Here’s another video from Jake about supervision in Cambridge. The video is of the final supervision that I give for the Concepts in Programming Languages course. Concepts is a really fun course that covers the history of different programming languages. The idea is that by thinking about how languages have evolved over time you might be better placed to exploit (or invent) new ones.
This has some nice overlap with my research at the moment too in which we are looking at how scientists use Fortran and how the language has evolved over time. You can see a bit more about this on the New Approaches to Programming in the Sciences (NAPS) webpage.
The supervision took place near to the exams and so you’ll see me at the beginning talking about choosing exam questions. This is unusual since Cambridge exams take place at the end of each year and so for the rest of the time we are free to focus on learning without worrying about exam strategy.
Note Jake’s comment that the supervisor will try to ask you questions that interpret the course rather than just repeat the facts. I think this is the whole point of a university education – we don’t want students to just learn the book by rote but instead we want them to be able to link the pieces together and apply them in new ways. In teaching terms this is called a deep approach to learning.