Ratings for Wagner, D
Based on 49 ratings for this instructor.
Comment: Super clear lectures and just a friendly person in general. Materials are interesting, but I think they are too high level. No clarifying question policy during exam really sucked though, especially when 161 is such a high level class and there is a lot of room for interpretation. Assignments are pretty easy.
Submitted May 14th, 2016
Comment: Wagner is probably the easiest professor to take 170 with. Before I signed up for the class I would continually hear about how difficult and time consuming the problem sets were. With Wagner, this is not the case. Looking at previous problem sets, Wagner gave less problems which were also less rigorous. I formed a group of 4 and we started and finished every problem set the night before it was due (and we aren't great at CS). In terms of Helpfulness, Wagner would answer almost every question on piazza. His lecture style is very accessible and enthusiastic and he constantly pauses to answer questions. My one qualm with his style is that he often sacrificed rigor in his presentation of the material in favor of really simple explanations. The one large negative of the class for me was the exams. Both of the midterms were very EASY, so much so that small minor mistakes were the difference is your grade. This easiness backfired when after many students complained that exams were too easy, Wagner made an impossible to finish 16 question final (it was seriously a book) with ~10 algorithm design questions which was not at all like the organization of the midterms. The final curve ended up being similar to other instructors which everyone reacted negatively to since they assumed Wagner was going to be nicer. Anyway, still I enjoyed the class overall and would Wagner again.
Submitted Jan. 11th, 2016
Comment: My only 2 complaints were the final and the machine learning assignments. Otherwise this class was pretty amazing and Prof. Wagner is one of the best professors I've ever had here.
Submitted Jan. 28th, 2015
Comment: Wagner is a fantastic lecturer and explains material well. His homework is on the slightly easier side in that you don't learn the material extremely well from them. You learn it pretty well though, but you should practice more to really become awesome at 170. What was horrible about this class was the exams. Truly poor exams. To get an A it's about not making dumb mistakes. No question challenges you much on midterms, it's like you know it or you don't sort of. The final was also horrible. 12 design your own algorithm questions + 4 other questions in 3 hours gave you absolutely no time to really think. It was just a scramble of writing down the algos you could think of fast to get through everything. You will probably learn well from him, but grades may not come out the way you want it. He also taught us trivial machine learning in the last 2 weeks of class which was kinda a waste (too basic).
Submitted Dec. 24th, 2014
Comment: Wagner is really friendly, empathetic, and curves relatively leniently. That being said, his lectures basically went over the textbook’s material (the textbook is extremely concise and readable), so they didn’t add too much value (except towards the end of the semester). Wagner was super, super responsive on Piazza, often given long detailed explanations of answers to questions, which was great. The problem sets were really long (12+hours/week). That being said, I heard that they’re even longer with other professors. Wagner’s 2 midterms were very straightforward and easy - almost no proofs. However, this did mean that there was less of a curve; his final was challenging and difficult but not painful. As another note, future versions of Wagner’s 170 are likely to contain ~2-3 lectures worth of material on machine learning at the end (not in the textbook). If you’re taking 188/189, this material is rather redundant.
Submitted Dec. 19th, 2014
Comment: I never fell asleep in his lectures despite the lack of rest I was getting because he was so engaging. I was pretty impressed by his skilled in taking in-class questions and getting to the heart of the confusion. He is consistently on Piazza and often writes multi-paragraph long, thorough answers. Also, he is also very patient and never condescending to even impudent students. In short, Wagner is a wonderful pedagogically and as a person. My favorite professor so far.
Submitted Oct. 15th, 2014
Comment: Wagner is definitely enthusiastic and a great lecturer. However, the way he ran the course wasn't very good. The exams were super easy or super vague, making silly mistakes a big factor in how your grades turned out. The projects were way too strictly graded - you missed points for something you didn't know you should write about. Homework was fair and interesting, and lecture was good. TAs were also generally responsive on Piazza.
Submitted May 28th, 2014