Ratings for Watts, M J
Based on 41 ratings for this instructor.
Comment: What a wild ride. Professor Watts is the most brilliant, insightful, enthusiastic, knowledgable, theatrical guy around. He soars through fascinating material centered around some real important questions: Why are some countries rich, while others languish in poverty? What is the nature of the modern economic world? What is the historical nature of poverty? How do postcolonial countries cope with newfound independence? Indeed, Watts covers a lot of ground. He moves and talks very quickly, bombarding you with details you'll never need nor remember. This unsettled many. I guarantee you that every negative reviewer of Watts had a fundamental distaste for how fast he covers material. You're also given 20 times more reading than you're expected to complete. However, if you just sit back and understand the big picture, you'll walk away with a truly enlightened understanding of the modern world. You're tasked with a few essay-based assignments throughout the year, but they're more time consuming than difficult. The take home final is also time-consuming, but very, very simple. Watts is a true legend, so take this class for sure!
Submitted Jan. 14th, 2016
Comment: Arbitrary grading by GSI. No constructive feedback, and I guess it is a reflection of the instructor as the leader of what happens in his classroom. 12 page paper for the final; ridiculous for a lower division class.
Submitted Dec. 22nd, 2015
Comment: One of the best classes i've taken at Cal, mainly because of Professor Watts. He is extremely enthusiastic and will be retiring after the Fall of 2015 so make sure you take this class. You learn a lot about development around the world.
Submitted Feb. 16th, 2015
Comment: One of the best classes I've taken at Cal, mainly because of Professor Watts. He is extremely enthusiastic and classes are almost never interesting. A lot is covered in this course and it is pretty important to read some of the readings but you don't have to read everything. Exams are pretty chill, final was a take home essay. There aren't many assignments so it's important to put some time into the few in order to get a good grade.
Submitted Feb. 16th, 2015
Comment: Took the class P/NP. Can't really speak to how helpful Watts was, because I never went to office hours. One thing I didn't like was how all of the grading of subjective papers was done by GSIs
Submitted Oct. 21st, 2014
Comment: Fantastic professor for his "What is Modernism?" Seminar. He's very passionate about the material, loves to share his thoughts & foster discussion, and in general brings up a lot of interesting perspectives. It's an awesome class to take and a quintessential small-size discussion seminar where there's lots of discussion and interaction. Readings could be on the long and/or dry side sometimes.
Submitted March 18th, 2014
Comment: the BEST professor at CAL. He is the reason I switched to Geography (and I'm glad I did, the department is incredible). The reading list is scary, but he points out the most important readings each week (like 2 relatively short) which are key. It turned out to be a relatively reading light class. Does a documentary film assignment and the list of documentaries is great, i still watch them. The take home exams were lengthy, but as an introductory course he balances depth and breadth.
Submitted March 24th, 2013
Comment: Best class I've taken at Cal!! Watts is so passionate, explains things well, prepares you for the final paper, and is so charming! He also brings all of his own experiences into the lectures which makes it real
Submitted Jan. 16th, 2013