Programming Languages

Todd Millstein

Programming Languages

Computer Science department

Todd Millstein

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from 8 users

Ratings

Bad
Overall 3.7
Good
Hard
Easiness of class 2.0
Easy
Heavy
Workload 2.5
Light
Not Clear
Clarity of professor 3.7
Clear
Not Helpful
Helpfulness of professor 3.8
Helpful
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Tags

  • Tolerates Tardiness
  • Engaging Lectures
  • Useful Textbooks
  • Appropriately Priced Materials
  • Tough Tests
  • Would Take Again

Grades

Spring 2017
26.5%
22.1%
17.7%
13.2%
8.8%
4.4%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

Spring 2016
20.9%
17.4%
13.9%
10.4%
7.0%
3.5%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

Winter 2014
24.1%
20.1%
16.1%
12.0%
8.0%
4.0%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

Fall 2014
19.6%
16.3%
13.0%
9.8%
6.5%
3.3%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

Spring 2013
28.5%
23.7%
19.0%
14.2%
9.5%
4.7%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

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Reviews

Quarter Taken: Spring 2016 Submitted June 18, 2016 Grade Received: B-

Some people say they have man crushes on Millstein... I don't know if he's that good but Millstein is decent.

The class starts off with OCaml (functional language) and that runs for ~6 weeks. Then we switch to Java for 2 weeks and then Prolog for ~2 weeks. There is a programming homework every week or two weeks, adding up to about 6 homeworks. OCaml was difficult to learn at first because it's an entirely different paradigm than the good ol' object oriented style. It does take a lot of time to do the homework. Luckily, if you hand it in late 1 day, you get a max 90%, and if you it in late 2 days, it's ~70%. I handed it in late a few times because I just couldn't quite figure everything out. Like all programming classes though, start early!

Lectures are alright. Millstein just goes over on the screen syntax and quirks of the language. Pretty standard things really. Don't expect to be blown away. Also, Millstein always stresses how he hates C/C++ and how beautiful OCaml is. If you love your low-level programming languages, you may feel that he's constantly insulting you.

Exams were a little tricky. He has some programming questions but I felt like most of the questions asked were like "Do you understand how the language works." For example, OCaml, static vs strong typing, Java, passing objects around and changing their member variables, Prolog, in what order do the solutions appear... things like that. Most of the things he covers on the midterm and final are discussed in class so pay attention! Also, studying past midterms and finals do help! I studied the past final that he posted and got an 85%. I got a 31/50 on the midterm and did ~90% on the homeworks and got a B-.

Overall, this class is definitely not a waste of your time. You learn cool functional programming paradigms and just being a better programmer overall! I highly recommend taking this class with Millstein!

Quarter Taken: N/A Submitted June 19, 2012 Grade Received: N/A

I would definitely recommend Millstein for 131. The projects are all doable (there is one that takes more time to code and plan, but he gives you an opportunity to work with a partner and more time). He gauged our interest for the C# project and ended up not assigning it. Grading was thus:

Projects - 40%, Midterm - 25%, Final - 35%

I didn't know Java, Prolog, or ML but it was doable. Midterm was very doable (people finished early). Final was harder and trickier. His tests don't have a lot of straight out coding but instead do a lot of multiple choice or short answer/coding problems that ask you details or tricky parts about the language. I would suggest going over concepts and languages very closely instead of worrying about difficult coding questions (which he doesn't do).

I ended up with a B, but I didn't learn each language or concept that closely so that wasn't too much of a shocker.

Quarter Taken: N/A Submitted June 24, 2011 Grade Received: N/A

I HIGHLY recommend Millstein for CS 131. I very thoroughly enjoyed the class. I might even say it's been my favorite so far.

Compared to what the class would have been and compared to other CS classes, Millstein makes CS 131 pretty easy and very pleasant. My only complaint would be that he spent way too much time on ML because he absolutely loves that language. The first half of the class (homeworks 1-4 and all of the midterm) is based on OCaml (i.e. ML). Then the next two homeworks are based on Java and the last one is Prolog.

His exams don't involve a lot of coding problems, and the few that are given are all pretty easy. What makes his exams a bit tough is that they are largely multiple choice. The multiple choice questions on the midterm were pretty tricky, especially because a lot of them are like "Circle all that apply," but I think the final was better for me. My tip for answering them would just be not to second guess your answer. If you know that one is right, but you also think another one MIGHT be right just because it sounds like it could be, just don't circle it. Be SURE that it's right, especially on those "Circle all that apply" questions. However, his exams are certainly not that difficult, but as a result, the averages for the midterm and final were pretty high (in the 80's).

Homeworks were very enjoyable and doable. There are 7 HW's total and there was only 1 or 2 that were pretty challenging. He gives you about a week to finish each one, but most of them can easily be done if you start about 3 days ahead of time. A good majority of the class got nearly full points on their homework assignments.

There is also one language exploration report that we did on C#, but it's only a maximum of 2-3 pages and you write it with a partner. Like someone else said, he probably gives you full points as long as you follow instructions.

Just to give you an idea of the grading, I received nearly full points on all of my homework assignments, got a few points below the average on the midterm, and did fairly well above average on the final. I ended up getting an A. Make sure you don't mess around on the homework though because he incorrectly graded one of my homeworks, giving me only half the points, and that was enough to put me down to an A-. (He immediately fixed it though).

Millstein isn't the perfect teacher though. He canceled a few of the lectures and many of his office hours, which may be irritating to people who prefer professors that are always there for his students. However, I will say that he DOES care for his students and he is concerned with your learning, but I guess he's not 100% reliable in terms of presence. Also, he does seem quite dry and stiff in lecture most of them, aside from a few jokes he makes about other languages that he considers inferior to ML, but overall, he's a pretty nice guy and his interactive teaching style (typing examples on his computer, kind of like Smallberg) makes up for it.

All in all, I'd say definitely don't miss the chance to take CS 131 with Professor Millstein.

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Tags

  • Tolerates Tardiness
  • Engaging Lectures
  • Useful Textbooks
  • Appropriately Priced Materials
  • Tough Tests
  • Would Take Again
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