Welcome! I'm looking forward to an exciting semester.
The overaching purpose of every course is, or should be, to change the
student in some fundamental way. You should leave this course a
different person. We're going to change your brain!
Changing your brain is fun and rewarding, but it's not easy. Sometimes,
it can be painful, but it's worth it. When it hurts a lot, you should seek
help from the course staff and each other. If you're not feeling
challenged from time to time, then the course isn't working.
Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.
After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.
– Zen proverb
Before enlightenment, write code, fix bugs.
After enlightenment, write code, fix bugs.
– Mark's adaptation for computing
When you come to college, you are deciding that you want to take
control of your destiny and mold your future self into something greater,
more effective, more fullfilling than you would be otherwise. When you
take a course, you are committing to a four month plan to mold yourself.
I will help. You must:
1. Make the change you seek a priority. This may mean missing out
on opportunities for other experiences. Life is about choosing. Is it
more important to make data abstraction automatic, or to have
another pizza? Not which is more fun right now, but which is more
important (programming is fun, too, of course).
2. Absorb the whole experience by coming to class, doing the
readings, doing the homework and projects, studying, and
engaging in the conversation.
3. Add to the experience I design by personally engaging the
material, asking questions, and seeking out answers. Please
share outside sources you find valuable with the rest of us.