Evaluation Comments
Course:Data Structures in Java I

Quarter:Autumn 16/17
Time: TuTh 10:10 - 11:40
Location: Loop Campus
James Riely PhD

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What are the major strengths and weaknesses of the instructor?

1.   Was good at answering back on homework questions, wasn't very good at explaining material in class
2.   Very effective teaching strategies. I learned a lot because he was able to explain everything really well. Sometimes I feel like the homework was very difficult because I didn't know where to start and I feel like I wasn't prepared enough for it.
3.   none
4.   LOUD which is perfect. Up to date and able to break down complex ideas for students. other than that I can't see any weaknesses
6.   Strength: sense of humor, being fair during exam time ("You write the exam paper for me, not computer; so I will understand missing bracket, for example, while computer won't even compile it"), reality tips ("This will appear in every job interview"), fun and useful facts ("This is what makes a different between a guy that finished some programming bootcamp and a computer scientist").Weakness: none noticed.
7.   Weaknesses, too fast in the materials. Strength would be, the instructor knows the lesson materials.
8.   He is very interested in the subject and he is very friendly. Although he can skim over certain details, he will gladly explain anything or go back to anything as long as you ask him.
9.   Homework and quizzes were always very helpful and informative. The instructor's organizational skills made keeping track of what assignment and reading I was supposed to be doing very difficult.
11.   Very passionate
12.   The instructor is nice, but the way he teaches is not helpful at all. The homework is not well explained at all, it is also very difficult. The quizzes have only 1 attempt, but they are impossible and if you miss one question the whole thing will be wrong since there are only 3 or 4 questions. The professor has a good sense of humor, and is knowledgeable, but the pace of the class is way too fast. The exams are very hard, since there is no review provided and just to practice the homework.
13.   In my opinion, spending the time to debug code in the class is not that helpful, since majority of the class don't know what the code are supposed to do. In addition, showing the running time didn't make any sense to me. I really wish I could have seen the math behind it.
14.   Major strengths: good lecturer and up to date with the subject.Major weaknesses: goes too fast and it would have been better to give more examples of each topic before sending homework.

What aspects of this course were most beneficial to you?

1.   Learning to use linked structures in Java
2.   I learned very useful things that I will use later in my computer science degree.
3.   skills
4.   Actually having a professor break down complex materials so it's easy to take in. visual representations.
6.   1.Thinking about how the solution of a problem might look like before even trying to type it.2. Same with debugging: look what it might be, THEN try to fix instead of "what if I change this thing here, will it work?"3. Finding the efficient way to write the code so that runtime is improved. Previously, main idea was "try to even solve it!"4. Reading and analyzing the code, figuring out if it works or not. 5. Debugging with visual editor! Also helps to see what exactly each line is doing.
7.   Learning new computer language
8.   The material is elementary to my major
9.   Pretty much doing the assignments is the only thing that helped me.
11.   Everything
12.   Nothing really, not even the SI or tutor.
13.   writing recursive function( backward and forward)

What do you suggest to improve this course?

1.   teach material in class and in readings before assigning work on it
2.   I suggest that there should be less lecture style teaching. It might help to see how certain algorithms work is we are able to physically work them out in the classroom instead of conceptually on the whiteboard.
3.   the homework is kind of hard
4.   some in class work time would be nice. but otherwise I find this class to be just fine
7.   Encourage student to put more time on the class materials.
8.   N/A
9.   Stop using your own website!! It is very hard to navigate and not clear what-so-ever what is the current material. D2L does everything it does but has a better organizational style and most importantly is familiar to ALL DePaul students.
10.   Clickers could be a good way to encourage student participation
11.   Nothing
12.   The homework needs to be well explained. The quizzes need at least 2 attempts in order to not get a bad grade, just by one question being wrong. There needs to be a review for the midterm and final. Practice problems would be very beneficial. Also Java is a hard language especially for people who have zero experience, so the course needs to be more slow paced or at least an intro class to Java.
13.   more explanation of how the functions' performance could vary from mathematical point of view. More clarification on the goal of each lecture so students could expect what kind of problems they have to solve; I never heard from classmates that watching you debugging was helpful.
14.   To go at a reasonable pace on each topic.

Comment on the grading procedures and exams

1.   Grades were fair
2.   I either aced an assignment or failed it because of the auto-grading, even if I know I was super close to the answer which is frustrating because I understood the concepts but I just struggled a little bit with an assignment and then I fail it.
3.   none
5.   Grading was very fair and incredibly quick with good feed back where points were missed.
7.   The quizzes were only 1 attempt, so it is hard to make mistake.
8.   fair
9.   Nothing wrong with that.
10.   Quick and fair
11.   Good
12.   The quizzes are way too difficult to be attempted once only, at least two would be better to get a good grade.
13.   i'm satisfied with the grading :)
14.   Would be nice if he checked the code personally, not with the auto grader. You could have one line of code misplaced and you lose all the points of the problem.

Other comments?

3.   none
6.   With percolation assignment in particular, it was challenging. With perfect understanding of the concept about "does it percolate or not" and "how to find a union etc," it was completely unclear how exactly to implement all this knowledge.
7.   The class is really hard.
8.   N/A
11.   No
12.   This class is very difficult, especially since there is no Introductory course. There is no way to get a good grade if you don't pass the midterm. Which is horrible for someone who loves CS, and does not have experience in Java at all.
13.   the virtual debugger was kinda confusing sometimes