Subject Reviews (with PDF compilation) (1 Viewer)

sida1049

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Semester 2 2016

COSC1003 – Computational Science
Ease – 10/10
Programming in this course is easy to manage since it’s MATLAB (which is quick to pick up even for students who have not programmed before). The problem solving aspect of this course is interesting, and perfectly doable. In every lab, you have to complete a set of tasks in relation to the theory, and get it marked. This wasn’t too difficult. The practical exams were manageable (there are plenty of past papers) and the assignment was straightforward. The final exam purely tested the theory and involved no coding at all. The only issue I had was with the wording of some of the assessments, though markers were fairly lenient, so there’s that.
Lecturers – 8/10 (10/10 for Cliff Kerr, 6/10 for Paula Sanz-Leon)
Cliff is a great lecturer; he was very charismatic, engaging, amusing and effectively communicated the ideas. His lecture slides are very useful and takes time to write up additional notes. He also gives out chocolates during his lectures, so why wouldn’t you turn up? Paula was inexperienced, so naturally in contrast to Cliff, she wasn’t nearly as effective as a lecturer.
Interest – 10/10
This course covers a very eclectic range of topics, including information theory, probability, networks, techniques for numerically solving ODEs, and various modelling here and there. The content is satisfying for mathematics, physics and engineering students. However, it should be noted that the topics were only touched upon superficially, as every lecture covers a new topic, which may be completely unrelated to previous lectures.
Overall – 10/10
Great lecturer. Very interesting content. Scientific problem solving with programming. Easy marks. 100% recommend if you have a spare elective, are interested in developing scientific programming skills and/or interested in an eclectic range of topics.

ECON1002 – Introductory Macroeconomics
Ease – 8/10
The workload is comparatively less than ECON1001, as there are fewer assessments (a mid-semester exam, term essay and final exam), along with the fact that many students found ECON1001’s content more difficult to grasp. The assessments were perfectly manageable, and so is the final exam (surprisingly enough this year, the short-answer component of the finals was purely computational and involved very little written explanation). Assessment averages can be surprisingly low due to many international students who struggle with the wording and others who lack confidence in basic algebra.
Lecturers – 7.5/10 (8.5/10 for Mark Melatos, 6.5/10 for Edward Nelson)
Most of the lectures were delivered by Melatos, who was a very competent lecturer who tried to make the theory interesting and applicable to the real world. From time to time, however, Melatos’ pace can be uncomfortably slow as he goes through a bunch of graphs and statistics which emphasise trivial points that don’t really benefit anyone. Professor Nelson is very qualified, however he isn’t that great as a lecturer. His slides tend to have too many words, which he directly reads from. However, I personally think it’s still beneficial to attend his lectures, but that could be my optimistic bias.
Interest – 7/10
I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of maths in this course (which was little, whereas I expected very little). The most exciting aspects of the course are probably the macroeconomic models, so make sure you’re at least confident with basic algebraic manipulation. I personally found ECON1001 to be more interesting, though.
Overall – 8/10
Fairly useful and interesting, and relatively easy to do well in if you put apply the effort.

INFO1105 – Data Structures
Ease – 8/10
I found this unit to be easier and more enjoyable than INFO1103. This course has significantly more content which are more difficult to grasp than that of INFO1103, however I personally felt that the assessments were easier and more manageable. There is a quiz every two weeks, which involve 5 multiple choice questions, which are easy as long as you do the revision. The programming tasks each week are also perfectly manageable. The assignments were easier and more interesting than those of INFO1103 in my opinion, and the final exam was much easier than the introductory course.
Lecturers – 8/10 (8.5/10 Alan Fekete, 7.5/10 John Stavrakakis)
Both lecturers are very competent, friendly, and were effective in communicating the theory across to students. Alan Fekete was the more charismatic lecturer, who presented the content more engagingly and thoroughly. However, compared to Stavrakakis, his pace was far slower. Stavrakakis is arguably more efficient, and a fine lecturer by most standards, though at times awkward and difficult to follow.
Interest – 9/10
The content was very interesting. I was very pleasantly surprised by the variety and ingenuity of data structures introduced. The heavy use of recursion was quite intriguing.
Overall – 8/10
A decent, all-round course; Not difficult, good lecturers, great content.

MATH1903 – Integral Calculus and Modelling (Advanced)
Ease – 10/10
If you did HSC Mathematics Extension 2, this will be a fairly accommodating course for you. The content isn’t difficult to grasp. The assignments were straightforward and the practice quizzes reflected the quizzes quite accurately. Final exam, however, wasn’t difficult, but rather that it was way too long, to compensate against the ease of the content.
Lecturers – 10/10 (Anne Thomas and Florica-Corina Cîrstea)
Both lecturers were absolutely amazing. They went through the content with great effectiveness, structure and style. Florica has the coolest accent I’ve ever heard.
Interest – 10/10
It’s mathematics.
Overall – 10/10
The proof of this is left as a trivial exercise for the reader.

MATH1905 – Statistics (Advanced)
Ease – 6.5/10
Probably the most difficult first year course I’ve done. The content is quite difficult to grasp, and most students end up learning how to do the questions as opposed to understanding the theory. That said, passing and doing well in this course isn’t too difficult (probably easier than MATH1902); the assignments weren’t too bad, and the quizzes were reflected very well by the practice quizzes. We had 6 different past papers to study from for the finals, which weren’t difficult themselves if you’ve caught up with the content. The final exam was far more doable than the MATH1902 exam. Essentially, while the theory was elusive and difficult, the assessments and final exam were quite reasonable.
Lecture – 7/10 (Michael Stewart)
I personally liked Michael Stewart. He was a quirky guy, who coined up several phrases which we ended up using as memes during the semester (e.g. “embrace the binomial”, “the unstoppable soft drink industry”, “the Homer Simpson woo-hoo is the best I’ve ever heard”, et cetera). As a lecturer, he was competent and knowledgeable, however his lectures and lecture notes were structured problematically, making them difficult to follow. That said, he is approachable if you need assistance. A lot of the time he’d concede that understanding some of the concept were beyond the scope of the course, though that’s no fault of his.
Interest – 8/10
Albeit a difficult unit, the content is very intriguing and useful. I’d argue that despite being the most difficult first year course I’ve done, it’s probably one of, if not the most useful.
Overall – 7.5/10
Not for the faint-hearted. Unless if you are up for a challenge, you should probably do MATH1005 instead. That said, it isn’t a WAM-killer by any means (since the assessments/exams were pretty manageable). Also, it should be noted that doing Mathematics Extension 2 gives you no benefit whatsoever.

MATH1907 – Mathematics (Special Studies Program) B
Ease – 8/10
As with MATH1906, while some of the content may be quite difficult to grasp and follow, the assignments were manageable. That said, they can prove to be challenging (I wrote a 5-page proof for a question), but the lecturers typically mark with leniency (and often accept a higher degree of vagueness and intuition than usual). Thus the extra credit is easy to obtain.
Lecturers – 10/10 (James Parkinson, Jean Yang and Sharon Stephen)
The lecturers were amazing. Especially Parkinson (of course).
Interest – 10/10
The first topic was an introduction to group theory, delivered by Parkinson, who everyone adores. The second topic was an overview of the ideas behind more advanced statistical methods, though the main attraction was the assignment, which involved forming a survey, gathering data and answering a question of your group’s choosing. The third topic is an introduction to fluid dynamics by Stephen, which involved quite a bit of complex transformations.
Overall – 10/10
Do it.
 

Soulful

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LNGS1002 - Language and Social Context

Ease - 9/10
Lack of tests means that it's very easy to get very high marks in this unit. Like seriously, I don't see how anyone could get below a distinction in this unit. The downside of this lack of tests is a 10% assignment every two weeks, combined with two quite substantial take home exams. However, all of these assignments and take home exams are super manageable, since they are almost always based off lectures. Most of the content itself isn't too hard to grasp either - language is so ingrained in us that a lot of content is stuff you've always known, but never really thought about, or never knew it had a proper technical name. People who didn't do lngs1001 (like me) might find it hard at first adjusting to IPA notation, but it isn't a major impediment to doing well.

Lecture - 9/10 (Nick Enfield)
Nick is fantastic and deeply knowledgeable about linguistics. His lectures are well organised and very engaging, and he is a very strong communicator. Only downside is that his voice can be a little monotonous and serious, but he gets the job done and that's all that matters.

Interest - 10/10
Super interesting content that addresses questions like "What's the difference between a dialect and a language?" or "How do we know when to start and stop speaking during a conversation" or most fundamentally "What can you tell about someone from the way they speak?". Even the assignments were pretty fun (one required you to survey your friends about how much they use words like "dude" and "babe"). This whole unit really gets you thinking about how language is not only shaped by its grammar, syntax etc. but also by political, social and economic forces

Overall - 10/10
Best unit I've done at uni so far. Enjoyed so much so that I've restructured my whole degree so I can major in linguistics. Would strongly recommend to anyone who has an interest in language and is looking for an eye opening but also relatively easy unit.
 
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Ronnie Coleman

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Semester 2 2016

KRNS1622 - Korean 2

Ease - 9/10
I studied Korean on my own for like 1 year before starting Korean, and this unit (like Korean 1) was a total breeze. I got 97 in Korean 1 and 95 in Korean 2. It's a good unit, structured well around the textbook and workbook. One of the mid sem grammar quizzes was unusually difficult (compared to the rest of the tests) and they made the final exam easier accordingly, so it was super easy. I love learning Korean and put in work in and outside of class so it's a great time all round. I'd put 10 here but since I have some background I know others won't always have I'll put 9. There's vocab tests of 10 words each week, nothing very difficult if you put in the work.

Lectures - 8/10
Pretty straightforward affair, Park Duk-Soo is the lecturer (he was also my tutor this sem). He rambles as much as usual but he does know what he's doing, answers questions quite well so in the end it's all good. Grammar in the lectures then some exercises and speaking practice in the tutes. They are 2 hour lectures which sometimes feel pretty long, lots of people don't turn up. The tutorials with Park were great, he tells some good stories and uses Korean a fair bit, also encouraging us to do the same. My tut seemed to have a bunch of pretty competent people so he adjusted the learning a bit to that, made things more interesting. This sem was definitely better than last, his tutorials were loads of fun. Even more practice for speaking is always better, it's where most people are lacking.

Interest 10/10
I love the language and so this is an easy 10 for me. The lectures can be long sometimes but the tutorials definitely made up for that. Anyone who enjoys Korean and liked Korean 1 will like Korean 2, obviously.

Overall 9/10
Korean is my major and continuing on from Korean 2 I'm doing Korean 3 now and it's great, a different lecturer who is even drier sometimes, and the tutorials were dry as hell at first but are getting better now. Looking forward to continuing to study it for the duration of the major.
 

camelrider

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MATH3969 - Measure Theory and Fourier Analysis (Advanced)

Semester 2, 2016

Ease - 0/10
By far the HARDEST math unit you'll do. If you thought MATH2962 or MATH3961 were even in the SLIGHTEST bit hard, then you my friend are in for one hell of a ride. Do NOT expect going in to this unit of study thinking it will be a breeze because it will NOT! Be ready to spend countless hours on MATH3969.

Lecturer - 10/10 (Daniel Daners)
If you don't already know, Daniel Daners is a phenomenal lecturer. Whenever concepts are explained, it is comprehensible. I still recommend you are adequately prepared before going into the lecture though. The lectures were recorded when I did it. The only negativity about Daners is his speed. Sometimes you would just hope that he picks up the pace.

Interest - 0/10
Measure Theory is by far one of the most DRIEST math topic you can possibly do - this isn't only my opinion, but of many MANY others as well.

Overall - 1/10
I had to do it because I didn't want to do other subjects like MATH3975/MATH3977/MATH3978. If they had another sort of abstract algebra course in third year semester 2 I would have done that instead. Analysis is boring. :sleep:
 
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Riproot

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ENVI3111 - Environmental Law & Ethics - Semester 1, 2017

Ease - 7/10
Semi-easy. Compared to other Geography units I found it difficult, but I think that is mainly because the learning was not very well facilitated.
We only had tutorials 5 times over the semester (when our timetable had them for every week), and the lectures were SHIT.

Lecturer - 1/10
Jo Gillespie - 1/10
Terrible lecturer. Boring. Not engaging.
But 1, because the slides were set out ~okay~... not very good though tbh.

Tim Frewer - 1/10
A better, more engaging ~lecturer~, but honestly the lectures were so, so poorly organised. Coming from USyd science 5 years ago and from another (shitter) educational institution these lectures were not at all up to the standard of a third year subject...

Interest - 1/10
This subject could be MUCH more interesting if the content was updated properly from year-to-year and if the education was more engaging. The tutorials weren't well facilitated and the lectures seemed a bit messy (probably because of their lazy updates from previous years)...

Overall - 2.5/10
If you want a disinterested and disengaging unit coordinator, coupled with no educational facilitation, then this is the course for you!




PHIL2627 - Philosophy & Psychiatry - Semester 2, 2016

Ease - 6/10
Dom made this unnecessarily hard on purpose... it was kind of annoying tbh.
As a medical student who placed in the top quartile of my psychiatry cohort and equal first in the philosophy/professionalism/"personal development" component of our degree I only managed 65 in this unit...
I did not attend the tutorials.
ADDIT: There were no proper, thoughtful criteria for ANY of the assessments… I asked for one early in the semester and the tutor assured me there would be one for each assessment. We were both surprised (and disappointed) when what we found was a very general (and subjective/shit) "guide". I thought this was pretty half-asses from someone that considered themselves as highly as Dom does…

Lecturer - 3/10
Dominic Murphy - 3/10
He's in love with himself, and it kind of gets to me.
Much of the "substance" to his teaching is just him talking about his own writings ~covertly~.
The lectures were subpar, we weren't provided adequate access to extra resources. (The reader contained the readings and that is it, everything else we were directed to was not available from the University [and we were expected to get our information from other sources]).

Assorted Guest Lecturers - ?/10
Unnecessary, and varied a lot.
I only listened to recordings (I couldn't attend in person) and eventually just stopped listening because it wasn't beneficial.

Interest - 7/10
This subject could be MUCH more interesting (as well). I feel like it touched on many interesting topics, but failed to break the surface and really get into the nitty, gritty questions surrounding the philosophy of the mind and psychiatry...
It is something I will be interested in future, and look forward to now completing my Masters in Psychiatry at UMelb... :/

Overall - 5.5/10
There are many improvements to be made, but the actual course "basis" is quite interesting. Maybe it is a case of the unit resting on its laurels...
 
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sida1049

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Semester 1, 2017

ECMT1020 - Introduction to Econometrics
Ease - 9/10
If you are comfortable with probability and statistical inference, then this unit will be a piece of cake. Otherwise, this unit may require more of your time and effort in order to do well. This semester didn't have a STATA assignment, but had 4 online multiple choice question sets. The multiple choice questions weren't difficult, but they did test parts of the course that most students tend to overlook. The midsem and final exam were fairly straightfoward.
Lecturer - 9/10 (Peter Exterkate)
Peter is a great guy, and his slides are comprehensive enough for you to safely neglect the textbook. His lectures are worth attending, and tries to make his presentation friendly for those who prefer to watch them at home. He is sometimes awkward, but that doesn't reduce the worth of his lectures. He is also very active in participating in online discussions.
Interest - 7/10
The course does kind of get interesting, but content sometimes feels a bit dry and the mathematical rigour isn't very satisfying. The latter may be a good thing for some students.
Overall - 8.5/10
It's a useful unit, and generally not that difficult. It's a compulsory subject for many students, but it's probably one of the better ones.

ECOS2901 - Intermediate Microeconomics Honours
Ease - 6.5/10
Personally, I found the content to be fairly easy and straightforward to understand, and I suspect that other mathematics students would feel the same. However, students who aren't as comfortable with mathematics may find this unit particularly challenging (along with ECOS2903). What made this unit challenging for me (and many others) are the two midsems and the final. The lecturer, in his words, likes to add "novel twists" to problems in his exams. They are interesting, but it's hard to prepare for them, and they can really throw you off during the exam.
Lecturer - 9/10 (Stephen Cheung)
The lecturer presents the theory really well, and his slides are very helpful. He has plenty of experience teaching the course, and it really shows. However, occasionally, he may spend a disproportionate amount of time explaining simple algebraic derivations. He seems generally approachable during lectures, but he responds quite tersely to emails.
Interest - 10/10
The theories are very interesting, and they are presented with a satisfying level of mathematical rigour. Preference and consumer theories were great. The rigorous treatment of game theory is really fascinating.
Overall - 9/10
If you enjoy economics and mathematics, you will love this course.

MATH2961 - Linear Algebra and Vector Calculus (Advanced)
Ease - 6/10
Vector calculus was the easier half of the course. However, it can get really computational, and you aren't provided with a formula sheet, so it's necessary to memorise quite a few important formulae. Linear algebra can get quite difficult, and the content towards the end feels somewhat disorganised and awkward. This is the first year Fish and Mathas has taught this course, so the difficulty of the quizzes and exams spiked up compared to previous years (which felt significantly easier).
Lecturers - 7.5/10 (Sasha Fish for vector calculus 7/10 Andrew Mathas for linear algebra 8/10)
This is the first time the lecturers have taken the course, so naturally, the course wasn't taught as well as it could have been. Both lecturers are satisfactory, however, they also consistently made mistakes during lectures. Both lecturers are very friendly and approachable.
Interest - 8/10
Vector calculus, personally, was fairly interesting until it got up to the final third of the course, where the central focus shifted to flux, Greens' and Stokes' theorems. Physics students may find those topics much more interesting and relevant than I do. To my surprise, I quite enjoyed abstract linear algebra. However, the last 1.5 weeks were a little disorientating for everyone, since it wasn't easy to see how it flowed on from the previous weeks, as well as the fact that this is the lecturer's first time teaching the course.
Overall - 7.5/10
This is a crucial unit for both advanced pure and applied maths students, and for a course that important, I think it was handled satisfactorily.

STAT2911 - Probability and Statistical Models (Advanced)
Ease - 5/10
Oh boy. So far, this has been the most challenging and stressful unit I've taken. The lecturers were difficult to follow because the content was really difficult. The lecturer does not dumb anything down, and presents things with a very high level of mathematical rigour (sometimes even higher than that of MATH2961). Throughout the semester, I had to dedicate around 50% of my study time just for this unit alone. Weekly tutorial problems can get really difficult, and they are marked during tutorials. Furthermore, the lecturer records marks for tutorials (to make judgments on special consideration requests), so you're really incentivised to them in your own time, which can easily take several hours. (Although considering the fact that the theory is pretty difficult, this is probably a good thing.) The quizzes were multiple choice only, and they weren't so bad. Weekly computer reports are probably the easiest part of the course. The assignments are as difficult as weekly tutorial sheets. The computer exam at the end had the same difficulty as the weekly computer reports. The final exam was fairly difficult. I personally got lucky in the final, but a lot (probably most) students really struggled with it (as they did with tutorial problems). I would suggest to avoid this unit unless you did fairly well in MATH1905.
Lecturer - 9.5/10 (Uri Keich)
I have a lot of respect for Uri. He is by far the most intense lecturer I've had. He takes the tutorial classes himself, and records the marks of your weekly tutorial exercises. As mentioned above, he does not dumb down the maths, and rarely ever slows down. This was sometimes tough even for advanced maths students, so you can imagine how the commerce students would have struggled in his classes. That said, he is a lecturer who really knows his stuff. I have never had a lecturer as prepared as he is, which is astonishing, considering just how difficult the content is. He presents the content in a highly structured manner. He also seems to have a ridiculously good memory, as he has memorised the faces and most of the names in his classes, as well as flawlessly memorising his lecture slides. While he comes off as an intense guy, he is perfectly approachable if you have something to ask.
Interest - 10/10
The rigorous probability and statistical theory were highly satisfying and fascinating. It is a huge improvement from MATH1905.
Overall - 8/10
If you are looking for a highly mathematical and challenging unit, then this is for you. If you're really into probability, then this is a must. But be warned; this unit will make you really work for it.
 

Soulful

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Semester 1 - 2017

LNGS1001 - Structure of Language

Ease - 7/10
Unlike LNGS1002 (which is very much a humanities subject), LNGS1001 is much more rigorous and requires an almost mathematical approach in order to succeed. Don't do it expecting your typical "arts" subject. Throughout the semester, you get 5 problem sets worth 8% each which range from doable to extremely confusing - the average for a particular question on Turkish Vowel Harmony was close to a bare pass for example. I ended up spending quite a bit of time trying to do these problem questions, and even still, I'd always miss some minor quirk and end up losing marks I didn't even know existed. Exams are alright - unlike assignments, the marking is quite lenient, and for the final exam, you get the linguistic data beforehand. All in all, if you go to lectures and are semi-decent at logical thinking, it shouldn't be too hard to do well. Just make sure you know the IPA back to front.
Lecturer - 9/10 (Nick Enfield)
Nick is great and really knows his stuff. His lectures are well structured and he is very good at explaining complex ideas in simple terms. Only problem is that his voice is kind of monotone and has, on many occasions, lulled me to sleep. Also, he is an expert on SE Asian languages, so expect all the examples in his lectures to be drawn from Lao, Thai, Kree etc. Not necessarily a bad thing, but I would have liked a bit more variety.
Interest -10/10
Syntax, Phonology and Phonetics, and Morphology might not sound very interesting, but my god are they fascinating when you get down to the nitty gritty. Ever since uni, I've really missed the logical approach of mathematics, and linguistics has been able to fill that gap in my life (for the most part). Like maths, you get "eureka" moments in linguistics as well, and they are deeply satisfying.
Overall - 9/10
Fantastic introduction to linguistics, and anyone who wants to analyse language through a more rigorous lens should do it.

JPNS3621 - Japanese 7

Ease - 4/10
Where do I begin. Japanese 7 has been by far the most difficult, time consuming and frustrating subject I've done at uni so far (and I do law lmao). Unlike all the Japanese units before it, the focus of 7 is on syntax. And trust me, since it's a language infamous for having page long sentences, Japanese syntax is the closest thing to hell on this earth. A lot of what you do in 7 are "syntactically correct translations", where you not only have to translate Japanese sentences, but also do so in a manner that reflects the original syntax (ie. have all the main and relative clauses set out correctly, know who is doing what verb etc). Be prepared for translations which make NO sense in English. Ie.

Also, the way of thing (1) exists
(1) Regarding (2)
(2) The result (3)
(3) that the number of men (4) has increased
(4) Who don’t feel in allure of marriage in the background (5)
(5) Of where the truth is (6)(6a)
(6) Is that the civil law is still unequal
(6a) and divorce rates are rising

While it doesn't sound too hard, you get almost NO help from the tutors (except this monstrous 100+ slide powerpoint called "The Algorithm"), and you are expected to be able to do it right from the beginning. Never mind the fact that a lot of Japanese sentences have "implicit verbs" and "implicit subjects" and "parallel clauses" which just make the whole thing even more confusing. You will be spending around 3 hours every week trying to complete the syntax homework, and often by the end of it, you will still have no idea what on earth is going on. Thankfully, Dr. Tokita is very nice when it comes to marking, and she does spend a lot of time trying to decode the mess of a translation you've made in order to give you the most marks possible.

Speaking is also quite difficult and you don't get sufficient time in class to practise. The final exam is reminiscent of the oral exam of HSC Japanese Extension (ie. an absolute nightmare). Grammar is around N2 level (bordering on N1). Weekly Kanji tests as well RIP.

Tutors - 8/10
The teaching team for Japanese 7 is actually quite good. Tokita, who is in charge of the unit, is an absolute babe and very patient when it comes to explaining syntax (even though she still expects you to do a lot in your own time). Mashimo, who does conversation, is a lovely, somewhat eccentric, Japanese man who keeps the class entertained, and does his best to utilise the limited time he has to encourage us to speak Japanese. The grammar teacher Komatsu well was also very nice, and very organised. She went through our example sentences individually every week to explain what we did right and what we did wrong, which is A LOT of work, so props to her! As all the tutors are Japanese, classes are conducted 90% in Japanese, which does wonders for your listening ability.

Interest-7/10
The reading material we had to translate would have been really interesting.... if only I understood what was going on. Meaning often gets lost when all you're looking at are clauses, subjects, objects, verbs etc. Really wish we could have done more discussion on the points raised by the material (which covered stuff from Herbivore men to Japanese textbooks glossing over WW2 atrocities)

Overall-7.5/10
Despite my misgivings about syntax, I can see why they put such an emphasis on it, and I guess my comprehension ability has improved. It is pretty cool knowing how to deconstruct a sentence to it's bare, grammatical constituents. Also, the course was much better than 5 and 6, and I do appreciate how classes were mostly conducted in Japanese. Overall, a difficult, but rewarding introduction to the world of advanced Japanese.
 
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Tempesion

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This is for Sem 1, 2017.
MATH1901
Ease – 7/10
The course covered background theory on the ins-and-outs of differentiation which overlapped quite heavily with content learned in high school, but was still difficult in its own right. More advanced concepts and new theorems could get quite gnarly (future students beware of epsilon-delta definitions – they wrecked most of the cohort). It was difficult to score full marks in assignments, but easy to score a high mark. I found the quizzes to be manageable, but the spread was quite high for those. The final exam was also perfectly reasonable.

Lecturer + Tutor – 8.5/10 (Daniel Daners)
My cohort seemed to adore him but I thought he was a little overhyped. His teaching was quite clear, but I was occasionally lost in his accent (not his fault and completely on me). The later parts of the course were quite rushed and we ended up covering content up until the last lecture on week 13.

Interest – 6/10
This score is coming from the perspective of a student from the school of IT. I can see the value of learning higher levels of maths, especially in terms of optimising software, but the skills taught in this course did not feel completely applicable (aside from critical thinking and problem solving, which is arguably better developed in other courses). For me personally, this course was just a core unit that I needed as a stepping stone to do other units in my field.

Overall – 7/10
This course is definitely easier than MATH1902 but still quite a challenge to even the most mathematically inclined students. There is no guarantee that you will find this course easy, regardless of whether you blitz through HSC Ext 2 Maths (90+). If you do not intend to major in maths or take maths into 2nd year, I would advise you to save your WAM and take the mainstream MATH1001.

MATH1002
Ease – 9.5/10
How well you do in this course depends on the amount of time you invest in learning the core concepts of vector dot products and matrix multiplication. The rest of the course is an application of those concepts into various other formulas and problems. It would be comparable to learning how to utilise trig for the first time – an abstract concept which becomes second nature once you become familiar with it.
Lecturer – 9.5/10 (Becky Armstrong) 7.5/10 (Robert Haraway)
Tutor – 10/10 (Zeina Haidar)
Becky was very clear in explaining the kind of working/set up we were expected to do when given a type of question in an exam. She had no problems providing multiple examples of questions we would expect, which was great to see theory being put into practice. However, she was a little slow in picking up questions from the audience, even though she encouraged it heavily during the lecture.
Whilst Robert also provided examples based on theory, they were often way beyond the scope of the course and irrelevant to us (e.g. dealing with complex eigenvalues when the course only considered real eigenvalues). His delivery was clear for the most part, although he did talk to himself at times when lecturing and began mumbling when dealing with complicated examples.
Zeina was a great tutor who was dedicated to her job. Her summaries of the lectures were incredibly helpful in consolidating lecture content and she was incredibly willing to explain any misunderstandings to individual students. Her marking of assignments and quizzes was fair and she indicated clearly where deductions were made and what needed to be done to improve for the final.

Interest – 8.5/10
This score is coming from the perspective of a student from the school of IT. Given that this course had more application questions to real life as opposed to the MATH1x01 counterpart, it was much easier to see how theory could be used later in my field.

Overall – 9/10
The course was very well structured and everything that you needed to learn was presented to you in a digestible manner. This is a course where you will be rewarded generously for the effort you put into it.

INFO1103
Ease – 9.5/10
The difficulty can be polarising as programming requires a lot of understanding before we can do anything useful. I had prior experience in programming so I found most the concepts relatively straight forward, although harder applications of classes in later weeks did require a bit more study. Assignments were a little bit of a hassle in finding the perfect solution to the test cases but in 2017 S1, 50% of the course was already assessed before the final. PRAS was a bit annoying though, as some of the test cases were broken whilst we were still being assessed.

Lecturer – 9.5/10 (Masa)
His livecodings were always great. I found the lectures much more useful when attending in person as Masa was incredibly willing to make modifications to code on the fly if a concept needed more examples to help clarify. He did break off on a tangent at times (which is natural since so many things in programming require knowledge from future weeks), but was more focused as the weeks progressed.

Interest – 10/10
It’s core to my degree. This stuff speaks to my soul.

Overall – 9/10
This was the first test run of PRAS in IT courses. Whilst the execution of assessments and PRAS was godawful, I still enjoyed the course. This is a course that definitely will be polarising in terms of enjoyment, but keep an open mind and stick with it for at least more than one week.

BUSS1000
Ease – 1/10
It’s hard to get marks above credit in this course. Tutors will hold back marks for the most miniscule of reasons with very little justification. Whilst there are essentially only 3 major assessments in this course, participation is not free marks in this course. The median mark for participation hovered around 10/15%

Lecturer – 7/10
Tutor – 1/10 (Bruce)
Steven was quite engaging and gave lots of examples, which was nice. The quality of the guest lecturers (which make up about half the course) varied significantly with some basically just reading from the slide and others producing quite engaging presentations.

Bruce really was not helpful. He didn’t learn any of our names (unlike other tutors), even though marking for participation was done on an individual basis. His marking was also incredibly vague, providing little to no feedback on what needed to be improved content-wise. No one in our tutorial managed to secure an HD in assignments under him.

Interest – 2/10
This felt like I was back in year 8 geography doing population studies. The stuff on business strategy was pretty interesting, but the rest of the course felt like total fluff. (One of the questions in the final asked us to discuss the role of impactful technology on a business.)

Overall – 1/10
Probably the worst course I’ve done in uni so far. It sucks if you have to take it as part of a commerce core (pray for a competent team in the group assignment), but if you are considering this as an elective, just don’t. Look elsewhere.

BUSS1030
Ease – 9.5/10
The content isn’t particularly difficult (the lecturer explicitly mentions not to look at certain sections of the textbook as they won’t be assessed at all). There are a lot of elements to assessments, but as long as you do the required work every week, it’s essentially free marks. Word limits on exam answers does get a bit annoying though.

Lecturer – 10/10 (Abdul) 8/10 (Olga)
Abdul explains things extremely clearly, using examples that we can personally relate to. His focus on doing exercises in lectures really helps in reinforcing the concept, but I’m unsure how this would translate if you mainly watch lectures online. He knows his stuff and it’s clear that he has no difficulties in teaching it.
Olga’s content was taught with a little bit of fluff and the mathematical aspects of her part of the course weren’t taught quite as clearly. She has quite a different style of lecturing to Abdul, running it like a mini-tutorial, but she does skimp out a little on where specific numbers come from in examples. She also tends to read from the slide so I tended to just watch these lectures online.

Interest – 10/10
If you come into this course with an open mind, you’ll be surprised at how enjoyable it might be. I knew nothing about accounting before joining (never did business studies, commerce nor economics) but I thought it was quite fun. If I had a second major, this would have been a major contender.

Overall – 10/10
This is the most well-run course I’ve taken in uni so far. Whilst the marking structure of the course takes a little while to get used to, it is very clear where to get marks and you’re rewarded well for your efforts.
 

sida1049

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Semester 2, 2017

ECOS2902 – Intermediate Macroeconomics Honours
Ease - 7/10
Similar to ECOS2901, I felt like the content is relatively simple to grasp, but the exams were quite challenging. On the bright side, 30% of your total mark comes from attempting weekly tutorials, which kind of buffers against the exams.
Lecturer – 8.5/10 (Yunjong Eo)
The lecturer is friendly and engaging. He delivers the content really well, and has a sense of humour. He also gave everyone chocolate pies after the midsem to make everyone feel better. If only his exams were easier…
Interest - 7/10
Definitely more interesting than ECON1002, and ECOS2002, I suspect. Though personally I found ECOS2901 more satisfying, since the models in this course weren’t as rigorous nor interesting.
Overall – 7.5/10
If you are planning to do an honours year for economics, ECOS2902 is definitely a decent course. I’d suggest any economics student who don’t mind a bit more maths to take this unit over the normal stream.

MATH2965 – Intro to PDEs (Advanced)
Ease - 6/10
Definitely not an easy course, especially compared to the previous years since the lecturer changed. The assignments and exams were challenging, but doable if you keep up and dedicate yourself to this course.
Lecturer – 9/10 (Robert Marangell)
Robbie is a fantastic lecturer, and a great guy to talk to. However, it was his first time teaching this course, and he took it further than his predecessors, and some of the stuff overlapped with third-year content. The structure of the course felt almost like Robbie’s stream of consciousness from time to time, but upon reflection, you’ll find that his lecture structures are deliberate. This kind of threw some people off, but overall, I think his lectures are necessary to attend if you want to do well for his courses.
Interest - 9.5/10
Differential equations were great and all, but the best part of the course for me was probably when we spent some time on Fourier series, the Fourier transform, generalised functions, and how he relies on linear algebra to develop an intuition for what’s going on. I think that’s something that Robbie does which a lot of lecturers don’t, which really makes his lectures worth it. I also appreciated his computer lectures, where he used Mathematica to show compliment the theory in class.
Overall - 9/10
Definitely a course worth taking. While it’s geared towards applied, there are some content in there that are beneficial to pure maths students too. This course won’t exist from 2018 onwards, and is replaced by MATH2921 Vector Calculus and Differential Equations, but our boy Robbie will be taking the differential equations part of that course.

MATH2970 – Financial Mathematics and Optimisation (Advanced)
Ease - 8/10
I personally found this unit to be fairly simple. The theory gets a bit hairy from time to time, but overall the content isn’t too difficult to grasp, and the assessed content is even more straightforward. However, the advanced parts of the assignment, project and the final exam were quite challenging at times. Since the content is pretty much the same as the normal stream, some really tricky questions may be thrown into assignments that are only tangentially related to the stuff covered in class.
I skipped every single tutorial after the first because it wasn’t a board tutorial, and the tutor goes through the content very slowly and boringly. But this depends on your tutor.
Lecturer – 10/10 (Georg Gottwald)
Georg is a fantastic and lively lecturer, and a very friendly person to talk to. He seems pretty experienced and confident in presenting the content, which is great. He is also very active on Edstem; more so than other maths lecturer I’ve had yet.
Interest - 8/10
The content is fairly interesting, and definitely useful. The only thing is that some may be a little difficult to grasp (e.g. the theory behind the Langrangian method, but even so, applying the techniques were simple to do).
Overall – 8.5/10
A good unit to take if you’re interested in applied mathematics. For a lot of students, this is the first time they’ll see linear algebra applied to real-world problems.

STAT2912 – Statistical Tests (Advanced)
Ease - 7/10
Definitely a lot easier than STAT2911, however it still requires reasonable effort to do well in this unit. Generally, the content wasn’t too much trouble to understand, however you are exposed to a fair amount of new stuff in this unit, so there’s that. The assignments and computer labs were relatively simple. I personally had a bit of trouble with the quiz and computer exam at the end of the semester, but I think those might be easier with a different lecturer. The final exam was fairly straightforward.
Lecturer - 7/10 (John Robinson)
I liked the lecturer personally, since he is a friendly man, but his delivery wasn’t very exciting and the lecture attendance decay exponentially. His notes can be challenging to go through at times. We were actually meant to have Dr Azizi, but there was a last minute change. On the bright side, his assessments are usually quite straightforward, so you shouldn’t feel too stressed about that (unless if you get unlucky with the computer exam, as I did).
Interest – 9/10
I personally found this unit pretty interesting. It goes through some of the first-year stuff in much more detail and rigour, which is great because MATH1905 focuses more on applying than understanding. The new content on inference were very interesting; I actually understood it, and can how it would be used in real-world scenarios. The computer labs were fairly useful too. One of Robinson’s research interests is in exact tests, and so he went through quite a bit of that, which I found fascinating.
Overall – 8/10
I found this unit quite rewarding. Apparently it’s quite different from the mainstream version, so I’d encourage anyone who’s considering a statistics major to take this over STAT2012.
 

sida1049

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Summer, 2018

ECOS3018 - Economics of Growth
Ease - 7.5/10
The content is quite conceptual, and requires a bit of thinking to understand. The lectures involve quite a lot of algebra, so being confident with maths is definitely helpful here. However, the exams are quite doable; despite what you see in the lectures, the lecturer repeatedly emphasizes that you don't need maths in your written responses to perform well.
Lecturer - 10/10 (Graham White)
The lecturer for this unit is a fantastic guy, and he really knows his stuff. Unlike many lecturers, this is a guy who could probably deliver the 2-hour off the top of his head if he wanted to. He is friendly and approachable, and his lectures are definitely worth going to.
Interest - 8/10
I was pleasantly surprised with how interesting the content is. A lot of this is attributed to the lecturer, who discusses not only the theory itself, but also it's significance, how it relates to other theories, and the historical contexts and the clashes between various schools of economic thought from which the theory is born from. The way the lecturer delivers the stuff in a fascinating manner is something that you won't find in many other economic units.
Overall - 8/10
This is a pretty good course. If you're interested not only in economic growth, but also in the debates between different economic schools of thought over the last century, then I would wholeheartedly recommend this course to you.
 

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