EECS 203 Mailing List
Re: Modifications to EECS 203

Re: Modifications to EECS 203

From: Maureen Gilmour <maureengilmour2007_at_avoiding.spam>
Date: Thu May 22 2008 - 10:31:35 CDT

Hey, Professor. Here are my suggestions.

1. I like what you've done with the homework assignments lately. Making
some problems optional to decrease the workload is really really helpful,
but keeping the problems on the problem set but just worth 0 points helps us
to learn, and gives us good suggestions for studying for the final.

2. In general, the workload needs to decrease for the class. We spend way
too much time on labs and homeworks, combined. The above suggestion for the
homework really helped the workload. But perhaps the labs should be done
during Tuesday, or there shouldn't be as many of them and they should be
two-week labs, just to decrease the work load and encourage us to learn, not
just complete the assignment.

3. For most of the students that take the course, the purpose is simply
requirement. It's a requirement for many majors and the majority of the
students walk in with the attitude of just getting it over with. To help us
enjoy computer technology and not think of it as simply a requirement, I
suggest getting rid of the CMOS stuff. We worked with TTL and that taught
us logic just as well as CMOS did. Most students understand that the class
is simply there to teach them the logic that goes behind computer design,
and they won't be designing computers in the future. For those students who
will, the CMOS stuff can be briefly covered and possibly be included in some
optional assignments that would encourage those interested in the subject to
pursue it, but not take up the time of the students who are just there to
learn the logic. The thing with giving optional assignments is, unless the
students have time, they won't do them even if they are interested. So
making the required assignment shorter when the optional CMOS assignment is
given would be a must, to ensure students actually looked into it if they
were interested.

4. Moving Tuesday's session to CG30 would be amazing. That's a good idea.

I really have enjoyed the course even though the work load was pretty
significant, and I believe I learned a lot. I learned mostly about the
logic and design behind computers, and the general idea of building circuits
on breadboards. I feel that other students might learn even more, and enjoy
the class more, if the work load was less and if the course focused on the
thing that most students are looking to get out of it--the basic logic.
Because most of us will not be computer designers, the course either should
cater to the vast majority, or not be a requirement for majors other than
computer engineering. Or perhaps a second class can be created, 203 for
non-computer engineers and 203 for computer engineers. Two different
classes to give two different crowds what they need, respectively, to do
well as engineers in the future.

Thank you

On 5/22/08, Robert Dick <> wrote:
> EECS 203 serves two purposes. First, it is supposed to provide future
> computer geeks with fundamental knowledge about digital system design that
> they can build on in the future. Second, it is supposed to provide an
> introduction to Computer Engineering to students that might potentially
> interest students who have not yet chosen majors. These goals are
> sometimes
> in conflict. I try to achieve both but I know there is room for
> improvement.
> I hate the concept of watering down a course. However, I realize that
> sometimes a lab or homework assignment can take less time and teach as
> much.
> If, looking back, there were examples of things that took a lot of time but
> didn't teach much, please tell me about them. If you have suggestions on
> making the course better, please write me an email now. You can send it
> now,
> or after the course, whichever you prefer.
> Here are some areas that might potentially be changed (to get you started
> thinking).
> 1) Dropping or adding topics.
> 2) Dropping or adding labs.
> 3) Moving Tuesday's session to CG30 and expecting students to work on
> homework
> and labs during the session, helping each other and with the TA available
> for
> questions.
> 4) Dropping something and spending more time on computer geek culture
> (which
> was covered briefly and stealthily in class, i.e., available to those who
> wanted it but not taking time from those who didn't care).
> 5) Dropping something and spending more time on cutting-edge technology
> trends.
> Thanks,
> -Robert Dick-
Received on Thu May 22 10:31:35 2008

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