Ahhh!!! January is finally over. One of the most hectic months of a student’s life at TUD, where you have exams, assignments, presentations and what not! Having completed a semester here at TUD corroborates my attempt to compare the study at TUB v/s TUD.
TUB has a semester pattern, in the sense, that the courses are taught throughout the semester followed by an exam towards the end. Whereas, here, in TUD it depends more on the course. Some courses are taught for just a quarter, essentially followed by an exam while some are taught the entire semester. At TUB, mostly courses have oral exams wherein you have a one-to-one with the professor and another person, like an external examiner, and they drill you with questions about the things from the course. At TUD, most of the courses I have seen are written exams though there are some courses which have oral exams but complemented with assignments. I haven’t yet seen a course having just an oral exam. This is a striking difference between the two universities and you need to get used to it if you plan to opt the COSSE program. Don’t freak out, it’s not that difficult. As a matter of fact, I found it fun!
At TUB, I was in the ‘math’ department while at TUD it is the ‘applied math’ department. I feel this apparently small difference in names of the department contributes to a dramatic difference in teaching. In mathematical jargon, this small “perturbation” leads to “large oscillations” in the solution.
When I was in TUB, the professors there wrote everything on the board. The theorems, examples, little theory that came along, everything was written in detail on the board. My handwritten notes were everything I needed for an exam. This, I think is due to fact that it’s a math department and there are other pure math courses taught here. Almost all the courses that I had at TUB the professor wrote everything on the board. At this point, you might think that I am being a child and expect to be spoon fed. Well, that is not the case. Being an engineering student myself, am not used to professors writing on the board. I feel it is necessary for math to be written on the board for it to be more elucidative.
I will be honest here. At TUD, some of the professors did write most of the things on board, but it was more elaborate at TUB. Personally, I had little/no difficulties following the courses at TUB while at TUD, sometimes, it was very unclear due to things scattered all around the board.
At this point, I would like to make it clear that I am not saying the profs at TUD aren’t good. It is just that, I personally liked the pattern of teaching at TUB better as I think I learnt a lot there, in terms of math than at TUD. But, then again, it was math!
If you have ever attended an engineering school, you would know that the engineering courses have a lot of syllabus and many a times the concepts are just explained. You don’t really need anyone to write it for you on the board as it is already there in text books. I feel that is why, the applied math department at TUD is more ‘engineerised’. Thus, the difference! For more engineering courses, I would definitely choose TUD over TUB.
In conclusion, I feel it would be nice to pursue math courses at TUB and engineering courses at TUD. This flexibility makes the COSSE program exquisite. You can chose to study the courses of personal interest at the best of the partnering institutions. Time and again, I will revisit this topic of TUD v/s TUB around different aspects like culture, experience, and so on. For now, this is it and hope it helps you have a better picture while choosing your program.