Course Description:
CS 136: Elementary Algorithm Design and Data Abstraction
This course builds on the techniques and patterns learned in CS 135 while making the transition to use of an imperative language. It introduces the design and analysis of algorithms, the management of information, and the programming mechanisms and methodologies required in implementations. Topics discussed include iterative and recursive sorting algorithms; lists, stacks, queues, trees, and their application; abstract data types and their implementations.
Dave's Comments:
I had been looking forward to teaching CS 136 since I arrived on campus, but this term was frustrating on several levels. There was a history of instability in the course, and it definitely showed. The inherited course notes, while respectable, were far from the quality of some of the other courses and there was very little continuity from 135. Each instructor was assigned a section to improve, but some were just too awkward.

The course was designed to use fixed assignments which could be handed in up to the last day of classes for partial marks. This strained the schedule and did not allow for any solutions to be posted. The assignments also used a token test system that created a lot of frustration for the students and staff.

Overall, this term was far from a disaster, but the course wasn't living up to its full potential. On a final note, this was the first semester where clickers were used in 136 (after my strong nudging).
Teaching Evaluations:
Number of Respondents: 76 / 103 (74%)
Characteristics of the Instructor:
Evaluate the organization and coherence of the lectures.
ExcellentGoodSatisfactoryUnsatisfactoryVery poorNo opinion
At what level were the instructor's explanations aimed?
Too highSomewhat too highJust rightSomewhat too lowToo lowNo opinion
Evaluate the instructor's treatment of students' questions.
ExcellentGoodSatisfactoryUnsatisfactoryVery poorNo opinion
Evaluate the effectiveness of the instructor's visual presentation (blackboard, overheads, etc.).
ExcellentGoodSatisfactoryUnsatisfactoryVery poorNo opinion
Evaluate the effectiveness of the instructor's oral presentation.
ExcellentGoodSatisfactoryUnsatisfactoryVery poorNo opinion
Was the instructor available for help outside of class?
AlwaysMost of the timeOften enoughNot often enoughNeverI did not seek help
Did you find the course interesting?
Very InterestingInterestingNot interestingNo opinion
Evaluate the overall effectiveness of the instructor as a teacher.
ExcellentGoodSatisfactoryUnsatisfactoryVery poorNo opinion
Characteristics of the Course:
What proportion of lectures did you attend in this course?
90-100%75-90%50-75%25-50%< 25%
Was the assigned work (assignments, projects, etc.) helpful in learning the course content?
Very helpfulHelpfulNot helpfulNo work assignedNo opinion
Were the printed notes (if any) helpful in learning the course content?
Very helpfulHelpfulNot helpfulNo printed course notesNo opinion
Was the required textbook (if any) helpful in learning the course content?
Very helpfulHelpfulNot helpfulNo text requiredNo opinion
Did the course introduce an appropriate amount of new material?
Too muchSomewhat too muchOkaySomewhat too littleToo littleNo opinion
Was the amount of assigned work required for the course appropriate?
Too muchSomewhat too muchOkaySomewhat too littleToo littleNo opinion
On average, how many hours per week did you spend on this course outside of lectures?
0-2 hours3-6 hours7-10 hours11-15 hours> 15 hours
Note: This is a complete list of comments I received, listed alphabetically to avoid bias.
Please mention anything that you feel the instructor has done well in this course.
Please make constructive comments about anything in the instructor's technique or style that could, in your opinion, be improved.
What were the strong points of the course?
What were the weak points of the course?
Was the class atmosphere affected either positively or negatively by attitudes of the instructor or students, e.g., with respect to gender, race, ability, appearance? Please explain.
Any other comments, e.g., class size, suitability of room, noise level, etc.
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