Wednesday, December 01, 2004

This girl--a senior in CS--just came over to ask one of the professors how to compile C++ on Solaris. 'It's something like g++ -o and then something' (She says 'minus oh').
The professor, I kid you not, didn't remember but tried searching online.

I tell her 'g++ -o output_file source_file' and she's like, 'but I only have one input file'.
Dr. Collins then found the command on another professor's website. And, oh look!, I was right!

I told Dr. Collins, 'If I was the professor, I'd fail you both', but I don't think she heard me. (I suppose the professor can be forgiven; at least she was able to look it up. But the student must die.)

I got to do the student evaluation of Dr. Wirth this morning. Wrote a short lecture on letting incompetents learn stuff on their own time.

This is a Java course. Dr. Wirth constantly tries to say, 'you know how it is in C++, well here's how it is in Java...what? You don't know how it is in C++? God! You people really need to learn this stuff. *endless lecture on C++*'
All The Time. Intro C++ and Data Structures (which also uses C++) are both prerequisites for the Java course. These students have taken the those courses. They just Don't Know Anything. For the first month or two, we wrote more C++ code in this course than we wrote Java, because he'd have us write a bubble sort in C++, or a simple command line interpreter in C++, because these fools would be clueless. He sees major holes in our education and takes it upon himself to try to fill them in. He's explained the basics of DOS commands and environmental variables in several of my courses, when what he really should have said was, 'In order to program a computer, you need to know how to use one. Go learn that on your own time'.

He's an interesting professor. Entertaining. Teaches interesting stuff that's very useful and not taught anywhere else. But that leaves very little time for the actual material. Several of us would like to see 'Computer Science 0001: Dr. Wirth's Rantings'. I'd actually like to see two of them, an intro level and a senior level. (Basic DOS commands are intro level [or below], whereas details of C++'s switch implementation should come after intro C++.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

He's still like that. His rant's have gotten more useful now, but should still be published in The East Carolinean