Evaluation Comments
Course:Data Structures I

Quarter:Winter 12/13
Time: ::: - :::
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.   Professor Riely has been GREAT for this very challenging class. He is interesting and funny in lectures, always responds to in-class questions well, and is amazingly responsive via email. He created a Google group for the class that was an invaluable way for all of us to share questions and information.
2.   Strengths: Enthusiasm of the subject, preperation of all the materials.Weaknesses: Very late in grading homework for first 4 assignments.
3.   Instructor is among one of the most knowledgeable I have had so far.
4.   Strengths: Very good at his craft. Intelligent and clever instructor who thinks at a very high level and very quickly.Weaknesses: Seldom answered students questions but brushed them off for "another time." Was prone to making jokes that put students down who he felt didnt perform at a high enough level. Not any particular student but just in general.
5.   Strengths: Passionate about the subject, funny
6.   Did a good job of presenting material in an entertaining fashion. I thought at times some topics could have used a more discussion, reviewing homework for example. Assignment feedback and grading would be better if performed a bit quicker.
7.   strengths - very knowledgeable, bright, articulate, and can teach abstract concepts very well.weakness - Sometimes need to ask exactly what should the output look like when we're given programming assignments. Would like to have it at the beginning so can start thinking earlier how to handle the work.

What aspects of this course were most beneficial to you?

1.   Challenging material for me, taught very well.
2.   The entire course was extremely important in terms of career development.
4.   Being challenged every week with new concepts that maximized our understanding of subjects that few self-taught programmers would think or dare to tackle.
5.   Program runtime analysis was great.
7.   Programming assignments, usage of google groups

What do you suggest to improve this course?

1.   None.
2.   Either less but more relevant homework, or more in class work/participation
3.   Ability to take another class before this class in Java that is perhaps more difficult than the intro to programming with python course. The jump between the two classes was a little too much for me with no familiarity in programming.
4.   For the instructor to create homework assignments himself instead of using that Algorithms book. That book is terrible at explaining what it expects and the instructor seldom clarified it. Most weeks it was like a shot in the dark turning in work since one was unsure if they even knew exactly what they were supposed to do.
5.   Use COL or D2L instead of personal website. It would have made it easier for me to keep track of my other classes if they all used the same interface.

Comment on the grading procedures and exams

2.   Grading for homework was slow, otherwise the professor is very fair.
3.   Grading of the midterm was lightening fast, homework grading was graded somewhat quickly.
4.   Grading was fair considering how wayward the homework assignments were. Midterm grading was very fair and the exam was well thought out and challenging. The instructor did well creating it and would do well to do the same with homework assignments.
5.   I thought the midterm was long for the amount of time given.
6.   I would have preferred faster feedback on assignments, or at least covering all answers in class.
7.   Grading of programming assignments was fair most of the time, although someone else did it. Only took midterm exam up to this point. Very thorough and tough, needed to be prepared.

Other comments?

4.   Dr. Riely is an extremely gifted man in his field. His quick thinking and programming savvy are a marvel to watch in lecture. It would be great if every now and then he would allow us students to just pick his brain about subjects and learn from his vast database of information instead of just diverting us for a later time.
5.   I look forward to the next sequence
7.   Some people never used java before. They took CSC401 - intro to programming, which uses Python. Maybe the intro to programming class should be done in java instead.