Evaluation Comments
Course:Concepts of Programming Languages

Quarter:Autumn 05/06
Time: 01:00 - 01:00
Location: Distance Learning
James Riely PhD

Associate Professor
Instructor homepage

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What are the major strengths and weaknesses of the instructor?

1.   Strengths: Energetic, very interested in the material, knowledgableWeaknesses: no obvious ones
2.   Professor Riely has a positive attitude, but he is disorganized, failed to cover pertinent material before assigning problems in our homework, and put questions on the midterm that we had not covered at any point in class. I feel that he needs to pay attention to what he is doing and make sure that he covers everything he is supposed to cover, and pay attention when making up tests and assignments to insure that he when over all pertinent material.
5.   Learn a lot from this class.
6.   No complaints about the instructor, but for many lectures it was impossible to read what was written on the board over COL.
7.   Strengths understands the material presented and able to give a well rounded lecture on the subject material.
8.   Very knowledgeable instructor but assumed too much knowledge in students.
9.   Quite strong. Able to present relevent ad-hoc material. Only improvement would be to concisely publish all of the answers to questions posed in the lecture material and solved in class. ML programs in class were extremely helpful, but I had to repeatedly start-stop COL to work through the examples on my own.
10.   The instructor seems to make a lot of mistakes during the in class examples. He seems to have quite a bit of mistyped examples on the lecture notes as well. This is very confusing during lectures as well as studying at home. Also the professor tends to interupt students when they ask questions. He often answers that we will get to that later or when interupting, guides the question to an answer he knows. Also, it seems that some of the examples on the lecture notes include non working examples... this is not beneficial when studing from them. For example he will have a variable or type that is not defined and this can be misleading... misleading lecture notes do not help students.
11.   The instructor was always available for help and he treated me very well.
12.   My initial feeling about this subject was most uninteresting course in the curriculum. But Prof. Riely made it very interesting. Indeed it was outstanding. I very glad I took this class with him.
13.   Excellect communication and presentation skills

What aspects of this course were most beneficial to you?

1.   I wanted and received a better understanding of the underlying aspects of programming languages.
6.   I found functional programming to be a fairly interesting topic.
7.   BNF Grammar
9.   Exposure to non-imperative languages
10.   Getting into a few programming languages and actually using them.
12.   Comparison to various Languages
13.   The Text book, Notes

What do you suggest to improve this course?

1.   Better main text book (Sebesta). The one we used had WAY too few examples. Entire topics are explained with little or no charts\graphs\code\examples. I was very unhappy with the main book.Was the book "inappropriate and dull" like question 5 above? No. But was it a book I thought could use improvement. Resoundingly, YES.
3.   Review of whiteboard as notes are written down
6.   I found the HW to be a bit too easy--so easy that I could finish them without even viewing the lecture or doing any reading aside from skimming of the lecture notes.
7.   Little lest time spent on ML although it is a great language for experimentation. 99.9% of us will not ever use it. Do something else TCL, Perl, Python, Assembler
8.   Your instructors would benefit from taking some education classes on presenting material in ways that promote learning. Its not enough to know the material yourself
10.   better examples that are not confusing and can get the point across. less typos in lecture notes.
12.   Hiring qualified Professor like Prof. Riely makes the course very interesting. Likewise removing lectures like Andre Berthiaume from the faculity. I recommend Prof. Riely’s photo should be placed at the CTI website instead of the proudest + sadist like Andre Berthiaume. Whenever I visit the CTI website I see Andre Berthiaume’s photo and that make me sick (puke).
13.   The revival of the course contents

Comment on the grading procedures and exams

1.   Fair and well done. The homeworks were fun and challenging.
6.   It would be nice to get exam comments emailed or posted on COL instead of by snail mail.
7.   Grading was fair. Exam question may be a little unclear. I spent many a minute rereading the same question trying to determine what was really being asked.
9.   Fine
10.   I felt that the exams included instructions that were either too limited to be helpful and or confusing. This presents distance learning students with a big problem... we can't ask for clarity. I find that some of the questions on the exam are tricky.
11.   I was very pleased with the grading.
12.   Prof. Riely’s grading is outstanding.
13.   Fair and Impartial

Other comments?

1.   Get a new book. Other than that I really enjoyed the class and thought it was informative and usefull.
4.   There were problems with the COL recording. The marker often did not work correctly. This is a major problem for DL students.
9.   Best of my 7 lecturers to date (Dahbur was pretty strong as well)
12.   Prof. Riely treated all the students very fairly and without any prejudice.