Year 1 Semester 1

Year 1 Semester 1.

  1. You may not be entirely sure what you have got into.
  2. You picked the course becasue…
  3. You somehow notice that the female population here is very small.
  4. Looks like you are preallocated some maths, physics, programming introduction and more discrete maths.
  5. You don’t know how to use the library.
  6. You don’t know how to connect to NUS network and end up using NUSOPEN.
  7. So many CCAs. All look fun.

Do not worry too much about the teaching styles of professors. If you have to take the module, you are stuck with a particular professor anyway with little choice. University is about helping yourself, self-studying etc… If you need spoon feeding, uni is the wrong place to be. Worry about how to make sense of the lecture material, how to squeeze value from the tutorials and what to read and practice with.

MA1505 -Mathematics I
3 hour lecture spread into 2 and 1 hours slots. Weekly 1 hour tutorials, no lab. (I was taught by Prof Leung)
Its almost an extension of your A Levels but far harder. It will be more difficult for those from poly. Differentiation, integration, fourier series, vectors, multiple integrals. For those not very mathematically inclined (need lots of time to catch-up and follow-up the lectures) it will be a bit of a struggle at first but once you get the hang of it and realise that doing past – year exam papers help alot in knowing the quality and requirement of the questions. Mid-terms are 10 MCQs. Final exams are 8 questions in which you have to write working and final answe to score. Its bell-curved since the entire year 1 engineering faculty takes it.  Less and less people attend tutorials as the semester progresses unless you have a really good tutor who does not simply paste the answer on the board which you can download anyway. (Closed book except for one A4 help sheet)

PC1432 –  Physics IIE
3 hour lectures spread into 2 and 1 hour slots. The 1 hour tutorials are fortnightly and there are only 2 lab sessions. (I was taught by Prof Edward Teo)
CEG students take only PC1432, the electrical part of the two part physics syllabus (you skip on kinematics and all that sort). This encompasses electric charge, magnetism, light and simple quantum physics. 3 hour lectures spread into 2 and 1 hour slots. The 1 hour tutorials are fortnightly. There are 2 labs in which you do some physical experiments (Current Balance and Atomic Spectra). Do not think that its like SPA. SPA does not train you in anything except remembering action for action 1 out of 5 possible experiments. Attend the tutorials. The hardworking tutor puts up helpful reviews and summaries. MCQ mid-term and open ended final exams. (Closed book except for one sheet of formulae).

CS1231 – Discrete Structures
3 hour one stretch lecture. 1 hour tutorial weekly. (I was taught by Prof Stephane Bressan and Prof Bryan Low)
The most mind screwing module unless you are very very mathematically inclined. This module is about logic and mathematical proofs. Yes, you will learn to prove that 1×0=0 and 1+1=2. Attend everything or you will be lost. Attend the 3 hour at a stretch lecture, listen for 30 minutes, get lost for 45 minutes and try to keep awake for the rest of the time. Attend the 1 hour tutorials where you don’t know how to present almost any answer. MCQ mid-term and open ended finals. Open-book but the official (Krantz) textbook is completely useless for anything except introductory reading use. Read the supplementary textbooks instead. Use the lecture notes for hints on the proofs unless you have rigouriously practiced them all. The key is to practice proofs to get a feel of how proofs are written.

CG1101 – Programming Methodology
2 hour lecture. 1 hour tutorial weekly. 2 hour lab weekly. (I was taught by Prof Colin Tan)
Despite the CG code, you are lucky that its one without project but its exceedingly difficult for new programmers as its CG. Specially tuned to screw you over. Prof Colin’s question setting looks unreasonable when you do it but if you manage the answer, it’ll all fall in place and seem easy. If you are already good at programming, this is a breeze. It is taught in C.

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