Category Archives: school and teaching

This category is a bit of a mixed bag. When I was in grad school I used to blog about my daily woes as a student. A lot of the posts dealt with my graduate assistantship duties teaching one class per semester. One I graduated, I kept that job and I still teach that class as an adjunct professor. These days I use this category to write about various aspects of teaching, and my reflections about the state of technological know-how in the wild as exemplified by my students.

Mobile Tools for College Students

When I was a college student my primary work tool was the venerable Inspiron 4000 running Kubuntu. It was a few generations out of date when I got it, but I didn’t particularly care because it was a laptop I … Continue reading


My Teaching Blog

I don’t have the best track record establishing new blogs, but I just made another one. Yes, I know I have been completely neglecting Limelog for about an eternity and a half. I just ran out of shitty movies to … Continue reading


Science vs Humanities

I found this gem on Reddit the other day and I saved it to share with you guys because it is a clusterfuck of horrible. According to the story that came attached to the picture, it was a print add … Continue reading


This is why we can’t have nice things – a response to Jeffrey McManus

Some of you have probably heard about the University of Florida scandal by now. If not, here is a quick recap: they axed their Computer Science Department, fired everyone they could, publicly humiliated the tenured professors they couldn’t fire and … Continue reading


Project Topics

In the class I teach, the students have to do a group project which combines a lot of the skills they acquire during the semester. It requires them to create outlines in a word processor, make spreadsheets, utilize a database … Continue reading


Some Reflections about my Students

Most of you know that I teach an introductory computer class at the local university. It is an interesting experience – I sort of get a first hand glimpse at the general computer knowledge of a diverse sample of the … Continue reading


Logitech Cordless 2.4 GHz Presenter

A while ago I blogged about buying “the clicker”, aka the Targus Wireless presenter tool. If you do not know what it is, let me explain. You know how sometimes when people are doing a Power Point presentation they walk … Continue reading


Write LOGO Code…

As you may remember, this past semester I had my students do some very simple programming exercises in LOGO. The lab session could actually be considered a success since most of the students seemed to enjoy playing with the Tortue … Continue reading


Electronic Test Taking

I’m a fan of technology. I believe that most things can be made better via automation, virtualization and all the other *-tions that introduce technology into equation. In most cases, if something is preceded by “electronic” or “online” it means … Continue reading


Users don’t know bout my tilde

Classic unix web addresses are incomprehensible to average users. I’m talking about URL’s that are composed of a domain name, followed by a slash, a tlide and your user name. Something like this: http://domain.tld/~yourname These addresses are incredibly common. Chances … Continue reading


How did we live without facebook?

As part of the multi-stage group project, my students have to prepare a set of PowerPoint slides and present them in class. The topics vary, and while I have a running list of technology related subjects they can use, I … Continue reading


OS agnosticism is good for you

I was talking to a student recently about the MS Office 2007 ribbon feature and how it throws many people off at first. I asked her if this was also her experience, but she replied that she had no major … Continue reading


Teaching LOGO to non-CS Students

Back in April I mentioned teaching bits of LOGO to my Fluency in Technology class using the Tortue interpreter. I actually did not get to it last semester so this experiment had to wait. I finally managed to cover it … Continue reading


First Programming Language – Python/Ruby?

A little while ago we had an interesting discussion on what programming language should be taught to CS majors. I think that overwhelming number of people agreed that C++ is a solid choice because provides students with a very solid, … Continue reading


Academic Advising Facepalm

My lovely university never ceases to amaze me. Every semester without fail, they do something so monumentally stupid that I can’t help but go: This has been going on since my freshman year. So 4 years of college, 2.5 years … Continue reading


Phising Prevention

Not so long ago my university’s email got blacklisted by Comcast and Microsoft due to large amounts of spam streaming from our network. This lovely email explains the details of the situation: To Our Campus Community- Information Technology has received … Continue reading


Communicating With College Students Using Their Own Media

Over the last 2-3 years I noticed that making students read email is almost as hard as making them do homework assignments on time – if not harder. It’s like pulling teeth. And yet, we sort of rely on this … Continue reading


That’s Because You Can’t Bullshit Science

An interesting tidbit of pseudo-scientific news from Durham University researchers think that physics, chemistry and biology are a grade harder than drama and media studies and three-quarters of a grade harder than English at ‘A-level’, roughly equivalent to high … Continue reading


Laptops in the Classroom

Here is a short excerpt from a longer article someone posted to the MSU [discuss] list the other day. I found it somewhat interesting because it is actually like the only vaguely on topic message on that list I saw … Continue reading


Using Email as Online Storage

I previously wrote about two of my observations regarding use of email among the young and technologically clueless college students. First observation was that none of my students ever had a straight POP3 or IMAP email account in their life. … Continue reading


My MSU Email Debacle

For like a week or two now, I noticed something strange and yet not entirely unpleasant happening to my inbox. There were no angry emails from students complaining that I didn’t grade their homework submitted 3 weeks late the very … Continue reading


Since the 1800’s…

I wanted to share with you a final slide from a presentation made by one of my students. I wish I was making this up, but I’m not. You can judge whether this is funny or very sad by yourself: … Continue reading


Teaching about Programming: LOGO

The semester is almost over. I was convinced that I will actually have one regular class in May before the finals, but I was wrong. The regular schedule at MSU ends on the 5th and then we go into the … Continue reading


From the Teachers Mailbox

Here are few literary gems from my inbox. These emails were sent to me by some of my students over the few last semesters. I will preface this by saying that the strange linguistic constructs you will see below were … Continue reading


Machine Empathy

A lot of people I meet tell me that they are not good with computers/technology when they hear what I do. I often wondered why do they do that. It seems like a silly self deprecation. In this day and … Continue reading