TITLE: If Only We Had More Time...
AUTHOR: Eugene Wallingford
DATE: April 14, 2007 3:38 PM
I find myself saying in class, I don't mind saying this one.
Used for the wrong reasons, it would signal a problem. "If we
had more time, I would teach you this important concept, but..."
... I've left it out because I didn't plan the course properly.
... I've left it out because preparing to teach it well would
take too much time. ... I'm running behind; I wasted too much
time speaking off-topic. There are lots of ways that not
covering something important is wrong.
But there is a very good reason why it's not possible to cover
every topic that comes up. There is so much more! There are
more interesting ideas in this world -- in programming languages,
in object-oriented programming, in algorithms -- than we can cover
in a 3-credit, 15-week course. The ideas of computing are bigger
than any one course, and some of the cool things we do in class
are only the beginning. This is a good thing. Our discipline
is deep, and it rewards the curious with unexpected treasures.
More practically, "If only we had more time..." is a cue to
students who do have more time -- graduate students
looking for research projects, undergrad honors students
looking for thesis topics, an undergrads who might be thinking
of grad school down the line.