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Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.
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
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.
I actually thought he was quite fair as a professor. His lectures followed the book well, he could answer the questions, and if you knew your stuff the exams are not that bad. The first midterm was very easy, the second one was relatively difficult, and the final was in between. I got a 90 on the first midterm, 79 on the second, 83 on the third, and ended up with an A in the class. Just study hard, know the concepts, and you will be fine.
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.
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.
Short is not nearly as bad as these comments say he is. Sure, lecture moves fast, but so does every 10-week math class. And although his tests are hard, his curve was extremely nice to me. I got a 35 on the second midterm and still ended up with a solid A in the class.
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.