CSC 301 502
||Data Structures II
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What are the major strengths and weaknesses of the instructor?
- Prof Riely doesn't convey what needs to be done for assignments, and doesnt respond well to questions posed online.
- A strength is being able to simplify complex content, which make it easier to learn. A weakness is that the structure of class sometimes seemed disorganized, and it was unclear where some of the code examples were coming from (i.e. it just seemed like he'd open a random Java file and start working on code, so it wasn't immediately obvious how that code fit into the bigger picture).
- A major strength is the professor's response time to our homework questions. We had a google group for our class, and the professor would always respond to questions very quickly. Another strength was his use of several different tools during class. He would explain stuff writing code on the computer, drawing structures on the board, and showing demos on slides. This made the material very clear, and allowed us to visualize the material. A weakness would be in the grading. Specifically for the homework, i felt that partial points should be given despite not having the correct output.
- Being able to convey computer science lingo into an understandable form was their strength.
- lectures are clear
- Strength: Encourages students to research more into the material for the course and ask questions for the assignments. Weakness: Strange submission tun in for assignments
What aspects of this course were most beneficial to you?
- The midterm exam.
- Being able to see visual demonstrations for algorithms in the class notes
- The google groups the class had because it allowed us to have a forum where we can discuss issues and see immediate feedback from the professor.
- I enjoyed that challenge of this class and it really made my brain work.
- homework helped a lot in studying this course
- The boatload of extra material, in relation to the course, found on the course's website
What suggestions do you have that could help improve the course?
- Clearly go over how to solve homework in general so that students can apply that to the homework assignments and understand how to go about completing them.
- Create and work through in-class exercises with the class to reinforce the content and help students apply it. Professor Guy Zimmerman did this for my CSC300 class, and I think it was one of the most helpful aspects of the course...data structures can be complex! Those in-class exercises became an excellent study/review tool around exam time.
- To improve this course, I would suggest the professor better manage time. I felt like sometimes we were rushing important material and other times we were moving too slow. I know there are two topics that we did not get to, which I felt like we could have gotten to it had we not spent too much time on the material presented in the first 4 weeks of class. I also felt like towards the end of the quarter, we were very rushed and I felt that I did not fully comprehend the topics.
- Do a refresher on Java in the first week (examples: teaching the difference of a class variable vs local variable; the meaning of 'static' and 'this'). Sometimes I got caught up in learning the syntax of the language before I could get into the course material.
- Weekend or early work week submission for assignments
Do you have comments on the grading procedures and exams?
- Exam was reasonable, but grading is vague and confusing
- Some exam questions were confusing, to the point where I actually spent more time trying to figure out what the question was asking as opposed to actually answer the question. One example where I felt this way is the last question from the midterm.
- I already explained my thoughts on the homework, but as for the quizzes I felt that once again we should have been given more tries. Maybe 2 or 3 tries only because the quizzes contained about 3-5 questions and given that usually they were multiple choice, getting one wrong answer would cause a low grade. I also appreciated that the professor extended the times on the quizzes. They used to be 30 minutes, which were definitely not enough time. Extending the time of the quizzes definitely helped.
- Would like to see him maintain more of an atmosphere of respect during his office hours. I went to see him outside of class on a couple of occasions, and it didn't really seem like he wanted to help. There was one time where he actually spun his chair away from me and said "alright now be gone with you" after answering one of my questions, even though there were still other aspects of the class I was struggling with. There were also times when I legitimately didn't understand the content, and he told me he didn't think I was trying hard enough to understand/apply the content...that is something that's very discouraging to hear when you spent a significant amount of time outside of class trying to understand the material.
- Thank you for a great course! Loved the use of the Google Group, keep that going in the proceeding courses.
- No, but thanks for asking