Tova Brown

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Calculus for Life Sciences Students See Full Profile

Overall 3.2 Easiness 3.5 Workload 3.8 Clarity 2.8 Helpfulness 3.8

Most Helpful Review

Grade breakdown:
10% homework
25% midterm 1
25% midterm 2
40% final
100% final
Whichever was higher was the grade you got for the class. The final and the overall grades of the class were curved at the end of the quarter.

In the beginning I wasn't happy with her teaching strategy. I thought she went too slow and went too in depth into things in a way that was too confusing. However, as the quarter progressed, I got more used to how she taught and am actually not too opposed to her teaching anymore.

For many in my class she was a horrible professor, but for me personally, I thought she was helpful in explaining the conceptual aspects of calculus. It may be because I took AP Calculus AB my senior year of high school, but I feel like once you have a firm grasp on the math conceptually, you should be doing more than fine on the midterms and final. She was a very concerned professor and answered everyone's questions in class. Just know that she most likely won't go over actual problems in class. That's where discussion comes in.

My TA, Chuyuan Fu, was not very effective at all. She was very quiet and couldn't really answer questions that well, which is why discussion attendance dwindled quickly week after week. However, she tried her best teaching, and I admire that, but it just wasn't for her.

As far as homework goes, it was incredibly easy. Not a big work load at all. Around ten problems due each week online. There were a couple to a few conceptual questions each week. With the computational questions, it was good because you could put in your answer and check it to see if it was right. If it was wrong, you could put in a new answer and check it again, but it would not show you the right answer. You could also work on it throughout the week and save your progress before turning it in. If you don't turn it in by the deadline, it turns itself in automatically. DO NOT BUY THE MATH TEXTBOOK. She never touches it. It may be used by other professors, but for Brown, no. There were eight assignments total.
Homework grade: 90.83%

There were two midterms which were nine questions each. I didn't think they were very difficult. As long as you understood the conceptual parts of it, you were fine. One thing I really liked though was how quickly she grades. For the second midterm, I took it on a Monday, and I got it back that same Wednesday. I thought this was excellent.
Midterm 1 grade: 44/45 98%
Class mean grade: 34/45 76%
Midterm 2 grade: 42/45 93%
Class mean grade: 30.9/45 69%

The final was fifteen questions and was similar to the midterms. It covered the whole breadth of the course and included both conceptual and computational questions. I was stuck on two problems in total. This too was graded quickly. Took it on Monday and saw my grade online on Friday.
Final grade: 62/70 89%
Class mean grade: 46.9/70 67%

Overall it was an okay class. Easy for me in particular, more difficult for some. But the professor, all in all, was fair.
Final course grade: A

(Dec. 24, 2014)
Integration and Infinite Series See Full Profile

Overall 3.1 Easiness 3.6 Workload 3.5 Clarity 2.6 Helpfulness 4.1

Most Helpful Review

Definitely the most caring professor ever.

(Nov. 17, 2015)
Integration and Infinite Series See Full Profile

Overall 2.6 Easiness 3.6 Workload 3.4 Clarity 2.8 Helpfulness 3.8

Most Helpful Review

Professor is really nice, she answers every question people have in the lecture even ifit takes 30 minutes to go through a problem (which many people may already know). Lectures are short so you might actually have to read the textbook for more comprehensive understanding.

Midterm consists of 8 problems, 5 points each. Final has 12 problems. For both midterm and final she added one or two specific problems that you probably won't get by reading the book but were went through in the lecture. Generally the exams are a little harder comparing to the materials she covers in lectures.

(Jan. 28, 2015)
Calculus of Several Variables See Full Profile

Overall 3.0 Easiness 3.7 Workload 3.7 Clarity 2.3 Helpfulness 4.2

Most Helpful Review

Dr. Brown was unfortunately an ineffective professor in my opinion. Her lectures failed to truly explain all the material. Her definitions and theorems in class were often less rigorous than those in the homework, requiring students to learn much of the material on their own. Her ability to draw graphs, however, was impressive.

I cannot speak to the quality of her office hours as I did not attend them.

As far as her grading goes, it was a textbook case of grade inflation. For both midterm one and midterm two, she curved the median test score to an A-. I assume that roughly half the students in her class received at least an A-.

I suggest avoiding this Tova if you truly want to learn the material. Without my very helpful TA, I would likely have struggled in this course.

(April 1, 2014)
Linear Algebra and Applications See Full Profile

Overall 3.2 Easiness 3.6 Workload 3.6 Clarity 3.2 Helpfulness 4.5

Most Helpful Review

This one probably the most dysfunctional class I have ever taken. No one paid attention and random students were calling out in class, disrupting class, and acting like idiots for most of the lectures.

Every single day the entire class would just talk to their friends and she just kept right on teaching. Whenever she tried to get everyone to pay attention they would just ignore her.

If you want an easy A then go ahead and take her. At the beginning of the class she said, "If you guys all deserve an A then I will give you all an A and I will just deal with the department myself." Then she made the average on her tests like 80%+ so we all ended up "deserving it". She was a very easy professor.

If you want to learn the material then maybe don't. She has a great graphical insight to the math she is teaching but can't get her point across if no one is listening anyway.

(March 24, 2015)
Linear Algebra and Applications Full Profile > 3.8 Overall 3.2 Easiness 3.8 Workload 2.4 Clarity 4.6 Helpfulness
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Linear Algebra and Applications See Full Profile

Overall 3.8 Easiness 3.2 Workload 3.8 Clarity 2.4 Helpfulness 4.6

Most Helpful Review
No reviews have been written yet.
Linear Algebra See Full Profile

Overall 3.4 Easiness 3.4 Workload 3.6 Clarity 2.6 Helpfulness 4.2

Most Helpful Review

Professor Brown is a lovely and nice teacher. She concerns about her student so much that she managed to answer every questions in the class. But that is a problem because a rather tangential question in class may cause her whole lecture without talking anything about the material. So save your question after class for the sake of others. Her lecture is a little bit disorganized but the exams are easy and the generous curve will give you a decent grade.

(March 29, 2015)
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