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Computer architecture, DAT105, MPIES,HT2007

Status: Avslutad
Öppen för svar: 2007-12-12 - 2008-01-25
Antal svar: 32
Procent av deltagarna som svarat: 47%
Kontaktperson: Lena Peterson»
Utbildningsprogram studenten tillhör: Elektroteknik 300 hp

Your background and programme

1. My study background is:

32 svarande

Chalmers civilingenjör programme - Electrical Engineering»8 25%
Chalmers civilingenjör programme - Computer Engineering»10 31%
Chalmers civilingenjör programme - IT»3 9%
Chalmers högskoleingenjör programme - Electrical Engineering»0 0%
Chalmers högskoleingenjör programme - Computer Engineering»1 3%
Chalmers högskoleingenjör - other programme»0 0%
Other Swedish civilingenjör programme»0 0%
Other Swedish högskoleingenjör programme»2 6%
Foreign university - Electrical Engineering»3 9%
Foreign university - Computer Engineering»2 6%
Foreign university - other programme»3 9%
Other (explain below)»0 0%

Genomsnitt: 4.31

- lindholmen » (Other Swedish högskoleingenjör programme)
- Software enginerring» (Foreign university - other programme)
- Computer Science Graduate» (Foreign university - other programme)

2. I am currently enrolled in this master programme:

32 svarande

Integrated Electronic System Design»17 53%
Networks and Distributed Systems»9 28%
Secure and Dependable Computer Systems»2 6%
Other master programme»2 6%
Not enrolled in master programme»2 6%

Genomsnitt: 1.84

- This was one of the the recommended courses of NDS for the current quarter and the name did not suggest that it will be such a pain in the head.» (Networks and Distributed Systems)
- Doing Unitech Exchange program» (Other master programme)

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

32 svarande

Yes, studied and passed»11 34%
Yes, studied but has not yet passed»1 3%
No»19 59%
Don"t know»1 3%

Genomsnitt: 2.31

- Detta borde verkligen vara ett krav för att få ta den här kursen. Jag hade inte tagit den och jag känner att jag inte kommer att ha en chans att klara denna.» (No)
- This was to be determined when the registeration for the course was being done and also to be displayed on the home page.» (No)
- would not be able to study in iesd if i had.. » (No)
- digital, datorsystem, realtids programering, vhdl , samt bygt en soc design med processor i vhdl som examens jobb. » (Don"t know)

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

32 svarande

No knowledge»2 6%
Little knowledge»9 28%
Some knowledge»18 56%
Great knowledge»3 9%
Don"t know»0 0%

Genomsnitt: 2.68

- Computer Organization and Design has nothing to do with this course. This course requires Pipelining basic concepts as given on the home page but it turned out that more higher level concepts are required before taking this course. Change the name to "Advanced Computer Architecture" please. » (Some knowledge)
- Avarage» (Some knowledge)

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

32 svarande

No»14 43%
Yes (please specify below)»12 37%
Don"t know»6 18%

Genomsnitt: 1.75

- nearly all areas» (Yes (please specify below))
- Didn"t have any knowledge at all, which made it difficult» (Yes (please specify below))
- Basic computer architecture» (Yes (please specify below))
- Fundamental pipelining and Memory hierarchies» (Yes (please specify below))
- Pipelining and Appendix A, B and C of the book.» (Yes (please specify below))
- Yes, a more detailed study of the five different steps in the processor among one thing. There were lots of other smaller subjects that could had used a better studying.» (Yes (please specify below))
- Pipelines» (Yes (please specify below))
- Multi threading and associated topics» (Yes (please specify below))
- basic pipelining» (Yes (please specify below))
- caches» (Yes (please specify below))
- Instruction Pipelining, Memory Hierarchy issues.» (Yes (please specify below))
- I had no prerequisites since we didn"t gett to read "maskinorienterad programmering"» (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.

31 svarande

At most 15 hours/week»13 41%
Around 20 hours/week»6 19%
Around 25 hours/week»8 25%
Around 30 hours/week»4 12%
At least 35 hours/week»0 0%

Genomsnitt: 2.09

- methods course took up most of my time, and still not happy with the book chosen for the course , a book that can be bought before the course starts , and not have to wait 2 weeks for the book would be a great help, really cripled my learning.» (At most 15 hours/week)
- 20 to 25 hours and sometimes the whole weekend. We were asked to study the Appendices first, which make a complete subject burden and should be the solid pre-requisite of this subject.» (Around 25 hours/week)

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

32 svarande

0%»0 0%
25%»4 12%
50%»9 28%
75%»13 40%
100%»6 18%

Genomsnitt: 3.65

- I attended to the first 3 lectures. But they did not gice me anything, so I stopped attend to them.» (25%)
- The lectures was good, however the time when the lectures was held was poor.» (25%)
- Attended lectures only. Since excercices wasn"t posted in advance, seeing them the first time on a presentation did not prove to be very valuable. » (50%)
- Too much contents injected in every lecture. The lectures were not meant to give knowledge but to just fulfill a formality. The slides can be read by a student at home. It was not a lecture but "Slide Recitation Ceremony". Regarding the exercisw sessions, one of the TAs have a very bad English accent and the other one cannot be located in the day.» (100%)

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?

32 svarande

I have not seen/read the goals»5 15%
The goals are difficult to understand»2 6%
The goals give some guidance, but could be clearer»20 62%
The goals clearly describe what I am supposed to learn»5 15%

Genomsnitt: 2.78

- Before the study started, these goals were vague, now I can understand them.» (The goals give some guidance, but could be clearer)
- They are set to low» (The goals give some guidance, but could be clearer)
- did not feel the course gave me the knowlege, though the book did give it to me ones I got a hold of it.» (The goals clearly describe what I am supposed to learn)

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.

29 svarande

No, the goals are set too low»3 10%
Yes, the goals seem reasonable»22 75%
No, the goals are set too high»4 13%

Genomsnitt: 2.03

- This course feels like a repetition of Datorsystemteknik.» (No, the goals are set too low)
- No, they are set to low» (No, the goals are set too low)
- Just slightly too low, though. Given that some of us had studied Datorsystemteknik and some not, i understand that it was hard to set the goal at a level attainable by all, but i would think that Datorsystemteknik should really be a requirement before taking this course, and by assuming that requirement I would also think that the goals of the course could have been set higher.» (No, the goals are set too low)
- Would be good to have some prior course though» (Yes, the goals seem reasonable)
- Look at the pre-requisites. The learning outcome is very high to suppose. But without studying the subject, the goals look like achievable.» (No, the goals are set too high)

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

32 svarande

No, not at all»2 6%
To some extent»8 25%
Yes, definitely»5 15%
I don"t know/have not been examined yet»17 53%

Genomsnitt: 3.15

- You want to test what? To reach the goals, you need to have studied a pre-req course of "Introduction to pipelining" or something like that. But after the project assignment, I can understand what I can do but cannot answer why or how can I do it.» (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?

32 svarande

Small extent»8 25%
Some extent»11 34%
Large extent»11 34%
Great extent»2 6%

Genomsnitt: 2.21

- Bad.» (Small extent)
- The teacher is a very busy person. A lack of dedication i terms of giving extra time in campus, he has provided his own and his TAs" email addresses. First you have to email the TAs for an appointment and then to consult them. This 2 phase help system is very annoying. This subjects should be taught by a senior teacher and for God sake provide a room to the teacher in Chalmers.» (Small extent)
- This was my last course at Chalmers before graduation and by far, the worst couse I have ever read during my 4 and a half year here. The lectures were unmotivating and we had a bad lecturer.» (Small extent)
- to long and few lectures» (Small extent)
- cant really give a good opinion.» (Some extent)
- Excellent teacher! » (Great extent)

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

32 svarande

Small extent»14 43%
Some extent»14 43%
Large extent»4 12%
Great extent»0 0%

Genomsnitt: 1.68

- Tutorials? What tutorials?» (Small extent)
- Bad.» (Small extent)
- There is too much in the book which the slides do not cover properly.» (Small extent)
- The TA"s english is very poor and this makes the tutorials a waste of time.» (Small extent)
- They were bad, I attended the first of the tutorials and decided that it was worth it. The person in charge of the tutorials was wrong in some assignments and didn"t motivate the solutions in a well structured way.» (Small extent)
- Very poor exercises, while Mafijul was good, Mihn was almost impossible to understand (because of his lacking English pronunciation). Having lecturer who is only responsible for lecturing and not the labs/exercises was a poor arrangement» (Small extent)
- The tutorial was horific. Must be clearer with "what is the question", "what do we want to learn", "here is the important answer and we obtained it by this...". Also, the steps to reach the answer must be clear. » (Small extent)
- i only attended 2 tutorials» (Small extent)
- Skip Cacti, doesnt give any understanding, the labs were great though, but needs better follow through» (Some extent)
- if the solutions presented by the ta hadn"t been wrong in 50% of the solved problems i might have learned something,» (Some extent)

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


- very good»
- The repetition lectures are again very short and the book is very big to cover.»
- Did already know this.»
- without them i wouldnt have had enough knowledge to understand the rest of the course.»
- nice to review things you had almost completely forgotten»

32 svarande

Small extent»2 6%
Some extent»12 41%
Large extent»9 31%
Great extent»6 20%
Did not attend»3

Genomsnitt: 2.65

Memory hierarchies
32 svarande

Small extent»3 10%
Some extent»13 43%
Large extent»9 30%
Great extent»5 16%
Did not attend»2

Genomsnitt: 2.53

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

32 svarande

Small extent»11 34%
Some extent»14 43%
Large extent»6 18%
Great extent»1 3%

Genomsnitt: 1.9

- The project was the worst assignment I have ever done at Chalmers (this is my 5th and last year here)» (Small extent)
- project should really give more focus on why the changes are good, it doesent really have a good red thread to follow, and the project as it is can be solved by trial and error. with some assumtions. and it should be clearly stated that no programing lanugage sould be used from the begining , and an explanation given that a single computer can not solve the problem in 3 weeks. » (Small extent)
- I do not know the internal working of the Benchmark applications. The hit and trial has led to do this project. The TA cannot conduct it alone. Provide two TAs for this assignment as the other course teachers do.» (Small extent)
- By far the worst project I have done, it had loads of faults in it and the software we used was faulty from time to time.» (Small extent)
- Playing with different parameters in this fashion is time consuming and offers little reward. But on the other hand I find that Mafijul has made an effort with the report task and to setup the environment and there was some knowledge/familiarity gained from writing the report.» (Small extent)
- to much trial and error, not until after the project where handed in the lectures had covered everything needed.» (Small extent)
- The project takes too much time compared to what it gives in return. I don"t feel that the project has prepared me at all for the exam.» (Some extent)
- To much "trail and error"» (Some extent)

15. Would it have been better to postpone he project assignment introduction until more topics had been covered by lectures and tutorials?

32 svarande

Yes, until memory system optimizations also had been covered»7 21%
Yes, but only until all of processor architecture was covere»3 9%
No»16 50%
Don"t know»6 18%

Genomsnitt: 2.65

- the simulations took to long time, and the constant rebooting of the lab computers did"nt help either..» (Yes, until memory system optimizations also had been covered)
- information should be given so that when one works on the project, one should get idees on how to change the project with the information given,slowly geting better and better results focusing on the part that the information gives that week. » (No)
- If anything, the other way around. Knowing about assignments early makes planning easier. » (No)
- The project must be divided into 4 parts or assignments. First 3 should have be of developing the basic concepts for the processor design in term of processor core, predictions and the memory hierarchy. There are 3 chapters in the book one for each part. The students could have covered half of the book in this way. And in the last 3 weeks the project should have been given. Throughout this course the class has faced lack of resources and a lack of course plan. Employing a well known teacher to teach a subject in the first semester is of no good than to employ a less experienced teacher who is available full time.» (No)
- The project was so bad that they should either create a new one or consider taking it out of the course.» (No)
- However, an illustration of the project assinment would have been good.» (No)
- Since the lectures are soo bad it wouldn"t matter.» (Don"t know)

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

32 svarande

Small extent»8 25%
Some extent»12 37%
Large extent»8 25%
Great extent»4 12%

Genomsnitt: 2.25

- book covers most of it » (Small extent)
- There is no "other material". The book is too heavy and boring even more than "Computer Security" book.» (Small extent)
- I feel that it is more appropriate to make all the essential information available during lectures and provide the book as a tool for deepening the learning.» (Small extent)
- no solutions, there is no menaing in answering problems if you cant check if you are correct» (Small extent)
- The book was great. Never thought that would occur ....» (Great extent)

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

31 svarande

Very badly»1 3%
Rather badly»5 16%
Rather well»20 64%
Very well»5 16%

Genomsnitt: 2.93

- the course should have used the student portal, its flaws cannot have been any worse than that of the amateur looking hand made excuse for a homepage.» (Very badly)
- it would be great to have the one in charge of the lecture to have at least his e-mail adres, so you can give questions outside the lecture room» (Rather well)
- What is meant by that ? The home page has remained static during the whole quarter. The information regarding the lecture plan was there already from the day 1. What is left are the slides of 6 lectures and the project. So how hard was it to maintain, you can guess. The most funny thing was the information of the exam date, which was continuesly displayed as 18 Dec till the second last week. Whereas it was 20 Dec on student portal from the first day.» (Very well)

Study climate

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

32 svarande

Very poor»1 3%
Rather poor»5 15%
Rather good»12 37%
Very good»8 25%
I did not seek help»6 18%

Genomsnitt: 3.4

- You can ask question in the 15 minutes break and after the lecturer or take help from TAs by 2 phase help system. This is not a serious behavior.» (Rather poor)
- impossible to get a hold of the lecturer, this was somewhat compensated by ming always being there..» (Rather poor)
- Mafijul was happy to answer questions regarding the project on his free time, and did it rather well.» (Rather good)
- Except TA"s very poor english! You should really ask yourself if it is fair to the students to provide TA"s who can"t express themselves in correct and understandable english. It is hard for me, but many exchange students have it even worse!» (Very good)
- perhaps we could have contact information of the professor » (Very good)
- most information can be found on the net.» (I did not seek help)

19. How well has cooperation between you and your fellow students worked?

32 svarande

Very poorly»0 0%
Rather poorly»4 12%
Rather well»13 40%
Very well»15 46%
I did not seek cooperation»0 0%

Genomsnitt: 3.34

- asked around a few ttimes on how the project was going early on but dident find anyone at that time that had spent much time on it and no one who had a better result» (Rather poorly)
- Because all were in same situation.» (Rather poorly)

20. How was the course workload?

32 svarande

Too low»1 3%
Low»3 9%
Adequate»19 59%
High»4 12%
Too high»5 15%

Genomsnitt: 3.28

- definetly just reading and understanding , optimzed the processor 2x in the project in 4 hours first week , then gave it a rest and read up on the subbject. » (Low)
- ... In comparison. I don"t understand the purpose of having a project which is mainly about collecting tons of data and process this. Is this a course in data processing and organization?» (Too high)
- with more examples, one might have had a chance of understanding and not yust memorising facts.» (Too high)

21. How was the total workload this study period?

32 svarande

Too low»0 0%
Low»2 6%
Adequate»10 31%
High»14 43%
Too high»6 18%

Genomsnitt: 3.75

- which is good » (High)
- The other course was too heavy, this course was good» (Too high)

Summarizing questions

22. What is your general impression of the course?

32 svarande

Poor»7 21%
Fair»6 18%
Adequate»11 34%
Good»8 25%
Excellent»0 0%

Genomsnitt: 2.62

- A joke?» (Poor)
- The course is probably a good one, it"s just that I didn"t have a clue about anything that was talked during the lectures since I didn"t have any knowledge about processor, pipelining or memory. Which did the opposite to motivate me for this course.» (Poor)
- This course was offered on the track of NDS. Why ? I cannot figure it out. In order to help in "Parallel Computer Organization and Design" which is also a hardware oriented course offered in a Computer Science Programme. Why ? Perhaps due to a research project funded by Ericsson company for Distributed Systems. » (Poor)
- I hope that they are considering rebuilding this course.» (Poor)
- everything falls on the fact that the examples where few and short. the book was a joke, if solutions to ALL the problems in the book had been availible understanding had been much easier to obtain.» (Fair)
- Learned what was expected» (Adequate)
- At first it seemed like a lot of repetition, but in the end it turns out to give a broader system view. Especially interesting chapters about real processors (AMD/Intel/T1) in book (not as mandatory reading, but more for fun). » (Good)
- Although the lectures were great, the early introduction of the project made (unqualified) guesswork and large-scale testing being the most successful way to go about. Furthermore, it would have been interesting to cover more on multithreading environments than just a lecture, particulary given that this is the current technology trend and that the coarse goals were a little low from the start.» (Good)

23. What should definitely be preserved to next year?

- Nothing?»
- lecturer maybe»
- the intruduction courses on memory and pipelining.»
- I guess everything for students that have taken the prerequisite courses before»
- Nothing»
- Teacher! Very good! Exceptional and secure english and good structure during lectures. If you want to improve even more the only constructive criticism I have is that perhaps you could add more excitement sometimes.»
- Change everything»
- The general lecture content.»
- The project assigment»
- the lecture structure is perfectly structured»
- Lab project»
- Project»
- I really liked Jonas lectures. He spoke good english and made everything very clear for me. »
- the tutorials, more of them»
- Project.»
- Everything except the project»

24. What should definitely be changed to next year?

- Everything?»
- the course structure»
- the project sould correspond more with the course ad not be viewed as a seperate thing »
- Don"t know, maybe wait a little bit with the project.»
- Give relevant excercises before presenting them in class. »
- 1) A course like "Introduction to Pipelining" which is currently offered in Swedish language must also be offered in English and must be set as a pre-requisite of this course. Also teach the Appendices of the book in this pre-requisite course. 2) Change the teacher if he cannot give more time to divide the lectures into 2 lectures per week. This is in addition to the exercise and revision lectures. 3) Change the TAs. 4) If all this is not possible then remove this subject from NDS.»
- Please don"t make us have any more courses where the TA"s can"t speak english! This is not fair to the students!»
- The project assignment»
- Per Stenström should manage the courses for which he is responsible, Jonas Vassel was a good lecturer, but he did not manage exercises, which would have been needed to make them useful. »
- need more talk about memory»
- The introduction to the project assigment, this one gave nothing»
- nothing I can think of right now»
- Exercise sessions should be improved Lectures should give more examples of each technique studied.»
- Teacher»
- Nothing »
- the project, it added nothing to the understanding of computers»
- Probably some mandatory exercise delivery, in order to keep the student focused on the course avoiding too much attention on other parallel courses.»
- the exercise sessions, and the random selection of oral presentations»
- The project!»

25. Additional comments

- Att tentamensdatumet ska flyttas 2 gånger är skandal. Det kostade mig onödigt mycket pengar att krångla med tågbiljetterna... där fick man för att man var ute i god tid... 2 gånger.»
- I will not recomend this course to anyone. »
- there should be more background knowledge,don"t how to start»
- need improving in the administration but the general outline was good , Iam quite dyslexic(how to spell this I dont know)in putting sentences together.»
- Good teachers, good assistants, but it is difficult to catch up on a course where you have to read a lot of additional material, apart from the course material, in order to keep track of things.»
- 1) Serious student counsiling is required to take this course. 2) Do not play with the present and the futures of the students by following the same style of teaching next year. 3) What is good in it to fill this questionare for the current students?»
- As mentioned before, by far the worst course I have attended during my four and a half year at Chalmers. It feels stupid to have read this course as my last course since there are so many other courses that are so much better. Chalmers has a certain standard and I am proud to have read there but this course should be removed or rebuilt in some way.»
- Good course!»
- Let us read "masinorienterad programmering" so that we have the prerequisite!»

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