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June 21, 2019, 07:08:40 am

Author Topic: UNSW Course Reviews  (Read 34388 times)  Share 

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DrDusk

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Re: UNSW Course Reviews
« Reply #90 on: May 13, 2019, 12:37:36 am »
+7
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. 
« Last Edit: May 27, 2019, 01:55:11 am by DrDusk »
UNSW:
B.Advanced Science Honours (Physics) / B.Science (Computer Science)

HSC 2018:
Atar aim:  95+ (Achieved)

fantasticbeasts3

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Re: UNSW Course Reviews
« Reply #91 on: May 13, 2019, 11:15:35 am »
+9
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.
HSC 2017: English (Standard) // Mathematics // Modern History // Legal Studies // Business Studies
2018-2022: Bachelor of International Studies/Bachelor of Media (PR & Advertising) @ UNSW

UNSW course reviews for Term 1 are much appreciated ❤️

katie,rinos

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Re: UNSW Course Reviews
« Reply #92 on: May 13, 2019, 02:19:22 pm »
+9
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 musicianís guide to theory and analysis. Itís 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 wasnít 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 weíd 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.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2019, 10:55:17 pm by katie,rinos »
Class of 2017 (Year 12): Advanced English, General Maths, Legal Studies, Music 1, Ancient History, History Extension, Hospitality
2018-2022: B Music/B Education (Secondary) [UNSW]

blasonduo

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Re: UNSW Course Reviews
« Reply #93 on: May 21, 2019, 09:16:14 pm »
+6
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.
HSC 2017 l Physics (medical) l Chemistry (forensic) l Biology (communication) l Maths 2u l Maths 3u l standard english :)

2018: UNSW B science (physics)/B education (EDST1104, EDST1108 PHYS1121 (:))) MATH1131)

S2: EDST1101, BIOS1101, MATH1231, PHYS1241 ( :-\)

2019 T1: EDST2003,  PHYS2111, MATH2089


HSC Physics Topics 1 & 2 Exam!

katie,rinos

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Re: UNSW Course Reviews
« Reply #94 on: May 21, 2019, 10:13:57 pm »
+6
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 didnít 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 didnít 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).
Class of 2017 (Year 12): Advanced English, General Maths, Legal Studies, Music 1, Ancient History, History Extension, Hospitality
2018-2022: B Music/B Education (Secondary) [UNSW]

RuiAce

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Re: UNSW Course Reviews
« Reply #95 on: May 22, 2019, 10:36:12 am »
+8
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.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2019, 10:42:13 am by RuiAce »

RuiAce

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Re: UNSW Course Reviews
« Reply #96 on: May 22, 2019, 05:03:36 pm »
+8
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.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2019, 09:49:03 am by RuiAce »

kierisuizahn

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Re: UNSW Course Reviews
« Reply #97 on: May 24, 2019, 10:31:42 pm »
+8
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:
  • 10% Weekly Lab Exercises - 10 labs, since a few weeks were skipped; grading system for these labs was ambiguous, as you could get >100% for each lab, and the marks could make up for lost marks in other labs; mostly easy based on stuff from lectures the week before or currently
  • 5% Blog - A weekly topic, reflecting on what you learned, assignment-specific topics when relevant; marked overall by your tutor, basically guaranteed marks if you did something each week
  • 30% Assignments - Two assignments, 15% each; generally difficult; second assignment was marked partially on its performance against others (trader bot, so competitively trading with other bots); both assignments had marks assigned to style
  • 20% Lab Exams - Two exams, one based on arrays, the other on linked lists; these form part of the hurdles system for this course (see comments); generally easy
  • 35% Final Exam - Split into a theory section and practical section; 14 marks assigned to theory questions at one mark each, generally short response (i.e. "what does this program output"), with no access to anything that could run programs or calculate for you; 70 marks assigned to practical questions, at 10 marks each with partial marks based on number of tests passed (different to those supplied in exam), and if your solution failed all tests it was manually marked by tutors (so you could get partial marks for a logically coherent solution)

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:
  • [Optional] Programming, Problem Solving, and Abstraction with C by Alistair Moffat

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.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2019, 11:33:16 pm by kierisuizahn »

kierisuizahn

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Re: UNSW Course Reviews
« Reply #98 on: May 24, 2019, 11:03:12 pm »
+8
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:
  • 8% Online Tutorials - A total of 12 online tutorials; best 8 of 12 counted for 1% each; each week alternated between algebra and calculus, and had four tests which could be attempted with no penalty any number of times; putting in the time to complete them each week (before the Sunday deadline when so many people tried to access Maple at once it would crash) would basically guarantee the marks
  • 4% Online Maple Tests - A total of 7 online tests; only the first 5 counted, the last two tests were just there as revision; the tests followed alongside the online Maple notes, so they could be completed with relative ease and were again basically guaranteed marks if you put in the time
  • 8% Maple Lab Test - Taken at a lab computer, consisting of about 15 questions which require the use of Maple software to complete (huge numbers and such that wouldn't be feasible without computer aid); prior to the exam a sample test was posted on MapleTA (the online platform used for the online tests) which included every question that could be asked in the lab test, and another that simulated the lab test, meaning if you could do those, then you had almost guaranteed marks; the lab test was single attempt, so any mistakes made would count against you, and no partial marks, but ample time to complete early and review your answers before submission
  • 20% Class Tests - Four tests, but best of three counted; two algebra and two calculus exams (alternating), which cover most of the content learnt until the exams; taken in your tutorial; mostly easy exams with only three or so questions each, but some requiring precise knowledge of theorems (as would be expected in the final exam); as with basically any non-multiple choice (also non-lab/online) maths exam, partial marks were awarded for incomplete solutions
  • 60% Final Exam - Four questions, with the first two shared with MATH1131 students; very very difficult (read: almost impossible) to finish in time, and generally more difficult questions towards the end; a mix of simple calculations, conceptually difficult questions, and long questions, but overall mostly balanced; past exams are a must

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:
  • [Prescribed] S.L. Salas, E. Hille and G.J. Etgen, Calculus Ė One and Several Variables, any recent edition, Wiley

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.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2019, 11:32:48 pm by kierisuizahn »

iregretdoingactl

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Re: UNSW Course Reviews
« Reply #99 on: May 24, 2019, 11:42:35 pm »
+7
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.

kierisuizahn

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Re: UNSW Course Reviews
« Reply #100 on: May 24, 2019, 11:58:37 pm »
+5
    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:
    • 5% Lab Prework Tests - Before every lab a test was posted online; ten marks, usually consisting of 3-4 questions worth a few marks each, and with every wrong answer to a question (or sub-question) penalising you 1/3rd of the marks for the (sub-)question; usually the main loss of marks is incorrect significant figures, but the questions themselves are quite straightforward, and a decent understanding of the lab and course content should render it quite easy
    • 15% Lab Work - In each lab, a certain number of marks is awarded to answering various questions, which may require you to collect results from an experiment and record them; labs are generally very time constrained, so it is best to do them quickly to ensure you have a bit of buffer room; tutors are strict on time and after the signal for the end of writing has been sounded, further work could result in 0 for that lab; total of 10 labs (correspondingly, 10 prelab tests), all count; other than time constraints, the questions are experiments are straightforward and it should be easy to get a decent mark in each lab
    • 10% Online Quizzes - A total of 6 quizzes completed online in the same way as the prelab tests; different marks for each quiz, but all weighted so each quiz is 1/6th of the 10% overall; the questions in these are much more difficult than much of the other assessments, and even the final exam to an extent, as you are given two weeks to complete them; definitely ensure you have a good understanding of the course content, and check your answers thoroughly, as wrong answers are penalised 1/3rd of the marks (that is, wrong once you get 2/3, twice you get 1/3, and thrice you get 0)
    • 70% Final Exam - Exam is split into sections, with 50% mechanics, 25% thermal physics, and 25% waves, in-line with the distribution of content in the course; the questions are less difficult than those in the quizzes, but harder than the homework problems (though some are at the homework problem difficulty), and it is overall a difficult exam; past exams are a must

    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:
    • [Prescribed] Fundamentals of Physics (Extended) 10th Edition, Halliday, Resnick & Walker, Pub. Wiley, ISBN: 9781118730232

    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]
    « Last Edit: May 25, 2019, 12:30:09 am by kierisuizahn »

    kierisuizahn

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    Re: UNSW Course Reviews
    « Reply #101 on: May 25, 2019, 12:23:51 am »
    +5
    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 Stream
    • 25% Interview - Required to complete an (up to) 10 minute interview with a working scientist (be that a professor at uni, or someone else), about their work; peer reviewed by other students in the cohort and averaged, but marks can be argued if unfair; required to review three other group's interviews; groups of four; generally easy marking if you follow the outline, but things such as video and sound quality are marked
    • 25% Graduate Attributes - A total of 10 attributes (one per tutorial), marked by completing a quiz at the end of the tutorial; each worth either 2% or 3%, and given 0 for an attribute if tutorial not attended (up to discretion of your tutor); very "fluffy" questions, so easy marks, but a drag
    Discipline Stream (Mathematics)
    • 10-20% Project Plan - A plan describing what topic your team will be completing a report on, along with expected deadlines for different parts of the report, an abstract, and initial research and sources; initially given a weighting of 20%, however, if the actual report received a higher mark than the project plan, the weighting was adjusted to 10% in favour of the report mark; marking criteria arbitrary, and limited to an A4 page, but it seemed like completing it was enough for decent marks
    • 30-40% Project Report - A report on an area of mathematics involving some form of modelling; expected to complete both the report (cited, and including your own analysis and insights), and present to the class explaining your project and your analysis methods/conclusions; marking criteria again very arbitrary, but lenient; lots of effort for a good mark, but not particularly "difficult" per se

    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.

    Jack89

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    Re: UNSW Course Reviews
    « Reply #102 on: May 25, 2019, 08:34:10 am »
    +5
    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.


    « Last Edit: May 25, 2019, 11:02:46 pm by Jack89 »

    Jack89

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    Re: UNSW Course Reviews
    « Reply #103 on: May 25, 2019, 09:05:47 am »
    +5
    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.

    Jack89

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    Re: UNSW Course Reviews
    « Reply #104 on: May 25, 2019, 10:20:11 pm »
    +4
    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
    « Last Edit: May 25, 2019, 11:01:55 pm by Jack89 »