Review Comment

W3600 Introduction to Probability and Statistics

April 16, 2017

Brown, Mark
W3600 Introduction to Probability and Statistics

Professor Brown seems like a nice man with good intentions, but I wouldn't advise taking a class with him if you'd like to actually learn the material. He posts handwritten notes on courseworks and reads from them as they are projected on a screen in class... this is how he teaches math problems. To make matters worse his handwriting is hard to read at times. However, it is definitely possible to get a decent grade from the class. I did not do well on the midterm and did even worse on the final, but somehow received a good grade. So this means that pretty much everyone in the class had no idea what they were doing.

Workload:

4 hw's
1 midterm/final

May 03, 2015

Olvera-Cravioto, Mariana
W3600 Introduction to Probability and Statistics

This class started out very well - Prof. Olvera-Cravioto explained things very clearly, providing both intuitive and formal explanations. I think she probably went too slowly - do we need to spend more than 30 minutes reviewing how double integrals work?

Then, there was a period of 2 weeks that she was gone at some conference, and two TAs filled in for her. The first TA was fine but the 2nd went way too fast and didn't explain things well.

When Prof. Olvera-Cravioto came back, she picked up where they left off and was going as fast as she could to cover as much of the remaining content as possible. This ended up being very confusing - I don't think the class ever recovered.

Workload:

~1 written homework per week. The first ones are deceptively easy, because as the semester progresses, we cover material more quickly.

Toward the end there was one pset that took me 4 hours because we had to repeat the calculations of each problem around 15 times for different cases.

April 27, 2015

Baydil, Banu
W3600 Introduction to Probability and Statistics

Took her stats with calc class...worst decision of my life. She is absolutely awful. Every class is her reading a powerpoint of slides that the book has provided. She reads them verbatim. Doesn't teach shit. Never have i ever been less inspired by a person to learn and more inspired to copy homeworks. She's just damn awful in every sense. Super nice and is probably super cool outside of class but she will screw you over. Gives a problem set once a week, super long and very hard. Copy it online or you'll get a shitty grade.

heres the thing...she USED to be cool. she used to be the best...take home midterms, 100% on homework upon minor completion but the school got on her back for giving out too many A's so she had to crack down and she cracked down hard. Offers no help whatsoever in anything. If you have no stats background prior to this class, get a tutor ASAP or drop it, take an intro class with a bunch of very basic concepts and then take this class for the major requirement. If you go into this blind you get a bad grade.

Workload:

problem set once a week, three midterms and a final

May 07, 2010

Liu, Yunan
W3600 Introduction to Probability and Statistics

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

Professor Liu is an above-average lecturer. He speaks clear English. Nothing extraordinary about his style. His explanations, examples, and proofs are very clear, and he makes sure to answer all questions that arise in the class. He makes good use of diagrams and graphs to illustrate his points too. He's the most approachable professor I've had so far: when he's not teaching, you can often find him in his office, and he's always willing to put his work aside to explain what you want explained.

The homework was difficult. He had non-mandatory recitations where the TAs would go over the homework before it was due, however. The skill of the TAs changed every week, so one wouldn't consistently get all the answers. You can also ask him questions about the homework before it's due. He wants you to think through the homework, so he doesn't really care about how you get the answers.

He has two quizzes and a test, which can also be pretty difficult. They are entirely open book and open note. In one case, there was a problem on the exam that a lot of people did not get correct. He lessened the weight of that problem, and increased the weight on other problems on that exam.

Finally, he runs full marathons. It's pretty sick.

Workload:

12 problem sets, 7-10 problems each, 25%.
2 quizzes, 10% each.
1 midterm, 25%.
1 final, 30%.

December 19, 2003

Kou, Steven
W3600 Introduction to Probability and Statistics

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

DO NOT TAKE THIS CLASS!!! I do not know how to say this more clearly. The reason is that you will learn nothing although you may get a "not too bad" grade on the class. This guy cannot teach. If he did not take attendance not even one student would go to a single lecture throughout the semester since the lectures are so pointless. His exams are not that hard; because everything is from problems that were solved before. You will never be able to understand the material completely. So, sometimes (or all the time) you will need memorize how problems are solved. Furthermore, his homeworks are tedious and long since you do not know how to approach the problems. Therefore, you have to read everything on your own and teach the material to yourself. In other words, there is no point in having Kou as a teacher. Exams are not that hard but towards the end of the semester you will reach a point where you will ask yourself "Do I really have to do this?" or "Is it Kou's job to teach at least one thing?". If you have the chance take this with someone else since the material is in fact interesting and a good teacher may make you like it which would help you a lot in the future in courses like Stochastic Models or Econometrics...

Workload:

Homeworks take a long time since you do not learn anything in class. There are two midterms - not too hard since they are from previously solved problems. The final is OK but not easy.

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