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    Hey all applicants for 2005,

    I know all of you are at the stage where you've applied and are waiting for your replies. Well, I am here to offer you my story of applying and getting into Imperial, and how its like now I'm half way through the first year.

    First off, I had applied for BS Biochemistry with Management. For those IB students out there, I really did not expect to get in because my average point total was 35 with predicted 34-36, with Bio Chem Math higher predicted at 6. However, I did get in (maybe cuz I was an international student, maybe for my personal statement, i dunno). But my conditional offer was 36 points, with at least 6 in Bio and in Chem, and a 5 in English.

    Now, around march... I did some self-reflection and reassessment of my career goals. I decided that there wasn't much future in biochemistry, so I decided to ask for a switch to Biomedical Engineering (BME). This course is relatively new in Imperial College (only started in 2002), and my current class size is only 60 (second smallest in Imperial). After corresponding with the admissions tutor, I finally got the switch, and my offer was revised to 36 points, 776 Higher Level with 5 in English. Bear in mind, I was very lucky to even get the offer, as I had no physics and I was applying for an engineering course. So for those of you looking at the requirements and thinking you dont have this subject or that... relax.... those "requirements" are only a guideline, not a rule.

    Now, I only managed to get a 36 points overall, 666 Bio Chem Math Higher Level for my final grade. I did not meet the offer, but after lots of emails I got my place confirmed. Some will say I got lucky, but I think its because I really pushed for a place. Showing determination is important in the application process... they want to see that you REALLY want to do the subject.

    Now... on to the housing applications. I got my fourth choice (twin), and I think it could just be that I was unlucky. I sent my application in immediately after receiving it (but as an international student, It did take the form 2 weeks to arrive chez moi and 2 weeks to arrive at IC. But I know of people who sent in their form after I did and got their first choices.

    Now in terms of which halls are the best... many of you might have heard Beit, Beit, Beit. The truth is, Beit has its strong points and its weak points. It is close to college, and "quite" well refurbished. However, its near the union bar (so alcoholics, beware... you might get tempted!), and I have heard that because if its sheer size its quite unfriendly.

    Me, I got into Willis Jackson Hall, which I must say is the second best in Evelyn Gardens (first is Bernard Sunley). Holbein and Fisher are both SH*T, and Southwell is ok (good point: has study areas so if you need to get aware from distraction...). Evelyn Gardens is actually really good... there are supermarkets nearby (1 min walk!) for all your food needs, a cinema, and other shops. In Prince's gardens, the nearest supermarket is around 10+ mins walk. Walk to school from Evelyn Gardens is 20-30 mins, depending on how fast you walk. After the first few days, you'll get used to it.

    About Princes Gardens.... Linstead, Selkirk and Tizard, and those next door are REALLY REALLY old... the halls look like dungeons, and the rooms are drab. The catered meal at Linstead sucks... from what I heard... and for those asians out there: NO RICE. You're better off cooking yourself. Weeks hall looks ok from the outside, but is also quite old and drab inside.

    Cooking... is really very very easy. You could live on microwave and oven food which is the easiest, but even cooking is not too bad. I spend on average around 15-30 mins a night cooking. You get your own lockable cupboards (small), lockable freezer boxes (BIG), and lockable fridge compartments (small).

    Room arrangements..... I'm in a twin room. You get a bed, a SMALL wardrobe (standard for all halls), a neat desk, a desk lamp, notice boards, and a small sink+mirror. Internet connection is provided for 35 pounds/year (oh yeah... you definately want to sign up online b4 you arrive... trust me on this!!). Internet is fast... no kazaa or other P2P blocks, but there's a 24-hour bandwidth limit of 5GB. Exceed it, and you get a warning... ignore the warning, and you get banned for 2 weeks. In addition, one guy got sued by the Music and Video Industry for illegally sharing files. So... its up to you to take the risks. Internet is generally fast.... you can get 40KB/sec during peak times, and around 200KB/sec in the middle of the night.

    Now on to my course.. Biomedical Engineering. For those thinking of it, let me say.... it is VERY VERY HARD. It is one of the hardest and most demanding courses at Imperial. Consider this... first term I had 27 hours of lectures, tutorials, and labs. Compare this to around 15 hours for Biochemistry... Plus, what makes this subject hard is that you have to learn Medical Science, Electrical Engineering, Foundations of Engineering, Maths, Mechanics, and Computing all at the same time. Whereas for like Electrical Engineering... its more like Electrical Circuits x 10. The good thing about the course is that there's only 60 ppl in it (although next year I think its rising to 100). That means we all know each other cuz we all attend the same lectures and etc. And next year, we're getting our own building (right now we're spread out over 3). The professors and staff in BME are really helpful, and any complaints we have had are acted on and remedied quickly.

    Now.. about general life in Imperial College. The ratio of guys to girls is around 75%:25%. For my course, its more like 55:45, but for some courses its like 90:10. For guys... be prepared to not have a gf or any action for a loooong time unless you are willing to go down to LSE or Kings on weekends. For girls, its basically heaven for you. The union bar is quite cheap, but it lacks any spark cuz its just basically a sausage fest every night, if you know what I mean. Most guys go down to LSE or King's unions where there's more action.

    There are alot of clubs and societies at IC to join... I think everyone will find something they are interested in. However, most people dont have much time to join more than 1 or 2 societies. There's also an orchestra, jazz band, normal band, and other instrumental groups.

    Food at the dining hall is OK... but WAAAY overpriced! I only eat there when I have little time or when there's something good (fish and chips). Otherwise, most people go back to halls or go to sandwich shops.

    Anyways, I think that's all the major points covered... if you hav more questions, just post in this thread and I'll do my best to answer them. Also, I would appreciate if you would give this thread a good rating!!
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    (Original post by boonkoh)
    Now in terms of which halls are the best... many of you might have heard Beit, Beit, Beit. The truth is, Beit has its strong points and its weak points. It is close to college, and "quite" well refurbished. However, its near the union bar (so alcoholics, beware... you might get tempted!), and I have heard that because if its sheer size its quite unfriendly.

    Me, I got into Willis Jackson Hall, which I must say is the second best in Evelyn Gardens (first is Bernard Sunley).
    I'm very lucky: I got into Bernard Sunley . Twin room, no en-suite -- but I've not had to wait for a shower yet.

    (Original post by boonkoh)
    Holbein and Fisher are both SH*T, and Southwell is ok (good point: has study areas so if you need to get aware from distraction...). Evelyn Gardens is actually really good... there are supermarkets nearby (1 min walk!) for all your food needs, a cinema, and other shops. In Prince's gardens, the nearest supermarket is around 10+ mins walk. Walk to school from Evelyn Gardens is 20-30 mins, depending on how fast you walk. After the first few days, you'll get used to it.
    I walk there in about 13-16 minutes, depends how fast I go. But, very few people walk past me, so maybe I walk too fast.

    (Original post by boonkoh)
    About Princes Gardens.... Linstead, Selkirk and Tizard, and those next door are REALLY REALLY old... the halls look like dungeons, and the rooms are drab. The catered meal at Linstead sucks... from what I heard... and for those asians out there: NO RICE. You're better off cooking yourself. Weeks hall looks ok from the outside, but is also quite old and drab inside.
    Some of those are being demolished, I'm not sure which though. I think it's being done over the summer of 2005 though, something like that.

    (Original post by boonkoh)
    Cooking... is really very very easy. You could live on microwave and oven food which is the easiest, but even cooking is not too bad. I spend on average around 15-30 mins a night cooking. You get your own lockable cupboards (small), lockable freezer boxes (BIG), and lockable fridge compartments (small).
    My cupboard is huge, maybe they vary. Plenty of room though. I share cooking with three other people -- we cook in pairs, and the other pair washes up. This saves money (if we go shopping in pairs, we can buy bigger packs of stuff and carry them back). And it's nice to have a meal cooked for you every other day .

    (Original post by boonkoh)
    Room arrangements..... I'm in a twin room. You get a bed, a SMALL wardrobe (standard for all halls), a neat desk, a desk lamp, notice boards, and a small sink+mirror.
    My chair has wheels, that's good too. And the wardrobe is far larger than I need it to be .
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    nice post boonkoh. how much do the largest rooms cost on average, because if i do come to imperial, am going to have alot of things, mainly a long ass 88 key-keyboard and alot of other music equipment.
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    They don't let you choose a room directly, you say what type of room you'd like -- ensuite or not, and single, double or triple. What will you be bringing? Someone on my corridoe has a large keyboard, and quite a large room, it might be a bit of a squeeze in a smaller room .

    How much is "a lot"
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    (Original post by chaoscomplex)
    They don't let you choose a room directly, you say what type of room you'd like -- ensuite or not, and single, double or triple. What will you be bringing? Someone on my corridoe has a large keyboard, and quite a large room, it might be a bit of a squeeze in a smaller room .

    How much is "a lot"
    alot would be £100 a week
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    Thanks Boonkoh... Very helpful. Anyone like to contribute for toehr subjects? ANd dumb question... how do we rate the page? Can't see how.
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    (Original post by Killian)
    Thanks Boonkoh... Very helpful. Anyone like to contribute for toehr subjects? ANd dumb question... how do we rate the page? Can't see how.
    near the top right of the first post of this thread
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    Okies.. sorry for not replying sooner, as I was stuck on a 16 hour flight from Shanghai to London.

    Okies.. about the housing... if you don't want to pay 100+ pounds a week, then please please please don't put down single or single ensuite as your top choices. They usually give you one of your top 3 choices (for me it was my 4th choice :mad: ), so put down twin, twin ensuite instead.

    It is true that some rooms of the same type in the same hall are larger than the others. For example... someone in Bernard Sunley has a corner single room that is just as big as a twin room elsewhere in the hall. It all just comes down to luck...

    And oh yeah... disabled rooms are big. The attached bathrooms are almost the size of a single room, and they have seats in the shower cabinets! But they're usually on the ground floor and thus very noisy (students coming back at 3 am).

    SWISHMASTA: are you a pianist or a keyboardist? Cuz IC does have some good pianos in the Sherfield Building for student use, but not sure if they have keyboards...

    OTHER SUBJECTS.... physics is slack (my roommie is in it, never wakes up earlier than I do, and is always finishes before I do). EE and Mech Eng are quite tough. Geology seems slack. Med has few lectures/labs/etc, but the time they need to spend on homework is alot.

    Anyways, feel free to ask more questions! Now that I'm back in London, I'll check this thread once or twice daily.
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    My room's on the ground floor and I don't get disturbed -- it depends on the hall, no one needs to walk past my room unless they also live on the ground floor.

    My roommate does Physics, and rarely leaves before me, and doesn't do much work in the evening, but I think he does a lot of work at lunchtimes.
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    Right I think I'll input on the difficulty of the subjects from what I've seen:

    Computing which is what I do, does seem to have one of the harshest timetables and meanest workloads (timetable for a first yr's first term http://www.doc.ic.ac.uk/~im/TIMTAB/t...ks2_11/c1.html and of course we have the programming lab assignment per week (be prepared a decent amount of time on this ), and 2 from maths/logic/discrete per week(all assessed so u better do it lol )...and then there are random other things e.g hardware coursework, driving tests...and with many 9/10am-5/6pm it's pretty evil, be prepared to spend your lunch times in the lab and work in the labs in the evening.

    Boonkoh is right about physics, they do NO work ever, I only remember one time when they had homework and the only reason I knew they had homework was because it was such a big surprise they actually had work to do after hours!
    edit:A friend mentioned to me that he reckons he does the same amount of work for his language humanities class (which is just an optional out of hours class) to his physics degree!

    Geology also seems pretty nice in terms of workload too...apparently their lectures finished a week or two before the end of term (whereas us computing people had 4:30 hrs worth of tests on the 2nd last day).

    I think boonkoh is a little mistaken with Medicine. From what I understand from my best friend...they hardly get any lectures/tutorials etc and they get lots of random days off....but also they don't seem to get much assesed work at all, alot of independant study if they feel like it i guess. I remember my friend mentioning that they had a month or so to do an essay, then there was some sort of presentation, and they have tests at the start of term but that's it. They tend to be the ones at all the parties/union nights etc

    Biochem also seems quite nice...people seem to have a good amount of free time there.

    The Engineering subjects look like they have tougher courses so if your subject gets allocated by the Engineering faculty then be prepared to do some work..(these include Computing, Mech Eng, EE, ISE etc).

    Maths also seems like it gets a reasonable amount of work, though not overly crazy, ask 4ED about this though.
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    eeek that timetable does indeed look quite evil. somehow i don't see myself myself making ALL of the lectures *sigh* i haven't even started yet and i'm looking into which lectures i'm going to miss - laziness at its best.
    but yay imperial for computing is now my definte firm choice now that i got my cam rejection this morning. woo i get to stay in london

    could the computing students tell me a bit about the tutorials and stuff. and do you know how mac friendly the department is? i saw a dozen or so g5's so i'm guessing they're quite ok with it? what about the lecturers and stuff cos i didn't come across any major syntax differences and such between codes seeing as mac os x is unix with a pretty gui.

    also does anyone know what the wireless coverage is like around the campus.

    thank you all...

    -utku
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    (Original post by utkucan)
    eeek that timetable does indeed look quite evil. somehow i don't see myself myself making ALL of the lectures *sigh* i haven't even started yet and i'm looking into which lectures i'm going to miss - laziness at its best.
    but yay imperial for computing is now my definte firm choice now that i got my cam rejection this morning. woo i get to stay in london

    bosslady can you tell me a bit about the tutorials and stuff. and do you know how mac friendly the department is? i saw a dozen or so g5's so i'm guessing they're quite ok with it? what about the lecturers and stuff cos i didn't come across any major syntax differences and such between codes seeing as mac os x is unix with a pretty gui.

    also does anyone know what the wireless coverage is like around the campus.

    thank you all...

    -utku
    If I were you I really wouldn't recommend skipping many/if any lectures unless totally neccessary, because it makes it really hard to revise for the Xmas tests at the end of term. Basically you get no revision time at all due to the fact that you're still finishing off other assignments so if you've skipped alot of lectures you're a little screwed (talking from experience here lol).

    For the tutorials...well this terms the modules we did were: Dec Programming I, Discrete Maths I, Logic I, Hardware, Computer Systems, and Maths Methods.

    The tutorials we gto with this were:
    PPT (Personal Maths tutor...he marks your programming lab assingment and gives u any advice needed for the new one ->groups of 5-7),

    PMT (Personal Maths tutor, this actually is to do with your logic/discrete maths modules (not maths meth), he'll mark your work and you'll spend the hour doing exercises on either module with him-->groups 5--7 (same grp as PPT)),

    Hardware ( with the whole year, also a neccessity like PPT/PMT as they are assessed, if you do it early (unlike me), then you can go and wait for them to bring the boxes so you can hand em in...there are helpers on hand to help u with em),

    Logic (with the whole yr, helpers on hand to help you, it's where you get your logic ex of the week (usually contains assessed qus sometimes not), but u also do some of the unassessed stuff with ur PMT + this is the ex he marks(as mentioned earlier), so u can ask him ur qus instead),

    Discrete Maths (just like what I said for the Logic tut),

    Maths Methods (go to this!!! GO! horrid and hated and despised module by even peopel loving maths, this will help alot , u get quite a a few assessed sheets from this anyway(done in ur PMT/PPT grps)),

    Comp Systems Tut ( all non-assessed exercises (with your whole yr and JMC)).

    As I said before you'll get 2 homeworks from discrete/math meth/logic per week usually, so whether you get an unassessed one of whichever module depends on the week. Again as mentioned before you get the programming lab assignment per week and other random stuff pops up.

    Btw The dep seem cool with Macs, Im not a mac-lover myself, but a close friend is obsessed with them("Mac-Man" is what we call him haha) and he's fine, though he's had issues with kenya (the scaled down version of java u do in the first term), so he's skipped kenya and codes straight in java (as have numerous ppl).

    What a messy post, I'm starvin though, gonna go grab food...if something doesn't make sense or u have more qus just ask
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    (Original post by utkucan)
    eeek that timetable does indeed look quite evil. somehow i don't see myself myself making ALL of the lectures *sigh* i haven't even started yet and i'm looking into which lectures i'm going to miss - laziness at its best.
    but yay imperial for computing is now my definte firm choice now that i got my cam rejection this morning. woo i get to stay in london

    bosslady can you tell me a bit about the tutorials and stuff. and do you know how mac friendly the department is? i saw a dozen or so g5's so i'm guessing they're quite ok with it? what about the lecturers and stuff cos i didn't come across any major syntax differences and such between codes seeing as mac os x is unix with a pretty gui.

    also does anyone know what the wireless coverage is like around the campus.

    thank you all...

    -utku
    Computing students get two personal tutors (I get three, because I'm doind JMC so I get a maths one as well). One is a Personal Maths Tutor, for maths, logic. The other is a Personal Programming Tutor, s/he marks the lab work you do and helps with programming. There's 50 minutes a week with each of them. My PMT has a group of 6 tutees, usually we go though the Logic that we've handed in that week which she has marked, then look through the unassessed questions of the next homework. And any questions anyone asks. We don't go through any maths because we're a JMC group -- we don't do the maths computing people do, but I assume they can go through maths in these sessions too. With my PMT, we get back the lab work we did, he tells people why they lost marks, and goes through ways of coding stuff that's perhaps better than what we did outselves.

    Then there's the tutorials with the whole class -- one for Logic, one for programming, one for Architecture (which the computer people call Computer Systems, but Architecture sounds better ). And probably for other stuff, no doubt Bosslady will reply. The lecturer hands out sheets of questions, we do them. Sometime they're assessed, sometimes not. The lecturer and a helper (4th year student or PhD student) are there to help.

    There's 12 Mac G5s in the lab. Lab exercises are set to be done on a particular OS, so far Linux every time. Apart from the Macs, there are 61 Linux-only machines and the rest are dual Linux/Windows, most people use Linux for the programming as far as I can tell. You can use SSH (secure shell) to get a terminal on any of the linux machines though, so you can sit at a Mac and be doing your coding on a Lab linux machine (or do the same from home). The exams which you do on a computer will be on a Linux machine though. Of course, you could use Linux and configure it to be very much like Mac OS X -- this is certainly possible, to an extent, but I'm not sure how much of the annoying stuff you get (like the thing that happens when you press F10 or whatever). You can get the bouncy bar thing though, and the theme, and the menu bar of the program along the top of the screen. If you've never used Linux before, download it and have a look, it's good to be familiar with it before the start of term. Or since you've got a Mac, maybe just use a terminal for everything for a couple of weeks, that would have the same result

    There's wireless for the whole of Computing and most of Maths as far as I know, and looking at the coverage list most useful places are covered. I don't have a wireless card though.
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    (Original post by chaoscomplex)
    but I'm not sure how much of the annoying stuff you get (like the thing that happens when you press F10 or whatever)
    hey! i prefer the term "features that enhance productivity" as opposed to "the annoying stuff" :p:

    btw that's called expose, and if you got used to it, you'd know that you can't live without it :cool:

    joking aside, so you'd say it's a better idea to set my powerbook as an os x/linux dual boot maybe?

    what distribution is the dep using?
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    (Original post by chaoscomplex)
    we don't do the maths computing people do, but I assume they can go through maths in these sessions too. With my PMT, we get back the lab work we did, he tells people why they lost marks, and goes through ways of coding stuff that's perhaps better than what we did outselves.
    Nope....during PMT we do discrete or Logic, NOT maths methods.Our PMT does all the marking for the discrete /logic too. We have a separate tutorial and tutor for maths methods (calculus, matrices, complex nos) etc which is with a different guy (some people informally call him the PMMT-personal maths methods tutor)

    I pretty much agree with everything else chaoscomplex says, the wireless is v good, you can get it in the union, the JCR, DOC etc,
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    *suddenly realises all the lame PMT jokes that no doubt come with this all* :rolleyes:
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    (Original post by chaoscomplex)
    My room's on the ground floor and I don't get disturbed -- it depends on the hall, no one needs to walk past my room unless they also live on the ground floor.

    My roommate does Physics, and rarely leaves before me, and doesn't do much work in the evening, but I think he does a lot of work at lunchtimes.
    Yuppers.... you have a lucky hall!! In mine... everyone has to walk past the ground floor rooms to climb the stairs up or down, so basically you hear everyone walking by.
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    (Original post by utkucan)
    *suddenly realises all the lame PMT jokes that no doubt come with this all* :rolleyes:
    haha I once said to my second year friend "I've got my PMT just now, so I'd better go....Not sure how 2nd year works...Do you have PMT?" to which she replied " About once a month"
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    (Original post by utkucan)
    eeek that timetable does indeed look quite evil. somehow i don't see myself myself making ALL of the lectures *sigh* i haven't even started yet and i'm looking into which lectures i'm going to miss - laziness at its best.
    but yay imperial for computing is now my definte firm choice now that i got my cam rejection this morning. woo i get to stay in london

    could the computing students tell me a bit about the tutorials and stuff. and do you know how mac friendly the department is? i saw a dozen or so g5's so i'm guessing they're quite ok with it? what about the lecturers and stuff cos i didn't come across any major syntax differences and such between codes seeing as mac os x is unix with a pretty gui.

    also does anyone know what the wireless coverage is like around the campus.

    thank you all...

    -utku
    My professor has one of those dual processor G5 macs with da 20 inch LCD screen. So IC must support macs... however, I know that if you can't connect to the internet from your halls using your mac, you're on your own... they only provide help for windows based systems.

    A general note about computers... for most courses (apart from computing), there is no need nor the facilities to bring your laptop to lectures. There is no unified wifi all over uni and in every lecture hall. There aren't even power sockets or lan ports in all lecture halls. So don't rush to buy a state-of-the-art laptop cuz a cheaper desktop will still serve you well. BUT.. since you're in computing... well, this post is for all other students.
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    (Original post by boonkoh)
    SWISHMASTA: are you a pianist or a keyboardist? Cuz IC does have some good pianos in the Sherfield Building for student use, but not sure if they have keyboards...
    keyboardist, thing is i gota have it in my room where i can do my production, the pianos in that building might however be good for practice. accomodation wise, £100 a week will be manageable, since this will only be for my first year.
 
 
 
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