Technology advances so quickly that it is difficult to keep students well-prepared to face the challenges of today's workforce. To address this, my overall teaching philosophy is to focus on general concepts that underly all networking and security systems and then draw upon a vast amount of examples in both research and industry that are instantiations of those concepts. I have applied this approach to all of the courses I have developed and continuously update them over time to ensure their relavence to students. The results of this approach are reflected in the instructor effectiveness ratings across course offerings which are listed in the table below along with some comments from students in each.
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"I found this class exemplary in all respects. I have found that CS classes are normally very hit-or-miss, and this class was a definite hit. The material felt both approachable and extremely relevant to current industry practices, neither of which I can say about most CS classes. Labwork and Homework were both excellent in striking the balance between "easy enough to accomplish, given time" and "useful in teaching and conveying the material." I would take this class again in a heartbeat. I wish I had taken this class before my Capstone. I have recommended to all of my peers to take this class if it comes up again. I love this class."
"I had a great experience in this class! At a high level, I've seen most of the abstractions in the class before, but I gained a lot by working through the labs and reading the couple of linked research papers and checking out the podcasts. Your lectures were clear and well organized, and I really appreciated your discussion of how these abstractions are used in industry and how they're changing over time. Thank you for a great class!"
"Awesome class! Wished you taught all the CS classes here at PSU."
"Professor went above and beyond to be available and communicative. His understanding of the material and passion to teach make this class a pleasure to take. Definitely enjoy the hands on and lab work provided for an in depth understanding of materials. Would recommend both this professor and this course to others."
"Awesome course that covers not just fundamentals but the latest technologies in internet and cloud systems out in the industry. I would highly recommend to take this course to anyone interested."
"This was the best and most relevant course I've taken in the CS Master's program so far. I really enjoyed that it was constantly evolving. Great stuff."
"I really admire how relevant this coursework is, and how up to date on current events in the tech world Wu Chang is. I feel like I've learned more useful things in this class than anything else I've taken in the past. Thank you!"
"The subject turned out to be really
helpful for me. I got an DevOps Engineer Intern position"
wanted to let you know that i accepted a job as an Entry Level
Cloud Ops Engineer... In the interview, I spoke about things we
did in your class such as VM's, Containers, Docker, Kubernetes and
some more and they were very impressed with the fact that i even
knew what those things were, let alone have experience working
with them. I didn't have very much experience with GCP or any of
the technologies you taught us but with the labs you had us do,
and doing some exploring in my free time, I was able to learn
enough this term to help me land the job. Thank you for this term,
and being a great instructor."
"I really enjoyed Professor Wu's
classes. The homeworks were really fun and I learnt a lot with
respect to web security vulnerabilities. I liked both the
enjoyed Professor Feng's course. I think his style of teaching and
assignments are both excellent. This is the second of his courses
that I have taken and hope to take more. I appreciate all the work
that he has put in in constructing useful homework. He is one of
my favorite professors that I have encountered since I've been
"It was a lot of
class was very enjoyable and I really liked the practice!"
"Feng is a very good teacher. The class is
useful and practical."
"He was a great professor and really engaged with the
class. Always quick to help and answer questions."
course for practical experience and getting a richer understanding
of web security."
"This was an awesome class,
being able to learn through example really helped cement the
knowledge, rather than focusing purely on theory. Great
to have a class with applied knowledge, where we are hands-on
learning about vulnerabilities and exploitation. It is a great
intro level course to build a good foundation about web security.
As someone who has found a few vulnerabilities in the wild, the
course does a great job of covering common vulnerabilities and
attack/defend methods. Class has a good amount of work, without
being too much. Coursework is enough to get the idea, and learn,
without dreading doing tons of exploits. One of my favorite
practical and interesting course. Thoroughly enjoyed the material
and skills learned seems to be useful for future career paths.
Wu-chang has been one of my favorite instructors at Portland
State. He is approachable and respectful to his students."
"Great class. A practical way to approach some serious issues in
"The class was engaging and
informational. This has been one of my favorite CS courses. Would
"This is a really great class! I
really appreciated all the work and effort Prof. Feng put into
creating this class and all the CTFs associated with the class.
It's also very nice that Prof. Feng records all his lectures, so
we can review the lectures as needed. I love the use of a Slack
channel in the class, because it's nice to get help and answers
from fellow students. Finally, my favorite part of the class
is Prof. Feng's passion for the subject. Often at PSU, professors
assume that you should care about the subject and that because the
subject is important to them, it will be to you as well. In the
past I've found it very frustrating that professors read their
slides and fail to connect the students with the subject. This
wasn't an issue in this class. Prof. Feng often talked about the
importance of security in the real world and in building future
"I continue to be extremely
impressed with the CS Security track at PSU. I knew this class was
going to be good when the first thing we were shown was about
educational methodology and the class putting an emphasis on
learning by doing rather than just lecture. The CTFs, the book,
the instructor, the labs, having the lectures on media space...
everything about this class is extremely good. Please keep this
"Can we clone him?"
really enjoyed this class. I'm a big fan of Professor Feng's
method of having us do CTF levels for homework, as it gives a
hands on way to explore the concepts and learn by doing. The
workload was fair, and the textbook was interesting and helpful. I
appreciated the professor's availability, both on and offline. He
was very helpful with course material, and generally more
available than any of the other professor's I've had though my CS
program at PSU. Thank you!"
"Outstanding class in every way. The hands-on format was
extremely helpful for conveying real skills and proving they were learned.
I like how there are no exams and all the work is hands on. Pay Wu-Chang more
and give him tenure."
course, instructor obviously cares about his student's learning"
"Awesome class, I got much better at
"...this guy is without a
doubt one of the best teachers in the CS department and really
understands how to structure a class for optimal learning. The CTF
homework structure and the build your own level at the end not
only made the class a good learning experience but more
importantly made it fun. Everyone else should take note!"
"By far one of the best professors
in the CS program, he was reasonable, fun, he cares about the
subject and the students, so much so that when I had to miss a
class one day, but was on campus, he noticed and pointed it out to
me. I would definitely take other classes from him and I
definitely think other CS instructors should take lessons from
been a great pleasure - thank you!"
and homework were great hands-on exercises."
"Great class, learned a lot"
was by far the most enjoyable and rewarding class I have taken at
PSU. While it was quite difficult and confusing at times, I
must say, learning new tools and getting more experience working
with assembly really helped me establish my understanding of
concepts explored in CS 201 and CS 333. Thanks Dr. Feng for
a great term."
"The good thing with this
class is the hand-on (sic) lab and it is really helpful to
understand the material...I really enjoy this class and Prof. Feng
really (sic) good at explanning material one on one basis"
"I really liked the material that
was presented. I feel like I actually learned something useful for
a change in the CS program."
topic is very interesting. More time should be spent on this in
our full CS academic career."
"Interesting subject material; cover a wide variety
of malware topics with lots of case studies"
instructor, great material"
"The material is very interesting."
a lot of ground and gave info on lots of types of malware"
of background material and good coverage of complicated topics.
Good papers lectures pretty clear."
"I liked beginning with a general overview of malware and
ending with more specific studies of malware."
"Probably the most interesting CS class I've taken."
Spring 2018 (w/ Charles Wright)
I loved this class. It has given me so many new areas of interest I don't know where to start.
I really enjoyed this class a lot. I felt that I learned an incredible amount of information about all sorts of security
issues. I wasn't sure what to expect from this class, but I found the material and flow of the class so interesting, I
would take it again if I could. Overall, I had a great time in this class. Thanks for
putting it together and have a great summer.
The breadth of security topics was one of my
favorite aspects of the course. The cadence of work was also very steady, I really appreciated knowing that for the
next several weeks what I had to read and review. Just makes planning around other things in life that much easier.
Allowing us who are not so outspoken during class time to put our thoughts in the reviews was another positive. It
was also clear that this was the sort of class where it was clear everyone wanted to be there and we all shared a
high interest in the subject matter. More classes like this please. The slack channel was also nice, seeing the regular
postings of security news was fun to follow. Finally, thanks for making me aware of
the Risky.biz podcast, it's awesome and now in my regular rotation.
"Wu has a strong grasp of what he teaches, is the fastest
grader I have come across, and is an all around for rad
is an outstanding instructor. His ability to speak so
enthusiastically has really peaked my interest towards the
subject. He is an amazing teacher with very clear guidelines to
make it through the tests and offers a wonderful amount of
material to review with in order to ensure everyone is properly
"He's an amazing teacher. The
class is demanding, but not impossible, and he gives us everything
we need to succeed, and treats us as equals who just want to
learn. I wish all my CS classes could be like
"Overall this was my favorite CS class
I've taken so far at PSU. Professor Feng is a fantastic
teacher and I look forward to taking more classes with him."
"Professor does a phenomenal job of not just reading the
slides, but using them to illustrate complex topics."
Feng does a great job of explaining a complex subject. He
speaks very clearly and slows down intentionally at times to allow
the students to digest and think of questions to ask. He is
very knowledgeable and I really enjoy his personality.
Professor Feng is approachable and generous with his time
answering questions after class and during office hours."
"A very good course; ... the best CS course I've taken at PSU so
"He was a great teacher."
using the whiteboard to work out problems in addition to the
slides was great. He was very interested in the material and also
provided examples and reasons why material is important for future
classes and other subject matter. I really enjoyed the discussions
of where security is often compromised and how code is exploited.
8 am lectures always seem to be difficult when trying to wake up
and make it on time, however these lectures were certainly worth
the extra effort required to get up and be awake for."
"Excited energetic instructor challenging and interesting
"Engaging lecture with practice
problems, homework assignments are very relevant and designed
appropriately for class level."
instructor came prepared with good slides and the lecture material
matched the textbook. The TA was helpful answering questions
"The instructor was very well organized and had a thorough
understanding of the material."
instructor was very nice and knew his stuff. He even brought
in real world examples like security issues to illuminate certain
"It's challenging and in-depth."
"The instructor knows how to teach the
subject is very interesting. Instructor is a good speaker,
attractive person, nice looking, very smart."
like the fact that the instructor speaks clearly, uses good
illustrations, and explains the material."
teacher is a good teacher."
"I learned quite
"Instructor has a solid grasp of the
material and gives quite interesting and insightful lectures."
"Content is interesting and Prof. Feng is good at explaining."
"Prof. Feng is energetic and very knowledgeable. The lectures were not dull but
could well have been. He is a good speaker and very good at
answering questions without too much digression. A lot of
good information about lower level programming and a good overview
of how it naps into the hardware."
very in-depth and thorough."
"A lot of good
advanced material was presented and taught well."
"I like that the teacher has slides that I can review
outside of class. Taping the lectures is
a very strong command of the material and was able to convey the
material in a very clear style."
obviously has a firm grasp on the subject and is able to clearly
"Great presenting, fair
"He is quick, precise, class ends
early a lot but only because all material has been covered."
"The organization of the instructor"
"Wu-Chang Feng is an excellent teacher who is clear about his grade distribution and goes above and beyond the typical professor by providing video of all his lectures and practice exams. His assignments and exams are relevant to what we are learned and are an absolutely fair assessment of our knowledge."
"Excellent course I couldn't be more satisfied."
"The class was exceptionally well
structured, Wu-chang built up the subject matter piece by piece
making it easy to follow along. The various tools provided to
assist in learning, screencasts, ITS site, CTFs were very
appreciated to reinforce knowledge."
Feng is an excellent teacher. His course materials are some of the
the best I've seen at PSU. Everything in the course fits together,
the objectives and expectations are clear, and I felt like I had
everything I needed to succeed in a challenging subject. Wu is
also super approachable and responsive with questions. Thanks for
an awesome term!"
class was great, and very organized and well structured. Any
shortcomings were my own, thanks for the wonderful class!"
is very organized which makes it easier to take in such dense
material. I really like that he posts his lectures for later
reference. I wish all instructors would do this."
"I enjoyed taking Professor Feng's
class. He was always well-prepared and had an excellent command of
the subject. I appreciated the many real-world examples of
security issues related to the material that we were studying.
That added a lot to the class, and gave me some perspective on the
security field. He has put a lot of effort into making sure the
homework assignments are both interesting and applicable and I
really appreciate that. I thought the CTF that we worked on was
both fun and an excellent learning tool. I would definitely
recommend his courses.
"The teacher used good communication with example problems
to keep the class engaged"
"Very knowledgeable instructor"
"The subject matter is fascinating.
Wu Chang's lectures are well-prepared and he's always willing
to compile examples to show special cases and satisfy student
"We go through the
material quickly but we can stop and ask questions/examples the
topic when we need to."
"Having a knowledgeable teacher
willing to go above and beyond to answer questions and make sure
you understand coursework."
"Subject matter and instructor's enthusiasm
"Great examples from the instructor"
very knowledgeable and clear."
teaching style is direct and very organized. He covers the
material clearly and thoroughly without wasting anytime."
"Material is very relevant and interesting. The
instructor is great."
"Very well taught"
"Professor Feng knows a lot about what's going on and
it's interesting to hear others' perspectives"
discussion was interesting and relevant, with good direction from
"The discussion is engaging."
enthusiasm and energy… very positive attitude"
environment was comfortable enough to allow for real discussion of
"It was very simple and the
lectures were good."
"Probably one of my favorite
computer science classes, even though this was only a
cluster/elective. Professor Feng got the students involved by
having us doing 2 presentations, becoming an expert on the topic
and teaching the class about the subject instead of him talking to
us for an hour and 50 minutes."
class, learned much more than I expected. Getting up early is the
main challenge in the course"
class is one of the best classes I have ever taken."
"Dr. Feng is excellent! The topics are engaging,
"It's a fun environment to be
"I like that Prog.
Feng involves a lot of in class discussions to better learn the
material. It's a much different feel, in a good way, to not just
have to sit for a couple of hours and just be lectured."
"Very informative yet understandable. Very
"The subject matter and in-class
discussions were very interesting."
entertaining and relevant. Mr. Feng makes the topic
interesting and easy to understand."
is very knowledgeable about subject matter. Knows very well
about topics before assign them to students."
discussion on real life situation/events/news. Learnt new
programs and internet security."
"Computer Science, especially
technical information about the internet, is a hard concept to
grasp if you are not too well engrained in computer science.
This class helps clear the air on many internet issues at hand.
Thanks to instructor for being so enthusiastic as well!"
"The information given in the class is both useful and
"Very interesting class, learned
many new things. Not very computer savy (sic) but this class
was very helpful and useful. Definitely have gained a better
understanding of computers and internet programs/techniques/information."
interesting, and Professor Feng is incredibly knowledgable on this
topic. He is often very enthusiastic about sharing such
knowledge, and you can tell it is important to him. Plenty
of visual examples of the material."
instructor's clear explanations of internet concepts"
internet is obviously important, so info is greatly appreciated,
but the social impacts of the internet are the best as opposed to
"A good and very practical course."
clear and know gable (sic)."
"Instructor has intend to teach and makes everything clear
in class.He explains clearly and slowly."
has good command of material, very willing to clarify and offer
"Interesting subject/programming assignments"
was easy to understand"
"This class offers a really good introduction to