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course: Math31A, Fall 2010
He's clear in class, neat, & polite when it comes to answering Q's in lecture.
HW: will take up most of your week(going to TA OHs). NONE of the problems are from the textbook (textbook probs are too easy compared to Biskup's. even the TAs struggle with explaining them)
MIDTERMS: failed the first one? DROP the class -- you need to brush up on precalc. aced it? You must've taken APCalc & passed well -- it'll hurt after the 2nd midterm. You've been warned so don't brag & slack like everyone else after the first one.
FINAL: He takes a bunch of Q's from past HWs & switches up the numbers & small stuff. That shouldn't be a problem right?! NO!!!! You won't have time to finish if you did NOT memorize the annoyingly intricate math tricks for the problems; they're not about understanding the overall concepts. If you have a photographic memory, good for you.
Curve: Do you know how many desperate freshmen in Math31A winter quarter are from Biskup's class? A LOT
I thought he was a good prof even though he gave me my first F during freshman year, fall quarter (chem major). That MEANS something. I failed because the last time I took math was in junior year (precalc & college-level stats).
Best way to judge that you're READY for this class?
-- Don't just pass the math benchmark exam like I did. Ace it with 90% & brush up on trig before taking the class.
-- You got a 3 on APCalc AB.
Want to PASS it?
-- Go to OHs. Do all the HW.
-- Try to take 2-3 other easy classes with only this one math course. (good recommendations: GEs, a GE cluster with light reading, EngComp2, EngComp3). If you can handle it, just don't overboard by taking this along with Chem & Physics.
Hope that helps.
This professor has good intentions, but is simply too hardcore. If you already took Calc in high school and want a review class, I would recommend another professor. He spends a lot of time on proofs that no one really cares about. His homework problems are very challenging, and most people have to go to office hours to actually do them. And the worst part is his grading on exams, where each problem is worth 2 points. Although the exam takes stuff mostly from the homework, the time limit forces you to MEMORIZE the homework problems. Many of the times, you will get a lot of deductions from carelessness (because you were rushed during the midterm), so it won't accurately represent what you know.
The class is doable, but it's challenging and will require a lot of work. The diagnostic exam was easy, but don't underestimate the first midterm.