[prog] Who were your best CompSci teachers?

Andrea Landaker qirien at icecavern.net
Tue Apr 8 09:05:53 EST 2003

> Teaching linked-lists and C in a University setting is like teaching
> algebra in this setting.  Its simply not challenging as a higher education
> material.

Well, you have to learn it sometime.  Are you going to exclude everyone who 
didn't have a chance to learn programming in high school from getting a CS 
degree?  I had two years of computer science in high school, but I *still* 
hadn't learned basic algorithms and things like that (probably because we had 
no textbook and 3/4 of the people in the class just wanted to play Solitaire, 
and I was busy learning things I knew how to learn, like HTML).  A person 
should be able to major in whatever they want in college, regardless of 
previous experience or lack thereof.

However, I do agree that basic CS classes should be skippable if a student can 
demonstrate competence in these areas already (such as by taking the final, 
or submitting a programming project that demonstrates competency, or 
something).  I have also met many people that *think* they are competent in 
these areas because they have been programming for a long time, but in 
reality they know nothing about basic algorithms or making things efficient 
or things like that (no one here; mostly people in classes or at work).  This 
is perhaps why many teachers are reluctant to allow students to skip these 
classes -- it is difficult to tell the difference between students that think 
they are competent and students that really are, without making up elaborate 
tests and projects that take up everyone's time.

Andrea Landaker

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