End of Freshmen Year

Haven’t been posting for quite some time due to exams. Finally, all is over! But I’m dreading a little because Special Term’s starting next week  -.-

There ain’t any interesting “Last Lectures” this semester, but here’s a quick summary of this semester’s module experiences:

CS1102 Data Structures and Algorithms was seemingly manageable in the first half, but when things like the Big O Complexity and Trees and Heaps came in, it became very complicated and foreign. I had to sorta force myself to sit down and master how the sorting algorithms work. No longer as simple as I thought. Perhaps my mind isn’t thinking like a computer. Fortunately, the final exam was still not bad. The only gripe was that there was a lot of time wasting tricky questions about Java a la CS1101 style.

CS2100 Computer Organisation seemed to be a difficult module to master initially from all the rumours from seniors. The lab sessions were gruelling as lotsa wire connections are needed. But after the first mid term exam, I realised that the topics are not too difficult to master if you take time and sit down and try and do all the questions. Most of the questions are pretty mechnical based, except for a few application questions. Towards the end of the semester, it seems as if Aaron Tan was going very fast and it was hard to catch up. Fortunately, I still managed to do so in the end. I guess it was a wise choice to take this module when Aaron Tan is teaching, as it is slightly easier.

MA1101R Linear Algebra is the toughest Level 1000 I have taken so far. The concepts are hard to grasp, venturing beyond the 4th dimension into the Euclidean n-space. Till now, I’m still not sure of some of the concepts I’ve learned, such as subpsaces and basis. In my lecture group, the foreigners take up 3/4 of the seats, leaving the last 1/4 to the poor Singaporeans. And there is quite a lot of competition, considering that during the in-lecture Practice Quizes, the locals are often the last few to hand in our worksheets. Quite scary. Unexpectedly, I also did not score too well in my lab quiz, so it is quite sad. Hope I can do reasonably well in my final term after much practice. Doing the past year papers gets more demoralising as the earlier papers are more difficult.

NM2216 Introduction to Interactive Media Design is one of the not-so-good modules I’ve taken so far. Firstly, the lecturer initially did not want to upload the notes before class and it was slightly annoying. Also, in my opinion, I think that the module is not very well organised and the notes are not very detailed in terms of the content. Most of it have to be read from the readings. The project topic was also a bit far fetched from the module – Sustainable Transport. The final term paper was also quite tricky and abstract. Although the module opened up interesting concepts about Affordances and interface design, I wished it could be better taught.

NM1101E Communications, New Media and Society was one of the most enjoyable modules in this semester. Firstly, the workload is quite low. Most of the tutorials do not require much preparation, except for the 3 graded assignments. The most tiring one was to design a survey in a group, while the other 2 assignments are done in class. One of them is an online discussion to write a report, which was an interesting experiment on how we can communicate online (using MSN and Google Docs) to write a report. The second assignment is what I do every lecture in NM2216: draw/describe a gadget that has bad interface design and suggest a alternatives for it. Overall, the main marks of the module is on the mid term and final term actually. The final term is all MCQ, and the last few questions were quite humourous. However, I regretted that I did not read the copyright information on the IPOS website before taking the exam.

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