MATH 142

Mathematical Modeling

Description: Lecture, three hours; discussion, one hour. Requisites: courses 32B, 33B. Introduction to fundamental principles and spirit of applied mathematics. Emphasis on manner in which mathematical models are constructed for physical problems. Illustrations from many fields of endeavor, such as physical sciences, biology, economics, and traffic dynamics.

Units: 4.0
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Overall Rating 4.7
Easiness 1.4/ 5
Clarity 4.6/ 5
Workload 1.6/ 5
Helpfulness 4.3/ 5
Overall Rating 4.5
Easiness 3.0/ 5
Clarity 4.5/ 5
Workload 3.0/ 5
Helpfulness 3.5/ 5
Most Helpful Review
Winter 2020 - I’ve taken 2 classes now with Professor Arant (142 in Winter 2020 and 135 in Spring 2020), and spent more time in his office hours than in lecture by this point probably, so I feel qualified to review him. Because he’s young, he was also really approachable and easy to ask for help in Office Hours. However, this is where my one issue with this professor comes up. When someone asked him for help with a problem, a good amount of the time he seemed to not want to actually go over the problem very often, and just talk a bunch of math at you, and when he’s done, you’re just kind of pressured into saying “yeah that makes sense” but when you’re actually doing the homework, you still have no idea what to do. In that case you should just ask a friend (if you’re lucky enough to have one) or the TA (if you have one that’s helpful). I think this really just stems from the ever common symptom many really smart math professors here have, where they are so smart that they kind of just leave you in the dust and don’t really slow down in the explanations. Other than that though, his office hours are really helpful and fun simply because he’s easier to approach and talk to than older and more Boomer professors; I know my jokes will actually land with him. If you have strong feelings about this kind of thing, you might want to steer away from this course if he ever teaches it again, but something else I noticed is the fact that there was no MatLAB used at all in this course. Now I don’t really care because I’m a math major just because I like math, I don’t really care that I didn’t learn those skills of doing things like pandemic modeling with a computer simulation or other programming methods. However, I know those definitely are the skills that many applied math majors are expecting to get out of this course. The root of this stems from the fact that Professor Arant is a VERY pure mathematician, studying computability theory and logic stuff, so he approaches modeling from a very theoretical and, well, pure perspective. If you’re like me and don’t really care, then this is a completely fine class to take. If you’re not, then you might wanna steer clear. Other than that, I guess I can just end with the fact that exams are very fair and well written, so that isn’t something to worry about. All in all, it’s very clear that he really does care about his students' learning, and puts a lot of thought into his teaching because of it. Just for that I can definitely recommend this professor in this class.
Overall Rating N/A
Easiness N/A/ 5
Clarity N/A/ 5
Workload N/A/ 5
Helpfulness N/A/ 5
Overall Rating 4.0
Easiness 4.5/ 5
Clarity 3.0/ 5
Workload 4.5/ 5
Helpfulness 3.5/ 5
Most Helpful Review
Fall 2021 - I got an A in this class so let me give a completely objective and unbiased review since it seems like all of Professor Huang's reviews seem to either utterly hate on her or call her the best professor ever. Frankly, the class was a mess. The lectures were unclear and the notes weren't super helpful for anything. The lectures didn't help on the homework, the homework didn't help on exams, and the exams didn't really reflect what we learned in lecture. If not for group study sessions, I would not have pulled an A in this course. Outside of her teaching style, Professor Huang herself is very kind and understanding. She extended homework due dates and gave out hints very frequently. She gave a study guide for both the Final and Midterm that told you exactly what would be on it. And I mean she would give a numbered list of topics that 100% mirrored what she tested you on during exams. By collaborating with other students in the class, we were able to discern exactly what would be on the exams. I also felt that she and her TA's graded very leniently, and I always scored higher than I thought I would on the exams and homework. We also had a Group Project in this course which was also graded very leniently and was pretty much just free points for your overall grade. Overall, I don't think she's a great professor by any means. She's okay at best. Her lectures were mostly conceptual and provided nearly zero examples, whereas her exams were purely computational. Her homeworks were very difficult and since they were taken from an 80 year old book, there were no solutions anywhere and the questions were ridiculously vague. However, I felt that her exams were fairly easy as they were purely computational and she gave the topics beforehand (although she gave nearly zero examples). So yeah TLDR: Messy class; homeworks, lectures, and exams are disjoint; but lenient grading; easy exams; very kind and understanding professor
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