Accelerated Multivariable Calculus

Jan 2021

DO NOT take this class unless you have an incredibly high attention span and are willing and enthusiastic about teaching yourself two semesters of Calculus in a single semester. This is a difficult course, and the professor puts in no effort to ensure students aren't struggling or make classes engaging at all. He's even terrible in office hours. One time, I went and asked him to demonstrate a particular type of problem to me because I was really struggling with it— and he essentially told me that that problem was "too much effort" and that he just wouldn't do it. Lectures involved him drawing notes out on his iPad while slowly reading things out from the textbook without so much as trying to explain things in a comprehensible way at all. I had to P/D/F this course, and it basically dissuaded me from being a math major— and I barely barely just passed. Also, if you are taking this class over Zoom: all exams are at a fixed time and he makes no accommodations for time zone differences. So good luck taking your 3-hour timed final from 9:30pm to 12: 30 am— if you don't live in the US.

Jan 2021

TL;DR - Recommend if you’re already familiar with multivariable. If this is completely new, you might struggle. I heard a lot of people complaining about this guy, and I have to say he’s not the best instructor out there. His notes and examples are pretty much directly from the book, so his lectures aren’t particularly helpful. Also, he’d sometimes ignore questions, maybe he has his audio off or something because he responds to questions sent in the chat. When he does answer the questions though, he will try to explain them thoroughly. Taking this class online definitely made the material harder to understand but I’m not confident it would’ve been much better in person. Overall, I can see that he’s trying his best to teach the material well, but he doesn’t do a great job especially considering the fast pace of the class. You’ll likely end up teaching yourself a decent amount of material from the book. The PSets were pretty standard, but the TAs grading them were pretty harsh. Midterms and final had questions ranging from similar to slightly harder than the homework. I believe the averages were around mid 70, mid 60, and mid 70. The challenge wasn’t the difficulty of the problems, but rather finishing the exam in time. I did pretty well, but only because I already knew most of the material coming in. If you’re like me, this class will be fine. However, if you’re coming from Calc 2 or AP Calculus BC, it may be challenging teaching yourself this much material this quickly.

Sep 2020

I did not like his class. Prof. Friedman would focus on proofs and I found that the actual formulas and theorems often got lost in the complicated proof notes. Homework wasn't too hard, nor were the midterms or final. His review sessions were sometimes helpful. I was pretty upset about coming into office hours once and Prof. Friedman seemed annoyed when I introduced myself (sorry?) and when I explained to him the struggle I was having understanding a problem he acted like he had no idea what I was talking about which wasn't very helpful.

Dec 2019

Super smart guy and great teacher. Pretty funny too. Operates more like a detail-oriented, hand-holding high-school teacher than the infamous caricature of the disorganized, self-absorbed college professor. He really cares whether you understand or not, encourages you to see him and the TAs anytime, and holds Sunday evening review sessions before every exam. He could be the department's greatest teacher, but he will spend increasing amounts of class time as the semester passes deriving the results, instead of applying them as you have to do on the HW and exams. Interesting but misleading and rather tedious, though the abundance of chemists and physicists in the class seemed to love it. Average kiddos (like yours truly) tend to be quiet, bored, and/or too shy to speak up. I got an A in multi my senior year of high school and I think I'm getting an A- in this class. His exams aren't that hard; it's the homework that screwed me over. He assigns even problems only and the TAs grade mercilessly for accuracy. I didn't discover Slader until the last two assignments of the semester and my earlier homework grades fluctuated between 80%-90%. Lots of my classmates definitely got >95% on every assignment. Just pay more attention in class, care more about your psets, and check your answers with Slader. An A is extremely doable :)

Dec 2018

This course is well designed, as it is possible to learn Calculus at this pace. But Professor Matetski is a very difficult professor to learn from. He is extremely dry, and he often fails to explain the material is a way anyone can understand. Thus, every student I talked to learned almost the entire body of the material from the textbook. His problem sets are difficult and quite long. His first midterm was really hard, and his final was extremely difficult. If you are prepared to work hard, love math and a different professor is teaching this course, then this is the class for you.

Apr 2018

AVOID TAKING THIS CLASS WITH PROFESSOR WOODBURY. EVEN THOUGH HE IS A GREAT GUY, HIS TEACHING STYLE LENDS ITSELF TO UNNECESSARILY HIGH WORKLOAD AND STRESS LEVELS. Early on in the semester, ALL of the material was to be learned by students, on their own time. Professor Woodbury lectured about material that was, while somewhat interesting and relevant-seeming, was NOT material that was tested on or even required by the course syllabus (as an aside, students in higher-level math classes found the optional questions he asked about this material to be too confusing and difficult). This forced students to hope their ability to comprehend the material on their own was good enough or rely on office hours. Learning the 3-4 weekly sections to an acceptable standard often took an extra 3-5 hours, on top of the (often not-class-related) lectures. As time went on, the lectures became marginally more relevant to the course material, but I still believe they missed the purpose of the course. Professor Woodbury focused more on the theory/proofs behind the theorems we used, rather than the computational aspects. I understand why, as this information is relevant for further classes, but since THIS class is computation-based, I would have liked to see a great focus on how to apply the theorem. Simply put, not many people in the class cared about theory. We want to learn what is necessary for the exams in class, rather than having to learn it on our own and receive supplemental material in class. In addition, when he did promise to go over computational problems in class, we often ran out of time due to another aspect of the lecture taking too long. No complaints on the homework and webassign. Feedback was prompt. No complaints on the midterms either. They were generally reasonably difficult.