Intro to Information Science

Jan 2013

I had pretty terrible expectations for this course since I am not a comp sci person whatsoever, but it surprised me completely. It was actually fun, interesting, and informative, and it was all because of what a great professor Apoorv was. He cared so much about his students and really tailored the class to our abilities. After seeing how terribly most of us did on the first homework, he slowed the pace of the class way down, which might have been frustrating if you had been really into comp sci, but let's be honest -- anyone who was would have skipped right to Java. For what it was -- a class that I was taking purely to fulfill a requirement -- it was really great. Apoorv is a genuinely nice guy, responds to emails almost immediately, and is always willing to meet with you if you're having trouble. He's young and cool and has lots of friends who work at Google. He also really cares about his students, and obviously wanted us to do well. Sometimes he isn't great at explaining concepts, but other than that, he's a seriously awesome professor and I would recommend his class to any humanities major who wants to get the Barnard Quantitative requirement out of the way in a painless (or possibly even enjoyable) way.

Jan 2012

You've always wondered if you're secretly the next Mark Zuckerberg waiting to be unleashed. I suppose this is the class for you. You can do well, but I wouldn't say it's an easy A or B. For that, take astronomy. Don't consider taking this as a P/F, as then it won't fulfill prereqs. Drat. Cannon is excited, smart and a pretty good teacher; it's hard to deny that. But he bizarrely spends more than half of the class lecturing on the basic components of computers and the capital-i Internet. Then he spends a lesson or two each on databases, SQL, XML and Python. Cannon prides himself on this tactic as it keeps students in the class past the drop date; he shouldn't. It should be reversed. Students learned little of import for the first half and either imploded or relied on prior ability for the second half. The workload seemed appropriate, however. Knowledge of programming and math isn't necessary, but will give you a major leg up. Don't forget office hours or TAs like I did. And spend time early on to make sure you ace the comparatively easy first few assignments. I failed the final, and this kinda saved my grade. Note: this class was previously known as Introduction to Computers.