University of Virginia Computer Science
CS216: Program and Data Representation, Spring 2006

28 January 2006

Registration Survey Responses

See Lecture 2 for some discussion of the survey.


I would like to run this course in a way that takes advantage of the honor code and places a large burden of individual responsibility on students to follow it. For example, I believe students will learn more from the course if they are permitted to work together on most assignments and expected to help their classmates learn on all assignments except exams. I would like to be able to have take-home exams, and know that students will honor the collaboration and resource rules for those exams. This depends on two things: So, the next few questions are intended to measure how much faith you have in the honor system.

  • How much faith do you think we should put in the honor system for this class?:
       43 Enough to have take-home exams
       30 Should have complete trust in honor system
        6 A little, but don't trust take-home exams
        1 Don't trust the students at all, need to police everything

  • Do you feel you are at a disadvantage if you follow the course honor policy strictly?
       69 no
       11 yes

  • If you observed a classmate cheating on a take-home exam, what would you do?
       36 Report the student anonymously to the course staff
       20 Confront the student
       11 Report the student to the course staff
        8 Nothing
        3 Initiate an honor charge
        2 No Selection

  • Do you have any other comments on the suggested honor policy for CS216:
    If you're worried about cheating for take-homes you could always make them essay or short answer based. I don't think it will be a problem though.

    Collaborative work is really the only policy that makes sense for a class like this, and take-home exams are convenient for teachers and students alike.

    i thought the policy you implemented in cs150 was fair and would be appropriate for this class.

    Try not to put honest students at a disadvantage. I had to withdraw from ECE 203 last semester indirectly because I had some measure of integrity, and I would not like to repeat the experience.

    I have honest friends; unfortunately they are not taking 216

    I believe the policy is important and should be used strongly... thats what UVA is all about.

    i think that if students feel the teacher is covering the material thoroughly and treats the students fairly then they will be more likely to uphold their end of the deal as far as the honor policy goes.

    Please no take home tests. Please allow collaboration on HW.

    I believe that it works enough to trust and that nearly all obey it, but that most people will not report a violation if they see it.

    I think cheaters will be obvious, and I hope we're all honorable enough that the idea of it wouldn't cross our minds.

    Follow the honor code, that is what UVa is about.

    Most students will not totally ignore the honor system, but they often times don't hesitate to cross the line past collaboration.

  • Background

  • Major:
       31 Computer Engineering
       31 Computer Science
        6 Other CLAS Major
        4 Systems Engineering
        2 CLAS CS Program
        2 Electrical Engineering
        2 Other
        1 Other SEAS Major
        1 No Selection
    Other major:
        4 Economics
        2 Cognitive Science
        2 Physics
        1 Econ
        1 Government
        1 EE
        1 CPE
        1 French
        1 materials science and engineering
        1 Computer Engineering
        1 Engineering business (Minor)
        1 Aerospace
        1 Eng Bussiness Minor
        1 Mathematics

  • Year:
       62 Second Year
       13 Third Year
        2 Fourth Year
        1 First Year
        1 Other
        1 No Selection

  • How good a programmer do you think you are (relative to other students entering CS216)?
       41 About Average
       26 Above Average
        8 A little below average, far below average
        4 Among the best
        1 No Selection

  • How good do you think you are at mathematical and analytical problems (relative to other students entering CS216)?
       45 About average
       25 Above average
        6 A little below average
        2 Among the best
        2 No Selection
        0 Far below average

  • Which programming languages have you used:
       65 In CS101 and CS202
       10 For a large project
        4 Not at all
        1 I've implemented a Java compiler
       31 Not at all
       30 Some familiarity
       18 For a large project
        1 I've implemented a C++ compiler
       74 Not at all
        6 Some familiarity
    Any assembly language:
       72 Not at All
        7 Some familiarity
        1 Lots of experience

  • Who is your intellectual hero and why?
       17 [blank]
        2 None
        1 Homer Hickam: he overcame much opposition and animosity to do what he liked
        1 Mr. Gasior, my high school physics teacher.  He was very knowledgable in the subject and was able to teach complex theories to us.
        1 Einstein, a scientist and a great philosopher of relatively modern times
        1 Benjamin Franklin:  He is a man who went from being an indetured servent to a emissary to Kings.  He was intrested in any thing and everything and was always learning new things.
        1 Malcolm X because he was a self-driven intellectual with an obvious social conciousness.
        1 DaVinci. He had extraordinary scientific and artistic vision...I admire that.
        1 My Dad because he knows a lot of random facts.
        1 Leonardo da Vinci, because he not only dabbled in many things but mastered many.
        1 Isaac Newton since he came up with an elegant, (fairly) simple theory which successfully described both the laws of physics on earth and the universe. 
        1 I honestly don't know.
        1 I don't really have one unfortunately.  I read books on neuroscience and computer technology so anyone who has done research in that combined area is pretty cool.
        1 I think my intellectual hero would be my best friend.  He really encourages me to think about the way I think and analyze how well I'm doing things.  He finds creative and efficient answers to just about everything, and he pushes me to be the same way.
        1 Kurt Vonnegut.  He is able to write in a way that ties in a variety of sometimes random topics in a way that is fun to read, yet also thought provoking.  He has wit without being an egotist.
        1 Albert Einstein because he said *Imagination is more important than knowledge* and I imagine a world with more efficient form of communication for humans.
        1 My father - he has taught me that balance in ones life is whats important.  When he's not busy putting his PhD to use, he is dabling in the culinary arts, music, and all sorts of other things.  
        1 My brother-in-law.  He is an electrical engineer and oftentimes comes up with fun logic puzzles for me to solve.  He has showed me numerous neat programming tricks and helped really get me interested in computer science.
        1 Steve Jobs is probably the first to come to mind; if just for the vision he's had for Apple. Secondly, maybe John Gruber ( because he's a good writer with a sharp wit and an actual understanding of not only what's going on in the sphere of computing, but the why as well. Other than that, Mike Davidson, the guys who wrote Flickr, the guys who wrote Ruby on Rails, Alan Turing, Donald Knuth, and so on. If these people, do, indeed, fit the definition of an *intellectual hero*. (As opposed to superhero?)
        1 Dr. Benjamin Carson because he overcame the odds to become a well known surgeon.
        1 I don't really have one.
        1 My father because he has proven to be a great role model in my life and I feel that if I turn out as well as he did then I will have a great life. 
        1 I would use the ubiquitous Albert Einstein because he is indeed an amazing individual, but also in striving to be an individual in my own right, Richard Feynman would take that prize. He is one of the smartest, most innovative people of our time. His work in the field of physics has completely revolutionized contemporary physics. Even beyond Einstein, Feynman was able to percieve and interpret results and phenomena that to this day elude even the brightest minds. On top of all of this, he was a surprisingly easy-going and charismatic person. He did not fall into the trap that so many scientists do of taking themselves too seriously.
        1 Don't have one.
        1 There is not one person who I could specifically identify, but I could list some aspects in a person that I would look up to.  Those aspects include working hard, having lots of integrity, and being trustworthy.
        1 Newton ... The man invented Calculus
        1 My uncle because he is an electrical engineer and he has worked very hard to get to where he is today and I wish I could be half the person that he is.
        1 I have several.  They have all contributed to society in a great way.
        1 sherlock holmes
        1 My dad, he never went to college and he's one of Boeings best engineers
        1 Edsger Wybe Dijkstra
        1 Leonardo Da Vince because his inventions were so far ahead of his time. 
        1 Einstein. He was a genious.
        1 Tolkien, because he made up entire language by the time he was nine years old, and he was meticulous about keeping notes and histories for his stories so that he would never contradict himself.  I appreciate that kind of effort and dedication, because that is very hard for me.
        1 My highschool teacher, Mr. Berenty because there was nothing he wasn't familiar with, except how to fly a helicopter.
        1 Karl Marx because I admire his ideas.
        1 Albert Einstein. As he was a brilliant scientist who was also concerned with the social impact of discoveries in science
        1 My dad, because he worked his way through college and was the only member of his family, and his entire town, to go to college.
        1 My Dad, becasue he can do anything he decides to do.
        1 ... .- -- ..- . .-..  -- --- .-. ... .(Samuel Morse): Not only did he invent the telegraph, he developed his own concise and arguably user-friendly language to go with it. Also, as an undergraduate at Yale, he pursued studies in both the arts and in electricity, which is kind of like what I'm doing at UVA (CS major and English minor with an emphasis in creative writing).  Throughout his life he was successful in politics, lobbying congress to support his inventions, he was a philanthropist, and he also continued his work as an artist.  I admire both his success and his well-roundedness.
        1 right now, Robert Littell because I'm reading *The Company* -amazing book
        1 God, the creator of all things.
        1 Father becuase he worked his way up from inlisted to major command
        1 Theodore Schwann for his contributions to cell theory and the discovery of the Schwann cell, which is responsible for the myelination of axons in the peripheral nervous system. The role of Schwann and other glial cells have only recently been identified as essential to the formation of myelin. The more we know about myelin, the more we can understand how autoimmune diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis effectively destroy the myelin sheath that allows for complex and essential neural communication.
        1 Marie Curie, because she was so involved with and loved her work, although it was eventually the cause of her death.
        1 Myself in 30 years.
        1 I don't really have one.  But since you probably are looking for an answer, I'd have to go with Albert Einstein.  He just seems like an all around smart guy that is easy to idolize.
        1 Robert Kahn.  I consider him my intellectual hero because whenever I given a presentation to him he always wants to know more, and doesnt settle for an easy explanation of a project.  He wants to know the why and how for each aspect of a project.  Also the fact that he invented the internet while at ARPA.
        1 The engineers for the great pyramids and stonehedge.  Mainly for the fact that at that time those accomplishments were unheard of.  I believe true intellectual greatness is from creating the first of something.
        1 Bill Gates has made lots of money.  
        1 C.S. Lewis, because he was a great Christian thinker
        1 My intellectual hero is the collective group that I spent working with this past summer as an intern.  Their knowledge and expertise has made amazing things possible.
        1 My father.  He's a renaissance man, extensively educated and in a wide variety of fields.  I hope to reach that someday, but for now I'm concentrating on the most interesting (to me) and useful subjects.
        1 My parents are my intellectual heroes because they have been through a lot, are intelligent in different fields, and can give me advice on anything.
        1 I can't really say I have one, unfortunately... but i'm open to inspiration.
        1 Isaac Newton. Even though I hate physics his work was very important to our world today.
        1 My father is my intellectual hero because although he did not receive the highest of grades in college, he is able to learn from his previous experience and is able to get the job done.
        1 Galileo Galilei, because he had the courage to stand up to the Catholic Church and believe in his own theories.
        1 My father is my intellectual hero.  He has helped me to become the student I am.  I strive to be as smart or smarter than he has become.  He may not know very much about computers but he has helped me to be able to gain a knowledgeable education from the University of Virginia.
        1 Albert Einstein - he was one of the most brilliant mathematicians and thinkers the world has ever seen
        1 Dan Bricklin for gracing the world with VisiCalc. How did you ever do without it?
        1 My intellectual hero is Alex Tew. He is the creator of the Million Dollar Homepage in which he earned one million plus dollars selling pixel space for advertisement. I consider him my intellectual hero because he made so much money out of a simple idea. Go to to learn more.
        1 Tesla. I kind of aspire to be an inventor. 


    Currently, there are staffed lab hours:
    Sundays 3:30-5 (KJ), 5-6:30 (EG), 6:30-8 (EC)
    Tuesdays 5:30-7 (PS)
    Wednesdays 7-8:30pm (DF)
    Thursdays 6:30-7:30pm (EG), 7:30-8:30pm (EC)
    Fridays 11am-12:30 (DF)
    Saturdays 3-4:30pm (PS)
    If additional staffed lab hours were added, which of these times would you prefer:
       20 Sundays, 8-9:30pm
       15 Sundays, 2-3:30pm
       13 Mondays, 5-6:30pm
        7 Fridays, 3:30-5pm
        7 No Selection
        6 Thursdays, 4-5:30pm
        5 Tuesdays, 10-11:30am
        5 Saturdays, 4:30-6pm
        2 Wednesdays, 8:30-10pm
    Note: we have added Small Hall On-Call hours Sundays 8-9:30pm (SG), Mondays, 5-6:30pm (SG), and Thursdays, 4-5:30pm (KJ)
    My office hours are currently scheduled for Wednesdays, 2-3pm and Fridays, 10:30-11:30am.

  • How many of the scheduled office hours can you make?
       28 Just Fridays, 10:30-11:30am
       20 Just Wednesdays, 2-3pm
       19 None
       12 Both
        1 No Selection

  • If you cannot make either of the scheduled office hours, what times would be good?
        1 Monday afternoon
        1 Friday from 2pm onwards
        1 I think the majority of the students in 216 are also in CS230 which meets M/W/F from 10-10:50am, so I think Friday office hours would be more accessible if they started at 11am.
        1 Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2-3
        1 Fridays after 12.
        1 Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday about 12-1
        1 Mon/Wed 12-2pm; Thur after 1pm; Fri after 12pm
        1 Thursdays 3:30PM-5PM; Fridays after 11:00AM
        1 Monday 5 - 6
        1 Any time on friday
        1 MWF after 3:15, TR between 11-3
        1 Fridays, 12-3pm
        1 Friday around 12:30 or 1
        1 Monday 12-2, 3-5; Tuesday 12-3; Wednesday 12-2, 3-5; Thursday 9-10, 12-3; Friday 11-5 
        1 mondays: after 3:00, tuesdays: 11:00-2:00, wednesdays: after 12:00, and fridays after 11:00
        1 Friday after 12
        1 noon, weekends
        1 Friday after 11.
        1 Thursday anytime before 2:00
        1 Tuesday and Thursday mornings, or after 3 on T/R.  My MWF are really really full.
        1 I have classes during both these sessions, but early on Thursdays and Tuesdays would be the best option for me to attend these sessions.  
        1 Mondays 3-5, Tuesdays 1-3, Wednesdays 3-5, Thursdays 1-5
        1 tuesday or thursday afternoons
    I've added an office hour for Thusdays, 11am-noon. I realize there are still people who may not be able to make any of the scheduled office hours. If that is the case for you, please feel free to send email to make an appointment to meet at some other time.
  • Other

  • Anything you want to know about me or the course?
    Where did you go to school?
    MIT (SB 1994, SM 1994, PhD 2000)
    Have you ever worked in the industry and where?
    I took a leave from grad school to start a company with a friend, but it doesn't exist anymore (the company that bought us out went bankrupt a few years later). I interned at IBM Almaden a few summers as a 2nd and 3rd year undergrad. But, I wouldn't count any of that are real "industry" experience.
    Why did you become a professor? (2 people asked this)
    I wanted to teach and work on hard problems, and have the freedom to do what I want with my time without being told what to do by a boss. Being a professor is a pretty amazing job in those respects.
    Recommend any good books (preferably non-fiction related to physics)?
    The last physics-related book I read was a collection of Richard Feynman's letters edited by his daughter, "Perfectly Reasonable Deviations from the Beaten Track". Well worth reading.
    How do the students usually do in your class? How tough are the homeworks?
    I haven't taught CS216 before, but I believe that in all my previous classes, all students who put a reasonable effort into the class did well and got something worthwhile out of the class.

    The homeworks are designed to be challenging and make you think, so they are probably "tough"er than what you might be used to from CS201 or CS101. I don't expect all of the students to be able to answer every question, and often ask questions that I am surprised if anyone can answer very well, but the point of the homeworks is to provide an opportunity to think in new ways and solve problems you don't already know how to solve.

    What is the average grade that you give out for this course?
    I haven't taught cs216 before, so there's no average grade. I don't worry about the average grade or grade on a curve, though, so you shouldn't worry about it. If you put good effort into the class and learn what you are supposed to, you'll get an A.
    Do you have an approximate percentage of our courseload which will be programming versus computer science?
    I'm not sure I understand the question - programming is at the core of computer science, so I would hope that almost all of the programming you do in this class is computer science work. If you mean how much of the assignments will be "coding" (turning informal descriptions of algorithms into program code) compared to "programming" (devising a program that solves a problem and analyzing it), then there should be very little (if any) coding in this class, and lots of programming. Probably about 1/2 the assignments, and the other 1/2 is analysis. But, both the programming and analysis is computer science.
    Will we work with C++?
    There will be some assignments that use C, which is almost a subset of C++, but no assignments using C++. If you want to learn C++, though, you shouldn't have any problem learning it on your own after this class.
    I am curious about the difficulty level of the course because I have not taken CS 202 already.
    CS202 is a prereq for CS216, so if you have not taken it yet you will need to learn some things we expect you to already know in this class on your own. I don't know you well enough to know if it makes good sense for you to take CS216 now or not, so its up to you to decide based on your confidence level and willingness to learn things on your own.
    What spurred you interest in computing?
    Initially, playing games. When the computer room in my elementary school established a rule that you couldn't run games, I had to learn to program to make my own since that was allowed. After that, reading Hofstadter's Gödel, Escher, Bach was a big influence in realizing there was a lot of fun intellectual stuff in computing.

  • CS216: Program and Data Representation
    University of Virginia
    David Evans
    Using these Materials