Math 31B sucks! That's how it works. It's not a fun class, but Professor Short understands that and tries his best to help students with their learning. I took 31B Fall quarter of my freshman year (even though I had yet to take 31A -- UCLA screwed me over with that one) and I ended up getting a D-. Luckily, I was able to retake it. After auditing 31A during the Winter quarter I decided to try 31B for a second time in the Spring. I took the class with Short, and everything I once thought was a foreign language made sense. I'm not sure if it was because of me auditing 31A or if it was Short's teaching ability, but my grade definitely increased. Regardless of the true cause of my grade increase, Short is a very good math teacher. He teaches the material in a much easier format than other professors do (in my experience Tamara Kucherenko). I would recommend taking this class. His tests were pretty damn easy too. He gave out practice tests that were essentially identical to the actual test. Just do the homework - actually do the homework, don't copy or you won't learn anything - and you'll do fine in the class. I ended up earning a B, although I had about an 89%. The one downside to Short is the fact that he does not give out signed grades. It's good if you barely want to skate by with an X- grade, he'll round those up to an X. Just keep in mind X+ don't exist in Short's mind.
Great Class, very effective and efficient professor. If you are taking this level of Math you should know what your going into. Calculus is a given in this course,esp. differential equations, you need it and you are expected to know it. The midterms aren't bad at all, it is very similar to the sample midterms he gives, average for first midterm was about 70 and 80 for the second, final was tricky but overall do-able. Study the sample tests he gives, and read the book! (the book is awesome, very clear) Also this class is very interesting real world applications. goodluck! Also the homework is free points, he grades by completion not by correctness.
(Not sure why 151B isn't in the dropdown menu, but to be clear -- this review is for MATH 151B) Short's a pretty average professor. Just glancing at the ratings why I'm writing this, I'm not sure why they're so low. He's probably an above average lecturer. He's reasonably engaging and reasonably clear but by no means outstanding. The one thing someone taking 151B with him should know, though, is that there are basically two main components of the course. First, you have to implement the algorithms covered in class. This is tested in the homework. You can (and basically should) do all this from the book. Attending class probably doesn't help all that much with the homework. The other part of the class is understanding how/why the algorithms work and how they're derived. The exams cover this, along with a very small handful of homework problems. Unlike with implementation, his lectures are far more useful for this than the book. As a physicist, he's far more interested in the intuition than the mathematical details, which is basically good enough for this course. The book's explanations are often lacking, and its pseudocode sucks for understanding (even though it works). This split might cause you to skip lectures, since they don't help with homework, or you might not know how to study. But I would strongly suggest sticking with lectures and practicing derivations before exams. (And make sure you can do a Taylor expansion!)