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Real-Time Control Systems, SSY190

Status: Avslutad
Öppen för svar: 2008-03-13 - 2008-03-26
Antal svar: 50
Procent av deltagarna som svarat: 57%
Kontaktperson: Knut Åkesson»
Utbildningsprogram som genomför enkäten: Chalmers
Utbildningsprogram studenten tillhör: Automation och mekatronik 300 hp

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.

50 svarande

At most 15 hours/week»15 30%
Between 15-25 hours/week»29 58%
At least 25 hours/week»6 12%

Genomsnitt: 1.82

- To little. The hand-ins what not hard enough.» (At most 15 hours/week)
- Comment on this is that I took another course that collided with RTCS, and it often involved compulsory attendance.» (At most 15 hours/week)
- Jag tillbringade hela dagarna med inlämningarna, men det har varit bra för mig.» (Between 15-25 hours/week)

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

50 svarande

<25%»3 6%
25%-75%»10 20%
>75%»37 74%

Genomsnitt: 2.68

- Same comment as above: another course collided with RTCS, and it often involved compulsory attendance.» (<25%)
- I have no problem with programming, and have a quite control-heavy background, thus I missed some of the lectures.» (25%-75%)
- It"s VERY good that you put out the notes for each lecture. There were some missing. If you complement next year to put out all notes, it"d be great. Ohh, and the simplex notes were too long to read.» (25%-75%)
- Knut was a very pedagogic teacher!» (>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.

3. How understandable are the course goals?

50 svarande

I have not seen/read the goals»0 0%
The goals are difficult to understand»6 12%
The goals give some guidance, but could be clearer»25 50%
The goals clearly describe what I am supposed to learn»19 38%

Genomsnitt: 3.26

- The actual core to the course is hard to understand, since the course has a very broad approach. » (The goals are difficult to understand)
- From the goals it was hard too se what the course would be like. I had no idea about the optimization part from the goals I read on the homepage before the course.» (The goals are difficult to understand)
- too much lengthy» (The goals give some guidance, but could be clearer)
- It was difficult to see the connection between control and real time systems, how control systems and why they are implemented in real time was not made perfectly clear...» (The goals give some guidance, but could be clearer)
- This course contains a wide range of topics and it is difficult to find out the main goal.» (The goals give some guidance, but could be clearer)
- Reading outcomes was very good to get an overview of the course.» (The goals clearly describe what I am supposed to learn)
- But unfortunately these goals are so comprehensive that neither the teacher nor the students can get to them during a single quarter. You have to cut the corners or just scratch the surface as Martin Fabian mentioned!» (The goals clearly describe what I am supposed to learn)
- Should say something about C-programming and automatic control, becaus that was the focus the first three weeks!» (The goals clearly describe what I am supposed to learn)

4. 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.

50 svarande

No, the goals are set too low»1 2%
Yes, the goals seem reasonable»46 92%
No, the goals are set too high»3 6%

Genomsnitt: 2.04

- But i think it would have been good to have some optional very basic introduction to programming and Linux...» (Yes, the goals seem reasonable)
- Hard to answer, since the goals are a little unclear.» (Yes, the goals seem reasonable)
- As I said before, this course needs more time to spend on, like 2 quarters maybe.» (No, the goals are set too high)
- This course is a very important and vast subject both in control and software engineering and it could have been much better if either before this course a preliminary course in realtime programming was presesnted as a pre requisite course for realtime control or this course was presesnted in two halves realtime 1 and 2» (No, the goals are set too high)

Teaching and course administration

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

49 svarande

Small extent»3 6%
Some extent»21 42%
Large extent»25 51%

Genomsnitt: 2.44

- since i could not attend most of the lectures...» (Small extent)
- I wasn"t there» (Small extent)
- Some lectures were hard to understand, especially after about 1/3 of the course.» (Some extent)
- Although the course goals were set too high (because of inherent comprehensiveness of such a course), the teacher did his best to manage it. But He can be much better if this course is divided into 2 courses.» (Large extent)
- It was great that almost all information from the lectures was published online, great help preparing for the exam.» (Large extent)

6. To what extent has the exercises been of help for your learning?

50 svarande

Small extent»5 10%
Some extent»30 60%
Large extent»15 30%

Genomsnitt: 2.2

- since i could not attend most of the exercises...» (Small extent)
- I wasn"t there» (Small extent)
- Algorithms got much more understandable in the excercises.» (Some extent)
- I did not attent to the exercieses but the notes published on the webb was a great help.» (Some extent)
- The speed was a bit to slow.» (Large extent)

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

50 svarande

Small extent»7 14%
Some extent»25 50%
Large extent»18 36%

Genomsnitt: 2.22

- Good stuff but a pitty they handle stork etc. instead of C. » (Some extent)
- It is quite hard to follow a book, jumping back and fourth in chapters. The book should be arranged to follow the course.» (Some extent)
- Did only read the paet about the can bus. Got tiered about the parts about programming when it wasn"t C.» (Some extent)
- Men även litteratur från gamla kurser!» (Some extent)
- Anteckningarna från föreläsningarna som varit på nätet är jätte bra skrivna och jag lär från dem just nu för tentan.» (Large extent)
- The notes on the homepage helped me alot! Even though some were messy, it was a lot better than if they weren"t there at all.» (Large extent)
- 12.3 and 12.5 was missing in the blue book.» (Large extent)

8. What is your general opinion about the following course topics?


- The optimization was presented in a very short time while it was very important and needed spending more time.»
- Felt like 4 different fields. Dit not see the connection.»
- MORE hands-on programming!»
- We need more knowledge in C/C++ before this course.»

Automatic Control
49 svarande

Poor»3 6%
Adequate»23 46%
Good»23 46%

Genomsnitt: 2.4

Concurrent Programming
50 svarande

Poor»7 14%
Adequate»20 40%
Good»23 46%

Genomsnitt: 2.32

50 svarande

Poor»16 32%
Adequate»30 60%
Good»4 8%

Genomsnitt: 1.76

49 svarande

Poor»4 8%
Adequate»28 57%
Good»17 34%

Genomsnitt: 2.26

9. What is you general opinion about the hand-ins?


- Den första inlämningen var rolig och jag hade det trevligt när jag kunde skriva vad jag tänkte. Den andra var mycket hjälpsam för att jag första gången var tvungen att fatta hur man diskreteserar överföringsfunktioner och implementerar dem i matlab. Den tredje klarade jag inte bra för att jag inte hunnit lära mig programmera som behövdes. Om vi hade haft en datorövning så skulle det ha varit lättare att förstå vad jag skulle göra med tredje inlämningen.»
- Handin 1 didn"t really feal as it fitted in to the course at all. Sure, reflections are needed, but RTCS doesn"t feal like the right course. Handin2 and 3 were ok, though I think it would be better if only one programming language was used. Do everything in C and focus on controller, semaphores, monitors, etc. Just a thought for those that aren"t so familiar with either Linux, matlab or C.»
- The first one seems not so importent..»
- I think a hand-in problem must have been several times (or at least once)revised before giving to the students. The student must be about 100% sure about the question itself. Unfortunately we"ve faced this problem several times at Chalmers that the teacher gives a wrong question to the students and after a while the students realize that the question itself is problematic. I agree that this is the first time that Chalmers is offering MP in this program, but that"s not a good excuse for such problems. I believe such a university with such a reputation all around the world should perform better and stronger in these simple cases.»
- 2 and 3 was to easy. It was just a test on the language rather then on course topics listed above.»
- I didn´,t like that the assignments wasn´,t ready when they were put at the homepage, like nr 2 which changed from P to PD to PI.. »
- MORE hand-ins!»
- more time must be given on explaining assignments»
- We need more knowledge in C/C++ before this course.»
- Hand in 1 was a ridiculous high school task. Did not correspond to any of the other hand ins or lectures in the course.»
- However, the hand-ins should be clear from thebeginning. Now they changed a bit during the course. To go through the hand-in in befor at a lecture would be very good. »
- A bit difficult to grasp the Xenomai part. What needs to be done etc.»
- I hope that the hand-ins will be more challenging next year. And also get better guidance not only to solve them but to grasp the area e.g. what is the "Chalmers" definition of an essay?»
- Hand-in 1 feelt like it was not realy a normal part of the course. Hand-in 3 was to easy, just to copy"n paste and then changing some rows.»
- Att ändra en hand-in ett par dagar före deadline är under all kritik!»

Hand-in 1 (Possibilites and threats...):
47 svarande

Poor»16 34%
Adequate»21 44%
Good»10 21%

Genomsnitt: 1.87

Hand-in 2 (TrueTime):
47 svarande

Poor»5 10%
Adequate»19 40%
Good»23 48%

Genomsnitt: 2.38

Hand-in 3 (Xenomai)
46 svarande

Poor»7 15%
Adequate»19 41%
Good»20 43%

Genomsnitt: 2.28

10. What is your opinion about using Real-Time Studio as a tool for hand-ins?

49 svarande

Poor»3 6%
Adequate»18 36%
Good»28 57%

Genomsnitt: 2.51

- It´,s a very ambigous release but a pitty we got tu use it so shallow. » (Poor)
- Why? I barely know what good it did? Couldn"t the same thing have been done with a smaller program in Windows/MacOS» (Poor)
- Min dator är långsam, därför kan jag inte uppskatta Real-Time Studio lika som andra och dessutom är jag inte van vid linux och C. Annars tror jag att det var en bra inledning för att lära mig jobba med real-time-systemen. » (Adequate)
- More focus on the course topics and less on different languages.» (Adequate)
- I didn´,t really understand it» (Adequate)
- Worked nicely!» (Good)
- But it was better to get accustomed with the Real Time kernel, Xenomai, etc in a preliminary course and then start using them to implement control systems.» (Good)
- The whole concept with RTS as a tool is very good.» (Good)
- Couldn"t run it on my Mac (old Power PC) though. But that was not that big problem.» (Good)

11. What is you general opinion about the laboration?

49 svarande

Poor»8 16%
Adequate»30 61%
Good»11 22%

Genomsnitt: 2.06

- Nicholchev ?? spelling? made it possible to pass the laboration without understanding a thing... It was first after the exam week I really understood what we did there.» (Poor)
- Connect one hand in, that you need to pass before the laboration so that you have a chance to make all the exercises.» (Poor)
- Not a Real-Time laboration» (Adequate)
- good questions but we didn´,t really understand the harder ones» (Adequate)
- We need more knowledge in C/C++ before this course.» (Adequate)
- It didn"t seem to have so much to do with the course.» (Adequate)
- Could be more challenging.» (Adequate)
- Det är bara synd att jag blev så trött efter tre timmar i labben att jag inte kunde lösa alla uppgifter och klarade bara anti-windup.» (Good)
- It was great especially because it was a common and tight work between this course and the other one, Applied Mechatronics.» (Good)
- Must be extended» (Good)

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

49 svarande

Poor»0 0%
Adequate»12 24%
Good»37 75%

Genomsnitt: 2.75

- hand ins should be handed out fully completed when noticed» (Adequate)
- Confusing with two pages, maybe better to use studie portalen!» (Adequate)
- If it is decided to use an external page outside the student portal, this page should contain all information.» (Adequate)
- The webpage was updated very well, though as many other courses, there is a major fault, when using external homepages, be sure that there is a link from the study portal! If you want to be prepared for a new period, the homepage is essential.» (Good)
- Very good that the notes were at the homepage» (Good)
- but i dont understand why we cant just use studieportalen like every other course at chalmers?» (Good)
- Instead of changing the LAB2 3 times so we had to make it 3 times it could have been done properly form the first time.» (Good)
- Very good that all the lecture and exercise notes where uploaded to the web page.» (Good)

Study climate

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

50 svarande

Poor»0 0%
Adequate»11 22%
Good»30 60%
I did not seek help»9 18%

Genomsnitt: 2.96

- Both Goran and Knut ware very helpsome!» (Good)
- Teacher and Assistant were most of the time available.» (Good)

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

50 svarande

Poor»1 2%
Adequate»5 10%
Good»41 82%
I did not seek cooperation»3 6%

Genomsnitt: 2.92

- Worked well as I had other friends reading the course.» (Good)

15. How was the course workload?

49 svarande

Low»6 12%
Adequate»34 69%
High»9 18%

Genomsnitt: 2.06

- too much areas covered» (High)
- But still ok!» (High)

Summarizing questions

16. What is your general impression of the course?

50 svarande

Poor»3 6%
Adequate»23 46%
Good»24 48%

Genomsnitt: 2.42

- I felt like the course was not finished when it started and that was confusing.» (Poor)
- I think the problem was that it was a bit too blurry in what we should know...because it extended over a great many fields. It was sometime hard to see what some of the topics had to do with real time control...» (Poor)
- More implementation is wanted.» (Adequate)
- must be focused more on real time rather than optimization n matriz algebra and communication» (Adequate)
- Mostly because im not interested in this area and it was a compulsory course for me to get examinated. Did not have experience of programming in C.» (Adequate)
- It was difficutlt to set the main thread in the course and see how each part/chapter was connected with the others.» (Adequate)
- It has potential to give some real-world knowledge.» (Adequate)
- Det är otroligt att den här kursen varit så bra trots att den gavs första gången. Allt funkade som det skulle, läsmaterialet var bra att förstå... Jag är imponerad framför allt för att jag vet hur det ibland går när en kurs undervisas första gången. I det här fallet kan jag nästan inte tro att Real-Time Control varit en ny kurs.» (Good)
- I liked this course, it kind of tied it all together.. and the exam really got it all in some strange way.. the only thing I didn´,t like was the modula2 code..» (Good)
- But it could be better and more structured. Maybe more narrowed.» (Good)

17. Additional comments

- En gång till skulle jag vilja upprepa att det nog behövs åtminstone en eller två datorövningar - kanske inte för dem som förstår sig bra på C och linux men jag skulle ha behövt något sådant i alla fall. Annars skulle jag inte ändra mycket på kursen.»
- I would like to see som more aplication on realtime control, like using xenomai to control three concurrent processes.»
- good course good teacher»
- the course should be divided into two section and be taught in two separate quarters first introduction and explanation about what exactly real time control is and then programing should be taught »
- In my opinion this course is wide and we couldn"t cover all material just in one quarter in this course we were supposed to learn how to implement the controllers in real time but the course didn"t cover this subject so I suggest to consider a course as for example real time 2 to complete this course other wise it wouldn"t be enogh we learn some basic but we need to learn how to implement. regards »
- We need more knowledge in C/C++ before this course.»
- it is a really good course »
- What to "study" apart from the automatic control exercies? More exercies to next year,»
- in general i think this course is very good and the most important thing is the teachere is very helpful so i really think i have learnt a lot of useful things »
- Kändes som att kursen inte var riktigt genomtänkt! Det var svårt att få en helhet på saker och ting, kanske vore bättre med en stor inlupp/labb som syftar till att bygga ett mindre real-tids system istället för köra lite True time, lite Xenomai... »

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