[OS X Emacs] advice on Progetto di Reti class

Tom McCormick Tom.McCormick at sauder.ubc.ca
Wed Dec 10 15:40:16 EST 2014

Gianpaolo, Marco, Tiziano:

I did not count how many students were in class today, but it seemed 
like fewer.  This makes me feel as if I am pitching the level of the 
class too high for many of the students.  Also, some brave students have 
asked me about grading, and whether I plan on having the students do 
"projects" to get a grade for the class; a braver student nervously said 
that the class seemed pretty theoretical so far, and thus not so 

So I'm looking for advice on how I should deal with this:

1. It's not clear to me what sort of "projects" students typically do in 
such classes.  Can you give me examples?  Offhand, it seems to me that a 
good project for this class would be to have students (or teams of 
students) implement one of the algorithms that I will cover.  Are there 
programming skills up to this?  Could Marco+Tiziano locate some good 
data sets for students to run their codes against?

2. Should I try to re-work how I am doing the material to more emphasize 
the algorithms, and less emphasize the theorems?  Or should I keep going 
pretty theoretically like I have been, knowing that it will not make 
many of the students happy and they will stop coming to class?  I.e., am 
I trying to serve the bulk of students, or just the top layer of students?

3. In the end, by what means should I determine students' grade for this 
course?  Many of them seem to be expecting to have an exam, but it's not 
so clear to me what sort of exam would be appropriate for such students.

Any and all advice would be greatly appreciated.  For what it's worth, I 
attach a spreadsheet based on the online one where I added a column 
noting which students appeared in photos in class last Friday.

Note that there was also an issue with classroom B3 today: apparently it 
shows as "available" on the TV schedule, so there was some other event 
that kicked us out of the room at 3:15 or so, and this needs to be fixed.

(Recall that I'll be away in Montreal from early Friday morning until 
Monday, but I will teach the classes next week.)

-Tom McCormick, WJ Van Dusen Professor of Management
  Operations and Logistics Division, Sauder School of Business, UBC
  Office: (604) 822-8426; Fax: (604) 822-9574
  WWW: http://people.commerce.ubc.ca/faculty/mccormick

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