I’ve had a long hiatus since my last post about CMU courses, but entering the holidays, I had more time to share my thoughts on my classes this semester. Last year’s review is listed here.

This semester I took 4 classes, 2 of them technical and the other 2 geneds. The course numbers were 15441, 15210, 03125, and 82215. Overall, this semester was one of my lighter semesters. It was the first time where I actually did well on the first exams in each class. Although later in the semester, I got a little burned out and was playing a lot of Apex Legends near the tail. I feel I attended more cultural events and want to be proactive in learning about my Nigerian/Filipino roots. Especially with the Palestinian crisis happening right now, its important to not be stuck in the books, and participate in life.

I’ve noticed now that classes I’ve had in the past appear easier than when I first took them. I was looking at past content from 15151 and 15251. The problems look a lot easier to grasp and solve than when I first took them as a Freshman and Sophomore. Maybe this is the point where I feel mathetical maturity.

15441 Networking and the Internet ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

This class was my first systems elective that I’ve taken so far. This part of the systems stack is one that I had vague knowledge about, but was not too aware of the specifics. The professor is very informal and seems genuinely excited to teach the class. The homeworks and the programming assignments aren’t too bad, whose difficulty is like a harder proxy lab from 15213. It’s one of the niche classes that you don’t hear other CMU undergrads take, but I’d definitely recommend if you are looking for an interesting systems class to take. I’ve also written more about this class here

15210 Parallel and Sequential Data Structures and Algorithms ⭐⭐

This class felt like Leetcode but in SML. It’s another standard core algorithms class to take at CMU. If you’ve done coding interviews or enjoy programming puzzles, this class should be really easy for you. I don’t know how much I got out of this one besides more algorithm practice and maybe some more niche tree structures like Leftist heaps or Treaps. The bucket system is really nice though (80%+ is an A), so I never really felt worried about doing perfect on homeworks. That means the exams are what important to doing well here. I wish they would call Augmented Tables an adaptation of Segment trees though. It can get confusing for more leetcoder programmers in the wild.

82215 Arab Culture Through Dialogues, Film, and Literature: Minorities in the Middle East and North Africa ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Fun gened to take. I learned a good bit about the Middle East aside from the general anti Middle Eastern rhetoric in the states. Nevine is a nice lecturer, and she’s also making an Arabic course for CMU students at the moment too. I also seemed to take it at the right time given the minority rights violations happening with the Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank. This class definitely had me more involved in the foreign politics of America and seeing other perspectives and mindsets of Middle Eastern Minority Groups. The final class project was super chill to do, and the abroad sessions with students in Egypt and Qatar showed the current ideas and perspectives of the youth abroad. Nice class to get some exposure into this region. Given it’s a gened, I honestly didn’t put much time into this class though. Remember, neutrality is compliance to the status quo.

03125 Evolution ⭐⭐

This was a science gened that took a lot more work than expected. I’ve been told it’s one of the easiest classes to take at CMU, but I took it when the professors changed. The class goes through the foundation of evolutionary biology, and then skims through the evolutionary timeline from the beginning of life to the modern era of humans. There was a take-home quiz due before the start of each class and each class started at 8 AM. Luckily, I did well on the first 2 midterms because I completely bombed the final. It’s definitely a marathon type of class, but since it’s a gened, it felt like a heavier grind than what it should be. Make sure to check who the lecturers are before considering taking this class.

Next semester I plan to take Operating Systems, Computer Security, and Writing for the Professions. The OS class has me the most worried and most exciting. It’s prided as CMU’s hardest class, and is best to take it with lighter secondary classes. Hopefully, I’m prepared for the future.

Hopefully, I’m more involved with this blog for next year (New Year’s Resolution). It’s nice to write my ideas in English instead of code.