Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

November 20, 2019, 12:17:28 pm

Author Topic: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings  (Read 1060477 times)  Share 

0 Members and 11 Guests are viewing this topic.

teexo

  • Victorian
  • Trailblazer
  • *
  • Posts: 31
  • Respect: +7
  • School Grad Year: 2013
Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #615 on: November 18, 2016, 10:21:01 pm »
+5
Subject Code/Name: ACCT30004: Auditing and Assurance Services 

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

Assessment: 1hr mid sem test (15%), group assignment (15%), 3hr exam (70%).

Lectopia Enabled: Yes, with screen capture.

Past exams available: There were three but one was like from 2005 and not really relevant. Solutions weren't provided; only general comments on how to approach each question were given for one of the past exams.

Textbook Recommendation: The textbook used was Modern Auditing and Assurance Services. In terms of subject content, lectures were sufficient in my opinion. However, tute questions come from the textbook so youíll probably have to grab a copy from the library and take photos if you donít buy the book.

Lecturer(s): Trevor Tonkin

Year & Semester of completion: 2016, semester 2

Rating: 4.25 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: TBA

Comments: Hello final subject review. Itís been a ride getting to this 6th accounting review. And how nice of it to end with this subject taking out the highest rating Iíve awarded out of all my reviews. Anywho, letís get this underway.

Audit is almost like a culmination of everything accounting related that youíve learnt; you need to know some journal entries from ARA/IFA to know what may have been recorded incorrectly, thereís a couple of those flowchart things from APA, the process of appointing an auditor that was touched on in corp lawÖ but donít get me wrong, itís not heavily reliant on past knowledge coz you learn a lot of new stuff too. There are no calculations at all; it is mainly about the audit process, from client acceptance -> audit planning -> audit procedures and evidence -> audit opinion. I mean, thatís a very simplified overview but you can see the subject actually flows and itís not like a new topic pulled out of thin air each week. I also think it gives you a good idea of what it would actually be like to work as an auditor.

I quite liked audit and a part of that is because Trevor is one of the best lecturers Iíve had and my tutor was one of the best tutors Iíve had, and Iím usually pretty dependent on the lecturer and tutor. Trevor is a good balance of serious and funny, his explanations are clear and heís approachable. He does sometimes tend to use complicated language, particularly in the mid sem test, but I personally didnít mind that too much.

A bit about the assessments; mid sem wasnít too bad if you understand the first few lectures that the test covers, group assignment wasnít too bad if you understand the tutes related to the topics that the assignment covers however Iíve heard it was marked relatively hard, and the exam is of course a mix of testing your understanding of both lectures and tutorials and you get an idea of the style of exam qs by looking at past exams.

Audit is the final accounting subject for a reason; I mean you canít exactly audit accounts if you donít even know how the accounts came about in the first place but to me, the subject was more interesting than I had expected and I ended up quite enjoying it. And on that note, itís time for me to sign off and say thank you to all those who have taken the time to read my review/s :)
« Last Edit: November 18, 2016, 10:31:04 pm by teexo »

AbominableMowman

  • Victorian
  • Forum Leader
  • ****
  • Posts: 589
  • Respect: +29
Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #616 on: November 21, 2016, 07:35:38 pm »
+4
Subject Code/Name: SCIE20001: Thinking Scientifically

Workload:  N/A (This subject is taught online)

Assessment:  3 Online Quizzes (16.67%), Four Module Assessment Tasks (16.67% each) including one quiz in one assessment task, Take home final exam (16.67%)

Lectopia Enabled:  N/A

Past exams available:  N/A

Textbook Recommendation:  N/A

Lecturer(s): Andrew Drinnan, Sue Finch, Heather Gaunt, Ian Martin

Year & Semester of completion: 2016, Semester 2

Rating: 3.5 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: 86

Comments:

TL;DR: This is probably one of the easiest subjects I've done at uni. In saying that, there is one module that is a little challenging, but if you put in some work this subject is almost always a guaranteed H1. However, I found I learnt very little from this subject and if I had to physically go to the lectures I think I would've stopped going after 1 lecture. The content was just reposted videos from 2014 and it seems like almost no effort has been put towards updating the videos or providing new content. There was a discussion board where the staff regularly posted and were able to give assistance and feedback on assessments and this was quite useful because some assessment requirements were unclear.

Subject content:

Science Communication Module (Week 1-3) : This module involves 7 videos (around 15 minutes each) which explain the different methods through which science can be communicated to the public and the advantages/disadvantages of each method. The assessment for this module is worth 16.67% and involves two blog posts on a particular scientific issue. I found that the videos were quite useless and you could get a very good mark on the assessment by simply watching the video explaining the assessment.

Observation module (Week 4-6): This module involves 5 videos (around 30 mins each) which explain how scientific observations are made and the difference between objective and subjective observations. The assessment task involves making a series of objective observations (20 dot points, 800 words) and a short subjective interpretation (200 words). Similar to the first module, I found the videos quite useless and just watched the assessment video which explains in detail what is required, with an example.

Thinking with Data module (Week 7-9): This module was probably the most challenging part of the course, and the videos for this module were quite detailed. I would recommend watching the videos at least twice before you attempt any of the quizzes or the assignment. The assessment page for this subject is quite misleading as the Three quizzes (16.7%) sounds like they would be equally distributed throughout the semester but infact the three quizzes only examine this part of the subject. Essentially, this module is worth 33% of the whole subject which is almost double the exam, but this is made up by the fact that the exam does not examine this part of the subject. The assessment for this part consists of three quizzes (16.67% total) and an 'assignment' which involves a powerpoint presentation (12%) analysing a particular study's research method followed by a subsequent quiz about the study (4.7%). This is probably the most important part of the subject in terms of marks, and the videos are quite useful. Honestly, almost all of the marks I lost for the subject were from this module (due to a lack of effort on my part) and if you put enough effort into this module a 95+ in the subject is definitely possible.

Science in the media module (Week 10-12): This is probably the easiest part of this course (with the exception of the exam) and it is easy to score highly on the assignment (16.67%) without even watching the videos. Essentially it just involves critiquing a scientific newspaper article from certain major newspapers (e.g. The Age, New York Times, Herald Sun, etc). and showing  how the science in the article was misreported. I'd recommend going for a sub par newspaper from the list as you are likely to find many more mistakes.

General content: There are some videos uploaded throughout the semester which are general content on the philosophy of science, research methods, etc. I found these videos quite useless.

The exam (16.67%) : The exam was just a take home exam of 1000 words in which you are given an article or a series of articles and asked to answer short questions (total of 1000 words). I don't think I used any of the concepts from the course and still scored 99% on the final exam.

« Last Edit: November 22, 2016, 11:27:46 am by AbominableMowman »
2014 - VCE

2015 - 2017

idontknow7

  • Victorian
  • Adventurer
  • *
  • Posts: 16
  • Respect: 0
  • School Grad Year: 2014
Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #617 on: November 24, 2016, 06:59:56 pm »
+3
Subject Code/Name: PSYC30013 Research Methods for Human Inquiry 

Workload:  1 x 2-hour lecture and 1 x 1-hour tutorial each week.

Assessment:  Assignment (35%) and Multiple Choice Exam (65%)

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture.

Past exams available:  No, but some practise questions and weekly problem sets were provided.

Textbook Recommendation:  No prescribed textbook. They did recommend a standard first year stats textbook for additional readings (Statistics for the Behavioural Sciences by Frederick J. Gravetter), but the detail provided in the lecture material was more than sufficient.

Lecturer(s): Paul Dudgeon (Weeks 1-10), Geoff Saw (Week 11), Stephen Bowden (Weeks 11-12).

Year & Semester of completion: 2016, Semester 1.

Rating:  4 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1 (83)

Comments: This is one of the two compulsory third year psychology subjects. I know that a lot of people (me included) dread and despise the statistics-based part of psychology, but in the later years you really start to understand how necessary it is in research and is super important if you want to go on and do Honours/Masters. The content from this subject also helps a lot with the major assignment for Psychological Science: Research and Practice, in which you are actually required to apply the principles learnt in this subject. I personally found this subject very challenging (I am not a statsy kind of person at all), I put twice as much work into it as my other subjects and just scraped an H1...it didn't help that the content itself was mostly quite dry. Having said that, the lecturers all did a great job at making statistics somewhat interesting and engaging.

Paul Dudgeon takes most of the lectures for this course - Weeks 1 & 2 were focused on research designs and 'underlying principles' in psychological research. Week 3 focused on research questions for Associations (correlations, chi-squares, odds ratio). Weeks 4 & 5 were about research questions for Predictions (simple regression, multiple regression). Then Weeks 6-10 were all about Group Differences, so mostly ANOVA (Analysis of Variance). I found all the ANOVA stuff the most challenging by far, it was quite complex and there was a lot of terminology that sounded similar but described different concepts. Then in Week 11, the first hour was taken by Geoff Saw, who went over the last bit of ANOVA and gave a brief overview of the whole course (Geoff is a great lecturer, did an awesome job of tying all the content together). The last two weeks were spent on Psychological Assessment, which was quite different from the Research Methods component. This was mostly all about the different types of reliability and validity. I felt like this part of the course was a bit rushed, as it was covered in just 3 hours of lectures but a decent proportion of the exam was focused on it. Also, Stephen's lecture slides were a bit minimal, but the readings provided were really helpful.

The lab classes/tutorials had an 80% attendance hurdle. I found them really useful - it was basically computer work every week, going over how to perform all the analyses that had been covered in the lectures in SPSS. My tutor went through everything really slowly and clearly, and actually doing the analyses and writing them up made it much easier to understand what we were actually measuring than just passively listening in the lectures. Although we didnít do the analyses for the assignment in class, the labs really helped with the assignment, as we basically just had to do what we did in the labs but with different data.

The assignment was pretty tough, it had two parts: in the first, some information was given on IVs and what was being measured, and then the task was to form research questions, perform some analyses in SPSS and write up a kind of extended response. Everyone was given a different set of data. The hardest part was forming the research questions, the instructions weren't the clearest so I wasn't sure if I was on the right track and most of the questions people asked on the discussion board couldn't be answered as we were expected to take initiative. The second part was easier, it was just short answer questions that were fairly straightforward. The exam consisted of 90 multiple-choice questions, 72 on research methods and 18 on psychological assessment. I found it quite challenging as there was so much content covered and a few of the questions were ambiguous. On the plus side, we were not required to memorise any formulas - a formula sheet was given so that made most of the calculations quite straightforward. But it was really really important to study well and properly understand all the concepts for the exam.

Overall, I gave this subject 4 out of 5 because even though I didn't really enjoy it, statistics is a necessary evil in psychology, and this subject helps build a great foundation for later study. It was also very well-taught - for each week, detailed lecture notes were provided in addition to the slides, as well as a very large amount of feedback questions/revision material (MCQs, short answer questions and problem sets for each lecture). There were also "Terminator Salvation Sessions", I didn't attend them but I think they were basically consultations to help people better understand the content, and there was an additional revision lecture during SWOTVAC (it was even recorded!) which helped a lot.

AbominableMowman

  • Victorian
  • Forum Leader
  • ****
  • Posts: 589
  • Respect: +29
Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #618 on: November 24, 2016, 09:37:18 pm »
+1
Subject Code/Name: BTCH30002 Trends & Issues in Agrifood Biotech 

Workload:  One 2 hour lecture per week (Only one slot, Monday 2:15-4:15 PM) which is more like 1 hour because the lecturer tends to ramble on and digress a fair bit, One 1 hour tutorial per week

Assessment:  An Oral Presentation about a topic relating to plant biotechnology (10%), 1 hour Mid semester Test consisting of 5 questions from which you must pick 4 to answer (25%), A report on a chosen topic that is different from your oral presentation (15%), 2 hour end-of semester examination consisting of 5 short answer questions from which you must pick 4 to answer (50%)

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture

Past exams available:  Yes, one is available on the library website and many practice questions are provided

Textbook Recommendation:  N/A

Lecturer(s): Professor Mohan Singh, A. Professor Phil Salisbury

Year & Semester of completion: 2016, Semester 1

Rating:  4 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: 82

Comments:

TL;DR: This is one of the core subjects in the Biotechnology major (if you are pursuing a Agri-food Biotech major) and is fairly easy in terms of content. Most people probably complete it in third year, but I recommend you complete it in second year if you have space, as it is has no prerequisites and is very light workload. In terms of content, it can be dry at times (especially around week 6-8 when you learn about different gene editing techniques), but most of the content is very interesting and applicable regardless of what specialisation you are pursuing in Biotech. If you are going to do this subject in third year, I'd recommend to do BTCH20002 your second year, second semester as the content overlaps (almost 50% is the same content). I did this subject first then did BTCH20002 and found that BTCH20002 was extremely easy because I knew almost all of the content (see my BTCH20002 review).

Subject Content
The subject content is broken down into three distinct parts, which are: Agricultural Biotechnology and plant modification techniques (Week 1-4),Gene editing for stress tolerance and biofortification (Week 5-7) and GMO's, including animal biotechnology (8-9,12). I found the part of the subject relating to GMOs particularly interesting. The 10th and 11th weeks have no lectures as this is dedicated to the oral presentations.

The lectures themselves can be quite boring at times because Mohan tends to drone on a little bit and is quite a slow speaker. However, most lectures (except the first few) finished in 1 hour or so. Later on during the semester, there are some guest lecturers who were more interesting to listen to. The tutorials however, have a 75% attendance hurdle and because there are 10 tutorials during the semester (not including one optional exam revision tutorial), you must attend 8/10 tutorials to pass the subject. Each tutorial consists of around 5 questions (based on the week's lectures) which you answer in groups and present to the class. I would recommend going to ALL of the tutorials, as the tutorials are the basis of the MST questions as well as the exam questions. They are also an extremely good summary of the lectures and definitely reinforce the content.

Assessment:
The Mid semester test (25%): This test is probably the easiest way to score marks in the whole subject as it examines the first 4 weeks of content and it is simply 5 of the tutorial questions from which you must answer 4. If you attend the tutorials and use the tutorial questions as practice, you will do very well on it.

The Oral presentation (10%): This assessment involves an oral presentation about a topic that relates to plant modification/genetic improvements and you do it in pairs. I felt like this is quite a subjective assessment and the tutor gave different marks to essentially the exact same presentation..However if you put effort into it you can score a 7/10 easily.

The Essay/Report (15%): This one was a bit more challenging, as it involved a lot of tedious research and graphs/analysis of results, etc. However, I'd recommend going to watch all of the oral presentations as they can help in developing your ideas for the essays.

The exam (50%): The exam was pretty much the exact same format as the Mid-Semester test except it examined all of the lectures . Again, I cannot reiterate how useful it is to attend all tutorials as the exam questions were just tutorial questions combined to form questions that require longer answers. Overall, there isn't much understanding involved in this subject, it involves just memorising pretty basic information and combining them into a coherent answer.
2014 - VCE

2015 - 2017

myanacondadont

  • No exam discussion
  • Forum Obsessive
  • *
  • Posts: 301
  • Respect: +12
  • School Grad Year: 2014
Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #619 on: November 25, 2016, 11:56:07 am »
+3
Subject Code/Name: ACCT20002 Intermediate Financial Accounting

Workload:  1 2-hour lecture and 1 1-hour tutorial per week

Assessment:  20% midsemester exam, 10% tutorial preparation, participation and attendance, 70% final exam

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes

Past exams available:  Yes, 4

Textbook Recommendation:  Yeah I'd say get it. It contains all tutorial questions and some of the chapters are actually useful

Lecturer(s): Noel Boys

Year & Semester of completion: 2016 Semester 2

Rating:  4.5 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: TBA

Comments:

Hmmmm, so

Intermediate Financial Accounting (IFA2), at the time of writing, is probably regarded as the hardest subject in the Accounting major. Coming into the subject, I was definitely nervous because so so so many people say its nigh impossible and in comparison to IFA1, it is just in a whole other galaxy.

Now for background, I didnít take accounting in VCE and so the only background of debits and credits I had was IFA1 Ė which I didnít take too seriously and you can probably find my past score somewhere in my posts. IFA2 prides itself on being a Ďtrueí accounting subject in that it focuses almost purely on debits and credits in general journal entries and consolidation worksheets. The first few weeks of the course really mind boggled me because I had entirely forgotten what accounting was and it was a harsh reality check. Noel Boys was our lecturer (and Iíll elaborate on him soon) and he said in the opening lecture that he assumes 100% knowledge of IFA and ARA. This is quite daunting, however the first lecture sort of covers what he means Ė like he presumes we already know the Conceptual Framework (that Ďassets are resources controlled by blah blah past event blah blah future economic benefitsí and all that), in addition to reporting regulations. However, the lecture covers it all and this is where most students lose marks in the mid semester test. The first lecture is huuuuuuge, and it contains a lot of just plain definitions of things like auditorís report and all this crap Ė most people pass it over assuming itís just sort of catch up from ARA/IFA, make sure you learn it!

So to make this review as readable as possible, Iím going to break it up. Iíll start with lectures. As said above, the first lecture was huge. Iíd advise studying it pretty heavily, even in comparison to the weeks after that Ė most people donít study it because itís the first week and it contains admin stuff. IFA2 goes through things like cost versus revaluation model for PPE after acquisition, income taxes and foreign currency transactions & translations. This stuff is actually quite full on and takes a fair bit of study each week to keep up to date. At week 7, however, you are met with a whole new beast; consolidations. This topic spans 3 weeks and forms 30% of the final exam. Everyone I knew said consolidations is really the hardest thing in the subject; but I felt as if it would only be difficult if you fell behind. It really takes your understanding and uses it in a completely different way. Note though, I think consolidations has been made easier than previous years and so itís not as much of a beast as it was. The lectures themselves are decently long. Noel Boys though, is the best lecturer Iíve had at Uni 100%. He is the funniest person and honestly just a whiz. If you have the choice of deciding between Sem 1 and 2, choose the semester with Boys.

The tutorials have set questions from the textbook as practice. These questions are often much harder than the questions in the tutorial and the exam and they often require you to do things that arenít required in IFA2. The questions for the tutorial are uploaded on LMS but the numbers arenít filled out so you canít do them beforehand Ė so the only option you have for practice beforehand is to do the textbook. That being said, I did all of them and they do create a solid understanding and coming in to the tutorial you can really grasp what the key points your tutor is saying. I think thereís 5% marks dedicated to that whole participation thing Ė easy to do, do it. Thereís another 5% dedicated to assessable tests on WileyPlus throughout the semester Ė again, easy enough to do so do it.

The mid-semester test Iíd say is by far the hardest part of IFA2. The average in our semester was 48% if I remember correctly. I donít really have any advice to give, but it really packs in the content. It goes for an hour and has 30 questions (again, if I remember correctly) and really requires you to apply knowledge. Iíd suggest reviewing EVERY SINGLE SLIDE and make sure you can understand things.

Finally, the exam. We were provided with 4 practice exams which helped consolidate understanding but donít really reflect the actual exam itself. The exam is a mix of theory and application which is interesting as there isnít often much theory throughout the semester Ė it kind of requires your extrapolation. I donít think the exam was necessarily that hard but it definitely contained some tricks. As an example, I scored 65% on the mid sem, but ~85% on the final exam. That kind of reflects the difference in difficulty.


nhmn0301

  • Victorian
  • Forum Obsessive
  • ***
  • Posts: 379
  • Respect: +15
  • School: The University of Melboure
  • School Grad Year: 2017
Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #620 on: November 25, 2016, 04:05:42 pm »
+6
Subject Code/Name: ECON20005 Competition and Strategy

Workload: Weekly 2 x 1 hour lectures,  1 x 1 hour tutorial

Assessment: (a bit interesting)
        max {3 assignments (30% - each worths 10%) and a final exam (70%) ;  final exam (100%)}
       This means that if you do very well on the final exam (>70%), then your final grade will be the score you got on the exam, otherwise, assignment will count towards your final grade.

Lectopia Enabled: Yes. Though Jun tends to use laser pointer and writes on the board some examples so it might be a bit difficult if you watch at home.

Past exams available: No. BUT Jun and our tutor (Daniel) had kindly written 4 practice exams with detailed solution for us and come very handy for exam revision.

Textbook recommendation: Games of Strategy, by Avinash Dixit, Susan Skeath, David H. Reiley, Jr., Third Edition, W.W. Norton and Company (eds.)  - I personally don't use the textbook but sometimes the tutorials can refer to some questions on the textbook and I just borrow it from the library and read through

Lecturer: Jun Xiao (a great lecturer!). He explains things very clearly and also a very friendly lecturer.

Year & Semester of completion: 2016, Semester 2

Rating: 5/5

Grades: H1

Comments:
Let me start off by saying this subject was known to be very poorly rated by previous students but everything is completely changed this year!! (in a good way).
The entire course content is divided into 12 topics and they link pretty well with each other. They are also a nice development from the things you have learned in Intro Micro (or even Inter Micro if you have taken them).

        Topic 1: Sequential game
        Topic 2: Simultaneous game
        Topic 3: Continuous game
        Topic 4: Repeated game
The first 4 topics in my personal opinion is relatively easy to understand. However, though Jun only present the basic case in lecture slides, he will require you to think a bit outside the box in assignment and final exams. Prepare yourself to some massive game tree too!! Also, you would need to know how to distinguish between: Assurance, Chicken game etc just by looking at the NE from payoff table.

       Topic 5: Oligopoly 1
       Topic 6: Oligopoly 2
If you have done Inter micro, this should be easy for you (can't recall exactly for Intro Micro sorry). It's essentially just math and Jun tends to cooperate these topics with some of the 4 topics above (e.g: should a firm enter a market given that he encounter a cost of ____, draw a game tree and find the Subgame perfect Nash equilibrium)

       Topic 7: Information
This is where the course becomes more interesting. This topic is essentially about: 1) distinguish between different types of buyers in the market by screening them (say by deciding that they have to buy more than "x" amount of goods to be a valuable member of the store). 2) moral hazard model - this model is used to screen things that you are unable to observe (e.g: 2 types of worker - High effort and Low effort. High effort worker creates larger probability of success, how to create a contract that can induce workers to work at High effort?)

      Topic 8: Collective Action
Mainly about Social Welfare: things like Public good and Private good that you have encountered in Intro Micro. You would definitely need to know how to distinguish between a Prisoner's Dilemma Collective Action game (NE is not as optimal as other non-NE outcome), Assurance collective action game (where people tends to do the same action with each other) and Chicken Collective action game (people tends to do opposite action to each other).

     Topic 9: Auction
     Topic 10: Collusion and Lobbying in Auction
You would definitely need to remember why English auction and Second price auction are similar and how to derive bidding strategy in each of these game. Similarly for Dutch auction and First price auction. Also understand the Winner's Curse phenomenon (basically when a bidder over-valuate the good and win but the quality/actual value of the good is not as high as what he expected) and how to avoid it.

    Topic 11: Holdup
    Topic 12: Price wars
This year, these 2 topics do not appear on any tutorials or final exam but they are not too difficult to understand. Lots of the math I believed have been greatly simplified by Jun since this is still a level 2 course (he simplified math in Auction too, which you will learn a bit more about in Micro 3)
And thats about it  ;D !!

Comments on assessment: Though I've heard some students do complain about the difficulty of the assignment, I personally think it is quite fair with a mix of medium - hard questions. Assignment questions let you know how you are going with the course (with some chances of not even counted in your final grade) and also very good to re-do again for final revision.
The final exam difficulty is around the same as the assignment (maybe just a little bit harder) and quite rush on time so make sure you know your math well and the method of going around specific types of questions to save up some time :) !

Final note: I think this is a great subject to take if you are interested in the game theory component of Intro Micro or just want a relatively manageable commerce subject to take. Jun and our tutor Daniel have made a great effort in providing so many supplementary materials to help students with the math and also understand the concepts in lecture by having extra practice questions. I am impressed at the devotion to teaching of the staff members!
To anyone who is doing Economics major or consider taking ECON30010 Microeconomics, as a past-student of Micro 3, I think Compet Stat will help you quite a lot in understanding some basic concept in Micro 3 since majority of Micro 3 is related to Game theory and Auction.

Let me know if you have any further questions and good luck with the semester :) !!!
« Last Edit: November 26, 2016, 12:24:42 pm by nhmn0301 »
2015-2017: Bachelor of Biomedicine

makeevolution

  • Non-Student
  • Adventurer
  • *
  • Posts: 16
  • Respect: 0
  • School: GJIS
Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #621 on: November 25, 2016, 06:28:36 pm »
+3
Subject Code/Name: ELEN30011 Electrical Device Modelling

Workload:  3x1 hr lectures per week for 12 weeks
                           1x3 hr workshop per week for 12 weeks

Assessment:  Final exam Open Book 60%
                                Workshop reports 30%
                                Mid semester test Closed Book 10%

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, but useless because Peter (the lecturer) writes on the board

Past exams available:  Yes from 2010 (7 if you're taking this subject in 2017). Past mid sems were also available with detailed solutions

Textbook Recommendation: 
W.H. Hayt, J.A. Buck, Engineering Electromagnetics. McGraw-Hill, 8th Edition (For week 1-9)
B.G. Streetman, S. Banerjee, Solid State Electronic Devices. Prentice-Hall, 6th Edition (For week 10-12)

Lecturer(s): Peter Dower

Year & Semester of completion: 2016 Semester 2

Rating:  2 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: 80

Comments:

This is a very difficult and demanding subject; don't take it unless you have to/you have a very good mathematics background (vector calc) and a good mark for physics 2. I'd say take vector calc before this subject many of my friends benefit from that; eng maths' vector calc is inadequate coz in eng maths vector calc is merely computational; for this subject you need to actually understand what the vec calc concepts mean. If you haven't taken ENED, I also suggest you don't take this subject because many of the examples in lectures talk about transfer functions, op amps, etc. and he just talks about it in lectures assuming you know them already (even transfer functions was in my exam). I took this subject purely out of interest, having only taking eng maths and the pre reqs, which is a fatal mistake (as my master degrees peers also told me way after its too late to withdraw  :'( :'( :'( :'(  )

The subject started off covering a general revision of vector calculus (yes its just revision although eng maths/vec calc is not a pre requisite, revise your vec calc course before going into the subject). It takes 3 weeks including the introduction lectures. The third week was mainly vec calc examples. Then in week 4 to 7 you start Maxwell's equations and device modelling (what is actually a resistor, an inductor etc). In week 8 to 9 you'll start learning about transmission lines (your telephone/fibre optic cable lines) and various models of it. Lastly in week 10 to 12 you talk about semiconductors (which models diodes and transistors that governs your iphones). Pretty cool stuff.

The first few weeks may seem easy, don't be fooled. You need to grasp these vector calc stuff very well because it will be heavily used in the later topics. Peter, the lecturer is very highly mathematical and his tests/exams, although this is a physics subject, requires you to do lots and lots of math. Some of the required vector calc concepts, for example projections of vector fields to a surface, is not even in the lecture notes. Various definitions of conservative fields are not even in the lecture notes. Hence you need to refer to your vector calc notes as well; don't merely rely on his lecture slides. I spoke to him and he said that he expects us to know these things already; he's merely revising.

The next topic (Maxwell eqn, resistor capacitor inductor conductor insulator modelling) expands on your knowledge of physics 2 and applies it to model various electrical devices. He will explain things as if you see them for the first time but he's gonna skip some very important details (e.g. surface of a conductor is an equipotential) because he assumes you know it already from physics 2. Hence also revise physics 2 thoroughly in your studies. I didn't do this and so spent my whole mid sem break revising these topics. Don't do the same mistake.

The transmission lines section were short but most of the stuff that he's gonna ask you on the exam for this topic is not on the lecture notes. He writes them on the board and so you need to keep good records of whatever he writes on the board. Especially termination strategies, it's nowhere in the lecture notes; he writes them on the board. This topic is not as difficult/mathsy as the other topics though but you need a solid understanding of circuit theory.

And the last (and the most difficult) topic is semiconductors. This topic is unlike any other; so many things jumbled around and it's very very confusing. The arguments given for some phenomenon are somehow ad hoc and so require memorisation. Each lecture builds on the previous one directly so attend the lectures. There are many logical explanations for each phenomenon that you might think is plausible but turns out to be wrong, so I highly recommend you don't just swallow what Peter tells you; think of objections and discuss it with him. He's gonna ask you some questions that require critical thinking in exam and so get them basics understood properly. This topic is full of partial differential equations and some Laplace operators so be prepared for those as well.

Lectures:
The lectures are not too bad. They are full of real life examples of the stuff you learn in the subject. However Peter spends wayyyyy too much time in these examples and spends little time in explaining the required concepts. Really he should've used this time to do some worked examples. Oh, and he does everything on the whiteboard, nothing is recorded only his voice which is useless without the board so do attend lectures; as I said many things that are examinable he writes on the board, but are not necessarily on the lecture notes.

Lecturer is very approachable and talkative; he wouldn't mind explaining things to you even to the minutest detail. Very smart and knowledgable guy. Do ask questions to him, he doesn't mind spending an hour after lectures just answering your questions.

Workshops/assessments:
In-semester assessments are only workshop reports and a mid sem test on week 8.

11 workshops in total; 6 workshops sheets some sheets take 2 or 3 workshops to complete. Basically all you have to do with your partner is to complete the sheets within the allocated time for that particular sheet, and then submit a workshop report for that sheet. The first three sheets are purely calculations, the last 3 are combinations of answering questions and hands on work (using oscilloscope etc).
The first 3 workshops should be easy enough provided you catch up with the lectures. The last 3 are the beasts.

The last 3 involves lecture material that haven't been taught yet, for example workshop 4 is due on week 7 although it requires you to understand week 8 lectures, and so if you want to be able to answer the questions look ahead at those lectures. This is the low point of the workshops. Another warning from me is that you're not taught on how to use the lab equipment (i.e oscilloscope etc) the tutors sort of assume you remember from ENED/Foen/DSD and so revise how to use them, otherwise your lab time will be literally hell (like mine) and you wont be able to submit the report on time (no late submissions btw). The tutors were helpful, even if you ask correctly they might accidentally give you the answer to the questions on the sheet so ask cleverly. The equipment were sometimes faulty (especially the workshop 5 ones), so my suggestion is do the experiments during the workshop times and do the questions at home to give you more time to finish off the experiments. The workshops also involve op amps and transfer functions, hence the need to do ENED first although it's not listed as pre req. The tutors mark the reports quite leniently though.

Get a good lab partner; you will have to discuss the concepts with him/her. If your lab partner has difficulty in English (like mine) or doesn't catch up with lecture material, you're in for a bad time.

Mid Sem:
1 hour standard mid sem. Similar to previous years, but it seems to me it gets more difficult as the years pass by (e.g. 2015 and 2016 is much harder than 2010). The first few questions really checks your conceptual understanding of the physics, where the last questions test your mathematical skills. Study hard, because the average mark of mid sem of the class for 2015 and 2016 is ~50%.

Resources:
Peter gives worked problems as well as past mid sems, with fully (and meticulously) worked solutions. However I must emphasize the worked problems are much easier compared to the mid sems and exam.  It's not adequate for exam prep; you need to google around to prep for his exams/mid sems. The worked problems also sometimes merely asks you to derive the theorems/skipped steps in the lecture notes and so is not a good exam mock up.

I found http://www.propagation.gatech.edu/ECE3025/index.html
to be mostly in line with Peter's syllabus and also quite helpful. It also has worked problems which is very nice.
Another resource is ocw.mit.edu , and just type in electromagnetism. It's basically physics 2; so if you lost your notes for physics 2 just refer to that website, lots of worked examples.

Some other resources were the prescribed book; READ IT! I don't recommend buying; just borrow from library. The book by Hayt (which is for weeks 1-9) is much more useful rather than the other book (for weeks 10-12).

For some more good worked problems, borrow Schaum's Electromagnetics from the library. That book is simply king.

He has consultations hours but doesn't advertise it; you have to email him personally. Otherwise he is approachable after lectures and is quite willing to spend an hour after lecture for discussion which is nice!

Final Exam:
My worst nightmare. I thought I have mastered everything, brought all the textbooks and printed all the lecture notes (contact me if you want them rather than printing yourself) but it was just utterly difficult. My advice is to do the easy ones first (the straightforward calculations) and then do the difficult ones, because the difficult ones are both conceptually and mathematically challenging. Even if you have known what the physics is about and know how to do it, you're still faced with mathematical issues e.g. use rectangular or spherical coordinates in the integrals, converting between coordinate systems, actually computing the integrals etc. which chews up your exam time. I personally don't think you can finish the exam in 3 hours; it even takes 10 minutes to read and understand each question! I suggest that you just write down the integrals/equations but don't solve for the final solution; move ahead to other questions and solve for the solution later, because I believe the marks are mostly for understanding and just little is allocated for correct final solution.

Another advice is to practice writing proofs/show that... questions at home by timing yourself, and see how detailed you can be in a given time limit.

All in all, this subject was the most difficult subject I've ever done in uni. Don't do this subject if you're not an electrical eng major, or if you don't have solid vector calc background knowledge. One good news though is I heard gossips that this subject scales the exam/final subject marks, which for me is the only possible explanation as to how I got a H1 ;D ;D ;D ;D. I learnt a lot of cool and useful stuff, however the stress and the confusion was definitely not worth it.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2016, 06:34:10 pm by makeevolution »

Yacoubb

  • Victorian
  • Forum Obsessive
  • ***
  • Posts: 216
  • Respect: +25
Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #622 on: November 25, 2016, 07:36:11 pm »
+1
Subject Code/Name: PHYS20009: Research-based Physiology   

Workload:  one x 1 hour lecture and one x 3 hour practical per week. Total Time Commitment: 48 contact hours with an estimated total time commitment of 170 hours (including non-contact time)

Assessment:
- Written reports of up to 1000 words each due during the semester (20%);
- Class participation during the semester (5%);
- Effective PRS participation and contributions (5%),
- A research-project and written report of up to 2000 words due during semester (30%);
- Ongoing assessment of e-Learning activities(10%);
- A 2-hour written examination in the examination period (30%)

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture.

Past exams available:  Yes - past exams are available on the university library page. However, 2012 semester 2 is the only exam that was written by the current coordinator (Dr. Deanne Skelley). Nonetheless, go through all the exams as many questions are repeated/similar questions are used by Dr. Deanne.

Textbook Recommendation:  No textbook is required - lecture notes will suffice.

Lecturer(s): Dr. Deanne Skelley

Year & Semester of completion: 2016 Semester 2

Rating:  4 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1 (89)

Comments:

Overall, this subject was a great subject to take. Being a practical/research-based subject, there was a larger emphasis on the application of theory as opposed to mere rote-learning, which coming from my degree oriented towards a Micro/Immuno major, is a breath of fresh air. I'll start off with Dr. Deanne Skelley. Look, I'm not going to lie, she is not the most approachable nor the nicest lecturer. Between her hit-and-miss jokes, and her projections of being too good for everyone, you're left with a rather unpleasant experience with her. Nonetheless, she does the job of a lecturer and coordinator well. As a lecturer, she guides you towards understanding what is required for the assessments, particularly the exam (I will come to this later), and she also provides feedback that is beneficial. Furthermore, she is quite prompt with replying to emails, and is often more than happy to help if the issues are concerning special consideration/technology problems, etc. Overall, she could be nicer, but gets the job done.

Lectures: As mentioned in the workload, the contact hours for this subject are not too demanding. Weekly, there is one, 1-hour lecture that covers the materials relevant for the practical/workshop to come. The lectures are structured in a way where for every practical, you receive a pre-practical lecture and a post-practical lecture. The pre-practical lecture basically covers the fundamentals of the theory concerning the practical (e.g. if the practical is on cardiovascular responses in humans, you will be given the basics of the heart, cardiovascular system and the baroreceptor reflex). The post-practical lecture, which is the week following that of the practical (more on that below), will involve exploration of a few more aspects of the theory, as well as any advice on the write-up of the practical itself. This is really helpful because it ties in anything that was covered in the practical, and basically provides a way to tie up any of those loose ends so that you can polish your practical report (more on that later, too).

PRS: the PRS system is an easy way to get 5%. Attending more than 75% of the lectures will get you a guaranteed 5%. Throughout the lectures, there will be a number of questions that are answered using the PRS clickers. It is a great way to make sure you're on track with any theory, or any queries you may have are settled once she goes through the solution to the particular question. You are not penalised if you don't get the question right. As long as you answer one question, that will basically secure your 'attendance'.

Workshops/Practicals: the slot for practicals is a given 3-hour block during the week. If you have a workshop, it only runs for 2 out of the 3 hours, and a practical runs for the full 3 hours.
(a) Pre-Practical Test: you are required to complete a pre-practical test prior to your practical session. This pre-prac will be made up of some multiple choice questions, as well as some short-answer questions. These tests are usually out of 10 (some are 9, some 11). My biggest piece of advice for these is to make sure that you include every detail you believe is relevant. What do I mean by this? Well, basically if you think 'Should I include this?', include it. This is because I found that for the first pre-practical I completed, the feedback was mainly on including points that I did not think were necessarily imperative in including. E.g. if you're discussing a drug acting on the heart to increase heart rate, make sure you say something like "the drug acts as b1 receptor antagonist, resulting in a decrease in heart rate). This will ensure you leave no room for criticism, and in turn maximise your marks. For a given practical, which is assessed, 5% of your total practical mark is made up of this pre-practical.
(b) Practical: the practical runs over 3 hours. The beginning of this practical involves a briefing session by one of the senior demonstrators, where they go through the contents of the lecture and safety precautions, as well as giving advice on appropriate management. Each practical will have relevant pages that include the method of the practical, a little background info and also questions to be answered - this is provided on the LMS. You are also provided with a sheet onto which your results will be collated. Your practical is done in groups allocated to you from the beginning of the semester, which is great because you can bounce ideas off one another and ensure you're all on the right track. The practicals are relatively straight-forward, and getting through it all is facilitated by demonstrators who are great. Ask them questions!!! They know their stuff and are more than happy to help.
(c) Results/Practical report: once you finish your practical and your results have been collected, the next task is to make sure you get your practical report typed up. This is pretty straightforward - you have to scan your results sheet, and then answer the questions in the lab manual in 500 words. Be clear, concise, to-the-point and make sure you include all the key aspects for the relevant questions. You don't need to include any aims/hypotheses/etc., and it is so helpful and time-saving that you only need to answer the questions directly. These usually take a week to be corrected. Your results make up 25% of the practical report (which is so easy in my opinion to get the 25% of), and the discussion (i.e. answering the questions in the lab manual) is 70%. You have four practical reports to do in total, each of them 5%, making up 20% of your total grade. You only receive a grade with feedback (e.g. H1) - you do not receive any actual mark for your practicals.

The workshops are structured in a way where you need to apply your theory and usually work in your allocated practical groups to come up with hypotheses/learn to use Excel to make spreadsheets and necessary calculations, etc. In these workshops, you need to submit (as a group) an E-learning task (which may involve for example coming up with hypotheses, making calculations of standard errors of mean or even designing an experiment based on theory you're given in the lectures). E-learning contributes to 10% of your grade. Try and work well in your group! My group was awesome - we were not only fun, but we were able to bounce ideas off one another to come up with great work! You also only receive a grade (e.g. H1) and no actual mark for these tasks.

Assignment: trust me when I tell you, thermoregulation will never be more hated by anyone as much as it is by PHYS20009 students. This is a major assignment for which you are required to write an abstract/introduction/methods and materials/results (including graphs)/discussion/conclusion on a practical you do involving thermoregulation. Every semester the nature of the practical varies (e.g. we did a subject immersing his legs into cold water, whilst semester 1 was thermoregulatory responses to heating). However, the nature of the practical is that you will need to use the theory you've collected over the semester to develop this report. A few tips:
1. Drafts: every week from the commencement of the practical, you will be able to submit a draft. SUBMIT THOSE DRAFTS. I submitted one for every section completed, except the results and discussion (because GAMSAT life). For the results, we had to do a copious amount of graphs and follow the same structure for all 23 graphs, so I only submitted around 5 in my draft and so it worked fine because I could just use the feedback from those to emulate for the remainder of my graphs. But the discussion I could no get done in one week, so I submitted a shitty copy and I never even ended up using a bit of it. I got a H1 for all sections in my practical, and H2A for the discussion. This was PURELY because I winged the discussion and had guidance from feedback for all the other sections. All in all, this task is so daunting and makes you want to rip the hair out of your head - however, if you work through it all and follow the criteria and Deanne's advice, it isn't difficult to do well in. Unlike the practicals and other assessments in this subject, you actual get the mark and grade for this (I got 85.5 / H1). This is great because it comes out a few days before the exam, and with a bit of Math, you can calculate the amount you'll need for a H1, in the exam.

Exam: Okay, this is worth 30% of your mark. I promise you, it is NOT a difficult exam, if you approach it correctly. As I mentioned above, do as many exams as you can from the library because many questions are repeated! Furthermore, Dr. Deanne is great in the sense that she tells you a LOT about the exam, so there are usually no real surprises. The exam is out of 60. The first 40 or so marks are fine and usually very doable because she tells a lot about what will make up these 40 marks, and also the questions in practice past papers help enormously. All she tells you about the remaining 20 marks is what types of questions to expect. This is the section with the most application - you're essentially given a case study, and you're asked to write a hypothesis, explain the results and underlying physiological mechanism, anything about the study design, ethics/limitations, etc. Our case study this semester was a little iffy (it was about pregnant women who had exercised 2 years before pregnancy vs. those who hadn't, and it was very bizarre, but doable if you got the point of the extract). The exam overall was very much doable!

Overall, I really enjoyed this subject. My practical group was amazing and we all got along so well that now we are so inexplicably linked. I've made great friends with them all, and without this group, it would have been pretty hard to do well. Moral of this? Try and really work as a team. It'll help you all out. We had a facebook group and we always helped out one another. If you have any questions, let me know! Best of luck :)
2013-2014: VCE
2015-2017: BSc. at University of Melbourne. Majoring in Microbiology & Immunology.
2018: Honours - Restoring immunocompetency in Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia
2019-2022: Doctor of Medicine (MD) at Deakin University

Completed VCE Biology in 2013 with a study score of 47. Offering tutoring in VCE Biology for 2020 in Geelong region! PM me for more details.

makeevolution

  • Non-Student
  • Adventurer
  • *
  • Posts: 16
  • Respect: 0
  • School: GJIS
Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #623 on: November 25, 2016, 08:49:40 pm »
+1
Subject Code/Name: ELEN30012 Signals and Systems

Workload:  Lectures: 3x1 hr lectures per week
                  Workshop: 1x2 hr Lectures per week starting week 2

Assessment: Final exam closed book 60%
                   Mid sem test closed book 10%
                   3 assignments assigned in week 7, week 9, week 11 each worth 5%
                   Workshops (assessed inside the workshop) 15%, each workshop worth 1.5%

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes

Past exams available:  Yes 2014 and 2015, previous exams were also available but written by another lecturer

Textbook Recommendation:  None, the lecture notes are more than enough. But I also used Alan Oppenheim's signals and systems book though

Lecturer(s): Robert Schmid

Year & Semester of completion: 2016 Sem 2

Rating:  4 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: 98

Comments:

content:
Overall, this subject is relatively straightforward. The topics covered were:
-Mathematical foundations of signals and systems
-convolution
-Fourier series and transforms
-Laplace and z transforms
-State space representations
-Transfer Functions

I have to mention; this subject requires you to be able to write mathematical proofs (like pure maths subjects) probably since Robert himself is a mathematician. So before walking into this subject familiarise yourself with writing proofs (contrapositive, contradiction etc.) and try to develop that "flair"/"instinct" when given something to prove (what I mean is that creativity in proving math theorems e.g. given you have to prove something for a set of natural numbers you could instictively come up about breaking the case into proving separately for both odd and even numbers).

Quite a number of people walk into this subject with difficulty in their mathematical background. This subject assumes you're familiar with matrices manipulation (i.e. not just eigenvalues etc. but also for proofs) and complex numbers. Revise them before doing this subject.

The concepts themselves are difficult to understand the first time you see them. Really do spend some time struggling with the concepts; Youtube the particular concept etc. This subject could easily turn into a "plug into the formula" subject; don't let that happen to you, really do understand what's going on and the physical implications of the theorems, because the exam has tricky questions and so if your mentality is "plug into formula" you'll get a bad time in the exam (the exam is hurdle and Robert is a very strict marker; he told us in lectures he doesn't scale up the mark at all/fit to a curve).

Lectures:
The lecturer, Robert, explains things very clearly and succinctly. He has this thing called problem booklet which is full of practice questions for this subject, along with answers at the back as well as a sample exam. He would do some of these problems in the lectures so it's really good for us to know what he expects of us in the exam. He is also approachable; gives chances to ask questions at the end of lectures and have consultation hours as well. The consultation hours tend to get packed though so better ask him stuff at the end of lectures. The low point of the lectures would be that he digresses quite a number of times from the lecture material, breaking your focus. But apart from that lectures are generally good.

Workshops:
11 workshops; each workshop sheet given a week before the workshop and there are pre workshops to do before each workshop. These are generally easy; I suggest do the whole workshop even before the workshop as they are not too hard. In the workshop you finish off the rest of the workshop with your group partners, which are assigned to you at workshop 1. The workshops are all MATLAB implementations of things; you better revise your matlab skills before commencing this subject because the subject assumes you know basic matlab already. You need to finish the workshop sheet before the end of that workshop, at which the tutor will check your answers and give you marks if you get them right.

Assessments:
3 assignments that basically is a tweak of the workshops questions. For example if the workshop is exploring first order diff eqn. then the assignments will explore 2nd order diff eqns. You do the assignments in your workshop groups. They are not hard as long as you keep up with lectures. You can do the assignments by yourself and then compare with your mates; that's what I did.

Mid sems:
Many questions similar/even exactly the same to the problem booklet questions. 1 hr closed book test. Not too difficult given you do the problem booklet questions. No trick questions whatsoever here. Past midsems provided with worked solutions which is nice.

Final exam:
Similar to the mid semester test, except there are trick questions here. The last question of the exam is the most difficult one; don't expect to be able to answer it unless you have a good mathematical flair. Apart from that, just make sure you know how to do each problem in the problem booklet, understand the concepts being examined and you should get a decent score.

The problem booklet questions could, as I said, give you that "ah this problem-use and plug in this formula!" mentality because the problem booklet questions doesn't really test your conceptual understanding. Don't let that happen to you because the exam tests conceptual understanding as well. Use some other books/resources to test your conceptual understanding; I'd advice you consult Schaum's Signals and Systems and Alan Oppenheim on http://www.ocw.mit to come to grips with conceptual understanding

All in all a very straightforward subject. Concepts are difficult to understand the first time you see them but once you get it, it becomes very easy. Topics are connected between each other; understand the connections. If you put in the effort (do the problem booklet regularly, understand the concepts etc.) you will get H1 guaranteed.

makeevolution

  • Non-Student
  • Adventurer
  • *
  • Posts: 16
  • Respect: 0
  • School: GJIS
Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #624 on: November 25, 2016, 09:50:08 pm »
+2
Subject Code/Name: MCEN30014 Mechanical Design 

Workload:  3x1 hr lectures per week (no lectures in week 11 and 12; one exam prep lecture in week 12 though)
                  Optional design drop in sessions (more on this later)

Assessment:     

ē One two-hour end-of-semester examination (40%) CLOSED BOOK
ē Three assignments (projects) total of 60% -

Assignment 1 (48%) assessed tasks in weeks, 2, 4, 6 8 - approximately 40 hours work per student
Assignment 2 (6%) week 9 - 8 to 10 hours work per student
Assignment 3 (6%) week 10 - 8 to 10 hours work per student

Hurdle requirement: Students must pass all assignments and the end of semester exam in order to pass the subject.

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes with screen capture

Past exams available:  6 past exams from 2010 onwards

Textbook Recommendation:  Introduction to Engineering Design, Bruce W. Field
                                          Introduction to Engineering Design, 1st Edition from Andrew Samuel, John Weir.

GET THESE BOOKS; no need to buy, just get it from the library. The Shigley book is useless; you must use these. He follows these books in the lectures; even some of the assignments were based on these books so read them.

Lecturer(s): Colin Burvill

Year & Semester of completion: 2016 Sem 2

Rating: 2 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: 81

Comments:

Content and assessments:
This subject surveys 3 different things:
-Engineering design process (weeks 1-5)
-Engineering drawings (weeks 6-7)
-Structural failures (mainly fatigue and shaft design) (remainder of the weeks)
-WARMAN project

Engineering design process section is just application of common sense. It's like one of these things about "describe the advantage of a car over a motorcycle", which you can just come up by common sense without having to learn anything. Not too difficult, and actually quite interesting. Assignment 1 is all about engineering design process, which I will talk about in more detail later

In engineering drawings you go over into talking about various engineering drawing types and techniques, and you will make your own in assignment 2.

Structural failures is a survey of different failure modes and criteria of failure of a mechanical system, how to properly conduct a failure analysis; all this is applied in the context of shaft design.

Until now, it seems pretty straightforward right? Now let's talk about WARMAN, which is the worst part of this subject.

Colin wants you to get hands on and dirty in terms of engineering design process. So, you and your mates (you pick them yourselves maximum 5 people) are going to be assigned to complete a project called WARMAN, which is a Australasian engineering design competition. Every year the project changes. What you have to do is to design and BUILD a mechanical system that completes a specific required task. Just Youtube WARMAN and check out the previous year's projects.

You will have to use the engineering workshop (The huge big chocolate builiding with big glass doors nearby House of Cards) to build your system. You will have to go through a series of induction sessions, training sessions and answering a lot of online quiz questions before you can work in the workshop. It's much better to get this done before the semester starts because trying to do these sessions during the semester is hectic (the training sessions are also populated with students from masters level subjects, and there is a quota for each training session so its a first in first serve thing). To get enrolled in the workshop training sessions before the semester starts, go to your LMS, go to communities, and then search for: "MSE Workshop Tools Training". Enrol in the community and follow the instructions there.

Get your groups right; the project is not easy at all. It requires a lot of dedication, especially dedication to learn stuff that are not taught in lectures through youtube etc. You are also stuck with the group for all your assignments so get them right; the assignments are worth more than half your subject mark so your group really determines your mark.

Also before the semester starts, try to get aquinted with "Arduino", which is a PLD (like the brain for robots). In the competition, you are not allowed to control your system wirelessly/manually the system has to be able to move by itself. Therefore you need to be able to use this PLD to allow the motors etc. of your system move independently without human aid. Before the semester starts try to get an arduino and learn how to use it; you won't have time learning how to use it in the semester. Also, learn how to use Solidworks/Inventor because the final report for this project requires a CAD model of your system and so you'll need it. There are help for these stuff available from uni (in LMS under Mech eng student communities), but they are mostly just one off seminars and you don't get personalised help; you're supposed to learn about it by yourself through youtube etc.; these stuff are not taught in lectures at all. Also get aquinted with 3D printings in the workshop if you never seen them before.

Assignment 1 basically is divided into 4 parts; each parts assesses and aids your progress in the design phase of your system. The third part of the assignment is the actual test run of your team's device, which occurs in week 8(!). So yeah, you only have 2 months to design a system from scratch without any background knowledge on programming electronics or manufacturing. That's why it's very important to get yourself prepared with these things BEFORE the semester starts. Chew off some of your holiday; it will be worth it.

One more thing with WARMAN; you are expected to provide the materials for your system yourself. The engineering workshop sometimes are able to give you some scrap material but for the wheels of your system or the arduino etc. you have to buy yourself. So if you have problems financially I suggest you don't take this subject; there's a lot of trial and error and so you might spend much more money than you planned (I personally spent 100 bucks).

For assignment 3 (as well as the exam), I suggest that you revise mechanics and materials thoroughly before the semester, especially the mechanics part (Mohr's circle, Von Mises etc). He assumes you know these things already and so did not do any revision on these topics at all in the lectures.

Lectures:
The first few lectures were cool and exciting. I liked seeing the real life implications of engineering design procedures etc. However, as we venture into engineering drawing and structural failure, the lecturer doesn't do worked problems in the lectures; yeah he does it but half heartedly, just pointing stuff on his slides using his pointer and it gets very confusing. Nightmare for exam preparation. Therefore, for the structural failure and engineering drawing sections I suggest you study from the books I recommended above rather from lectures; the lectures exactly follow the books (the lecturer sort of co-wrote the book several years ago so the examples in the lectures are actually taken from those books).

design drop in sessions:
These will be marked as tutorials in your timetable. They are not compulsory; they are rather like consultation hours for you to ask questions about WARMAN or assignment 2 and 3. They are run by post grad students.

Final Exam:
Not too bad. Make sure you understand each examples given in the lectures as well as the books I mentioned. Do the past exams and make sure you know how to correctly do especially the shaft design stuff. There will be a final consultation session 2 days before the exam in which you can ask all these things. The questions are mostly repeating the previous year's exams, with just different devices to be analysed.

All in all, the subject is exciting and fun, provided you do your homework as i said before you walk into the subject. The WARMAN stuff really does give you an insight into teamwork and real engineering design stuff, not just calculations and theory. I don't suggest you take this subject as elective/breadth; the WARMAN project really chews off your time (you might have to sacrifice lectures or workshops for other subjects so that you can do work in the engineering workshop).

RKTR

  • Victorian
  • Forum Leader
  • ****
  • Posts: 611
  • Respect: +17
Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #625 on: November 26, 2016, 11:56:18 am »
+2
Subject Code/Name: BLAW10001 Principles of Business Law
Workload:  1x 2hour lecture per week, 1 weekly e-tutorial, 3x1hour feedback workshops for the whole semester

Assessment:  Two hour-long multiple-choice tests (10% each) in weeks 4 and 9,
1.5 hour exam (80%) during the examination period.

Lectopia Enabled:  Sadly no

Past exams available:  No past exam but we were given 1 practice exam.

Textbook Recommendation:  First Principles of Business Law (textbook and enclosed e-tutorials) - latest edition.

Lecturer(s): Tanya Josev

Year & Semester of completion: 2016 Semester 2

Rating:  5 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: 97

Comments:

Lectures
The lecture theatre is pretty full because of how many people are taking this subject so get there a bit earlier if you want to get a good seat. A 2 hour lecture might sound daunting as most of the lectures for other subjects only last for 1 hour. Luckily Tanya gave us a 5 min break in between. Make sure you pay attention during lectures and write down important stuff the lecturer said as the lectures are not recorded.

E-tutorials
They do not contribute towards your final mark. However, I would encourage you to do them as they will help with your understanding. Try to do them every week and not leave them until it is close to MSTs or the final exam especially if you bought a secondhand book and need to do them in the law libraries because many people will be doing the same.

Workshops
There are 3 workshops during the semester, 1 each the week before each MST and 1 in week 12. Theses workshops are optional and I only went to the first one. They give you the opportunity to ask questions about the practice tests and exams during the workshops. Make sure you go to them if you have any confusion about the practice tests and exams because during consultation hours the consultation tutor is different and he will not be answering those questions.

MST
The 2 MSTs are slightly harder than the practice versions. However, it is still possible to get high marks because it is open book and you can do it online at home. Try to make some summary notes about each lecture and make brief summaries about cases for the MSTs to save you time from flipping through the thick book.

Exam
Prepare a good cheatsheet including the cases and important theories. There is a few really hard questions where more than 1 options might look right at first glance but overall the exam is still not difficult to do well in.

I would recommend this subject if you are trying to find an easy breadth and aiming for an easy H1.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2016, 11:58:59 am by RKTR »
2015-2017: Bachelor of Biomedicine (Neuroscience)
2018: Doctor of Medicine (Withdrawn)
2019: Bachelor of Commerce (Actuarial Studies?)

Fleety

  • Victorian
  • Fresh Poster
  • *
  • Posts: 2
  • Respect: +3
Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #626 on: November 30, 2016, 12:25:17 pm »
+3
Subject Code/Name: BCMB30004: Cell Signalling & Neurochemistry

Workload:  Per week: 3 Lectures (1Hr) & 1 Tutorial (1Hr)

Assessment: 3 hour written exam held in examination period (70%); two 1 hour written examinations held
during semester (7.5% x 2 = 15%); An essay assessment due mid-semester (15%).

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes

Past exams available:  Yes, last years was on the LMS, and several others (not 100% relevant) on the Exam Repository

Textbook Recommendation:  N/A

Lecturer(s):
Heung-Chin Cheng (Coordinator) Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
Marie Bogoyevitch Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
Justine Mintern Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
Greg Moseley Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
Harshal Nandurkar Department of Medicine, Alfred Hospital, Monash University
Carli Roulston St. Vincentís Hospital, Department of Medicine, University of Melbourne

Year & Semester of completion:

Rating:  4 of 5

Your Mark/Grade: 89

Comments:
I completed this subject as part of the Neuroscience major.  I know when i read these reviews, i'm not so much looking for a traditional review of the subject, but more of a guide to doing well, so i will try to include tips where possible. I had some qualms with the subject during the semester, but overall found it to be enjoyable and rewarding. Heung-Chin Cheng is the coordinator for this subject, and you truly get the sense that he is passionate about educating the class, and seeks to actively engage the class in ways outside the 'traditional' lecture format of "come, listen, leave".

MSTs: (2x7.5)
Overall, they were pretty fair assessment. The weighting of them was a little strange, but if you know your content, there shouldn't be too much surprise. I didn't do too well in these tests (averaged 67%), but it didn't matter too much as they're only worth 7.5% each. They serve more as a 'checkpoint' for study, forcing you to actively revise the content a bit more through semester, which for someone who generally does better in the final exam, this suited my learning style. Look at the previous exams, tutorial questions and any practice test given, as i found in both tests there was a repeat question.

Assignment: (15)
Initially found the assignment quite confusing. Everyone is given one of 4 topics from 3 of the lecturers, where we were asked to read a scientific paper and write a critical review on it. Whilst the material given is a bit higher than the level of the course, each lecturer will deliver a whole tutorial which goes through the technical parts of the article in detail, giving you guidance and tips on how to direct your review - so make sure you attend that tutorial. The assignment is only 1000 words, is given out in the early stages of the semester, and is usually due after the mid sem break, giving you ample time to complete it. Creating your own diagrams in this assessment will reward you in the grading of the assignment!

Exam (70) - 3 hours
In my year, the format was as follows:
Spoiler
Section A MCQ 60 marks (20 MCQs worth 3 each)
Section B Short Answer Q1 = 20 marks Q2 = 15 marks Q3 = 15 marks (50 marks)
Section C Short Answer Q1 = 25 marks Q2 = 15 marks (40 marks)
Section D Short Answer 15 Marks
Section E Short Answer 15 Marks
TOTAL MARKS AVAILABLE = 180
For the exam, you are required to remember a lot of signalling pathways. Some of which are pretty extensive and complex, but once you've learned them with good detail, it's pretty hard to encounter a question which you will not be familiar with. I would liken this style of assessment to that of second year biochemistry (Biochemistry and Molecular Biology) - lots of drawing diagrams, annotating them and explaining what you've drawn. I found that for most of the lecturers, you could get a pretty good idea of what they were going to ask. If you have questions specific to the exam please PM me. My tips would be: know all the big signalling pathways - you can take an educated guess at what each lecturer will be looking for on the exam. When revising, draw, draw and draw some more - you need to be able to draw clear diagrams of the pathways you're expected to learn - it will definitely aid your responses. Doing the practice exams given on the LMS and searching through the repository will definitely give you a good idea of what to expect on the final exam, so i would recommend doing them.

Overall:
Whilst some of the content is a little clunky (some of Cheng's diagrams are a little hard to decipher, but he often goes into more detail on the structural analysis than is required to remember for the exam), the assessment for the subject is reasonably fair. The large weighting of the final exam will reward those who actively revise the subject throughout semester, particularly if you've got a good memory of pathways, diagrams and images. Enjoyed the subject for the most part. Happy to answer questions.
2012: Further
2013: English, Biology, Specialist Maths, Chemistry, Methods.
ATAR: 93.50
2014-2016: Bachelor of Science @ UoM (Major: Neuroscience)
2017-2020: Doctor of Medicine (MD) @ UoM

cassiecate

  • Victorian
  • Forum Regular
  • **
  • Posts: 72
  • Respect: +9
Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #627 on: December 03, 2016, 05:25:46 pm »
+6
Subject Code/Name:  MAST20022 Group Theory and Linear Algebra

Workload:  3 x one hour lectures per week, 1 x one hour practice class per week.

Assessment:  3 written assignments due at regular intervals during semester contributed to total 20%, a 3-hour written examination (80%).

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture. In this year Alex wrote on the white board in all Tuesday lectures so the recordings only have audio. He mentioned that he originally planned to write on board instead of using document camera in every lecture, but the board in Baldwin Spencer theatre where the Wednesday/Thursdayís lecture held did not allow him to do so.

Past exams available:  Yes, 2 past exams from 14 and 15, both with solutions.

Textbook Recommendation:  Lecture notes are updated throughout the semester and can be accessed on the subject homepage. The subject homepage also listed other references/resources as well as the lecture notes from previous year.

Lecturer(s):  Dr Alexandru Ghitza

Year & Semester of completion:  2016, Semester 2

Rating:  5 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1 (86)

Comments:

As the prerequisite for third year subject Algebra, GTLA is indeed the more "pure math" one among all these second year subjects offered by math department in semester 2. The contents are no doubt quite intelligently simulating, and even more interesting, in fact Iíd say that this is by far the most interesting math subject I ever took in uni.

It also has one of the smallest cohorts in all second year math subjects (if not the smallest), mostly taken by students intended to major in mathematics, physics or computer science.

Lectures

As its title stated, this subject can be mainly divided into two topics: group theory and linear algebra. This year Alex decided to split each of them into two subtopics and teach them alternately, last year from the notes it seemed that he taught all the linear algebra parts altogether at first, then moved to groups.

We first started off from a small topic called modular arithmetic, we learnt about greatest common divisor (gcd), division algorithm, Euclidean algorithm and their applications, then we moved to modular congruences and integers modulo m, the latter will be introduced more throughly in the group topic. At last Alex gave us a glimpse of fields and what means algebraically closed field.

Then started the first part of the linear algebra topic, at first Alex revised some first year linear algebra topics that are relevant to this subject, such as linear transformation, matrix representation and change of basis, but itís rather quickly (all in one lecture iirc), so I suggest revisit your first year notes if those parts have already become unfamiliar. After this we learnt about eigenspaces, complements of a subspace, direct sum of subspaces, characteristic & minimal polynomial, Cayley-Hamilton theorem and upper triangular form, all these small topics are related to each other and provided motivation & foundation for  the key topic of this part: Jordan normal form. This part is very well-coordinated, I was feeling a bit like walking in the fog the first week into it, but after a few lectures the structure and connections in-between all topics became more and more clear and all things made perfect sense. There are two interludes in this part, special relativity, which is fundamentally a linear transformation and solving the simple epidemic stochastic model, which is an application of Jordan normal form. Alex had interludes structured in all the parts after modular arithmetic and are quite enthusiastic in explaining them in depth, itís actually really nice to know some practical examples of these rather theoretical theorems & lemmas.

In the next part we would get in touch with the concept of group for the first time, Alex started with definitions and some basic examples, after that we learnt about permutation and symmetric groups, then subgroup that are generated by a set and order of elements in a group/subgroup. At this point it starts to get a lot more abstract so please make sure you donít get behind and grip a firm understanding on each concept. Then we reached another important topic, group homomorphism and isomorphism, which will be used a lot later. After this Alex introduced direct product of groups, cosets of subgroup in a group, the set of cosets which is called quotient, as well as quotient as groups. We would study about normal subgroups, kernel/image of a group homomorphism, their relationship with the two groups in this homomorphic and the first isomorphic theorem for groups.  Then we arrived at a relatively new topic about free group and group representations, it may seems bizarre the first time you hear about it, but not completely incomprehensible if one spends some time looking into it. Next comes the final topic of this part, conditions on orders of elements and subgroups, with a few theorems given at first, we would reach a popular application of it: public key cryptography aka RSA. There are quite a lot definitions in this part and most of them are totally new to most of us, so I think itís a good idea to stay on top of everything after each new lecture and continuingly do revisions on previous ones.

Then we went back to the second linear algebra part and learnt about inner product spaces. In first year we dealt with inner product in real inner product space, now we would also do so in complex ones. After introducing definition and properties, Alex elaborated on orthogonal complements, adjoint transformation and how a linear transformation can be defined as self-adjoint/isometry/normal (these are the generic names, there are also different names over real and complex inner product spaces, but Alex said we would stick to the generic ones in this subjects). Then we moved to the relationship of f-invariant subspace and their orthogonal complement which is f adjoint-invariant, where f is a linear transformation, this led to normal form of isometries on real spaces and the orthonormal basis of these spaces. The proof of this one is a bit complicated and takes some time to get a hold with. At last we would learn about spectral theorem, which is again an extremely important topic in this subjects and very convenient to use in many proofs. After this are two optional topics, which Alex just mentioned briefly this semester due to not enough time left.

Now comes the last part of the subject, which is about actions of groups on sets. Alex talked about the concept of a group G acting on a set X (called G-action on X), the orbit and stabiliser of element x in X, which then led to the orbit-stabailiser theorem. Then we studied counting via group actions, one of the most common applications of it is the number of ways to colour the edges of a regular n-gon by finite number of colours. Then we would look through two particular actions, left multiplication action and conjugation action, and briefly examine the existence of elements of prime order. After these Alex taught us the last (examinable) topic of this subjects, Sylow theorem and its application on group of different orders. Thereís also another optional topic at the end which we didnít get time to cover either.

Alex is, by all means, a wonderful lecturer. He explained everything (even those seemingly make nonsense at the first time) really well in lectures, and was extraordinarily helpful during consultation hours. No matter how stupid the question you asked, he would always try to understand your standing and give an appropriate explanation. Also I love his "blackboard & chalks in office" idea, just simply brilliant. Not only could he demonstrate and work on the board, but also students who wanted to give their ideas a go on site. Sometimes if there were a few students in the consultation at the same time, he would let them to ask in turn, I found this is actually a very good way to learn and make me look into the contents in different angles. This semester in GTLA itís probably the most consultation hours Iíve attended in my entire life, itís far more enlightening than I could ever describe.

Practice Classes/Tutorials

The tutorial runs once a week, which is your typical math subject tute: 3-4 students each table are given tutorial sheet for the week and work these questions on the white board together. The tutorial questions followed closely to contents in previous weekís lectures with maybe one or two tricky ones marked with stars. Alex would post both the questions and the answers on subjectís homepage after each week, so no answers were given after the tutorials. Our tutor Matthew, tends to do some brief revisions of last weekís contents on the board first then let us do the tutorial questions. If some questions/points confused a few students, he would demonstrate them on the board to the whole room. Each tutorial sheet contains a fair amount of questions and itís almost impossible to finish them all in a one-hour tutorial. But itís crucial to try and finish them in your own time and understand all of them clearly, since half of the final exam are questions taken directly from tutorial sheets or modified only very slightly.

Assignments

There were three assignments in this subjects due in week 5, 9, and 12 this year. None of them was particular difficult (the only hard question was made unassessed by Alex at the end), but it still took some time to think about and optimize. Full 20 marks is definitely achievable if you put some effort in them.

Exam

The final exam is divided into two sections, each worth 50 marks. The first section consists of ten short questions which are mostly tutorial questions as mentioned above, these should be 50 marks in the bag if you studied those questions well during semester. The second section consists of four longer questions, each corresponding to one of the four main parts in the lecture notes (except modular arithmetic). These are the harder ones and spilt people who got H1 and those who didnít. I finished the first section in one hour and gave the remaining two hours to the four questions in second section, with around half hour each which I believe is more than sufficient. So I think itís appropriate to leave at least twenty minutes for each question in second section. This yearís exam (both the original one and the fire-alarm-induced resitting one) was at a comfortable difficulty level with around 10-15 marks worth trickier parts, similar to the 2014 exam. The one from 2015 is however much harder and requires a lot more effort.


Overall I think GTLA is a wonderful subject to take in semester 2 even if you do not intend to go along the pure math path (if you do then itís a must). The contents are fascinating and the result will be rewarding if you put in some hard work.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2016, 06:15:36 pm by cassiecate »
2015-2018: Bachelor of Science (Mathematics and Statistics) @ UoM
                   Concurrent Diploma in German @ UoM

johz

  • Fresh Poster
  • *
  • Posts: 1
  • Respect: 0
Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #628 on: December 05, 2016, 01:51:10 am »
+4
Subject Code/Name: PHIL20030 Meaning, Possibility and Paradox 

Workload:  a 2-hour seminar per week, and weekly online video lectures (about 1 hour) to be watched before the seminar

Assessment:  4 problem set assignments due across the semester worth 50%, and a final exam worth 50%.

Lectopia Enabled: Lectures are all delivered through online vimeo videos. No screen capture for the seminars so it is highly recommended to attend them.

Past exams available:  Yes, for the past 4-5 years I think

Textbook Recommendation:  Graham Priest's "An Introduction to Non-Classical Logic" is used. It is recommended, but I found a pdf version online. Do buy it if you prefer a hard copy.

Lecturer(s): Greg Restall

Year & Semester of completion: 2016, Semester 2

Rating:  3 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: 76 H2A

Comments: This subject was extremely difficult to me. In the unimelb handbook it said that it is recommended for students to have completed 12.5 credits of a philosophy or linguistics subject, and being a linguistics major I thought logic would be an interesting subject that would be manageable for me. If you're a linguistics student thinking of taking this subject, I can tell you that my prior linguistis studies had no benefit whatsoever. The first half of the course was manageable, but I felt lost and confused for most of the second half when the difficulty in subject matter jumped, even though I attended all seminars and did most readings. The 2-hour seminars are extremely important in enabling you to understand as sometimes watching the videos are not enough. Greg is an excellent teacher, he is patient and explains concepts clearly. A lot of time in seminars is spent doing group discussions of questions and problems provided by Greg, and I did not particularly enjoy this (but that may just be me not really liking group work). The exam is an open book exam, so be sure to keep up with the weekly lectures and compile notes. Past exams are available, and the exams are all very similar in terms of difficulty and structure so be sure to practice some of those. I was convinced I was going to fail the exam and this subject, but I think Greg is quite forgiving when it comes to marking so as long as you keep up you won't do too badly I think. This subject was definitely very challenging and I'd recommend you have prior philosphy or logic background before taking this. If you do, this subject is actually very interesting and mind-boggling as you learn many different types of logic, and the discussions of paradoxes in the later half were especially interesting.

silverpixeli

  • ATAR Notes Lecturer
  • Victorian
  • Forum Leader
  • ****
  • Posts: 854
  • Respect: +110
Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #629 on: December 05, 2016, 11:01:55 pm »
+4
Subject Code/Name: COMP30022 IT Project

This subject is the capstone subject of the Computing and Software Systems Major of the BSci. It runs in semester 2 each year. There is no 'content'; the subject is entirely about working in a group to design and develop the biggest project we'd taken on so far. In our case, we built an Android game with Unity. The project is accompanied by guest lectures aimed at giving students a taste of the professional software engineering landscape.


IT Project was a successful capstone subject in that completing the project taught us to use the skills we had learned in other subjects together. The project was a very valuable experience in working on a large, collaborative and extended software project.

There was enough freedom to enjoy the project, but sometimes that was overshadowed by the hoops we had to jump through such as writing gargantuan requirements and design documents with detailed UML diagrams. With the added pressure and uncertainty of the assessment part of the subject, I found the subject a source of stress more often than not.

That stress forced me to pull several all-nighters working furiously to get things done. On the flip side, the enjoyment of building the game also inspired some all-nighters. Also, if I placed less importance in my grades, I wouldn't have felt as stressed. So, that may just be me.

I didn't attend most of the guest lectures because we used the lecture slot to meet as a group, but the few I did attend were valuable and I plan to watch the rest eventually. Special mention to the guest lecture from Aidan from Palantir during SWOTVAC, the morning after the final deadline. Not many people made it but it was well worth it!


Workload:
- One 1h lecture each week
- Compulsory 2h workshop each week; 1hr tute + 1hr lab
- Continuous work on a large-scale group project

Assessment:
100% - Group Project
    50% - Group's work through the semester
    30% - Finished product at the end of week 12
    20% - Individual contribution to project

Lecture Capture: Y

Past exams available: N/A

Textbook Recommendation: N/A

Lecturer:

Egemen Tanin for course announcements, and various guest lecturers from developers at startups to investors to intellectual property specialists.

Year & Semester of completion: 2016 Semester 2

Rating: 4/5

Your Mark/Grade: 86

Comments:

Below I've added a description of what was expected in 2016 for those taking the subject in the future who want to know what they might see:

2016 project
The task: build a mobile (Android) app in teams of 4 students.

The project had a lot of room for creativity but there were some key requirements. Something along the lines of:

1. it must be an action game (so, real-time, rather than turn-based)
2. it must involve multiple devices interacting over a network
3. players must be able to chat with each-other
4. players must we able to view a recording of game-play
5. the game must access a server to store and retrieve information

These requirements were also open to interpretation, for example voice chat was an allowed substitute for text chat, recordings could be achieved by taking a video screen recording of game-play rather than recording game state with code.

It was also okay to utilise third-party tools to achieve any of these features. However, there was also a requirement that we contributed about 1000 lines of code per student of our own work. Allegedly, the 1000 line of code requirement included code comments*.

The lecturer recommended we use Unity to build the game, but this wasn't mandatory. My team did, and despite all the things I hated about using it, I don't think we could have managed to build something serious in the time available without it. So, I also recommend using Unity or something like it.

(* By that count, we ended up with a project of about 10,000 lines of code from a group of 5! We were a group of 5 because we accepted a 5th member who had not been able to find a team a few weeks in to the project.)

2016 semester outline
The project was assessed on a continual basis. All our interactions with our tutor were apparently recorded and considered during assessment at the end of the semester. But, there were still periodic deadlines, to give the staff a chance to look at a snapshot of our progress and provide detailed feedback.

The expectation was that the documents created in the first few weeks would be continually kept up to date as the semester progressed, and the deadlines were simply for an initial lot of feedback on our work.

The first deadline was at the end of week 2. At that point, our requirements document was due. This was a document outlining the features we planned to include in our application, and the submission required us to have a solid idea and a shared understanding of what our game was going to be.

The next deadline was at the end of week 4. We needed to submit a workflow document, outlining strategies for communication and collaboration, and how we planned to organise our project's development. We also had to show that we had a bitbucket repository set up that everyone in the team had access to.

Around this point we were expected to really get into beginning to develop our app. We began by familiarising ourselves with Unity by reading docs and completing tutorials.

At the end of week 6 was the next deadline: submission of an initial design document. This was a big collection of UML diagrams (mainly component diagrams, class diagrams, and sequence diagrams) and written descriptions of the different components of our project. The initial submission required us to make some high level architecture decisions about the structure of our solution. Then we had to describe the planned structure of each major component, and also document the interfaces through which those components would interact.

By this point we had some prototype elements of a game but nothing complete. We were making slow progress on a few of the core aspects of our game. I think that's where most groups were up to.

From there, there were no more big deadlines until the final demos in week 12. However at some point around week 8 our tutor checked out all our stuff and gave us some feedback on our progress in different areas.

Over the next few weeks we built, reviewed, and integrated feature after feature, slowly forming our final product, ready for the demos in week 12.

Countless hours of development later, we had our demos in our week 12 workshop. This was a chance to show the final product to Egemen and the tutor, with all its required features, deployed to two android devices.

Afterwards, we had until 9AM on the first Monday of SWOTVAC to finalise our repository and all of our documents. (I think this was an extension, though, the original plan was for it all to finish after the demo).

And that was the end!

Tips from 2016
If you're looking for tips based on my experience in 2016, here's a few things I think were important:

Find yourself a strong team of 4 students before the semester starts, as work begins in week 1. You all need to attend the same workshop each week, which also begins in week 1.

We got a lot out of using Slack for team communication, instad of facebook or skype. We also loved using screenhero for group calls and screen sharing.

You'll have to put in several hours each week for this project if you want to finish. Aside from time spent working on the project from home, my team found it super useful to meet in person a couple of times a week outside our workshop. We found some rooms in John Medley that were usually free during the times we were all free (we shared our timetables using teamup) and met for a few hours on Monday Afternoons and Wednesday Evenings. I think our communication suffered over the weekends and we should have had even a short regular meeting on Friday afternoons.

Based on the feedback we got, the focus of the requirements document is communication of ideas. Your tutor needs to understand exactly what you plan to make and why based on the document. Stick to the template, but make sure what you write is clear and informative, and not too long.

When deciding on features, it's super fun to dream up an extraordinary game. But I think it's a waste of time to document lofty features in great detail for the first submission. Maybe keep them in a separate document and focus on features that satisfy the basic requirements of the project, and add fun stuff later if you have time.

Talk with your tutor regularly to get their feedback and ideas and show them the progress you are making. Even approach them through email outside of weekly workshops.

As soon as you start developing, make use of git branches for developing features. The process goes something like: start a branch, develop a feature to a certain standard, polish up your code and then make a 'pull request'. Group members will review the branch as soon as possible*, and approve it or suggest changes/improvements. Improve it, then merge it into the main branch.

*waiting for code reviews was a source of frustration due to the fact that we were all full time students, not full time software developers.

Some features are really big and will take all semester (e.g. 'multiplayer'). Split these up into stages (e.g. 'connection', 'chat', 'player movement', 'obstacle synchronisation') and regularly review as you go, to avoid one big review when its too late to alter foundational things that may be causing difficulties.

Learn how to build unit tests and integration tests as soon as that comes up in workshops, or before. Write test straight after you code, if not before. Unity actually makes unit testing and integration testing really easy to do, so there are no excuses. I found it tough to get into without having made tests before but I think it's very important assessment-wise so worth putting in the effort as you go. Preferably, you'll include tests with each pull request, so that everything that ends up in the main branch has tests.

One thing we left till the last minute was proper integration of all of the game's features through the menu system. Everything kind of fell apart when we had 4 people putting everything together the day, night and morning before our demo. Things ended up fucking up during the demo because we had hacked it all together right beforehand. There goes 4 or 5 subject marks! So, try to be more considerate and organised when putting your app together.

That's all I cant think about right now but PM me if you have specific questions!
ATAR 99.80 :: Methods [50] | Physics [50+Premier's] | Specialist [47] | Software [48] | English [42] | Legal [39 '12]
+ Australian Student Prize

ATAR Notes Specialist/Methods/Physics Lecturer
ATAR Notes Specialist Maths Webinar Presenter