A quick recap at the 7th semester

Hmmm, the 7th semester is ending. Pretty much the end of my academic courses in ITB ( except for the single remaining credit on the 8th semester which I mentioned in an earlier post). Let’s take a quick recap on the courses I take this semester:

Cellular Communication System

Pretty much the ultimate course for telecommunication engineering students. Think about it like this: cellular communication systems is the combination of communication systems 1, communication systems 2, teletraffic engineering, probability and statistics, antenna and wave propagations. In terms of the topics covered you can say that this is the ultimate course. However, it has the tendencies of using the same kind of problems for exams. So, grade-wise it’s not too difficult and knowledge-wise it’s really good. A must have.

Satellite, Terrestrial, and Broadcast Communication Systems

The sibling of Cellular communication systems. The main difference is that cellular communication systems covers the topic about wireless communication systems, the cell concept, CDMA concept, and other stuffs related to the implementation of the systems. Meanwhile, this course is more focused on the propagation mechanisms and hardware parameters such as diffraction, rain attenuation, G/T, and so on. A direct continuation of Antennas and wave propagation. The topics covered overlap with the cellular one.

Baseband system design

I hate to be this blunt, but if  I may have a say: useless. A course about an obsolete microcontroller and the assembly language. Good for understanding the basic concept, but useless when you’re trying to implement something practical due to low level programming language. The worst part? It’s mandatory for telecommunication engineering. Try to bring a laptop or some books to read so that you can be more productive during class. Take computer system architecture and microcontroller systems if you’re going for the knowledge.

Optic & IP infrastructure

Pretty interesting. This one doesn’t have any kind of exams, only some projects and assignments. It ends up being similar to attending some seminar about optical infrastructure. Good for the extra knowledge around the domain of optical network. Try sitting on the front row.

Project management in telecommunication services

Uhh, the topic covered in this course is quite important and can help you if you’re a project manager. However, if the lecturer only reads from the slides, and the slides are pretty much the textbooks copied into powerpoint slides.. Well you get the picture. The class feels like that special training ground in Dragon Ball where one day equals one year. Too bad there’s a minimum attendance in class -__-. The exams are not practical, and revolves around students trying to memorize the whole textbook on a word by word basis. For your mandatory management courses, I’m suggesting project management from industrial engineering instead.

Capita Selecta

Not really a course. A studium generale where guests from the telecommunication industries come to ITB and give lectures about recent trend in telco. Pretty nice, and it helps you understand more about the telco industry. The only assignment given is to write a short summary about the lectures. And you do this in a group of three, and you only do this once in a semester. Sweet.

Computer System Architecture

No, this one doesn’t have anything to do with building architectures. It’s of little relevance to telecommunication engineering, but it gives you a good insight about how computers work, and also helps you understand assembly language which the dastardly baseband system design has failed to accomplish. The lecturer explains clearly, the course is easy to follow, and the exams are similar for every semester. Good for those extra credits.

My advice on taking courses would be to actually not focus only on one field, but also on another kinds of courses. Instead of filling your study form with only radar/telematics courses, try to mix both of them. Then, also try to take some courses from another major such as digital image processing, object oriented programming, and many more.

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