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 Federico Scavia
 MATH 31B
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I found that Scavia was neither a good nor bad lecturer. He taught at a breakneck speed, and if I did not come to class without at least skimming the textbook section, I was lost. Oftentimes it felt like he was talking to the whiteboard rather than lecturing the class, and did not always pause to answer questions. He does have a moderately thick Italian accent, but that was rarely an issue for me.

The topics in this class are fundamental for many majors, so it is pertinent that you understand his lectures. Luckily he lectures directly from the textbook, just less clearly. I also spent hours upon hours learning from YouTube University, which was critical to understanding lecture.

Scavia expects you to have not just a decent grasp of the materials needed for this class, but a superb grasp. I came into this class with a pretty poor mathematical background. There were some instances involving trigonometry, integration methods, or factorials that I never learned in high school, but had to quickly learn to keep up with the pace of his class. If you have a good mathematical background (took 31A or AP Calc BC prior) unlike me, however, you should be comfortable with the first half of this class. The second half (Series) builds upon the first, and requires quite a bit of memorization and conceptual understanding.

Speaking of conceptual understanding, Scavia lectures and tests in a very theoretical way. His lectures included proofs of the concepts, involving greek characters/mathematical symbols that he did not explain the meanings of  he assumed we knew what they meant already. My advice for these confusing parts of lecture is to just ignore it as it will not be on the homework or tests.

There were a few occasions where I asked Scavia (over email) to clarify a topic I was unfamiliar with, and he said "Check chapter _ of the textbook" which was not helpful. Similarly, his office hours were frequent, and very similar to his lectures, which is either good or bad depending on how you like his teaching style. There were instances where he would say solving some problems with certain methods "takes just a bit of magic," which was funny, but not very helpful.

Regarding his tests, there were two midterms worth 20% each, a final worth 45% (and homework at 15%). The tests were difficult. Problems were an amalgamation of concepts across several homework sets, so being able to do the homework (which is straight from the textbook) is critical. Tests were both multiple choice and free response. Multiple choice was more conceptual and often had trick questions, and he was very stringent with giving partial credit on the free response questions.

Overall, Scavia is a professor who is efficient and concise, to the detriment of the majority of his students.
As someone coming into this class having never taking calculus BC in high school, wow was I lost. I felt that I was at a severe disadvantage as the overwhelming majority of students in the class had already taking BC in high school.
I taught myself almost everything from this class because Scavia went through everything so quickly and I could not keep up. He did not explain reasoning behind things the majority of the time, and for someone with no background knowledge of BC I was incredibly confused. I poured several hours a day into studying for this class and especially since the TAs were on strike, I had a really hard time in this class. Scavia’s office hours were not helpful to me as his teaching was very unclear.
I think the midterm scaling for grades was fair, but the final was horrific. It was barely scaled and I have never walked away from a test knowing I bombed yet knowing I studied so hard.
Nothing against Scavia as a person, but I feel that he was a very ineffective teacher.
He could afford to record his lectures. He also made lecture notes but they were not very legible and hard to read. A lot of important examples were also not covered in the notes. Was quite lenient when it came to curving but it was a struggle to learn in this class.
Overall, I feel like Prof. Scavia was a great professor, especially considering this was his first quarter lecturing. I'll organize the rest of this review into a couple different categories to best explain the experience taking this class. Prior, I would like to mention that I did have prior knowledge going into this class as I took AP Calc BC in high school, and also, I did attend every single lecture and all but three office hours.

Grading
The following is how grades were determined for the class:
15% Homework (your best 5 assignments out of 7 total for 3% each)
20% Midterm 1
20% Midterm 2
45% Final
1% Extra Credit if you completed the course evaluations

There were 195 students left in the class by the end of the quarter; the following is the grade breakdown:
90 students earned an A or higher (the top 8 students were given an A+)
50 students earned a B through B+
40 students earned a C through C+
10 students got a D+ or lower.

Lectures
I feel like Professor Scavia's lectures were valuable to go to. Each lecture, he would cover topics pretty clearly and succinctly and would go over multiple example problems to illustrate concepts. There were rarely any times where I left his lecture and felt confused about the topics covered (namely Taylor and MacLaurin Series). There were some little moments where I feel like Professor Scavia could have slowed down or emphasized small things. For instance, when we were first learning either Series or Sequences, he was writing a theorem and used Latin? Greek? symbols to say "for every", "such that", "there exists", and if you missed what they meant as he was writing them, you would have no idea what the phrase or overall theorem states.

Overall, I am glad that I woke up early to attend Professor Scavia's 8:00am lectures most days as they greatly helped in my understanding of the class.

Helpfulness
Professor Scavia held office hours twice a week. During his office hours, you could ask him to solve any math question or reexplain certain concepts from class, and for the problems, he would show how to solve them stepbystep, which was helpful when I was confused after lecture or had trouble with setting up certain homework problems. When it was close to exams, Professor Scavia would finish his office hours when everyone was out of questions rather than ending at the stated end time, which was incredibly kind and allowed for everyone who attended to clear up any confusion they had.

Fairness and Difficulty
Homework assignments were normally 1216 questions, and there were 7 total throughout the course. HW would be graded on accuracy with students also earning a few points per assignment for completing all problems. There were only 45 questions graded for accuracy on each assignment. To be more lenient to students, only students' best five assignments would be counted towards their final grade, and if you felt there was a mistake made when grading your assignment, you could submit a regrade request for specific problems to potentially earn back points. Students were not told prior which problems would be graded for accuracy to encourage us to complete everything as best we can. There was a fair range in difficulty between the problems, and the problems selected for grading usually were representative of that range of difficulty.

With regards to tests, they  especially the final  were pretty difficult. To make up for this, you could submit regrade requests within 24 hours of the test results being posted. I specifically earned back three points on the first midterm by submitting a regrade request on a problem that I felt I was harshly graded on. Also, Professor Scavia scaled everyone's grade on both midterms up by 20% and on the final by 8.89% (which led to a 12% increase in your overall grade). This scaling of grades is what allowed me  and I assume many other students  to get an A overall in the class.

TA Strike
Professor Scavia made two key changes to be fair and considerate to students when the TA strike started. First, homework assignments due after the TA strike started, two out of seven assignments, were be graded for completion only rather than for accuracy. Second, students who attended lecture one day were allowed to vote for what format we wanted the second midterm to be: multiple choice or free response. A majority ended up voting for multiple choice, so we had multiple choice questions on both the second midterm and final along with some free response since the Math Department did not permit MCQ only tests.
Avoid this professor at all cost. Seriously. Nothing against Professor Scavia personally at all. It's just that he's not a good professor and can't teach mathematical concepts to students properly and clearly. Lectures were mundane and fast—you will see a lot of Professor Scavia's back as he scrawls numbers and greek letters on the white board. He doesn't record lectures at all, which is a huge red flag in my opinion. He uploads very, very messy lecture notes that don't even entirely correlate with what was covered. There was practically no way for struggling students to review or selflearn (if you happen to miss a lecture) effectively. The other professor who taught Math 31B during the same term had ALL lecture recordings AND notes that are very clear and structured (like very, very) uploaded to his students. I ended up using that professor's notes to study instead because Professor Scavia does not provide you with any study materials besides the textbook. No reason to pick Professor Scavia over other available professors.
when i took this class, scavia had scaled up the midterm grades by like 20% and the final by 10% which was reassuring cuz i did horribly in the midterms but aced the final and ended up with an a. scavia never recorded his 8am lectures which was fair but also meant that there was a lot of self studying to do.
Prof. Scavia was brand new the quarter I took this class. I was not fond of him as a lecturer. I found them confusing and in some cases unorganized. Additionally, he wasn't an engaging lecturer. I found the tests to be vastly different from the practice tests provided and the homework load was not the best either. His notes were often times confusing so lecture was crucial, but, he wasn't the best at being able to use the mic so it was often hard to understand lecture
I personally thought this class was OK. Professor Scavia's lectures are decently clear if you pay close attention, and he's willing to answer questions and engage with students. His first midterm was honestly very difficult and he curved it up by 20%. His second midterm was okay (probably because of the TA strike). The final was difficult but reasonable and I personally thought I could've done better if I paid closer attention in lecture.
Personally I thought that his limit problems were the hardest, so if you plan on taking this class I recommend paying close attention in those lectures.
Scavia is an absolute G. A goddamn legend. His classes are a little quick, but that is the only way for him to complete the course material on time. If you are able to keep up with his, pace you will understand everything he teaches. His class notes are very well organized and are really all you need to understand the material. I would highly recommend taking his class.
I found that Scavia was neither a good nor bad lecturer. He taught at a breakneck speed, and if I did not come to class without at least skimming the textbook section, I was lost. Oftentimes it felt like he was talking to the whiteboard rather than lecturing the class, and did not always pause to answer questions. He does have a moderately thick Italian accent, but that was rarely an issue for me.

The topics in this class are fundamental for many majors, so it is pertinent that you understand his lectures. Luckily he lectures directly from the textbook, just less clearly. I also spent hours upon hours learning from YouTube University, which was critical to understanding lecture.

Scavia expects you to have not just a decent grasp of the materials needed for this class, but a superb grasp. I came into this class with a pretty poor mathematical background. There were some instances involving trigonometry, integration methods, or factorials that I never learned in high school, but had to quickly learn to keep up with the pace of his class. If you have a good mathematical background (took 31A or AP Calc BC prior) unlike me, however, you should be comfortable with the first half of this class. The second half (Series) builds upon the first, and requires quite a bit of memorization and conceptual understanding.

Speaking of conceptual understanding, Scavia lectures and tests in a very theoretical way. His lectures included proofs of the concepts, involving greek characters/mathematical symbols that he did not explain the meanings of  he assumed we knew what they meant already. My advice for these confusing parts of lecture is to just ignore it as it will not be on the homework or tests.

There were a few occasions where I asked Scavia (over email) to clarify a topic I was unfamiliar with, and he said "Check chapter _ of the textbook" which was not helpful. Similarly, his office hours were frequent, and very similar to his lectures, which is either good or bad depending on how you like his teaching style. There were instances where he would say solving some problems with certain methods "takes just a bit of magic," which was funny, but not very helpful.

Regarding his tests, there were two midterms worth 20% each, a final worth 45% (and homework at 15%). The tests were difficult. Problems were an amalgamation of concepts across several homework sets, so being able to do the homework (which is straight from the textbook) is critical. Tests were both multiple choice and free response. Multiple choice was more conceptual and often had trick questions, and he was very stringent with giving partial credit on the free response questions.

Overall, Scavia is a professor who is efficient and concise, to the detriment of the majority of his students.
As someone coming into this class having never taking calculus BC in high school, wow was I lost. I felt that I was at a severe disadvantage as the overwhelming majority of students in the class had already taking BC in high school.
I taught myself almost everything from this class because Scavia went through everything so quickly and I could not keep up. He did not explain reasoning behind things the majority of the time, and for someone with no background knowledge of BC I was incredibly confused. I poured several hours a day into studying for this class and especially since the TAs were on strike, I had a really hard time in this class. Scavia’s office hours were not helpful to me as his teaching was very unclear.
I think the midterm scaling for grades was fair, but the final was horrific. It was barely scaled and I have never walked away from a test knowing I bombed yet knowing I studied so hard.
Nothing against Scavia as a person, but I feel that he was a very ineffective teacher.
He could afford to record his lectures. He also made lecture notes but they were not very legible and hard to read. A lot of important examples were also not covered in the notes. Was quite lenient when it came to curving but it was a struggle to learn in this class.
Overall, I feel like Prof. Scavia was a great professor, especially considering this was his first quarter lecturing. I'll organize the rest of this review into a couple different categories to best explain the experience taking this class. Prior, I would like to mention that I did have prior knowledge going into this class as I took AP Calc BC in high school, and also, I did attend every single lecture and all but three office hours.

Grading
The following is how grades were determined for the class:
15% Homework (your best 5 assignments out of 7 total for 3% each)
20% Midterm 1
20% Midterm 2
45% Final
1% Extra Credit if you completed the course evaluations

There were 195 students left in the class by the end of the quarter; the following is the grade breakdown:
90 students earned an A or higher (the top 8 students were given an A+)
50 students earned a B through B+
40 students earned a C through C+
10 students got a D+ or lower.

Lectures
I feel like Professor Scavia's lectures were valuable to go to. Each lecture, he would cover topics pretty clearly and succinctly and would go over multiple example problems to illustrate concepts. There were rarely any times where I left his lecture and felt confused about the topics covered (namely Taylor and MacLaurin Series). There were some little moments where I feel like Professor Scavia could have slowed down or emphasized small things. For instance, when we were first learning either Series or Sequences, he was writing a theorem and used Latin? Greek? symbols to say "for every", "such that", "there exists", and if you missed what they meant as he was writing them, you would have no idea what the phrase or overall theorem states.

Overall, I am glad that I woke up early to attend Professor Scavia's 8:00am lectures most days as they greatly helped in my understanding of the class.

Helpfulness
Professor Scavia held office hours twice a week. During his office hours, you could ask him to solve any math question or reexplain certain concepts from class, and for the problems, he would show how to solve them stepbystep, which was helpful when I was confused after lecture or had trouble with setting up certain homework problems. When it was close to exams, Professor Scavia would finish his office hours when everyone was out of questions rather than ending at the stated end time, which was incredibly kind and allowed for everyone who attended to clear up any confusion they had.

Fairness and Difficulty
Homework assignments were normally 1216 questions, and there were 7 total throughout the course. HW would be graded on accuracy with students also earning a few points per assignment for completing all problems. There were only 45 questions graded for accuracy on each assignment. To be more lenient to students, only students' best five assignments would be counted towards their final grade, and if you felt there was a mistake made when grading your assignment, you could submit a regrade request for specific problems to potentially earn back points. Students were not told prior which problems would be graded for accuracy to encourage us to complete everything as best we can. There was a fair range in difficulty between the problems, and the problems selected for grading usually were representative of that range of difficulty.

With regards to tests, they  especially the final  were pretty difficult. To make up for this, you could submit regrade requests within 24 hours of the test results being posted. I specifically earned back three points on the first midterm by submitting a regrade request on a problem that I felt I was harshly graded on. Also, Professor Scavia scaled everyone's grade on both midterms up by 20% and on the final by 8.89% (which led to a 12% increase in your overall grade). This scaling of grades is what allowed me  and I assume many other students  to get an A overall in the class.

TA Strike
Professor Scavia made two key changes to be fair and considerate to students when the TA strike started. First, homework assignments due after the TA strike started, two out of seven assignments, were be graded for completion only rather than for accuracy. Second, students who attended lecture one day were allowed to vote for what format we wanted the second midterm to be: multiple choice or free response. A majority ended up voting for multiple choice, so we had multiple choice questions on both the second midterm and final along with some free response since the Math Department did not permit MCQ only tests.
Avoid this professor at all cost. Seriously. Nothing against Professor Scavia personally at all. It's just that he's not a good professor and can't teach mathematical concepts to students properly and clearly. Lectures were mundane and fast—you will see a lot of Professor Scavia's back as he scrawls numbers and greek letters on the white board. He doesn't record lectures at all, which is a huge red flag in my opinion. He uploads very, very messy lecture notes that don't even entirely correlate with what was covered. There was practically no way for struggling students to review or selflearn (if you happen to miss a lecture) effectively. The other professor who taught Math 31B during the same term had ALL lecture recordings AND notes that are very clear and structured (like very, very) uploaded to his students. I ended up using that professor's notes to study instead because Professor Scavia does not provide you with any study materials besides the textbook. No reason to pick Professor Scavia over other available professors.
when i took this class, scavia had scaled up the midterm grades by like 20% and the final by 10% which was reassuring cuz i did horribly in the midterms but aced the final and ended up with an a. scavia never recorded his 8am lectures which was fair but also meant that there was a lot of self studying to do.
Prof. Scavia was brand new the quarter I took this class. I was not fond of him as a lecturer. I found them confusing and in some cases unorganized. Additionally, he wasn't an engaging lecturer. I found the tests to be vastly different from the practice tests provided and the homework load was not the best either. His notes were often times confusing so lecture was crucial, but, he wasn't the best at being able to use the mic so it was often hard to understand lecture
I personally thought this class was OK. Professor Scavia's lectures are decently clear if you pay close attention, and he's willing to answer questions and engage with students. His first midterm was honestly very difficult and he curved it up by 20%. His second midterm was okay (probably because of the TA strike). The final was difficult but reasonable and I personally thought I could've done better if I paid closer attention in lecture.
Personally I thought that his limit problems were the hardest, so if you plan on taking this class I recommend paying close attention in those lectures.
Scavia is an absolute G. A goddamn legend. His classes are a little quick, but that is the only way for him to complete the course material on time. If you are able to keep up with his, pace you will understand everything he teaches. His class notes are very well organized and are really all you need to understand the material. I would highly recommend taking his class.
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