minutia press.
Oops, what do you think?

Today, I had IM'ed my brother (who lives in Dallas) and he said he was about to call me. So the phone rang, and I answered in a somewhat silly voice. At the other end, I hear "This is Mark Wrighton calling for Professor Ron Cytron".

So I explained to our Chancellor that I was expecting my brother's call, but how nice it was to be speaking wtih him. For various reasons, the Chancellor would like me to put together a list of things good/bad about the Engineering School these days, in my incapacity as Speaker of the Faculty Assembly (I will have to study some assembly code before our first meeting).

So I ask you, readers, if you have opinions on the matter to post replies here.

My brother? He told me via IM he was held up calling me. Sure he was.


It is so easy to be negative sometimes, but I think that there are a lot of positive things about the engineering school. They do an absolutely wonderful job during orientation, and on average I have found the people to be friendlier and more accessible than in the other schools. (Not to say that the other schools are not friendly. This is just a personal observation.) My experience is limited to Computer Science, but I have found all of the professors to be really good. I have yet to have one that I would not recommend to someone.

One negative comment I would have is the quality of the buildings and classrooms in the engineering school. Compared to the Business school, it is almost like a prison. But the new Biomed building is absolutely gorgeous, so perhaps we don't have much room to complain.

Posted by: Nathan at August 30, 2003 10:28 AM

Positive: the faculty, for sure. Where else would I get to play basketball with 2 of my professors, softball with another, and go to my advisor's hockey games?

Negative: Engineering Career Services. They are unable to draw any but the same 5 or 6 companies every year to the 9th ranked college in the nation and their website is awkward and hard to use.

And to augment Nathan's point about the buildings, the wireless coverage is atrocious considering how centralized the E-school is, as was evident during lecture #1 of CS531.

Posted by: Chris Hill Festival at August 30, 2003 10:36 AM

My favorite thing about the engineering school is the requirements... aka 18 units of humanities and social sciences. Compared to the cluster system, ours lets us take what we want.

I would second the classrooms as something needing improvement.

I also think the engineering buildings need to be airlifted closer to the S40, since all of my classes are in the corner of campus.

Posted by: Ed at August 30, 2003 10:57 AM

Is the faculty assembly CISC or RISC?

Posted by: Adam at August 30, 2003 12:14 PM

Thanks for all the comments. So it sounds like classrooms are an issue. I heard a rumor (from Ron Loui) that we get second fiddle in assigning classrooms, but it may also be that they schedule us near our side of campus.

The faculty assembly is definitely RISC given the reduced turnout.

Posted by: rkc at August 31, 2003 4:12 PM

While the CS department seems to have perenially highly rated faculty, I submit that this is not the case among the other departments. Problems experienced with professors in other departments include:

Not showing up to over half the classes and sending grad students as replacements (many of whom don't quite have the english language under their belt OR don't understand the material enough to explain it)

Not providing a syllabus, ever (even when asked).

Not returning homework or tests, ever (even when asked).

Deducting points and being unable to explain why when asked, since the professor (& graders) can't work the problems themselves.

Teaching a class entirely based within the C++ language, but having no knowledge of C or C++

Also, many times when complaints like these are brought to the department head, the response is "There's nothing we can do about it."

There are not enough computers to accomodate BOTH students & classes. ESPECIALLY computers running CAD software, which is only installed in one lab.

Summer school classes are all scheduled at the same time (MW 5-7 or Tu/TH 6-8) allowing at most 2 classes per summer. And they cost $1,000 per credit hour, which is 3 times higher than ArtSci.

And in response to Chris' comment on ECS, the Engineering School is ranked somewhere in the 30s (35th, I think).

It is almost impossible to get info on the Professional Engineering exams. MCAT, LSAT, & GRE dates are posted everywhere, why not PE dates?

Posted by: Ro at September 4, 2003 12:12 AM