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Having never taken a calculus class before, I was totally and absolutely bewildered in this class. Lectures are incredibly boring, he spelled things wrong, and once even got so lost in the only example that he ever presented to us that he GAVE UP solving it on the board. Beyond that, he never gave any examples during class, only focused on theory that we never needed to prove. TAs were no better; also taught meaningless theories without ever clearly explaining the problems we were actually expected to do. Midterm averages were always about 50%, and a concerning amount of students failed this class.
I took Calc AB in high school and passed the AP test with a 4, but had a hard time in this class. He's VERY organized, which is amazing compared to other math professors, but he can be socially awkward. He's really good-hearted though; if you visibly put in the effort, it'll pay off. He's pretty strict though, but it's a good thing because it rewards the students who pay attention.
His exams were hard while I took them, but looking at the answer keys (which he gave to us RIGHT AFTER the exam!) I always ended up going "duh, why didn't I do that??"
If I could do anything differently, I would focus more on completely understanding the material, rather than just doing the problems from the book to study.
I had Professor Aschenbrenner for Math 31A. I had already taken Calculus AB in high school, and gotten a 4 on the AP exam (like most students in this class). Many kids never showed up, except to turn in their homework on Friday. I, personally, am the type who would rather spend the allotted time in class learning the material, rather then teach myself on my own time, but since everyone pretty much knew it already, it wasn't a huge deal. The homework was easy and short, but graded pretty harshly, so make sure you do them all right (although it is not a huge portion of your grade). The two midterms and final were pretty difficult and there was a spread of 11%-100% on all of them. I got a 76 and a 63 on the midterms, and an 85 on the final. My final grade was a B+ in the class. The curve definitely helps. Know your absolute value, he makes every easy problem harder by making it an absolute value problem. The discussions were not that helpful, as most of the students already knew the material, but they were used to get answers to more difficult homework problems. All in all, it was a pretty fair math class, and by taking it again, I understand it in much greater depth than I did in high school.
Funny professor but the material he covers are merely examples from the book. Going to his office hours are useless because he looks frightened when students ask him a question (he does not know how to correctly phrase his answers). In order to do well in this class 1. be really good at algebra 2. do the homework well in advanced before your discussion (and try to pick a Thursday discussion since 2 lectures are already covered) and 3. PRACTICE. The good thing about this professor is that he offers a vast amount of practice exams on his website. However, his teaching method should, no MUST, be improved. Also I noticed that his teaching style correlates strongly to that of the Calculus videos from MIT...
Ya.....Terrible Teacher, Class was a joke - w/e I skipped every friday, Walked in to turn in me H/w and Left. You're better off self teaching - If you don't already know this course - It's good to take in winter because there's like little to no engineering students so the curve is pretty shway. Get an 85 on the first midterm, you'll get an A+, get a ~70 something on the second you'll get an A - And the final will kill you 'cuz its insanely harder than both midterms, but get close to a 70 and you'll be fine - BE CAREFUL WITH YOUR HOMEWORK, they are graded HELLA HARD! FUUH! Bottom Line: PreBusecon/Econ, take it if you know calculus and want to focus your time on other classes, if you have to take this prof during fall -DON'T! oh Ya...He's pretty funny haha.... oh and The Book is your professor in this class...the horrible...crapppyy...book.. and KhanAcademy.org of Course =)
Aschenbrenner may be a nice guy, but he can't teach at all. He doesn't realize students do not understand or comprehend what he is saying; partially because of his heavy German accent and partially because of the language he uses when he speaks English.
Overall, do not expect to learn much from this guy, you have to learn all the material on your own. If you're not able to be on top of things on your own, having Aschenbrenner may become one of the most disappointing experiences you may have in your academic career.