Really awful class, avoid at all costs. Unbearably boring (even for a math major like myself). The professor just read screenshots of various theorems from the textbooks the entire course. Please dont take this class unless you are required to. Professor seemed nice but didn't really care about teaching the class or the students. major F in the chat
Where to begin? Where to begin? Grades have been submitted and I am finally ready to add to the already numerous terrible reviews for one (1) Larry Wright. You may see that his last review prior to this semester was in 2012 and think to yourself surely after 8 years, he could've improved. WRONG! I think he managed to get worse which honestly takes some special skill. A medley of complaints (which someone sent to the department chair in a formal letter but not much changed after that): 1) He read word-for-word from his poorly scanned notes. At first, I felt kind of bad because he is on the older side and I thought maybe he just wasn't used to the technology but this isn't even due to us being remote this semester. He does this in-person too! Not only is his handwriting illegible most of the time, but the notes are written down exactly as they appear in the textbook. So he might as well just be reading straight from the textbook. What's the point of going to class? Spoiler alert: there is no point! 2) As some of the reviews mention below: he's very snippy and condescending. He literally made a joke at the beginning of the semester about how "you would have to be brain-dead" to not get 4/5 questions right on the first midterm. The average was around 67%. Recognizing that he probably shouldn't be making jokes like that, he took down his recordings from before the first midterm without any announcement to the class. I'm not sure if he ever apologized for the jokes because I stopped going to class long ago but it wouldn't surprise me if he didn't. 4) He had no clue what was going on with the class and frankly, he didn't seem to care. The TA Jaesung Son honestly taught way more than Professor Wright ever did. Jaesung had review sessions up to 3 hours long, he made YouTube videos, he uploaded relevant practice problems, and it was just really clear that he was trying his best to get us to actually take away something for this class. What did Professor Wright do? See (1). The class itself is ambitious. You can tell it would be really interesting to see all the concepts come together later on together if they were taught properly in the first place. However, it’s simply too much material crammed into one semester to spend the appropriate amount of time on each section regardless of the professor. TLDR: avoid this class and professor at all costs!
The other reviews are not correct. David Rios is not the most inspiring professor, but his lectures get the job done, he is very approachable, he is constantly on Piazza, and the homeworks are very helpful. The TAs were helpful as well. Sometimes, Rios even brings his dog to lecture!
The course was a mess. The lectures were impossible to follow. Not because of the content, but because of the sloppy presentation. It felt like Rabinowitz slapped things together last minute, like he spent only 10 minutes before class preparing for each lecture by taking screenshots of entire pages of the textbook and pasting them on the slides. During the class, it felt like he didn't care about making his lectures more presentable. He accused us of not doing any of the reading, when it was him who wasn't asking answerable questions. The homework was not anything like the lectures. The homework and lectures were not anything like the exams. During the course, I would have told you I hated it. Mostly because I was annoyed by the lack of organization and effort put in by the professor. It seemed like he did not care about the students. Because of lack of preparation, he would not lecture clearly, and to compensate or save time, he would do these atrocious things: -come up with unreasonably tedious examples on the spot -scribble instead of write on the blackboard and assume we know what should have been written there -announce formal definitions or theorems out loud but not write them down -use his hands to smear the chalk instead of using an eraser to erase the board -always re-lecture from scratch and talk about the bigger picture and dumb things down, when he could have done the first iteration of the lecture in the comfort of his own home and save everyone time. He also had to increase the lecturing time and ask if we really needed a break...uhh...it's a 3-hour class...once, the 10:10 to 12:55 pm class ended at 2 pm... Review sessions and OH were all the way in the School of Social Work, a long trek from campus. A Saturday class also means we had a class over Fall Break, which ended on Friday...he actually gave a makeup lecture that was top-notch and ended more than an hour early, at around 11:45 am, probably because he had given the same lecture during the first iteration of it during Fall Break. Yet, I actually recommend it. Studying for the exams felt fun. They concisely put together the most important concepts of the semester. Till this day, I still remember those main concepts, and I am glad to have taken the course. Among the 4001 Prob Stats professors, Rabinowitz may be the best choice.
He's actually a nice guy if you go to his office hours. On the other hand, he's very strange and hard to digest. His lectures are dense with proofs and unrelated material to the class. For example, he would talk about moment generating functions during most lectures, but they would not appear on a single assignment or test. Further, none of the assignments or tests have a single proof. His lectures had only maybe 20% of the students showing up (I'm not sure why I even attended since it was hard to pay attention). Not recommended, but sometimes he's your only option
A class of 131 students with less than 15 showing up every lecture, and you know how Professor Brown is. Avoid it.