This course is divided into 2 parts, the first of which is largely revision of previous courses like ELEC2003 and ENGG1300. This part of the course, delivered by Olav Krause, is assessed in the mid-semester exam which doesn't change much from year to year.
The second part of the course covers some
basic systems and signal theory, and gives some practical grounding to the Laplace Transform and Fourier Series learned in MATH2010 (from this point of view, it is really just a course in applied mathematics).
The design challenge report is an interesting assessment item you begin around the middle of semester. You only get 3 Prac sessions to work on it, so time management is really important.
Semester 2 - 2014
Is lecture attendance necessary?
No, but Rahul tends to use the whiteboard, so the second half is probably best to attend.
Is the textbook necessary?
At the least a pdf as this is where problems are taken from.
The way the course is set up is that there are two lectures each week; one 2 hours long, the other 1 hour long. The content is good but there the way it was taught by Olav was bad, he basically just stated what it was and wen through some theory which few understood/cared as it was a lot easier to learn the concepts by yourself going through exercises. There is also a one hour tutorial which is the most useless contact hour ever as they work through barely relevant circuits that are much harder then anything encountered throughout the rest of the course. The practicals focus on a different section of the course but end up crossing over the lecture content, these are generally the better part of the course however the tutors can be a mixed bag. Overall, the structure was poor for the course as contact hours could be spent more wisely not attending anything and working through the course in your own time.
The course is easier then most engineering courses which is good as most often students take this in conjunction with ENGG2800 and CSSE2310 which demand a lot of time and effort. The content for the course is important but the examinations are easy. The problems journals would be helpful in learning how to do things except most students opt for copying it out as the amount of questions that need to be answered to get full marks gets a little ridiculous, it would be better if there were less questions as students would learn
Now for the part of the course that was TERRIBLE, the communication. So many things went wrong with regards to date and marking due to various communication errors among tutors and lecturers. The dates for submission of things were wrong along with inconsistent marking among tutors and missing results/grades. The only saving grace was Dr. Rahul who tried hard to fix these problems.
The first half of the course seemed pointless, the stuff you spend time learning and techniques you apply are completely disregarded when they finally get to the good stuff in week 6/7. The course is basically applied maths with a tiny bit of practical stuff, but that was not prepared too well. Tutes were pretty lame. Overall useful course, learn a lot of stuff and the workload is not huge, material is straightforward. Final exams haven't really changed so no problems there.