Tuesday, September 27, 2011

On attendance

As you all hopefully know, what is primarily examined during the start-up phase of the course is attendance - presence at lectures and at seminars. The requirement is 75% attendance (see further below).

Me and Åke are a little bit unhappy about many students' habits of dropping in 5, 10 or 15 minutes after a lecture has begun, or sometimes even after the break. Some of you probably have really good reasons at times, but for others it seems to be a bad habit. As a direct consequence, if you turn up after half the lecture you'll only get credit for half the lecture and we'll give you a harder time in general when you turn up late.

Just as mass media is selling eyeballs to advertisers, your eyeballs (or rather your attention) is what we "sell" (offer) to our guest who have graciously taken time off their busy schedules to come visit us. This week we will have the opportunity to hear lectures by four International "superstars" who have been flown in to Sweden for the Radio Day event. Be on time and do remember that you are KTH in the eyes of our guests.

There have been 14 activities this far (1 introductory lecture, 10 guest lectures and 3 seminars). Two of these were Swedish-speaking guests so we discount these. Almost all of you have met the requirements this far (75% of 12 activities = 9).

When I look at the schedule, I see 6 activities planned for this week, 3 activities next week and 2 activities the week after that for a total of 23 activities. That means you should attend a total of (at least) 17 activities in order to fulfill the requirements. Some of you are almost there after tomorrow, others have a longer way to go.

If you fail to meet the 75% attendance requirement, you will have a second chance by meeting two other requirements;
- Meeting a 60% attendance requirement (14 activities) and
- Giving a mini-lecture in front of the class at the very last occasion (Thu Oct 13).

The mini-lecture will consist of a 15-minute and will require you to do some independent research on a radio-related topic. Which topic? Well, after the last seminar this Friday, the class will have worked on ~25 topics during the last two seminars. Half of these will be picked by project groups. You can select any of the "remaining" topics that we leave behind. By looking into one of these topics, you learn more yourself and by presenting it you do the class a favor.

Post questions about this or any other blog post in the form of comments if you think your question and the answer is of interest to the class in general.


  1. It's very difficult to adapt to sudden changes in the schedule, when it's being changed on the day before. I don't say it explains every late coming. But It's not easy to balance this with all the other courses that have a fixed schedule. I do understand that you cannot plan every possible change but here is the problem as I see it.


  2. What is being suddenly changed?

    - The basic schedule (lectures) has for the most part been set from day 1 although we have changed lecture halls a lot.
    - A number of International speakers have been added to the schedule according to when they could come and these changes were announced more than two weeks ago.
    - Same things with seminars and these were carefully placed according to other (popular) courses' schedules.

    Tomorrow's lecture with our International guests *has* unfortunately been changed due to the fact that there was not a single lecture hall or seminar room available on all of KTH. There wasn't a room available a week or two weeks ago either, but hoped somebody would cancel their reservation (which they didn't). I understand the inconvenience, but I do want you to know that I have done everything that I could to fix this... Sorry for that anyway.

  3. Ok, I realize you probably only refer to the lecture this afternoon that was changed from 14-15 to 15-16, so let me reformulate my answer.

    I agree it's very unfortunate that we had to change the time. Unfortunately there really wasn't any other solution to the problem. It's not like we could ask them to come tomorrow (they're in Norway) or next week (they're in England). No lecture halls were cancelled and I even tried to book a hall that is (apparently) only used for presenting Ph.D. dissertations. Unfortunately I can't kick some other course out of a suitable lecture hall even if I think we have better reasons to claim one, so in there end there was no other option than to delay the lecture one hour.

    My hope is that although some students can't come because of the change of time, perhaps some other can come who wouldn't have been able to before...

  4. Hi Daniel,
    I haven't seen any update with regards to the topic and the speaker on tomorrow's lecture (30th September) at 8am in D3. May I know whether it is cancelled? Thanks.

  5. That lecture was cancelled a week ago, I think we had enough to do this week anyway. See:

    I hope no-one went there today!