The Ultra-Nerdtastic Version Of Me

Today was the first class of the first semester of 2012, which means that today was exhausting but in a completely awesome way. I love teaching, so it felt amazing to be back in class in front of a room full of 60+ students.

To be honest, I was a little nervous before I arrived because I’ve never taught a Computer Science course before. Yes, I taught that grad course in the School of Computer Science last summer, but it was all statistics, all the time. This course – User Interface Design – is different. No statistics. Ever. Gasp.

But stay calm folks because I think it went well. I started the class by talking about the idea of good and bad design being pretty much inherent. On some level, we can all look at something and determine pretty quickly if it was designed well. And then I presented several images (below). Part of this was for entertainment value, part was to get the students thinking about what the course might mean to them.

After showing the students the pictures, I then took some time and outlined the requirements of the course (i.e., grading structure, lab/class/assignment rules, etc.), and then we watched a couple of videos about design – TED talks specifically – because who doesn’t like watching movies and calling it learning? No one, that’s who. And because I like sharing with you dear readers, I’ve painstakingly linked the talks below. You are welcome.

In all seriousness though, this course is going to be a lot of work. But I know that it’s also going to be a lot of fun as well. I love the science behind design, and the iterative process of developing something that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing. It allows me to merge my math and stats side, with my more creative artistic side. I can only assume that the combination of these two sides forms a more complete ultra-nerdtastic version of myself. And that’s just good times.

Anyway, day 1 is complete. Twenty three more classes remain. I’m pretty excited to see how they turn out.






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5 Comments Add yours

  1. theWomanAtTheWell says:

    I really needed the giggles tonight, thank you so much. Great post

    1. dangillis says:

      Thanks. I’m glad you enjoyed it.

  2. Jen says:

    Sounds like a great course!

    And I must say that I love it when lecturers (Ted Talkers or otherwise) break into song 🙂

    Some of the ideas David Pogue was talking about regarding design and intelligence (listing United States alphabetically instead of where it would be easiest to use) reminded me of the Oatmeal and designing online shopping carts:

    http://theoatmeal.com/comics/shopping_cart

    And then there’s the one about website design in general:

    http://theoatmeal.com/comics/design_hell

    Anyways — great post! Have a fantastic rest of semester

    1. dangillis says:

      I love the Oatmeal. I purchased his grammar pack of posters for my office. So freaking hilarious.
      Thanks for reading 🙂

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