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Computer Architecture, 2008, DAT105, MPIES HT2008

Status: Avslutad
Öppen för svar: 2008-12-12 - 2009-01-24
Antal svar: 28
Procent av deltagarna som svarat: 63%
Kontaktperson: Lena Peterson»

Your background and programme

1. My study background is:

28 svarande

Chalmers civilingenjör programme - Electrical Engineering»2 7%
Chalmers civilingenjör programme - Computer Engineering»4 14%
Chalmers civilingenjör programme - IT»0 0%
Chalmers högskoleingenjör programme - Electrical Engineering»0 0%
Chalmers högskoleingenjör programme - Computer Engineering»2 7%
Chalmers högskoleingenjör - other programme»0 0%
Other Swedish civilingenjör programme»1 3%
Other Swedish högskoleingenjör programme»0 0%
Foreign university - Electrical Engineering»12 42%
Foreign university - Computer Engineering»4 14%
Foreign university - other programme»3 10%
Other (explain below)»0 0%

Genomsnitt: 7.42

- telecommunications engineering» (Foreign university - other programme)

2. I am currently enrolled in this master programme:

27 svarande

Integrated Electronic System Design»16 59%
Networks and Distributed Systems»3 11%
Secure and Dependable Computer Systems»4 14%
Other master programme»2 7%
Not enrolled in master programme»2 7%

Genomsnitt: 1.92

- Software Engineering and Technology» (Other master programme)

3. Have you previously taken any of the courses EDA331/EDA330/EDA440/EDA370 Datorsystemteknik at Chalmers?

28 svarande

Yes, studied and passed»4 14%
Yes, studied but has not yet passed»0 0%
No»21 75%
Don"t know»3 10%

Genomsnitt: 2.82

4. How do you rate your prior knowledge of computer organization and design before taking this course?

28 svarande

No knowledge»3 10%
Little knowledge»6 21%
Some knowledge»16 57%
Great knowledge»3 10%
Don"t know»0 0%

Genomsnitt: 2.67

- I used to think I had a great knowledge, but this course made me realize my knowledge was not enough» (Some knowledge)

5. Was there any particular subject area where you felt you lacked knowledge that was needed in this course?

28 svarande

No»13 46%
Yes (please specify below)»9 32%
Don"t know»6 21%

Genomsnitt: 1.75

- Pipelining. My previous understanding was not good enough, and made the study of speculative execution very hard. I don"t know if the repetition lecture would help, because the "quick review" questions about the issue seemed like I *did* know about pipelining. » (Yes (please specify below))
- I think a bit of operating system and threading knowledge would have been helpful, although it was not critical.» (Yes (please specify below))
- MIPS architecture» (Yes (please specify below))
- Actually it that we learned everything about low-level programming and it"s structure the first year at Chalmers. A huge gap between this course and the other two in time.» (Yes (please specify below))
- To be able to read really bad books. I could improve in this area.» (Yes (please specify below))
- All of them» (Yes (please specify below))
- I didn"t know much about assembly code instruction set of MIPS » (Yes (please specify below))
- Computer Organization and Design » (Yes (please specify below))
- Pipelining» (Yes (please specify below))

Your own effort

6. How many hours per week did you spend on this course?

We mean total time, that is, it comprises the time you spent in class and the time you spent on your own work. Try to estimate the average time over the entire study period.

28 svarande

At most 15 hours/week»8 28%
Around 20 hours/week»8 28%
Around 25 hours/week»6 21%
Around 30 hours/week»4 14%
At least 35 hours/week»2 7%

Genomsnitt: 2.42

- I must admit that I didn"t give the due attention to this course.» (At most 15 hours/week)
- I have to take lots of time to reading the book, because my background is weak in this course. » (Around 30 hours/week)

7. How large part of the teaching offered did you attend?

28 svarande

0%»0 0%
25%»6 21%
50%»7 25%
75%»10 35%
100%»5 17%

Genomsnitt: 3.5

- It was not usefull» (25%)
- I"m running my own company, and tries to pass courses based on labs, text-books and home assigments.» (25%)
- I have attended first 2 weeks, but it was not so useful. » (50%)
- skipped exercise lectures a few times» (75%)

Goals and goal fulfilment

The course syllabus states the course goals in terms of learning outcomes, i.e., knowledge, skills and attitudes to be acquired by the student during the course.

8. How understandable are the course goals?

28 svarande

I have not seen/read the goals»2 7%
The goals are difficult to understand»5 17%
The goals give some guidance, but could be clearer»10 35%
The goals clearly describe what I am supposed to learn»11 39%

Genomsnitt: 3.07

9. Are the goals reasonable considering your background and the number of credits?

Answer this this question and the succeeding one, only if you do know the course goals.

27 svarande

No, the goals are set too low»0 0%
Yes, the goals seem reasonable»22 81%
No, the goals are set too high»5 18%

Genomsnitt: 2.18

- I had to read alot extra, fortunately the appendix in the book provided alot of help. This should be mentioned very clear next time, that the appendix is very important and helpful.» (Yes, the goals seem reasonable)

10. Did the examination assess whether you have reached the goals?

28 svarande

No, not at all»4 14%
To some extent»9 32%
Yes, definitely»11 39%
I don"t know/have not been examined yet»4 14%

Genomsnitt: 2.53

- The exam was to difficult. I read all sections within the book and also solved past examinations and did all exercises. Still, i think alot of people will fail (to many).» (No, not at all)
- Some of the questions were only could be solved with learning by heart. This isn"t a good method to examine.» (No, not at all)
- The examination was MUCH BETTER than I anticipated. I was miles better than previous year examinations and if I don"t get good grades its because of my own folly.» (Yes, definitely)
- Everything in the exam was good, except for the last question which was confusing. We had 2 hours of excersise and about 1 1/2 hour of leasson about the memory coherance. I studied alot about it, yet I couldn"t understand the last question (5D I believe) which was about coherance.» (Yes, definitely)
- nice questions, very practical though they were a little bit difficult.» (Yes, definitely)
- I was sick and could not take the exam.» (I don"t know/have not been examined yet)

Teaching and course administration

11. To what extent has the lectures been of help for your learning?

28 svarande

Small extent»8 28%
Some extent»12 42%
Large extent»5 17%
Great extent»3 10%

Genomsnitt: 2.1

- Basically nothing, no help at lectures with exercises and no help at the lectures. The teachers either dont know, or are not up for it.» (Small extent)
- One of the best teachers I have had (Thomas Lundqvist) made the otherwise heavy leassons so much easier to be at. Sadly these days alot of teachers are just going for routine and they keep presenting the same material every year. Pupils usually sense this and their interest go down. Our teacher showed a very interest in what he was doing and therefor it felt alot more easier to listen. Our teacher at the excersises was good aswell, sometimes a little bit unclear but mainly he really tried to explain to us if we did not understand. » (Great extent)

12. To what extent has the tutorials been of help for your learning?

26 svarande

Small extent»6 23%
Some extent»12 46%
Large extent»7 26%
Great extent»1 3%

Genomsnitt: 2.11

- One tutorial / week. Two questions / tutorial. Not so much help.» (Small extent)
- We had an excersise-leasson dedicated entirely to Memory Coherance, while it was confusing because our teacher was not entirely sure how it worked I still think I had grasped it entirely. Then the last question on the exam came. Otherwise the excersises was really giving, very nice going through all the questions together.» (Large extent)

13. To what extent has the repetition lectures been of help for our learning?


- I think this lectures shouldn"t be optional. I didn"t attended because I though my knowledge was good enough. But while my knowledge in memory hierarchies was adequate, my knowledge in pipelining wasn"t, and trying to catch up latter was very hard.»
- To me it was very important to attend to these, since I barely remembered anything at all from the courses 3 years ago. It gave alot, especially going home and reading the appendix afterwards aswell.»

28 svarande

Small extent»2 8%
Some extent»10 43%
Large extent»5 21%
Great extent»6 26%
Did not attend»5

Genomsnitt: 2.65

Memory hierarchies
28 svarande

Small extent»2 9%
Some extent»9 40%
Large extent»6 27%
Great extent»5 22%
Did not attend»6

Genomsnitt: 2.63

14. To what extent has the group discussion sessions been of help for your learning?


- The discussion sessions were interesting, but sort of lost it"s purpose when no one prepared for it. Perhaps the discussion sessions could be embedded into the labs so people will actually research their subjects?»
- I did not attend on Parallel discussion.»
- very good idea with group discussion session, but it need to be compulsory since few people attended! we need some more detail guidances (questions) before the discussions.»

Pipelining discussion
27 svarande

Small extent»10 37%
Some extent»12 44%
Large extent»3 11%
Great extent»2 7%

Genomsnitt: 1.88

Parallel discussion
26 svarande

Small extent»9 34%
Some extent»11 42%
Large extent»5 19%
Great extent»1 3%

Genomsnitt: 1.92

15. To what extent have the exercise sessions been of help to your learning?

28 svarande

Small extent»7 25%
Some extent»14 50%
Large extent»3 10%
Great extent»4 14%

Genomsnitt: 2.14

- They go too fast. If you were not able to solve the exercise at home, the exercise session doesn"t help.» (Small extent)
- It was not useful at all.» (Small extent)
- The exercise sessions should be better prepared.» (Some extent)
- It would be nice to have the right solutions to the problem given - the teacher was rarely sure of what he ways saying, and the exercises had very little to do with the final exam. The impression is that they were a waste of time» (Some extent)

16. To what extent has the project been helpful for your understanding of the course contents?

28 svarande

Small extent»1 3%
Some extent»11 39%
Large extent»13 46%
Great extent»3 10%

Genomsnitt: 2.64

- Provides a good way to reflect on course topics.» (Large extent)
- The project was very stressy, since most of us had labs in the other courses. In the end it was nice to see result, analyze and understand the real outcome. A little too much copy and paste from the results, though.» (Large extent)
- Well structured, but very time consuming» (Large extent)

17. To what extent has the the course literature and other material been of help for your learning?

28 svarande

Small extent»3 10%
Some extent»7 25%
Large extent»13 46%
Great extent»5 17%

Genomsnitt: 2.71

- The book is not appropriate for the course, hundreds of pages don"t help students who have to understand the topic in only a few weeks. For example, the "wrap up" about pipelines are probably longer than all the information one could have learnt about the same topic during his entire studying life. The references from the lectures were unfair! For example it"s too easy to say to study a certain paragraph 15 pages long while it was not fully explained by the teacher, who maybe used only 5 minutes to talk about its content. I read all the referenced parts but in the end this turned out to be a disadvantage.» (Small extent)
- I could not find anybody who read the book. every student read through other sources. It is too complicate.» (Small extent)
- I used other resources» (Some extent)
- Appendix FTW! The book is great straight through.» (Great extent)

18. How well did the course administration, web page, handouts etc work?

27 svarande

Very badly»2 7%
Rather badly»4 14%
Rather well»14 51%
Very well»7 25%

Genomsnitt: 2.96

- Just take a look at web page. It is disgusting. It was really bad organized. » (Very badly)
- The first lab paper was delayed, didn"t affect my group anything, though.» (Very well)

Study climate

19. How were the opportunities for asking questions and getting help?

28 svarande

Very poor»1 3%
Rather poor»0 0%
Rather good»14 50%
Very good»11 39%
I did not seek help»2 7%

Genomsnitt: 3.46

- But my email sent to the 2 teachers explaining the troubles I had about an exercise (a mandatory exercise) received two different answers» (Rather good)
- We had good opportunities on the lab hours.» (Rather good)

20. How well has cooperation between you and your lab partner worked?

28 svarande

Very poorly»0 0%
Rather poorly»3 10%
Rather well»9 32%
Very well»15 53%
I did not seek cooperation»1 3%

Genomsnitt: 3.5

- I suppose being in a computer class means alot of people having sleeping problems, hehe.» (Rather well)
- » (Very well)

21. How was the course workload?

27 svarande

Too low»1 3%
Low»2 7%
Adequate»12 44%
High»8 29%
Too high»4 14%

Genomsnitt: 3.44

- Since I had to re-invent the wheel, it was a great workload for me. I believe others had it easier, those I talked with in the beginning didn"t know really how a pipeline exactly was working either, though.» (High)
- Exremely difficult to read the book automatically increased the workload from "balanced" to "insane".» (Too high)

22. How was the course paced throughout the study period?

28 svarande

Much too slow»1 3%
Somewhat too slow»1 3%
Adequately»18 64%
Somewhat too fast»7 25%
Much too fast»1 3%

Genomsnitt: 3.21

- Dont understand the question above..» (Adequately)

23. How was the total workload this study period?

27 svarande

Too low»0 0%
Low»1 3%
Adequate»14 51%
High»7 25%
Too high»5 18%

Genomsnitt: 3.59

- Having labs in both courses just isn"t a good way to go. The stress makes you do everything too fast and you really won"t get the time to stop and think.» (Too high)

Summarizing questions

24. What is your general impression of the course?

28 svarande

Poor»4 14%
Fair»6 21%
Adequate»9 32%
Good»6 21%
Excellent»3 10%

Genomsnitt: 2.92

- Insufficient number of exercise sessions and exercises. No answers to the old exams. Bad book. No help. » (Poor)
- I think home assignments are needed! » (Fair)
- The lectures was not good enough to understand the principles of the computer architecture.» (Fair)
- I liked the course because it got me hugely interested in the computer architecture area. Although I didn"t study well because of things are personal level, I plan to make up for it during my christmas vacation.» (Good)
- One of the best courses I have read on Chalmers, a course has never given me so much as this one. It actually should be in the bachelor years for us computer engineers. » (Excellent)

25. What should definitely be preserved to next year?

- Group discussions: But I will like to see it more as group discussions in a bigger group and see the students better preprared for them. Adding credits/bonus points to the performance during group discussion will help I guess. This time, hardly any students attended the group discussions which was a shame.»
- lab exercises»
- The teacher(s), the leassons and the introduction sessions. »
- Well, nothing.»
- The laboratories»
- The lab and its project. »
- 1)lecture on Pipelining 2)lecture on Memory 3)Project»
- Exercise Lectures Repetition lectures on pipelines and Memory hierarchies»
- Group discussion is good. But reading the references is hardwork.»
- everything!»
- Lab project.»
- Project»
- Project»

26. What should definitely be changed to next year?

- compulsory home assignments»
- The pace of the project, perhaps put discussion sessions in it instead, introduction should strongly advice appendix A/C. Maybe one or two more lessons.»
- Add one more exercise session per week. Provide solutions to the old exams! Try to replace the book? Before selecting another book, go out on the net and read lots of user reviews so that one isnt bad to.»
- First of all, the exercises and their correspondency (at present very weak) with the examination. The course book is not appropriate in my opinion»
- The lecturer should be changed.»
- Less copy/paste in the labbs... it gets very tiresome...»
- I hope the Lecturer can manage the time arrangement better during the lecture. finish the topic within the specified lecture hours.»
- I think the lab of this course is not so impressive.»
- group discussion: need to change the way it organizes. need more compulsory preparation from the student. ==> more excited.»
- Lectures.»
- Lab»
- Work load should be decreased.»
- Exercise session»

27. Additional comments and recommendations

- The work in labs seems to be disconnected from the lectures, and it is hard to match what you are studying with what you are doing.»
- I think we should introduce home assignments for the next year because they force students to study the material during the entire course instead of studying only at the very end.»
- Thanks for a good course!»
- Please consider when reviewing the exams that for exchange student with various background it"s really not easy to produce good results, even if they studied as much as possible»
- I never saw course evaluator. This style should be changed as well. Its better to have another survey at the middle of study period.»
- To be honest, the quality of the lectures can be improved. well the final exam of this course is very tough. In this situation this very important and interesting course become less interesting.»

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