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Interesting class, and not too challenging. She goes very slowly in lecture and really makes sure that everyone is able to understand the material. It's not necessary to buy the book as long as you pay attention in class and do all the homework. There was a midterm, a cumulative final, and four homework assignments. The assignments were not too time consuming, and even kind of fun.
As I mentioned, the class is not too challenging so the only real way to separate the A students from the B students is to be extremely nitpicky when grading tests, which is exactly what was done. I've always been good at grasping concepts, but I've always had problems with careless errors on tests. This was my ultimate downfall in the class. I lost a full FIVE percentage points on the midterm for accidentally putting a negative where I should not have. Completely ridiculous. The entire question was marked incorrect, despite the fact that I followed through on all the steps correctly and made one dumb mistake at the end.
Or maybe I'm just bitter that my final grade was an 89.8% and she wouldn't just give me the A-.
Professor Bawn is a really good professor. That said, she does not quite communicate what she wants in her tests. For example, she may ask a TRUE or FALSE question, but what she is expecting is a short essay on why a statement is TRUE or FALSE. A simple answer will get you very few points. As so far as grading is concerned, there were 4 short assignments, a midterm and a final. I did well on the 4 assignments, completely bombed the midterm and did well on the final and got an A in the class. As for the class, it was great. Unlike a lot of other classes, I learned a lot. I would totally recommend Professor Bawn.
I took Bawn for PS30 and 171B, both of which I got A's in. She is incredibly easy to relate to during lecture and uses real life examples to explain seemingly difficult concepts (i.e. game trees and simultaneous set up). More than anything though, she cares about how students due and will use up bulk class time to hammer home concepts in different ways (rather than just repeating the same mumbojumbo). Though there is an assigned textbook, you really don't have to read since she explains things very well in class-so you will have to go to lecture.