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March 01, 2021, 11:42:21 am

Author Topic: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings  (Read 1288124 times)  Share 

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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #705 on: July 13, 2018, 02:09:48 pm »
Subject Code/Name: MIIM20001
Workload: 170hrs recommended study time
3x 1 hour lectures a week
2x 90 minute practicals in weeks 11 and 12

Assessment:  2x MSTs worth 20% each
End of Semester exam worth 60%

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture

Past exams available:  No. No sample exam, just a few practice questions. The "challenge questions" given throughout the term are also past exam questions (I think)
Textbook Recommendation:  Prescott's Microbiology by Willey J, Sherwood L, Woolverton C. 10th edn, 2017 - I found this really useful for the first 4 weeks as it gave a strong foundation and extra information which was really interesting to know about. If you can grab a pdf copy of an older version then that's fine too, as any important diagrams etc will be in the lecturer's slides, and you can borrow this textbook from the library too.
Lecturer(s): Dr Karen Waller, Associate Professor Jason Mackenzie and Dr Laura Mackay

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 1, 2018

Rating:  4.5/5

Your Mark/Grade: H3

Comments: Overall this subject was brilliant, the only reason that it doesn't have 5/5 is due to the lack of practice questions / sample exams  and past exams, which in turn, made it difficult to study for.
The lectures were brilliant, all 3 of the lecturers were really thorough in what you needed to know, and how you needed to apply it. I particularly enjoyed Dr Mackay's lecture series, as she managed to make a whole ton of information, which involved a lot of rote learning, really easy to understand and commit to memory. If you're like me and you struggle with rote learning (I have an illness which makes this an incredibly difficult task), then think carefully about whether you're ready to spend a lot of time (often more than your classmates) committing different names, medications and microbial species to memory. For me, the trade off was worth it, as I have always loved learning about bacteria and viruses and why certain aspects of our immune system work the way they do. It was NOT easy, in fact I spent maybe 20 hours a week on this subject, but I'm so happy with the outcome, and that I managed to complete a subject based on rote learning at the height of my illness.
In the first series of lectures, you learn about bacteria and the fundamentals of microbiology, such as testing mechanisms, Koch's postulates, and DNA replication. Karena is very specific on what she wants you to know, such as which illnesses, treatments and variants, and side effects you need to know, and simplifies otherwise complex information.
Dr Mackay talks very quick, and includes a lot of detail in her lectures, but finishes early (usually 35-40 minute long lectures) and likes to emphasize the applications and connections between immunology and  microbiology. I found wikipedia was particularly helpful during swotvac, as it was useful to link between different topics that I'd have otherwise not linked.
Jason is amazingly passionate, and is really good at engaging his audience. He includes a lot of detail, like Laura, and it's important that you remember /all/ of this detail, as it can come up as a 12 (?) mark question at the end of your exam that you didn't think was important (hint: it was me, and dengue fever). Every disease that he goes through should be committed to memory, and all of the treatment options too. Jason liked to constantly draw links between host cell processes (2 lectures) and how viruses exploit these processes, so having a solid understanding and good memory of the host lectures is incredibly important.
The exam: The exam has 3 sections. Part A is for MCQ on the last 12 or so lectures. Part B is fill in the blanks, akin to first year biology lectures, and part C is an extended response section with around 6 questions. In part C, I found that the questions required the very fine points of detail to score well, and you needed to have an understanding of /why/ certain processes were useful (hint: why do viruses / bacteria use them?).
All in all, I was really happy with the structuring and coordination of this subject, and found it a good subject if you want to go into the health sciences / med area.

Sorry if this review hasn't been clear. I haven't had my breakfast yet. Don't judge me, it's holidays.


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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #706 on: July 14, 2018, 02:09:04 pm »
Subject Code/Name: FREN10004: French 1 - Winter Intensive 

Workload: 5 hours x 4 days a week

Assessment: x2 listening assessments (10% each), x1 mid-semester exam (20%), x1 oral presentation (25%), x1 written journal (10%) and x1 final examination (25%)

Lectopia Enabled: NA

Past exams available:  No. But there were, however, various practice reading comprehension tasks and quizzes on the LMS.

Textbook Recommendation:  The textbook, “Vis-à-vis: Beginning French”, is an absolute necessity.

Lecturer(s):. NA

Year & Semester of completion: Winter Term 2018

Rating:  5 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1

Comments: Initially, I underestimated the 'intensive' element of this subject. But after an hour into my first tute, I came to realise that I'd need to work exceptionally hard in this subject if I were to do well. Indeed, the tutor advised the class that 3 hours minimum of extra work was needed after every day's intensive lesson. And she was most definitely right. One day of this course is roughly equivalent to a week worth of content (in the standard semester). However, I became accustomed to the fast pace of the course and absolutely loved the subject. Francoise, the subject coordinator, consistently updated the LMS with each day's guide, respective powerpoint, practice listening tests, practice worksheet solutions and sample diary entries for the journal. This organisation meant that the subject was fair in all regards. That is, students were given every opportunity to perform well on the assessment tasks. Another element of this subject that I thoroughly enjoyed was the close classroom bond established. Naturally, students are required to engage in speaking activities when learning a foreign language, which can sometimes contribute to self-consciousness or embarrassment. The comfortable classroom environment, however, meant that everyone learnt together and supported each other's progress.

Listening tests:

The first listening test was fairly straightforward if you had properly revised. It followed the structure of a true and false section, a response section and a dictation one. It's really important that you pay close attention to how the question is posed. For example, it may specify that all numbers must be written in letters, or that definite articles must be included, etc. One aspect of the French language that I found quite difficult to grapple with was the omission of certain sounds. Thus, for the dictation section, it's critical that you pay very close attention to the final constants of words, which will likely indicate whether the subject of the sentence is feminine or masculine. Perhaps this may not be such an issue if you've already learnt a Romance language. I've only ever come from a Germanic background (German and English), where (nearly) all sounds are pronounced.

Written Journal:

Given that this is not being written throughout the semester, but over the period of 1 week, it is important that students consistently pen down entries. At the start, they may be around 25-50 words, but the last few ones should hit the 80-120 word mark. Every day the tutor will recommend a new topic to write on (it will correlate with the content of the day). Writing is an excellent way to consolidate and fuse different grammatical structures and vocabulary. As you're drawing on new vocabulary, it is essential that you know its gender (if it is a noun), and its different forms (if it is an adjective). No dictionaries are allowed for university languages!

Mid-Semester written exam:

Again, this assessment task wasn't too bad if you've studied. I actually found that I had quite a substantial amount of time to review my work and make corrections. There is a reading section at the start, some smaller questions/grammar exercises in the middle, and a final composition at the end. For the composition, there will be list of grammatical structures that must be incorporated into the response. This provides a nice framework for planning the written piece. The journal entries definitely helped with this final section, and all of the others.

Oral presentation:

The oral presentation is in response to Gainbourg: A Heroic Life (performed in French), which the entire cohort watches sometime in the second week. Within each tutorial class, students will be allocated (generally with a partner) with a certain character of the film and an accompanying situation. I found it helpful to first construct the script in English, and then compare it with my partner. In that way we could make any minor adjustments before we translated it into French. As concerns pronunciation, Google Translate is an extremely helpful guide. After listening several times to its automated pronunciations, I began to construct my own phonetic translations, so that I could effectively mimic the sounds. Creativity is also assessed here, so do go to the effort to make a costume and have a background powerpoint slide, etc.

Final examination:

The final exam is definitely designed to be finished at the 1.5 hour mark. In reading time, take the time to fully understanding the reading text and perhaps start to answer the comprehension questions in your mind. This gives you the confidence to move onto the further comprehension activities in the centre of the exam. These activities necessitate a rigorous understanding of all the verbs learn throughout the course. At some stages, my mind blanked at certain conjugations, so it really is important that you do not confuse your verbs (regular verbs, irregular verbs, verbs for the recent past, near future, regular past, and present tense). I wasn't informed of this, but the final written composition is 200-250 words. Therefore, I'd suggest that you leave around 40 minutes for this.

« Last Edit: July 18, 2018, 05:39:23 pm by clarke54321 »
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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #707 on: July 15, 2018, 07:18:40 pm »
Subject Code/Name: Econometrics 2/ECOM30002

Workload: 2 x 1 hr lectures per week, 1 x 1 hr tutorial per week

Assessment: 4 assessments worth 7.5% ea, 70% exam

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture

Past exams available:  Yes, they incorporated many past exam questions into tutorial questions.

Textbook Recommendation:  There’s a QME text they put up, but lecture notes are sufficient.

Lecturer(s): David Harris

Year & Semester of completion: 2018, Sem 1

Rating: 4 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1


Third year econometrics is a subject that typically strikes fear into the hearts of many prospective economics majors, but Econometrics 2 is relatively gentle in its difficulty and actually somewhat tolerable.

It is clear that David has tried to shift the focus of the course away from rigorous matrix manipulation and the conceptually challenging  underpinnings of statistical inference, and more into a practical, applicable subject that is more about interpretation and analysis of data. This was clear in the assessment, as although there were a few lectures on proofs of various properties of estimators/standard errors, no difficult algebraic proofs were assessed.

Instead, the focus of this subject was almost entirely about interpreting the results of a regression analysis (with an emphasis on causal vs statistical interpretation of regression coefficients), looking at the assumptions underpinning our analysis (eg. Were the right/relevant variables used?) and “correctly” choosing our model. None of the content was that conceptually difficult to get your head around, it was more learning a bunch of rules and definitions and how to relate the variables of different regressions.

For reference, the course was broadly split into 4 topics: cross-sectional data, statistical inference/properties, panel-data and time series.

Tutorials are standard for commerce stats subjects – a tutor goes through a few questions while you’re supposed to click along with R. It was nice that David included several past exam questions as tutorials, so the tutor was able to give you hints as to how to approach them on the real deal. Also, if you can, try and get Daniel Tiong (attendance isn’t marked so you can move around tutes). He’s a bit eccentric but the guy is so passionate about teaching and incredibly knowledgeable and approachable, he actually made econometrics interesting (which is a minor miracle for me lmao). He’s been teaching a long time, so is great at figuring out intuitive ways of explaining sometimes quite abstract concepts to students. By far the best tutor I’ve had in any subject at the uni.


The hardest part of the course were the assignments, where we had to learn R. The most I’d ever done up to this point was a few basic MATLAB scripts, so these assignments presented a steep learning curve. David does go through some examples of code in the lectures themselves which helps.
It is useful to be able to know how to use R in the industry, but yeah it was just a pain in the ass to learn. It’s not assessed on the exam though.


There are subjects where the lecturer can be a real prick and try to trick students up. There are other lecturers who just want to see if students understand the material. Thankfully, David is the latter.

The exam was very standard in its difficulty, if you know the content then you will pass just fine. There was one “proof” question that I couldn’t manage to do worth like 5% of the exam (which I think was an attempt to separate students at the top), but the rest of it was just variations of tutorial/assignment questions that we’d seen before. However, the exam was very long – normally I finish with quite a bit of time to spare but for metrics 2 I was writing the entire time.


As I’ve said, Metrics 2 isn’t that hard a subject. David has clearly tried to make it more relevant and practical to students actually working in industry – foregoing tonnes of statistical concepts and proofs in favour of more analysis and interpretation of various regression models (which is a tonne easier). It’s a pre-req for honours years in finance/economics and I can certainly see why. Unlike some other subjects (ahem, OB) I can really see the tangible benefit of what I’ve learned and how it can be applied to practise. Learning R is super useful too. The content can be somewhat dry at times, but it's third year econometrics so what can you really expect. Overall, Metrics 2 is a well lectured and well taught subject that isn't as hard as the name suggests and serves as a great capstone for any undergrad economics student seeking to sharpen up their statistical analysis skills.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2018, 07:22:51 pm by dankfrank420 »


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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #708 on: July 17, 2018, 06:39:31 pm »
Subject Code/Name: ECON30010: Microeconomics

Workload: 2 hour long lectures and 1 tutorial each week.

Assessment:  5 assignments due fortnightly (top 4 are worth 35%). One 2-hour long exam (worth 65%).

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture.

Past exams available:  Yes. Three were available, and so was an in-depth guide explaining what exam questions for each of the topics would look like.

Textbook Recommendation:  Unnecessary. Lecture notes are comprehensive enough.

Lecturer(s): Georgy Artemov

Year & Semester of completion: 2018 (Sem 1).

Rating:  4.5 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1 (90+)


This is a challenging subject but one that you can do quite well in if you put in the effort. Students who have done Calc 1-2 and/or Mathematical Economics are placed at an advantage for the Constrained Optimisation topic and naturally anything that has to do with utility maximisation. Being familiar with various different functions offered an alternate approach to this section of the course as you could often just graph the indifference curves yourself and perform whatever analysis you needed to carry out (although, there are often other much simpler solutions).

Students who have done Competition and Strategy are at a massive advantage for the Game Theory segments of the course as I'd estimate that up to 80% is essentially the same.

Georgy is an excellent lecturer who is very passionate about the subject. He was trialling an approach this semester where pre-recorded lectures that went through the content in great detail were posted before live lectures. These were good for those who are less mathematically inclined but I didn't really find it to be particularly useful (as the pace was a little too slow). Live lectures moved rather quickly on occasion but Georgy was keen to make the experience as interactive as reasonably possible, which certainly helped. You absolutely need to be attentive during lectures for this subject because the slides are difficult to go through from scratch by yourself.

The tutorials ranged from being almost useless to rather helpful. This is because some of the problems required long and rigorous proofs which never really came up elsewhere (not even on assignments) - on more than one occasion, I spent the entire tutorial copying down pages of meaningless algebra that the tutor went through because there was nothing else to do. On other occasions, the tutorials offered useful practise problems for assignments and the exam. I had three different tutors over the semester and two of them were excellent.

The assignments are not easy by any means. Mind you, they're doable, but they'll require a decent amount of effort and a significant amount of thought.  They often extended upon examples covered in lectures and tutes or made some kind of unexpected alteration to an example we had previously dealt with. Georgy often combines various parts of the course in these questions (i.e. giving us a problem from one part of the course but framing it as something from another part). I found I performed best on these when I started 4-5 days early and had it completed at least 24-36 hours before the deadline, so I didn't have to work under the intense pressure of an encroaching deadline. They're difficult but I found them to be quite fulfilling and enjoyed  the challenge they posed.

On a side note, I would highly recommend that anyone who intends to complete further study in the field (or other similar ones) use the assignments as an opportunity to practise using LaTeX. Georgy suggested this to the cohort and I found it to be a worthwhile investment (and much more pleasant to deal with than MS word).

The exam allows you to take in 10 double-sided pages to use as a reference. Like most exams that allow this (or more), you generally don't have the time to put it to good use but constructing the cheat sheet is decent revision in and of itself. Last year, the exam was supposedly very hard (there's a rumour floating around about the fail rate before scaling that I won't mention to avoid scaring prospective students away) so going into the exam, Georgy had more or less indicated that it would not be as bad. And he wasn't wrong. From a technical perspective, the exam was not particularly hard. The first question was more or less free marks. The second was a proof question. The final two were on Bilateral Trade and Information Cascades (which were topics that were only covered in the last week of the subject - meaning that they were not well practised by much of the cohort because the former didn't even feature in the tutorial from memory and the latter only briefly did. Naturally, we didn't have an assignment on them either).

As the previous review mentioned, the last three questions were quite controversial and there was quite an uproar amongst the cohort on Ed (a more modern discussion board platform that admin used in place of the OLT) in the subsequent days. The proof question was a modification to something that we had seen in an assignment, but Georgy had previously said something to the effect of 'such proofs are not suitable for the exam' in the aforementioned in-depth exam guide. This led to some confusion amongst students and many did not properly prepare for such questions. The final two almost felt shoehorned in.

I left the exam expecting to have done much worse than I ultimately ended up going. While I did answer everything (I know the first 2 questions were more or less correct), what I put down for the final two questions felt rather sketchy to me. I feel as though the exam must have been scaled or marked leniently in the end (since I don't think Georgy expected so many people to find it hard - there was no calculus/Lagrangian on the exam, for example, despite this having been a staple of the previous exams).

Like the other review, I had to dock marks for the exam and the tutorials but this is somewhat mitigated by the fact that it appears to have been scaled reasonably. Otherwise, the subject was incredibly well run and taught (even though it is definitely hard) and Georgy and Svetlana (basically the OLT) went above and beyond to answers literally hundreds of queries about the subject, tutorials, assignments (and really anything moderately relevant to the course) on Ed in a timely and extremely-helpful fashion. For anyone up for the challenge, I could not recommend the subject highly enough.


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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #709 on: July 17, 2018, 10:24:33 pm »
Subject Code/Name: COMP10001 Foundations of Computing 

Workload:  Three 1 hour lectures and one 2 hour workshop per week

•   Project 1 (10%)
•   Project 2 (10%)
•   Project 3 (10%)
•   MST (10%)
•   Grok worksheets (10%)
•   Final exam (50%)

Echo360 Available:  Yes

Past exams available:  Yes, from year 2012 to 2017 with solutions

Textbook Recommendation: None

Lecturer(s): Tim Baldwin, Nic Geard, Marion Zalk
Tim teaches the first half of the semester, Nic teaches the second half, and Marion runs the revision lectures

Year & Semester of completion: 2018 S2

Rating:  4.5/5

Your Mark/Grade: H1

This subject mainly teaches Python (version 3.6), topics covered included lists, dictionaries, tuples, CSV, image manipulation etc. Towards the end of the subject, algorithms, HTML and the internet were covered as well.
I had no prior programming experience while taking the subject, and found the content of the subject extremely difficult. Nevertheless, I did not regret doing this subject and it was one of the most enjoyable subject I took this semester. Consistent effort is needed in order to do well in the subjects as the online worksheets and projects are very time consuming. I see many, many positive reviews about the subject online, but I know a handful of people who absolutely hated this subject. Hence, before taking this subject, it would be wise to learn some Python online and see if you actually like it.

Most of the time, I have no idea what is going on during lectures, but I still attend them anyway. Lecture slides are released very late and contain little info. During lectures, Tim/Nic would use Grok to demonstrate some code. Many students skip lectures because it is sufficient to learn Python using Grok Learning.
From week 3 onwards, the third lecture will alternate between guest lectures and revision/advanced lecture. Some guest lectures are pretty interesting and worth attending. The slides are provided, and although guest lectures are examined, only basic concepts will be tested, so I personally think that attending guest lectures are not compulsory. As for the revision lectures, don't even bother attending them because they are a complete waste of time. It's poorly structured and messy. Advanced lectures were alright, and the content in these lectures were not examinable.

During the first hour of the workshop, the tutor will quickly teach some new (or sometimes old) concepts, then we will proceed to do the tutorial sheet. This is where you get to practice writing code by hand. In my tutorials, there will always be insufficient time to go through all the answers in class. During the second hour, it is a lab session where students do their Grok worksheets, and there will be three extra lab demonstrators to assist you.

The three projects consisted of 4 or more individual questions. It is a must to start early for all of the projects, because it certainly cannot be completed in a short period of time (at least for me). Questions in project 1 is much easier compared to project 2 and 3, and is marked more leniently, so make sure to score well in it. There are marks allocated for style and comments, which can be easily gained if you follow PEP8. For project 3, Tim conducted a card game tournament for students to compete with each other. While the idea itself seems interesting, I find project 3 too tough and was eliminated from the game early due to having too many errors in my code. For project 2 and 3, there is an extra question for bonus marks, but I did not even have to time to try to attempt them. I got around 8 marks (out of 10) for all of my projects, and did all my Grok worksheets, which I think is what helped me got an H1 for this subject.

Despite the MST being easier than the sample test and last year’s test, I performed very poorly and failed the test. At that time, I still find it hard to understand Python code, thus I took a long time for each question and barely made it in time to finish the test. There are some fill in the blank questions, a convert for loop to while loop (or the other way around) question, and so on. If I remember correctly, the average for the test was around 55.

Final Exam
I did all past year papers (2012 to 2017) and find the final exam to be a bit difficult. Beware that not all questions in past exam papers are relevant, because the syllabus for each year differs a little. For this year's exam, although we learned CSV, image manipulation, HTML etc, none of them were examined. I made the mistake of revising the Grok slides instead of lecture slides. There were certain things covered in lectures that were not in Grok, and so I had to leave a few questions blank. There was also a project-related question (from Project 1). The “bastard question” was worth 25 marks, which was way more marks compared to past exams. Although Tim said to ignore this question until you are finished with all the other questions and are sure of the answer, I still tried to attempt it because there were many other questions which I could not answer. Overall, I think it is not enough to just revise for the final exam using Grok, lecture slides and past exam papers. For revision, I used sites like Edabit to try to attempt some questions and went through the solutions.

Getting Help
There are lots of ways to get help in this subject. While doing Grok worksheets, there is a tutor messaging feature which I find very helpful. You could send your questions and get an answer in 2 hours or so during the first few weeks of the semester. Later on, it can take up to 2 days if there are too many students asking questions (especially for projects). There is also an online forum on Grok where students/ tutors can help answer your questions. During the semester, there were a few active students who would always help answer other students' questions. I personally think the forums is a better way to ask questions because the quality of response for tutor messaging differs. Sometimes the online tutor’s reply makes me want to kill myself, but sometimes it restores my faith in humanity.

Alternatively, you could also ask Tim/Nic questions after lectures or ask your tutor/demonstrators during workshops. 
« Last Edit: July 18, 2018, 10:27:31 am by junyper »


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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #710 on: August 03, 2018, 01:09:00 pm »
Subject Code/Name: SCRN10001: Introduction to Screen Studies

Workload:  One 90 minute lecture, one 60 minute tutorial and one 2.5 hour film screening.

Assessment: A 1000w visual analysis/test (25%), a 1000w annotated bibliography (25%), a 2000w research report (40%) and tutorial attendance/participation (10%)

Lectopia Enabled: Yes, with screen capture.

Past exams available: No (this is Arts, baby). Although, they do give an example of a high-ranking visual test.

Textbook Recommendation:  Nope. All readings are available online.

Lecturer(s): Wendy Haslem at the beginning, before guest lecturers take her place in their area of screen study expertise.

Year & Semester of completion: 2018, Semester 1

Rating: 6 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1

Comments: Easily my favourite subject of the semester. I have no experience in Media and this subject caters very well for beginners in that it takes time to guide them in how to engage with the texts while selecting material that's both entertaining and rich in material for cultural/academic analysis. (Some examples: Blade Runner, Call Me By Your Name, The Babadook, Mad Max: Fury Road) After establishing the basic skills of visual analysis (looking at lighting, mise-en-scene, cinematography, etc.), the weeks that follow focus on different key theories such as genre theory, feminism, queer theory, psychoanalysis, television and even VR. I personally very much enjoyed the theoretical content (I have a background in literary studies so skills in analysis and enduring obscure concepts translate quite well) but I know a few who tuned out or struggled with it. For this reason, I would say that the subject is more difficult than simply 'watching movies', although I did find it to be my most laidback and fun subject. This was definitely facilitated by my tutor, Laura, who was extremely friendly and actually kinda cool -- she had an obvious soft spot for action films with none of the expected prejudice of a high-brow intellectual.

With regards to assessment, the 'visual test' is a quite-straightforward close analysis of two short 3 minute scenes deliberately chosen off of YouTube for ease of access. The annotated bibliography involved finding and evaluating four sources for your selected research question with an abstract. The abstract was included, I think, to logically guide your research and evaluation (so don't make my mistake of doing sources then abstract as changing the latter would require altering annotations of the former). This was intended to prepare you for the behemoth research essay and 'trick you' (in the words of my tutor) into doing preliminary research, and give you the chance to maybe switch topics if you find that you don't really gel with the readings and it wasn't what you expected, etc.

Overall, this subject was INCREDIBLY enjoyable and so far as you enjoy film and are willing to open your mind (not simply dismiss the critical theories as 'pretentious' and really engage with them) I really recommend it. (And don't worry if the film screenings clash with your other subjects, you can easily watch them at home practically the same experience.)
« Last Edit: August 03, 2018, 01:10:53 pm by sighphers »


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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #711 on: August 03, 2018, 03:06:43 pm »
Subject Code/Name: ELEN20005: Foundations of Electrical Networks 

Workload: 3x Lectures, 1x 2hr Workshop

Assessment: 10% Workshops, 10% Mid Sem, 20% Assignments (x3), 60% 3hr Exam

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screencapture

Past exams available:  Yes, three.

Textbook Recommendation:  Don't need a text book. Lecture slides are top notch. Do buy the practice problem booklet though!
Lecturer(s): Robert Schmid

Year & Semester of completion: 2018 sem 1

Rating:  5 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: 81

Comments: Best subject I've done at uni so far! Robert is a very good lecturer, makes sure everything is in order and you are well prepared for the esam and mid sem. He writes tough but fair exams, telling us he just picks questions from the practice problem booklet to use. If you do all the questions in the booklet, you will be fine. My sem was the first where we were allowed 2x double sided cheat sheets. I think this made us worse off seeing as our exam was relatively tougher and longer than past years. However I had made sure to put every question from the practice problem booklet i struggled with on there, and sure enough, half of those exact questions appeared on the exam (just with numbers changed). My recommendation is to expect a tough exam, you have to work for your H1 in this subject.

The workshops were really annoying, in fact they are the only thing I can fault. At times the demonstrators were very useless, not being able to help you with anything other than the workshop. You are not allowed to ask them for help with anything else. The equipment was very outdated and crappy. Meaning a lot of our circuits had issues because of bad wires or breadboards. Make sure you know what you are doing before hand for the workshop and you will be fine. Some students struggled but that was largely due to incompetence and simply not being up to date with the content. Also, make sure you take the time to understand what you are doing in the workshops as there will be a question on your exam directly relating to an experiment you conduct.

The assignments are somewhat challenging at times. However for the most part you should be able to get high 90s if you know what going on in the lectures. Your groups are your workshop groups which are randomly selected. Attempt ALL of the questions yourself. Robert likes to ask questions in his exam that directly relate to assignments. Also in doing it all yourself you get practice with tougher exam style questions.

Overall a very good subject.


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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #712 on: August 03, 2018, 03:23:53 pm »
Subject Code/Name: ENGR20004: Engineering Mechanics 

Workload:  3x Lectures, 1x 2hr Workshop

Assessment:  1x Midsem 15%, 5% weekly quizzes, 30% Assignments, 50% exam

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture

Past exams available:  None

Textbook Recommendation:  Nothing, don't buy anything.

Lecturer(s): Katherine Stok

Year & Semester of completion: 2018 sem 1

Rating:  1 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: 91

Comments: This subject is absolute CANCER. I have never completed a more unorganized, poorly taught subject at uni.
The lectures are very boring, with lecture slides not being made by the lecturer, so half the time she would disregard information on the slide or sometimes confuse herself. Concepts taught are very interesting, but made me hate them because of the way they were taught. You go through questions in the lecture that are quite different to the exam. We didn't do many questions using vectors, and yet in the exam, a lot of questions required vector manipulation (e.g. cross product). 

In the workshops, my tutor was awesome (he is the reason I gave this subject a 1 and not 0). He manage to teach us better than the lecturer helping us understand. However the endless assignments handed out in workshops take forever to do, and are very vague in what they want. We also weren't taught how to do half of each assignment till 2 days before it was due. The lecturer had very poor communication with the tutors aswell as organizing the course.

The material we were given to practice with (the tutorial sheets) were so difficult. I would be lucky if I could do 1/3 of the questions on the later sheets. These sheets included questions even the tutors couldn't do. So do not be depressed if you can't do them.

The exam was quite fair in the end, but fair questions were not what I was used to given the material we were given to practice with. Whilst they were fair, they were not what we practiced in lectures or tutorials so that was really annoying. We were not given any practice exams or any resources to prepare us other than the aforementioned cancerous tutorial sheets.

The mid sem had some mistakes in it and the weekly quizzes had to be postponed many times due to material not being taught yet. This subject was very frustrating and trying. To be honest the only reason I did so well was due to cramming in swot vac. I scored a 66% on the midsem and got about 80s on the assignments. So I was very surprised with my score.

If you don't have to do this subject. Don't. If you do, good luck, and prepare yourself for a semester long headache.


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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #713 on: August 05, 2018, 11:11:03 pm »
Subject Code/Name: SPAN10001 Spanish 1 

Workload: 2 x 2 hour tutorials

2 x online assignments [20%]
2 x written compositions [20%]
1 x group presentation [10%]
1 x individual oral presentation [20%]
1 x final exam [30%]

Past exams available:  No

Textbook Recommendation: Exploraciones, 2nd Edition, 2016 (Blitt & Casas). You have to get this new (with the access code) as a decent chunk of the assessment is directly connected to the online copy.

Year & Semester of completion: Sem 1, 2018

Rating: 4 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1 (88)

This subject was great fun! As the previous review said 5 years ago, the class dynamic is fantastic and full of camaraderie. Depending on what other subjects you're doing, it can be really refreshing to walk into an environment that feels far more collaborative than competitive.

The general pace was much faster than I expected, but it was still manageable- maybe even beneficial, since there isn't much time to forget previous concepts. Despite the speed, the topics were still taught thoroughly and in such a way that older skills were continually reinforced by the new. I also found that the tutors were quite good at giving English equivalents for concepts, so linguistic jargon was largely avoided when teaching grammar. That being said, they didn't spend much time explaining some ubiquitous concepts like grammatical gender, presumably because people would just pick them up through actual use. So familiarity with linguistics or a similar language is still a minor advantage.

In general, the subject was coordinated decently. Although there were no past exams available, there were always plenty of other resources. My biggest criticism was the way some assessments were communicated to students. The assessments themselves were pretty simple, but the expectations were not always made clear. This resulted in mass confusion in the days leading up to the first group task. So, here's an easy breakdown of what we did:

  • Online assignments- these basic exercises consisted mostly of fill-in-the-blanks and similar primary-school-style questions. They were done in your own time and you could use your textbook. They were computer marked, so even though they were simple, care was required as even minor differences in phrasing were considered wrong. There were also a lot of exercises (50+ per assignment), so it would be extremely unwise to leave them to the last minute.
  • Composition 1- ~300 words on yourself, your family, a piece of art by an Hispanic artist, and a culture or subculture you identify with.
  • Group presentation- a 10-minute oral presentation, complete with notes and slideshow, entirely in English. You picked a topic relating to Hispanic or Latin American culture, and interpreted a bunch of art pieces with respect to that topic. You also tied in and reflected on your own experiences. Afterwards, you received questions and feedback from the rest of the class.
  • Oral presentation- this was essentially a recital of Composition 1, with enough added content to fill up 6 minutes.
  • Composition 2- this was the same content as the group presentation, except translated to Spanish and put into an Instagram format.
  • Exam- similar in format to the online assignments, with a small writing section. I found the exam to be pretty challenging. The marking was strict, including when it came to fine points like accent placement. The exam writers also liberally applied new words that required context to figure out. There was definitely more to this exam than rote learning of the vocab and grammatical structures, so it was educational in its own way, I guess :)

Given the intertwining of language and culture, it should be no surprise that there was a cultural project. Called "Proyecto Selfi", this was built right into the various art-related assessments, as well as a trip to the NGV. It was a nice idea and a good way to connect the assessments, but the overall execution felt a bit flat as it didn't actually facilitate cultural discussion with any Spanish-speaking people. One tutor even remarked that some past presentations had ended up being mildly (and unintentionally) offensive because of this.
This is not at all to say the cultural aspect of the subject is bad or unnecessary- quite the opposite, in fact. You do learn plenty of new things about various Hispanic cultures, and usually in an engaging and respectful way. It's just that, in hindsight, the result still feels kinda shallow. And interpreting abstract art just isn't everyone's cup of tea.

YMMV vastly depending on your tutors. Tutes are split between two of them, and the differences in teaching style are so noticeable, it takes some getting used to. My tutors were a lot of fun, which was great for people who needed a relaxed environment. However, some students might prefer the more structured approaches that other streams offered. No matter who you had, though, you were in good hands- the tutors are all very capable and are always willing to help.

En resumen, I found Spanish 1 to be a solid, well-taught and enjoyable subject. It is straightforward and unlike high school language classes, manages to be neither dry nor very difficult. Of course, some effort is required to do well, but the assessments are nicely balanced and it's not too hard to stay motivated. Plus, you gain an immediately useful skill! This might only be the first step in properly learning Spanish, but it's surprising how much you can comprehend (in reading, anyway) with the basics you learn here.

Spanish is a very beautiful and useful language that is definitely taught well at Unimelb, so do yourself a favour and give Spanish 1 a shot!
« Last Edit: August 07, 2018, 10:29:13 pm by showtime »


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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #714 on: November 01, 2018, 02:00:16 pm »
Subject Code/Name: MAST10007 Linear Algebra

Workload:  3 x 1 hour lectures per week (3 hours)
1 x hour tutorial per week / 1 x hour practical per week right after tute (2 hour stream)
5 hours per week

Assessment:  8% Online assignments, 2% Written assignments, 10% MATLAB test, 80% exam

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture / only one half of lecture slides are recorded (like most maths subjects ie calc 1 and calc 2)

Past exams available:  Yes, 1 per sem from 2014 - recent. No answers.(Doesn't matter too much, you can always double check your answers for good practice)

Textbook Recommendation:  Lecture slides are sufficient. Do not buy any textbook they offer you. (same goes for mostly all maths subjects in years 1-2)

Lecturer(s): Diarmuid Crowley (very good lecturer)

Year & Semester of completion: 2018 Sem 2

Rating:  2 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: pending (most likely between 70 and 85)

Comments: if you didnt get above 38 in spesh, or haven't even done spesh and are planning to do actuarial this subject is one of the maths subjects which are compulsory for entrance into actuarial (ir ur not doing am1 and am2). also, if you are planning to do actuarial, i'd suggest doing calc2/lin alg - unless you truly hate yourself or are VERY interested in mathematics would i suggest am1/am2. anyways, firstly, the bane of this subject and most other maths subjects are these ridiculous 80% exams. if you don't have to take a maths subject for your major, do not take any maths subjects, as I've taken both arts and commerce breadths (taken their core subjects ie reason for arts and finance for comm), and I can fairly safely say science cores are some of the hardest of all cores in the first year (granted, mostly in my experience). dont listen to commerce people when they say their course is hard unless they're doing maths heavy subjects (ie actuarial - these guys are read deal). other than that these people have no idea what they're talking about.

professor crowley is mad. great lecturer who from background is mainly into maths/physics, and u can definitely see he has a passion for maths and wants to share it with others. this is great from a lecturer, especially when initially starting topic 4 of the lecture slides (general vector spaces) do you start to have second thoughts on doing the subject.

weeks 1-3: not too hard; matrix row operations mostly, consistent/inconsistent systems - walk in the park - do as much of the orange problem booklet as you can in this time - uni will only get harder. introduction to 3 dimensional space somewhere around this time, cross product, and geometric applications (learn geometric applications really well, these come up in the exam 10/10 times).
weeks 4-8: general vector spaces, inner product spaces. only advice here is to try not to get overwhelmed. theses are new concepts, and they will take time for you to get used to. keep doing the orange booklet, watch youtube videos if they help. eventually if u keep revising and looking over this section, it will all make sense.
weeks 4-8 contain some of the most important concepts you'll have to learn to be able to pass in this subject. as i said, at first it might seem overwhelming, but keep revising and it'll all make sense.
week 9-10: eigenvectors, eigenvalues : fairly simple don't worry too much - practice diagonalisation (comes up in exams often)
weeks 11-12: linear transformations: this section uses concepts from weeks 4-8, not too hard but close exam time so a bit tricky. you dont want to fall behind so by the end of week 12 finish all questions u can do in the orange booklet.
swotvac: cram, revise, you know do your thing.

during this time, you'll have weekly assignments, 8 of which are online, 2 are handwritten. handwritten assignments are a good resource for studying for exams, although, some of the proofs can be quite tricky. while i'm on the matter of proofs, you'll encounter many proofs during lectures and even in the orange booklet. these aren't necessary to learn for the exam, but if you understand these you're ahead of 80% of the cohort, and it'll prove useful for 1-2 questions on the exam (you'll be able to get an h1 without learning proofs if u can do everything else near perfect).

also, go to your tutes. if you're struggling in this subject these are the greatest resources. ASK YOUR TUTOR QUESTIONS. you're PAYING them in your subject fees to HELP you. who cares if you ask a stupid question, get it through your brain, make everything make sense, and if you're at melbourne uni it will eventually. (also extra help at mathsassist when u need).

here's the thing though with tutors, 99% can be great, but there is always 1%. in this instance, if you ever encounter Allen Russell for one of your tutes, RESCHEDULE this class IMMEDIATELY. you will hate your tutes in this case; half the time i went to another tute alongside this tute to get my attendance marked (it was too late for me to reschedule; ur not actually meant to do this but if ur a keen learner nws). allen's tutes can sometimes be helpful; some of the explaining he does at the start is, but other than that everything is terrible; answering questions, marking written assignments, marking the matlab test - ridiculous. avoid at all costs to get +10% to your grade (of course, im overstating this- personal bad experience here). but anyways avoid him. (also the reason why this is a 2/5 instead of a 3.5/5)

matlab sessions are fairly ok; bit of a waste of time to go to them after week 4. if ur only doing lin alg, you dont get matlab program. if you do esd 2, u get matlab and can practice commands during the programming and mechanics section. if u do esd 2 u have an advantage, if not, good luck. (u can use computer labs for matlab to practice closer to the test in week 12 when they're free).
i've spewed everything i can think of about this subject in this post, hope u find it helpful. feel free to dm me if u have any other questions. good luck with lin alg.


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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #715 on: November 03, 2018, 04:41:45 pm »
Subject Code/Name: MAST10007 Linear Algebra

Workload:  3 hours of lectures, 1 hour of tute followed by 1 hour of lab time with Matlab

Assessment: They changed it this sem. 10% Matlab exam, 8 x 1% online mini tests, 2 x 1% take home assignements (Calc 2 style, i.e HARDER) 80% exam

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes

Past exams available:  Yes, many available and online, will need to have good detectives to find answers.

Textbook Recommendation:  Nope, I bought the lecture slides pack though cause I enjoy learning that way.

Lecturer(s): Allyson Costa, cool guy, slow but I enjoyed his enthusiasm. He did his lectures on Onenote with the slides which was cool, allowed him to teach in a more dynamic way.

Year & Semester of completion: 2018 Sem 2

Rating:  4 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1

I enjoyed this subject. Maybe more than Calc 2, my exam score will determine it.

Allen Russel was pretty bad, I had him too like the above reviewer, although I'm only 2nd semester so not sure what having a good tutor means, I just know what kind of style I prefer. Also not sure if it's my ageism though (he was older). I disliked his teaching method at the start of the tute, wasted time and took up too much time in the tute to do questions. (To be fair he was trying to get student participation) Helping out while we were working, he was knowledgeable, but didn't really offer a lot of insight. I much preferred my last semester's calc 2 tutes which we went straight into worksheets and had more time to converse with the tutor.

The subject is cool and holistic My favourite part was seeing the application of vectors in wacky vector spaces such as polynomials. But I dislike the ordering of the content. Transformations should come before eigenvalues in my opinion. I feel transformations was the worst topic taught as there was so much notation but so little examples of how it is used I was so lost when doing practice exams about what I should be using even looking through the lecture slides. This semester's exam was simpler, but it could have been much worse. (Note this could just be my incompetence)

This subject has many, many lemmas about theorems and rules that you will need to remember. Since it is not AM1, there is not a heavy emphasis on proofs but they do pop up on the exam, and most of the time (I think) it will be ones that the curriculum has already explained. Revising over each lemma and theorem of the lecture slides is critical, in my opinion to being able to solve every question in the exam.

EDIT: Managed to get the exact same score as calculus 2
« Last Edit: December 03, 2018, 05:38:07 pm by stevenhuyn »


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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #716 on: November 07, 2018, 06:45:55 pm »
Subject Code/Name: SWEN20003 Object Oriented Software Development

Workload:  2 x 1-hour lectures, 1 x 2 hour workshop

Project 1 [8%]
Project 2 [22% in two parts, 6% & 16%]
Midsem [10%]
Final exam [60%]

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture

Past exams available:  Yes, and a sample exam

Textbook Recommendation:  None

Lecturer(s): Matt de Bono, Shanika Karunasekera

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 2 2018

Rating:  4.5 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1


This fantastic subject uses Java to introduce you to the world of object-oriented programming (OOP) and, yes, software development. The subject is roughly split into three areas: the Java language, OOP concepts, and software engineering. Besides the coordinator, it doesn't appear to have changed much since the last review in 2015, but to sum up:

  • Java- this part is mostly learning the basic syntax, which is quite similar to C (which the subject assumes you've used before). A Grok module is set up to make practice fun and easy, but since you've seen all these concepts before (arrays, looping etc) you're expected to get through this part quickly and mostly in your own time.
  • OOP- this part teaches you about the features and concepts of OOP, such as polymorphism and encapsulation, and how they factor into good code design. You'll inevitably end up making comparisons to Python and C, but you'll also be quickly forced to break out of your old ways of thinking. However, the new ideas are not too difficult and once you understand what's going on, using them becomes fairly intuitive.
  • Software design- this part introduces you to UML modelling, as well as design patterns and development frameworks. Although there's not a whole lot of work associated with this, a decent chunk of the exam is dedicated to how well you know and can apply these.

  • The midsem and the exam are both very fast paced, but quite fair and have no surprises. They also closely follow the layout and difficulty of the samples, so doing those is highly recommended even though solutions aren't supplied.
  • The projects are just the right mix of challenging and fun. This semester, we used the Slick game library to recreate the classic game of Frogger, with the bonus option of adding in whatever creative licence we liked. Project 1 involved implementing one level of the game, then lots of small complications (more enemy types, multiple levels etc.) were added for Project 2, with 2A being a diagram that proposes the structure for the entire game.

  • In my experience, all the teaching staff were great. In particular, main lecturer Matt is a lot of fun, but better than that, he is exceptionally clear when explaining everything from concepts to expectations.
  • Compared to first year computing subjects, more time and effort is definitely required from OOSD. This subject doesn't just require functioning code, it demands good code, and for that you'll need to plan.

Overall, this subject is very interesting, well-taught and fun. Chances are, it will be your most enjoyable computing subject yet!

(Edit: I originally gave this a 4.5, then moved it up to a 5 when I had trouble thinking of faults. However, stevenhuyn articulated some good points so it's back down to a still excellent 4.5 for me.)
« Last Edit: November 25, 2018, 10:33:25 pm by showtime »


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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #717 on: November 09, 2018, 12:20:41 am »
Subject Code/Name: COMP20003 Algorithms and Data Structures 

Workload:  2 x 1-hour lectures, 1 x 2-hour workshops

Assessment:  2 x projects [15% each], 1 x mid-semester test [10%], 1 x final exam [60%]

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture.

Past exams available:  Yes, including sample solutions.

Textbook Recommendation:  S. Skiena's The Algorithm Design Manual, is "recommended" but completely unnecessary.

Lecturer(s): Nir Lipovetzky

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 2, 2018

Rating:  3.5 - 4 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1


ADS is exactly what it says on the tin. Here, you'll learn about both the theory and implementation of some basic algorithms and data structures used in computer science. The focus is fairly evenly split between searching, sorting and graph algorithms.

The first 3-4 weeks are particularly designed for students coming in from Eng Comp rather than Foundations of Algorithms. This time is spent introducing complexity analysis and binary trees, so if you're from the latter you will probably find this period very slow. Even if you aren't, you'll probably still find the first weeks slow. Don't worry, though, it picks up from then on.

Lectures are generally well taught, but in this subject in particular, there's a big difference between understanding what's explained to you and being able to apply these things. Naturally, this comes into play with the assessments.

The projects look simple on paper, but don't be fooled- unless you're stellar, programming them is brutal. Don't leave them to the weekend before the due date, if you can help it. You use C again, so you have to be adept with pointers and memory allocation.
This semester, Assignment 1 involved implementing a dictionary using a binary search tree from scratch. More practical non-algorithmic aspects like I/O, file manipulation and makefiles were also included. These things weren't directly related to the content of the course, but they took a good chunk of time to code, so it wouldn't be wise to underestimate them.
Assignment 2 was a bit easier to program since we were given a near-complete template, and had to basically translate a few given lines of pseudocode into actual code in order to solve a 15-puzzle. However, it was more conceptually difficult and computationally intense than the first. If you didn't want to wait literal hours for your experiment results, you had to make further optimisations.

The midsem and the final exam were both pretty reasonable. Generous amounts of time were given, and while the questions did challenge depth of understanding, there were no real tricks or surprises.

Workshops were good places to revise and practise content and ask questions, as the tutors and demonstrators made a lot of effort to help. But in my opinion, many of the programming exercises felt irrelevant to the topics being taught, were difficult to understand, and ultimately took more time than they were worth. I appreciate the work put into making them and I don't say it without shame, but I think it's far better to spend the hour to understand the assignments, lectures and the tutorial questions instead. If you can do all the exercises, great! But you're not disadvantaged if you don't.

My biggest piece of advice to get through this subject is to make good use of the forum and your friends. ADS is quite theoretical and getting unstuck alone is not easy, even with Google. Chances are, someone else has already had the same problem as you, and if they can't help you, a tutor will.

Overall, ADS is quite a solid subject. It may not be the most fun computing subject, but it does teach interesting new content and ways of thinking, as well as encourage you to understand concepts instead of parroting them. If you are willing to put in a lot of work, you will be rewarded accordingly.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2018, 06:56:51 pm by showtime »


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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #718 on: November 10, 2018, 04:55:19 am »
Subject Code/Name: SWEN20003 Object Oriented Software Development

Workload:  2 lectures, 2 hour workshop and lab

Assessment:  (copied from showtime)
Project 1 [8%]
Project 2 [22% in two parts, 6% & 16%]
Midsem [10%]
Final exam [60%]

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes.

Past exams available:  2 sample exams were given, no answers

Textbook Recommendation:  Nothing required

Lecturer(s): Matt de Bono (primary) , Shanika Karunasekera (minor), Eleanor McMurtry (more minor)

Year & Semester of completion: 2018 Sem 2

Rating:  4 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1

I think @showtime gave a good summary of the content in the previous review, just wanted to add my comments of why I rate it 4/5 instead of 5/5.

The main problem is due to the structure of the subject, you don't have a chance to practice half of the content in your assignments. Basically you aren't really specified to use any techniques in your whole assignment that is from the second half of the semester.

Due to the fact that in second half of the semester, everyone is working on their assignments instead of lab work (at least in my class), that means no one really gets exposure to the more advanced subjects. I honestly didn't write a single interface or enum in an IDE for the whole semester, might be I'm a bad student but yeah just the way the subject is structured. In past experience, assignments were a bit more aligned with the content.

And this subject demands functioning code, not good code in an algorithmic sense. Matt said that we are aren't in an algorithms class, so just make it work. But the code does have to be good in that it's documented, but that is like previous classes.

Every lecture you have with Shanika (a small amount) you will kinda miss Matt, doesn't help that she teaches somewhat more of the drier content of OOSD. Eleanor designs the assignments (iirc) and she took 2 lectures, one on Git (not examinable) and Game programming as well, she wasn't bad.

Overall though, this subject is a decent flex into Java, IDEs, maybe even Git if you're keen! Projects were fun to do if you were on top of your stuff I had a lot of fun playing with Slick. The subject does have success in that it can teach you about the importance of design before tackling a complex program (the assignment), it's just that you never got to see much of the later content in action in your own hands.

My Game!
Youtube vids of the game I ended up with, sounds and boss were my extension. That is not my face or my voice :)
« Last Edit: December 03, 2018, 05:31:21 pm by stevenhuyn »


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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #719 on: November 10, 2018, 05:09:29 am »
Subject Code/Name: INFO20003 Database Systems

Workload:  2x1 hour lectures, 2 hour tute and lab

Assessment:  10% MST, 3x10% assignments, 60% exam

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes

Past exams available:  Yes, 1 sample exam but a decent amount of practice questions in general

Textbook Recommendation:  None

Lecturer(s): Renata Borovica-Gajic (primary) , David Eccles (minor)

Year & Semester of completion: 2018 Semester 2

Rating:  4 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1

I really liked Renata as a lecturer. She gives us easy assignments (Based on the bell curves she releases), but otherwise I like the way she runs the course and content and of course teaches.

Doing well at the assignments will lead you much more comfortably into the exam, as there is a lot of content. Overall I'd say this subject is wide but shallow, so if you were taking more memory subjects, you would kill this subject as long as you had some programming aptitude and basic maths, it's highly memory based for a large percentage of the marks.

Only difficulty I had with the subject was that Conceptual modelling needed more examples from tutors/lecturers of the thought process of tackling those problems so everyone comes up with slightly different answers, I never had the knack for getting the same answer they did (or a better one). It was a subjective topic because interpretation and design depends on the person, but some designs are better than others. Otherwise the other 2 assignments were easier to full mark as they had right or wrong answers.

This subject could be dry to a lot of students, but I think Renata has made the subject pretty good, apparently she came in 2016 Sem 2. It really makes you appreciate how the fuck anything on the internet even works without massive amounts of lag. It covers interesting topics and has a nice balance of theoretical algorithms parts and practical parts.

Also recommend getting David Eccles as a tutor as he writes the exam, might be scary but you'll thank me later.

Database Modelling
Query Processing and Optimisation
Concurrency, Transactions, Distributed Databases, Data warehousing
Database Administration
NoSQL introduction

Also would like to point out, doing both this subject and SWEN20003 in the same semester is definitely manageable.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2018, 05:30:43 pm by stevenhuyn »