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TDDC78 mid-term evaluation 2015

The course has been mid-term-evaluated by the muddy card method in the middle of the fourth week on wednesday 22/4/2014 during the 9th lecture. About 20 students attended the lecture, and I received 18 cards.

Overall impression

By and large, the course seems to run very well.
Below I list some concrete issues and comment where appropriate.

Subject, general issues, NSC resources

The subject is generally perceived as interesting.
The excursion to NSC was appreciated.
Students are having fun to use a real supercomputer.

The handling of NSC account requests was perceived as cumbersome by two students.
Comment: I admit that the procedure to get a Triolith account is complicated, but we have to follow the NSC/SNIC guidelines here.

Information, Handouts, Literature

One student remarked on the indirect linking of lecture notes handouts via a separate web page. Also, pointers to further reading (book chapters) on specific topics are asked for, as well as links to free MPI implementations to install at home.
Comment: We will try to fix that, at least for next time.
Regarding the specific question about MPI further reading, please check the MPI reference page linked from the Lab web page.


Lectures and slide material are well appreciated by most students.
A few remarked on a high pace (while others state that it is just the right speed), too many slides, and low interactivity.

Comment: You can help to reduce speed and increase interactivity by asking questions. It is absolutely OK to ask me to explain something again if it was not clear or too fast. If nobody asks, I assume that (almost) everybody could follow.


One student remarked that Lu Li's lesson slides (2015) were not online.
Comment: This year's lesson slides are a very slimmed-down version of the 2014 slides, which are available on the handouts page and which we had reduced this year as a reaction to complaints from last year's students about too much repeated contents in lessons and lectures (pthreads, OpenMP, MPI). For completeness and for reference purposes, we add them now.


Labs are considered good, useful, interesting and fun by most students. A few expressed concerns that they might be more time consuming than expected. Two students remarked that the lab compendium is not detailed enough, while another one explicitly wrote that it is OK. One remark was about the Lab1 Makefile not working properly, we will check.

Comment: Lab documentation has been updated recently (partly after course start) and we are still working on it. If you have concrete suggestions for improvement or bug fixes, please feel free to contact the course assistant directly.

An interesting suggestion was brought up on one card, namely to replace (maybe, optionally) one of the labs by a group project. We will consider this for next year.

Thanks for all comments!

Christoph Kessler, course leader TDDC78

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Last updated: 2015-04-28