MA1521 Calculus for Computing

Module: MA1521 Calculus for Computing

Semester taken: AY 2018/19 Semester 2

Lecturer: Dr Leung Pui Fai, Fred

Tutor: Mr Liang Senwei

Textbook: Thomas’ Calculus in SI Units, 13/E

What it is about

This module teaches some basic calculus that are relevant to computing students. It is basically the calculus component that were taught in H2 Mathematics plus a little bit more extra content.

Assessment components

  • Online test - 20%

  • Finals - 80%


I was rather confident with my calculus back in my pre-university days, but after such a long time since I last touched it, I was a little rusty but could pick up most of the content taught during the lectures rather quickly. The lecturer tends to speak rather slowly and with a slight accent, but the lecture notes are very detailed and had a lot of examples for you to see how certain concepts are being applied.

There are about 3 hours of lectures per week, which can be rather overwhelming when the content covered is something that you have not learnt before. However, the lecturer ended his lectures somewhere in Week 9, so that would free up a lot of time for you to revise your concepts.

To be fair, after going through the whole module, I do not really see how I can apply the concepts that I have learnt in this module into CS. Seems to me that this module is just a way to keep us busy.


The tutorials are 1 hour per week and tests mostly on the concepts taught during lectures. They are not very difficult and most of the tutorials can finish covering the content. If your tutor is good, he might do a summary of the topic at the start of the tutorial, which will be very useful for making your cheatsheet for finals.

The online test is extremely easy to score as well. Most, if not all, students get full marks for the online test.


The finals had 5 questions with 2 parts each. You are required to present your full working and write your final answer inside the answer box. If you practiced the past year papers sufficiently, the paper should not be too difficult for you.

For me, the paper was a little bit difficult because I did not have enough time to do the past year papers (was very focused on CS1231 instead). I left about 3 parts incomplete and because the bell curve for this module is rather steep, I was not too optimistic about my results.

Other information

Assignment workload: There were no assignments.

Project workload: There were no projects.

Readings: None

Recommended if: A compulsory module for CS students.

Rating: 4.0/5. A little overwhelming with the amount and pace of content taught at the start, and the high finals weightage can potentially kill you.

Expected grade: B (not too optimistic since finals was very difficult for me)

Actual grade: B+

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