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  1. #76
    Nightman stazi's Avatar
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    Re: Subject Reviews - UPDATED WITH .PDF on first post

    GOVT1202 - WORLD POLITICS
    Lecturer: Gil Merom


    Ease: 8/10.
    The subject is quite easy overall, but the exam will pwn you hardcore. The average for this multiple choice exam is below 50%, so that's saying something. A lot of the questions will be very obscure. However, there were also waaaaay too many readings.

    Lecturer: 2/10.
    I learnt the least from Gil, compared to any of my past lecturers. It's strange. No matter how hard I tried to concentrate and listen, I couldn't. There's something about his voice that does that to you.

    Interest: 5/10.
    The concept of the course, world politics, interested me, but the execution of the course didn't. Some of the readings were rather interesting, but overall, I would avoid this subject.

    Overall: 3/10
    Very boring subject, which is compounded by a horrible lecturer. I wish that I enjoyed it a lot more, but sadly, it was crap. I'm also going to stay away from the discipline of govt in the future.

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    Re: Subject Reviews

    has anyone else taken ENGL1000? I'm considering taking it if HDs are easy to cum by.

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    Re: Subject Reviews - UPDATED WITH .PDF on first post

    Quote Originally Posted by stazi
    GOVT1202 - WORLD POLITICS
    Lecturer: Gil Merom


    Ease: 8/10.
    The subject is quite easy overall, but the exam will pwn you hardcore. The average for this multiple choice exam is below 50%, so that's saying something. A lot of the questions will be very obscure. However, there were also waaaaay too many readings.

    Lecturer: 2/10.
    I learnt the least from Gil, compared to any of my past lecturers. It's strange. No matter how hard I tried to concentrate and listen, I couldn't. There's something about his voice that does that to you.

    Interest: 5/10.
    The concept of the course, world politics, interested me, but the execution of the course didn't. Some of the readings were rather interesting, but overall, I would avoid this subject.

    Overall: 3/10
    Very boring subject, which is compounded by a horrible lecturer. I wish that I enjoyed it a lot more, but sadly, it was crap. I'm also going to stay away from the discipline of govt in the future.
    It's a shame that you're going to stay away from GOVT because of WorldPol - I agree it is seriously the world subject ever, but perservering to second year is good - the subjects get so much better.

    Re: Gil's voice - that gets better too - I hated his guts at the end of first year but didn't mind his second year subject (International Security in the 21st Century) so much....

    ENGL1000 - Have no idea, but apparently it is kinda easy....?

    Masters of Administrative Law & Policy, 2010
    Bachelor of Economic and Social Sciences - Government & International Relations and Political Economy - Alumni 2007

    THS, Class of 2004

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    Re: Subject Reviews - UPDATED WITH .PDF on first post

    ECOP2911: Political Economy Honours II (Methods in Class Analysis)

    Ease: 8/10 It's all about class theory, but soo relevant to the real world. No final exam, just a seminar + paper, essay, tute participation, and most interestingly, an imaginary piece where you critique/outline your vision of a 'good' society' (no marks lost for totalitarian ones either, seriously, most people had centralised control in societies.

    Lecturer: 10/10
    Elizabeth Hill is truly one of the greatest, oh-so kind. The 'seminar' style class was basically what a tute should really be, small class numbers, learning through discussion, that sort of thing which doesn't happen enough.

    Interest:9/10
    In short, people just come together, sit in a room, and talk about class analysis for an hour and a half, once a week (no lecture). Believe it or not, class theory is a lot more complex than one would expect. A couple found class theory discourse a tad 'wanky', maybe because it was more arts than economics in part, but the course really does encompass all types of political economy, sociology, history and philosophy all in the one course. The perfect antidote to ECOP2011.

    Overall: 10/10
    I have to give it full marks, truly one of the best and most useful units I've ever done. Also one of the classes where everyone spoke, one of the best tute classes I've had to date in terms of members, kudos to all 10 of them, never a moment too awkward or silent.
    Last edited by bustinjustin; 19 Jun 2007 at 2:14 AM.

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    Re: Subject Reviews - UPDATED WITH .PDF on first post

    HSTY1022 Europe in the High Middle Ages
    Lecturer: Assoc. Prof. John Pryor
    NB: This was the last time this course ran – John is leaving the History department to concentrate on the Centre for Medieval Studies – but I’ll review it anyway just for the record.

    Ease: 8/10. Two 20% 1000-word essays, a 10% tute presentation, a 40% take-home exam and tute participation for the rest. The essays weren’t really much of a problem – very short, so if you knew anything about the subject the biggest challenge was preventing yourself from going to 1500 words or more. John also helpfully provided an extensive reading list for each essay topic. The presentation was fine, because you could do it on the same topic as the first essay. The tute readings, which were all primary sources, could get very dense, but you could normally get the gist with a bit of effort. As for the exam, I found that picking up a few books on the topics I was planning to write on served me fine. The fact that up to half of the exam could be on the topic of your tute presentation also added to the ease factor. Some of the questions were very vague, though.
    Lecturer: 7/10. I quite liked John (who was my tutor as well); he was generally reasonably clear and moved us through a lot of information. His intent in lectures, according to the outline, was mainly to introduce us to the key features, events and personalities, and then let us follow up the ones we planned to do assessments on. However, this sometimes meant that he tried to get through too much, just sort of naming a personality and giving a couple of sentences about them before moving on to the next one. This particularly happened in the sections on the Muslim world, I found. However, I still got a reasonable grip on the areas that I didn’t do any further research on, so I think overall the lectures were fine.
    Interest: 9/10. I think this period (roughly 1050-1350 AD) is really interesting, so I liked the subject a lot. The lectures and tutes were organised thematically, so some weeks you’d come across something boring, but most of it was pretty good imo. Also, because of the structure of the assessments and exams you could usually avoid having to do any work on the subjects you weren’t interested in. The main thing was to make sure you picked interesting topics for your assessments: if you did that you were pretty much set.
    Overall: 9/10. I found it an engaging course which gave a good introduction to the period and interested me in studying it at senior level. I can’t really think of any major gripes.

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    Re: Subject Reviews

    Quote Originally Posted by stazi
    has anyone else taken ENGL1000? I'm considering taking it if HDs are easy to cum by.
    I've heard it's really easy, so yeah go for it (but I don't know how reliable my sources are). I'll ask a friend of mine how he finds it and let you know, cos he does ENGL1000.

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    Re: Subject Reviews

    Quote Originally Posted by Iheartpaulfrank
    I've heard it's really easy, so yeah go for it (but I don't know how reliable my sources are). I'll ask a friend of mine how he finds it and let you know, cos he does ENGL1000.
    That would be orsum. Does he have msn? If so, can i get it. I wish to see the UOS outline to establish the workload.

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    Re: Subject Reviews - UPDATED WITH .PDF on first post

    Yes he does. I'll PM you it.

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    Banned Nebuchanezzar's Avatar
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    Re: Subject Reviews - UPDATED WITH .PDF on first post

    CHEM 1102 - Chemistry 1B

    Ease: 8/10
    The course material wasn't at all hard, and the tutorials were structured and ordered in a way that followed lecture material closely, and prepared us well for the final exam (worth 75%). The tutorial quizzes throughout the semester seemed useful, and were also good preparation for the exam. My only complaint about ease was that at time, the solubility part of the course seemed a little iffy, with questions occasionally seeming as if they could be both one type of question, or another. So long as you know your material by going to lectures, and doing your tutorial sheets you'll be fine. My only complaint, is that the laboratory quiz was damn impossible, but that might have had something to do with my sloppy compound. Just make sure you study those ions well.

    Lecturers: 8/10
    Dr. Rutledge is an awesome lecturer. This must be said. His dry, Irish/English/Kiwi/Aussie wit is a perfect match for the sometimes formulaic world of organic chemistry. I love organic chemistry, of course, and find it exciting in whatever form its presented, but Dr. Rutledge made it just that little bit more spectacular. His habit of taking a break at the half hour point with his little "trips to Ireland" are a fantastic idea that every lecturer should make use of. I loved the way he integrated questions and practical examples (such as the non-working acid experiment) into his lectures, which were really quite relevant to both the final exam, and our tutorial quizzes. I also had the luck of getting both Dr. Rutledge and Dr. Rendina as my tutor, which was an added bonus.

    Dr. Rendina was equally as good, once more integrating questions and practical experiments into his lectures. The 'hydrogen bomb' remains the high point. He's just as funny as Dr. Rutledge, but in a quite different way. My only complaint about Dr. Rendinas style was that he occasionally focused on talking to one person throughout the lecture, which occasionally was me. It's a bit distracting is all. That, and the material he was lumped with was a little crappier than what Dr. Rutledge got to present.

    Interest: 7/10
    Yeah, I found it pretty interesting. Organic chem would get a 10/10, but the heavy emphasis on acids/bases brought down what would otherwise be a fantastic course, in the Rendina part. If it had have been organic chem/everything else but acids and bases it would have probably got a 10/10, but yeh...damn those acids and bases.

    Overall: 8/10
    Good course, actually, quite a good course for a compulsory unit. I'd reccomend it to anyone who's a little confused as to whether they want to continue with chem after 1101/1001. This will hopefully change your minds.
    Last edited by Nebuchanezzar; 20 Jun 2007 at 11:34 PM.

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    Re: Subject Reviews - UPDATED WITH .PDF on first post

    chem1102 is more about organic... which seems to appeal to alot more people =)
    DUCKIE IS REBORN!!!!! only 3 wks too earlie =S

    "I am willing to give up any thing for you... even maths!!!!" - anonymous
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    Re: Subject Reviews - UPDATED WITH .PDF on first post

    My EDUF1018 review is...exactly the same. What a surprise.

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    Re: Subject Reviews - UPDATED WITH .PDF on first post

    ECOP2011: Economic Foundation of Modern Capitalism
    Ease: 2/10
    Apparently the hardest Political Economy course, and now I've been through this rite of passage, I can see why too. However, they don't pretend that it's an easy course. Readings were thick and often cryptic. The algebra scared everyone. Lecture content is complicated, everything was just so damned confusing, you try and try and then just give up, bloody economic theories.

    Lecturer: 6/10
    Some may see this is as a bit conflated, and I was tempted to give a 2 because of the perceived suffering we felt we had to endure. At the same time I feel this is not enough and fear it would do too much discredit to a man who we are actually privileged to be taught by (but we're just too selfish, hedonistic and confused by the course to see this). It's weird, in lectures Joseph Halevi seems to make things sound even more complicated than they really are, but then what he's teaching is complicated enough as it is. However, he writes the most useful 20 page lectures notes week by week (and even more simpified course summaries at the end - not that we didn't have enough reading with such a massive 555 page choad for a reader). And apparently with lectures, he just speaks off the top of his head, totally extemperaneously. Some hate him with a passion, others absolutely love him, but make no mistake, he is quite an enigmatic, peculiarly brilliant man.

    Also a noteworthy mention, albeit for all the wrong reasons, was tutor Roni Demirbag. From what I gleam, not the most helpful tutor in the world - ask him for clarification on something, and his stock standard response, in a rather frustrated tone, is 'it's actually really easy, just do the reading again [you lazy fool (under his breath, I presume)l]'. Had him for the first tute, Dr. Halevi subsituted for two weeks, and suddenly became our permanent replacement, which was probably a good thing, albeit intimidating (regretably, he had that effect on me).

    Interest: 2/10
    Inherently boring, sometimes demoralising. For most of the course, I just didn't 'get' economic theory. No matter how much I wanted to work on it more, it was just too off-putting (again, it was that 555pg course reader).

    Overall: 5/10
    I've probably written so much because I've felt so strongly about this course. However, when the semester's over, and/or you come to do other senior ECOP units, it's only then that you'll realise the incredible value of what ECOP2011 taught you.... if you manage to understand any of it.
    Last edited by bustinjustin; 23 Jun 2007 at 1:00 AM.

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    Re: Subject Reviews - UPDATED WITH .PDF on first post

    GOVT2119 Southeast Asia: Dilemmas of Development
    Ease: 8/10
    The assessment is really spread out here in terms of value, so much so that if you do well enough during the semester, even if you just manage to pass the 25% worth final exam, you could still manage a Distinction. Again, 30% from tutorials alone.

    Lecturer: 7/10
    Some found Lily Rahim slightly intimidating, and a bit lacking in warmth maybe, I didn't think so, but most would agreed that she is quite helpful. Some found her a bit grating, wasn't an issue for me. She knows her stuff and is heavily involved in her research expertise (for instance, that morning when she announced that she just 'flew in from Southeast Asia', fresh from the region she was about to lecture us on. How very appropriate).

    Interest: 9/10
    One of the surviving remnants of the former Economic History Department, recast as GOVT unit. Fascinating topics - East Asian political economic developlment, democracy versus growth, regionalism, the politicisation of Islam. I might just major in Asian Studies because of it.

    Overall: 8/10
    I did have my expectations, and yeah, it was pretty much what I expected it to be. Great source for empirical evidence to use in essays for other units.
    Last edited by bustinjustin; 18 Jul 2007 at 2:58 PM.

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    Re: Subject Reviews - UPDATED WITH .PDF on first post

    ECOP3017 Political Economy of Human Rights
    Ease: 7/10
    Assessment marking was explicitly strict on extensive use of data/empirical evidence, as the Social Sciences would be, but they were very clear on it here, which is probably a good thing. However, got a shit mark for an essay seemingly because my sentences 'were too long' and made it difficult to follow my arguments, yet the marker was still able to understand my essay enough to comment that my use of 'evidence' to substantiate my arguments was 'one of the better' instances she'd seen (I'm having the essay remarked).

    Lecturer: 7/10
    Some found Tim Anderson slightly uninspiring as a lecturer. Lots of short film documentaries in class, controversial lecture content, but it all came across as somewhat dull. However, this may have be intentional on Tim's behalf, to appear more balanced and avoid coming across as a ranting, cliched, anti-establishment leftie, which could've easily happened.

    Interest: 9/10
    Really does open your mind to human rights atrocities, even if you're already 'predisposed' to this sort of thing. Some of the best tute discussions too, even got heated at times, but never any hard feelings (except for this dickhead fascist who wasn't even in our class but would just rock up from time to time, it was as if he hadn't learned anything all semester, I'd like to think he was just a great actor, but, no).

    Overall: 8/10
    Had high expectations, and they were generally met. Interestingly, it really crossed over well with other units I was doing, particularly GOVT2119.
    Last edited by bustinjustin; 20 Jun 2007 at 10:52 PM.

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    Re: Subject Reviews - UPDATED WITH .PDF on first post

    I'll review EDUF1018, I know nebuchanezzar already did but i guess more than one perspective can't hurt. I agree with most of what he said though. anyway:

    Ease: 9/10. I found quite a bit of the content to be stuff that you could probably figure out on your own from common sense. It was well structured and clear. I kinda wanted to go a little more in depth into some of the topics (now, say what you will against it, but I actually found the child protection unit interesting and I wouldnt have minded if we did more on it. It was a bit of a drag at the time but when I went and read some more I got way into it, I dont know if anyone else did?)

    Lecturer/s: 6/10. Lesley was brilliant. The six marks go to her. The other lecturers were...I hesitate to say shit, but, they kinda were. Especially the lady who did Aboriginal Education, oh god, I wanted to throw my lecture pad at her the whole time. And I actually had an interest in the content there, I just hated her lecturing style, her whole demeanour...everything, ew. But kudos to Lesley, she was tops.

    Interest: 9/10. I've been told by several people that the first couple of years of my degree will be largely irrelevant as far as real-world teaching goes, but having not had any teaching experience yet I'll definitely say that this was really interesting. If you want to be a teacher, chances are you did/will as well. I honestly think if you didn't/don't find the content interesting then you probably don't really want to teach, deep down. This was the only course out of the ones I did this semester where I actually minded and got annoyed if I had to miss a lecture because of transport issues or whatever. Every other subject I skipped at least a couple of classes to go do fuck-all; this was the one I always went to unless I really couldn't, I think that says something.

    Overall: 8/10.
    Ten thousand dollars at the drop of a hat, I'd give it all gladly, if our lives could be like that.

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    Re: Subject Reviews - UPDATED WITH .PDF on first post

    ACCT1001 - Accounting 1gAy

    Ease: 8/10 - if you study consistently the whole way through and actually do the homework, you'll be fine. Midsemester was quite tough, but it wasn't too bad. Will be interested to see what my final exam mark will be.

    Lecturers:
    Abdul: 8/10 Good bloke, although it pisses me off that he kept lying about the average mark for the mid-semester (to get people motivated to study harder he reported it at around 15 marks higher than the true average).
    Sharron O'neill: 6.5/10 Easy to understand, but the problem is that she liked finishing an hour earlier. Which isn't too bad, but a lot of the stuff was too rushed.
    Rosina Mladenovic: 8/10 - as good as an accounting lecturer could be. Although she was just too happy and cheery, which pissed me off at times.

    Interest: 8/10 - whoa. I can't believe I'm saying this, but I liked this subject. It was very different to all my other subjects (essay-based and subjective). It was kind of cool having a correct answer to every question. It was also good to think in a completely different manner, to what I was used to. Although, if I had to do accounting for more than 2 subjects, I'd probably die from boredom. A catch-22, if you must.

    Overall: 7.5/10

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    Re: Subject Reviews - UPDATED WITH .PDF on first post

    SCLG2601 Sociological Theory
    Ease: 6/10 - The actual content isn't that difficult, but all sources of information in this course are vague and incoherent. The readings are texts that are written by Durkheim, Weber, Marx etc. and these sociology gods are generally not great at communicating clearly. Lecturer (see below) is also annoying. The assessments are fairly straightforward (2500w essay, 5-10 min speech, 2000w take home exam, participation).
    Lecturer: 4/10 - Craig Browne is very rambling and difficult to follow. He doesn't use powerpoint, and his speeches seem to move around in circles so that, when you look at your lecture notes, you've written the same thing over and over again for two hours. He did get better towards the end - he does another course in contemporary soc. theory, so he seemed more at ease in the later weeks. The guest lecturers were always a relief - Alec Pemberton is solid, if dull, and Amanda Elliot's feminism lecturer was nice.
    Interest: 6.5/10 - I doubt anybody would ever love this course, and pushing yourself through the readings/lectures is tough, but I think that the course is quite valuable. Knowing all the theoretical arguments that underpins sociology makes it easier to tackle any sociology course you do at uni.
    Overall: 6/10 - Not awful, and fairly useful. Don't do it if you don't have to do, but if you do have to, it isn't that bad.

    SCLG2605 Social Justice, Law and Society
    Ease: 6.5/10 - This course requires a lot of reading and the first half is v. theory heavy. A lot of people found themselves completely lost after two weeks of lectures, and many seemed to think the course was about "inequality". Having said that, I found the readings/lectures fairly clear and not too difficult.
    Lecturer: 7/10 - Danielle Celemajer is a good lecturer who really know her stuff and explains ideas clearly. She's engaging most of the time, and fairly easy to listen to. My only criticism of her is that sometimes she puts too much content into her lectures, and to compensate for this she has to race through the slides - which can be annoying.
    Interest: 8/10 - This course is v. interesting - it isn't so much a course in sociology as one in political philosophy. Lots of interesting debates are covered. If you're not scared of the theory, and you put the effort in, you can get quite a lot out of this course. Assessments are straightforward again (1500w take home exam, 2500w essay and participation)
    Overall: 7.5/10 - Definitely a valuable course.

    SCPL2601 Australian Social Policy
    Ease: 9/10 - This course is quite easy. Apart from the week on new public managment, everybody I talked to thought the content was straightforward. Lectures and readings are clear + well chosen. Especially easy if you have done the first year ECOP courses.
    Lecturer: 8/10 - Amanda Elliot is definitely an engaging lecturer. She manages to walk the fine line between putting too much information into her lectures vs. putting too little into them. We had a couple of guest lecturers who were also good.
    Interest: 7/10 - It isn't as uninteresting as it sounds, however I felt like I knew most of the content from this course already. The readings can feel a bit repetitive, and the tutorial discussions were a little dull due to the lack of right wingers who are willing to come near the sociology faculty.
    Overall: 8/10 - Solid, but not fantastic

    GCST2601 Introducing Media and Culture
    Ease: 7/10 - The lectures and readings were fine. The assessments, however, were irritating. Instead of doing a nice and obvious essay, they make you do slightly offcentre tasks like annotated bibliographies and journal reviews which nobody knows how to do properly (including the tutors). You also have to do inclass writing exercises every lecture.
    Lecturer: 5.5/10 - Kath Albury is a good speaker, but she tends to be quite patronising, and she isn't great at explaining the more technical aspects of the course (especially semiotics).
    Interest: 4/10 - This might seem like a fun course, but it really isn't. Readings and lectures are dull and everything felt like a rehash of what had already been taught in 1st year sociology.
    Overall: 5.5/10 Eh.

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    Re: Subject Reviews - UPDATED WITH .PDF on first post

    Quote Originally Posted by xiao1985
    chem1102 is more about organic... which seems to appeal to alot more people =)
    Except me...

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    Re: Subject Reviews - UPDATED WITH .PDF on first post

    MATH 1011 - Life Sciences Calculus

    Ease: 4/10
    I know that I'm going to either fail, or pass my an incredibly small margin, but regardless of that the course wasn't really all that hard. Reading through the resource book is probably enough to get anyone through the course, provided that they have a bit of a clue about HSC Mathematics. The examples exams are essentially identical to the one that's you're assessed on, so there's no lateral direction - study the manual and look at the exams and you'll do fine (and by that, I mean learn the questions in the past exams off by heart). Still, the shoddy lecture format, uninspiring content and the fact that it's a uni maths course means it's not that easy (then again, I'm no math whiz).

    Lecturers: 1/10
    Godawful lecturers, Godawful lecturing format, Godawful lecturing style. There's nothing that can be learned from some waffling old man by the name of Palmer (funny as he was) at 8am in the morning writing on endless powerpoints, nor is there anything that can be learned from two Asian men (Lai, Zhang) who've barely mastered phonics, droning on about some garbage that I couldn't care less about. No effort was made to make things interesting, none at all. I can respect that they don't give their best lecturers to the life science students, but God, give us something. Breaking it down:

    Palmer: Funny, quirky old man but he was unfortunate enough to occupy the 8am slots, which I gave up on attending after week 2.
    Lai: Funny, kinda cute guy (in a totally heterosexual way) but incredibly hard to understand.
    Zhang: Hopeless, unintelligible lecturer. His lectures consistent of re-writing the resource book (which the other two mostly avoided, as best they could), pacing back and forth, laughing at the most incoherently unfunny things and yelling at people for talking. I cannot fault them, as Zhang is the most mindless, hopeless and awful lecturer I've encountered at USyd.

    Interest: 0.5/10
    It's maths. I liked it in the HSC because it was new. This was advanced HSC work, presented in an awful format. Kudos to Palmer for making things practical and interesting in his lectures, but as I said, there was no way I could keep going to them.

    Overall: 2/10
    It's a maths course, it's compulsory, it's shit.

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    Re: Subject Reviews - UPDATED WITH .PDF on first post

    MATH1001 - Differential Calculus
    Ease: 5/10
    Starts off as an easy subject but turns really random after the first quiz when you start learning about the Extreme Value Theorem, Mean Value Theorem and so forth.
    Lecturer: 10/10
    Ben Wilson was such a gun. He made the course interesting and explained content in simple real life examples. He also wrote on the blackboard instead of using overheads or powerpoint presentations which meant there were breaks every 20 minutes or so.
    Interest: 7/10
    Sometimes it's boring, sometimes it's interesting.
    Overall: 7/10
    Not bad but not spectacular.

    MATH1002 - Linear Algebra
    Ease: 8/10
    Unlike MATH1001, the first half of the course was much harder than the second half.
    Lecturer: 6/10
    Adrian Nelson was ok. He used overheads and had some errors in them which he corrected during the lecture. Not the best but wasn't the worst either.
    Interest: 7/10
    Gets pretty boring sometimes (Vectors) but the matrices part isn't too bad.
    Overall: 7/10
    It was ok. Questions from past papers usually equals 5-10 marks in the final exam (there's always the parallelogram question in the final exam...)

    ACCT1001 - Accounting 1A
    Ease: 9/10
    I found the course quite easy especially after the first week (which had twice as many questions than any other week).
    Lecturers:
    Abdul Razeed (8/10): He's nice and helpful. Looks like he's just out of uni though.
    Sharron O'Neil (7/10): Was pretty good.
    Rosina Mladenovic (8/10): Very enthusiastic. Pretty good lecturer who was always happy.
    Interest: 8/10
    Some of the content is really interesting. Stuff like ratios aren't.
    Overall: 9/10
    Great course and the only one I did tutorial questions week in week out.

    ELEC1601 - Professional Computer Engineering
    Ease: 4/10
    Way too much stuff to learn. It's great if you want to learn about how things work at the machine level of the computer.
    Lecturer: 7/10
    Colin Jones was ok. He read off the lecture slides which made the lectures boring but ran the course quite well actually.
    Interest: 5/10
    Unless you're interested in Logic Circuits and coding in BASIC/MIPS, you'll hate this subject.
    Overall: 5/10
    There's way too much stuff to learn in this subject which made it really hard to cram...

    ENGG1804 - Engineering Disciplines (Intro) Stream B
    Ease: 7/10
    Not too hard but the labs can get a bit confusing. Some fudging and looking like you've attempted the stuff always works though.
    Lecturers:
    Stefan Williams (8/10): He has a canadian accent and was ok.
    Trevor Cole (7/10): Knows his stuff but can get a bit boring sometimes. Nice guy though.
    Interest: 2/10
    It's a boring subject.
    Overall: 6/10
    It's a bludge subject which looks at all the stream B disciplines (Electrical/Software/Computer/Telecommunications/Power + Mechatronics). Most people use it to get into Mechatronics in semester 2.

  21. #96
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    Re: Subject Reviews - UPDATED WITH .PDF on first post

    JPNS1611 Japanese 1.

    Ease: 7/10. It's an introductory course so the content covered is not particularly complicated at least at first, but it does move quickly and if you don't keep up you might find yourself in the uncomfortable position of hardly understanding a word that is said to you in tutes, as i did a couple of times. I would say that if you have a background in some variety of Asian language you will find it easier to grasp than i did (you know, being used to a normal 26 letter all-purpose alphabet and all). grammar, particles, sentence structure and speaking were all okay for me although i had a few issues with structure at first what with all the backward-ness compared to English. Script was my downfall...hiragana and katakana were okay to learn, but fuck me sideways i sucked at kanji characters. Other people might be different though.

    Lecturer/s: 8/10. Yasumoto-sensei was good at covering content quickly without it feeling too rushed; she had a nice clear way of explaining things and she was just a nice lady overall. Matthew Stavros who did the culture lectures was awesome, really nice, laid back, and funny; he made the most interesting component of the course even more so with his delivery and humour. Top guy.

    Interest: 7/10. I really liked the culture component and found it the most interesting even though the focus was meant to be on learning the language. As for the actual language learning, communication tutorials were the most fun/interesting, script tutes were fucking boring though. grammar lectures fell somewhere in the middle.

    Overall: 7/10. It was good, not great, but okay. If you're into languages and don't mind a bit of rote memorisation, you should find it enjoyable. Tip: you have to study and keep up to date or you will fail, the end. I just found this out the hard way.
    Ten thousand dollars at the drop of a hat, I'd give it all gladly, if our lives could be like that.

  22. #97
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    Re: Subject Reviews - UPDATED WITH .PDF on first post

    ANHS1003 Foundations for Ancient History: Greece
    Lecturers: Dr Alastair Blanshard, Dr Julia Kindt, Ben Brown

    Ease: 8/10. In terms of assessment load, this was the easiest subject I did this semester. There's only one piece of non-exam assessment, other than tute participation, which is a 1500-word essay on one of the tute subjects. Unfortunately they do the stupid thing where each essay topic is due in a different week, corresponding with the topic of the week's tute. This has the effect of discouraging people from doing the earlier topics, some of which I would've liked to have done, but I didn't feel confident enough to write a 1500-word analytical essay in my first couple of fortnights of uni. Literally half the people in my tute did the final week's essay. In terms of content, I don't think it's really that difficult a course. Some of the lecture material can be a bit difficult to start off with, because it does challenge a lot of the assumptions you have from HSC ancient history. In particular there's more focus on looking at how objects and ideas functioned within society, which can be a bit hard to start off with, and in your essays you need to focus a lot more on critical analysis of the sources than at high school. In the end, though, you don't really need to know all the content, because in the exam there are questions from each lecture and tute and you just pick two. So all you really need to know are your essay topic and one other, and the reading lists help out a lot with researching them.

    Lecturer: 9.5/10 for Alastair, 8.5/10 for Julia, 7/10 for Ben. Alastair is a fantastic lecturer. He's very funny and he has a flair for explaining things with real clarity, and he was probably helped out by the fact that he had some of the most interesting topics. Julia is also very funny - once you work out her accent (Bavarian), which might take one or two lectures - and she has a real passion for her speciality, the Delphic Oracle. She also kept us awake during less interesting lectures by interspersing them with amusing stories from the ancient texts. Ben... oh, Ben. I hated hated hated him for most of the course, because I thought his lectures (particularly the ones on Homer) dwelt unnecessarily on meaningless abstractions, but listening to them again while preparing for the exam I realised that he actually has a lot of really interesting things to say. Approach his lectures with an open mind. He's an appalling tutor - just talks for the whole hour instead of trying to stimulate discussion, so I gave up on doing the readings eventually - but some of the things he said in tutes were quite handy, like demonstrating to us the process by which the Cyreneans might have rewritten their history with reference to the example of Gallipoli.

    Interest: 8/10. The course focuses on late dark age and Archaic Greece, a period which I and probably most other HSC ancient history people didn't have much experience with. (For the record, we pretty much start with Homer and Hesiod and then proceed thematically, but roughly chronologically, to the Persian Wars.) It's great to learn about this period, which had previously been pretty neglected academically but has more recently been acknowledged as the period in which a lot of the features of the better-known Classical period developed.* There's no real thread joining together the lectures, which is frustrating at first, but then I took a look at the course title and realised that the point of the course is really to introduce us to the key features and concepts in the study of ancient Greece, as a foundation for further study. I thought it did that pretty successfully.

    Overall: 8.5/10. Pretty easy, good lectures in a good lecture theatre (Eastern Avenue), reasonably interesting. No major complaints.

    *I'd recommend reading over an introductory text about this period before starting the course, just to get an idea of how this period fits in to earlier Greek history. They don't really put it in context fantastically in the lectures. Try Pomeroy et al, Ancient Greece: a political, social, and cultural history, from the section on Homer onwards for a few chapters. The actual course textbook, Greece in the Making (which isn't at all necessary for the course), might also be good - I don't know, I've never laid eyes upon a copy.
    Last edited by Triangulum; 18 Nov 2007 at 5:46 PM.

  23. #98
    Junior Member DeepDarkRose's Avatar
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    Re: Subject Reviews - UPDATED WITH .PDF on first post

    ANHS2691 Ancient historians rethink history 1
    Lecturer/Tutor:
    Ben Brown
    We also had about five video lectures by some other guy whose name I can't remember.

    Ease: 7/10
    I haven't received any results yet, so it's hard to tell, but just going off the content throughout semester itself, this course wasn't too horrible in terms of difficulty. It is more philosophy than history, but to me that was a lot more interesting than lectures full of dates that I would forget anyway. I had done the history extension course, and postmodernism for english ex 1 in the hsc so a lot of the ideas weren't completely new, but what highschool made ridiculously boring, this course made really inspiring. Some of the concepts were different to what we are used to in traditional history, and you really have to approach it with an open mind.

    Lecturer: Ben Brown 9/10
    First up, the video lectures were painful at times because the sound was a bit distorted, but they weren't really boring or anything so I could deal.
    I've seen someone else complain about Ben Brown for another course, and I have to say that to me he has been one of the best lecturers/tutors I've ever had. Yes he does go off topic sometimes in tutes, yes he talks throughout most of the tutorial, but for me it was really a case of wanting to listen to him rather than the same people argue over and over about the same thing. I know others would disagree with me, but I feel like these tutorials have been the most useful I've ever had because he has a lot of interesting ideas that none of us could have ever thought of, and tutorials were really a case of expanding on lecture material rather than people guessing things to fill in the silence that I've experienced so often in other courses. We also had to write a journal which was a good way to get participation marks.

    Interest: 9/10
    I would encourage anyone who is thinking of majoring in Ancient history (or probably HSTY2691 for history majors cause I think that is its equivalent) to do this course. You might not like it at first, or at all, but it is important to know what other theories about and approaches to history are out there. It is the most interesting course I have ever done and has given me new ideas about how to approach content in other ANHS courses.

    Overall:
    9/10 Best course I've ever done.

  24. #99
    Junior Member DeepDarkRose's Avatar
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    Re: Subject Reviews - UPDATED WITH .PDF on first post

    ANHS 2601 Ancient Imperialism
    Lecturers: Alastair Blanshard, Dexter Hoyos

    Ease: 7/10
    The content for the most part wasn't terribly complicated, it is divided into two halves, the first focussing on Greek empires (Athens, Sparta, Alexander) and the second half focussing on Rome with mentions of some others (Carthage, Seleucids). The first half didn't have a course reader or a text book, we just had to print out some primary sources from WebCT, which I think unfortunately left us with mostly facts rather than theories or interpretations and that was insufficient to me for exam preparation, so it is encouraged to look at the secondary sources on the tutorial lists because otherwise you'll end up just describing rather than analysing things in the exam. The Rome half did have a text book (Roman Imperialism edited by Champion) which was very useful because it covers a wide variety of sources and ideas, though it is sometimes dry and boring.

    Lecturer:
    Alastair Blanshard (first half of the course - lecturer and tutor): 8/10
    He's quite a favourite among ancient history students, and I understand why, he is engaging and entertaining and makes history interesting. However, I felt that a lot of his lectures were straight facts, like tribute tables or coinage descriptions, and this was not entirely useful for the exam because memorising facts is great, but it won't lead to any sort of analysis if all you do is just describe all the facts you know. His tutorials were a bit quiet because we had no ideas to bounce off because all the readings were primary sources only.

    Dexter Hoyos: (second half of the course - lecturer and tutor): 8/10
    Definitely amusing for the most part, you can tell he really knows his stuff, even if he sometimes gets so off topic you sit there wondering how on earth he'll get back to the point. There were more ideas in this half of the course rather than just numbers and lists and I appreciated that as I found it a lot easier to study for the exam. The tutorials were also a bit more lively because he focussed on what people had written in their essays and then people had things to say.

    Interest: 4/10
    I personally didn't find this course particularly exciting. With the Greek half it seemed like just a more in depth version of the first year course. The Roman half deals with a part of Roman history that the first year course completely misses and I appreciated learning about the Punic wars because it was completely new to me. Otherwise it was not greatly enlightening, it did not change my perspective on anything, it just gave me a broader knowledge of the historical narrative. If you are looking for new theories and interpretations, I think this course is somewhat lacking, except maybe right at the end when we learnt about how Rome itself was changed because of its imperialism.

    Overall: 6/10
    This course is not terrible, but it is also nothing exciting. It's a good foundation but I expected more than that from a second year course. However, I'm glad I did it just for the extra knowledge of periods I had never studied.

  25. #100
    Junior Member DeepDarkRose's Avatar
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    Re: Subject Reviews - UPDATED WITH .PDF on first post

    hahaha it wasn't *that* bad... I dealt with the video lectures fine... And yea I was wondering why you disappeared, but yeah it took me some time to get used to Ben and his lectures, but I ended up pretty impressed... Like the person above with anhs1003 said, if you look back, you realise how many smart things he really has to say...
    Oh well each to their own...

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