As the summer term draws to an end, it’s a good idea to summarise what it was like for me. This time was exceptional since it was my first encounter with full remote studying (apart from pre-pandemic self-learning episodes with text tutorials and YouTube educational videos).
Compared to autumn and spring terms, the number of modules for second year computing students was much smaller. We only had to work on a group project and the introduction to law module.
The project was called “Designing for Real People” (DRP). In groups of 4, we had to create a web or mobile application that solved a real-world problem.
The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically changed the way we live in just a few days/weeks. One of the consequences of that is the new exam organisation at Imperial this year. Using my own computer at home, I have already sat two remote open-book exams and I am about to have another six assessments in the next 3 weeks.
In this post, I am not going to comment on fairness of the Imperial’s decision to hold remote examinations. What I would like to do instead is describing what they look like in our department.
Huxley Building is on the South Kensington campus and is the main building for computing students. Having been coming to Huxley every day for over a year now, I know by heart how to navigate through the most important points there. However, there are some rooms in the restricted lab area (which I should be most familiar with!) I haven’t really noticed or used until recently and are very useful, either for working or well-being. These are my subjective hidden gems in Huxley.
The MSc in Business analytics is an intense year of rigorous technical and quantitative training. It prepares students to solve business problems using a variety of statistical, operations research and machine learning techniques.
What you learn in class is usually just a small part of what you end up doing in group projects and homework. There is a huge amount of good resources you can use to learn new material or enhance your knowledge in a topic.
In this blog, I wanted to share the most useful sources I found in case you’re planning to pursue this program at Imperial.
Before you start the program: the basics
Statistics and probability
Start by revising your math skills in statistics and probability.
In the last blog entry, I showed you how to optimize your laptop hardware. Now I’d like to show you my three favorite tips for making a quantum leap on the performance side itself.
When you think about what amount of mouse movements we daily do across the screen, you could realize that there is a huge loss of time. Fortunately, there is a free shortcut for most common programs: Shortkeys! Personally speaking, I’m always happy when someone shows me a useful shortkey.
In the meantime, there are also many websites that list the most common shortkeys of e.
Last year, as part of EIE (EE + Computer Science) cohort we took 2 computing modules, which I find easier compared to EE. Looking just at coursework, my experience in computing was far better than EE. It’s possible for everyone to get close to 100 marks (all my friends have A* 80-100) whereas in EE the moment we get marks above 70ish it gets moderated down. Of course, the computing mark is pre-moderated as well. (I have my doubts that they lower it, who knows?)
I favour the computing side, not only because of the marks, but because I find some EE things slightly tedious (too much maths!),
We had our first driving test in week 6 of our first term… it was really quite daunting, but we got a practice test a week before to get us used to the process and the test environment. Since then we’ve had another one for Java and recently we had our final Haskell driving test. The whole process has become rather routine, but driving tests as a concept are a difficult thing to get your head around as an examination method when you’re used to the pen and paper exams that access content retention we take in high school.
A driving test basically tests your practical programming skills, challenging you to solve a problem in a time pressured environment and without access to aids like Google.
3 months into a Computing degree and I soon realised, internships were a real obsession. Having just started learning to code properly, the prospect of trying to make a valid contribution at some major company over the summer seemed completely premature. I definitely wouldn’t have the adequate skills not to feel completely useless and I definitely wasn’t an intern worth paying for. Yet despite that, I was surrounded by people frantically scurrying for an internship in their first year, applying left right and centre for a position. Its a frightening environment, because if you remain idle, you suddenly feel like you’re being left behind.
So what does studying Computing at Imperial involve you ask. After one term here… I’m no expert but I can rewrite the course descriptions the department provides in a brutally honest student point of view.
This will be quite long, but at least now its here as a resource for all you prospective Computing students out there right? Happy reading.
In the Autumn Term we study Programming, Maths Methods, Logic, Hardware and Discrete Maths.
6 weeks of Haskell and 5 weeks of Java. No experience with coding was assumed, but we definitely moved quickly. Our first Haskell assignment was due in Friday Week 1 (so much for freshers week…) and it only got exponentially more difficult.