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Simon Chenery

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  • 6 reviews
  • 5 completed
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Interesting insight into how computer networks really work, although I already knew about 25% of the material from using a computer for many years. There are about 60 minutes of high-quality video lectures each week, followed by a quiz and programming exercises. The programming exercises are in MATLAB through a web interface, usually adding some missing functionality to a program. The MATLAB web interface is much improved compared with parts 1 and 2 of this course, though understanding the complete program is still sometimes frustrating. The final week is an exam which took me about 90 minutes to complete. High-school maths is enough to complete this part of the course and I think you could do this part of the course without first completing parts 1 and 2.
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I completed the course with a final score of 77% and found every week of the course interesting but I feel that I did not completely understand a lot of the content. Video lectures are well produced and clearly explained -- about 60 minutes each week, broken into 5-10 minute blocks, with a PDF file also available containing all the formulas that are used in each lecture. This is followed by quiz questions and online MATLAB exercises. The first two weeks were straight-forward. Then the course became very difficult with a lot of trigonometry and complex numbers, moving forward at a fast pace and I had trouble fully understanding all the concepts. The online discussion forum was not very active, so there was not much help there. The final week was an exam which I found very difficult and some questions I simply could not answer.
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An unusual topic but wireless communication is something that I use everyday with a smartphone and with WiFi, so it was interesting to learn the theory of transmitting a sequence of bits reliably from transmitter to receiver, and how errors are minimised, detected and corrected. About 60 minutes of video lectures each week (all clearly presented and professionally produced with lots of diagrams) and I needed to watch all of them carefully to be able to complete the weekly exercises that took 1-3 hours. Some exercises are writing small MATLAB programs in a web browser window. I did not know MATLAB, so there was some frustration in having to learn that too, and the only reason I did not give the content 5 stars. High school level calculus and statistics knowledge is needed, plus general computing knowledge about things such as least-significant-bit, parity, ASCII, etc. Final week is an exam which took me about 3 hours to complete. I have signed up for part two of this course, starting in a few weeks.
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Instructor knows his subject and explains everything clearly in the videos. The videos sometimes proceed too slowly and go for too long and could be condensed -- I often watched the videos at 2x speed because the slow pace was frustrating. There are many messy JavaScript and WebGL details (for example, working with arrays and vectors) that you have to learn, differences between web browsers that you have to be aware of, and very little feedback from the computer about problems with JavaScript or WebGL. So you need some previous experience or a lot of patience with working with these technologies. I eventually dropped the course whilst attempting an assignment because I found I was spending more time trying to solve strange JavaScript/WebGL problems than learning WebGL.
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Well organised course that explains some of the the newest topics/concepts in software development (such as Futures/Promises, Actors). Video lectures were well produced, about 90 minutes per week split into 10-20 minute blocks. Discussion forums were very active with lots of useful hints and discussions, including involvement and comments by course instructors. However, assignments from week 3 onwards were very difficult and required several hours of additional research in order to understand how to solve them (for some assignments I stopped after scoring 7/10 as I had used up all my free time). I spent about 10 hours work per week to complete this course. Scala software installation and automatic upload and grading of assignments worked well for me. I had already completed 'Functional Programming Principles in Scala' and would say that course is a pre-requisite for this course.
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I just completed this course -- I was curious about FP but had no previous FP experience. The course was well organised. The videos had a good pace, good content and were good quality. The weekly assignments put into practice what I had just learned in the videos and I had to think hard to solve the assignments. The software installation and automated submission and marking of assignments worked for me without any problems. The discussion forum was active. It seemed like a lot of people were taking the course. The only negatives were that I found about 10% of course to be theoretical (Induction proof) and not really of practical use, and I spent about 10 hours per week on the course, not the estimated 5-7 hours (mostly because the assignments were difficult).