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This professor is EXTREMELY EXTREMELY difficult. As you all know, Math 31A was just a review. Biskup expects you to be a master of 31A so when you first arrive to class he throws at you insanely difficult homework which can only be done if you go to his office hours. And you can't take notes at those office hours. The medians on the midterms were around 40 and there are 3 of them. Although, this class is only 4 units, it takes some serious effort to pass it. If you do decide to take this class, do the homework. Know how to do EVERY SINGLE problem without any aid and go to his office hours. Do not make the same mistakes i did.
I did not take 31A prior to taking this class as I got a 4 on the AP Calculus BC exam. That was the biggest mistake of my life.
The professor and the TAs often expected the class to have taken 31A prior and have MASTERED the materials from 31A.
Concepts that do not have to be given to you in a complicated form were always given to you in the most complicated form you can imagine.
Office hours are helpful, but you can't take notes when talking about the homework (which is always) and there are always at least 30 kids at office hours and his office is a tiny tiny tiny space. Be ready to be cramped in there for an hour.
The homework is INSANE. CRAZY.
I should've dropped this class when I had the chance and waited for next quarter.
There was a reason that out of 4 Math 31B classes offered during Winter 2017, two were not taught by Biskup and taken up immediately. Before my first enrollment pass even opened. They were completely filled.
I really wish I dropped this class because now I am 99% sure that I am going to fail it.
There are 3 midterms in this class.
We took one so far, the median was a 42% and the mean was a 46%. The evidence speaks for itself.
Let's put it this way; if I was Satan and wanted more company I would look for people like Biskup. Fool's ratings are as bad the averages he gives on his tests. His class is really hard. Like REALLY REALLY hard. Way harder than it needs to be. Lectures do not provide any help as he is just overall a poor teacher. He expects you to be an absolute master of any previous math concepts/classes and some that you've never heard of or taken. His homework is impossible to complete unless you go to office hours; which involves a very small room, many squished people, and ZERO note-taking. Get there early or you won't get through the door. The TAs will be your saviors. The textbook can help quite a bit. Biskup makes time to help is very inefficient and poor at helping anyone. The tests are ridiculously hard and the averages are extremely low (ie-40%). It's as if Biskup's primary goal isn't so much to teach as it is to make you feel stupid and inferior in your mathematical abilities. I overall hated the class, thought Biskup was a poor teacher, and would recommend that you stay as far away as possible from any class Biskup is teaching.
If Marek Bitchcup is your only option for Math 31B, take it next quarter. :> You'll have a chance of doing well in this class if you're willing to focus all of your time on math for the entire quarter, but why go through that hell?
Don't take 31B with Biskup unless you're a math genius or have already learned and mastered all of the material. If you have the option to take another professor, ANY OTHER PROFESSOR, take the other professor! If Biskup is your only option, save yourself a quarter of hell and take it another time. Biskup is a soul-sucking monster of a human being who has no regard whatsoever for the quality of education he gives his students and even less regard for how well people do in his class. He assigns massive homework loads due twice a week, each of which takes at least 5 hours. Office hours are mandatory to finish most homeworks as the problems he assigns often stump the TAs, who are GRADUATE MATH STUDENTS, and even occasionally stump other professors. Biskup is rude and unclear. I think I'll finish by mentioning that I started this quarter with 185 people in my lecture...there are now less than 90. So, unless your some kind of fucking math genius, DO NOT TAKE THIS CLASS!! #BuckFiskup #Bitchkup
He teaches well in class, but the material he goes over has almost nothing to do with and is in no comparison to how difficult his tests are. His tests are exponentially more difficult than the book and lecture. I WOULD NOT RECOMMEND THIS CLASS, Avoid at all costs, even skip a quarter of math to take a different better professor the next quarter. He will make your life miserable.
Ok boys and girls. Let me tell you something about professor Biskup and my experience with him. First and foremost, I am a math major and have already taken calculus classes and passed. Biskup (or PB) created a quarter full of stress for me. I expected a difficult class with long hours of homework and studying; but I was not prepared for this. I, on average, spent two hours a day with a study group to get his homework done. The homework, worth only 10% of your grade, is what the exams are based off of. So it is necessary to understand them. I spent countless hours with my study group attempting to understand HIS homework problems, even though we understood the ones in the book. The exams made you want to die. I celebrated getting Ds and Cs. HOWEVER, PB was actually a nice man. He seemed to care about his students in a tough love way. Yet he did not allow notes to be taken in his office hours. I was lucky enough to get a TA that let us take notes in discussion (an act Biskup attempted to rule against). And my TA plus study group is the only reason I passed. In the end, my group and I grew a confusing attachment to the class. Picture Stockholm Syndrome mixed with masochism. We powered through it, gaining only the benefit of bragging rights and a friendship built on stress and tears.
I wouldn't say I'm a math genius, but in all honesty, getting an A in this class doesn't require you to be. I know a lot of people performed under their expectations in this class because Biskup's problems were unorthodox compared to other professors in the 31 series department. The bottom line is this: his homework was difficult, but is manageable if you find a study group, and attend some of his office hours. The tests are difficult, but manageable if you make an effort to study the homework. Basically, it all comes down to understanding every single homework problem in order to do well in this class.
The first midterm came as a surprise, because I didn't know that the best way to prepare for it is to just do the homework problems by yourself. If you score 5-6 points above the median on each midterm and do decent on the final, you should get an A.
32A was a joke after I took this class, as other professors merely regurgitate textbook problems which are much easier than Biskup's self-assigned problems.
Overall, a tough class, but not impossible. Would recommend for all math majors who want to gain exposure in what the major really entails, and yearn for a challenge.
Biskup is just amazing. He teaches you a lot more than other professors do. A lot of people say shit about him. That's fair, cuz most people in this school are mediocre and just want to graduate with a worthless degree and work for minimum wage. If you are the kind of people described above, yeah, just avoid his class. Cuz you are just gonna be like this and keep avoiding challenges through out your life. If you don't wanna loose your health care or don't wanna work for minimum wage in the future, cuz another asshole might be elected as president, I bet you, take this challenge. Your hard work this time of your life is gonna pay back. His gives lots of office hours and TAs are also super great.