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Teacher Grade: A+

Difficulty Grade: 8/10

CSC 430

Grade Received: C+

posted 2019

in my opinion, 430 has some of the driest material and tedious work out of the CS/SE major classes, and aaron keen was the perfect man to teach it. if a man could be a class, aaron keen would be csc 430. aaron keen is not capable of feeling any emotion. he taught me programming languages for 10 weeks and not once did I see him smile. however, his bald and monotone aesthetic genuinely engaged me in the course and i actually learned something as a result. im not gonna use what i learned in the future, but what i really mean to express is that this man is a paradox the way he is so low energy yet so effective at teaching. he is a fair grader, he is helpful despite how difficult the material is, and he definitely provides you with the tools you need to reach the next stage of enlightenment.

Teacher Grade: A+

Difficulty Grade: 8/10

CSC 431

Grade Received: A

posted 2019

Keen is no doubt a great professor. The class is hard (you implement a compiler in a language of your choice [pick java]) but if you come to lectures and ~pay attention~ you’ll be fine (and if you don’t, you can get a C pretty easily by completing the basics). I chose to do the whole project and found the time I put in very rewarding.

Teacher Grade: A+

Difficulty Grade: 1/10

CSC 430

Grade Received: F

posted 2019

Keen is a great guy and a great professor. I failed his class, but entirely by my own fault, and despite multiple attempts by him throughout the quarter to help me stay on track.

He is clearly a master of the material, but he's so practiced in presenting it and teaching it that you can't help but understand as long as you're paying attention.

The projects are a lot of work and can be pretty challenging, but they do a great job of preparing you for the final and teaching you the material for the class, as long as you actually do them. And don't try to copy code, because you will get caught and the disappointed dad look he'll give you in office hours is not worth saving 3 hours on part of an assignment.

Teacher Grade: A+

Difficulty Grade: 8/10

CSC 430

Grade Received: A

posted 2018

Professor Keen's class taught me more in one quarter than any other class at Poly. I really have to say he is a fantastic educator, who has his courses down to a T. If you like organized courses with clear lectures, schedules and assignment postings this is the class for you. Of course, he does expect effort in return, with his assignments requiring quite a bit of work. SML is a cool language that offers an amazing type and error system, once you decipher the messages. His quizzes and exams are fair, and offer no surprises but definitely test that you have good knowledge of the theory behind the lectures, as well as the implementation in SML. Overall, I really recommend you take Keen. All the 430 professors are amazing, but Keen is truly wonderful.

Teacher Grade: F

Difficulty Grade: 1/10

CSC 430

Grade Received: C

posted 2019

people talk about how great his class is but I really don't see it, he does a good job of explaining the material but it felt like the test at the end was kinda out of left field and most of my classmates didn't feel super well prepared for it based on what was taught in class.

polyratings post

CSC 430

Grade Received: unknown

posted 2018

I don't know what the fuck most of the detractors here are smoking but please keep that shit away from me. Professor "Death to Software Bugs" Keen is legit as fuck. I am not a genius by any stretch and I enjoyed every minute of this course, from the project to his lectures. Maybe it was a professor-student pairing that just worked, but everything he said always got through to me (and it seemed like the class as a whole too). I don't know how stupid a question you would have to ask for him to be condescending like some reviews from years ago stated, but the only response I ever saw out of him was "that's actually a great question" followed by a thoughtful response. He was never dry or sarcastic at anyone's expense except software developers in general, and he had some jokes that were uproariously funny thanks to his deadpan delivery.And holy crap--this man can find a bug faster than the interpreter can. SML is a difficult language to debug at times because error messages can be misleading and it doesn't exactly have a robust Stack Overflow presence. Professor Keen is an outstanding resource if you've exhausted all other avenues to figure out what you've done wrong. I wouldn't recommend getting help at every turn (you won't learn to fend for yourself), but a few times I ran into a really bullshitty, SML-specific problem that he was able to clear up and explain to me in under 60 seconds before moving on to another student. The guy is a fucking genius.Professor Keen might just be my favorite professor I've had here, and there are some great ones. I feel so inclined to defend him because of how unjustified I've found some of these reviews to be. Everyone has their preferences, but if you can't find at least some merit in him as an instructor, then you should probably re-examine your own career path instead of criticizing his.

polyratings post

CSC 357

Grade Received: A

posted 2017

I really enjoyed Keen's 357. It is much less slogging compared to what I've heard Mammen is like, and I feel like I gained a great deal of knowledge of how to utilize system calls and lower level operating system concepts in my programs.The course is graded as 10% labs (should get 100%), 45% assignments (the meat of the difficulty), and 35% exams. The exams weren't extremely hard, and the labs were free points, but of course the real difficulty is the assignment. Included are a self modifying program via a custom database, a basic web server, and an implementation of a few popular unix tools.These assignments can be brutal, frustrating, and take a great deal of time. But all of them are super cool and useful projects, that you should feel pride in completing. In lecture Prof Keen will make clear what you need to learn, and will help you understand the concepts underpinning the projects. From there he is very available in office hours to help improve your understanding of the concepts, and guide your understanding to apply them to the assignments. I really have nothing but praise for Prof Keen, this was a difficult class but I feel like he did a great job of administering it, and overall is a great professor whom I'd like to take again.