Hao Shen

May 2016

Professor Shen is the best calc Professor I've had thus far. I have taken two other calc classes before this and struggled both times. Unlike other professors, Shen is very straight forward; he does not try to trick you. His lectures are straight from the textbook, almost completely verbatim. If you can learn from just reading the textbook you definitely do not need to go to class. (He says so himself.) He gets the questions for the midterms and final from the textbook! Some of the questions on the exams were even previously assigned for homework. It is literally that easy to study. When he had in class review before a test, I am pretty sure he is holding the test in his hand as he writes on the board exactly what we should study. Before the final, he wrote down specific examples from every chapter he insisted we should know how to solve. Some of those examples were on the final. I know that if I didn’t do good on an exam it is completely on me for not studying or practicing enough questions from the textbook. He can not make the exam simpler. The other calc 4 class that was occurring at the same time as this one with a different professor had an average on the first midterm of 50% while this class had an average of 75% - 15 out of 20 total points. The only con with his tests is that each questions is only worth about 3 points so losing a point here and there for a silly mistake actually does impact your grade. Additionally, he is a very nice person; very sympathetic! He stops his lectures to see if anyone has questions. You can ask as many questions as you need and he will patiently answer them. I know some students who freaked out before exams and emailed him for help and he always responded with reassuring words. I even know some students who asked to take the midterm a different day, either because they were actually really sick or because they honestly told him they would fail if they took it then, and he allowed it! Professor Shen even allows you to do an extra credit presentation. It is so rare to find a professor who will actually give extra credit. It’s clear that he does not want to fail you. He does have a bit of an accent but to me it was no problem. Just beware that he pronounces some words funny. (i.e what sounds like “de-man” is actually “domain” or “try-ple” is “triple”) In all, definitely take Professor Shen’s class if you can, it is the most straight forward class you will find. There is a pretty good curve but I would say your grade mostly reflects the amount of work you put in, it’s that simple.