?

Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

This one is coming to you a Tad Bit Late (tm) because Numerramar's LCD panel just melted. Yes, melted.
ThinkPads: with great service comes great need for service.

Don't you just hate rewriting lost posts? Like programs, proofs, papers, letters, and fics, I sometimes get the feeling that they were better the first time. OTOH, sometimes I do better on the second go, so here goes. This should amuse twinbee, at least.

The Scary Academic Story Meme

It's getting close to Hallowe'en, so:
Tell me a story about the scariest student experience you, or someone you know, has gone though.
This can be anything from preschool and kindergarten through a doctoral defense.

Oh, and if you're a student in CIS 730 (Introduction to Artificial Intelligence): feel free to write anything about the current offering of the course in your comments, with impunity; but please be advised, there will be no extra credit for it. ;-)

Please post this in your own LJ or other blog, even if you reply here.
If I get enough good responses, I'll start an Instructor Horror Stories meme.

I'll start the bidding off with these three from the male parental unit:

  • Draconian policies on lateness to class: The strictest instructor I know of when it comes to requiring timely attendance is my father. As an instructor (1959 - 1963) in the Chemical Engineering department at National Taiwan University, he would lock the door of his Unit Operations lecture as soon as the bell rang. Students would start clambering in through the windows, so he would lock those. On the other hand, he would stop lecturing mid-sentence when the closing bell rang. My dad came to the USA and attended or worked at five universities: the University of Louisville (1963-1964), University of Pittsburgh (1964), Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, Alabama (1965-1967), University of Southern Mississippi (1967-1968), and Emory University (1971-1974). He was an instructor at Jacksonville State only.

    Uh, yeah. Punctuality isn't hereditary. ;-)


  • Harsh grading: While at Jacksonville State University, my dad heard tell of a calculus course taught by a visiting faculty member from William Carey College in Hattiesburg, MS, in which 96 of 100 first-year undergrads received failing grades and 4 received D's. The failing grades ranged from F and F- down to limn → -∞ F(n). The students complained and the visitor was sent packing, but apparently there were 96 retakes of Calc I the next semester.

    (No, zengeneral, I won't let masaga give lim sup grades in 730. Well, OK, maybe one if you ask nicely.)

  • Cheating: Oh, so many stories, so little time.
    First there was the time my dad proctored an exam and checked IDs. One of his students was 18 inches shorter than the fellow who was about to sit in for him. "Stand up a moment, would you? *boggle*"

    Then there was the time he got an answer to an exam question: log. "Log of what?" he asked the student when he called him in. (Shrug.) Yes, the answer was 109.

    In a similar vein, there was CS125, Introduction to Computer Science at Illinois. Back in Fall, 1996, when I was a teaching assistant, the course was being taught in Scheme for the last time before the undergraduate program switched to Java for CS1 and CS2 (data structures). We sometimes caught students in CS125 writing expressions such as (2 5)... WTF? "2 of 5"? Sure enough, someone nearby had a (define (z x) ...)...

    I've never caught a student cheating on an in-class exam. This can be attributed to: (a) students not knowing exactly what I will do to enforce the Honor Code; (b) my exams being open-book or take-home half the time anyway; (c) there being insufficient time to cheat. :-)




Snarfed from wiliqueen:

If your life was a sci-fi TV show... by guybrush
Username
Series Name:
Core sci-fi trope:
Your nerdy but brilliant scientist:burkhardt
Your robot/half-alien/etc. trying to become human:kissmyascii
Your sexy but brilliant scientist:mirabehn
Version of you from a parallel universe:cretaceousrick
Your brooding but brilliant scientist:tv_elf
Your hot-headed military/action type:nyssacrman
Number of seasons before cancellation:6
Your show is cancelled because:it's too commercial, so the fans only tune in to argue about how crap it is.
The chance of your show becoming a cult hit is:: 96%
Quiz created with MemeGen!



Seen with burkhardt, masteralida, and phawkwood:

Which OS are You?
Which OS are You?


(I first took this in April, 2003.)
See the very prophetic quiz result right under the OS one.

The Wuv Meme

Last seen with bktheirregular:

1. Tell me one thing you love about me.

2. Tell me two things you love about yourself.

3. Look through the comments - when you see someone you know, tell them three things you love about them.

4. Do this in your journal so I can tell you what I love about you.


--
Banazir

Comments

( 28 comments — Leave a comment )
digby_tantrum
Oct. 22nd, 2004 04:20 am (UTC)
The Scary Academic Story Meme
Be cheerful in the face of stupidity

My project supervisor at Bath used to keep copies and samples of various forms of stupidity he'd encountered during his three decades in academia. One of the more harmless ones was from a calculus exam. The students had been asked to find the derivative of sin 2x; one budding genius answered as follows --

From the formula book, d/dx sinh x = cosh x

Put h = 2. So d/dx sin 2x = cos 2x.</i>

On a more serious note, he'd once caught someone cheating in their finals. The student had assembled an extraordinary dense set of cheat notes with which to consult during the paper; this was discovered, and the student ended up sans degree. The tragedy therein was that, in order to use the notes effectively, said student would've needed to be quite capable.

Dunsummin

'Twas standard practice at Bath to test freshers in the week before semester started, in order to determine how much remedial work might be required. The most extreme case I encountered was of a student who, on being asked to simplify an expression, was unable to cancel out a factor of 2 found in the nominator and denumerator.

Calculators are a curse...

We don't need no education

In halcyon undergraduate days, my own personal demon turned up to give me a sample of the apres vie torture I would one day endure: Dr Gregory Sankaran. I was, by then, inured to the harsh demands of the many stern taskmasters to be found in the pure maths group, and so was completely unfit to deal with the gross level of unprofessionalism in GKS's courses. He would turn up to class unprepared, almost as if surprised that the institution paying his salary would expect him to act as a conduit through which the contents of Plato's realm would pour into the minds of us eager MMath students. He delivered the most badly-planned, garbled excuses for lectures that I've ever had the misfortune to witness.

Particular gems I recall include (but are not limited to):

"Definition: A field extension is a map between two fields. I think."
"Is that what I mean? Perhaps it isn't. Oh, dear."
"Well, it's sort of obvious, really. Does that help?"
"Right, we'll more or less prove that."


And so on. It's my understanding that current students at Bath are still designing websites in his honour.

Of course, this was not the most priceless moment of that time. The best came via LCG Rogers, who, in the very same lecture on applied probability, said the following:

"Analysis is easy, just apply the definitions."

(stares at problem on b'board for a while)

"I can't do this problem."
chaosinaskirt
Oct. 22nd, 2004 05:14 am (UTC)
Re: We don't need no education
your gks stories are remarkably similiar to a now-emeritus prof at my old uni, rhp. only, that was the kind of thing a good day would have. a bad day would have him spending the entire hour babbling about his experiences in ww2 [the man was one of a half dozen active profs in my two depts that were easily in their 80s and still teaching because "retirement is boring"]. he had no homework, so our entire grade was based on two exams (midterm, final), and for both exams, he accidentally gave us the wrong one - he gave us the final from the graduate version of the class. and his test writing strategy is to make it as hard as possible so that an excellent student with that level of knowledge would still need to take the alloted time and would barely finish. so, as you can imagine, the graduate version of the exam roughly equated to a qualifying exam. (and in fact, from what my lab TA had said, the qual for heat transfer was easier than rhp's graduate exam.) only ten people (out of 70) passed the class that year, and none of them passed it enough to not have to take it again.
digby_tantrum
Oct. 22nd, 2004 06:42 am (UTC)
Talking of babbling
You've just reminded me of something. One of the younger lecturers we had, name of Jayabal Sivaloganathan, started off his introductory lecture on linear algebra by explaning the construction and origins of his name.

Half an hour later, we eventually started on the course material...

Wasn't an isolated incident, mind. He'd often veer off-topic, and, as a result, the class would end up being late for the next lecture -- which, in the nature of such things, was on the other side of campus.
banazir
Oct. 22nd, 2004 01:30 pm (UTC)
Off-topic lecturing
Well, that kind of tangentiality is a little extreme, but I've been known to do it myelf.

--
Banazir
banazir
Oct. 26th, 2004 02:33 am (UTC)
Say, welcome to my LJ
That's a good argument against exams counting so much.

Pleased to meet you, BTW.

--
Banazir
chaosinaskirt
Oct. 26th, 2004 10:04 am (UTC)
Re: Say, welcome to my LJ
pleased to me you too :D

i don't really have a problem with exams counting as a significant portion of the grade, though it definitely annoys me when 80% of my grade is determined by two exams, especially there's no consideration for partial credit (*especially* in dependent multi-part questions, where you need the answer of a to get the answer of b).

and on that - i used to grade and proctor one of the regional high school math team events (embarassingly enough, i can't remember the name of it off the top of my head, but i was in the great plains division), and one of the team events was a question where the first person had to find the answer, pass that answer on to the second (who used it to find their answer), and iterate until the last person. that event had the absolute LOWEST score of any event, as you can imagine. and since the only thing that we considered was the last answer...
banazir
Oct. 26th, 2004 01:56 pm (UTC)
Exams and grades
i don't really have a problem with exams counting as a significant portion of the grade, though it definitely annoys me when 80% of my grade is determined by two exams
There's a good one for my horror story.
"Picture it. Baltimore, MD, 1989," as Sophia from The Golden Girls would say:

110.202 Calculus III (1989) - Three hour exams worth 10% each IIRC, homework worth next to nothing, and then the final worth 60%. 80% of it was Green's Theorem and Stokes' Theorem. I pulled out a mediocre score on the final, probably by dint of the grading curve for the course, and still missed an 'A' by quite a ways. It was one of several 'B's I got in math courses as a kid. Proof that not all first-year students who successfully challenge (i.e., place out of) Calc I and II using the Advanced Placement Calc AB & BC exams actually belong in Calc III.

Not entirely my fault: the instructor was really more interested in teaching real analysis. Now that I think about it, he was actually trying to in the second half of the course, which doesn't work too well for freshmen. The TA's English was mediocre to poor, though I was a lot more accepting of such things as a student.

Oh, and if you're like me and take Shakespeare: Plays to 1600 with Calc III, General Physics I, Intro Computer Architecture, and Data Structures? You'll do just fine in the first and blow off the rest. (Though, I have to say, I had a horrendous time in CS2, probably because I never had a proper CS1.)

especially there's no consideration for partial credit (*especially* in dependent multi-part questions, where you need the answer of a to get the answer of b).
Yep. Same thing happened to me the next year with 110.302 (Differential Equations).

and on that - i used to grade and proctor one of the regional high school math team events (embarassingly enough, i can't remember the name of it off the top of my head, but i was in the great plains division), and one of the team events was a question where the first person had to find the answer, pass that answer on to the second (who used it to find their answer), and iterate until the last person. that event had the absolute LOWEST score of any event, as you can imagine. and since the only thing that we considered was the last answer...
Everyone got 0? :-P

"Good times, good times," as Cheri O'Teri and zengeneral like to say.

--
Banazir
banazir
Oct. 23rd, 2004 09:28 pm (UTC)
Re: The Scary Academic Story Meme
From the formula book, d/dx sinh x = cosh x
Put h = 2. So d/dx sin 2x = cos 2x.

Gah, that's worse than "P == NP: let N == 1". :-D

I rolled at Bath's Math professor quotes page.
We used to have a feature in the campus humor magazine at Hopkins (the Black and Blue Jay, published since the late 1920s) called "Professors Say The Darndest Things".

One of my favorites is from a chemistry professor:
"We use bacteria in the lab because they don't scream like people do."

Interesting story, BTW. Thanks for posting it.

Say, what do you think of MathML?

--
Banazir
digby_tantrum
Oct. 27th, 2004 07:54 am (UTC)
I'm not here, you ain't seen me, I be but a ghost in the machine
Say, what do you think of MathML?

I think it's something I ought to look into, at some point.

In the mean time, and assuming I didn't post the link on my own page already, this is a particularly nice set of lecturer quotes.

--
MHW
Lost in Crumpsall (and Pederson)
banazir
Oct. 30th, 2004 05:22 pm (UTC)
MathML and more lecturer quotes
I think it's something I ought to look into, at some point.
Let me know what you think, and please point me to any format integration and conversion tools you find. Thanks!

In the mean time, and assuming I didn't post the link on my own page already, this is a particularly nice set of lecturer quotes.
Hehe, I've seen some of those.

--
Banazir
scottharmon
Oct. 22nd, 2004 08:13 am (UTC)
Physics exam
In highschool I encountered one of the most 'exiting' tests. Just a little background, the high school I went to had no curves and no extra credit. The grades in physics where pretty clustered around B (another person had something like 89 and I had something like 86, so there were only two of us there), and C (most of the other students where hovering around 70, which was perfectly normal, since C was average). Anyway, so I get the first exam in the class. I start to read---what is that? skip to the next question, skip to the next, skip, skip, I read the whole test. Panic ensues---where have I been for the last x weeks? I don't even understand some of the terms! I find one problem I understand and fill out the answer. I really don't know what to do on the rest---I feel sick and seriously consider trying to tell the professor I'm sick and be excused from the exam. I stick with it, finally, I call the professor over for a definition of a word in the problem. You have the college exam!!!! What!? You mean I just used 30 of my 60 minutes on the college exam (this professor taught both college and highschool physics and I guess was giving a test on the same day). He gave me the highschool one and the one answer I had done on the college one had the same question on the highschool one so I could use that. Frantically, I started through the problems---this physics teacher made us derive every formula---fun when you are short on time. Coming toward the end of the test, the professor told me to finish up because he had to go (he had the college class after this and couldn't be late). I was on the last problem, we were supposed to use a ruler and compass to calculate some force vectors...I made my scale too big and would have to start over so it would fit on the paper. I asked the professor if I could write on the table, he said "yes, just hurry up!" So I wrote on the table, measured my line, and finished the exam. When I got the exam back, the only points I lost was for not putting units on the answer to that last problem. I asked the professor, since it wasn't really my fault that he rushed me, and he said "that's why I only took off 5 points (out of 100)!" That was my best exam in that class the whole year.
banazir
Oct. 22nd, 2004 08:50 am (UTC)
Excellent!
Our students should acquit themselves as well as you did.
I can't believe he didn't give you the full period over again and just have a secretary proctor it.

Was this an AP course?
That story reminds me of my AP Calculus BC exams in high school.
Our AP Physics C was... actually AP Physics B. Made the intro physics course a bit more difficult at university, to say nothing of it being difficult to get AP credit. :-P

Would you please post this in your own LJ?

--
Banazir

dakotamidnight
Oct. 22nd, 2004 08:58 am (UTC)
Thats a new one....never heard of a Thinkpad melting before...

I believe you have me beat now, lol.

banazir
Oct. 22nd, 2004 09:32 am (UTC)
Melting ThinkPads
Well, it wasn't the whole notebook - not even the screen itself.
It was most likely a wire that shorted out, possibly one of the power leads into the LCD panel. When I cycle video modes now it hisses ominously.

The shorting was visually interesting: it looked very much like those "melting screen" screensavers and faded as it did so, with faint crackling sounds in the case.

At least it's all in warranty and IBM will let me send it back sans HD. I'm on Earrame (the smaller ThinkPad, T21) for the next week.

--
Banazir
sze
Oct. 22nd, 2004 09:27 am (UTC)
haha. i chuckled at the harsh grading story...

i don't really have academic horror stories except for this one exceptionally tough OS final i've had to take.. tough because it was about 15 pages long, took 4 hours and by the time i was done, my hand was all cramped up and i couldn't write anymore! it was a fun class tho. my professor was a visiting prof from turkey :)
banazir
Oct. 22nd, 2004 04:43 pm (UTC)
Operating systems exams
haha. i chuckled at the harsh grading story...
It's a limn → ∞ A(n) story!

i don't really have academic horror stories except for this one exceptionally tough OS final i've had to take.. tough because it was about 15 pages long, took 4 hours and by the time i was done, my hand was all cramped up and i couldn't write anymore! it was a fun class tho. my professor was a visiting prof from turkey :)
Heh, tell me about it.
Comes with the territory, I guess.
My OS prof always used to wonder aloud whether I was going to write a book. :-P

--
Banazir
siocled
Oct. 22nd, 2004 02:37 pm (UTC)
4 weeks ago: 6 of us form a group to write an extensive lab report. 5 of us do the measurements, 3 of which act as subjects, the 6th is off somewhere.
3 weeks ago: 2 of the 6 write up the generic procedure and results, and make plots.
This weeks (last week was break): I do an extensive writeup of theory for the discussion of the results, which is supposed to be the most important part of the paper. Another puts the paper together. The last two, one of them being the one who wasn't around for the testing, are told to pull their weight, are given the graphs so far and the theory, and told to discuss our test results.
Last night: paper assembler is mailed what is supposed to be the final paper. The 'discussion' consists of some rambling, covering two of the 5 points and getting it wrong.
This morning: paper assembler and I get together. Paper is due today. Slackers, who have the paper plots which HAVE to be turned in with the paper, are nowhere to be found. Since we don't want to fail due to their lazy assedness, paper assembler and I spend two hours throwing together some plots in excel and redoing the discussion basically from scratch. Good thing some of us are brilliant.
Unfortunately, we had to turn it in with 6 names, not 4.
banazir
Oct. 22nd, 2004 05:52 pm (UTC)
Team projects, redux
Ugh. That sounds a bit like a capstone course in software engineering that we have (teams of 5 with an appointed leader who is chosen for responsibility and aptitude). Please see here.

--
Banazir
andrewwyld
Oct. 22nd, 2004 06:45 pm (UTC)
Your teunceing, your joy in life.
My ankles and awesome bass-playing.

http://www.livejournal.com/users/andrewwyld/109560.html
banazir
Oct. 22nd, 2004 10:52 pm (UTC)
Two gret teunces that teunce gret together?
As figgylicious can tell you, teunceing and ankles are a very important combination.

Great story. It reminds me of a lost composition of mine, "Portrait of a Pedant", about a 6th grade teacher. I turned this in in 10th grade Honors English and as a composition at Anne Arundel Community College. The instructor at AACC (Fred Fetrow from the Naval Academy) thought it was about him! Well, he pretended to as he read it aloud. :-P

--
Banazir
deire
Oct. 22nd, 2004 06:54 pm (UTC)
Your sense of wonder.
banazir
Oct. 24th, 2004 09:00 pm (UTC)
Your sunniness and delight in good friends.
twinbee
Oct. 22nd, 2004 09:57 pm (UTC)
the possibilities are rich. give me a few days to think it out and write about them. --matt
banazir
Oct. 22nd, 2004 11:18 pm (UTC)
Rich possibilities... for horror?
Didja see the part about JSU and William Carey?
IIRC WC is right in your town, yesh?

And who else is gonna do the wuv meme, anyhow?
What's a fellow got to do?
I almost considered posting the iPod referral link! ;-)

--
Banazir
nobuddy69
Oct. 23rd, 2004 07:11 am (UTC)
wuv mem
How does it work??!!
banazir
Oct. 23rd, 2004 08:59 am (UTC)
Weeping at Spocktrask
Please have a look at the 4 instructions: reply here for #1-2, and post in your own LJ (which I see you have yet to do) per #4. Later, when other teunc people start posting here, you can reply to them as well per #3, if you wish, or they can reply to you.

Dude! (I'm using that word a lot this weenk.) You weep at the end of ST2:TWoK? You're a better man than I.

--
Banazir
nobuddy69
Oct. 23rd, 2004 10:22 am (UTC)
Re: Weeping at Spocktrask
It's the friggin bagpipe solo! It gets me every time ;-)

1. The niceness ;)

2. Pure heart and twisted mind.

(see I think most eople would psot the answers to their LJ)
banazir
Oct. 23rd, 2004 11:29 am (UTC)
Of all the souls I've ever known
It's the friggin bagpipe solo! It gets me every time ;-)
Of all the souls I've ever known...
yours is the most *choke* elvish...

1. The niceness ;)
Aww

2. Pure heart and twisted mind.
Yeppo!

(see I think most eople would psot the answers to their LJ)
Will loonk fro it over theah.

--
Banazir
( 28 comments — Leave a comment )

Latest Month

December 2008
S M T W T F S
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031   

KSU Genetic and Evolutionary Computation (GEC) Lab

Teunciness

Breakfast

Science, Technology, Engineering, Math (STEM) Communities

Fresh Pages

Tags

Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by Naoto Kishi