Computability Theory

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Professor Most Helpful Review
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Isaac Goldbring See Full Profile

Overall 3.6 Easiness 1.8 Workload 1.2 Clarity 3.8 Helpfulness 3.8

Most Helpful Review

I really liked the way Goldbring taught the class. It's worth bearing in mind that it was an upper div logic class, so the style might not translate to classes like 33B or 3C, but if you're looking at one of the other 114's he would definitely be a good choice.

The lectures usually started out by explaining the intuition informally before going over the rigorous proofs, so I found it a lot easier to understand why certain ideas were being formulated the way they were. He was also open to questions and able to fix any misconceptions that arose.

Personally, he's a really nice guy. Since he was an undergrad at UCLA not too long ago he was easy to relate to. The grades were pretty low on the first midterm because of the nature of the material and the time constraints, but Isaac was willing to switch the final to a take home test so that it would be both comprehensive and doable. There are a lot of professors that really aren't that flexible.

April 6, 2011
Yiannis Moschovakis See Full Profile

Overall 4.0 Easiness 2.0 Workload 2.0 Clarity 5.0 Helpfulness 5.0

Most Helpful Review

WHOO! Alrighty, so Math 114C, being a C class, is definitely a more obscured class in the Math Department. The topic is Computability/Recursion Theory, so you're going to be learning about the complex theory behind many famous mathematicians, namely Kurt Godel and Alan Turing. It's extremely rewarding to have examined this theory in depth, as well.

However, Professor Moschovakis gives you advance warning that the subject material is abstract and difficult - the notes will come off looking like some devil-child of cuneiform and hieroglyphs. I think more than half our class faded off from the beginning of the quarter to the end. The homework is not easy - there is no solutions manual, and the problems require you to really think through what you have learned.

The exams are fair, though on the challenging side. There are bonus points, so you can afford to miss a couple of parts of a tough question and still make it through. The people that stayed in the class were pretty much all honors students or students that took rigorous math/compsci schedules, so the scores were high. Hopefully we made it out with a similar curve to what's shown in this page.

Professor Moschovakis himself is a great lecturer and an extremely knowledgeable professor. He was really helpful during office hours to tackle the homework, and so was our TA. His handwriting was a bit messy, and he didn't write much on the board during lecture. However, what he said made it easier to understand the dense notation and material in the notes he put up (I mean, he is 81 as of writing). It was really unfortunate that he had to be out during the final four weeks (we had guest lecturers in his stead), as he had to see a doctor to take care of his back. Though I'm unsure of whether he'll teach again, I truly hope for the best regarding his health. And also, I hope all my bright classmates succeeded!

Math 114C is NOT a class that you'll expect to get by via sitting around. You will have to put forth your absolute best, but in the end, it is truly rewarding, especially upon studying from such an established professor.

Winter Quarter 2019
William Simmons See Full Profile

Overall 3.0 Easiness 3.2 Workload 3.8 Clarity 3.0 Helpfulness 4.4

Most Helpful Review

course taken: 110A

Prof. Simmons liked to give interesting examples that are beyond textbooks. And his midterms and finals were connected closely to these interesting examples. What disturbed me was that he always wanted you to preview textbook before attending lectures, which was really time consuming. And at the 8th week, his lecture became very unorganized, which confused me.

For his office hour, he was really nice to answer our questions, and he also let me know some fancy ideas which were not in the textbook.(although I barely understood) But for he was not good at solving problems.

March 31, 2014
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