Author Archives: Janet Davis

Sabbatical habits, part 1

For me, June marked the beginning of a year-long sabbatical. This meant an abrupt return to the research I almost entirely neglected during my first year back to teaching and administration after the birth of my child. All I had done was write two proposals – one for summer research, and one for the sabbatical itself.

This won’t be a post about the content of my research: that’s a topic for later in the year. Rather, this post discusses the habits I’ve retained from the academic year, new habits I am forming now, and habits I am considering for later in my sabbatical. Continue reading

Pre-registration for Fall 2019

With busy office hours for CS 210, my husband’s travel for work, child care disruptions, and ping-ponging viruses among the members of the family, I found no time in April for my traditional post on the next semester’s pre-registration. Summer is catch-up time. So with no further ado, here’s the summary table:

Number Title Enrolled Women:Men Waitlist
CS 167-A,B Intro. Computational Problem Solving 33/60 1:1
CS/Math 220 Discrete Math & Functional Programming 27/24 1:3.5
CS 270 Data Structures 17/24 1:5
CS 310 Computer Systems Programming 25/20 1:2 2
CS 320 Theory of Computation 21/20 1:2.5 1
CS 357 Natural Language Processing 26/16 2:3 16
CS 495 Capstone Project 19/16 1:2

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Senior assessment

A distinctive component of Whitman’s curriculum is the senior assessment in the major. Indeed, Whitman claims to be “the first college or university in the nation to require undergraduate students to complete comprehensive examinations in their major fields.”

In this post I address the design of the senior assessment in computer science and reflect briefly on my first experience with that assessment. Continue reading

Pre-registration for Spring 2019

Pre-registration for spring 2019 courses concluded earlier this week. This time around, we faced a real crisis: CS 210, Computer Systems Fundamentals, closed with the end of pre-registration for the junior class, leaving a waitlist of 23 second-years and 2 first-year students. CS 210 is supposed to be a second-year class, open also to first-year students with advanced placement. Continue reading

Maternity leave

I write as my maternity leave is drawing to a close. My child will start with a full-time nanny during the first full week of August, so that I have time to prepare for the start of classes in the last week of August. I am writing this while traveling to and from my first professional meeting since the birth of my child – and also the first time I’ve been apart from my child for more than a few hours. Continue reading