All Ratings and Reviews for Martin Short
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Most of these reviews are just whiny kids. Sure he doesn't give plusses or minuses on grades. But, his tests are pretty easy if you just go to lecture and take notes. Of all the kids in my class (180), only about 50 were showing up to lecture consistently. He lectures straight out of the book, so you could argue you don't need to show up, but if you take the time to hear what he has to say he'll actually tell you everything you need to know for exams so you don't overstudy.
He never tries to "trick" you on exams--he gives you the formulas, gives practice tests to his class before the midterms/final (the practice tests were nearly identical to the real tests).
He encourages students to come to office hours with questions but is always open to stopping lecture to answer a few questions in class as well.
I'd heard horrible things about 31B, and I read the reviews on here and was scared to death of taking him, but I decided to suck it up. Well, it paid off, because these reviews were completely inaccurate. Short was a great professor and he really does care about his students. You gotta study for the tests, but overall they are not that difficult.
I'd really recommend this professor for 31B.
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.
Prof. Short is one of those incredibly smart guys who has never struggled with math, and it shows. He's very comfortable with the material. You can ask him anything and he knows the answer. He awards grades based on how much you know, and not how much you tried.
I spoke with him in office hours a couple times. He knows that students can find the answers to homework from the solutions manuals and online which is why he doesn't give much credit for homework. As a result, almost all of your grade comes from exams (which he writes himself). He definitely tests that you understand the concepts. Just memorizing formulas and algorithms isn't enough to get an A in his class.
He's not the most entertaining professor at UCLA, but he's definitely competent, knowledgeable, nice, and eager to help the students who really want to learn the material.
Awful. God Awful.
easy homework, you can just copy off from the Student Manual Solutions.
Hard tests... you gotta know the concepts.
Most of Short's lectures are straightforwardly the book's examples, which means what he'll parle is dryly technical. He assigned us homework every week (due Fridays, or Wednesdays on midterm weeks; 15%) two midterms (25% each) and a final (35%). Only about 15% of the class ever attended lecture at any given time; my friends in other class who visited my lecture were surprised by this, in comparison to theirs. Each midterm was out of 40 points, which may not be graceful to most. For example, on an 8 point problem he would have assigned 4 points for FULLY correct process, and 4 points for bringing it all together in your final answer's set up. NOTE: This CAN BE great if you (a) did your process correctly, (b) brought the different elements in your final answer correctly, and (c) double checked for silly mistake (piece of cake!); this is NOT good for those who tend to make silly mistakes and/or leave themselves little to no time for double checking. However, for those who think, therefore, that the answers mean more to Short than the process, you are unfortunately mistaken. He explicitly states in tests that answers hardly mean anything without process. So while the final answer is worth a lot, technically I suppose so does your process. First midterm 59-65 people failed, which he was even astonished by. Second midterm only one person got one of the big problems. One of the harder problems had to do with a vertically submerged upside down triangle, given the trig angle, find the force on the surface's area. People often found finding the ratio the hardest part. One of the other hard ones was: given a function and its graph, find its arclenth. On this one people often had difficulty starting the problem: taking the derivative of the function because the derivative squared looked intimidatingly gross. The trick was being creative about defining how to take the derivative (move everything but y to the other side, turn y into f(x) and derive); and that literally made the difference (but most everyone still failed to see this). Simple creativity! The final was easy and hard. Easy because the given set up of (usually) hard to do problems were made simplified; hard because he did ask us to regurgitate some early stuff (which is EASY to forget right after the first midterm). OVERALL, I give Short a 78% (on a curved scale, of course, to make up for truly cr@ppy professors). And since HE doesn't give signed grades (a good thing for the lazy; not good for the over-achieving), his transcript just gets a "C" in my books! That's still passing, but if he's planning to "major" in this, I suggest he retakes the course. LOL
The worst professor i've had at UCLA. The average on the second midterm was a 45%! He rushes through lectures and does a terrible job of preparing us for the exams. Basically, dont take this class unless you already have a firm grasp of 31B. The TA's are okay, but their lecture information never seemed to show up on exams. 2 midterms, 25% each. Final is 40%. Weekly Homework is 10%. By the end of the quarter, less than half of the class was going to lecture as they were practically worthless.
To counter the commentor below me, I received a 42 on the 2nd midterm, and was given a C in the class. He was the worst professor I've ever had, period. Didn't give plus/minus grades, only A, B, C, D, F. Lectures were useless, and the tests were tough concepts. Never given a practice midterm or final and was uncompromising on midgraded questions on exams. Do NOT take this professor.
The professor's lectures were boring but he always answered questions. He always gave answers and examples that were too technical but tried to ensure that most people understood. His tests were on the difficult side but made up for that with curved grading. You will do well if you do more than just the homework problems and at least understand the basic concepts. I thought the class was average in terms of difficulty for mathematics.
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