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.


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