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Rating

Total average

83.8/100

Learning Materials ( 83.2 )
Learning Activities ( 86.7 )
Blackboard Management ( 82.3 )
Course Content ( 88.8 )
Course Structure ( 86.5 )
Contact Availability ( 86 )
Course Difficulty ( 61 )

Reviews (6)

Anonymous
   
CSSE2010 – Introduction to Computer Systems 91.9

CONTENT: The course content is very interesting. They cover many new topics including digital logic, the building blocks of how microprocessors work, basic C programming, basic assembler programming for the AVR micro-controller, as well as a few other topics. The project was very interesting and fun to do, but might be challenging for some students who are new to C.

LECTURES: The lecturer, Peter, is horrifically slow and boring. However, he knows what he is talking about and seems like a competent course coordinator. The lectures are not compulsory to attend, but did have clicker questions (which were not assessed). I honestly ended up skipping a lot of the lectures and playing them back at high speed at home.

QUIZZES: Each week you get assessed on course content in the form of blackboard quizzes. This was worth 10% of the course. I would suggest doing all of these thoroughly, it's not worth wasting a few percentage points. I forgot to do quite a few of these quizzes!

PRACTICALS: The practicals were great. The first half of the course involves wiring up digital logic circuits on breadboards using integrated circuit components. You learn about circuit schematics and whatnot. This was generally a good experience. The C and assembler practicals were also good practice. Keep in mind that new content will be covered in the practicals independent of the lectures. Generally the lectures cover the nonspecific details and the practicals cover implementation etc., which you will need to know for the project. The practical exam is pass/fail, which is intense, but you *shouldn't* mess it up if you've been paying attention in the pracs.

MID-SEMESTER EXAM: This was multiple choice exam and shouldn't be too bad if you've practiced previous exams properly. Time is an issue however, and you might find yourself struggling a little bit to complete it properly in the time they give you.

PROJECT: The project involves programming a micro-controller with peripherals using C. This project is easy to pass, but it will be difficult to do well for anyone who isn't used to C programming. It is vital to attend the practicals for this purpose. They do offer sessions where the tutors will help you with the project (not too much though). Summary: easy to pass, hard to do very well for those inexperienced with C.

FINAL EXAM: The final exam is fairly difficult and had the same structure to previous years. The biggest issue is time management, even more so than the mid-semester exam. I did not finish the exam in time. I would revise for this thoroughly. Previous exams are a good guide for how they'll be set out.

NOTE: I did this course in 2018, not 2017. There is no option for 2018!

Semester taken

Semester 1 - 2017

Your program/major

BE (Electrical)

Is lecture attendance necessary?

Not really, you can cover them at home

Is the textbook necessary?

There is no textbook

Positives
  • Very good content
  • Interesting project
  • Practicals are good
Negatives
  • Slow lecturer
  • Exams are difficult and too long (especially final exam)
  • Project might be difficult for some
Posted on July 2, 2018 7:09 pm
Anonymous
   
CSSE2010 – Introduction to Computer Systems 95.7

This course is awesome , first half is digital electronics gates,binary counters,flip flops,finite state machines,shift registers,multiplexors.
Second half of course becomes more difficult we learned Assembly language for atmel AVR ATmega324A microcontroller and then we had a project involving C.

The lecturer Peter Sutton is excellent .

Semester taken

Semester 1 - 2017

Your program/major

Electrical Engineering

Is lecture attendance necessary?

yes

Is the textbook necessary?

yes

Positives
  • practicals are very useful
  • challenging project
  • learn a lot
Negatives
  • practical exam pass/fail is waste of time
Posted on February 12, 2018 1:18 pm
Anonymous
   
CSSE2010 – Introduction to Computer Systems 31.0

One of the biggest disappointments of my university experiance so far. This course has some pretty good content that should be engaging and fun but somehow they have paired it with the slowest lecturer known to man, if you can stay focused during one of his lectures you truly deserve an award. The man will ramble on with a slow monotone voice for 5 minute long intervals then when he gets to something important he will stop for a few seconds then spit out 100 words very quickly then resume at his lathargic pace as you try to figure out what just happened. The grading hurdles also make no sense as there being a flat pass/fail practical which serves no real purpose. Also the final for the course is WAY to long to be a fit in a 2 hour period.

Semester taken

Semester 1 - 2017

Your program/major

IT

Is lecture attendance necessary?

Yes

Is the textbook necessary?

Yes

Positives
  • Good hands on tutorials
  • Lots of resources
  • Covers alot
Negatives
  • lectures are near torture
  • Way to much required content on blackboard
  • Final is brutally short
Posted on July 5, 2017 11:50 am
Anonymous
   
CSSE2010 – Introduction to Computer Systems 91.4

A well-organised course that is challenging but also rewarding. At least for electrical engineers, CSSE2010 is the second CSSE course to do and is quite a contrast to CSSE1001. Whilst 1001 focuses on high-level problem solving, 2010 jumps to low-level and working with bits (1001), positional number systems (hex, octal, etc) and logic gates (flip-flops, latches, NAND, etc).

There is a lot of programming involved towards the second half of the course, and there is a noticeable transition in difficulty. Those who are weak in programming should try to familiarise themselves with the content early. Those who do not enjoy programming or are not comfortable with it are likely not to enjoy the course. Those with an interest in programming will likely find this course challenging, but in the end rewarding.

Learning Materials:
---------------------------

The learning materials are all through lecture slides and prac slides. Lectures are recorded so you can watch them as many times as you like, which is a good thing. Though there is recommended textbooks and excerpts of them posted online, you don't need to read them unless you're really into it. You can do fine without it.

Links and guides to C and Assembly are given, which you must go through yourself.

There is enough materials given to you for you to do well in this course.

Learning Activities:
---------------------------

Two 1-hour lectures a week, two 2-hour pracs a week. Attending either is not compulsory, but there is a 5% associated with clickers. But you can always give this to a friend to do for you. It is not uncommon for people to have multiple clickers to use (their friends). Participation is the emphasis and you don't need to answer correctly to get participation marks.

As the weeks go by, attendance at pracs does decrease despite the participation marks associated. The pracs start off very easy at the beginning, and slowly become more complicated towards the final prac in week 10. The pracs get quite programming heavy with C and Assembly so keep up with the programming.

The tutors are all helpful too.

Assessment
---------------------------

EXAMS:

The midsemester and final exam is basically the exact same structure as previous years. You also get sample midsemester papers (and more!) for preparation. Both are open-book so you can take in whatever you like. As the final exam is identical in structure with slightly varying numbers/code, you should consider writing down solving methodology as well as any important theory.

Neither exams are too hard to pass. If you know your stuff, you will do fine for the midsemester. If you have studied and know your stuff for the final, you will do great.

QUIZZES:

Weekly there are quizzes you have to do online about the previous week's theory. Sometimes they can be hard, but not really.

PARTICIPATION:

There is a small 5% attached to participation in the form of clickers. These are small devices which send a signal to a multiple-choice question asked by the lecturer or in the pracs. Getting them right is not necessary. You don't need to be present yourself, as only the clicker needs to send the signal. So it is possible to give a clicker to a friend to do for you.

PRACTICAL EXAM (PASS/FAIL):

Requires you to build a logic circuit. Easy if you just practice using the practice logic circuit they give you. You are given your kit the week before.

PROJECT:

This is perhaps the biggest part of this course. In week 10, you are given the assignment brief which is to make changes/add code to an existing incompleted game on the microprocessor. In 2015, this was RallyRacer -- a small game where you must dodge obstacles on a racetrack. In 2014, this was Froggy -- where you must move through cars scrolling from both sides.

It is divided into 3 difficulties. 1/2/3, where 1 is easiest. Simply passing all level 1 features allow you to pass the project.

Make use of Piaza as it is extremely useful in this part of the course.

Blackboard Management
-----------------------------------------------------
Updated often and organised well. Grades are entered quite quickly.

Course Content
-----------------------------------------------------
For the final exam, you need to know basically the following:

Number representations
Logic functions
Synchronous counters
ALUs
Machine code, assembly
C Code
C to assembly
Assembly process
Hard disk drive

This basically represents what most of the course is about. There's some stuff on the midsem that didn't appear on the final, but no guarantees this is every year. This course does a good job of incorporating all this into your project, as most of this stuff is relevant and you will need to know it. The project as an assessment piece really does unify what you are taught.

Course Structure
-----------------------------------------------------
The course structure doesn't have an obvious and distinct structure. It follows on chronologically and does build up from the previous stuff, but there is no breaking up of the semester into distinct parts. Regardless, it is done in a way that is logical.

Contact Availability
-----------------------------------------------------
Contact often made from the lecturer. Furthermore, the online discussion forum Piaza pretty much made the Facebook group useless. Tutors and the lecturer often reply on the online forum and other students do too.

Course Difficulty
-----------------------------------------------------
Students with a weak foundation in programming will likely find this course hard. For everyone, it starts off easy. The theory isn't too complicated and it's mostly simple examples. But after around week 8 and towards the project, it becomes quite evident the struggles of the people who got carried through CSSE1001 and have poor coding knowledge. If you are good with programming and study, you'll do fine. This course is challenging, but not impossible. Challenging by virtue of the novelty of the content to most students.

Semester taken

Semester 1 - 2015

Your program/major

Bachelor of Engineering (Electrical)

Is lecture attendance necessary?

No, can watch online

Is the textbook necessary?

No

Positives
  • Excellent teaching staff (tutors, lecturers)
  • Organised well
  • Project which makes course content relevant
Negatives
  • Participation of 5% requires attendance or giving a clicker to a friend
  • Hard for people with poor-coding knowledge
  • C programming is a pain
Posted on July 9, 2015 6:18 pm
Anonymous
   
CSSE2010 – Introduction to Computer Systems 95.8

This course has it all. Theory and practicality really click together here. You learn everything from the logic gate level to the C programming (with some things skipped). Practicals are basically a must for a good mark though; it's where all the circuitry/communicating with said circuitry is done. With the exception of a few odd rules (Prac tasks had to be pen and paper only...) the course was intuitive, interesting and everything just made sense. It shouldn't feel like a hassle to do. This probably largely due to the awesome lecturer, Peter Sutton. He gave LOTS of feedback on almost all bits of assessment and a hell of a lot of practice/sample material.
Due to the large scale and amount of content in the course, it can definitely be challenging but everything is handled as best as it could be so you can't complain too much.

Semester taken

Semester 1 - 2014

Your program/major

Software Engineering

Positives
  • Challenging
  • Fun/Cool/Interesting
  • Great Lecturer and Tutors
Negatives
  • Challenging
Posted on July 14, 2014 7:35 pm
Anonymous
   
CSSE2010 – Introduction to Computer Systems 96.7

Really interesting course, the lecturer explained everything really well and there was a lot of student interaction through the clicker questions. The practical labs are great to further understand the content, and the tutors in it are equally great. The logic gates and circuitry for that was a lot of fun, and the project was the create frogger on an LED matrix. C programming isn't exactly fun but it's really not that bad. Discussion was done through Piazza which kills your email inbox at first, but is incredibly helpful when the project starts. The kits are awesome as well, and we can keep them.

It would've been nice to get the project earlier though

Semester taken

Semester 1 - 2014

Your program/major

Electrical Engineering

Positives
  • Labs
  • Frogger
  • Piazza
Negatives
  • C programming
Posted on June 4, 2014 10:00 pm

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