What a year it has been.
Eight courses and a handful of exams later, I am now only one result away from being able to tick this year off. As I cast my eyes across the last two semesters that are all but behind me, with a mixture of relief and contentment (thankfully without contempt) I can say that I am pleased with my specialisation choice. While I am sure that I would have been able to enjoy most any specialisation, EEE has provided the mix of challenge and satisfaction that I had hoped for. The lecture content has been perpetually interesting (or, at least, it has never been uninteresting) across a broad range of subjects – and really, what more can I ask for? The design project has left me hungry for the two more next year, and the people have been lovely too.
Tying up loose ends
I have not mentioned EE209 as much as some bloggers past have, so since it is my last post, I should probably address the elephant in the room. It can be easy to get carried away with the project (not that it is a bad thing), but you needn’t spend every waking hour on this course to get a passing grade. Here is a list of recommendations if you do choose EEE or computer systems and find yourself feeling overwhelmed in Semester 2:
- Complete all of the Lab assignments (including the optional tasks if you can). They will step you through the vast majority of the actual design content, so doing them to a high standard will mean that you are well on your way to completing the project.
- Show up and keep up with the lecture material. Almost everything that you need to know to do well in this course and complete your design to a high standard can be found spread across the Lab and lecture notes.
- Read over the material/documentation early, thoroughly and many times over. Make sure that you have a good understanding of what you are making, and what all of the sections do. This becomes more important when you design your PCB during the mid-semester break (did I mention you get to design your own PCB!) as you will be locking in all of the hardware design with six weeks of the course remaining. If you want to get a head start, you can find the course website here.
- It should all feel overwhelming and confusing because it is. But fret not, for you have access to 30+ (G)TA’s who have all gone through it before. If you have questions, want to learn more, or just need help then ask! They are paid to aid you, so use them.
I know that it is a bit cheeky for the last blog, but I will sneak in one last tip for choosing a specialisation: look at the Part IV courses (and to a lesser degree, the Part III ones). While I did mention this in ‘Why-EEE?’ it might help if I expanded that little bullet point. The Faculty of Engineering course viewer will show you all of the Part IV courses available in each specialisation. While the selection is more changeable year-on-year than Part II/III courses, you should still be able to get a good enough idea of where a specialisation of interest may take you. These courses do the best job of showing what you might be doing when you graduate as they are more specific that the Part II/III courses. As an aside, once you have chosen your specialisation you should have a look at the Part III/IV courses anyways: find the ones that you think you would most want to do, and then look at the prerequisites to see what electives to pick in Part II/III. This is more important for specialisations like EEE where there is an incredible range of electives to choose from.
Have I done a good job of selling this specialisation to you? Perhaps so, but probably not. As much as I might like to see Electrical and Electronics Engineering finally require a GPA cut-off due to a biblical flood of eager students enthused by the exceptional influence of this blog, I doubt that I have swayed the specialisation selection forms of many – but that may not be a bad thing. If any of the past five blogs, or this one, have helped you to decide on your specialisation (EEE or otherwise), then I can consider my work a job well done.
Best of luck with your future endeavours and as our darling William would say,
If you have read this far then might I suggest that you consider being my replacement for 2023. The feeling of shouting out into the void with little to no feedback may be slightly demoralizing, but you do get payed a smidge over minimum wage for your troubles.
Take care and do try and keep an open mind.