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u/PlayTheBanjo · 18 pointsr/Drexel

Ah, the age-old Drexel CS department dilemma...

tl;dr: Dr. Boady all the way if at all possible.

I've TA'd this course numerous times with numerous different instructors, including one term where I was assigned to both Dr. Nowak and Dr. Boady's sections of the course at the same time. It was kind of rough because whenever someone approached me to ask for help with the homework or go over a quiz or project, I'd have to remember to ask whether they had Boady or Nowak as the two versions of the course are very different while still ultimately covering the same material. I've also helped CS260 students in both Nowak's version and everyone else's version of the course in terms in which I was assigned to other courses, so I'm familiar with the course as taught by various instructors and the differences among them.

I sort of mentioned this last paragraph, but there are basically two versions of the course: the Dr. Nowak version and everyone else's version. The "everyone else" version has been very much influenced by Dr. Boady's changes over the past few years, so it's sort of become Dr. Boady's version moreso than everyone else's version.

I want to be clear here: Dr. Nowak is good. If you have to take it with him, it's fine, it's just less user-friendly than the alternative. The thing with Dr. Nowak though is that the's very much an old-school mathematician, maybe even more so than he is a computer scientist. That's not necessarily a bad thing; CS260 is basically a math course (not as much of a math course as CS270, however). People often forget that computer science is a mathematical discipline.

Dr. Nowak is also very set in his ways, perhaps to a fault. I think Dr. Boady may have finally found a suitable replacement for the Aho DS&A textbook (would you believe that some unscrupulous people use a PDF of this book they were able to easily find for free on the Internet rather than actually buying this??) via zybooks, so maybe every version of the course will use that from now on (and then again maybe all versions will still use Aho), but Aho is a pain in a number of ways. I get the sense Nowak is very attached to Aho as the standard textbook for the course.

Nowak's version will go through the text material in a different order than Boady, but his reason for doing so makes sense. While Boady goes through the chapters in their presented order, the first week or two of Nowak's version will cover chapters 1 & 9, skipping the 7 chapters in between (you'll circle back to them, though). This is because chapter 1 is "Design and Analysis of Algorithms" and chapter 9 is "Algorithm Analysis Techniques," so the two chapters are closely related. However, the material in chapter 9 is a bit more complicated and challenging than what you'll find in the first few chapters, which is why the Boady version covers it later in the course.

Really, the two chapters should probably be merged, but like I said: Aho is kind of a pain sometimes.

Boady's version will have more of a programming focus than Nowak's course while Nowak will require more theoretical assignments (stuff like formal proofs, or finding closed form expressions of summations, etc.). Boady's will still have theory questions and Nowak's will still have programming assignments, but the emphasis on each is different.

I vastly prefer the Boady version of the course. This is due to a number of reasons that I'll get into, but in the interest of full disclosure, one of the biggest factors is that Dr. Boady and I work very well together and I feel like we're on the same wavelength a lot of the time. He and I go way back, and one might even say that we "roll mad deep" (no one has ever said this but please feel free to start).

Dr. Boady is also incredibly good at teaching. Like, in addition to his computer science research, he's spent time actively keeping up with the research on education. One thing I find he does the best is that his labs and assignments (I don't think there are "labs" for 260 but it's been awhile) have the questions presented in a very deliberate manner such that they build off each other as you go; if you follow the order of the problems/questions as assigned, they start easy and get incrementally more complicated based on the previous question (or questions) until you reach an item that would have seemed extremely difficult if you looked at it first, but you are well-equipped to understand and solve based on the questions/problems you've already handled.

In my experience, people find that Dr. Boady is much more approachable and easy to converse with compared to Dr. Nowak (or most people, really). Dr. Nowak is a nice person and all, but I've had a few kind of funny awkward interactions with him stemming from simple misunderstandings, but nothing that made me feel like he was trying to insult me or scare me away or whatever.

Finally, one of the most important things is that Dr. Boady is much, much closer to being in your position as a student. I don't know if this is common knowledge or anything, but he did his undergrad degree at Drexel, immediately entered the graduate program here, and started working as teaching faculty as soon as he finished his PhD. He's literally taken this very course, and he took it recently enough that he remembers what it was like to be on the other side of things. A problem that I often find with older professors in general is that they're too far removed from the time when they didn't know any of the material that they're now teaching and that they may have struggled to learn it themselves and what ultimately helped them understand. When I started here, Dr. Boady was just a grad student named Mark; he understands where most of his students are at because he was in the same position relatively recently.

Anyway, I'll wrap up: he's passionate about the material and passionate about teaching and he's always actively looking for ways to refine the way he teaches his courses each term.

...but Dr. Nowak has some cool idiosyncrasies. Like, he pronounces "algorithms" as "algoritmas" and refers to the elements of a proof as "ingredients," so if you take it with Boady, you'll miss out on that ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Hope that helps.

EDIT: I counted the chapters incorrectly which is not great in a post giving advice on computer science or math courses.

u/whimsea · 1 pointr/Drexel

I'm pretty sure you can go into Plaza and get a list of everything included, but I'll tell you what I remember being in there:

  • A cutting mat. Pretty sure it's 24x36 (tbh, you don't need this unless you plan on working from home. The labs all have cutting mats)
  • Xacto precision knife with #11 blades
  • The big xacto utility knife with the blades that go with it
  • A set of black sharpies, regular and fine (meh, I've never used mine)
  • Bestine
  • Putty eraser, white mars eraser, pink pearl eraser
  • Metal t-square
  • Metal 18" ruler
  • Metal 45-45-90 triangle
  • Mars Lumograph pencils, set of 12 (variety pack)
  • Rubber cement (but I'm pretty sure you don't need this after freshman year. I'm a junior, and didn't use it at all last year)
  • Rubber cement pick-up (you definitely need this)
  • The carry-all portfolio (don't know what it's called, but it's black with a shoulder strap and is about 24x36—pretty sure they only sell 1 size so get whichever size they sell)
  • Smaller black bag for pencils and erasers and things that fits inside the larger portfolio. Again, don't know what this is called, sorry!

    I can tell you right now, you're also going to need micron pens and black gouache for Visual Communications 1, and you absolutely need 3M positionable adhesive. I think it's cheapest on Amazon but definitely check Plaza's price. It's not in the freshman kit because you only start using it sophomore year, but I swear you will use it for every project.

    Welcome to the program, it's pretty great. Take classes from Sandy and Bill; avoid Jack. Let me know if you have other questions.
u/buu2 · 8 pointsr/Drexel

Here's how I understand it, also a senior econ major who spends too much time on /truereddit and no time watching tv news.

The bottom 99%: Many of the protestors are recent college graduates who have spent the last few years trying and failing to get jobs in their majors. There are many people who have graduated with decent grades and decent resumes, taken out tens of thousands of dollars of student loans and now have to take retail jobs because there just aren't enough jobs in the market. Read around at to get a better idea of people's individual situations. Large factions in government (particularly the growing far-right voice in republicanism) have been cutting unemployment insurance, anything meaningful in the healthcare bill, and money toward non-profits.

The Top 1%: Meanwhile, the top 1% are taking ever more for themselves. These graphs show the growing disparity better than I could. Meanwhile, they've heavily lobbied congress, changed regulations to give more freedom to large corporations and make entering markets more difficult, have avoided any criminal prosecutions despite numerous acknowledged accounts of theft, lying to consumers about risk, and lying to regulatory bodies about what they were doing. C-level executives breaking the law, affecting millions of dollars and lives, face no criminal penalties but 4% of Americans have been imprisoned, mostly for petty crimes and drug use. And now that corporations have personhood, as upheld by the supreme court case Citizens United Vs. FEC, corporations are donating massive amounts to influence elections and elected representatives. This has caused both parties to give more weight to corporate interests than ever before in American history while simultaneously cutting benefits and safety nets for the bottom 46%.

Issues with Obama: Obama ran on a campaign for change of corporate interest in politics and stronger enforcement of equality under the law. But under him, the banks had record profits after a misguided bailout, regulation continued to be uprooted, no criminal charges were filed, and almost all the major relief programs had their budgets cut. People felt betrayed.

The OWS campers: So back to OWS - the people camping out are the front lines. Many are unemployed, some are homeless, some are just really grumpy. They are not the voice of the movement, but the base of it. The media has mostly gotten their kicks by playing this "neutral" reporting angle, where they interview the front liners and decide that everyone is just complaining and uneducated. The people at the front lines do a have a wide range of complaints - they believe the political system is broken. Issues include corporate personhood, lobbyist influence, block party voting, lack of interest in citizen issues (online voting questions), the never ending wars, legalization of marijuana, student loans, healthcare, gun control laws, and everything in between. At the front lines, people are just disgruntled. But as a whole movement, the first few are representative of the main requests for change.

What OWS wants: To date, the movement hasn't asked for anything direct or specific action. That enables the mainstream media to simplify the movement. But no law by entrenched politicians can change a culture of listening to CEO interests over worker interests, of accepting huge donations in return for lowered regulations. Right now, OWS is trying to raise awareness of this disparity of wealth and interests - it's difficult for anyone not directly impacted to really feel.

Tl;dr Most Americans have seen their benefits and job opportunities cut while the government has allocated more and more to the top 1%. The people camping out and protesting are the base of the movement, but they aren't a very eloquent voice for it. The biggest issues that OWS is seeking to change are overturning corporate personhood and equality under the law between rich and poor.

Further viewing:
Book: Glenn Greenwald’s With Liberty and Justice for Some - How Rule of Law no longer applies – the political and financial elite aren’t criminally liable for their actions, and poor drug users are more likely to face crippling criminal penalties than ever before.
Video: Inside the Accountants Handbook – a 3 minute video of how corporations don’t pay taxes

u/FlyByPC · 1 pointr/Drexel

It looks like it's available on Amazon. (Check the ISBN from your syllabus to make sure this is the right edition.)

u/UpsideDownIceberg · 3 pointsr/Drexel

TRENDnet 4-Port Broadband Router, 4 x 10/100 Ports, Instant Recognizing, Plug & Play, Firewall Protection, TW100-S4W1CA

Reckon this would get the job done?

u/StillRude · 0 pointsr/Drexel

I'd suggest picking up one of these: AccuSharp 001 Knife Sharpener
It won't get you as sharp as a set of good stones and proper technique, but it's cheap and can be used regularly.

u/wildcarde815 · 4 pointsr/Drexel

Get yourself a little switch like this. At least when I was there, they didn't care if you had a switch / hub inplace, they just got angry with routers. 1gpbs may be overkill if drexel isn't offering 1gb to the room, you can save 10 bucks or so with the 10/100 switch.

u/adeebabbas · 3 pointsr/Drexel

I feel like Fry gets more hate than he deserves. Running a private institution with a ton of faculty, workers and all the other facilities comes at a cost. It's not entirely his fault. Also, if you look at Drexel's history (we were gonna go bankrupt in 1999), we are doing wayyy better than how we were.

u/ImageOfInsanity · 1 pointr/Drexel

If your classes are using these books as reference without homework problems or external media (CDs, Online material), the 6th edition of Comparative Politics can be bought $2.30 used from Amazon and the 13th edition of the Management Science book is less than $20 used. Older editions of textbooks usually contain roughly similar content with some older information and/or different problems.

If they are using problems from the book directly, the 7th edition of Comparative Politics is on reserve in the library and the 13th edition of Management Science is as well.