he was understandably not the most solid or well prepared lecturer, having to pause for lengthy periods of time during his explanations almost every lesson. Furthermore, I personally found his teaching a bit handwavy, as in not enough focus were put into the important parts of the content and many parts were a bit rushed/unclear.

However, professor Murray is a very caring lecturer, and would not hesitate to explain/revisit any problem that was raised in detail during/after each lecture. He would also provide a lot of support before each class assessment/final and would often check that we were following along during class. Lastly, and perhaps his greatest strength, is that he has an incredibly sublime and manly voice, something that I could listen to forever.

In terms of marks, the class tests and final were all closely based on ALL content in the lecture slides. This proved a little difficult personally as I was negligent in mastering the course content during the semester. The assessment is also based on questions in the lecture slides, where we had to derive the answers ourselves instead, and were completely doable if enough time was spent on it (a bit of matlab was required to simulate the models, but sample code was given during a previous tutorial).

Overall I would say that the course is an "easy" one. It starts off very simply as a revision of ODEs and slowly builds in complexity and challenge. Now whilst some of the later content is a bit of a brain teaser to figure out, especially with how unrigorously it was taught, there is very little surprises within it, especially compared to the cancer that is ACTL3141 and ACTL3151, so if you hit your head against the textbook enough times, enough will leak in to your brain and you will surely do well.
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: kierisuizahn on May 24, 2019, 11:58:37 pm
Subject Code/Name: PHYS1131 - Higher Physics 1A.

Contact Hours: 3x 1hr Lecture, 1x 2hr Lab, 1x 1hr "Other" (see comments).

Assumed Knowledge: HSC Physics or Maths Ex1.

Assessment:
Lecture Recordings? Yes - screen and voice recorded, but blackboard used often and not recorded.

Notes/Materials Available: Pack including lab manual, homework booklet, and past papers sold, but all available online in PDF format. The lab manual must be either bought, or printed and bound at home, as you will need to complete it at labs. It is combined with experiments completed in Physics 1B, so only one purchase is required. Past exams available, though I found the number somewhat lacking. Online exercises and videos in place of lecture notes, but are well made and very useful for learning and revision.

Textbook:
Lecturer(s): Prof. Joe Wolfe, A/Prof. Elizabeth Angstmann, S/Prof. Alex Hamilton

Year & Semester of completion: 2017 S1

Difficulty: 4/5

Overall Rating: 2/5

Your Mark/Grade: 90 HD

Comments: The "Other" part of the course was a problem solving workshop that ran 3 times throughout the semester. You were given an exam (basically), and about 30min to complete it before the supervisors went through the solutions. Attendance to these recommended. Difficult to cram for this course, so it is best to remain up to date, especially with the mechanics topic (towards the end).

Joe Wolfe was very enthusiastic, and explained concepts well, as did (to a lesser extent) the other lecturers. The content is skewed towards his topic (mechanics), and most of the difficulty lied in understanding mechanics. The other two topics (especially thermal physics) are generally easier to understand and apply.

An enjoyable course for those who enjoyed HSC physics, but since it was only a filler course (since MATH1081 was full for semester one), I did not enjoy it nearly as much as I'd hoped, mainly due to my very useful habit of cramming everything at the end.[/list]
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: kierisuizahn on May 25, 2019, 12:23:51 am
Subject Code/Name: SCIF1121 - Adv. Science: Professional Perspective and Practice.

Contact Hours: 1x 2hr Lecture, 1x 2hr Tutorial (both mandatory attendance).

Assumed Knowledge: None.

Assessment:
Graduate StreamDiscipline Stream (Mathematics)
Lecture Recordings? No.

Notes/Materials Available: None.

Textbook: None.

Lecturer(s): Dr. Pinhas Grossman, with guest lecturers every week.

Year & Semester of completion: 2017 S1

Difficulty: 2/5

Overall Rating: 1/5

Your Mark/Grade: 92 HD

Comments: Very very dry course. All of the difficulty is in the report writing aspect of the discipline stream, and other discipline streams had different assessments (which from what I've heard, were much easier). The tutorial content was boring, and I found no interest in it (basically soft skills), but the tutor I had was great (Ananthan Ambikairajah) and made the tutorials interesting.

The compulsory lectures were mildly interesting, but certainly not what I wanted to be attending on a Friday afternoon, and were mostly on applied mathematics. The report itself was an interesting task, but required a large amount of work, and ended up eating into my time for other courses quite severely. Pinhas himself was nice, and helped with the report, but the actual lectures were guest lecturers.

There is a reason it has been reworked completely to become SCIF1131.
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: Jack89 on May 25, 2019, 08:34:10 am
Subject Code/Name: ELEC3115 - ELECTROMAGNETIC ENGINEERING

Contact Hours:  4 hours lectures (2x2 hours / week), 1 hour tutorial, 3 hours lab every 2 weeks.

Assumed Knowledge: MATH2069, PHYS1231 (the first half on electromagnetism).

Assessment:  2 midsession exams, each 12.5%, labs 15%, final 60%.

Lecture Recordings?  Yes.

Notes/Materials Available:  Rukmi provides past papers (with no solutions), and there are some good summaries on ELSOC.

Textbook: The 2 useful textbooks are Field and Wave Electromagnetics by David K Cheng, and  Engineering Electromagnetics by Nathan Ida; though these aren't completely essential.

Lecturer(s): Part A: Rukmi Dutta. Part B: King Yuk Chan.

Year & Trimester of completion: 2019/1

Difficulty: Part A: 4/5. Part B: 3/5

Overall Rating: 4.5/5

Your Mark/Grade: 98 HD

Comments:
The content in this course was fantastic - very interesting and a lot of real world applications.

The first half deals with low frequency electromagnetics. The topics include capacitance, transmission cables, electrostatic problems, magnetic circuits and transformers. It's essentially a continuation of the first half of PHYS1231. I strongly recommend going through MATH2069 before the start of the course too - especially line integrals, Stoke's theorem, Divergence theorem, grad, divergence, curl, and cylindrical coordinates. These are used extensively in part A so know them well. Solving electrostatic problems was the hardest part of the course; those 2D laplacians are a nightmare to solve. Thankfully they didn't crop up in the final. :D

The second half deals with high frequency electromagnetics. This is quite new content that doesn't continue from PHYS1231. The main topics are wave propagation through transmission lines, Smith Charts and waveguides. Smith Charts are fun to use once you get the hang of them.

Rukmi did lots of worked examples for us in lectures and her explanations are pretty good. King Yuk Chan was good as well - he used the document camera a lot which I liked, we could see him actually derive equations for us which I found useful for understanding.

This course is normally renowned for being quite tough, though I'd say that part A is definitely harder and larger than part B. Each part had a midsession test, both were okay as long you study a bit for them. The labs were long but doable - lab demos weren't great though. The final was also well balanced.


Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: Jack89 on May 25, 2019, 09:05:47 am
Subject Code/Name: ELEC2117 - ELECTRICAL SYSTEMS DESIGN

Contact Hours:  5 hour mixed lecture/lab. Usually the lecture lasts about 1 hour, then 4 hours of lab time.

Assumed Knowledge: ELEC2141. Also I'd recommend taking ELEC2117 in third year after ELEC2142. I did this and found it very helpful.

Assessment:  5% lab work, 20% midsem, 45% major project, 30% final.

Lecture Recordings?  No.

Notes/Materials Available:  This course has very little content, it's very practical so there aren't really any set notes besides the lecture slides.

Textbook: None.

Lecturer(s): Chamith Wijenayake.

Year & Trimester of completion: 2019/1

Difficulty: 2/5

Overall Rating:  4/5

Your Mark/Grade: 98 HD

Comments:
Overall, this is a very useful course where you learn to build practical circuits using a microcontroller.

This course is all about programming the PIC16F886 microcontroller, which is in assembly language. That's why I recommend taking ELEC2142 beforehand (you learn assembly in 2142), because this course just chucks you in the deep end, so having no knowledge of assembly beforehand means you have to learn it pretty quickly, which is not impossible but not desirable in my opinion. Chamith is very knowledgeable so he teaches the content pretty well.

The first 5 weeks are lab work; writing programs to make LED patterns, multiplex seven segment displays, program a keypad, and display characters on an LCD screen. These labs are very important to complete because they make up the subsystems for the final design project. Our final design project was building a tuneable FM radio, using an RF module, LCD for station display, and keypad to select preset/seek/mute. This was incredibly fun to work on - but because it was done in assembly, the code was close to 1000 lines.

We only had 4 weeks to complete the project because of trimesters - previous years had the midsem break PLUS 7 weeks to work on this project, so more time would have been good, especially with other subjects having midsems/projects at the same time. The midsem was okay, and the final exam was a bit challenging.
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: Jack89 on May 25, 2019, 10:20:11 pm
Subject Code/Name: ELEC3104 - DIGITAL SIGNAL PROCESSING

Contact Hours:  4-5 hours lectures, 3 hour tutorial-lab.

Assumed Knowledge: MATLAB, ELEC2134 (the part on signals and Fourier transforms is very important)

Assessment:  20% online quizzes (total of 4 quizzes each at 5%), 30% project, 50% final.

Lecture Recordings?  Yes.

Notes/Materials Available:  A few summaries of the course on ELSOC.

Textbook: Digital Signal Processing by S. K. Mitra. I used this only a handful of times; the lecture notes provided by the lecturer are quite detailed.

Lecturer(s): Dr Sethu

Year & Trimester of completion: 2019/1
Difficulty: 4/5

Overall Rating:  4/5

Your Mark/Grade: 93 HD

Comments:
This course was very interesting and expanded a lot upon the Fourier Transform dealt with in ELEC2134, but deals with discrete-time Fourier transforms and discrete Fourier transforms for digital systems. The Z-transform is also taught, and you'll be surprised at just how extensive it is used in DSP, and also how it's related to the Fourier Transform. There are a lot of intense mathematical proofs but they are quite elegant when you see all the nice results come out in the end.

Digital filters are also a large part of this course. I liked this part as you can immediately see the real-world applications especially in audio and speech processing. The tutorial-lab sheets require extensive use of MATLAB to design all sorts of filters and digital systems, and give a good insight into what DSP engineers do. MATLAB is a very useful skill to have so I particularly enjoyed the labs.

The 5% online quizzes were extremely tough and answers had to be typed in; there were no partial marks so many marks could be lost here. The project was very long but quite enjoyable and honestly very useful in terms of real-world applications. Since there are no actual tutorials that go through problem sets, it was very hard to gauge what type of questions could be asked in the final; the final exam was exceptionally difficult and long but in an electrical engineering degree these sorts of exams are to be expected. :D
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: DrDusk on May 26, 2019, 05:24:24 pm
Subject Code/Name: MATH1131 - Math 1A

Contact Hours: 2 - 2 hour lectures, 1 - 1 hour lecture,  1 hour tutorial

Assumed Knowledge: Maths ext 1 with at least an E3 mark.

Assessment:
Final Exam: 50%
Weekly quizzes: 20%
Invigilated quizzes: 2 x 10%
Assignment: 10%

Lecture Recordings?: Yes - blackboard was never used in the classroom so everything was recorded

Notes/Materials Available: Lecture notes, past papers etc. Pretty standard and sufficient

Textbook: None

Lecturer(s):
Linear Algebra: Professor Daniel Mansfield.
Calculus: Professor Arnaud Brothier

Year & Trimester of completion: 2019, Term 1

Difficulty: 2.5/5

Overall Rating: 3.5/5

Your Mark/Grade: HD - 85

Comments:
Linear Algebra:
This part of the course was great and taught by Professor Daniel Mansfield. He is the best lecturer ever! Everyone loves him not just 
because he is nice but also he teaches very well. He makes the lecture actually enjoyable and is very clear with his explanations. Pray to
god you get him because he is truly amazing.
Calculus:
This part of the course was taught TERRIBLY by the other Professor. He goes through content faster than anyone you've ever seen. Nothing
was explained and we were expected to pick up everything immediately without any explanation. 60% of the lecture hall would be empty...

Now in general the course was pretty easy. If you've done 4u maths this course will be a breeze for you. The final exam was really easy as well, as you'll find most of the questions being in the format of 'find', 'calculate', 'solve' etc, with an occasional prove or show. Calculus is literally 4u all over again so that part will be very easy. Algebra there will be a lot of content you have not learnt but it isn't hard to pick up. However with the new syllabuses coming in even linear algebra will probably be covered in 4u.

In general I quite liked this course, it was a good course with some really interesting content that's not too hard.
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: iregretdoingactl on May 27, 2019, 09:51:52 am
Subject Code/Name: MATH3201- Dynamical Systems and Chaos

Contact Hours: 4 hours of lectures, 1 hour of tutorial per week

Assumed Knowledge: ODEs, ODEs, and more ODEs

Assessment:  two class tests worth 20% each, one final worth 60%

Lecture Recordings?  No.

Notes/Materials Available:  Skeleton lecture notes available on Moodle.

Textbook: Nope.

Lecturer(s): Adelle Coster

Year & Trimester of completion: 2018 S2

Difficulty: 3.5/5

Overall Rating:  5/5

Your Mark/Grade: 83

Comments:

If you are like me - an idiot who knew nothing and chose this course purely because the name sounded hella cool, you're gonna be in for a bad time because you're gonna be choking from the sheer quantities of ODEs being shoved down your throat. Not only that, instead of the horror of having to derive analytical solutions to those dynamical systems like the typical layer of hell, you'll be subjected to the thick, ribbed schlong of having to work out numerical solutions in incredibly painful and excruciating detail. The only chaos in this class will be your hormones and mental state as each question takes you 5 pages of working out only for you to realise that you made a small mistake 3 pages in.

In saying that, this is a fantastic course that I would wholeheartedly recommend purely because of the amazing lecturer Adelle Coster, one of the best i've ever had. Having looked at the new course outline, I realise that Christopher Angstmann will be the one lecturing this year, but if you ever have a chance to take a class by Adelle, I promise you won't regret it.

Under Adelle, the two class test closely follows the content of the lecture, but due to the verbose nature of the required answers, a relatively strong grasp of content is perhaps necessary to finish within the allocated time. The final exam under our lord and saviour Adelle has always been a chose your own adventure type of thing, where you only have to pick and do 4 out of 6 of the available questions, which is great if your brain don't have enough cells available to understand every topic, or less great if you are big boy Rui Tong. Experiences may vary under the new lecturer.
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: emilyygeorgexx on May 27, 2019, 10:25:43 am
Subject Code/Name: LAWS1052 - Introducing Law and Justice

Contact Hours:  4 hours of lectures per week, 1 hour tutorial (research component)

Assumed Knowledge: N/A

Assessment: 
Court and Tribunal Report - 10%
Extended Case Note - 30%
Class Participation - 20%
Research Exam - 10%
Final Exam - 30%

Lecture Recordings? No, attendance is compulsory as a roll is taken

Notes/Materials Available: Notes given by your lecturer, notes on Moodle, past papers, etc

Textbook: Laws and Justice in Australia: Foundations of the Legal System by Prue Vines - you really need the textbook as all weekly readings are derived from there

Lecturer(s): Lecturer: Justice Selwyn Selikowitz, Tutor: Mr Colin Fong

Year & Trimester of completion: T1 2019

Difficulty: 3/5

Overall Rating:  2/5

Your Mark/Grade: DN

Comments:

I think firstly, the biggest plus to law at UNSW is that the lectures are very small. You only really have about 30 people in your lecture, which is similar to a high school class, and makes it easier to engage and ask questions more. Being my first law course at university, it was very interesting to say the least. This purely stems from the fact that it wasn't really actual law but rather just legal history from like the 1600's and onwards. It covers topics such as Settlement, Glorious Revolution, England, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Rights, etc. I am not really a history fan at all so for me I found this course to be quite boring the entire term and struggled to get through it. However, it did get interesting in the very last week where we learnt about intentional torts and torts. This topic covered in the last week is a nice introduction to the following course in Term 2 called 'Torts'.

Law courses rarely have a tutorial but as this is the first law subject you take, you have a weekly tutorial which is focused on legal research skills and methods. It covers things like how to cite cases, use legal data bases, assisting in interpretating statutes, research methods/strategies, etc. I honestly thought this class was a semi waste of time as the whole class basically did nothing and we barely got through the content each week and ended up having to do it for 'homework', despite minimum assistance on how to actually complete the tasks. There is a workbook that you have to fill in each week and your tutor will check it 2-3 times in the term to see if you have completed the work. Although, I probably didn't use the time as effectively as possible, it's actually really important to pay attention as you need all these skills for the rest of your law degree.

The exam was okay although I personally thought it was a lot of work to do in 2 hours. The final exam includes a statutory interpretation question, which you have to prep for like 2 weeks in advance, an intentional torts problem and a choice of one essay. I tried to split all sections into 40 minutes each however, some sections took longer than others which left me with only 30 minutes to try and get a decent essay in. The research exam was also alright, although I felt underprepared. Questions were pretty straightforward if you had a look at past papers but it generally covers coming up with research strategies, case citation and looking at statutes (extrinsic/intrinsic material). However, there are some really odd questions in there as well. I think for this one question I had to just come up with a title relating to Aboriginal Rights for 1 mark, which imo is pointless. However, main plus side of the law exams is that they are open book! Yet, it can sometimes get overwhelming because you just have so much paper everywhere!
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: emilyygeorgexx on May 27, 2019, 10:12:34 pm
Subject Code/Name: ACCT1501 - Accounting and Financial Management 1A

Contact Hours: 2 hour lecture per week, 1.5 hour tutorial per week

Assumed Knowledge: N/A

Assessment:
Class Participation - 10%
Online Quizzes - 15%
Mid Term Exam - 25%
Final Exam - 50%

Lecture Recordings? Yes

Notes/Materials Available: Endless notes on the internet, past papers, stuff on Moodle

Textbook: Financial Accounting: An Integrated Approach 7th Edition 2019 by Ken Trotman, Elizabeth Carson, Kate Morgan + Management Accounting Supplement

Lecturer(s): Lecturers: Youngdeok Lim, Chuan Yu, Conor Clune; Tutor: Conor Clune

Year & Trimester of completion: T1 2019

Difficulty: 3.5/5

Overall Rating: 3/5

Your Mark/Grade: DN

Comments:
I found this course to be particularly challenging at times despite having some background knowledge from Business Studies. The first 3 or so weeks were fine but then as the weeks progressed it all builds on top of one another and becomes quite complex and a lot to deal with at once. It became really hard if you got stuck on concepts in like Week 4 and then you were also trying to learn the content in say Week 7. I think this was aided by the fact of yes, trimesters, as at one point they were trying to teach like 3 chapters of the textbook in one 2 hour lecture and this equated to approximately 100 or so pages of the textbook. The management accounting topics were just a bit odd compared to what we had learned in the previous 8 weeks. However, I think I enjoyed it more than the financial accounting content.

The exams were pretty alright if you had done the practice papers and knew your stuff. However, in saying that the final exam was definitely more than challenging, particularly the multiple choice. The mid term was also fine, had plenty of time to spare. The online quizzes are pretty easy as well, a definite easy 15 marks to get. However, there is one group presentation in the term and its important to get a good group otherwise you just don't get the work done (although this is just common with group work in general).

Lectures could get a bit boring and is definitely hard to stay focused for 2 hours straight. Some lecturers are better than others but otherwise they were pretty much the same. My tutor actually ended up being one of the lecturers so that was a bonus.

Although, this course was okay and I did alright, I will not be completing 1B.
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: owidjaja on May 27, 2019, 10:50:01 pm
Subject Code/Name: ENGG1000 - Introduction to Engineering Design and Innovation

Contact Hours: 2 hour common lecture (for the first 4 weeks), 1 hour technical lecture (MECH Stream), 1 hour mentoring session per week

Assumed Knowledge: None

Assessment: Depends on the project chosen but this was the assessment outline for Project ARDET:
Impromptu Design Writing Task - 5%
Problem Statement Presentation - 5%
Design Challenge Calculations - 3%
Team Presentation - 5%
Individual Design Report - 5%
Hardware Lab Report - 5%
Design Challenge Testing - 7%
Design Proposal Report - 10%
Compliance Testing - 10%
Design Journal (checked twice) - 10%
Final Testing - 20%
Final Report - 10%

Lecture Recordings? For common lectures, there are lecture recordings but uploaded very late. For technical lectures, no.

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 but we never used it so no need to purchase it.

Lecturer(s): Lecturers are mainly the student mentors and project coordinators and always changed each week.

Year & Trimester of completion: T1 2019

Difficulty: 3/5

Overall Rating: 3/5

Comments:
This is the type of course where you spend a whole term in a group project. They made changes to the way ENGG1000 works. It used to be you choose what kind of stream you wanted to go into (e.g. ELEC, MECH etc.) but this year we chose from a range of projects that were multidisciplinary. Project ARDET was mainly mechanical but there was also mechatronics, software and electrical engineering involved. Project ARDET required us to build an autonomous vehicle that can pick up balls and travel through an obstacle course. Because we haven't been taught things like vehicle performance modelling or programming, it was challenging to finish the project since we mainly taught ourself how to build the vehicle. Even the project coordinators and mentors weren't expecting much in the final testing. On the final testing day, most of the vehicles didn't work (i.e. motors were fried, servos broke, wheels fell off) and our final testing marks were moderated.

I didn't mind the course. The assessments weren't too bad. It was just a bit annoying that they threw in the Design Challenge in the middle of the term, so we were scrambling to finish our prototype for the compliance testing (which was the week after). I was also lucky to be put into a good group. When we chose the project, I had to complete a survey about my skills and how I worked in groups and they used that to create the groups. I personally found it beneficial because I was put in a group where we had different skills (some of the members were comfortable with writing the code, others were comfortable with construction, I was comfortable with the report component).

The common lecture was very boring. It was hard to stay awake during those lectures because they were going through standard soft skills like how to work in a group, how to write a problem statement (which does link to one of the assessments), how to do group presentations etc. A lot of us left halfway and by the last common lecture, no one really showed up because my group would prefer using that 2 hours working on the project.
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: jazz519 on May 28, 2019, 11:23:29 am
Subject Code/Name: CHEM2041 - Analytical Chemistry - Essential Methods

Contact Hours:  3 x 1 hr lectures, 1 x 4 hr lab

Assumed Knowledge: First Year Chem courses (CHEM1031 and CHEM1041)

Assessment:  10% Stats moodle exam, 15% Lab core skills, 10% Laboratory report, 20% Lab results, 5% structural determination assignment, 40% final exam

Lecture Recordings?  Yes, but some lectures write on the whiteboard

Textbook: Fundamentals of Analytical Chemistry by A.Skoog (a good book but not entirely necessary I used ChemLibre Texts and it had the same content), Organic Structures From Spectra L.Field (a very good book for practice questions for the structural determination spectroscopy part of the course)

Lecturer(s): Alex Donald, Les Field, Chuan Zhao, Pali Thordarson

Year & Trimester of completion: 2019 Trimester 1

Difficulty: 3.5

Overall Rating:  5

Your Mark/Grade: 96

Comments:
I really enjoyed this course as it was very well designed and the assessments are designed to try to maximise your learning but while having fair marking and helpful feedback. The lectures were on the most part really good for this course, all were very knowledgable on the topics they taught. This course will favour people who did well in the structural determination aspect of CHEM1041 as it goes into more detail (I.e. C-13 NMR and other forms of spectroscopy) for Les Field's section. Other topics covered include chromatography and mass spectrometry (what the different types are and how the machines work), electrochemistry (how pH electrodes, ion selective electrodes work) and nano-particle characterisation (different techniques and machines you can use to measure the size of and structure of nano particles)

The final exam for some people was tough but myself I found it fairly easy and straight forward as I made sure I covered all aspects of the course in depth. One thing I would recommend to study for the spectroscopy section is to do the problems in Les Field's Organic Spectra textbook. The questions are hard and difficult to understand at first but after a while of maybe 30 problems I figured out the different tricks you can use to figure out the structure of the chemical. This is a really important section to be good at, as the final exam had 10/40 marks for this and the questions are very similar to his textbook (you might get lucky and he chooses one you have done already).

The 10% stats exam is really easy and a free 10% as they give you the questions prior, which are the same in the exam but with different numbers. You may struggle initially if you haven't used Excel for calculating things but if you have prior experience requires very minimal studying

The 5% structural determination assignment is a bit more difficult but consists of a Moodle quiz (that you can do at home at your own pace) where you have about 40-50 marks of questions. I found this section relatively easy as I spent the time going through the spectroscopy textbook as mentioned above and the rest of the answers you just have to use your application of content in the lectures

The laboratory component is a large amount of marks at 45%. However, many of those marks are not extremely difficult to get. You get 15% for core skills (just have to complete all the tasks involved in the first 4 pracs - very easy just have to turn up to class. do 2-3 min pre labs and write up a section of a practical report such as an introduction or results section - which you do in groups which makes it even easier), 10% lab report on one of the practicals you are assigned to in the remaining weeks. The marking is fair and transparent as they tell you how much each section is worth. If you follow the scaffold they give you, you should do well as they provide a decent amount of feedback in the earlier pracs. The last 20% a little more difficult to get as it relies on the accuracy of the results you get but 8% of that mark is for getting the pre lab questions right so 12% on results which you can get unlucky in if your practical doesn't work perfectly but seeing as the rest of the course up until then is easy to get marks shouldn't bring down your overall too much

In all I really enjoyed this course and learnt a lot from it and in my opinion of the courses I have done so far for chemistry it has been the most useful in terms of increasing my knowledge on the subject
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: jazz519 on May 28, 2019, 12:18:26 pm
Subject Code/Name: CHEM1041 - Higher Chemistry 1B: Elements, Compounds and Life

Contact Hours: 3 x 1 hr lectures, 1 x 2 hr lab, 1 x 1 hr tutorial

Assumed Knowledge: CHEM1031

Assessment:  20% laboratory (made up of 10% core skills and 10% non-core skills), 10% midterm exam, 10% weekly quizzes, 60% final exam

Lecture Recordings?  Yes

Notes/Materials Available: Moodle, lecture notes, past papers (released closer to the exams), tutorial questions

Textbook: Chemistry 3rd Edition (the book is fairly useful for the content but its more useful in terms of the practice questions because the tutorial questions apart from the ones with numerical calculations they don't give you any solutions apart from asking in the tutorial)

Lecturer(s): Prof Thordarson, Dr Nguyen, A/Prof Ball

Year & Trimester of completion: 2018 Semester 2

Difficulty: 4

Overall Rating:  3.5

Your Mark/Grade: 88

Comments:
This course is very different from CHEM1031 because there aren't as many calculations in this course compared to that one, but even for people who aren't as mathematically inclined I feel like this course is harder than 1031 because of the need to understand the content rather than follow steps that you can get away with in calculations.

Many will find this course challenging in the organic chemistry section which I would say is the hardest part of the course. This part of the course it's really important you don't leave it until the last minute to study because it is literally impossible to do this due to the shear amount of reactions and potential questions you could get. The questions here involve detailing the mechanism for a chemical reaction or test the synthesis of a complex molecule from a more simpler one. The first part of the course, the isomers, rate theory and structural determination section, is relatively easy it just takes a little bit of time to remember and understand how to do the problems. The inorganic section of the course is fairly easy to understand and is explained relatively well in lectures.

For this course the best way to study the content is to do the tutorial questions they provide on the week you have the tutorial because there are no answers that you can look at afterwards. The textbook is also helpful for this as it has similar questions and they have answers so that is good for testing your knowledge.

The midterm exam is out of 15 multiple choice questions on the first part of the course (isomers, rate theory and structural determination) and is relatively similar to the past paper provided however, I would say slightly more difficult

The laboratories are relatively easy to perform if you follow the instructions and you should be able to get a mark of 15/20 even with an average performance. The mastery in experiments is hard to get sometimes because you have to get within 2% of the actual value but if you can get this a few times throughout the term then you should end up with a lab mark around 18/20

The weekly quizzes you have 3 attempts and they are not too difficult as they just test concepts in the lectures that week

The final exam is very challenging especially for the organic section on reaction pathways but if you study consistently and do the tutorial questions you should be able to get most of the questions correct
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: jazz519 on May 28, 2019, 12:37:15 pm
Subject Code/Name: GENM0707 - Nutrition and Health

Contact Hours:  1 x 1 hr Lecture, 1 x 2 hr Tutorial

Assumed Knowledge: None

Assessment: 20% Weekly Online Quizzes (2% each), 20% Nutrition Self Reflection Project, 20% Group Presentation on a Nutrition Topic, 40% Capstone Paper

Lecture Recordings?  Yes

Notes/Materials Available: lecture materials are sufficient for most of the course

Textbook: No textbook

Lecturer(s): Dr Rebecca Reynolds

Year & Trimester of completion: 2018 Semester 2

Difficulty: 2

Overall Rating:  4.5

Your Mark/Grade: 90

Comments:
Quite an interesting general education course that will teach you about many aspects of nutrition. 20% weekly quizzes are pretty easy as the material is taken directly from the lecture, lecture attendance may be beneficial to make friends but you can easily complete the course watching the lecture at home. 20% nutrition self-reflection project involves writing a 1500 word report about your nutrition habits and evaluating them in terms of if you are getting the recommended nutritional value and justifying why you took certain food choices (good idea to try talk about all the different factors affecting your eating such as health reasons, cultural or religious reasons). The marking for this is relatively fair and if you follow the structure provided it is not too difficult of an assignment. The 20% group presentation is in tutorials where you are given about 2-3 weeks to make a presentation about a certain nutrition topic. Common ones I saw were on intermittent fasting, dairy alternatives and their effects, keto diet etc. This presentation is around 15 minutes long where each person has 3 minutes to speak in the group and there is a 3 minute interactive activity at the end you have to do most people did some type of quiz or gameshow for this. It depends whether you get a good group for this but even so most of the marks for the project are on your individual presentation skills and there is a small component for the overall group aspect. If you are someone who is good at presenting then this is a good option for you. The 40% capstone paper I won't lie is really long to write because it is around 2000-2500 words. In the assignment you have to choose a certain nutrition question specified in the assessment detail and write about it using scientific journals and other resources. However, a benefit of this is that you don't have to do a final exam so as soon as you finish the assignment you are finished with the course
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: jazz519 on May 28, 2019, 12:52:12 pm
Subject Code/Name: MATH1231 - Mathematics 1B

Contact Hours:  2 x 2 hr lectures, 1 x 1 hr tutorial

Assumed Knowledge: MATH1131

Assessment:  20% tutorial class tests, 20% Maple (lab test and online tutorials), 60% final exam

Lecture Recordings?  Yes

Notes/Materials Available:  Course pack and lecture notes have everything needed

Textbook: Don't need the textbook just use the course pack

Lecturer(s): Daniel Mansfield (Algebra) and Joshua Capel (Calculus)

Year & Trimester of completion: 2018 Semester 2

Difficulty: 3

Overall Rating:  4.5

Your Mark/Grade: 90

Comments:
The lectures first off were excellent. Daniel Mansfield is probably the most interesting and engaging lecture I have had while at UNSW. Joshua Capel although not as on the funny side of telling stories as Mansfield he still a really good lecture who throughly explains and works through the problems and is easy to understand and follow.

The 20% class quizzes are definitely harder than MATH1131, however, still same as before if you do the tutorial questions and the past class tests at the back of the tutorial books you will do relatively well as the questions are similar. Maple as usual is something that is boring to do but gives you free marks if you do it. The 60% final exam was difficult but similar to the past papers provided and the amount of resources on this section is more than ample to help with your preparations as they even have livestreams where they go through some past papers.

Overall the course was really good and well taught but as usual with a maths subject you have to put in consistent effort through the term to get a good mark as it is difficult to absorb a large number of concepts in a short time particularly if you are not mathematically inclined
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: FutureLawStudent on May 28, 2019, 01:40:24 pm
Subject Code/Name: LAWS1052 - Introducing Law and Justice

Contact Hours: 5

Assumed Knowledge: None

Assessment:10% Court Report, 20% Class Participation, 30% Case Note, 10% Research Exam, 30% Final Exam

Lecture Recordings? No

Notes/Materials Available: Various things floating around, some lecturers more generous than others in terms of notes provided.

Textbook: Law and Justice in Australia by Prue Vines (and the Torts textbook, although you can hold off until LAWS1061 to buy it, I don't see why you wouldn't purchase them at the same time, especially if you want to do the Introductory Moot).

Lecturer(s): Prue Vines and Dao Coorey (Research Tutorial)

Year & Trimester of completion: 2019 T1

Difficulty:3.5

Overall Rating:  4

Your Mark/Grade: 88

Comments: ILJ is a course that many students find difficult and frustrating, however it imparts some really important skills and I feel that it is is a good introduction to law and is well balanced in terms of legal history and content. It certainly is a lot of work in comparison to other first year courses (such as Micro 1) however, if you can keep on top of the readings and do the online activities, it's not too bad. Trimesters have definitely made things cramped and rushed, but you can still definitely learn the required information in the time given. All the material is posted online, so it is easy to work at your own pace. The research component is very useful and engaging, although many students seemed to ignore it. Overall the course was enjoyable, but there were certainly frustrations. However, I feel this is expected when you study something that you have never really studied before.

Dao and Prue were both great and engaging.
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: jazz519 on May 28, 2019, 06:46:06 pm
Subject Code/Name: PHYS1221 - Physics 1B

Contact Hours:  3 x 1 hr lectures, 1 x 2 hr lab, 1 x 1 hr problem solving class

Assumed Knowledge: PHYS1121, year 12 physics also helpful

Assessment:  50% final exam, 20% laboratory mark (10% group project, 10% other labs), 10% fortnightly quizzes, 20% 2 in class exams using Moodle (basically questions selected from the 10% fortnightly quizzes)

Lecture Recordings? Yes, but both of the lectures write on the blackboard so its harder to follow without being there

Notes/Materials Available: Lecture notes, past papers on Moodle and MIT opencourseware (I found was helpful)

Textbook: There was a textbook but the lecture notes material is more than enough as there is also a problem solving booklet given

Lecturer(s): Adam Micolich and Richard Newbury

Year & Trimester of completion: 2018 Semester 2

Difficulty: 4

Overall Rating: 5

Your Mark/Grade: 95

Comments:
This course is quite difficult however it is quite an interesting course more so than PHYS1121 I would say. The lecturers for this course are really good and explain their content with adequate practice problems shown as well. The course is split into two main sections. Electromagnetism and Quantum Physics. I found both parts of the course really interesting and useful

The 20% lab mark has two aspects. One which is a 10% group project where you have around 3 weeks to run experiments on a certain area you use from the ones provided. You write a report on the experiments and do a 10 minute presentation as well. This is a great way to make friends in the course, however, as with all group work projects if you don't have members putting in equal effort then you may lose marks in this area. The marking in the presentations was quite tough but for the report marking was a little easier. The other 10% for the lab marks comes from doing pre lab quizzes and performing a few more practicals on which they mark your results and responses to questions in the lab manual. The experiments are probably harder than PHYS1121, however, these marks are still relatively easy to get if you work well with your lab partner.

The 10% fortnightly quizzes (about 6 of them) are quite difficult and it can take multiple attempts till you get a full mark on them. These questions I would say are the most important study resource you have at your disposal because even if you get the question wrong it comes with a full worked solution with explanation at each step. However, because there are around 30 questions in the quiz bank from which each attempt is selected, if like me you put in the dedication to doing them all you will get the 10% in this area. An added benefit of putting in the time into these quizzes, is that because both the in class tests are questions selected from the quiz bank used for the fortnightly quizzes. So if you have already studied or completed these questions prior you can get a good mark for another 20% of the course as well.

The 50% final exam was a quite difficult exam however the questions are relatively similar in type to the ones covered in lectures and because there are so many past papers they make available to students you have a lot of practice resources to have a go at prior to the exam. Professor Newbury also released additional questions for his section as well that were helpful.
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: owidjaja on May 29, 2019, 08:42:55 pm
Subject Code/Name: MATH1131 - Math 1A

Contact Hours: 6

Assumed Knowledge: HSC Mathematics Extension 1 but if you got 85/100 in HSC Mathematics you should be fine.

Assessment: 
Weekly quizzes - 20%
Lab Test - 2 x 10%
Assignment - 10%
Final Exam - 50%

Lecture Recordings? Yes

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 but not compulsory (I never really used it).

Lecturer(s):
Algebra: Daniel Mansfield
Calculus: Arnaud Brothier

Year & Trimester of completion: T1 2019

Difficulty: 4.5/5

Overall Rating: 3/5

Comments:
As someone who dropped from 3U to 2U, I struggled a lot. It also doesn't help when your tutor straight up tells you in the first tutorial that I'm gonna struggle because I only did 2U (totally great for my self esteem). This meant that I had to do a lot of preparation during the holidays and brush up my 3U stuff. And because I'm a slow learner, it did get very overwhelming to try and keep up. I personally liked algebra over calculus. Part of it was because Daniel Mansfield is a very engaging lecturer and explains concepts really well, but also because there isn't a lot of theorems to remember (although I did struggle with complex numbers). On top of that, I liked how Mansfield explained each step in his working out.  Calculus, although the content is very familiar, was difficult because most of the working out required you to refer to theorems and a lot of the familiar concepts were taught in a more formal way with new notations, which made it even more confusing. It didn't help that Brothier literally read from the slides and went through the topics really fast. He also tends to put the working out on the slides in big chunks and would kinda talk through it, but he doesn't go step-by-step, which made it even more confusing.

However, the course notes were very helpful. It was my go-to source for studying because they have the important theorems and definitions but then they'd go through 2 or 3 examples and do a step-by-step working out. What I found annoying is that they don't have solutions for the recent past papers, only solutions for the ones in the exam pack. As for the actual final exam, I struggled a lot. When I look back on the paper, there are some questions that are doable but I'd still find it difficult. One thing to note, if you final mark is between 45-49 (and I think if your tutorial attendance is minimum 80%) they'll let you take a supplementary exam. The supplementary exam is done on Maple TA and the questions are a lot nicer than the final exam.

In general, it was very challenging but the math department does give a lot of support (i.e. Mansfield's math livestreams, the math drop in centre, course notes etc.).
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: FutureLawStudent on May 30, 2019, 08:54:49 pm
Subject Code/Name: ECON1101 - MICROECONOMICS 1

Contact Hours: 2*1.5 hour lectures a week, 1 1.5 hour tutorial

Assessment:  20% Playconomics, 10% In-Tutorial Test (10 Short Answer Questions), 20% Mid-Semester Test (12 MC worth 6 marks and 14 marks of short answer), 50% Final (2 Hrs, 50 MC)

Lecture Recordings?  Yes

Notes/Materials Available:  Heaps. UQ past papers are very useful.

Lecturer(s): Alberto Motta <3

Year & Trimester of completion: 2019/1

Difficulty: 4/5

Overall Rating: 4/5

Your Mark/Grade: 85

Comments: I would not review Micro 1 if it weren't for trimesters. As the other reviews noted, this an enjoyable and interesting course that isn't too challenging. However, trimesters have made it more difficult than it used to be (at least, it seems to be the case). The mid-semester exam was particularly brutal, with the average being a fail. While the content isn't overly difficult, especially if you did well in HSC Economics, the fact that you have 6 weeks to learn and revise what is probably close to 75% of the course difficult makes it difficult. Previously 20% of the cohort would get an HD, however I highly doubt this is the same for this trimester. I know someone who received 95 in HSC economics yet only received a low distinction in the course. In saying that, I know someone who got 96 in the course (yet they received a perfect score in PHYS1131 and MATH1141). The fact they only used 8 weeks to teach the course means that it was crammed and there wasn't sufficient time to revise the concepts, meaning even if you understood them you wouldn't necessarily be rewarded for this.

TL;DR the course has not been adjusted for trimesters, at least effectively. Nonetheless the course is still relatively easy from a content perspective, so if you take it after your first term of uni you could still probably do very well.

Alberto Motta is the best and funniest lecturer alive and if you can get him as a lecturer I 100% recommend him (especially because he has a habit of "forgetting" to turn his microphone on ;).


Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: kierisuizahn on June 01, 2019, 02:16:40 pm
Subject Code/Name: COMP1521 - Computer Systems Fundamentals

Contact Hours: 2hr + 1hr Lecture, 1x 1hr Tutorial + 2hr Lab (Combined)

Assumed Knowledge:
Prerequisites:
Assessment:
Lecture Recordings? Yes - screen and voice recorded.

Notes/Materials Available: Lecture slides and course material all uploaded to WebCMS. Since it was the first year offering this course, there were no past exams available, but tutors made sample questions, and past COMP1927 exam questions were located by students, of which a few related to COMP1521.

Textbook: None, but the following resources cover some of the course content:
Lecturer(s): Dr. John Shepherd

Year & Semester of completion: 2017 S2

Difficulty: 1/5

Overall Rating: 2/5

Your Mark/Grade: 99 HD

Comments: A very easy course, with very little content. A few weeks were spent learning MIPS, which is easy to anyone with experience programming before, and is basically a few weeks of free marks. Lecture slides were sufficient for me, and I didn't go to lectures, so I can't comment on the lecturer. Overall a kind of boring course, but I enjoyed the MIPS programming somewhat. Those interested in embedded systems will probably like this course a lot more. Bit of a tip: don't change your perfectly fine code just before the submission deadline; it will break everything and you'll lose a mark because they have to roll your submission back (FeelsBadMan).
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: kierisuizahn on June 01, 2019, 02:35:46 pm
Subject Code/Name: COMP2521 - Data Structures and Algorithms

Contact Hours: 2hr + 1hr Lecture, 1x 1hr Tutorial + 2hr Lab (Combined)

Assumed Knowledge:
Prerequisites:
Assessment:
Lecture Recordings? Yes - screen and voice recorded.

Notes/Materials Available: Lecture slides and course material uploaded to WebCMS.

Textbook: Note: I don't use textbooks and can't comment on their usefulness
Lecturer(s): Dr. Ashesh Mahidadia

Year & Semester of completion: 2017 S2

Difficulty: 2/5

Overall Rating: 3/5

Your Mark/Grade: 96 HD

Comments: An interesting course, with a few difficult parts, and very useful overall. One of my gripes with the course is the harmonic scaling applied to assignments and final exam results. If you get a lower mark in the final exam than your assignments, your assignment marks are scaled down using the harmonic mean. It's used to stop plagiarism, but serves to punish students regardless, since you're almost certainly going to go better in the assignments than the final exam. Didn't attend lectures so I can't comment on the lecturer, but the written materials were more than sufficient, and the tutorials went along with them well. In week 4 there was a "Sort Detective" lab where you were given two programs (compiled and with no read permissions so you couldn't decompile them) and had to run tests on them to figure out which sort they were, and write up a report about it (like a couple pages or something, not a proper report), which I found interesting.
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: kierisuizahn on June 01, 2019, 02:54:42 pm
Subject Code/Name: MATH1081 - Discrete Mathematics

Contact Hours: 4x 1hr Lecture, 1x 1hr Tutorial

Assumed Knowledge:
Corequisites (prerequisite or to be completed alongside MATH1081):
Assessment:
Lecture Recordings? Yes - screen/document camera and voice recorded.

Notes/Materials Available: Lecture notes uploaded to Moodle, and past exams provided as well. A few with solutions were uploaded to Moodle, but there were many in the exam bank anyway. Past class tests were also uploaded on Moodle.

Textbook: Note: I don't use textbooks and can't comment on their usefulness
Lecturer(s): Prof. Jim Franklin, Dr. Tarig Abdelgadir

Year & Semester of completion: 2017 S2

Difficulty: 3.5/5

Overall Rating: 4/5

Your Mark/Grade: 95 HD

Comments: My favourite first year maths course. The content is often interesting and some of the harder questions are really interesting (they're also more common than the harder questions in MATH1141 and MATH1241). I didn't go to lectures, so I can't comment on the lecturers, but the course material is mostly sufficient anyway. The notes on combinatorics are kind of all over the place though. It would be nice if more problems were in the problem set, for more practice, but there are multiple questions in the lecture notes you can turn into exercises for extra practice. The course focuses on making you think like a mathematician, rather than solve problems simply, so the questions are more conceptually difficult, which I know many people struggle with, but is certainly more fun for a purist like me. The graph theory topic is also very applicable to CS (specifically COMP2521), and I definitely recommend this course.
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: kierisuizahn on June 01, 2019, 03:12:24 pm
Subject Code/Name: MATH1241 - Higher Mathematics 1B

Contact Hours: 2x 2hr Lecture, 1x 1hr Tutorial

Assumed Knowledge:
Prerequisites:
Assessment:
Lecture Recordings? Yes - screen and voice recorded.

Notes/Materials Available: Course pack sold as with MATH1141, and again available online to print yourself. Many past exams provided for both final exams and class tests, which are good preparation material. Some extra final exams uploaded to Moodle with full solutions as well.

Textbook: Note: I don't use textbooks and can't comment on their usefulness
Lecturer(s): Prof. Catherine Greenhill, Dr. John Steele

Year & Semester of completion: 2017 S2

Difficulty: 3/5

Overall Rating: 3/5

Your Mark/Grade: 95 HD

Comments: Very similar to how MATH1141 is run, but some more interesting content (specifically integral and series convergence). I didn't attend lectures so I can't comment on lecturers, but the course notes covered the content to a good depth anyway, just as with the MATH1141 course notes. The number of questions in the course notes is sufficient. Most of the difficulty is from the sequence and series topic from calculus, and the algebra content is pretty easy overall. A good foundation for the second year courses, but sort of dry barring the few interesting questions in the final.
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: kierisuizahn on June 01, 2019, 08:36:29 pm
Subject Code/Name: COMP3821 - Extended Algorithms and Programming Techniques

Contact Hours: 1x 2hr + 1hr Lecture, 1x 1hr Lecture (extended class)

Assumed Knowledge:
Prerequisites:
Assessment:
Lecture Recordings? Yes - screen and voice recorded, as well as some videos of the lecture on YouTube as the blackboard was used regularly (especially in the extended lecture)

Notes/Materials Available: All lecture slides posted online, and past final exams available. Example midterm was supplied, and a list of problem solving questions was posted in preparation for both the midterm and final.

Textbook: Note: I don't use textbooks and can't comment on their usefulness. One of
Lecturer(s): A/Prof. Aleks Ignjatovic

Year & Semester of completion: 2018 S1

Difficulty: 4/5

Overall Rating: 5/5

Your Mark/Grade: 99 HD

Comments: So far, my absolute favourite COMP course. The course focuses on problem solving, and a lot of it is trying to give you the tools to apply various algorithms to different problems, and adjusting them where needed. The extended content goes into randomised algorithms, which was my favourite topic of the course. It is certainly a difficult course, but is very very fun, and I would 100% recommend it. I only attended a few lectures, but Aleks explains the concepts well, and is very helpful if you attend the consultations. If you're on the fence about doing it, take a look at the questions in the final exams, and see if they're the kind of question you like.
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: jazz519 on June 02, 2019, 08:06:01 pm
Subject Code/Name: CLIM1001 - Introduction to Climate Change

Contact Hours: Online course (there is a group report though so some groups like mine preferred to meet in person)

Assumed Knowledge: None

Assessment:  30% Online Quizzes (Three 10% online quizzes with 40 questions and unlimited time), 10% discussion board participation, 15% group peer review (3 tasks, 5% each - very easy because its just your members in your group saying if you did work or not so if you do your fair share you will get a free 15%), 45% individual component (15% writing a report on a topic and getting it marked by three other peers, 15% quality of feedback you gave to other people you marked, 15% final revised report graded by course staff)

Lecture Recordings?  No lectures all material is in videos and text on Moodle

Notes/Materials Available:  All required materials are on Moodle

Textbook: None

Lecturer(s): No lecturer

Year & Trimester of completion: 2018 Sem 1

Difficulty: 1.5

Overall Rating:  4

Your Mark/Grade: 91

Comments:
In terms of a Gen Ed the subject is fairly light in terms of the work load as the assignments are not too lengthy.

One assignment is 3 main quizzes of 10% each that are not too difficult as it tests material you have to read on Moodle and that you can also use while doing the quiz since its online, at home and has unlimited time.

The discussion board participation can be a bit boring at times as the questions people ask can be repetitive however if you make a post like once every week you should get the marks for this part. Also, the posts were largely informal so you didn't have to do in-text referencing each time which makes this part of the course fairly fast and easy to do

The group tasks aspect is an easy way to get marks because although you write a report as a group you never actually get graded on the quality of the report, but rather just your participation in writing the report, which is judged by your group members. So if you do your part then you should get the maximum 15% mark for this

The individual component was worth 45% and is similar to the group report. There are three components to this: 15% initial report that is marked by 3 of your peers at random, 15% mark that you receive for people rating the feedback you gave to others in the previous marking component, 15% final revised report marked by a staff member. In this assignment, you essentially are given a topic and news article that you need to critically analyse in terms of the scientific evidence and other biases that the person may have had when writing their article.  The report is around 1500 words in length.

I found the subject overall to be fairly interesting in terms of describing all the aspects associated with climate change and the psychology of climate change as well which is linked to things like laws and public opinion. The assignments are fairly straight forward, however, as there is a peer review marking section for the individual component there is a chance that your mark may not be perfect as some students might mark harder on you than others. If you are someone who is fairly good at writing critical reports or essays similar to English but where you analyse something then this will be a good course for you. An added bonus is it doesn't have a final exam so you save time with that

Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: jazz519 on June 02, 2019, 08:31:47 pm
Subject Code/Name: PHYS1160 - Introduction to Astronomy

Contact Hours: Online course

Assumed Knowledge: None (but some knowledge of basic physics is helpful)

Assessment: 26% discussion group participation (something like 16% on forum participation, 10% assesses quality of your actual posts, by assessing 2 posts that you made on the forum that you submit in a section called 'Best Discussion Posts'), 32% interactive tutorials (small quizzes that check your understanding of the content), 18% essay on a topic that you choose from a list, 24% final test (online and at home, but is timed)

Lecture Recordings? No lectures

Notes/Materials Available: All required material is on Moodle

Textbook: No textbook

Year & Trimester of completion: 2018 Sem 1

Difficulty: 2

Overall Rating:  4.5

Your Mark/Grade: 93

Comments:
Many people do this course as a good wam booster and it cane used as that as I think more than 50% of people ended up getting a HD. However, you do have to keep up to date and treat it as a normal course for this type of mark. The content is not very hard but because there are marks associated with fortnightly forum discussion participation you do have to a little bit of work each week. The discussion posts consist of two parts: asking questions on the content you just read in that section (but you should try to post questions that are a little more in depth than just repeat the content in the lesson) and answering the questions other people post. For the answering part however, its like doing a short answer post each time because you do have to provide references to the information you used. However, answering 2-3 posts per week in a decent detail and asking 2-3 questions should get you these participation marks. One extra thing to consider is that you get a bonus mark for posting or answering a question in the first week of the topic each time.

There is a best discussion posts assignment you have to submit, where you choose two of the posts you made in the semester and submit them as being your best posts. If you spend your time doing the posts throughout the semester with a decent enough detail you should do relatively well in this section

The 18% essay is probably the most annoying part of the course but because they provide you with a topic and potential things you could write about it isn't that bad, but will take a little bit of time to write.

The final test is 24% and consists of a multiple choice quiz that you do at home. One tip though for this is to search the question on google as I found some of the questions in the test where actually online already

Overall, this course is interesting if you like learning about science topics (but without the maths aspect of it, that can make science difficult for some people). It is a good course to increase wam but also one that you can easily take too easy and end up getting a poor mark if you don't put in consistent effort as explained above
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: Caleb Campion on August 05, 2019, 12:24:31 pm
Code: [Select]
Subject Code/Name:
LAWS1052 - Introducing Law and Justice

Contact Hours:
4 class hours per week (2 lots of 2 Hour classes) + a 1 Hour Research Class

Assumed Knowledge:
N/A

Assessment: 
10% Court Report  (essay on court observations)
30% Case Note (Analysis on the Case + outcomes, ratio decedendi  etc)
20% Class Participation
30% Final Exam
10% Research Component Exam

Lecture Recordings? 
Class attendance is compulsory (pretty sure around 80% otherwise you fail)

Notes/Materials Available
Teacher may give you sheets each lesson, completely depends on teacher, you definitely only need the textbook.

Textbook:
Law and Justice in Australia - Foundations of the Legal System (Prue Vines)

Lecturer(s):
I had Prue Vines

Year & Trimester of completion:
Term 1, 2019.

Difficulty:
3/5.

Overall Rating: 
2-2.5/5
Your Mark/Grade:
HD - 86

Comments:
What makes this first course in Law so difficult is that you know everyone in the course is intelligent and highly capable of doing well, but at the same time you don’t know what the standard is. This course really just is a way to steady yourself and will take a while to get use to how Class works, the thinking required, and how good is good enough to get the marks you’re after. The content itself is hefty, and bores most people, but that’s just the nature of the first course in Law, and you just have to get through it. I found it bearable knowing that the teachers aren’t looking for you to remember dates, but rather concepts and ideas and the general landscape of the history. It gets much better in the last two weeks when you do intentional torts (assault, battery, false imprisonment) and is your first taster to what real law courses are like.

The sucky thing about the course is the huuugge amount of assessments you have. And now that there are trimesters, they really don’t have anything to do with the content you’ll be studying at the time they’re assigned to you.

Number one tip - just focus on analysis.

The real kicker is that you’ll study all the history and concepts for almost the entire course but it is only for one third of the exam - the essay.

Exam is 3 sections each 20 marks: An essay, a statutory interpretation question, and an intentional torts problem questions. I gave 40 minutes to each question in the two hour exam (time management is key), but used 10 minutes of each 40 minutes to plan out my response.

Overall, the research component is annoying and feels like a waste of time but is probably helpful later on, and the content is a bit boring and you really are treading through unchartered waters with this course initially, but it’s just what you would expect of a foundations course for a course as big as Law, and the term 2 course ‘Torts’ is sooooooo much better! You can do it.
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: katie,rinos on August 14, 2019, 06:08:11 pm
Subject Code/Name: Materials and Structures of Music 4



Contact Hours: 1 1/2 hr lecture, 1 1/2 jazz studio, 1 1/2 hr aural tute



Assumed Knowledge: M&S 1-3



Assessment:  Composition (20%), Aural Analysis (10%), Aural test (5%), Auralia progress (5%), Harmony/analysis test (20%), Jazz harmony test (20%), Sight-singing test (5%), Music lit test (15%)

The harmony component of the course (Harmony test/Jazz test and composition) must be passed to pass the course.



Lecture Recordings?  No :(



Notes/Materials Available:  Content and practise analyses were put on moodle. 



Textbook: The Musician's Guide to Theory and Analysis, same textbook as M&S1-3, however I hardly used it this year.



Lecturer(s): Lecturer: John Peterson, Tutor (aural tute): Harrisson Collins, Tutor (jazz studio): Paul Cutlan



Year & Trimester of completion: 2019,2



Difficulty: 3.5-4/5



Overall Rating:  4/5

Your Mark/Grade: 66 CR



Comments:
I really enjoyed both last terms M&S and this one, especially compared to their 1st year courses. However, I’m still really happy that this was the last theory unit. I also thought there was a lot of assessments for the trimester, especially towards the end of the term.

Lectures:
During the first half of the term, we went through fugue writing and workshopped ideas for our 16-18 bar fugue composition due at the end of wk 5. Our lecturer was able to see what we were doing and help us during some of this time (and also by email). After, this was due we mainly spent time analysing both classical and pop pieces (and learning how to analyse 9th,11th and 13th chords). Our test at the end of the term, included 3 different analyses, 1 classical and 2 pop. We went through and we were given 3 possible classical pieces and class and 1 was chosen for the test. We were also given the first 8 bars of two pop songs and had to analyses 16 bars of both in the test. I mainly enjoyed these lectures, however sometimes they seemed to drag on or Peterson would ask people to answer questions about chords.

Tutes:
Our aural tute mainly started by going through both melodic dictation and sight singing, and then moved to looking at pieces on our listening list. We would listen to parts of the pieces while looking at the historical/significant aspects of the piece which prepared us really well for the listening test. In our listening test we were given a 2min excerpt of a piece and needed to identify aspects such as the composer, title, movement, date, and significance.
For our aural analysis, we had to analyse a 6-minute jazz piece using a table format. Our aural test was similar to the auralia exercises we were expected to do at home.

Studio:
Our studio went over beginner jazz theory and was really interesting because I went into it not knowing much about jazz. Cutlan was good at trying to explain the concepts clearly and gave lots of exercises to do in class. He also tried to include student participation by having us come to the front and write our answers on the board. We had homework exercises each week but nobody ever did them, so we used to go over it at the start of each lesson. Our test was based on what we had covered in the studio classes.   
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: katie,rinos on August 15, 2019, 12:14:40 pm
Subject Code/Name: EDST1108-Indigenous Perspectives in Education



Contact Hours: 2hr lecture, 1hr tute per week, compulsory walk on country excursion in wk 7



Assumed Knowledge: None

Assessment:  500 word Teacher ‘standpoint’ statement (45%), 5-minute video + 1500 word film justification on support teaching and learning (55%) All assessments must be passed to pass the course.



Lecture Recordings?  Yes, but had 80% attendance at lectures.



Notes/Materials Available: Not much-the education society hold assessment sessions and posted slides and reading list on moodle.



Textbook: Phillips, J. & Lampert, J. (2012). Introductory Indigenous studies in education (2nd Ed.). However, this is available through the library, you don’t need to buy this. It was only really helpful for the 1st assessment.

Lecturer(s): Lecturer & tutor: Dr Kevin Lowe



Year & Trimester of completion: 2019,2



Difficulty: 3.5/5



Overall Rating:  1.5/5

Your Mark/Grade: 85 HD



Comments:
I was already told by some of my friends that this was a bad course, so I came with low expectations. But this has definitely been my least favourite course so far. It didn’t help that our lectures were 6-8pm on a Monday night. Once our lecturer saw that some people would leave after marking their name off the roll, he would hand it out towards 7:30, which meant that we’d have to stay back even later to mark our attendance.

Most weeks we’d have guest lecturers come in to talk about different issues. However, most of the lectures seemed repetitive and tried to drive through the same main points which got really boring after a while. I think the content was important but it wasn’t taught in a way that was engaging and made me receptive of it. The tutes were mainly just group work going through the readings or questions that were asked of us. They were mostly based of the readings, but most people hadn’t done them so if you had, you spent half the time trying to explain it to the rest of the group. The best part of the course was the compulsory walk-on country excursion at La Perouse. I originally thought it would be terrible but I did this with some of my friends and it was really interesting walking around and hearing what the Aboriginal guides had to say about the area.

The assignments themselves were really frustrating. It’s a high fail rate course and because I had heard that, I was really anxious starting the first assignment. Even though they tried to explain it to us, we were still not too sure what we were meant to do. They needed to be worded in a particular way so not to offend anyone. The bibliography was included in the word count for both assessments, so it took me ages to cut down on the word count for my essays (and still sound coherent). The 2nd assignment was in 2 different parts and the 5-minute video was very annoying.
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: Jack89 on August 20, 2019, 04:48:49 pm
Subject Code/Name: ELEC3105 - Electrical Energy

Contact Hours:  4 hours lectures (2x2 hour blocks), 3 hours lab (5 labs in the term), 1-2 hour tutorial

Assumed Knowledge: ELEC2134 (the part on power analysis), ELEC3115

Assessment:  5% weekly quizzes, 10% assignment, 15% midsem, 20% labs, 50% final.

Lecture Recordings?  Yes

Notes/Materials Available: There is a course summary and past paper on the ELSOC website. The lecturer provides a few past papers.

Textbook: I used 2 textbooks for reference to clarify any difficult concepts. "Electrical Machinery Fundamentals" and "Principles of Electric Machines and Power Electronics"

Lecturer(s): Rukmi Dutta

Year & Trimester of completion: 2019/2

Difficulty: 4/5

Overall Rating:  4/5

Comments:
This course is all about electrical power, with an emphasis on non-ideal motors, generators and transformers. There is a lot of circuit analysis (know your AC circuit analysis well!) but it's interesting to see how power engineers actually design and use these circuit analysis techniques to determine currents/voltages, etc. in a power system.

The first part of the course is about solar, wind and hydroelectric power, and the calculations of power and efficiency of these systems. Then it shifts into 3-phase power and transformers. Unlike in ELEC2134, the transformers are non-ideal, and an equivalent circuit has to be used instead. Then it shifts into motors and generators, with a focus on DC machines, induction machines and synchronous machines. There are different equivalent circuits for each type of machine and special procedures that must be memorized to find different quantities like the circuit parameters, power, losses, torque, etc. This is where the difficulty of the course mainly lies. There is quite a lot to remember, with a fair few large formulas too.

The labs are really good and quite enjoyable and interesting. The consolidate a lot of concepts. The quizzes and midsem are fine. The assignment is quite challenging with 2 difficult questions to solve. The final exam was fair, although there were a couple of derivation questions. Overall, it was an interesting course but sometimes it got just a bit tedious.
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: Jack89 on August 28, 2019, 08:18:02 am
Subject Code/Name: ELEC3114 - Control Systems

Contact Hours:  4 hours lectures (2x2 hours), 2 hour tutorials, 2 hour labs

Assumed Knowledge: ELEC2134 (the Laplace transforms section), MATH2099 (The linear algebra section), other techniques from 1st and 2nd year math courses.

Assessment:  10% weekly online quizzes, 20% labs, 30% midsem, 40% final, 5% optional bonus project.

Lecture Recordings?  Yes

Notes/Materials Available:  There is a course summary on ELSOC. Past papers are provided by the lecturer.

Textbook: I used "Control Systems Engineering", Author Norman S. Nise. This came in handy for the more difficult concepts.

Lecturer(s): Arash Khatamianfar

Year & Trimester of completion: 2/2019

Difficulty: 5/5

Overall Rating:  5/5 (more like infinty/5)

Comments:
So far this has been one of the best and most interesting courses I've taken, tied with ELEC2133 and PHYS1131/PHYS1231. The lecturer was amazing and taught the content very well. He changed the course slightly and shifted the focus a little bit from previous years. The major topics were mathematical modelling in both time and frequency domains, state space design, PID controllers, steady state error, root locus methods, state variable feedback design (with LQR design) and frequency response techniques.

What I loved about this course was how well Arash taught it, he always went into depth to explain everything and backed up his teaching with plenty of worked examples. He always linked what we were learning to real life industry and also to his own PhD which involved robotic control systems. That's what makes him one the best lecturers.

Arash also completely redesigned the labs and made them link to the course much better than the old labs from previous years, as mentioned in another post for control systems. The labs consolidated a lot of the material in a practical way. They take time though, make sure to complete the prelabs and work quickly during the lab because they are quite long. However there are catch up labs in case you don't finish everything.

The weekly quizzes are fine, but the exams can be challenging. Arash writes very long exams. Almost no one finished the midsem and the final was also very time consuming. But for this difficult course, that's to be expected.

Overall, a fantastic course - I'll definitely be taking some control electives in 4th year.
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: Jack89 on August 28, 2019, 08:44:10 am
Subject Code/Name: ELEC3145 - Real Time Instrumentation

Contact Hours:  2/3 hour lectures, 3 hour labs, 1 hour tutorials

Assumed Knowledge: , ELEC2134 (the Laplace transform section), and to a small extent ELEC3104 and ELEC2142 and MATH2099 (the linear algebra part)

Assessment:  10% lab checkpoints, 15% midsem, 15% lab exam, 60% final.

Lecture Recordings?  Yes

Notes/Materials Available:  Not much, possibly a real-time engineering textbook would come in handy

Textbook: None

Lecturer(s): Branislav Hredzak

Year & Trimester of completion: 2/2019

Difficulty: 2/5

Overall Rating:  4/5

Comments:
I actually took this elective after reading a previous review of it by Jamon, and it's well worth it. I would describe this course as being a sort of bridge between control systems and DSP, with a big focus on implementing controllers in the discrete-time domain. Mostly the content overlaps with control systems (state space methods, PID controllers, Laplace transforms) and DSP (z-transforms, discrete-time equations and filters).

There is a small, separate (3 weeks) part of the course which involves actually learning how to program in real-time and learning about how to implement a real-time system.

The content is not difficult, however one somewhat challenging part would be solving differential equations using the Runge-Kutta methods. The labs are quite enjoyable and not difficult (just a bit of basic C-programming is required). The midsem was fine but the final exam was quite difficult (e.g. in one question we actually had to solve a 4th order Runge Kutta using 2 iterations ). It probably didn't help that the final was held from 5:45 - 8:00pm.

Overall this is actually a very useful and interesting elective and I'd recommend taking it.
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: blasonduo on September 05, 2019, 08:27:48 pm
Subject Code/Name: EDST2044 - Motivation in Learning and Teaching

Contact Hours: 2x 1-hour lecture and a 1-hour tutorial each week.

Assumed Knowledge: 2 first year EDST courses are required.

Assessment:
Personal Reflection (40%) - 1500 words
Annotated Lesson Plans (60%) - 2500 words (NOT including lesson plans, resources and
references)
4x online tasks (300-500 words each) (HURDLE)
All assessments must be passed to pass the course.

Lecture Recordings?  Yes (but weirdly still needed to attend :/ )

Notes/Materials Available: Previous DN and HD assignments were provided to allow a benchmark on what we were expected. Additional readings were also provided.

Textbook: None, but plenty of readings available (some required, some optional)

Lecturer(s): Dr Marianne Mansour and Dr Tracy Durksen

Year & Semester of completion: 2019 Term 2

Difficulty: 2.7/5

Overall Rating:  3.3/5

Your Mark/Grade: 78 DN

Comments:

I'm honestly surprised this course is an elective because there were many times where the content presented would've been extremely valuable for highschool classrooms. Motivation is one of the underlying aspects of learning, and the course had many different activities students could undertake to improve motivation, including the underlying theories behind them. The content is pretty interesting!

The first assessment was really straight forward and pretty easy, mainly reflecting on how your past experiences utilised motivational theories discussed in the course, and how to use them in the future, easy marks and the workload here wasn't too big.

However, there was a huge contrast when the second assessment came around. It was extremely useful for the future, but it took forever to complete. The assessment overall took me 3500 words, with 2 lesson plans, explanations on those lesson plans, and analysis of them. The number of other articles you had to read before tackling the assignment took forever. This assessment, although extremely long, is extremely useful for when we enter the classroom environment.

The lectures, so far in my education journey have been my favourite (luckily). It as if they were practising their teachings! The lectures were engaging and relevant. The only downside is the fact that as with all EDST courses, the lectures didn't need to be 2 hours (however for this course, it was the closest to actually achieving this)
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: RuiAce on September 06, 2019, 06:48:57 pm
Subject Code/Name: MATH3821 - Statistical Modelling and Computing

Contact Hours: 3 hours lecture in total, 1 hour lab, 1 hour tutorial

Assumed Knowledge: MATH2831/MATH2931. It then gets crammed very quickly in the very first lecture as a refresher.

Assessment:
- 2 x 10% assignments
- 20% mid-term (laboratory test)
- 60% final exam

Lecture Recordings?  Yes

Notes/Materials Available:
Slides are comprehensive but arguably dense...
Tutorial and laboratory questions uploaded, but solutions were only uploaded to the ones not covered in class. No real other resource.

Textbook: None, but this one was recommended as a side resource.

Lecturer(s): Tom Stindl

Year & Trimester of completion: 19t2

Difficulty: 4/5

Overall Rating:  3/5 3.5/5 - Experience made better following paper inspection

Your Mark/Grade: 94 96 HD

Comments:
This course is compulsory for all students pursuing a statistics major. (There is no higher counterpart.) It's essentially the course aimed at developing and training real-world application of statistics. The R software is used.

I think everyone felt this way. The lectures were far too packed. A bit too much content was present in this course and getting lost following the lecture was an unusually more common thing here. This change was implemented last year, but apparently there was more advice on how to deal with it. It's a huge trek trying to study for it otherwise.

Perhaps, a bit too much breadth given the time? I think he did try to put depth in, but it was a bit foreshadowed. Regardless, I wouldn't imagine a thing called keeping up with this course is possible unless somehow you've seen it all before.

Biggest drain was in the second assignment honestly. I appreciated the lecturer's genuine marking a lot, but mixing in both a report and the presentation was a bit torturous. Still though, there definitely were improvements - I was very thankful to find that Q&A panel and peer review was taken out. (I really shouldn't say this as a statistics student, but I wasn't interested in hearing about various investigations - I just wanted to do the task!)

Also unlike the first assignment, groups are randomly selected by the lecturer for the second. Some of my mates got put with bad teammates, which made things hard. I got lucky here.

Strong emphasis as in a prior review though - this course is NOT 100% computing. Although both assignments and the midterm revolved heavily around computing, the finals is still a 60% weighted exam, of which only roughly 10% was computing based. It's a math course, so expect some level of theory involved. Computing is just a means to an end when it comes to modelling.

Final exam questions are niche. Doing the tutorials helps a lot, because about half of our questions were based around them. But also you need to understand the content physically to be able to do a large portion of the rest of the exam.

It's just that proofs weren't really assessed much until the finals. The only proof question in assignment 1 was straightforward.

Also: Although MATH3871 is definitely not assumed knowledge, I found that doing it beforehand made the Bayesian half of this course FAR more dealable. Whilst some of my peers were forced to learn Bayesian altogether, I was like "oh yeah this is just 3871 gone nuts". Could be advice for you? Keep in mind though Bayesian is now offered in T3, whilst this is a T2 course.
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: RuiAce on September 06, 2019, 07:14:31 pm
Subject Code/Name: COMP3821 - Extended Algorithms and Programming Techniques

Contact Hours: 2 x 2hr lectures. (No tutes)

Assumed Knowledge: Only COMP2521. (For the extended version, at least 65 in COMP2521 is required.)

Assessment: For our year:
- 2 assignments, individual weighting unknown but combined to 20% total.
- 40% midterm w/ 1 page cheat sheet
- 40% finals w/ 1 page cheat sheet
Supposedly there were bonus marks for active contributions on piazza, but I have no idea how that worked out.

Lecture Recordings?  Yes

Notes/Materials Available
Same lecture slides as has always been used for this course. The support staff that marked some of our solutions shared a reasonably large bank of past papers for the midterms/finals and also a piazza forum.

Textbook:
- Cormen, Leiserson, Rivest and Stein - Introduction to algorithms
- Kleinberg and Tardos - Algorithms design
Used the latter to help me learn NPC - that was useful at least.

Lecturer(s): Dr. Abdallah Saffidine

Year & Trimester of completion: 19t2

Difficulty: 4/5

Overall Rating: 2/5

Your Mark/Grade: 94 HD

Comments:
This course is the extended version of COMP3121, which is now core to computer science majors. (Basically the higher version.)

To be honest, despite somehow coming out alright, I was very disappointed by this course. I can never complain about 20% raw scaling, but after the bomb that was the mid-term (completely changed format, somewhat unrealistically spiked difficulty, pseudocode in the exam and also harsher marking criteria) this course became a huge trauma for a while. It was a huge struggle convincing myself to not drop this course in favour of the ordinary version later on.

Pseudocode is new to this course it seems. Not my cup of coffee, but not impossible to bear with for an assignment.

I do suspect that the course being hyped by not just like one person but several of my peers had an impact on this. I came into this course expecting a lot of things to be different.

Amazingly I found myself a bit rubbish at dynamic programming. Two tips about it: 1. don't expect good complexity all the time and 2. avoid greedy! I kept sidetracking into trying to find a greedy solution at time and had to remind myself "no that's not the way to do it".

NP-Completeness was new to the exam. It can occasionally get a bit challenging - make sure to think about those problems!

Wasn't the worst course I've done at the university though. At the very least the course is properly split into two halves. The midterm only examined the first half of the course, whilst the finals examined only the second half.
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: jazz519 on September 06, 2019, 07:52:02 pm
Subject Code/Name: CHEM2021 - Organic Chemistry: Mechanisms and Biomolecules

Contact Hours:  4 hr of lectures a week (4 x 1 hour lectures), 4 hr lab

Assumed Knowledge: First Year Chem Courses (CHEM1031 and CHEM1041) and CHEM2041

Assessment:  TOO MANY assignments
- 5 lab practicals (worth 30% in total, so 6% each in which you have a mark out of 30 - 6 marks for lab book, 9 marks for core skills, 15 marks for lab report)
- Mid semester exam (17%)
- Assignment on Topic 2 (Carbonyl Chemistry) (3%)
- Assignment on Topic 3 (Aromatic Chemistry) (3%)
- In class quiz / exam on Topic 4 (Biologically important organic compounds) (3%)
- Final Exam (120 marks and 44%)

Lecture Recordings?  Yes, but some lecturers write stuff on the board. I didn't go to lectures (as I self learnt a lot from the textbook) but if you are someone who is going to probably struggle in the course a very good idea to attend them

Notes/Materials Available: Moodle slides are fairly good for overall content and but the issue is sometimes mechanisms are not in the lecture slides for the harder reactions, which is very annoying as the harder reactions can be very difficult to understand the first time and you don't know what to search up, so you end up having to use like youtube videos and wasting time figuring out which one links to your concept.

A good YouTube channel I found really helpful was Leah4sci

Textbook: Organic Chemistry 7th Edition by Paula Bruice (VERY VERY VERY useful. This textbook is amazing and very well written and has lots more examples to understand things than you would directly from the lecture slides)

Lecturer(s): Professor Martina Stenzel, Dr Vinh Nyugen, Dr Albert Fahrenbach

Year & Trimester of completion: 2019 trimester 2

Difficulty: 5

Overall Rating:  4

Your Mark/Grade: 95 HD

Comments:
This course is very difficult if you are not someone who enjoys or is good at organic chemistry. If you struggled in the organic chemistry section in chemistry 1B, then you are going to struggle in this course most likely. The road map they provide you in Chemistry 1B in first year is no longer present in 2nd year organic chemistry. You have to memorise that whole table and every mechanism off by heart x 4, because there are 4 topics in 2nd year organic. This course does have a lot of memorising (roughly 100-200 reactions and around 50-80 mechanisms), so it is something you can't just do last minute. The best way I found to study was I made notes from the textbook early on (finished by like week 8 in the term), and then I spent the remainder weeks just memorising the reactions and doing the practice problems provided by the lecturers and additional questions I did from the textbook. A lot of people at the end of the course thought they failed the final exam so make sure you study hard for it.

The lab component is also very different from first year courses. In this course you have 5 practicals, which usually last for 2 weeks long. There is also 5 lab reports you have to write for each experiment which end up meaning you have to write something like 1.5-2k words every fortnight. This is not fun at the beginning because the way you write the lab reports in this course will be in a scientific format you probably haven't learnt at school or in first year, so don't worry too much if you don't do well in the first practical. I myself got like 25/30 in the first practical but learnt from the comments given and all labs after that I was scoring 28-29/30.

The mid semester exam was nice in that a lot of the questions they used were similar to the practice questions given with a few different ones, so make sure you know how to do all the questions in that set provided and you should do fairly well. There are also three other assignments. Two of them are take home where you answer around 30 marks of exam like questions and then submit them for marking and the last one is a short quiz in class. Most people did okay in the carbonyl one, but marks in the aromatic section were almost a fail as the average was around 16/30 (one tip here make sure you write the full mechanisms for the ortho, para and meta, even if it only subs on one of those positions as this is where a lot of marks were lost by people).

Overall the course was quite difficult, but I enjoyed it because I found the course interesting. I wouldn't recommend this course to someone as an elective type of thing that did first year chem, because it may kill your wam, but it is compulsory for chemistry majors and chemical engineering people so make sure you come prepared for this class, as it is probably the most difficult of the 2nd year chemistry courses in my opinion
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: jazz519 on September 06, 2019, 10:15:06 pm
Subject Code/Name: MATH2018 - Engineering Mathematics 2D

Contact Hours: No in person contact, but there is 3-5 hours of online videos / lectures to watch each week

Assumed Knowledge: MATH1A and MATH1B

Assessment: 
- Class Quiz 1 (15%)
- Class Quiz 2 (15%)
- Online MAPLE weekly quizzes (10%)
- Final Exam (60%)

Lecture Recordings? There isn't any in person lectures, but yes there is lecture videos on youtube

Notes/Materials Available: Moodle materials are very thorough and what they expect you to know

Textbook: No textbook I am aware of

Lecturer(s): Dr Anna Cai was course coordinator but there was a different person in the videos (can't remember his name) but nevertheless very good lecturer

Year & Trimester of completion: 2019 trimester 2

Difficulty: 2

Overall Rating:  4.5

Your Mark/Grade: 96 HD

Comments:
The course is actually pretty easy in my opinion, which is one of the reasons I chose it for one of my level 2 courses in my math minor. A lot of the content is similar to MATH 1B in some sections so if you did good in first year maths this course should be a breeze.

There's no in person lecturers as well so that is nice and all the videos for the whole term are available from day 1, so you can go at your own pace and go ahead if you need to. I found this really helpful because when I knew I would have more exams or assignments in a certain week, I could watch the lecture videos in advance before the week begun so it reduced my workload for that week.

There is 1 maple quiz you do every week which has about 5-6 questions. The questions are very similar to the problems in the lecturers and it is very similar to how the first year math courses are structured where you can have unlimited attempts, so these marks are very easy to obtain

The first class test was an in class 35 mark quiz for about 40-50 minutes that covered topics 1-3. The questions were quite similar to the tutorial problems and also similar to the sample class tests given, so it shouldn't be too difficult to get above 30 if you do the work before. One down side of these class tests is there is no calculator rule so you might make silly mistakes and lose marks on that

The second class test was different to the first class test because it was on MAPLE. But this isn't a maple test like first year. It's more like you do questions similar in setting to the first class test, but you just enter your final answer into MAPLE. The good thing about this test was that the actual test was very similar to the sample test given so if you just do that like 5-6 times you will do well. However, a bad thing is if you get unlucky with MAPLE syntax errors or accidentally do one small mistake in your calculation you lose all the marks for the question, which is a lot considering most questions were 2 marks and the test was out of 16 but worth 15%.

The subject is really transparent as I said before and this is also evident in the final exam. They provided us with like 15 exam papers from the past 8 or so years to practice that had worked solutions. This was really helpful in preparation for the exam, as the question styles were quite similar, so if you spend the time doing the past papers the final exam shouldn't really be too much of a shock

Overall quite a good course and one I would recommend to people who enjoy math and want to do it is an elective or part of a math minor if it is not compulsory in your program





Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: jazz519 on September 06, 2019, 10:46:26 pm
Subject Code/Name: MATH2089 - Numerical Methods & Statistics

Contact Hours: 5 hr of lecture, 2 hr of tutorials

Assumed Knowledge: MATH1A and MATH1B

Assessment: 
The marks in this course are treated like if the statistics and numerical methods are separate subjects. So if you get 80% in the stats component and 90% in the numerical methods component, you get 80 + 90 divided by 2 as your final mark so 85%.

- MATLAB Intro quizzes (5%)
- Stats 3 x online quizzes (20% released every 3 weeks or so)
- Stats Mid Sem (20%)
- Numerical Methods 3 x online quizzes (20% released every 3 weeks or so)
- Numerical methods Mid sem (20%)
- Final Exam (60% for each component)

Lecture Recordings? Yes but statistics lecturer always writes on board so you can't see it. The numerical methods lecturer uses the document camera so you can watch those lectures from home.

Notes/Materials Available: Moodle materials should be good enough

Textbook: There is one in the course outline but I didn't use it so can't comment on its usefulness

Lecturer(s): Dr Quoc and Dr Gery Geenens

Year & Trimester of completion: 2019 trimester 2 (quite important because trimester 1 is run by a different school in the university so they test different stuff)

Difficulty: 4

Overall Rating:  2

Your Mark/Grade: 88 HD

Comments:
This course honestly speaking I didn't really like it. The content I found fairly boring and the support from the staff running the subject wasn't that good. Many times students would post comments on the forum asking for help and the message would either be ignored or they get replied to a week after. I chose this course for one of my math minor units and I would rather have not chosen it and did some other course. So I would recommend not doing this course if you don't have to.

The assessments are not insanely hard as the in term tests it is not too difficult to get above 36+/40, but for the final they did provide us with exam papers, but there was no solutions to some of them and no solutions at all for the statistics component which made studying for the final difficult. The final was sort of similar to practice tests but there was some different stuff

Overall, the course is not overly hard, but I feel like it could have been run better with more help from the staff when students ask questions on the forum
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: owidjaja on September 07, 2019, 02:44:09 pm
Subject Code/Name: PHYS1121 - Physics 1A

Contact Hours: 8

Assumed Knowledge: HSC Physics and Mathematics Extension 1. MATH1131 is also a co-requisite.

Assessment: 
Labs (including prelab quizzes) - 20%
Online quizzes - 10%
Invigilated quizzes - 10% x 2
Final exam - 50%

Lecture Recordings? 
Yes but they only record when the lecturers use the document camera (some lecturers do working out on the blackboard, which isn't recorded)

Notes/Materials Available
They have webstream lectures on Moodle in case if you miss a lecture (or if you skip a lecture lol).

Textbook:
Halliday, D., Resnick, R., & Walker, J. (2014). Fundamentals of Physics, John Wiley & Sons
Not compulsory to purchase it but you can always access it by going to Room 201A. They have a few copies there.

Lecturer(s):
T1: Prof Joe Wolfe/Prof Chris Tinney
T2: Prof Rajib Rahman/Prof Sue Coppersmith

Year & Trimester of completion: 2019 T1 & T2 (failed in T1)

Difficulty: 4.5/5

Overall Rating: 2/5

Comments:
I found this course really hard and as a result it drained my interest in physics. The weekly/invigilated quizzes were really annoying as well because it's ridiculously easy to lose marks. The labs are kinda dull but it's easy marks, and you can get a lab exemption if your lab mark is over 75% if repeat the course. The resources they provided are really good and I spent majority of the time watching them rather than going to lectures because they're not rushing or skipping the working out. I guess what I learnt from doing the course twice is that you should aim to get as many pre-exam marks as possible because the exams are rough.
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: owidjaja on September 07, 2019, 03:33:13 pm
Subject Code/Name: MATH1231 - Mathematics 1B

Contact Hours: 6

Assumed Knowledge: MATH1131

Assessment: 
Weekly quizzes - 10%
Lab tests - 15% x 2
Assignment - 10%
Exam - 50%

Lecture Recordings? 
Yes but only the document recorder.

Notes/Materials Available
Yes, there are course notes available on Moodle.

Textbook:
S.L. Salas, E. Hille and G.J. Etgen, Calculus – One and Several Variables, any recent edition, Wiley
but not compulsory to purchase. Honestly, I only used the course notes.

Lecturer(s):
Milan Pahor/Jeya Jeyakumar

Year & Trimester of completion: 2019 T2

Difficulty: 3/5

Overall Rating:  3/5

Comments:
I found the course alright, but maybe it's because I had a great algebra lecturer (my calculus lecturer wasn't that good lol), or maybe it's because I had a better math tutor. The exam was pretty rough, especially since they changed the exam structure so they could increase the difficulty of the exam. The weekly tests, lab tests and assignment wasn't too bad, but at the same time, I don't do well in exams so make sure you can get as many pre-exam marks as possible.
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: HelpICantThinkOfAName on September 13, 2019, 07:07:48 pm
MATH 2901: Higher Theory of Statistics

Contact Hours:  5 hours of lectures, 1 hour tutorial

Assumed Knowledge: Credit in MATH1231, Or pass in MATH1241/51.

Assessment:  1 repeatable online test, 10%. 1 Group Assignment, 10%. 1 in tutorial exam, 20%. 60% final exam 

Lecture Recordings? Yes. Document camera used for just about everything.

Notes/Materials Available:  Full set of notes provided, covered more than what was given in lectures.

Lecturer(s): Libo Li. 5/5 What a guy. He gave us a revision sheet which appeared in its entirety in the final exam. If that doesn’t tell you enough about him I don’t know what will

Year & Semester/Trimester of completion: 2019/T2

Difficulty: 4.5/5. I’d say that part of the difficulty came from not having done any stats since 1231 finished 6 months before the start of the course (thanks trimesters). I was often struggling with the course and always felt that I was a week or two behind where I should be.

Overall Rating:  5/5 This was the most fun that I’ve ever had in a math course so far. Each of the topics had examples of real-world applications, and problems were legitimately satisfying and fun to solve. If you think that you might have the mathematical skills to take this course over 2801, absolutely take it.

Also if you think that you’ve done enough study for the in tutorial test, you haven’t done enough study for it. The average was 11.3/20, and I suspect that some scaling was given for that test. The online test and assignment had averages in the 90s, so it is unlikely that any other scaling was given in this course.
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: fantasticbeasts3 on September 15, 2019, 09:35:56 pm
Subject Code/Name: MGMT1101 - Global Business Environment

Contact Hours: 3.5 - 2 hour lecture, 1.5 hour tutorial

Assumed Knowledge: None

Assessment: 
- Memos (35%): the first was 8%, second was 12%, third was 15%
- Group presentation (15%)
- Group facilitation (10%)
- Class participation (10%)
- Final exam (30%): all multiple choice

Lecture Recordings? No

Notes/Materials Available: Not really but if you went to the lectures there were a few useful links related to each week's topic.

Textbook: Global Business Today, 4th ed by Hill et al.

Lecturer(s): Lecturer: Steven Lui, Tutor: Minh Vu

Year & Trimester of completion: T2 2019

Difficulty: 2/5

Overall Rating:  3.5/5

Comments:
This is a really good starter for the international business major/minor! The course content is quite interesting and the course gives a good overview of international business. Although lectures aren't recorded, you're not really missing out on anything as the lectures mostly regurgitate textbook readings each week. However, the lecturer I had tended to give out questions to the final exams in lectures and didn't put them in the lecture slides on Moodle.

If there's one thing I didn't like about the course, it's that assessments weren't explained very well and there was no consistency across tutors whether it be about marking or even what to include in the memos/presentations/facilitations. In my tutorial class, no one got higher than a 75 for all the memos while in other classes people were doing better in others. Make sure to ask your tutor all the questions about assignments, not the lecturer as there was always a bit of confusion in regard to expectations.

Another thing to keep in mind is that tutorials are pretty much just presentations and facilitations. I recommend getting to know others in your class because the more you interact with others, the better your participation mark will be. Although it's only 10%, doing well in that section does make a difference in your final grade!
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: fantasticbeasts3 on September 15, 2019, 09:45:31 pm
Subject Code/Name: MGMT2102 - Managing Across Cultures

Contact Hours: 3.5 - 2 hour lecture, 1.5 hour tutorial

Assumed Knowledge: None

Assessment: 
- Multiple choice quiz (10%)
- Journal article review (10%)
- Group presentation (20%) - group mark is worth 15% and individual is 5%
- Class participation (10%)
- Comparative report (30%)
- Capstone (20%)

Lecture Recordings? Yes

Notes/Materials Available: Extra readings on Moodle

Textbook: Management Across Cultures, Steers et al.

Lecturer(s): Lecturer: Phillip Warburton, Tutor: Charlotta Oberg

Year & Trimester of completion: T2 2019

Difficulty: 2/5

Overall Rating: 4/5

Comments:
MGMT2102 is definitely one of my favourite courses since starting uni. While the content can be a bit dry sometimes, learning about how different cultures communicate and operate in the workforce is so fascinating and tutorials complement the content-heavy lectures really well. The content isn't hard to understand and provided you at least listen to the lectures you should be fine.

If there's one downside to this course, it would be the comparative report. There wasn't much (if any) explanation on what to do for that task and most students had no idea what they were doing, even though it was the assignment that impacted our final grade the most.
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: blasonduo on September 16, 2019, 04:11:03 pm
Subject Code/Name: BIOS2061-Vertebrate Zoology

Contact Hours: 3x 1-hour lecture and 2x 2-hour laboratory each week.

Assumed Knowledge: None.

Assessment:
3x laboratory dissection drawings 15% (5% each)
3x lab reports 10% (3.33% each)
Bird Survey of Centennial Park 5%
Mid term lab quiz 10%
Practical exam 20%
Final exam 40%

Lecture Recordings?  Yes

Notes/Materials Available: Lab manual and one past paper.

Textbook: None required

Lecturer(s): Mike Archer, Sue Hand, Peter Yates, Ian Suthers, Jodi Rowley, Richard Kingsford.
Year & Semester of completion: 2019 Term 2

Difficulty: 2.0/5

Overall Rating:  4.2/5

Your Mark/Grade: 80 DN

Comments:

I picked this course as an elective, and boy is this course run extremely well. The lectures are run by a lot of lecturers, which does mean that each lecture style changes every 2 weeks for so, however, this wasn't a problem because every single lecturer was so passionate with their topics. They were all engaging, and energetic.

The course covers the classification of all vertebrates and the key features of their anatomy, including teeth, bones and their evolutionary traits. There was also a closer investigation into Australian vertebrates. A lot of the content is pretty straight forward and intuitive for the most part, but the main difficulty came from the new terminology. Sharks aren't sharks, they're Elasmobranchii with subgroups of squalomorphs and galeomorphs. Once you get over this initial hump and learn what the terminology mean makes the rest of the course pretty easy.

The laboratories started out fantastically, starting with a dissection of a dogfish shark and microscopes of some animal tissue or small animal. It, however, did become pretty mundane as the weeks went on because it then only consisted of bones/specimen jars, which isn't bad in itself, but 4 hours a week of it made it stale, because there wasn't too much information that co-existed with the exhibits.

The assessments of the course are really quite easy and stress-free. 30% of the final mark was essentially impossible to get less than 90% of it. The "lab reports" were just answering questions in the lab manual and handing them in at the end of the lab. The real kicker is that we were given the answers to every question before submitting. The dissections, were also marked extremely leniently (I can't draw for the life of me, but I still got 100%). The bird survey was also a nice excursion that made the assessment enjoyable. The only difficult assessment I found was the midterm, although multiple choice, some questions required you to know some specific things, and made it pretty difficult. This made me think that the final prac exam would be of similar difficulty, but I was really wrong, most of the questions were really simple, and if they weren't, the (again multiple choice) answers were pretty easy to guess. Finally, the final exam was in the same sense of the practice exam, and it wasn't multiple choice. ~80% of the final exam had the exact same questions in the practise exam, so studying made it really easy.

Overall, I really liked the laid back aspect of the course that more focussed on interest and motivation rather than assessments, and I think that was the reason why I enjoyed it so much. In hindsight, my mark should've been higher for what I did get, nothing was difficult, but my mark is still good. Expect high marks if completing this course :) This course has been designed it a fantastic way.
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: kierisuizahn on September 16, 2019, 10:38:28 pm
Subject Code/Name: MATH2111 - Higher Several Variable Calculus

Contact Hours: 4x 1hr Lecture, 1x 1hr Tutorial

Assumed Knowledge:
Prerequisites:
Assessment:
Lecture Recordings? Yes - screen and voice recorded, plus document camera when used.

Notes/Materials Available: All lecture slides posted online, and past final exams available. Past class tests and tutorial problems with (usually) brief solutions supplied.

Textbook: Note: I don't use textbooks and can't comment on their usefulness.
Lecturer(s): Dr. Denis Potapov and Dr. Jan Zika

Year & Semester of completion: 2018 S1

Difficulty: 3/5

Overall Rating: 3.5/5

Your Mark/Grade: 95 HD

Comments: A generally quite interesting course. Some parts (like the topology introduction at the start) shined, but others (like the more applied bits of vector calculus) were somewhat dull. The second half with Dr. Zika was much more applied mathematics than I liked, but the theory behind it was quite interesting. Concepts from this course are expended upon in further courses, so it is a very good foundational course. A good course for those interested in applied mathematics, with the vector calculus part of the course, but a decently good grasp of the theoretical aspects of calculus is required (though you're meant to develop that throughout the course).
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: kierisuizahn on September 16, 2019, 10:39:54 pm
Subject Code/Name: MATH2601 - Higher Linear Algebra

Contact Hours: 2x 2hr Lecture, 1x 1hr Tutorial

Assumed Knowledge:
Prerequisites:
Assessment:
Lecture Recordings? Kind of - "Recordings" only include voice because blackboard was used exclusively

Notes/Materials Available: Lecture notes posted online, and past final exams available. Past class tests and problem sets with (some) solutions. Tutorial problems (not problem sets) with no solutions supplied online.

Textbook: Note: I don't use textbooks and can't comment on their usefulness. None prescribed, but useful references:
Lecturer(s): Dr. David Angell

Year & Semester of completion: 2018 S1

Difficulty: 3.5/5

Overall Rating: 4/5

Your Mark/Grade: 96 HD

Comments: A very proof-based course, which was a nice change of pace, though there were a few computation-heavy parts (Jordan forms and SVD namely). Dr. Angell was a great lecturer, and really got you engaged in the content. The tutorials were flipped-classroom style, and provided valuable feedback on proof style and coherency. Even with the computationally-heavy parts of the course, it was very interesting, and some parts were a nice challenge. Although not a prerequisite, a fair portion of MATH1081 proofs topic is used. Would recommend this course to anyone who enjoyed the conceptual proofs in MATH1241, or someone looking to develop their mathematical problem solving skills.
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: kierisuizahn on September 16, 2019, 10:40:51 pm

Subject Code/Name: MATH2901 - Higher Theory of Statistics

Contact Hours: 2x 2hr Lecture, 1x 1hr Tutorial

Assumed Knowledge:
Prerequisites:
Assessment:
Lecture Recordings? Yes - screen and voice recorded, plus document camera when used.

Notes/Materials Available: Lecture notes and course notes (pretty similar) posted online, and some (read: few) past final exams available. A few past midterms supplied, and solutions to the problems in the course notes.

Textbook: Note: I don't use textbooks and can't comment on their usefulness. None prescribed, but useful references:
Lecturer(s): Dr. Libo Li

Year & Semester of completion: 2018 S1

Difficulty: 2.5/5

Overall Rating: 2.5/5

Your Mark/Grade: 92 HD

Comments: I personally don't like statistics, so I'm quite biased, but the second half of the course (applied statistics) was quite boring and dry. There were some parts that interested me, but they weren't examinable (more exotic forms of convergence), and we didn't go into much detail. Some of the marking schemes used for the final and midterm were sort of unfair, and the marking for the assignments was really harsh to make up for the simple questions asked. I wouldn't recommend the course unless you have a natural interest in statistics, but MATH2901 is certainly more interesting than MATH2801 if you like pure mathematics. The course is pretty integration-heavy for the first half, and a lot of the second half is calculus and computation-heavy. Not a course I'd do a second time personally, but a useful course nonetheless.

Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: kierisuizahn on September 16, 2019, 10:41:20 pm

Subject Code/Name: MATH2221 - Higher Theory and Applications of Differential Equations

Contact Hours: 3x 1hr Lecture, 1x 1hr Tutorial

Assumed Knowledge:
Prerequisites:
Assessment:
Lecture Recordings? Yes - screen and voice recorded, plus document camera when used.

Notes/Materials Available: Lecture slides all posted online, and past final exams available with solutions. Tutorial problems with brief solutions for most questions.

Textbook: Note: I don't use textbooks and can't comment on their usefulness. None prescribed, but useful references:
Lecturer(s): Dr. Jan Zika

Year & Semester of completion: 2018 S2

Difficulty: 2/5

Overall Rating: 3/5

Your Mark/Grade: 97 HD

Comments: For a course I thought I'd hate, it was actually quite interesting. The course was quite computational, but Dr. Zika went into quite a bit of depth behind all the concept we learnt, and was very helpful during tutorials. The more conceptual questions were very nice (just like the theoretical vector calculus questions he wrote in the MATH2111 final), and a lot of "advanced" questions in the tutorial problems showed the applications of what we learnt, while also posing more challenging problems. As a lecturer, I found Dr. Zika to be good, especially if you like explanations through examples. Some of the conditions required in the statements of theorems were annoying to remember, but otherwise it was a pretty easy course, and a lot more fun than I had thought it would be.

Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: kierisuizahn on September 16, 2019, 10:41:59 pm

Subject Code/Name: MATH2621 - Higher Complex Analysis

Contact Hours: 1x 2hr, 1x 1hr Lecture, 1x 1hr Tutorial

Assumed Knowledge:
Prerequisites:
Assessment:
Lecture Recordings? Yes - screen and voice recorded, however the blackboard was used often.

Notes/Materials Available: Lecture slides and notes all posted online, and past final exams available. Tutorial problems with very very few answers (no working either).

Textbook: Note: I don't use textbooks and can't comment on their usefulness.
Lecturer(s): Dr. Alessandro Ottazzi and Prof. Michael Cowling

Year & Semester of completion: 2018 S2

Difficulty: 3.5/5

Overall Rating: 3.5/5

Your Mark/Grade: 91 HD

Comments: Overall a pretty interesting course, but a lot of theorems to remember with very specific conditions. This course mostly involved conceptual questions, but not too much difficult proof writing. Remembering the specifics in complex analysis was the most difficult part of this course, and they tested that you knew them well. Both lecturers explained things well, but I found Prof. Cowling more engaging in some respects. The course was a lot more theory-focused, so I wouldn't recommend taking this course unless you enjoy going through and understanding why theorems work and how they can be used to simplify problems. Some of the integration techniques taught are really cool, but difficult to see without being prompted, and require a lot of working to show (one specific question in the final on a single integral took up a couple of pages, though it was broken into parts). A lot of the stuff taught in the course can be linked to the several variable calculus taught in MATH2111, which made understanding the content a lot easier.
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: kierisuizahn on September 16, 2019, 10:42:42 pm

Subject Code/Name: MATH2701 - Abstract Algebra and Fundamental Analysis

Contact Hours: 1x 2hr, 1x 1hr Lecture, 1x 1hr Tutorial

Assumed Knowledge:
Prerequisites:
Assessment:
Lecture Recordings? No.

Notes/Materials Available: Lecture notes available, but the algebra notes were written by a past student and aren't properly edited. Past final exams and tutorial problems supplied.

Textbook: Note: I don't use textbooks and can't comment on their usefulness. None prescribed, but useful references:
Lecturer(s): Dr. Lee Zhao and Dr. Jie Du

Year & Semester of completion: 2018 S2

Difficulty: 5/5

Overall Rating: 4.5/5

Your Mark/Grade: 89 HD

Comments: A very very fun and very difficult course. The proofs in this course range a lot, but many of those covered in lectures are very difficult to reproduce. The course really helps you think abstractly, but a lot of people found it brutal, and went poorly. The assignments require a lot of thinking, so should not be left until the last minute. Dr. Zhao was a really good lecturer, and really helped develop my abstract thinking with how he explained the process of thought in developing the solutions to questions. Unfortunately, I feel as though Dr. Du was tasked with some of the more boring parts of this course, and the notes were difficult to follow at times. I am, however, an analysist before an algebraist, so I feel that might be some of my own bias coming into play. A good geometric intuition will help a lot with the algebra component of the course. I wouldn't recommend this course unless you really liked abstract thinking and a challenge.

Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: kierisuizahn on September 16, 2019, 10:43:35 pm


Subject Code/Name: MATH3411 - Information, Codes and Ciphers

Contact Hours: 1x 2hr, 1x 1hr Lecture, 1x 1hr Tutorial

Assumed Knowledge:
Prerequisites:
Assessment:
Lecture Recordings? Yes - screen and voice recorded, and sometimes the document camera.

Notes/Materials Available: Lecture notes and slides online, and past finals and class tests with some solutions provided. Tutorial problems, with completely worked solutions for (almost) all of them provided.

Textbook: None prescribed, but a lot of references. See the course outline for a list.

Lecturer(s): Dr. Thomas Britz

Year & Semester of completion: 2018 S2

Difficulty: 2.5/5

Overall Rating: 4/5

Your Mark/Grade: 96 HD

Comments: A very interesting course for anyone interested in information theory or computer science. The course was pretty easy, and there weren't many challenging problems, but the challenging problems that were there, were fun to do. Dr. Britz is an absolute gem, and an amazing lecturer. His teaching style is really good, and keeps you engaged to the content, even though the somewhat boring stuff. He's a very supportive lecturer, and made the course as great as it was. Even if information theory isn't your cup of tea, I'd recommend doing the course just for the lecturer.
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: kierisuizahn on September 17, 2019, 11:35:40 am

Subject Code/Name: COMP1531 - Software Engineering Fundamentals

Contact Hours: 2x 2hr Lecture, 1x 1hr Tutorial + 2hr Lab (Combined)

Assumed Knowledge:
Prerequisites:
Assessment:
Lecture Recordings? Yes - screen and voice recorded.

Notes/Materials Available: Lecture slides online. Tutorials and labs supplied with solutions online. Sample final and midterm exam provided.

Textbook: Note: I don't use textbooks and can't comment on their usefulness. None prescribed, but useful references:
Lecturer(s): Aarthi Natarajan

Year & Term of completion: 2019 T1

Difficulty: 1/5

Overall Rating: 2/5

Your Mark/Grade: 94 HD

Comments: A dry course I didn't find much fun in, but with some useful techniques. The marking was very subjective, but a lot of the tutors were relaxed in marking because of it, which made it alright. The main language for this course was Python, but you were expected to mostly self-teach it, and there were some other languages that were required in the web dev part of the course (HTML, Flask, Jinja, CSS + JS if you wanted). The project I found particularly boring, and without good group members, would have been unbearable; The course staff were good, but the content they had to teach was way too boring for them to be able to make it an interesting course regardless. A lot of the content was rote learnt, which I really didn't like, and made summaries somewhat of a necessity for the revision; a lot of the content was simple, but there was so much of it that you needed to spend more time than I initially planned studying for it. No web dev was tested in the final, as it was a major part of the project, and was difficult to test in an exam environment. I wouldn't recommend this course to anyone unless you need to do it for your degree, or it's required for a course you really want to do. If you do do it though, be prepared for rote.
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: kierisuizahn on September 17, 2019, 11:36:49 am

Subject Code/Name: COMP3411 - Artificial Intelligence

Contact Hours: 1x 3hr Lecture, 1x 1hr Tutorial

Assumed Knowledge:
Prerequisites:
Assessment:
Lecture Recordings? Yes - screen and voice recorded.

Notes/Materials Available: Notes on OpenLearning broken up into modules covering all the content. Lecture slides uploaded. Tutorial problems and solutions online. Sample final exam provided, but not in multiple choice format (from a previous session).

Textbook: Note: I don't use textbooks and can't comment on their usefulness. None prescribed, but useful references:
Lecturer(s): Dr. Alan Blair

Year & Term of completion: 2019 T1

Difficulty: 3/5

Overall Rating: 3/5

Your Mark/Grade: 93 HD

Comments: This course was a pretty interesting course overall, but didn't go into enough depth. Instead, we covered a lot of topics very briefly, which ended up leaving me somewhat starved for depth. A good introduction to different parts of the broad topic that is AI, but not very interesting if you're looking to go into certain topics a lot, and requiring a fair bit of calculation. The multiple choice format for the final was for quicker marking (now that trimesters force it), and was pretty well executed, but the previous written exams seemed to suit the course a lot more, and allowed them to test your understanding of the content better, beyond just being able to calculate the required quantities. Dr. Blair was a somewhat dry lecturer, which made the lecture slides easier to go through, but the content on OpenLearning was sufficient anyway.
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: kierisuizahn on September 17, 2019, 11:37:49 am
Subject Code/Name: MATH3711 - Higher Algebra

Contact Hours: 2x 2hr, 1x 1hr Lecture (1hr lecture was basically a tutorial)

Assumed Knowledge:
Prerequisites:
Assessment:
Lecture Recordings? No.

Notes/Materials Available: Lecture notes available online. Past final exams provided, some with solutions. Sample midterm provided with solutions. Problem sets with no solutions uploaded online.

Textbook: Note: I don't use textbooks and can't comment on their usefulness. None prescribed, but many references. See course outline for a list.

Lecturer(s): Dr. Mircea Voineagu

Year & Term of completion: 2019 T1

Difficulty: 4.5/5

Overall Rating: 4/5

Your Mark/Grade: 95 HD

Comments: I generally prefer analysis over algebra, but this course was actually really interesting. I probably would have enjoyed it more if it weren't examinable, as the timed assessments kind of sapped the joy out of doing the harder questions, but the course content itself was fun. It's easy to fall behind, since the pace of the course is quite fast, so I'd recommend keeping on top of things if you don't want to be cramming before the exam, and a few of the concepts are conceptually challenging, so having the lecturer explain them helped solidify my understanding. The lecture notes are mostly sufficient, but going to the lectures is recommended regardless.
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: kierisuizahn on September 17, 2019, 12:36:36 pm
Subject Code/Name: COMP2511 - Object-Oriented Design and Programming

Contact Hours: 2x 2hr Lecture, 1x 1hr Tutorial + 2hr Lab (Combined)

Assumed Knowledge:
Prerequisites:
Assessment:
Lecture Recordings? Yes - screen and voice recorded.

Notes/Materials Available: Lecture slides all uploaded. Tutorials and labs with solutions posted. Sample final exam provided, with solutions.

Textbook: Note: I don't use textbooks and can't comment on their usefulness. None prescribed, but useful references:
Lecturer(s): Dr. Ashesh Mahidadia

Year & Term of completion: 2019 T1

Difficulty: 2/5

Overall Rating: 3.5/5

Your Mark/Grade: 99 HD

Comments: I was expecting a re-run of COMP1531, but was pleasantly surprised when there was actually very little rote. Most of the course teaches design patterns, which are easy to remember if you implement them, and some of the refactoring techniques require rote, but overall the course was mostly about identifying the benefits of the design patterns, and gaining experience in applying them so you could identify what pattern would be suitable for certain problems. The project was really fun, though that might be because we went over the top, but was the best part of the course in my opinion. The lecture slides were somewhat disconnected, which made revision difficult having not attended lectures, but after writing out a summary of everything and organising it, the course was very easy to study for; the concepts taught in the course are really useful, and I would recommend this to anyone considering working in industry. A little bit dry at times, but overall, pretty good.
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: kierisuizahn on September 17, 2019, 12:37:16 pm
Subject Code/Name: COMP9417 - Machine Learning and Data Mining

Contact Hours: 2x 2hr Lecture, 1x 1hr Tutorial

Assumed Knowledge:
Prerequisites:
Assessment:
Lecture Recordings? Yes - screen and voice recorded.

Notes/Materials Available: Lecture slides all uploaded. Tutorials and solutions uploaded. Sample final exam which didn't represent the final exam format at all also supplied.

Textbook: Note: I don't use textbooks and can't comment on their usefulness. None prescribed, and many references. See course outline for a list

Lecturer(s): Dr. Michael Bain

Year & Term of completion: 2019 T1

Difficulty: 3/5

Overall Rating: 3/5

Your Mark/Grade: 90 HD

Comments: The course content itself was pretty interesting, though the first half of the course was pretty dry if you'd already done a course on statistics. The last part of the course on learning theory is really interesting if you're looking into theoretical CS. The homework problems were really easy, and didn't represent the kinds of questions in the final at all, which made it difficult to gauge the difficulty of the final exam. The sample final was somewhat useful in that regard, but it would have been nice if it was in the same format as the final. The labs and tutes got kind of repetitive after a while, where I was spending more time interpreting the supplied Python code than I was actually doing the lab, but they did a good job of making me learn the ML packages we used for the project. Dr. Bain was a dry lecturer, but he explained concepts well in an intuitive and easy-to-understand manner.

Rant time. The final exam was trash. It really ruined the course for me. That 3/5 rating doesn't take the final exam int account else it'd be -5/5. The first part of the exam was fine, but when we got to the second part all hell broke loose. There were multiple corrections mid-exam. About 50% of the second part was literally impossible to answer (the multiple choice "answers" were incorrect; a few of my friends even resorted to rigorous proofs to make sure they weren't just being stupid to prove there was no correct answer), and there were questions worth up to 12 marks. In a 120 mark exam with 60% of the final mark for the course, that's 6% of your overall grade. I can't say whether there were partial marks or not, but I hope to god there was or that was the worst excuse for a multiple choice exam I've seen. I'd say there weren't but the course admin and lecturer were being incredibly cryptic after the course forum started going crazy as people complained. The amount of calculations required for some if the questions was ridiculous for a multiple choice exam, taking an entire page or more (note we had no working paper so we had to use the space between questions) to get one answer to one question, which didn't even have a correct answer. Even better, after all these issues were brought up to the course admin, they told us it would be marked fairly, and then never told us what they were going to do or how it was marked anyway. I still don't know how it was marked and I sent an email explicitly asking how (to which I got a non-response). The management of the final exam was horrendous. I hope it's never like this again.
Title: Re: UNSW Course Reviews
Post by: kierisuizahn on September 17, 2019, 12:39:41 pm

Subject Code/Name: MATH3611 - Higher Analysis

Contact Hours: 2x 2hr, 1x 1hr Lecture (2nd hour of the last lecture of the week was basically a tutorial)

Assumed Knowledge:
Prerequisites:
Assessment:
Lecture Recordings? No.

Notes/Materials Available: Lecture notes uploaded, as well as solutions to the minor assignments. Problem sets with no solutions.

Textbook: Note: I don't use textbooks and can't comment on their usefulness.
Lecturer(s): Dr. Pinhas Grossman

Year & Term of completion: 2019 T1

Difficulty: 4/5

Overall Rating: 5/5

Your Mark/Grade: 97 HD

Comments: My favourite maths course so far. I really love analysis, so that's sort of to be expected, but the proof were really fun, and the content was right up my alley. Dr. Grossman was a great lecturer, although we went an a few long tangents which dropped us a little bit behind schedule (they were interesting tangents though, to be fair). I would highly recommend this course to anyone interested in pure mathematics. Our class collectively wrote up some solutions to a few of the problem sets, though as the term progressed that kind of died; definitely helped when studying for the final though. A lot of the interesting exercises are in the lecture notes, rather than the problem sets. Not really much to say, just a good course all-round.