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NUS Math Module Review: MA1508E Linear Algebra for Engineering

Linear Algebra in itself is abstract Math, and with that comes its own challenges in visualization and practice. What it needs is constant revision, and the module is designed in a way to force the student to do so (constant weekly quizzes, lecture quizzes, tutorial assignments). It may be helpful to pick up external sources like Khan Academy before/during the module to better one’s understanding.

Mr Christian is an extremely friendly lecturer and even setup face to face meetings with every single student in his tutorial groups to get a better understanding of everyone. His teaching style did not focus on the flipped classroom style, and he basically taught the module from scratch, making understanding of the concepts much more intuitive. Granted, I had already learnt a bit about Linear Algebra making it easier for me to digest, but I feel his style probably helped a lot of his students. The module is actually just simple arithmetic with a minute amount of calculus nearer the end, but the difficulty lies in the abstractness of the concepts.

The Online Quizzes are weekly and consist of 5 questions each and are given a week each to do, with infinite attempts. These questions really probe one’s knowledge on the topic at hand and needs full understanding to be able to answer correctly. This should be done with friends to minimise the carelessness you might have doing it alone. The Tutorial Assignments can get a bit tricky with only half an hour to attempt and with discussion allowed is also possible to full score. Lecture quizzes were removed due to COVID measures, with 2 of the Tutorial assignments also submitted online.

The Mid-Term was as expected, where understanding of concepts was essential to getting a good score. Median = 17/30

The final was drastically different from what was expected due to COVID. 25 MCQ were given on LumiNUS with only 50 minutes to complete them. The catch : once a question is attempted you cannot return to it, and every question must be attempted before you can move on. The questions were likely the same standard as the online quizzes, maybe slightly harder, but since you are only given 2 minutes per question on average they seemed to be much harder, drilling you deeply on the concepts covered throughout the entire semester. It was very odd to have a Linear Algebra final assessment tested as MCQ – all past year papers were written exams.

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