Insufficiently Random

The lonely musings of a loosely connected software developer.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Programming Languages @ RPI: I'm Feeling Cheated

I took RPI's "Programming Languages" course in the spring of 1999. It was the end of my second year at RPI. The course was supposed to teach us about important concepts in programming languages as well as introduce us to different genres of programming, such as OOP, generic, functional, logic, etc.

I aced the class. So well in fact that the instructor had this notion that I may have cheated, as I was the only student who did not use notes or textbooks on the open book exams. But since I didn't cheat, nobody seated near me during the exams did anywhere near as well as I did, and I sat directly in front of her during all exams, she didn't have a case and didn't try to pursue action against me. Besides the course was a cake-walk for me. I went into it being fluent in some 14 different programming languages. (Today I'm rather rusty on most of those languages as I haven't had to use them in years. But its just like riding a bicycle, right?)

Unfortunately for myself and my peers the instructor never covered half of the concepts I'm now going to be tested on as part of the PhD qualifier courses in RPI's graduate program. Which partly explains why it was a cake-walk. I didn't actually have to learn anything.

One would think that RPI's own undergraduate program would prepare the student for its graduate program, but sadly this wasn't the case a few years ago. So now I'm doing some crash studying to try and catch up to where I should have been in 1999. Plus newer "important" concepts like actors. :roll:

At $4000+ USD for the course you would think RPI could have done better in preparing me for its own PhD program. It didn't. Fortunately for everyone that particular instructor is no longer at RPI.

And now I'm cramming. I guess its just another turn of the 'tute screw.


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