My 2011

I remember there was a year (2008?) where I DotA-ed through the new year. How pathetic ._.

In 2011, I..

*digs through Facebook photos*

1. … wrote a post about my 2010. Heh!

2. Till Death Do Us Apart.
My first experience of a lead role in one of the dances, my first experience as a dance coordinator, and my first experience in crying really hard after the curtain closed.

3. Chingay 2011.
Performed for Asia’s Grandest Stage for the first time. (sorry Jie Lin, I really like this photo :P)

4. First experience of fine dining. (It’s so goddamn freaking expensive..) (No, I’m not the waiter.)

5. Went to support my buddy WilfredΒ during the Singapore Dance Delight 02 preliminaries! That was one of my first exposures to so many strong dancers (and the different dance styles) in Singapore.

6. Dressed up in the ’60s and performed for Eusoff Fiesta. (I really loved the temporary tattoo thing!)
And it’s my first a cappella arrangement being sang – Forget You by Cee Lo Green.

7. Performed for NUS Open House! Under Eusoff Choir and Eusoff A Cappella.

8. Went to watch Live! Tay Kewei. She is such an amazing singer. ❀

8. Completed my first dance courseΒ at O School, Wedding Dress by Zaihar. I love the dance steps!

9. Watched my first Dance Blast! concert –> Shut Up And Dance 2011. Awesome stuff.

10. Made my first A Cappella video for a friend’s birthday. πŸ™‚

11. Performed at Dance Uncensored 2011Β – under the combined item, and where I met so many crazy people – Charlotte, VK and Mereith just to name a few! I loved every moment of it. (Weiting, Ming Jie, Adinda!!)

(this is during our outing! :D)

12. Developed my first iPad app with my team – BattleWars. (not published :p)

13. Hall freak in action again – won the Cultural MedallionΒ of Eusoff Hall. Thank you πŸ™‚

14. Finished Portal 2Β in the midst of exams. LOL. (It’s an awesome game – go play it!)

15. Went to Pulau BesarΒ with my friends. Awesome trip πŸ˜€ (please do not mind my slutty pose.)

16. Made a Friday parody with my friends for another friend’s birthday (twins!) πŸ™‚

17. Started playing Minecraft. DAMN AWESOME.

18. Lost a bet for having the.. best results and treated all of them to Xiao Long BaoΒ buffet. ($$$$ fly away)

19. Choreographed for the first time, with Wilfred for Rag Day. This was a special one because it was a collaboration between Eusoff HallΒ and Temasek Hall. Had so much fun with the choreography and dancers. πŸ™‚

(.. hello gay buddy.)

20. Celebrated one of my best friend’s birthday at some place, and we prepared a song for him πŸ™‚ It was so last minute but it turned out pretty well!

21. Joined NUS Dance Blast. I LOVE BLAST!

22. Performed for EMCC 2011Β – A Series of Unfortunate EventsΒ as my first Blast! performance. I love the people here πŸ™‚
Special shoutouts to Nic and Glenn!

(USA!)

(Spam photo!)

23. Went to watch The Real Group in SingaporeΒ with my A Cappella friends. They are seriously the best a cappella group in the world.

24. Sang for MDIS Graduation Ceremony for the 3rd time πŸ™‚

25. Formed RANXM! ❀

26. My second piece of a cappella arrangement, I’m YoursΒ was sung by the freshies in Eusoff A Cappella πŸ™‚ This one really means a lot to me because it’s my full arrangement πŸ™‚

27. Got 1st in PA’s Youth Got Talent competition, Vocal Group category! πŸ˜€ We sang WordsΒ by The Real Group.

28. Stepped up to choreograph Chingay 2012, NUS EH-TH section with Wilfred and Joy. Quite a disaster..

29. Went to Taiwan πŸ™‚

(As you can see, I take really retarded photos.)

30. Completed Popping I & II coursesΒ in O School! Thanks to Wei Jie. He is fantastic! And I love popping πŸ™‚

31. Carolled for the 4th year, and 3rd year under Eusoff Choir. πŸ™‚

32. Wrote this post. πŸ˜€ (took me a few hours!)

32 things for my 2011! And most of them are big, exciting events. This is definitely a year I wouldn’t forget. πŸ˜€

Advertisements

NUS Module Review [AY1112 Semester 1]

This review is written based on the Semester 1 variants of the modules, and thus might not apply to the Semester 2 variants of the same module.

CS3216 – Software Development on Evolving Platforms
5MC / Non-examinable / 50% CA + 50% Final Project
Dr Ben Leong
Semester 1 only

The logical continuation to the iPad module, the Facebook module has been known for killing people during the semesters. And yes, I am here to prove that CS3216 will take up a whole lot of your semester time, albeit slightly less than CS3217 in my opinion. I guess I didn’t take the module with the correct mindset (I didn’t think far enough), but this is definitely a module that is worth your every sweat and second. This review is written from a software engineer’s point of view

Lecture – Lectures are mostly conducted by guest lecturers, to expose you to basically all the problems that require solving in the real world. It’s really an eye opener to realize that the world really needs a lot of software engineers andΒ people with awesome ideas.Β no webcast but there isn’t a point anyway
Assignments – There were two assignments, both like mini-final-projects in that you have to develop an app that solves a problem. They were both quite fun, and useful in letting you pick up the skills required for modern web development. (PHP, HTML5, AWS etc) There’s also a blogging component, which in my opinion is really helpful, as it helps you consolidate your thoughts onto what you’ve learnt in the lectures and serves as a progress tracker (of yourself) at the same time.
Project – CS3216 is really notΒ a programming module – you have to think about the problem that you want to solve, and develop an app that solves this problem. Many of the groups were really impressive in that they worked with external partners to come up with apps with backing up. I guess that’s where my group fell short.

Again, I would like to thank my teammates in the assignments and final project for being damn awesome and coming up with cool apps. πŸ™‚

My grade: A-
My rating: Not for the faint of heart.

——————————————————————————————————–

CS2104  – Programming Languages Concepts
4MC / Examinable / 40% Problem Sets/Tutorial/Forum Participation + 10% Midterm + 50% Final
Dr Razvan Voicu

I have to say, Razvan is really a very knowledgeable lecturer. Respect.

This module teaches you about the underlying concepts beneath a programming language, although I would say it has slight overlapping elements with computer hardware knowledge. I had an interesting (and hard) time learning Prolog (Razvan lovesΒ Prolog), as its concepts were completely different from anything else I’ve learned. Practice is definitely required to understand most of the things taught.

Lecture – Razvan tends to not finishΒ his lectures in time so sometimes you would have to self study. But other than that, he explains concepts rather clearly and if you can bear with his semi-boring tone (and concentrate), the lectures are really helpful. Be sure to take notes.Β webcasted
Tutorial – The lecturer will post the answers online, so unless you have completely no idea how to do some certain questions (which you should, towards the end of the syllabus), it should be okay to skip them. The problem is that the final exam questions are NOTHING like those in the tutorial. They are like 100 levels up.
Problem SetsΒ – These are tutorial questions on steroids mostly (with a few easy exceptions), and I spent a lot of time doing each of them. They really serve as good practice for the concepts though, and should be attempted (even after you overshot the cap – the total marks for all Problem Sets exceed the maximum you can score with them).

The 40% CA marks are easily scorable as long as you do all your tutorials and Problem Sets diligently, so make sure you get those marks in full. My midterm was quite difficult whereas the Final Exam was doable as long as you practice well and read through the tutorials. (Problem Sets questions are at a higher level)

My grade: A-
My rating: Concepts are difficult to grasp, and practice is very important.

——————————————————————————————————–

CS2105 – Introduction to Computer Networks
4MC / Examinable / 5% Tutorial Attendance + 10% Midterm + 18% Programming Assignment + 32% Assignments + 50% Final
Prof Bhojan AnandΒ 

Edit 23/12/2012: As requested by the module lecturers, please take note thatΒ the structure of this module is different in different semesters. That includes but is not limited to:

  1. Lecturer
  2. Syllabus
  3. Module score breakdown
  4. Textbook
  5. Final year examination paper format

If you would still like to read the review (which may or may not apply to future semesters), you may zoom in the page.

One of the easier modules of the semester. Contents are largely surface level at best, and not too difficult to understand. If you are lucky, you may get questions in my final exam that are similar to the past year papers.Β Of course I guess the bell curve would be steep too. Make sure you have sufficient Java/C++ knowledge for the programming assignment. I like the content a lot though, as they are all relevant to our IT life everyday.

Lecture – All (or almost all) the content Prof Anand lectures are from the textbook, and I find that the textbook helps a lot if you can’t understand the concepts sometimes (or if you don’t pay attention like me). Other than that, he’s an okay lecturer. Take notes!Β no webcast
Tutorial – Tutorial questions should be quite easy as they are mostly just regurgitations of lecture concepts and simple calculations.
Homework AssignmentsΒ – Slightly harder variants of tutorial questions. (Read: variants, because the questions are really.. the same..) Make sure you score full marks for them too.
Programming Assignment – For my semester we needed to create a Windows client for sending and receiving mail. As I had no experience in Java GUI, I ended up using NetBeans IDE’s integrated GUI builder (it’s really useful!). It shouldn’t be a big problem as they have sample codes for the backend part (sockets).

There really isn’t much to say about this module because it’s really not difficult if you put in some effort.

My grade: A+
My rating: Lightweight module that isn’t too difficult.

——————————————————————————————————–

CS3230 – Design and Analysis of Algorithms
4MC / Examinable / 5% Tutorial + 10% Lecture Quizzes + 35% Midterm + 50% Final
Dr Rahul Jain

Another lightweight module in terms of workload, but concepts are tricky and requires time to understand. I didn’t buy the textbook, but I felt that the lectures were sufficient. The more abstract section about NP completeness was a complete disaster though, it’s a lot harder than normal algorithm analysis. As there are very few components that contribute to your final grade, be sure to prepare well for each of them.

Lecture – Rahul attempts to explain the algorithms discussed in lecture clearly by drawing a lot and taking a lot of time. Make sure you take down notes from these discussions. He tends to confuse himself though πŸ˜›Β not webcasted
Tutorial – Be sure to attempt the tutorial questions and prepare for class, not because of the 5% participation grade, but because they are the only form of practiceΒ you can have (aside from the textbook, which I didn’t have..) The tutorial questions really help a lot in understanding the algorithms.
Lecture QuizzesΒ – Should be manageable if you follow the lectures consistently. Algorithm design requires some analytic thinking though.

The midterm is a very largeΒ component of your grade so make sure to score well in that. I was lucky as Rahul gave hints in the midterm questions.

My grade: A+
My rating: Consistent work should get you through, but maybe not the NP-completeness part..

——————————————————————————————————–

GEM2901 – Reporting Statistics in the Media
4MC / Examinable / 20% Assignments + 80% Final
oops, I forgot the Prof’s name..Β 

No tutorial yet again! Steeeeeeeeep bell curve, I would say this module really requires critical thinking and an adequate level of preparation. The module content is definitely interesting and very applicable in real life.

Lecture – I wasn’t concentrating for most of the lectures (8am.. zzz..), and that was a mistakeΒ – do pay attention to his lectures to understand how he analyses news article and information. He cracks jokes to keep his lectures interesting. Do go for lectures to copy down the ‘tutorial answers’ though.Β no webcast
AssignmentsΒ – Two article reviews, one newspaper article and one research article. I’d recommend you go for picking a newspaper article with a research article source, so that there isn’t a need to reanalyze information and save precious words (for the word limit). (It’s kind of confusing to explain it, but if you take the module you’ll know what I mean.)

I got A for both assignments but I didn’t score very well in the end.

My grade: B+ (S/U-ed)
My rating: Analytic thinking required.

——————————————————————————————————–

Once again I survived another semester. Phew.