While I may have graduated, many people I know have not done so yet, and ask me what classes I found the most useful. Here’s a short list for anyone looking to take something meaningful.
User Interface Design
By far the most useful CS class at Tech, at least when taught by Melody Moore Jackson. I learned a lot of “best practices” in this class, but Melody also explained *why* certain things work and others do not.
Book: Design of Everyday Things (Amazon Referral Link)
Design & Analysis of Algorithms (cs 3510)
This was certainly not an easy class, but nearly every job interview for a Computer Science (and usually ECE) position touches upon a subject covered in this curriculum. I scraped by with a C, but felt fairly confident with the material. If I find myself in desperate need of a graph algorithm, I understand them and own a textbook that explains it.
Video Game Design
While some may be surprised to see this on the list, I can attest that both Jeff Wilson and Maribeth Gandy are excellent teachers that truly know the subject. As with many of this list, they combine theory and practice well, although I have few kind words for the game engine they used (C4). Because of the engine’s license, we were not allowed to share the final product on the ‘net. I don’t think I have a copy of the game, anyways. I’m more proud of our “prototype” which I wrote in XNA in a couple hours.
Software Practicum (cs 2335)
I took this class the semester before the last time it was offered. It was required on the pre-threads curriculum and merely an elective on threads. The trick was, the class was taught in C# and introduced me to relatively new technologies WPF and WCF and some practical uses thereof. For someone that uses C# in their day job, I was genuinely surprised to learn something from the class, but I actually feel it was of the more valuable classes I’ve taken. You can certainly learn the technologies Dr. Waters covered on your own, but his teaching style really worked for that class. One of the projects for that class was turned into its own blog post, WPF Issue Tracker.