Evaluation Comments
Course:Computer Systems I

Quarter:Autumn 11/12
Time: Tu 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.   Explains material very well, interesting guy to listen to.
2.   Speaks clearly, at a reasonable fast pace and humorously (strengths).
3.   Prof. Riely really understands a lot about the subject and Unix. He does well at trying to explain the concepts and provide interesting background information about the topic.
4.   Professor Riely is a very smart individual who definitely knows the subject extremely well. However I would not say that his method of teaching is very effective. I just think he went over some of the material too quickly or did an average job of explaining it. I do like how he offers help after class though.
5.   -Extremely intelligent-Respects and cares about students-Grading was fair
6.   Extremely helpful with homework assignments. He was well aware of what would cause us problems and always help us get on the right track before starting the assignment.
7.   Professor Riely moved too quickly through the material for 300 level class
8.   The instructor gives very informative and interesting lectures, but he has a tendency to confuse numbers and variables.
9.   Material was presented quickly - but that is to be expected. I think he made the course material funny and interesting even though I found the material itself very hard.
10.   Very dedicated and extremely intelligent. I look forward to taking a more interesting course with him in the future.
11.   Great enthusiasm and energy for what could be a dry subject.
12.   He is a genius and knows a ton about the course material.
13.   He had good office times. He was always willing to answer questions during office hours and sometimes even after those hours.

What aspects of this course were most beneficial to you?

1.   I enjoyed the homework assignments quite a bit, very challenging but also fun and informative.
2.   General problem solving
3.   Really enjoyed learning how computer systems work.
4.   Learning assembly was very interesting.
5.   -The section discussing Buffer Overflow
6.   As a person that went through the DePaul Computer Career Program ages ago and then worked in the industry for many years, the information presented in this course is exactly what I am looking for in this degree. CCP was an excellent program, but it was not able to provide the broad knowledge base needed to be a top-rate programmer because of time constraints. With courses such as 373 I can see that I will soon gain exactly what I will need to make giant strides in my programming abilities.
8.   The class lectures and quizzes were more beneficial than the homework labs as the labs were
9.   The labs
10.   Learning how the exploit programs.
11.   The later labs (bomblab and buflab)
12.   I liked buffer overflow attacks the most because it is sp simple and also so powerful.

What do you suggest to improve this course?

1.   Thought it moved a little bit slow.
2.   Leave it like this
3.   Slides are too complicated and out-dated. Text is too difficult to comprehend ahead of class. Weekly quizes based on text material is too difficult without going over the material in class. Text goes over topics that are not covered in class so it is even more difficult to prepare for weekly quizes.
4.   Dividing the course into sections would be very helpful. There are some things we went over that are just too similar and should be categorized differently.
5.   -Have longer office hours. -Focus more on assembly code.
8.   Perhaps changing the homework labs so that they are more spread out over the course of the quarter.
9.   I think this course HAS to be paired with at least one tutor given the course material.
10.   The C book is not used/required and therefore was a waste of money. Any questions could have been found by 'googling' as we are dealing with one of the most popular programming languages of all time.
11.   The datalab took a ton of time and I don't feel as if I really learned a lot from it. It was just puzzles that took a long time to figure out and weren't great learning exercises.
12.   I think that discrete math (mat140) teachers should tell students to take csc373 right after discrete math. The first part of the course relaid mostly discrete math and taking it a year after taking discrete math makes the first lab very challenging.
13.   the first lab. a bit more explanation on that lab would have been very helpful. A tutor for this class would have helped as well.

Comment on the grading procedures and exams

3.   Grades as explained in the syllabus.
4.   His grading is fair and always goes over the quizzes.
5.   Everything was graded quickly and fairly.
8.   The grading procedures for homework and exams were straightforward, explained beforehand, and easy to understand.
9.   Fair and reasonable
10.   They were fair. Past exam's would be helpful in studying for the midterm and final.
11.   Grading was fair and tests material was relevant to lectures/reading.
12.   Grading was timely. The use of automated grading was good because it gave students an idea of what they would get before the assignment was manually graded.

Other comments?

3.   A tutor should be available for this course. The option of extra credit would be nice.
4.   Professor Riely is a great person, also very funny. If I had to suggest something I would say he has to break down the subject down to something a little more understandable and build up from there.
5.   Thanks for a great quarter!
10.   This course should not be a requirement for a graduate student in a software engineering program. Most grad students should have acquired this knowledge in undergrad.