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In what was a surpringly painless procedure, I managed to sign up for courses this afternoon. Although I count myself lucky that I only needed to use Quest to sign up for 1 course, because after that it started to give me Javascript errors and refused to respond. But up until then it worked flawlessly. Kudos to those wonderful people at PeopleSoft.

Here’s my 4A schedule:

Time Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
08:30          
09:00
09:30 CS 448
(Databases)
  CS 448
(Databases)
  CS 448
(Databases)
10:00
10:30          
11:00
11:30 SE 464
(Design)
SE 401
(Seminar)
SE 464
(Design)
  SE 464
(Design)
12:00
12:30 ECE 454
(Distributed)
  ECE 454
(Distributed)
  ECE 454
(Distributed)
13:00
13:30   SE 464
(TUT)
  ECE 428
(TUT)
 
14:00
14:30 ECE 428
(Networks)
  ECE 428
(Networks)
  ECE 428
(Networks)
15:00
15:30          
19:00   ECON 102
(Macroeconomics)
     
19:30
20:00
20:30
21:00
21:30

Format stolen from indiglo_i – Thanks Greg

In related news, I fired off a ranting letter to all the big cheeses in Computer Science and Software Engineering yesterday about the CS policy of refusing to let us know which professors are teaching each course. I don’t know about you, but I like to pick courses taught be good profs. Read on to see the whole letter. I know, it’s a bit polite for a rant, but I didn’t want to offend anyone.

To whom this may concern,

I am growing increasingly frustrated with the existing CS policy of concealing which professors are teaching each CS course during the enrollment period. Up until now this has been only a minor irritant, because most of my CS courses have been pre-selected because I am in Software Engineering. This term I have multiple courses to choose from, and for all of the CS courses I have no clue who the professor will be.

Now that I have multiple electives to choose, I would like to decide which courses I am taking with as much knowing as possible. Past experience has taught me that an important contributor to the quality of a course is the quality of the professor who teaches it. Why would the CS department deliberately hide that information from me and my fellow students while we are in the process of deciding upon courses for the upcoming term? This policy gives me the impression that you would rather work against students, instead of with them to give them the best education possible.

The only potential reasons I can think of to explain why you would want to hide this information from students are:
1) You have a collection of all-star professors who will be bombarded with enrollment requests and long waiting lists for their courses; and/or
2) You have a collection of dismal professors who students will tend to avoid at all costs and you’re afraid these profs will be confronted with their poor reputation when they have to teach empty sections.

I really hope it is more because of 1) then 2). However, I can’t figure out why having great professors would be a problem. Unquestionably, Larry Smith is a popular professor and many students take his classes solely because of him. And yet, you do not see the Economics department disguising which sections he is teaching to balance out enrollment.

This term I am hoping to take either Artificial Intelligence or Distributed Systems. Both of these courses are offered in CS and ECE. ECE lets me see which professors are teaching the courses, but CS does not. I would rather take an ECE course with a marginal professor than gamble with a CS class and end up with a bad professor.

Luckily, I have this choice and plan to exercise it. There are many CS students who do not and I know many of them are more frustrated than I am.

Now, you might not be concerned that I am choosing to take an ECE course over a CS course. In actuality you might be happier because of it. For some reason, you have decided to place limits on the number of SE students who can enroll in CS courses. This is outrageous and many of my peers have expressed similar sentiments (if in harsher language). When I was accepted into Software Engineering, I was told I was becoming a member of two faculties. I was never informed I would be treated like a second class citizen in one of those faculties.

Thank you for taking the time to read this letter, and I sincerely hope that steps will be taken to address the concerns I raise.

Sincerely,

Christopher Porter
4A Software Engineering

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