The thoughts, opinions, happenings, and just plain ramblings of a seemingly boring person.

Course review & minor site update

Just updated a few things that are on my site. A new layout on the homepage is one thing, which just briefly explains what the site is a quick overview of things that it contains. I've also added a favicon to all the pages of the site. This icon will be shown in the address bar of Firefox and other browsers (not IE though), and if you add the site to your favorites or bookmarks, the icon will appear next to the title of the bookmark or favourite (in nearly all browsers, including IE).

After just finishing uni for the year, i thought i might post a review of the courses that I have done this past semester:

HIST2606 - A History of Warfare: This was one of the courses that I was most looking forward to doing in my Arts degree. Unfortunately I was utterly disappointed in both the content and presentation of this course. Half of the specialised guest lecturers that they had lined up didn't show, and the course was run by a staff member in which this was his last semester before retiring. Although the textbook (John Keegan's A History of Warfare) was a great read, the coverage of 'a history of warfare' by the course was a big let down.

COMP2502 - Algorithms and Data Structures: I was quite dreading this course. Only doing it because it is a compulsory subject in my IT degree, taking this course was like a prolonged water-torture, where the instrument torture is not water but a combination of mathematics and an ITEE staff member's teaching style. I hate even more courses in which you have to pass the exam to pass the course, but hopefully i scraped through.

INFS3200 - Advanced Database Systems: Just when i thought i knew a fair bit about databases this course came along and shattered any confidence I had in the field. However, this course was a highly interesting and educational experience and the course coordinator, Professor Maria Orlowska, is a highly knowledgeable and occasionally humorously quirky lecturer. Very knowledgeable and smart lady - I guess you don't become a professor for nothing.
The assessment was a bit pressurized though: it was the first subject I've ever had where the whole course is assessed only on two exams: 40% for the mid-sem and 60% for the final. Surprisingly I did fantasticly well in the mid-sem, and we'll soon see how well i did on the final. Great course, but the tutorials left a bit to be desired.

COMP3804 - Advanced Information Technology Project: This year long course is the penultimate course in the IT degree, and probably took up the most amount of space in my blog for this year. Although constantly challenging, frustrating, and to be honest, annoying, in hindsight this course was a hugely valuable experience.
The work completed for this course was in no way appropriate for the amount of credit that the course is assigned, but thanks to a very very good group, we all pulled through quite well.
The biggest amount of garbage for this course was probably the exam and the consequent capping of our grades based on the mark we achieved in it. I was capped at a 5, being only 1.5% away from a 6. Subsequent changes to the capping method meant that it was still possible for me to get a 6, but time will show if i did well enough in the final pieces of assessment. Here's hoping.

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