2010 Winter Term in Review

Now that I finally have my degree, it’s time to write a bunch of posts on my time at UBC. I’ll start off with the most straight forward one which is about the courses of my last undergraduate term and what I thought of them.

Product Development Management
My grade: 86%
A course that I took mainly to free up my schedule, but it turned out to be an alright course. The course teaches about the engineering product development process and what’s involved, and I think that might become useful down the road if I ever get into product management. I like the course mostly because there wasn’t much in terms of exams or assignments, so it didn’t take too much studying time. The marks mainly come from a big group project. I don’t think our group put that much effort into the project, but we got a decent mark so there are no complaints (at least not from me).

Power System Analysis 2
My grade: 95%
This is a continuation from the power systems analysis course I took last term, taught by the same prof as before. For this term, we learned more about transmission lines, symmetrical components, and power flow analysis. Really useful material for someone like me who wants to be a power engineer some day. Due to various scheduling problems, we didn’t cover all of the material that the prof had planned, so this course was easier than last term’s because there’s less material to remember. I ended up receiving the same grade as last term though, so maybe there wasn’t much of difference in terms of difficulty.

Power Systems Topics
My grade: 89%
A power systems course that’s not really about anything in particular. Most of the classes were lectures about scattered power system topics or guest presentations, and towards the end every class was student presentations. Most of the marks in this course came from a research project and presentation, so the workload was pretty low for a fourth year technical course and I appreciated that. Reports and projects tend to drag my grades down a little though, but more free time and less pressure is a decent trade off.

Power Systems Protection
My grade: 91%
A course is power protection equipment and strategies, such as how to set various types of protective relays. Unlike many other courses that’s focused on theory, this course is focused on practical knowledge and was taught by two practicing engineers instead of professors. I found the material to be interesting, but unfortunately, this course is taught in a single three hour session in late afternoon one day every week. No matter how hard I try, my wanders after two hours of listening to the same subject. That probably explains why I didn’t do too well in the midterm. I think I redeemed myself in the finals though.

Engineering Economics
My grade: 97%
A course about crunching numbers. Engineering economics is not a hard course, but all the calculations and rules can become bothersome after a while. You have to remember where to take a tax deduction here and how to account for inflation there. I now have new-found respect for accountants who deal with this kind of stuff every single day. Knowing how to count money is a useful skill though, especially for engineers. I tend to do quite well in courses that involve a lot of “follow the formula” calculations, and this course was no different.

4th Year Engineering Project
My grade: 92%
Continued from last term, I worked with a power systems simulations program. I don’t think I’ve accomplished much, but I managed to get by and picked up some power systems knowledge along the way.


That’s all for my courses in the winter 2010 term (and for my undergraduate program). My average for the term is 91.7% (weighed on credits), which is ever so slightly higher than my last term average of 91.6%. It’s still lower than my averages from my previous terms though. This is what I get for selecting courses because of schedule instead of the topics. I also probably slacked off a bit too due to the lighter work load compared to my second and third year. Just to make an excuse for myself, I also had to deal with graduate school issues during the last term, but I’m happy to report that I’ve found a place to go in the fall. I’ll save the details for my yearly reflections article. Of course, I managed to graduate as well and is currently sitting home. There is a lot of things I need to do, but the fact that I’m home now means that there will be more updates on this blog, at least for the next little while.

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