Review Comment

[SCNC W3010] Science, Technology, and Society

July 15, 2007

Shaw, Susannah (TA)
[SCNC W3010] Science, Technology, and Society

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

A shockingly rude woman. She lost my assignments and gave me attitude when I dared to ask if she had found them. I was not alone in this—she also lost other students' assignments. I heard many others complain of her rudeness as well. On top of everything she stood me up for a scheduled meeting during her office hours. How she is able to maintain her position is beyond me.

April 13, 2007

Shaw, Susannah (TA)
[SCNC W3010] Science, Technology, and Society

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

Susanna Shaw is shockingly rude and unpleasant. She lost my assignments not once but twice and far from being apologetic about her obvious lack of organization, told me, "Look, you're lucky I'm giving you the chance to redo it instead of just giving you a zero." Since these assignments were done longhand in the classroom it was impossible to simply re-print and give her another copy. When I asked her if she had found the second assignment that she had lost, she brusquely told me to look at the class website to see if I had been graded (which would let me know if she had found it or not). As if all this weren't bad enough, she was also condescending and made you feel as though you were imposing on her when you asked her questions. She also failed to show up for a scheduled appointment during office hours.
I wondered if she didn't like me for some reason but my classmates confirmed that she was also unpleasant and rude with them as well.

January 13, 2007

McGourty, Jack
[SCNC W3010] Science, Technology, and Society

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

(Before reading this, it should be known that STS will not be offered in 2007. Starting Spring 2008, it may be offered, but will likely be in a different format.) STS is a weird class. It is definitely the quintessential science class for people who really try to avoid science. You really need no scientific knowledge to do well in this course. While the class is fairly easy, it really feels like a waste of time, since the class really has nothing do with your work. Nothing, whatsoever. The structure of the class is such: Each class has a weekly assignment, worth 1 point, in which you must cite an article from a recent newspaper, or newsmagazine, etc. about science, technology, and society, and answer a question related to the weekly lecture. There are reading he assigns but they are useless and unnecesarry. The main component of the class is a team research paper (20-25 pages), worth 25 points, and related proejcts, such as a research proposal and topic abstract. There is a book critique, written individually, about a book that you should (theoretically) use in your research paper. So the class ends up being about half group work and half individual work. The grading scale is fine, but is annoying to show up for 2-2.5 hours of class and get nothing out of it. The class can at times be interesting, but othertimes just plan stupid. Perhaps it will tie in more to the classwork in its new form in a year.

Workload:

(Will likely be different next time class is offered): Wekely 1 point assignments, team paper and related project, individual book critique

January 02, 2007

Shaw, Susannah (TA)
[SCNC W3010] Science, Technology, and Society

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

Steer clear of this TA. Ridiculous grading, does not respond to e-mails and when you do finally reach her she is quite rude and dismissive.

January 02, 2007

McGourty, Jack
[SCNC W3010] Science, Technology, and Society

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

This guy is a big phony. He will tell you one thing when you meet with him and then do the opposite. His TA Susannah is even worse. Complete lack of communication and beyond absurd grading. How he grades the final project is beyond comprehension...rumor is he flips a coin. Its a shame because the class could be very interesting but this terrible duo shame the University.

December 05, 2006

Shaw, Susannah (TA)
[SCNC W3010] Science, Technology, and Society

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

Wow. Disappointing, disappointing, disappointing. I don't expect much from TAs, but this one blew the others I've had out of the water. You can email her, but don't expect a response. You can ask her a question, but if she does respond, the reply likely won't have an answer. She likes to talk, but mostly about her career as a runner for Columbia. I shouldn't have expected much, since she TAed for Jack McGourty's "Science, Technology and Society" (which is notoriously a joke), but her performance was similarly pathetic. What is she doing as a TA anyway?

Workload:

Others have written about the workload for this course. It might be helpful to know that no matter how much or how little you have, Susannah Shaw won't prove helpful in any way. Go straight to the professor and avoid her if you have any questions. I hope to God she doesn't become a teacher.

May 17, 2006

McGourty, Jack
[SCNC W3010] Science, Technology, and Society

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

As everybody already knows this class is for liberal arts heads whose GPAs would be ruined by a real math based science class. And it works.
Jack has constructed a science class that requires you to to think and research like any good history class. There's a lot of work but nothing overbearing and even though the class has over 200 people, he and his TA Susannah get to know individual students or their groups as much as possible. The one bad thing: you actually have to show up to class within the first 25 minutes of the three hours in order to get credit for your assignments. Take it. Get an A.
They are really not trying to screw you. You only fail if you refuse to work.

Workload:

A weekly science article write up and commentary on the class lecture, book report, group research project

March 24, 2006

McGourty, Jack
[SCNC W3010] Science, Technology, and Society

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

This class is an argument against the tenure system. I was advised by two previous students to take the class. I regret taking their advice. The professor uses the excuse 'the class is designed by the students' to dismiss any complaint about the structure. Instead of designing a cirriculum he allows the kids in the class, through their comments in the course reviews, to structure the class. However, he only seems to respond to those comments that ask for an increase in the requirements. So, now the course is made of a potpourri of busy work assignments as a way to get a bell-shaped grade distribution at the end of the semester. The class is set up to lower as many grades as possible so that a few complainers can get a higher grade than their classmates. If those students wanted a more demanding class, why didn't they register for one? Instead of focusing on really learning something about the advances of technological, you end up just trying to keep up with these annoying little b_llsh_t assignments he's added to try and lower your grade.
It's a shame because the subject matter is interesting but the class is now a writing class not a science class.

Workload:

14 weekly assignments, 1 topic abstract, 1 research proposal (3pages), 1 book critique (7pages), 1 powerpoint presentation (10pages), 1 Team reasearch paper (20pages)

January 22, 2006

McGourty, Jack
[SCNC W3010] Science, Technology, and Society

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

This course is obviously for non-science majors looking to complete the science requirement. I found it really interesting though and am glad I took it. The lectures are usually interesting (though its true that for the most part they don't get more indepth than a television documentary). Just show up when you want to. I learned a good deal from the class project (pick a topic that really interests you since pretty much all you'll learn from the semester will be from that project). No need to do any readings outside of your project unless it interests you. PS-visit Jack in office hours if you want an A (good grades go to those who show the most interest).

Workload:

1 group project on topic of own choosing (includes individual 5 page book-report, one group power-point presentation, and one 16 page group paper). If you like your topic and your group members this will be fun and easy.

December 30, 2005

McGourty, Jack
[SCNC W3010] Science, Technology, and Society

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

The class is pop science, made up of Dateline clips, documentaries, and guest speakers. It's a better use of time to devote three hours a week to scanning newspapers and webforums than coming to class to listen to a motley crew of ill-informed freshmen. The frustrating part is that McGourty is so arrogant that it seems like you're fighting for his good graces rather than trying to do your best work. He dislikes humanities-types, I suspect because he doesn't know how to spell or punctuate, and he likes to be ambiguous about grades. He likes to say that grades shouldn't matter, and Columbia students have inflated grades, etc.-- though I can't see how that argument justifies assigning lower grades arbitrarily. Basically the class is innocuous, the workload is next to nothing, and the most difficult thing about the class is figuring out how Jack McGourty manages to stand up straight with such a big head and inflated ego.

Directory Data

Dept/Subj Directory Course Professor Year Semester Time Section
ENGI / SCNC ENGI SCNC W3010: Science, Technology & Society Jack McGourty 2012 Spring W / 4:10- 6:30 PM 1
ENGI / SCNC ENGI SCNC W3010: Science, Technology & Society Jack McGourty 2011 Spring W / 4:10- 6:30 PM 1
ENGI / SCNC ENGI SCNC W3010: Science, Technology & Society Jack McGourty 2010 Fall W / 4:10- 6:30 PM 1
ENGI / SCNC ENGI SCNC W3010: Science, Technology & Society Jack McGourty 2010 Spring W / 4:10- 6:30 PM 1
ENGI / SCNC ENGI SCNC W3010: Science, Technology & Society Jack McGourty 2009 Spring W / 4:10- 6:30 PM 1