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MPALG 1213-4 Compiler construction, TDA282|DIT300

Status: Avslutad
Öppen för svar: 2013-05-31 - 2013-09-13
Antal svar: 16
Procent av deltagarna som svarat: 28%
Kontaktperson: Maria Sörner»
Utbildningsprogram som genomför enkäten: Datateknik 300 hp

Opening question

1. Which university do you belong to?

Some of our courses are taken jointly by students of the University of Gothenburg and Chalmers University of Technology. In order for us to be able to look at the answers of each student group separately, we would like you to indicate which university you are registered at.

16 svarande

University of Gothenburg»1 6%
Chalmers University of Technology»15 93%

Genomsnitt: 1.93

Your own effort

2. How many hours per week did you spend on this course?

We mean total time, that is, it comprises the time you spent in class and the time you spent on your own work. Try to estimate the average time over the entire study period.

16 svarande

At most 15 hours/week»3 18%
Around 20 hours/week»4 25%
Around 25 hours/week»5 31%
Around 30 hours/week»4 25%
At least 35 hours/week»0 0%

Genomsnitt: 2.62

- Quite a lot of work but project interesting!» (Around 30 hours/week)

3. How large part of the teaching offered did you attend?

16 svarande

0%»2 12%
25%»2 12%
50%»1 6%
75%»5 31%
100%»6 37%

Genomsnitt: 3.68

- I was in a hurry to complete the labs before leaving the country» (0%)
- It felt like only some parts of the lectures were relevant to the project. All the content was interesting but most of it felt "optional".» (100%)
- About 90%» (100%)

Goals and goal fulfilment

The course syllabus states the course goals in terms of learning outcomes, i.e., knowledge, skills and attitudes to be acquired by the student during the course.

To review the learning outcomes for this course, click here. (Opens in new window)

4. How understandable are the course goals?

16 svarande

The goals are difficult to understand»0 0%
The goals give some guidance, but could be clearer»3 18%
The goals clearly describe what I am supposed to learn»13 81%

Genomsnitt: 2.81

5. Are the goals reasonable considering your background and the number of credits?

Answer this question and the succeeding one, only if you do know the course goals.

16 svarande

No, the goals are set too low»0 0%
Yes, the goals seem reasonable»16 100%
No, the goals are set too high»0 0%

Genomsnitt: 2

6. Did the examination assess whether you have reached the goals?

16 svarande

No, not at all»0 0%
To some extent»5 31%
Yes, definitely»10 62%
I don"t know/have not been examined yet»1 6%

Genomsnitt: 2.75

Teaching and course administration

7. To what extent has the teaching been of help for your learning?

16 svarande

Small extent»6 37%
Some extent»4 25%
Large extent»2 12%
Great extent»4 25%

Genomsnitt: 2.25

- The teacher helped a bit but the lecture wasn"t really usefull..» (Small extent)
- The teaching assistant was not helpful at all. Especially they did not try to offer any clue when it comes to the implementation which makes the project very hard to follow. Some practical problems could be solved in much shorter time if some guidance is offered.» (Small extent)

8. Rank the following subtasks of the project from 1 to 6 according to how hard you think they were.

Rangordningsfråga. Siffran anger medelposition.

1.Implementing the extensions2.3
2.Practical problems with the programming language or other to2.6
3.Understanding LLVM2.7
4.Understanding Jasmin2.8
5.The design of the compiler2.8

- Getting the input/output into the correct stream, using the state monad and getting the test suite to run was by far the hardest/most time consuming things.» (?)
- The practical problems was horrible... Stay 3 days working 7 hours a day trying to figure out what was going wrong, but it some problems of the version of LLVM which is a lack of understanding» (?)

9. What could be done to help with the hardest things in the project?

- Supply some basic file structure (like in the PLT course) to build from»
- The hardest part for us where correct memory allocation and getelemptr. Perhaps a more in depth lecture about that? Perhaps some supervision hours? (not office hours but like exercises where a supervisor is around to answer questions)»
- More hands-on examples of how high-level concepts are translated into the target language.»
- I would schedule the LLVM lectures to start a week later, to make sure they are covering the same stuff we"re working on the project. Otherwise the lectures are all the time "ahead" of the project.»
- Some laboration times !!!!!»
- Lectures about things closer to the labs»
- I think nothing, it is just inherently not easy and this makes this course fun and challenging and very rewarding at the end.»
- I"m not sure, since the extensions are optional. However you should tell the students that a lot of time will be required if they are to finish the majority of the extensions.»
- I"m not sure if anything needs to be done. I learned the most from the hard and challenging parts, not from the easy parts.»

10. Rank the lectures on the following subjects from 1 to 4 according to how hard you think they were to follow.

Rangordningsfråga. Siffran anger medelposition.

1.Jasmin specification1.8
3.Data-flow analysis2.1

- I did not go to any of these lectures...» (?)
- Did not attend any of the lectures.» (?)
- The ordering above has no meaning. I honestly don"t know. » (?)

11. What could be done to make the presentation of the hardest things more comprehensible?

- I did not attend so I dont know»
- I think it would have been helpful to have some data-flow analysis as part of the lab. We covered an example in class, but unless you do it yourself you quickly forget the steps. It"s too convenient to just think of opt as a magical black box.»
- Not sure.»
- Maybe the lectures were a bit early compare to part to do in project : we were still doing the jasmin and already starting the extensions of LLVM in lectures.»
- Don"t know »
- Maybe add more lectures to spend more time on optimisations.»
- I think some figure to clarify this part even more would be good.»

12. Overall, did you find the lectures helpful for the project?

16 svarande

Very helpful»5 31%
Helpful»4 25%
Not helpful»3 18%
Did not attend the lectures»4 25%

Genomsnitt: 2.37

- I would prefer if the project covered more of the stuff from the lectures, e.g. garbage collection, data flow analysis.» (Helpful)
- Almost everything for the project was found in the PLT-book.» (Helpful)
- For basic project yes, but for the extension not THAT much...» (Not helpful)

13. What things would you liked to have heard more about in the lectures?

- The state monad»
- How debugging works, and what compilers need to do in order to support debugging.»
- clang internal design.»
- At least explain how to do a calloc correctly.»
- Don"t know»
- I would like to have more lectures on optimisations and runtime related topics. Also, touching functional languages would be nice, but it is probably a subject for the separate course.»
- A bit more about optimization and upcoming things in compiler research.»
- How to implement in a particular language.»

14. To what extent has the course literature and other material been of help for your learning?

16 svarande

Small extent»3 18%
Some extent»8 50%
Large extent»4 25%
Great extent»1 6%

Genomsnitt: 2.18

- I used the book from PLT by Aarne Ranta instead.» (Small extent)
- I mostly used material available online for reference and didn"t use the course book.» (Some extent)
- I looked at the slides a lot while working on the project. Honestly, I never even looked at the Aho book.» (Large extent)

15. Did you buy the course book?

16 svarande

Yes»7 43%
No»9 56%

Genomsnitt: 1.56

- I already owned it.» (Yes)
- The old Implementing programming languages was of more help though» (Yes)
- No, we used the PLT-book by Aarne Ranta.» (No)

16. If you bought the course book, how useful did you find it?

8 svarande

Very useful»0 0%
Useful»2 25%
Meh»5 62%
Not useful»1 12%

Genomsnitt: 2.87

- The book is good, but the slides are simply more convenient to look at.» (Meh)
- The book is definitely "must read", but for the project in particular it is too big to read in such a span of time (I prefer reading books from cover to cover) and the project is manageable with lecture materials and documentation (for LLVM and JVM).» (Meh)

17. How well did the course administration, web page, handouts etc work?

16 svarande

Very badly»0 0%
Rather badly»3 18%
Rather well»8 50%
Very well»5 31%

Genomsnitt: 3.12

- It"s good to have a Google-group, but it was not very easy to find, and it actually made it hard to find where the times for the exam was. The course-page should not be neglected just because there is a Google-group.» (Rather badly)
- The project description was quite hard to follow, a lot of helpful information but hidden here and there.» (Rather well)
- The website uses frames which is really annoying, and something of an internet sin.» (Rather well)
- Everything worked great!» (Very well)

Study climate

18. How were the opportunities for asking questions and getting help?

16 svarande

Very poor»0 0%
Rather poor»3 18%
Rather good»4 25%
Very good»4 25%
I did not seek help»5 31%

Genomsnitt: 3.68

- No lab hours and very limited office hours.» (Rather poor)
- Unfortunately, we couldn"t find any help with the phd student.. In other courses, we used to ask almost all the time to the phd (they were 2 at least) and in this course only one, who the first time we ask said directly he didn"t know anything about haskell.. so never help us even once or respond to a mail.. Sorry to said that, it"s not nasty but we really needed help!» (Rather poor)

19. How well has cooperation between you and your fellow students worked?

15 svarande

Very poorly»0 0%
Rather poorly»2 13%
Rather well»4 26%
Very well»2 13%
I did not seek cooperation»7 46%

Genomsnitt: 3.93

- The cooperation with my lab partner worked however really great. » (I did not seek cooperation)
- I was not home for the first two weeks of the course so I decided to work alone.» (I did not seek cooperation)

20. How was the course workload?

16 svarande

Too low»0 0%
Low»0 0%
Adequate»8 50%
High»8 50%
Too high»0 0%

Genomsnitt: 3.5

- High if you aim for 5 extensions.» (High)
- Maybe because I was doing the compiler on my own, if you work in pair I would think it is a very reasonable workload.» (High)

21. How was the total workload this study period?

16 svarande

Too low»0 0%
Low»0 0%
Adequate»6 37%
High»7 43%
Too high»3 18%

Genomsnitt: 3.81

- The Artificial Intelligence course took all of my time this period. This course was well balanced.» (Too high)
- Took three courses so I blame myself for that.» (Too high)

Summarizing questions

22. What is your general impression of the course?

16 svarande

Poor»0 0%
Fair»1 6%
Adequate»0 0%
Good»8 50%
Excellent»7 43%

Genomsnitt: 4.31 (bidrar till totalt genomsnitt/jämförelseindex)

- As I said, really interesting! but not enough help for a course really hard to find problems and debugging (maybe the hardest of the year for that) and the less time of laboration time of the year.. » (Good)
- Very good course, I learned a lot and it was very intrestning.» (Good)
- Overall, this was the best course I"ve had at Chalmers.» (Excellent)
- One of my favourite courses (maybe the most favourite). It was challenging and that"s why one learns a lot from this course.» (Excellent)

23. What should definitely be preserved to next year?

- Most of it.»
- The project.»
- The lack of written exam. The oral was quite fun actually!»
- Using llvm in the project was a great choice, please keep using it!»
- The content! the project with good ideas of extensions, enough possibilities to do different extensions and so on =)»
- The course should be project based »
- The overall structure of the course and the project is good and should definitively be preserved.»
- - Project instead of a written exam - LLVM»

24. What should definitely be changed to next year?

- Swap out Luciano Bello. This is not the first course that I have had problems with him. It seems that he does not learn the material he is to help with and therefore it becomes just a waste of time to go to him for help.»
- Supervision hours, more TESTS! I don"t see why all requirements couldn"t be covered by tests, it saves a lot of time for a lot of students.»
- Building two different backends means there is some repetition - would have preferred a single backend and a bigger focus on some deeper aspects of compilation.»
- Perhaps have llvm lectures start at a later date to make sure the projects are much behind the lectures.»
- Laboration time.. And one supplementary phd please.»
- don"t know»
- Maybe add some exercise hours in the start of the course to make sure everyone understands the basic design of a compiler and to get everyone started on the project.»

25. Additional comments

- Good course!»
- Would be nice to have a followup course to continue learning compiler design.»
- nothing»
Genomsnitt totalt för detta stycke: 4.31

Genomsnitt totalt för alla frågor: 4.31
Beräknat jämförelseindex: 0.82

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