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This professor knows a lot about geography, but his class was very difficult. He expected us to write a 5 page paper about a region of California, focusing on a specific industry. The paper had to include graphs and gathered specifics. We were ill-prepared to do the paper and his grading was too harsh. He expected us to know as much as he did. His mid-term was multiple choice and the wording was very confusing. The final was essay and we were also ill-prepared for that. He did not give us any possible topics or pointers. His expectations were too high, and our knowledge to minimal for the subject.
This man is amazing. He can turn the most impossibly difficult concept into a piece of cake. Definitely one of the best professors I've had. He does have a few peculiarities -- a British sense of humor that can come off as a bit rude if you don't get it (I thought he was pretty funny), an intolerance for people who sleep in his class, a bit of a hearing problem, and a (rather humorous) difficulty with technology. Nevertheless, the class is fairly easy and extremely fair and, above all, you learn some of the most cutting edge concepts in economic geography. This guy seriously wrote the book as far as the field goes. If he comes off as pompous (which I don't think he does at all) it's only because he deserves to be so. There was a multiple choice midterm, an extremely short paper, and a final. All were very do-able. Don't bother with the reading -- it is supposedly "valuable back up information" but it's worthless compared to the gold you'll get in lecture.
Seriously, amazing. The info can be tough to wrap your mind around, however he's a total scottish silver fox. Enjoy. I did.
I took his class Spring of 2002 and DID NOT find him to be pompous, arrogant or boring. Actually, his sense of humor really helped at times when the theories were boring. Tests were fair & straightforward. Very knowledgable & explained material very thoroughly. So, know the material well & you should get at least a B in the class.
He is probably the most knowledgeable person you will ever meet when it comes to economic geography. And if you weren't sure, he'll let you know. Being hard of hearing (and only caring about what comes out of his own mouth anyways) make the class lecture-only. His tests are straight-forward. If you know the material, it's no problem.
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