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:
This was the first time teaching the "new" 136 to the full winter cohort. This term went much better than the previous Winter, but not quite as smoothly as I had hoped. I introduced a new "warm up question" format for the assignments and I was happy with the change. I got really sick half-way through the term, which unfortunately affected the quality of some of the assignments. We were still plodding along with VirtualBox, but at the end of the term we were able to test out the new web-based GUI (Seashell). On a fun note, before each lecture I showed 5 minutes of the Daft Punk movie Interstella 5555, and we were able to complete the entire movie by the end of the term.

This was my first experience at Waterloo with on-line evaluations. Many students (including one obvious example below) were more verbose with their comments. While it was nice to avoid the manual data entry I had done previously, it was never a task I minded much. I was not very happy with the format of the responses I received, which stripped out a lot of their formatting.

Note: one student accidentally entered their MATH 136 evaluation for this course online. The student was unable to change their evaluation, and subsequently emailed me their evaluation and comments. As a result the (corrected) results on this website differ from the "official" results posted elsewhere.
Teaching Evaluations:
Number of Respondents: 66 / 101 (65%)
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.
All of the data for this page is available in the github repository: