eCAFE - Course and Faculty Evaluation, University of Hawaii

eCAFE: Course and Faculty Evaluations


Instructor: David Chin

Available Survey Results

ICS462, Fall 2013
ICS661, Fall 2012

David Chin: ICS462, Fall 2013

Campus: University of Hawaii at Manoa Department: Information& Computer Sciences
Course: ICS 462 - AI for Games Crn (Section): 79273 (001)    
1. Class Level (pick one) - please note that by answering this question you could potentially jeopardize your anonymity
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Freshman   Sophomore   Junior   Senior   Grad   Other  
4.0 7 0.0 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 7 (100%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%)
2. Course - please note that by answering this question you could potentially jeopardize your anonymity
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Elective   Required  
1.0 7 0.0 Freq(%) 7 (100%) 0 (0%)
3. The instructor demonstrated knowledge of course content.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.43 7 0.53 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 4 (57%) 3 (43%)
4. The instructor fulfilled the goals of the course.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.29 7 0.49 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 5 (71%) 2 (29%)
5. The instructor communicated effectively.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.0 7 1.0 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 1 (14%) 0 (0%) 4 (57%) 2 (29%)
6. How can the instructor improve the teaching of this course?
More quizzes. More stuff to get graded in general.
The code base is a complete mess. BZFlag is probably the worst open-source project I've ever had to work with. Indentations and variable names are laughably ambiguous, which would've been fine if it's well documented. And it's not at all documented. It's not poorly documented. It's not documented. The project simply does not work cross platforms. And the project is so out of date that updating my own system breaks the compilation. I've spent more time fixing the project than actually doing the project. The professor probably knows this too because he would sometimes spend almost the entire class period in complete silence, trying to fix the code. And watching him jump around the code doesn't teach me anything.
More interaction between students
More examples.
A solid course. But to improve? There's some things that could be added. Limit in class coding/working out problems. Helping fix bugs is great, and some examples are vital, but going through the entire process sometimes continues long after the ideas are sufficiently conveyed. This class could hugely benefit from guest speakers, including the professor. Discuss his experience/opinions on a large scale. Gaming AI connects with several specialties and speakers from any one of them would be interesting and useful.
For the quizzes I felt like I wasn't really taught how to work on them. So majority of the time was spent reading through the book and trying to find the correct chapter and page where the material is covered, then trying to comprehend what I was reading. Considering how the the material on the quizzes is also on the midterm and final, I would have liked to see a little more time on running through some example problems in class. However other than that, I really enjoyed the class.
7. Global appraisal: Overall how would you rate this COURSE?
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Very Poor   Poor   Average   Good   Very Good  
3.86 7 0.9 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 1 (14%) 0 (0%) 5 (71%) 1 (14%)
8. Global appraisal: Overall how would you rate this INSTRUCTOR?
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Very Poor   Poor   Average   Good   Very Good  
4.14 7 0.38 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 6 (86%) 1 (14%)
9. I gained a good understanding of concepts/principles in this field.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.29 7 0.49 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 5 (71%) 2 (29%)
10. I developed the ability to solve real problems in this field.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.0 7 0.82 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 2 (29%) 3 (43%) 2 (29%)
11. I developed the ability to communicate clearly about this subject.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
3.86 7 0.69 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 2 (29%) 4 (57%) 1 (14%)
12. I deepened my interest in the subject matter of this course.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.2 5 0.45 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 4 (80%) 1 (20%)
13. I developed skills needed by professionals in this field.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
3.71 7 0.95 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 1 (14%) 1 (14%) 4 (57%) 1 (14%)
14. Which aspects of the course were most valuable?
The buildup to the final programming assignment. The assignments built up from each other.
Building upon previously done work
Programming assignments.
The out of class coaching was really helpful. In the office and by email, the support was a big help in learning the concepts and overcoming the hurdles in the coding process.
Learning everything honestly. Video games has been a big part of my life and initially why i became an ICS major, so having a course on it is a great idea from my perspective. Working on AI code, and also problems on paper made it feel really valuable to learn how to do both instead of in most ICS classes where the code feels most important and the paper work seem very unimportant.
15. Which aspects of the course were least valuable?
Essays.
Nothing comes to mind.
The coding was quite hard, as the 1st and 2nd assignments were definitely the most challenging, it would have been nice to have maybe one more week to do both. However also having the course as a WI made it hard to space the coding, writing assignments and quizzes out so I understand. And also I kind of expected the coding to be hard, so it was fine by me; but just more time would have been nice and a possibility to consider.
16. The instructor gives clear explanations.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.4 5 0.55 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 3 (60%) 2 (40%)
17. The instructor seems to enjoy teaching.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.2 5 0.45 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 4 (80%) 1 (20%)
18. The instructor seems knowledgeable in many areas.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.6 5 0.55 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 2 (40%) 3 (60%)
19. The instructor was effective in meeting the objectives of the course.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.4 5 0.55 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 3 (60%) 2 (40%)
20. The instructor was enthusiastic about the course material.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.4 5 0.55 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 3 (60%) 2 (40%)
21. The instructor is willing to meet and help students outside class.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.75 5 0.5 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 1 (20%) 3 (60%)
22. The instructor makes me feel free to ask questions.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.6 5 0.55 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 2 (40%) 3 (60%)
23. The instructor was available and willing to help with individual problems outside of class.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.86 7 0.38 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 1 (14%) 6 (86%)
24. The instructor seems well prepared for each class.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.2 5 0.45 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 4 (80%) 1 (20%)
25. The instructor presented the course materials in a clear and organized way.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.4 5 0.55 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 3 (60%) 2 (40%)
26. In general, the course was well organized.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.4 5 0.55 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 3 (60%) 2 (40%)
27. My overall evaluation of this instructor is....
good.
A good professor. Would take a class from him again.
A great guy. But your probably asking an evaluation of him as a teacher. It's important to be specific, yes? He did a great job putting together the curriculum for the class, and brought together a lot of good topics to learn. The extra push on writing and speaking was a bit outside the box and useful. I'd recommend he go off the rails even more. The speech book had a lot of good ideas and he could have taught/trained/done exercises on that more. It was a good resource but I think you would miss it if you didn't go out of your way to study it. Similarly, he knows a lot of things that are not in the book, and can supply context to that information. The class would benefit from more free discussion and opinions in addition to the formal explanations.
Great teacher, really made the course interesting and fun with all of the topics. Also challenging in a good way by making sure we know and try to master the material in the form of quizzes. Its a shame this class isn't more popular though. But I actually enjoyed having only 9 other classmates as it felt more like a big team, instead of me just being an individual in the class.
28. Assignments are interesting and stimulating.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.43 7 0.79 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 1 (14%) 2 (29%) 4 (57%)
29. Assignments are relevant to what is presented in class.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.2 5 0.84 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 1 (20%) 2 (40%) 2 (40%)
30. The instructional materials (e.g., texts, handouts, etc.) were relevant to course objectives.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.4 5 0.55 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 3 (60%) 2 (40%)
31. Grades are assigned fairly and impartially.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.57 7 0.53 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 3 (43%) 4 (57%)
32. Which aspects of the course did you like the best?
The shootout. The book. The quizzes.
The theoretical parts. But they are rare and rapidly covered. Dr. Chin seems more interested in the coding than the theory. We went over each kinematic topic in about 5 to 10 seconds. I really liked it, but it was brief and superficial at best. I mostly enjoyed going to Stanford's class website to learn the theoretical parts.
The final shootout.
The discussion of the different decision making methods and how they would work together and when you would want to.
Final project though tough, was probably the most rewarding experience in an ICS class so far. Usually we are used to coding assignments just printing out results in text. However, actually seeing your robots move around the map the way you programmed them to do so was very rewarding and fun. And I think our whole class enjoyed it and it was definitely the highlight of my semester.
33. Which aspects of the course did you like least?
BZFlag.
Teams should be assigned randomly.
Working on existing code was a good idea, and adding in new modules is good practice for the real world, but makes it possible to completely avoid understanding the material discussed in class. If we actually wrote the algorithms for Astar and decision trees, it would reinforce our understanding of it. This might just be a foolish wish though since that might take more time than any student would have.
Just the spacing of the assignments was the main think I liked the least. I explained that above in the answer to a previous question. Along with the quiz material not being represented in class. But those were quite minor as I'm sure everyone was able to complete the programming assignments as well as do the quizzes. Also the programming assignments were quite difficult, but that is expected in a course like this.
34. What changes would you make in the writing assignments?
More of them would be alright.
5 to 6 pages on your participation in the project? That's ridiculous. A good writer doesn't need 5 to 6 pages to write a portion of the methods section in their research. It's mostly training students to be verbose for page count sake. I feel like I've become a worse writer to compensate for the requirements. I'd probably have more assignments with shorter lengths on actual AI topics.
I'd have a discussion about them after we've returned them. I'm sure my classmates had some interesting ideas and it would have been good to hear them.
I didn't have too much of a problems with the first two writing assignments. I felt that the first one was the best one though. However the last writing assignment was quite tough to put into 5-6 pages. But it also depends on how much stuff your team implemented too.
35. My overall evaluation of this course is...
good
A pretty good course that I believe does well to introduce a tough subject.
Good class, really glad it was offered. I think this is what a 400 class should be. It was hard to implement and used semi-real world conditions, but wasn't punishing. I think I learned a lot.
Great course, I had a lot of fun in it along with a lot of stress. But in the end it was worth it. Dr. Chin is a great teacher who made the material exciting to learn. Great course, highly recommended.
36. State in two or three sentences how this course could be improved.
As I said earlier, more stuff to get graded would help, as it would not be as punishing to your grade if you missed one thing.
More emphasis on the final shootout and make it weighted heavier.
More open professor to student big picture discussion. More student to student in class discussion, even if the professor has to present the student's idea for them because some students are going to be shy. I still have 2200 characters left for this third sentence!
Spacing of the programming assignments could be better, however it is understandable since this is a WI course as well. Make quiz/test material more prevalent in class to help the future students. Possibly split up programming/writing assignments into 4-5 instead of 3 major ones.
37. Other comments:
Thanks for teaching this course. I learned several things I did not expect to learn from this class. That's always a really good sign.
Great course, wish I could have another course taught by Dr. Chin.

David Chin: ICS661, Fall 2012     Back to top

Campus: University of Hawaii at Manoa Department: Information& Computer Sciences
Course: ICS 661 - Adv Artificial Intelligence Crn (Section): 79818 (001)    
1. Class Level (pick one) - please note that by answering this question you could potentially jeopardize your anonymity
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Freshman   Sophomore   Junior   Senior   Grad   Other  
5.0 7 0.0 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 7 (100%) 0 (0%)
2. Course - please note that by answering this question you could potentially jeopardize your anonymity
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Elective   Required  
1.43 7 0.53 Freq(%) 4 (57%) 3 (43%)
3. The instructor demonstrated knowledge of course content.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.86 7 0.38 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 1 (14%) 6 (86%)
4. The instructor fulfilled the goals of the course.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.57 7 0.53 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 3 (43%) 4 (57%)
5. The instructor communicated effectively.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.29 7 0.49 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 5 (71%) 2 (29%)
6. I gained a good understanding of concepts/principles in this field.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.43 7 0.53 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 4 (57%) 3 (43%)
7. I deepened my interest in the subject matter of this course.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.14 7 0.69 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 1 (14%) 4 (57%) 2 (29%)
8. Which aspects of the course were most valuable?
lectures, quizzes, programming assignments
The quizzes were very helpful to get some practice actually applying the concepts. I also liked how the midterm came directly from the quizzes; I hope the final works that way too. The assignments were also fun--small enough to be quite manageable, but still interesting and practical. Those were probably my favorite part of the course.
the lectures and samples
The in class board examples were most beneficial to learning about how the different methods worked. The book alone was hard to learn from due to the fact that they do not do step by step.
the quizzes effectively focused and engaged the material
9. Which aspects of the course were least valuable?
exams
Sometimes you wouldn't cover the material needed for the quizzes until the day the quiz was due. While having to do the quizzes did force me to read and learn the material, a few times I spent 2 or 3 hours on a quiz when I could have done the same work in an hour or less if I had a basic overview of what I was supposed to do before I started.
the homework sometimes didn't seem that useful
Talking while looking at the book or facing the board made it hard to understand.
lots of pressure at the end, with %50 of grade in project and final exam
10. The instructor gives clear explanations.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.29 7 0.49 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 5 (71%) 2 (29%)
11. The instructor seems to enjoy teaching.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.57 7 0.53 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 3 (43%) 4 (57%)
12. The instructor seems knowledgeable in many areas.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.86 7 0.38 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 1 (14%) 6 (86%)
13. The instructor was effective in meeting the objectives of the course.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.43 7 0.53 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 4 (57%) 3 (43%)
14. The instructor was enthusiastic about the course material.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.57 7 0.53 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 3 (43%) 4 (57%)
15. The instructor is willing to meet and help students outside class.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.57 7 0.53 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 3 (43%) 4 (57%)
16. The instructor makes me feel free to ask questions.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.71 7 0.49 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 2 (29%) 5 (71%)
17. The instructor seems well prepared for each class.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.43 7 0.53 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 4 (57%) 3 (43%)
18. The instructor presented the course materials in a clear and organized way.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.57 7 0.53 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 3 (43%) 4 (57%)
19. In general, the course was well organized.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.71 7 0.49 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 2 (29%) 5 (71%)
20. My overall evaluation of this instructor is....
overwhelmingly positive
Very knowledgeable, patient with students, and a want for students to succeed.
good teacher, very nice person willing to help students
Good. Just avoid the book reading and speaking when facing away.
great!
21. Assignments are relevant to what is presented in class.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.57 7 0.79 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 1 (14%) 1 (14%) 5 (71%)
22. The instructional materials (e.g., texts, handouts, etc.) were relevant to course objectives.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.71 7 0.49 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 2 (29%) 5 (71%)
23. Grades are assigned fairly and impartially.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.71 7 0.49 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 2 (29%) 5 (71%)
24. My overall evaluation of this course is...
overwhelmingly positive
Good. I felt it covered a wide range of NLP material. Sometimes we seemed to bog down in the details a bit, and I had to remind myself what the particular technique-of-the-day was good for. I took this class more from an interest in general AI than in natural language processing in particular. I found that NLP--and I'm beginning to suspect this of most AI--relies on statistical techniques more than I'd like. I enjoy more the applications that use a conceptual or logical model over those that rely on probability and guesswork. I was still glad to learn more about that statistical side of things, though.
Enjoyed this course. Learned a lot.
makes ai seem very interesting
Good. At times rather confusing because the book isn't clear about how to do many of the methods. Most of the quizzes are done with assumptions. Actually, on that note, I don't feel comfortable asking if I am doing the quiz correctly beforehand.
a great introduction to natural language processing
25. Other comments:
I'm not quite sure what the specific goals and objectives were for this course. I'm assuming: Explore the techniques used in NLP.
I enjoyed seeing examples written out on the board. Some sections of the textbook were taught by, reading from the textbook outloud from the professor. I have a hard time grasping concepts and methods just from hearing and think it would've been more effective to have as much writing on the board as possible of the methods. Step by step is best.
Professor Chin's speaking voice is too soothing sometimes. More modulation would be a plus.