professor
Yunan Liu

May 2010

Professor Liu is one of the best teachers I've ever had. He genuinely cares about you learning the material and not about grades. His lectures are very clear and he does a lot of examples so that you learn the material really well. People may say that he's not a great teacher but that's probably because they didn't go to class. (It was at 9:10.) I definitely recommend going to class even if it's early. He's also very understanding and often asks his students for input about exam dates and grading. For the midterm, we all had a bunch of other exams on the same day so he gladly postponed his exam by a week. Also, a question on a quiz was difficult so he made that question count less and put more weight on an easier question. He even gave us till 12:25 for the final that was from 9 to 12! The quizzes and exams are all open book, notes, everything except for a laptop. But I warn you, they are challenging! There are also recitations each and the TAs are supposed to review all the homework questions. One TA was super awesome and did everything but the other was more lazy. But Liu could be found any time in his office and he will gladly put down anything he has to do to help you with anything. According to Liu, "our policy is to be lenient with homework" and "I think I'll curve to a B+/A-." So he clearly wants everyone to do well. And I think I've learned more in this class than any other. In short, I wish all of my professors could be Liu.

May 2010

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.