Teaching a Class

I’ve been in higher education for nearly 25 years now, and I’m finally doing something I’ve never done before.

Teaching a college course.

Now, that’s not completely true.  I did TA for lab courses when I was in physics graduate school, and my last semester TAing that involved basically teaching an electronics class because the lab syllabus got ahead of where the professor was in the class itself, so I had to basically teach the concepts as well as run the lab, otherwise they wouldn’t have been able to do it.

Then, about fifteen years ago, I was “hired” by the Mathematics and Computer Science Department at Drew to teach the faculty  about the internet.  I gave six one hour lectures, attended by faculty and students,  where I started down at the bottom of the OSI model and moved my way up.  I then parlayed that into teaching an evening elective for the New Jersey Governor’s School in the Sciences.  I did that for several years until 2003.

Every once in a while I get to go back to the material, either in a training session for our student employees, or for our UT staff.  In Fall of 2014, I was invited by the director of the CS program to guest lecture in the class she was teaching on the topic.  (She had expanded it to also be a lot about REST and Web protocols, which was great, and her materials were great.)

Fast forward to next fall and she was dealing with a bit of a faculty crunch for the spring classes, and realized I might be a good fit for teaching the class.  I thought it over, figured out I could do it, and agreed.

So Wednesday I walk into a classroom of 16 upper-level CS students and attempt to give them a working knowledge of networking and computer security by the beginning of May.  I’m looking forward to it.  I’m freshening up my material, Dr. Hill’s  material from the previous offering, and will be adding some new material about internet security.  I hope to bring in a few guest lecturers and have them spend a lot of time looking at Wireshark, to really understand what happens on the wire (or, really, let’s face it, in the air.)  I’m looking forward to it.

If you like you can follow along on Twitter in the #csci350 hashtag.  I’ll probably post here periodically to document how it’s going.

Wish me luck!

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Mike Richichi

I'm an inveterate geek who's somehow become a leader in higher education information technology. These are some of my thoughts.