Saturday, August 26, 2006

Receiving scholarship, and the GPA is falling.

Spring 2006

(B-)2.7 cpts 223 and math 315
(B )3.0 cpts 317
(A-)3.7 cpts 224
(A )4.0 ee 234

I am not good with math. My mind is just not for math.

after 2006 Fall 3.78 -> after 2006 Spring 3.6

Despite the GPA is falling, most people would agree that it is the nature of these classes making the GPA down.

2006-2007
International Transfer Award $5000/yr
International Merit Award $4000/yr
RAMBLE, MAX & JANET Scholarship $1000/yr

Thanks for the generosity of donors.
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Course: Computer science 223
Prepareness: Managed
Health preserve: D
Exam self-assessment: Managed
Exam strategy rating:
Timing: Good
Results in Final:
88 out of 100 (The 4th place in the exam)
Results in Project:
The project is terribly a disaster. The windows file system fat32 is weirdly supported by linux. Linux is case-sensitive for filenames while windows doesn't. As the result, the final project doesn't compile and I have received bad scores (part 1 30/100, part 2 40/100, part 3 100/100).

Comments:
Dr. Kelly Fitz is no longer teaching after this spring 2006 semester (may be for temporary). The previous TA Chris Mallery is teaching. There has been a lot of people want to pass this class, and not everyone can fufil their wish.

I thought Kelly is assuming we are only taking one class. There has been too much work for a 3-credit class. I thought Kelly is assuming all his quizzes can be completed in 10 minutes, and he is wrong. 3 questions, 3 pages, in a 10-minute quiz!? The worst is that in some occasions the questions in quizzes and exams are not really conveying a clear meaning. I understand what he is doing, he is limiting one solution per question for easy grading. Plus, quizzes may cover the stuff that isn't introduced in the lecture, and most instructor don't do this. You may argue that it is an reading quiz (I told you to read the book in advance, and I am quizzing you.), but the difficulty is the exam level, which is not acceptable. So, there are 2 quizzes having no one completed in time, and it still get into the final grade, and this creates stress. He loves to make one hard quiz and one easy quiz, so it is hard to predict how much resources should be put forward to quizzes.

If he is looking for genius, he should teach in some top 0.5% percentile school (and I don't believe in genius. I believe that there are "key people", but not genius!). This can be why the computer science department is now so small because there is a little bit more than handful of people get certified (Anyone has to pass this class in order to certified.) I don't know, may be it is the way things are.

He doesn't like my English, and I don't like his ambiguity (Smile).

Let's look back at cpts 122. When I was in cpts 122. There is no lecture notes (you made your own), but I am told to read the book, and the book is a good book. For cpts 223, I have to read the lecture notes plus some chapters of the blue and red book (Data structure C++ and accelerated C++). It is lucky that the Dr. Fitz lecture notes are doing a good job. One thing that should be notice is that in Dr. Fitz lecture, it is very hard to focus on his rapid speech with the light turns off during the lecture. He repeats the points that we have been understood, so it is very hard to distinguish new material with old material. Thus, this makes students doze.

Chris's teaching style is kind of like Jack. Both of them are speaking slow but concise, which is good for me, and good for others too for their attention span. People who don't have good attention span screws up in Dr. Fitz class. Nonetheless, I recommend everyone practice attention span because it is vital to success in any classes.

Is it the nature of this class making the exams so hard? It is not the material hard, it is the timing. I found out that cpts 122 and 223 have to make sure that students having good fundamental. I am free in cpts 121 and very busy in cpts 223. cpts 121 is like a programming introductory class, and I almost have to sleep in that class.

The solution to the problem can be like this: If you want the cpts 121 easy for non-computer science major, go ahead to make a new class for these students. A lot of students from chemistry, math department take cpts 121 and that is it. It is not fair to make a programmer to learn programming again, and it is certainly wasting time. Then, introduce the harder material that appears in cpts 122 and 223 in Cpts 121 for CS and CE major. This can make cpts 223 less stressful.

It has been very hard for any cpts 223 instructor to cover everything in the lecture due to the abovementioned timing issue, so people usually blame it is the "nature" of the course.

According to Andrew Stefik, a PHD student in EECS WSU. The failure rate of cpts 223 in some semesters is 85%, but this is not the case my semester. I predict the failure rate is around 65% in my semester (spring 2006). These percentages are roughly calculated as "the number of people dropped the class after the first week + people who failed the class" divided by "the number of people haven't dropped the class after the first week".

This class has made students stay up late in the sloan 353 (3:00am in the morning) to get their programs working, and made students having goose skin when the tiny quiz scores were out on the website.

This is my first hand experience with cpts 121, 122 and 223. Okay, I surrender you the fact that I am really stupid. If you don't think so, let's pretend I am.

Final Grade: B-
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Course: Math 315
Prepareness: Incomplete due to Energy exhaustion
Health preserve: F
Exam strategy rating: C (This is what making the worst out of the best meant.)
Timing: F. Incomplete forever with stuff that are impossible to manage
Report:
It should have been straight forward to get through the exam. However, forgetting a fact of about some math operation can lead to a disaster like this.

It is the situation that the housemate not paying the rent and bother me the whole night planning strategies to get him pay before the penality deadline. It is condemned to trigger this kind of events during the final. The final is seriously affected by this event.

This is not the fault of the instructor (Alex), the problem is from me.

Making the worst out of the best. (This has gotten into my motto list as I encounter craps so often.)
Final Grade: B-
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Course: Computer science 317
Prepareness: Managed
Health preserve: C (Stress)
Exam self-assessment: Managed
Exam strategy rating:
Timing: Uncontrolably bad (due to cpts 223)

Comments:
It is not hard with this class, compare to cpts 223. It is hard to understand Sirshira teaching sometimes. I have to read poor handwriting and accent during class. She is very busy too, but the TA is not. We have a good TA, but I predict everyone got graded down because of the homework. The homework is hard, even for anyone who spend hours on it to think about possible solution. The homework is 30% of the grade. It is typical for everyone to score something like 22/30. Well, I can copy homework from solution, I choose not to, and poor homework grade in result. I have no time/energy most of the time until one day before the exam, I asked the TA about the concepts, and this creates stress. The TA almost taught me the whole thing. The second exam and the final have been like that. Without the TA, I could have fail this class. No kidding.

Final Grade: B
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Course: Electrical Engineering (EE) 234 (Microprocessor system)
Prepareness: A
Health preserve: B (overnight stay up required, slept before)
Exam strategy rating: A+
Timing: A. Declared revision completed 2.5 hours BE
declared fairgame certified 2.5 hours BE
Report:
Instructor Tim Hanshaw is easygoing and noteworthy. This can be a reason why students switch to Electrical Engineering from Computer Science, because they want to see more of him.
Final Grade: A
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Course: Computer Science 224
Prepareness: B-
Health preserve: B (overnight stay up required, slept before)
Exam strategy rating: B
Timing: B. Declared revision completed 2.5 hours BE
declared fairgame certified 2.5 hours BE
Report:
Andy, I don't know the reason that I thought I screw up in the final exam. There are too many linux command switches to remember and I don't remember quite a lot of them. Perhaps Andy do understand it because most people don't. This is a two credit class but it has been a lot of work. I do well in homework, without the homework grade, I would get into B- (another disaster).
Final Grade: A-

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