A yearly ritual in summarizing my impression on the modules taken during the period. See also: Modules Taken during NTU Year 1 Computer Science, AY2013/14.
Taken during AY2014/15 Sem 1
Computer Science Core
Lectures attended: 50% (A/P Tan Ah Hwee, Dr. Zheng Jie)
Tutorials attended: 80%
Assessment: 4 Example Class Presentations (5% each). 1 Mid-Term Quiz during tutorial (20%). 1 Final Exam (60%)
Comment: This is an important module for foundational computer science students. The lecture slides are generally okay, except in some cases (like heapsort) codes or pseudocodes are a bit confusing, in which case wikipedia or mathworld tends to explain better. Quite a lot of proofing to learn, especially the last part graph theory is not easy if one really wants to absorb the knowledge.
CZ2002 Object Oriented Design & Programming
Lectures attended: 50% (Dr. Zhang Jie, Mr Tan Kheng Leong)
Tutorials attended: 80%
Assessment: a few Clicker Quiz taking attendance (5%). a few lab completion taking attendance (5%). 1 Group Assignment (~30%). 1 Final Exam (~60%)
Comment: Pace is very slow in the first a few weeks, especially so if taken concurrently with CZ2006 Software Engineering, as some knowledge are repeated in the two modules. Important to understand the various diagrams in this module. The assignment for the last four weeks poses no big challenge for most groups, but due to time constrains a lot of groups tend to do last minute works. The exam has a lot of code writing, in both Java and C++. Personally I do not think it is a good idea to mix in the C++ as part of the testable content for written exam. The clicker quizzes are for attendance checking.
CZ2005 Operating Systems
Lectures attended: 50% (Dr. He Bingsheng, Prof Sun Chengzheng)
Tutorials attended: 90%
Assessment: Lab report & assessment (30%). 1 Final Exam (70%)
Comment: Very detailed lecture notes, Dr. He Bingsheng is able to deliver lectures in a clear manner. The labs/example-classes are done using C on nachos 3.4 developed by UC Berkeley in the 1990s on Linux. The labs help somewhat to understand threads and semaphore.
CZ2006 Software Engineering
Lectures attended: 40% (Prof. Miao Chunyan, Dr. Xing Zhenchang)
Tutorials attended: 60%
Assessment: 4 clicker quizzes (10%). 1 Group Project (50%). 1 Final Exam (40%)
Comment: This module seems to expect the prerequisite of CZ2002 OODP instead of co-requisite, judging from the way the lecturer (Dr Miao Chunyan) delivers the first half of lectures. The project is definitely the one that takes most time this semester. The group project is to develop an Android application based on the given requirements. The end product my group came out is an Android client to a PHP-MYSQL server, however, neither Java/Android or PHP/MySQL is taught. My group consists of 6 people, having spent first 3 weeks walking in the blind going nowhere, we split ourselves into two halves, one on Android, one on server. We spent intensively 2 weeks (E-Learning & Recess Week) meeting up almost daily, and Wednesdays & Saturdays for the next month to meet to discuss and code. For those who are interested, the server code is available here. During the final demonstration, about half of the groups are able to deliver working app instead of dummy, though some only have local(Android) database, which is not very suited for the use case. For the server side, I know one group uses Drupal, which reduces the coding effort, and at least one group uses node.js. You are advised to rehearse for the final pitch (15 min), it helps. The few clicker quizzes during lectures need to get correct to score, not merely checking attendance.
CZ3001 Advance Computer Architecture
Lectures attended: 40% (Dr. Pramod Meher, Dr. Smitha K. G.)
Tutorials attended: 90% (A/P Hsu Wen-Jing)
Assessment: 3 Lab Quizzes and 1 Lab Report (20%). 1 Project (20%). 1 Final Exam (60%)
Comment: Due to the accents of the lecturers, it was not very easy to understand the lectures, and not many students would turn up. If that is the same case for you, use your tutorial wisely to catch up. The project is to design multi-stage pipelined processor, using Verilog on Xilinx platform. The project is quite doable for a group of four, just remember to debug and test after every modification to codes, as it is very hard to trace errors.
General Education Requirement – Prescribed Electives (GERPE)
HG8006 The Grammar of Comedy
Lectures attended: 100% (Dr. Joanna Sio Ut Seong; no lecture recording)
Assessment: 1 Mid-term Quiz (20%). 1 Group Project (20%). 1 Final Exam (60%)
Comment: Dr Joanna Sio is able to teach concepts in an understandable manner. The lectures before recess week are more on the technical side, explaining various theories about why jokes are funny and how jokes can be funny. For the second half of the semester, there were guest speakers and stand-up comedians came in to conduct workshops and shows, kind of quite interesting to me. The group project is to transcribe a 5 minute stand-up clip from one comedian and analyse the materials and explain why they are funny; and to create own list of jokes based on certain criteria. The project was done in a group of 6. The exam tests on the knowledge taught in class, including some parts asking to create jokes based on certain criteria also. I felt the class was more competitive than I anticipated, with limited effort putting into it, I S/U-ed the module.
Unrestricted Electives (UE)
ET9122 E-Startups And Social Media Strategies
Lectures attended: 100% (Mr. Adrian Chye; seminar style, no recording)
Assessment: Individual Class Contribution (20%). 1 Individual Project (30%). 1 Group Project (50%)
Comment: This course is taught by Mr Adrian Chye, an industrial leader in online marketing who is well versed in entrepreneurship. It is very insightful to learn how to use social media to promote a new business. According to him, the contents (social media marketing part) he teaches in the course cover the equivalence of 80% of what he would teach in a two day seminars which are charged normally more than $1,000 per pax for the working professionals. Apart from the more technical stuff, it is also exciting to hear his failures and successes in his journey as an entrepreneur. All sessions before recess week are carried out on Saturdays (full day, offline or online, with assignments), and it takes three full days during the recess week for presentation of group project. It is quite intensive for the week before and during recess week.
** Update December 2016: I shall STOP taking more questions on this module pertaining to e.g. Ease of Scoring A, Grading, Bell Curve etc. Short answer, I did score an A, but it may not be replicable, and very much depending on your classmates too. I would say my class had interesting and impressive people and some had actual business running. Check with the teacher if that is your primary concern. It’s been more than two years since I took this course, and now that I am graduated. The information I had may be outdated.
For those who have taken this course, you are very welcome to share it on your own platform(s) and leave a link here. I’m willing to link future readers up to your updated articles.
MS800M Beauty, Form & Function: An Exploration of Symmetry (Online Coursera Course)
Videos watched: 75%
Duration: 11 Aug – 6 Oct (8 weeks)
Assessment: 2 Field exercises (27%), 4 MCQs (35%), 2 Learning Logs (16%), 1 Writing Exercise (22%).
Comment: The course is structured into 4 parts: I: Concepts in Symmetry, II: Symmetry in 2D and 3d, III: Symmetry & Crystals, IV: Symmetry & Technology. The first two parts are easy to understand, practically I finished them using within one weekend before school started. However the difficulty increases significantly when it comes to part III and IV, and coincidentally as I needed more time in other modules, it became nearly impossible for me to fully grasp the knowledge in this course for those two parts. Thanks to peer grading, the result was still very decent, but I feel in terms of learning, I was not satisfied with myself.
CM8012 Introduction To Forensic Science (Online Coursera Course, 2AU)
Videos watched: 85%
Duration: 19 May – 14 Jul (8 weeks)
Assessment: 3 MCQ (75%), 2 Case studies (20%), 5 Polling (5%)
Comment: This course was surprisingly enjoyable, possibly because of learning it during holiday without stress about grades. One by-product was that I watched two seasons of Crime Scene Investigation alongside this course.
Added 30 Sep 2015, 28 Sep 2016:
Due to popular requests and me being unable to keep replying many incoming emails,
I hereby share some of the materials, or notes taken, or project done for CZ2001-7.
I provide no warranty to the accuracy of the contents provided.
None of these materials shall be used against me in any ways.
Please do NOT plagiarize, or you will be held responsible for the consequences.
If these contents in anyway violates any rights of any person, please do not hesitate to contact me.
I shall not entertain any more requests in the comments section of this post asking for other course materials.
I apologize not being able to provide CZ1xxx level materials, as either I do not keep a good digital record, or the course contents have changed significantly.
I will not provide any higher level (CZ3xxx, CZ4xxx) materials, as I believe a mature Computer Science student should gain the ability of self-study by this stage.
If you have other questions, I’ll be happy to help.