Thursday, August 10, 2006

The semester ahead of me

Okay, I think we’ve all lost sight of my original point in the debate about morning Mass versus evening Mass. Maybe we can return to it in another form later.

Week 3 is about to end at uni to things are in full swing. ‘bout time I gave an overview of what my semester holds in terms of study.

Ethnic Cleansing and Genocide in Modern Europe: It’s the last history course of my Arts degree. A very interesting topic but the main lecturer is sick to the course won’t be its usual high standard. Never mind, I’m sure it’ll still be worthwhile. Only major issue I see is that my tutorial class consists of 6 of us. Now that’s a tiny class (usually about 15-20 for t his subject). The tutorial topics are structured in such a way that everyone has to take a side and stick with it. Thus every tutorial is a debate. A small class means everyone has to talk for much longer and have better arguments… Means it will be very hard to get away with not doing the readings! I can also only attend one lecture a week as the other clashes with another course.

Design and Communication: A level III engineering subject. It has no exam, rather just a small test, plenty of assignments and a major design project. My project group is designing a nano-satellite that will test an inflatable solar array. Should be interesting and I have a good group. The Communication aspect of this course is a joke. I can see the relevance to most engineering students – ie. teaching them how to communicate – but it’s terribly boring and useless for students also studying Arts. Therefore I’ve argued my way out of it. All I have to do is complete this online Q&A thingy about communication and also assess my own previous history essay to the lecturer’s criteria. (Seems silly as my history lecturer has already assessed it!) Anyway I’m glad to be out of it and means that it will be a slightly easier than expected load – a full-time load rather than an overload.

Dynamics & Control II: The Dynamics element is vibrations. An interesting area but we have a hopeless lecturer. He knows his stuff, but there is a language barrier and a soft voice and he blatantly refuses to wear a microphone. I think I’ll purchase the optional textbook and teach myself! Auto Control is very interesting and really a Mechatronic thing. It’s mainly about being able to model systems in matrices and differential equations to predict different things. This is very much an exam based subject.

Embedded Computer Systems: This is taught by the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering. The subject has an exam and a major group project. The project is to design a robot and write the software for it (something I’m not good at). It’s all about control but from a software and programming perspective.

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