MATH 31A

Differential and Integral Calculus

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PROFESSORS

Michael Andrews Full Profile > 4.4 Overall 3.1 Easiness 3.3 Workload 4.2 Clarity 4.4 Helpfulness
Andrews is a great professor, if you ask for help, if you go to office hours, if you sit at the front of the class you will most likely pass. None of th... (Winter Quarter 2016)
Michael Andrews See Full Profile

Overall 4.4 Easiness 3.1 Workload 3.3 Clarity 4.2 Helpfulness 4.4

Most Helpful Review

Andrews is a great professor, if you ask for help, if you go to office hours, if you sit at the front of the class you will most likely pass. None of the work he assigns is impossible to do, challenging yes but not impossible. He teaches the class like everyone has background knowledge of calculus so the people who have taken calculus before have somewhat of an advantage over those who haven't, thats why its important to seek out help if you havent taken calc before so that you dont get behind in class. I hadnt taken calc before I took this class so he kind of assaulted me with terms I had no clue about the first couple weeks, but I was able to catch up with what he was teaching in class. He is an extremely fair grader, I got a C for the first midterm, an F---- for the second midterm and a C for the final and I was able to pass the class because he recognized that I had done better in the final than I had in the second midterm. The key to this class is to ask for help and practice what is taught on the final, if you havent taken calc before you are probably going ta have to try a lot harder than the other people but its totally doable.

Winter Quarter 2016
Tonci Antunovic Full Profile > 4.8 Overall 3.8 Easiness 3.0 Workload 4.4 Clarity 4.2 Helpfulness
Fall 2013 I thought he was a reasonable professor. He was good at explaining most topics and truly did care that students would understand. He is kind ... (March 29, 2014)
Tonci Antunovic See Full Profile

Overall 4.8 Easiness 3.8 Workload 3.0 Clarity 4.4 Helpfulness 4.2

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Fall 2013

I thought he was a reasonable professor. He was good at explaining most topics and truly did care that students would understand. He is kind of quirky in a good way! It is entertaining sometimes to see his tendencies in class. He does have an accent, but I don't think it got in the way of his teaching. Office hours with him were helpful and I thought his grading was fair.

March 29, 2014
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Matthias Aschenbrenner Full Profile > 3.1 Overall 2.4 Easiness 2.8 Workload 2.7 Clarity 2.3 Helpfulness
For me, Professor Aschenbrenner was sub-par. Going into the class with previous calculus experience, I failed the first midterm. Realizing his lectures ... (Dec. 11, 2011)
Matthias Aschenbrenner See Full Profile

Overall 3.1 Easiness 2.4 Workload 2.8 Clarity 2.7 Helpfulness 2.3

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For me, Professor Aschenbrenner was sub-par. Going into the class with previous calculus experience, I failed the first midterm. Realizing his lectures were useless in terms of the tests, homework, and understanding, I never again attended a lecture aside from discussion, which was the only thing worthwhile. By going to the TAs office hours and discussion (highly recommend matt lane), I proceeded to get an A on the second midterm and the final. Traditionally professors are supposed to teach, but if you're looking for this don't take Aschenbrenner. I did get extra sleep though, so I guess in a way it wasn't so bad

Dec. 11, 2011
Erkao Bao Full Profile > N/A Overall N/A Easiness N/A Workload N/A Clarity N/A Helpfulness
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Marek Biskup Full Profile > 2.3 Overall 1.3 Easiness 1.1 Workload 2.9 Clarity 3.4 Helpfulness
This man was the bane of my existence. Strict grading & a harsh inventory of problems. OFFICE HOURS are crucial. but then again, not taking this man mig... (Feb. 4, 2011)
Marek Biskup See Full Profile

Overall 2.3 Easiness 1.3 Workload 1.1 Clarity 2.9 Helpfulness 3.4

Most Helpful Review

This man was the bane of my existence.
Strict grading & a harsh inventory of problems.
OFFICE HOURS are crucial.
but then again, not taking this man might just be a smarter choice

Feb. 4, 2011
Demetri Brizolis Full Profile > 3.3 Overall 2.9 Easiness 3.0 Workload 2.8 Clarity 3.2 Helpfulness
Here goes the most honest, objective, and thorough review you will probably see. LECTURES 1. Draws a graph. 2. Starts with an example. 3. Does not... (Fall Quarter 2017)
Demetri Brizolis See Full Profile

Overall 3.3 Easiness 2.9 Workload 3.0 Clarity 2.8 Helpfulness 3.2

Most Helpful Review

Here goes the most honest, objective, and thorough review you will probably see.

LECTURES
1. Draws a graph.
2. Starts with an example.
3. Does not finish solving the sample problem.
4. Gives out a formula.
5. Proves the formula and its derivatives.
6. Never tests us on proofs so he always wastes 10-15 minutes of lecture time that could otherwise be used to give more examples.

MIDTERMS
1. Gives out a practice midterm.
2. Concepts that will be on the actual midterm are the same as the ones from the practice midterm; however, the actual midterms will require you to algebraically solve astoundingly petty* numbers.
3. No matter how well you understand the concept, if you make a mistake in/have a hard time solving the petty numbers then you're doomed.

*by "petty" I don't mean petty as in (sqrt of 2)^5, but as in (sqrt of 21.7927)^(-1/3))/(7.9283)^(1/4).

There is even a question on the second midterm in which he expects us to know by heart that the value of pi/4 is 0.7584 (yes, up to 4 digits after the decimal point). It was never even mentioned in lectures and discussions that we have to know it. Now, THAT's petty.

There will be 4 (a & b) questions on the midterms, so a total of 8 questions. In each question, you have to calculate numbers like these on top of the theorems you have to apply and the final result won't be pretty.

Perhaps if the time limit was more than 50 minutes then his tests would be doable, but still unnecessarily difficult.

Brizolis himself is a nice guy and I have nothing against him personally. However, the way that his lectures are executed and tests are designed is almost as if he is deliberately setting up students to fail his class.

Many students were recommended by Brizolis himself to drop the class after the first midterm (week 3), and more ended up failing the course.

HOMEWORK
-around 5 to 10 even-numbered questions from the textbook
-assigned at the end of every lecture
-submitted at the beginning of the next lecture (so you have 2 days to do it)
-a total of 3 homework each week
-graded homework will be handed back in 2 weeks during the discussion section

CONCLUSION
1. Take this class if you are excellent at Mathematics (excellent = probably scored at least 5 on IB Math HL).
2. Otherwise, I recommend that you take this course with a different lecturer OR take a different Mathematics course entirely.
3. If you have no other option but to take Math 31A with Brizolis, I suggest that you: (a) frequent the Student Math Center, (b) go to his/TA's office hours even for the slightest hint of confusion, (c) hire a tutor.
4. Textbook PDF is available online for free.

Fall Quarter 2017
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Robert Brown Full Profile > 4.7 Overall 2.2 Easiness 2.3 Workload 4.3 Clarity 4.5 Helpfulness
He is an extremely nice teacher. He lets you use notecards even though most of the time u don't need it. The only problem is that he does wayyy tooo man... (Dec. 13, 2008)
Robert Brown See Full Profile

Overall 4.7 Easiness 2.2 Workload 2.3 Clarity 4.3 Helpfulness 4.5

Most Helpful Review

He is an extremely nice teacher. He lets you use notecards even though most of the time u don't need it. The only problem is that he does wayyy tooo many proofs :( his class is half above C half below C I think. or that might be for every math class. anyways, he's pretty helpful during office hours. :)

Dec. 13, 2008
Steven Butler Full Profile > 4.3 Overall 1.7 Easiness 2.0 Workload 4.3 Clarity 4.3 Helpfulness
AVOID BUTLER AT ALL COSTS. He is a good lecturer but his tests are simply impossible. (March 14, 2010)
Steven Butler See Full Profile

Overall 4.3 Easiness 1.7 Workload 2.0 Clarity 4.3 Helpfulness 4.3

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AVOID BUTLER AT ALL COSTS. He is a good lecturer but his tests are simply impossible.

March 14, 2010
Francesc Castella Full Profile > N/A Overall N/A Easiness N/A Workload N/A Clarity N/A Helpfulness
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Will Conley Full Profile > 4.6 Overall 3.6 Easiness 3.9 Workload 4.6 Clarity 4.6 Helpfulness
Conley is probably the best professor you can have for any math class. His lectures are extremely thorough (they can be a little too slow and boring som... (Fall Quarter 2016)
Will Conley See Full Profile

Overall 4.6 Easiness 3.6 Workload 3.9 Clarity 4.6 Helpfulness 4.6

Most Helpful Review

Conley is probably the best professor you can have for any math class. His lectures are extremely thorough (they can be a little too slow and boring sometimes if you know the material). The workload is really light- he gives out problems from the book every lecture for practice, but you don't have to turn those in for grading. He gives out quizzes every week in the discussion section (which are quite easy). His midterms and final are more challenging than the homework and quizzes, but they are extremely manageable. He posts sample exams before each midterm and final, which are very helpful for practice. I only went to office hours once throughout the quarter, and he was very helpful. Overall, Conley is a great professor- take him whenever you can.

Fall Quarter 2016
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