Fundamentals of Computer Science II (CSC-152 99F)

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'm teaching CS152 (MWThF 10-10:50) and tutorial (TuTh 8-10:00). You can also consult my schedule for more information.

What other CS courses (or related courses) have you taken?

Too many to list. At Grinnell, I've taught CSC105 (Programming and Problem Solving), CSC152 (Fundamentals of Computer Science II), CSC223 (Software Design), CSC302 (Programming Language Concepts), and CSC362 (Compilers). This year, I'm also scheduled to teach tutorial, CSC103 (A Social and Algorithmic Introduction to Computing), and CSC364 (Networks).

What, if any, computer languages do you know?

Too many to enumerate. My preferred language varies from month to month. At one time, I did a lot of programming in Haskell and Scheme. These days, I'm doing a lot of programming in Java and Perl.

Why are you taking this course?

I teach CS152 because (1) I enjoy teaching; (2) I consider data structures and algorithms core aspects of computer science; (3) I value the chance to meet prospective CS majors early in their carrers; (4) I like meeting teaching both majors and nonmajors; and (5) I'm writing a textbook on the subject.

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

ew perspectives (every group of students provides some new perspectives).

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.)

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 should learn from.)

I've enjoyed teaching CS152 more than any other course. It's hard to choose between the prior 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 relat ively 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?


10 August 1999

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.

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