Spring 2023 - *grabs you personally by the throat* SAVE YOUR SOUL. DO NOT TAKE THIS COURSE. Unless you want to do 4 projects that have very little guidance in the specs, each split into 2 parts that require different types of outputs, on top of doing 7 homeworks, each with 4-10 Leetcode-like coding problems evaluated on a shitty $80 online textbook website (Stepik) where you have to download the input to your computer, run the code, and upload the outputs and pray that you matched the formatting exactly, otherwise repeat the process. (Also, I get Stepik advertising emails in Russian, which 1) I did not sign up for 2) I don't know Russian.) And about those projects, they decided to try something new this quarter: making us upload our results to a bioinformatics leaderboard website. The fun thing is that 1) They don't post the leaderboard until 2-3 days before the project is due. 2) Someone has to manually approve that you can join the leaderboard. Which means you wait for some poor TA to handle your request. 3) They don't post the grading thresholds WITH the project spec or even when they post the leaderboards sometimes, so if you finish your code early, you have to wait for the announcement of the threshold. If you don't pass it? Guess you're working on the project again! I have never taken a class with this many Canvas announcements about project extensions and grading thresholds and about homework problems becoming Extra Credit because very few people are successfully solving it. And have I mentioned that they also made us read 4 papers and ask and answer other students' questions about it? To me, it felt like the blind leading the blind. The only saving grace of this course is that the midterm was reasonable. If you read and understand the textbook and the slides (which is what I did because their lecturing is Pretty Bad, especially Ernst's), you can do the problems. They just make you apply the techniques to the given data. They also gave a set of practice problems that matched pretty closely. I'm writing this review before the final though, so maybe they decide to completely switch it up on us. (But, I'm skimming the final practice problems, it seems like it's the same problem format.) Who knows. Maybe you'll enjoy the torture more than I did. Maybe you're that kid who was already working on a bioinformatics library for their research and used it for Project 1, landing you a score in the top 3, at which point you're obligated to do a presentation of your solution to the class. The class is mostly empty, by the way. Just like how this class made me feel. Grade breakdown for Spring 2023: Projects 25%. Homeworks 20%. Midterm Exam 25%. Final Exam 25%. Paper/Guest Speaker Question and Responses 5%.
Spring 2020 - This class is as easy or difficult as you would like it to be. Although most people who took CS32 and did reasonably OK would get a good grade in this class, I would suggest taking it only if you are interested in exploring bioinformatics and not just for a good grade.
CS CM124 Winter 2013 Prof is a nice guy... really relaxed and if you need help just go to him or the TA. The class isn't too demanding, but if you want to work more on the final project you can always make it more challenging for yourself. HW/MT/Final are just there to show you kinda whats going on.. the TA helps you through all of them during discussions. And by helps you through them i mean walks you through the problems, and solutions. Lectures/Discussions are all filmed and posted, which is nice. Final Project: For this quarter, he gave us a list of projects to pick from, and corresponding difficulty levels. If you dont have much time or dont really feel like you know whats going on, just pick an easy one... and if you get the hang of it you can add more to the project to challenge yourself. The project is the majority of the grade, i believe. For future classes he said he might mix it up, but probably similar stuff (pick your own language to code in, etc). There is a presentation for the project at the end of the quarter. 10 min of explain what you did. Not coding details.. just the big picture and your results like accuracy and run time. Kinda strange.. but you vote on your classmates via text. Not sure if this actually affects the grade, but you get participation for doing it. Interesting peak into a different side of CS.. i'd recommend the class. Not hard, good prof, not too stressful... and you learn along the way.