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Re: [hackers-il] My Opinion about the Technion

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  • Shlomi Fish
    ... That s not how I work. ... Wrong! By meeting and thinking about the exercises together, it is also possible to save time. For example, I vividly recall
    Message 1 of 20 , Nov 2, 2003
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      On Sun, 2 Nov 2003, Nadav Har'El wrote:

      > On Sun, Nov 02, 2003, Shlomi Fish wrote about "Re: [hackers-il] My Opinion about the Technion":
      > > > On my opinion on group homework, see
      > > > http://nadav.harel.org.il/homepage/musing/educooperation
      > > >
      > > > (in short, I hate it. I can write pages on how cheats and slimy people
      > > > twist this system into getting high grades without working and without
      > > > getting punished).
      > > >
      > >
      > > I think the pair-wise system is good regardless of the fact that it
      > > reduces the load on the homework checking. This is because the couple has
      > > more discipline this way and are also able to cooperate and learn from
      > > each other. Many times, they balance their own deficiencies. And yes - it
      > > takes less time, which is good because the schedule is very crowded
      > > anyhow.
      >
      > My experience is that the two people usually divide the exercises among
      > themselves, and each person does a different exercise.

      That's not how I work.

      > This is the only
      > real way to save time when working in a pair...

      Wrong! By meeting and thinking about the exercises together, it is also
      possible to save time. For example, I vividly recall trying to solve
      adventure games on my own and keep getting stuck at certain points. When
      my friend and I played them together we had a much nicer time and it went
      more quickly. The same is true for exercises like that.

      I do know that some people divide the load. Or some of them prepare two
      version individually and then compare the results. But I like to meet
      together and prepare the exercises and so far this paradigm has worked
      very nicely.

      In one course, I had a partner who prepared the exercises all by himself,
      while consulting his brother who had already taken the course. This was
      quite annoying.

      > But you don't really learn
      > from each other this way, because you don't really bother to check your
      > partner's work (assuming you trust him).
      >

      Read my comments above.

      > If you just want to talk with another student about a certain exercise which
      > you couldn't solve, you can do that in individual assignments as well - these
      > aren't tests and nobody forbids you to discuss them with your fellow students.
      > This is what I did in my math courses - I had a good friend studying with me
      > and we used to talk to each other about exercises we were having trouble with.
      > We never copied from each other - just gave one another hints when one was
      > read to give up on some exercise. I think this is the best way to learn from
      > another student - not to dump half of the exercises on him. Remember that
      > during the test (and in many respects, in real life), you won't have someone
      > to give half the work to.

      The problem with this system is that you should still prepare two versions
      of the assignment. In Set Theory, for example, my partner and I wrote one
      version of the assignment which we solved together, and then realized it
      was very long, so instead of me copying it with my ugly writing or trying
      to LaTeXize it, which would have taken much more time, we decided to write
      both our names on the sheet. But then we were given half the credit each.

      >
      > > I did not feel that I was not competent because I relied on my partner. I
      > > never relied on my partner to do the job for me. I remember one course
      > > (Image Processing and Analysis) in which my partner and I spent days on
      > > end thinking and consulting about the exercise _together_. Eventually, it
      > > was me who most of the time reached the solution, while my partner wrote
      > > it down (because he has a better hand-writing). Was my partner a cheat? He
      > > spent as much time thinking about the problems as I did, still engaged in
      > > a cognitive process, and could learn from my solutions. Judging by the
      > > grades that were received in the course, most other people just copied
      > > their homework.
      >
      > If your partner came to the technion seeking to perfect his hand-writing
      > and thinking-out-loud-in-a-group skills, he probably succeeded. But I doubt
      > people study EE for that.
      >

      My mother told me of one thing Prof. Mashler (a famous Mathematician and
      Mathematics Education expert) told her. He said that one day one of his
      students came to him and said: "Listen, this exercise you gave - I thought
      of it for a long time, but was unable to solve it. Sorry". So he told her:
      "That's OK. The important think is that you've invested the mental effort.
      After that, you will probably understand and recall the solution better".

      Some of the exercises and sections took my partner and I several hours to
      solve. And I can't say that my partner did not help me reach a solution or
      analyze dead ends. The very mental exercise forced him to understand the
      material we learned better.

      > > I'm not saying tests should not be challenging or require some thought on
      > > the taker's part or require a good knowledge of the material at hand. But
      > > they should be easier than the assignments. That way you know that only
      > > the students who have prepared the assignment will ace the test, while
      > > those who copied them or did not study the entire semester will not know
      > > what to do anyhow.
      >
      > Why do you think that everyone who prepared the assignments should ace
      > the test?

      By ace, I mean do very well. Not necessarily get a 100 score on the test.

      > Most people I studied with did assignments on their own and did
      > not copy. None of them had a 100 average. And this is the way it's supposed
      > to be... The GPA isn't binary -"100" for "good people" and "50" for cheats -
      > the spectrums of GPA is very wide. The tests must be difficult enough to
      > separate those that have a GPA of 90 from those of 80 (for example).
      > Obviously, they must not be too hard that everyone gets a GPA of 60 and gets
      > frustrated with his studies.
      >

      Right.

      > > I recall a story that the Comnet-lab engineer told us about the University
      > > of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He said that there the students study
      > > about four courses each semester with a lot of challenging homework.
      > > Afterwards, the tests are easy in comparison to he homework. This is a
      > > good system. And no, they don't deduct points on stupid things, like
      > > crazy.
      >
      > Such courses - where you have a lot of exercises and small or no test -

      I do not mean a small or no test. The test is not small and it is the
      lion's share of the grade. It's just less hard than the home exercises.
      That way, if you took the time to prepare all the exercises, you'll have
      an easy time doing it. Like if you got used to hiking carrying a bag of
      rocks, you'll later on march faster without it.

      > > I felt that some people whom I was taught by were more knowledgable than
      > > me, at least in certain areas. But I never felt someone was better than me
      > > as far as brightness is concerned.
      >
      > Never? Well, I was awed at the wisdom of the Math professors. Stuff that
      > took me hours to do they knew how to do in 30 seconds. When I had a question
      > that wasn't in the curriculum, they still knew the answer. Most of them
      > had encyclopedic knowledge and very quick and sharp thinking. I don't remember
      > saying myself too many times "This teacher is just some ordinary shmoe who
      > took the same course the last semester and now trying to teach it".
      >

      I suppose that if you teach a certain course a lot of times, you end up
      getting a lot of intuition in this particular field. Don't get me wrong, I
      met some very bright and insightful people at the Technion, and some of
      them were certainly my equals. What bothered me a bit was that I did not
      met a lot of people who were as eclectic as I am in the Faculty. Most of
      the people who were eclectic were either undergraduate students or Haifux
      members. Some of the gems I encountered are:

      1. A graphics professor who claimed that two-dimensional graphics was
      dead, implied that no-one is using it, and that no research is carried
      forth in this area.

      2. A doctorant who, despite being a system administrator, used only
      C-shell, sed and awk for his scripts, because he did not know Perl (or
      Python/Ruby/etc.) or bash, and did not take the time to learn. He also did
      not know how to use CVS, and other useful tools, and did not wanted to invest
      time in learning them.

      3. A CS masterant who admitted that she did not take any courses that
      required programming aside from what was required by the degree. ("because
      it is too much work"). Isn't computer science as much about computers as
      Astronomy is about telescopes?

      4. A Digital Systems T.A. who was not familiar with the term "checksum".

      5. An "Information Systems" (CS + Industrial Eng.) graduate who was not
      familiar with the Turing theorem, did not believe it at first, and was not
      very familiar with regular expression, closures and lexical scoping.

      Maybe I'll think of more later.

      Regards,

      Shlomi Fish



      ----------------------------------------------------------------------
      Shlomi Fish shlomif@...
      Home Page: http://t2.technion.ac.il/~shlomif/

      An apple a day will keep a doctor away. Two apples a day will keep two
      doctors away.

      Falk Fish
    • Adir Abraham
      ... I disagree with you regarding that example. C-shell is not taught as a matter of programming, but as a matter of principle of learning what script language
      Message 2 of 20 , Nov 2, 2003
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        On Fri, 31 Oct 2003, Shlomi Fish wrote:

        > Very good, in my opinion. Quite up to date and relevant to what we have to
        > learn, with a few exceptioins (like the infamous teaching of C-shell
        > programming in Matam and Mamat). But as a general role, there's not much
        > complaints here.

        I disagree with you regarding that example. C-shell is not taught as a
        matter of programming, but as a matter of principle of learning what
        script language is, and what is its use. Ofcourse, in the end, you are
        tested on (small) programming - but that's not the issue. You can disagree
        about using C-shell as a programming "language", but you are not qualified
        enough (in my opinion) to know what are the academic reasons behind using
        C-shell for that course. Whatsoever, you can't shove too much on that
        course, and C-shell is really a small part in it.

        >
        > The material seems to cover basics and foundations instead of cutting-edge
        > technologies, which is a good thing, in my opinion, because a university's
        > purppose is to teach just that. The latter is best tought by experiencing.

        Universities are supposed to give you a basic background as a kickstart,
        so while you leave the univerisity, you will take those tools and use them
        to develop better things, probably at work or in research, if you go
        there. Some courses are more "updated" and some are less "updated", but
        the bottom line is that you are supposed to get tools and lines of
        thoughts, and not more than that.

        > The T.A.'s are usually better than the lecturers at conveying the
        > material, but I encountered a few really bad T.A.'s.

        Not really relevant. The TAs are used to "translate" what the lecturers
        say, to what the student has to do (homework, exams, etc.), and they are
        used to give a different view to what the lecturer says. Some courses use
        their TAs in order to teach extra material, etc., so saying that the TAs
        are better in conveying the material, I believe that it's not relevant.

        > 3. The Workload
        >
        > The workload was very high most of the time. In some courses, my partners
        > and I spent days on end on preparing the assignments. (and I'm a
        > relatively bright person). Luckily, in Electrical Engineering most of the

        Whether you are not a "bright person" - sitting days and nights has
        nothing to do with it. I think that sitting on homework is a matter of
        understanding the material, digging into the material, and organizing
        time.

        > This is not the case in the Mathematics Department, for example. In the
        > course "Set Theory" my partner and I prepared several exercises together
        > (which were extremely long, even for both of us) and received half the
        > credit each for them.

        In subjects such as Set Theory (I took it as well) - you have to
        understand what you are doing, and get into the proofs by yourself.
        Dividing the work has nothing to do with it. Both of you should understand
        all the material (or else, you will know the material which you've taken
        to do homework, and that is probably half of the material in your case).

        > 4. The Tests
        >
        > Some of the tests were OK, others were extremely out of context with the
        > material that was learned. This is the one point that makes me extremely
        > unhappy about the Technion. By all means, tests should be easy in

        Some of the tests are built to force a "relative" grade. They can knock
        you off with the exam, and those who survive (= know the material better,
        and are less stressed), succeed to get the 50... If you are the best in
        your class (with 50) - it can jump, theoretically, up to 100. I personally
        don't like this method, because I think that it's mentally frustrating -
        but it works, and you do get a grade in comparison to your knowledge (as
        if you got an easier test), in my opinion.

        > comparison to the handed-in assignments, so those who have learned well
        > throughout the semester will score highly (while those who don't won't
        > succeed too much). In the Technion, this system is not present in most
        > courses.

        I think that doing an "easy" exam, sometimes dones't serve the system of
        your course. Sometimes the only way to know if you're good or bad is to
        check what you understood. If you understood the material well - you will
        get a better grade, even if the test looks "out of context". Same in here
        - different methods of testing.

        > Some of the tests were simply downright too long. Or a test in the
        > "Internet: Architecture and Protocols" course that expected the student to
        > prepare a trace of the TCP protocol by hand (without having covered this
        > material in home-assignments).

        If it's in the syllabus and/or the lecturer or the TA covered that
        material, or it's piece of material that you can understand as a
        conclusion from what you learnt - it can be in the exam. That's the way it
        goes.

        > I don't believe I would have able to study the more Eletrical
        > Engineering-parts of my study, on my own. This is one reason that I don't
        > regret having studied Electrical Engineering, instead of Computer Science,
        > which I'm almost certain would have been easier for me as I am a
        > programmer by trade and an able mathematician.

        I very much disagree with you about this. CS is a very wide subject, and
        EE is even more (I think that it covers CS as well, except for the
        theoretical parts of it). I'm not sure that you could study "CS" alone,
        while it contains many tiny subjects. Some of the subjects you know after
        digging into their homework and other ways of exercising. Maybe you could
        learn them all by yourself, but I'm not sure that you have had that time
        to do it, even as a free listener. If you wanted to taste EE (which covers
        the computers part as well, ofcourse), you could go into computers
        engineering which probably fits your case, and I think that it's a pity
        that you didn't do so, if you prefered CS over EE - educationally
        speaking.

        >
        > Maybe I just happen to be a bright student who cannot handle high loads
        > too well. Maybe I just hate to spent my entire timeframe on studies and

        I don't know you that well, but.. Al Ithalel Hoger Kimefate'ach. I don't
        think that "being a bright person" is a problem. You could have gone to
        your counselor and he would have assisted you (and would have checked if
        this is your problem).

        > also like to have other interests like working on open source projects, or
        > corresponding with my friends. But I don't think there's anything wrong
        > with any of these two facts, and it's a shame the Technion could not have
        > made it easier on me. If I could study hard the entire semester and then

        The Technion is not a picnic. It's not even close to that. If you have a
        problem or you think that you have one - you should go to the counselors
        of your faculty, using the TAs, nagging the lecturers, etc. That's the way
        you can help yourself. Nobody will do it for you.

        > be sure I will score high on my tests, it would have made the work
        > worthwhile, and me less frustrated as a result. But as it is, it's not the
        > case.

        The Technion doesn't really care if you're frustrated as well. You should
        go to counsultation if you're such a position. I also consider to do that,
        as I believe that I took too much on my neck in the last 2 semesters, and
        I start feeling it now.

        > Right now, my general impression of the Technion is more or less positive.
        > But I'm still not sure it was worth my time.

        That's a matter of taste, ofcourse.

        > Let's face it: many university graduates write damn right hideous code.
        > And many of them are honour students. Also, many people with very little
        > qualifications can write very good code and have a very good output. I

        It's not only a matter of code. Really!

        > don't think people with diplomas necessarily make better engineers, or
        > better team-heads, or better managers.
        >
        > Recently I was rejected from a workplace because my grades were too low.
        > For the record, I have an average of %82, which is not bad at all.

        82 is fine. I'm sure that it was a matter of bad interview (if you did go
        to an interview.. if you didn't - I take my words back).

        > However, I:
        >
        > 1. Don't take the second date exams if I succeed in the first date, even
        > with a very low score. Likewise, I never take a course a second time to
        > improve the grade. I figure that the extra points are not worth the extra
        > aggravation.

        They do. It depends on your grade. I wouldn't think twice in order to
        improve a 60. However - a grade which is closer to 80 - every course and
        its own reasons.

        >
        > 2. I don't dedicate 100% of my time to studying. I also spend a lot of

        Nobody does. Really. Unless you are a machine.

        > time doing other things, most of which increase my knowledge and
        > competancy as an engineer. I simply _cannot_ do that, because I know my
        > grades will have only a marginal effect on my proficiency.

        You are being a human. Congratulations :)

        >
        > So, despite the fact I wrote several open source projects, and am a
        > more able engineer than many perpetually honour students I know, I was
        > rejected upfront, without even a calling to a job interview. Not all
        > workplaces are like that, naturally, but it was still frustrating.

        Keep on going. There are many fish in the sea.

        > A person can get a good mastery of computer science from online
        > resources and books alone. But unfortunately workplaces don't seem to

        You can't prove that. The only way to prove that you have CS abilities, is
        to have a CE/CS dilpoma, and/or to get an interview and to hope that they
        are looking for an EE person who knows CS concepts. Don't forget - you are
        an *electrical* engineer, not a computer scientist.

        > share this view from some reason, which is unfortunate, as they are losing
        > a great deal of good candidates. (and accepting some very bad ones).

        It's always like that. They can always fire and get new ones, so maybe
        sometime, they will get you as well. I can give you some great examples of
        people who got work in their very relevant fields, but had to wait between
        0.5-1.5 years after their graduation (in the Technion). Bottom line - your
        turn will arrive.


        Good luck!

        >
        > --------------
        >
        > Regards,
        >
        > Shlomi Fish
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > ----------------------------------------------------------------------
        > Shlomi Fish shlomif@...
        > Home Page: http://t2.technion.ac.il/~shlomif/
        >
        > An apple a day will keep a doctor away. Two apples a day will keep two
        > doctors away.
        >
        > Falk Fish
        >
        >
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        >
        >
        >

        --
        ____________________________________________________________________________
        Adir Abraham
        Technion's Advisors Group and Public PC Farms Manager
        adir@..., adir@..., adir@...
        Haifa, Israel
        ICQ# 1841481
        Cel# +972-53-243438, +972-55-481245
        KeyID: 0xD8DC85C7 Fingerprint: 138D 8F41 7A06 44A0 3DBB 9DC3 FE8B 2658
        ____________________________________________________________________________


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      • Shlomi Fish
        ... C-shell is a very bad example for a script language or for a UNIX shell. It is broken in so many ways, and pretty much braindead and impossible to work
        Message 3 of 20 , Nov 2, 2003
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          On Sun, 2 Nov 2003, Adir Abraham wrote:

          > On Fri, 31 Oct 2003, Shlomi Fish wrote:
          >
          > > Very good, in my opinion. Quite up to date and relevant to what we have to
          > > learn, with a few exceptioins (like the infamous teaching of C-shell
          > > programming in Matam and Mamat). But as a general role, there's not much
          > > complaints here.
          >
          > I disagree with you regarding that example. C-shell is not taught as a
          > matter of programming, but as a matter of principle of learning what
          > script language is, and what is its use. Ofcourse, in the end, you are
          > tested on (small) programming - but that's not the issue. You can disagree
          > about using C-shell as a programming "language", but you are not qualified
          > enough (in my opinion) to know what are the academic reasons behind using
          > C-shell for that course. Whatsoever, you can't shove too much on that
          > course, and C-shell is really a small part in it.
          >

          C-shell is a very bad example for a script language or for a UNIX shell.
          It is broken in so many ways, and pretty much braindead and impossible to
          work with. I don't know how it entered the corriculum and certainly don't
          know how it stays there all these years despite being a non-standard way
          to program in UNIX, and something that no-one should absolutely not use in
          any production code.

          If the Technion taught Bourne Shell or Bash or Perl if the latter was
          appropriate in this case, instead of C-shell, I would not have complained.
          But C-Shell by itself is a braindead script language, and it's a disgrace
          that the Technion teaches it.

          > >
          > > The material seems to cover basics and foundations instead of cutting-edge
          > > technologies, which is a good thing, in my opinion, because a university's
          > > purppose is to teach just that. The latter is best tought by experiencing.
          >
          > Universities are supposed to give you a basic background as a kickstart,
          > so while you leave the univerisity, you will take those tools and use them
          > to develop better things, probably at work or in research, if you go
          > there. Some courses are more "updated" and some are less "updated", but
          > the bottom line is that you are supposed to get tools and lines of
          > thoughts, and not more than that.
          >

          <nod />

          > > The T.A.'s are usually better than the lecturers at conveying the
          > > material, but I encountered a few really bad T.A.'s.
          >
          > Not really relevant. The TAs are used to "translate" what the lecturers
          > say, to what the student has to do (homework, exams, etc.), and they are
          > used to give a different view to what the lecturer says. Some courses use
          > their TAs in order to teach extra material, etc., so saying that the TAs
          > are better in conveying the material, I believe that it's not relevant.
          >

          I agree that the T.A.'s job is different than the lecturer's one. I know
          of several good T.A.'s who ended up being a sucky lecturer. However, most
          T.A.'s are better as T.A.'s than the lecturers' are good as lecturer's.
          And I encountered good and bad lecturers and good and bad T.A.'s.

          > > 3. The Workload
          > >
          > > The workload was very high most of the time. In some courses, my partners
          > > and I spent days on end on preparing the assignments. (and I'm a
          > > relatively bright person). Luckily, in Electrical Engineering most of the
          >
          > Whether you are not a "bright person" - sitting days and nights has
          > nothing to do with it. I think that sitting on homework is a matter of
          > understanding the material, digging into the material, and organizing
          > time.
          >

          Actually, it's also a matter of implementing the material learned in order
          to solve some problems. And this can take a long time in many courses.

          > > This is not the case in the Mathematics Department, for example. In the
          > > course "Set Theory" my partner and I prepared several exercises together
          > > (which were extremely long, even for both of us) and received half the
          > > credit each for them.
          >
          > In subjects such as Set Theory (I took it as well) - you have to
          > understand what you are doing, and get into the proofs by yourself.
          > Dividing the work has nothing to do with it. Both of you should understand
          > all the material (or else, you will know the material which you've taken
          > to do homework, and that is probably half of the material in your case).
          >

          I assure you that in the exercises we solved, both of us understood the
          material well. I don't think that prohibiting pair-wise work necessarily
          makes it the other way around.

          > > 4. The Tests
          > >
          > > Some of the tests were OK, others were extremely out of context with the
          > > material that was learned. This is the one point that makes me extremely
          > > unhappy about the Technion. By all means, tests should be easy in
          >
          > Some of the tests are built to force a "relative" grade. They can knock
          > you off with the exam, and those who survive (= know the material better,
          > and are less stressed), succeed to get the 50... If you are the best in
          > your class (with 50) - it can jump, theoretically, up to 100. I personally
          > don't like this method, because I think that it's mentally frustrating -
          > but it works, and you do get a grade in comparison to your knowledge (as
          > if you got an easier test), in my opinion.
          >

          I'm very unhappy about such tests.

          > > comparison to the handed-in assignments, so those who have learned well
          > > throughout the semester will score highly (while those who don't won't
          > > succeed too much). In the Technion, this system is not present in most
          > > courses.
          >
          > I think that doing an "easy" exam, sometimes dones't serve the system of
          > your course. Sometimes the only way to know if you're good or bad is to
          > check what you understood. If you understood the material well - you will
          > get a better grade, even if the test looks "out of context". Same in here
          > - different methods of testing.
          >

          See my answer to Nadav, and what I heard about UNC.

          > > Some of the tests were simply downright too long. Or a test in the
          > > "Internet: Architecture and Protocols" course that expected the student to
          > > prepare a trace of the TCP protocol by hand (without having covered this
          > > material in home-assignments).
          >
          > If it's in the syllabus and/or the lecturer or the TA covered that
          > material, or it's piece of material that you can understand as a
          > conclusion from what you learnt - it can be in the exam. That's the way it
          > goes.
          >

          The rules for making the trace were given in class, but an implementation
          of them with all the calculationis was never shown. I think that we should
          be given an exercise doing that in our homework, because giving such a
          thing in test without preparation cannot assure that the student have ever
          done such a thing.

          > > I don't believe I would have able to study the more Eletrical
          > > Engineering-parts of my study, on my own. This is one reason that I don't
          > > regret having studied Electrical Engineering, instead of Computer Science,
          > > which I'm almost certain would have been easier for me as I am a
          > > programmer by trade and an able mathematician.
          >
          > I very much disagree with you about this. CS is a very wide subject, and
          > EE is even more (I think that it covers CS as well, except for the
          > theoretical parts of it). I'm not sure that you could study "CS" alone,
          > while it contains many tiny subjects. Some of the subjects you know after
          > digging into their homework and other ways of exercising. Maybe you could
          > learn them all by yourself, but I'm not sure that you have had that time
          > to do it, even as a free listener. If you wanted to taste EE (which covers
          > the computers part as well, ofcourse), you could go into computers
          > engineering which probably fits your case, and I think that it's a pity
          > that you didn't do so, if you prefered CS over EE - educationally
          > speaking.
          >

          First of all note that I did ended up taking a lot of CSish courses that
          are given by the EE faculty, so my degree was relatively pseudo-CSish in a
          way. Secondly, CS subjects are usually easier (at least for me) to learn
          on my own, than EE subjects. In CS, I can usually learn this stuff from
          books without too much problem. In EE, I'll usually have a harder time
          because I don't have much background in Electronics, Signal Processing,
          etc. and so need the assistance of the faculty.

          > >
          > > Maybe I just happen to be a bright student who cannot handle high loads
          > > too well. Maybe I just hate to spent my entire timeframe on studies and
          >
          > I don't know you that well, but.. Al Ithalel Hoger Kimefate'ach.

          What does it have to do with it?

          > I don't
          > think that "being a bright person" is a problem. You could have gone to
          > your counselor and he would have assisted you (and would have checked if
          > this is your problem).
          >

          I did not say that being a bright person is a problem. But not being able
          to handle high loads is. As for the counselor: I once went to her saying
          if I could have a time extension and other benefits due to my bad
          hand-writing. It turns out that to do so, I had to go to some "Makhon
          Ya'el" where I should take a series of 6 hours long tests (and have to
          bring something to eat), just to determine if my bad hand-writing is
          caused by some inherent psychological problem. Apparently they do it for
          all people with mental disabilities.

          I decided it was not worth the effort. (and naturally don't really believe
          in such tests). Maybe I could have given them a note from my Psychiatrist,
          but did not try it yet.

          > > also like to have other interests like working on open source projects, or
          > > corresponding with my friends. But I don't think there's anything wrong
          > > with any of these two facts, and it's a shame the Technion could not have
          > > made it easier on me. If I could study hard the entire semester and then
          >
          > The Technion is not a picnic. It's not even close to that.

          I did not say it was. And I don't think it should be.

          > If you have a
          > problem or you think that you have one - you should go to the counselors
          > of your faculty, using the TAs, nagging the lecturers, etc. That's the way
          > you can help yourself. Nobody will do it for you.
          >

          How exactly can I complain about a test that was balantly unfair? (and
          that the other students in the class felt so). Like I said, I don't slack
          off in the semester. I prepare all the homework, go over the material and
          prepare previous tests in preparation for the test. But then I have no
          idea what to expect for the tests, and may fail because the test is
          unfair. And this makes for a very frustrating learning experience.

          When I go to a test I want to be sure that if I studied well throughout
          the semester and know the material perfectly, I'll do well on the test. If
          this was the case, I would have nothing to complain. But, sadly enough,
          this is not the case.

          > > be sure I will score high on my tests, it would have made the work
          > > worthwhile, and me less frustrated as a result. But as it is, it's not the
          > > case.
          >
          > The Technion doesn't really care if you're frustrated as well.

          Well, it should. Frustrated students don't work as hard, are less happy
          with their studies, and keep telling everybody how much they hate the
          Technion.

          > You should
          > go to counsultation if you're such a position.

          I don't have a problem dealing with the frustration. It's just a feeling I
          have. But I'd still would rather be less frustrated from unfair grading
          and more willing to study.

          > I also consider to do that,
          > as I believe that I took too much on my neck in the last 2 semesters, and
          > I start feeling it now.
          >
          > > Let's face it: many university graduates write damn right hideous code.
          > > And many of them are honour students. Also, many people with very little
          > > qualifications can write very good code and have a very good output. I
          >
          > It's not only a matter of code. Really!
          >

          Care to enlighten me what else it's a matter of? When a software house
          hires programmers they want them to write software that is maintainable,
          works efficiently, is modular, easy to understand, etc. How would the fact
          that one is a university graduate give him an advantage over an equally
          knowledgable non-graduate, who is a much better programmer?

          > > don't think people with diplomas necessarily make better engineers, or
          > > better team-heads, or better managers.
          > >
          > > Recently I was rejected from a workplace because my grades were too low.
          > > For the record, I have an average of %82, which is not bad at all.
          >
          > 82 is fine. I'm sure that it was a matter of bad interview (if you did go
          > to an interview.. if you didn't - I take my words back).
          >

          I did not go to the interview. My C.V+Grades List was rejected because of
          the low grades.

          > > However, I:
          > >
          > > 1. Don't take the second date exams if I succeed in the first date, even
          > > with a very low score. Likewise, I never take a course a second time to
          > > improve the grade. I figure that the extra points are not worth the extra
          > > aggravation.
          >
          > They do. It depends on your grade. I wouldn't think twice in order to
          > improve a 60. However - a grade which is closer to 80 - every course and
          > its own reasons.
          >

          Well, let's agree we disagree. Extra tests == Extra frustrations. What
          matters in a course is that _I_ know I know the material well, not that my
          grade reflects it. I joined the Technion to get a good knowledge, not to
          get good grades.

          > > time doing other things, most of which increase my knowledge and
          > > competancy as an engineer. I simply _cannot_ do that, because I know my
          > > grades will have only a marginal effect on my proficiency.
          >
          > You are being a human. Congratulations :)
          >

          :-)

          > >
          > > So, despite the fact I wrote several open source projects, and am a
          > > more able engineer than many perpetually honour students I know, I was
          > > rejected upfront, without even a calling to a job interview. Not all
          > > workplaces are like that, naturally, but it was still frustrating.
          >
          > Keep on going. There are many fish in the sea.
          >

          And I encountered some very good fish recently.

          > > A person can get a good mastery of computer science from online
          > > resources and books alone. But unfortunately workplaces don't seem to
          >
          > You can't prove that. The only way to prove that you have CS abilities, is
          > to have a CE/CS dilpoma, and/or to get an interview and to hope that they
          > are looking for an EE person who knows CS concepts. Don't forget - you are
          > an *electrical* engineer, not a computer scientist.
          >

          I am a good programmer despite the fact that I don't have a diploma in CS.
          And many people who have graduated from CS (even with Masters or Ph.D's)
          make very poor programmers. Like I said in an earlier post, I don't think
          an engineer is someone who has necessarily graduated from the university in
          the relevant field. A CS/CE diploma is not a proof of one's capabilities
          as a Computer Scientist.

          > > share this view from some reason, which is unfortunate, as they are losing
          > > a great deal of good candidates. (and accepting some very bad ones).
          >
          > It's always like that. They can always fire and get new ones, so maybe
          > sometime, they will get you as well.

          Actually, a bad worker wastes a lot of time for his prospective workplace.
          In fact, the general rule of a thumb for interviewing is "when in doubt,
          don't hire."

          > I can give you some great examples of
          > people who got work in their very relevant fields, but had to wait between
          > 0.5-1.5 years after their graduation (in the Technion). Bottom line - your
          > turn will arrive.
          >

          I hope it will. But I still think these workplaces are not making a wise
          choice.

          >
          > Good luck!
          >

          Thanks! Good luck to you too!

          Regards,

          Shlomi Fish

          ----------------------------------------------------------------------
          Shlomi Fish shlomif@...
          Home Page: http://t2.technion.ac.il/~shlomif/

          An apple a day will keep a doctor away. Two apples a day will keep two
          doctors away.

          Falk Fish
        • Nadav Har'El
          ... I don t know about EE, but in math, succeeding on your homework (and the tests) wasn t just about understanding the material and organizing time -
          Message 4 of 20 , Nov 2, 2003
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            On Sun, Nov 02, 2003, Shlomi Fish wrote about "Re: [hackers-il] My Opinion about the Technion":
            > > Whether you are not a "bright person" - sitting days and nights has
            > > nothing to do with it. I think that sitting on homework is a matter of
            > > understanding the material, digging into the material, and organizing
            > > time.
            >
            > Actually, it's also a matter of implementing the material learned in order
            > to solve some problems. And this can take a long time in many courses.

            I don't know about EE, but in math, succeeding on your homework (and the
            tests) wasn't just about understanding the material and organizing time -
            sometimes you had challenging exercises that did take a bright person to
            come up with the idea needed to solve them. But for the inexperienced
            bright person, it also takes time. Like Eddison once said, "Genius is 1%
            inspiration and 99% perspiration". Unfortunately this rule applies
            everywhere - both during your studies and later at your work. Another
            relevant quote: "no pain no gain" :)

            > I assure you that in the exercises we solved, both of us understood the
            > material well. I don't think that prohibiting pair-wise work necessarily
            > makes it the other way around.

            What you describe is akeen to reading a book of exercises solutions. Sure,
            you'll know the solutions to the given exercises - but what happens when
            the test comes up and you have a different exercise to solve?
            Remember that a few years after you graduate, you're unlikely to remember
            more than 20% of the material you learned (and maybe this is an overestimate
            as well). What you should remember, however, are the thoughts processes -
            how to solve problems, how to be a good scientist, and so on. There is no
            way to learn these except working on your own. Reading other people's
            solutions probably isn't enough.

            I'm not saying, by the way, that learning from other peoples solutions, and
            even their mistakes, isn't educational. It certainly is. But you must also
            exercise your own brain if you want to learn to solve problems on your own.

            > > Some of the tests are built to force a "relative" grade. They can knock
            > > you off with the exam, and those who survive (= know the material better,
            > > and are less stressed), succeed to get the 50... If you are the best in
            >
            > I'm very unhappy about such tests.

            Me too - they tend to penalize too much people who get stressed by tests.
            Ideally, the test should be calibrated such that a bright person should
            get 100, less bright people should get less than 100. If a class has 10
            bright people, all 10 should get 100. If the class has none, no one should
            get 100. An "average" person should get an "average" score in the test, and
            not go home feeling like he just flunked the test.

            > > I don't know you that well, but.. Al Ithalel Hoger Kimefate'ach.
            >
            > What does it have to do with it?

            Shlomi, I think the more relevant phrase is "Ein Hanachtom Me'id Al Isato".
            You keep claiming that your were the brightest student, and even the teachers
            weren't brighter than you, with no proof, other than asking us to take your
            word for it.

            Remember that being above-average (which you obviously are) isn't the same
            as being the brightest....

            > How exactly can I complain about a test that was balantly unfair? (and
            > that the other students in the class felt so). Like I said, I don't slack
            > off in the semester. I prepare all the homework, go over the material and
            > prepare previous tests in preparation for the test. But then I have no
            > idea what to expect for the tests, and may fail because the test is
            > unfair. And this makes for a very frustrating learning experience.

            There's a saying "expect the unexpected". Make sure you know the material
            so well, that nothing can suprise you. Sure, this takes time and effort, and
            yes it requires a good memory. Unfortunately, both these things are still
            needed in real working life too (good memory is slowly being replaced by
            electronic tools, but it is still very useful to have one).

            I remember a test in the "Real Functions" course in the Math department.
            During the course we learned a lot of complicated proofs, and we knew that
            sometimes the teachers like to ask you to prove a theorem for which we saw
            the proof in class. However, there was one theorem that was so complicated
            (it took us 2 hours to cover in class) that I was sure we'll never get to
            prove this in the test - so I didn't memorize this proof before this test.
            And lo and behold - the teacher told us to write this proof during the test!
            Naturally, I didn't remember the proof. Rather than cry "Unfair!", I simply
            went and proved the theorem myself; I remembered a few key ideas and filled
            in the details, and my experience in proving theorems (that only comes from
            exercising) came in very handy. I got a 100 on that test.

            So "hard" and "unfair" isn't the same. Remember that the test isn't supposed
            to cover 100% of the material - it's supposed to force you to learn 100%
            of the material, and test you on a small sample of it.

            > When I go to a test I want to be sure that if I studied well throughout
            > the semester and know the material perfectly, I'll do well on the test. If
            > this was the case, I would have nothing to complain. But, sadly enough,
            > this is not the case.

            A GPA of 82 you quoted means indeed that you did well. If you wanted to
            do exceptionally well, you may have needed to study exceptionally well.

            And I still don't see how you can "know the material perfectly" and still
            get a grade below 100 - unless the test was misgraded, which is indeed very
            unfair (but usually gets corrected in appeal).

            > > The Technion doesn't really care if you're frustrated as well.
            >
            > Well, it should. Frustrated students don't work as hard, are less happy
            > with their studies, and keep telling everybody how much they hate the
            > Technion.

            I think the teachers, at least the Math teachers I know, do care if the
            students are frustrated, and try to keep tests fair and calibrated to
            the level of students, not demi-gods. Sometimes they make mistakes, and
            sometimes they have bizarre inventions on what to do on tests (I can tell
            you a lot of stories about that :)). But the teachers too like to learn
            from their mistakes.


            --
            Nadav Har'El | Sunday, Nov 2 2003, 7 Heshvan 5764
            nyh@... |-----------------------------------------
            Phone: +972-53-790466, ICQ 13349191 |Entropy: Not just a fad, it's the future!
            http://nadav.harel.org.il |
          • Shlomi Fish
            ... ... Wrong. We both solved the exercises together, while consulting and criticizing each other s solutions. And so we both shared the mental process
            Message 5 of 20 , Nov 2, 2003
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              On Sun, 2 Nov 2003, Nadav Har'El wrote:

              > On Sun, Nov 02, 2003, Shlomi Fish wrote about "Re: [hackers-il] My Opinion about the Technion":
              > > > Whether you are not a "bright person" - sitting days and nights has
              > > > nothing to do with it. I think that sitting on homework is a matter of
              > > > understanding the material, digging into the material, and organizing
              > > > time.
              > >
              > > Actually, it's also a matter of implementing the material learned in order
              > > to solve some problems. And this can take a long time in many courses.
              >
              > I don't know about EE, but in math, succeeding on your homework (and the
              > tests) wasn't just about understanding the material and organizing time -
              > sometimes you had challenging exercises that did take a bright person to
              > come up with the idea needed to solve them. But for the inexperienced
              > bright person, it also takes time. Like Eddison once said, "Genius is 1%
              > inspiration and 99% perspiration". Unfortunately this rule applies
              > everywhere - both during your studies and later at your work. Another
              > relevant quote: "no pain no gain" :)
              >

              <nod />

              > > I assure you that in the exercises we solved, both of us understood the
              > > material well. I don't think that prohibiting pair-wise work necessarily
              > > makes it the other way around.
              >
              > What you describe is akeen to reading a book of exercises solutions.

              Wrong. We both solved the exercises together, while consulting and
              criticizing each other's solutions. And so we both shared the mental
              process and integrated the material well.

              > I'm not saying, by the way, that learning from other peoples solutions, and
              > even their mistakes, isn't educational. It certainly is. But you must also
              > exercise your own brain if you want to learn to solve problems on your own.
              >

              I can asure you I have exercised my own brain plenty of times in the
              Technion, even when doing pair-wise work. Pair-wise work is a
              great system, just like pair-programming is a great system.

              > > > Some of the tests are built to force a "relative" grade. They can knock
              > > > you off with the exam, and those who survive (= know the material better,
              > > > and are less stressed), succeed to get the 50... If you are the best in
              > >
              > > I'm very unhappy about such tests.
              >
              > Me too - they tend to penalize too much people who get stressed by tests.
              > Ideally, the test should be calibrated such that a bright person should
              > get 100, less bright people should get less than 100. If a class has 10
              > bright people, all 10 should get 100. If the class has none, no one should
              > get 100. An "average" person should get an "average" score in the test, and
              > not go home feeling like he just flunked the test.
              >

              <nod />

              > > > I don't know you that well, but.. Al Ithalel Hoger Kimefate'ach.
              > >
              > > What does it have to do with it?
              >
              > Shlomi, I think the more relevant phrase is "Ein Hanachtom Me'id Al Isato".
              > You keep claiming that your were the brightest student, and even the teachers
              > weren't brighter than you, with no proof, other than asking us to take your
              > word for it.

              I did not claim I was the brightest student, just one of the brightest.
              (why do you people keep misinterpreting what I said). It is very probable
              that the teachers were more experienced than I am in their particular
              fields of expertise, and so were brighter in this regard.

              > > How exactly can I complain about a test that was balantly unfair? (and
              > > that the other students in the class felt so). Like I said, I don't slack
              > > off in the semester. I prepare all the homework, go over the material and
              > > prepare previous tests in preparation for the test. But then I have no
              > > idea what to expect for the tests, and may fail because the test is
              > > unfair. And this makes for a very frustrating learning experience.
              >
              > There's a saying "expect the unexpected". Make sure you know the material
              > so well, that nothing can suprise you.

              I thought that nothing could surprise me with "Image Processing and
              Analysis". My partner and I prepared all the home assignments (which took
              us several hours), and prepared all the tests from the tests booklet
              (which was also quite time-consuming), and reviewed the material that was
              taught. The test was an open-material one and despite all that it
              contained completely out of context exercises, which no-one had any idea
              how to do.

              Knowing the material so well that nothing can surprise you is easier said
              than done, at least in the Electrical Engineering faculty.

              > Sure, this takes time and effort, and
              > yes it requires a good memory.

              My memory is OK. And in EE, most of the courses have an open-material
              test and if they don't you don't need to remember everything by heart,
              just the important principles.

              > Unfortunately, both these things are still
              > needed in real working life too (good memory is slowly being replaced by
              > electronic tools, but it is still very useful to have one).
              >

              I don't remember investing so much time and effort in my working life to
              achieve such poor results. Sorry.

              > I remember a test in the "Real Functions" course in the Math department.
              > During the course we learned a lot of complicated proofs, and we knew that
              > sometimes the teachers like to ask you to prove a theorem for which we saw
              > the proof in class. However, there was one theorem that was so complicated
              > (it took us 2 hours to cover in class) that I was sure we'll never get to
              > prove this in the test - so I didn't memorize this proof before this test.
              > And lo and behold - the teacher told us to write this proof during the test!
              > Naturally, I didn't remember the proof. Rather than cry "Unfair!", I simply
              > went and proved the theorem myself; I remembered a few key ideas and filled
              > in the details, and my experience in proving theorems (that only comes from
              > exercising) came in very handy. I got a 100 on that test.
              >
              > So "hard" and "unfair" isn't the same. Remember that the test isn't supposed
              > to cover 100% of the material - it's supposed to force you to learn 100%
              > of the material, and test you on a small sample of it.
              >

              What if you learn 100% of the material, and it covers a completely
              different 100% of it? Or it is simply too long? That's not "hard" - that
              is balantly unfair. And such tests are common where I come from.

              > > When I go to a test I want to be sure that if I studied well throughout
              > > the semester and know the material perfectly, I'll do well on the test. If
              > > this was the case, I would have nothing to complain. But, sadly enough,
              > > this is not the case.
              >
              > A GPA of 82 you quoted means indeed that you did well. If you wanted to
              > do exceptionally well, you may have needed to study exceptionally well.
              >

              Let's face it: in courses I had a background in, I could get a good score
              (not always perfect, but satisfactory) with an average amount of studying.
              In courses I did not have a background in, I was many times extremely
              prepared yet landed on an unfair test, and so got a low grade. I'm sorry,
              but I do not come pre-packed with knowledge in all Electrical Engineering
              fields. Some people seem to have a knack for it, more than I do, and so
              can outmanuevere poorly-written tests, in a similar fashion that I can
              handle poorly-written tests in CS.

              If a student studied hard the entire semester, knew the material well, and
              yet got a low grade on the test, it's not his problem - it's the teaching
              staff's. I think the UNC system with tests that are challenging but easier
              than the given homework, is better than the mess that currently takes
              place with the EE department tests.

              You can ask any EE student how many unfair tests he or she encountered and
              you'll almost always receive an answer of more than 1.

              Also, I don't know what it means to study "exceptionally well", but I'd
              rather not study more than I have studied up to now. I've studied a lot
              and studied well, and most of my grades are OK. But the extremely low
              grades I recieved when I know I knew the material much better than that
              and the test was unfair, are frustrating me.

              > And I still don't see how you can "know the material perfectly" and still
              > get a grade below 100 - unless the test was misgraded, which is indeed very
              > unfair (but usually gets corrected in appeal).
              >

              Several reasons come to mind:

              1. The test is too long to be solved in the allocated time frame.

              2. The test requires knowledge of techniques that were not covered in the
              class, or gives exercises that were never encountered before by the
              student.

              3. The test does not seem to have anything to do with the homework. (like
              two tests I took in "Waves and Distributed Systems", which I handed
              without solving anything)

              4. The test uses completely uncovered material (like a test my friend took
              in "Digital Communications").

              Maybe I'll think of more later. Face it - it happens, and too often to be
              an exceptional case.

              > > > The Technion doesn't really care if you're frustrated as well.
              > >
              > > Well, it should. Frustrated students don't work as hard, are less happy
              > > with their studies, and keep telling everybody how much they hate the
              > > Technion.
              >
              > I think the teachers, at least the Math teachers I know, do care if the
              > students are frustrated, and try to keep tests fair and calibrated to
              > the level of students, not demi-gods. Sometimes they make mistakes, and
              > sometimes they have bizarre inventions on what to do on tests (I can tell
              > you a lot of stories about that :)). But the teachers too like to learn
              > from their mistakes.
              >

              Whatever. Many EE teachers are having a poor success in achieving this
              end.

              My friend took "Introduction to Data Structures and Algorithms", which is
              a basic course given by the EE faculty. My test was OK, and I got a 100 in
              it. His, however, was littered with correctness proofs. In the entire
              course, I think there's one demonstrated correctness proof. Plus, at this
              level and in this context, the students are not required to know how to
              prove the correctness of an algorithm. This is much more the domain of the
              more advanced "Design and Analysis of Algorithms" and does not belong
              there and was not shown in class or practiced in homework. What were they
              thinking?

              Regards,

              Shlomi Fish



              ----------------------------------------------------------------------
              Shlomi Fish shlomif@...
              Home Page: http://t2.technion.ac.il/~shlomif/

              An apple a day will keep a doctor away. Two apples a day will keep two
              doctors away.

              Falk Fish
            • guy keren
              ... the project was too large to be designed, programmed and tested until the dead-line set by management. so we sat down, decided what is more important (=
              Message 6 of 20 , Nov 3, 2003
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                On Sun, 2 Nov 2003, Shlomi Fish wrote:

                > Several reasons cometo mind:
                >
                > 1. The test is too long to be solved in the allocated time frame.

                the project was too large to be designed, programmed and tested until the
                dead-line set by management. so we sat down, decided what is more
                important (= will make a small project sell-able to customers), and
                defined a sub-set of the project, that could have been prepared until the
                said dead-line. had we not doen so, we'd have much lower sales, or even no
                sales at all because we won't have any working program at all.

                the same goes for such a test. you go over the questions, and put them in
                order of 'getting more points per minute', and then solve them in this
                order. the 'points per minute' is an individual thing, dependin which
                qustions _you_ find easier to answer, and thus this order is different for
                different people.

                > 2. The test requires knowledge of techniques that were not covered in the
                > class, or gives exercises that were never encountered before by the
                > student.

                ah, but that's the same for you, as it is for most other students, so
                relatively, you shouldn't do any worth or better then them.

                and in the project - we were supposed to develope a protocol we've never
                developed before. so we went on the internet, searching for something
                similar to take ideas from, and use as the bases of our work.

                and in your open-material test - you go to the books, and quickly look for
                something that looks as close as possible to the question at hand, and
                begin from there, finding the analogies.

                > 3. The test does not seem to have anything to do with the homework. (like
                > two tests I took in "Waves and Distributed Systems", which I handed
                > without solving anything)

                mostly the same as above, only that most students will do even worse,
                since they will need to learn much more 'during the test', and in the
                previous case. you'll still get your relevant positioning in class, and
                the factor will make it higher ;)

                > 4. The test uses completely uncovered material (like a test my friend took
                > in "Digital Communications").

                just a worse case of the previous thing. more learning, a lower initial
                grade, a larger factor.


                shlomi, the examples you bring cause the same problem for all students
                taking the exam, making all grades lower. they later apply a factor,
                because they don't know how to make an exam on the same leevl of
                difficulty each time - it's not as easy at it sounds, after all.

                but the un-fairness is the same for everyone.

                and if you think a given test was unfair - do the moed bet. stop having
                silly principles that show nothing. if you realy know the material well,
                you won't need to prepare to the mode bet at all, so it only will take
                about 3 hours of your precious time (ok, 3.5, counting the time it takes
                walking to and from the room where the test is given). add 2 hours to
                re-go over the material just to refresh your memory.

                remember, each part of the system is flawed, so they patched in fixes on
                top of it, in order to make the hole system less flawed. perhaps
                re-designing it from scratch would have resulted a better system - but no
                one seems to want to do that. so either learn how to use the technion's
                system, or leave it, and go to a different system that you think is better
                (bgu comes to mind). and if, one day, you get to be in the position of
                interviewing people for work and filtering resumes - then you can do that
                in a way you think is more fair.

                what you are describing so-far, is your in-ability to flex yourself into a
                large system, or inability to understand the rules by which it works, or
                your inability to adapt to those rules even if you see them. there are two
                things you could do:

                1. don't go working for large organizations, unless you know in adance
                exactly how they work, and that you can fit in. go to the smaller
                companies, where the system is more flexible, and where you can
                participate in changing it, in cases where you think it can be
                improved.

                2. learn how to 'learn' a system and how to adapt yourself to fit it. this
                is a rather desired ability, in many large organizations.

                for some reason, i did manage to fit into the technion's system, because i
                didn't take it too seriously, and saw it all as one big 'game',
                or 'exercise'. (and i didn't go to EE, and blessed the maker every day for
                that, because doing too much homework was never my cup of tea. hoorey
                for 'non-mandatory' homework ;) ).

                and for the same reasons that you bring up, i avoided joining large
                companies so far - because psychologically, it is hard for me to give up
                on doing things the way i want them done. maybe one day i'll learn how to
                either fit into them, or how to influence them from inside, and then i'll
                go joining one of them.

                until then, why whine so much? doesn't make anyone too happy, after all,
                not even you - does it? no, please don't answer this question. it's
                rethoric...

                --
                guy

                "For world domination - press 1,
                or dial 0, and please hold, for the creator." -- nob o. dy
              • Ofir Carny
                I really tried not to reply, but I couldn t keep resisting the urge, sorry: IMHO, The reason for choosing csh instead of bourne-sh or bash is that it doesn t
                Message 7 of 20 , Nov 3, 2003
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                  I really tried not to reply, but I couldn't keep resisting the urge, sorry:

                  IMHO, The reason for choosing csh instead of bourne-sh or bash is that it doesn't matter, isn't meant so you can write scripts and learn csh, the one week devoted to it is only meant for you to learn the concepts of pipes, filters and output redirection, and learn to use a unix-like shell, any differences between them really don't matter here, maybe another shell would be better, but not so much better to be worth a switch (preparing course material, etc.).

                  <shlomif>
                  My friend took "Introduction to Data Structures and Algorithms", which is
                  a basic course given by the EE faculty. My test was OK, and I got a 100 in
                  it. His, however, was littered with correctness proofs. In the entire
                  course, I think there's one demonstrated correctness proof. Plus, at this
                  level and in this context, the students are not required to know how to
                  prove the correctness of an algorithm. This is much more the domain of the
                  more advanced "Design and Analysis of Algorithms" and does not belong
                  there and was not shown in class or practiced in homework. What were they
                  thinking?
                  </shlomif>

                  One demonstrated correctness proof should be enough, it was meant for you to learn, not as an indication that the test will not contain more than one such thing. The questions most indicative of a bright mind are the ones which require you to think rather than spew memorized material, if the test only contained things you did in the homework, I would say it was a bad test. Questions that are based on the course material, but a little outside it show that you understood the material, rather than memorized it, if you understand, you can extend. Anyway, I took that course, and I think that if you can't show the correctness of an algorithm, you didn't understand it, in all probability whoever wrote that test thinks so too.

                  I think that the things you shown are some of the best qualities of the technion, it requires you to work hard to learn new material, by your account, material you already knew, you had no problems with, this means that if you studied hard enough to really know those subjects too, you would ace those test as well, by your account you didn't (you have better things to do), you may have studied a lot (and that you even passed the tests, seems to verify that very well in the technion), but not enough.

                  Anyway, you are an electrical engineer, not a computer scientist, sure, you may know a lot about programming, be a great programmer, and focused your degree on computers, but there is a reason there is a separate degree for CS, and anyone who took it, took more CS course than you, I don't find it surprising that prospective employers would place a higher bar for this kind of degree, no matter how much harder it is.

                  -------
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                  Vidius Israel Ltd.
                  Hasadna 13, Ra'anana, Israel
                  Telephone: +972 (9) 7439250 Ext. 211
                  Fax: +972 (9) 7439251
                  ofir@...
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                • Shlomi Fish
                  ... Did that. Still got 57 on Linear Circuits as the final grade, because of a long test. ... I don t really care how the other students did (except for
                  Message 8 of 20 , Nov 3, 2003
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                    On Mon, 3 Nov 2003, guy keren wrote:

                    >
                    > On Sun, 2 Nov 2003, Shlomi Fish wrote:
                    >
                    > > Several reasons cometo mind:
                    > >
                    > > 1. The test is too long to be solved in the allocated time frame.
                    >
                    > the project was too large to be designed, programmed and tested until the
                    > dead-line set by management. so we sat down, decided what is more
                    > important (= will make a small project sell-able to customers), and
                    > defined a sub-set of the project, that could have been prepared until the
                    > said dead-line. had we not doen so, we'd have much lower sales, or even no
                    > sales at all because we won't have any working program at all.
                    >
                    > the same goes for such a test. you go over the questions, and put them in
                    > order of 'getting more points per minute', and then solve them in this
                    > order. the 'points per minute' is an individual thing, dependin which
                    > qustions _you_ find easier to answer, and thus this order is different for
                    > different people.
                    >

                    Did that. Still got 57 on "Linear Circuits" as the final grade, because of
                    a long test.

                    > > 2. The test requires knowledge of techniques that were not covered in the
                    > > class, or gives exercises that were never encountered before by the
                    > > student.
                    >
                    > ah, but that's the same for you, as it is for most other students, so
                    > relatively, you shouldn't do any worth or better then them.
                    >

                    I don't really care how the other students did (except for those I
                    personally know). But sometimes I got misgraded or even failed the test
                    because of such a thing.

                    > and in the project - we were supposed to develope a protocol we've never
                    > developed before. so we went on the internet, searching for something
                    > similar to take ideas from, and use as the bases of our work.
                    >

                    How am I supposed to do that without access to the Internet, or to
                    libraries, or the ability to consult my peers, or in a time frame of 3
                    hours? I think this entire analogy to a project is a very bad one.

                    > and in your open-material test - you go to the books, and quickly look for
                    > something that looks as close as possible to the question at hand, and
                    > begin from there, finding the analogies.
                    >

                    1. Not always we have books, as they are not always avialable in the "Dean
                    Library", that lends books to students for a fraction of their price. So,
                    we have to rely on the material given at class, or our notes.

                    2. The books are many times incomplete, too verbose, and so quite useless.
                    In "Waves and Distributed Systems" I could not find any part of the book
                    that really discussed the material that was taught in class.

                    The material at hand is not always enough, and often there's no mention
                    of the problem at hand.

                    > > 3. The test does not seem to have anything to do with the homework. (like
                    > > two tests I took in "Waves and Distributed Systems", which I handed
                    > > without solving anything)
                    >
                    > mostly the same as above, only that most students will do even worse,
                    > since they will need to learn much more 'during the test', and in the
                    > previous case. you'll still get your relevant positioning in class, and
                    > the factor will make it higher ;)

                    I don't want a factor! I want a fair test! How hard can it be?

                    > > 4. The test uses completely uncovered material (like a test my friend took
                    > > in "Digital Communications").
                    >
                    > just a worse case of the previous thing. more learning, a lower initial
                    > grade, a larger factor.
                    >

                    Again: I don't want a factor. I want to be tested on the material I
                    learned and do well or not depending on my knowledge and mastery of it.

                    >
                    > shlomi, the examples you bring cause the same problem for all students
                    > taking the exam, making all grades lower. they later apply a factor,
                    > because they don't know how to make an exam on the same leevl of
                    > difficulty each time - it's not as easy at it sounds, after all.
                    >

                    It would be if they gave very high-level homework, and then tests that
                    were relatively easy in comparsion to them. That way, students who did not
                    study the entire semester would fail them anyhow, while students who
                    studied hard and solved the homework would do very well, or at least well
                    enough. That was the case (at least from my impression) in some courses I
                    took, but not all.

                    > but the un-fairness is the same for everyone.
                    >

                    Like: "Tsarath Rabim - Nehamath Tipshim" (the problem of many is the
                    comfort of fools)? Well, I do my best not to be a fool.

                    > and if you think a given test was unfair - do the moed bet. stop having
                    > silly principles that show nothing. if you realy know the material well,
                    > you won't need to prepare to the mode bet at all, so it only will take
                    > about 3 hours of your precious time (ok, 3.5, counting the time it takes
                    > walking to and from the room where the test is given). add 2 hours to
                    > re-go over the material just to refresh your memory.
                    >

                    Actually, the Moed Beths in Spring Semesters are at the end of the summer,
                    so I'll need more than 2 hours to go over the material. In any case, if I
                    took a Moed Beth, I would study as hard as I did for Moed Aleph.

                    The problem is that you don't know how a Moed Beth is going to be. For
                    example, in "Linear Circuits", after the long Moed Aleph, a factor of 40
                    points was given in the Moed Beth (!!).

                    But the reason I'd rather not take a Moed Beth for a course I got over 55
                    in, is because:

                    1. I don't care about the grades too much.

                    2. I don't want to invest the extra effort just to hopefully improve my
                    grade. (I heard of a student who got 60-something in Hedva 2m, then took
                    the Moed Beth and failed. Took it again, and again got 60 something, took
                    the Moed Beth and failed. And now he's taking it again.)

                    Actually you voiced your opinion against taking Moed Beth here:

                    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/hackers-il/message/1391

                    > remember, each part of the system is flawed, so they patched in fixes on
                    > top of it, in order to make the hole system less flawed. perhaps
                    > re-designing it from scratch would have resulted a better system - but no
                    > one seems to want to do that. so either learn how to use the technion's
                    > system, or leave it, and go to a different system that you think is better
                    > (bgu comes to mind). and if, one day, you get to be in the position of
                    > interviewing people for work and filtering resumes - then you can do that
                    > in a way you think is more fair.
                    >

                    Right.

                    > what you are describing so-far, is your in-ability to flex yourself into a
                    > large system, or inability to understand the rules by which it works, or
                    > your inability to adapt to those rules even if you see them. there are two
                    > things you could do:
                    >

                    I did not say I was unable to adapt myself to the Technion. I did, in a
                    way. Most of my grades are OK, with some exceptionally high grades in
                    several places. Some of my grades are very low, but I don't care enough to
                    fix them and leave them at that.

                    My problem is that I think I was many times mis-graded and this is a bit
                    frustrating. And I'm pretty sure it's not my fault but the Technion's.

                    > 1. don't go working for large organizations, unless you know in adance
                    > exactly how they work, and that you can fit in. go to the smaller
                    > companies, where the system is more flexible, and where you can
                    > participate in changing it, in cases where you think it can be
                    > improved.
                    >

                    OK, I'll give it a thought. The largest organization I worked for was
                    Harmonic Lightwaves, and I was only a Summer intern there. I was actually
                    quite impressed from the atmosphere there. It was a medium sized company
                    and not something on the scale of Sun or larger.

                    > 2. learn how to 'learn' a system and how to adapt yourself to fit it. this
                    > is a rather desired ability, in many large organizations.
                    >

                    OK.

                    > for some reason, i did manage to fit into the technion's system, because i
                    > didn't take it too seriously, and saw it all as one big 'game',
                    > or 'exercise'.

                    OK.

                    > (and i didn't go to EE, and blessed the maker every day for
                    > that, because doing too much homework was never my cup of tea. hoorey
                    > for 'non-mandatory' homework ;) ).
                    >

                    We have non-mandatory homework in EE, but not in all courses. I prepare it
                    anyhow, because it can raise the grade if the test is lower and also
                    serves as a good way to become prepared for the test.

                    > and for the same reasons that you bring up, i avoided joining large
                    > companies so far - because psychologically, it is hard for me to give up
                    > on doing things the way i want them done. maybe one day i'll learn how to
                    > either fit into them, or how to influence them from inside, and then i'll
                    > go joining one of them.
                    >

                    Unless of course they already behave the way you want them too. Don't
                    know, never worked in a company like that.

                    Regards,

                    Shlomi Fish

                    > until then, why whine so much? doesn't make anyone too happy, after all,
                    > not even you - does it? no, please don't answer this question. it's
                    > rethoric...
                    >
                    >



                    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
                    Shlomi Fish shlomif@...
                    Home Page: http://t2.technion.ac.il/~shlomif/

                    An apple a day will keep a doctor away. Two apples a day will keep two
                    doctors away.

                    Falk Fish
                  • Shlomi Fish
                    ... Some others: 6. An EE student who was hardly familiar with C or UNIX, and believed he can survive in the workplace knowing only Matlab. 7. An EE graduate
                    Message 9 of 20 , Nov 3, 2003
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                      On Sun, 2 Nov 2003, Shlomi Fish wrote:

                      > I suppose that if you teach a certain course a lot of times, you end up
                      > getting a lot of intuition in this particular field. Don't get me wrong, I
                      > met some very bright and insightful people at the Technion, and some of
                      > them were certainly my equals. What bothered me a bit was that I did not
                      > met a lot of people who were as eclectic as I am in the Faculty. Most of
                      > the people who were eclectic were either undergraduate students or Haifux
                      > members. Some of the gems I encountered are:
                      >
                      > 1. A graphics professor who claimed that two-dimensional graphics was
                      > dead, implied that no-one is using it, and that no research is carried
                      > forth in this area.
                      >
                      > 2. A doctorant who, despite being a system administrator, used only
                      > C-shell, sed and awk for his scripts, because he did not know Perl (or
                      > Python/Ruby/etc.) or bash, and did not take the time to learn. He also did
                      > not know how to use CVS, and other useful tools, and did not wanted to invest
                      > time in learning them.
                      >
                      > 3. A CS masterant who admitted that she did not take any courses that
                      > required programming aside from what was required by the degree. ("because
                      > it is too much work"). Isn't computer science as much about computers as
                      > Astronomy is about telescopes?
                      >
                      > 4. A Digital Systems T.A. who was not familiar with the term "checksum".
                      >
                      > 5. An "Information Systems" (CS + Industrial Eng.) graduate who was not
                      > familiar with the Turing theorem, did not believe it at first, and was not
                      > very familiar with regular expression, closures and lexical scoping.
                      >

                      Some others:

                      6. An EE student who was hardly familiar with C or UNIX, and
                      believed he can survive in the workplace knowing only Matlab.

                      7. An EE graduate who did not know English very well when he graduated
                      from the Technion, and completely survived without it.

                      8. An EE student who did not like Mathematica because "it sucked as an
                      Equation Editor", and wrote incredibly hideous code for the "Structure of
                      Operating Systems" course.[1]

                      9. An EE honours student who finished his degree without taking any course
                      on computers, programming or digital circuits, and while almost entirely
                      staying away from signal processing. (granted - there were several fields
                      of EE which did not interest me as well, either)

                      Regards,

                      Shlomi Fish

                      [1] - Just an anecdote. This guy once lost all his work because he invoked
                      the command "tar -cvf *" without the archive name, and overrided the first
                      file that contained most of his program logic. The course staff instructed
                      us to issue "tar -cvf arc_name.tar *" (which is dangerous) to package our
                      code for review. However, I knew the command was dangerous (instinctively
                      at least) and CD-ed to the .. directory and used tar there.

                      Naturally, this is a human mistake, but the course staff should have known
                      better than to teach students that. That same staff kept calling
                      directories "mehitzuth", which is actually partitions in Hebrew. Will
                      wonders ever cease?



                      ----------------------------------------------------------------------
                      Shlomi Fish shlomif@...
                      Home Page: http://t2.technion.ac.il/~shlomif/

                      An apple a day will keep a doctor away. Two apples a day will keep two
                      doctors away.

                      Falk Fish
                    • Adir Abraham
                      ... A doctorant doesn t have to know all those things. He knows the relevant things for his job and/or his general knowledge. If he s a doctorant, it doesn t
                      Message 10 of 20 , Nov 3, 2003
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                        On Mon, 3 Nov 2003, Shlomi Fish wrote:

                        > On Sun, 2 Nov 2003, Shlomi Fish wrote:
                        >
                        > > 2. A doctorant who, despite being a system administrator, used only
                        > > C-shell, sed and awk for his scripts, because he did not know Perl (or
                        > > Python/Ruby/etc.) or bash, and did not take the time to learn. He also did
                        > > not know how to use CVS, and other useful tools, and did not wanted to invest
                        > > time in learning them.

                        A doctorant doesn't have to know all those things. He knows the relevant
                        things for his job and/or his general knowledge. If he's a doctorant, it
                        doesn't make him need to know Bash, etc.

                        > > it is too much work"). Isn't computer science as much about computers as
                        > > Astronomy is about telescopes?

                        Maybe. But computer science is not about programming, that's for sure (we
                        can argue if theory of programming belongs to that or not, but programming
                        is only a tool, not a computer science).

                        > > 5. An "Information Systems" (CS + Industrial Eng.) graduate who was not
                        > > familiar with the Turing theorem, did not believe it at first, and was not
                        > > very familiar with regular expression, closures and lexical scoping.

                        I don't remember if they have to learn computability theory or not, but if
                        they don't have to learn that - he will not know anything about Turing
                        machine, as simple as that (I don't see the direct relation between turing
                        machine and an information systems degree).

                        > 6. An EE student who was hardly familiar with C or UNIX, and
                        > believed he can survive in the workplace knowing only Matlab.

                        He's right. EE is splited to many subjects, and if he's into image
                        processing, signals processing and computer vision - he can handle very
                        well using Matlab only. EE has nothing to do with "real" programming,
                        necessarily. Same goes with the environment (Unix). If the sysadmin
                        installed Matlab for him - he can use Matlab without knowing anything
                        about Unix. It's about simplicity, and people who are responsible to their
                        specific jobs.

                        > 7. An EE graduate who did not know English very well when he graduated
                        > from the Technion, and completely survived without it.

                        You can take "Anglit Metzumtzemet" as a Hova course if you are a graduate
                        student, and you can choose a 3rd language to your thesis writing (German,
                        Russian, etc.) - all in the Technion. This way you can survive without
                        advanced English. I don't see a problem here.

                        > 8. An EE student who did not like Mathematica because "it sucked as an
                        > Equation Editor", and wrote incredibly hideous code for the "Structure of
                        > Operating Systems" course.[1]
                        >
                        > 9. An EE honours student who finished his degree without taking any course
                        > on computers, programming or digital circuits, and while almost entirely
                        > staying away from signal processing. (granted - there were several fields
                        > of EE which did not interest me as well, either)

                        The person doesn't like programming. EE isn't about programming, and
                        doesn't necessarily have to use programming - at all. 3rd time.

                        >
                        > Regards,
                        >
                        > Shlomi Fish
                        >
                        > [1] - Just an anecdote. This guy once lost all his work because he invoked
                        > the command "tar -cvf *" without the archive name, and overrided the first
                        > file that contained most of his program logic. The course staff instructed
                        > us to issue "tar -cvf arc_name.tar *" (which is dangerous) to package our
                        > code for review. However, I knew the command was dangerous (instinctively
                        > at least) and CD-ed to the .. directory and used tar there.
                        >
                        > Naturally, this is a human mistake, but the course staff should have known
                        > better than to teach students that. That same staff kept calling
                        > directories "mehitzuth", which is actually partitions in Hebrew. Will
                        > wonders ever cease?
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > ----------------------------------------------------------------------
                        > Shlomi Fish shlomif@...
                        > Home Page: http://t2.technion.ac.il/~shlomif/
                        >
                        > An apple a day will keep a doctor away. Two apples a day will keep two
                        > doctors away.
                        >
                        > Falk Fish
                        >
                        >
                        > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                        > hackers-il-unsubscribe@egroups.com
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                        >
                        >
                        >

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                      • Shlomi Fish
                        ... Right, but how about a system administrator? I expect a system administrator to know such things. And I also think Perl (or any similar language) is a very
                        Message 11 of 20 , Nov 3, 2003
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                          On Mon, 3 Nov 2003, Adir Abraham wrote:

                          > On Mon, 3 Nov 2003, Shlomi Fish wrote:
                          >
                          > > On Sun, 2 Nov 2003, Shlomi Fish wrote:
                          > >
                          > > > 2. A doctorant who, despite being a system administrator, used only
                          > > > C-shell, sed and awk for his scripts, because he did not know Perl (or
                          > > > Python/Ruby/etc.) or bash, and did not take the time to learn. He also did
                          > > > not know how to use CVS, and other useful tools, and did not wanted to invest
                          > > > time in learning them.
                          >
                          > A doctorant doesn't have to know all those things. He knows the relevant
                          > thingsfor his job and/or his general knowledge. If he's a doctorant, it
                          > doesn't make him need to know Bash, etc.
                          >

                          Right, but how about a system administrator? I expect a system
                          administrator to know such things. And I also think Perl (or any similar
                          language) is a very useful skill for anybody, and he did not know any of
                          these things, despite the fact that he dealt with computers extensively.

                          In my case, I often took the time to learn a tool during the first time I
                          needed to accomplish a task with it. Eventually, I was glad that I learned
                          this tool, because it then facilitated my future work.

                          > > > it is too much work"). Isn't computer science as much about computers as
                          > > > Astronomy is about telescopes?
                          >
                          > Maybe. But computer scienceis not about programming, that's for sure (we
                          > can argue if theory of programming belongs to that or not, but programming
                          > is only a tool, not a computer science).
                          >

                          Computer Science started out and was developed for formulating and
                          theorizing the programming and computing processes. The amount of research
                          in the field of CS was miniscule and isolated before the 20th century.
                          Programming is the practical implementation and realization of computer
                          science. There are pure theoreticans in any field, but I tend to respect
                          people who also like to see some discoveries materialized.

                          Then again, in my entire EE studies I was never shown how to:

                          1. How to replace a light-bulb.

                          2. How to do a wiring of circuits.

                          3. How to open the computer and tweak its components.

                          Luckily, I learned #1 and #3 before I came to the Technion.

                          > > > 5. An "Information Systems" (CS + Industrial Eng.) graduate who was not
                          > > > familiar with the Turing theorem, did not believe it at first, and was not
                          > > > very familiar with regular expression, closures and lexical scoping.
                          >
                          > I don't remember if they have to learn computability theory or not, but if
                          > they don't have to learn that - he will not know anything about Turing
                          > machine, as simple as that (I don't see the direct relation between turing
                          > machine and an information systems degree).
                          >

                          But what about regexps and closures? I think it's common required
                          knowledge nowadays as they are becoming a common theme in most
                          cutting-edge computer languages.

                          > > 6. An EE student who was hardly familiar with C or UNIX, and
                          > > believed he can survive in the workplace knowing only Matlab.
                          >
                          > He's right. EE is splited to many subjects, and if he's into image
                          > processing, signals processing and computer vision - he can handle very
                          > well using Matlab only. EE has nothing to do with "real" programming,
                          > necessarily. Same goes with the environment (Unix). If the sysadmin
                          > installed Matlab for him - he can use Matlab without knowing anything
                          > about Unix. It's about simplicity, and people who are responsible to their
                          > specific jobs.
                          >

                          I'm not sure he's right. Many signal processing systems are written in C
                          or even in Assembler. Matlab is usually used only for prototyping. (I
                          think). He was also talking about control systems and robotics which he
                          expected to write in Matlab. In any case, I'll bet he'll end up learning C
                          sometimes during his working-life.

                          > > 7. An EE graduate who did not know English very well when he graduated
                          > > from the Technion, and completely survived without it.
                          >
                          > You can take "Anglit Metzumtzemet" as a Hova course if you are a graduate
                          > student, and you can choose a 3rd language to your thesis writing (German,
                          > Russian, etc.) - all in the Technion. This way you can survive without
                          > advanced English. I don't see a problem here.
                          >

                          He wasn't a graduate student, he was a graduate. In any case, I would
                          expect a Technion graduate to have learned English well throughout his
                          studies. Even ESR recommends it in his "How to become a hacker FAQ":

                          http://www.catb.org/~esr/faqs/hacker-howto.html

                          I once said to him: "It's your call." and he said he wasn't familiar with
                          this phrase.

                          Regards,

                          Shlomi Fish

                          > > 8. An EE student who did not like Mathematica because "it sucked as an
                          > > Equation Editor", and wrote incredibly hideous code for the "Structure of
                          > > Operating Systems" course.[1]
                          > >
                          > > 9. An EE honours student who finished his degree without taking any course
                          > > on computers, programming or digital circuits, and while almost entirely
                          > > staying away from signal processing. (granted - there were several fields
                          > > of EE which did not interest me as well, either)
                          >
                          > The person doesn't like programming. EE isn't about programming, and
                          > doesn't necessarily have to use programming - at all. 3rd time.
                          >


                          > >
                          > > Regards,
                          > >
                          > > Shlomi Fish
                          > >
                          > > [1] - Just an anecdote. This guy once lost all his work because he invoked
                          > > the command "tar -cvf *" without the archive name, and overrided the first
                          > > file that contained most of his program logic. The course staff instructed
                          > > us to issue "tar -cvf arc_name.tar *" (which is dangerous) to package our
                          > > code for review. However, I knew the command was dangerous (instinctively
                          > > at least) and CD-ed to the .. directory and used tar there.
                          > >
                          > > Naturally, this is a human mistake, but the course staff should have known
                          > > better than to teach students that. That same staff kept calling
                          > > directories "mehitzuth", which is actually partitions in Hebrew. Will
                          > > wonders ever cease?
                          > >
                          > >
                          > >
                          > > ----------------------------------------------------------------------
                          > > Shlomi Fish shlomif@...
                          > > Home Page: http://t2.technion.ac.il/~shlomif/
                          > >
                          > > An apple a day will keep a doctor away. Two apples a day will keep two
                          > > doctors away.
                          > >
                          > > Falk Fish
                          > >
                          > >
                          > > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                          > > hackers-il-unsubscribe@egroups.com
                          > >
                          > >
                          > >
                          > > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                          > >
                          > >
                          > >
                          >
                          > --
                          > ____________________________________________________________________________
                          > Adir Abraham
                          > Technion's Advisors Group and Public PC Farms Manager
                          > adir@..., adir@..., adir@...
                          > Haifa, Israel
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                          > Cel# +972-53-243438, +972-55-481245
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                          >



                          ----------------------------------------------------------------------
                          Shlomi Fish shlomif@...
                          Home Page: http://t2.technion.ac.il/~shlomif/

                          Writing a BitKeeper replacement is probably easier at this point than getting
                          its license changed.

                          Matt Mackall on OFTC.net #offtopic.
                        • Ofir Carny
                          Computer Science started out and was developed for formulating and theorizing the programming and computing processes. The amount of research in the
                          Message 12 of 20 , Nov 3, 2003
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                            <shlomif>
                            Computer Science started out and was developed for formulating and
                            theorizing the programming and computing processes. The amount of research
                            in the field of CS was miniscule and isolated before the 20th century.
                            Programming is the practical implementation and realization of computer
                            science. There are pure theoreticans in any field, but I tend to respect
                            people who also like to see some discoveries materialized.
                            </shlomif>

                            Not true, computers were a by-product of computer science (or more accurately, the science of computation), Turing and Newman did their majority of work without them. Programming is at most, like light bulb replacement, a technical work, not a science. Computer science is called so for a reason. You don't go to the technion to learn how to program, there are adequate courses for that which do not require 3-4 years.

                            -------
                            =============================================================
                            Ofir Carny
                            Design engineer
                            Vidius Israel Ltd.
                            Hasadna 13, Ra'anana, Israel
                            Telephone: +972 (9) 7439250 Ext. 211
                            Fax: +972 (9) 7439251
                            ofir@...
                            http://www.vidius.com

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                          • Shlomi Fish
                            Ofir, your mailer does not cut long lines. Please configure it that it would. ... Listen: Mamat and Matam teach more than pipes, filters and output
                            Message 13 of 20 , Nov 3, 2003
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                              Ofir, your mailer does not cut long lines. Please configure it that it
                              would.

                              On Mon, 3 Nov 2003, Ofir Carny wrote:

                              > I really tried not to reply, but I couldn't keep resisting the urge, sorry:
                              >
                              > IMHO, The reason for choosing csh instead of bourne-sh or bash is that it
                              > doesn't matter, isn't meant so you can write scripts and learn csh, the
                              > one week devoted to it is only meant for you to learn the concepts of
                              > pipes, filters and output redirection, and learn to use a unix-like
                              > shell, any differences between them really don't matter here, maybe
                              > another shell would be better, but not so much better to be worth a
                              > switch (preparing course material, etc.).

                              Listen: Mamat and Matam teach more than pipes, filters and output
                              redirection. They also teach conditionals, loops, string capturing, etc.
                              All these things as well as the previous things are broken in Csh.
                              Teaching those things in Csh is like teaching OOP in Basic, or Functional
                              Programming in COBOL. And it is worth the effort of preparing course
                              material, because the choice of Csh was a poor choice to begin with.

                              Csh is so broken that it has no place in a university's corriculum. It is
                              not used for production code, its use is deprecated for scripts, and was
                              shown to be broken by Tom Christiansen and by many others. Eventually,
                              people get used to writing their system scripts with it, and it cripples
                              their minds. Sorry, but I still don't buy it.

                              >
                              > <shlomif>
                              > My friend took "Introduction to Data Structures and Algorithms", which is
                              > a basic course given by the EE faculty. My test was OK, and I got a 100 in
                              > it. His, however, was littered with correctness proofs. In the entire
                              > course, I think there's one demonstrated correctness proof. Plus, at this
                              > level and in this context, the students are not required to know how to
                              > prove the correctness of an algorithm. This is much more the domain of the
                              > more advanced "Design and Analysis of Algorithms" and does not belong
                              > there and was not shown in class or practiced in homework. What were they
                              > thinking?
                              > </shlomif>
                              >
                              > One demonstrated correctness proof should be enough, it was meant for you
                              > to learn, not as an indication that the test will not contain more than
                              > one such thing.

                              1. It was demonstrated, not exercised.

                              2. There was exactly _one_ like that.

                              3. It wasn't given enough focus.

                              4. Correctness Proofs are clearly out of the scope of the course.

                              > The questions most indicative of a bright mind are the
                              > ones which require you to think rather than spew memorized material, if
                              > the test only contained things you did in the homework, I would say it
                              > was a bad test.

                              My test contained many things for which I needed to think or improvise a
                              little. But it did not contain any correctness proofs, which are far
                              complex to do in the time frame allocated, and also were never required in
                              homework.

                              > Questions that are based on the course material, but a
                              > little outside it show that you understood the material, rather than
                              > memorized it, if you understand, you can extend.

                              Correctness proofs are not a little outside the material! They are way
                              outside it. Like Israel is a little outside the continental USA.

                              > Anyway, I took that
                              > course, and I think that if you can't show the correctness of an
                              > algorithm, you didn't understand it, in all probability whoever wrote
                              > that test thinks so too.
                              >

                              Here I disagree with you. While a person may be able to prove the
                              correctness of an algorithm given enough time and some help, it would be
                              unreallistic to give it in a test, because _it was never shown_! Besides,
                              not every Technion student is as bright as you are and can give
                              correctness proofs for every algorithm he has to develop in his class,
                              within the allocated time-frame, without the process of developing a proof
                              been actively demonstrated in class, and stressed that it could appear in
                              a test.

                              Note that I took the sequel course "Design and Analysis of Algortihms" and
                              there we were shown correctness proofs in class, required to do them in
                              our homework, and yes, they appeared in the test. But they are clearly way
                              out of scope of the "_Intro_ to Data Structures and Algorithms" where most
                              algorithms are said to work just because it is evident they do.

                              > I think that the things you shown are some of the best qualities of the
                              > technion, it requires you to work hard to learn new material, by your
                              > account, material you already knew, you had no problems with, this means
                              > that if you studied hard enough to really know those subjects too, you
                              > would ace those test as well, by your account you didn't (you have
                              > better things to do), you may have studied a lot (and that you even
                              > passed the tests, seems to verify that very well in the technion), but
                              > not enough.
                              >

                              I've studied my ass off, mind you! More than enough. But the tests I
                              receive keep surprising me, and there's no way I can prepare for them.
                              They are simply and balantly unfair. And most students can testify to
                              that. A test should be easy in comparison to the homework given. Too pity
                              that in the Technion this is not always the case.

                              > Anyway, you are an electrical engineer, not a computer scientist, sure,
                              > you may know a lot about programming, be a great programmer, and focused
                              > your degree on computers, but there is a reason there is a separate
                              > degree for CS, and anyone who took it, took more CS course than you, I
                              > don't find it surprising that prospective employers would place a higher
                              > bar for this kind of degree, no matter how much harder it is.
                              >

                              Actually, I'm pretty sure that for this particular job, I would have not
                              been accepted even if I were a CS major with the same average score,
                              and and the same amount of experience and expertise. They are simply
                              blindly looking at the GPA. And, BTW, this company employs a great deal of
                              Electrical Engineers.

                              Regards,

                              Shlomi Fish



                              ----------------------------------------------------------------------
                              Shlomi Fish shlomif@...
                              Home Page: http://t2.technion.ac.il/~shlomif/

                              An apple a day will keep a doctor away. Two apples a day will keep two
                              doctors away.

                              Falk Fish
                            • Shlomi Fish
                              ... Correct, but they were still inspired by the primitve computers of their time. During that time there were already computers or computational machines
                              Message 14 of 20 , Nov 3, 2003
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                                On Mon, 3 Nov 2003, Ofir Carny wrote:

                                > <shlomif>
                                > Computer Science started out and was developed for formulating and
                                > theorizing the programming and computing processes. The amount of research
                                > in the field of CS was miniscule and isolated before the 20th century.
                                > Programming is the practical implementation and realization of computer
                                > science. There are pure theoreticans in any field, but I tend to respect
                                > people who also like to see some discoveries materialized.
                                > </shlomif>
                                >
                                > Not true, computers were a by-product of computer science (or more
                                > accurately, the science of computation), Turing and Newman did their
                                > majority of work without them.

                                Correct, but they were still inspired by the primitve computers of their
                                time. During that time there were already computers or computational
                                machines developed in Europe. And Babbage developed his analytical engine
                                a long time before Turing.

                                There's an English saying that "necessity is the mother of invention".
                                > Programming is at most, like light bulb
                                replacement, a technical work, not a science. Computer science is called so for a reason. You don't go to the technion to learn how to program, there are adequate courses for that which do not require 3-4 years.
                                >

                                Regards,

                                Shlomi Fish

                                > -------
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                                > Ofir Carny
                                > Design engineer
                                > Vidius Israel Ltd.
                                > Hasadna 13, Ra'anana, Israel
                                > Telephone: +972 (9) 7439250 Ext. 211
                                > Fax: +972 (9) 7439251
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                                >
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                                ----------------------------------------------------------------------
                                Shlomi Fish shlomif@...
                                Home Page: http://t2.technion.ac.il/~shlomif/

                                An apple a day will keep a doctor away. Two apples a day will keep two
                                doctors away.

                                Falk Fish
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