Introduction to Game Theory
He has a slight German accent and often times he makes everything sound more complicated than it actually is. You need to do four homework assignments for this class and they are extremely challenging. Since there is not much material to study for this class (his lecture notes and homework are everything you have), you need to know everything backward and forward. Even then, the problems on homework will be totally unexpected and unpredictable. I felt like I kept missing some stuff in class because not much in homework assignments and on the final reflect what he taught in class. I guess you just need to be smart to do well in this class. Like the other person said, the midterm was so easy that 90 was the average score.
Professor Marek may have taught me some of the most practical lessons I'll learn in my undergraduate education at UCLA. We dealt with optimal purchasing strategies in auctions and matching mechanisms in practical situations: from Ebay, to the system residents go through when being paired with hospitals. He's a laid back professor who made the concepts easy to understand. If nothing else he opened my eyes to the many more problems I've been navigated through using these systems. I'd suggest him to any student.
Spring 2023 - I think that taking this class is the biggest mistake I made in my college career. I know I am being dramatic, but as a student that wants to go to grad school and usually puts 100% into every class, this class felt to me like one that I just could not do well in, regardless of how well I may feel I understood the material going into the tests. And for context, I got an A+ in 106D literally the quarter right before I took this class, and the content in both classes is VERY similar. Something to note about this class that I didn't realize going in was that there is a lot of positive selection, meaning that the type of people who would choose to take this class in the first place are among the most mathematically inclined in the econ major. If you aren't good at math, don't take this class! You will be competing with peers that are and will probably feel stupid everyday in class. I don't think the professor realizes this, because the curve in this class is really harsh. At the end of the course, it was revealed that only slightly above 20% of students received some sort of an A. This means that you can literally score in the upper quartile and still not even receive an A-. And I have heard that in the past quarters, the professor has curved the class down before. If everyone is working hard and doing well in your (very difficult) class, I don't know why a professor would want to punish students by deflating their grades. I also wanted to talk about the professor. While he is very enthusiastic, social, and friendly to the students, he also will not make it easy for you to succeed. What do I mean by this? He habitually posts problem sets days after he says he will in the syllabus and still expects you to turn it in on the original due date (which could end up being less than two days after it is posted). Sometimes, he will teach a concept to you using very simple examples and then expect you to make leaps of knowledge in the homework or on the test. This was especially true on the final, which was not only inhumanely long but had questions on it that hardly related to what was being taught in class at all. I genuinely believe that if it weren't for my TA, I would have gotten a 50% on all the homeworks alone. Furthermore, the professor will post "practice" problems for you on the tests the day before the tests and also not give you an answer key. What is the point of posting practice problems if you can't even check your work? Finally, I wanted to talk about the lab component to this class, which was supposedly graded "on completion" and that everyone would do well in. There was absolutely no standard for how your grade in that class will be determined, and there was very little clarity as to what sort of presentation they wanted us to make. This review may come off as overly bitter, and honestly it is. I know that the 106 series is supposed to be harder than the rest of the econ electives, but you can still do yourself a favor and try to take easier ones. I heard pricing and strategy is pretty fun. You may think that you are good at game theory (like I did before I took this class) but unless you are okay with the possibility of actually putting a lot of effort into a class and still struggling to get a B, I would not recommend taking this class.