These are my responses to the questions or comments you asked on the introductory survey. You may also want to look at similar responses for the other classes that I'm teaching this term: CS302 and CS103.
Do you really think we'll be able to get out of bed for an 8 a.m. class three days each week?
I'm not sure that I'll be able to, but I'll do my best. I hope that you'll do the same. If you don't make it out of bed, please come talk to me before the next class meeting.
What's the deal with the Glimmer mac?
I do research in computational multimedia. The lab I'm setting up is called "The Grinnell Laboratory for Interactive Multimedia Experimenation and Research" or Glimmer for short. The initial equipment for the lab is that Macintosh, although I'll be adding more in the near future. Students doing research with me get top priority for that Mac, but it's also open for general use.
It's the second semester of my sophomore year, can I still be a CS major and also spend a semester abroad?
As long as you're willing to double up every semester that you're here, it is likely to be possible. It seems that Fall 1998 is the best semester to go abroad if you're going to do that.
What kind of car do you drive? How fast do you drive it?
I drive a 1994 Jeep Grand Cherokee (a yupmobile). On the highway, I tend to drive in the low 70's (fast enough to get places, slow enough to avoid tickets).
What do you think of the pre-meal chips at Jimbo's
It's only my second semester at Grinnell. What's Jimbos?
If you could have your revenge on all of the people that picked on you in k-12 (if anyone, in fact, did) how would you take it?
Surprisingly, no one really picked on me in K-12, in spite of the fact that I was a math nerd.
Where are you from?
Born in Boston, MA. Grew up in Newton, MA (except for two years spent in Holland; 1-3). Spent ten years in Chicago going to school. I've spent the past few years in Maine and New Hampshire (mostly teaching at Dartmouth).
Where are you going?
Actually, I hope to stay in Grinnell if at all possible.
Why are you here?
Hmmm ... is this "why are you here on the planet?" or "why are you here at Grinnell". I'll answer the second (sorry, no metaphysics this term). I'm at Grinnell because I care a lot about teaching and learning and Grinnell was by far the best school that made me an offer. Why did they make me an offer? Because I care a lot about teaching and learning, because I seem to fit in well with the department, and probably for some other reasons.
Do you have any specific attendance policies?
I like my students to attend class regularly. You'll note from my statement on teaching and learning that I try to teach an interactive class. If you're not here, you can't interact. I do understand that there will be reasons you cannot make it to some classes. If you can let me know in advance, please do so. If you can't let me know in advance, please talk to me as soon as you can.
You've lived a lot of places. How do you like Grinnell?
I like it, particularly the small-town feel. It's nice that a number of people know me by name and that it generally feels like a safe place to be. I miss large book and record stores (and musuems), but I can drive places and regularly visit Chicago because my in-laws are there. If I was of a different age, I'd hope that there were more clubs here, but my clubbing days are passed.
What do you do for fun around here?
I'm a parent of a two-year old. I spend time with him. Sorry, it's pretty boring, but I guess that's what's happened to me.
What made you come to Grinnell?
I care a lot about teaching and decided some time ago to make higher education my profession. When I was last on the job market, Grinnell was the best place I visited. My colleagues in the department are good and think a lot about CS pedagogy. I like the idea of the open curriculum. The students who interviewed me were the best students I met while on the interview trail. Grinnell also seemed closest to my alma matter, the University of Chicago (at least in an emphasis on learning for the sake of learning).
I worry that I know less about computers than the rest of the class.
It's my impression that most of you have about the same level of knowledge. Some have somewhat more, some have a little less, but I don't think you'll see big differences. Let me know if you find that I'm going to fast on some topic, or making incorrect assumptions about your knowledge.
When you decided to "do" computer science, were you attracted to the high-paying jobs that are possible?
Actually, I decided to go into computer science because I found it interesting and not because of any desire for a large income. In fact, I make far less as a faculty member than I could make in industry, but I consider that a reasonable balance for the satisfication I normally get from what I do.
What is your goal in life?
That's a hard one. The simplistic answer is "to make a difference in some people's lives (hopefully, my students') and to help my children grow into good people." If you'd like to know more, I can try to think more about it.
Disclaimer Often, these pages were created "on the fly" with little, if any, proofreading. Any or all of the information on the pages may be incorrect. Please contact me if you notice errors.
Source text last modified Tue Dec 29 09:11:25 1998.
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