Evaluation Comments
Course:Automata Theory and Formal Grammars

Quarter:Autumn 03/04
Time: Tu 17:45 - 21:00
Location: Loop Campus
James Riely PhD

Associate Professor
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Summary     1       2       

What are the major strengths and weaknesses of the instructor?

1.   The knowledge of the material was definately a strength of the instructor. I didn't really enjoy the lectures however. There were moments where the instructor just assumed too much (in terms of our knowledge). An example of this would be a proof we were assigned. The proof required quite a bit of number theory knowledge. I personally just got out of MAT141 in the summer and have hardly ever looked at number theory. Perhaps the prereqs for this course should be reconsidered.

What aspects of this course were most beneficial to you?

1.   The proofs did help improve my abilities in logic. However, I mostly enjoyed the programming assigments. I felt that having students write a DFA data structure was VERY valueable to their programming abilities.

What do you suggest to improve this course?

1.   Make it more interesting! Apply it to a more exciting area of computer science. Application is necessary to keep student's attention. Without it, we are just stuck saying to ourselves "What's the point of all this noise?"

Comment on the grading procedures and exams

1.   Very generous.
2.   Grading can be inaccurate since problems and proofs can be correct, but is marked wrong because the teacher disagrees or has a different answer...also there is no partial credit. The professor should also understand and solve a problem before he expects us to do it.

Other comments?

1.   Not a bad course when it boils down to it. Perhaps I have yet to see where all of this knowledge will be put to use in my technical life, but hey, knowledge is knowledge.