Evaluation Comments
Course:Data Structures I

Quarter:Spring 16/17
Time: MW 13:30 - 15:00
Location: Loop Campus
James Riely PhD

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What are the major strengths and weaknesses of the instructor?

1.   Enthusiastic and provides ways of thinking about how to approach certain problems. However, it is often unclear how one is to approach problems on homework according to the instructor's explanations.
2.   Strength: Upbeat and knowledgable
3.   He said repeatedly how this course was crucial to our careers and yet was still a bad professor. I learned everything outside of class so I'm upset with paying tuition for this course because everything I learned was not from the professor. What he explained in class and the homework given were not in tandem. When the class became difficult all he mentioned was that if we were not doing well to change our majors to IT. Again, I don't understand why there is not a better professor teaching this course if it is so crucial to our career.
4.   Major strength: Having clear and direct answers for each problem presented in the class. Weakness: He experiences a large amount of technical issues during the in-class lectures.
5.   Very good teaching skills.
6.   Sometimes the lecture would get off topic and not get linked to the main lesson in the lecture.
7.   strength-Knows a lot about the subject and can explain things fairly well.Weakness- N/A
8.   Strengths were giving great examples, weaknesses expects kid to know java already.
9.   He is very knowledgeable about the topics and had several resources/teaching styles, however the quizzes/homeworks were never reviewed in class or even really mentioned (until the very last day of class). This made it difficult to understand things if you didn't do well on the assignments and assessments. Things were also breezed by in class and a lot of work was expected outside of the classroom.
10.   Strength: Understands Java / Weaknesses: Cannot teach for the life of him, cannot keep on topic for more than three minutes at a time, acts snobbish and undermines his students, intentionally makes quizzes and homework out of the student's leagues and capabilities for the current assignment in addition to most of the time never teaching the material needed to grasp the concepts and simply relying on the textbook to somehow teach of us everything, etc.
11.   Goes off topic often. Material on quizzes should be covered prior to quizzes more. Strength is in his enthusiasm.
13.   Very good at engaging with students. One weakness was running out of time at the end of class and going sometimes 5 minutes and more after it already ended.
14.   Very knowledgeable.
15.   Strengths: definitely one of the best CS professors at depaul. Really challenged students and provided help when needed.Weaknesses: sometimes disorganized in lecture. I often went into class not know what to expect: going over hw or learning a new topic? Granted, it's hard to teach that amount of content in 1.5 hours.
17.   Strengths- He is very up at date and is very knowledgeable about the topic and class materialsWeaknesses- goes off topic in class, not good at explaining concepts
18.   Weakness: Confusing on how explaining the material to the class. Strength: Grades fast and very knowledgeable on the subject

What aspects of this course were most beneficial to you?

1.   Learning Java and appropriate ways to figure out solutions to problems while coding.
2.   Linked lists and run time estimation
3.   The course material
4.   Analyzing past homework assignments, since this helped me understand more about the course material.
5.   Homework assignments
6.   The weekly quizzes and SI sessions.
7.   the overall topic of Data Structures.
8.   The homework and quizzes.
9.   Real life career problems we learned how to solve to help us in job interviews
10.   The Textbook
11.   The experience with java itself.
12.   The textbook and the class recordings
13.   The online website was very organized and contained a lot of helpful information
14.   I was curious of how computer languages ran at a lower-level. This class fulfilled most of my curiosity.
15.   The fact that we were required to think for ourselves. Also, teaching the logic on the board was super beneficial.
16.   Advice to practice homeworks until able to complete in >=5min was very helpful. Need to practice for end of class and future courses.
18.   The material of programming.

What do you suggest to improve this course?

1.   Give students the opportunity to revise homework after the first due date to correct their code, then take the average of the grades for both the first attempt and the revision.
3.   If this class is so crucial then please have professors that are good at teaching.
4.   Quiz due dates changed to the weekends.
5.   N/A
6.   Have more in class practice like lab were application is done with a person who understands the skill that is suppose to be applied.
7.   upload solutions to previous homework as opposed to doing it on occasion.
8.   gradually introduce java to students not just give the information.
9.   Go slower, more in depth
10.   Teach the class with a more positive attitude towards the students and their capabilities. Rewrite the graded material to be more reasonable for students to actually answer correctly. Allow for homeworks to be redone more often to create an environment that allows for mistakes to be made and then learned from.
11.   Have a more defined lesson plan.
12.   Spend time to explain how to convert from python to Java and the difference between the two languages
13.   Time management and making sure students do not have to stay longer because not everything could be covered.
14.   n/a
15.   Before going straight into java to teach, considering drawing out the logic on the board more often. You did that towards the end of the course, and it was much better.
17.   Professor Riely is up to date and knows the class material very well, however the way he presents the material is not good. I found myself to be very confused in class more than half of the time because Professor Riely goes off topic and discusses concepts very briefly, then moves on to the next concept as I sit very confused and trying to understand the material. This has happened every lecture and I feel lost every time. Because of this, I do not feel prepared for homework assignments at all. In class, he would discuss homework assignments. He would tell us WHAT to do, rather than explain HOW to approach the assignment to get the results he is looking for. I really struggled in this class and had a hard time understanding everything. My classmates seemed to understand the material since they were experienced in Java and data structures/algorithms. As a student learning new material, I feel like Professor Riely did not do a good job in teaching the material. Hearing from peers about other professors teaching data structures, they are learning material at a appropriate pace compared to Riely's class. I know that Professor Riely is a great professor, but just the way he taught the material was confusing. I am still lost and confused, and I do not feel prepared to proceed to Data Structures II. I would take the Data Structures class again with a different Professor to fill in the gap that I need to pursue my Computer Science degree
18.   Slow down the pace. Very challenging course

Comment on the grading procedures and exams

1.   Assignment grades should not solely be based on whether the program works or not. Some credit should be given to those who make an attempt on the problems, whether or not the program works. Otherwise, some may not feel the incentive to try.
3.   He gave us quizzes that he expected us to not do well on and still made them a good portion of our grade. Other than that his grading was not inconsistent.
5.   N/A
6.   The dead line is weird or it should be midnight of Sunday, the midnight on the day before class or right before class.
7.   I would like for the homework to account for more than its currently worth. That helps with the grading system.,
10.   Garage. Homeworks are disgustingly and unfairly graded. A homework assignment could miss one or two problems out of thirty to do and it gets graded as a 2/10.
11.   Auto-grader is too harsh. Assignments should be graded by hand so the professor can see effort put in.
13.   Very good and probably one of the best in terms of time it took to grade.
14.   n/a
15.   Graded fairly
18.   Fair and quick grading

Other comments?

3.   His grading was as he told us it would be. The tests reflected what he told us, that if we do the homework repeatedly then the tests will be fine. The only problem was the large disconnect between what was taught and focused on in class and the homework assignments. I did all my studying and learning from online videos.
5.   N/A
6.   Do not lean on the board.
10.   Actually teach your damn class instead of leaving it all to the book and actually encourage your students to learn and try instead of stacking the odds against them and then claiming that they will fail, even on day one.
13.   Very enjoyable class.
14.   nice guy and funny