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Regrade Request

Regrade Request

By Will McBurney and Mark Sherriff
Two college professors take a second look at questions and answers posted around the internet and give their take!

Intro and outro themes provided by The Podcast Host and Alitu: The Podcast Maker app.
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Episode 15 - Why We Play Games
In a more (hopefully) thought-provoking episode, we examine the aesthetics of gaming, as described in the paper "MDA: A Formal Approach to Game Design and Game Research" by Hunicke, LeBlanc, and Zubek from Northwestern University.  It is also discussed in the wonderful Extra Credits YouTube series: We discuss games that have affected us in major ways and what aesthetics lend themselves to those experiences. Bottom line: 1) games are great and 2) Will and Mark will never agree on Breath of the Wild.
September 16, 2021
Episode 14 - On a Highway in Utah
We are back in the swing of things with classes, so we talk about some of our favorite teaching evaluations!  Plus some discussion about VHS vs. Beta was like HD-DVD vs. Blu-Ray, some overly-specific questions from Reddit, and more!
September 9, 2021
Episode 13 - Young, Hip Iowa Poll Workers
We're back to a normal show!  This week, we have our first themed episode: "When Software Goes Wrong!"  We talk about interesting software failures and questions, like why is the "Blue Screen of Death" blue and what happened with the Iowa caucus results reporting in 2020. Another round of "Excuse me, what now?" as well! Join us and make sure to review the show on the podcast service of your choice!
September 2, 2021
Episode 12 - Our First (and maybe last) Live Show!
It's the first day of class in our software engineering course!  And what is the syllabus day but a day of questions and answers, so we figured why not - let's record it! Pro podcasting tip: recording while both hosts are double-masked and using Zoom rather than Audacity and Audition does not yield the best quality audio. If you're curious what day 1 looks like for us even with that warning... well... here you go! Also, check out a podcast from some of our students!  Girls Hoo Code: the Podcast
August 26, 2021
Episode 11 - Twas the Week Before Classes
We are neck deep in trying to get our classes ready for students next week, so here is the Q&A lecture that we did at the end of the spring 2021 semester that got us thinking about doing a podcast in the first place. We left some UVA specific things here, because they might be of interest to folks broadly.  For example, when we talk about "GC" and "CR" as grades for our course, those were COVID-specific grades created just for these semesters.  How employers will look at those on transcripts remains to be seen.
August 19, 2021
Episode 10 - England Has Been Around For A While [Citation Needed]
We look forward to another school year, considering yet another set of ridiculous student excuses in "Excuse me, what now?"  Then a lot more fun with web bots, QR codes, why four digit PINs are okay, and... wearing plate armor to Parliament?
August 12, 2021
Episode 9 - Quidditch is a Valid Excuse
We've got a new segment this week!  Want to know just how crazy some excuses we get are?  See if you can guess the fake excuses from the real ones in "Excuse me, what now?"!  Also, questions on best designed games, autonomous cars, and how to not interrupt your friends when playing table top games.
August 5, 2021
Episode 8 - Toy Story Didn't Have Ray Tracing
Mark is super excited about the Olympics!  Will... kinda is.  We discuss some cool things at the Olympics, how ray tracing works, the microchip shortage and... rubber ducks?   If you are enjoying the show, we would really appreciate any feedback, either to us at or on the podcast platform of your choice! Ray Tracing Demo -
July 29, 2021
Episode 7.5 - Cookie Monster
It's another mini-episode as summer scheduling turns out to be a pretty tough obstacle to overcome! Have you ever wondered why your browser cares so much about whether you enjoy cookies or not?  It doesn't even have the good manners to ask what type of cookie!  Let's talk about what browser cookies actually are, whether they are "dangerous," and how they can be used for good... and EVIL...
July 23, 2021
Episode 7 - Crocheted Goose Bikini
Will is back (thank goodness)!  A couple questions this week about getting the nice moving pictures on your TV and why frames per second matter, then we get into Section 230, and finish with some Richard Branson. And yes, the words "crocheted goose bikini" are said at one point in the show.  By which we mean a crocheted bikini for a goose... not one made out of a... goose.  Just listed to the episode.  It will make sense.  We promise. Please subscribe and leave us a review on the podcast service of your  choice or leave us a question for us to answer on the podcast at!  Email us at!  Find us on Twitter: @MarkSherriff and @ProfMcBurney
July 15, 2021
Episode 6.5 - Only One College Professor
Will's in the midst of summer teaching, so Mark takes a shot at a "special edition mini-episode" tackling just one question that we get pretty often: What programming language should I learn? Turns out, there isn't one right answer!  But all the answers start with another question - what are you excited about building? Links from today's episode: Scratch - Human Resource Machine (game) - Game Builder Garage for Nintendo Switch - TIOBE Index - Android Studio -
July 8, 2021
Episode 6 - Crypto Beanie Babies
Come hang out as we talk about what bitcoin is in a way hopefully everyone can understand... and robot dentists!  (We also cover satellite internet and shooting nuclear waste into the sun... but... come on... robot dentists!) Please subscribe and leave us a review on the podcast service of your choice or leave us a question for us to answer on the podcast at!  Email us at!  Find us on Twitter: @MarkSherriff and @ProfMcBurney
July 1, 2021
Episode 5 - Noah and the (GameSh)Ark
We circle back around to some previous questions, such as how the Game Genie actually worked to "enhance" your NES games.  We also somehow find our way into talking about religious games that circumvented Nintendo's certification system and how mages would fare in a World War 1 battle.   To top that off, it only took five episodes for us to both bring the exact same question!  So we had a lot to say about recipe websites that give the entire life story of the author before informing you that you need one or two cups of sugar for your banana bread. Links: Gamesutra article on Steam prices - Super 3D Noah's Ark for SNES - and Artillery that mages could not handle - How the Game Genie Worked from Mental Floss - Subscribe through the podcast service of your choice or leave us a question for us to answer on the podcast at!  Find us on Twitter: @MarkSherriff and @ProfMcBurney 
June 24, 2021
Episode 4 - Worst Uber Ever
Hey folks - you know those quizzes that go around on Twitter and Facebook?  Things like "your high school mascot plus your birth year is your next pet's name, so post it now!"  Those are really good ways for bad guys to get your personal data to potentially get into your accounts.  And remember - when you post something on the internet it may or may not ever go away!  So don't do them!   Subscribe through the podcast service of your choice or leave us a question for us to answer on the podcast at!  Find us on Twitter: @MarkSherriff and @ProfMcBurney
June 17, 2021
Episode 3 - Deterministic Epistemology of Angry Birds
Will blows Mark's mind by discussing Zipf's Law ( in the context of the popularity of certain websites.  Conversely, Mark wants to talk about why we blow into NES cartridges to make them work. Subscribe through the podcast service of your choice or leave us a question for us to answer on the podcast at!  Find us on Twitter: @MarkSherriff and @ProfMcBurney
June 10, 2021
Episode 2 - Are You Going to Eat That?
In this episode of Regrade Request, Will and Mark turn more toward educational questions, explaining what DDOS attacks are, how to algorithmically pair your socks efficiently (we swear - this is more interesting than it sounds), and deliberately trying to sabotage your own Zoom calls. Oh - and fantasy monster snacking guidance.  That too. Let us know what you think! / @MarkSherriff / @ProfMcBurney Or leave a review on iTunes or Google Podcasts!
June 3, 2021
Episode 1 - A Beautiful Shade of #chucknorris
In the pilot episode of Regrade Request, Will and Mark tackle deep and meaningful questions involving Chuck Norris, video game relationships, and goats.  Does teaching together online translate into podcasting?  Find out!
May 27, 2021