NATS bird Courses
NATS 1520 3.00 The Science and Technology of Music
Easy course if you can memorize terms and readings. Course uses a little bit of grade 11/12 math (think amplitude, cosine, sine – no actual math involved though, just terms and understanding what amplitude is when dealing with things like waves). Also has a chapter or 2 or gr 11 physics (think waves, circuits, voltage, amperes, ohms – very little math involved, just adding and subtracting). Attending lectures is not necessary, the book covers everything you need to know. Attending group work is mandatory though (usually lecture is ~2 hrs and group work is ~1 hr) where your group is given a sheet with questions to complete and hand in. If your memorization is good, getting a B+ or higher in this course should not be a problem.
NATS 1570 3.00 Exploring The Solar System
Fun course where you actually get to learn something and not just memorize terms and concepts for an exam to forget the day after. If you’re fascinated by astronomy this is the course to take, and it’s a GPA booster (guaranteed B+, A or higher if you can memorize things on planets and stars). 3 assignments that each take a few hours to do, 1 midterm, and a final. Attending lectures is not mandatory as 90% of the testing material comes from the slides. There are also weekly quizzes that are guaranteed 10/10s that take 10 minutes to do. Quiz material is not tested on the midterm or final.
NATS 1610 6.00 The Living Body
“Easy B course at least.. If u took grade 12 biology, it should be very easy.”
“A lot of work and memorization ! :S”
“If you have taken bio in high school … This will be a simple course … I basically studied for tests the night before and ended up with an A in the course. Never read the textbook, just attended lectures and studied from her ppt slides. The there are 4 tests, 2 major and 2 minor. The lab mark is worth 20% i believe and everyone got like 90s. I would highly recommend it! =)”
” If you have taken Grade 12 biology this class is a breeze, especially with Prof.Barbara C. You learn the basics of things like evolution, cells, easy cycles (water, carbon), body systems. Does not go into to much depth with it all. If you have not taken science since grade 10 i wouldn’t recommend this course. It’s 4 tests which add up to 75% and bi-weekly labs which account for 25% of your grade. The labs don’t always relate to the lectures but they are pretty simple from my experience.”
NATS 1660 6.00 The Biology of Sex
“Pretty interesting, not to hard and the labs are fun!”
NATS 1675 6.00 Human Development
“Good for those that haven’t taken science in gr10.. skips over anything to do with real science and sticks to easy definitions.”
NATS 1690 6.00 Evolution
“I got an A+. 4 tests all multiple choice and super easy labs. It will help a lot if you have a background in biology. — The first half of the course deals with basic biology (grade 11/12) like cells and genetics. The 2nd half focuses more on several topics on evolution. I would say a lot of bio is involved, but its basic stuff. There is a bit of history involving Charles Darwin and other scientists.”
NATS 1700 6.00 Computers, Information and Society
“Seemed to be pretty easy. The math part through me off though. Converting decimals into Binary, Hexadecimal and the list goes on…”
“The questions about computers was really easy, its kind of confusing because its like learning 3 different topics at once, if your good at math (computer math) converting back and forth then go for it”
“NATS1700 online seems very easy thus far this summer. 3 tests 2 assignments. the tests are fair but tight for time, however not a lot of material on each test.”
“I took that with Prof. Kashiyama who no one seemed to like because he didn’t spoon feed us. He gave clear and concise instructions but most people in the class were extra stupid that year, I think. The course was 3 exams online, 2 assignments and 3 mini reflections in the class forum. It was very easy but if you aren’t familiar with HTML/making a website and can’t be bothered to learn, don’t take the class because that’s what the two assignments involved. There was also binary which people hated. I personally really liked the course and found it to be super easy.”
NATS 1740 6.00 Astronomy
“Easy if you still remember the physics and chemistry of grade 11 &12.”
NATS 1745 6.00 History of Astronomy
“I suck in science while I was in high school and I never took any chemistry course, also my high school was 8 years from now, but I can say 1745 with Prof. Robin is quite easy. It is easy but have to put some efforts on memorization.”
“As long as you do the work an A is easily attainable.”
“Pretty straightforward. 4 assignments with a bit of math involved(nothing really past HS math skills needed)”
“I also took that course and would highly recommend it. I took it online and the prof was Robin Metcalfe. She will also probably be teaching the course again, but it may just say prof not available when on the time yorku website. You can probably call the department to see who the other professor is teaching the course.”
NATS 1760 6.00 Science, Technology and Society
“I was gonna take it but I just read up on the profs teaching and supposedly they’re horrible :/”
“Of what I’ve read if you do the work and do the textbook readings it’s not that bad. And the professor is pretty good!”
“I found it very easy actually. There were 3 tests 20% each and an essay. The tests were essay based. The lectures were straight forward & easy to understand, readings were a little more challenging. But i just studied the lectures and always got an A on the tests. And for the essay you read another book called Sacred balance by David Suzuki, such an interesting book! It talks about the environment. Overall, I found the class interesting & reasonable in terms of the workload.”
NATS 1775 6.00 Technology and Civilization
Professor: Vera Pavri
Semester Taken: Fall-Winter 2011/2012
Breakdown: 10% Attendance, 25% Midterm, 30% Technical Controversy Essay, 35% Final Exam
Comments: It was a fairly easy and painless NATS course. You learn about the impact that technology has on society and what determines the success or failure of a particular technology. I wasn’t really interested in the material, but the professor is a good and clear lecturer so it was okay. The professor posts detailed notes online, so all I did was come to lecture and highlight relevant parts while occasionally writing something down. There is a 10% attendance mark, but you can just leave after the professor marks down that you’re there so it’s not that big of a deal. I did not enjoy writing the essay, but it’s actually not that difficult as long as you start at least a few weeks before the due date. Other than the essay, I barely did anything for the course. The lectures along with the notes posted online made things so clear that I didn’t have to do much other than show up to class in order to get a good grade on the midterm and final.
Recommend?: Yes, absolutely. There are probably NATS courses that are easier and don’t involve writing an essay, but this course is a good choice. The professor is excellent, and the material is clearly explained. I think that the breakdown has changed slightly since I took it, so I’d recommend finding a more recent course outline.
“Take it! The prof is just wonderful ! if you attend class you’ll do very well! She’s clear and when you attend you know exactly what will be on the exam she makes it obvious that it is important plus attendance counts for your mark she puts up lecture notes before class and they are pretty informative so then you can just input any expansion of her points that she says in class! loved the prof.”
“No physics nothing hard just info its midterm a final and one essay if I remember correctly, its about different technologies and how different societies used them, it covers telephone, telegraph, the Manhattan project etc… its quite interesting.”
NATS 1840 6.00 Science, Technology and the Environment
“Really easy, barely went to the lectures and tutorials and came out with a B+! (Although, I don’t advise that lol go to class) Only 2 essays, 1 10% proposition letter, one midterm and a final! – with Prof. Ron Chopowick”
Course Code/Title: NATS 1840 6.00 Science, Technology and the Environment
Semester Taken: Winter 2014 [Compressed 6-credit Full-Year Course]
Professor: Ian Slater
Breakdown: 10% Reading Summary and Critique, 10% Annotated Bibliography, 30% Essay, 20% Final Exam, 30% Quizzes (7 quizzes in total, drops lowest 2 marks to leave you with 5 quizzes worth 6% each)
Comments: I decided to take this course as an elective after having to drop two courses during the fall semester due to incompetent instructors. This was a compressed six-credit course typically meant to be full-year crammed into one semester. With another professor, I would have sat through six hours of lecture per week (3 hours per day, 2 days a week) and had a bunch of material to cover. Ian Slater only lectured for an hour to an hour and a half per day and did his best to simplify concepts for the class. What could have been very painful and dull turned out to be easy and interesting. His lectures were informative, brief, and to the point. Assignments were fair and the two writing assignments before the essay were meant to prepare the class for writing the essay. Instead of a midterm, we had biweekly quizzes that were based on the lecture material covered after the previous quiz. The final exam was very straightforward and all multiple-choice. Slater doesn’t penalize his students for handing things in late and says that you can hand in any assignment a week after the official due date or just hand it in with the final essay at the end of term. The professor was flexible, friendly, and very approachable.
Recommend?: Yes, I absolutely do recommend this course. That said, there are some things about it that other people may not like. Slater is an excellent instructor, but he does talk fairly quickly. I suggest recording lectures to help with this. Also, I didn’t get a whole lot of feedback about how I was doing the course while I was actually in the course. The TAs marked slowly and I had to see the professor about my grades after the course was over during a day that he arranged to check that I was being marked fairly. I can’t complain because I did very well, but people who are anxious about their grades won’t like not knowing where they stand. I also don’t suggest taking a compressed six-credit course if you can help it; things do move quickly and it can get overwhelming. The professor’s website is located here: http://www.yorku.ca/slater/ and you can click on “Current Courses” to get an idea of what he teaches.
NATS 1870 6.00 Understanding Colour
“I have a mixed feeling for this course. took it last summer. easy but super tedious. The breakdown consists of online quizzes every week, 5 assignments, research paper (not a real paper.. you just compare the news in a newspaper the with the original academic article), a midterm and a final.”
NATS 1930 6.00 The Science of Computation
Professors: Patrick W. Dymond, Michael R. Jenkin
Breakdown: 20% Labs/tutorials (2% per lab, 10 labs every 2 weeks), 20% Midterm 1, 20% Midterm 2, 40% Final Exam (all tests are multiple choice)
Comments:“You have two professors teaching the course. Their names are Patrick Dymond and Michael Jenkin. I would not say they are really interesting/great lecturers, but they are pretty easy-going if you ask me, and open to questions. Patrick deals more with the theoretical aspects of the course – e.g. explaining how a Turing machine works, and about computer algorithms – this part is more examinable, and if you can do some basic diagram tracing, you can easily get this part of the course done well. I liked Patrick more overall.
Michael Jenkin discusses topics such as robot ethics, and a bit on programming philosophy/history. Not too much is tested on these, but they are just a few issues experienced in today’s technological world.
As per evaluation schemes, there are 10 labs/tutorials, where you are required to attend just to play around with the computers. You run programs like Alice and JFLAP which simulate machines and algorithms that you discuss in the classroom. Just show your TA you did your work, and you get 2% right away. The 10 labs add to 20% of your grade. They are also necessary for exam preparation because some questions in the exam require you to have some knowledge on what you did in the labs. (If you show up, you get essentially free 20%)!
There are two mid-term tests, worth 20% each. One is in November and one is late in February. When I took the course, both tests had 40 multiple choice questions, to be done in 1.5 hours. Some questions are tricky and require a bit of thinking. I found the questions to be fair actually. There are no surprise questions on the tests.
The final exam is handed out in April during the exam period. Again, it’s all multiple choice, and it’s worth 40% of your grade. You have only a few more questions than you did in the midterm tests.”
Recommend?: It depends on whether you want your tests to be strictly multiple choice. But, here are some pros: first, there are no textbooks or course kits required! Everything you need to read is supplied online on PDF files. They are usually short and to the point, and there are often weeks where no readings are necessary. Second, many lectures are video-recorded, so if you feel like reviewing what was said in class, you can go home and watch the lecture videos again. Third, there are no assignments/written work, unlike every other NATS course I’ve heard about!