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October 31, 2020, 09:26:15 pm

Author Topic: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings  (Read 1235438 times)  Share 

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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #270 on: June 10, 2014, 06:51:16 pm »
    Subject Code/Name: BIOM20001: Molecular and Cellular Biomedicine 

    Workload: 6 x 1 hour lectures per week, 1 x 3 hour practicals/CAL per fortnight and 9 x 1 hour tutorials.

    Note that most of the time, your tutorials are simply another lecture (giving you a whooping 6-7 lectures per week). Other times they will be a workshop and they may teach some non-examinable extension. Attendance to CALs is not mandatory (with the exception of the Microbiology practical, where you will have 2 pracs of 1.5 hours each).

    Only the Microbiology part of the course has practicals dedicated to it. All other topics are covered in CALs.

    Assessment: 5 x continuous assessment exercises during semester - 10% (2% each) - these are CALs/pracs
    2 x intra-semester tests during semester - 20% (10% each)
    2 x 2 hour examinations during the exam period - 70% (35% each)

    Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture.

    Past exams available:  All of the 2010 is uploaded, most of the 2011 exams are uploaded apart from the MCQs. The exams have changed from those times though - now, Paper A is completely MCQ/fill in the blanks, and Paper B is all short answer. For MST1, the 2011-2012 copies were uploaded on the LMS, and for MST2, the 2011-2013 copies were uploaded on the LMS. You won't get any solutions or marking schemes.

    Textbook Recommendation:  A whole lot of textbooks that you don't really need unless you are really struggling. I only ever briefly opened the textbooks twice over the whole subject. Molecular Biology of the Cell is the textbook which covers a lot of the course, and a lot of the diagrams on the lecture slides are ripped out of it. Kumar's Pathology may be helpful considering that Pathology is probably the hardest part of the course to get your head around. You can find all of the textbooks you need online as pdfs.

    The lecture slides are more than enough to do well in this subject.

    Lecturer(s): A lot. They were all brilliant - clear, funny, interactive.
    16 lectures of Biochemistry (Terry Mulheren) - your first lecturer. Terry tends to speak pretty fast, so it's a good idea to go through his lectures again just to make sure you don't miss out on any details.
    12 lectures of Genetics (Brendan Monahan, Trent Perry and Marnie Blewitt) - Brendan lectures for most of this bulk. Trent takes 2 lectures on developmental genetics and reverse genetics, Marnie takes 2 lectures for Epigenetics.
    12 lectures of Cell Biology (Robb de Iongh and Gary Hime) - Robb lectures for most of this part, Gary takes 4 lectures on tissues + cell junctions. Gary tends to read off slides, but his slides can be pretty detailed anyway.
    15 lectures of Microbiology/Immunology (Roy Robins Browne, Lorena Brown, Odillia Wijburg) - Roy lectures for Bacteriology, Lorena for Virology, and Odillia for Immunology. This is THE BEST part of the subject. Roy tells a lot of stories and make sure you write down EVERYTHING HE SAYS, because he will assess it even if it's not on the slides.
    11 lectures of Pathology - (Vicki Lawson, Chris Hopkins, Tom Karagiannis) - Vicki lectures for most of this block. I found her notes a bit hard to follow, so make sure you listen during her lectures. Chris gives a lecture on Chronic Inflammation and Tom (who is probably the MOST relaxed lecturer, ever) gives 2 lectures on Neoplasia.

    Year & Semester of completion: 2014, Semester 1

    Rating:  5/5

    Your Mark/Grade: H1 (94)

    Comments: This subject is an awesome experience, but make no mistake, it is a stressful challenge. It is full-on, with 6-7 lectures a week. If you fall behind then you're going to have a tough time fighting back. Many students aren't used to taking a double subject, so don't make the mistake of treating it like your other subjects - you need to devote double the time do this. I don't care if you've got MSTs for Principles of Genetics or GHS, DO NOT PUT THIS SUBJECT OFF EVER. Make sure you finish summarising all of the week's lectures by the end of the week, and I guarantee you'll be fine. All of the lectures sort of follows from the last, so if you can keep up to date with things it just makes it so much easier.

    One of the major reasons on why I liked this subject was its cohesiveness and integration. All of the topics link together very nicely. Cancer is obviously a major theme in the course, and it's something that's addressed in most of the topics. For example, in Biochemistry you will learn how cancer cells have an increased rate of glycolysis and therefore upregulate GLUT transporters to get more glucose. In genetics you will learn about how genetic mutations can increase the likelihood of cancer, through translocations of proto-oncogenes/tumour suppressor genes. In Cell Biology you will learn signalling pathways that stimulate/prevent proliferation of tumour cells, as well as their epithelial/mesenchymal transition. In Immunology, you will learn cancer cells can be recognised as altered self-cells by the immune system. In Pathology, you will learn about how cancers can metastasise and spread throughout the body. This is what I'm talking about by "integration" and cohesiveness. This isn't just limited to things such as cancer, but also on stuff such as MHC interactions/presentations.

    Anyway, expect to learn A LOT of detail in this subject, and read over your notes from time-to-time. Cover the big ideas first, and then once you're confident with those, hone in on the small details that will hopefully make you stand out from other students.

    Lectures are great, but make sure you re-listen to them. There's always some detail that you're likely to miss out. Since attendance isn't compulsory you can afford to just not go to them and you won't really be missing out on anything - I found that I studied better at home anyway. Later in the semester I switched from annotating the lecture slides by hand to just typing on the pdf, which I found a lot more efficient. When you type out your notes, make sure you include lots of diagrams and visuals because Paper B of the exam will require you to draw some.

    Workshops are pretty much just an extra-lecture slot, where the lecturer may:
    1. Go through some of the stuff in the CAL
    2. Address questions they've been emailed
    3. Go over lectures they haven't had time to finished
    4. Cover some extended knowledge

    The only workshop which I think was somewhat important was the Cell Biology one, where Rob went through some general things about cancer. Given that cancer is a pretty overarching theme of the course, make sure you at least have a look at it. Don't bother learning ALL the details that Rob specifically tells you not to.

    Make it a policy of writing down everything a lecturer says unless they specifically tell you not to worry about it. ANYTHING the lecturer says can be examinable.

    Mid-Semester Tests
    These are not hard if you've done the work. 99.99999999% of MCB is just memorisation/recall. These are all MCQ. Either you know the answer to the question, or you don't and just have to guess. There are 2 MSTs, held in Week 6 and 11 respectively. MST1 covers Biochemistry + Genetics, MST2 covers Cell Biology + Micro/Immuno. Each of them is 30 questions long with 30-40 mins writing time. The MSTs were a bit specific, but as long as you know the details, you shouldn't lose many marks here.

    Definitely do the past MSTs, because some of the questions can be pretty similar. If you're sick of reading through your notes and want to get the most out of your studying, write your own detailed solutions to the MSTs and make your own questions. Try to make those questions as specific as possible, make them hard, and try to write questions that would hypothetically require you to think through it before you can answer.

    Around 1-2 weeks after the MST, you'll have a feedback lecture where the lecturer will just go a few questions from the test. They will also give you some statistics on how the cohort went. For some reason the 2014 cohort did quite well compared to previous years.

    These account for 10% of your mark and it is a pretty easy 10% to get. You get one CAL/prac per topic. Make sure you actually do the CALs even if you're not going to attend them - with the exception of Pathology, you can do all of the CALs at home. After the last group has done the topic's CAL/PRAC, a test based on the CAL will pop up on the LMS (except for Cell Biology, where the test was literally just the 1st year revision quiz we had to do BEFORE the CAL and allowed multiple attempts since you needed to get 10/10 to access CAL itself). These tests aren't hard and you shouldn't have too much trouble with them. Generally, these CALs will cover non-examinable things and it's not really necessary to go revise them. Cell Biology had some things which were relevant to cell proliferation and the Pathology CAL was pretty much just a summary of everything we had learnt, with a bit more detail to it.

    The Microbiology part of the course has 2 practicals dedicated to it. These are pretty fun, they're presented like a hospital case study and you will have to find the microbe responsible for a particular infection at a hypothetical ward. Don't worry too much about this as there is no in-practical assessment - it's only assessed on the LMS test as with the other CALs. Just sit back and enjoy.

    Exam A
    I actually felt a bit time-pressured in this exam. There are 80 MCQs, with 40 marks of fill in the blanks (10 questions, 4 marks each). You approximately have 1 mark per minute.

    The exam was pretty specific, more so than the MSTs. But luckily for us there were no troll questions (someone told me that in previous years, one of the questions was which chain of the MHC molecule was closest to the membrane - now that's a troll). ALL questions were addressed in the lectures (either it was on the slide or it was said) so make sure you go through your lecture notes thoroughly and don't leave anything out. Anyway, as above, if you know your stuff you have nothing to worry about because again most of this section is just pure recall, with some occasional/rare application.

    The fill in the blanks actually takes quite a bit of time, more than you might expect. Each question will have 8 parts to it, and each correct part earns you 0.5 marks. When you have 10 of these, it's going to slow you down a lot. You also have lots of options to check through, and then you also have to make sure that everything makes grammatical sense as well.

    I know some people weren't able to finish this exam, so make sure absolute sure to leave questions you're unsure with for last. I was somewhat rushing and only finished with 15 mins, which wasn't enough to check through the entire paper. Make sure you check that you've inputted everything correctly because yes, it is actually pretty easy to fuck up your answer sheet.

    Exam B
    This paper takes place a week after the MCQ exam. It's entirely full of short-answer questions. This year, the format of the exam changed and rather than having many heavily weighted questions, we got a lot more which were only worth 0.5-6 marks. There was one 12 mark question and one 9 mark question in there too. So it sort of resembles the short-answer section of a VCE exam, with more questions which are less heavily weighted.

    It's crucial that you time yourself on this exam. You should be aiming to write at a speed of 1 mark per minute, so time pressure is definitely there and you won't finish if you waste too much time thinking or having mental blanks. Take this exam as an opportunity to show off everything you know and include as much detail as possible if you have the time.

    Learn to draw diagrams too. Many questions may explicitly require you to draw diagrams when appropriate. Diagrams can take up a lot of time so if you don't want to repeat yourself, draw the diagram first and then annotate it. They don't have to be Picasso, just draw a general gist of what's happening (i.e use simple shapes and shit, don't bother trying to draw the actual structure of things like desmosomes like they do in the textbook because you might not finish).

    The past exam papers were much more difficult than the actual exam probably because of the different format. In the new format they actually tell you what specific detail to write so you're not left wonderinf what to include and not to include most of the time.

    The final lecture in this subject tells you which of the topics will be "integrated", which does let to somewhat predict what they'll be. For example, if Genetics/Cell Biology/Pathology is integrated, you can expect that the topic is going to be about cancer. There was no Microbiology listed as part of the integration topics and none of it was on the exam too. With that being said, study everything as you can use your knowledge from other areas of the course and perhaps use it as an example if you can (admittedly I didn't really do this).

    I studied for this exam pretty much just by looking over my notes occasionally and writing as many detailed answers I could for any processes that were likely to occur over and over and over. Memorising your responses could increase your speed and at least you'll know all the details.

    Final remarks

    I loved this subject because it gave you so much broad exposure to a number of different topics. There's a lot to know, but you'll often have epiphany moments like "OH NOW I UNDERSTAND HOW MHC-II IS PRODUCED AND SECRETED TO THE PLASMA MEMBRANE IN THE RIGHT ORIENTATION". It clicks, and nothing feels hugely discontinuous from the other.

    What's important is that there is a LOT of content to know but the concepts are not hard to understand. So as long as you manage your time well, this subject is not as bad as it seems. I also think the faculty is tweaking the subject and making assessment slightly easier to reduce the fail rates of previous years.

    Pathology is probably the hardest part of the course since there is a LOT of content packed into a short number of lectures. Read over it quite a bit since it's going to take a bit of time to get your head around it.

    Tips for doing well in this subject:
    1. Summarise every lecture immediately with lecture diagrams, and note down EVERYTHING the lecture says unless they specifically say that its not necessary.
    2. Find some people and have some quiz-offs. This is actually immensely helpful for improving your memory/recall. When I looked over every topic for the first time it was easy to feel overwhelmed. Asking and answering questions is a nice change from just passively reading. Refer to your notes if you don't know the answer. I reckon this was the fastest and most efficient way of studying - combined with passive reading, after a day or two I would be able to recall 2 topics without much trouble.
    3. Make your own questions and make them as detailed and tricky as possible. Try to make them emulate the MSTs in style, but make them harder in difficulty. Change one small detail in an option to make it wrong. Try to make the obvious answers incorrect. And if you can, try integrate your questions so they draw on knowledge from different topics.
    4. Write solutions to all practise tests that you do, explaining why each answer is right and wrong.
    5. When practising for your SAQs, it might be useful to write out the entire process again and again to memorise it.
    6. Jot down the gaps in your knowledge on a small notepad. Make it function as a logbook of all your forgotten details. I put these on my phone and would look over it days before the exams. This is so you don't forget them again.

    The course has changed quite a bit since 2013 - a lot of Genetics has been cut and replaced with some 1-2 filler lectures (such as the ENCODE project and genetic therapy, which are unlikely to be examined). The other parts of the subject seem to remain the same. I'm going to quote stonecold's review and just add in stuff that's changed.

    • Know the amino acids, single letter codes, three letter codes, resonance structures, properties and how to draw peptides and how the amino acids interact with one another.
    • Understand the chemical interactions involved and basic thermodynamics and be able to explain them.
    • Know the Ramachandran plot, as well as all of the properties of b-sheets and a-helices, including how to draw a rough schematic.
    • Know every step, including enzymes and cofactors, of glycolysis, gluconeogenesis, glycogenolysis, glycogenesis, TCA cycle, electron transport chain as well as a few other reactions which you are given.  You need to be able to recognize and name all of the molecules, but not draw them.
    • Have a solid understanding of enzyme kinetics.
    • Know all of the signalling pathways relating to glucogon, insulin, adrenaline etc.
    • Know all of the diseases discussed in this part of the course.

    • Know the key structures of chromosomes and how they are replicated.
    • Learn all the steps in transcription and translation, contrasting prokaryotes and eukaryotes.
    • Know the relevance of epigenetic marks and how they affect gene expression.
    • Make sure you understand tumour supressor genes and how you can identify them.
    • Make sure you know about the types of mutations which can lead to cancer (oncogenic/tumour suppressor), and how some of these can be treated. There is a big emphasis on Myc translocation and BCR-ABL fusion.
    • The lac operon as well as other types of positively and negatively acting transcriptional systems are important to understandand at a conceptual level.
    • Know about developmental pathways - make sure you understand the maternal effect and understand how the anterior-posterior axis is determined. Also learn about how Hox genes affect development.
    • Understand the concepts of complementation testing, forward genetics and reverse genetics (such as the GAL4:UAS system).
    • At least know about Sanger Sequencing and general ideas of modern-genetic technology. You don't need to know ALL techniques, but know what the ENCODE project wants to do, as well as the features of Next-Gen sequencing.
    • Suppressor mutations always come up in a big question in the final exam.
    • Be able to interpret gels, as they are bound to come up somewhere

    Cell Biology
    • Understand the concept of topology.
    • Know the various mechanisms and processes by which proteins are trafficked around the cell, including the steps and diagrams.
    • Know all the properties and features of the cytoskeleton (actin filaments, intermediate filaments and microtubules).
    • Know all the details of epithelial tissue including  cell junctions and the electron micrographs which are given in the slides.
    • Understand all of the features of connective tissue, includuing fibrous proteins, adhesive proteins and proteoglycans.
    • Know all of the signalling pathways which you get taught in detail, including how to draw them.  The important ones seem to be MAPK, Wnt/b-catenin and TGFb signalling.  Explain how these pathways cause cancer.
    • Explain the characteristics of epithelial to mesenchymal cell transition, which is the transformation of benign growths to malginant tumours.

    • Know all of the features of bacteria, and how they contribute to virulence, including the experiemental evidence for this, especially toxins, fimbriae and capsids.
    • Know examples and charactersitics of lots of different bacteria with different features.   Roy's favourite's are Clostridium sp. and Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Make sure you note down ALL of the bacteria he says
    • Know how bacteria are classified both in the lab and also how species/subspecies are determined.
    • Know how different drugs work against bacteria and the mechnisms of the ones which you are taught.
    • Know the viral life cycle, including examples for different types of viruses (ss/dsDNA and ss/dsRNA) and how they replicate.
    • Know some antiviral drugs and how they work.
    • Know the details of polio virus, poliomyelitis and how the Salk and Sabin vaccines vary in prevention of contracting Polio.
    • Understand how the innate immune system operates, and the key effectors, especially the complement system.
    • Understand the mechanisms and effector cells of humoral and cell mediated immunity.
    • Be able to describe how antibodies and T-cell receptors are generated.
    • Know the structure of antibodies, T-cell receptors and MHC molecules to the level of detail given in the slides.
    • Be able to explain the mechanisms by which pathogens evade the immune system and provide examples of such pathogens.

    • Know the different types of necrosis.
    • Know the different types of cell adaptations.
    • Know the difference between necrosis and apoptosis and the causes/pathways for each.
    • Know the cause, process, regulation, characteristics and types of acute inflammation.
    • Know all of the different types of hypersensitivities and the examples given for each.
    • Understand the basis for an excessive immune response and immune deficiencies, as well as examples (e.g. allergy, AIDS).
    • Understand the process of transplant rejection.
    • Understand the different cells types and their capacity to regenerate.
    • Know the process of wound healing by regeneration and by repair using connective tissue, as well as the repair process for cutaneous wounds and the complications which may arise.
    • Understand the mechanism and characteristics of chronic inflammation, as well as the causes and macroscopic appearance.
    • Understand the transformation, causes and epidemiology of cancer.  Be able to appreciate and explain the genetic and cellular changes which occur in cancer cells. 
    • Describe the properties of cancer cells, and how these can be exploited to identify cancer masses. 
    • Be familiar with the signalling pathways that may cause cancer.
    • Understand how cancers are graded and described.
    • Understand the selective pressures that influence metastasis in cancer.
    • Understand the linear progression and parallel progession models of cancer.
    « Last Edit: July 05, 2014, 12:39:42 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

    Inside Out

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    Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
    « Reply #271 on: June 11, 2014, 12:18:26 am »
    Subject Code/Name: ENGR20004 Engineering Mechanics

    Workload:  3 lectures and 1 2 hour workshop a week

    Assessment:  weekly online quizzes which are essentially the first 3-4 questions of the tute sheet, 2 topic tests (for statics and dynamics), 4 practical assignments and exam

    Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture unless you are in aukland's stream (he writes on the whiteboard so you can't see shit in the recordings, but he said it's definitely change next year)

    Past exams available:  yes. in that data base. haven't done any lol so not sure how many but they don't have any solutions.

    Textbook Recommendation:  the hibbler textbook for statics is really good (get that and the solutions to the textbook online.. tute sheet solutions are given at the end of the week... but if you can't wait that long u might as well have a sneak peak at your personal copy ;)..torrent ;) )). The dynamics book is okay. Get it if you are not good at dynamics.

    Lecturer(s): stream 1: David Ackland (for both dynamics and statics: Excellent explainer for statics, i thought he'd be good at dynamics too, but he taught it in a very confusing and messy way. For the ladies, he is good to look at ;) ), stream 2: Joe Klewicki (statics: don't even bother going to this stream lol) and Chin (dynamics, VERY GOOD. i give him 5 stars ).

    Year & Semester of completion: semester 1 2013

    Rating: 2.5 Out of 5

    Your Mark/Grade: 75

    Coming into this subject absolutely hating the equilibrium part of VCE physics, i was surprised when i actually enjoyed statics. It was taught in a good pace. Akland made things easy to understand but whenever i didn'tt get anything i referred to the excellent textbook. All you really need to do is sit down in lectures, listen and do take down notes if you are bad at reading handwriting (his is reallllyyyy messy). The online quizzes are due just after you learn the concepts, which is good- makes sure you don't fall behind. Please do all the tute questions. But i must warn you they are ridiculously hard. Part A is doable. Part B- not being very intellectual in the physics side of things, i approached the lecturers about these questions and they did not know how to do them. So if you get stuck on these ridiculous type of questions (same goes for dynamics) and get high on challenges, go tot he tutor consultations as the tutor actually attempts all the questions beforehand and will know how to do them. So yes do that and you will ace this subject. The midsem was surprisingly easy after the difficult practice test we were given.

    I'm not sure what to write for this part as i fell very behind and have not attempted any tute questions for this. But everyone's been complaining so this is definitely worse than the statics part. prepare yourself. I don't want to make excuses for my laziness, but part of the reason i fell so behind was because of the lecturer and i only realized the other lecturer was better halfway but by that time it was too late. And also, for the dynamics part, the workshops go over stuff of that same week. So say you have a workshop on monday, you won't know anything for that week's topic, so how are you suppose to process the questions in class? So yes, put your workshops on a friday or that workshop will basically be a waste of 2 hours of your day. The first half of the workshop is usually spent on summarizing things (which is a waste of time imo because lecturers explained stuff better than them). The other half is spent going over 3-4 questions (out of 15-20) in the tute sheets. If it is "assignment week", you will spend the last half doing the practical component of the assignment instead. They do not allocate enough time to do all of this. Eng mech's workshops are very rushed, compared to the excellent workshops i experienced for esd2.

    I did not like the assignments for this subject at all. They were very practical and if you are not a practical sort of person you will be the clueless one in your group who will be marked down (after you group members give you a mark out of 10 for your contributions). But don't worry even if you make ZERO contribution the most marks you'll lose for that is like 2. A lot of questions required matlab and GRAPHS GRAPHS GRAPHS. yuck. But don't fret, after the last assignment you can put all that annoying stuff behind you and focus on the exam by going over tute questions, and practice&actual midsem/topic tests.

    All in all, i found this subject fun but difficult. It is very poorly structured. This is probably the worst eng/maths related subject i have encountered so far. Half of the questions on the tute sheets (part B) will not appear on the exam (the lecturer said this), so what is the point of expecting us to do them?!  Some just made you go wtf how is anyone suppose to do this?!  (again, i will mention the fact that even the lecturers didn't know how to do them) What a waste of time. I'd rather have questions that will better prepare me for the exam. But if you have good endurance and motivation, and don't fall behind,this subject will be fun.

    Oh one thing i shall mention, there are PASS sessions you can sign up for, which are EXTREMELY helpful. These questions are the type that are relevant and will turn up on the exam. It is also fun discussing them with you fellow pass pears.. it gets you into a really cool eng team mode. You are given 3 questions to complete in an hour on these really cool see through glass whiteboards and if you are stuck, the pass leader will help you out.
    « Last Edit: July 04, 2014, 11:39:31 pm by Inside Out »

    Inside Out

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    Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
    « Reply #272 on: June 11, 2014, 01:00:44 am »
    Subject Code/Name: MAST10006 Calculus2

    Workload:  3 lectures and 1 one hour tute a week.

    Assessment:  4 assignments which were well spaced out

    Lectopia Enabled:  NO. But from my experience, Semester 1 isn't recorded and Semester 2 is recorded .

    Past exams available:  There are a lot available. With solutions. I can;t be bothered counting how much lol.

    Textbook Recommendation:  Don't bother getting the textbook.

    Lecturer(s): Lecturers for this subject vary per semester. This is my 3rd attempt at this subject  so in conclusion, christine manglesdorf is by far the best lecturer. second place goes to Antoinette TORDESILLAS. The others are crap. Actually scott Cornell is good, but no where near the other 2 i mentioned.

    Year & Semester of completion: semester 1, 2013

    Rating: 4.5  Out of 5

    Your Mark/Grade: 81 [H1]

    Comments: This subject is very enjoyable. Reminds me of methods. This is funner though. These are the topics: differentiation and integration, first and second order differential equations and applications of them (populations, springs and circuits), complex numbers (integrating and differentiating them, this part has the most rules you have to remember which aren't on the formula sheet) , hyperbolic functions (trig related),sequences and series (differention) and functions of two variables (so stuff in 3 dimensions z=f(x,y)) The tute questions were nicely worded and i liked how you do them in groups on a whiteboard. Very helpful. The solutions to them are nicely set out and essential for knowing how to do good working out. However, i would say the exercise booklet questions takes priority over this as it is harder. Just make sure you get what you a re doing in class, you don't have to actually go home and do all the tute questions. Exercise booklet is sufficient imo.

    The assignments were challenging. Don't do it over the weekend before it's due because some questions require a fare amount of thinking. They aren't really like the questions in the exercise booklet you are given.. they're like a harder version of those questions lol. SO like you can do none of the questions in the exercise booklet, but if you start the assignment on the day it's handed out and think and think and think and then work it out,, you can still get 100% if that makes sense. It's more about thinking outside of the box. However, definitely do all of the questions in the exercise booklet as this will help you not fall behind, understand all concepts and prepare yourself for the exam. And definitely do as many practice exams as you can.  They are usually in the same style.. although every year they add those hard questions that make people fail.
    please note that i did not fail because the subject was ridiculously hard, but because i stopped attending lectures after week one lol. The lectures not being recorded is a main reason why people fail i reckon because people really can't be bothered attending.  The lecture booklet is basically filled with questions and to get the answers and learn the content you need to attend the lectures and copy them down. So not attending lectures= no way of  learning content which=FAIL.
    I dont get why they make those who haven't done spesh do calculus 1. Spesh is wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy harder than calc2.
    Good luck fellow calculus people :)
    « Last Edit: July 03, 2014, 04:57:47 pm by Inside Out »


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    Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
    « Reply #273 on: June 12, 2014, 04:32:58 pm »
    Subject Code/Name: CEDB20003 Fundamentals of Cell Biology

    Workload: 24 x 1hr lectures, 7 x 3hr CAL (Computer-Assisted Learning) modules

    Assessment:  3 tests throughout the semester, each worth 10%. The first one included short answer and the last two were all MCQ. Final exam worth 70% with sections A, B and C - MCQ, short answer and extended response respectively. For the extended response you get choose to answer two questions out of four options.

    Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture, although the audio quality of lecture recordings from the Harold Woodruff Theatre in the Microbiology building were VERY average

    Past exams available:  Yes, they give you two past exams (2009 and 2010) but they only give you sections B and C (no multiple choice). They also give you an extensive list of revision questions from each lecturer

    Textbook Recommendation:  B Alberts, A Johnson, J Lewis, M Raff, K Roberts & P Walter, Molecular Biology of the Cell, 5th edition, Garland Science. I did not buy and not use the textbook. I felt that the lectures gave enough information

    Lecturer(s): Dr Jenny Gunnerson (co-ordinator) - intro lectures, visualising cells, cell movement, neurons
    A/Prof Gary Hime - gene expression, regulation of the cell cycle
    A/Prof Ross Waller (although he left the university during the semester which is a real loss!) - protein sorting, cytoskeleton
    A/Prof Robb de Iongh - Cell signalling

    Year & Semester of completion: Semester 1, 2014

    Rating:  3.5 out of 5

    Comments: As the name suggests, this subject is all about cells (topics listed above with lecturers). Personally, I did not enjoy it because I did not find the content interesting (and this only put me off studying for it) but saying that, I thought the subject was well organised and very fair when it came to assessment.

    I would not say this is a particularly difficult subject however some of the subject content was not that easy and could be quite time consuming to learn and understand. The reason I didn't like this subject is because it was not intuitive to me unlike subjects like physiology and anatomy where you have experience of the lecture content. I found the last five lectures on cell signalling to be the most difficult by far but if you spend time on it, you will be fine. Much of the content involves knowing the names and functions of MANY different proteins which is something that I had some difficulty with.

    To be honest, because I did not really enjoy the subject, I found the lectures quite boring but saying that I have no complaints about the lecturers. They all explained their content clearly. Ross Waller was by far my favourite lecturer just because you could really tell how passionate he was about his area of study and this really came through when he was lecturing and him leaving the university is a real loss.

    The CAL classes are optional but if you go to the class, the lecturers and tutoring staff are also there to help you with any content you are struggling with (and therefore it is well worth going). They do not usually take the whole 3 hours to complete (usually about 1.5-2 hours). Do not be fooled, the CALs are definitely assessable and made up a large proportion of the tests throughout the semester (unfortunately, this was to my surprise) but the content is not too hard to get your head around and is well explained in the module.

    I found the questions in the assessments to be very fair. They did not try to trick you with the questions and if you knew your stuff, you would be fine. Many of the short answer and extended response questions in the exam asked for a diagram so it would be well worth your time learning and understanding the diagrams used in the lectures.

    Overall, like I said, this subject was well organised and fair but just not for me. If you enjoy learning about cellular processes, you will probably enjoy the subject and I would recommend it for you. If you are more like me and enjoy subjects where you can experience and apply your knowledge, I would consider looking at other options.
    « Last Edit: July 24, 2014, 12:20:13 pm by emdiz »
    BSc @ UoM


    literally lauren

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    Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
    « Reply #274 on: June 12, 2014, 07:13:19 pm »
    Subject Code/Name: GENE10001 Genetics in the Media 

    Workload:  3x1 hour lectures even though the handbook says there's workshops involved. There was one lab session in week 8 or so; helpful but not compulsory.

    Assessment: 1 online test worth 10% (10 MC questions); 1 Short Answer Response to the film GATTACA (1 hour, 2 questions) worth 10%; 1 Brochure about an assigned rare genetic condition, worth 10%; one written piece comparing coverage of a genetic story in the media, approx 500-600 words, worth 10%; oral presentation on the same topic^ approx 5 minutes, worth 10%; a 2-hour written examination during the examination period (50%)

    Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture, though occasionally guest speakers wouldn't have slides.

    Past exams available:  No, a couple of practice questions, but no full exam.

    Textbook Recommendation:  None.

    Lecturer(s): Dawn Gleeson, Phil Batterham, various guest lecturers about once a week

    Year & Semester of completion: 2014, Semester 1

    Rating: 5 Out of 5

    Your Mark/Grade: H1

    Comments: This is a brilliant subject for anyone who likes an amalgamation of science and arts. It's available as a breadth for any department, though taking some Bio subjects precludes you from taking this subject.

    First of all it's a very small cohort (~30 people tops), and since it's all lectures there were a lot of people who wouldn't rock up all semester apart from assessment, partly because most lectures were at 9am. For anyone who's done VCE Biology, you'll probably be a bit bored with the science elements, as they spend about 4 weeks covering meiosis, patterns of inheritance, genetic testing etc. I dropped science after year 10 but even I knew most of it. In a way, this was helpful later in the course though, when your task was to explain a complex genetic disorder in terms the general public could understand.

    From then on it becomes really interdisciplinary, looking at legal disputes, psychological/emotional repercussions, media studies, ethical duty, and even the history of genetics. Dawn and Phil were lovely and very approachable; the guest lecturers were almost always brilliant and engaging. Sometimes we'd have people dealing more with the science angle (other members of the genetic dept. people from the Royal Melbourne research team, etc.) there were others heavily involved in media science reporting (researchers from channel 10 and radio) and others that straddled both areas (genetic counselors, liasons, people in charge of genetic press releases.) Unfortunately it was quite easy to get distracted and just be listening to all their interesting stories when in fact, any content brought up by the guest lecturers was examinable, so it was worth listening to recordings sometimes and ensuring you understood the details.

    The workload is incredibly light, and most pieces of assessment don't require more than a couple of hours work. The multi-choice questions are a breeze, the GATTACA assignment was quite straightforward, and we had a lot of freedom with the brochure. The oral presentation seemed to spook everyone a bit, but it was pretty chill and informal. Lectures alone cover all the exam content, so there's very little you have to do aside from take notes.

    Overall, does what it says on the tin. If you like media studies and find genetics interesting, you'll love this class. I can understand why pure arts or pure science people might be put off, but it's a pretty relaxing and fun subject.
    « Last Edit: November 27, 2014, 10:01:45 pm by literally lauren »


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    Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
    « Reply #275 on: June 13, 2014, 07:26:56 pm »
    Subject Code/Name: MAST30020 Probability and Statistical Inference

    Workload: 3x 1 hour lectures, 1x 1 hour workshop.

    Assessment: 10x weekly assignments (total 20%), three hour exam (worth 80%).

    Lectopia Enabled: No, although lecture slides for the whole course in PDF form are made available at the start of semester.

    Past exams available: Yes, with solutions for some of them.

    Textbook Recommendation: The recommended textbook can be downloaded from the University website. I wouldn't bother purchasing a paper copy, the lecturer's slides are usually clearer and cover more than the textbook(!)

    Lecturer(s): Prof. Kostya Borovkov

    Year & Semester of completion: 2014, Semester 1

    Rating: 5/5

    Your Mark/Grade: H1

    Comments: This is the toughest and most "pure" of the third year statistics subjects. The first half of the course is abstract and rigorous, building up probability theory from the basics of set theory and defining expectation of random variables using a new type of integral (the Lebesgue integral from measure theory). The second half of the course uses these formal definitions to prove a number of important results in statistics, as well as introducing new tools like characteristic functions that make certain calculations and proofs a lot easier.

    Prof. Borovkov is an excellent lecturer and if you don't attend the lectures and workshops, you'll miss out on a lot of the benefit of the course. The PDF slides cover the technical details of the material but the lectures provide the intuition and mental pictures that will help you solve the homework problems. A typical lecture may only go through 6 slides as every point is explained in detail with proofs, examples or pictures drawn on the blackboard.

    To do well in the weekly assignments will take a lot of time and effort, well out of proportion to the marks they're worth - but it will help you when it comes to the exam.

    Highly recommended for pure mathematicians wanting to get a bit of stats in their diet, statisticians with a theoretical bent, or anyone intending to pursue a Masters degree in probability and statistics.
    « Last Edit: July 05, 2014, 05:34:28 pm by cameronp »
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    Master of Science (Statistics and Stochastic Processes) @ UniMelb, '15-'16


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    Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
    « Reply #276 on: June 13, 2014, 08:55:30 pm »
    Subject Code/Name: CVEN30008 Risk Analysis

    Workload:  2x50 minute lectures + 1x50 minute tutorial per week

    Assessment:  Quantitative Risk Group Assignment 15%, Qualitative Risk Group Assignment 15%, Tutorial Attendance 10%, Exam 60%

    Lectopia Enabled:  Yes

    Past exams available:  No

    Textbook Recommendation:  None. NONE!

    Lecturer(s): Lihai Zhang and a bevy of guest lecturers

    Year & Semester of completion: Sem 1 2014

    Rating:  3 out of 5

    Your Mark/Grade: H1

    TL;DR: A ridiculously easy level 3 subject (if you put some work in) that is quite well taught but a little dull and repetitive.

    This subject is very, very easy for a level 3. It's called risk analysis, but it could really be called "applications of common sense". It is designed to be just a general risk course, but as it is a core subject of the civil engineering majors it tends to have a greater focus on engineering risks rather than economic risks.

    The subject is divided into three sections:
    1. First three weeks is on qualitative risk analysis. You basically go over the definition of a risk, a hazard, identification and management strategies, and monitoring procedures. The lecturer for this section, Peter Bishop, is pretty good, but the material tends to get recycled through the 5 or so lectures, so this can be pretty dull and mundane. I'm sure you could get by without turning up by just scanning the lecture notes.

    2. The next 5 weeks are on quantitative risk analysis. Lihai takes these and is very good despite it being a little difficult to understand what he is saying. These lectures basically consist of the applications (not derivations) of probability/statistical mathematics with concepts including distributions, confidence intervals, hypothesis testing, correlation, and monte carlo simulations. All concepts are illustrated with a tonne of examples, and there is nothing too complicated. You basically only need to know how to apply the formulas that are given rather than have a full understanding what the formula actually means.

    3. The third section steps back into the qualitative side, with guest lecturers from engineering and financial firms giving a rundown on how risk is managed in their business. This is purely about drilling in the content from the first three weeks, and is also pretty unnecessary in regards to the assessment, but somewhat interesting nonetheless.

    Both the assignments are group assignments, and groups of four are formed within the tutorial groups in week 1. You are given about 6 weeks to work on each assignment, but they are relatively easy and only take a few hours of solid work per group member to polish off. They aren't too difficult or onerous, but they are good at getting you to engage with the lecture content.

    Probably the worst thing about the subject is the tutorials. They are basically just a review lecture, because the tutor talks the entire time about the previous week's content and goes through some questions. This would be useful if the content was somewhat challenging, but most of the material is either self-explanatory or explained well in the lectures making the tutes somewhat superfluous. Attendance is marked and counts for 10% of the assessment, so that (and meeting up with group members) was the only reason I turned up to most of them.

    Overall, this is definitely not a subject to be scared of. Compared to most engineering subjects, it has a fairly limited scope and quite a slow pace. However, it is well taught and I'd even recommend it as a breadth if you wanted something that wasn't going to require much effort and were somewhat interested in the content, but presumably there is something more fun or valuable.
    « Last Edit: January 31, 2016, 01:17:44 pm by chysim »
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    Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
    « Reply #277 on: June 13, 2014, 10:37:50 pm »
    Subject code/name: COMP10001 Foundations of Computing

    Workload: Weekly: 3 x 1 hour lectures, 1 x 2 hour workshop
    For the 3rd lecture in each week, it will either be:
    • Revision/advanced lecture (choose one)
    • Guest lecture

    3 coding projects3 x 10%
    Online IVLE worksheets10%
    45 minute mid-semester test (written)10%
    2 hour exam (written)50%
    To pass the subject, you need 50% in the combined exam and test grade and 50% in the combined projects and worksheets grade.

    Lectopia enabled: Yes, with screen capture.

    Past exams available: 2, with solutions, and a sample exam. Sample mid-semester test as well.

    Textbook recommendation: None.

    Tim BaldwinMost main lectures
    Some advanced lectures
    Andrew TurpinMain lectures if Tim's absent
    Some advanced lectures
    Head tutor, I thinkRevision lectures
    Various people from industryGuest lectures

    Year and semester of completion: 2014 Semester 1

    Rating: 4/5

    Your mark/grade:

    Comments: I wouldn't say I expected a lot from this subject, given my experience with computer subjects in high school, but this was comparatively better delivered.

    If you have some background in programming, you're allowed to sit a programming competency test and enrol in COMP10002 Foundations of Algorithms instead if you pass.

    Otherwise, this subject teaches the basics of how to tell a computer to do things. You don't need any experience, and you don't need a good computer. You learn Python, which is a language used to communicate with the computer to make it do things.

    Tim is an enthusiastic lecturer, with some quirky interests. He encourages students to engage in the subject through his "Hack of the Week" competition thing, which involves people posting interesting computer-related content on the online forum (not necessarily strictly related to subject content, but clearly he understands the subject would not exactly be the most interesting subject to choose).

    Unfortunately Tim runs out of time a lot, and sometimes rushes through lecture content.

    The first 2 lectures each week are the ones where the bulk of the subject is taught. The 3rd lecture each week is either a revision/advanced split (everyone chooses one) or a guest lecture (for everyone).
    • The revision lecture is basically free-for-all question asking. It can be about anything in the subject: something in the main lectures, something on the worksheets, something about the projects.
    • The advanced lecture is where either Tim or Andrew will go through some more advanced concepts, which may be an extension of concepts in the main lectures. You're encouraged by the lecturers to go to this if you're all good with everything else.
    • Guest lectures are hit-or-miss, depending on what field the guest lecturer comes from. Most of the time they will present the use of programming in their field, and maybe even go through some of the code they write. I had people from Google, IBM, and the university come in and talk about areas such as Google Maps API, particle collision data analysis, webcams etc.

    You don't really have to go to the 3rd lecture at all, although supposedly the concepts (not the raw code) presented in the guest lecture are examinable. You should go to the 3rd lecture if it is a guest lecture.

    For workshops, you will spend 1 hour doing written tutorial worksheet problems. The other hour will be spent in the labs. It depends on who your tutor is, but you may end up just working on the online worksheets or projects in the lab, with the tutor being available for assistance. I am aware some other tutors actually taught things or clarified concepts in the workshops.

    For projects, you will be required to write code that instructs the computer to do certain tasks. Sometimes the tasks are quite straightforward, although they can also be quite fidgety (and ambiguous). It may not be advisable to do this subject if you're not used to being stuck on one thing for long periods of time.

    You are also expected to comment your code (write stuff explaining what you are telling the computer to do) to an appropriate level of detail, which is probably frustrating, but good practice.

    Project tasks are definitely very interesting. I don't believe the handbook description is very accurate (at all), but the 3 projects in my semester were:
    • Choreographing a dance and making a robot perform the dance
    • Generating optical illusions
    • Writing code to play a card game
    First 2 probably change around a lot from semester to semester, but I believe Tim has conducted the card-playing project for a while. He even implements a playground where you can play against other students' submissions.

    Supposedly all deadlines for project submission in this subject always get extended, which was indeed the case for all 3 projects in my semester.

    The mid-semester test is a 45 minute written test. For me, it took place during the 2nd lecture time slot of Week 7 at an exam hall on campus. Tim prepares a "cheat sheet" which summarises all the Python concepts that can be tested on the mid-semester test (you can't bring the cheat sheet in with you), and the test content is fairly accessible if you familiarise yourself with the content on the cheat sheet and some of the tutorial worksheet questions.

    Tutorial worksheets are also the way to revise for the exam.

    There is a section on the exam for which you aren't prepared very well for... the section on "concepts" and "applications". While all other questions on timed assessments involve writing or interpreting some sort of code, these sections on the exams are more short written answers. The content revolves on the more theoretical topics which come up during semester - basically all the topics which are taught in the latter half of semester, after all the basics of Python have been taught. In particular, you will not be prepared very well for the topics which were exclusive to guest lectures, as they are literally not mentioned once during normal lectures. While the questions asked in this section are fairly light, you will have trouble responding to them because there is so little material to practise with.

    The topics which appear in this section include
    • Algorithms
      • What different approaches are there to creating an algorithm? (brute-force / generate-and-test, divide-and-conquer, simulation, heuristic search)
      • What are 2 important aspects of an algorithm? (correctness, efficiency in both storage memory and runtime)
    • Software testing
      • Execution-based
        • Writing test cases with test input which are representative of a broad range of input types
        • Testing the whole system as well as individual parts of the system
      • Non-execution-based
        • Peer review
        • Pair programming
    • HTML and the internet
    • Data visualisation
      • How should different sets of data be represented? (line graphs, bar graphs, pie graphs, scatter plots)

    The topics in guest lectures ARE examinable here, and it feels slightly difficult to predict what about those topics may be asked. I assume guest lecture topics change every semester, adding to the degree of unpredictabilty. You will need to pay careful attention and review guest lectures to ensure you are safe for this section of the exam.

    I can't comment accurately on the workload for this subject, as I have some background in programming (not in Python, but still), but I believe it's pretty important to make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in lectures, particularly early in the semester when the basics of Python are being taught, because they literally end up appearing everywhere.

    If you have some background in programming (Python or not), you will probably understand all of the concepts in lectures already (maybe apart from the syntax in Python). All assessments (projects, tests, worksheets, maybe even exam) should be pretty manageable, although you may learn to hate physically writing code on paper, because, really, who does that?

    If you enjoy solving problems (ha...ha...ha...), don't mind wasting copious amounts of brainpower on your journey for the solution, and take particular joy in finding efficient, succinct, elegant ways to solve problems, this is probably not such a bad choice for a subject.
    « Last Edit: November 14, 2014, 12:58:59 pm by stolenclay »
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    Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
    « Reply #278 on: June 13, 2014, 10:54:50 pm »
    Subject Code/Name: SCRN20011 Hollywood and Entertainment

    Workload:  1x 1.5 hour lecture, 1x up to 3 hour screening, 1x 1 hour tutorial

    Assessment:  1500 word essay due mid-semester (40%), 2500 word essay due first day of exams (50%), tutorial participation (10%)

    Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture

    Past exams available:  N/A (no exam)

    Textbook Recommendation:  Just a book of readings. They're all posted online, but for ~$15 the book is worth it.

    Lecturer(s): Dan Golding

    Year & Semester of completion: Sem 1 2014

    Rating:  5 out of 5

    Your Mark/Grade: H1

    TL;DR: If you're a fan of film and you don't mind essay writing, do yourself a favour and enrol in this subject.


    This subject is basically my dream breadth. It is primarily about the history of Hollywood and its major trends since the 1950s to today. Additionally, it is fantastically taught and very well organised.

    Usually I don't give a very detailed review of the course material as it is generally covered by the handbook, but the handbook for H&E is fairly barren so I'll give a week-by-week rundown:

    Week 1
    Topic: 1950s and 1960s and the Transition to New Hollywood Cinema
    Film: A Hard Day's Night (1964)

    This week basically defines the paradigm of Classical Hollywood and shows how it began to change with the breakdown of the production code in the '60s and influences from the French New Wave.

    Week 2
    Topic: Hollywood Revisions and Revisiting the Western I – Left Cycles and Outlaw Heroes
    Film: Bonnie and Clyde (1967)

    This week introduces the left cycle and analyses the changing portrayal of violence in film through the late '60s. It also relates this to the history of the Western, particularly The Searchers, which is basically required viewing for the subject despite not being screened.

    Week 3
    Topic: Hollywood Revisions and Revisiting the Western II – Right Cycles, Outsider Heroes and Hollywood Modernist Techniques
    Film: Dirty Harry (1971)

    This week involves watching one of my favourite films and talking about the rise of the right cycle hero, characterised by the Harry Callahan style cop. It also looks at the reformation of classical generic conventions and stylistic techniques through the '60s and '70s.

    Week 4
    Topic: The Film School Generation I: Allusionism and the East Coast Approach
    Film: Taxi Driver (1976)

    This week moves beyond the left/right cycles and begins to look at their hybridisation and what this meant in terms of genre. It also looks at the influence of film school generation directors, this week focusing on the experimental and allusionistic style of the east coast directors such as Martin Scorsese and Brian de Palma. Also, despite its somewhat distributing content, Taxi Driver is one of the most beautifully shot films I have ever seen.

    Week 5
    Topic: The Film School Generation II: High Concept, the New Cinema of Attractions and the West Coast Approach
    Film: Star Wars (1977)

    This week looks at the formulation of the high-concept blockbuster framework in the mid 70s through George Lucas and Steven Spielberg. It also relates this to the spectacle driven early cinema of George Melies among others. And Star Wars. Enough said.

    Week 6
    Topic: High Concept in the 2000s: Paratexts and Cinephilia – from films, to videogames, to amazon, to youtube
    Film: Jurassic Park (1993)

    Using Jurassic Park as a case study, this week looks at the proliferation of the high concept blockbuster and spectacle cinema, and the new norm of paratextual and transmedia materials in a conglomerated media.

    The subject now takes a turn into unit two, which concentrates on more contemporary films.

    Week 7
    Topic: Semi-Independent Cinema I: African American Cinema, Spike Lee and the (Semi) Independent Model in the 1980s.
    Film: Do the Right Thing (1989)

    Focusing on Do the Right Thing, this lecture analyses the growth of the semi-independent film in the late-'80s and early '90s (with other notable films being sex, lies and videotape and Pulp Fiction). It also looks at the history of african american cinema, including the blaxploitation films of the early to mid '70s.

    Week 8
    Topic: Semi-Independent Cinema II: Indiewood, Miramax, and New Queer Cinema
    Film: Brokeback Mountain (2006)

    With a guest lecturer, this week looks into how independent film has been altered by conglomeration, and looks at Brokeback Mountain both in this context and in the context of "queer" cinema of the past.

    Week 9
    Topic: Open Storytelling Practices I: Intertextuality, Global Aesthetics and the Dispersal of Meaning
    Film: Kill Bill Vol. 1 & 2 (2003/4)

    Dan is back lecturing and goes over the intertextuality and allusion used by Tarantino, and analyses whether this is actually adds meaning to the film or is simply aesthetic. This calls back to weeks 2-4, where allusion was also used but in a different context.

    Week 10
    Topic: Open Storytelling Practices II: Television, Serial form and Transmedia Storytelling
    Film: Episode of both Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones

    This week is guest lectured by the subject's coordinator Angela Ndalianis and focuses on the serial form that has come to dominate the narrative and stylistic techniques of the TV industry. It also goes back into the transmedia story-telling that was discussed in week 6.

    Week 11
    Topic: Narrative Time & Aesthetics I: Modularity, the Puzzle Film and Technologies of Memory
    Film: Looper (2012)

    This week goes into experimental narrative style and analyses the infection of visual culture into filmmaking aesthetics and vice-versa.

    Week 12
    Topic: Narrative Time & Aesthetics II: Videogames and Media convergences – The Speeding up of the Cinematic
    Film: Inception (2010)

    This week talks about the relationship between and convergence of video games and film in both a narrative and stylistic sense. It also includes a brief review of the subject.

    So there you go. That is a more detailed description of the subject than the handbook provides itself. As you see, this is a pretty awesome list of movies, themes and trends to study for someone interested in film.

    Dan Golding – a PhD candidate within the School of Culture and Communications – is a fantastic lecturer and runs the majority of tutes. His lecture material is interesting, well delivered, and well designed. There are also two other tutors, both of which seem equally adept and passionate about the field (through my experience and discussions with other students). He is also quick to answer emails and queries.

    My only source of complaint is an inevitability when you're doing an arts subject: reading. Each week there is between 30-70 A4 pages to be read in preparation for each tutorial. At least a solid skimming is required to be active in the tutes and to prepare you for the essays.

    The tutorials on a whole are excellent. They largely focus on the readings and extend some key points of the lecturers. You are invited to discuss your point of view of all of the issues raised, which helps you better define your opinion. There is no formal tutorial presentation or anything like that, but attendance and participation are marked.

    I found the essays quite easy to write. There are 8 topics to choose from for the first essay and 14 to choose from for the final one. Alternatively, you can formulate a topic of your own with permission of your tutor. This range of choice gives you the ability to write on something that has specific, personal interest to you, and I always find it's easy to write about what you know. A tip for anyone who does the subject: use the State Library. They have an awesome collection of books on film in the arts section (directly to the right as you walk in) and a good research essay needs a range of legitimate sources.

    Obviously there is the question of how valuable a subject like this actually is to someone like me, who is an engineering major. I took this subject because I love movies and enjoyed the other SCRN breadth I did, Film Genres and Auteurs. So, sure, this subject is largely a hedonistic venture, but it also gives some practical skills that I can use within my own discipline*: doing these subjects has markedly improved my writing ability, something which I apply everyday, and also teaches you a critical way to interpret academic articles.

    Overall, I'd highly recommend this subject to anyone who is interested in films and media.

    *I think whoever implemented the breadth idea just did a fist pump

    EDIT (2015): Dan has moved onto Swinburne so will obviously be no longer lecturing for this subject. I'd expect Angela Ndalianis might take over the subject once again, but I'm not sure about that.
    « Last Edit: October 28, 2015, 02:02:17 pm by chysim »
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    Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
    « Reply #279 on: June 14, 2014, 12:00:49 am »
    Subject code/name: MAST20009 Vector Calculus

    Workload: Weekly: 3 x 1 hour lectures, 1 x 1 hour practical

    4 assignments20%
    3 hour exam80%

    Lectopia enabled: No.

    Past exams available: 5, with answers, but not solutions.

    Textbook recommendation: None. Lecture slides contained all course content.

    Lecturer(s): Professor Paul Pearce

    Year and semester of completion: 2014 Semester 1

    Rating: 3/5

    Your mark/grade:

    Comments: I believe Paul actually changed the way this subject was delivered by quite a bit, such as offering all lecture slides as a PDF online, and providing answers to past exams (?). Anyway, this subject supposedly hasn't changed in 30 years or so, so points made in earlier reviews are still relevant.

    You're eligible to do this subject in Semester 1 of first year if you did UMEP Mathematics, which is what I did, so I'll try to make this different from the other reviews by focussing on that perspective.

    Yes, this subject is very formulaic. No, I wouldn't exactly say it's as formulaic as Mathematical Methods, but it gets close. Solving problems in this subject will require little ingenuity if you attend practicals, perhaps do some of the problem sheets, and become familiar with the criteria for the 5 or 6 important theorems. You probably don't even need to attend lectures to see examples being done. Doing well in this subject requires much less creativity than for UMEP.

    You deal with a lot of multivariable functions and vector fields in this subject. Expect to write the partial derivative notation and integral notation as much as you breathe.

    Coming from UMEP, the first topic of the course should be relatively accessible (maybe even just revision), but all subsequent topics are entirely new (not counting how to calculate double/triple integrals).

    You can do this subject without doing the bridging notes they provide for coming into Vector Calculus from UMEP, because, really, the only thing that the notes teach you is how to differentiate/integrate hyberbolic functions, and some of the identities with hyperbolic functions. I do not recall hyperbolic functions in any of the lecture slides, but they did end up coming up on the exam, so I suppose SWOTVAC would be a nice deadline to set for looking at the bridging notes.

    Integration by parts is also something in the bridging notes which may be unfamiliar, but that never came up in any of the lectures or assessments.

    The more interesting applications of the subject content (really just surface integrals) are mostly physics concepts, so you may find it hard to appreciate them if you haven't done physics in VCE. Physics concepts aren't examinable; only the mathematical manipulations are.

    Paul spent a lot of slides going through proofs of theorems. Unfortunately that opposes the nature of the subject's assessment, and the wishes of most students doing this subject, which is a shame. A lot of the students seem to be engineering students needing this as a prerequisite or something.

    Assignments are meant to be harder than questions on tutorials, problem sheets and exams, and will probably require the most thinking out of all assessments.

    Also, solutions to most problems on problem sheets are online, along with answers to those without solutions. I suspect Paul was also responsible for this?

    This subject is perhaps less difficult than UMEP in content, but may seem more difficult because of pace. If you are looking to appreciate the beauty of mathematics, this probably isn't such a good subject to do that. If you looking for a semi-interesting subject where you can perform well, if you performed decently in UMEP, this is not a bad choice. Also you may or may not get to laugh at Accelerated Mathematics 1 (the UMEP equivalent) students having to suffer MATLAB, if you know any of them. Ha. Ha. Ha.
    « Last Edit: November 14, 2014, 12:59:13 pm by stolenclay »
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    Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
    « Reply #280 on: June 15, 2014, 02:20:42 am »
    Subject code/name: ACCT10001 Accounting Reports and Analysis

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

    1 assignment5% + 15%
    Weekly online tests8%
    Financial accounting questions1%
    Management accounting questions1%
    3 hour exam70%
    To pass the subject, you need 50% in the exam as well as 50 overall.

    Lectopia enabled: Yes, with screen capture.

    Past exams available: 1, with solutions.

    Textbook recommendation: Depends. Accounting: Business Reporting For Decision Making, 4th Edition if you do decide to get one. More on this later.

    Professor Michael DavernIntroduction (2 lectures)
    Matt DykiFinancial accounting (4 lectures)
    Michelle HogganManagement accounting (4 lectures)
    The other 2 lectures were an investment game lecture, and an exam revision lecture.

    Year and semester of completion: 2014 Semester 1

    Rating: 3.5/5

    Your mark/grade:

    Comments: I had absolutely 0 knowledge about accounting when I started this, and only took this subject because it was compulsory for my major. If you asked me what accounting was, I probably would have thought of something along the lines of bookkeeping.

    This subject teaches you about the information that people use to make decisions in business - how the information comes about, and what kinds of questions you should have about that information. In some ways, I compare this to high school English, especially when you begin to get taught how everyone manipulates language and stuff to get a certain reaction. Well this is kind of similar, only more how everyone manipulates information to elicit a certain interpretation - something along those lines.

    This subject can feel quite abstract, as a result.

    The subject is divided into 2 major topics:
    • Financial accounting
      More about information presented for external users (with respect to an entity)
    • Management accounting
      More about information used by internal users, like managers in a company

    Management accounting was a breath of fresh air. It certainly felt less dense than financial accounting, and slightly more accessible.

    Out of all the people I know who did this subject with me, not one proclaimed endless love or passion for this subject, aka "ARA" (ey-argh-ey). For most people, this subject would be boring. I found this subject quite boring too, but I personally find it fascinating when you're able to reverse engineer a final product and discover what the creator was thinking when they made it. In that sense, I probably would have absolutely hated ARA were it not for the lecture(r)s. (Yes, those are parentheses around the "r".)

    (With that in mind, I wouldn't exactly say my opinion on this subject is the most common opinion.)

    Your weekly activity in ARA is supposed to go something like this (in chronological order).
    • Do pre-reading
    • Attend lecture
    And concurrently:
    • First attempt of weekly online test, before 8am on the day of your tutorial
    • Attend tutorial
    • (Optional) Second attempt of weekly online test, before Sunday 9pm

    There is no weekly test for the very first week of semester, but there is a tutorial.

    If you are looking for any old breath to do, I would NOT suggest ARA. It would probably be a waste of your effort if you put enough in (it requires a decent amount of effort, but would only be a breadth), and a waste of your time if you don't.

    If you do BCom and are looking for a commerce elective, this is probably not a bad idea, as you'll likely encounter some kind of financial statement in your career.

    The lectures were not absolutely fantastic, but if you attempt to engage in this subject a little, particularly during the financial accounting topics, which is where most/more of the manipulation stuff takes place, the lecturers do ask some thought-provoking questions (even if I have absolutely 0 idea of what an answer could be). Otherwise, lecture content is generally quite boring (not the fault of lecturers, most likely just the subject content), and to make it worse, you are there for 2 hours straight.

    I think this subject could have benefited greatly from having 2 x 1 hour lectures instead, due to subject content being relatively dry. I suspect the 2 hour lecture is due to UMEP Accounting students, who have to come to campus for lectures, which is reasonable, I suppose.

    Lecture content is highly examinable. Most of it is based on the subject learning objectives, which is what the exam is also based on. Michelle certainly emphasised this point (a lot) for management accounting, and this was probably largely true for financial accounting.

    I would suggest going to lectures; seeing the lecturers apply the knowledge to questions (past exam questions and others) sometimes helped me understand why we were learning this stuff at all. Also many of them were past exams questions, so seeing the question-setter do them in real time is obviously good.

    For financial accounting, partial lecture slides for a lecture were available online as a PDF before the first lecture for that week, with full lecture slides available after the last lecture for that week. (There were 3 time slots to choose from for lectures in my semester.) I'm fairly sure full lecture slides for a lecture were available for management accounting before the first lecture for that week.

    Due to the PDF files being powerpoint presentations converted to PDF (I think), sometimes the pop-ups that lecturers would make appear while on a slide during the lecture would cover the text content of the slide in the PDF, which is slightly annoying, but you can still highlight the text behind it, copy it, and paste it somewhere else to read.

    There were 2 lectures in particular that Matt mentioned repeatedly early on in semester (when he was encouraging students to physically attend lectures and what-not): the financial statement analysis lecture (week 6) and the investment game "lecture" (week 9). I don't particularly feel the investment game was that worthwhile... but the financial statement analysis lecture is definitely worth your physical attendance, since the actual useful things that Matt does are not recorded on the screen capture, and also because it's highly useful for the assignment. More on that later.

    • Professor Michael Davern
      • Don't have a very clear memory of his lectures any more, but he had a strange vigour about him. He certainly made it look like the subject was really interesting in the first 2 lectures... but you can't hold it from the students for long. I liked him.
    • Matt Dyki
      • Matt feels like a strange guy, but you get used to it after a while (even his lack of auxiliary verbs and his lack of regard for punctuation and grammar). Matt certainly gets the important points across well - I will forever remember that total assets is the "biggest number on the balance sheet - most useless number on the balance sheet", along with things like the subject is assessing you on your ability to apply concepts and not remember definitions and so on.

        Sometimes it feels like Matt flicks through lecture slides like the wind, but he won't rush through anything important, so it's all good.

        (I am aware Matt could be reading this here...)
    • Michelle Hoggan
      • Michelle knows we think this subject is boring. Her lectures are probably more interesting than Matt's - she sometimes uses clips from sitcoms to illustrate her point. Most people probably found her better because of the content in management accounting though. Her lectures are certainly very structured, and it feels like she connects with students better (not that that's really a requirement for lecturers or anything, but still nice).

    Your tutorial will involve a summary of the lecture of the previous week (could be the 2nd last lecture if your tutorial comes after your lecture every week), and doing related questions in groups.

    The summary of the lecture is in the form of a powerpoint. Again the slides are available online at the end of the week, at least for financial accounting. I couldn't find them for management accounting...

    It's probably a good idea to actually put an effort in tutorials; ARA questions are generally not formulaic at all, and listening and contributing to discussion for tutorial questions is nice to confirm you have an idea (even if vague) of what's going on. Generally the questions are quite accessible if you have attended the lecture and/or done the pre-reading. None of them require ridiculously complicated application of concepts, but obviously if you don't know the concepts, you can't do the questions.

    Suggested responses to tutorial questions were generally included in the tutorial slides (I think). Suggested responses for management accounting tutorials are available in a separate PDF online.

    There is one subtopic which is covered entirely and only in tutorials (in the one after the investment game) - business sustainability. There's VERY little about this on the exam, but still a good idea to pay extra attention to this one.

    You have only 1 assignment for this subject. It's a group assignment, done in groups of either 3 or 4 people. It's split into 2 parts, each worth 5% and 15% of your overall grade.

    While the assignment was quite interesting, it was by no means easy. You write a business report for an investor recommending one of 2 companies to invest in. You base your arguments in the business report through analysis of the financial statements of both companies (balance sheet and income statement), and some other information that is provided to you.

    Part A is worth 5%. You have around 4 weeks to do it. Deadline is the Monday of week 8 (very first day back after mid-semester break).

    Part A involves calculating some ratios based on figures in the financial statements for both companies. Generally straightforward, but sometimes you have to decide which figures to use or not use for a certain ratio. Part A is pretty annoying because you have to show working for your calculations... and you calculate a LOT of things.

    Correct answers for Part A are released 1 hour after the deadline.

    Part B involves the analysis of the ratios in Part A, and the writing of a business report. You analyse the provided answers for Part A, not your own answers. You are given 1 week to do this... which is kind of unfair (was extended to 2 weeks in my semester), but I suppose you are technically able to start Part B before the Part A deadline. The quality and depth of your analysis has a big impact on your assignment grade, but analysis is not easy at all, because you are looking for reasons why maybe 2 or 3 out of the 19541048 numbers are closely connected or stand out.

    There is a business report lecture held in Week 8 for Part B outside the normal lecture times. I didn't go, and supposedly it wasn't highly useful.

    Matt gives a live demonstration of the kind of analysis needed in Part B in the financial statement analysis lecture. I strongly suggest attending that lecture, since while audio is recorded and available online, the things which Matt writes and points to in person (which is projected onto the screen in the lecture) are not. Also you will not have had a very good idea of the analysis through just textbook readings. I mean, the lecture itself was quite interesting anyway! It's like Matt was doing detective work and snooping around to see why the companies had reported things the way they did, or what was happening behind the scenes that led to rising/falling trends in ratios etc.

    It certainly felt very rewarding when I made a discovery like Matt did in the lecture, but that's probably just me.

    There's also a "Part C", which is just peer evaluation to allow Matt to somewhat adjust each individual's assignment grade according to their effort. You can't get an assignment grade above the group grade - only below.

    I think my exam was set at a fair standard - generally at or below tutorial question difficulty, but of course there were tricky questions to differentiate between the good and top students, or whatever reason it is that exam writers have these days.

    Financial statement analysis is not on the exam, as Matt doesn't think he can examine it to any reasonable detail in exam time constraints.

    I feel like if you paid attention in tutorials and lectures and the questions there, the exam should not have been overly stressful to prepare for. Unfortunately I only realised this after sitting the exam. It's pretty reasonable to stress, especially for financial accounting, because there's just so much! (Management accounting, not so much.) You are in good company though, because everyone else will also be stressing about ARA.

    Going through each of the subject learning objectives that are at the start of each lecture's slides should help. I don't think the textbook is particularly helpful in revision, but the lecturers are probably aware of this.

    Obviously past exam(s), revision questions which lecturers post up etc.

    Other assessments
    • Online tests (8%)
      • You get 2 attempts at an online test each week. The online test for a certain week covers content in the pre-reading for the lecture in the previous week.

        I agree with past reviews that the online tests are not particularly helpful. The online tests are mostly reading comprehension questions on the textbook pre-reading (sometimes literally "Can you find this sentence in the textbook" questions). Matt says they're supposed to see if you have prepared for the tutorial, but it is not so hard to do well in them if you have the digital version, even if you haven't read the sections at all.

        The online test grade can change (up or down) depending on tutorial participation.
    • Feedback questions (1% + 1%)
      • There are 2 of these: 1 for each of financial accounting and management accounting. You are given past exam questions in the tutorials of weeks 4 and 9, and you submit them in your next tutorial.

        These are definitely useful. You won't get too many chances to have your answers to exam-style questions personally and properly assessed. The 1% grade for each one is literally "Did you even try" - they don't take into account how good your answer is, only whether it looked like you gave a genuine attempt.

    The textbook
    One of the reasons I absolutely HATED this subject at times was because of the textbook reading. So obviously no one expects textbook reading to be highly engaging or interesting or anything, but to sometimes have around 50 pages of reading is not very encouraging.

    I believe it is possible to do well in this subject without ever touching the textbook (assuming a decent level of concentration in tutorials and lectures), as most important points are reiterated in lectures anyway.

    Reading the textbook may be a good idea if you want to participate in tutorials, because I don't think many people do the readings, and it shouldn't be difficult to participate in tutorials if you do.

    The online tests are integrated with the digital version i.e. each question is targeted at one certain subsection of a chapter, and you can access that section directly through a link from the online test on desktop after you have completed it. The digital version can be accessed through the free "Bookshelf" app on iOS and Android, or through the web interface on desktop. You can access Matt's annotations on the textbook if you purchase the digital version, but unfortunately the annotation system stopped working on the web interface early on in the semester. Otherwise, as Matt/Michael says, the physical book has a better layout.

    Giblin Eunson library usually has 4 or 5 copies of the textbook.
    « Last Edit: November 14, 2014, 12:53:05 pm by stolenclay »
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    Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
    « Reply #281 on: June 16, 2014, 04:57:45 pm »
    Subject Code/Name: ENGL10002: Literature and Performance

    Workload:  2 x 1 hour lectures a week
                      1 x 1 hour tutorial


    Close Textual Analysis   800 Words    Week 4(ish)      20%
    Research Essay           1200 Words    Week 8(ish)      30%
    Research Essay           2000 Words       Week 15      50%

    Lectopia Enabled:  Audio for each lecture + Slides

    Past exams available:  No exam in this subject. Unfortunately no past essays to look at either

    Textbook Recommendation:  Subject reader + A LOT of books (which you can just read online for free because they’re all 100+ years old)

    Lecturer(s): David Mcinnis: Weeks 1 - 3
    Not David: Weeks 4 - 12

    Year & Semester of completion: 2014, Semester One

    Rating: 3 Out of 5

    Comments: Remember how in year 12 Lit you would spend weeks and weeks studying a single text? Well here it’s one text a week then you forget about it.

    Week 1, 2, and 3

    The first three weeks with David are great, he is very engaging and my favourite lecturer I’ve had so far (in my 1 semester of experience :P). It might just be because I enjoy Shakespeare but he really knows what he’s talking about and brings a new perspective on classic texts.

    Week 1 is just introductory, Week 2 is Romeo and Juliet, and Week 3 is Othello (my favourite).


    Week 4, 5, and 6

    The bane of most people’s existence… Romantic Poets. Luckily there is a lot to discuss in your research essay and a couple of really good poems out of the hundreds you could potentially choose from. The lectures in this 3 week period were not interesting and really just seemed like an opportunity for the lecturer to express her disdain for men. The content about the French Revolution was pretty interesting and it gave us a lot to write about in the essay.

    Over these 3 weeks all the poems come from the Norton Anthology, but you probably will have studied them in high school anyway.


    Week 8, 9, and 10

    We moved on from poetry to look at novels. Again the lectures were little more than a platform for the lecturers strong agenda. Some of the historical background was really good if you are interested in how literature evolved in the past ~300 years.

    The texts were Pride and Prejudice (Austen), Great Expectations (Dickens), and Jane Eyre (Brontë).


    Week 11 and 12

    Finally back to my absolute favourite, realist drama. There were 2 lecturers for this 2 week period and they were both fantastic. We finally got to the “and Performance” part of the subject, watching clips from productions of the plays and looking at how the performance evolved over time.

    Texts were A Doll’s House (Ibsen) and The Cherry Orchard  (Chekhov)


    The rest

    The assessments were just standard essays, nothing too special. Assessment 1 was difficult simply because it had such a low word count (800).

    My tutor was great and very helpful when it came to helping us with the essays. The tutorials however…… I was the only guy in the tute of ~14 people which wasn’t too great. The way the tutorials were run didn’t give much opportunity to build a rapport with the rest of the tute so there were many long silences between everyone for the entire semester.

    It was tough doing 1 text a week and I didn’t end up reading the novels just because I knew from the get go what texts I was going to write about for the essays.
    « Last Edit: January 05, 2015, 07:01:46 pm by alondouek »


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    Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
    « Reply #282 on: June 17, 2014, 03:20:55 pm »
    Subject Code/Name: CHEM30016 Reactivity and Mechanism

    Workload: 3 one hour lectures a week for twelve weeks and a one hour tutorial each week.

    Assessment:  The same as second year - three feedback tests (one for each module,) collectively worth 20%, and a big, scary, 80% final exam.

    Lectopia Enabled:  Yep. Some lecturers don't use the microphone though.

    Past exams available:  Last four years available, no solutions (so like second year.)

    Textbook Recommendation: Same prescribed textbooks as second year - McMurray, Atkins, and Shriver&Atkins. Not essential, although may be a useful reference. The notes and tutorial problems are generally enough.


    Six lecturers:
    • Evan Bieske - statistical thermodynamics and some basic solid state chemistry
    • Alessandro Soncini - intermolecular interactions and kinetics
    • Spencer Williams - varied topics in organic chemistry
    • Craig Hutton - pericylic reactions and radical reactions
    • Colette Boskovic - metal chemistry, catalysis and organometallic chemistry
    • Anthony Wedd - bioinorganic chemistry

    Year & Semester of completion: 2014 Semester 1

    Rating:  3/5

    Your Mark/Grade: Not released yet (exam was yesterday,) expecting to go quite well.


    This subject builds on second year chem, and is of approximately the same difficulty (maybe a little easier even.) On the whole, I enjoyed the subject, even though I did have some problems with the coordination and the assessment. Sometimes, the coordination of the subject was wanting (especially regarding the feedback tests,) and it would be nice to have some written assessment prior to the final exam (either in a mid-semester test or assignment.) As far as I know, this has been brought up in the SSLC meetings a few times, but they've never relented. Oh well.

    Anyway, onto the subject itself. Only two of these lectures are new (Hutton and Wedd,) both are great. Most people doing this subject would have encountered the lecturers before in second year.

    The first four weeks cover physical chemistry. Evan's section is fair, and he generally sets reasonable exam questions. The first week is a relatively easy introduction into the subject, covering some assorted topics in solid state chemistry, focusing on the properties of conductors. The second week covers statistical thermodynamics, which is a little harder, but interesting, and again, not too difficult. Alessandro's section is next, and is possibly the most difficult section in the course. He is polarising as a lecturer, and his section is difficult to understand if you don't have a background in physics (which I don't,) and next to impossible to understand if you don't have any maths beyond high school (which quite a few chem majors don't surprisingly.) He covers intermolecular forces for four lectures, then two lecturers on kinetics, including a bit on diffusion controlled reactions and photochemistry. His section of the exam can be tough, especially if you aren't mathematically prepared.

    The next four weeks are organic chemistry. Spencer's a great lecturer, and he covers a variety of topics in organic chemistry, most with little connection to each other. There's a bit on aldol/enamine chemistry (building on the chemistry taught in R&S,) a bit of organometallic chemistry, and a bit on oxidation and epoxidation of alkenes. There's a lot of content here, but it's more a question of remembering it all. Craig covers pericyclic reactions and radical reactions - two new topics. Pericyclic reactions can be a bit difficult to get your head around, but there's a lot of practise material out there. Radical reactions aren't hard at all (possibly the easiest part of the course.)

    The last four weeks cover inorganic chemistry. Colette covers a variety of topics in metal chemistry, including reactions of metal complexes (building on that taught in R&S,) some organometallic chemistry and catalytic cycles (building on the chemistry taught in S&P,) and a bit on metathesis (which is quite interesting.) Her section assumes that you've remembered a lot of the metal chemistry that you've been taught along the way, and she has the tendency to set difficult exam questions. Finally, Anthony Wedd covers a variety of topics in bioinorganic chemistry. There's a bit of memorisation in his section, but it's not too difficult, especially if you've done some biochemistry. Don't underestimate it though, as he can set tricky exam questions. Wedd is an engaging lecturer.

    Assessment - the same as second year. It's important to get your head around the topics in the semester, and it's important to do well in the feedback tests (to provide a bit of a leeway in the exam.) The exam is big (80%) and difficult (this year's exam was apparently particularly difficult.)

    Recommendation - Did you enjoy second year chemistry? If the answer is yes, you'll enjoy this subject. Some of the topics are a step up (especially the intermolecular forces.)
    « Last Edit: July 25, 2014, 06:46:32 pm by mahler004 »
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    Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
    « Reply #283 on: June 17, 2014, 10:04:35 pm »
    Subject Code/Name: BIOM20001 Molecular and Cellular Biomedicine

    Workload:  6-8 lectures per week, 1-2 tutorials per week, 1 CAL (3hr) per fortnight

    Assessment:  MST1 10% MST2 10% CAL/Pracs 10% (2% each) Exam 1 35% Exam 2 35%

    Lectopia Enabled:  Yes with screen capture

    Past exams available:  Yes, 2010 and 2011 both without answers.

    Textbook Recommendation:  Molecular Biology of the Cell (Alberts). Utterly useless.

    Lecturer(s): Terry Mulhern: 1-16 (Biochemistry: amino acids, protein structure, enzyme kinetics, metabolism, lipids/membranes, nucleic acids)
                        Brendon Monahan:  17-23, 28 (Genetics: basics, gene regulation, transcription/translation, ENCODE project, cancer and cell cycle)
                        Trent Perry: 24-25 (Genetics: developmental genetics, environmental interactions)
                        Marnie Blewitt: 26-27 (Genetics: epigenetics)
                        Robb de Iognh: 29-34, 38-41 (Cell Biology: protein sorting, cell signalling)
                        Gary Hime: 35-37 (Cell Biology: cytoskeleton, extracellular matrix)
                        Roy Robins-Browne: 42-47 (Microbiology: bacteria, antibiotics)
                        Lorena Browne: 48-50 (Microbiology: viruses)
                        Odilia Wijburg: 51-56 (Immunology: innate immune system, B-cell response, T-cell response)
                        Vicki Lawson: 57-63 (Pathology: acute inflammation, cell death, immune mediated injury, wound healing)
                        Chris Hopkins: 64 (Pathology: chronic inflammation)
                        Tom Karagiannis: 66-67 (Pathology: neoplasia)

    Year & Semester of completion: 2014 Semester 1

    Rating:  4 out of 5

    Your Mark/Grade: 89 (H1)


    Before I get started on the review element, it's probably worthwhile explaining how MCB is structured. There are five topics in MCB. These cover Biochem, Genetics, Cell Biology, Micro/Immuno and Pathology. Strictly speaking, these topics should match up (content wise) with the science equivalents that are replaced by MCB. So out of double credit points you cover what science would do in five subjects. Naturally, much of the content is sacrificed but I'll return to that later.
    You progress through these topics at a pretty quick pace, spending 2-3 weeks on each. The idea is that the topics should be integrated, and in many ways they actually are. This particularly applies to assessment, with questions drawing content from a number of topics at a time.
    Every couple of weeks you have to sit a CAL as well, then do a test after it. These tests are essentially free marks and the CALs are designed to complement your learning. Cell Biol and Biochem are probably the only CALs that do. The details of these CALs are relatively unimportant. Micro/Immuno replaces its CAL with a prac instead, wherein you use a number of lab tests to identify a bacterium. It's kind of fun because of medical context but again, not particularly useful.

    Now to the review...

    MCB has a reputation for being a really, really tough subject. All of the second years told us last year that we simply couldn't complain about any of our first year subjects and that we'd be in for the surprise of our lives when we got to MCB. Sadly, they were absolutely correct. MCB is by far the most challenging subject I have taken thus far at Uni. With 6-8 lectures a week, and each of them jammed full of content, MCB puts a huge strain on even the best of students.

    It's not the concepts so much that are difficult. In actual fact, they're really quite simply and more often than not are really interesting. The sheer amount of content you have to contend with, however, is enormous. Though this subject is essentially worth two (on paper), it really is worth about four first year subjects...that being a standard unit of measurement and all. The level of detail you're expected to know is staggering. The tiniest throw-away line by the lecturer more often than not will be examined. This is not a "broad concepts" or "basic ideas" subject. If it is said, even the smallest of details, you must know it. The assessment tends to focus on that as well. There are some broad scope questions, but more often than not the assessment for this subject will test you on your ability to regurgitate minute details.

    With that said, the coordinator and the student centre do go to great lengths to make you understand at the start of this subject that this is the hard subject. It brings out the best in everyone (student wise). The first few weeks and everybody's knuckling down. Everyone knows that they've been set a really difficult challenge and everyone knows that when they started the subject shit just got real. This can make MCB quite an enjoyable subject. The content is interesting. It's content that most biomed students like (being biology mainly) and a crazy challenge has been set. For a group of neurotic biomeds, all of whom have worked their arses off for that 99+ ATAR, this is just like being back in VCE.

    To get a little bit more specific, however, the lectures are usually of a high standard. Each of the lecturers is good and easy to follow, with perhaps a few minor exceptions. Terry was extremely engaging and clearly passionate about his content. He had a habit of waffling and forgetting to explain things from time, but all credit to him, I'm a hopeless chem student and managed to get through Biochem so he must be pretty bloody good! Brendon was my personal favourite (though most of my friends disagree with me). He wasn't the most engaging lecturer, but he explained things very, very clearly and his lectures were by far the best set out. He also, unlike many lecturers, focused on the big points. What he really heavily focused on was what he tested the most. This was a godsend. Trent was a bit nervous and was all over the shop, which was a shame because developmental genetics is really quite tricky. Marnie spoke at one billion miles an hour though if you rewatched her lecture at half speed I'm told she was very easy to understand. She also structured her lectures really well and was really clear about what she wanted from you. Robb was pretty good. He had a habit of skipping over some of the difficult things a bit sometimes, but otherwise he was pretty easy to follow through some pretty complex content at times. Gary was also not too bad. Gary's content really needed no explaining. It was rote so there's not much you can really say about him. Roy was entertaining though he didn't explain anything, instead spending far too much time on his stories. I loved him at the time, but in Heinz sight he was probably the weakest of the lecturers. That was compounded by mixed messages he tended to send, e.g. "you don't need to remember the details of this bacterium" then giving us countless exam questions about the details of bacteria. Everyone breathed a sigh of relief when none of his questions showed up on the written exam. Lorena was gorgeous. She explained things really well and was just the sweetest woman in the world. When she came back for a review lecture, she came up and said good morning to everyone, which prompted the whole lecture theatre to go "AWWWW" in unison. Poor thing went as red as a tomato! Odilia was a bit difficult to understand. She was a bit hit and miss really. Some of her lectures were brilliant, others were hopelessly difficult. Vicki was much like Odilia. Chris was very interesting and engaging but should have been a bit more familiar with Vicki's lectures so as to make the comparison between acute and chronic inflammation. Tom was brilliant. He really expected nothing from us and was hands down the funniest lecturer I've ever had in my life. Quote of the semester was definitely "and then they started singing the dumb arses".

    The CALs are really a waste of time. They'd be better spending their money to give students an opportunity to go and ask tutors some questions. There really is nowhere students can go to ask questions because of the lack of funding the subject gets, so CALs may actually be a good way to do that. They had minor benefits, but the time spent on CALs and the benefit you got from them really didn't match up enough as far as I'm concerned. All the CALs were was pictures of experiments that we should've been doing ourselves. I can only imagine that CAL really does stand for "Can't Afford Labs".

    No point talking about the workshops. They're lectures. All except for Vicki's workshop (which was given by one of her students; absolute champ!). Hers actually did a good job of integrating the information presented in her lectures and was nice revision. The rest were just used to go over some questions or finish lectures.

    Assessment wise the CAL tests are easy marks. The MSTs are tough. I, in particular, found MST2 (immuno/micro/cell bio) particularly difficult. I had about a 15% drop between the two, so yeah, real difference. The shift in the averages wasn't actually as profound as my shift, so I think that probably says more about my strengths and weaknesses than anything else. The MSTs require you to know everything pretty much. Know every tiny detail presented in the lecture and you'll be sweet. The first exam is all MCQ and is essentially the same as the MSTs. The difficulty is the same. You really do need to know everything and stay on top of everything. That's where the marks go, particularly if you're aiming for that high H1. The second exam is long answer questions. The format got changed this year so they were more like short answer questions. It was a welcome change, but my god that was a difficult exam. Again, you needed to know the minute details of really complicated processes to get full marks on the questions. If you forgot a few slides worth of content, there were 6 marks gone. You really need to push and get all the details down to get all of the marks as well, a tough ask with the short amount of time you have. Most people I know didn't finish. Regrettably, I was among them (although only like half a sentence damn it!). The assessment's tough and punishing. I know the content of this subject pretty well and have worked my arse off more than for any subject and I'm still not confident I'll pull an H1 for this subject. All credit to the coordinator though, the questions were beautifully integrated at all levels. You get a real sense that the lecturers are actually communicating with one another and have actually put the effort in to integrate their topics.

    It must be said that this subject is well coordinated. In fact, it's probably the best coordinated subject I've studied. This is an incredibly difficult, huge subject, but it runs extremely smoothly. The lecturers actually talk to one another and have sat down together to make sure that their content is actually relevant to one another. They constantly reference each other's lectures and each other's content. Robb (the coordinator) also goes to great lengths to ensure that the assessment is fair. If a question is the slightest bit ambiguous, it's struck off. As one of the student reps for this subject, I got a great sense of how much Robb was doing to make sure that this subject ran smoothly. Incredibly, it actually did. A lot of that fell to him.

    At the end of the day, MCB is a nice challenge and the content is interesting. It is actually quite an enjoyable subject sometimes, if somewhat daunting. A lot of people drop their load so they can take this subject; you could hardly blame them. Indeed, it's probably a sensible decision. The real gripe I had with this subject—even though I enjoyed it—is what its aims are. This subject does not encourage you to think. There's no time for that. There's no time to engage with the material and really not much of an opportunity to do so. MCB is far, far too focused on content and the minute details. I know that most will retort "if you can't handle it, don't do biomed" but to me that seems a really defeatist and narrow minded perspective. We study biomed to become good doctors or good scientists. MCB contributes to neither; though it is certain to make you a brilliant encyclopaedia.

    EDIT (2016): in hindsight, my criticisms of MCB's focus on minutiae were probably somewhat unfair. MCB is typically the first experience Biomed students have of needing to remember a hell of a lot of detail, which overwhelms a lot of people—me included. With the benefit of having now finished Biomed, I appreciate MCB a lot more. Throughout the rest of my degree and even now MCB did serve as the basis for a lot of what I learned. I was really thankful to have been introduced to so many fields in MCB and to be able to take that to other areas. So if you are feeling overwhelmed and don't like the detail, I hope you can at least appreciate that you've just completed/are about to study one of the most useful subjects of your degree!
    « Last Edit: June 18, 2016, 12:07:37 pm by Mr. T-Rav »
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    Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
    « Reply #284 on: June 18, 2014, 12:39:17 am »
    Subject Code/Name: CEDB20003 Fundamentals of Cell Biology

    Workload: two x 1 hour lecture per week, 8 x 3 hour computer-aided learning (CAL) modules.

        -Three 40 minute multiple choice tests (10% each) in early, mid and late semester;
        -2 hour final examination (70%) in end of semester exam period.

    Lectopia Enabled:  Yes. Audio quality was very poor and I regret not going to a single lecture all semester since each lecture would take me ~2-3 hours to fully finish.

    Past exams available: 2 past exam papers from 2009 and 2010 are given however they do not have section A (MCQ part). No answers provided however the last revision lecture has sample answers to a handful of the questions.

    Textbook Recommendation:  B Alberts, A Johnson, J Lewis, M Raff, K Roberts & P Walter, Molecular Biology of the Cell, 5th edition, Garland Science. Apparently this book is the Holy Bible for Molecular/Cell Biologists and I was unfortunate enough of not being able to utilise this book.

    Dr Jenny Gunnersen (Lectures 1-2, 7, 14-16) - Introduction, membrane transport, visualising cells, neuronal development and signalling.
    A/Prof Gary Hime (Lectures 3-6, 17-18) - Transcriptional + translational observation and control.
    A/Prof Ross Waller (Lectures 8-13) - Protein sorting (gated, transmembrane, vesicular) +  cytoskeletal structure and function, cytoskeletal motors + Mitosis/Cytokinesis
    A/Prof Robb de Iongh (Lectures 19-23) - Cell signalling pathways (RTKs , RS/TK, Wnt/B-catenin, GPLRs)

    Year & Semester of completion: 2014 Semester 1

    Rating: 4/5

    Your Mark/Grade:

    I found this subjet to be hit or miss at times. Lecturers were all very enthusiastic about what they were teaching and were always willing to help. I found the content from A/Prof Robb de Iongh's lectures the most intellectually stimulating and most interesting as we got to learn how a cell activates the signalling pathways to survive or die etc.

    At times, I felt this subject was a pain in the ass due to the fact that there were 3 intrasemester tests which made life just that tad harder since I had 2 MSTs each for anatomy and biochemistry making the total intrasemester test count to be 7 (compared to last year where I had 2 intrasemester tests in total and you can probably see why this semester was my most stressful yet).
    I found the content from the cytoskeleton and neuronal development to be pretty darn boring, like learning how the lamellipodia moves forward via actinmysoinII contractions just is not my cup of soup.

    As pink0289 said, don't be fooled by the two 1 hour lectures per week. The extra content you would otherwise miss out on is covered in the CALs. You are designated into a computer lab where most weeks you go in and fill in the worksheets of info. Make sure you understand alll the content from the CALs since the CATs and exam are also based heavily on the content covered here. You can do the CALs at home at your will but the disadvantage you have here is that you forego the option of having the lecturers direct attention/help if you choose to stay at home. Out of the 7 or 8 CALs I turned up to 2 of them (LOL lazy me) and I kinda wish I went to them. The times when I turned up, at least 1/2 of the CAL students did not turn out so yeh.

    I think this subject very interesting, in particular Robb's lectures and Gary's lectures as well. The reason why it gets a 4/5 is mainly for two reasons:
    1) Some of the boring content (cytoskeleton - actin, microtubules etc + neuronal development) - I know that there's always boring content in every subject but yeh.
    2) The results for CATs to be released was rather ridiculous. For the first CAT, it took ~3-4 weeks for results to come out as compared to biochem which had their results released for both MSTs within 1 week.

    From the 2 reviews already on here, I gather that the reviewers did not find the lectures very difficult but I perosnally found some of the content quite hard to grasp. This for me was not a walk in a part and some of the content requires immaculate detail and knowing the general principles won't get you very far. After this subject, I'm contemplating switching from anatomy/phys major to a cell bio major but I'm still in the process of deciding.
    « Last Edit: June 26, 2015, 03:02:38 pm by ChickenCh0wM1en »
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