ASU Summer 2017 Session C Week 6

Another busy week. Getting close to completion of Summer Session C. EEE 203 this week has been focusing on the Laplace Transform. Lectures included a look at:

  • Definitions
  • Examples
  • Inverse Transforms
  • Properties
  • LTI Systems
  • LTI System Examples

I had a little bit of trouble sorting out the region of convergence, but I found a slide deck that had some nice worked out examples.

This week the instructor provided two MATLAB examples. One on an RLC Band-pass Filter and a Cruise Control example. I haven’t had a chance to look much into these yet.

With the exception of one of the homework problem, most this week were pretty straight forward which was a nice change.

I was able to get the 20 pt midterm reflection wrapped up and submitted. After the midterm, definitely trying to get all the extra credit possible.

CHM 114 continues to consume almost all of my time. This week 3 chapters were covered, Chapter 14 – Kinetics, Chapter 15 – Equilibrium, Chapter 16 – Acids and Bases.

Last week’s material and this week’s material will all be on Exam 3 which opens up next week. I plan to spend a good part of this week reviewing the practice exam and trying to keep all this stuff straight.

The lab this week was a titration tutorial, again using the late night labs. The guided inquiry activities covered Reaction Rates and Introduction to Equilibrium.


ASU Summer 2017 Session C Week 5

Are we done yet? I don’t think I have ever been so tired. This past week I had a midterm on Monday in EEE 203 and a CHM 114 exam. Toss in the usual EEE homework and quiz, and in CHM 114 only 3 chapters, Mastering Chemistry homework, a lab, a discussion board post and two interactive guided activities.

I thought for sure I was done for on the EEE 203 midterm. I did horribly on the multiple choice portion of the exam. I was really nervous and made some really dumb mistakes. 4 is not the same thing as -4. I did slightly better on the short answer portion, but the midterm showed me a few areas I really need to pay better attention to.

CHM 114 I passed and did slightly better than the average. I didn’t spend much time preparing for this test and it really showed. but still doing okay in there. There just aren’t enough hours in the day. There wasn’t a lot of math problems, mostly conceptual questions and some were really tricky. At least it is done.

This week in EEE 203 we’re turning our attention to Discrete Time Fourier Transform and Sampling. I’m a bit behind and haven’t gotten through the sampling lectures, but there are some things that are pretty similar to discrete time, but you’ve got a few differences that you need to be aware of. So far it seems slightly more straight forward than the first few weeks, but occasionally you’ve got a partial fraction to deal with.

The professor added a midterm reflection assignment which will give 20 points following reviewing all problems missed and reflecting on ways to improve. I plan to work on that this weekend.

In CHM 114 this week the three chapters covered

  • Ch 10 – Gases
  • Ch 11 – Liquids and Intermolecular Forces
  • Ch 13 – Solutions

The lab this week again used the Late Nite Lab site and covered Molar Volume of a Gas. It wasn’t too bad. Hopefully I answered the questions correctly and reported my values properly . I’ve had a few points marked off for significant figure issues the last few times. Nothing major but irritating. I never had that problem in the physics labs. Probably just being careless but when you’re up at 7 and working until 11:30 with breaks for meals just trying to stay slight ahead, not sure what more can be done.

Is this session over yet??!?


ASU Summer 2017 Session C Week 4

Hard to believe I’m over half way done with this summer session of classes. Next week I have the EEE 203 midterm and CHM 114 exam 2. This week I’ve been reviewing the materials while trying to juggle a lot of work. I am tired this week, I’ve had a lot of very late nights up till midnight or later working on my studies.

In case you’re wondering, here is a glimpse of what the work load looks like…


I really wish CHM wasn’t taking up so much time right now. I fear I’m going to pay for it come Monday on the EEE 203 midterm. I’ve completed and submitted 8 quizzes and homework assignments for EEE 203, ten graded items remaining between midterm, final, homework, extra credit assignment and quizzes. CHM 114, 27 assignments completed between Mastering Chemistry homework, labs, guided interactive activities, discussion board posts and tests. Only 24 more to go.

In EEE 203 this week the focus was on the Continuous-Time Fourier Transform. All material from Chapter 4 in the textbook.

  • Fourier Transform Definition
  • FT Examples
  • FT Properties
  • FT & RC Filtering
  • FT & Amplitude Modulation

I need to spend a little more time understanding the RC Filtering and Amplitude Modulation examples that were given. Its been really tough this week balancing everything with all three kids home.

Still feels like learning a whole new way to do math, but this week’s homework assignment went much smoother than the last few weeks. I won’t see any of the Chapter 4 information on the midterm though, only chapters 1 through 3 are covered.

I haven’t had a chance to look through the MATLAB examples that the professor posted this week. I really chemistry wasn’t taking up so much of my time. Definitely glad it will be the last non EEE class I’ll have!

CHM 114 covered three chapters this week:

  • Chapter 8 – Basic Concepts of Bonding
  • Chapter 9 – Molecular Geometry and Bonding Theories
  • Chapter 12 – Solids and Modern Materials

In addition to the lectures there were three homework assignments, a Lab 4 – Strength of Alka Seltzer, two activities on Molecular Geometry and Polarity and Semiconductors and LEDs. If that wasn’t enough there is also a discussion board post.

All of the videos have been pretty good although Chapter 12 was way to brief for the number of homework problems. A lot of the questions in the homework I had to dig through the book to find. Hopefully things improve on next week’s lectures.

The chemistry test next week will be on Chapters 5-9 & 12. The professor has a practice exam posted and will be going through that this weekend. I’ve continued to keep up with my flash cards and added in some of the various molecular geometry shapes and arrangements we’ll need to have memorized. Hopefully won’t be too bad. There hasn’t been a lot of math the past few chapters so hopefully the exam will be pretty straight forward. I vaguely remember some of this material from CHEM 1A and 1B at UCR but that was 20 years ago.

ASU Summer 2017 Session C Week 3

Another insanely busy week. While still over a week away, I’ve started prepping and studying for the upcoming closed book/closed notes EEE 203 midterm. A bit nervous about this one. Lots to remember and a lot of complex math dealing with trig to exponential conversions.

I keep meaning to write up more about the EEE topics and some of the problems I’m working on, but just flat out haven’t had a chance to go into detail.

This week in EEE 203 I started looking at the Fourier Series. Over 15 lectures this week covering:

  • Complex Exponentials as Eigen Functions
  • Continuous Time Fourier Series
  • Continuous Time Fourier Series Properties
  • Discrete Time Fourier Series
  • Discrete Time Fourier Series Properties
  • Fourier Series LTI System Continuous Time
  • Fourier Series LTI System Discrete Time
  • Filter Details

The EEE 203 homework is taking me a bit longer to work through this week and I probably won’t get to the week 3 quiz until Saturday or Sunday. There are a couple questions I think I need to double check that I did earlier in the week after seeing the instruction teams responses on the Piazza discussion board. So far though, I’ve gotten perfect scores on the homework and quizzes and still have a small surplus of extra credit in the bank.

The topics are interesting but definitely a lot of math involved in this course. I wish I had taken it closer to the completion of MAT 265/266/267. I’ve gotten rusty! I keep hoping that an “easier” way will present itself, but so far its definitely some very detail oriented math work to calculate the various functions of Fourier series coefficients. It’s so easy to misplace a negative sign along the way.

The professor recommended a supplemental book titled “Schaum’s Outlines – Signals and Systems by Hwei P. Hsu. I’d ordered it last week and it finally showed up today. Hoping that will help me get a different perspective and better understand this stuff.

In CHM 114, I took the first exam on Tuesday and scored an 88/100 with the average at 72% so feeling pretty good about that. I haven’t gone back to review what I missed yet, just haven’t had time.

This week, only two chapters were covered:

  • Chapter 6 – Electronic Structure of Atoms
  • Chapter 7 – Periodic Properties

This week’s lab covered Spectroscopy Analysis and the two activities were on Spectroscopy and Atomic Energy Levels and a second on Photoelectron Spectroscopy. ┬áIn addition, also had two chapters worth of Mastering Chemistry homework and the weekly discussion board post to do.

I am tired. Feels like all I have do is wake up, sit at the computer and do homework and watch lectures. Definitely feeling a bit burned out this week.

ASU Summer 2017 Session C Week 2

So far so good in EEE 203. Pulled off perfect scores on the first quiz, plus four extra credit points and then got full credit on the homework for Week 1. Hopefully that trend will continue. This week’s material got a bit more challenging. Lectures this week included the following topics:

  • Discrete Time Signals as Impulses
  • Discrete Time Convolution
  • Continuous Time Signals as Impulses
  • Continuous Time Convolution
  • Linear Time-Invariance Properties
  • Stability

The convolution for both discrete and continuous time signals took me a bit to get my arms wrapped around. I’m still not 100% comfortable with those topics, but the TA has posted some additional lecture videos. I plan to get through those in the morning before taking Quiz 2.

I’ve been tinkering a bit with MATLAB in attempt to better visualize some of the convolution problems. The professor has had some MATLAB examples to look at. Lots of good information, just need more hours in the day.

The study group for EEE 203 has been pretty helpful. I was getting pretty frustrated earlier in the week and I was glad to find out I wasn’t alone. Its been good to be able to bounce ideas off fellow students.

In CHM 114, two chapters were on the menu:

  • Reactions in Aqueous Solution
  • Thermochemistry

This week’s lab had us working with Enthalpy Change. The Late-Nite-Lab site seems to be working okay. In part of the lab, we had to head water to 60 degrees Celsius and it actually took a minute or so to heat the water. Hopefully I got all the significant figures reported correctly!

The activities for this week had us looking at Limiting Reactants and Alternative Fuels and Heats of Combustion. Both were interesting and help to reinforce the topics studied. Next Tuesday will be my first CHM 114 exam. 60 minutes for 25 problems covering Chapters 1-5. I took the practice exam and scored pretty well so hopefully will do okay on the first exam.

ASU Summer 2017 Session C Week 1

Summer session started up on Tuesday officially. This session I’ve got CHM 114 – General Chemistry for Engineers and EEE 203 – Signals and Systems I. CHM 114 actually came online back on May 9th which was nice to have some additional time. EEE 203 opened up on Saturday.

For EEE 203 textbook is Signals and Systems by Alan V. Oppenheim, 2nd edition. CHM 114 is using Chemistry, The Central Science, 13th edition by Brown, Lemay and Bursten. I found a good deal on a loose leaf binder edition of the chemistry book for 35 bucks which was a great price for a textbook. I wish all books were that price!

I’d heard that CHM 114 was a lot of work. Usually the courses have between 15-30 tasks between homework assignments, tests, etc that will be turned in and graded. CHM 114 comes in with over 50! 17 chapters are to be covered, 17 Mastering Chemistry homework assignments one for each chapter with multiple questions that have multiple parts, 14 guided activity assignments that have multiple segments with multiple parts, 3 tests that are closed book and closed notes so there is a lot of elements, ions and other bits of chemistry knowledge to memorize, 7 labs and a final that is closed notes and closed book. If that wasn’t enough, there are weekly posts on the discussion board and responses to other student posts that are required. It has been non-stop chemistry and feels like I’m barely making a dent.

Week 1 covers 3 chapters:

  • Ch 1 Matter and Measurement
  • Ch 2 Atom, Molecules and Ions
  • Ch 3 Stoichiometry

The chemistry labs are done through a website called Late-Nite-Labs. No lab coats, goggles, beakers, flasks, chemicals, etc. Seems to be okay, but I think you lose out a bit on having to accurate measure chemicals and work with actual lab gear. I did enjoy the chemistry labs for the most part back at UCR so hopefully they won’t be too bad completing online through a simulation website.

The 1st guided activity looked at Global Warming and Measurements and the 2nd covered nomenclature. Both were pretty interesting and seem to give more practice on two important chemistry topics and how to relate that topic to some real world application.

So I’m going to go on a bit of a rant here. I can’t believe how many Mastering Chemistry problems there are to work on. You have six attempts on a problem, but each wrong answer gets you marked off 3% of the points. Multiple choice questions are graded more harshly. I think the lowest 3 homework sets are dropped, but this class is no joke and I keep wondering why I am putting myself through this much work. I do find chemistry pretty interesting, but this seems to be beyond trying to drink from a firehose. Maybe it’s more in line with being in the middle of the Red Sea after Moses parted it and the water is crashing down. I hope not to drown!

I’m frustrated by how much time this chemistry class is taking. It’s cramming two semesters into one class. My work at UCR didn’t transfer over which bugs me, but not much can be done there. It is what it is and CHM 114 will be the last non-electrical engineering course I’ll have. I just have buckle down and get through it. Others have been successful and made it through and each problem completed gets me one step closer. Enough of my ranting, I’ll try and be more positive next week.

Luckily EEE 203 Signals and Systems I doesn’t have as many assignments to turn in and isn’t moving at the death march pace that CHM 114 is. There is more content to the video lectures than what the EEE 202 lectures had last semester. The professor has provided additional resource links which look really interesting and the few I looked at really helped to clarify some questions I had. I hope to have more time to look through them.

This week EEE 203’s lectures were on:

  • Continuous Time and Discrete Time Signals
  • Complex Numbers and Sinusoids
  • Discrete-Time Sinusoids
  • Unit Functions
  • Continuous-Time and Discrete Systems
  • System Properties

In addition, there was a bit of the calculus and series math review that we’ll be using which I really appreciated. It’s been a while since I’ve looked at series, but looks like they will come into play a bit with the discrete time signal analysis.

Each week for EEE 203 there is a homework assignment to complete and a quiz to work through. The homework has a dozen or so problems and we need to show our work and turn in a hand written scanned pdf or typed up word or pdf document. I haven’t tackled the first quiz yet, but looks like we get 60 minutes and 2 attempts to complete it. All assignments for the week are due on Mondays. Hopefully it won’t be too bad.

The professor has provided a lot of worked examples to review and example videos. In addition, there are some MATLAB examples scripts that look pretty neat. I haven’t had a chance to look at those yet. Overall, looks like a really well organized course. Hopefully this weekend I’ll more time to review some of the additional material.

There will be one midterm and a final. The professor has mentioned that there will be some extra credit opportunities at the end of the quizzes and an extra credit assignment in MATLAB. Hopefully won’t need them, but I’m really interested in this course and don’t mind putting in some additional work to be successful. I just hope I have the time and can balance both CHM 114 and EEE 203.

ASU Spring 2017 Session B Complete

Spring 2017 Session B is officially complete. I took my PHY 241 final last Saturday and did well. Walked away with an A+ in PHY 241. PHY 241 was a really neat class that brought a lot of the topics from PHY 121 and 131 together and sets the stage for further studies into Modern and Quantum Mechanics.

PHY 241 is not as demanding as the previous two ASU physics courses from a time perspective, but still require the proper respect. Lectures were good, although some a bit long, but I found them quite interesting. A lab component would have been interesting, but after how much time PHY 122 and PHY 132 required I was glad to not have one to deal with. With the completion of PHY 241, I am official done with the 3 physics classes at ASU, but of course, it is quite applicable to EE so I’m sure I haven’t seen the last of it.

EEE 202’s final was brutal. I got my butt kicked, but still walked away with an A somehow. I really enjoyed the class. It took a lot of math and physics to get there, but I can honestly say I used just about all the various math tricks that I’d studied.

Next up for me, CHM 114 – Chemistry for Engineers and EEE 203 – Signals and Systems I. Classes don’t officially start up until May 16th, but hopefully they both will be online so I can get a jump on the summer material.