Reviews of Classes taught by Tia Newhall of the Computer Science Department

Name: Nori Heikkinen Year: 2003 Major: Music/Undecided Course: CPSC 021 - The Imperative Paradigm: UNIX and C Taken Spring 2000 Recommends?

This class was informative and useful, though sometimes I felt I could have gotten as much by just staying at home and reading the book and doing the homework. The class was run in a lecture format, with Tia just talking about the previous reading and reŽxplaining the concepts within. There were weekly homework assignments due by midnight on Sundays via an electronic handin program. You could get by fine with not doing the reading.

PROBLEM: some of the homework assignments were so large that you had to, and were encouraged to, work with a partner or two. If and when you did this, you spent almost as much time compiling and making compatible your various chunks of code as you would have writing it yourself, and you didn't necessarily fully grasp the ideas from bits that your partners had done.

SIGNIFICANT PROBLEM: We used libraries from the book during the whole semester, but during the last few weeks of class, Tia told us we could no longer use those, and we had to relearn all the standard C ways of doing things (as opposed to using book-shortcuts, as we had been all year). There's some method do the madness (covering up the more complicated code until we had the tools to understand it), but it made the last month really frustrating, having to essentially relearn how to program. I still can't get the user to type in a basic line of text without consulting my book. Stupid stupid.

Recommend? Um, yes, I'd recommend it (it's a requirement for all potential majors)--you'll learn a lot, and it's rewarding. Just do yourself a favor and try and learn the non-book-library ways of doing things from the beginning. Other than that, good class. I'd give it a B.

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