Wow. I’m still in a state of shock and disbelief that my first year of University, my freshman year at University, is already over. It was amazing, and more than I could ever have imagined, and it’s already over. I honestly have no idea where the time has gone!
I learnt a lot over the past year, in terms of friends, time management, and (most importantly?) keeping up with my school work. It’s been intense. Even though this was only my first year at University, I decided to be “smart”, and take second year courses to the point that I have 1 first year course (my Math/Calculus class), and 4 second year courses. Our University prefers if you stick to only having 5. I really enjoyed taking these courses, don’t get me wrong, it was just an extra hard challenge considering I was only a freshman, still getting used to the idea of Winter and getting used to balancing out social and work time in Uni.
As a brief reminder, I’m doing a Specialist in Computer Science, and hope to do a Major in Economics as well. The courses I took were absolutely phenomenal, and totally opened my eyes to what it really means to be a Computer Scientist, and the type and amount of work that they have to do on a regular basis. There’s a lot more math involved in the program than I realized, and a lot of Proofs. If you haven’t heard me say it before, I have grown to hate proofs! I’ll give you a break down of all the classes I’m taking this semester.
The first year course I talked about is Math. We cover basic and not-so-basic concepts in Calculus. The material is ok, and the course load is pretty nice too, with weakly assignments so that they make sure you’re keeping up with the course. The annoying thing is that I keep not doing too well in the tests.. Don’t get me wrong, I’m passing them, but not as well as I would have hoped to be passing them.
My Social and Economic Networks course is probably one of the easier courses I’m taking this semester. Its a full year course, which means I had it in the first semester as well. In this course, we go over so many different concepts related to how social and economic networks form and mutate over time. We’ve studied how social networks like Facebook and twitter became popular, how search engines like Google work, how different types of Page Rankings work, as well as different strategies when it comes to running an Auction, or how to set up a voting system where you can get the outcome you want. Other fun topics include Game Theory, and Marriage Matching! Haha. I liked this course because, aside from the fact that we had so many quizzes, a lot of the subjects were pretty common-sense, and didn’t require too much thinking. The assignments were also pretty easy, and aside from formatting my solutions, didn’t require more than 3 or 4 hours worth of work.
My Coding class comes next – here we learnt the purpose of Object-Oriented Programming using Java as our base language. I truly enjoyed this course, and it helped that our prof was totally into teaching us! He was, honestly, one of the sweetest profs I’ve ever had! The coursework was generally ok, aside from two of the assignments we had. It was a group project where we had to code and design a Shell (you know the place where you put in different commands?) and there were four people in the group. Two of the “group members” didn’t do shit, and as a result me and the other guy were stuck doing everything for them. I’m not gonna lie, he did way more work than I did, and I’m so unbelievably grateful that I got him in our group, otherwise I have no idea what I would have done! I’ve got a pretty good grade in this class, I just hope I manage to pull off getting an A in the final exam, coz I got a B+ in the midterm. Meh.
My Engineering class. Wow, do I have mixed feelings about this class or what? The course itself was amazing and interesting! The prof who taught it was really nice and enthusiastic as well, which always helps. The reason I hated this course was because we had labs every week, and before we could do the lab, we had to do the prelab. The prelabs were crazy and annoying, and took nearly 8 hours to do! We had to code different programs which we then loaded onto boards and had to get working on the boards. This was all fine and ok, but the code we had to use was just bizarre, and made no sense, and there was little support online since it’s not a commonly used language. What made it worse was that my TA seemed to think that rather than explaining how a piece of code works, she should stare at us as if we were idiots, then spend five minutes asking us if we had gone to the lectures, or paid any attention at what we’ve been doing over the past few weeks. O_O The nice thing is that we got to make our own, interesting, final project. It could be based on anything we wanted, as long as it had enough of the stuff we have learnt in class to get it to work. My partner and I made a mood setting light, pictured below. It had a light sensor connected to it, and was controlled by a set of switches. The first three switches you could lift up or down, and depending on which ones were on, it would show different coloured lights. The fourth switch would make the lights cycle through all the different colors. Awesome.
My last class was the Logic Class. Wow, I loved to hate this class! The assignments were so ridiculously hard, I don’t even think I finished the last one that I had to hand in.. Oh well. The course was basically three different courses put into one, so we pretty much whizzed through all the information. This course we spent time doing many different things like proving if a program was correct, how long a program would take to run, writing proofs for both of those, as well as writing proofs for general functions, knowing if a program can halt, or if we could write a set that includes all possible programs, and if not why not. This course was just… insane. I loved our prof though, and found out that she might actually be teaching one of my courses next year, which makes me really happy.
Overall, I enjoyed all my classes. I didn’t like that I had work every single week. I literally did not have a single week where I didn’t have at least 2 quizzes, or an assignment and tests. I think the worst week was the week right after midterm where I had three assignments, three midterms, a test and two quizzes, all in the same week. It was pure evil.
I was going to blog about some other stuff I learnt about University, such as living in dorm life, general university tips, etc. But I think this blog is long enough for now.. So stay tuned for that! Oh, and an exciting blog about what I’ll be doing this summer!