Teaching

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.  I am also a proponent of utilizing methods at the bottom of the learning pyramid and have attempted to have students balance passive listening to lectures with hands on lab activities and project presentations. 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.

Click on course title to display reviews

Term Rating Comments

Spring 2019 (w/ Charles Wright)

4.8/5.0

For such shakey source material, Wu managed to make an interesting and informative class. I definitely understand the basics of blockchain now and would be able to convey my knowledge in a constructive manner. That being said, I don't know what manner that would be appropriate... (to anyone reading this that isn't familiar with this material, that was a Blockchain joke)

This was the best class besides malware.

Wu-chang is rad. One of the few profs who knows how to make education fun and interesting. Seriously, the man has a rare talent for teaching.

This class was a lot of fun. Despite the subject matter changing frequently in the real world, Wuchang did a great job rolling with the changes and differences since the last time he taught the course.

Great professor. Well organized, interesting topics and discussions. Plenty of reference material and additional readings for supplemental knowledge and understanding. The course material was a little scattered as the topic is new and changing constantly. Good job for the first time is course has been taught.

Overall the professor was very knowledgable, accessible and reasonable with his expectations for the course. Lots of material was covered.

I really enjoyed the content of the course, I wish we would have more time to spend investigating more complex vulnerabilities attacks and also how to automatically detect them.

It would be a very difficult feat indeed to find something negative to say about this professor. The professor knows the material, communicates it well, and checks for understanding - rewording or summarizing difficult concepts. Out of all the professors I've had at PSU this one seems to have a true grasp of how to teach and clearly has a passion and talent for the profession. In addition, I feel that the course material is relevant to my work outside of school - not always something emphasized in school. I highly recommend this professor to anyone who asks about him and in turn recommend the courses he teaches.

Term Rating Comments

Fall 2018

4.9/5.0

"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!"

Spring 2018

5.0/5.0

"The subject turned out to be really helpful for me. I got an DevOps Engineer Intern position"

"I 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."

Term Rating Comments

Fall 2017

4.7/5.0

"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 Programming Assignments."

"I thoroughly 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 here."

"It was a lot of fun!"

"This class was very enjoyable and I really liked the practice!"

"Feng is a very good teacher. The class is useful and practical."

Spring 2017

4.7/5.0

"He was a great professor and really engaged with the class. Always quick to help and answer questions."

"Great 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 job!"

"It's refreshing 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 courses!"

"Very 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 computing"

Fall 2016

4.7/5.0

"The class was engaging and informational. This has been one of my favorite CS courses. Would highly recommend!"

Term Rating Comments

Winter 2019

4.9/5.0

This class can be very challenging but anyone that takes it gets a lot out of it! Great course and great instructor. I plan on taking more classes with this professor in the future.

Hands down my favorite CS course so far. Very hands on experience made learning easy and fun. I actually enjoyed reading the book and doing the homework assignments.

Thoroughly enjoyed the entire class.

I loved this class. It helped me develop a much deeper understanding of concepts presented to me in classes like operating systems and programming languages even though that was not its primary focus.

I enjoyed the class. The overall structure was laid out well, the challenge of the CTFs was perfect for me. By the end I felt I had learned a lot about Malware and appreciate the amount of work that goes into defending against it.

I really enjoyed the class, but I wish we had more time for exploring more symbolic execution, and hands-on reverse engineering. I was pleasantly surprised by the end of the course at my confidence level for starting the final reverse engineering project. I think everything scaffolds really well... The RE final project was probably the most fun I've ever had doing an assignment... thanks for a great term, Wu!

This is the most immediately practical class I've ever taken.

Like all of Wu's classes, the class was well structured and scaffold so I could easily and quickly learn the material. We covered a lot but it never felt overwhelming.

Really appreciate the screencasts. It is so nice to be able to just focus on listening during lecture, knowing I can review the screencasts and don't have to take notes. Every class should do it.

Winter 2018

4.7/5.0

"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 products."

"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 up!!!"

"Can we clone him?"

"I 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."

"great course, instructor obviously cares about his student's learning"

Winter 2017

4.6/5.0

"Awesome class, I got much better at comprehending x86."

"...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!"

Winter 2015

4.5/5.0

"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 him."

"A great course."

"It has been a great pleasure - thank you!"

"The labs and homework were great hands-on exercises."

Winter 2014

4.6/5.0

"Great class, learned a lot"

"This 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"

Winter 2013

4.6/5.0

"I really liked the material that was presented. I feel like I actually learned something useful for a change in the CS program."

"The topic is very interesting. More time should be spent on this in our full CS academic career."

Winter 2012

4.4/5.0

 "Interesting subject material; cover a wide variety of malware topics with lots of case studies"

"Good instructor, great material"

Winter 2011

4.8/5.0

"The material is very interesting."

"Covered a lot of ground and gave info on lots of types of malware"

"Lots of background material and good coverage of complicated topics. Good papers lectures pretty clear."

Spring 2010

4.8/5.0

"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."

Term Rating Comments

Spring 2018 (w/ Charles Wright)

4.8/5.0

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.

Term Rating Comments

Winter 2017

4.6/5.0

"Wu has a strong grasp of what he teaches, is the fastest grader I have come across, and is an all around for rad dude."

"Professor Feng 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 educated."

Fall 2015

4.5/5.0

"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 his."

"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."

Spring 2014

4.0/5.0

"Professor does a phenomenal job of not just reading the slides, but using them to illustrate complex topics."

"Professor 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 far."

"He was a great teacher."

"Professor 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."

Spring 2012

4.1/5.0

"Excited energetic instructor challenging and interesting material."

"Engaging lecture with practice problems, homework assignments are very relevant and designed appropriately for class level."

"The instructor came prepared with good slides and the lecture material matched the textbook.  The TA was helpful answering questions via email."

Fall 2010

4.1/5.0

"The instructor was very well organized and had a thorough understanding of the material."

 "The instructor was very nice and knew his stuff.  He even brought in real world examples like security issues to illuminate certain points."

"It's challenging and in-depth."

"The instructor knows how to teach the material."

"The subject is very interesting.  Instructor is a good speaker, attractive person, nice looking, very smart."

"I like the fact that the instructor speaks clearly, uses good illustrations, and explains the material."

"The teacher is a good teacher."

"I learned quite a bit."

"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."

"It was very in-depth and thorough."

"A lot of good advanced material was presented and taught well."

Winter 2010

4.0/5.0

"I like that the teacher has slides that I can review outside of class.  Taping the lectures is great."

"Instructor had a very strong command of the material and was able to convey the material in a very clear style."

"Instructor obviously has a firm grasp on the subject and is able to clearly teach us."

"Great presenting, fair homework."

"He is quick, precise, class ends early a lot but only because all material has been covered."

"The organization of the instructor"

Term Rating Comments

Fall 2018

5.0/5.0

"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."

Winter 2018

5.0/5.0

"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."

"Professor 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!"

"The class was great, and very organized and well structured. Any shortcomings were my own, thanks for the wonderful class!"

"Wu 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."

Fall 2016

5.0/5.0

"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.

Fall 2015

4.8/5.0

"The teacher used good communication with example problems to keep the class engaged"

Fall 2014

5.0/5.0

"Very knowledgeable instructor"

Term Rating Comments

Fall 2008

4.4/5.0

"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 curiosities."

"We go through the material quickly but we can stop and ask questions/examples the topic when we need to."

Winter 2008

4.1/5.0

"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"

"Instructor is very knowledgeable and clear."

"Feng's teaching style is direct and very organized.  He covers the material clearly and thoroughly without wasting anytime."

Fall 2006

4.1/5.0

"Material is very relevant and interesting.  The instructor is great."

"Very well taught"

Term Rating Comments

Spring 2013

4.4/5.0

"Professor Feng knows a lot about what's going on and it's interesting to hear others' perspectives"

"The discussion was interesting and relevant, with good direction from instructor.."

Fall 2010

4.7/5.0

"The discussion is engaging."

"Teacher's enthusiasm and energy… very positive attitude"

"The environment was comfortable enough to allow for real discussion of the material"

"It was very simple and the lectures were good."

Term Rating Comments

Winter 2016

4.8/5.0

"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."

"Awesome class, learned much more than I expected. Getting up early is the main challenge in the course"

"This class is one of the best classes I have ever taken."

Winter 2014

4.5/5.0

Winter 2013

4.7/5.0

 

Winter 2012

4.7/5.0

"Dr. Feng is excellent!  The topics are engaging, too."

"It's a fun environment to be in."

"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."

Winter 2011

4.6/5.0

"Very informative yet understandable.  Very useful."

"The subject matter and in-class discussions were very interesting."

"Informative, entertaining and relevant.  Mr. Feng makes the topic interesting and easy to understand."

"Teacher is very knowledgeable about subject matter.  Knows very well about topics before assign them to students."

"Interesting discussion on real life situation/events/news.  Learnt new programs and internet security."

Winter 2010

4.4/5.0

"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 interesting"

"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."

"People seemed to genuinely learn a good bit."

"Very discussion based, excellent learning atmosphere questions easily answered."

"It's very 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."

"The instructor's clear explanations of internet concepts"

"The internet is obviously important, so info is greatly appreciated, but the social impacts of the internet are the best as opposed to technical info."

Term Rating Comments

Spring 2009

4.3/5.0


Spring 2007

4.3/5.0

"A good and very practical course."

Term Rating Comments

Fall 2008

4.1/5.0

"Good instructor"

"Instructor was clear and know gable (sic)."

Winter 2008

4.4/5.0

"Instructor has intend to teach and makes everything clear in class.He explains clearly and slowly."

"Instructor has good command of material, very willing to clarify and offer examples, etc."

Winter 2007

4.3/5.0

"Interesting subject/programming assignments"

"Instructor was easy to understand"

Winter 2006

4.7/5.0

"This class offers a really good introduction to Networking"