This page includes every written comment I have received on a course evaluation since winter quarter 2002, when CDM started using electronic evaluations. The links are given by year, quarter, course and section; thus 2002: w450a is a section of SE450 from winter quarter of 2002.
A few comments are inlined below. I have picked positive comments that that include specific details or represent the views of students that had difficulty with the material.
I like this class, it was more difficult then others, but I know that if I can pass this class then I can put my head down, focus, and pass any class.
Really excellent email communication, really helped with the course assignments.
Very good explanations of material in class. Is better than most at explaining problems. Is understanding. I was impressed by his exuberance in class; it was high, but not grating.I didn't think his teaching was in anyway sub-par. It was always average to excellent.
I can't think of too many weaknesses. Some would say he would run into snags with programming live in class, but in a roundabout way, it helps show us the process of looking at code at trying to figure out how to fix it. He was very entertaining and knowledgeable on the subject.
His classroom management skills exceeded those of my previous instructors. Prof. Riely and Prof. Streeter are among the best professors I've had so far at DePaul. I love that we work through the algorithms together without Java code and then we write the code together. I also love that he even questions the book materials as they are sometimes not right (typos and such). That shows that his head is really there in the classroom and cares about giving us the right information. I really liked getting all of the algorithms from each section of the book organized in the "algs4" folder. This made it extremely easy to search for algorithms for review. He kept class engaged with humor and made us laugh. Learning should be fun, challenging, and enlightening. He made it worth it. I never felt inferior or unwise in his classroom. Thanks for everything! I wish he was the teachers in my other classes.
I've had Prof. Riely twice now. I have greatly enjoyed his classes. Strengths: Understands the material backwards and forwards and explains it very well. Gifted lecturer. He picks assignments that are not exceedingly hard and help with comprehension of the subject matter. Goes above and beyond to answer questions after class and through email.Weaknesses: Not many. Last quarter I found his exams to be monstrously difficult, but this quarter the midterm was just right.
In general I took a LOT out of this course. I definitely had a tough time with it, which I'm happy with because I'd rather be struggling to learn something than sail through a course and get an easy grade. That's not what I'm paying for. Also, Professor Riely was pretty good about reading my face when I was confused and calling me out for it. Which I liked though, because there were times I was trying to understand something and I wouldn't say anything because I'd be trying to figure it out in my head, so when he'd call me out, I'd be almost "forced" to figure out outloud what it was I didn't understand.In general, definitely happy with this course and would definitely take another course with Riely if I could.
I find James Riely to be tough but I am learning a lot.
Challenging material for me, taught very well.
What aspects of this course were most beneficial to you? Being challenged every week with new concepts that maximized our understanding of subjects that few self-taught programmers would think or dare to tackle.
Strengths: very into the subject, funny, passionate and knowledgable. Going to class was really fun. FANTASTIC notes, I'm going to get back to them often in the future - they're so well done and store so many important hints. Supplementary reading he provides is very interesting, when the text is too long prof. Riely will even tell you which pages/section to read and which ones you can skip. He really knows this stuff.Weaknesses: sometimes he get's a little bit disorganized, switches between screens and computers (but I had to try hard to come up with that).
He is probably the best instructor I have ever met. Lectures have never been boring. One could actually see his passion for teaching.
Dr. Riely is an excellent professor. He is a natural lecturer and seems to genuinely care about the progress of his students. He presents difficult material in a very accessible way, but at the same time provides challenging work appropriate for the graduate level.
I have had Riely before and I enjoy taking his classes because he actusally makes you think. The homework and test are not just regeneration of class work but the application of the ideas/methods discusses. He actually allows you learn how and why to do things correctly.
It was great to take this course from Dr. Riley. I have never seen as much participation both in and outside of class as with this one.
This was one of the best-organized classes I've taken in CTI. In particular, the lecture notes were extremely well-structured (despite a few typos), and the presentation of the material was clear and rigorous.Moreover, I found the instructor's "meta-comments" - that is to say, comments ABOUT the process of constructing formalisms, doing proofs, etc. - to be very illuminating. My ability to translate between intuitive "pictures" and mathematical formalisms has greatly improved as a result of having taken this class.Finally, the difficulty level was just right. The fact that every single term used in the course was defined from the ground up (right down to basic set-theoretic notions) meant the entire course was, more or less, self-contained, putting everyone with basic mathematical knowledge on a level playing field.Overall, this was an outstanding course. I look forward to taking the semantics class in the Spring term.
Humor and tangential thinking patterns much appreciated and kept the class interesting. My mind works just as screwy, so I was very happy.