An Algorithmic and Social Introduction to Computer Science (CSC-105 2000S)

SamR's Answers to the Introductory Survey

As I start each class, I like to learn a little bit about my students and their expectations for the course so that I can both know and teach them better. Since I'm asking you to prepare answers to this survey, it is only fair that I prepare my own.


Samuel A. ``SamR'' Rebelsky


Undergraduate: Mathematics
Graduate: Computer Science

Where are you from?

I was born in Newton, MA, a suburb of Boston. Since then, I've lived in Chicago (11 years), New Hampshire, Maine, and Iowa.

What courses are you taking this term? Please include meeting times. I prefer course names to course abbreviations.

I'm teaching CS105, An Algorithmic and Social Overview of Computer Science (MTuWF 10:00-10:50); CS152, Fundamentals of Computer Science II (MTuWF 11:00-11:50); and CS364, Computer Networks (MWF 2:15-3:05). I'm also supervising a research project on trails on the World-Wide Web and supporting a group independent on game programming. You can also consult my schedule for more information.

Tell me a little bit about your background with computers.

I'm a CS prof. I'm addicted to them. What else do you need to know?

Why are you taking this course?

I'm teaching this course because (1) I suggested that we offer the course and (2) I enjoy teaching computer science to nonmajors.

What do you expect to learn or gain from this course?

New perspectives (every group of students provides some new perspectives). I also expect to learn more about computer networks and transportable agents as I teach about them.

What are your biggest concerns for this course?

That I'll be overwhelmed by the time constraints.

What is your favorite or most productive time to study?

In college and grad school, I found mornings good times. Now that I have two children, I'm not sure that I have productive times.

What do you like most about Grinnell?

The small, relatively informal, atmosphere.

What do you like least about Grinnell (or what do you dislike most about Grinnell)?

The isolation. When I have free time (not too often), I like to rummage through used book stores and the cheapo bins at record stores. While we have a used book store, I miss the cheapo bins. (And no, the Internet is not the same, although I'm finding the used book services addicting.)

What is the best course you have taken at Grinnell so far? Who taught that course? (Since I'm still relatively new, I'd like to know who I might try to learn from.)

I've enjoyed teaching CS152 more than any other course. It's hard to choose between the sessions of CS152 that I've taught.

Most surveys like this ask you to list your five favorite books, movies, TV shows, CDs, chia animals, buildings on campus, professors, or whatever. I'll give you a littl emore freedom. Pick a class of objects (it can be one that I listed, it can be one that I didn't list), and list your five favorite objects in that class.

Tell me a little more about yourself. You might describe hobbies, interests, goals, whatever.

I'm 35, which some of you seem to think is relatively young and others of you think is relatively old. My wife, Michelle, and I have been married for twelve years. We have two children, William and Jonathan.
I may be one of the least organized people you ever meet. Take a look at my office some time.
I love teaching (and also very much enjoy doing research on hypermedia systems) and have found Grinnell a great place to be. My long-term goal is to be at Grinnell.

What other questions should I have asked on this form? (You don't have to come up with any; I just like to find ways to improve my introductory questionnaire.)

If I could think of other questions, I would have added them.

Since I'm asking you all of these questions, it's only fair that you get to ask me some questions. What, if anything, would you like to know about me?

Why do I bother filling out these sample answers? Does anyone read them?


Thursday, 20 January 2000

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