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Feedback from the participants and comments by the organizers

On the feedback form , the participants were asked for their opinion on four items: 1) Lectures/Lecturers, 2) Exercises, 3) Excursion, 4) Organisation/Other. Comments by the organizers are set in italics. A summary of these comments is given in the end.

There were 54- participants (32 from MPI and 22 external), not counting the organizers (4), and the invited lecturers (4).

19 feedback forms were returned.

Lectures/Lecturers

[Feedback on specific lecture(r)s omitted.]

Very high class. Five hours of lectures in each subject is just fine.

Good choice of lecturers and lectures. [...] Topics that are not covered in University are much better for such an event.

Very good lecturers.

Very high level. Comprehensive and well prepared. Appropriate amount of lectures.

Very good lecturers and presentations.

In general very good and interesting. Good that lecturers had 4.5 hours each.

The timetable on Mon/Tue was quite full, but I think still acceptable, although following the last lecture on each day was quite hard. [...] Overall I liked the lectures and lecturers.

The first two days were pretty hard, three lectures and two tutorials was too much. [...] Maybe you could plan two lectures á 3 slots and two á 2 slots.

Lectures: good enough to get/catch main ideas in the areas/topics
Lecturers: very cooperative to students' reaction and questions
Students: most of students have no background on the topics (I guess). It would be nice if the lecturers have a chance to check (roughly) backgrounds of students.

I took a lot from the lectures [...].

The topics  covered were interesting and I did feel like I learnt something new. Stuff I can think and read about for some time to come!

Good.Better when not following the notes (slides).

All talks were excellent, presenters were able to explain concepts clearly.

Good [...].

Don't know was too early I was sleeping
SF: At least the lecturers did not disturb your sleep ;-)

[...] Everything was on a very high level, it was a big pleasure to listen.

Lecture series was excellent and very informative. Even for a person who doesn't have the necessary background, some of the lecturers started with the basics of the subject. A great learning experience.

Exercises

An essential part of lectures. Maybe some of the lecturers should have spent more time going through the exercises at the end of each exercise session. Five minutes is not enough.

Exercises were reasonably hard and could be solved with some effort. Good idea to give exercises.

Some of the exercises were very difficult. And not all of the exercises are very well explained or not at all.

Some tutorials had only few difficult exercises. Some easy and some hard exercises mixed is better.

Good exercises, but some solutions were not given at all.

Nice variation from the lectures. Perhaps some of the exercises should have been prepared a little better [...].

Some exercises preferred interesting problems over introductory (i.e. easy) problems. I think lectures should start up with a few problems that are instructive for the techniques used before giving the "real interesting" problems. It helps and motivates more.

Sometimes the solutions weren't explained enough, at least for me.

The first exercises of each topic are hard to attack due to the lack of "digestion" process of the method.
But some groups were quite efficient and successful to solve some of the problems and some are not.
Necessary to divide the exercise groups (by the organizers) so that students can have different groups each time.
SF: Actually this was implemented last year, but we were somehow too lazy to enforce this scheme this year -- our fault. Will pass that on to next year's organizers.

Interesting.

Challenging.

Good.

Don't know, was soon after the lunch; I was digesting and sleeping.
SF: ? it was not soon after lunch ... there was a lecture in between ! :-)

I liked them, but maybe better to spend more time for them. The more practice - the more understanding.

In general, well covered. But the specification of problem should have been more elaborate [...].

Exercise were well thought out and nicely organized. Maybe more time for tutorial will help all of us.




Excursion

I didn't go this year, because I was there last year.

I still don't understand why Völklingen is a world cultural heritage.

Little boring but ok.

Nice, interesting place. The guide was too lame however.

[...]Excursion ? I heard the beer was good.

I did not attend the excursion.

Few participants, not very interesting.

The excursion showed a very interesting place, but the guide was very slow and his english improvable.
SF:Actually we did not expect the guide to take THAT long for the tour.

Well, I would have enjoyed it probably more without the guide, although he was kind of "neat". Why don't you organize a "Weinprobe" or "Brauereibesichtigung" for the next time. Or "Spielcasino", "Therme",...
SF: Good idea!

Völklingen is boring !!!

Excursion was little bit boring. A light hiking to a moutain would be preferable.

There could have been a more professional guide at the excursion, but I liked it anyway.

Probably a bit too long for keeping one from getting bored. I liked the idea of visiting the old iron factory however.

Excursion was not very interesting (bit long). Maybe it would be better to go for a picknick and make social stuff all together.

That was really great! I was in big delight when I heard the classical music at the factory! It will be great if excursion will integrated with visit to philharmonic.

Dinner was good & well-organized. Did not attend attend excursion. But some people suggest in the afternoon, a trip to Saar river would have been more productive.

Can't comment. I was absent.





Organisation/Other

Very well organized. Thank you!

Maybe there should be organized some sport event like playing volleyball or something similar. Still organized pretty good.
SF: As the excursion was not so well-received (also see comments below), this is a good idea to be considered by next year's organizers.

Everything was well organized.

Very efficient.

Very good - except for the vegetarian food ;-)
SF: We are really sorry about the mess with the vegetarian food, especially since we promised to provide a vegetarian dish each day (we fully or partly failed on 3 out of 5 days :-(). We have to think about means to enforce that vegetarian food also gets delivered when we order it.

It was very good.

Very good, maybe first days were too full.
SF: I agree, though it was hard to squeeze 12 lectures, 8 tutorials and the excursion into 5 days.

The overall organization was excellent. Coffee, food, computer access, rooms were well planned and prepared (besides the problem with the vegetarian food, but I didn't care ;-)
The web pages of ADFOCS and the presented material was also highly usable and I cannot think of a single point to improve.
SF: The web pages are all the merit of last year's organizers; we basically copied them and adapted them to this year's ADFOCS.

The food was very good (maybe not for vegetarians ...), expecially the fruit baskets and the juices and tea/coffee supply.

Very good. Lunch was also very good.
Both lectures and exercises were all in all better than last year - ADFOCS improves !

Dinner on Tuesday was good to socialize each other among students and also lecturers. But it would be better if we can have it on Monday.

"vegetarian" meals ...
The all-day-available coffee breaks were really nice !

Might be a good idea to send local info material like city maps, bus time table etc. by snail mail to the participants in advance.
SF: We actually sent a city map and bus timetable to the participants by EMail, but maybe a bit too late (just a few days before ADFOCS started).

Good organization. Nice to have coffee and cookies. Careful with vegetarian food !!

Other than the veg problem, excellent.

+++

It maybe good for special room for very tasty dinners.

Well-organized, except for a few glitches. During lunch, the vegetarian dish was always hard to get/unavailable. The break (during lecture) could have been better timed. On the whole I am quite satisfied.

Well done. Maybe better more attention for vegetarians.









General comments by the organizers

If we were to organize another event of this kind ...

... we would do again:

Blocks: lecture/exercises/discussion.

Invite lecturers of which we know their ability to teach.

Have lunch together and not in the Mensa/Restaurant.

Three lectures per lecturer; if there are time-constraints, rather have three instead of four lecturers then.

The all-time-available coffee, snacks and fruit baskets.

... we would do differently:

Exercises in randomly mixed groups (as it was done in last year's ADFOCS).

Have not such 'full' days like we had on Monday and Tuesday.

A different excursion than to the Völklinger Hütte, maybe some sports event and something like a wine/beer tasting.

We would have to think of means that if vegetarian food is ordered, we also GET vegetarian food.




ADFOCS 2002 organized by Stefan Funke & Piotr Krysta ; WWW page last updated on Thursday, 19 September 2002