Based on 58 Users
I took his 33B this quarter. His policy is really generous with 8 homework, 4 quizzes and 2 midterm and half of them can be dropped. Pro Bao is not that efficient and he usually makes mistakes in the lecture and even in the test. But overall, his is a good teacher and the exams is not that hard.
Dr. Bao is a really nice professor, and he makes 33B really doable.
Very very lenient grading scheme.
8 weekly homework assignments, dropped the lowest 3, graded on completion.
4 quizzes, dropped the lowest 2.
2 midterms, dropped the lower one (in term of numbers, not scaled).
His lectures are OK. They get to the point, but they are not that interesting, at least not until the second half.
The quizzes and midterms are really doable. If you do the homework problems thoroughly, you should be fine for the quizzes and the majority of the midterms. On each midterm, there is always one proof problem that kind of throw people off in addition to an application problem. The application problem is fair game, so pay attention in class to the examples that he gives. The proof problem is not hard also.
I will strongly suggest that you take 33A and B together, as there are a lot of overlapping between the 2, and you can see some cool applications by using knowledge on both sides.
Professor Bao is a good professor. His grading scheme, on another evaluation here, is very generous in that you only need to do well on 1 midterm, 2 quizzes, and of course the final.
The midterms were easy if you keep up with the concepts and practice. The application problems are like the ones he goes over (he only went over 2 types) and each midterm usually has a proof which will depend on how well you understand the material. The proof was only 10 points, though, out of 100 and there were 5 other questions. The final had doable problems, but there were a few where you had to get creative and there was definitely enough time to complete everything that you could. The averages on the two midterms were around 77 and 80.
His lectures are definitely "by the book" and very straightforward. We had another professor come in to substitute on day, Aliki Mavromoustaki, who has had glowing reviews here. Her style was more creative and it worked well, but I've had a few teachers in high school who tried that and failed miserably. She definitely makes it more interesting. That being said, Bao's lectures get to the point, are very well-structured, and are worth going to. You learn what you need to. He also does a great job of answering questions. You can't go wrong if you're looking to decide between them.
If you took 33A before and did well in it, it will help you greatly. After the second midterm is basically all linear algebra in terms of the calculations you have to do. The only issue with Bao may be if he decides to make his tests tougher since he hasn't had a long history of teaching this course but it seems unlikely.
His accent is sometimes very hard to understand and because his English isn't too great, he sometimes gets flustered when trying to explain something if he can't find the right words. This makes it hard to understand any theoretical or difficult concepts. Also homework is much harder than lecture example problems, but we use Piazza as a class discussion so all students from lecture could help each other on hw assignments. His grading scale is very generous, as your lowest 2/8 homeworks get dropped and your lowest 1/2 quiz gets dropped also. And he weights the percentages 2 different ways to see which one gives you the better grade. Overall you are graded on 6 homeworks, a quiz, a midterm, and the final, at varying percentages depending on what works out best for you.