Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A Post-Exam Review

This semester was actually rather relaxed compared to previous semesters, mainly because I dropped a course (Datenbanksysteme) early on.

ALP IV (Nichtsequentielle Programmierung): In this course, we learned about concurrent programming. The topics included the critical section problem, barriers, semaphores, monitors and resource allocation (Banker's algorithm, avoiding deadlocks and such).

I warmed up to this course as the semester progressed. At first, I thought the workload was a little excessive, considering that ALP IV is a 5-credit course. But that was just me being immature. In truth, it is very helpful to be given extra resources, especially when they come in the form of optional (but worthwhile) assignments.

Anyway, the subject matter itself was pleasantly theoretical. I liked that we used a lot of pseudocode throughout the course, rather than just using Java (although Java was prominent in the programming assignments).

Final Mark: 1,0 (Mwa ha ha!)

TI IV (Hardwarepraktikum): For this course, rather than going to lectures and tutorials every week, we went to a computer lab for four hours every two weeks. The four hours were spent interacting with and programming an embedded GSM/GPRS module (the sort one might find in a mobile phone).

We began by using AT-commands, but after that we mainly used C to write programs for the module. The programs did things like sending text messages with the time and date when a button was pressed, or creating an AT-command that allows the user to store an emergency number in the flash memory.

The atmosphere was mellow and I enjoyed the interactive, practical aspect of the experience (except at the end, when we ran into bugs and weren't able to find their cause, let alone fix them).

Final Mark: 1,3

Softwaretechnik: There are several reasons why I didn't take this course seriously. To begin with, it is an ABV course (ABV: Allgemeine Berufsvorbereitung or General Career Preparation), so the mark won't affect my cumulative grade (an unworthy but undeniable factor). Also, although I don't doubt that the information conveyed in the lectures was actually useful, it rarely inspired a second thought.

Come to think of it, the assignments may be partly at fault. It would have been nice if they had been more challenging and inventive. As it was, it was usually enough to regurgitate what was said in the lecture or do a quick Google search.

Well, I did find it interesting to learn more about UML (particularly sequence diagrams and use cases) and design patterns, and I think the professor did a good job of organizing the material, so that everything from general principles to specific tools was covered in a clear, structured way.

Final Mark: As yet unknown, but probably embarrassingly bad, since I didn't really prepare for the exam and ended up leaving several blank answers.

By the way, the Nachklausuren that took place in April were actually worthwhile (unlike the ones last October). Here is a résumé of the marks for last semester:

ALP III: 1,0 (formerly 1,7)
TI III: 2,3 (formerly 3,3)
Analysis I: 1,3
Proseminar: still a mystery


Post a Comment

<< Home