Evaluation Comments

Term: Spring 2019-2020
Course: CSC 300 601
Course Name: Data Structures I

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Summary View

What are the major strengths and weaknesses of the instructor?

  • Strengths- Incredibly knowledgeable and intelligent(thinks in front of class interprets what is being discussed as supposed to "following" the motions"), reliable to reach for homework questions or other inquiries, was able to frame "proper thought" processes to students who were lost while tackling coding assignments without giving away the answer. If you are genuine about pursuing a career in C.S or learning the material and are stuck on an assignment, professor will take the time to analyze what you are doing wrong and will help re-structure your thinking onto the right track or help realize what you are doing wrong. Weaknesses- N/A, Students have complained in the past about Professor expecting us to learn Java on our own, which really wasn't the case. He spent time to help us transfer our skills from (python) to Java, and really the switch wasn't too difficult. Java syntax is actually more accommodating to beginning programmers in my opinion and experience. If you are concerned about learning a new language, pick a new major. Becoming accustom to Java is something one may have to apply them self to accomplish, but is a very minuscule and trivial portion of the course. I cannot stress this enough. Yes we use Java to code throughout the semester, however the applications and intuition behind the assignments are the real course material and what is important to take away from this class.
  • He was very energetic and fun but sometimes he struggled with explaining the concepts of the language
  • great at delivering content in a complete and informative manner using examples.
  • Students' questions were answered very quickly and most material were explained well. If they weren't, there was immediate clarification.

What aspects of this course were most beneficial to you?

  • The re-enforcement of basic object oriented programming practices such as looping, recursion, etc. The debuggers on most of the assignments were setup to be interactive/a reference. Using the debugger, I was able to diagnose what I was doing wrong and was able to "play" around with my code. The assignments truly helped me understand the execution of code, as well as, provided an incite to the intuitive thought process needed to set up a program. The assignments weren't simply just to get the code to work, they were used as a guide to learn and experience the material ourselves. Professor Riley's lecture and homework videos, were extremely helpful as a reference(the ability to play,pause, re-watch) and gave seeds of thought as to how to think about the material. The videos undoubtedly helped me stay on track.
  • I learned java which is very gard
  • reviewing quiz and homework solutions
  • The homework videos were the most beneficial. I was able to grasp the assignments well when I followed the videos' tips/hints.

What suggestions do you have that could help improve the course?

  • Explanation of how certain methods would be used in practice(how are programs setup for industrial use)? May not be the objectives of this course, however I believe a further explanation of what functions may be used or how they're used, may motivate students even more who genuinely want to pursue CS.
  • More elaboration on concepts
  • going over Java syntax a bit more at the start of the course

Do you have comments on the grading procedures and exams?

  • Not really, just wish that the local tests we had for homework were the same as the tests professor ran our homework through. It was easy to miss out on crucial aspects of those assignments without all test cases provided.
  • Nope it was perfect
  • would be helpful to go over midterm solutions, but I understand the complications that arise with releasing exam info.
  • I enjoyed having "written" exams. They helped my thought process more than writing actual code would.

Other comments?

  • Professor Riley proficiently helped us navigate through this course. He spent a lot of time on his lecture and homework videos and it showed(I attribute my success in this course to them). I hope future students will have the opportunity to view them as they've helped myself and peers exponentially. I've spoken to students in different sections with other professors that have been using his videos as a guide to learn the content.
  • video lectures were very high quality and informative. The disjunct in time between learning new material and practicing that material in homework problems sometimes made it confusing to keep track of where we were in the course.
  • Appreciated the structure of the class and how each week built on one another. The quizzes were useful for learning.