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MPALG 1213-4 Parallel functional programming, DAT280|DIT261

Status: Avslutad
Öppen för svar: 2013-05-31 - 2013-09-13
Antal svar: 7
Procent av deltagarna som svarat: 20%
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.

7 svarande

University of Gothenburg»0 0%
Chalmers University of Technology»7 100%

Genomsnitt: 2

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.

7 svarande

At most 15 hours/week»2 28%
Around 20 hours/week»1 14%
Around 25 hours/week»2 28%
Around 30 hours/week»2 28%
At least 35 hours/week»0 0%

Genomsnitt: 2.57

- Part time work in parallel (bazinga) with studies this study period.» (At most 15 hours/week)

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

7 svarande

0%»1 14%
25%»1 14%
50%»1 14%
75%»1 14%
100%»3 42%

Genomsnitt: 3.57

- Attended no lectures but did self-studying at home.» (0%)
- I missed maybe two lectures.» (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?

7 svarande

The goals are difficult to understand»0 0%
The goals give some guidance, but could be clearer»1 14%
The goals clearly describe what I am supposed to learn»6 85%

Genomsnitt: 2.85

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.

7 svarande

No, the goals are set too low»0 0%
Yes, the goals seem reasonable»7 100%
No, the goals are set too high»0 0%

Genomsnitt: 2

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

7 svarande

No, not at all»0 0%
To some extent»0 0%
Yes, definitely»7 100%
I don"t know/have not been examined yet»0 0%

Genomsnitt: 3

Teaching and course administration

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

7 svarande

Small extent»0 0%
Some extent»3 42%
Large extent»3 42%
Great extent»1 14%

Genomsnitt: 2.71

- Did not attend lectures.» (Some extent)

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

7 svarande

Small extent»0 0%
Some extent»1 14%
Large extent»4 57%
Great extent»2 28%

Genomsnitt: 3.14

9. The course had quite a few guest lectures. Comment on their number and on their content. Which were your favourite guest lectures?

- I thought perhaps there were too many guest lectures. For instance I thought the one about Eden and the one about the no-SQL database in Erlang could have been left out. The best quest lectures I thought was "concurrency in the real world" and "structured parallel programming". Also the "report from the real world" was interesting.»
- My favourite was the one given by Kevin Hammond, it was very concrete. Patrik Nyblom is extremely knowledgable, I would have loved to see a few more concrete examples from him. On the number of guest lectures, I think there were a few too many. It"s not just an added bonus, it can be stressful trying to figure out how to work with the information provided.»
- This is one of the best parts of the course and I highly appreciate this. Teachers have great connections and a lot of guest lecturers are the "stars" of functional programming. My favourite one was Kevin Hammond"s lecture.»

10. Which Functional Programming course(s) did you take as preparation for PFP?

7 svarande

(på denna fråga var det möjligt att välja flera svarsalternativ)

Advanced Functional Programming (Chalmers, TDA342)»5 71%
Functional Programming (Chalmers, TDA452)»4 57%
Introduction to Functional Programming (Chalmers, TDA555)»3 42%
Other (give details)»2 28%

- Concurrent Programming (Erlang)» (Advanced Functional Programming (Chalmers, TDA342), Functional Programming (Chalmers, TDA452), Other (give details))
- Types for Programs and Proofs.» (Advanced Functional Programming (Chalmers, TDA342), Functional Programming (Chalmers, TDA452), Other (give details))

11. Comment on whether you had sufficient Haskell background to follow the course and do the lab exercises?

- Yes!»
- There was no problem. Some of the slides were very useful to have a look at while doing the labs.»
- Yes. (TDA342 background)»
- Yes, definitely.»
- Yes»
- Yes, I think, I had. Only the parallel parts of Haskell were new to me.»
- Just the "functional programming" course is enough to understand the haskell.»

12. Have you used Erlang previously?

7 svarande

Yes»5 71%
No»2 28%

Genomsnitt: 1.28

13. Was there sufficient introduction to Erlang?

7 svarande

Yes»7 100%
No»0 0%

Genomsnitt: 1

14. Comment on the division between Haskell and Erlang. Would you like to change it?

- Erlang seems industrially applicable to a larger extent.»
- Nah, I think it was nice. Actually I thought the introduction to Erlang was very instructive and comparing the syntax to Haskell was a nice touch.»
- I would probably like to have course 50 % Haskell, 50 % Erlang. Not too excited by NESL/REPA.»
- I think it is great that both are covered.»
- I would prefer more Haskell and even limiting the Erlang introduction and teach it as it going along »
- I think it is done right. Probably, I would cut GPU part a little bit, but this is maybe just due to my not very high interest in this particular subject.»
- There could possibly be a bit more erlang. For people who are not used to it, it might be a bit much (but I"m not certain about this).»

15. Comment on how useful you think the course will be to you in your future career.

- Actual employer reaction to.. ...generating CUDA code using a Haskell DSL: "That"s cute..." ...implementing fault-tolerant Map-Reduce in Erlang: "Please tell me more about that!"»
- Hmmmm, I don"t really know. But I think it gives knowledge that a lot of people in the business doesn"t have, so in that perspective it gives me an edge.»
- I think I will carry my new Erlang knowledge with me in a very concrete way. The Haskell parts probably to a lesser extent. (Still interesting though)»
- Probaly quite useful. Parallelism is increasing and this was valuable knowledge.»
- This course did a great job of moving my interests more to the academic side (the Haskell part, reading papers). The Erlang part is definitely very practical and very helpful for the possible career in industry.»
- There"s a 20% something chance I might work with something related to erlang or parallel haskell (since it"s very interesting) in which case the course will be very valuable to have taken.»

16. How did you experience writing a tutorial?

- It was fun and rewarding.»
- I thought it was a good way to get better understanding of some of the subjects. Sort of like writing the notes for the exam but not as boring :P»
- I think the workload on the labs was enough without it.»
- It took longer than I expected, but I learned more about the topic when having to explain it to others.»
- It was an interesting experience. Buy doing this one needs to dive deeply into the subject and learn a lot.»

17. How well did the software we asked you to use work?

- Obsidian was a little buggy but otherwise good.»
- I had no problems with the software.»
- Mostly well. Got the GHC runtime to crash several times when trying big datasets. It works well on Linux, so-so on Windows, and quite bad on OsX.»
- Very well. I couldn"t get nvcc to work on my Windows 8 installation with VS 2012, but the cloud server solved that.»
- Most of it worked very well, there were some problems with ThreadScope and more with Obsidian.»
- It worked rather good, but not excellent. Threadscope crashed once in a while, some libraries are also in rather experimental state.»
- Not perfect. There were some problems with getting obsidian and repa to perform as expected, maybe due to the "experimental" stage of it. Also it was not super clear from the CUDA intro how to use/allocate shared memory (but that might have been my own fault).»

18. Did you use Amazon EC2? If not, why not?

- For the CUDA lab, yes.»
- Yes, I used it because there was no other access to computers with CUDA capable GPUs.»
- Yes, since I couldn"t get nvcc to work on my Windows 8/VS 2012 x64 installation.»
- I used it only for GPU part. I think I haven"t used it because I were afraid to break the restrictions of the batch system.»
- No/barely. Already had a computer with nvidia support. Did use EC2 briefly to confirm the program behaved the same way as on local computer though.»

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

7 svarande

Very badly»0 0%
Rather badly»0 0%
Rather well»5 71%
Very well»2 28%

Genomsnitt: 3.28

- Open up the google group to every one next time. Makes it easier to communicate.» (Rather well)
- The server has some » (Rather well)
- Quite well, but the lecture page on the course web pages was at some times poorly updated.» (Rather well)
- There was some inconsistency or late edit in the schedule on the webpage, so I missed Richard Carlsson"s lecture, unfortunately. I know some other people who missed it also.» (Rather well)
- The updates on the webpage were nice and using a Google group was even nicer. Also I thought it was nice when Mary sent an email to remind us of the up-coming lecture. I would have missed that lecture if she hadn"t sent that email! :P» (Very well)

Study climate

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

7 svarande

Very poor»0 0%
Rather poor»0 0%
Rather good»0 0%
Very good»4 57%
I did not seek help»3 42%

Genomsnitt: 4.42

- Nick and Joel were very helpful.» (Very good)
- It"s always appreciated when course assistants and lectures take their time to answer an email after "school hours".» (Very good)

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

7 svarande

Very poorly»0 0%
Rather poorly»0 0%
Rather well»1 14%
Very well»5 71%
I did not seek cooperation»1 14%

Genomsnitt: 4

22. How was the course workload?

7 svarande

Too low»0 0%
Low»0 0%
Adequate»6 85%
High»1 14%
Too high»0 0%

Genomsnitt: 3.14

- I only felt that in lab c it was a bit too much writing the tutorial and doing the part about repa.» (Adequate)

23. How was the total workload this study period?

7 svarande

Too low»0 0%
Low»0 0%
Adequate»4 57%
High»2 28%
Too high»1 14%

Genomsnitt: 3.57

Summarizing questions

24. What is your general impression of the course?

7 svarande

Poor»0 0%
Fair»0 0%
Adequate»0 0%
Good»3 42%
Excellent»4 57%

Genomsnitt: 4.57 (bidrar till totalt genomsnitt/jämförelseindex)

- I feel this might be the best course I have attended at Chalmers. Usually I feel that lecturers are smug a**holes but both John and Mary are very sympathetic and nice people. I also think the course was very well balanced and that I learned a lot. So it"s all good.» (Excellent)

25. What should definitely be preserved to next year?

- I especially thought John"s lectures were very interesting and amusing. The Erlang one with the Windows blue-screen was very funny! :) I thought the labs were very good and most of the lectures were very solid and gave clear and easy to understand examples. All in all having nice people running a course goes a long way in my book.»
- Haskell, Erlang»
- Most parts.»
- Most of the course.»

26. What should definitely be changed to next year?

- Be sure to have computers at Chalmers that can run CUDA code. Maybe try to cut back on some of the guest lectures and spend more time with the more complicated subjects in the course like data parallel programming. Maybe revise the lectures about Obsidian to include more examples and perhaps talk a bit more about the CUDA code itself. Which would have been really helpful during the lab.»
- I think some of the guest lecturers need some more pedagocial training.»

27. Additional comments

- As a token of my appreciation I could perhaps cite one of your papers and raise your total number of citations ,)»
- Nice course :-) Really like John"s enthusiasm!»
- The one potential problem with the course is when course-granted material and languages don"t work as expected. This might happen if there are experimental languages, or if there are different versions of obsidian/repa etc. Also, we have some problems with getting the webcrawler to work (the program would crash during big crawls, when BAD REQUEST page responses were encountered).»
Genomsnitt totalt för detta stycke: 4.57

Genomsnitt totalt för alla frågor: 4.57
Beräknat jämförelseindex: 0.89

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