Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Do's and dont's for final year project

I took an EL today. Why?

I can come up with many reasons.

First, because of my morning sickness. Yes, I might had it worse than some people, but it is starting to go away, so Alhamdulillah.

Or I can say because of my braces. I just had them tightened yesterday, so I couldn't find the best soft food to eat in the cafeteria here. Ended up eating so little yesterday and hence morning sickness got worse. I need mum's porridge.

Or I can also say because of the air condition in my room. It was 18 degrees celcius yesterday. (T_T)

All the stated reasons above are what I called as lame excuses.

The truth is I'm actually running away..

It's a couple of days before final year project (FYP)'s presentation, I've had 5 students under my supervision, some of them I've almost forgotten existed suddenly appeared anywhere I go.

Outside my door, in my lab, even my phone has not stopped ringing these days. I don't have consultation hours for my students, I am happy to help them anytime they want, but some just abused the time I gave by knocking on my door during lunch hour or after office hours, tak boleh buat appointment ke?

Ok, emo. No, I'm not here to whine. I'm here to talk about attitudes.

Personally for me, FYP is where you have a solid training in managing your own project when you work later on.

And what we supervisors want to see during your FYP is the CHANGES in not only your technical knowledge, but also your attitude.

Whether or not your project is succesful, is just the icing on the cake. What matters is that you have learned something by yourself. You study, you design, you troubleshoot, and you analyze.

A lot of times students got confused with the task of supervisor. Our task is to SUPERVISE, or guide. Not lecture. Not telling you step by step on what to do. That is what you did in class. And in order for us to guide, you have to come see us every now and then. Not during the very last minute, no. FYP DOES NOT WORK LAST MINUTE! Unless if Allah SWT says so.

Imagine us as your boss, you can't go and ask your boss the very basic question of all. Then, it becomes her project, not yours.

And then troubleshooting. You think you can spend 3 days on your project and expect everything to turn out right? You know the simplest thing with hardware is design, the longest time to spend is on the troubleshooting. Same goes to coding. If you expect you can get your project done in a week, that is what we called as mini project.

I designed my Master's algorithm in less than a week. I had the idea perfectly sketched in my note book. The hardest part has got to be troubleshooting. Has got to be verifying whether or not your coding is working. That took me half the time I did for my Master.

And you might think the best supervisor you ever have is the one that gives you the aswer straight away.

That is the easiest thing a supervisor can do actually. "Ok, I give you the answer now, stop bugging me!"

The hardest thing to do is to say, "These are all the tools you need, now you can start your sleepless nights and find the answer. Contact me if only necessary," and walk away.

And hence the reason why I took an EL today.


Dr Sumayy said...

yup, very nicely written. if only we can do that toughest... job!

Dr. Ikeen said...

In time, I know we will. Insya Allah :)

kousalya said...

Great thoughts you got there, believe I may possibly try just some of it throughout my daily life.

BE Final Year Projects