CPE – the illegitimate, forgotten bastard child of ECE dept, NUS

In: Personal

30 Jul 2003

Those of us Computer Engineering (CPE) students in the Engineering faculty of NUS have really been hard done by this time. First of all, our selection of modules are a subset of those in Electrical Engineering (EE) – EE students have a much wider range of modules to choose from, while CPE have to compete with those from EE for places in modules in our concentrations. I’ve heard it said that an EE student can convert his degree into a CPE one, provided he or she takes sufficient modules related to CPE. I now understand why the split of Computer Engineering from the School of Computing (SoC) has been said to be for political reasons.

Now, in the recent allocation of Final Year Projects (FYP), some CPE students (yours truly included) were wrongly allocated projects deemed ‘Unsuitable for CPE’ “because of a glitch” in the system. I can accept that – at least to the extent of accepting that a system that has been in place for several years can still fail. No matter. Provided something suitable was done as recompense for the lost opportunity to fairly ballot for the our FYP choices. I was lucky – after appealing for my 2nd choice project, which was unallocated, and with a 2nd mini-ballot, I got it. Others were not so lucky, as I’ve found. One of my friends was allocated neither his first 8 nor his appeal choices. OK, so he appealed to one of the heads to allow him to continue his Research Internship Project as an FYP – even his supervisor’s all ready to accept him. But no they say, “even if there is a glitch, there are still many students didn’t get any of their 8 choices… and you are not exceptional”. What? This student has forfeited his chance at balloting for his 8 choices because of YOUR glitch. And you expect him to accept the outcome of somebody else’s fumbling?

And what’s worse is most of the projects indicated as ‘Suitable for CPE’ were taken by EE students. This despite the fact that we have only a limited number of FYPs to choose from. I was worried initially and emailed the person in charge, who reassured me that yes CPE students will be given a priority. I now realise that was a lie: they refused to tell our year representative when he asked the same question.

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