Computer Network Fundamentals
Spring 2016 - I really liked Professor Afanasyev. I don't think I've ever had a professor who seemed so deeply knowledgable about the material as this professor did. He tried his best to explain things in different ways if we had trouble understanding the first time. I think my only complaint is that his lectures could get extremely dry towards the end of the quarter, as the material got more difficult. He reads directly from the slides and as such, it's easy to get complacent and skip class in favor of just reading the book. I didn't mind going to lecture, but I would have loved to have slightly more engaging lectures rather than just direct lecture from slides. I loved the guest speakers he brought in—they were also quite interesting. Homework assignments were decent and usually well specified, but the projects often much to be desired in terms of specificity. The requirements would often change as students asked more questions, and many things were left "intentionally ambiguous" but only caused us angst in terms of getting the project done correctly. Grades on homework assignments were delivered quickly and gradescope made it easy to get feedback, but we didn't get project grades quickly at all, and as such it was impossible for us to know if we were being graded fairly on the project before the end of the quarter. Overall I enjoyed the class, and I think many of the negatives are only because it was the professor's first time teaching this class.
Lectures are dull and nothing more than the book slides. Programming assignments were easy. HOWEVER, working programs on seaslab computers did not work on our TA's computer, so we were deducted heavily as if the programs were wrong. Several students had this issue. I even showed the TA that it worked passing all test cases and proved that the files had not been changed since submitted. He still gave it an 80%. I emailed the professor several times with no response. Homework, MT, and final are not too difficult if you can self-study. The class is just frustrating - I suggest taking it with someone else.
In general, the exams in this class are not too difficult. She emphasizes material covered in class, so it's helpful to attend lecture in order to identify the most important topics to study, but other than that, lectures are not very useful, especially since she has a tendency to digress and get wayyy off topic. As long as you understand the textbook and the slides, you'll be set for the exams. The first project is very time-consuming, however, so be sure to start early!
The ratings are spot on: mediocre across the board. I didn't mind too much, since I didn't care about the material very much. He would randomly leave the lectures to be taught by either the TA or a guest lecturer, and quality-wise it didn't really matter. The TA matters a lot for the projects, since he grades them exclusively (and they are worth a lot of your grade), and ours was an asshole. Sorry to the people that demoed their project to him. Luckily it was too much work for one person, so I got to demo to someone with a soul.
Information nowaday is in text. And this class teaches you to scan the data quickly. Class: I took this class with her and with Brian Tagiku as TA. She is very nice. Brian Tagiku is very good TA for this class. He is very nice. If you think she is a bad professor, then you has not see all professor yet. I must admit her lecture is slow and boring. That is the truth. Her course book is badly printed. The word on the printed slide is on very small and offers a summary of lecture. The information is delivering during lecture. The only thing I hate is that Brian Tagiku, till the final review, he finally offers vital explain and that is "the difference between nondeterministic and deterministic is that in nondeterministic machine, you have multiple choice or no choice at every stage. In a deterministic machine, you only have 1 choice at every stage." You can say I am slow at understanding. This class has homework, midterm, quiz, and final. yes, Quiz in discussion. Sometimes, given a machine, and course book says, it used to parse this grammar or something. If you look at the machine, you might not understand why. You should try to parse a string in the language with the machine, then you understand. Midterm and Final: There are example midterm and final in back of the course book. The real one will be in that EXACT format (same type of question, etc...). She is not that bad. There are worser professors.
Spring 2018 - Lu is clearly really smart. He knows his stuff, but he really misses the learning process in some steps. He's poorly organized, teaches straight from the book's lecture slides, and is COMPLETELY incapable of answering questions. Additionally, he doesn't know what we do or don't know – all great teachers should know what their students know and don't know. We had our first midterm on chapters 1-3 in the middle of week 7. We had learned chapters 1-3 WEEKS 1-3. The projects weren't bad at all, but I liked my partner and we started early on stuff. The material is SO fascinating, but the infrastructure and follow through was just NOT here for this class. Lu definitely knows his stuff, but he's a poor teacher at best.
Winter 2021 - * COVID-19 Quarter* I feel like this guy gets a bad rap from a lot of students, but compared to some of the other professors in the department Pau is pretty tolerable. CS118 isn't coding heavy or math heavy, it felt kind of like CS111 if we only did half the chapters. Extensions were given on both coding projects, and the final exam had a 48hr window which is extremely generous in my opinion (with extra credit questions!). If you talk to Pau / listen to lecture, it's clear he really wants to help students learn and is very open to answering questions in/out of class. Pau follows the PPT slides provided by the book authors 100%, so if you read the book you will pretty much cover everything you should know, aside maybe from variations due to different editions. The homework sets (4 total) are doable since we have weeks to complete them and Google + textbook + TAs at your disposal. Project 1 was hilariously easy, especially when compared to CS111's socket programming assignment. Project 2 is a LOT more involved, but he gave us a manageable watered down version due to COVID and we were allowed to have 1 partner to help out. Now, onto the exams. Man are they wild. The man chose to do a rapid test format for the midterm (40 minutes long?), and it included 5 math questions relating to packet delays, bandwidth allocation, etc. Point being, math questions were NOT AT ALL stressed in class or in the book, and some questions required equations that never appeared in class (but were tucked away in the book). Average was ~60% for the midterm, not too surprising. His exams are probably why people dislike him, but if you read the book you would've seen the equations and been able to answer enough of the math to survive. Overall, I learned a good amount from the class (primarily from reading an easy-to-grasp textbook), and don't think Pau is a "must avoid" professor. He doesn't offer much additional insight into networking as some others might but he drops random interesting nuggets here and there, and is definitely out to help.