Thursday, May 29, 2008

Student Evaluation of Instructor

My department has finally updated the evaluation form that students use to evaluate their instructor. The old 12-question form has been changed only once in the last 18 years as far as I can remember. The new form has only 6 questions.

I finally got the evaluations from Spring 2008 back this week. It takes a while for UNT to get around to collating the results. I've posted mine here. Not all professors post theirs, but I think that they should so that students can get full information on their future instructors. Mine are always pretty good so I have no problems posting them.

I'm a little annoyed at one of the comments in my 4220 class this semester though. It's more than a little skewed, shall we say. Since the survey is of necessity anonymous and completely confidential, students sometimes get away with writing the most biased things and we don't get to respond. This time I've decided to respond here.

Not many students have bothered to evaluate me on off-campus sites such as ratemyprofessors.com.
Blast from the Past

I rediscovered this picture recently. (As one of my favorite quotes says "One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries", this from A. A. Milne, the creator of Winnie-the-Pooh.

It's a publicity photograph of me taken during my years as a young Assistant Professor at Penn State. I'm guessing it's from about 1985. I was in my mid 20s. It was a whole different world back then.



How to Use a Digital Picture Frame

Many of the departments here in the nascent College of Engineering have big $1000 plasma screen TVs hooked up to $600 computers showing a promotional slideshow of their activities. I decided to spend around $100 on a digital picture frame to do the same thing outside my office. After looking at a few frames I decided to buy a Kodak Easyshare SV1011, the old cheap one without the wifi link. Of all the cheap frames I looked at, that one had the best image quality.

I got out my Dremel and bolted it to the wall hard enough so that anybody seeking to steal it will have to totally destroy it to get it off the wall.

I used a few photos I had lying around, and I used the "Save as jpg" feature in PowerPoint to make a few informational slides. If you buy another frame, make sure you check it out on some jpgs of text saved by PowerPoint, because it looked sucky on some of the screens I tried. I was totally unprepared for that, but I guess it figures that the frames are optimized for showing photos cheaply, and people are not going to notice the loss of resolution that really shows up on text.

Do you think any other faculty will follow my lead?

video

Monday, May 19, 2008

Summer Time.

It's official, Summer has finally begun. Well, actually it started last week, but I've been too busy with closing off the end of semester business to notice.

We got some cool games from my CSCE 4220 class this semester, although unfortunately few of the artists from the Game Art class in the College of Visual Arts and Design were able to follow through with fully animated characters. Nonetheless, my programmers were able to adapt. See the movies for some of the games.

My topics class also generated some cool projects, some of which you can see here. There are several that are not postable yet though, so look forward to seeing those in the (hopefully) near future.

On the plus side, 4 alumni got jobs in the game industry this year, bringing the total up to 49. I'm still hoping to reach 50 this year. The full list is online.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Are we surprised at the following? Probably not.


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