Frederick Paik Schoenberg
Based on 25 Users
Professor Paik Shoenberg is a nice guy, but a terrible, lazy professor.
He reads straight from his slides.
His slides? ARE HIS BOOK COPIED AND PASTED ONTO THE SLIDES. It is a wall of text with no spacing between equations and he skips many algebraic steps. They are hard to read and hard to follow. Plus he already has them prepared so he goes through them too fast for you to write them down. You should either print them ahead of time or use a tablet.
His book? Some equations are written WITHIN paragraphs which make it very hard to read. Many variables are undefined making his logic hard to follow as well. There are no additional explanations in his book that supplement the material that he goes over in class because - I repeat - HIS SLIDES ARE HIS BOOK.
His exams? 14 multiple choice questions in 1 hour and 15 minutes. It doesn't sound too bad until you make one algebraic or mathematical mistake and then 10 minutes of working out the question is for nothing since you don't come up with an answer to circle. It was definitely not enough time for me to finish even though the questions themselves were not confusing. The questions are modified versions of examples that he does in class but they take a while to do all of the steps. No part of this class is partial credit. You either get the answer on the exam or you don't. He is too lazy to grade for partial credit. HOWEVER you do get to use any materials you want for the exams so I would suggest making outlines of the steps of example questions so you can fill in the numbers during the exam.
The homework is fair honestly. Some questions take a while to figure out but I really can't criticize the content of questions... however, they are also graded for full or no credit. Lazy.
There is a group project that is pointless yet easy. It shouldn't be a group project... it's THAT easy. My prediction is that he is also too lazy to grade a project for each individual student.
During the first lecture, he literally told us not to go to office hours because he won't be helpful. Therefore, I did not attend office hours.
He provides no resources for studying.
Most of the example questions in his book (which I tried to use for studying) ask for proofs that don't have an answer in the back. He doesn't ask for proofs on the exams.
The MATERIAL is NOT hard. His method of grading and the way he presents the material makes the class hard.
Discussion was taught by a TA with a heavy accent and had the questions written down before class so you couldn't copy down the questions and pay attention to how he answered them at the same time. He was also kind of rude.
Shoenberg should not be a professor here, we deserve better educators than this.
don't understand how he has so many good reviews and such a high grade distribution. My friends and I all struggled. I thought this class was going to be an easy A but it was not. Take with someone else if you actually want to learn
This class was honestly not good at all and I wouldn't recommend it. I feel as if I learned nothing about statistics or probability from this class; rather, I learned about poker. The three exams are all 14 question multiple choice, meaning if you missed 2-3 questions on each like me, you will end up with a B-. The slides are recycled and read off of, the group project is pointless and the prof asks us to copy an old example, and the tests are unforgiving. My friends who did well in this class said that they just got lucky guessing on some of the exam questions. Professor is nice overall, but fairly unaccommodating given the return to campus. Everything lecture-wise is in person and not recorded.
I LOVED this class so much. Honestly going in, I was super worried about the class since Paik Schoenberg teaches probability solely through the rules of poker, and I had a really hard time understanding the concepts at the start of the quarter. However, he's an amazing professor, and he clearly always wants his students to do well, so he's super helpful in lecture whenever someone would ask a question about a concept. He always made sure we understood everything he was saying, and would even drop hints about his tests whenever he could to help us out. All his tests are open note, open book, and they were super easy and straightforward. We had 3 exams and no final, and they were all 14 multiple choice questions. If you just went over his lecture slides, you'll be sure to do fine on the tests! He does a lot of review problems in class before each test, and they were all super helpful. Definitely take this class!!
To be fair, professor Schoenberg isn't the most responsible professor, as he rarely replies to your emails and had no office hour during the summer session. But I would definitely take his class again because his lectures are quite engaging, and from the lectures alone, you can actually learn a lot. As a bonus, his lecture slides are well organized and easy to read. He paces himself quite well and stresses on key informations that are crucial to the course and tests. His tests (in summer session) consist of 13 or 14 multiple choices that are often based on the sample questions he gives out in the lecture slides, so if you pay attention to the slides and actually review the questions you'd be set.
That's why I disagree with other comments calling him a lousy teacher. IMO, he's trying his best keeping the lecture content fun by introducing poker-playing techniques. He is a decent lecturer and if you are willing to work for it, you will enjoy the class. And DON'T blame poker for your grades. I don't know poker beforehand, and I am not a try-hard. It's just you didn't work for this class.
His lectures are helpful but he moves through material at such a slow pace...which I guess isn't a bad thing except that you have to sit through every one because most of the material he tests on is specifically from details in his lecture and not the textbook.
However, if you do manage that, his exams are pretty much easy As, especially with the notes he allows you to have. I went to class about 80% of the time, spent an hour max preparing for each exam (which consisted of making my notes sheet) and nearly aced every one.
Overall, Schoenberg's class was a really easy introduction to probability. He does a pretty good job of going over the concepts in class, and while all the examples are from poker, it isn't too hard to pick up the basic rules (speaking as someone who had zero knowledge about even basic card game rules). The workload is pretty light, with only three homework assignments (that each only had 3-4 questions). The tests are pretty painless too, as they are multiple choice/open book and notes. Some questions are a little tricky, causing me and many others to miss a few of them. However, he does reward improvement, so even if you bomb the two midterms but do well on the final, he will give you a much higher grade than what the raw score might suggest.
This class was very interesting and I learned a lot of useful skills. No textbook, just power points. The midterm and final were multiple choice with a couple open ended questions (no partial). Not really that bad if know the material because they were not too hard. Oh and the exams were open notes. The wrong answers in the multiple choices were completely random and were not derived from mistakes you would make while doing a problem. This makes getting >90 very doable. Grade: A. Workload: Low. Difficulty: med. I recommend you know how to play poker before taking this course.
The professor is nice and he goes through the material thoroughly during class time. That being said, it can be difficult to pay attention because he will go over the same slides repeatedly- which is great if you can stay awake! This class was supposed to be a walk in the park, but unfortunately I had an awful TA and it ruined my experience. If Duncan Clark is TA'ing, DO NOT take section with him. He is awful and gives out labs that are significantly harder than the other TAs. He gave his sections 8 labs, versus the other TA who only gave 3 labs during the quarter that were much easier. Both midterm and final are open book and multiple choice, so as long as you pay attention and have a good TA you should be set. I just want to caution that the midterm was only 16 questions, so make sure you have everything you need going into the exam. I made the mistake of not printing all the slides with notes, so I missed more questions than I should have. Lastly, Schoenberg does award improvement from midterm to final. He doesn't have an exact metric for it but if you show up for class and your score goes up, he will bump you up a bit. Overall, this class really wasn't my jam but Schoenberg was very fair and made it a tolerable experience.
Also, make sure you compare your midterm with other students as soon as you get it back for grading errors. He didn't post an answer key.
HW (10%) -> 4 in total, turn in at beginning of class to get full points possible
Labs (10%) -> optional attendance
Midterm (30%) -> 16 MC questions
Final (50%) -> 40 MC questions