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May 23, 2019, 06:41:20 am

Author Topic: UNSW Course Reviews  (Read 31206 times)  Share 

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RuiAce

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Re: UNSW Course Reviews
« Reply #75 on: November 27, 2018, 03:38:34 pm »
+8
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.

MLov

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Re: UNSW Course Reviews
« Reply #76 on: November 27, 2018, 08:15:41 pm »
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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.

MLov

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Re: UNSW Course Reviews
« Reply #77 on: November 27, 2018, 08:37:44 pm »
+8
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.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2018, 08:44:23 pm by MLov »

MLov

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Re: UNSW Course Reviews
« Reply #78 on: November 28, 2018, 09:06:03 pm »
+6
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?).
« Last Edit: December 07, 2018, 08:10:05 pm by MLov »

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Re: UNSW Course Reviews
« Reply #79 on: December 03, 2018, 06:51:59 pm »
+7
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.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2018, 10:22:44 pm by MisterNeo »
HSC 2017 | ATAR: 95.60
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Bachelor of Commerce with Bachelor of Science (Computer Science) at UNSW

RuiAce

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Re: UNSW Course Reviews
« Reply #80 on: December 07, 2018, 09:42:47 pm »
+9
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.)

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Re: UNSW Course Reviews
« Reply #81 on: December 13, 2018, 08:34:27 pm »
+8
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%.
2017: English (Advanced): 86 | Mathematics: 94 | Mathematics (Extension 1): 45 | Biology: 84 | Business Studies: 87 | Software Design and Development: 88

2018: Computer Science @ UNSW

blasonduo

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Re: UNSW Course Reviews
« Reply #82 on: December 15, 2018, 02:33:13 pm »
+7
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
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S2: EDST1101, BIOS1101, MATH1231, PHYS1241 ( :-\)

2019 T1: EDST2003,  PHYS2111, MATH2089


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MLov

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Re: UNSW Course Reviews
« Reply #83 on: December 16, 2018, 08:33:45 am »
+8
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.

katie,rinos

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Re: UNSW Course Reviews
« Reply #84 on: December 17, 2018, 12:20:09 pm »
+9
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 didnít 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 didnít need too much study to go well in.
Class of 2017 (Year 12): Advanced English, General Maths, Legal Studies, Music 1, Ancient History, History Extension, Hospitality
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Re: UNSW Course Reviews
« Reply #85 on: December 17, 2018, 08:23:18 pm »
+9
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.

« Last Edit: December 17, 2018, 09:52:20 pm by blasonduo »
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!

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Re: UNSW Course Reviews
« Reply #86 on: December 18, 2018, 10:44:19 pm »
+6
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).
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!

Jack89

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Re: UNSW Course Reviews
« Reply #87 on: December 21, 2018, 12:41:32 pm »
+6
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.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2018, 01:31:28 pm by Jack89 »

Jack89

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Re: UNSW Course Reviews
« Reply #88 on: December 21, 2018, 01:23:12 pm »
+7
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.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2018, 01:28:22 pm by Jack89 »

HelpICantThinkOfAName

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Re: UNSW Course Reviews
« Reply #89 on: May 12, 2019, 10:16:05 pm »
+5
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 Iíve 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. Markís 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 donít 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 thereís a $600 prize to whoever achieves the highest grade in the course, so thereís your motivation!
« Last Edit: May 15, 2019, 08:52:50 pm by HelpICantThinkOfAName »
HSC 2017: Mathematics 97, Modern 83, Ancient 83, Chemistry 81, Standard 81, SoR 1 41 ATAR 87.40

Studying Bachelor of Science @ UNSW