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Rohmer

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Re: Monash University - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #315 on: November 22, 2015, 10:11:27 pm »
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Subject Code/Name: LAW4538 - Lawyers, Literature & Cinema

Workload:  3hrs of lectures per week

Assessment:  2 x 1000 word Reflective Essays (20% each); 3000 word Research Essay (60%)

Recorded Lectures:  Yes

Past exams available:  N/A, no exam for the unit

Textbook Recommendation:  There's a reader full of extracts. Useful to buy to at least do the readings for your assignment topics, although you could save yourself the money by accessing the journals online & going to the library for the books, of course.

Lecturer(s): Eric Wilson

Year & Semester of completion: S2 2015

Rating: 5 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: TBA

Comments:

Pretty much my favourite ever law school unit, even though it's really more of an Arts unit... which probably says something about my degree choice, but anyway:

As the name suggests, this subject is all about representations of law and lawyers in film and literature. It’s kinda part film theory, part legal philosophy, and part sociology and other cultural studies etc. The overall name is I think ‘critical legal theory’, and apparently any decent US law school has such a course(s), although they are a bit less common in Australia. I can send the Unit Guide/Reading Guide/Course materials to anyone interested, but for a quick summary of the texts used anyway: Lord of the flies, Deliverance, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, High Noon, Yojimbo, Rashomon, Twelve Angry Men, The Thin Blue Line, The Verdict, Presumed Innocent, Cape Fear (original & remake), Sophie Scholl: The Final Days, M, The Trial, The Stranger, The Fall, In Cold Blood.

Many of these are both films and novels, which is one of the reasons for their selection (watching a movie obviously being easier than reading a book or two every week). All in all I think the choices are pretty good, the only real problem was that it was very difficult to fit them all into twelve weeks, and as a result Presumed Innocent and some of Cape Fear got skipped over in the lectures. The classes themselves were very interesting though, in terms of both style and substance. In terms of the former, I would highly recommend attending or listening to one Eric Wilson class (I think he also took Torts this sem - I wish I’d been in that class instead of having done it a few years back…he also used to take the now-defunct 1st year subject ‘RAW’, and regularly refers back to such times as his years in purgatory). He does go on a lot of tangents, everything from what really happened during the OJ Simpson trial, to the true meaning of Halloween, to the actual meaning of Rashomon - and that’s probably why we skipped over Presumed Innocent, but it was worth it. The lecturers in the law faculty are generally very good, although sometimes it’s just black letter law, presented without much in the way of opinion or conviction or humour, and this is a definite change from that…Wilson is definitely a character (apparently the law library has previously complained about his noisy lectures emanating from the law basement) .

He’s one of those lecturers that doesn’t have any slides and works off a word document, although in a class where there’s no exam that’s not going to be an issue anyway. Each topic has one of these documents with notes integrating excerpts from the books/films and other sources, such as critics/film theorists, philosophers, academics in various disciplines (Rene Girard’s theory of sacrifice is used a lot; Deleuze & Guattari also get a fair workout). By themselves they are a bit disjointed, although in the lectures things become clearer…it’d probably also have helped if I regularly did the readings. The documents are all available at Week One, so you know well in advance what the content is going to be.

They also contain the questions for each week for the two reflective essays. Each week (e.g. Week 3 was the two Westerns, Week 12 was In Cold Blood…) has the essay question at the end of the document. Some are quite brief & general (‘we hate lawyers but we love stories about them’) while others are about responding to some specific contention about texts or parts of them. You can pick any two questions from the twelve weeks; the first essay was due week five, the second in week nine. This obviously means that some topics will not have been covered in class when you write about them. I think people generally gravitated towards the ones that had been covered, although some people didn’t and did very well. It’s not really that much of an advantage doing the ones that have been covered, as obviously everyone else who does that topic also has the benefit of the lectures anyway. In general I don’t think the reflective essays are too much work, as they do not require any outside research and are meant to be written purely from your reflection on the readings, texts and lectures. Then again, they will require a fair bit of thinking, and I think it can be a bit hard to tell how you’re going when you’re not doing any external research c.f. most other uni assignments.

With the three thousand word essay (was due week 12, no exam - yay), on the other hand, it’s much more about research, and you pretty much have free reign as to topic. You can simply do an expanded or modified version of one of the reflective essay questions, or you can come up with your own thing, e.g. applying some theories from the course to a novel you happen to like, or comparing some films on the reading list with others that you know in terms of their ‘law and/as literature’ value. Topics have to be approved, but I think they generally are so long as they relate to the course in some way.

Anyway, overall I would highly recommend this unit. I think it’s good to use an elective or two on some of the broader law subjects that aren’t confined to black letter law, but look beyond it (and sometimes really criticise it), and LLaC does that very well.

BigAl

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Re: Monash University - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #316 on: December 07, 2015, 05:34:41 pm »
+2
Subject Code/Name: MEC2407 - Electromechanics

Workload:  1x3 Lectures, 7 Tutorials and 3 Computer Labs

Assessment: 
Exam - 80%
2 Class Tests - 8% in total
3 Computer labs - 5% in total
7 tutorials 7% in total
Recorded Lectures:  Yes, recorded lectures are available.

Past exams available:  Plenty of past exams are available and no solutions are provided.

Textbook Recommendation:  You don't need a textbook. Everything is covered in lectures.

Lecturer(s): Tuck Ng

Year & Semester of completion: 2015, Semester 2

Rating: 3.8 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: 68 - C

Comments:  This unit is actually fun although many of my friends didn't like it. Firstly, it covers basic electrical circuit analysis including AC theory and Thevenin circuits. I believe this stuff was already taught in first year but our faculty replaced that unit. Then the unit introduces  Laplace transformations. There is always one question in the exam that combines circuit analysis and laplace transformations so you must be very confident with them if you want to get a good grade. The actual fun part comes in week 6-7 where you look at analogue sensors such as strain gauge, thermostat, accelerometer,relays and linear variable transformer. I had so much fun with these and built a temperature sensor by myself using arduino. Finally, you'll see type of motors and their uses. See the chapter list below

1- Basic Circuits, Kirchhoff's Laws, AC Circuits and Impedance Matching
2- Laplace Transformations
3- Op Amps
4- Transfer Functions, Frequency Response, RC and RLC circuits
5- Electrical - Mechanical analogues 
6 - Sensors
7 - Motors

Lectures

Tuck uses overhead projector as well as powerpoint. His working or scribbling as he calls it is very messy. You must go to lectures in order to follow his lectures. He also shows as many as 40 videos about sensors so you'll be actually missing out on the fun part if you don't go to lectures.

 



Tutorials

In these 3 hour tutorials, you'll work on a problem. Yes, a problem. You spent the entire 3 hours doing just one problem with 2-3 sub parts. Although there are tute questions on moodle, you'll find out which problem you should solve in the tutes. So it's a bit like quiz conditions except you can get some help. At the end of these sessions, you submit your solution and get marked by next week.

Computer Labs

There was 3 computer labs using Matlab. You have 2 helpful demonstrators.
1 - Circuit analysis:
In this lab you analyse a circuit using matlab. All the equations are given you just need to analyse the circuit and plot a diagram. You have 2 weeks. It's manageable.

2 - Optic Sensor
In this lab, you'll be using one of the functions of matlab which provides the pixel location of a mouse cursor. Using this you will transfer physical motion into virtual motion. It was so much fun again.

3 - Encoder
You'll write a code to analyse the motion of a motor through encoder. This lab was tedious and most of my friends didn't finish it.
Class tests

These ones were my favourite. I've never seen such a thing before. Get your paper out and follow the questions on the powerpoint. You have 40 seconds until the next question.

Overall, this is a nice good unit with a nice touch to mechatronics.


« Last Edit: December 10, 2015, 11:17:03 pm by BigAl »
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2015-2017 Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical)

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Re: Monash University - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #317 on: December 19, 2015, 05:35:05 pm »
+3
Subject Code/Name: ENG2092 - Advanced Engineering Mathematics B

Workload:  3x 1 hour lectures, 1x 2 hour tute per week

Assessment:
-5x 1% fortnightly tests (held during each second tute)
-5x 5% fortnightly assignments (handed in each second tute)
-1x 3 hour 70% exam
*Note that the weeks in which tests are held and assignments are due alternate

Recorded Lectures:  Yes, with screen capture.

Past exams available:  2 full exams. 1 with answers.
 
Textbook Recommendation: 
-E. Kreysig, Advanced Engineering Mathematics (9th edition).
-G. James, Advanced Modern Engineering Mathematics (4th edition).

Neither of these textbooks are needed to get a good mark as the tute sheets are more than sufficient, but definitely worth looking into if you feel like you need a greater understanding of the material/need some more practice (I would recommend Kreysig over James). I would also recommend buying the STA1010 lecture notes as the stats sub-unit is completely covered in it.

Lecturer(s):
- John Head (Complex analysis)
- Jennifer Flegg (Integral transforms)
- Jonathan Keith (Statistics)

Year & Semester of completion: 2015 semester 2.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: 90 HD

Comments:
Overall I enjoyed this unit. It was an engineering unit so there is an emphasis on application, however there still remains a decent amount of rigorous proof (specifically in the complex analysis section). I found this unit fairly easy in comparison to the other units I took this semester (PHS2022, ECE2072 and MTH2032) and I feel that is in no small part due to the amount of tute/textbook/exam-like questions I completed.

Complex Analysis:

The first 4 weeks consist of John Head's Complex analysis section. By far, this was the most well taught of the 3 sub-units. John goes into great detail about the proofs behind each statement he makes and goes through very helpful example questions. His written notes are also very useful and come with corresponding typed notes.

Week 1:

You first go through a basic introduction into complex numbers and functions, then learn about the mathematical definition of analyticity, continuity and limits (and you thought you were done with epsilon-delta proofs after MTH2010). You then build on this knowledge with methods of determining the analyticity of complex functions through the use of the Cauchy-Reinmann equations. 

Week 2:

This is where the real maths begins. Firstly you learn about elementary complex functions. although it may seem easy, questions relating to this section are often approached in unintuitive ways (i.e. finding the value of i^i by using polar form). While these questions aren't difficult in their complexity, their approach may be difficult to see during an exam situation so it is best to familiarise yourself with them in the off chance they show up on an exam. You then move onto Contour (Line) integrals and their properties. If you've done MTH2010, then you know that these bastards can be annoying to calculate (especially when you have shitty boundaries or an ugly complex field to integrate over. Either way, practice makes perfect with these types of questions. Do all the tute questions relating to these and you'll be fine. You then learn about Cauchy's Integral Theorem (If you are integrating over a closed loop and there is no singularity within the region bounded by the loop then the result is 0) and Green's theorem (although this was taught, I don't believe it is assessed).

Weeks 3 & 4:

Weeks 3 and 4 consist of the vast majority of material assessed in the final exam (Complex analysis section). There is usually about 40-50 marks or so in the complex analysis section and about 30-40 or so of it consists of this material. You first learn of Cauchy's integral formula (used when there is 1 or more singularity within your closed loop (only simple poles are applicable here)). You then build on the first year maths you've done with some work on series (notably Power, Taylor and Laurent Series) that will be used for week 4. In week 4 you continue your work on series as you build towards the Residue theorem. This is used when you have non-simple singularities within your bounded loop (i.e. integrating e^(1/z) around the circular loop of radius 1 about the origin. e^(1/z) has what is known as an essential pole at the origin and you need both the Laurent series and Residue theorem to find this integral).

With the assignments relating to this material, I must stress the need for meticulous working and explanations. The tutors have been known to take off up to half of the marks based solely on explanations alone (even with correct answers). You need to show every step, no matter how little it contributes to the final answer. I managed to average 95% on these assignments and I can tell you that even though I felt as though the assignments could be completed in less than 3-4 pages, I would often write in excess of 8 pages just to make sure there were as few places as possible for marks to be taken off (i.e. rigorous explanations and detailed diagrams). There is a detailed document on the Moodle page named "Guidelines for writing in mathematics" and I implore you to check it out.

Integral Transforms:

I won't go into as much detail in the next two sub-units as I didn't pay as nearly as much attention to them as I did with complex analysis.

Weeks 5-8 consist of Jennifer Flegg's Integral Transforms section. Other than the application to ODE's, I wasn't a big fan of this sub-unit. The lecture notes are pre-typed which I didn't like very much (I tend to take notes during the lecture rather than at home, so it helps when a lecturer writes at the same pace as me) and I felt as though there wasn't a great deal of proof relating to the material (other than proving the transforms themselves). A lot of it we were forced to take for granted.

You start off with Laplace transforms, in which you are transforming between a t domain to an s domain via a relatively simple integral (Worst case scenario you'll have to use integration by parts in order to prove these transforms). The most interesting part of this section is the application of Laplace transforms to ODE's. Given initial conditions, you can transform a linear ODE into the s domain, then after some simple algebraic manipulation you can use then inverse Laplace transform to get a function that solves the ODE (Hope you like Partial Fractions). You then move onto more abstract applications such as convolution in which a relatively annoying integral turns into the multiplication of functions.

You then move onto Complex Fourier series and transforms. Questions relating to this section are relatively straightforward, but silly mistakes can cost you dearly. I recommend that you practice the hell out of questions relating to Integral transforms as many of the questions rely on your ability to recognise a transform or property. Although you are given a complete list of transforms and properties, recognising them is an entirely different issue that is best honed by doing practice questions (the tute sheets are a good source for these).

Statistics:

Weeks 9-12 consist of Jonathan Keith's Statistics sub-unit. I felt that by far, this was both the easiest and worst taught section. The lectures were pretty bad and were essentially just the STA1010 lecture notes covered in bad hand writing (sorry Jonathan but it's true). Apart from the inference section, the rest of the material is built upon Maths Methods and Further Maths. You learn about box plots, averages and calculating Standard Deviations and Variances. Then work with different probability distributions (Normal, Binomial and Poisson), confidence intervals and finally inference (which is essentially just a contextualisation of confidence intervals). I urge you to look at a review for STA1010 for more info (just exclude the experimental design, conditional probability calculation and the stuff at the end like ANOVA/Chi-squared test).

Overall this is an easy unit if you do your homework. A couple of hours a week doing questions and looking through the notes should be fine for revision. The exam is relatively easy too. They tend to throw you a couple of curve balls here and there, but 80% of the exam is just applying your knowledge in a familiar way and 20% is just extended versions of it.         
2014: Bachelor of Science/Bachelor of Engineering (honours) @ Monash

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Rohmer

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Re: Monash University - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #318 on: December 19, 2015, 10:32:16 pm »
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Subject Code/Name: LAW4340 - Sport and the Law

Workload:  3 hours lectures p/w

Assessment:  10% Quizzes; 30% Research Essay; 10% Oral Presentation; 50% Exam.

Recorded Lectures:  No

Past exams available:  No, but this was the first time the subject was being run. There were however some practice exam-format questions.

Textbook Recommendation:  Sports Law 2ed 2013 by Thorpe et al. Okay textbook overall - easy to read, but not that precise. Average in terms of case extracts. I think you could get by without reference to it that much, given the comprehensiveness of the slides, although you would probably want to refer to it occasionally.

Lecturer(s): Eric Windholz

Year & Semester of completion: S2 2015

Rating: 4.5/5

Comments:

This unit was running for the first time this year, and I think it was a pretty good elective on the whole. At some universities it may simply be called 'Sports Law', although there is no real consensus on whether it is actually a distinct area of law, hence the name. It's an interesting policy debate in itself. On the one hand, there are frequently sporting exceptions in any number of areas of law (e.g. criminal law, tort law, competition law), plus specialised arbiters/tribunal bodies, and different evidentiary standards ('comfortable satisfaction'). On the other hand, the legal issues here mostly follow other areas of law, such as those mentioned above.

Because of this, the first assessments here are quizzes refreshing your memory of the four pre-requisites (contract, torts, crim, admin) which total 10% (4 x 2.5%). They are online, multiple choice, five questions per quiz - they run when their topics arise, mostly in the first half of semester. I think it was half an hour to finish the quiz, and really, the questions weren't too bad. The first thing you'll think looking at them is 'Oh crap, I can't remember any of this', but once you have a read over your notes, you usually have a good idea of what the answer is. It shouldn't be too hard to score a D/HD on this small area of the assessment.

The research essay: You get to pick your own area, but it has to be approved. It's a mandatory assessment - although I note here that the assessments may have changed in some regards by the time this unit runs again in 2016, esp. as this was a first time unit. Anyway, the assignment could be done in groups or individually. There were definitely more individuals than groups, but on average groups apparently do slightly better. It's a pick-your-own-group thing, which reduces some potential difficulties that can occur with group work, although you do have to fill out a little reflection (max 300 words) on how you functioned as a team, which I think counts for like 3 marks out of 30.

In terms of topics, there was a lot of variation. There were the more obvious ones (e.g. the whole ASADA thing, FIFA corruption), and an array of others - behavioural covenants in sporting contracts, regulating advertising in sports broadcasts, restraint of trade & the free agency framework, E-Sports & doping authorities... etc. This sort of assignment does require a fair bit of research and analysis, especially if you pick something which is mostly outside of the course content, although many people did do that. The advantage is that you can explore whatever area you like, so long as there is some sort of legal/regulatory issue at play that somehow pertains to sport, which can be framed to be properly answered in 2000 words. In weeks 10-11 there's then oral presentations on the research essay topics, worth 10% - 5 minutes for individuals, 10 for groups. You basically just outline the issue and explain some key/interesting areas of it. These were generally very interesting and done to a fairly high standard.

Exam: The exam covers pretty much everything, although this semester we didn't get around to covering the Sports Marketing topic as there wasn't enough time. Two and a half hours, open book, this time it was 2 problem questions (20 marks, 15 marks) and a policy question (15 marks, from which you could choose from 3 topics) = total of 50 marks. It wasn't too hard as an exam, although it raised a lot of issues - this is the kind of exam where you have a lot of issues packed into a question, but the issues themselves aren't too deep/complex. Policy questions weren't released/narrowed down beforehand, although they were I think pretty fair, and not far from what you'd predict based on the lectures.

Besides not getting to cover Sports Marketing, which I think would've been an interesting topic, I don't have many complaints about the unit. The lectures weren't recorded, but the classes themselves were interesting & had engaging discussion, and you could nevertheless get pretty much all you needed from the book + slides if you couldn't attend. The only other thing is that there's quite a bit of rehashing of core units involved in some topics - e.g. (Sporting Injuries, Sporting Contracts, Sporting Violence). That said, there's definitely new material involved (and the content in other topics - Competitive Balance, Corruption and Gambling, and Doping and Drugs) is basically all 'new', plus it's not bad having a refresher of some forgotten-about core units before finishing one's degree.

Overall, an enjoyable and interesting unit for anyone with an interest in the intersection b/w sport and law. Nice mix between black letter law and policy. Given the workload/content is fairly manageable, and there aren't really a lot of hard/technical bits in the topics, I would rate this as one of the easier law electives, too.
« Last Edit: December 19, 2015, 10:35:09 pm by Rohmer »

Rohmer

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Re: Monash University - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #319 on: December 22, 2015, 09:24:23 pm »
+3
Subject Code/Name: LAW4323 - Evidence

Workload:  3hrs lectures, 1hr tutorial every 2nd week

Assessment:  100% Exam OR 60% Exam & 40% Research Assignment (2000 words)

Recorded Lectures:  Yes

Past exams available:  Yes, several

Textbook Recommendation:  Kumar M, Odgers S and Peden E, Uniform Evidence Law Commentary and Materials, 5ed
2015. Decent textbook, from memory it's quite expensive, but you're probably going to refer to it quite a lot. No need to buy any of the Acts, although some people liked to have a copy of the Evidence Act with them in the exam.

Lecturer(s): Gideon Boas; Jonathan Clough

Year & Semester of completion: S2 2015

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Comments:

One of the harder core units, Evidence has some interesting areas but is also quite legislation heavy. In that sense it's kinda like Corps, albeit maybe slightly tougher. Equity & Trusts are probably also harder, but that's about it. However, Evidence is not a substantive area of law, and like the easier Civil Procedure/Ethics units, is adjective in nature. There's a little bit of overlap between the three, particularly in Privilege topics, although I wouldn't recommend doing more than two of them at once as it would probably be too much in terms of dry procedural content.

Quick topic run through:

Relevance: This is the first hurdle for evidence to be admissible. Fairly brief topic, doesn't really come up on an exam question per se, you usually just mention it in a sentence or two at the start.

Competence and Compellability: Quite a few legislative sections here, but it's not too complicated and is mostly just a case of 'follow the Evidence Act'. There are distinct rules for criminal and civil trials, e.g. higher thresholds or special provisions in criminal cases, this being a recurring consideration in the unit. Broadly the course is civil & criminal applicable, although much of the case law is criminal due to the higher stakes & specific/higher threshold provisions (probably a good unit to try and do well in if you're an aspiring criminal lawyer).

Privilege: Long legislation heavy topic that has some overlap with Ethics/Civil. A number of different privileges here - against self-incrimination, client legal privilege, settlement negotiations, exclusions in the public interest, & confidential communications re: sexual offences. Usually a more straightforward topic, exam-wise.

Examination of Witnesses: Again, mostly Evidence Act stuff. Not that complicated, but can seem a bit abstract, it'd probably make more sense if you were in court watching it play out.

Character and Credibility: I think the complexity of this one is a bit underrated. It's not actually to apply law to facts, it's more that the law in the area is kinda intricate in terms of moving around a lot between EA provisions. Helps to make a flowchart (with links to the Examination topic), I think.

The Accused's Right to Silence: Criminal area, fairly straightforward. There used to be some complicated sections, but those have thankfully been done away with. This year they were still learned & were somewhat relevant to policy, but I'm not sure if they'll stay on in 2016+.

Tendency and Coincidence Evidence: Maybe the most interesting topic, but also a complex one that can be hard to apply to the facts. This section is basically about trying to admit evidence of similar fact based on a 'tendency' or [lack of] coincidence (e.g. trying to try a whole bunch of sexual offence cases at once, because the circumstances/MO etc. are very similar). The cases are pretty much all criminal, and are sometimes quite controversial. This is one of those areas where if you're in a criminal case, you have to satisfy an added requirement for admissibility, here - 'Does the probative value of the evidence substantially outweigh prejudicial effect?'. This is the kinda grey area thing that is hard decide on looking at the facts, but for which you can pick up some good marks with a solid discussion & analogising with case facts. Bound to come up in an exam.

Hearsay: I agree with pretty much everyone else - this is the most complicated topic. I don't think it's quite as bad as the death-trap it's made out to be, but it can be hard to get your head around, and contains exceptions to exceptions. You've got a general rule against hearsay evidence, but then you've got a number of different exceptions which actually carve out quite a bit of space for which you may be able to get your evidence admitted. Figuring out what level (1st hand, 2nd hand) of hearsay you have on the facts is probably the tougher bit, but once you've applied the wordy EA sections on that and come to a conclusion, it's just another case of 'follow the EA steps and see which category you end up in, and then apply the rules/thresholds of the category'. Bound to come up in an exam.

Admissions: Criminal area concerning statements made against interest (i.e. confessions/partial confessions), has fairly interesting cases. Not too complex, ripe for policy questions in particular.

Illegally Obtained Evidence: Overlaps a bit with the above. There's a balancing act here in terms of level of illegality VS how useful is this evidence going to be, c.f. a more hardline USA position whereby 'the court won't eat the fruit of the poisoned tree'. Can come up in a question along with admissions, not uncommon for policy either.

Opinion Evidence: Smallish topic, has pretty straightforward rules about how laypeople can't give evidence about specialised areas when they aren't experts, and how experts are limited to subjects on which they actually are experts.

Discretion to Exclude Evidence: This is not a topic per se, but the courts always have discretions to exclude evidence where its probative value is outweighed (to some specified degree which is case-dependent) by its prejudicial nature. There are also various powers to give directions and warnings in certain circumstances. For some of these more general provisions, e.g. s135, s137 of the EA, I think it's easier just to lump them together at the back of your notes, and then include references to it in the specific topics.

I generally enjoyed this unit, even though some sections of it are dry/procedural/legislation heavy. The policy areas aren't discussed much, but are topical, and the cases are usually interesting, particularly if you like criminal law. In terms of the lecturers, I didn't attend any of Gideon's classes, but I went to pretty much all of Jonathan's, and would highly recommend attending his stream if you can (for this or crim). He breaks down the complexities of the course very well, and tries to keep all it light-hearted and entertaining.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2015, 09:27:50 pm by Rohmer »

chasej

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Re: Monash University - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #320 on: December 23, 2015, 12:01:28 am »
+2
Subject Code/Name: ATS1701 - Terrorism and Political Violence

Workload:  Two hour lecture/seminar (The first half of the semester is taught in traditional lecture format and the second is in seminar format which involves more group discussions/less lecturing). One hour optional tute (you won't be penalised for not attending these tutes and there is no minimum attendance yay)

I didn't attend the tutes as they were mundane and my tutor wasn't so helpful or attentive so it didn't benefit me in anyway. I didn't like the seminar format (just personal preference) so didn't attend those either. (These may be due to the fact I prefer individual work instead of discussions, so if you enjoy group discussions on set questions you may have a different experience but really the standard of discussion in tutes [in all units I have done] is so low I don't see how anyone could find it helpful).

Assessment:  Two options:
Option A: 500 word short essay on basic questions, 2000 word essay and exam involving two essays.
Option B (option I did): 2500 word essay, and the exam. (I think it's easier to do option B as planning and writing a 500 word essay as in Option A takes more time than just writing an extra 500 words in an existing essay).

The longer essays have rolling deadlines where the essay is due 3 weeks after the relevant lecture, so for example, if you do an essay on a question from week 5, the essay would be due at the start of week 9. The short essay in option A has a selection of a few questions all due at the same time.

Recorded Lectures:  Yes, with screen capture.

Past exams available:  No, as it was the first time this unit was run but the exam was a seen exam! That is all the questions on the exam were given to us in advance so we knew what would be on the exam and therefore could do all our research and planning in advance. The exam was not open book, you had to memorise, but you knew the questions going in.

Textbook Recommendation: Both of the textbooks were available in ebook format from the monash library and could be printed so need to purchase (yay). I didn't do the readings that much, I only did the readings for the week I did my essay on. For the rest I just used lecture slides.

Lecturer(s): Pete Lentini for most weeks, excellent lecturer and I really enjoyed hearing his thoughts, he has on interesting perspective on terrorism and political violence. Another guy whose name I cannot remember.

Year & Semester of completion: Sem 2, 2015.

I recommend this unit to anyone interested in learning about terorrism/political violence. It doesn't just focus on Islamic terrorism but is more of a broader analysis of all different types of terrorism e.g. ethno-nationalist (Palestine and Ireland) and political (far-left/neo-nazism). It also analyses structures of terrorists organisations and methods for stopping terorrism. Each week brings a new perspective/topic on terrorism. There is a wide array of essay questions so you really can focus on what you want, I did an essay on the distinctions and simiarilites between ethno-nationalist and religious terrorism focusing on Hezbollah and Hamas as case studies. This is an international relations/politics unit but I also found it really relevant to Criminology so I think it would make a good elective for Criminology students (monash should look into this).

There is a lot of news sources and research in this area so you would have no trouble finding references or good ideas to use when writing.

-----
Mod Note: Fixed broken URL. ~Slothy
« Last Edit: January 03, 2016, 01:45:53 am by slothpomba »
Law (Honours)/Arts  2015-present

Offering 2016 Tutoring in VCE Legal Studies (42), VCE Accounting (46), Monash University First Year Criminology and ATS1701: Terrorism and Political Violence (high 70's). Offered at Monash Uni or public libraries in CBD/south east suburbs.  Message me to discuss. Limited places.

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Re: Monash University - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #321 on: December 24, 2015, 05:34:14 am »
+2
Subject Code/Name: The nature and beauty of mathematics  

Workload:  1x1 hr lecture and 1x2 hr lecture a week

Assessment: 
25% - Weekly problem sets
25% - 1500 word essay
50% - Exam

Recorded Lectures:  Yes

Past exams available:  No, but he gives you a book filled with 120 questions, which are questions he uses on the exam. They do not come with solutions (unless they are past problem set questions)

Textbook Recommendation:  No need to buy anything. Not sure if anything is prescribed.

Lecturer(s): A/Prof Burkard Polster

Year & Semester of completion: 2015 Sem 2

Rating:  3 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: HD

Comments: Please read b^3 and Treeman's guide for a proper review. I am just going to give my 2 cents:

I chose this subject because I heard it was a bludge unit, which it was. I didn't expect much from it, and I didn't get much from it. The only thing I enjoyed was the essay, which allowed you to write an essay on any mathematical/philosophical topic of your choice. My topic was on blockchain technology and the mathematics behind it. It was pretty easy to smash out in one day, because you get to write on a topic you like and it's done somewhat informally too (no weird Harvard referencing stuff etc.).

As for the lectures, I only went to one of them because I was too busy with stuff outside of uni/cbf. The one lecture I went to was somewhat boring, but that's only because we watched a video on some 2D/3D space bullshit (I wanted to kick a cactus, it was so boring). However, I hear Burkard is really awesome with lectures, so I think my experience wasn't a true representation of what he has to offer.

The tutorial questions are piss easy, and require no real mathematical knowledge. Once again, I think most people aced these questions because Burkard kind of guides you through the problems within the lecture notes. You have to do a lot of weird stuff, like taking photos of you and origami that you've made.

The reason I give this subject a 3/5 is purely because of the fact that it was an easy HD. I did not enjoy the content all that much, but I think that's my fault (I only find subjects enjoyable when they have some real life application, and this unit didn't have any real life applications... so yeah).

I'm a maths major, I love maths, but I didn't like this subject. Maybe I am weird.

Personally, I find beauty in mathematics when the mathematics has real life applications  (e.g. asset pricing, RSA encryption) and seeing as this unit is more philosophical (i.e. not really applied), I didn't like it.

tl;dr - if you want an easy HD subject, do it. If you don't spend time on this subject, you probably won't enjoy it... but if you do, you'll be able to see more of the "beauty" of mathematics.
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Hutchoo

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Re: Monash University - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #322 on: December 24, 2015, 05:48:05 am »
+4
Subject Code/Name: FIT2014 - Theory of Computation 

Workload:  2 x 1 hour lecture, 2 hour tutorial or 2 hour lab (it changes every week)

Assessment:  5x assignments (30%) and exam (70%)

Recorded Lectures:  Yes

Past exams available:  Yes, 4 exams with solutions.

Textbook Recommendation:  m8, who buys boooks? Read "Introduction to the Theory of Computation" by Michael Sipser if you want more in depth knowledge.

Lecturer(s): Graham Farr (i think)

Year & Semester of completion: 2015 s2

Rating:  1 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: meh

Comments:

Boring unit. Assignments are so freaking easy in comparison to FIT2004 (that unit was so fucking hard [IF YOU DO IT WITH ARUN!], but so much fun).

You do assignments using a programming language called Prolog. It's a logic language that is pretty easy to pick up, but kind of boring to use. I'm more of a Javascript/Python lover, so anything that's not really useful in real life (as a normal app developer, i.e. not working for NASA) is boring to me.

The most interesting thing in this unit is learning about Turing Machines and P v NP problems. This is a core unit t if you're doing a comp sci major, or are doing BCompSci. I wouldn't do this unit as an elective. I wouldn't recommend this unit to a friend. This unit was like doing first year accounting (which is shit, boring, and not that interesting). It's not hard, but you have to be meticulous with your work because every detail makes a huge impact.

As you may have noticed from my review above (MTH2132). The units I did this semester were not that fun, but you got to do what you got to do m8.

Bless up
#realTalk

« Last Edit: December 24, 2015, 05:49:36 am by Hutchoo »
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gabo8273

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Re: Monash University - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #323 on: January 01, 2016, 03:02:05 pm »
+2
Subject Code/Name: BMS1042: Biomedical Science and Society

Workload: 
  • 2x 2 hour tutorials ( 1 epi tut, 1 stat tut)
  • 2x 1 hour lecture (1 epi, 1 stat, back to back)


Assessment:
  • AT1: 2x 5% quiz
  • AT2: 12% Article analysis
  • AT3: 10% Oral Presentation
  • AT4:  3% Twitter assignment
  • AT5: 15% Statistics assignment
  • AT6: 50% exam
Recorded Lectures:  Yes, with screen capture

Past exams available:  Kind of. Expect old, and very unrepresentative exams.

Textbook Recommendation:  I didn't use any.

Lecturer(s):
  • Dr Basia Diug
  • Dr Penny Robinson
  • Dr Evie Kendal
  • Dr Nassif Hossain
  • A few other guest lecturers

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 2, 2015

Rating: 2 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: D - 77

Comments: I'll start of by saying that students either love or hate this unit. The previous reviewer of this unit loved the epidemiology component, and I found it boring. This could be explained by the different lecturers between this year and last year. As opposed to last year, which had a multitude of different lecturers, lectures were covered by predominantly Basia and Penny. Basia, who covers the epidemiology content, is competent. Penny, covering stats, is not able to communicate her knowledge at all. All guest lecturers were quite good.

The unit is essentially two units packed into one. There is the epidemiology content, which has a lecture and tutorial a week, and the statistics component, which also has a lecture and tutorial a week.  The epidemiology content is enjoyable, but it is very hard to study for the exam with it. The statistics is quite easy, with a bit of work. Tutorials are essential, and you should go to them, even if you have the 4pm-6pm or 8am-10am classes. Yes, I know, it's tough, but you'll regret not going.

Going through assignments:
A warning, half of these assignments come out of nowhere, at a very similar time. If I remember correctly, AT3 and AT2 were due in the same 2 weeks, and there will be BMS1052  and elective quizzes and assignments around the same time.
AT1: Two quizzes, difficult when doing them, but pretty simple when looking back. Just do them with your mates and it shouldn't be too bad.
AT2: This is a large analysis response on 1 of 5 topics. You will be provided with a journal article, and a media article corresponding with it. This was probably the hardest assignment, and took me the longest, but I'm awful with essays. In this assignment, you will follow a question sheet, which makes passing the word limit pretty easy. It will be assigned quite early, and it's tempting to leave it until later, but you will be overwhelmed if you leave it until later. Make an attempt at writing after covering the Study Design component.
AT3: Assigned after, but due a bit before AT2, this oral presentation will follow a similar format to AT2, and will be assessed as a 4 - 5 person group assignment. Students are encouraged to add a theme, like news report or argument. Depending on the tutor, there will be a post-oral questioning, where the lecturer and students will ask questions, testing your analysis of the information. As groups are assigned randomly, hope for a good group.
AT4: This is a very easy Twitter assignment, handing out 3%. It's tempting to not do it, but students just have to do 5 simple tasks, including posting a "dumb ways to die" score on twitter, posting and discussing an article on twitter, and sharing a friends post. There will be a moodle quiz which the questions are repeated into. I'm not sure, but the moodle quiz may mark answers correct by just entering characters into the question boxes. If you don't want to do the assignment, make sure you write anything in the boxes to possibly get marks.
AT5: The statistics assignment, which only tests students statistics knowledge, is a questions sheet. There are 5 different value tables, so if you have a mate with the same values, it might help to confer with them if you're having trouble.

The exam is the real challenge of this unit. Everything up until this point, including the practice exams, seems pretty easy. However, expect difficult (and in my opinion, unfair) questions on predominantly epidemiology content. There was very little focus on stats in the exam, so the last 2 weeks of stats was mostly worthless.
For revision, focus on epidemiology, as that's where the difficult questions will be. You'll feel like you know everything before the exam, but you don't.

The unit only gets 2 out of 5 because it is boring, badly executed and the exam is much more difficult than the unit.

Spaceman

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Re: Monash University - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #324 on: January 11, 2016, 06:49:29 am »
+2
Subject Code/Name: ENG1001 - Engineering design: lighter, faster, stronger

Workload:  1 x 2hr workshop, 1 x 3hr practical and 30 minutes to 1 hour of pre-lecture videos per week

Assessment: Project 1 18%, Project 2 18%, Materials Tensile Report 4%, Materials Selection Report 4%, Worksheets 10%, Online quizzes 6% and final exam 40% (hurdle)

Recorded Lectures:  Yes, with screen capture

Past exams available: I did this unit the first time it was running. I was provided exams from the old structures and dynamic 1st year units. The mechanical lecturer also compiled relevant questions for us to do.

Textbook Recommendation: There are some textbooks recommended but I never once looked at them as the pre-lecture videos were very good.

Lecturer(s): There were a range of different lecturers for the different areas of engineering we went through. For civil engineering we were lectured by Lizi Sironic and Bill Wong, for materials John Forsythe and for mechanical Kris Ryan.

Year & Semester of completion: S1 2015

Rating:  5 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: 87

Comments:
This was a great unit. Worksheets were handed out at lectures and the lecturers would go through some of the worksheet in the two hours. Anything unfinished was to be completed before next week's practical and checked then. I found this to be a really great way to learn and use the 2 hours. The worksheet provided a medium for us to apply what we learnt straight away. In order to do this there were pre-lectures that went through the content of the lecture.

The group projects were fun and very practical.

The exam was quite hard to study for as half of the provided practice exams and questions were not in the course, although this might have changed as the unit has been running for more than one semester now. I found the exam to be quite challenging and a lot harder than the questions provided in the weekly worksheets.

Spaceman

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Re: Monash University - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #325 on: January 11, 2016, 07:38:25 am »
+2
Subject Code/Name: ENG1002 - Engineering design: cleaner, safer, smarter

Workload:  1 x 2hr lecture and 1 x 3hr practical

Assessment:
Project 1 - 15%
Report on Fuel Efficiency and Sustainability

Project 2  - 15%
Build an LED lamp and a design report

Lecture Attendance - 5%
Lecture attendance was recorded by answering questions using a web app accessible with smart phones. You had to answer 80% of the questions to get the mark. Your answers do not have to be correct to get the mark.

Pre-lecture and pre-practical quizzes - 25%
You had to do 2 quizzes each week. I found some of the pre-practical quizzes quite challenging which makes sense because they were given after the lectures.

Exam - 40%
Split relatively evenly between chemical, materials and electrical engineering.

Recorded Lectures:  Yes, with screen capture

Past exams available:  Yes, one past exam from S1 2015 with answers but no worked solutions

Textbook Recommendation:  There might be recommended textbooks but I didn't look at them.

Lecturer(s): Meng Wei, Christopher Hutchison and Jonathan Li

Year & Semester of completion: S2 2015

Rating: 1 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: 86

Comments: Coming out of ENG1001 from first semester I had high expectations for ENG1002. The 2 hour "workshops" were nothing like 1001's but instead were just an ordinary lecture with the occasional clicker question. I found that because they were 2 hours it was quite hard to get through. Furthermore, the whole unit's theme is light blubs, which frankly is not something that interesting at all.

Overall, I found that the unit's content could have been potentially more interesting but was presented badly resulting in a poor experience.

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Re: Monash University - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #326 on: January 19, 2016, 09:42:39 pm »
+2
Subject Code/Name: ETC2520 - Probability and Statistical Inference for Business and Economics

Workload: 2hr lecture, 2hr tutorial

Assessment: 
1 x 10% test
10 x 2% weekly work
70% exam

Recorded Lectures:  Yes

Past exams available: Yes, at least one

Textbook Recommendation:  Wackerly, D.D., W. Mendenhall and R.L. Scheaffer, Mathematical statistics with applications (7th edition). The textbook is pretty great, and there were questions assigned out of it when I did the unit so it will be required.

Lecturer(s): Dr. Davide La Vecchia, Professor Don Poskitt

Year & Semester of completion: 2013 Semester 2

Rating: 5 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: HD

Comments:  Aside from being possibly winning the most excessively long name award, ETC2520 is a fairly thorough course on mathematical statistics. It begins fairly easily walking through venn diagrams and dice rolls to explain basic probability, but brings on some much more intense mathematics throughout the semester as it builds through distributions, the moment generation function, the central limit theorem and hypothesis testing.
I found the proofs to be fairly easy to follow and in general the course was well taught, but I admit it was a while since I did this subject. 
Easy HD if you put in some work, and is great for anyone wanting to go into honours as they may need a more rigorous basis in probability than the rest of the econometrics subjects provide.
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Fraxyz

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Re: Monash University - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #327 on: January 19, 2016, 09:52:04 pm »
+2
Subject Code/Name: ETC2430 - Actuarial Statistics 

Workload:  2hrs Lecture, 2hrs Tutorial

Assessment:
2x10% Test
20% Group project
60% Exam

Recorded Lectures:  Yes, without screen capture

Past exams available:  Yes, at least one

Textbook Recommendation:
Actuarial Mathematics for Life Contingent Risks - Not really needed, little of the course is taught out of this
Tables and Formula for Actuarial Exams - Extremely useful, formula book brought into most actuarial exams

Lecturer(s): Colin O'Hare

Year & Semester of completion: 2013 S2

Rating: 2 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: HD

Comments: This is what I think is the first of the really hard actuarial subjects. Much of the material is very mathematically challenging, but Colin knows it very well. However, he expects that his students understand it just as well and I feel he isn't as good at explaining concepts if you fall behind at all.
Despite the difficulty in the content, the two 10% tests covered relatively basic material and much of the more advanced concepts were ignored. There's also a ~6-8 week group project to produce a research paper to look out for, it can take a lot of work and plan your time our accordingly. However, I found it manageable if you put in the time at the start to keep on top of the material from the very start.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2016, 09:56:53 pm by Fraxyz »
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Fraxyz

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Re: Monash University - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #328 on: January 19, 2016, 10:01:41 pm »
+2
Subject Code/Name: ETC3530 - Contingencies in Insurance and Pensions 

Workload:
2hr Lectures
2hr Tutorial

Assessment:
2x10% Quiz
20% Group Project
60% Exam

Recorded Lectures:  Yes

Past exams available:  Yes

Textbook Recommendation: 
Actuarial Mathematics for Life Contingent Risks - Not needed at all
Tables and Formula for Actuarial Exams - Extremely useful, formula book brought into most actuarial exams

Lecturer(s):Colin O'Hare

Year & Semester of completion: 2014 S2

Rating:  3 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: HD

Comments: This subject was deviously hard. At first, its just rehashing annuity formulas learnt in BFC2340 with a little probability twist, but there's tonnes of different notations and little manipulations going on with everything.
The first quiz was very basic, but the second required you to really understand what's happening as the material is presented in ways you've never seen before. Making sure you know how everything is derived, and what the links between different annuities are, not just being able to recite the formula. (The unit guide says there's no quizzes and an 80% exam, but when I did it this meant 20% quizzes, 60% exam, may have changed.)
Like Colin's second year subject, ETC2430, there's a group assignment that requires a huge amount of work to complete.
Really make sure you're on top of Debt Markets before you go in, it's the real pre-req, not just ETC2430.
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extremeftw

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Re: Monash University - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #329 on: January 20, 2016, 11:47:52 pm »
+4
 Subject Code/Name: ATS1321 - Nations at war: The twentieth century 

Workload: 
 2 hour lecture
 1 hour tutorial

Assessment:
15% Annotated Bibliography
40% Major essay
30% Class test
15% Tutorial participation

Recorded Lectures:  Yes, with recorded screen capture.

Past exams available:  None, but past exams are unnecessary as they give you the possible questions that will appear on the class test.

Textbook Recommendation:  Just buy the unit reader. No textbook was prescribed.

Lecturer(s): Dr. Reto Hofmann

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 2, 2015.

Rating:  3/5

Your Mark/Grade: 78 D.

Comments:

 So in this unit you look at the revolutions and ideologies that guided conflict in the 20th century. This involves examining a broad range of topics such as Communism, Nazism, Franco's Spain, Fascism, the Russian Revolution, the Spanish Civil War, etc.

Generally, the topics themselves were quite interesting and I feel like they are important things to comprehend for any student interested in history.

 However, this is where I arrive at the core problem with this unit. There is no incentive or reason to learn 90% of the content covered in this unit. This is because of the way the assessment is structured for this unit, which I will explain in the next few paragraphs.

 The first assessment which was worth 15% was an 'annotated bibliography' task. This basically involved picking 3 different potential sources that could be used in your major essay and explaining why those particular sources are appropriate or inappropriate for academic use. From what I can gather, pretty much everyone just YOLOd this assessment since it wasn't particularly hard. Just use common sense, know how to reference properly, and pick half-decent sources to analyse and this assignment is an easy HD.

 Then we move on to the major essay assignment, which forms the bulk of the assessment for ATS1321. You will get to choose between a few different topics (in our case a choice of 4) which relate to different areas covered in the lectures and tutorials. The essay had a word requirement of 2000 words and you had PLENTY of time to do it (due in week 9 IIRC). An example of an essay topic (which incidentally was the one I chose to do) was: To what extent can the Franco regime in Spain be considered fascist? In what ways was it different from other extreme right regimes in the twentieth century? Discuss with reference to either Nazism or Italian fascism. You will need to research extensively if you want to do well on this essay, and to be honest it really wasn't a particularly easy one to write. I would highly recommend that you visit the library if you are struggling to find relevant material to reference; there are plenty of high quality books that relate directly to all of the essay questions. Start this assignment well before the due date and make sure you know how to use Chicago referencing properly.

 Finally, the last actual assessment task was the class test. This basically involved just defining words off a list and discussing them as they relate to the content covered in this unit. This was very easy to study for because the lecturer provided a list of all the possible terms that could appear on the test. Effectively, this assignment is pure memorisation; as long as you can memorise a pre-prepared answer for each term then you can't really go wrong unless you don't prepare properly.

 So really, the only content of ATS1321 that you actually needed to 'know' was that which related to your essay (which was pretty much at most 2 weeks of material). You can easily just use google and wikipedia to become acquainted with pretty much all the terms that can appear on this class test, which makes watching any of the lectures completely redundant. In fact, I didn't attend nor watch a single lecture for this unit because it was (in my opinion) a complete waste of time and highly unnecessary. Perhaps one could argue that I might have gotten a HD if I put in the effort to watch all the lectures, but ain't nobody got time for that :).

 If you're looking for a unit that has very low contact hours and you are capable of memorising some terms for the class test, then I would recommend ATS1321 (particularly those who have an interest in this area or who perhaps did Revs in VCE).

 P.S. If you were like me and have no idea how to pronounce 'bourgeois' or 'proletariat', I would highly recommend you look up how to pronounce them before your first tutorial so you don't look like an idiot in front of your tutorial like I nearly did....
« Last Edit: January 20, 2016, 11:56:42 pm by extremeftw »