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.”

View Exams

APS105 – Computer Fundamentals

Lecture Value: 4.7/5 Tutorial Value: 1.9/5 Relative Difficulty: 3/5

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

Insights into this course: This course is the first taste of programming in C. It overs the basics of computer software and introduces concepts of programming algorithms, style, grammar, and debugging. This course sets students up for upper year programming courses, particularly in ECE, and can be challenging with a steep learning curve for those who don’t have programming experience.

Tips for doing well in this course:

  • Start labs early and give yourself 1-2 two more days than you think you will need.
  • Understand the fundamental concepts as exams test understanding and memorization will not always help.
  • Practice problems are key to getting the hang of programming so write labs on your own and try writing practice programs.
  • The textbook may not always be helpful but professors and TAs are, as well as Stack Overflow and other online help sources.

View Exams

APS111 – Engineering Strategies and Practice I

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

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

Insights into this course: APS111 is an introduction to engineering problem solving. The course teaches the strategies engineers use to take client wants and turn them into needs. In it, students will become familiar with problem solving terminology, structure, and presentation. These elements are applied when students are placed in groups and asked to solve a design problem. The problem is designed specifically for the course, and is the same one given to all students.

Tips for doing well in this course:

  • Attend lectures to get TopHat marks. These are a good chunk of your final grade.
  • TALK TO YOUR TAs and CIs. They are marking you and they will tell you what they want.
  • The textbook will save you on exams. Pay close attention to terminology.

View Exams

APS112 – Engineering Strategies and Practice II

Lecture Value: 2/5 Tutorial Value: 3/5 Relative Difficulty: 3.8/5

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

Insights into this course: This course is a continuation of APS111, where you are assigned a new group to work with, as well as a real client and a real-world problem. It will help to further develop your design and communication ability and understanding of the engineering profession. The lectures cover topics such as the design process, safety, project management, manufacturing, and intellectual property.

Tips for doing well in this course:

  • Manage your time! This course has more work and higher expectations that APS111.
  • Seek advice from your TA and PM about issues with your client and group members.
  • Distribute responsibilities and follow a schedule.

View Exams

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.”

View Exams

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: 3.8/5 Tutorial Value: 2.8/5 Relative Difficulty: 4/5

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

Insights into this course: ECE110 is the first course that introduces you to the electrical side of ECE. It’s split into two halves: the first covers electromagnetic fields, and the second covers electrical circuits. Because of the breadth of the material covered and the wide range of challenging questions they can ask, it’s generally considered one of more challenging courses in first year.

Tips for doing well in this course:

  • Go to lectures! The lecturers are generally good, and if you can’t learn from yours effectively there are always other sections you can go to. Understanding the theory is key in this course.
  • The online homework (called WileyPlus) will be annoying as they’ll be lots and they’ll be frequent, however do try to complete them all and understand how to the questions.
  • Despite the difficulty of this course, the easier labs will almost guarantee you pass the course.

View Exams

MAT186 – Calculus I

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

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

Insights into this course: A continuation of grade 12 calculus, this course will introduce you to limits, derivatives, and integration. Midterms cover content from class and webwork while the most of the final exam covers content from the last chapter. Understanding theory and practicing questions is key!

Tips for doing well in this course:

  • Complete all webwork WITHOUT using online sources. If you find yourself stuck on a question, ask friends or ask a TA during tutorial.
  • Attend your tutorials, quizzes are marked on effort and participation.

View Exams

MAT187 – Calculus II

Lecture Value: 4.4/5 Tutorial Value: 2.6/5 Relative Difficulty: 4/5

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

Insights into this course: In terms of difficulty, workload, and transition from high school, Calculus II used to be similar to Calculus I, until they changed the instructor to good old Bernardo. The tests and online assignments are generally regarded as some of the hardest in first year, and is usually a big scare for first years. Topics include integration techniques, sequences and series, differential equations, and vector-valued functions.

Tips for doing well in this course:

  • Beginning in the second semester of last year, they started implementing a group portion of the exams. Make sure you select your group early on and ensure that you can work together well.
  • Read the textbook! It will help you truly learn the backstage theoretical knowledge behind the material, and will help you on tests.
  • Do a wide range of problems, including all of the online homework, textbook questions, and as many past exams as you can. Note that MAT187 used to be called MAT197 in 2014 and before.
  • Don’t let this get you down, as well as your other courses. Just try your hardest. Everybody in your class will struggle. There will be grade adjustments later, but don’t depend on this.”

View Exams

MAT188 – Linear Algebra

Lecture Value: 4.1/5 Tutorial Value: 2.7/5 Relative Difficulty: 4.3/5

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

Insights into this course: MAT188 takes high school algebra and stretches it literally, and figuratively. In this course students will learn more about vectors, linear equations, and determinants. Students will be introduced to eigenvectors, subspaces, matrices, orthonormal bases, and diagonalization. This course also includes WebWork and weekly quizzes.

Tips for doing well in this course:

  • Do the webwork without help. It will force you to understand the material.
  • The solutions manual is so, so helpful. Use it.
  • Study for the quizzes, but don’t be discouraged for doing badly.

View Exams

MIE100 – Dynamics

Lecture Value: 4.5/5 Tutorial Value: 3.7/5 Relative Difficulty: 4/5

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

Insights into this course: Expanding on knowledge from statics, this introductory course in classical mechanics will deal with physics in motion. Principles of kinematics and kinetics of particles and rigid bodies will be explored in addition to vibrations, and examples involving engineering applications will be analyzed.

Tips for doing well in this course:

  • Be sure to understand the basic concepts as exam questions are not usually repeated and your understanding plays a major role in attacking this new problems.
  • In addition to understanding the concepts do a lot of past exams and text book problems while timing yourself. This will provide an exam like atmosphere and can help identify areas for improvement.
  • Attend office hours, PASS sessions, or rewatch lecture captures if you need further clarification.

View Exams

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.