I was one mouse click away from withdrawing from high performance computing architecture (HPCA).
Honestly, I consider this course one of the most difficult courses I’ve taken, ever. Sure, some of the difficultly has to do with the rigor: watching lengthy lectures, answering quizzes, coding (3) c++ projects (modifying a branch predictor, calculating cache misses, calculating coherence misses) and 2 cumulative exams. But most of the difficulty stems from the fact that the syllabus was left untailored for the summer term, which is shorter than fall and spring terms by a little more than 3 weeks. And as a result, I felt like I was drinking water through a firehose, content bursting out at a rate that I could barely consume.
Ultimately though, I’m glad I decide to stay enrolled in the course to the ever end. Because right before the drop deadline, the midterm grades were released and I practically tanked: 69⁄100 (i.e. D). Scoring so poorly on the midterm, I was guaranteed to not get an A in the course — even if I aced the rest of the assignments and exams — and on top of that, I would have to hussle just receive a B. But I felt that I had already invested so much studying time and I believed that I could really pull of a B in the class (which I think I did, just waiting on the final project grade to be released).
In short, this class was hard as hell but was seriously rewarding. I learned a ton of material and in my next post, I’m going to share some of the things I learned.