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Author Topic: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings  (Read 1077201 times)  Share 

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chysim

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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #180 on: July 26, 2013, 01:30:03 pm »
+4
Subject Code/Name: ABPL20034 Urban History

Workload: 2 x 1 Hour Lectures, 1 x 1 Hour Tute (per week)

Assessment: 400 word assignment (10%), 1000 word blog post (20%), 2000 word essay (30%) (due final week), Final 2-hour exam (30%), Class attendance (5%) and participation (5%)

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture

Past exams available:  Yes, not given but on library website

Textbook Recommendation: None, just a subject reader

Lecturer(s): David Nichols

Year & Semester of completion: 2013, Sem 1

Rating: 4 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1

TL;DR: If you're interested in cities (and you should be), this well-taught subject gives a pretty good overview of how they came to be and illustrates some of the schools of though surrounding their design.

Comments: This subject gives a somewhat brief yet wide-ranging overview of trends in urban design and planning. It focuses on how both technological advances and social issues influence the shape of a city. Among the topics looked at are ancient cities, medieval cities, cities of the industrial revolution, death and disease in cites, urban renewal, gentrification and surbanisation, the rise of town planning and the garden city movement, and globalisation.

David is quite a good lecturer. He's experienced in the field, it open to questions, but sometimes can get off on tangents and rarely gets through his entire slides within the hour. David himself says the lectures are not compulsory; the reading the essence of the subject, but I found it quite the opposite. Readings tend to be summerised and expanding upon within the lectures.

On a whole the content is quite interesting, but a limited understanding is really all that is required. The assessment is quite easy. The blog post is on one specific week of readings, the final essay gives you over 10 topics to choose from, and the exam includes 2 essays, one being "seen," where you are given the topics in advance, the other being unseen but again has a wide range of topics to choose from.

So, if you know about 2 weeks of material very well, and the rest just a little bit, you will most likely do just as well as if you knew the whole course very well.

Tutes are limited to discussing the week's readings. You can get away with skimming over them for the most part, but some are interesting a worth a read. As long as you try to bring something up at least once each tute, you'll likely get the 5% for participation, and there is another 5% for just turning up. The tutes can be a bit labourious, but they are worth turning up to for both the 5% and they do give you a better understanding of the material.

A tip for the final essay: Use the library. The markers are looking for your ability to research independently and tie themes of the subject together in relation to the subject via this process. The architecture library has a plethora of relevant books for whatever topic you choose. From speaking to others in the subject, it seemed those who had the longest reference lists generally got the best marks.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2015, 02:16:46 am by chysim »
UoM | Bachelor of Environments (Civil Systems): 2012-2014 | Master of Engineering (Civil): 2015-2016 |

Feel free to shoot me a PM pertaining to getting to M.Eng through the Environments course, or the Envs/Eng courses in general.

vox nihili

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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #181 on: July 26, 2013, 03:46:09 pm »
+4
Subject Code/Name: CHEM10006 Chemistry for Biomedicine

Workload: 3 x 1 hour lecture, 1 x 1 hour tutorial, 1 x 3 hour practical (practicals are not weekly, 6 per semester)

Assessment:  3 hour written exam 75%, Online Mid Semester Test 5%, Practical Work 20%, 3 x ILT (hurdle requirement)

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes with screen capture (the lecturers also tend to use the document camera for problems as well!)

Past exams available:  Four past exams. Three with brief solutions. Last year's we had to post our own solutions to an exam wiki

Textbook Recommendation:  Organic Chemistry (McMurray), Chemical Principals (Zumdahl). Unless you're suffering from insomnia, save your money.

Lecturer(s): Craig Hutton, Spencer Williams, Brendan Abrahams, Brendan McFadyen

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 1 2013

Rating: 3.5 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: 65 H3

Comments: This subject ought to have a motto, You love Chemistry? Yeah we'll see about that. Particularly for your first semester at Uni, Chemistry for Biomedicine was tough. The concepts are fairly easy to tackle. The subject, at first, seems like the natural extension from your VCE of studies. Thus, you are lulled into a false sense of security that lasts until the MST. You are expected to know everything. This is a very important thing to remember with this subject. Every little detail can pop up on the exam, whether it is bond angles/lengths, or the number of iron atoms in a ferritin molecule (I'm not even sure if that makes sense?)...you are expected to know it.

Practicals: These are pretty frustrating at times. There's a particular practical (I think it was number five) that is nigh impossible to finish in time, so that causes a hell of a lot of problems. Some of them are quite good, some are quite bad. It's a bit of a mix! Unfortunately, how you enjoy practicals tends to be based upon your demonstrator. Some of the demonstrators are absolutely fantastic (like mine Kris), though others are completely unwilling to help or provide any guidance whatsoever. The practicals form a part of assessment and are a hurdle requirement, so don't miss them. Some of them do not relate at all to the lecture content, so it is really important to do the preparation. You won't be pulled up for bringing in some of your report already written, so make sure you get a bit of a head start on that. You don't want to spend your time in the prac writing your reports. Follow the instructions about report writing carefully, and also pay particular attention to the marking schemes at the back. Your demonstrators should give you some idea about how they'd like the report to be written, though it is fair to say this was probably the greatest source of frustration for everyone—Merinda was particularly painful for this! The pracs are easy marks with the right preparation. They also don't seem to depend on how well you understand the lecture content either (as my prac results seem to indicate!)

ILTs: They are a hurdle requirement, though it is really, really important that you do them. Zumdahl's textbook is the most useful for these, or the interwebs will have lots of stuff to teach you how to do the stuff on the ILTs. Frankly, they are a gigantic pain in the arse. They do, however, contain a stack of examinable content (presumably what the lecturers deemed necessary to know but couldn't fit in the lectures) so make sure you do them properly. There are some ripper notes that explain all the ILT content floating around students somewhere, so make sure to get onto those if you can. I'm guessing they were authored by god they're that good.

Lectures: There's not really a lot to say about the Chem lectures. All of the four lecturers were pretty capable of teaching. Comparing to other subjects, they were actually all pretty good. Brendan was a stand out. He really made an effort to explain concepts and to actually teach. It's quite sad actually that his area is probably the least involved—that is, it's just heaps of rote learning. Spencer was a pill, though some people did like him. I can't say that he was a particularly bad lecturer, he was just overly pompous at times and had the annoying habit of trying to make his language as syntactically complex as possible (he also loved the word intuitively, which I presume was his nice way of saying OH MY GOD THIS IS SO OBVIOUS...it wasn't). David was fun and seemed like a nice guy. He had a bit of a grandpa quality, but I think that endeared him to most people. Personally, I found his lectures the easiest, so I didn't have any troubles with him. Though, there is a hell of a lot of rote in his cycles stuff (yes you do have to remember all the stages and the properties of all the chemicals). He also proves to everyone that, no, indeed we had no idea how to draw a Lewis Structure. If you're like me, you'll probably never know. Craig's not bad. Though his first lecture was just cruel, and I think that left a sour taste in most people's mouths. He redeemed himself a bit with his German accent though (you'll see). Essentially, you need to know all of the lecture content, so do make sure to go—they are actually well attended.

Tutorials: Go to these. The tutors are fantastic, everything is well organised and you will learn something.

The Bottom Line: as I hope you've noticed by now, I really didn't do all that well at Chemistry. I can safely say that this subject has completely turned me off Chemistry. Having said that, I do not despise it for doing so. It is a very strong example of how certain areas of study can change from VCE to university. There is a very strong emphasis on really knowing the facts. There's no need for a reference when it's in your head seems to be the way with a lot of things. If you're like me (and there are a lot sadly), you'll feel on top of things, until you sit down for assessment. You can feel as though you've done well, answered all the questions correctly and be really proud of that, then have the shock of your life when you've nearly failed that assessment. This is very much the way with it. Personally, I was too lazy. I didn't have the commitment or the interest to do the amount of work that you need to do for success in this subject. Some people love this subject, the other half are left absolutely defeated by it. It's certainly passable, but you'll be glad you're rid of it by the end—unless you're that brilliant percentage who managed to kick arse! :)
« Last Edit: July 31, 2013, 10:26:08 pm by t-rav »
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qqla

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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #182 on: July 29, 2013, 01:42:17 pm »
+5
Subject Code/Name: ECON10004 Introductory Microeconomics 

Workload:  two 1hr lectures, one 1hr tute

Assessment:  MC quiz, two assignments worth 25% together, exam 60%, tute participation 10%

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, screen capt included

Past exams available: Plentiful, past exams up to 2005ish

Textbook Recommendation:  Principles of Microeconomics, okay but I don't think you need this textbook, the lecture slides are probably better. Borland case studies book is a good read, but I never opened it for the semester.

Lecturer(s): Gareth James.

Year & Semester of completion: 2013, S1

Rating:  4.5 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1

Comments:

There are already many reviews posted for intro micro, so I'll just shed some light on some aspects that I feel were important during my semester.

Go to tutorials. The 10% is really a free 10% that everyone should get. You might not have to go to some lectures (there are some lectures that can be listened to at 2x the speed at home) but you should go to all the tutorials. If you've got a good grasp of how everything works in tutorials, it's really hard not to do well in the subject

Don't buy the book unless you feel like you need the extra grounding and background knowledge going into microeconomics from a non-commerce background. I just think Gareth's lecture notes provide a very concise and reliable reference point from day 1 of the course.

Make sure you pay attention in the first few weeks, because demand and supply graphs pave the foundation for understanding of the course. The concept of 'marginal benefits' and such is also crucial, the entire semester revolves around cost benefit analysis, and understanding of the demand and supply graphs.

As for pink/blue sheets provided after the tutorials. I strongly suggest that you go over ALL the questions on the pink sheet, because a grasp of the pink sheets alone is sufficient to get a low H1. Blue sheets are less essential, so I suggest you only do the questions that particularly stick out and boggle you, because the rest is pretty elementary with regards to difficulty.

Exam revision should predominately be revision of the pink sheets and not the lecture notes! I made the mistake of spending most of my time solidifying knowledge learnt from the lecture notes, but the lecture notes are more 'theory-based'. Once you nail the theory and understand all of the theory, practical work should make the bulk of your study, because the exam doesn't really demand rote memorization of 'what is market structure' etc.

Do the practice exams! There are a lot of similar and recycled question that pop up on every exam, this is probably because there is only so much they can ask for the course (eg. VC vs FC, price discrim etc).

sheepgomoo

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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #183 on: July 31, 2013, 10:20:48 pm »
+6
Subject Code/Name: ECON10005 Quantitative Methods 1

Workload:  2x1hr lecture, 1x1hr tute.

Assessment: 3xgroup assignment (3x10%=%30), 2hr eoy exam (70%). If you fail to get 50% pass on the exam, your overall mark will be no higher than 50.

Lectopia Enabled: Yes.

Past exams available:  Yes, around five.

Textbook Recommendation: Business Statistics Fifth Edition, by E. A. Selvanathan, S. Selvanathan and G. Keller (published by Cengage Learning Australia, 2011). Not needed, only used for one question in an assignment.

Lecturer(s): Mike Pottenger, Chris Skeels.

Year & Semester of completion: 2013, Semester 1

Rating: 4/5

Your Mark/Grade: H1

Comments: QM is your standard statistics subject. Prior knowledge from methods and further will help, but isn’t necessary for achieving a high score, because a lot of it is new material.

Lectures will feature mostly Mike, but occasionally Chris. Mike is a relatively young lecturer, but is really interesting and fun to listen to. He stresses that he is not a statistician, and highlights the importance of knowing statistics simply because it can be applied everywhere. He is also the online tutor, and answers questions very very promptly. Chris, on the other hand, is your standard lecturer who will drill the more mathematical topics into you, which I must admit was quite boring, and it wasn’t uncommon to see people falling asleep in the theatre, however its good that he doesn’t base everything off the lecture slides and makes you read them yourself, since some things were self-explanatory.

Content-wise, I think this subject was very well structured. My friends at Monash asked me how I was going for linear regression at the start of the semester and I had no idea what they were talking about. We did that topic at the end of the semester, where it tied in well with what we had learnt throughout. Everything was interconnected, with the normal distribution being the centre. In theory, what you learn is just using the normal distribution and modifying it to fit it into different situations. Check out the subject page for more info – technically you aren’t asked to draw a normal distribution, but doing those mini sketches really helps when you’re trying to solve questions, and theory is important. In our exam, I reckon about 30-40% was theory and explaining why and how the various statistics worked.

Don’t expect to score too well on assignments. They’re made to challenge you. Another thing to note about these assignments is that they’re done in groups of up to 4 people FROM YOUR TUTORIAL. This means that effectively you can do them by yourself, but of course spreading the work out is beneficial, and I doubt you’d be able to complete them all by yourself, since the content is relatively advanced. Some of the questions were even harder than the ones on the exam, imo. 

As you might’ve noticed, there are no tutorial marks so you can practically wag them all, but wow can I just say, they help a lot (given that you have a good tutor). Listening to lectures is one thing, but actually sitting down and doing the pre-tute (blue sheet) questions and in-tute (pink) questions really solidifies the content. Even so, I know quite a few people, myself included, who got totally lost in this subject. Consults really help in this situation, and I wish I went to one earlier!

The only time I can say I fully understood the content was during SWOTVAC. My exam revision consisted of going through the pink and blue sheets, which had some really challenging questions, and doing all of the past exams, which had comprehensive solutions and really helped my understanding. In the end, there were some questions which popped up again and again, so I was confident I was ready for the exam. A tip: READ THE QUESTION CAREFULLY and make sure you understand what its asking! I know I’m not the only one who got confused just by reading the question, and had to reread it more than thrice.

Throughout the semester, I thought I didn’t understand this subject at all, but it was more an issue of not seeing the links. As my tutor kept reiterating, QM always goes back to the main concepts. Don’t try to overcomplicate things. Don’t panic. You’ve definitely seen this question before, because in some ways, they all just slightly modified versions of a standard question. All in all, a subject that is easy and straightforward if you do a lot of self-study. Taking the time each week to do all the questions and actually ascertain that you understand the content will definitely get you a great score.

qqla

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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #184 on: August 01, 2013, 04:03:09 pm »
+7
Subject Code/Name: ECON10005 Quantitative Methods 1

Workload:  two 1 hr lectures, one 1hr optional tute

Assessment: three group assignments worth 30% in total, 70% semi-hurdle exam (you have to get above 50% on the exam to get above a P, hard to explain but not really a hurdle

Lectopia Enabled:  no screen cap, audio rec

Past exams available:  Plentiful, from the inception of the revised subject, and even past exams before the current study design were annotated to better reflect current subject content

Textbook Recommendation:  Bus. stats, 5th ed. Read it for the first week, but didn't use it at all later. I'd advise anyone to keep this text even if you didn't use it because you'll need it in qm2, if you're continuing next yr.

Lecturer(s): Chris Skeels and Mike Pottenger

Year & Semester of completion: 2013, S1

Rating: 5 out of 5

Comments:

Coming from a very very weak maths background (too much maplestory in my teen years) and a methods score that is quite embarassing, initially I was petrified of QM at the beginning of the semester. Having just scraped the pre-req entry, I thought I was doomed to fail QM, after all, I thought it was another semester of math which I was terrible at in high school. Hearing that QM has a 30% fail rate (not sure if this is actually accurate or not) just added fuel to the fire.

So I slept in for lectures, wagged tutes until swotvac and I realised, 'hey if I fail this i'm gonna waste another semester doing something I hate'. However, it was during swotvac, though the hours and hours of catching up on missed lecture recordings that I discovered what a gem this subject actually was.

QM is how a first-subject should be done. The lectures and lecture notes synthetise together in a fashion that is not only refreshing, but also engaging. Ultimately, it creates an excellent foundation for further study in economics and other commerce paths.

Lectures included interesting case studies such as the price elasticity of demand in the heroin market, which I found were quite effective in not only arousing interest for a lecture theatre, but ironing in a difficult concept such as a regression analysis that is difficult to comprehend at first.

Mike Pottenger offers a fresh approach to previously dry material that really gets you to think and most of all, appreciate what you're working with.

Skeels is less engaging and such, but nevertheless is respectably effective in delivery of crucial concepts. If you put in the time to not oogle and fiddle the chick next to you in a lecture, his lectures are clear and concise, and really hit hard to solidify a concept come exam time.

Creating confidence intervals and regression analysis may sound challenging and foreign at first, but are covered well throughout the pace of the semester. I found that there was just the right mix of difficulty and quantity of subject matter, QM wasn't a subject where you were thrown an infinite amount of simple plug-in formulas to repeat, it was a subject that demanded appreciation and devoted analysis.

I can't really make a comment on tutorials because I only ever probably went to 3, but what was great was that every single question that was written on both the pink and blue sheets had a very comprehensive, and well-thought through solution written to supplement your own study.

Assignments were generally okay (however I got 'carried' by my group on all three of them, thanks guys), and were exceptional in offering an 'extension' to previous concepts and such, come exam time.

The exam is fair, it is written so that most of the drop-kicks like me are allowed to pass, and hard enough for the brighter ones to compete for a H1.

I really owe my passing of this subject this semester to the dedicated support and resource network that Skeels and Pottenger have cemented. If you go have a read on subjectreviews.com, you'll see a review that says:

"Studying for this subject seems more like a privilege than a chore, the subject matter should be adapted into a cure for cancer it's so amazing. I think if everyone in the world were to take this subject, we would finally attain world peace."

QM is that good. I just wish I studied a bit more before swotvac..... :P
« Last Edit: August 01, 2013, 04:04:57 pm by qqla »

hobbitle

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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #185 on: October 31, 2013, 10:29:43 am »
+2
Subject Code/Name: Engineering Systems Design 2 

Workload:  3 x one hour lectures and 1 x three hour workshop per week

Assessment:  Weekly online assessment (10%) in the form of quizzes and a Q&A forum called PeerWise, weekly team-based projects and assignments (30% in total: some in-class quizzes, 10 x 2% group assignments), and 1 3-hour end of semester examination (60%). Students must pass the end of semester examination to pass the subject

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture.

Past exams available:  Yes, about 4, but the structure of the exam had changed recently.

Textbook Recommendation:  I purchased the customised ENGR10003 textbook compiled by the coordinator Gavin Buskes, but I didn't really use it much except to practise Mechanics problems.

Lecturer(s): 
Digital Systems: Gavin Buskes.
Programming: Rao Kotagiri
Mechanics: Andrew Ooi

Year & Semester of completion:  Semester 2, 2013

Rating: 4-4.5 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: TBC

Comments:
Even though there are a few reviews already for ESD2 I thought I'd add another.
ESD2 as you probably know by now is broken up into 3 parts, each with completely equal weighting in the assessment.  I'll break the review down into 3 parts, too.
It should be noted that I have never had any exposure to any of these three modules before (not even Physics, for Mechanics) - and I didn't take ESD1 either.

DIGITAL SYSTEMS:
Logic circuits, gates, boolean algebra, truth tables, Karnaugh maps, analog/digital conversion principles.  This stuff was surprisingly awesome and Gavin is a fantastic lecturer (IMO the best of the three by far).  Gavin is energetic, explains things clearly, and does problems on the projector screen for you instead of just putting up slides so you can see the thought processes behind it.  I found logic really interesting and I got really absorbed in the assignments trying to find the most efficient solutions.

PROGRAMMING:
In this module we learn how to use a programming platform called Matlab.  Never have I experienced a module so badly lectured, which is why so many students complain about this section and end up leaving the course not knowing a stitch about Matlab.  I had read reviews prior and had a feeling we were in for some terrible teaching so instead I threw myself at the assignments and the in-class Workshops so that I could get my head around programming.  It worked, the assignments were fun and challenging, and I ended up loving programming, it was just taught SO INDESCRIBABLY BADLY.  You can't teach programming, you just have to do it. We did an assignment where we created a Tic Tac Toe simulator, and some cryptography where we encrypted and decrypted messages using different techniques.

MECHANICS:
Moments, Couples, Forces, Joints, Trusses, Projectile Motion.....
This is probably the module that most people are OK with because they took physics in high school or in Semester 1, also it's geared towards Civil/Mechanical Engineering students which make up quite a large portion of the cohort, so they seemed a bit more interested.  Andrew Ooi is a pretty big wig in the Engineering faculty and he is your lecturer, and I totally appreciate that he tries to make lectures funny but geez he is irritating and can seriously waste some time trying to be funny by being self-depracating.  I also really didn't connect with his lecturing method at all, he spent way too much time doing funky animations with Powerpoint than concentrating on the best way to lay out material and present it so it is clear for students. 

I had pretty crummy experiences with groups in the group assignments.  My Digital Systems group was fine (at least one contributed, and the other contributed verbally although never actually did much) but I was alone for Programming (wrote every line of code myself) and we never heard from one person in my Mechanics group.  So I got a bit unlucky there, hopefully you'll have a better experience.  I just saw it as a way to practise the content more!

If you are a Chemical or Biomedical Engineering major, chances are you'll struggle to see the point of the content in ESD2, but it's still a good subject and largely enjoyable, and I really believe the content will be relevant in your discipline at some stage. 
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Shenz0r

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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #186 on: November 05, 2013, 02:04:40 pm »
+4
Subject Code/Name: PHYC10007: Physics for Biomedicine

Workload: Contact Hours: 3 x one hour lectures per week; 1 x one hour tutorial per week; 28 hours of practical work (8 x three hour laboratory sessions and up to 30 minutes of pre-laboratory activity) and 10 weekly assignments of 30 minutes each during the semester.

Assessment: Ongoing assessment of practical work during the semester (25%); ten weekly assignments (10 x 1.5% = 15%); a 3-hour written examination in the examination period (60%).

Satisfactory completion of practical work is necessary to pass the subject (i.e. attendance and submission of work for at least 80% of workshop sessions together with a result for assessed work of at least 50%).

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, but you'll miss on some of the demonstrations in the lectures if you don't go. Not that you're missing out on too much anyway.

Past exams available:  Yes, past exams stretch back to 2008.

Textbook Recommendation:  'College Physics' by Knight. The lecture slides have a list of questions you should do from each chapter. They're a must-have I guess; studying physics is all about doing more and more problems. You'll have to find the solutions on the LMS though, since the textbook only has solutions for odd-numbered problems. Later in the semester I downloaded 'Physics' by Giancoli, which had a lot more similar problems and also came with entire worked solutions for the whole book. Was much better than 'College Physics' in my opinion, but you'll have to only focus on the content that you've learnt in lectures.

Lecturer(s): Martin and Rob. This year, Martin taught for for the first half of the course, and Rob taught for the second half of the course. Keep in mind that in previous years it was the other way around when you do exams.

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 2, 2013

Rating:  2.8 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1 (83)

Comments: Physics is a tough subject for people to teach, and for people to study. The first 2-3 weeks weren't bad in my opinion, I thought I would actually like the subject. We were taught about kinematics, motion, forces, and energy. If you've done specialist maths before then it should be a piece of cake for you. If you only did VCE Maths Methods then you'll need to practise on adding up vectors and the like (and other trigonometric identities such as the double angle formula - which, funnily enough, wasn't even mentioned in the lectures and came up on a past exam!).

After this brief period of calmness, we moved onto Fluids in week 4. Everything started going downhill from this point. The lectures move very, very fast. You'll probably cover a chapter or two in two or three lectures. The department is trying to cram all of high school physics AND some first-year uni physics into your head, so they really have no other option. Yet they manage to leave out Optics, which you'll have to self-study for the GAMSAT, which will probably be the only reason you'll ever need Physics if you want to get into medicine.

You will be constantly bombarded with new material and you will continue to remain somewhat clueless even in week 12. The other topics you cover from this nightmare onwards will include thermal physics, waves, electricity, magnetism, quantum physics, and radioactivity.

You'll have weekly assignments on the LMS to do every week, which just consist of a bunch of questions to answer from a company called Mastering Physics. The assignments are usually harder than questions in the textbook and the past exams and usually test concepts which you may not have learnt. You can actually easily google for most of the answers, so you should get a high mark for the assignments if you make an effort.

You'll have a lot of practicals as well. 8 practicals in the semester, covering pretty much almost every topic that you've learnt. You'll have to write up a practical report in your lab logbook, and in it all you do is answer questions in the lab-book and paste in all of your graphs and results. During the practical you also need to complete "checkpoints", in which a demonstrator just asks you to interpret your result or answer a question.  The demonstrators range from lenient to harsh. Some demonstrators will freely give out 9s and 10s, and others will give out 6s and 7s. Your lab marks will however be scaled according to your exam mark though.

Tutorials are helpful, and generally consist of a masters student going through several problems on the board. However, we rarely got to actually go through all of the questions on the sheet.

Now, onto lectures. Some things were not explained very well; some things were explained too casually and too simplistic. For example, learning about the second law of thermodynamics, the lecture notes just said "entropy is unusable energy". And there's a lot more to it than that, really. The lecture notes aren't also that great to be honest. There are also demonstrations in every lecture which is pretty cool I guess, but it also sucks out a lot of time. Sometimes the lecturers would fall 2-3 lectures behind.

I had to resort to reading the textbook and looking up videos on Youtube in order to get my head around everything. Khan Academy and Brightstorm explain things in much better terms. Half of this subject is just plugging in numbers and battling with units, really. If you know the units, you can pretty much derive any formula to do whatever you want. Be conscious of working in SI units all the time though. 

The practise exams seem to follow a similar pattern of questions from 08-12. There will be a single question on every topic you covered, but at least the questions tend to be fairly similar year to year. The exam solutions for the earlier past exams suck though. They don't have any working out, which is a good and bad thing, and instead of giving you answers they'll be like "Justification required. Sketch required. Explanation required" on the solutions, so make sure you compare your answers with other people. From 2011 onwards the solutions get much better though, although there's an error or two in some of them.

The 2013 exam was a bit different compared to past exams, they actually switched the content of the questions around (although there was still one that was copy pasted from a past exam). Make sure you review all your lecture notes as well. However, the exam was still manageable given that you did enough questions from the textbook (they'll expose you to more new questions)

What makes this subject so tedious is the fast pace, the high numbers of pracs, the difficult weekly assignment questions and the lecture notes. The questions aren't too bad, if you know which formula to use.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2013, 09:46:31 am by Shenz0r »
2012 ATAR: 99.20
2013-2015: Bachelor of Biomedicine (Microbiology/Immunology: Infections and Immunity) at The University of Melbourne
2016-2019: Doctor of Medicine (MD4) at The University of Melbourne

hobbitle

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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #187 on: November 07, 2013, 10:24:28 am »
+4
Subject Code/Name: BIOL10005 Genetics & The Evolution of Life 

Workload:  3 x one hour lectures per week, 1 x 1hr tutorial and 1 x 2hr Practical every fortnight. 1 x 1hr workshop every other fortnight.  Approximately 24 hours of online learning.

Assessment: 

Multiple-choice MST (10%)

Usually about 20 questions, and covers the content in the first 11 lectures (4 weeks-ish).
This is notoriously quite difficult, so do study for it, and it will make your revision at the end of the semester SO MUCH EASIER.  The remaining course content is rote-heavy and it's a real relief to have a solid understanding of the first 4 weeks of content before you hit SWOTVAC.

Assignment (10%)
If you are precise about this assignment, it shouldn't be too hard.  It was kind of like "should it really be this easy, did I do something wrong?" but at the same time a lot of people messed it up pretty badly because what was expected of us wasn't very well explained.  We had to use an online program to generate the outcomes of a certain combination of genetic crosses and then write a genetic hypothesis and report about the results.  Then there was an in-class test that involved generating another genetic hypothesis based on some given data and answering some questions relating to the assignment.

Prac Work (25%),
Pre-prac tests are 1 mark, Pracs are 5 marks, Post-prac tests are 4 marks.  DON'T FORGET THE POST PRAC TESTS.  I've probably lost my chance at a H1 this semester because I forgot about 2 post-prac tests.  You get a password in the prac itself and you NEED IT.  It's not that hard to get full marks in the prac themselves.  In fact, if you don't forget to do post-prac tests, you should be able to really own this 25%.

Independent Learning Tasks (5%);
As long as you don't forget to do these, they are an easy 5%.  Just click through the information on the online tutorial, then do the questions at the end, get more than 80%.

 Exam (50%).
A LOT of content to learn here.  If you studied well for the MST you should have  alot of the Genetics stuff down pat already but there is a lot of rote learning in Botany and Zoology and the structure of the lectures is sometimes not super linear (Dawn especially has content jumping all over the place sometimes).  There are some concepts that each lecturer dwells on in particular, be prepared for these topics to be in your short essay questions.

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture.  Copland Theatre SUCKS to have lectures in (if you can get a seat, they are like instant nap time, or if you manage not to fall asleep, you'll have someone really annoying talking in your vicinity because the theatre is big and they think they can get away with it).  I stopped going half way through the semester and just watched the Echo recordings.

Past exams available:  There was one sample exam with lots of sample short essay questions.  Dawn also provides you with lots of additional Genetics problems and you have your Lab Workbook with lots of questions too. 

Textbook Recommendation:  R B Knox, P Y Ladiges, B K Evans and R Saint, Biology, An Australian Focus 4th Ed.  It's a great textbook so I bought it but I didn't use it heaps, the diagrams in it are excellent, but the lecturers scan the diagrams and put them in the notes anyway.

Lecturer(s): 

Dawn Gleeson (Genetics) - mostly really awesome, sometimes kind of skims over stuff or seems to think we already know it.  Jumps around between topics a lot on occasion which gets kind of confusing but overall her stuff is well-paced.  Her lecture slides are really really crap and hard to decypher so you really have to take your own notes and listen to her lectures.
Theresa Jones (Zoology) - pretty cool lady, most of her content is straight off the slides.  Interesting topics covered (main animal phyla and their characteristics, ecology, evolution, selection).
Rick Wetherbee (Botany) - I love Rick, he's enthusiastic and entertaining, clear and precise with what he expects from us.  His questions are quite specific and can be challenging but it's partly because his stuff isn't exactly difficult so he has to make you think a little bit more abstractly or detailed sometimes.

Year & Semester of completion:  Semester 2, 2013

Rating:  5 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: Don't have it yet.

Comments: A lot of info already covered in the previous sections.  This subject is basically compulsory if you want to do anything relating to life sciences in your B-SCI so it doesn't matter too much what I thought of it.  Probably more useful to offer advice, for when you do have to take it:

-There is a buttload of content in this subject..... get on top of it and stay on top of it early.  Use the MST to get on top of the first 4 weeks of material and use the mid-semester break to catch up on the middle section of the semester.  Make sure you have watched every lecture at least once and taken notes by the time you get to SWOTVAC so you can get into the nitty gritty detail and have time for the concepts to settle.  Everything kind of links together eventually if you give it enough time to mingle together in your brain, but if you try to cram it, you'll just be memorising hundreds of facts that seemingly aren't that related.

-Make sure you do all the online things (pre- and post- prac tests, and ILTs).  They are essentially free marks and you can get like 15% of the subject just by remembering to sit at your computer for 20 minutes and do them.

-Pracs are a hurdle requirement and whilst they aren't as fun as BIOL10004, they're still fine.  There isn't a heap of content to learn from them except maybe the main Botany and the main Zoology one (pracs 4 & 5).
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werdna

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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #188 on: November 08, 2013, 12:15:22 am »
+5
Subject Code/Name: EVSC20003 Forests in a Global Context

Workload: This is a week-long intensive subject with 1 day-long field trip, and 1 3hr lecture and 3 hr tutorial every day for 5 days in the September mid semester break. The lectures and tutorials sound very long and tedious, but the great thing is that you don't need to go to them. The only hurdle requirement is that you attend the field trip. Tutorials are only booked classrooms where you can go in and draft some responses - there's 3 or 4 tutors roving around to the 20+ tutorial rooms. So it's not exactly a fully taught and run tute. No point going to the lectures when you can go straight to the important stuff when listening online.

Assessment: Like I said, hurdle requirement is that you must attend the field trip to the forest/s. Assessment is 12 comprehension/analysis questions that are worth around 300-350 words each. I thought the questions were doable and quick to knock out. After every lecture, they will post up 2 assessment questions. The assessment is due approximately 1 week after the last lecture. There are no further participation marks, tests, exams etc.

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture. A lot of waffling in the lectures - just skip to the important stuff you need to know in order to write your answers.

Past exams available:  No past exams available or needed. What I will say, though, is that there was not enough guidance as to what they expected in our answers. Only 1 sample response was given out, so it's tricky to work out how to structure answers etc. You never really know what you get until results day.

Textbook Recommendation:  If doing this subject, I would strongly recommend that you buy the prescribed textbook (Forestry in a Global Context). Yes you'll only be using it for less than a week, but the book is very very very helpful in writing up your answers. The questions are based around sections of the textbook. (I'm selling my textbook if anyone is interested :D - PM me).

Year & Semester of completion: September, Semester 2 2013

Rating: 4 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: Marks have not been released yet.

Comments: I think this is a great subject to knock out and get done in a week. Perhaps too much waffling and not enough specific attention to what they expect in our assessment responses. Therefore, you're basically 'blindly' writing answers hoping that you're doing it right. The field trip was well organised and helpful. This subject is worth the same 12.5 points as most other units, but it doesn't count as overloading, so you could potentially do a full time load of 4 units in semester 2 next year, PLUS the forests unit - without needing to discuss overloading with the student centre. Overall a great breadth subject!
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Starlight

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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #189 on: November 08, 2013, 01:01:30 am »
+8
Subject Code/Name: UNIB30005 Living Longer: A global diagnosis

Workload: 1*2hr lecture/ week, 1*1hr tutorial/week

Assessment: 10*300 word blogs due over the course of the semester (20%), 500 word tutorial paper/ wiki (15%), tutorial/online participation (attending tutorials and commenting on the class wiki page) (15%), 50% Research project (50%)

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture.

Past exams available: No exam!!

Textbook Recommendation:  James C Riley (2001) Rising Life Expectancy: a global history (Cambridge University Press). I used it as a reference for some of my blogs and it was constantly referenced during lectures. You could go without it but the book does help.

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 2, 2013

Rating: 4.5/5

Your Mark/Grade: H1

Comments: Wow, this was a fantastic breadth subject and was extremely laid-back. The subject is for anyone who is interested in observing the wide range of factors which determine life expectancy- sedentary lifestyles/ stress/ public health/ medicine/ pathogens... I'll make some individual comments about the running of the subject during the semester and the types of assessment.

300W blogs- I'll admit, they were a bit tedious during the semester and they would probably take about 40 minutes to write, but hey that's not bad for weekly homework! They are based on your understanding of the lecture material, your ability to ask questions/ engage in the weekly topic and provide your opinions. I scored the full 20% for them, as long as you show you are engaging in the material you will be fine. You did not need to attend the lectures to write these blogs, the slides can be used as a reference but it is always good to find other references to discuss (such as james riley's book)

Tutorial Paper: Based on finding an article of your choice. The article must relate to one of the weekly topics during the semester. I chose nutrition as it is an incredibly broad area and analysed an article about obesity. Basically requires you to interpret what the author is saying and their main points, your opinions on the article- whether you agree or disagree (e.g. can you find other references to support this?) etc. If you take the article seriously and make sure it relates to the subject's overall themes and relates to the weekly topic then there is no reason for you not to get a H1.

Research Project: Seriously, start this early in the semester! I'd say week 3/4 is a good time to start planning and finding references. The actual finding references part and writing key points about them is the hardest part because it is so time-consuming. It is due after swotvac but obviously with other exams it's wise to get the research paper done early. As opposed to my method of Writing pretty much the whole thing during swotvac (I did have all my references and points written down though), yeah that wasn't fun! You can choose from about 10 topics on what to write on and again these relate to the subject's weekly topics, for example I chose mental health and we had a lecture on it during the semester as well- this way you know some important areas about your chosen topic and what you might write about.

Lectures: You could pretty much go off the lecture notes if you wanted to. I didn't write any real lecture summaries for this subject, I suppose that's what the weekly blogs are for. The fact that there's no exam is really good in the sense that you can write about a certain weekly topic for the blog and then never have to look back on the same topic ever again for the subject. Probably good to attend the lecture that you think you will be writing your essay on. The lectures are 2 hours long and one a week so they can be a bit draining.

Tutorials: Mainly involved class-discussions, we never really did any real work. They were pretty interesting and was a nice break away from other intense subjects during the semester. You had to speak about your 500 word tutorial paper and just give a couple of points about what it was about, nothing scary though.


IN SUM: DO THIS SUBJECT! :)
« Last Edit: November 08, 2014, 09:27:04 pm by El2012 »
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Shenz0r

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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #190 on: November 08, 2013, 03:32:06 pm »
+6
Subject Code/Name: BIOL10003: Genes and Environment

Workload:   3 x one hour lectures per week, 18 hours of workshops (1 hour of theory workshop and 2 hours of practical workshop per fortnight), 6 hours of additional problem solving classes (1 hour per fortnight), 24 hours of pre-and post laboratory activities (2 hours per week), 24 hours of e-learning, online activities including independent learning tasks (2 hours per week).

Assessment: A 45 minute, multiple choice test held mid-semester (10%); work related to practical classes during the semester (35%), made up of a combination of assessment of practical skills within the practical class, completion of up to 5 on-line pre-practical tests; written work within the practical not exceeding 500 words; up to 5 short multiple choice tests, and a written assignment based on the practical content not exceeding 1000 words; completion of 5 Independent Learning Tasks throughout the semester (5%); a 3hr examination on theory and practical work in the examination period (50%).

A pass in the practical work is necessary to pass the subject.

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture.

Past exams available:  One sample exam provided,

Textbook Recommendation:  Life by Sadava is still the prescribed textbook, carrying over from BIOL10002. I didn't use it as often as last semester though, since some of the stuff being taught wasn't in the book.

Lecturer(s): Professor Rob Day lectures on Parasites and Evolution, Dr. Ross Waller lectures on viruses and fungi, Professor Dawn Gleeson takes over for genetics from Lecture 15 onwards.

Year & Semester of completion: 2013, Semester 2

Rating:  4 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1 (88)

Comments: This subject is a lot different from the first semester Biology core for Biomed students. The first third of the subject focuses on parasites, disease control, evolution, and fungi. This is probably the part of the subject that seemed the most rote-learning heavy. The rest of the subject focuses on genetics, and with that, be prepared to confront many problem solving questions. This part of the subject focuses more so on application rather than rote learning.

Many people didn't like the first third of the lectures. I'm not too sure whether it was because of the lecturers or the general lack of interest in their material. I think Rob and Ross weren't as bad as everybody made them out to be though. Their lecture notes were easy to decipher and understand. Dawn was magnificent though - she explained everything very clearly and concisely. Her lecture notes do get a bit excessive, at times they can clock up to 50 slides per lecture - but she manages to get through all of it nevertheless. She did fall behind by a few lectures, but still managed to get through everything (admittedly she went through the last lecture at full throttle).

You'll be alternating between workshops and tutes/pracs every fortnight. People generally don't go to workshops; all you do is go through parts of the problem-solving Question Sets in your tutorial workbook. I think in our very last workshop only something like 15-20 people showed up. In tutorials you'll also be going through the question sets, and you'll be told about the prac that you'll be doing right after the tute.

The practicals are marked a lot more leniently than in BIOL10002. In fact they're just easier in general; you'll almost always finish at least 20 mins before the end of the session. Most of your practicals will of course involve identification of parasites, observing phenotypic ratios, and manipulating DNA. You'll have to "diagnose" patients with particular parasites by looking at their medical history and examining their blood/faecal smears through a microscope. You'll also do many neat things with bacteria, such as transforming them with GFP. And you'll get to play with Drosophila as well!

Just like semester 1, there's a pre-prac test and post-prac test for every prac. I recommend going down to one of the uni libraries with a couple of friends after the prac if you want to full-mark each one. The in-class assessment is not too difficult either. Overall, the marking scheme is pretty light and getting straight 10s is perfectly possible.

The MST was quite bad for people who were in my prac session, we were given probably the most difficult MST (each group has different versions of the test) and many top kids in my session didn't do as well as some people in other sessions. The MST was very focused on Rob Day's material and what makes Rob's questions so annoying is that:

1) They're ambiguous
2) He gives you a lot of plausible answers, but you still have to choose the best choice (this will also pop up in the exam in painful forms as well)

The genetics eFly assignment this semester was also marked quite strictly. The take-home part of the assignment doesn't take too long. You'll have to use crosses to form a genetic hypothesis about a particular trait. People lost marks for little things such as not writing in the genotypes of the parents, so make sure you do that. You'll also do part of the assignment as a test in one of your tutes, but it's pretty easy nevertheless.

You'll have to do 5 ILTs throughout the semester. They'll hardly bother you, because three of the ILTs directly relate to Dawn's lectures.

Over the semester, Dawn puts up a lot of problem sets and practise questions. Do all of them. A lot of Dawn's material relates to problem solving so you ideally want to be exposed to as many questions as possible. The more you do, the faster you'll be able to process information, and you'll be able to tackle pretty sophisticated problems more easily. A combo that seems to fry people's minds is when you have two genes, one X-linked and one autosomal, and recessive epistasis occurring. If you haven't done enough questions to recognise patterns with each genetic hypothesis, then you're going to have a tough time in exams. 

The genetics part of the subject is more focused on understanding of concepts, rather than just memorising every details. Of course, it's good to memorise small things like 9A-;B- : 3 A-;bb, 3 aa;B- and 1aa;bb, as well as the ratios for each form of epistasis. But there's a heavy emphasis on understanding because Dawn will give you new and unfamiliar scenarios to apply everything, whether it'd be through paternity tests, RFLP markers, or concluding iso/heterodisomy.

The exam, I felt, was harder than its semester 1 counterpart. I felt that it was longer then usual. Section A had 40 MC, half of which are double weighted. Section B and C had five questions each. Section D has three "essays", with a topic from each lecturer. Rob's Section B and C questions were tedious as he would give many different combinations of "right answers", especially for evolution (you can either put choice 13...or choice 21 which is choice 11 + choice 13 + choice 14...etc). Ross' Section C questions were quite easy, and some of Dawn's Section B and C questions consisted of three-point test crosses, as well as calculations from HW equilibrium. Overall, the exam should not be too bad given that you do understand everything. The problem solving in the MCQ, as well as in Section B and C, will take longer to answer though, so be careful of that. I finished without enough checking time in my opinion.

BIOL10003 is harder than BIOL10002 in that it's very focused on problem solving and understanding. However, it's still an enjoyable subject and a particularly good introduction into Genetics (I don't really understand why everybody was so urgh about the first third of the course though).
« Last Edit: November 26, 2013, 04:27:34 pm by Shenz0r »
2012 ATAR: 99.20
2013-2015: Bachelor of Biomedicine (Microbiology/Immunology: Infections and Immunity) at The University of Melbourne
2016-2019: Doctor of Medicine (MD4) at The University of Melbourne

werdna

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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #191 on: November 08, 2013, 07:58:26 pm »
+7
Subject Code/Name: MGMT20001 Organisational Behaviour

Workload: 1x 2-hour lecture and 1x 1-hour tutorial every week. The first half of the unit covers 'micro' topics while the second half covers 'macro' topics. A lot of case studies, reading and theory for this subject.

Assessment: Participation and tutorial marks are worth 10%. It's an easy 8 or 9 out of 10 if you show up to your tutes, answer a few questions here and there, and complete the pre-tute work. The individual assignment is worth 10%. It's a 1000-word essay and due pretty early on in the semester (week 3 from memory). A targeted skill-building workshop is conducted for this first assignment - definitely very helpful. The group assignment is the biggie, it is a key part of OB and worth 30% of the overall mark. It can get more tedious than it needs to be, as a 'team contract' has to be created and presented to your tutor, and things can be tricky when some group members' work isn't up to scratch. Having said this, the group assignment is definitely the most well-coordinated and organised assignment - team evaluations are done throughout the semester and tutors/OLT are more than willing to assist. The group assignment is important for the final exam as well. Final exam is worth 50% and isn't a hurdle. 4 questions on the exam - 1 question is on a 'micro' topic and asks you to draw examples from your group assignment experience, the other 3 questions are on a 'macro' topic and a case study you've looked at during the semester.

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, without screen capture. The bad thing about this subject is that the online lecture system is just shocking. You have to download the lecture as an MP3 file and there's no screen capture. Crazy considering this is a compulsory 2nd year unit.

Past exams available: No past exams available. However, the good thing with OB is that closer to the end of sem, the lecturer will tell you what to study for. For example, for this semester, they have told us which topics may be examined. 6 topics definitely will not come up. They also provide a matrix where you can work out possible combinations of case study to macro question.

While they didn't provide actual past exams, they did provide 1 sample exam paper with a guide to writing answers for these sample questions.

Textbook Recommendation: The university-compiled textbook called Organisational Behaviour is definitely worth buying. It compiles various chapters from various textbooks into 1. I bought might secondhand for $50 on textbookexchange.com.au.

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 2, 2013.

Rating: 4.5 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: 90 (H1)

Comments: Overall, this is a great core unit. The lecturers and coordinators really care about making this a good subject. The link between lectures and tutorials is seamless, and they will outline exactly what will be on the exam very clearly. Tutorials are excellent and well-structured, provided that you have a good tutor. Make sure you have a strong group for the team assignment, otherwise there will be a lot of pressure on the exam. I have found that the marking of assignments can be quite strict, particularly with regards to APA referencing.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2013, 09:23:32 pm by werdna »
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jediwizardspy

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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #192 on: November 11, 2013, 03:24:02 pm »
+7
Subject Code/Name: PHYC20009 Thermal and Classical Physics

Workload: 3 x 1 hour lectures per week; 1 x 1 hour problem-solving class per week; 6 x 3 hour practical classes per semester (every alternate week - one can schedule these to be in the same timeslot, but alternating with, those for PHYC20010)

Assessment: One written assignment per module (5% each); One 30 minute mid-semester test covering Thermal Physics (5%); Six laboratory reports (total 20%); One 3 hour examination (65%) - N.B. Passing the practical component (>50%) of the course is a hurdle requirement, as is attending, and submitting a report for, at least 5 out of 6 practicals.

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture. However, both lecturers (but particularly Andrew in Classical Physics) generally preferred to do their calculations on the whiteboard.

Past exams available:  Yes, from 2009 onwards. However for Thermal Physics, there are exams for 640-223 Quantum Mechanics and Thermal Physics from 1999 - 2008, and for Classical Physics there are exams for 640-234 Further Classical & Quantum Mechanics over the same period since these were the predecessors of the current course. N.B. Do not attempt the exams for the "Advanced" version of 640-223 unless you want a challenge - believe me, you won't!

Textbook Recommendation:  D V Schroeder, An Introduction to Thermal Physics, Addison-Wesley Longman - very useful, do buy it.

There are a handful of suggested references for Classical Physics, chief among these being Goldstein's wonderful classic 'Classical Mechanics', but frankly none are needed. Consider buying Goldstein's tome for graduate study...

Lecturer(s): Thermal Physics - A/Prof. Martin Sevior. Classical Physics - A/Prof. Andrew Melatos.

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 1, 2013

Rating: 5 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: 79

Comments:
(General) The tutors are pretty good and are helpful - we had the same set of tutors for both modules. Like all subjects it is advisable to attend tutorials... The practicals are much more interesting than in first-year physics. Pray that you get amiable demonstrators, though, and also that the equipment works; otherwise your time in the lab will be hellish. Nevertheless you get to replicate famous experiments such as the measurement of the charge-mass ratio of the electron and the value of g.

(Thermal Physics) This module covers introductory classical thermodynamics and statistical mechanics. After recapping first-year thermodynamics, you learn about equipartition, heat, work, enthalpy and the first law. Then you go in the opposite direction, in a journey through the basics of statistical mechanics, culminating in the second law and (finally) definitions for entropy. You then bring the statistical picture and the thermodynamic picture together to get proper definitions for temperature, chemical potential etc. After using these to analyse the Carnot cycle, and heat engines in general (in greater detail than first-year), the module ends in a frenzied rush as the lecturer hurriedly discusses Gibbs and Helmholtz free energies, as well as phase transitions. Frankly, Thermal Physics is fairly easy if you buy the textbook, attend the lectures and self-study (if only a little). It takes up (by far the easier) half of the exam, and in 2012 it wasn't particularly testing. Finally, the lecturer was boring but effective, as were his notes.

(Classical Physics) This module is horrifyingly difficult. Abandon every notion you have of classical mechanics merely being applications of Newton's 2nd law of motion, because here overconfidence will certainly result in disaster. In fact the second law is somewhat of a rude word in this module as the module in fact serves as an extended introduction to Lagrangian mechanics, which is definitely much more sophisticated and elegant than the second law. After some comments on the principle of least action, the lecturer dives headlong into Lagrangian mechanics. Do not be intimidated by the maths, because memorising the Euler-Lagrange equation is enough. Then your notion of angular motion is shattered in his discussion of Euler angles and the moment of inertia tensor. This is about where most students' heads exploded... Finally, as per usual, the last section was rushed, which was a pity since it covered Hamiltonian mechanics which is perhaps even more important than the Lagrangian formulation. Don't worry though, the Hamiltonian formulation was not assessed. What can I say about the assignment? It was virtually impossible to do by yourself. The lecturer encourages you to collaborate, and in fact he doesn't really expect you to do spectacularly well because he is generous with marks. There is a point of enlightenment though that arrived for me in the last week of the semester, which did allow me to do fairly well in the exam. The (huge) saving grace of Classical Physics is that the lecturer, Andrew Melatos, is brilliant. His lecturing style is great, so much so that I do wish more lecturers were as concise and clear as he was. In addition his lecture notes were the best lecture notes I have encountered so far at university.

(Summary) Be prepared for trauma in Classical Physics, but after the lightbulb switches on this is a very, very good subject.
« Last Edit: December 14, 2013, 01:37:25 pm by jediwizardspy »
2010: Economics [38]
2011: English [42], Mathematical Methods CAS [43]. Specialist Mathematics [40]. Physics [41]. Chemistry [38] (ATAR: 98.65)
2012 - 2014: Bachelor of Science - Mathematical Physics - The University of Melbourne
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hobbitle

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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #193 on: November 11, 2013, 04:36:05 pm »
+4
Subject Code/Name: MAST10007 Linear Algebra

Workload: 
Summer Semester:
6 x one hour lectures per week
2 x one hour practice classes per week
2 x one hour computer laboratory classes per week.

Semester 1 and 2:
3 x one hour lectures per week
1 x one hour practice class per week
1 x one hour computer laboratory class per week

Assessment: 
Assignments (10%)
If you're taking the subject in Sem 1 or 2, the assignments are worth 1% each (one per week for 10 weeks). 
They are sometimes quite tricky and abstract but overall not too bad and you can often use your lecture notes pretty directly to help you find the solutions.

MATLAB Test (10%)
This is a pretty easy 10% even if you are new to programming.  There's no programming involved, you just have to learn how to utilise a few MATLAB commands, which basically automate the stuff you've been doing by hand in class.  The MATLAB test is held in the last week of semester in your usual lab class time.

Exam (80%)
Like most maths subjects, there is the big scary 3 hour exam that basically dictates your final grade.  Thankfully, most of the questions on the exam are:
a) almost exactly in the same vein as the past exams for the past 4 years.
b) significantly easier than most of the assignment questions and the workbook questions.

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture.  By the end of the semester (I think by strong demand), all three streams were put online.  One of the lecturers used the blackboard though so the Echo recording was useless.

Past exams available:  Yes, about 6, but only two with answers.  There was a sample exam for the MATLAB test but had no answers nor the associated MATLAB files - but the actual test was exactly the same as the sample test but with the numbers changed.

Textbook Recommendation:  I found a digital version of the Anton textbook but didn't use it at all really.  The lecture notes that you buy or print yourself are more than enough.

Lecturer(s): 
Dr Scott Connell (coordinator): Scott is by far the best lecturer of these three, but I get the impression that the lecturers swap around a lot for MAST10007.  Anyway Scott was by far the best lecturer, had a very clear way of explaining things and often used diagrams not just crazy mathematical lingo to help in understanding.

Dr Arun Ram:  Arun is a nice guy but man he is just not on the same level as first year students.  Most people ended up swapping out of his stream because he was pretty terrible at getting us to understand stuff.  He was fun to be in a room with, he was happy and energetic, but just explained stuff as if we were third year students, not first year, and most people were completely lost the whole time.

Jose Ayala Hoffmann: This guy started lecturing half way through the semester and I never went to any of his lectures so I can't comment.

Year & Semester of completion:  Semester 2, 2013

Rating:  4.5 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: Don't know yet.

Comments: This subject is overall pretty cool.  I'm not a maths geek, I just have to suck the maths up because I want to do Engineering, but once I got the concepts, Linear Algebra is pretty interesting.  I like that it's 'Abstract Maths', and that you aren't just punching in numbers into equations, you have to think about maths in a really conceptual way.  Figuring out how everything you learn connects with each other is no mean feat - because it is all very much connected and integrated, but unless you have a really good understanding, it doesn't feel that way.  Honestly I really disliked this subject most of the semester because it was really really hard (for me anyway) and I thought I might not even pass even with a lot of work, but they kind of put the fear of God into you through the semester, and then give you quite a gentle exam (compared to what they COULD give).  Provided you understand the broad concepts you can do reasonably well, and if you REALLY get it you can quite easily nail a 90%.
2008 - 2010 | Bachelor of Production @ Victorian College of the Arts
2013 - 2015 | Bachelor of Science @ UoM (Bioengineering Systems)
2016 - 2017 | Master of Engineering (Biomedical) @ UoM

hobbitle

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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #194 on: November 11, 2013, 05:04:52 pm »
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Subject Code/Name: MAST10006 Calculus 2  P

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

Assessment: 
Assignments (20%) - 4 assignments worth 5% each.  They were sometimes quite lengthy, particularly the final two, but they were nothing that couldn't be solved if you'd kept up with lectures and used your lecture notes to help solve them. 

Exam (80%) - Yeah, it's quite an epic exam, especially if you aren't naturally maths inclined.  I had to do some hardcore prep to feel confident going in.  eg. I had done the entire workbook they give you by the time SWOTVAC started, PLUS all of the Tutorial sheets a second time.  Then for SWOTVAC I did a practise exam each day for 7 days, checking my answers using Wolfram Alpha, and then going to the textbook and doing additional problems similar to the ones I wasn't so good at.

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, one of the three streams.

Past exams available:  Yes, quite a few, maybe 6, dating back to 2008.  No answers.

Textbook Recommendation:  There's a recommended textbook but I didn't use it for learning, only for a few 'additional problems' (I found an online copy, wouldn't buy it).

Lecturer(s):  Mark Fackrell (coordinator), Antoinette Tordesillas, Steven Carnie.  I had Antoinette and I really liked her, she was no-BS and explained stuff clearly.

Year & Semester of completion:  Semester 2, 2013

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: Don't know yet.

Comments:
Here's the thing.  If you're not a 'maths person', Calculus 2 can be both difficult and dull.  But it's a prerequisite for lots of stuff (Engineering… as well as physics/maths majors of course) so you gotta do it.  I shit you not, half (or more) of my tute group were taking the subject for the second time.  I am not terrible at maths but I don't have a lot of natural skill either, and I had to work HARD to do well in this subject.  The exam isn't gentle, so do prepare. 

The past exams give you quite a good indication of what might be on your exam, but because there is a lot of content, they have a lot of stuff they can draw on to test you on.

A pretty big note: in 2013, they introduced a section on Sequences and Series.   We only had practise exams from 2012 or earlier so NONE of this content was on the practise exams.  DON'T FORGET TO PRACTISE IT.  There is a major question in the evan dedicated to Sequences and Series so you need to know it well.
2008 - 2010 | Bachelor of Production @ Victorian College of the Arts
2013 - 2015 | Bachelor of Science @ UoM (Bioengineering Systems)
2016 - 2017 | Master of Engineering (Biomedical) @ UoM