Evaluation Comments
Course:Concepts of Programming Languages

Quarter:Winter 02/03
Time: Tu 17:45 - 21:00
Location: Loop Campus
James Riely PhD

Associate Professor
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What are the major strengths and weaknesses of the instructor?

1.   Strengths - Knows his stuff, presents it with a great deal of infectious enthusiasm.Weaknesses - He is a busy man. In addition, sometimes his mania gets the better of him in the classroom.
2.   Makes class interesting, easy to grasp concepts, very knowledgeable with related topics.
3.   Dr. Riely is very animated in the classroom, full of energy. This is very helpful during long evening classes. His presentation style lends itself to a relaxed atmosphere, yet mnages to cover a broad sweep of programming language topics.
4.   Actually teaches and doesn't just read notes outloud.
6.   strengths:kept class interesting - lively presentationweaknesses:seemed to gloss over many topics - but this may be necessary based on the spectrum of items to be covereddoes not delve into questions presented in class or by students after class
7.   Very well organized.Takes time to explain.Does not just read the slides.Goes through examples in class.Was harsh on grading relative to other professors

What aspects of this course were most beneficial to you?

1.   Working with the various obscure languages. In addition, even though we didn't talk much about Java directly, I feel I know it better know than I did before, having examined things like types, binding, etc.
3.   The exposure to different approaches taken in developing programming languages provides a new perspective in how applications may be supported, as well as pointing out what changes (or lack of change) has occured since my last programming languages class 15 years ago. I was already veryadept at understanding effective language usage, but now I feel those skills have been refreshed.
4.   Introduction to other programming langauges than Java
6.   learned about languages other than java and c++
7.   It gave an overview of different programming languages and how they related/borrowed ideas to/frome each other as well as how they progressed from one to another. It was mildly interesting but not really that important in real world development. This course is designed to give you a background to pursue further academic endeavors.

What do you suggest to improve this course?

1.   I'd work in even more languages, if possible. Where does Visual Basic fit in? Compare Java and C#. Maybe take a cursory look at other languages by assigning simple tasks (Like, create a Binary Tree) in each of several languages, and comparing the results. I guess in order to pull this off, you might need another class to ensure that everyone had the a sufficient basic skillset with these languages. You don't have the time in this class to teach people how to program in them.
3.   It seems there was a great deal of time spent on iterative languages - no doubt because they are the most heavily used - and I would have enjoyed a bit more time with some of the more esoteric languages. I suppose this is really more of a survey course...
4.   Highlight and review how each of the languages compared to one another. A concrete checklist of their components
5.   Improve the lecture notes. There were many times that the notes had not been updated or contained errors. Also, they are a little too brief, making them difficult to understand when reviewed a day or two after the lecture. Include some examples with detailed explanations (such as for the differences in the parameter passing techniques. Here, having one example where the output was different for each of the techniques would have been very helpful).
6.   try not to cover so much material - in many cases i am able to simply replicate the examples given in class but am not sure that i have really understood the concept.
7.   None.

Comment on the grading procedures and exams

1.   Fair. I always knew where I stood. I would have liked more feedback on my code, though.
2.   fair
3.   Grading procedures and exams were fabulous. This quarter was a pleasant change from the rest, which were pretty spotty as far as assignment grading efficiency. As mention in the CSC491 comments, I was pleased that these were not open book/open note exams. These tested comprehension much more that ability to build reference skills.
7.   It seemed that the instructor did not have a standard grading method or scale.

Other comments?

1.   I am leaving this class with a desire to learn more about Perl and C#. Unfortunately, CTI does not offer any courses in these, I am very disappointed to find that out. Even if it were a 200 level class, I would take a class to learn those languages better.Also, I can't imagine undergoing this class without the "Optional" textbooks for Perl and ML. Those aren't optional, in my opinion, and you do a disservice to students by listing them as such.
3.   I enjoyed the class a great deal, and the professor. Hopefully the rest of my courses will build on this quarter's experience. Thanks to Dr. Riely...
6.   it seemed that we jumped around too much between languages - maybe more of focus on one or two languages would be better.
7.   none