professor
John Baldwin

Jan 2007

If I had never taken Calc before this class, I pretty much would have failed. John is a chill, laid-back guy, but it pretty much starts and ends there. I feel like he has no interest in teaching and it shows. He mutters incomprehensible theorems to the chalkboard and goes through examples so quickly, you could hardly copy them down in time, let alone understand it and ask useful questions. He's also not too reliable about handing back homework in time for the tests or posting promised practice solutions online. He does try to be kind and makes his tests easier as the class progresses and curves a lot, but all this is a result of his poor teaching skills and inability to explain relatively simple concepts.

Jan 2007

My favorite thing about John is that at times he will stare at the board without talking for a good while as he tries to figure out a problem in his head. The first time it happened I thought he might be having an episode of some sort. I thought the tests were fairly straightforward- he also adjusted them to the level of the class after a much more difficult first exam. I might not be the best judge of their difficulty as I'd seen most of the material before, although I didn't remember it. He was extremely patient, willing to go over anything many times. And I was glad he went over proofs of the theorems and tried different tactics to get us to understand them.

Jan 2007

John is a young research mathematician who can check caller ID while summing Reimann subintervals. You’d be hard-pressed to muffle the nubile tittering which accompanies his in-class “mistakes”; but don’t be fooled by his strategic downplay--John plants those errors in his boardwork to weed out booksmarts like you and me who thought this shit would all be in the solutions manual. Test questions are downright sadistic, though he will provide ample crawl opportunities for those who care enough about the Putnam to botch the exams. Moreover, John's not a generalist, so he won't offer answers to questions you can figure on your own. But if you have inquiries that demonstrate verifiable intellectual curiosity, John will be generous with his brainpower. Office hours were busy the second half of the semester and mobbed around midterms; a few times I walked in on these hush- hush group q & a ’s, so get in on it early and start schmoozing right away if you’re inclined to the finer points of integrability.

Dec 2006

You can definitely tell that John is a new teacher. He talks to the board, small handwriting (which did slightly improve over the semester) He has the enthusiasm of a young teacher and he's extremely nice to stare at for an hour and a half! The lectures started off easy to comprehend but as the semester went on his examples were way to complicated and sometimes a bit too difficult to figure out in class. Sometimes his explanations were unclear so reading the book before lecture is a must! John is easy to talk to and always available to help you outside of class. If you put time into this class you can do well but expect to fail the midterms. He puts a really nice curve on them instead.

Dec 2006

I probably would have had a hard time with this class if I had not had at least some background in calculus, but overall I thought John was good at answering questions and explaining concepts. He was also very approachable and happy to answer even dumb questions. There was some unnecessary time spent on theorems which only caused confusion, but they were not required knowledge for the exams. The exams were generally not too difficult, most of the content was expected and there generally werenÂ’t trick questions. Homework was easy and mostly odd problems, so we could verify our answers.

Dec 2006

John adjusted his lessons to best accomodate the varied skill levels of the students, although this took a couple classes for him to do comfortably. He should concentrate on finding different ways/examples to demonstrate the same concept- as to address all learning styles. That said he was really laid back, humorous, and always available- if you had a problem he could usually explain it well enough one on one. Homework was extremely useful and a great way to balance out your grade. Test problems were harder than anything else you would do in class or on the homework...but they were curved, obviously.

Nov 2006

John is a graduate student, and you can definitely tell because he has trouble teaching and explaining major concepts. However, he does an excellent job at proving theorems and acts like they are the most important thing in the world, but they never show up on exams. Also, he uses the most confusing example to illustrate really simply points, and this throws off most students. The weekly homework assignments are not bad, just time consuming. However, they do not really relate to exam questions. He thinks it is amusing when the majority of the class fails an exam, but he does put a nice curve on them. If you've taken any calculus course before or are strong in algebra, you'll do fine. Otherwise, you'll definitely struggle and he is not too good at your answering questions despite his availability.