Nadeem Abdul Hamid's experience

I taught the whole [Scheme-into-Java] sequence this year for the first time. It went pretty well; of course as I start preparing for the fall again, I will make some changes -- maybe not try to push as far through HtDP (e.g. leave mutation for the next semester).

I felt the courses went much better than what I've taught in the past (and over the past 6 years I've tried all sorts of Java-based curricula, and Python ones- media computation, IPRE, etc.). The material just has a more foundational and organized feel to it, rather than being random topics organized around syntax of the language. As far as the students, our college is experiencing a downturn in enrollment, affecting CS at least as much as any other program (we have the fewest number of declared majors -- around 15 or so total). So I only had about 30 students between two sections of HtDP last fall; and then a dozen continued into the second semester with Java. In the intro course, I have the CS freshmen and the rest are either math or physics/pre-engineering majors for whom the course is required (and who tend to wait until they are sophomore or juniors, or seniors to take it). Anyway, I think the students responded well to the curriculum; and they did appreciate to some degree the value of the design recipe. I have a couple of students who did really well and will be "teaching assistants" for me this coming year; which will be very helpful since I didn't have any such peer-support for the students last year.

Last modified:
Stephen Bloch /