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Simulation of Complex Systems 2009, FFR120

Status: Avslutad
Öppen för svar: 2009-12-09 - 2010-01-25
Antal svar: 24
Procent av deltagarna som svarat: 68%
Kontaktperson: Martin Nilsson Jacobi»

Your own effort

1. 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.

23 svarande

At most 15 hours/week»0 0%
Around 20 hours/week»7 30%
Around 25 hours/week»7 30%
Around 30 hours/week»4 17%
At least 35 hours/week»5 21%

Genomsnitt: 3.3

- This is hard to estimate.» (Around 25 hours/week)
- some weeks more some weeks less» (Around 25 hours/week)
- the workload was heavy in the last weeks but low in the first weeks» (Around 30 hours/week)

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

23 svarande

0%»0 0%
25%»1 4%
50%»0 0%
75%»9 39%
100%»13 56%

Genomsnitt: 4.47

- The lectures didn"t seem neccessary when there were so much else to do» (25%)
- I felt that the lectures where inspiring but not crucial to attend.» (75%)
- I would have liked to go to all but another course had lectures at the same time on mondays» (75%)
- It was really pleasant to wake up in the morning to follow the course !» (100%)
- I missed one unfortunately» (100%)

The teachers" efforts

3. What do you think of Martin as a teacher

23 svarande

very good»16 69%
good»7 30%
OK»0 0%
bad»0 0%
really bad»0 0%
No opinion»0

Genomsnitt: 1.3

- It is the first one I met who encourages all his students !» (very good)
- Perfect teacher actually I really liked his approach » (very good)
- I like the more open discussion based approach to teaching. » (very good)
- The lectures were good and inspiring.» (good)
- Very good speaker and inspiring, but the lectures where more of a collection of interesting things, it felt different than many other courses that more delivers some sort of package.» (good)

4. To what extent has the teaching been of help for your learning?

23 svarande

Small extent»0 0%
Some extent»6 26%
Large extent»8 34%
Great extent»9 39%

Genomsnitt: 3.13

- More an inspiration than I felt I actually learned so much.» (Some extent)
- I just know a few things before comming. I choose the course because it looked interesting in the internet.» (Large extent)
- between large and great.» (Great extent)

5. Write a few things that were good with Martin"s teaching

- Discussions, examples »
- I liked the discussions, and the interesting subjects that were brought up during the lectures.»
- I like the discussions in class»
- The teacher took time to teach. It is what I noticed because usually teachers are always in a hurry and do not take a quarter of hour to explain in detail something, even futile.»
- 5 min discussion sessions. He teaches ways of reasoning rather than facts or algorithms. He has a burning interest in the subjects covered (and he shows it). He is interested and listens to the reactions of the students. He also talked about pedagogics/didactics in away which is could for the students to hear and for the course as a whole.»
- He makes you think about the problems yourself.»
- Having discussions, making us think, adapting the course when needed (ie removing the second assignment when it became clear that the first one took much time)»
- motivation»
- Discussing a top-down view on the problem is invaluable His way of including students actively in the process of thinking and concluding is perfect. The way he went into details considering students like me who didn"t have the related background was really good»
- Good with discussions. Seems to have ambition to and puts effort into the lecturing. Good presence. Entertaining.»
- It was very interesting and inspiring.»
- He makes the subject even more interesting and he made me think in new ways when solving problems. »
- He is passionate about the subject.»
- Strong focus on developing intuition for modelling and critical analysis of models.»
- Martin"s knowledge of the field, examples shown in class were good.»

6. Write a few things that where bad with Maritn"s teaching

- Hard to hear the other students sometimes, he could repeat (briefly) what they say in class discussions»
- The lasts few lectures were not really interesting because not centered on the topic of the course. The important notions you developped in linear algebra are essential but just a good reference of a book would have been enough for those who did not learn these notions before (but I don"t know which is the background of other students, I was lucky to follow advanced courses in mathematics).»
- The learning goals regarding the home problem could be more clear (the focus on the learning experience for example). »
- Sometimes a bit too much, and doesn"t move on when no one knows the answer. »
- sometimes the topics were discussed a bit superficial»
- I wish him to go a bit more into specific details»
- Hard to explain: Felt like he expected to much of the pupils at the same time as he communicated. Maybe mostly the boid-assignment made me think that he sometimes has a weird judgement of the students capacity and time-efficiency.»
- Maybe too high level...»
- The confusion around the home problem #1. I for some reason assumed there was value in handing it in before the class review, but this probably hurt my score.»

7. How did you find Kristian"s guest lecture on evolutionary game theory?

22 svarande

very good»14 63%
good»6 27%
OK»2 9%
bad»0 0%
really bad»0 0%

Genomsnitt: 1.45

- He had a burning interest in the subject (and he showed it).» (very good)
- Inspiring» (very good)
- It would have been nice to have more time to hear more of what he had intended to cover.» (very good)
- Especially liked his demo of the evolution of different strategies in the prisoners dilemma game.» (very good)
- Interesting topic!» (good)
- Interesting and a good speaker» (good)
- Maybe he was a little bit too proud of its results.» (OK)

8. How did you find Claes" guest lecture on simulation methodology?

21 svarande

very good»1 4%
good»3 14%
OK»13 61%
bad»4 19%
really bad»0 0%

Genomsnitt: 2.95

- He knows a lot but it would be better if he adds more excitement to his lectures. I like his lectures but sometimes I loose the track.» (good)
- I was not there» (OK)
- I think the subject was interesting but some got lost during» (OK)
- The lecture was a little bit difficult to follow. » (OK)
- Interesting subject. But Claes doesn"t manage to share his enthusiasm - show us that you think this is interesting, important and fun!» (OK)
- I did not attend, but there is no such alternative» (OK)
- I think the topic was useful, but the missing handout might have made it more cohesive.» (OK)
- Interesting topic but it could have been presented in a better way. Putting more emphasis on the different key points instead of just speaking on.» (OK)
- "flummigt"» (bad)
- Quite obvious and not a very good speaker» (bad)

9. How did you find Kolbjorn"s guest lecture on Artificial life?

22 svarande

very good»7 31%
good»11 50%
OK»4 18%
bad»0 0%
really bad»0 0%

Genomsnitt: 1.86

- Kolbjorn is a very good speaker, he speaks in a clear, calm and confident way. You really feel that he knows these things very well, and that he"s so sure of his message (and it"s importance) that he can just let the message talk for itself without him having to try to "convince or persuade" anyone.» (very good)
- Inspiring» (very good)
- Interesting and a good speaker» (very good)
- Good material and presentation» (very good)
- Hard to read the slides (small text)» (good)
- I think the aim of the presentation was reached : to present us in a simple way the different kind of artifical lifes which exist. I appreciated the several demos because they caught my attention and so that help me to remember the presentation.» (good)
- Very good, but a little bit like with Martin: More like a presentation then traditional "teaching". » (good)
- the things he lectured on where new to me and where interesting.» (good)
- I did not attend, but there is no such alternative» (OK)

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.

10. How understandable are the course goals?

22 svarande

I have not seen/read the goals»8 36%
The goals are difficult to understand»0 0%
The goals give some guidance, but could be clearer»6 27%
The goals clearly describe what I am supposed to learn»8 36%

Genomsnitt: 2.63

- This question needs to either have a link to the course goals or to have another alternative namely: I have read the course goals, but I do not remember them.» (?)
- I have read them, but don"t remember what they say.» (I have not seen/read the goals)
- I would have ticked the case : "the goals give some guidance and it is enough". Because when we need to use the notions we learnt in the course, even if we did not see them in detail, we will know where we can found more information and all the more we will know which notion to use.» (The goals clearly describe what I am supposed to learn)

11. 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.

16 svarande

No, the goals are set too low»1 6%
Yes, the goals seem reasonable»15 93%
No, the goals are set too high»0 0%

Genomsnitt: 1.93

- For those who think that the goals are too low, they can spend more time on the project to improve it or do better demos etc.» (Yes, the goals seem reasonable)
- Discard this answer, I shouldn"t have answered since I don"t know the goals, but I can"t remove the answer...» (Yes, the goals seem reasonable)

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

16 svarande

No, not at all»0 0%
To some extent»6 37%
Yes, definitely»6 37%
I don"t know/have not been examined yet»4 25%

Genomsnitt: 2.87

- Some things are not examined at all (networks and cellular atomata)» (To some extent)
- We had to build a projet from A to Z. We cannot have done something without reaching the goal.» (Yes, definitely)

Teaching and course administration

13. To what extent has the course literature, i.e. research articles and links to web pages, been of help for your learning?

22 svarande

Small extent»3 13%
Some extent»14 63%
Large extent»4 18%
Great extent»1 4%

Genomsnitt: 2.13

- I would like a link to that first book there.» (Small extent)
- I did not take a lot of time to read them. But I learnt to be critical when I read an article (cf. home problem) and I know where I can find them. I went on the page of Cosma, but there is so many articles that I cannot choose one I just gave up. » (Small extent)
- I would have liked to get some more handouts describing the three different methods on a somewhat deeper level.» (Small extent)
- Liked the few i read but didn"t read alot of the extra material» (Some extent)

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

23 svarande

Very badly»0 0%
Rather badly»2 8%
Rather well»15 65%
Very well»6 26%

Genomsnitt: 3.17

- Some information was found on the homepage but it would be very good with a schematic of what every lecture will be about. It would also be good with a plan for the complete course. The page should be more connected to Studieportalen because the homepage was difficult to find.» (Rather badly)
- It"s hard to see the news. I saw the new deadline today (a few days before it), but that was just by chance.» (Rather well)
- It could be easier to find the webpage in the firstplace but after that I had no problems» (Rather well)
- Why not use the student portal link method that other courses use?» (Rather well)
- It is really convenient to just email our home problem. So we can leave our graphs in color so that the presentation is better.» (Very well)

Study climate

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

23 svarande

Very poor»1 4%
Rather poor»0 0%
Rather good»5 21%
Very good»13 56%
I did not seek help»4 17%

Genomsnitt: 3.82

- The teacher seemed to make his best to help students (cf. questions about home problem : he aswered them without being weary).» (Very good)
- All of the people involved in the course gave the impression that they would gladly help you with your questions.» (Very good)
- The reason to not seek help from the teacher was that it appered to affect your grading. This is unreasonable since the help from a teacher seldom is good enough to match that from the help of a classmate who much easier understand where the hard parts lie.» (I did not seek help)

16. How was the course workload?

23 svarande

Too low»0 0%
Low»0 0%
Adequate»12 52%
High»9 39%
Too high»2 8%

Genomsnitt: 3.56

- I work a lot at the beginning when I did not understand what was expected for the home problem, but then it was ok. » (Adequate)
- High but Adequate!» (Adequate)
- Very high, as it should be.» (High)
- High, but not too high since the second assignment was skipped. » (High)
- Home problem 1 took too much time and then there was a lot of work with the project. There should be a better plan about how to get the projects started.» (Too high)
- It was to high because it was to unclear what to do really.» (Too high)

17. How was the total workload this study period?

23 svarande

Too low»0 0%
Low»0 0%
Adequate»8 34%
High»13 56%
Too high»2 8%

Genomsnitt: 3.73

- (Not taking the extra course i took into account)» (Adequate)
- During the last two weeks on the border of too high.» (High)
- Very high, as it should be.» (High)

Project work

18. What was your general impression of the project work?

23 svarande

very good»12 52%
good»9 39%
OK»2 8%
bad»0 0%
really bad»0 0%

Genomsnitt: 1.56

- A bit hard to decide topic» (very good)
- We can build entierly something. To have the total choice of the topic was really pleasant.» (very good)
- Great! Although most of the students did some of the students do not seem to realise what a great oppurtunity this project was. - That is unfortunate. - But I really enjoyed it.» (very good)
- A very good way to put the hands on experience» (very good)
- I would"ve liked more time for it, but is more or less impossible.» (good)
- I think it was pretty hard to come up with ideas on what to work with in the project except for "something with traffics" or "something with economics". Thus I believe it would be good if some other examples were presented early in the course.» (good)
- I think it would be beneficial to go through all of the theory in the course before starting the projects (maybe split the course over two quarters?), as I found it somewhat difficult to come up with an idea early in the course.» (good)
- Maybe it is something good, but personally I think got to big and since I didn"t like it hanged like a dark cloud over me the whole study period. Of course it is up to each individual to cope with it but at the same time, this is a completely new area to us and thus it is hard to find a good subject yourself.» (OK)

19. What do you think of Kolbjorn as a tutor for the project work?

19 svarande

very good»7 58%
good»3 25%
OK»2 16%
bad»0 0%
really bad»0 0%
No opinion»7

Genomsnitt: 1.58

- He was enthusiastic and helpful.» (very good)
- He did some research of the subject and helped us a lot with the question, research and presentation» (very good)
- Did his job well and we had some nice discussions» (good)
- I think it would be better if the requirments for the different grades were given more clearly, like how important it is that the project is creative, how important the results are etc.» (good)
- Good feedback, easy to discuss with. Easy to get in contact with.» (good)

20. What do you think of Claes as a tutor for the project work?

19 svarande

very good»3 33%
good»4 44%
OK»2 22%
bad»0 0%
really bad»0 0%
No opinion»10

Genomsnitt: 1.88

- He knows a lot and has many good pieces of advice. Extremely good tutor. » (very good)
- We had already ideas for the projet when we met him. He accepted our ideas, helped us to build something with what we had. » (very good)
- Had a lot of ideas!» (good)
- He could have given some more feedback on our progress.» (OK)

21. Do you think the project work toke too much time in relation to the rest of the course?

23 svarande

yes, it should be a smaller part of the course»2 8%
no, it could be extended»1 4%
no, it is appropriate as it is»20 86%

Genomsnitt: 2.78

- I would rather have 3 home assignments, one on each part of the course. Autonomous agents, networks, cellular automata.» (yes, it should be a smaller part of the course)
- I think it should be more clear what to do. It feel that I ended up doing something without a good base of scientific theory, free-basing if you like:). Again, I have myself to blame but stupid pupils like me need more guidance.» (yes, it should be a smaller part of the course)
- Maybe one or two weekscould be added for the projet but I am not sure that it would make any difference. Nearly all the subject can lead to a phd so it is not one or two weeks that will change a lot of things. All the more we learnt to be efficient and to present results even if they are not perfect.» (no, it is appropriate as it is)
- You can choose - which is great since different people have different ambitions.» (no, it is appropriate as it is)

22. In the project work, how well did the cooperation between you and your fellow students work?

23 svarande

Very poorly»0 0%
Rather poorly»0 0%
Rather well»5 21%
Very well»17 73%
I did not seek cooperation»1 4%

Genomsnitt: 3.82

- But in hindisght i would have done the work in a smaller group. » (Rather well)
- Work in pair. I think it was a good solution. Because in a group of 4 students, given that the time for the projet is short, I think they lost precious time to organize meeting, to divide the workload between all of them without necessarily producing more results. » (Very well)
- Between rather well and very well. But it"s always a good experience.» (Very well)

Home problem

The home problem this year was an experiment. Below I try to get some feedback to learn if I should repeat this (or something like this) next year, and in that case what I should do different.

23. What is your overall impression of the home problem?

23 svarande

very good»4 17%
good»7 30%
ok»9 39%
bad»3 13%
really bad»0 0%

Genomsnitt: 2.47

- We were free to organize our work as we wanted.» (very good)
- I liked to work with that article and the simulations, but I"m not convinced that any of our simulations can say anything definite about their work.» (good)
- It was good to do something that felt fairly real, it gave the impression that I might actually be able to do something usable in the future, a feeling I have not had before.» (good)
- The formulation of the problem was somewhat unclear (before extra hints were given). The problem itself was very interesting however.» (good)
- Huge effort and time, learned a great deal, felt like I accomplished lots, though it was frustrating to not get a higher score.» (good)
- Interesting to start from a real article» (ok)
- It could be done much better.» (ok)
- It was very difficult, but interesting.» (ok)
- a bit unclear in the begining» (ok)
- Took to much time to understand what the goal was» (bad)
- Really bad in that it took to much time from everything else (including the other course this term), and caused A LOT OF frustration. From really bad to only bad because it also was interesting.» (bad)

24. Was the problem...

22 svarande

too difficult, even when I added more clues»3 13%
challenging but not too hard»18 81%
easy with the added clues»1 4%
easy even without the added clues»0 0%

Genomsnitt: 1.9

- I cannot answer this since I have not finished the hp. But it has taken a lot of time.» (?)
- It took far too much time and it was very hard to get good results» (too difficult, even when I added more clues)
- I had some ideas to solve it before you gave some hints. I tried to have a flying flock. With the hints you gave, I just changed some parameters to prove the suggested thing.» (challenging but not too hard)
- I think that a better understanding of the article and the concepts used in the article would have helped a lot. I didn"t really understand the gamma-factor, I understood how to calculate it but not really what it meant. When I got a curve for the gamma-factor and it didn"t look like Ballerinis curve at all, I had no clue where to find the explanation for this. In the end it turned out that the curve I got was perfectly fine...» (challenging but not too hard)
- It was hard to find the erronous part in the article, but once that was pointed out the conceptual thing regarding the problem was not difficult at all, I have the impression that Martin might think it was more difficult than what it was. After this the great difficulty lay in creating a simulation where the birds move in a good way (which turned out to be the mayor difficulty in the problem).» (challenging but not too hard)
- Time consuming rather than challenging.» (challenging but not too hard)

25. What was good with the home problem?

- Clearly illustrates the difficulties of modelling complex systems»
- It was fun to simulate somthing own and ta draw own conclusions»
- To manage to see the flock flying on my computer !»
- It"s a "real-life" situation which I might be confronted with. It"s open ended. It"s fun with boids since it"s visual and easy to related to.»
- It was a real problem that demanded real effort and understanding of the process.»
- Interesting, challenging. »
- topical theme»
- It is interesting and I suppose this is somewhat similar to the reality when there is a simulation problem»
- That is was open ended. But the whole idea with open endedness falls if you are expected to produce some specific result anyway. »
- That it wasn"t given exactly how to come up with the result and that you had to think for yourself what the next step would be to advance.»
- It required some free thinking!»
- Hands on, I know now that I have some capability to do an involved agent-based model.»
- Close to real research.»

26. What was bad with the home problem?

- Unclear goal»
- It was a bit boring to simulate swarms, since we already worked a bit with swarms in Stochastic Optimization Algorithms last quarter»
- It took alot of time»
- Just maybe a lack of precision at the beginning : it took time for me to understand that the hints you gave was just a hint and we could have prove any other thing we thought wrong in the article. »
- The problem formulation. The lack of focus on the learning experience and the reporting of it. That you showed us movies of starlings moving about in several clusters- joining up and then spliting apart again - the behavior I tried to model was greatly effected by this (in the wrong direction). »
- It was easy to get stuck on details, I think it would have been easier for me if I had discussed it more with others. That might be a good tip for next year.»
- Too much that could go wrong, not enough understanding of the problem before starting with it.»
- without the hints it was difficult to understand what the exact exercise was»
- For some reason it was just very difficult to solve and needed huge amount of time. »
- To difficult. »
- I was really stuck on getting the boids moving like the birds in the filmclip that we saw in the lectures when you appearently didn"t have to achieve that to get the results. Some hints about this earlier would really have helped me out at least.»
- I focused on the model and results, and less on the logic of challenging existing work, though thought my method and approach was sound, yet seeming lost substantial credit due to that aspect. The feedback didn"t help me understand why my logic wasn"t acceptable.»
- Close to real research. Frustration with not getting good results.»

27. Do you have suggestions on what to change and how?

- Just what I wrote in the precedend block. It is okay otherwise.»
- See above answers.»
- An introductory lecture to the problem where the key concepts are introduced would be good. »
- I"ve heard that earlier years it was a home problem about escaping from fires? It would be very good with a home problem where there is a good reason why to do some research. At least I did not get much motivation of trying to solve this problem.»
- More guidance, maybe give a suggestion of equations for the model, if the specific result is desired. Otherwise make it optional to reproduce the anisotropy and make room for other conclusions in the report.»
- I think the original, somewhat open, problem formulation would be appropriate if there was only one home problem (intentionally). With two problems, the problem should perhaps be more clearly defined from the start.»
- Now that the first attempt at using this problem has been done, the instructions can be given in one document at one time. Also, it would be of value to know what aspects would be considered for grading the work.»
- Divide it into sub questions that lead the students in the right direction»

Summarizing questions

28. What is your general impression of the course?

23 svarande

Poor»0 0%
Fair»0 0%
Adequate»2 8%
Good»11 47%
Excellent»10 43%

Genomsnitt: 4.34

- Good ambitions but I think the students want to learn more, not just pressured by given lots of things to do without getting the tools» (Adequate)
- Much time but interesting and important for the CAS programme» (Good)
- Our problem solving skills are trained in a good way.» (Excellent)
- Very interesting course, I have looked forward to the next lecture every time, this is not usual for courses in general.» (Excellent)

29. What should definitely be preserved to next year?

- Guest lectures»
- The network lab was fun»
- The teacher !»
- Everything except the home-problem (it must be drastically changed, and presented in a different way).»
- Martins lecture style ant the project»
- The way of teaching»
- Type of examination»
- Some really good inspiring lectures!»
- Guest lectures, project.»
- Project work and Martin"s teaching.»

30. What should definitely be changed to next year?

- Spend more time on cellular atomata and networks, a bit less on agent based modelling»
- The time for the presentation. I was lucky to have my presentation in the morning but I think it is not fair because I had more time to discuss my results. It is interesting and constructive to have remarks from other students on our work.»
- The home-problem (it must be drastically changed, and presented in a different way).»
- home problem definition»
- Another home problem and a plan of the complete course that is online from the first day. The home page should be more related to the course and studieportalen»
- Do something about the boids. It could give a whole different impression of the course. »
- See 27 and 18 (if anything).»
- The homeproblem»

31. Additional comments

- You did not give some instructions neither for the presentation nor for the report. I was a little bit surprised but, afterall we learn to be independant and i manage to build my presentation and a report. If there is a problem, you will tell us and we will have a second chance (2nd correction). As a foreign student, I am not used to have a second chance. »
- It was nice to get your email about our accomplishments!»
- I"d really wanted to have hand-ins on both networks and cellular automata to.»
- Do not use the TO-field - when emailing a long list - for example when the mail about this evaluation was sent out. - people get spam and so forth...»

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