Module taken in Sem 2 AY2010/11
Research and Statistical Methods II
Lecturer(/s): Sim Teck Ngee
What is it about?: A continuation from PL2131, this teaches you that everything you have learn in PL2131 is useless and you should use what you learn in PL2132.
Ok fine, it teaches you more advanced statistical techniques besides the t-tests that you’ve been learning in PL2131.
How’s the workload?: There is a whopping THREE textbooks for this module – however, I daresay you can clear this module without even touching any of them, IF you are taking it under Prof Sim.
In fact, this module was probably the one with one of the lowest workloads this semester, apart from PH2110. Read the next section for an elaboration.
There is one mid term exam (short answer), 2 small quizzes (MCQ), 1 final exam, and 1 experimental study (plan and design a simple experiment as a group, carry it out, and write an individual report).
It’s not as much as it sounds, because the mid terms and finals are both open book, and the quizzes are short.
One 2h lecture per week and one 2h lab every week
How difficult is it?: After scaring you with the fact that there are 3 textbooks, I have to clarify something.
Firstly, one of the textbooks is written in a very readable, casual, humorous way (but is also the thickest) (andy fields), one of them has information that you should already know from PL2131 (black book), and the last one is probably the most important and small one, but also the most complicated one. (ANOVA)
Textbooks aside, the way Prof Sim conducts this module is that he focuses on UNDERSTANDING why we you are doing what you’re doing, rather than becoming proficient at using all the complicated formula in ANOVA (there are alot which he didn’t even touch).
Also, for him, the textbooks are supplementary, meaning he just tests whatever he teaches during lectures (and is in the lecture notes). Thus lectures are VERY important.
It also helps that he is a VERY good lecturer, in that he is very clear and deliberate in his explanations. If you can’t understand when he lectures, you won’t understand when anyone else does.
He also seems to pick out only what he deems important from the textbook and teaches them, so you don’t have to read the entire textbook(s). When I compare with other years’ exam papers, his are definitely the easiest ones. (which may or may not be a good thing)
As for the experiment, it’s just designing a simple experiment that you will carry out on your own as a group. Of course, your design needs to be free of confounds, etc. The report is an individual assignment though – and I suggest you work on it properly.
Miscellaneous Tips: Study the lecture notes. Go for lectures. Study the lecture notes again. He only tests from his notes! (you need to understand the concepts well to answer the questions, so PERHAPS reading the textbook MAY help. -shrugs-.)
Should you take it?: If you have taken PL2131, I suppose you will have to do this module too. If you haven’t, you can’t do this module. So … it’s either you end up taking or you don’t. It’s not a choice. Haha. But yea it’s pretty easy overall, assuming you’re under Prof Sim. I don’t know about other lecturers.
How did I do for it?: I screwed up the report for the experiment, probably because I didn’t invest as much time in it as I should. I started on it early and ended early and never made continual improvements. Only got a C+ for it which was devastating, given my performance in the other areas have been stellar – I’m pretty sure I got A/A+ level marks for my quizzes + mid terms. (way above median score)
Finals was relatively easy.
Predicted grade: B+
Actual grade: A- !??
Wow. Mathematically speaking, this grade is outright IMPOSSIBLE.
I got a C+ for my lab report, a huge disappointment, and worth a big 25% of my overall grade.
Retrieved from Alan’s blog