Impact of the Seminar
Our growing list of student-initiated evaluations demonstrates the positive impact the seminar is having on a substantial number of students. We are grateful for these comments, and even more so for the opportunity to have a positive impact on our students’ lives and academic careers.
IS survey results correspond with the student-initiated evaluations. For example, over 84% of respondents would recommend the seminar to a friend. We think that’s an exceptional outcome for a required remediation assignment.
Sample student comments include the following:
 ”The seminar wasn’t what I expected”
Student from MIT: “I found the seminar to be far more interesting and engaging than I had expected. I have spent around 24 hours in total (over the course of a week and half) working on the assignment; I learned a lot and I had a number of memorable moments.”
Student from Stanford: “Although the readings were far more diverse than I had been expecting, this was one of my favorite aspects of the class. This diversity made it so that there were some articles that really resonated with me, and I also think it was important to gain exposure to pieces that I wouldn’t have read ordinarily. It definitely helped my critical thinking skills. Overall the seminar was very thought provoking and some of the readings are sure to stick with me for a long time.”
 ”IS readings can influence life decisions”
Student from Purdue University: “For me after reading these two [Nobel Prize acceptance] speeches . . . Electrical Engineering deeply engages me for sure now. Earlier I was in kind of quandary but now everything is pretty much clear.”
Student from George Mason: “Thank you so much for your hard work. You have done a great job putting this seminar together. The readings were very interesting. I thought about my life, the things I deal with and have dealt with while reading. I was able to find some solutions. I enjoyed Lincoln’s reading the most. I was also going through depression and had found nothing to motivate. After reading Lincoln’s story, I got some motivation to follow my dreams and live for them if nothing else. I appreciate your time and effort very much.”
 ”Important ideas merit further reading/discussion”
Student from Stanford: “Thank you so much for your detailed and in-depth feedback. I just finished reading through it all, and I plan to look into some of the reading you suggested. My favorite was the Abraham Lincoln reading. After your comments, I want to go back and read it again. I really appreciate the time and attention you granted my responses. I didn’t expect that.
Student from Stanford: “Thank you very much for the excellent set of readings and questions. I very much enjoyed the seminar and had several very enlightening discussions with family and friends, especially on Tolstoy’s theories of life.”
 ”Maybe the liberal arts are useful after all”
Student from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University: “I was always a person interested in science and engineering, I always neglected liberal arts. But now thanks to you I have a different view about studies on liberal arts. It can be beneficial to a person to shape his thoughts and philosophy. I think in a way, this mistake of mine has made me realize and find out a lot about my hidden and neglected interest. [Also], your review about Shattered Glass made me rethink my views and I watched it again to get a deeper sense of the message.”
 ”IS tutors are partners in learning”
Student from Babson College: “Thank you so much for your insightful responses. I have written papers throughout my 3 years of college, but I have never received such extensive and valuable feedback from any other professor. Thank you so much for your thoughtful responses. I hope I have an opportunity to be taught by you in the future. I am glad that I received your guidance during this course.”
 ”An international student perspective”
Student from MIT: “If I were to choose my favorite one from all the AIS readings, I would definitely choose “the Gamesman.” I feel that it is a very typical kind of personality that we can find around us in our daily lives. I consider it especially applicable to the Chinese society. China is a rapidly developing country with the biggest population worldwide. As a result, Chinese people are under widespread psychological pressures coming from the highly competitive society (such as the need of social recognition and the expectations from parents and friends). I think that in this sort of society, the “Gamesman” kind of personality is more easily to be found.”