Evaluation Comments
Course:Concepts of Programming Languages

Quarter:Winter 03/04
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.   The course presentations were suberb, and the material covered was excellent.However, between the lecture, the readings, homeworks and exams. Lecture, good and easy to interpretreadings, good and easy to interprethomeworks, not consistant to the level of dificulty in the lectures.Exams, not consistant to the level of dificulty in the homeworks.
2.   I think the instrucor is very enhusiastic over the material and I really do not see need for improvement.
3.   Strength:Is fairly knowledgeable in the subject field. Weakness:1)Way too often the homework did not necessarily coordinate with what the lecture was on. He does not give enough in-class examples that will relate to what the homework will be. 2)It also seems like we are bothering him if we ask to go over homework in class. 3) Assumed that we had the knowledge of grad students and taught the class this way.
4.   Being that the instructor normally teaches 447, I felt that he taught 347 as if we were grad students with a larger knowledge base. It seemed that the majority of the class had a difficult time understanding the objectives of the course. Homeworks were significantly more difficult than examples gone over in class and sometimes felt very disconnected from the lecture.
5.   he explains the difficult material very well
7.   Strengths:-concentrated on important issues most-provided with challenging homeworks, which forced to think hard and finally understand the material better-Provided with extensive class notesWeaknesses:-Small number of examples with answers of complicated concepts or problems.-Sometimes went too fast over complicated concepts
8.   knows his subject very well. has a broad knowledge of other areas related to computer science.weakness: assignments need to be more focused.

What aspects of this course were most beneficial to you?

1.   The lectures were very informative, and the instructor truely displayed his thourgh knowledge in the subject.
2.   Since this is the last class I need to graduate, what was most beneficial is his study material so I can be prepared for the core exams for graduate school.
3.   Surprisingly, none. This is probably the first class that I've taken at DePaul that I can say this.
5.   learning the basis for concepts that are used by other languages such object oriented languages
7.   The improved knowledge of the concepts of the programming languages, how they relate to each other. Improved general understanding in how languages work, what are the differences between languages.
8.   concepts

What do you suggest to improve this course?

1.   Make the lectures more difficult, and the homeworks and exams, in my opinion, should be consistant with the lecture difficulty, as the homeworks and exams are were your interpretation of the material is to weighed on whether you understand the material.
2.   I've aken this class before under Marrero and was not satisfied whatsoever. The guy only did programming and I did not learn anything! By taking this class again it is truly like coming into a different world. Riely covers so much in such a little time that its quite overwhelming.
3.   Unfortunately, I don't think any improvement is needed for the class. The class in its current format, needs to be removed from the CS requirements. (See "Other comments.")
5.   change the main book which is "Programming Languages" by Ravi Sethi. It is outdated and Im positive there is another book out there that is more updated and explains things better that this book.
6.   Mention Perl -- it has both static and dynamic scoping, closures, "object-oriented" semantics built on top of a procedural language (so it would provide another example on top of the C -> C++ one), and a lot of other things we discussed in class where the instructor had to introduce and compare multiple languages to discuss the difference.Ruby and/or Python would also be a useful addition.
7.   Change the textbook. Current book did not help to understand the material. Most information we learned was delivered through class notes, and in many ways the book was not really helpful in understanding that information.
8.   less ml, more about other languages and technologies

Comment on the grading procedures and exams

1.   The homeworks and exams required learning outside the scope of the lectures, which made it very difficult for me to gage my performance in the material taught.
2.   His grading is fair.
3.   no comment
4.   Grading seemed fair, but the exam was "over the top" challenging.
5.   grading procedures were very fair
8.   fair

Other comments?

1.   I wish you the best in your teaching profession, and outside work, I think you are extremely knowledgable.
3.   1)I was/am incredibly disappointed by this class. More so by the contents rather than the teaching methods. I ask you this. Why is over %50 of this class taught using the SML language when in fact this language is barely even used in real word and there is a high probability that none of us will ever use it. It would be much more beneficial to my future career if this class was taught using java and not SML. I truly do not understand the logic of this and it is quite disturbing. 2)I was also not happy that part of the other %50 of the class was used teaching C/C++. I'm would not be unhappy learning a new language, but it was assumed that the students already knew how to program in C/C++ and if you didn't, we were told to learn it. Now, the last time I checked, DePaul is a Java school and not a C++ school. Where was I to learn about C++. Taking an into to C++ class does not qualify me as a C++ programmer. This needs to be reevaluated.
4.   Overall, I feel that Prof. Riley is probably a great educator, but he needs to recognize and understand the audience he is teaching to.
8.   a very good course.