Based on 47 Users
This class was very challenging to say the least. I noticed a pretty wide disconnect between the lectures and exams/homework. Overall, the homework assignments (4 total) were not too difficult and pretty manageable. The tests on the other hand were a different story. Even though we had 24 hours to complete each exam, I felt that the homework assignments weren't quite enough to prepare me for the difficult exams. Exams required very creative and clever approaches to solving problems. The mean/median on the final exam, for instance, were both around a 59.
The grading on the homework/exams was pretty lenient for the most part, with notable exceptions for HW 4 and the FINAL. I felt that the grading suddenly became much more harsh towards the very end of the course, and I believe I'm not the only person that felt that way.
Class was very poorly organized and a complete mess. Many questions on Piazza were left unanswered. The final grades were entered almost 4 days after the deadline.
Overall, this class is still super important and useful. But please do yourself a favor and avoid this section of CS 180.
First off, the other reviews from this quarter sum it up perfectly. Lectures were just barely enough to cover the content, and the administration was an utter mess. Extremely long waiting times for grading, large numbers of piazza posts unanswered. One would think that a course with 7 TAs might do better on this. Secondly, I have to reiterate how awful the final was. It's four questions which cover the second half of the course. As someone who got a close to 100% average on the homework assignments, I entered it with confidence, which was a mistake. The questions were far beyond the difficulty of anything covered in lecture or on the homework, and HARSHLY graded. The average was a 59/100 on a 24 hour exam. Almost zero partial credit given. Avoid this section.
This class was a mess from the start. His lectures are extremely messy and hard to follow, take forever to grade assignments, goes off on random tangents, has a hard accent, and has barely any structure for the class. Avoid this class if you can.
I think given the covid situation the professor did a great job. Particularly with improvising and teaching via an ipad. He was helpful and accommodating towards students. Homeworks and finals were fair. Hes an overall great guy and cares about his students. I disagree strongly with the other students take. The course material is inherently difficult (one of the toughest in the department) and a lot of it requires significant self learning for mastery - otherwise everyone would have a job at google/facebook. I personally think he taught the right concepts (supplementing the book well) which is the proper way to learn a course so that students aren't trying to pick between the professors material and the assigned book. The book itself is really good but some of the concepts require visuals which the professor did a good job of showing considering he was using an ipad.
Overall, the material taught in this course was useful & definitely a good preparation to start leetcoding and practicing for interviews. Lectures weren't particularly engaging, but I found that they taught most of what we needed and weren't too bad at 1.5x speed.
That said, the administration of this particular class was a complete mess. Grading was extremely inconsistent and regrades were almost a necessity to get partial credit where you should.
The real horror story of this class was the final exam. I went into the final with high As on every assignment, feeling prepared, and failed. I actually received no points on the two algorithms I coded (which ran and passed dozens of test cases in Python). Myself and many others in the class felt that one question in particular wasn't really even graded by the TA in charge of it, with >90% of the class receiving 0s on the question, and the only solutions which received credit were those who followed the exact approach the TA did. After numerous regrade requests I was able to receive credit back for one of my working algorithms, but not the other. Luckily, I did well enough on the rest of the class material that I ended with an A in the course, but I can't imagine how students who needed to do well on the final are feeling. This final was graded nothing like the rest of the material in the course and it was evident that the professor/ TAs were unprepared to grade the problems they had given for proper partial credit.
Lastly, the professor/ TAs were terrible at responding to Piazza/ email. Our Piazza page is littered with dozens of unanswered (sometimes important!) questions. Furthermore, I never heard back on any email I sent to the professor. If you need testing accommodations or have other questions about the course, don't expect a response.
Final take: Decent material, but absolutely avoid this section.
At the beginning of the quarter, HW assignments were graded rather leniently and were spaced out, so the workload did not seem like much. However, HW 4 and the final were graded quite harshly compared to the rest. In addition, the fact that the homeworks were spaced out meant that we only had 4 homework assignments - so each assignment was worth a lot more. This wasn't entirely fair considering that homework accounts for 45% of our grade, so messing up on even one homework brought down your grade by a lot.
We were given 72 hours for the final, but it was extremely hard and was graded quite strictly as well.
I learned a lot more from reading the textbooks than just attending lecture.
I honestly really enjoyed this class. I thought it was awesome! Professor Hseih did a great job of teaching the material given the current situation. In lectures he was always willing to spend time answering questions to make sure everyone understood what he had just gone over. This was my favorite class of this quarter and given the reviews of some of the other professors who taught this class, I feel grateful to have the opportunity to take it with somebody who actually taught the material. I feel I really understand the more challenging concepts like dynamic programming after this class. I really enjoyed the mix of proofs and algorithmic thinking that this course contained! In terms of difficulty, the first half of the class is really easy. The material is simply not hard. However, as the class transitions to divide and conquer, dynamic programming, and np-completeness, the difficulty increases. We only had 4 homework assignments throughout the quarter which was nice, but the later ones did take some time! As well, we got absolutely destroyed on the final which was 72 hours and took close to the 72 hours to actually complete it (although median was in the 80s since we had so much time to complete it). In addition, Professor Hsieh, is incredibly caring and accommodating trying to make our experience the best it can possibly be. I recommend taking this class with Professor Hsieh if you have the chance.
Professor Cho is really considerate at this quarter -- a special online quarter due to COVID. He cares about students' learning and concerns about grade. The class itself is not easy but he actually did a good job at explaining everything. He use ipad to give out notes and upload his materials timely after class. And he is a good person in general. The final is really challenging but he respects our efforts to make it so curve the class up. Homework and exam are both very clear. I really enjoy this class!
Easy class for CS 180. The lectures are pretty organized and the professor makes the points pretty clear. He is not a super engaging lecturer, but he definitely clearly states what you need to know, which for me is more than enough. Go through lectures carefully, and no other materials like textbook is really needed. And I feel like the things he taught is enough for preparing for interviews, etc.
The problem with Hsieh is that he hadn't adapted to online classes, grading homework early on in the quarter liberally, and then cracking down completely in the second half, grading many students unfairly. His notes end up be illegible, as he scribbles all over them to show how data might flow, yet doesn't have any clean notes without the scribbles. My advice would be to avoid him during online quarters.