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Showing posts from January, 2012

Tell me about your thought-process, not just your results

While there is a lot of talk about the role of schools on "teaching to think", the reality is far from that ideal. Explaining/exploring/practicing human-thought-process is ignored (and sometimes actively-shunned) in undergraduate and graduate level teaching. This hurts students a lot. Bad memories about my first networking class lurk as I write. The textbook opened by describing the format of TCP and UDP packets in all their gory details before introducing any of the TCP or UDP protocol ideas or even the basic networking concepts/problems. The instructor followed the textbook blankly and used the powerpoint slides that came with the textbook, which apparently did not target a human audience. We were just asked to memorize (learn?) and not to think or question. I really hated the class, and also the networking area as a result. Luckily, my dislike of networking was cured eventually (thanks to the "Elements of Networking Protocols" and "Computer Networking: A To

On Sabbatical

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This semester I am on sabbatical at Bilkent University , Computer Science Department . As a native of Turkey, I am enjoying my time here a lot. Here is a view from the tea-machine in the department's kitchen. I can get tasty Turkish tea anytime I like, what more can I want? I will be teaching a graduate-level course on cloud computing. Here is the link to the course contents:  http://www.cs.bilkent.edu.tr/~demirbas/CS683.html  I tried to cover the most important bases, but I would welcome your comments about what else I can add or remove.

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