My course on 'Selected Topics in Visual Information Retrieval' started very well and seems to be moving forward at a very high speed. Here are some highlights:
  • I have a small but very qualified group of students: 10 in total, three of which are PhD students.
  • They are all busy working on their implementation-oriented projects and the partial results (I've divided the project into milestones to better check their progress and help them along the way) are very encouraging.
  • Due to limited classroom availability, the class meets in different rooms and buildings depending on the day, for a total of seven different classrooms. Talk about a great way to learn my way around campus... :-)
  • Speaking of classrooms, an interesting story: before my first lecture I wanted to check if the classroom had projector, etc. I was told how to look up this information online. To my surprise, they have a system that contains that information and much more... Starting from the course page, when one clicks on the classroom number, a popup window shows information about the resources available in that room, and -- in the best German / Austrian tradition -- detailed quantitative information about the room's length, width, total area, number of seats, etc. Great!
  • I'm using Moodle (in German!), which is a great CMS tool for online learning (that I was scheduled to test drive at FAU in the Fall anyway, so I'm enjoying the head start, even if some things have been learned by trial-and-error due to my notoriously limited knowledge of the German language).

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