Message 31/69 Carl Gibson Feb 11, 99 01:37:57 pm -0800


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Subject: Re: AMES 5

To: (Ameesh Paleja)

Date: Thu, 11 Feb 1999 13:37:57 -0800 (PST)

Cc: (Carl Gibson)



Dear Ameesh:

Thanks for the email. I certainly don't agree with you

about the quizzes, since the TAs report a dramatic improvement in

student programming abilities this quarter when I've had quizzes

compared to last quarter when I didn't. Personally I found that I

learned most rapidly by modifying the example programs given by the

textbook author on a disk included with the textbook. By assigning

these as homework it saves the students the trouble of retyping the

programs to be sure they run, and gives them a chance to show off

whatever skills they have acquired in their modified programs. Most

students are completely lost at first when it comes to solving

original computing problems, so I keep this down to a minimum, and

just see if they can demonstrate that they understand the purpose of

the text example programs to the TAs.

Why do you say True Basic is an obscure version of BASIC?

The inventors of the BASIC language at Dartmouth in 1964 started the

True Basic company (see the True Basic webpage).

I don't see how turning in the homework and projects could

be any simpler than it is...using the AppleShare system and a

dropfolder on a server in the AMES 5 laboratory which can be reached

from any of the dozens of MacLabs around campus. Lots simpler to

use than the Unix utility you mentioned...just drag and drop.





Carl H. Gibson

Professor of Engineering Physics and Oceanography

Departments of AMES and SIO

University of California at San Diego

La Jolla, CA 92093-0411

Phone: (619) 534-3184, Fax: (619) 534-7599





> Dr. Gibson,

> My friend is in your AMES 5 Class this quarter and she has been showing me

> her assignments and quizzes. I find both the quizzes and programming

> assignments to be a waste of time. The quizzes are based more on one's

> knowledge of True Basic syntax (Which is a problem in itself, True Basic?

> Why in the world would anybody pick such an obscure version of basic, why

> not GW Basic or QBASIC?(much better than True Basic by far) About the

> programming assignments why have them modify 20 versions of same program

> when you can assign them a problem and ask them to fix it. One Problem, One

> solution w/ any guidelines that you would have. Now on top of this whole

> mess your turnin procedure is quite complicated and proprietary (MAC based)

> Did you know that ACS has a utility available to all faculty called turnin,

> which you setup so your students can turnin their programs very easily over

> telnet. I apologize if I am being rude in anyway but I feel sorry that

> friend is getting such a poor introduction to fascinating world of Computer

> Science.


> Sincerely,

> Ameesh Paleja