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(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!)
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