Evaluation Comments
Course:Concepts of Programming Languages

Quarter:Autumn 05/06
Time: W 17:45 - 21:00
Location: Loop Campus
James Riely PhD

Associate Professor
Instructor homepage

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What are the major strengths and weaknesses of the instructor?

1.   He is absolutely brilliant in terms of knowledge he has for the Course. Weaknesses are none.
2.   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.
3.   The instructor was very knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the subject.
4.   Stregths: He is an excellent professor.He has alot of knowledge and intelligence in CS and he really helps you understand things clearly.He replys to almost all your emails(questions).(I dont consider this as a weakness) You can't expect alot from him, you have to do alot on your own . He teaches excellent but little fast.
5.   Major strenghts :was technically sound.weakness:i dont find any.
7.   Strengths: Explanation of the concepts and how these concepts are applicable in modern programming languages. Explains it really well goes indepth to explain the concept
8.   strengths are that he is very knowledgable of the material, and very enthusiastic about teaching to students. lectures were well structured, and very informative.
10.   C language

What aspects of this course were most beneficial to you?

1.   All.
2.   CSC447 is fundamental stuff. I wish I had this course a long time ago. With only a few weeks into the class I was looking at programming languages in a new light. If you are serious about programming you need this class.
3.   Going through activation records was extremely helpful and interesting.
4.   Almost everything was beneficial.
5.   the programming part in c,c++,java
7.   The last lectures regarding SML and topics on parameter passing and scoping rules
8.   the homeworks were very beneficial because they covered all the important material, and were good preparation for the exams.
10.   Confusing

What do you suggest to improve this course?

1.   Keep the same professor every time.
2.   Not sure.
3.   It would be nice to discuss theory and then have in depth programming assignments relating the theory. It would've been nice to get more experience with programming languages such as perl or c. Or even small programs we could go through to see stack traces or memory dumps.
4.   To spend little less time and not to have alot of homework, that will make the student prevent from doing other homeworks.
5.   more examples on the home work prolems
7.   More lectures on SML could be added as the last homework(HW#8) was a tough one. More questions should be solved in class.
8.   I didn't really understand the purpose of learning all the different languages, i suppose there are benefits to understanding the theory of the different languages, but i had trouble finding the overall benefit of this course. maybe make it more clear why this is a required course would help make students be more interested in the material.
10.   I need a lot and a lot of examples.
11.   More examples of ASTs and the other concepts in the beginning would have helped a lot. It was really frustrating to have extremely simple examples in class and for homework when the problems on the midterm were orders of magnitude higher. Also, I think the teacher should spend 5 seconds or so explicitly mentioning that for converting between infix-postfix-prefix, the order of the operations is extremely important. For instance, (5 + 4) * 2 * 3 is not equal to (5 + 4) * 3 * 2 because the first operation is 5 + 4, then * 2, then * 3. I was under the impression that mixing the equation as long as it was logically equivalent and gets the same answer is good enough, but it wasn't and I got the whole problem wrong.

Comment on the grading procedures and exams

1.   Need to be a liitle more liberal in grading of the homework.
2.   Grading seems fair. Assignments are challenging but not impossible. The midterm was more difficult for me than I had expected and I felt well prepared, but that is not necessarily a complaint - only that maybe it would have been better if I had more study problems to work with than the homework assignments and lecture notes. Working more problems before the exam would have helped with tackling the exam itself.
3.   The grading was fair, the assignments were somewhat trivial at times. A couple of the questions on the exam weren't really reflective of the homework. Such as the question regarding specifics of JAVA or C.
4.   Very precise in grading.
5.   fair
7.   I am certainly not satisfied with the grading. For some questions there is not ONE definate answer so he doesnt give full marks even if the answer is correct. It also seems like the grader of the assignments applies the same rule
8.   very fair, exams were a good representation of the material covered in class.

Other comments?

2.   I really didn't know what to expect from this class. I suppose a lot of students consider this class to be one of those things that they would rather skip if they could- but I am really glad to have taken it. I think this class will make a lasting impact on my coding skills.
3.   It was a good class. Some of the topics were a bit dry, but it would've been nice to go more in depth about some of the concepts and where we can see the concepts in programming languages.
4.   If a student grasp knowledge quickly and has enough knowledge of programming languages, then he/she can take this subject.
5.   n/a
6.   I felt that the NoSe assignment, although fun, wasn't particularly helpful in understanding the course material.
9.   NONE
10.   There are some new programs we have to learn in this class, but I think there are not enough examples for me to get use to new program. It is very hard to follow! Sometime, I don't even know how to start my homework.