Evaluation Comments
Course:Concepts of Programming Languages

Quarter:Winter 16/17
Time: Tu 17:45 - 21:00
Location: Loop Campus
James Riely PhD

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What are the major strengths and weaknesses of the instructor?

1.   Strengths: Instructor is very knowledgable. He tries his best to explain the students. Weakness: Some topics were covered late and because of which students score less in quiz and assignments.
2.   easy to get hold of and flexible office hour
3.   He is very engaging, I never felt bored in class to the point where I zoned out and missed some material.
5.   The way he presents the stuff is good.The problem i find is while we are assigned homework,we are not clearly given instruction about how to do.So the times come and we are unable to submit homework and grades decrease.
6.   Understood material well.
8.   Always maintains an interesting and friendly atmosphere in class so learning doesn't becomes boring
9.   Supremely passionate and knowledgeable about the material. Great sense of humor and kept lessons fun. Really in touch with how all the theory we learned related to practical use in the industry. At times we might have spent just a little too much time figuring out some code examples when I feel the time might have been better spent on a more important subject - when a puzzle presents itself, Dr. Riely can't resist solving it (it WAS fun to watch him solve them)!
10.   A strength is knowledgable and enthusiastic about topic.
11.   Very knowledgeable, susceptible to longish coding tangents that may or may not be immediately relevant, but better than being dry I guess?
12.   Strengths: Arguably one of the best instructors at DePaul in terms of keeping the class interested.

What aspects of this course were most beneficial to you?

1.   The course overall has increased my knowledge to a great extent.Learned many new concepts.
2.   coding skill
5.   Scala can take over java
6.   Overall concept of the course. I really liked studying the underlying concepts behind programming languages and the comparison of programming language. Both really helped my overall understanding of CS and has made me feel much more confident in my understanding and abilities.
8.   Scala programming language
9.   I enjoyed how Dr. Riely made sense of complicated theoretical concepts and explained how they are practically important. I also benefited greatly from his opinions about all the concepts and techniques.
10.   The worksheets allowed me to practice the topics covered
11.   Learning the basics of Functional Programming
12.   "Learning" Scala.

What do you suggest to improve this course?

2.   N/A
5.   Provision of time extend for homework after homework is discussed.
6.   I hated the format of the entire exam being multiple choice. I would have liked at least a portion of the exam being short answer. It is really hard to prepare for a multiple choice exam. I was nervous and mixed up :: and ::: Although I will now never forget this for as long as I live that cost me at least an entire letter grade for the overall course. Thus I don't think my final letter grade will be indicative of my understanding of the material throughout the course
8.   Nothing
9.   See above on not getting bogged down in example code. The quizzes and tests were often EXTREMELY intricate and you had to be truly on top of your game (i.e. know the material and homeworks backwards and forwards) to get perfect scores. The class will likely be graded on some curve, so the difficulty is not really that important - in fact, it just serves to challenge advanced students who would otherwise probably breeze through the course.
11.   It felt a bit disjointed, half the class was more of a functional programming class than a class focused on teaching us the pros and cons/differences of different languages(which I liked learning functional programming, but felt like you should just rename the course functional programming when a majority of the homework and tests are on it). The worksheets are an interesting idea and a good general practice tool, but seemed fairly irrelevant to doing the homework or getting high marks on the tests. The quizzes were much more beneficial in terms of preparing for the tests, but I wish there were more questions to practice
12.   As the instructor noted in the last class, we don't need to make suggestions about the exams as the vast majority of the class despises them. Either way, those exams need to be completely revamped. So, I'll focus on other aspects of the course.I would personally argue in favor of a re-do of the course slides. They weren't too helpful (at least for me).It would be nice to have better course textbooks. Both were interesting but there are far better books out there about Scala and recursive programming. E.g. Programming Scala 2nd Edition and The Little Schemer 4th Edition were books recommended to me by former students and are really well-written. The Little Schemer is all about thinking recursively. A lot of the homework assignments could be changed. They were interesting, but I would argue that the directions could be written better. Also, I think students would greatly appreciate it if there were similar examples shown in class that pertain to the assignments since for the most part, the assignments made me feel like I was searching around in a pitch black room trying to figure out where the light switch is, if you will.Scala is a very intriguing language, but it also has one of the steepest learning curves. If the course continues to use Scala as the primary functional programming language, it would be nice to devote a lecture or two to the basic syntax of Scala and/or even a lecture devoted entirely to pattern matching.Finally, given the short time-frame that is a quarter at DePaul, it feels like there was way too much material crammed into 10 lectures. If anything, figure out what material you'd like to keep teaching and what areas could be removed entirely from the course. Find a direction or area to focus on.This course was interesting, but it feels like another course in academia. In other words, I really do not see any application of this course out in the computer industry. I would suggest improving the course with material that pertains to areas where Scala is currently being used in the industry.

Comment on the grading procedures and exams

1.   As the course is too vast and teaches a lot of languages in a short span of time. The grading should be linent.
3.   The exam was hard, I don't feel like multiple choice exams accurately reflect what material I know.
4.   Good
5.   Good.
6.   partial credit on exams would have been nice
7.   Exams are too hard and not directly related to topics being taught in the class nor to the homework exercises. The way he puts his exams makes the course more difficult and should have more prerequisites prior to take this class like "Complier Design" course.
8.   Exams are harder then any other course i've taken at depaul
9.   See above comment on exams. The nature of the homework/quizzes/tests meant grading was almost completely objective.
11.   the problem I have with automated grading is there's no personalized feedback at all basically on the homework or tests
12.   Grading was very fair and impartial. Exams are multiple-choice, so there really is no way to grade unfairly.

Other comments?

1.   The instructor is great.Takes efforts to keep the class focused. Very hepful. Replies over emails very fast.