History of Mathematics
Summer 2021 - Math 106 is definitely different. I expected an easy A since this seems like a history class, but I was wrong. I think the professor you get for this class greatly affects your experience, as professors have the choice of covering certain chapters and whatnot. Here's the breakdown of this class with Tyler: 1) Tyler is a great lecturer. I learned mostly all of the material from his lectures and lectures notes. The book isn't so great, as it skips a lot of steps or explains things with too many words than actual math. Tyler did a great job with filling in the gaps and presenting a pretty complete class with his lectures and lecture notes. 2) Tyler's homework was okay. The questions he wrote were alright, but most of the time, I found the book questions to be confusing. Like I said before, the book is too verbose and the questions are just confusingly written. However, if you go to office hours, Tyler is more than happy to explain everything. He is very much advises students to come to office hours, and he is willing to explain and re-explain things that are confusing. He's very approachable in OH and in lecture, so the homework is not that bad to do if you just get help from him. 3) Tyler's exams are mostly fair. I thought his midterm was very fair based on the HW and lectures and his final was mostly fair. He did have one question I wasn't particularly a fan of, but that's only one question out of six. If you do the homework and understand the lecture notes, you should honestly be fine for the exam. 4) The content covered in this class is where I have the most issues. I think Tyler got to choose certain topics, and I feel like he made this class harder than it needed to be. He didn't focus much on the history, but had sections on sets and logic that were very new to some people. The only prerequisites for this class is lower division calculus, and oftentimes, I found myself using proof techniques and ideas that I learned in Math 115A. I don't think other professors make this class as hard as Tyler made it. It's not undoable or anything like that, but it's not what I signed up for. Overall, I wouldn't mind having Tyler for another class. He is a good lecturer and is helpful and approachable. However, this class just wasn't my thing.
Winter 2019 - I loved the way that Professor Austin structured this class. As long as you put in an earnest effort to work on the problem set and the practice exams, you can easily get an A in the class. It was a great class in the sense that it allowed me the chance to digest the material and actually enjoy the processing of learning instead of constantly stressing over grades. On top of that, Professor Austin lectures very methodically and doesn't go all over the place like some professors do. He's also pretty funny. Overall great professor and great class. I definitely enjoyed the class and am really glad I had the opportunity to take it with Professor Austin.
I took the history of mathematics with Professor Mess. The class was not too difficult, but that was no thanks to him. He walks into class most likely wearing the shirt he wore the day before, writes stuff on the board and assumes that we understand it. Thankfully the material is not too difficult, and everything on the test comes directly from the book. The first midterm was pretty easy, although I have no idea how I did on it because he never returned the grades to us. What's curious is that the day after our second midterm, the grades were already online. So based on that test, I'm doing alright in the class, but I honestly have no idea. We were only assigned 4 homeworks, none of which we have gotten back. (Gene Kim is an amazing TA, he goes over most of the homework in section. TAKE HIM). In short, don't take Professor Mess. He strictly follows his last name. To. The. Smallest. Detail. His office looks like a small bomb went off, scattering papers everywhere. He often stands in front of the class thinking for minutes, just staring at us until he can formulate his thoughts. The one good thing is that 30% of the class is getting an A- or better, and 70% is getting a B- or better. At least there's an awesome curve.
Winter 2020 - Professor Ozel is a great professor- very nice, helpful and gives pretty fair exams. The class itself isn't terribly difficult and is a mix between some history, and mostly the origins of math and proofs for elementary theorems and processes (like the quadratic formula). He would give optional homework, and his tests were fair/representative of homework questions. He's helpful in office hours and cares about his students. Definitely recommend him for 106 and any other math class
Winter 2016 - This is a very easy class for math majors to improve their major GPA, especially with Prof. Peterson. He has a mild European accent and a casual handwriting style which make his lectures a little bothering to understand, but other than that he is a very cool guy. Both two midterms are very easy. The final is relatively harder but still very straightforward. Anyways, easy class and cool professor. You will enjoy it.