Wednesday, August 23, 2006

And they all fall down...

Had my first theory exam. Everyone failed. Really.

My fault actually. The purpose of the (first half) of an Algorithm Class is to teach students the techniques of Algorithm analysis. What is the O notation for? Why do we need the masters theorem? What does it mean for an algorithm to run in polynomial time vs exponential time? What's the average case analysis for?

But what i did was teach them what the tools are but not how to use them. I taught them how to solve a recurrence relation but not how to get the recurrence relation given an algorithm. I thought them what the O notation is, but not how to determine the runtime of a program. They were expecting a "solve this, solve that" exam but found an "analyze this, analyze that" type. And that's what CS 135 is all about, algorithm analysis.

Oh well, charge it to experience. ^_^

This class has always been notorious for failing a good amount of students. I had thought i'd do better but i guess i botched as well (more than most actually O_o) So I called for a retest, made them re-do the exam as a problem set, just so that they'd be better prepared for the coming exam.

Which has been delayed by a continous sequence of unfortunate events (holidays, the UP College Admissions Test). Its hard because my students are masters students (im teaching an back course for masters students who didnt take CS in their undergrad) and its so hard to schedule outside of our saturday meetings. Im way way behind with respect to the other algorithm classes. Ugh.

I dont like to be a math/cs theory teacher, but the weird thing is, i'd be happy to teach this class again next year. ^_^


At 10:48 PM, Blogger vanie said...

it wasn't your fault. :D we're just not as "analyzers" as you expected us to be.. :) analyzing doesn't start in CS 135. :)


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