Teaching Evaluations
(For Professor William Sethares)

In 1998, I asked the students to use the narrative evaluation.  

*** The ECE narrative form asks the following question***

What do you think of your instructor's teaching this semester? (Feel free to discuss both positive and negative aspects of his/her teaching competence. Give reasons and examples to justify your opinion.)

Here are all the student comments from the three classes in 1998:

Prof. Sethares is an excellent instructor in my opinion. He not only presented the material in a way that stimulated interest, but he also had the unusual characteristic of a personality. It was nice to have a professor who concentrated on the teaching and learning of the material rather than grading. A little more structure as far as the project would have helped some though.

I think Bill did a great job. Acoustics is very different from many other things I have studied in that the final result often depends on peoples perceptions and preferences. Because of this there are not as many hard and fast rules of what determines a 'good' acoustical system. Bill has done an excellent job of adapting the course structure to reflect this.

Great! He stimulate interest and give many motivation. His assignments were what I never thought about before.

Although random at times, he covered a broad range of material and kept it all interesting. He has a good attitude about teaching.

Positive: - emphasis on music was much appreciated - enjoyed almost all lectures (except derivation of wave equation lectures) - stimulated thought, Negative:- would have liked to know more about synths and effects

Professor Sethares is very knowledgeable in this subject. I think he could have done a better job letting students know what is demanded for the course early on. Basically he talks beyond me at certain times. Otherwise he is a good professor and makes an engineering class, what I thought impossible, enjoyable.

Excellent: I've learned a tremendous amount of material. As a senior elective-type course I expected it to be broad and it was. I am extremely thankful I had an opportunity to learn more about a subject I love.

It is interesting when we're faced to the argument. I found that this class is more than just teaching. The Prof. did a great job to make student interesting :)

Positive aspects - very knowledgeable about topic - related theory to application - excited about teaching and has a genuine interest in the topic - provoked thought about topics. Negative aspects - grading is undefined, should give the class an idea of how they are doing or what they need to do to perform well in the class

It is a very unusual format for a class. I like the idea of working on a project instead of conventional homework and exams. I feel that learning is best achieved when the student enjoys what they're doing, and allowing us to choose our own projects keeps interest levels up. I do feel that the grading scheme is not defined very well, and I really have no idea what grade to expect in this class.


Prof. S's teaching style is different from others at this college in a very refreshing way. He explains things very well in a very non-condescending manner and in often quite creative ways. He stimulates student interest in the topics he teaches.

Very enjoyable class!


It would have been nice to get some sort of feedback on grades sooner in the semester.

I enjoyed ECE401. I thought it was refreshingly different kind of ECE course. The reason for this is that it did not focus on learning details so much as inviting thoughts about details to consider. Assignments were actually enjoyable to do and encouraged creativity.

Negative points: Lectures got a bit boring sometimes. Class needed to be included more right off the bat. But its hard to hold anyone's interest for a complete hour 15 minutes. Perhaps there could have been another technical assignment of doing problems to help grasp what's going on.

It was a refreshing pleasure to have a mixture speculative discussion about topics that have no answers & hardcore theory that allows the aforementioned discussion. The teaching style was very relaxed & enjoyable, but it is sort of unsettling to have no concept of how one is doing in the class. This was one of the first engineering classes that I actually looked forward to attending everyday.

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