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e^1

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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #390 on: November 15, 2014, 12:28:55 am »
+6
Subject Code/Name: MAST20018 Discrete Maths and Operations Research

Workload:   3 x one hour lectures per week, 1 x one hour tutorial per week

Assessment:  Four written assignments (20%), and a 3-hour written examination (80%).

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes.

Past exams available:  Exams from 2009-2013 were given, but without answers on LMS. Charl encouraged to ask questions instead.

Textbook Recommendation:  None.

Lecturer(s): Dr Charl Ras

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 2, 2014

Rating: 3.5/5

Your Mark/Grade: P

Comments:
A step-up from first year:
I thought I would pass through by cramming, which I would do with Calculus 2 and Linear Algebra last semester. This was not the case at all. There is quite a good amount of proof that you will need to comprehend and do if you want to truly understand the course, which I struggled at. So as a good measure you probably want to spend a good amount of time understanding the proofs you are given, and get decent at writing proofs (eg. proof by contradiction). Speaking of this, it may appear strange that this subject is more applied based, far from being abstract compared to first year math subjects. So I guess if you are into pure mathematics, you may not enjoy this subject and otherwise if you are into solving practical problems.

What is operations research?
Well, it is simply about using mathematical methods to find solutions, or making better decisions towards real-life problems. As an introduction to this field, you are taught linear programming, and how to solve a linear program (LP) using the Simplex Method. Solving non-linear or integer programs are not taught, due to its general difficulty in finding its solution. If you want to learn that then you can pursue more subjects about operations research.

You are also taught some concepts of discrete math, including finding the shortest paths, a bit of graph theory, systems of dividing things fairly and some voting systems. The lecturer, Charl Ras seemed friendly, at least when I attended his lectures up to the later weeks. He would regularly ask questions regarding a problem (of course, the same people respond and everyone stays silent... including me, ha).

Weeks 1-6: Operations Research
As mentioned above, you will learn what linear programming is about, as well as the Simplex Method. The methods covered in the Simplex Method is rather straightforward (given that you have done tons of calculations before), so you will probably want to understand the process and why it works (eg. the Fundamental Theorem of Linear Programming). You will also learn about sensitivity analysis (parametric changes), which deals with how the solution changes if you alter a linear program. Overall, I found to be the easier than the discrete portion of the course. If you slept in Linear Algebra, you might also sleep in this portion too (if you just want to calculate like me).

Second half of semester: Discrete Math
Various concepts are taught, broken up into four sections:

Activity networks: You have a problem where you want to find a minimum amount of time to get from A to B, where activities/tasks between them require previous tasks to be completed before they can start. That is basically what problems you solve in this part of the course. You also learn how to find shortest paths, and the betweenness centrality (a method for finding the importance of a node connected to other nodes). Compared to the rest of these sections, you just had to follow methods to achieve your answer. Easy as that.

Graph theory and scheduling: Finding the vertex chromatic number (minimum of colours of a graph so that no adjacent edge/node has the same colour), bipartite graphs, and finding which jobs to assign to people according to their abilities (as an example). There is some proof here which threw me off, which was made worse by not attending lectures and getting behind. So if you are new to graph theory and proofs, you probably want to keep up with the content.

Fair division: You are taught different ways to distribute portions of goods fairly/equally to other people. This part is more subjective, as you are required to explain why a system is not envy free, equitable etc.

Voting systems: I found this to be the most interesting of all the discrete math topics, despite having no interest in politics. In this part you are taught 5 voting systems--most of them relatively basic--as well as some principles which makes a voting system fair to both candidates and voters.

I found this part of the subject to be more difficult, mainly due to its broadness and lack of interrelations between the sections.

Tutorials and assignments:
I had a rather friendly and approachable tutor (A. Kumar), and unlike Vector Calculus I was far more interested in coming to these tutes because of it. Other than that, these tutes are a good warmup for the concepts taught and so it's probably worth coming to them.

As well as some typical calculating work , you are also given proofs to solve in the four assignments. I found these questions to be the most difficult of all, but there was usually only one in each assignment. If you've been paying attention the rest of the questions should be similar to the example questions shown in lectures. Each one is worth 5%, and were usually marked out of 50-60.

Exams:
You are permitted to bring a scientific calculator and a one double-sided A4 sheet of notes to the exam. As for past exams, they are provided on the LMS without its answers. Charl simply suggested us to ask questions, in person or through e-mail if we had any problems. As for the actual exam, I found the exam to be fairly reasonable (even if I choked).

I will probably be expecting a poor mark, but that was not the reason why I rated this subject 3.5/5 (lol). To me at least, you may want to spend a consistent amount of time studying the proofs, and why this is that. I found this to be the most difficult, so get a good idea on how to do proofs and understand them. As a consequence of this, I also regret not spending enough time on this subject; I concede that the study demand for it was higher compared to first years. But don't let this put you off, of course (just be consistent and you'll be fine). This subject might give you an indication if you like solving real life problems, or if operations research is for you.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2014, 03:41:53 pm by e^1 »

Renaissance

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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #391 on: November 15, 2014, 06:23:33 am »
+8
Subject Code/Name: FNCE10001 Finance 1

Workload: 24 hours of lectures and 12 hours of tutorials. Total Time Commitment: 170 hours

Assessment:  2 assignments due in weeks 6 and 11 worth 10% each. Final written exam worth 80%. Yes, 80%... how stupid.

Lectopia Enabled: The lectures aren't recorded but the lecturer recorded the lectures in his own time.

Past exams available:  Yes, 1 with solutions, the rest without solutions. I found the past exams useless since the exam had nothing to do with them, it was so much harder.

Textbook Recommendation: I didn't buy the textbook, it is Australian so it is too expensive, can't find it on Amazon.

Lecturer(s): Dr Jordan Neyland. He is American. I don't like this guy because of the terrible exam he made.

Year & Semester of completion: 2014, semester 2.

Rating: 0 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: I don't know yet, probably something terrible... really hope there is scaling. I did this subject because I thought it was easy but it will most likely drag my GPA down which is very depressing. When I finished the exam I was seriously contemplating dropping out of university. That is how depressed this subject made me.

Comments:

This is by far the worst subject I have ever done in my life, including all the subjects I did in K to 12.

The lecturer is really boring and uses stone age teaching methodology. The content is incredibly boring, most boring, uninteresting, uninspiring, etc. thing I have ever had the displeasure to study.

I had so much fun in my other subjects but this subject made me depressed at times. The thing is that I didn't need to do this subject at all but I guess it was just bad decision making on my part to take this as breadth.

The final exam was terrible. ~50% of the exam was about 1 topic, dividends, and that topic wasn't covered well. The exam was very tricky and had nothing to do with past exams.

The tutorials were terrible and the tutor was mostly clueless. The tutorial questions were too easy compared to the exam.

This is finance, which is meant to be practical, but after you complete this subject, you will be as clueless as you ever were going into the stock market. The final exam is worth 80% which is just stupid. Top universities usually test students throughout the semester using problem sets, projects, assignments, etc. and the final is usually worth like 25% because that is a more accurate form of assessment. I don't know what is wrong with the finance department for using stone age teaching techniques... but I think I am generalising here since this is just 1 subject.

I will not do commerce subjects for breadth anymore.

On a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being the worst experience ever and 10 being the best, I would rate taking this subject a solid 0. I should have withdrawn from it when I had the chance.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2014, 06:34:34 am by Renaissance »

Strawberry101

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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #392 on: November 15, 2014, 04:06:33 pm »
+9
Subject Code/Name: SCIE30002: Science and Technology Internship 

More information can be found here at the Science student centre website.. it might be even more helpful than the handbook entry.

Workload:

Contact Hours: 80-100 hours placement, 2-hour induction, 6 hours pre-placement, 2 hours mid-placement, 6 hours post-placement
Total Time Commitment:
Estimated Total Time Commitment of 120-144 hours

Assessment: 
(Click on the spoiler to read what I have to say about each assessment)

In general, there weren't clear guidelines on what was expected of us from each assessment. This meant that no one knew what was expected of us in our essays, and when we went to hand them in everyone had written about different things, but in the end I think this was fine. Janet seemed more interested in reading our varied responses, and people got high marks as long as they had something decent, I don't think she deducted marks from people because they deviated from what she had intended.

2,000-word career case-study based on an information interview with an employee in your placement organization, due mid-semester (40%);
So Janet gives us a question sheet with possible questions we can ask our interviewee. You get to pick who you interview, but I recommend you interview the most senior person you can, you will get the most valuable information from them.

I think Janet's questions focused on what students can do to improve their chances of being employed once they graduate. Personally my interview went in the direction of why it is so difficult for science students to find empolyment, and so I wrote about that in my case study.

Other people had other focuses in their case studies and I'm sure it was fine.

15-minute individual presentation on a work-related or discipline specific topic, presented late in the semester (20%);
A solo oral presentation at the end of the semester. I hate oral presentations but this one was fine because:
a) You are doing it solo
b) You will just be talking about your internship experience, which is really easy

So most people just gave a broad intro as to what they did during the semester. It was actually really interesting to listen to, because everyone went to different places to work. Most people then went on to talk about the differences between uni and work, and the differences between expectations and their experience. Seriously, most people actually over time because of how much they had to say!

So my advice is to actually keep an eye on time, because Janet didn't actually push people to stay within the time limit and she deducted marks for going over.

2,000 word post-placement essay addressing the connections between your BSc course learning and work placement learning, due at the beginning of the examination period (40%);
This essay is about reflecting upon what you've learnt from your university classes vs your internship. My headings were along the lines of "Technical Skills", "Soft skills", etc.

Wasn't very hard at all and a lot of the content was shared with my talk.

80 hours of satisfactory work placement, confirmed by placement supervisor (hurdle);
I think this is done by emailing your supervisor and confirming that you spent atleast 80hrs at the internship.

So this subject is very time intensive. It's not like all the other subjects that have 80% of the time as "Self study", for this subject you actually have to show up at a place as if you were working there. Some people did 1 x 8hr day a week (for 10 weeks), some people did 2 x 4hr days.. it really depends. It's between you and your host to figure this part out

Seminar attendance of 80% (hurdle).
The worst part of this subject was attending mandatory "seminars" (2hr lecture). These only occured twice a week for the first two weeks of uni (and then once or twice in the semester before the end of semester where we had to listen to other peoples presentation). I don't think they were that useful. They consisted of life pro tips and a personality test. I think the useful content could have been condensed down into a single seminar. None the less we had to go to them.

None of the content was examinable.


Lectopia Enabled:  The only lectures we had were the "induction" ones at the start on semester. They weren'tcontent heavy at all and the lectures would be put up online. The induction lectures were really just to help you transition from university to a workplace environment.

Past exams available:  No exams! See: Assessment.

Lecturer(s): Janet Hergt

Janet was really lovely. She was great at answering emails and she was keen for us to get the most out of our internships, while also being realistic. I think she is currently marking our final essay reports while on holiday!!

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 2, 2014


But can be taken in Semester 1.

Rating:  5/5

Would highly recommend to people.

Your Mark/Grade: ??????????????????

Comments:

So what is the internship subject about? Well, I think it complements the Science Research Project subject. Is that the word? What I mean is that if you are not interested in doing a research project during your semester, but would rather experience a workplace environment, this is probably the subject for you. Unlike the Science Research project where you legitimately have to do a project, this subject focuses more on the working part.

Some people actually did do projects, and lucky for them they didn;t have to a write up. However many people actually went out and "worked", whether it be as a junior person in a team at a plant, in a research lab or helping people design and build things. It was really very varied, and the options are limitless. Personally I did my internship in a "workplace" environment, and I did get to participate in some projects.

I would definitely recommend people do this subject. It gives you real life contacts outside of uni, and if you wanted to do an internship during summer/winter, you might as well do it during uni for credit! You won't get paid (you can't get uni credit and payment at the same time), but this might you more appealing to hosts, because they won't have to pay you AND they know you're doing it for credit (so you're committed to doing well).

It's a huge time sink though. I did 8hrs A WEEK at my host for this subject.My other subjects like like, 3 x 1hr lecture and that was it. So it's a big undertaking. Maybe do it when you have 3 subjects rather than 4.

As for picking your host, you should be picky and dedicate lots of time to finding a host, it's like finding a job, but don't be super desperate and pick the first host that accepts you, I think you should have a good think and talk to the host more, because there were people who were unhappy with their placement at the end of the semester (due to expectations =/ reality).

People went to so many different places to work, it was awesome. When picking a host I would aim super high and hope for the best. :) It can be daunting being a uni student and working with super smart people, but as Janet often tells us, we were only there for the semester, and so it's ok if we mess up. :P

If you're serious about taking this subject, go to the info sesh they have for good tips. This subject is for people more curious about how working works, rather than how research works. You should do the Science Research Project if you're into that.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2014, 05:45:38 pm by Strawberry101 »

cameronp

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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #393 on: November 15, 2014, 04:16:00 pm »
+9
Subject Code/Name: MAST30001 Stochastic Modelling

Workload: 3x one-hour lectures, 1x one-hour practice class

Assessment: 2x assignments (10% each), three-hour exam (80%)

Lectopia Enabled: Yes, with screen capture for the document camera.

Past exams available: Yes, from 2009, mostly with solutions.

Textbook Recommendation: The recommended text is "Elements of Stochastic Modelling" by K. Borovkov (one of the faculty members here at Melbourne). No need to buy it. Everything you need is in the lecture notes.

Lecturer(s): Dr Nathan Ross

Year & Semester of completion: 2014, Semester 2

Rating: 4.5/5

Your Mark/Grade: H1

Comments:
This subject is a core unit for the Statistics and Stochastic Processes major, and an optional unit for Applied Mathematics. It's far more theoretical than you might expect a "modelling" subject to be, with plenty of formal definitions, theorems and proofs (although no need to produce any proofs in the exam or assignments). All of the examples in the tutorials and assignments were toy problems designed to illustrate the maths rather than realistically describe anything in the real world.

The basic principle of stochastic modelling is that you have a set of probabilistic rules describing how a system changes from one state to the next - similar to how ordinary differential equations provide rules for how a system evolves in time, but in a stochastic process, there is randomness involved. In this course we mostly looked at processes where the rules depend only on the current state of the system. These are called Markov chains (or Markov processes). We also focussed on systems where the state space was discrete, although possibly infinite.

For each kind of system covered in the course, we looked at long-run average behaviour (what is the chance of observing a system in a given state?) and the probability of particular events happening - for example, all servers being busy in a queuing system, or a gambler reaching a particular level of winnings before losing all of his money. There was a brief foray into Markov decision theory, which is about making decisions that affect the behaviour of a system in order to maximise some goal (the examples we saw were expected winnings in a game of chance, or expected profit in a house sale). I would have liked to have seen these ideas developed further!

Throughout the course, Nathan kept mentioning that to solve more interesting problems with these methods, you needed to do computer simulations. In light of this, I was disappointed that there was absolutely no computational aspect to this course.

The topics we covered were:
- discrete-time Markov chains (4 weeks)
- Markov decision theory (sadly, only one lecture)
- Poisson processes (1 week)
- continuous-time Markov chains (2 weeks)
- queuing theory (1 week)
- renewal theory (1 week)
- Brownian Motion (2 weeks)

Lectures: Nathan is very American, talks slowly, pronounces "zed" as "zee", and occasionally makes jokes - which is confusing, because he never sounds like he's joking. But he also explains concepts clearly, draws plenty of pictures and provides examples. The lectures go into more detail than what's written on the lecture slides; a typical lecture would cover 6–8 slides.

The worst aspect of the lectures was the timetabling: two at 9am and one at 4:15 on Friday afternoons! Lecture attendance had to compete with sleeping in and going to the pub, and since the lectures were recorded, I skipped almost a third of them. Apparently previous years have been similarly unpleasant and the draft timetable for 2015 has all of the lectures and the practice class at 9am.

Tutorials: I didn't go to a single one of the practice classes. This was a mistake, as when it came to study for the exam, I found that the tutorial problems had a variety of new and difficult problems on them and it would have been nice to have thought about them a bit earlier in semester.

Assessment: The two assignments were fairly simple, but like most maths subjects, the bulk of the assessment came from the exam. Tutorial problems and past exams are the best guide of what to expect, although this year's exam was longer and harder than I was anticipating (I think I only attempted 85% of it).
« Last Edit: November 27, 2014, 10:12:24 pm by cameronp »
BSc (Pure Mathematics) @ UWA, '04-'09
Postgraduate Diploma in Science (Mathematics and Statistics) @ UniMelb, '14
Master of Science (Statistics and Stochastic Processes) @ UniMelb, '15-'16

Renaissance

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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #394 on: November 15, 2014, 05:32:20 pm »
+5
Subject Code/Name: MAST10006 Calculus 2

Workload:  Contact Hours: 3 x one hour lectures per week, 1 x one hour practice class per week. Total Time Commitment: 170 hours

Assessment:  4 assignments due every 2-3 weeks through the semester each worth 5%. Final written examination worth 80%.

Lectopia Enabled:  Sadly, no.

Past exams available:  Yes, 4, with answers.

Textbook Recommendation:

There is no textbook for this subject but I highly recommend these free textbooks:
http://tutorial.math.lamar.edu/Classes/CalcI/CalcI.aspx
http://tutorial.math.lamar.edu/Classes/CalcII/CalcII.aspx
http://tutorial.math.lamar.edu/Classes/DE/DE.aspx
http://tutorial.math.lamar.edu/Classes/CalcIII/CalcIII.aspx
They are extremely useful and cover and explain the material better than the lectures.

Lecturer(s): Dr Christine Mangelsdorf, Dr Antoinette Tordesillas and one other lecturer whose name I don't know. Dr Christine Mangelsdorf is by far the best. She goes straight to the point and doesn't waste time. Dr Antoinette Tordesillas over-complicates things.

Year & Semester of completion: 2014, semester 2.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: Not yet received.

Comments:

I think too much time was spent on the introductory topics, that is, limits, sequences and series, hyperbolic functions, complex numbers and integration, which were mostly covered well in high school. 6 weeks were spent on these topics, which was very boring. Things got more interesting in weeks 6 to 12 but I think the introductory topics could have been covered in the first 2 weeks and more time spent on the remaining topics.

This subject mostly involves mechanical work, once you know the method, it is quite easy to apply it to different problems, unlike say linear algebra or real analysis, which are much more conceptual.

I was going to do accelerated maths 2 but it is too difficult and as an engineering major I don't really need to do it but this subject is too easy in comparison. I would love if there was something in-between accelerated maths 2 and calculus 2.

The assignments are very easy but marked harshly, which is understandable. The final exam isn't all that difficult but you have to be fast to complete it.

I am not a big fan of take home assignments. People copy of each other or simply copy of the internet. I see them copying in the library, in the lecture theater, etc. Take home assignments test who you know, not what you know. I am however a big fan of problems sets and quizzes but doing quizzes in lectures wouldn't be possible I guess, or just too expensive. I don't like that assignments are every 2-3 weeks. It would have been better if there were weekly assignments. I am also not a fan of the maths departments 80% "policy". That is just ridiculous. A final exam should never be worth 80%. May be 20% for assignments, 20% for mid-semester test and 60% for final. That would be reasonable.

I like that there are heaps of applications in this subject, that made it much more interesting than it would have been otherwise.

It is very important to do the problem booklet and the past exams and to do them well. There are no tricks in this subject. If you know everything and did the work, you will get a good mark.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2014, 07:08:57 pm by Renaissance »

e^1

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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #395 on: November 15, 2014, 07:38:13 pm »
+6
Subject Code/Name: COMP10002 Foundations of Algorithms

Workload:  3 x 1-hour lectures and 1 x 2-hour workshop per week.

Assessment:
  • 10% mid-semester test
  • 15% x 2 programming assignments
  • 60% final written examination

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes.

Past exams available:  No past exams, just a sample exam.

Textbook Recommendation: Moffat, A. (2012). Programming, Problem Solving, and Abstraction with C, Revised Edition. You can buy either the hardcopy or e-book version of it (e-book is somewhat cheaper).

Lecturer(s): Alistair Moffat.

Year & Semester of completion: Semster 2, 2014

Rating:  3/5

Your Mark/Grade: H2B

Comments:
Contrary to the other reviewers of this subject, I found this subject unexciting and dull for the first initial weeks. I was more interested in the algorithms he had to teach, but as an introductory course it is understandable that a lower level programming language (ie. C, and specifically ANSI C) would also be taught in order to get a glimpse of the process behind computers. So if you are new to these kinds of things, then you will probably have an intriguing time.

Alistair Moffat, as you might have heard is a very enthusiastic, engaging and (tries to) humorous lecturer. If you needed an answer from him via e-mail, he would usually respond within less an hour if he wasn't busy. Sadly, I did not bother to come to his lectures after the third week because I found the introductory C content to be in some way, like teaching Python again (from COMP10001). In learning C, you learn its programming constructs, including arrays and pointers. Certain problem solving techniques (divide and conquer, generate and test) are also revised in this subject. I can't say much about workshops either since I stopped attending them from the second week, but surprisingly I found Alistair's textbook to be immensely useful. Initially I was sceptical about buying a textbook which could have been made free (if he gets so little profit from it, and if the content can be found anywhere on the internet), but the book contained almost everything that you need to know for this subject. When I mean the textbook does not cover everything, this includes pattern searching algorithms, like the Knuth-Morris-Pratt string search algorithm and the Boyer-Moore-Horspool algorithm; watch the lectures then. Otherwise, reading its pages alone allowed me to keep up with the content.

Computing algorithms--as you would expect--is the meat of this subject. After all, Alistair's motto is "Algorithms are fun!". Despite this, I found some of his explanations to be unclear (possibly because I was behind) even if I used the textbook. As a supplement I would use other websites to learn how they worked. If it helps, here are the websites that I used:

  • HackerRank: A competitive programming contest website. Aside from that there were exercises about algorithms, including Quicksort, insertion sort and some other mini practice exercises, including an exercise about the running time of an algorithm.
  • Some other PDF lecture slides on the KMP algorithm: The Comic Sans font makes it seem silly, right? That is why it was useful in understanding the KMP algorithm. Some nice pictures help too :D
  • The KMP algorithm in my own words: This was also useful in observing the process of the KMP algorithm.
  • Plain English explanation of Big O: Thought it was a good basic explanation behind the Big-O notation. Although I thought Alistair explained it in a clear way.
  • Boyer Moore Algorithm Understanding and Example?: Thought the second answer to this Stackoverflow question provided a clear explanation about how the Boyer-Moore algorithm worked (not the BMH algorithm! The BMH algorithm is actually a simplified version of the Boyer-Moore algorithm so be aware of that). Alistair's lectures slides about the BMH algorithm, combined with this webpage also served useful in understanding it.
  • I also used "online judges" (Google it) for mergesort and KMP problems as further practice.
  • If you want more practice websites, I found this top Quora answer to be helpful.
With this clarification, I found to appreciate algorithms and what Alistair really meant (although he should change his motto, how long has he held that for?). It gave computing more than just mere "instruction-telling" to a computer expressed as a programming language.

Mid-semester test:
As the name says, it isn't worth much (10%) but you should do well if you've have studied up to this point. For us, I believed we had ours in week 5 or 6. Topics covered included using basic programming constructs of C (iteration statements, pointers, arrays, control statements etc.) as well as the Big-O notation. I didn't particularly do well in this but it wasn't hard either.

Assignments and exam:
The assignments were fairly interesting (not as fun as COMP10001 was imo). The first assignment involved finding the relevance of a text file based on a query, like a Google search for instance. Simple use of algorithms were encouraged, and so was more of a C programming exercise than anything else. The second was creating a program which could hold a binary search tree, and I found this to be more slightly "algorithmic". These assignments I believe will help you practise on your C language, although I wished the assignments involved the use of more complex algorithmic approaches to solve a problem. Moreover, I found these assignments to be a bit straightforward and thus lacking in creativity. When I say this, I compare them to the COMP10001's Daifugo assignment for example.

Now, the exams. Although there was only a sample exam, doing exercises in the textbook or gaining programming proficiency in some other ways sufficed to prepare you for most of it. As Alistair had mentioned, there would be a few last questions which very few could answer, so this shouldn't surprise you too much when you go to your actual exam. Otherwise, the rest seemed fair and reasonable.

Note that I have rated this subject 3/5, and could have rated it lower. The main reason for this being the appreciation of algorithms that I found through the semester. I wished the subject had provided a greater density towards teaching algorithms, but as I have mentioned teaching a language like C would help those pursuing computing majors into learning C++, as well as getting a closer grip behind computers etc. Regardless, I had some initial familiarity with C# and a tiny bit of C before the start of this subject.


Fun.stuff.goes.here():
Thought bubble-sort was bad? Then you might not have heard of Bozo sort...
Bozo Sort
And although insertion sort is a generally slow sorting algorithm ( average case), I thought it sounded [strangely] pleasant.
Insertion Sort


EDIT:
I have had someone ask  for past exams and questions for this subject. I do not have them anymore, sorry.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2015, 03:32:20 pm by e^1 »

teexo

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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #396 on: November 15, 2014, 09:26:54 pm »
+4
Subject Code/Name: ACCT10002: Introductory Financial Accounting

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

Assessment: Individual assignment (25%), tutorial participation (5%), 3hr exam (70%)

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture

Past exams available: None, but there were many practice topic questions available on the LMS

Textbook Recommendation: Introductory financial accounting, the book is very unappealing as it is black and white.. I bought it and barely touched it, in the rare moments where I did open the textbook I found it confusing to find things and there was way too much info. Lecture slides and tutorial work were more than enough to help you through this subject.

Lecturer(s): Greg Cusack

Year & Semester of completion: 2014, semester 2

Rating:  4 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1

Comments: I'm back to review another accounting subject! Don't judge me but I enjoyed this subject, mainly because I also enjoyed VCE accounting and ARA, and this subject was quite similar to both.

IFA mainly focuses on double entry accounting but there is a lot to remember. VCE accounting students will cruise through about weeks 2-5 as it's just double entry with a few differences. The last few weeks though, you'll get hit with new content and it starts to get messier and more complicated.

A lot of people I knew said Greg, the lecturer, was similar to a high school principal because he tells people off for chatting and using their phones during his lecture. At moments he also tells us to put down our pens so he can have our full attention haha apart from all this though, I honestly think he is a great lecturer. If you did VCE accounting, you'll probably find some of his explanations of simple double entries very long and boring, but when you get to the new content you'll find that these long explanations are actually extremely helpful.

Tutorials are also very useful, especially if you get a tutor who knows the subject inside out like the tutor I was lucky enough to have. Definitely pay attention in tutes because the questions you do in them are similar to the ones you'll get in the exam, so it's important that you understand how to do those type of questions and get your tutor to clarify anything that confuses you. If you struggle with tute questions, you'll struggle with the exam. Simple as that.

I recommend the subject to those who are pursuing an accounting career, or those who have done accounting in the past, especially those who did well in it in VCE and enjoyed it.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2015, 10:40:08 pm by teexo »

Stick

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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #397 on: November 15, 2014, 10:11:21 pm »
+4
Subject Code/Name: ITAL10002: Italian 4 (also ITAL20008: Italian 4)

The two subject codes relate to whether you're taking the subject as a first year or a second year (or more accurately as a level 1 or a level 2 subject - this may be important for breadth reasons).

Workload:
Contact Hours: 4 hours. 1 x 2-hour seminar and 2 x 1-hour seminar.
- The two hour seminar is your language class, with a focus on reading and writing about a particular topic or theme. The one hour seminar is your grammar class, focussing solely on learning and consolidating grammar points. The tutorial is your conversation class, obviously focussing on developing your speaking and listening skills.
Total Time Commitment: 8 hours per week, including 4 hours of class time. Total 96 hours.

Assessment:

Under university protocol the assessment needs to be unique for each subject code, even if the subjects themselves are essentially the same. You will notice that the only difference in assessment is that second year students also need to fill out an online reflective diary over the course of the semester.

ITAL10002
  • Three take home assignments (totalling 1200 words) in weeks 3, 6 and 10 [30%]
  • Attendance and participation in class throughout semester [10%]
  • 1.5 hour written test mid semester [20%]
  • 10 minute oral test throughout semester [10%]
  • 2 hour written exam during the examination period [30%]
This subject has the following hurdle requirements: Regular participation in tutorials is required with a minimum of 75% attendance. All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject. Assessment submitted late without an approved extension will be penalised at 10% per day and in-class tasks missed without approval will not be marked.

ITAL20008
  • Three take home assignments (totalling 1200 words) in weeks 3, 6 and 10 [30%]
  • Attendance and participation in class throughout semester [5%]
  • 1.5 hour written test mid semester [20%]
  • 15 minute oral test, including 5 minute critical reflection on subject content and learning outcomes throughout semester [15%]
  • 2 hour written exam during the examination period [30%]
This subject has the following hurdle requirements: Regular participation in tutorials is required with a minimum of 75% attendance. All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject. Assessment submitted late without an approved extension will be penalised at 10% per day and in-class tasks missed without approval will not be marked.

Lectopia Enabled: No, as there are no lectures in the subject. Grammar slides will be made available on the LMS after each grammar class.

Past exams available: No.

Textbook Recommendation: (same as Italian 3)
  • Da Capo, 7th Edition. Antonio Morena and Donatella Melucci, Annamaria Moneti and Graziana Lazzarini 2011
  • Da Capo, student activities manual. Silvia Abbiati and Julia Cozzarelli 2011
  • Collins Italian Dictionary & Grammar
You will also need to purchase a subject reader which will be used throughout the semester.

The textbook is absolutely essential as you will be working through it over the course of the semester. The student activities manual is not necessary, but you have to buy the textbook and the workbook together so you'll end up buying that too. The student activities manual is not used in class but can be used as revision. Given the lack of revision material for this subject, I'd recommend using this book over the course of the semester anyway.

Obviously you don't necessarily have to have the Collins bilingual dictionary - any will suffice. I use the Garzanti bilingual dictionary, recommended by my teachers at high school since the Italians tend to do a better job at translating English than we do translating Italian :P. It's a really expensive dictionary but since I've used it a lot over an extended period of time, I've got my use out of it. While it's an amazing dictionary, it's probably not worth it if you're studying Italian only in the short term. You're not allowed to use a dictionary in the mid-semester test or the exam, only the take-home assignments. The use of an online translator is strictly prohibited and may result in the cancellation of your enrolment at the university.

Lecturer(s):

As I said, there are no lectures in this subject but Elisabetta Ferrari took both language groups* this semester.

* Note: The two seminar classes are streamed together. When preparing a timetable, make sure you look at the repeats - if the repeat number is the same, the classes are linked. Conversation classes are not linked.

Francesca Isaia took the conversation classes this semester.

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 2 2014

Rating: 4/5

Your Mark/Grade: H1

Comments:

This was still my favourite subject at university this semester, although Italian 4 was not quite as amazing as Italian 3 was last semester. That being said, it was still a pretty awesome breadth subject to take and very easy to do well in. Definitely worth considering if you'd like to learn a language but are intimidated by the difficulty - Italian is a pretty easy language to learn anyway, but the assessment structure and the staff make it a whole heap easier. This subject is the equivalent to Year 12 Italian but it's much easier to do well in compared to taking Italian in VCE.

The grammar points we learnt this semester were:
  • Revision of the congiuntivo presente (present subjunctive) and congiuntivo passato (past subjunctive) tenses
  • Congiuntivo imperfetto e trapassato (imperfect subjunctive and past perfect subjunctive tenses)
  • Passato remoto (remote past tense)
  • Trapassato prossimo e remoto (past perfect tenses)
  • 'Ci' e 'ne' (special object pronouns)
  • Pronomi personali forme combinate (combined direct-indirect object pronouns)
  • Pronomi dimostrativi (demonstrative pronouns)
  • Pronomi relativi (relative pronouns)
  • Imperativo (the imperative mood)
  • Il periodo ipotetico (the hypothetical construction with se - if)
  • Pronomi tonici (stressed pronouns)
  • Avverbi (adverbs)
  • La forma passiva (the passive voice)
  • Comparativi e superlativi (comparatives and superlatives)

Perhaps it was because I already knew most of the grammar points taught in Italian 3 prior to enrolling in it, but I found this semester focussed much more on learning new grammar points. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but one of the differences I happened to observe across both of the semesters.

I think 95% of what I said in my Italian 3 review pretty much applies to this review, so make sure you check it out if you haven't already. I'll just describe a few more key differences between Italian 3 and Italian 4.

The structure of the assessment is pretty much identical, with the exception of a five minute oral presentation this semester, worth 10% of your grade. The oral presentation is not at all like the oral exam in VCE - in this subject you just sign up for a particular topic and deliver a presentation to your conversation class. Generally speaking the topics relate to one of the texts you've looked at in your language class, but there were a few other topics as well. Some are creative, others require you to talk about a specific person or thing. You're not supposed to prepare a speech beforehand but most people do anyway (including myself) and memorise it in such a way that it sounds off-the-cuff. You're allowed a few cue cards or notes (which you submit to the teacher so they have a record of the assessment), but you'll fail if you read straight off them. As long as you make sure you address the key criteria, it's not particularly difficult to score well in. One big area where people tended to lose marks was for the class participation requirement - you need to involve your class in your discussion in some way. I created a Prezi presentation, some chose to draw diagrams on the whiteboard over the course of their presentation, others with food-related topics actually cooked the food and brought it in for us to eat! A couple of people did nothing though and consequently lost marks. For the sake of the rest of the class listening to you, try to do something interesting and a bit different to make your presentation more engaging. Given the small class sizes it shouldn't be too intimidating.

I think the main difference I found between the semesters was the quality and usefulness of the conversation class. Last semester, it was a class I couldn't wait for each week; this semester they weren't anywhere near as good. They heeded the advice of reducing the amount of reliance on technology, but failed to provide enough adequate activities to work through - consequently we would finish them all with 20 minutes to spare and people would just start talking in English again. Unfortunately I think Francesca also had a competing commitment that slightly clashed with my conversation class which meant that she often turned up late as well.

There's a couple of relatively small reasons as to why I've decreased my rating from 4.5 to 4 out of 5 for Italian this semester, but ultimately what's going for it is its relaxed, easy-going nature and high quality teaching staff who are only too happy to help you out. For example, I requested an extension for one of the assignments this semester due to my cousin's wedding and for Elisabetta to give it to me with no questions asked was just a breath of fresh air from all the bureaucracy that's only too endemic in Science/Biomedicine subjects. Generally speaking, Italian 4 marks the end of the journey for most breadth students, since Italian 5 departs from grammar and takes on a very strong literary flavour to it. That's largely due to the fact that you've basically been taught all the grammar you'll ever need to know by now. I'm not sure if it's the end of the road for me just yet, but it has been an enriching year made all the better with the ongoing help and support from Elisabetta. I literally cannot thank her enough for taking my Italian to a whole new level. That's all I got to say for now, but as always if you'd like any extra information or have any questions, please feel free to ask. In bocca al lupo! (Good luck! :P )
« Last Edit: November 28, 2014, 11:46:31 am by Stick »
2017-2020: Doctor of Medicine - The University of Melbourne
2014-2016: Bachelor of Biomedicine - The University of Melbourne

notveryasian

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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #398 on: November 16, 2014, 01:22:58 am »
+7
Subject Code/Name: MAST10008 Accelerated Mathematics 1

Workload: 4 x 1 hour lectures per week, 1 classroom tutorial per week, 1 computer lab tutorial per week

Assessment: 3 online assessment tasks worth 6% in total, 3 written assignments worth 9% in total, 45 minute MATLAB test worth 5%, and a 3 hour exam worth 80% (no calc)

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture

Past exams available:  Yes, 6 past exams along with a long list of exam questions. No solutions are given.

Textbook Recommendation: The textbook for the subject was "Elementary Linear Algebra: Applications Version, 10th Edition" by Anton and Rorres however the lecture notes are all you need.

Lecturer: Paul Norbury

Year & Semester of completion: 2014 Semester 1

Rating:  4/5

Your Mark/Grade: 87

Comments:

For a lot of people, Accelerated Mathematics 1 is the first taste of university mathematics. Together with Accelerated Mathematics 2, it covers the content of the three subjects Calculus 2, Linear Algebra and Real Analysis. This subject doesn't quite have the same mathematical rigour as its successor, but still requires a deep level of understanding to get the most out of the subject.

The topics covered were:
  • Matrices and Linear equations
  • Lines, planes in 3-dimensional spaces
  • Number systems and proofs
  • Complex Numbers
  • Vectors in n-dimensional spaces
  • Inner Products
  • Linear Transformations
  • Eigenvalues and Eigenvectors
  • Functions of two variables

Topics 4 and 9 were Calculus 2 topics, topic 3 was a Real Analysis topic and the rest were Linear Algebra topics. The subject covers a lot of material in a short amount of time, so it is important to stay on top of things by completing the questions in the booklet and rocking up to tutes.

Paul is a great lecturer who talks a lot about stuff that isn't on the course, but nevertheless interesting. Some of the things he says can be pretty confusing, but as long as you're understanding the slides then you're all set. He always holds a short break halfway through the lecture, so you always have the chance to ask the person next to you what the hell is going on. Make sure you print out the lecture slides so you can fill in the blanks during the lectures.

There are 3 online assessment tasks during the semester. Each test has a maximum of 10 questions, some of which are short multiple choice, but most of them will require a bit of working with a pen and paper. For each online test, you get 3 attempts and your best attempt is recorded. For the written assignments, you may get a sheet of 8 or so questions, with only a few of the questions being marked. If you are keeping up to date with the homework then you can definitely score quite well in them.

I had a pretty good tutor in this subject. He recognised that almost all the class was far behind so he gave a summary of the previous week's lectures and worked through the set questions with the class. Straight after your class tutorial you generally have your computer lab session, where you learn some of the basics of the software program MATLAB, and some applications of the stuff you do in class. At the end of semester, there is a 45 minute MATLAB test worth 5%. Around half of the test is quite easy, while the rest of it involves some tricky code or function that is hard to get working.

The 3 hour long exam might be daunting at first, but it isn't as bad as it seems. There are plenty of practice exams and practice questions which prepare you well for the real thing. If you can be up to date with the problem sets by the start of the mid semester break, you're can definitely set yourself up for a good mark.

So if you're thinking about taking this subject, be aware that it is very fast, and you will have to work hard so you don't fall behind. However, the hard work pays off and it can be a very rewarding subject.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2014, 03:04:54 pm by notveryasian »
2014-2017: Bcom (Economics/Finance), Dip Maths (Discrete Maths and Operations Research) at Unimelb

cameronp

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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #399 on: November 18, 2014, 12:07:11 pm »
+8
Subject Code/Name: MAST30027 Modern Applied Statistics

Workload: 3x one-hour lectures, 1x one-hour computer lab per week.

Assessment: 6x minor assignments, for a total of 20%. Three hour exam, 80%.

Lectopia Enabled: Nope. No lecture notes online, either.

Past exams available: Yes, but they're useless since the content changed completely this year. We were given a practice exam instead.

Textbook Recommendation: No required textbook. Everything you need to know is in the lectures.

Lecturer(s): Dr Owen Jones

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 2, 2014.

Rating: 4/5

Your Mark/Grade: H1

Comments:
This is an optional unit for the Statistics and Stochastic Processes major, but if you intend to seriously pursue statistics, you should take it. At last you'll get to learn about statistical techniques from the latter half of the 20th century. (Want to see 21st century techniques? You'll need to do a Masters!) This is the first year that Owen Jones taught the course - previously it was Guoqi Qian - and the content has changed completely, from covering a lot of material with little depth, to covering two methods in glorious detail.

The first half of the course is on Generalised Linear Models. These have a silly name, because General Linear Models (note the lack of "ised") are also a thing that exists, but are different. These provide a theory which encompasses a whole bunch of different regression techniques: linear regression, binomial regression, Poisson regression, multinomial regression... The material is quite technical and has a lot of formulas and methods you need to know for dealing with different types of data.

The second half of the course is on Bayesian statistics. I really enjoyed this part of the course, because it was totally unlike anything I'd seen before. Rather than treating the parameter values in your model as being fixed and the data as being subject to random errors, you treat the data as being fixed and the parameter values as being subject to random variation. This provides a completely different but mathematically elegant approach to statistics, which can be expressed intuitively as "I am updating my beliefs about the model based on observed data". The actual equations end up being impossible to solve exactly most of the time, but we went into detail on the methods to calculate them numerically (Metropolis-Hastings algorithm and the Gibbs Sampler). These numerical methods are quite general and allow you far more flexibility with your statistical models than traditional methods (which have assumptions like "this thing has a normal distribution" already baked into the formulas you use). It's a shame that nobody at Melbourne Uni does much Bayesian stats, because I would love to learn more about this.

There were also a couple of interludes on computational methods, covering numerical optimisation and simulating random variables of different distributions. None of it is particularly tricky but if you haven't done any computer programming at all it might catch you out. I slept through these lectures because I (thought I) had seen it all before. But don't think "oh this computer stuff will never turn up in the exam" - we had questions where we had to describe an algorithm in words and describe what a piece of code would do.

Lectures: Most of the subject is taught in the old fashioned "copy down everything from the blackboard" way, which I like. It means that the course can't go any faster than the speed of handwriting, which is important when tricky mathematical proofs are involved. Unfortunately, Owen's handwriting is terrible. So are the jokes that he tells (at one point he tried to make a bilingual pun in Latin and English).

Computer labs: Not particularly exciting, but some of these introduce new material as well as providing a more practical/applied take on the course. Some of the exam questions had a striking resemblance to problems from the labs.

Exam: You're allowed to bring in a page of handwritten notes which means that there's no memory work. The exam had a little bit of plugging things into equations but was mostly testing conceptual understanding. So that's nice. Which is not to say that the exam was easy!
« Last Edit: November 27, 2014, 10:12:51 pm by cameronp »
BSc (Pure Mathematics) @ UWA, '04-'09
Postgraduate Diploma in Science (Mathematics and Statistics) @ UniMelb, '14
Master of Science (Statistics and Stochastic Processes) @ UniMelb, '15-'16

chysim

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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #400 on: November 18, 2014, 11:41:52 pm »
+6
Subject Code/Name: CVEN30009 Structural Theory and Design

Workload: 1x two-hour lecture, 1x one-hour lecture, 1x one-hour tutorial per week, 1 single lab class in week 11.

Assessment:
3x "Home Lab" Group Assignments (5% each)
Week 11 Lab Sheet (5%)
Design (Group) Assignment (10%)
3 hour exam (70%)

Lectopia Enabled: Yes

Past exams available: Yes, and fully worked solutions are provided dating back to 2010 (*fist-pump*).

Textbook Recommendation: Nada

Lecturer(s): Elisa Lumantarna

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 2, 2014.

Rating: 4/5

Your Mark/Grade: H1

TL;DR: A difficult and immense but well-taught subject that acts as a great precursor to Masters.

Comments:
This subject is a lot of work and pretty tough, but it is really well taught and well organised. The prerequisites of this subject are Eng Materials and Eng Mechanics, and it draws from both of these subjects and uses them as a basis to build upon for structural engineering. This is the first subject in a series of three ST&D subjects which continue into the Master of Engineering Civil and Structural streams, so, despite being a third year subject, it remains somewhat introductory in terms of its complexity. Therefore, nothing in the subject is too difficult conceptually, but there is a lot (and I mean a lot) of stuff to remember.

Lectures
Elisa gives most of the lectures and is fantastic. If you're going into this subject you probably already know that from doing Eng Materials.

She basically finds a way to take all the overly confusing statics stuff taught in Engineering Mechanics (e.g. deflection, indeterminate systems etc.) and presents it in a far more barebones, straightforward, and useful manner. She's really good at explaining the content and illustrating concepts with diagrams.

Elisa is also really quick and diligent in answering questions and addressing concerns both on the discussion board and via email. I always appreciate lecturers/coordinators who actually give a shit, because that is a quality that has been distinctly lacking in some of the other subjects I've done (hello SMD and Imaging).

I guess the only thing I could be critical of is the design of the lecture slides. Sometimes there were just way too many things on a single slide and it could all get a bit jumbled. I've put an example of this below in the spoiler tag where the stuff shown on this single slide really would be more effective as four separate ones. That said, the design of all examples and figures in the slides were very good.

Clutter

Tutorials
I've come to realise that tutes are often the worst (or at least the most tedious) part of engineering subjects. They basically just consist of the tutor doing the week's problems on the board whilst the (overfilled) class copies down their workings with little (if any) interaction. I pretty much stopped showing up in the second half of semester. This was both because I didn't feel there was much value in it, attendance wasn't marked, and I was occupied with the wonderful SMD assignments.

Assignments
My experience of the assignments was basically a microcosm of my experience with the subject at large: not too difficult, but lots of work. All the assignments (bar the small lab report) are done in self-formed groups of three. I'm not always a great fan of group work, but when you can choose you're own group and your group members are reliable it takes the pressure off a bit.

The home lab assignments were pretty cool. They basically involved taking some of the theoretical concepts learnt in the lectures and designing your own system to test their accuracy. The first one was on beam deflection, the second on beam design, and the third on concrete column design. These weren't too much work, but the "250 words" claim in the handbook is BS. They are more work than that would seem to suggest.

The design assignment is probably the biggest thing that you're intended to take out of this subject – and in saying that, it's kind of silly that its only worth 10% (should be at least 20). You basically have to do a preliminary design of all of the structural elements for a mezzanine balcony type structure: slab, beams, columns etc. When first presented, this sounds a little intimidating, but your hand is kind of held all the way through it. Again, lots of work, not too difficult.

The only issue I had with the assignments is that the marking took quite a while. I think the longest wait for a mark was probably about 6 weeks, and the shortest would be 4. The feedback received is also quite minimal.

Exam
After doing most of the past exams made available, I found the exam set for this semester to probably the most difficult one. It was fair, but they seemed to introduced a higher degree of complexity into some of the questions that would usually be pretty simple and stock standard, which wasn't much appreciated by me. I think I did okay though.

Overall
This is a really solid subject. As I've said, it's well taught, well coordinated, and well constructed. That said, it is also a tough subject. There is lots of content and lots of assignments, so you really need to keep up during semester to avoid the requirement for an enormous cram session in SWOTVAC.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2015, 10:19:29 pm by chysim »
UoM | Bachelor of Environments (Civil Systems): 2012-2014 | Master of Engineering (Civil): 2015-2016 |

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

cnguyen599

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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #401 on: November 19, 2014, 04:44:15 pm »
+6
Subject Code/Name: ZOOL20006 Comparative Animal Physiology 

Workload: 3x 1 hour lecture per week (sometimes less), 5x 3 hour practicals, 1x 3 hour CAL lab (towards end of semester).   

Assessment: 2x written task sheets (15%), 1x scientific report (20%), 1x 3 hour written exam (multiple choice, short answer, extender answer) (65%).

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture etc.

Past exams available:  Yes. 3x short + extended answer section (no answers), 1x multiple choice section (answers).

Textbook Recommendation: Hill, Wyse & Anderson, Animal Physiology, 3rd Ed, Sinauer Associates Inc. 2012.
I didn't use it all that much to be honest. Only used it as a substitute when I wanted to clarify something or when the lecture recordings were down. Also used it as reference for my prac report; though a very minor part. *Cough* Download *Cough*

Lecturer(s):
Laura Parry
Tim Jessop
Andrew Allen
Angelina Fong
Mark Green
Kathryn Hassell

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 2, 2014.

Rating: 4.5/5

Comments:
If anyone has done Human Physiology, this subject is REALLY similar. Pretty much all the concepts you covered in Human Phys will be transferrable to this subject, or vice versa, but I feel Human Phys goes into much more detail. With that said, even though they are similar that does not mean you can skip them due to the many animal related examples you are expected to remember.

Some of the topics I covered (in order) include:

. Adaptation, acclimation, acclimatization, homeostasis (2 lectures)
. Hormones and pathways of hormone action (1 lecture, though similar content is also found in other topics)
. Osmoregulation (3 lectures)
. Stress response (2 lectures)
. Nutrition and metabolism (2 lectures)
. Thermoregulation (1 lecture)
. Cardiovascular system (3 lectures)
. Neural (3 lectures)
. Respiritory system (2 lectures) 
. Reproduction (2 lectures)
. Environmental impacts on reproduction (2 lectures)

LECTURES
The lecture content is not all too tough. Unlike first year Biology however, you would want to remember all the examples they give you. Examples are your friends, because you can use them as part of your answers in your exams. Also, compared with my other subjects, there are fewer lectures which you will have to study. Throughout the semester you will get these research lectures which are basically a “you might find this interesting” lecture. While you don’t have to remember everything about these lectures in super detail, using the content in these lectures as examples in the exam (short answer or long answer) will get you extra marks according to what I was told by the lecturers. So I encourage those who are doing the subjects to not skip out on them.  But if you find you don’t have enough study time to go through them, don’t stress. Surprisingly by the last 3 weeks you would usually only get 2 lectures a week or less (also happened a few times during semester as well), giving you a chance to catch up if you need to or start early preparation for your exams; but seriously don’t fall behind in the first place.

Lecturing quality was pretty consistent. No bad things to say about them really except I was unlucky and there were times where lecture recordings mucked up and there were no replacement lectures. Some lecturers may choose to upload previously recorded lectures online, others do not. So if you rely on lecture recordings (like me!) you have to accept some of the risks. Oh, Laura is also a really great enthusiastic lecturer but will name and shame you if you bust in the front lecture door 15 minutes late. So be respectful and try to come in early or through the back door if you are late.

PRACS AND REPORTS
In place of tests, you get practicals which will teach you how to write scientific reports. Not those ones you did in Chemistry where you just had a brief discussion and conclusion, but ones where you are expected to find academic sources as reference. So get used to using Google Scholar, Melbourne uni discovery and how to read a scientific paper (there should be plenty of resources on the internet). They won’t throw you into the deep end immediately, but will slowly build up to a complete report over time. Each report, builds on from the previous not in the information that you will be discussing, but the sections. E.g. first report was not really a report but was about statistical analysis, the second you had to include an abstract and a result section, the third you had to include abstract, result, and discussion, you get the picture. Those of you with statistics background may have an advantage (I did not do statistics) as you are required to perform some statistical analysis with some of the data you obtain from the practicals. There are instructions that will be posted on the lms, so it shouldn’t be all too bad. But of course if you are confused, you can always use the discussion board or email a lecturer. Go through the reports when you are done very carefully, as you can lose marks for neglecting some small things and finish them ASAP. Given that you are provided with a generous amount of time to finish, you want to submit your papers right on time to receive feedback and improve your next report (late papers won’t receive feedback). Otherwise, you are just doing yourself a disservice. You will not be able to do a good job at the last minute, because the number of readings you have to do and their complexity can be quite intense. As for what I actually did in the pracs, it was pretty neat. Working in groups of 4, I was able to examine the effect of vasotocin on frogs by literally injecting the hormone into cane toads using a needle. I looked at the metabolic rate of mice and bees. I was able to see a “zombie” frog heart beat in a ringer solution. So yes, you will be using live animals instead of looking at plants (not hating on plants, but they are pretty boring). Furthermore, the practicals related to the lecture content, which was fantastic.

The pacing is very chill compared to Chemistry, and therefore you don’t have to rush to get your data; you have 3 hours to do everything which is plenty of time if you work at a regular pace. The tutors are also very kind and easily approachable. This doesn’t mean you should slack off and talk to your neighbour; it just means that you shouldn’t be feeling like you are in an episode of Master Chef. So 5 pracs in total with 1 CAL lab. The last prac (5th) is not assessed, however you will have a compulsory exam question in extended response. This prac required me to examine the development of abnormal gonads in fish, where you basically dissected a fish to examine its gonads and also look at some pre-prepared microscope slides to examine deviations in structure. DRAW OUT WHAT YOU SEE UNDER THE SCOPE!!! TAKE NOTES!!! FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS!!! While there may not be an assessed report, they can test you on images and data (further detail when I describe exams). As for CAL labs, you are basically given a simulated experiment on a computer (A “flash game” one of the tutors described it) and answer questions on a task sheet as you progress through. Answer all the questions to the best of your ability, because they too are part of a compulsory exam question in short answer. This reminds me, the other pracs you also get task sheets that have practise exam questions and questions based on the prac. I only did the exam questions because I was lazy, but the questions relating to the prac can give you ideas on what to mention in your report.

EXAM
The exam was very generous. You get 3 hours to an exam worth 65 marks: 20 marks multiple choice (20 questions), 25 marks short answers (5 questions), 20 marks extended (2 questions). So those of you who done Biology first year, it is somewhat similar (I emphasize somewhat). The multiple choice should be a breeze if you studied all the lectures. Unlike Human Phys it is not necessarily these “apply your knowledge” questions, rather recall what you remember from your lectures. So rote learning is the way to go (for all MC and SA and EA). The short answer and extended answer will require you to write quite a bit. They are worth 5 marks a question (for short answer) and 10 marks (for extended answer), so you have to vomit all of that information you studied onto the page to make sure you get full marks. Note however that you are able to choose the 4 questions out of 6 for short answer you want to answer and 1 question out of 2 for extended answer. You have to do one compulsory question based on the prac 5 and CAL for both of these sections. In preparation I was given some practise exam questions on the task sheets (as mentioned before) which they will release example answers along the semester (be warned that they do not release it immediately, for task sheet 4 for example the practise exam answers were released in the week before the exam started). The thing is, that some of the points you mention are worth 0.5 marks instead of the expected 1, so you have to be pretty detailed.

Content from practical 5 and the CAL lab were on the exam so learn those! I made the mistake of just skimming through practical 5 and I had no idea what GSI or HSI units meant for the extended answer question despite it being bolded on the practical manual (everything you need to know should be in these). I also found the compulsory prac 5 question for extended quite tricky. It asked you to describe a table of data (fish characteristics e.g. height, weight, sex, GSI, HSI, etc, same table you would have seen in the prac) and an image (microscopic fish gonad specimens), and then interpret it and how you would test that your interpretations were true. Quite unusual compared to the standard question. I didn’t know exactly what the key things that you had to describe, so I couldn’t focus my answer and just wrote on as many things that I could think off e.g. any trends and relationships between the various variables. In retrospect, I guess it was more testing your knowledge of describing data in pracs. Other prep tools included 3 past exams (only short and extended answer section) no answers and 1 multiple choice exam section with answers released close to exam time. Overall, the exam was super fair and if you study the content thoroughly you can do very well.

There were also these things called animals of the week on lms. I wasn’t sure what they were and no really explained to me their importance until near the exam. Basically, they are more details about some of the examples used in the early lectures. If you were to use them as examples in the exam you would get bonus marks.

FINAL THOUGHTS
Overall I really liked this subject. It wasn’t all too stressful or complicated, the assessment was fair and I was able to do a lot of cool stuff. Definitely consider it if you are interested in zoology or if you didn’t get into research physiology.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2014, 04:54:00 pm by cnguyen599 »

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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #402 on: November 20, 2014, 10:09:34 am »
+4
Subject Code/Name: ENEN20002 Earth Processes for Engineering

Workload:  3x1 hours lectures, 1x1 hour "workshop", 1 single 3 hour practical at some point between approx. weeks 6-9

Assessment: 4 group assignments worth 40%, 1 individual assignment worth 10%, Exam 50%

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture

Past exams available:  Yes, on library website - crowd sourced answers (Google Docs)

Textbook Recommendation:  None

Lecturer(s): Andrew Western, Sam Yuen

Year & Semester of completion: Sem 2, 2014

Rating:  1 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: TBA

Comments: Unfortunately this is a core subject for Engineering, which is a disappointment because it's a boring and uninspiring at best. You spend the first half of the course pulling your hair out over two veeeerrryyyy long rainfall catchment excel model assignments which aren't even assessed in the final exam or anywhere outside of the assignments. Whether you do the assignments or not makes no difference to exam preparation.

The whole Earth Processes team are a bunch of clowns who are far too concerned with red tape and proper procedure to realise that the subject needs major improvement. The first two assignments are completely unnecessary and actually hinder your ability to learn the first 6 weeks of content. The workshops are an absolute joke even by engineering workshop/tutorial standards. You spend half the time either doing nothing or listening to the tutor talk rubbish, or both. Since there are good worked-solutions available for the tutorials, you're better off going through them in your own time.

The exam structure almost never changes. Knowing this, you can simply spam all the papers out (2009-2013) and you will become very familiar with the questions as they almost always repeat every year. The solutions exist, but the Earth Processes team refuse to make them available because they know people will just memorise the solutions. There are Google Docs floating around with good-enough solutions. Many of the answers conflict with each other but if you work through it you'll be able to figure it out. Additionally, a lot of the exam questions are repeated word-for-word in some lectures. So checking solutions to papers is a matter of finding them in the lectures or using Google Docs. You can find the student-produced Google Docs solutions by searching for ENEN20002 Earth Processes for Engineering on Facebook and joining the group that appears in the search results.
Science, Melbourne University.

Whynot123

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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #403 on: November 20, 2014, 01:56:57 pm »
+9
Subject Code/Name: BIOL10005 Genetics & The Evolution of Life

Workload: 
-   3 x one hour lectures per week
-   1 hour per week of tutorials or workshops
-   2 hours of practical work per fortnight and
-   3 hours per week of e-learning including independent learning tasks, pre and post laboratory activities.

Assessment: 
•   A 45 minute, multiple choice test held mid-semester (10%);
•   A combination of assessment of practical skills within the practical class, completion of up to 5 on-line pre-practical tests, written work within the practical not exceeding 500 words and up to 5 short multiple choice tests (25%)
•   An assignment based on the practical content and not exceeding 1000 words (10%) ,
•   Completion of 5 Independent Learning Tasks throughout the semester (5%)
•   A 3 hour examination on theory and practical work in the examination period (50%).

A pass in the practical work is necessary to pass the subject (i.e. an 80% attendance at the practical classes together with a result for the assessed practical work of at least 50%).

(Weighting of assessment seems to have changed for 2015, have a look at the handbook for more details)

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture. No problems here. You should have no problems watching and listening to the lectures at home.

Past exams available:  No, only a sample exam. The sample exam had more section D questions than were on the actual exam.

Textbook Recommendation: 
-   R B Knox, P Y Ladiges, B K Evans and R Saint, Biology, An Australian Focus 4th Ed, McGraw-Hill, 2010
-   Prac manual from the co-op bookstore (it’s about 25$)

You don’t have to buy it if you don’t want to, but I found it pretty useful in explaining concepts and for providing useful insight. The diagrams are pretty helpful too although the lecturers usually put them on their lecture slides. The lecturers also provide you with references to the textbook.


Lecturer(s):

Lectures 1-16: Dawn Gleeson (Genetics)
Lecture 1: Genetics: variation and the genome
Lecture 2: Structure and replication of DNA
Lecture 3: Genes, alleles and chromosomes
Lecture 4: Behaviour of chromosomes and alleles: segregation of alleles
Lecture 5: Multiple alleles and other extensions to Mendel
Lecture 6: Sex determination
Lecture 7: Inheritance related to sex and X inactivation
Lecture 8: Two genes and independent assortment
Lecture 9: Gene interaction
Lecture 10: Gene linkage: departure from independent assortment
Lecture 11: Multifactorial and polygenic inheritance
Lecture 12: Techniques and Manipulation of the genetic material
Lecture 13: Gene expression: Transcription and the genetic code
Lecture 14: Gene expression: Translation
Lecture 15: Mutation
Lecture 16: Using genomic variation for identity

Lectures 17-24: Rick Wetherbee (Botany)
Lecture 17: Earth history and evolution of life
Lecture 18: Classification and evolution
Lecture 19: Protists: the primary producers
Lecture 20: Protists: animal-like consumers and fungal-like absorbers
Lecture 21: Fungi: the great recyclers
Lecture 22: Plants invade the land
Lecture 23: Seed plants
Lecture 24: Flowering plants (Angiosperms)

Lectures 25-32: Theresa Jones (Zoology)
Lecture 25: Introducing the Animal Kingdom
Lecture 26: Animal diversity: from worms to arthropods
Lecture 27: Animal diversity: from molluscs to chordates
Lecture 28: Animal diversity: the big picture
Lecture 29: The vertebrate story: where Primates fit in
Lecture 30: The Hominid family
Lecture 31: Ecology and evolution
Lecture 32: Natural and sexual selection, adaptation and extinction

Lectures 33-36: Dawn Gleeson (Population Genetics)
Lecture 33: Hardy-Weinberg: calculating allele frequencies
Lecture 34: H-W departures: selection, non random mating
Lecture 35: H-W departures: mutation, migration & genetic drift
Lecture 36: Natural selection & speciation

Year & Semester of completion: 2014, Semester 2.

Rating: 4.7 Out of 5

Comments:

Lecturers  
I really liked all the lecturers in this subject (most of the time :P). Dawn was really good, easy to understand, takes you through each example step by step, provides you with heaps of practice questions, she’s easily approachable for any queries and she’s really nice! She also provides you with a 'what to know' slide every here and then which really helps cause it tells you exactly what you need to know. I liked her lecture slides. Some people complained because they were overly long and hard to understand. I had no problems with this, as long as you pay attention in the lectures and write down notes on your lecture slides you should be okay. If you're not, there's always the book to help you out (most of her diagrams are from the book). Often she wouldn't finish what is on the lecture slides in one lecture but she would go over them during the next lecture.

Rick was really engaging and enthusiastic. You can tell this guy knows his stuff. He's lectures were clear and he was clear with what he expected from us. One thing about Rick was that his lecture slides were a bit dry. He would take out (essential) pictures and diagrams which would make them look really dull. Most of the diagrams are in the textbook though.   

Theresa’s lectures would get dry on a rare few occasions. I found that at times she would just read off slides (rarely though). Most of the time she would explain everything really well. Her lecture slides were fantastic though, provided us with everything that we needed. But, she wasn't explicit about what we should know and what we shouldn't. In the exam tutorial she said that questions can be taken from any part of her lectures (without exception). Basically, she wanted us to know everything she presented on the lecture. This was a real pain, but her questions weren't that hard in the exam so it was alright. 

Tutorials
Okay so, there’s a tutorial every week which takes place in the first hour of your allocated three hour prac time (the one before your prac is called a workshop). They were useful at times at other times they really weren’t much of a help. You basically go over the tutorial worksheets at the end of your prac manual but at times they’ll give you something else to do. I found the genetics tutorials really helpful as they would take you through potential exam and MST like questions. The rest of the time they were okay. Recently, during the workshops they’ve been taking you through the practical and they may hint at assessment tasks that you have to do in the prac, so yeah you’re choice on whether you want to go or not :P

Assessment  
Okay, so there’s 5 forms of assessment in this subject:

Practical assessment-ongoing throughout the semester (25%) 
You have 5 practicals throughout the semester (well 6 but the first one isn’t assessed) worth 5% each (5 x 5 = 25%). Each practical is out of 10 marks (same as 1st semester, but I’ll still go through it incase you're interested):

-   1 mark comes from a pre-practical test done on the LMS. It is untimed and open book. There are 10 questions on the test and you are required to get 8/10 or more to get the mark for the pre-prac. It has to be done before you come to the practical class. You shouldn’t have a problem with the pre-pracs, the answers to them are in your prac-book.
-   5 marks come from in-prac assessment. This may take the form of a quiz at the end of the practical, or you may be required to hand something in. Sometimes, you may to show your tutor something that you’ve done in the practical
-   4 marks are from the post-prac test. These are TIMED 15 minute tests. They’ve made it longer from last semester from 10-15 mins. These test your understanding of what you’ve done in the prac so pay attention !

You will be assigned to be in either group A or B. Group A have their pracs one week earlier than group B.


Mid-semester test held in week 6 (10%) 
A 45 minute multiple choice test held during your tutorial time. This tested lectures 1-14. It was much more challenging than last semester. I was really pushed for time and wasn’t able to do a few questions properly. It’s out of 25 marks. It mainly consisted of genetics questions with a few questions on DNA replication. The genetics part can take a while if you haven’t practiced it well so make sure to practice well. A practice MST was posted on the LMS, make sure you do it because some of the questions were similar to the ones that were on the actual MST.

Probably a week after the MST, the answers are posted onto the noticeboard in the Redmond Barry Building (they don’t post it on the LMS for some reason) if you want to have a look at the answers.

Independent Learning Tasks-ILTs (5%) 
There were 5 independent learning tasks that you had to do throughout the semester. It involved clicking through an online ‘tutorial’, after this you had to do a final quiz. Each ILT was worth 1% and you had to get 5/10 on the quiz to get the 1%. Some of the ILT content was linked in with the lectures which was good, but some of it wasn’t. If you really want you could use google to do these, but these are examinable so I would suggest going through them.

Assignment (10%) 
There were two parts to this both due a week after the mid-semester test (or 2 weeks if you were in group B):

Part 1 was the take home part. Firstly, you had to use this program called e-fly to generate a cross. Using your results you had to answer some questions, indicating ratios, alleles, which allele is dominant etc… Secondly, you were assigned a topic and you had to search for an article based on it using the library database. You also had to answer questions on the way such as what keyword would you use? You also had to watch two videos which taught you how to search. You had to apply these techniques to search for your article.

Part 2 was a mini ‘test’ done in your tutorial class. The questions were on independent assortment but involved two genes and gene interaction. There were 3 questions and these shouldn’t be too hard if you have studied. You may feel that you are pushed for time so you’ll have to learn to do them quickly. Many people did not do this well because they thought it was going to be on the article they had to search up. IT IS NOT, don’t be fooled !   

Exam (50%) 
Okay so, the exam was in the first day of the exam period and it was a step up from BIOL10004, don’t expect it to be the same. You will be massively pushed for time if you don’t have good technique and if you don’t how to solve genetics problems fast enough. The structure was the same as semester 1. It was out of 180 marks. Section A was multiple choice, Section B,C was fill in the blanks from a box full of choices and section D was three essays worth 10 marks each, one essay from genetics, one from botany, one from zoology.

Multiple choice questions were okay, you have one mark and two mark questions. Some of the two mark multiple choice genetics questions really required you to think. The Botany and Zoology section was mainly testing your understanding of the lecture material (no problem solving here).

Section B and C were fair. The first question of Section B really put me off though, they had pictures of 4 fossils and they required you to label the species to which the fossil belonged to. Luckily, the options weren’t too confusing and I was able to narrow down the option to like 6 or 7. A majority of this section was dedicated to genetics. Make sure you are proficient with genetic ratios with two genes (9A-:B-;3A-:bb;3aa;B-;1aa:bb) and gene interaction (recessive epistasis, dominant epistasis and all the other ones) and make sure you know how to do calculations with a three point test cross. You also need to know how to do a chi square test and need to be able to calculate allele frequencies. Make sure you get lots of practice. There was only one question on botany (surprisingly) about the evolution of land plants, it was pretty long though. Wasn’t too hard if you learnt the phylogeny and know where the key adaptation appear. There were a lot of zoology questions here, so revise it well. Weren’t many questions on the hominid species, but I would still recommend learning the name of the species.

Section D was the essay. For this section, make sure to have a few examples (makes the essay stronger), don’t go overboard and write down everything you know about the topic. Try to have some structure (there are marks dedicated towards this). Usually, there's a problem solving question for the genetics question, but for us it was on sex determination. It changes every year so just be prepared. The last question of this section was really weird, it is about some meteor hitting an ocean in Australia (something along those lines) and it asked you to write about the consequences. If you had read about the previous extinctions and their consequences, you should be able to link them in here. I couldn't think of anything else to write for that question lol. Yeah, that was pretty much the exam :P
 
Recommendations
Try to start revising early for this subject because there is a LOT of content here. DON’T leave it all to SWOTVAC, try starting a few weeks before hand.  To do well in this subject:

-Stay on top of the content, use the MST to revise the first few lectures and use the mid-sem break to catch up on the middle block of lectures. That way, you won’t have too much to do during SWOTVAC
-Do lots of practice with genetics problems. Dawn usually posts up question sets on the LMS with answers and solutions. DO THEM !
-DON’T FORGET to do the ILTs, pre-pracs and post-pracs. These make up a pretty fair portion of your mark
-Do the sample exam
-Know what you will be doing in each prac so that you won’t be lost.


Final Comments
Overall, a pretty fun subject and an enjoyable one to study. I really liked the diversity of topics covered. At times, I was put off by the botany content because I wasn’t really that interested but Rick presented everything really clearly and in an enthusiastic way which made it fun to learn. There are a lot of new terms that you will have to learn here, it may put you off at times. Just hang in there, don’t try to cram everything into your brain, let it settle and you’ll find that everything comes together really well (remember reading this in a previous review, it’s so true !). That’s pretty much all I can think of right now. If you have any queries, feel free to give me a PM :) !
« Last Edit: May 10, 2015, 03:05:13 pm by Whynot123 »

cnguyen599

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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #404 on: November 23, 2014, 02:38:35 pm »
+8
Subject Code/Name: EDUC20076 AUSLAN and Visual Communication / EDUC20069 Deafness and Communication   

Workload:
EDUC20076 - 1x 1 hour lecture, 2x 1 hour 30 min workshop, 1x 1 hour 30 min tutorial each day for 5 days (Monday to Friday).
EDUC20069 - 1x 1 hour lecture, 1x 2 hour tutorial each week.

Assessment:
EDUC20076 - Reflection essay (30%), Documentation of practical learning (20%), Practical resource (50%).
EDUC20069 - Practical resource (50%), Essay (50%).

Lectopia Enabled: 
EDUC20076 - No (Only two lectures were recorded).
EDUC20069 - Yes, with screen capture.

Past exams available: No.

Textbook Recommendation: No.

Lecturer(s): Sorry, there were quite a few and I forgot most.

Year & Semester of completion:
EDUC20076 - July, 2014
EDUC20069 - Semester 2, 2014

Rating:
EDUC20076 - 2/5
EDUC20069 - 3.5/5 

Comments:
So the reason I’m grouping these two subjects together is because I find these two subjects really similar. I did AUSLAN and Visual Communication (AVC) in winter (July 14th to July 18th), and to be completely honest, it felt like déjà vu doing Deafness and Communication (DC) considering how similar the content and the assessment were. I’d say the major difference is that AVC focuses more on teaching you the very very basics of communicating through AUSLAN and involves more physical activities. It was like a drama class; not that I ever took drama. For lectures you will cover things like:

. History of sign language
. Various perspectives on deafness
. Deaf community
. Science and technology related to deafness (more focused in DC)
There are some others but you have a general idea of what to expect.

In DC, it is a pretty chillax subject. You have a single 1 hour lecture along with a 2 hour tutorial a week. So those of you who want a relatively spacious time table, consider doing this subject in semester. AVC is an intensive subject that runs throughout the week (Monday to Friday). You would expect a day to look like:
9 am – 10 am Lecture
10:30 am – 12 pm Workshop
12:40 pm – 2:20 pm Workshop
2:20 pm – 4:00 pm Tutorial
(The workshop focused on learning how to communicate using AUSLAN while the tutorial was more of reflection on what you learnt for the day as well as time to do some of your assignments)

If you are planning doing the intensive, it may get a little tiring considering that you have assessment due at the end of the week and on Monday of the next week. Maybe it is because I lack the endurance but I felt like doing absolutely no work when I got home and so the quality of more work suffered. I would urge you to do readings as soon as possible for AVC, ideally the weekend before the intensive week starts and minimize how much you have to do during the week. Both of these subjects involve a lot of group work in the tutorials or workshop, which is something I greatly enjoyed. And I’m not sure why, but the amount of girls in these two subjects seem to greatly outnumber the guys. 

Each of these subjects you have some set readings. I found that for AVC, the readings were slightly simpler as it had less scientific reports. Nonetheless, expect 10 plus pages of chunky text.  Depending on the essay prompt you decide to select, each of these readings will have different levels of significance. Some you may find useful, others useless. For DC, I pretty much only used a single set reading because that was the only one which related to my topic (Noise induced hearing loss). I would advise that you look at the different essay prompts as soon as possible so that when you go through the course, you can selectively decide what you should add to your essay and what is safe to ignore. Sometimes I felt that the readings were a waste of time because none of it related to what I will be talking about; I should have just skimmed over these rather then investing effort into making summary notes. For AVC, I used the majority of the readings in my essays but I would also recommend that you should considering going beyond the set list to get top notch marks.

AVC you have 4 pieces of assessment:
. Reflection essay (1200 words)
Pretty much an essay on what you learnt through your intensive week. How has your perspective changed? You should make use of readings as well as lectures and workshops for your reference. I made the mistake of only using my readings. It is also important to talk about things in detail, rather than just skimming the surface of several different topics. Therefore you will have to balance quality vs quantity which I am still unsure of myself. For AVC I used most of the the readings as reference since I felt they may go to waste considering I have already wasted them. Rather what I should have done is add more focus to my essays and utilize the references at the end of those set readings to expand my essay in more detail.
. A play 
Yeah… Remember the part where I said it is kind of like drama. Well… it is drama but you have to put on a performance based on a fairy tale for the deaf tutors. You will be utilizing the communication methods you were taught in your workshops. So you introverted Science students! Bust out of your shell and give your performance of a life time. Doesn’t have to be Oscar worthy since it isn’t marked and you will be doing it in a group. Just have fun with it. Don’t slack off either since it is a hurdle. You will have some time to plan during your week, so use that wisely.
. Practical resource (500 words)
Basically design a resource that will inform, educate or entertain a certain target audience. This can be a video, a game, a brochure, etc. If you a creative you will have a blast. If not, you may struggle like me and end up with a bland informative brochure. You also need to write a 500 word rationale and also include references in it.
. Documentation of practical learning
This was fricken BS. Since I was part of the first cohort, things weren’t explained that clearly. From what I was told, you had to present a resource that you would use to help you learn certain elements of communicating AUSLAN. They said you shouldn’t focus purely on lexicalised signs, but also on the other elements of the language (you would have went through this in the workshop). They then give you a vague word limit of 500 words where they failed to explain whether the words in your resource would be included in the word limit. They also didn’t mention how much resources you should use either. I asked whether using 2 references from a workshop and lecture was fine and lost marks for that. And this is work 20% and due on Friday of that week! I found that quite unreasonable. The entire purpose of this assignment was ridiculous in the first place. You mark me on how I learn things? What does that mean? I get 100% if I learn the way you want me to learn? Get out of here. And they decided to explain the assessment like 2 days before the assignment was due! I would think that they would explain it on the very first day to give us time to prepare considering we are there from 9 to 4 + transport, but no!

Now remember when I said AVC and DC were similar. Well for DC, one of the assignments (worth 50%) is the exact repeat of the practical resource. So if you invested ALL of your creative juices into the AVC assignment, squeeze that sponge you call a brain to gather some more because you can’t reuse your previous one. Strangely for me, I was able to come up with a better idea the second time round, probably because I had more time to think about it. I recommend you start thinking about it the first week you start this subject, because you don’t want to be like 80% of the other students who’s best idea was a bland informative brochure. I had the advantage since I already did AVC and started panicking on what to do for my resource the second week. The second assignment is your standard 2000 word essay and you are able to select from 5 or so prompts. Look at these early on in semester and decide which you would want to write about so you can see which readings is important or not. Also familiarise yourself with Google Scholar, Discovery and reading academic papers because you need 15 PLUS REFERENCES in order to get top marks! I know, I was shocked just having left Knowledge Learning Culture where I used 8. Some topics you may find you can find plenty of resources for, others not so much. I chose a topic about noise induced hearing loss so there were plenty of resources, but others weren’t as fortunate. One important piece of feedback my tutor gave me was to compare and contrast articles. So if you want top marks, consider that advice.

Personally I would recommend DC over AVC, because it was better organised, less assignments and overall less stressful. Keep in mind however I was the first cohort for AVC so there may be changes in the future from feedback. Ultimately these two subjects aim to raise your awareness about deaf people and the deaf community, which is always a good thing. I can see that this subject will make me a much more conscious person in the future. And who knows, it might be the spark to get  you into learning AUSLAN, a language in sore need of help due to its dwindling numbers (apparently translators get lots of chaching but it's not about the money... kinda). Also learn a few more hand signs besides your middle finger.