U of T Electrical & Computer Engineering Club

ANTI-CALENDAR


APS104 – Introduction to Materials and Chemistry

Lecture Value: 4/5 Tutorial Value: 4/5 Relative Difficulty: 3/5

This course was often described by previous students as requiring: Problem Solving, Memorizing, Theoretical Knowledge

Insights into this course: “This course is an introductory chemistry course that all ECEs and TrackOnes take in their first year. As the name suggests, it combines topics of basic material science and introductory thermodynamics. The first part of the course covers the fundamentals of atomic structures in materials, nature of bonding, macroscopic properties and types of structures with defects in nature. The second part of the course includes thermodynamics. This portion covers the laws of chemical thermodynamics. It also introduces topics of chemical equilibrium and electro-chemistry from a thermodynamics perspective.”

Tips for doing well in this course: “Although the content is simple, it is very easy to fall behind in this course. You can keep up if you attend lectures and practice a few of the assigned problems. This course also offers numerous opportunities for “free marks” in the form of labs and tutorial quizzes, so make sure to utilize them.”

APS105 – Computer Fundamentals

Lecture Value: 4/5 Tutorial Value: 4/5 Relative Difficulty: 2/5

This course was often described by previous students as requiring: Problem Solving, Writing

Insights into this course: “In programming, you have to learn to break down a big problem into many little problems and solve them individually. This course tries to go about teaching how to do this within the context of programming. As such, there is a ton of code writing in this course.”

Tips for doing well in this course: “If you are new to programming, go to tutorials and either pay attention in class or practice on the notes you take down at home. With programming, lectures and tutorials are always helpful, but it is lots of practice that will help you do well.”

APS111 – Engineering Strategies and Practice I

Lecture Value: 5/5 Tutorial Value: 1/5 Relative Difficulty: 3/5

This course was often described by previous students as requiring: Problem Solving, Writing, Group Work

Insights into this course: “Exam and quizzes are based on lectures, so lectures form a big part of this course. Tutorials are not very helpful, but the marking for assignments is done by the TA, so it can make or break your mark.”

Tips for doing well in this course: “Attend all lectures even though they are at 9am classes and are quite boring. The videos are also online, so that can be helpful at least. Be sure to stay on top of all the materials though!”

APS112 – Engineering Strategies and Practice II

Lecture Value: 5/5 Tutorial Value: 5/5 Relative Difficulty: 1/5

This course was often described by previous students as requiring: Problem Solving, Writing, Memorizing, Group Work, Presentations

Insights into this course: “Essentially, the whole course is based off how much effort you put into memorizing all of the facts thrown at you. They may seem insignificant at first, but plenty of small details come up in quizzes and tests.”

Tips for doing well in this course: “It’d be expected to tell you to study your hardest for this course, but after going through it first hand I’ve noticed that more people study, the worse they do. Lectures are your only friend…”

APS150 – Ethics in Engineering

Lecture Value: 3/5 Tutorial Value: 3/5 Relative Difficulty: 1/5

This course was often described by previous students as requiring: Memorizing

Insights into this course: “This is a pass or fail course that you can study for through the lecture recordings posted online. You probably only need to spend on day working on it; it takes minimum time and is mostly common sense.”

Tips for doing well in this course: “Though it is an easy pass/fail, make sure to stay on top of it! You NEED to pass it before you graduate. It would be quite embarrassing to fail an ethics course… so don’t let it come to that!”

CIV100 – Mechanics

Lecture Value: 3/5 Tutorial Value: 4/5 Relative Difficulty: 3/5

This course was often described by previous students as requiring: Problem Solving, Group Work

Insights into this course: “There are weekly assignments for easy marks, so it’s very helpful to work with friends and ask a lot of questions during these tutorials. Be sure to attend all of your lectures and keep up with them!”

Tips for doing well in this course: “Do a lot of practice problems, especially in groups. Once you get the concepts down, you can do almost any question because they’re all pretty similar.”

ECE101 – Introduction to Electrical and Computer Engineering

Lecture Value: 5/5 Tutorial Value: N/A Relative Difficulty: 1/5

This course was often described by previous students as requiring: Attendance

Insights into this course: “Introduction to Electrical and Computer Engineering is a seminar course that every ECE takes in first year. The purpose of this course is to introduce concepts of the field to the students. In this seminar series, professionals from different fields within ECE come in to give lectures on their research/work. Topics may include control systems, analog and digital electronics, electromagnetics, energy systems and computer hardware/software.”

Tips for doing well in this course: “There are no quizzes, test or exams in this course but you have to attend at least 70% of the seminars to receive the credit for this course.”

ECE110 – Electrical Fundamentals

Lecture Value: 3/5 Tutorial Value: 3/5 Relative Difficulty: 5/5

This course was often described by previous students as requiring: Problem Solving, Memorizing, Theoretical Knowledge

Insights into this course: “There are a LOT of formulas that need to be memorized. The first half of the course is a lot more theoretical, but as the course progresses it gets harder. There is a lot more problem solving in the later sections and the exam.”

Tips for doing well in this course: “In my opinion, this was the hardest first year course, so it is very important to go to these lectures. Don’t fall behind, because it takes a while to really pick up concepts. A few missed lectures, you may find yourself drowning…”

MAT186 – Calculus I

Lecture Value: 2/5 Tutorial Value: 4/5 Relative Difficulty: 4/5

This course was often described by previous students as requiring: Problem Solving

Insights into this course: “This course’s tutorials are very important, because it consists mainly of examples from homework and past tests. This is mostly a recap of high school and university intro calculus, so keep on your toes!”

Tips for doing well in this course: “To be successful in this course, do as many practice problem as you can from the textbook and previous test. Any problems you can’t do, make sure to bring them in to your tutorial for your TA to solve.”

MAT187 – Calculus II

Lecture Value: 2/5 Tutorial Value: 3/5 Relative Difficulty: 4/5

This course was often described by previous students as requiring: Problem Solving, Group Work

Insights into this course: “Problem solving is a given, because all the questions require rigorous problem solving skills. There is quite a lot of group work in this course because of the online problem sets and the overall nature of the subject. Many students tend to work together to study, and everyone ends up helping each other figure out different problems.”

Tips for doing well in this course: “Keep up with what is going on in lecture. Do not get left a couple chapters behind. It is extremely hard to catch up if you fall behind and even if you do, you will have a hard time retaining the concepts you have learned.”

MAT188 – Linear Algebra

Lecture Value: 2/5 Tutorial Value: 4/5 Relative Difficulty: 4/5

This course was often described by previous students as requiring: Problem Solving, Theoretical Knowledge

Insights into this course: “The first half of the course is heavily theoretical and abstract; as such, it takes some considerable time to understand. The second half of the course still contains theory, but has much more of a practical application to it, which makes it easier to understand. ”

Tips for doing well in this course: “Get good at doing matrix calculations, and do as many true and false problems as you can. Those are the questions that are often the most tricky!”

MIE100 – Dynamics

Lecture Value: 4/5 Tutorial Value: 2/5 Relative Difficulty: 4/5

This course was often described by previous students as requiring: Problem Solving

Insights into this course: “Definitely one of the more difficult courses you will take in first year, so make sure to go to the lectures. Tutorials can be helpful but are not entirely necessary to doing well in this course.”

Tips for doing well in this course: “There are a ton of forumlas so make sure you have a good organized formula sheet. You need to stay on top of your work weekly in this course because it is fast paced and easy to fall behind. Also don’t think you’re fine just going to lectures; you need to do a lot of practice problems.”

MAT290: Advanced Engineering Mathematics

Lecture Value: 3/5 Tutorial Value: 4/5 Relative Difficulty: 2/5

AEM is a useful course from an engineering standpoint in that the first half covers differential equations and the second half covers complex variables. The easiest way to do well is to keep up with the homework. Weekly quizzes in tutorial means that there are a lot of relatively easy marks to pick up. It is important to stay up to date as material builds off of itself – tutorials are handy for brushing up on uncertain material. The course has a light workload but does pick up in difficulty toward the end – expect a difficult final.

MAT291: Calculus III

Lecture Value: 3/5 Tutorial Value: 4/5 Relative Difficulty: 3/5

MAT291 is the natural continuation first year MAT187 and MAT188, delving further into integration as well as surfaces using Stoke’s, Green’s, and Divergence Theorems. Similarly to MAT290, the easiest way to do well is keep up with homework and practice problems so as to do well in the weekly quizzes. The textbook is a strong resource so be sure to use it to its full potential. Tutorials, again, tend to be quite handy for brushing up on material. Though it may seem difficult or useless, the content taught in the latter part of this course is necessary to develop a pre-emptive understanding of the material later covered in ECE221.

ECE212: Circuit Analysis

Lecture Value: 5/5 Tutorial Value: 3/5 Relative Difficulty: 2/5

ECE212 revises topics covered in ECE110 and extends further to the operational amplifier and second order circuits, among other concepts. Problems in this course are very procedural – the only way to do well is to sit down and do as much practice as possible. Attending a very good TA’s tutorial is useful to better understand procedure and approaches to solving problems. Be sure to maximize marks received in laboratories as they tend to be relatively straightforward.

ECE241: Digital Systems

Lecture Value: 5/5 Tutorial Value: 3/5 Relative Difficulty: 5/5

ECE241 tends to be the most foreign course to students in terms of new material being covered as it is an introductory course to hardware concepts – it starts off simple but has a high curve of difficulty. Labs are very time consuming and can often end up difficult to understand – expect several hours per week spent towards making them work.There are not many problems to study off of meaning that doing labs is the best way to learn . However, this is the most hands-on course in this semester and can be very rewarding. The end of term project allows you to do whatever you want (within reason) – the best way to succeed is to go above and beyond what you specified you would do.

ECE244: Programming Fundamentals

Lecture Value: 3/5 Tutorial Value: 2/5 Relative Difficulty: 2/5

This course focuses on programming concepts in C++, broadening the knowledge gained in first year and adding on concepts particular to this language. Lectures are very useful, and most professors are very good at what they are teaching. The labs themselves are not particularly difficult so long as you offer yourself enough time to do them. As always, the best way to learn coding is simply to practice it.

ECE216: Signals and Systems

Lecture Value: 1/5 Tutorial Value: 4/5 Relative Difficulty: 3/5

The coursework is abstract but procedural. Quizzes sneak up on you and it’s easy to fall behind or underestimate this content. The best way to do well in these quizzes is to keep up with the homework (readings and a few questions). However, homework questions can tend to be different from quiz questions, so make sure that you are comfortable with the material. The textbook is a very solid guide to use.

ECE221: Electric and Magnetic Fields

Lecture Value: 4/5 Tutorial Value: 3/5 Relative Difficulty: 4/5

Micah Stickel is the only instructor for this course, and he gives a lot of free marks. You’ll need them to prepare for the challenging midterm and final. The first half of the course is similar to the second, so if you get a good start you’ll be pretty well off. Do plenty of practice problems. This is also one of the more time-consuming courses. The labs can be long, so do as much of them as you can beforehand. The lecture preparation videos are also long, but useful. The lectures themselves sometimes aren’t worth the time though. Furthermore, Stickel likes conceptual questions, and lets you have a note sheet for the final. Keep that in mind while studying.

ECE231: Introductory Electronics

Lecture Value: 4/5 Tutorial Value: 5/5 Relative Difficulty: 3/5

This course has one of the best textbooks you will come across in your time as an undergrad, though it’s a long read. You’ll have a conceptual tutorial and an arithmetic one. Both of them, as well as the lectures, are very good. The labs are tedious but they’ll help boost your grade.
Developing an intuition (as well as procedure) for problems is really important in this course, since you’ll have a wide variety of techniques and many places to apply them in a circuit. Memorization is also necessary, so you’ll have to do a lot of practice!

ECE243: Computer Organization

Lecture Value: 4/5 Tutorial Value: 4/5 Relative Difficulty: 3/5

The first half of the semester is about assembly programming and despite being a rudimentary language most people have fun with it. Just do your labs early (especially if you don’t own a DE2 board) and keep your old code around for the project later on and you should have a good grip of the material. The second half of the course is about physical processors, continuing where ECE241 left off. You’ll be working on your project during labs so lectures become more important, and take care not to fall behind. You won’t have a textbook either, but a few professors post notes. The content is fairly procedural but requires some tricky thinking.

ECE297: Communication and Design

Lecture Value: 4/5 Tutorial Value: 3/5 Relative Difficulty: 2/5

This course asks you to develop a single project and submit several milestones along the way. The deliverables aren’t too demanding, but a lot of student struggle with assignment specifications. Pick a team that you can spend some late nights with. Meet with them early and often and make good use of your meetings with your Communication Instructor to clarify expectations. Having at least one person who is a great programmer is also an asset, as most of the workload is coding without tonnes of instruction. However, this course will have undergone changes for the 1T4-1T5 year. The best advice to follow is to always start early. Milestones take days to complete, and there’s nothing worse than thinking you’re done at quarter-to-midnight and then having to debug.