Matthias Aschenbrenner
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Matthias Aschenbrenner

Associate Professor

MS 5614



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Very Good Overall


Posted 10/21/2015
Course(s) taken: Mathematics: 31A

Be prepared for a super nice guy, but not the greatest teacher. He has a heavy accent which makes some things pretty hard to understand. His lectures move pretty fast and are sometimes hard to keep up with, so make sure if you take this class you are able to attend office hours. I took calculus in high school and this class is still difficult. He is friendly and is happy to answer questions in class, but his teaching is not the best. The homework is manageable and due every friday, followed by a quiz every tuesday. The first midterm was definitely more difficult than the homework problems and seemed slightly unfair. Most students were unable to complete the exam. If you took calculus in high school, I would say you're safe to take this class, but if this is your first time with the material this professor is not the one for you.

Posted 04/21/2015
Course(s) taken: Mathematics: 31BX

I highly recommend him. Great teacher and fair tests.

Posted 12/11/2013
Course(s) taken: Mathematics: 31B

He is clearly passionate about math, and he shares fun historical facts about the things covered in lecture. He follows the structure of the book, so if you miss lecture you can look over the book. He is very organized, and he outlines the course lecture by lecture in a handout he gives out on the first week.

Good parts
- Tries to answer questions in lecture
- loves the subject
- Covers tricks that will help in homework/tests
- Hands out answer key right after a midterm/final

- Is not very good at understanding how someone could not understand the material
- Spends a lot of time on beginning(easy stuff) but sort of rushes near the end(the hard stuff)
- Accent may be hard to understand
- Uses random ass french/latin words while doing proofs

- Try to understand the material so you can explain it well to a classmate/study-partner
- Go to Li's discussions; he is the best TA!!
- Do homework for a section of a chapter the day that section is covered in lecture
- Get practice tests! The questions somewhat repeat

Posted 09/11/2013
Course(s) taken: Mathematics: 31B

He can explain concepts and questions really well. Though his accent is a little bit difficult for me to understand, he writes down all necessary steps on the board so I can follow him pretty well. If you need a very logical teacher, take his class!

His grading is very fair. I thought I would end up with an A, but actually I got an A+ :)

Posted 06/22/2013
Course(s) taken: Mathematics: 31B

Aschenbrenner is a fair grader on the curve. I got above the median on both midterms and the final and got a B+ in the class (even though my scores were 86, 75, 53, respectively). The midterms were what you'd expect, but the final was crazy-hard. The kind of final that students walk out of after 40 minutes becasue they can't answer any of the questions. The median on our final was a 44, so the curve figured in heavily.
Another thing I liked about him were that the HW problems were a good mix of easy and hard, so the harder questions on the exams didn't come as a big shock.

What I didn't like about him:
-His explanations in lecture are so-so, but the worst aspect was that when a student asked a question, he'd just repeat what he'd just said in lecture instead of actually explaining what he'd just said in lecture.
-He will not take questions via e-mail.
-He doesn't go into much explanation in office hours.

So, you'll be OK in this class because, fortunately, the textbook is very thorough in it's explanations and you can pepper your TA with questions instead of the professor. What Aschenbrenner does do, which is what you need the most, is give a good curve in the grading of this class.

Just know your stuff, lean on the book and your TA and you'll be OK.

Posted 03/31/2013
Course(s) taken: Mathematics: 31AX

Selling Single Variable Calculus by Rogawski for Math 31A/31B. Message if interested.
Also selling Multivariable Calculus by Rogawski for Math 32A/32B

Posted 03/02/2012
Course(s) taken: Mathematics: 31AX

I took Calc AB in high school and passed the AP test with a 4, but had a hard time in this class. He's VERY organized, which is amazing compared to other math professors, but he can be socially awkward. He's really good-hearted though; if you visibly put in the effort, it'll pay off. He's pretty strict though, but it's a good thing because it rewards the students who pay attention.
His exams were hard while I took them, but looking at the answer keys (which he gave to us RIGHT AFTER the exam!) I always ended up going "duh, why didn't I do that??"

If I could do anything differently, I would focus more on completely understanding the material, rather than just doing the problems from the book to study.

Posted 01/04/2012
Course(s) taken: Mathematics: 31AX

I had Professor Aschenbrenner for Math 31A. I had already taken Calculus AB in high school, and gotten a 4 on the AP exam (like most students in this class). Many kids never showed up, except to turn in their homework on Friday. I, personally, am the type who would rather spend the allotted time in class learning the material, rather then teach myself on my own time, but since everyone pretty much knew it already, it wasn't a huge deal. The homework was easy and short, but graded pretty harshly, so make sure you do them all right (although it is not a huge portion of your grade). The two midterms and final were pretty difficult and there was a spread of 11%-100% on all of them. I got a 76 and a 63 on the midterms, and an 85 on the final. My final grade was a B+ in the class. The curve definitely helps. Know your absolute value, he makes every easy problem harder by making it an absolute value problem. The discussions were not that helpful, as most of the students already knew the material, but they were used to get answers to more difficult homework problems. All in all, it was a pretty fair math class, and by taking it again, I understand it in much greater depth than I did in high school.

Posted 12/10/2011
Course(s) taken: Mathematics: 31A

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

Posted 12/01/2011
Course(s) taken: Mathematics: 31A

Aschenbrenner explains concepts very well; rather than throwing formulas up on the board, he guides students through the math by presenting a problem and then walking through how to solve it. His proofs were extremely helpful.

His tests are pretty difficult, but also generously curved, so I never really had a problem with them.

Posted 12/01/2011
Course(s) taken: Mathematics: 31A

I evidently did not have the same experience as many students here did with Professor Aschenbrenner. Though is lectures are based on the textbook, he does an excellent job breaking down concepts and explaining them in a digestible manner. His teaching method, especially in the latter part of the quarter, is heavily focused upon "finding" rules and equations based on theoretical problems and previous theorems (light-weight proofs, in essence). If this is your learning style, as it is mine, you'll do fine.

He assigns two to three lessons of homework per week (depending on the number of lectures), generally totaling in around 15 problems; this is easily doable. Homework is graded fairly and is not exceptionally difficult.

Two midterms are given, the first of which the class average was around 58, and the second around 78. His midterms tend to drift towards conceptual questions rather than practical ones, but are fair nonetheless.

I interacted with Professor Aschenbrenner only minimally outside of class. In lecture, he remains lighthearted and cracks jokes now and then. He seems nice and helpful enough during his office hours.

He is very strict about his homework policy--late is not accepted. Don't try to turn things in late and you won't have a problem.

While he does have a German accent, it is not heavy, nor is it difficult to understand.

All-in-all, this class is quite straightforward, particularly if you have previously taken AP Calculus. I am really not sure where all of these complaints are coming from.

Posted 11/24/2011
Course(s) taken: Mathematics: 31A


Posted 06/11/2011
Course(s) taken: Mathematics: 31B

I had him for both 31A and 31B. It's pointless to complain that he just reads off the book, cuz he explain the stuff so well along the way so you don't need to read the textbook on your own. Lots of sample problems in the lectures are highly related to the tests but are not in the textbook. Other than that, he's a funny & approachable person, giving out around 30% A's (Brown gives out 13%, Radko 23%, Biskup's is unknown but good luck with him). Get a great TA is also important (Matthew for 31A, Jaclyn for 31B). Got 2 A's with almost minimal work, so I would highly recommend him.

Posted 06/04/2011
Course(s) taken: Mathematics: 31BX

I find it pretty interesting that almost every evaluation written before me is so negative. All in all, I don't believe Professor Aschenbrenner is as horrible as people make him sound. While he does simply do examples from the book, I always found that going to lecture was EXTREMELY HELPFUL. I love the way he draws graphs to illustrate what he is saying (such as with integration and Taylor Polynomials, etc.). I also thought that his explanations in class were clear and concise while bringing a greater understanding to the subject. I would definitely say if you wan to do well in this class to go to both section and lecture as they are extremely helpful. Try and get a Thursday section because some of the homework problems cover sections that won't be covered until AFTER you turn in the homework (which was definitely a downside). His midterms aren't too hard, the mean for both being in the mid to high 50's. BEWARE of the final though - it's RIDICULOUSLY hard. It's cumulative and he doesn't allow any notes, so study hard.

Posted 03/31/2011
Course(s) taken: Mathematics: 31AX

Funny professor but the material he covers are merely examples from the book. Going to his office hours are useless because he looks frightened when students ask him a question (he does not know how to correctly phrase his answers). In order to do well in this class 1. be really good at algebra 2. do the homework well in advanced before your discussion (and try to pick a Thursday discussion since 2 lectures are already covered) and 3. PRACTICE. The good thing about this professor is that he offers a vast amount of practice exams on his website. However, his teaching method should, no MUST, be improved. Also I noticed that his teaching style correlates strongly to that of the Calculus videos from MIT...

Posted 03/18/2011
Course(s) taken: Mathematics: 31AX

Ya.....Terrible Teacher, Class was a joke - w/e I skipped every friday, Walked in to turn in me H/w and Left. You're better off self teaching - If you don't already know this course - It's good to take in winter because there's like little to no engineering students so the curve is pretty shway. Get an 85 on the first midterm, you'll get an A+, get a ~70 something on the second you'll get an A - And the final will kill you 'cuz its insanely harder than both midterms, but get close to a 70 and you'll be fine - BE CAREFUL WITH YOUR HOMEWORK, they are graded HELLA HARD! FUUH! Bottom Line: PreBusecon/Econ, take it if you know calculus and want to focus your time on other classes, if you have to take this prof during fall -DON'T! oh Ya...He's pretty funny haha.... oh and The Book is your professor in this class...the and of Course =)

Posted 03/04/2011
Course(s) taken: Mathematics: 31B

Aschenbrenner is a decent teacher as far as the Math department is concerned (Math major here). His homework and lectures are reasonably related to his exam material. On top of that, he's a pretty likeable guy, always making odd jokes here and there. I generally find that it's hard to have a bad math professor who is under the age of 35 (which our boy Asch is).
If you're a fairly competent math student, this professor'll be alright for you.

Posted 02/04/2010
Course(s) taken: Mathematics: 31A

Aschenbrenner was a terrible teacher!! I had taken Calculus in high school and managed the class. When in sat in his class every day i could not stand his teaching he just read the book to us and it was a complete waste of 50 mins. Tips to succeed in his class are to not go to his class, learn stuff by yourself. He seemed nice though but i did not want to approach him because i was afraid his office hours might be as boring as his lectures. Not a quality professor take this class if you are an engineer or someone naturally gifted in math. He will not improve your mathematical skills

Posted 01/10/2010
Course(s) taken: Mathematics: 31A

Well first of all I never took calculus in high school; so, to come into Aschenbrenner's class was one of the worst experiences of my life. He is a horrible teacher that is hard to understand and he pretty much copy pastes from. Plus, if taken first quarter you're taking it with all the math and engineering majors who destroy any curve that might have existed. If you can do not take him.

Posted 01/04/2010
Course(s) taken: Mathematics: 31A

Aschenbrenner is a nice guy, but can't teach for his life.
He made jokes in lecture and seemed approachable. I already took calculus in highschool, but his class was still extremely hard for me. You have to learn everything on your own. I advise you to sign up for covel tutoring if your taking his class. He pretty much just copies whats in the textbook onto the board. The fact that you're taking math with engineers, chem majors, and international students also doesn't help.

Just know that there is pretty much NO CURVE.
Someone is bound to get 100, and a group of people will get 80% and higher.