First Round of Midterms

It is the time in the semester that the first set of midterm exams begin. I currently have five exams over a one week period which is very different than last year. First semester freshman year I only had two exams at a time, and second semester I only had 3-4. Now as a sophomore, all of my classes (5) have exams and they all occur at roughly the same time. I have completed my first three exams (with 2 being on the same day) and I have one for each of the next two days. The first three have went fairly well although I had to study for longer than would have liked because I have not been keeping up throughout the semester.

Many Lehigh students, myself included, tend to not take classes seriously until exam time. Then you end up spending most of your day studying for exams while also managing the homework you get in your other classes. It becomes a struggle. My advice for you: keep up with the workload in all of your classes so you do not have to cram come exam time. Many class have optional homework that you feel like you do not have to do…but if you want exam week to not be stressful, then you should be doing this homework. It is also good to read the chapters in the textbook that cover the material you go over in class. During the beginning of the semester this seems silly to do, but come exam week you’ll wish you were reading the book and doing optional problems. I hope I learn from my mistake of not doing these things earlier in the semester, although I will not make any promises.

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Math 231

Math 231 is Statistics and Probability and is required by all electrical and computer engineering majors, computer science majors, most (if not all) business majors, as well as others. It is a more challenging statistics class compared to the introduction to statistics class here. The class is only three credits so it has lectures three days a week and no recitation. Typically, engineers take this course in their junior year after completing Calculus 1,2,&3 and Linear Methods, however I completed those courses in high school and freshman year so I am currently taking this class as a sophomore. In my opinion, this class is fairly easy for the engineers who are good at math, and is probably more challenging for the business students who have to take it who may not be as good at math. Over the first two weeks, most of the material covered was review from previous math classes in high school. We covered the basics topics like mean, median and mode, etc. and then moved on to some a little more advanced topics. Currently we have shifted into probability which also was a little bit of a review of what I learned in high school. Calculus 2 is a prerequisite for this course because some basic integration techniques are used in this course. I assume that we will soon get into more challenging topics, but so far the class has been pretty easy for me. There is written homework due roughly once a week which is good practice for the exams. Computer engineering and computer science majors only have to take this class, Calculus 1,2,&3, and Linear Methods to satisfy their mathematics requirements. Electrical engineering majors have to take these as well as Complex Variables.

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Physics 21

Physics 21 is a physics course on electricity and magnetism and is a 4 credit course with a 1 credit lab. There are two lectures and two recitations per week along with a lab. Up to this point in the semester we have discussed charges, electrical fields, capacitance, voltages, circuits, energy, power, magnetic fields, as well as much more. Calculus 1 and 2 are prerequisites for this class because derivation, integration, as well as other calculus techniques are used in this course. A formula sheet is given out for every exam which has many, but not all of the equations you may need to solve the problems. This may sound like the exams will be easy, but just because you have the equations in front of you, does not mean you know how to use them. So far this class has been more difficult than Physics 11 (Mechanics) which I took last year. Concepts from Physics 11 have reappeared in this course. I believe in the future we will also be covering optics in this course. Physics 21 is required for all engineers as well as some other majors, but many students come in with high school credits for this course as well as Physics 11. All of the homework has been online Mastering Physics homework and the weekly quizzes have been very similar to the homework questions. As an electrical engineering major, some of the material in this course has overlapped with my other classes which has been very helpful.

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ECE 81

ECE 81 is the introduction to electrical engineering class at Lehigh. It is taught every year during fall semester at 8 A.M. with one of Lehigh’s best professors, Bill Best. As much as I hate waking up (almost) every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for a semester at 8 A.M. Professor Best does a great job at keeping you awake and focused on the material. So far the class has covered circuit analysis with resistors, voltage sources, and current sources. We have learned the techniques of Ohm’s Law, Kirchhoff’s voltage and current laws, nodal analysis, mesh analysis, and Norton and Thevenin equivalents. We have been given circuits with both independent and dependent sources and had to analyze them in various ways. Typically Professor Best likes to ask us to find the power in a certain resistor/source or he’ll assign variables to certain parts of the circuit and we have to find what they are.

This class is required for all engineers, although non-electrical/computer engineers take ECE 83 which is a very similar class offered in the spring semester which is introduction to electrical engineering but designed for non-electrical/computer engineers. Both of these classes are four credits with one recitation per week to both review old material, and learn new material. One of Professor Best’s key objectives for the class is to get everyone to “think like an engineer.” He doesn’t want everyone to memorize equations/techniques. He wants them to actually understand them and be able to implement them in a variety of ways. Most circuits can be solved by several of the methods mentioned above, but you want to decide what should be the easiest method to find what you are looking for.

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Celtic Classic Festival

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Grading Homework as a Teaching Assistant

As a teaching assistant for CSE-2 (Fundamentals of Programming), I am required to grade some of the students’ homework. Generally, each teaching assistant is assigned about seven students to grade. We are required to first check that their programs compiles, then grade for correctness. If certain outputs are off, we deduct points from the total. Even if a program compiles and runs correctly, the student may still lose points. Students are required to code in good style and comment their programs.

Here is a sample grading guideline for the current homework I am grading:

Grading Rules for CSE002-FL14 Homework1

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1. Compile Without Error (16 points): 4 points for each part

2. Program Function (50 points):

1) IncomeTax.java (12 points): I. Input and check the integer (4 points)

II. Tax Calculation (6 points)

III. Output (2 points)

2) Month.java (12 points)

I. Input and check the integer (3 points)

II. Days Calculation (7 points) 3 Points for Feb.

III. Output (2 points)

3) FourDigits.java (13 points)

I. Input and check the digit number (3 points)

II. Calculation (7 points)

III. Output (3 points)

4) TimePadding.java (13 points)

I. Input and check the number of seconds (should be positive) (4 points)

II. Calculation (6 points)

III. Output (3 points) pay attention to the formatting

3. Good Programming Style (24 points):

**There are 4 source code files in hw04, and please do not deduct credits repetitively for the same programming style issue ** — Written top-down — Output well formatted — Code indentation — Efficiency, no repetitive code

4. Good documentation (10 points):

– explanation of purpose of the program

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Study Locations

It’s exam week, that means tons of studying to do. For most people, the location in which they study is a very important factor in their study productivity. After a year at Lehigh, I have a decent understanding of popular study spots, and why they are so popular.

The first location is the library, which most people associate with long hours of studying. Here at Lehigh, we have two libraries, Fairchild Martindale Library (lovingly known as FML by students) and Linderman Library. Linderman Library is the older and more picturesque library. Some students like to study there just for the atmosphere alone. There are numerous study areas and alcoves on the floors of Linderman. Also, in the underground floor, there is a small cafe called Lucy’s Cafe. Many students like to study there because it is quaint and gives them access to their beloved coffee. FML is more modern and offers functions similar to Linderman. There are many study areas and easy access to computers. If I were to choose one of the libraries to study at, I would choose FML because I prefer a more modern environment, and it is also much closer to where I live.

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Linderman Library

If you don’t study at the library, you probably study in your room or somewhere in your dorm. Some people prefer studying in a private area where they are more comfortable and situated. In your room, you have access to your own computer and study materials. If you want to study in groups you can study in an unoccupied lounge. Most students I know prefer to study in this sort of manner. Personally, I also prefer to study in my room because that is what works best for me.

Of course, different places work for different people; you just need to find what fits best for you.

 

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