Professor Tor Aamodt Reviews
Prof: Tor Aamodt / Fall 2020
Jan 11, 2021
Very interesting course, and the labs are challenging but rewarding, assuming you can keep up. All the exams are brutal but there are opportunities for part marks and they're scaled. Lab exams and labs are largely autograded, and punish mistakes hard, producing a very bimodal 100 or 0 mark distribution. The textbooks are good if prone to misprints, and are both on libgen. Course policies from hell: a draconian anti collaboration policy bans most all discussion of labs, which interferes with those who fall behind catching up. A newly introduced rule this year meant anyone who failed too many of their lab exams would fail the course. The marking on these was automated and excessively harsh: on the last one, there was a function IGXHY that if you spelled it wrong, you'd fail the exam and...read more
Do not fall behind in labs. A good lab partner will help immensely in this course. Test exhaustively. Write a lot of (automated!) test code. Our final Verilog lab had 1.5x as much test code as hardware description language, and did not lose marks. Try to write the best and most understandable Verilog you can, and independently read about best practices and features you can use; you're going to be writing hundreds to over a thousand lines of it, and spending a lot of time in the debugger, so the easier it is to read both test code and hardware description, the better. (the task feature was invaluable in making our tests more readable) Speaking of the debugger, *learn what ModelSim can do for you* (e.g. breakpoints, traceback, $stop, etc for automated tests). You will be spending dozens of...read more
Prof: Tor Aamodt / Winter 2020
Dec 27, 2020
A very very difficult and mentally draining course. However, you truly do learn a lot about microcomputers and will have a much better understanding of how coding languages even work in this class.
It is super important to fully understand labs 3 and 4. These will help you get 6/21 of the LPT marks. (Might be thinking, "psh 6? That's so low! I am a 80+ student!". However, its difficulty ramps up very quickly and you may find yourself hoping to just get 5/21 on these to not have to fail the course). Definitely take a lot of notes, especially for the flipped lecture ones. Try to do well on the midterm, as it is a lot easier than the final. Find a good partner!