This course offers a variety of modules that provides a good balance between theoretical and practical knowledge
Why Computer Systems Engineering?
Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think.
Whenever I hear this quote, I can directly connect to what Steve Jobs says:
“Everyone should learn how to program, it teaches your mind how to think”.
The thrill of analysing a program, detecting errors and finally watching it run successfully, brings to me a joy beyond words. A desire to gain knowledge and an enthusiasm to solve some of the most demanding problems faced by the industry today motivates me to explore Computer Science as an opportunity to pursue a career in.
This course is a perfect integration of hardware and software. The variety of modules ranging from Digital Embedded Systems to Modelling Analysis and Control Systems, provides a good balance between theoretical and practical knowledge. The various projects of robotics, simulations in Matlab and lab sessions provide us an opportunity to apply our theoretical knowledge in practical situations. The uniqueness of my course lies in the fact that we have modules focused on tailoring our employability skills like CV writing and working in a team.
Our University hosts the Global Engineering Challenge (for first-year students), where students from multidisciplinary engineering courses work together as a team to propose solutions for global challenges.
In addition to this, there are a plethora of seminar talks by Professors from other Universities and industry visits which help us keep abreast of the latest developments in our fields. The University of Sheffield encourages students to take up initiatives and think outside the box, which is reflected by the number of student-led and research projects available. I feel honoured to be a part of one such project – the Sheffield Space Initiative Project – SunbYte, where we build a solar telescope to be launched using a ZPB balloon. For the fourth iteration of this project I am working in the Communications, Electronics and Outreach team.
I am also a member of ACSE Assist, my department team, where a few of us along with our seniors engage in hosting revision classes and doubt-clearing sessions for our course mates. The enormous support facilities available are not limited to just academic and career skills development but also to mental health care, which can help one find their feet at the University.
How has COVID affected your studies?
The pandemic impacted our face-to-face teaching sessions, however the University worked hard to transition all face-to-face teaching online. The University of Sheffield, as always, channelled its efforts into providing immense support to its students which led to a smoother transition into this new pattern of life. A few of our lectures were live sessions and a few were recorded followed by a live discussion. We made use of our University’s Blackboard platform to carry out our sessions. Our lab managers worked extremely hard to transfer all of our hands-on activities into computer simulation-based activities, so although we were not present in person the learning was still rewarding with the replacement labs.
Our Student’s Union, which ranked top in the UK for the past 11 years, proposed the ‘Safety Net Policy’, which recognised the value of marks students had already achieved for modules completed before March 2020, so as long as students passed the year, their overall grade for the year would not fall below their safety net grade. This was a decision that took into consideration the stress, pressure and anxiety students across the globe were facing owing to the extraordinary circumstances.
We also had weekly global hangout sessions where we could meet fellow international students and have a relaxing chat. Our student societies moved all of their fun events online but continued to keep them engaging. The Indian society for instance kept an online cooking class sharing the steps to prepare lip smacking Indian dishes. The Zumba and Dance societies kept weekly live sessions with instructors so students didn’t miss out on their hobby sessions. The Women in Engineering society kept fun quiz post exams to help students relax and network online.
The University was in constant contact with us through emails. We also had sessions where students could speak about the stress they were undergoing and get some support with their mental health.
The University’s Careers Service allowed for bookable online sessions and provided immense support to students who were trying to secure their industry placements.
The University has welcomed students back onto campus this Autumn term, with a blend of face-to-face learning in small groups to allow for social distancing, supported by digital learning, with lots of safety measures in place around campus to help students feel reassured.
Overall, the University has been very considerate and supportive to the needs of each student and making my personal student experience wonderful and memorable.
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