Full Student Testimonials


These comments are copied verbatim from CourseEvalUMD for Fall2012 and Spring2014. Though I've not copied all student comments, this subset helps demonstrate the excitement, learning potential, and playfulness of this course (which is achieved via lots of prototyping, trial-and-error, and hard work). One criticism of the first course offering (Fall 2012) was to introduce more in-class tutorials and to offer weekly or bi-weekly in-class 'workshop' days. I added these for Spring 2014. For both course offerings, students have expressed concern about workload. I continue to update the course to address this; however, as a fundamentally project-based course with a focus on "learning by doing", the workload will remain challenging for this term and into the future.
"Prof. Froehlich's CMSC838F is really a fun course. In this course, you could learn how to prototype interactive systems using Arduino, Low-tech Materials, Motors and Kinects. The course is very practical and you could turn your idea into reality by making on your own! This course provides you lots of opportunity to play with hand-wares like IMU, pressure/temperature/infrared sensors, motors, which is full of fun. However, the workload of this course could be a bit too high. You have to complete 3 mini projects and 1 term project with creative ideas and well-made videos."

CMSC838f Student, Spring 2014 -

"The course requires lots of work! But, it's worth every minute. I learned tons from this class, and did 4 amazing projects I'm proud of, with YouTube videos explaining them. This may be the best class I've ever taken. And Jon Froehlich is a great professor!! The class was very fun and engaging and useful."

CMSC838f Student, Spring 2014 -

"This is the best course I have ever taken at any level. Period."

CMSC838f Student, Spring 2014 -

"Although there was a ton of coursework, Jon clearly warned us about it several times, and it was worth every frustrating minute. One of the best classes I've taken at Maryland!"

CMSC838f Student, Spring 2014 -

"The course was very inspiring and I enjoyed it so much. I especially enjoyed the fact that the professor kept posting articles and videos that are technically interesting and thought provoking. Also, I very much enjoyed seeing what other students made for their assignment during demo. As I have showed in other parts of this survey, I felt the workload of the course was a little bit too high. The course was structured with 4 implementation assignments and 1 final project, which also requires good amount of implementation. It is not that students are not capable of handling 4 + 1 assignments, but the fact that we had to learn new types of technology for each assignment was tough (i.e. learning mobile HTML5, Arduino, Kinect, and other small bits of skills were a little too time consuming). To this end, it would be better if some assignments are incremental. For example, the second and the third assignment was about using Arduino. The former took some amount of time to learn how to use Arduino, but we could focus on more creative work on the latter assignment because we had already had base knowledge about Arduino. I believe if first two assignments are about HTML5 or last two assignments are about Kinect, it could reduce students workload. Following is another suggestion for the future course. It would be great if students who performed really well in creating videos or implementing assignments to present how they did it for 30 minutes of the class (possibly for extra credits.) I was really surprised with the quality of work done by some other students and it would have been great if I could learn how they did it."

CMSC838f Student, Fall 2012 -

"Loved the course! One of best classes I have ever taken. Felt empowered after taking the class. Do think you need a few more tutorials in the beginning. Think class should remain 3 credits but be longer each week."

CMSC838f Student, Fall 2012 -

"This was an amazing and inspirational course, and it should definitely be offered regularly, possibly for undergraduates as well. It would have been useful to have more lectures explaining some of the concepts/techniques/tools available for the assignments, particularly earlier in the course. However, the instructor created an environment where it was relatively easy to ask questions and pick up the necessary skills on our own while working on the assignments and course project."

CMSC838f Student, Fall 2012 -

"The Professor is inspiring and passionate about what he teaches and this makes the course all the more interesting. This was probably one of my favorite courses I have ever taken at UMD."

CMSC838f Student, Fall 2012 -

"His open-ended project-assignments were inspiring and we came up with some amazing solutions."

CMSC838f Student, Fall 2012 -