Adam Poliak

Mar 2021

Adam Poliak is one of the nicest and most approachable instructors I've met, and the perfect instructor for an intro-level course to CS. He is incredibly patient and ALWAYS willing to answer questions, even if it stretches past OH/lab time. Despite doing this course with a 12-hour time difference in Fall 2020, I always felt supported: Prof Poliak practically had Calendly slots every day across a range of times and would literally reply to me at 12am and 6am EST on Slack (not that I think instructors should feel pressured to reply asap but I really appreciated his readiness to help). In terms of workload, the class was super straightforward and it is easy to get an A/A+ if you just go to class, do the readings and assignments. No curveballs or anything outside of what was taught. The assignments also have extremely thorough skeletons and guidelines, so you know exactly what to code at every stage. Prof Poliak is also a really good, clear teacher and I could still easily follow his lectures at x2 speed. Even though our course has ended, he still uses the Slack to inform up about research opportunities, lectures and workshops, which is so rare and so nice. Adam Poliak is a gem and you should take his intro classes!!!!

Jan 2021

He's really dorky and because he's super new he tries really hard to be both accessible and also fair with grading. We had virtual office hours at 9 pm some weekday nights because he knew that's when students are studying. Literal explanations-wise he could have been clearer but the textbook is stellar and the TA's were good so it ended up being okay. Also, if you go to office hours he puts a lot of effort. Also, because he's new, teaching the class is his biggest priority, which translates to being super available on Slack and responding to questions very quickly. I have a lot of faith that his teaching will get better with practice and I'll definitely take courses he teaches in the future. All that being said, the course was so much as an immersive course (for someone who hasn't coded before, if you have previous experience in data science/stats/python, it would be easier for you). I'd suggest taking it if it's offered as a full semester course though because we learned really cool stuff and saw real-life applications of what we were learning through each data set.