How My Courses Work
You will be spending quite a bit of time with me over the course of the
next semester so I want to take a few minutes to introduce myself to you by
way of providing you with assorted facts. I grew up in Taiwan as a son of
missionaries. I have a wife, a son, and a daughter. My wife
works with techonology services at HSU. I enjoy problem solving
(especially with a computer), reading, listening to music, and a variety of
sports. My current interest is recreational mountain biking. (I would enjoy
the opportunity to show you around the trails at Buck Creek some time.) I also
recently became licensed to operate a ham radio station (general class).
I have undergraduate degrees in computer science, in mathematics, and in
physical education. My graduate degrees (M.S. from University of Arkansas
and Ph.D. from University of Texas at Arlington) are in computer science. I
have taught university-level computer science courses at four different
universities starting in 1991.
For me, teaching is far more than a simple job in which I provide services
in exchange for money. I consider it a calling and a treasured
responsibility. I view a university-level course as a partnership between
an instructor and his students. In this partnership the instructor works
hard to ``bring to the front'' facts, concepts, and methods necessary for
``mastery'' of the given topic and students diligently pursue the
memorization of facts, the understanding of concepts, and the mastery of
There are two primary expectations that I maintain for students who are
enrolled in university-level computer science courses with me: that
students are committed to work hard and that students will act with
- Commitment to Work Hard
- I expect university-level students to
work hard. A ``full time'' job typically requires 40 clock hours a week. A
full-time student averages just over 15 credit hours per semester. Applying
high-school algebra to these numbers reveals that a typical 3 credit hour
course should require about 7.5 clock hours per week (with nearly 3 of
those hours spent in class attendance).
Not all courses are created equally. Upper-level courses and courses that
require programming will require significantly more work than a ``typical''
course. If you intend to do well in this course you will need to spend
approximately six hours a week outside of class.
- Acting with Integrity
- I expect university-level students to act
with integrity. At a minimum this means compliance with the guidelines
regarding academic integrity as outlined in the course syllabus. A student
should never submit work that does not reflect their own (independent)
thinking and effort. Nor should a student aid another student in violation
of this policy. If a student exercises poor judgment and is called to
account, they should be transparent in their discussions with the instructor.
Another aspect of integrity is acting respectfully toward the
instructor and toward other students involved the course. A very simple,
but important way to show respect to both parties is to refrain from
talking or from being disruptive while the instructor is addressing the
class. When in doubt regarding how to properly show respect, apply the
``golden rule'' as advocated by Jesus of Nazareth: "Do to others the kinds of
things you would want them to do to you.''
As the semester moves along I will give quite a few suggestions regarding
how to approach various assignments and tests. Rest assured that those
suggestions come from years of experience and from a desire on my part for
you to learn.
If I had to summarize in a single sentence my advice concerning how to
succeed in this course it would be this: ``Be a FATHEAD.''1
- ... FATHEAD.''1
- See the
document entitled ``How to be a
for more information.