ASU Spring 2016 Session A Week 1 Update

My MAT 265 (Calculus I) and EEE 120 – Digital Design Fundamentals courses officially started up last Monday although the course content was available Friday 1/8 by the afternoon. I got started that Friday afternoon and have been glad for a few days head start.

This past week in MAT 265, the lectures have been focused on Limits. I’ve found the video lectures to be helpful and have been supplementing the lectures with Khan Academy videos. The math video lectures are longer than I’m used to usually with 2 videos per topic running anywhere from 15 minutes to 30 minutes. Week 2 we move on to differentiation.

Homework is done through WebWorks for MAT 265. I have to say that I really miss the MyMathLab site from MAT 170. WebWorks is okay, but MyMathLab had an awesome “Show Me How” button where if you were stuck, it would walk you through step by step. In addition you were able to get a lot of math problem practice. Not so much with WebWorks. The syntax to enter answers is a bit different as well in WebWorks so that has taken a little getting used to. Hopefully WebWorks will grow on me. Rumor has it that is used for MAT 266 next session as well.

EEE 120 so far has been a lot of challenging fun. The lecture videos aren’t too long, but there are usefully a handful to watch each week. In addition to lectures, there has been sample practice problem videos where the instructor works through various problems.

Last week we were focused on Truth Tables and Logic Gate Circuits. This week onto Boolean Algebra, Equation Minimization and Karnaugh Maps. This week definitely got challenging! The lectures have been pretty good and I found a number of lectures by Jim Pytel out of Columbia Gorge Community College to be an awesome supplement. He’s got some great tips that he sprinkles in. I was struggling a bit on simplifying Boolean expressions late last week, but with Mr. Pytel’s videos, I’m much more confident. I’m convinced the more you practice with Boolean Equations and Karnaugh Maps the better off you’ll be.

Labs have been pretty straight forward for EE 120 so far. We’ve got 5 simulation labs and 5 hardware labs. Our first was a simulation lab and we were presented with a number of tasks to work through in Logisim that gave us a chance to explore the tools in Logisim we’ll be using for the rest of the labs. Gave a good foundation to build on but feels like we’ve barely just scratched the surface of the simulation program. This weeks is a hardware lab using our Digilent Analog Discovery kit, breadboard and an IC.

Instructors and TAs have been very helpful and pretty quick to respond to questions posted to the course Piazza discussion board for both classes.

Oh and a nice perk! Last semester we had to pay for exam proctoring fees through Proctoru.com. ASU picked up the tab for those this semester which is great! Saved closed to $60 bucks! Hopefully that continues!

Well, I better get back to the books. Until next time!

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