IT1005 – Introduction to Programming with MatLab

With the widespread use of computers and computational tools in industrial practice and research, it is important for students in the chemical engineering programme to gain a firm understanding and appreciation of the fundamentals of programming, algorithmic problem solving, coding and debugging. The final goal is to be able to apply these skills to solving realistic chemical engineering problems. MATLAB, a high-level computing language will be employed due to its capability to solve domain-specific computing problems more conveniently than with traditional programming languages. MATLAB also provides the platform to span a wide variety of application areas.

Reviewer’s name: Anonymous

Year in which module was taken: 2013/2014 Semester 1

Faculty/Year of student: Engineering/1

Workload: 3 (1 being extremely light and 5 being extremely heavy workload)

Grade(expect to get): F

Brief Overview:

Initially it was pretty on hand, but afterwards, the questions are very long and difficult to understand for me. Most of the long questions made me confused and panic while attempting the questions and eventually i was totally lost.

Other comments:

It would be better if there are some reviews before the tests and exams. I think it would be very helpful.

Reviewer’s name: Anonymous

Year in which module was taken: 2011/2012 Semester 1
Faculty/Year of student: Engineering/1

Brief Overview:  This module has always been seen as a killer module for all Chemical Engineers, no thanks to the challenging questions posed in tests and exams. However, I feel that it is much better now, as the test questions are much simpler (but the exams are just as hard, if not harder) The lecturers (i.e. Dr Steven Halim and Dr Saif Khan) are approachable, so do feel free to approach them for help. Also, ensure that you have MATLAB on your laptop, as it would be really convenient. Practice is very important, and you should strive to practise not just questions posed in labs and lectures, but also other questions online. A good source will be a question bank set up by Dr Steven Halim and his brother on  However, do note that some questions are not relevant, and one should choose the questions wisely. It is also important to constantly explore MATLAB and its various functions. There are 2 parts to this module. The first part is taught by Dr Steven Halim, and it is basically on the computing part of MATLAB, while the 2nd part, taught by Dr Saif Khan, is mainly on the applications of MATLAB in chemical engineering, which is often seen as easier to grasp.

Assessment:  CA(60%) – Lab Reports including a mini-project for Lab 11, 2 Mid-Term Tests, Final Exam (40%). It is imperative to score close to full marks for your lab reports, as almost everyone will score near full marks. For us, the mid-term tests were relatively okay as compared to previous years, especially if you have practised a fair bit, explored MATLAB time and again and done your lab reports diligently on your own. However, the final exam was mind-blowing. Ensure that you have tried all the past year papers, and understood them thoroughly.  When stuck, try to remain calm and dissect the question systematically. 

Remarks on Result:  Never expected to score well for this module, as the bell curve is really steep since only chemical engineers are taking this module. Totally screwed up the final exam, but I guess the marking was lenient which explains my unexpected grade. Lost several precious marks due to the tricky MCQ questions, couldn’t really understand Dr Steven Halim’s question(which was split into several small sections), managing to solve only a few sections. As for Dr Saif Khan’s 3 long questions, I made a mistake in the last question, and wasn’t too sure if my method was correct, since many proposed an alternative method. So I guess I was really lucky to score well for it.

Reviewer’s name: Anonymous

Year in which module was taken: 2010/2011 Semester 1
Faculty/Year of student: Engineering/1

Workload: 3 (1 being extremely light and 5 being extremely heavy workload)

Brief Overview: This module is an introduction to MatLab which is commonly used by chemical engineers. The module is easy and not difficult to understand. However the application might be difficult if one has no experience with computing.

Assessment: Weekly lab assignments are 27.5%, including one final group project. There are 11 lab assignments. 2.5% will be based on your lab participation (easy to get). The mid-term weightage is 30% (90mins), while the weightage for the final examination is 40% (2hours). Mid-term can be quite difficult so you need to be prepared .  

Workload: You will expect to have weekly tutorials. Mr. Steven Halim’s tutorials are quite difficult but doable. Dr Saif Khan’s tutorials are easy and most of the time, it’s direct application of what you learn in class. Both of them will expect you to find out Matlab’s functions/codes yourself, so be prepared that you may be quite confused and clueless when looking at each tutorial for your first time. Lab Assistants (your tutorial teacher) are generally helpful and approachable. They should be able to guide you for your IT1005 module.

There will be one group project near the end of your semester. The project is basically an application of everything that you have learnt. However, each group’s presentation will be related to a specific topic that is allocated by Lab Assistants. It’s easy to get score for the project, but it depends on your Lab Assistants at the end of the day.

Tips: First, get MatLab installed in your computer. For those who want to score A and above, I would recommend exploring MatLab on your own. It can be quite fun to explore different functions and usage in MatLab and try to write your own codes. Just treat MatLab more like Microsoft software that you buy and explore it in your free time. Practice your tutorials and don’t forget MatLab stands for Matrix Laboratory, not Mathematical Laboratory.

One Response to “IT1005”
  1. Sniper says:

    Is there anyway I can take this module if I’m not from chemical engineering?

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