Ratings for Persson, P S
Based on 153 ratings for this instructor.
Comment: Persson is an awesome professor. Very great at explaining content, very well organized and very good at emphasizing the important points in lecture. I have very high regard for him and would recommend him to anyone. Class material is very interesting as well as incredibly useful and the 4 programming assignments are incredibly stimulating and helpful in learning the material. Overall very good experience with the class. Exams were rather easy and a comprehensive review was given in class that made them both a breeze.Would recommend both this class and Persson to anyone not only math majors (I am in engineering)
Submitted July 1st, 2016
Comment: Very fair course structure (final can replace 1 midterm, midterms and quizzes are graded somewhat generously, midterm questions are honestly pretty simple and not tricky) and very nice professor. Lectures were adequate - Professor Persson did only cover what was on the slides, but I thought he was pretty engaging and the slides just weren't. Reading through the slides before exams was good practice in my experience, though, especially for 10B, where more material is unfamiliar to most people and presented in a pretty theoretical way. It kind of seemed like everyone (professor + GSIs) didn't really know what they were doing during the short Stats unit at the end though - we covered the same material in AP Stats and these explanations were far more convoluted than necessary IMO. I also came in with Calc AB/BC background and the calculus in 10A was pretty straightforward.
Submitted April 19th, 2015
Comment: If you took Calc BC and AP Stats, this class should be easy. Do the homework and go to discussions, and you will be fine. This class goes very shallow into every topic, so you don't need a deep understanding of any of the material. Midterms were generally easy (every "trick" on midterm problems always had an analogous problem in the homework, so just review the homework) and comparably easier than the AB or BC AP tests. If you know how to do all the homework, you will get an A.
Submitted Jan. 22nd, 2015
Comment: If you're familiar with derivatives and integrals, then this course won't be too brutal! The last section regarding probability and statistics was a bit rushed, which is interesting since that's the topic most people had the least experience with, and the professor just reads off the lecture slides and it can be hard to understand him at times. I never went to office hours but he might be more helpful if you're just 1 on 1 with him! The final was pretty hard, definitely use as many practice problems as possible!
Submitted Jan. 19th, 2015
Comment: The midterms were fair but the final was horrible. Persson mainly just read off the powerpoint slides and everything was very rushed. 2/3 of the course was fair and concentrated on Calculus but the Stats section is really weird and rushed. I would not recommend taking this course!!!
Submitted Jan. 17th, 2015
Comment: The midterms were fairly easy if you put in some effort for studying, but the final was incredibly ridiculous and hard. The professor is very nice and quirky, but the lectures were rushed, read from Powerpoints from OTHER PROFESSORS, and confusing. The homework is hard, but it would've helped more if he posted the answers online, so that we could understand what we did wrong. I kind of wish I took Math 1A instead, because the statistics part of this class is really weird.
Submitted Jan. 14th, 2015
Comment: I have to agree with most of what was said below for Math 10A, so I'll just sum it up here. The first 2/3 of the course is a breeze for anyone who's taken calculus (AP or IB). But the professor leaves only 2 weeks to learn stats which he even said would be the hardest part for us because we have little experience with it. The final was a disaster, and even though the midterms were fair enough, the final still brought my grade down. Persson is rather ineffective during lecture, though my GSI was quite good. I just think that the course was poorly organized - we should have spent less time on things like functions and derivatives and more on integration and stats. One final note is that this course is supposed to be "specially designed" for life science majors, but I felt as though the calculus portion was taught just like any other calculus class.
Submitted Jan. 14th, 2015
Comment: At CalSO, my advisor recommended that I take this course because it was specifically designed for MCB/IB students, telling me that it would be easier than Math 1A and more applicable to my major. During the first half of the semester, I basically blew this class off. I got a 5 on the AP Calc BC exam, so I was only really taking it because of the pre-med/pre-vet requirements. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE DON'T TAKE THIS CLASS LIGHTLY LIKE I DID. Yes, the first portion of the semester does cover calculus, and that was all review for me, so I wasn't struggling during that portion (although the course does go SUPER QUICKLY so join the adjunct if you don't know calculus - heck, join the adjunct regardless, I wish I had before it was too late). Once I got to the stats though, I was completely lost. Maybe it's just because I had never taken AP Stats or really any form of stats in high school like a lot of people in the class had, but it was basically two weeks of probability and statistics (TWO WEEKS AND THAT'S IT), and we were expected to somehow know it after that. Sorry, but my brain just doesn't function that way. Maybe your brains do, and you can handle that, but I just really can't. Anyway, the final was a shitstorm - the average was something around a 48%, so I'm guessing it wasn't just me that struggled with the stats at the end. Anyway, I scored a 63% on the final, but I still ended up getting a B+ in the course because of it, so yes, I didn't fail, and yes, you probably just think I'm being a butthurt pre-med, but really the way this class is designed just really really sucks. You'll see if you take it, but I really don't recommend you do that. I can't, however, really say that Math 1A is any better because I have never taken it, which is kind of the trouble with choosing math classes. No one has taken both and can compare them. As far as my advice goes, if you are confident on calculus like me but not so confident on stats, then I would say suffer through math 1A and math 1B and take a stats class later on its own. I would much rather have done it that way, I think, so I would have actually learned stats instead of frantically trying to grasp the concepts last minute. The downside to that is that I heard Math 1B is really hard, so there really is no winning with the Berkeley math "weeder" courses. I've heard that in past years this course was easier, so maybe y'all will luck out with a better professor next year, but Persson was definitely a challenge as a professor. As far as lecture goes, few people actually went because Persson would just read directly off of the lecture slides, which were posted online. I actually went because it made me feel better about the little amount of work I did in the course (I never read the textbook - the textbook is awful, and I found myself waiting until Wednesday night to do the endless, impossible homeworks that Persson assigned for each week, even though I would sometimes end up staying up until like 3 in the morning doing them). Homework was due every Thursday (although if you have a chill GSI, they won't check it), and you have a quiz on the material every Thursday. I swear, my quiz and homework grades saved me in this course. If you get a change to have James as your GSI for any of the math courses at Berkeley, do it! He is so awesome and down to earth, and he's such a great teacher! As far as Persson goes, he has a Swedish accent, and he seems like a really good guy, but he is just NOT an effective teacher. The lecture notes are all written in math language, so when you try to study them it takes like five minutes to even decipher what a slide is trying to tell you. Persson rarely does example problems on the blackboard, and when he does, he says everything is "trivial" and that we should know it already, although some of the people in the class have never been exposed to calculus OR statistics. All in all, this class is really hard, mostly because there are so many hyper competitive pre-med kids that have already seen all of the material before. One more thing to note: on the off chance that you have taken both AP Calc BC and AP Stats, be warned that the stats in this class is no calculator, so you are essentially solving statistics problems using calculus. A lot of my friends who were in the class that had taken statistics before complained about that.
Submitted Dec. 19th, 2014