Omar Shahin profile image

Omar Shahin


  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
Great course. An exemplary effort provided by Dr. Wicker and his staff of T.A.s. This course was a timely offering by Cornell and Dr Wicker in that it was offered at a time when questionable NSA acts had just come to light and so the news was breaking as we were learning about the several legislative and statutory elements that make up the legal definition of Privacy, surveillance, wiretapping, snooping by government... etc. You can read the course description over to the left of this review. What I would like to address in my review is the content of another review I just read. There is no denying that there were a few hick-ups along the way, and several attempts by students to manipulate the grading of the questions to their advantage by claiming that questions were ambiguous and that point assignments to particular questions was too high or too low but either way it was unfair. These hick-ups, in my opinion, were created by a few students who either could not understand plain English (and no, I am not speaking about foreign students, just class participants regardless of race, national origin or geographical location) or those unwilling to put in the time to watch the video class presentations and read the required material provided throughout the syllabus. It appears that at least one of those complainers has realized how silly it would sound to present those issues that were discussed in the class forum as part of her/his review and instead, has switched gears into a category that was not ever mentioned by anyone in any of those discussions. It appears that the claim now revolves around Dr. Wicker’s opinions and some non- existent impact they allegedly had on quiz questions throughout the course, and on which answers were considered correct and which weren’t... Fact is, Dr. Wicker was not shy about expressing his educated opinions and qualified biases towards certain laws generally but more specifically towards privacy related issues… Watching his lectures could leave no doubt in anyone‘s mind how deeply concerned he is about everyone‘s privacy and how dedicated he is to finding an everlasting and ever evolving solution that is designed to continually be on par with an ever advancing technology. And so the whole idea of making an attempt to reduce his efforts and inputs into a way of him manipulating quizzes or to imply that his opinions impacted how questions were formatted or how quizzes were graded, it is beyond pathetic, and could not be farther from the truth; anyone suggesting anything of the sort ought to be ashamed of themselves for even thinking it. The man wrote “THE BOOK” on Privacy-Aware design. His vast knowledge about the history, the technology and the philosophy of it all goes beyond what can be contained between two hard covers and therefore, the material covered in this class requires someone with an attentive mind and a sharp ability to grasp on to several topics the course attempts to establish. If you missed a section, a video or failed to read a required article or chapter, then you might be left with the mistaken impression that you were fed some sort of opinion, and are bound to answer a few questions incorrectly. But if you stay the course, if you pay attention and put in the time, you’ll have no problems keeping up and no issues misinterpreting fact from opinion. Point here is, you can take the course and come away having learned a great deal, or you can listen to those who opted to learn little but complained a great deal. The choice is yours!