Intro Microprocessor Lab
TA: Razvan Cheveresan
A moderately cool lab where you use the Intel 80c188eb chip to perform various tasks. Some wire-wrapping is required, and that gets tedious. Assembly programming of asynchronous IO functions is par for the course. It's amazing how cool it can be to see a stepper motor complete a 360 degree rotation after programming the 188 to make it to do so.
TA: Henry Soekmadji
A very free form lab course. In the beginning of the semester you are given a goal: design a temperature control system. You then are given some additional requirements, and you have all semester to complete and test the design. Any component you feel the need to buy is fair game. While not actually real-world design, amusing and fun nonetheless.
Introduction to Artificial Neural Networks
Prof: Yu Hen Hu
Who knew that there would be so much math in an artificial intelligence course? Most of the course was about artificial neural networks, as the title suggests. There were various projects and homeworks that we had to complete. It was a very interesting course, if a little hard to follow at times.
Testing and Design of Digital Systems
Prof: Kewel Saluja
TA: Joseph Krachey
Testing of electronic devices. Doesn't sound exciting? Well, honestly, I don't think it is. However, it's important to be able to build devices that work. There really isn't any to know if they work without testing, so the subject matter here is rather essential. The teaching was instructive as Prof. Saluja usually is, but not particularly captivating. I do have to say though, that Joe runs a very good discussion section.
Prof: Mike Byrd
TA: Greg Novack
A course in symbolic logic. More or less, this is boolean algebra where you have to justify all the steps. I had a ball in this course, and recommend it to everybody. Sometimes the proofs at the end get a little tedious, but it really does teach a lot about the way that we use language, and how some of our intuitions about logic are just dead wrong.
Jewish Cultural History
Prof: Kenneth Katz
A very interesting history course. The ancient world was a rich tapestry of peoples and cultures not unlike today. As the saying goes, those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it. It satisfied my ethnic studies requirement, and it was lot of fun. The reading was interesting. The lectures ranged from amusing to captivating, but were never boring. Highly recommended.
Introduction to Ethnic and Multicultural Literature
Prof: Cherene Sherrard-Johnson
TA: David LaCroix
This is the only class I have been so disappointed in at this university that I have dropped it.
The topic of the class was to have been "multi-ethnic literature". Somehow the professor thought that she could warp that into "freedom and slavery in American literature". Which in my definition is simply a study of American culture. Yes, we do have a diverse cultural background in this country. Yes, the literature that produces is interesting. However, it is not what that class should have been about
The literature that we studied (at least as far as I followed the class) was good. Sometimes a little boring, and the instructors always wanted you to invent meanings for simple things that I just couldn't see. However, the literature itself was good.
The lectures were a study in boredom. You'd think that a professor of English would have some kind of public speaking ability, but no. Her speech was fraught with filler words, occasional grammatical errors, and a general lack of organization. The usual lecture would start with Professor writing a five item outline on the board. We would then spend the entire hour getting through items one, and if we were lucky, item two. Did she pick up on the outline where she stopped next lecture? No, it was a new outline.
The straw that killed the camel, however, were the grading standards. Understand that this is a 100 level course, with no prerequisites, open to freshman, and isn't listed as writing intensive.
The first paper was to be a simple analysis of one of the works we had read. I wrote something that was mediocre. I freely admit that it wasn't perfect. It did, however, make an argument based in the text. That was all they said they required.
Somehow, the argument that I made was 'incorrect' though the grader did not say how. It apparently is bad form to actually quote the author and then provide some kind of explanation as to how you interpret the word choice ('you are only paraphrasing'). Though they specified paper length in word count, my choice of margins was criticized ('inappropriate margins'?). Oh, and don't even think about putting a title page on a composition.
So, when faced with the option of doing about three times as much reading as any freshman level three credit course has a right to demand, and also somehow becoming a learned oracle on the topic of early American literature or just dropping the course and focusing on things that are in my area of interest, I dropped the course
I've heard from many people that the English department here is a little *ahem* over-particular about everything. If my experience was any indication, I feel pity for those who decide to major in English here.
Where is the Tenure committee when you need them?
Last Updated: 2012.10.17 15.36