- Where am I? Where am I going?
Here is a campus map --
and a map of the Clarion area.
See the folks at career services to figure out a direction for your future...
- Can I major in CS or IS? Minor?
Yes. Get information on majors and minors and careers in this field. Get more details at the
CIS department page.
- Do I have to come to class?
I expect you to be in class. Coming to class reveals that you have an interest in
your own education. What you do while in class is even more revealing. Be attentive,
and courteous, especially to the other students. Ask questions. Not coming to class tells me
that you have abdicated responsibility for your education.
- Should I come to class if I'm going to be bored or uninterested?
Don't come and sleep and especially don't sit and whisper back and forth
with your neighbor - it is distracting, rude and really bugs the class. If you really don't want to be
here, then stay home. Realize that your grade will probably suffer, but be a grownup and
accept that responsibility.
Interest doesn't just happen - you have to generate it.
I suggest that you come to class and fake it if you have to.
Learn discipline - making yourself do something you may not enjoy in order to achieve a
higher goal - it's important.
- If I don't come to class, can you e-mail me what we did that day?
NO. As much as I'd like to be able to, I can't repeat every class on an individual basis.
If you miss class, it is YOUR responsibility to get notes and assignments.
- Do I have to read the book?
Of course you do. If you don't, you won't learn as much. If you're not here to learn, why
are you here (you might ask yourself...)? Education used to be a privilege of the wealthy, but in
this country, anyone can partake. Don't cheat yourself. Don't take it for granted.
Don't just sit there - educate
- Can't I just read the notes rather than come to class?
The notes are an outline of topics to be discussed. They in no way substitute for coming
to class. They are my notes that remind me what things to cover and what points to bring up.
I share them as a courtesy that may help you organize your notes and guide your reading -
- Can we work together on our programs?
Copying code is forbidden. Allowing others to copy your code is forbidden.
Protect your intellectual property and respect the property of others. Penalties
will be severe. See " honesty".
- Can I get extra help?
YES. Come to my office hours or make an appointment to come see me. It's part of my job,
not a special favor, so don't feel guilty for asking for help. Try to come with focused,
directed questions so I can best help you. I'm happy to help, but I can't do the work
- Will _______ be on the test?
Maybe. The idea of a test is to sample the information presented. If I tell you
where I will sample, you'll ignore the unsampled information, which may also be important.
To preserve the quality of your educational experience, I won't tell you if a particular
topic will be on the test. Coming to class will help determine test content as I usually
test on things that we spend time in class discussing.
- What is the attendance policy? The grading policy?
See "grades" for a complete explanation.
- Why do we need to do math in a computer class?
Math is the language of the Universe - including computers. It is critical
to know "ballpark figures" - knowing estimated numbers or ranges of numbers as they relate
to computers. It is absolutely crucial to know the difference between a millisecond and a microsecond. Binary
and hexadecimal arithmetic allows you to translate our decimal world into the
computer's mathematical bases.
- Can we use calculators on tests?
NO. Learn to use the calculator you were born with.
You need to UNDERSTAND computer math, not push buttons to get answers that you can't
explain. A computer scientist should KNOW that 20 bits allows you to address a megabyte, or
represent a million+ colors. Imagine being in a meeting (when you're making the big $$ in
industry), and taking out a calculator to figure out an answer that everyone knows in their
head - you'll wish you could disappear.
- What is a C.A.P.?
I usually allow a one page CAP (Cognitive Augmentation Package) for a test. These
used to be known as "cheat sheets". They are simply a device - a trick - to try to make you
study. They help you organize and prioritize and think about the material.
The process of making the CAP is more valuable than the CAP itself, although having a CAP
during a test may provide some relief from test anxiety.
- Can you teach us _______??
I know you'll think I'm terrible, but I can't teach you anything. All I can do
is try to lead you as you educate yourself. Think of it like a hike through a (sometimes
scary) forest. I can show you the path, warn you of dangers, recommend strategies and give
you an occassional boost - but I can't hike for you. Your educational experience depends
more on you than on me. Take responsibility. Be bold. Go for it.
- Can I do extra credit?
NO. Do the assigned work and do it well. If I give you extra credit, I must give
everyone the opportunity to do extra credit at which point it becomes just another assignment.
If you haven't done the assigned work well, what sense does it make to give you more?
Study hard for the next test - that's the most effective way to improve your grade.
- Why do you _______ ?? It's not fair!!
I try to be fair, but life isn't fair sometimes. Learn to deal with it.
Don't let trivial issues of personality or perceived unfairness get in the way of your goals.
Situations are going to occur that you don't like - how you respond is a critical decision -
- Don't I deserve a better grade?
Your perspective is limited. I am tasked with fairly evaluating your performance
in relation to the goals of the course and the performance of other students. I can't
give special treatment to you without considering every other student. I will listen to any substantial grade
complaints, but please don't whine. If I have made an error, I will correct it and re-evaluate,
but the decision of what grade to give is MY decision.