IC9204: Introduction to Software Engineering

Screen shot | BIG_MOUSE | IC9204 Course Syllabus

Screen shot | BIG_MOUSE | IC9204 Course Syllabus

The first of two papers of my last semester in NTU has come to an end. IC9204 (Introduction to Software Engineering) is over. Next up, in 5 days (effective 3.5), the final of the finals, COM464 (International Public Relations). The paper on Friday will thus conclude my 4-year journey through university.

Now about the paper I just took. May I now bring your attention to the image above. Why yes, the professor’s slides are pain. All of his slide packs have no colours, save for a few diagrams. This can only mean one thing – you are free to highlight his main points in all the colours you want. And yes, during his lectures, he will reveal hints about the important study pointers for both the CA (20%) and the exams (80%).

Apart from absorbing his many hints, attending his usually-dry lecture can sometimes be humourous. The girls in this class liked his cute-ness. This Dr Tan is really quite old but friendly-looking. He felt too shy to even take a group photo with us after our last lecture. He quickly packed up and left. Funny guy.

Yeap, the course is pretty easy on hindsight. Though there were a lot of information to memorise, we revised the main points revealed in the study guide over and over again (yes, he verbally summarised his course at the end of his last lecture). And from what we have experienced, creating unique-sounding acronyms can really help too (POMCRIDS, IFF, WIES, CPMCD, OCOIAAG,  are just some examples).

The title of the course may sound daunting and all, and you may think that it is going to be tough even through the first few lectures. I bring good news, hopefully. This course isn’t going to help you become an engineer by drowning you in technical jargons or details. Most of his lecture was about the general idea and practice of project management (in context of building a software program). You can even take the general principles taught and apply in your own projects too (I think).

I don’t think our class of 5 SU-ed this subject. Yes, 5 only. The prof was quite ‘sad’ when he found out only 5 signed up, He claimed that he can usually get an average class size of 10 and above. Then, he motivated us (to not ‘drop’ his course) by saying that most of his students normally secure an ‘A’ for this subject (believe it or not?).

Results aside, we had fun, helped each other with difficult concepts, joked around with our prof and completed this supposedly-tough course throughout these 13 weeks.



Photo | BIG_MOUSE | 1 year, countless hours, 4 copies

Photo | BIG_MOUSE | 1 year, countless hours, 4 copies

Few months back, I watched last year’s convocation speech and didn’t quite understand the need for that outburst. Well, now, I can safely say that I totally understand why the need for that exclamation (not saying that I accept the words said though).

After submitting these 4 Final Year Project 100-page reports to the general office, a great baggage dropped off my back. As quickly as the weights fell, some more added on. There were still deadlines to complete, teachers’ expectations to live up to, responsibilities to complete and personal appointments to attend to. Too many lemons in life to squeeze. 2 more school-based presentations and 2 more exam papers later, I will be done with school (but not done with life).

As much as I wanna hope that all these will end soon, I can foresee life’s issues manifesting itself in other ways. *Prepares myself*

NTU: Looping Video Advertisements

Photo | BIG_MOUSE | Best place to loop NTU's advertisements

Photo | BIG_MOUSE | Best place to loop NTU's advertisements

While I understand the need to keep students informed about events in and news about NTU, there should be a better place to install the television set. Listening to lectures and tutorials with loud advertisements on loop filtering into this tutorial room is a quite an experience I must say.

An incident: A boring lecture was interrupted by a funny-sounding jingle. My concentration wavered for a while as I payed close attention to that more interesting (and annoying as well) sound clip. My mind slowly drifted back into the 1s and 0s of this ICT minor. That cycle repeated itself. Within that 2-hour lecture, I totally lost count of the number of times the same jingle replayed.

NTU, the best. Anyhow, I called CITS. CITS forwarded me to FRC. FRC diverted me to CELT. Finally, someone at CELT said that he will go look into the matter. I’m not sure how long it will take for them to rectify this issue. My patience can’t be tested that much longer anyway since school will end in two weeks. Hopefully, future batches of students using this tutorial room won’t have to ‘tahan’ the noise from those television sets.

Lost Sleep

My goodness, I have seldom given up sleep for school work. To me, sleep is so much more important as with a good night’s rest, I will be better able to handle the next day’s challenges. With adequate rest for the next day, you will be able to finish work more efficiently, you will not be yawning the entire day away, you will not suffer from headaches, etc etc. Falling sick because of inadequate rest is so not worth it because of the extended down time needed to recuperate.

But as you can see, I am still wide awake now, trying to finish up what I can for a school presentation that will take place a day before FYP submission. How shiong is that. Sacrificing my precious commodity for school work. Is it worth it? Will it be worth it?

Am not sure of it myself. But responsible, I will be.

An Uber Huge Dry-Ice Making Contraption

As a kid, I always liked weddings. Not for the food, not really for the company, but more of seeing buckets of dry ice sublimating into white CO2 gas. As a kid, I always looked forward to birthdays with ice cream cakes. Not for the ice cream cakes, not for the presents, but more of scooping up the excess dry ice into a disposable cup and adding water to it. Those were the days man. We would be running about, carrying cups of makeshift white-smoke generating machines.

Now, cubes of dry ice from Swenson’s no longer suffice, buckets of dry ice lining the aisle no longer do too. We need this. This is the uber cold Liquid Nitrogen (recall the movie: The Terminator).

Photo | BIG_MOUSE | Liquid Nitrogen Refuelling at NTU

Photo | BIG_MOUSE | Liquid Nitrogen Refuelling at NTU

Haha, not exactly Liquid Nitrogen though. I don’t think we can play with Liquid Nitrogen without dying like almost instantaneously (recall The Terminator again). Yes, you can read all about the dangers of touching liquid nitrogen here.

The white gases you see is just air that is super cooled into a fluffy cloud-like material (much better than breathing in CO2 gas from sublimating dry ice). The pipe from the tanker that is carrying liquid nitrogen into the storage tank is supposedly super-cooling the air surrounding it, thus generating these clouds. I seriously had this temptation to go play then, but sadly, there was a parked Altis around the corner, and the driver of the tanker was staring (scarily) at me taking photos.

My first time ever, seeing such a sight. Seeing such a sight, what a weird sentence full of redundant words.

Prices of McValue Meals at NTU

Photo | BIG_MOUSE | Prices of McValue Meals at NTU

Photo | BIG_MOUSE | Prices of McValue Meals at NTU

Finally, got a picture of the price board. Here’s the McValue Meal (comes with fries and a drink) price list just in case. Prices only valid at Nanyang Technological University and National University of Singapore so far. Not sure if the prices are the same at the stores in other educational institutions.

  • SGD 3.60 – McChicken
  • SGD 3.60 – Double Cheese Burger
  • SGD 3.85 – Fillet O Fish
  • SGD 3.85 – McNuggets
  • SGD 4.15 – McWings
  • SGD 4.55 – McSpicy
  • SGD 4.55 – (Limited Edition) Tasty Chicken Burger
  • SGD 4.60 – Quarter-pounder
  • SGD 4.85 – Big Mac
  • SGD 5.00 – The Salad Thingy (can’t remember the name)
  • SGD 5.25 – Chicken Teriyaki

Really affordable, even cheaper than the 2011 Happy Meal prices.

The Lack of a Recess

Man, where did my recess go to. Seriously man, it is my last recess and I am like burning it away because of the assignments, projects and tight deadlines that I have. Oh, and transcribing interviews can really suck time away. A 20-minute interview can take about an hour to complete. Play, pause, rewind, pause, play, pause, rewind, rewind some more, play, rewind even more, play… Tiring to the max man. Thank God I am done with it and all. After a whole week, am left with about 25% of work for FYP and 75% of work for the rest of the regular term projects and stuff. What’s worse? The inability to keep to my desired bedtime. zzz.