In the winter semester of 2020 Jason Mars taught a course at University of Michigan that serves an example of how he performs as an instructor. This course is an EECS 498 class entitled The Principles and Practice of Conversational AI. Though Jason often teaches EECS 370 (Computer Architecture), EECS 483 and EECS 583 (Compilers), this class on Conversational AI is proving to be one of the best experiences students have an opportunity to take in their undergraduate educations. Below Jason shares some evaluations from students and their own comments on him as a professor, lecturer, instructor, and mentor.
Firstly, here are the summary scores from the teaching evaluation survey from students at University of Michigan that took this course.
|Overall, Jason Mars was an excellent teacher.(Q2)||4.8/5|
|Jason Mars seemed well prepared for class meetings.(Q230)||4.9/5|
|Jason Mars explained material clearly.(Q199)||4.8/5|
|Jason Mars treated students with respect.(Q217)||4.9/5|
Here we observe median scores that are 4.8 – 4.9. For context, lower median scores are common for tenured faculty at University of Michigan. Next we examine unabridged comments students entered into the survey.
|Comment on the quality of instruction in this course. (Q900)|
|Instruction was meaningful but sometimes confusing.|
|This course was fantastic! Really great MDE course in my opinion.|
|jason mars is a very smart guy and knows what he’s talking about|
|This class is amazing and outstanding!!! Professor Mars covered all the important details about each NLP paper we read and|
helped us to develop a well–rounded and solid understanding of NLP. I enjoyed every single class and always learned new things.
Professor Mars also talked about the connections between each paper and they helped me build a more systematic
From my perspective, this class is the best MDE course at Umich, definitely one of my favorite classes I took at Umich. We got the
chance to explore what we are interested in, and Professor Mars always tries his best to help us either on project or NLP theory. He
also discussed small details of our project and always inspired my team members and me.
Finally, I think this class should become a normal MDE course because it is fabulous.
|Professor Mars was a great lecturer and his enthusiasm was inspiring for building a chat bot.|
|Instruction was great.|
|Jason Mars is both enthusiastic and knowledgeable about the material covered. Although some lectures can move fast over a large|
amount of ML concepts, they cover a lot of what gets used in the class.
|Instruction was very good. Professor Mars knows a lot about the technical aspects of the topics and also knows the industry and the|
products/research going on within it
Note that these teaching evaluation surveys are taken anonymously as is routine for every class at the end of a semester.
Beyond these routine teaching evaluation results, a few students wrote reviews of their experience in Jason Mars’ class, these are presented verbatim below.
Professor Mars was excellent to work with throughout the semester, bringing passion and excitement to every lecture. I had doubts about the feasibility of completing group projects during a virtual semester, but Professor Mars took great care to ensure that all students were included and found a good fit with their teams. I also really appreciated how invested he was in the projects that we were working on, taking the time to schedule multiple touchpoints with every team in the class. Conversational AI Design allowed us students to combine what we had learned in previous EECS courses with the latest conversational AI moodels and NLP techniques, building products to address real-world market gaps. Any student with entrepreneurial visions in the conversational AI space should absolutely take this course.– Anonymous EECS 498 Student 1
Additionally, outside the scope of the course, Professor Mars has continued to support our ambitions, offering entrepreneurial advice and guidance for our own aspirations. Looking back, I am glad I decided to take Conversational AI Design, and am grateful to Professor Mars for how much I learned over the course of the semester.
The class, EECS498-006 Conversational AI, taught by Professor Mars was interactive, interesting, and open. Professor Mars covered all the important details about eleven NLP papers we studied and helped us develop a well-rounded and solid understanding of NLP. I enjoyed every single class and always learned new things. Professor Mars also talked about the connections between each paper, which helped me build a more systematic understanding.– Tristan
From my perspective, this class is the best MDE course at Umich and definitely one of my favorite classes I took at Umich. We had the chance to explore what we are interested in, and Professor Mars always tried his best to help us either on the project or NLP theory. He also discussed small details of the project with us and inspired us throughout the past semester.
Words cannot express how much I appreciate Professor Mars’ guides and help in the past year. Besides my gain in the NLP field, Professor Mars is more like a mentor to me and motivated me to pursue my passion. He helped me to see the enormous potential of NLP and how it will create social values and positively impact our world.
I enjoyed Prof. Mars’ enthusiasm for the course content in a Major Design Experience that encouraged students to challenge themselves. Even with the course being virtual this semester, it was apparent that he was passionate about the applications of conversational AI in the manner that he would excitedly speak about the most recent advancements in the field. I believe his enthusiasm drove both my group and others in the course to tackle more ambitious project ideas. Additionally, due to the nature of the course, the content needed to be taught rapidly at a high-level. I appreciated how Prof. Mars solicited feedback on Piazza and through Zoom’s reaction features to ensure that the pace matched the learning of the students, which was impressive in an online setting.– Anonymous EECS 498 Student 2
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