Ratings for Mathematics H113

Rate this course:

Average Ratings

68

Based on 14 ratings for the instructor(s) that have taught this course.

Assignments
71
Exams
71
Helpfulness
68
Enthusiasm
71

Instructor Ratings

64
Vojta, P A (MATH H113, Spring 2016)
Assignments
68
Exams
94
Helpfulness
70
Enthusiasm
32

Comment: Lectures were pretty dry and hard to follow, despite him following the book closely. However, he wrote pretty much everything he said on the board, and at a reasonable pace. Reading these lecture notes later on definitely helped because they were well-written. He did also sometimes give handouts containing proofs that he either wanted to present differently from the book, or that weren't in the book at all; I enjoyed reading these too. In general he didn't seem to like questions that much, and seemed to want to hurry through answers to anything he was asked. Still, I suppose his office hours would've been helpful... had I gone to any of them.... Homework assignments , which were also from the book, were OK, sometimes being easy and other times ridiculously hard (we used Dummit & Foote, which is apparently used in some graduate courses in other universities). They were about as interesting as abstract algebra can get. Exams were generally fair and not ridiculously hard (well, the final was a bit, but the curve reflected that). He said he'd curve the class, which I thought was mean, because it only had like 17 people, but I was pleasantly surprised by my grade, so I'm guessing he was quite generous with it. All in all, Vojta is probably not suitable for teaching lower div classes, because he won't bother to try and make the content interesting, but if you'd in a class like this, it probably means you're already interested in the material, and with that in mind, he isn't really that bad overall...

Submitted May 16th, 2016

100
Wodzicki, M (MATH H113, Spring 2015)
Assignments
100
Exams
100
Helpfulness
89
Enthusiasm
100

Comment: Given a lot of the bad reviews before mine, people are probably not going to believe me when I say this, but this is something that is true and MUST be said: Wodzicki is one of the best math professors in Berkeley- one that everyone who wishes to pursue mathematics should take an upper div course with. He is also incredibly nice. He might come across as intimidating at first due to his openness with his expectations, his energetic enthusiasm towards math, and his unique way of teaching, but he is actually very encouraging and cares a lot about his students, especially their mathematical education. He put in so much dedication into math h113 that it is almost unbelievable; he provided us with hundreds of pages of notes he put together himself (often forsaking sleep to make them) for us to use and taught us so much. This is my first abstract math course, so I don't really know what other abstract classes are like, but I feel like he taught the material effectively. The whole class was centered around Category Theory, which is something that is probably difficult to teach as an intro class due its high level of abstraction, but was done extremely well by Wodzicki. I felt like he cared a lot more about our ability and willingness to learn math than about our raw intelligence. We didn't have any midterms and our final was take-home. There was no pressure of "I-need-to-not-fail-exam," but there was a lot of "this-is-really-awesome-stuff-I-don't-really-get-it-but-I-want-to-learn-more." If I could describe the learning experience, I would say it was like a journey with Wodzicki guiding you, letting you know what are good site-seeing spots with his many insights (a metaphor inspired by the review directly below mine). Personally, I am not a very abstract thinker, and I found it really difficult to grasp the material, but Wodzicki's passion and drive really motivated me. He is really admirable, not only as a mathematician and professor, but also as a human being. There is so much to learn from him, and he is willing to share with his students his vast amount of knowledge and experiences. Also, yeah this class would have increased the size of my penis if I had one.

Submitted May 21st, 2015

100
Wodzicki, M (MATH H113, Spring 2015)
Assignments
100
Exams
92
Helpfulness
73
Enthusiasm
100

Comment: Wodzicki could start a cult if he wanted. His enthusiasm for mathematics and learning is lethally contagious. He dedicates himself to his class so much that you feel compelled to give that same effort while knowing that on your best day you can muster to achieve only half that drive, but you know that with practice, someday you might reach a level worthy of his consideration. I do, however, think that his demanding nature was intimidating at times. Personally, I was afraid to ask him questions sometimes lest I display my ignorance, but I believe that he truly wants to teach and share his knowledge and that he is happy to do so as long as you are happy to apply yourself too. The assignments require that you struggle with abstraction that at first seem incomprehensible, but which, once you pass that initial roadblock, yield short and neat solutions. His lecture style is predictably unpredictable. He rarely makes it to the destination he sets, but instead we take a scenic route on which we catch glimpses of various fields and objects of mathematics all tied together with the language of category theory. Of course, a lot of these examples went over my head, but they were a constant tease daring me to go further in my mathematical endeavors. The final exam was a nicely constructed extended homework assignment which brought together many topics from the class in a new context so that, while it was an assessment of the knowledge acquired through the semester, the final exam was also an opportunity to continue learning. All in all, Wodzicki is the best professor I've had at Berkeley challenging me to be a better student and person in all respects. In other words, I'm pretty sure this class increased the size of my penis, 10/10 would take again.

Submitted May 21st, 2015

98
Wodzicki, M (MATH H113, Spring 2015)
Assignments
97
Exams
98
Helpfulness
98
Enthusiasm
95

Comment: I'm pretty sure this class increased the size of my penis.

Submitted May 21st, 2015

86
Glick, M (MATH H113, Spring 2013)
Assignments
77
Exams
75
Helpfulness
100
Enthusiasm
88

Comment: Pretty good professor overall. He seemed nervous the first few days, but after that he was really friendly and helpful. As someone else commented, the homework grading was somewhat strict. However in my experience it was also fair and except for the occasional simple mistake there was a good reason for every point that was taken off. The problems on the tests were not too hard, but especially on the midterm there was not quite enough time to easily answer all the questions. Overall he was a really good teacher and he tried hard to make everything clear and understandable (though the material at the end of the class was a little rushed).

Submitted Aug. 27th, 2013

76
Glick, M (MATH H113, Spring 2013)
Assignments
75
Exams
65
Helpfulness
50
Enthusiasm
64

Comment: Reasonable (and somewhat challenging) assignments. Difficult exams. Clear, but dry, lecturing. Answers questions reasonably well. Not highly recommended, but he's certainly not terrible, and if you're looking for a challenge, go for it.

Submitted May 23rd, 2013

43
Glick, M (MATH H113, Spring 2013)
Assignments
44
Exams
31
Helpfulness
50
Enthusiasm
50

Comment: Would not recommend. Max is a mediocre teacher and the final was killer. Class had pretty advanced material (stuff from 250A, in fact you could probably use their earlier midterms as practice exams and they'd be about the same difficulty level....). Homework was very harshly graded and could be very tedious. Unless you like to torture yourself & don't mind potentially damaging your GPA, I'd take it with someone else.

Submitted May 18th, 2013

50
Coleman, R F (MATH H113, Spring 2011)
Assignments
50
Exams
50
Helpfulness
50
Enthusiasm
50

Comment: great!

Submitted Sept. 1st, 2012

84
Talaska, K (MATH H113, Spring 2012)
Assignments
93
Exams
93
Helpfulness
82
Enthusiasm
92

Comment: great professor!

Submitted Sept. 1st, 2012

3
Talaska, K (MATH H113, Spring 2012)
Assignments
0
Exams
0
Helpfulness
51
Enthusiasm
0

Comment: Overrated. Little focus was placed on concepts. Assignments were ridiculously long and unfairly marked. I lost 5% on an assignment because I made a grammatical mistake. Lectures were a waste of time -- Professor Talaska runs through the definitions that you have already learnt from reading the chapter, then expects you to learn how to prove theorems by yourself with no guidance. Throughout the course Professor Talaska did not prove a single theorem on the board, rather she proved them orally. 1/3rd of the mid term questions were all or nothing true/false questions which were submitted by the students -- everyone submitted a question to be used on the midterm, of those a select few went on the mid-term. This played out well for those who got their questions on the midterm and for friends of those who who got their questions on the midterm. Structuring a midterm in this fashion allows for bias to come in play -- it could be possible for Professor Talaska to rig the true/false questions. The final was however good -- Professor Talaska uploaded 1/3 of the questions online to be used on the final. You have to be very direct to Professor Talaska if you are having a problem with a certain question -- in such a case she is helpful.

Submitted July 10th, 2012