Evaluation Comments
Course:Compiler Design

Quarter:Winter 07/08
Time: ::: - :::
Location: Distance Learning
James Riely PhD

Associate Professor
Instructor homepage

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Summary     1       2       3       4       

What are the major strengths and weaknesses of the instructor?

1.   clear teacher, fun
2.   instructor has a broad knowledge but it seemed that he had not taught this class before and was teaching it from someone else's material so he was learning it along with us. instructor has only graded one assignment so far and has not followed syllabus regarding posting of other grades. he seems to be unorganized when it comes to grading and posting assignment submissions.
3.   Definitely one of the top instructors for his general knowledge, experience, oration, presentation / organization / availability etc.
4.   +Knows and is interested in the subjects+Easy to communicate+Good code and build environments+Interesting examples-It takes to long to get all the programs graded

What aspects of this course were most beneficial to you?

1.   coding
2.   the compiler itself was interesting and the homeworks 1-3 were interesting and helped understand what goes into a compiler. the lectures have been average as far as explaining how things work. i have learned more on my own with the book and with the source than from class lectures.
3.   The project..
4.   Exploring and extending a simple compiler of a familiar language was a good exercise.

What do you suggest to improve this course?

1.   more examples of homework in class
2.   it might be better next time since he will know the material better the first time around.
3.   Get rid of the CLOGs code base or at least clean it up and document it - its an undocumented mess thats almost impossible to make any sense out of without substantial use - needs to be simplified with clear examples.. or better yet toss is out and write in a language like ruby where you can present the ideas without all the clutter. besides, yet another class being taught in java is getting boring / tedious - heres a chance to expose new languages to people.
4.   I think there should be more assignments or an midterm or final exam.

Comment on the grading procedures and exams

1.   graded really slowly, no exams
2.   what grading procedures? still only have one graded assignment after submitting 4 assignments. for the first homework grading seemed fair, can't comment any further. no exams in this course due to project, so that does not apply
3.   The first couple clogs HWs were pretty straightforward but the third was brutal - mostly because we had no clue how the code base worked and no documentation / reference to use - granted we could ask the forum but the level of help needed was unreasonable for a forum.
4.   The grading could have been done more promptly.

Other comments?

1.   should have either hw or exam over last material
2.   good teacher and knowledgeable, just seems very unorganized with respect to assignments and following through on what he says will be done regarding timelines.
3.   Coping with the CLOGs mess really was painful - it was like a really bad maintenance programming job that you inherited and dread each day going to.. and not like the fairly stimulating subject that it is - fortunately the project is turning out to be a good learning experience..