The Weather is Getting Colder

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Hello, my dear readers! Happy to see you all again! The weather is getting colder, but my life as an ECS student keeps my world warm and bright. Hopefully this blog is helpful and it could convey some warmth to you.:)

I have 7 modules in the first semester, four of which will have final exams in January. They are Circuit Theory, Logic Circuit Design, Solid State Electronics and Self-study Math. Unlike the other three modules, you won’t find any maths lectures in the 9 to 6ish timetable. Yes, we have to teach ourselves a course of topics (11 in total, including differentiation, integration, complex numbers, vectors, matrix, etc.) You need to get at least 3 out of 4 in each module test, so that you can proceed to the next.

We now have weekly lab sessions for C programming and Electronics labs. My lab partner and I get marked by demonstrators at the end of each session. It is always inspiring to see the progress and experience gained practically! The Engineering Challenges module focuses on the essential skills and qualities as an engineer; it also gives an insight into the latest technologies. Sometimes online sessions are available instead of physical lectures.

Just as I predicted in my last blog, assignments have become a close friend! By now, I have finished 2 courseworks from Circuit Theory on Nodal & Mesh Analysis and Thévenin’s & Norton’s Theorems. I felt happy to have obtained full marks for the first coursework. I found it, however, hard to solve the last question on transistor circuits in the second coursework. Now I am doing the second Solid State coursework, which includes plotting a graph of p-n junctions in semiconductors. It is fun but also challenging to complete the questions; understanding the implications of graphs can be so demanding! A grade of 39/40 for first piece seems to be a reasonable mark, as my tutor is Professor Darren Bagnall, who is the lecturer of Solid State electronics. :D.

Tutor Groups and JumpStart
As mentioned in the previous paragraph, one of important supports for ECS freshers is weekly tutorial meetings. Tutor groups are formed of 4 to 6 students; each group is led by one tutor during the degree course. Last week, we worked on our CVs and discussed how they can be improved.

I am excited there are so many things to do as an ECS student, but you might be curious how I got everything started in the first place. Looking back to the beginning of October, the answer is JumpStart. It was a welcoming program organised by ECSS (ECS Society). That’s also when I became good friends with my tutor group mates. We were assigned to finish a set of challenging missions, helped by a third-year student, Adam Malpass (an ECS student blogger as well). We completed bonus points like using talents to entertain a crowd of people, singing the theme song of Titanic to a stranger, sitting behind the wheel of a fabulous sports car. We took pictures of us taking part in these tasks, and presented them as a storyboard! We won some Amazon vouchers and a box of Jaffa cakes (double prizes indeed) for all our hard work! This experience helped us to build up a real team.

What’s Next?
In my next entry, you will follow me to see the labs and equipment in ECS, and experience various activities organised by school. I will also reveal more fun stories behind the electric motor assignment for Engineering Challenges.

Thanks for reading the blog and best wishes from Sally!

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