Ratings for Sahai, A
Based on 52 ratings for this instructor.
Comment: He gives a lot of works in his class, but he's very generous on giving the final grade. Exams are very fair. If you can understand the homework well and exam's review, you'll be fine. He's very helpful to his students and really care about them. His lecture is good.
Submitted May 17th, 2016
Comment: The assignments for this course definitely take a while, but if you do them and understand them then the tests aren't too bad. I loved how much Sahai and all the GSI's really cared about student learning and gave a bunch of breaks when they thought necessary such as taking off some of the Virtual Labs. If you're optimizing for a good grade and nothing else, then the Virtual Labs aren't worth it because they only showed up on one straightforward question on one midterm and nowhere else on the exams and aren't worth too much of the grade. But I would still recommend doing them because they do teach important skills. Also, there is a LOT of opportunities for EC which was really great. All in all, I HIGHLY recommend taking this class with Sahai if you can because it will be a very worth it experience.
Submitted Jan. 6th, 2015
Comment: He's not as bad as everyone makes him out to be. This is one of the few classes where you are guaranteed to do well as long as you spend the time to understand the material. Yes, his first lecture is intimidating. He is definitely a brilliant man, and his expectations for us are definitely on the high side. The material can be difficult and will come at a fast pace. However, the whole segment on 20+ hours a week on problem sets is definitely false. Nobody I knew spent more than 15 at most for any problem set. This is from people who got a variety of grades in his class, from B- to A+. They are longer than for other classes, but they will definitely prepare you for the exams. Furthermore, you don't need to get close to everything correct to get enough points from homework. Exams were extremely fair; you ended up being able to skip 1 question in every section of the exam. The questions were generally on the easy side compared to the homework; as long as you understood the homework completely you would get at least a B+. There was generous partial credit; it meant that you could make a few mistakes here and there and still end up with an amazing grade. Sahai is the most enthusiastic professor I've ever had. He definitely cares about his students and their learning. Just go to office hours and you'll see. Same goes for the TA's. I feel as a whole they're the best I've ever had. They are ALWAYS on piazza to answer your questions. Finally, there is a TON of extra credit to buffer your grade. Although Sahai seems to be hard, he is actually generous with the final grades. The mean GPA was 3.1, which is WAY higher than the EECS department average of 2.7. TLDR: Put in the work and you are guaranteed to do well.
Submitted Jan. 6th, 2015
Comment: CS 70 with Sahai is a challenging class, but it's definitely doable with 1 other reasonable technical (like 61C, not 61B with Hilfinger). The homeworks as you can tell from all the reviews are very challenging (takes on average 12-15 hours to finish most of the assignment, probably more if you want to get every single problem). The self-grading is also burdensome but good for learning. However, even though the homeworks are very hard and the material is taught fairly quickly (faster than 61B but slower than 61C), the staff is extremely helpful and Sahai / head staff were hell bent on organizing ways for students to work together and get help. Overall, I didn't find Professor Sahai's lectures that helpful - he usually just goes through a couple proof derivations and talks about some interesting things about the topic he's lecturing on. The notes are pretty amazing and discussion is very helpful. The exams are also very VERY fair. If you do all the homeworks or at least attempt them very seriously and go over the solutions carefully the exams are just fine and the scales are very fair so you can get entire questions completely wrong (even leave them blank) and still get an A. The final was extremely hard (B- average) but the Sahai and the staff were super generous in adjusting the scales in terms of final grades. All in all: Tough class, definitely a challenge but very doable if you're ready to put in the effort
Submitted Jan. 1st, 2015
Comment: Things to know if you are going to take 70 with Sahai: the homework takes a very very long time every week, and not every problem on it helps improve your test score, so finding a balance between figuring out every detail of the homework and what is actually testable becomes important. His tests are somewhat reasonable, the final was impossible for us, but he was very generous with scaling afterwards. To put things in perspective, raw scores, I got around 60% on the midterms and a 40% on the final, and ended with an A- in the course, granted I nailed homework and participation. His teaching style is a bit too theoretical and lacking in concrete examples to solidify what is going on with certain concepts. If you put your heart and soul into this class and aren't particularly gifted with math, or proofs, or whatever, you can do it. But it's going to be a rough ride with Sahai, unless you're somewhat of a genius.
Submitted Dec. 26th, 2014
Comment: I never even had a NinjaCourses account before taking this class; I made one solely for the purpose of giving you guys a heads up. I have nothing against Sahai, and he's a brilliant mathematician/computer scientist. However, his class is structured VERY poorly. To start, Sahai assumes that every single student is a social recluse; he doesn't think students socialize. He gives about 20 hw sets the semester, each one taking 20+ hours. This is just absurd. On top of that, he uses a system where you grade yourself; this is the worst idea I have ever heard of in academia as this makes students paranoid of "cheating" during the hw process. What I'm most disappointed about in this class is his negligence of the incompetence of his GSI's. I went to three different sections each of which were lead by GSI's that couldn't really lead. They were unable to quiet down a class during sections, were extremely inarticulate(yes, many have language barriers, but few to the point where learning is impossible), and VERY poorly organized.
Submitted Dec. 25th, 2014
Comment: I have nothing against the guy personally. He truly seems to have the best intentions at heart, and wants his students to gain the most of his class. However, his class is poorly structured. Even for a student with a decent math background, I spent literally all weekend working on his problem sets. While the homeworks were indeed stimulating and challenging, the sheer amount of time that they took prevented me from taking the time to digest/solidify the material. I probably didn't get as much out of the homework as I could have because I was so intent on just being able to finish them. Exams are mostly fair, and he definitely tries his best at helping his students on Piazza and office hours. However, he doesn't seem to realize that there is a balance between practicality and a desire to learn. He also doesn't seem to realize that his class isn't our only commitment, and that we have other difficult technicals to invest time in. Overall, only take this class if your thirst for the content far exceeds your desire for a balanced academic experience. Even if you take this class, I would recommend avoiding taking another difficult technical concurrently.
Submitted Dec. 24th, 2014