Planning for the Future (This Post for Queen’s Students Only!)


So here’re some of the courses (in Computing, Physics and Psychology) that I want to take in the next two years. If any of these courses are especially terrible or especially awesome (or there’s one that’s not on the list that you would suggest looking into), COMMENT!

CISC 221* Computer Architecture

The descriptive levels of computer architecture. Digital logic. Subsystem architecture. Instruction set architecture. Data representation. Assembly language. Support for high level languages. Input/output and interrupts. Modules.

CISC 325* Human-Computer Interaction

Developing usable software requires that human factors be considered throughout the design and development process. This course introduces a series of techniques for development and evaluating usable software, and shows how these techniques can be integrated into a process for software development.

CISC 425* Advanced User Interface Design

Advanced user interface styles such as multimedia, support for collaboration over the Internet, virtual reality and wearable computers. Processes supporting the design of advanced user interfaces. Implementation techniques.

CISC 453* Topics in Artificial Intelligence

Investigation of selected areas of artificial intelligence research. Possible topics include natural language understanding, computational perception, planning, learning, and neurocomputing.

CISC 454* Computer Graphics

Introduction to computer graphics, including a review of current hardware; modelling and transformations in two and three dimensions; visual realism: perspective, hidden surface elimination, and shading; colour models; applications in several fields.

CISC 457* Image Processing and Computer Vision

Fundamental concepts and applications in image processig and computer vision are introduced. Topics include image acquisition, convolution, Discrete Fourier Transform, FIR filter design, JPEG compression, pyramid and steerable-filter image representations, image warping, edge detection, segmentation, optical character recognition, human contrast perception, colour perception and reproduction, dithering.

PHYS 239* Electromagnetism

Electrostatics and magnetostatics. DC and AC circuits. EM induction. Dielectric and magnetic materials, energy densities. Derivation of Maxwell’s equations.

PHYS 315* Physical Processes in Astrophysics

Basic physical processes in astrophysics are discussed and applied to specific systems. Topics include: radiative processes (monochromatic and continuum) and radiative transfer, stellar energy and pressure sources, and an introduction to stellar evolution and galactic structure. The focus will be on relating observable quantities to the physical properties of astronomical sources. An evening project using the on-campus observatory will also be carried out during the term.

PHYS 333* Electronics for Scientists and Engineers

The design of electronic circuits and systems of interest to scientists and engineers with particular reference to integrated analog and digital devices. Operational amplifiers and digital logic are used extensively. Laboratory work involving system design is emphasized.

PSYC 271* Brain and Behaviour I

An introduction to behavioural neuroscience. After covering the basics of neuronal operation, functional neuroanatomy, neuropharmacology, and behavioral neuroscience methods, students will examine input (sensory) and output (motor) systems of the brain. Finally, sleep-waking, and other biological rhythms are discussed.

PSYC 272* Brain and Behaviour II

The relationship between brain mechanisms and behaviour. The first part of the course will cover material relating to species-typical behaviour such as reproduction, emotional behaviour and ingestion. The second part of the course will deal with learning. This includes cellular and neural mechanisms of learning, different types of learning, communication, and disorders of learning and memory.

PSYC 321* Psycholinguistics

An introduction to psycholinguistic research and theory. Topics include the development of language, language perception, language production, and linguistic representation. Particular attention will be paid to applied issues in language research (e.g., speech pathology, language aids, and automatic recognition of speech).

PSYC 365* Psychology of Reading

An in-depth analysis of reading and reading comprehension. The focus is first on the competent adult with an examination of different writing systems, the structure of English orthography, theories of word recognition, eye movements during reading, the role of working memory, models of reading comprehension, and strategies for increasing comprehension. The focus then shifts to individual differences among children and adults, developmental dyslexia, and the acquired dyslexias.

PSYC 385* Psychology of Music

Sensory and cognitive foundations of musical pitch, timbre, loudness, and time. Experimental research on musical development, memory, attention, ability, relationships to other psychological attributes. Theories of response to musical structure. Practica involving listening exercises, data collection and analyses. Supplementary instruction provided for students unfamiliar with basic music notation.

PSYC 420* Advanced Topics in Cognitive Psychology

An examination of selected topics in cognitive psychology which may include: computational modelling; problem-solving; face recognition; gestalt influences on cognitive science; motor control processes; cognitive neuropsychology. Exact topics to vary by year.

  • Riz

    CISC 221* Computer Architecture
    ->If it’s anything like the first computer arch. course in Computer Eng isn’t too bad. You learn the very basics about how computers work. A lot of annoying/medial work (like binary arithmetic). Unfortunately you don’t get to do anything cool like make LEDs flash on a 68HC11.

    CISC 325* Human-Computer Interaction and CISC 425* Advanced User Interface Design
    ->Never actually taken these courses (Dave K., former editor might be good to talk to) however, from what I know, Roel Vertegaal (Sp?) is a total ass and unjustifiably cocky. That’s the main reason I didn’t take the course.

    CISC 454* Computer Graphics
    ->This is a really cool course but Stewart (if he’s teaching it) is very demanding. Lots of Vector-Algebra and you are expected to remember everything. Either way, it’s lots of fun to produce a whole bunch of crazy cool programs. (NOTE: Lots of hours of work required)

    PHYS 239* Electromagnetism
    ->I think I the equivalent EE course (Elec280) and it was so boring. It’s just flux this and flux that. I honestly don’t remember anything from the course–all I know is to talk to an Elec Eng. before I build transmission lines.

  • Ryan

    CISC 325* / 425* – Roel Vertegaal is insane. But it’s an easy course. You’ll hate it, but it’s really easy and the subject matter is interesting.

    PSYC 271* / 272* – I can only speak for the first course, but it’s almost all memorization. Very, very dry. I took it, and did the absolute bare minimum to get by.

    CISC 454* – I agree with Riz. One of the hardest courses I ever took. So. Much. Math. But in the end, worth it. I had Dave Connor tutor me in this course, and otherwise I would have perished a horrible death.

    PSYC 365* – If you’re interested in the subject matter, you’ll love this class. Dr. Butler’s a great prof. Seriously consider the follow-up course, wherein you read to students as a course.

    CISC 453* – Isn’t there a 300 level AI course? If so, I really recommend it. Fun and easy. Too simple.

    Are they still offering neural and genetic computing? I think it was 452*. If so, take it. The course was awesome.

    Favorite profs from Cognitive (no particular order): Butler, Dawes, Steward, Browse. Least favorite: Vertegaal.

    The cogs project (499*) is also really good.

  • Eve

    We’re required to take the 300 level AI. I figured I’d just put up the courses I was trying to decide on.

    I can’t WAIT for 454.

    Also, I am MEGA GAY 4 BUTLER

  • Chris

    PHYS 333 is really easy and kinda interesting. The labs are a bitch though. Try to get in Jim Mason’s section.

    CISC 221: I’d avoid it if you can. For some reason, in the CISC version of the course, you learn some crazy made-up version of assembly that is completely useless and unneccesarily confusing. My housemate Tim took it last year and didn’t think so much of it. By all accounts, the ELEC version is better, but I guess it’s not an option for you. It’s kinda interesting to figure out how computers work at a basic level, but I don’t know how useful it would be unless you plan on designing hardware or writing compilers.

    PHYS 239: I haven’t taken it, but the idea of learning anything about Maxwell’s equations by your own free will is completely insane. Take it if you want, but whatever you do, DON’T take 332. 200-level EM courses are like fooling around with James Clerk Maxwell; 300-level EM courses are like letting him do you up the butt.

    PSYC 271: the prof (Susan Boehnke) is a friend of mine! So I feel kinda guilty about saying that everyone who had her for this course this year said she was an awful prof.

  • Erin

    Haven’t taken Psycholinguistics, but I hear it’s good. However, PSYC 452 (Developmental Psycholinguistics) is pretty similar, and it was great (also, it’s pretty easy to get a good mark in it).