University of Toronto

Options for the remainder of my M.Eng

August 14, 2016 Incoherent ramblings 4 comments , ,

I had a provisional plan for the remainder of my M.Eng earlier in the year. I knew that I’d likely have to adjust this based on what courses were actually made available at registration time in the years to come.

Without looking back on that plan, assuming what is available this year, will continue to be. I came up with the following new plan:

First choices






Last term I ended up dropping ‘Microwave Circuits’ in favour of ‘Scientific Computing for Physicists’, which I was taking concurrently.  The microwave circuits course was really about GHz domain electromagnetics, but it’s a material that I’d enjoy a lot more, and get a lot more out of, by reading the course text and doing problems, than attending the lectures (which were just taught from slides).

Because I’d dropped the uwaves course, I’m now down one ECE course.  I need 5/9’s of my M.Eng course selections to be from ECE to graduate.  This forces me to make additional course selections from ECE that I hadn’t initially planned for.  For example, I’d rather take the MIE CFD course or the PHY Quantum Optics course than the ECE Information Theory course, which I selected primarily because it helped satisfy the graduation requirements.


Marks are in for Winter 2016

May 18, 2016 Incoherent ramblings No comments , , , , , , , , , , ,

I started my formal re-education program back in 2010 after 20 years out of school. The first few courses were particularly tough after such a long break from school (and exam based courses still are), but I’m getting the hang of playing that game again. Here’s my score so far:

Crs Code  Title                                    Wgt  Mrk  Grd    CrsAvg
PHY356H1  Quantum Mechanics I                      0.50  78  B+     C+
PHY450H1  Rel Electrodynamics                      0.50  78  B+     *
PHY456H1  Quantum Mechanics II                     0.50  72  B-     C+
PHY454H1  Continuum Mech                           0.50  85  A      B
PHY485H1  Adv Classical Optics                     0.50  85  A      *
PHY452H1  Basic Stat Mechanics                     0.50  81  A-     B-
PHY487H1  Condensed Matter I                       0.50  80  A-     B+
ECE1254H  Modeling of Multiphysics Systems         0.50      A+
ECE1229H  Advanced Antenna Theory                  0.50      A-
PHY1520H  Quantum Mechanics                        0.50      A-
PHY1610H  Scientific Computing for Physicists      0.50      A+     

This last grad course is the only one of which they gave (informally through email) a non-letter grade (97). That one happened to be very well suited to me, and did not have anything based on exams nor on presentations (just assignments). They were demanding assignments (and fun), so I had to work really hard for that 97.

As a returning student I really suck at classes that have marks that are highly biased towards exams. My days of showing up late for class, sleeping through big chunks of the parts that I did get their in time for, and still breezing through the exams are long gone. Somehow in my youth I could do that, and still be able to quickly and easily barf out all the correct exam answers without thinking about it. I got a 99 in first year calculus doing exactly that, although it helped that the Central Technical School’s math department kicked butt, and left Prof Smith with only a review role.

Now I take a lot more time thinking things through, and also take a lot of time writing up my notes (which would sometimes have been spent better doing practise problems). It’s funny thinking back to undergrad where I had such scorn for anybody that took notes. Now I do just that, but in latex. I would be the object of my own scorn X10, if I met my teenage self again!

Make a difference, sponsor a warlord — CIA advertisement

November 10, 2014 Just for fun No comments , , , , ,

The Toike Oike, UofT’s engineering newspaper, has reached majestic heights of spoof advertisement in the November issue, with the following advert placed by the CIA

make a difference sponser a warlord, CIA advertisment

The sad thing is that there is so much truth embedded in this bit of parody.

I congratulate the author for most excellent work. Very nice work! Oh, and finding the smiling guy in fatigues with his gun toting buddies in the background was a real nice compositional touch.