Assignment 1

Friday, Aug 31, 2018
Sunday, Sep 2, 2018 by 10:30pm
In this assignment, you will gather information about the structure of the course and then respond to a few basic questions about the course and about yourself.
Each student should submit their own responses to this assignment. You may consult other students in the class as you review the course materials. If you receive help from anyone, make sure to cite them in your responses. You do not need to cite course pages you were instructed to read for this assignment.
Please submit your responses in an email to with the subject [CSC 151-01] Assignment 1. Include all your responses in the body of the email, not an attachment!

Part one: The course

As you might have been able to tell from the first day of class, I have a wide variety of opinions about learning and teaching in CS which are reflected in how I run the class. You can (and should) learn more about these perspectives from the course web. In this portion of the assignment, you will review the course web and answer some basic questions.

First, read the following items.

Next, answer the following questions.

  1. What should you do to prepare for each class meeting?
  2. What happens if you turn in a homework assignment late?
  3. Give at least three ways that you can figure out what work you have due for the course.
  4. When can you work with other students in the course and when can you not work with other students?
  5. How can you ask me for help?
  6. Who else can you rely upon for help in this course?
  7. What are two other important things you learned in this part of this assignment?
  8. What are two important things you learned on the first day of class? If you added the course late, list two important things you learned on your first day attending the course.
  9. Why do you think I gave you this assignment?
  10. What questions about the class do you have that are not answered by the Web site? (Feel free to say that you have none.)

Part two: About you

As I start a new course, I like to learn a little bit about each student in the course. I find that knowing more about my students helps me teach better. Hence, I provide a short survey at the start of each semester.

  1. What is your name?
  2. What are your gender pronouns (e.g., he/him/his, she/her/her, ze/zir/zir, they/them/theirs)? If you tell me your pronouns, I will do my best to use your chosen pronouns, but I will likely fail at times. I mean no disrespect if I use the incorrect pronoun; please correct me!
  3. How should I address you in class?
  4. Where is your home?
  5. What is your major (or intended major)? And yes, it’s okay to say “I have no idea.”
  6. Who is your academic advisor? (Alternately, who are your academic advisors, if you have more than one?)
  7. What courses are you taking this term? Please include meeting times. I prefer course names to course abbreviations, although you should feel free to include abbreviations in addition to names.
  8. Tell me a little bit about your background with computers. It’s fine if you have no background; we assume none for this course. It’s also fine if you have a lot, or any amount in between.
  9. Why did you register for CSC 151?
  10. What do you hope to learn or gain from this course?
  11. What are your biggest concerns for the course?
  12. Do you currently plan to take more computer science after CSC 151? (It’s fine to say that you don’t know; it’s fine to change your mind.)
  13. What do you like most about Grinnell? (If you don’t like anything about Grinnell, what do you dislike least?)
  14. What do you dislike most about Grinnell? If you like everything about Grinnell, what do you like least about Grinnell?
  15. Most surveys like this ask you to list your five favorite books, movies, TV shows, CDs, chia animals, buildings on campus, professors, scholars convocations, or whatever. I’ll give you a little more freedom. Pick a category of objects (it can be one that I listed, it can be one that I didn’t list), and list five of your favorite objects in that category.
  16. What else should I know about you?
  17. Since I’m asking you all of these questions, it is only fair that you get to ask me some questions. What, if anything, would you like to know about me? (You need not ask anything; I’m just trying to provide you with an option. And I certainly reserve the right not to answer questions.)

Part three: Start reading

Find and complete the readings for our next class. You should know where to look to find these. Make sure you complete these readings and all future readings before class on they day they are listed.