Justin Forlano

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Easiness 2.1/ 5
Clarity 2.8/ 5
Workload 2.5/ 5
Helpfulness 2.7/ 5
Most Helpful Review
Winter 2023 - If you just want an easy A, Forlano is not your professor, as he generally tries to center his exams at an 80-85% median. If you really want to learn the concepts taught in class, Forlano is a great professor to take 170E with. He does a great job of breaking down the concepts in lecture for everyone, including non-math majors, went through all of the 170e curriculum (apparently one of the other 170e professors winter 2023 did not get anywhere close to finishing), and the homework generally does a good job of expanding on the concepts in class. Lectures may have been a bit dry, but he did record them via bruincast, so watching at 1.5x speed worked well, pausing when I needed to take notes. He also posted the annotated slides after the lecture which came in handy a couple of times. The homework tends to be on the theoretical side, with lots of "demonstrate X given Y" questions; some are fairly trivial, a few required a lot of calculation that I felt was unnecessarily long (extensive double sum problems anyone?) and/or required some insight, so I would definitely recommend blocking off your schedule to attend, in addition to discussions, office hours with a TA or the professor for the occasional question you get stuck on. I also heard before taking his class that homeworks are very long, but I personally didn't experience that, probably because I took heavy advantage of office hours (the TAs for my class were awesome but are graduating soon - thanks Ben Jarman for all of your support!). While the homework was not super close to the actual exams (the exams were almost all computational), I felt that it did a good job of forcing understanding of the topics needed for them if you first put in decent effort on the homework yourself before getting help. At the beginning, homeworks due friday only used concepts taught the week before it was due, but towards the end it started catching up with concepts touched on wednesday being used in the homeworks due that friday. Exams were in my opinion fair: they were very similar to the practice exams Forlano gave out (but not like copy-pasted wording) and weren't super difficult but they weren't easy either. Forlano also clearly made an effort to minimize multi-part question penalties, so almost always part B was solvable even without knowing how to do part A, and grading was also generous and fast (<7 day turnaround for all exams even with 160 students). Definitely make sure you work on a cheat sheet for the exams as you go along, as you'll need to know the different types of random variables and how to use them by the second midterm. Not specific to Forlano but just 170e in general, but definitely get used to doing basic double integrals before taking this class. It appears at the very end, and unfortunately 32a isn't a prereq/coreq but 95%+ will have taken it, so you'll be at a massive disadvantage if you don't. All in all, I would definitely take another math class with Forlano, You do not need the textbook.
Easiness N/A/ 5
Clarity N/A/ 5
Workload N/A/ 5
Helpfulness N/A/ 5
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