Based on 11 Users
For people expecting a more linguistics type class with some interesting computational elements and cool coding projects, this is not it.
You will use Haskell the entire class, so prior knowledge of functional programming (CS131) is a HUGE advantage. It also spends quite a bit of time on Finite State Automaton and context free grammars, so taking CS181 before would probably help too.
Grade is made up of 70% homework, 20% final coding project and 10% pop quizzes. This class is not easy and homework may leave you frustrated, do not take this lightly.
This class is super easy, I personally enjoyed it even more than ling 1! Lectures are boring but SUPER well-organized. He posts his lecture slides before lecture so you can just jot down notes on top of the slides during the lecture. The slides themselves are so well designed that you won't even need to take notes at all to be honest. Exams are exactly like the homework assignments, which are all of reasonable difficulty. I really enjoyed the homework problems because they require analysis/technical skills rather than rote memorization of terms.
I took this class as a GE, but now I think I wanna get into linguistics more! Professor Poole was super clear in lectures (his slides were amazing), and there were no weird curve balls in the homeworks or on the exams. He does examples in class and gives a lot of extra practice material, which appears in a very similar format on the hws/exams. He was also very approachable in terms of asking questions, which was nice as well. Would definitely recommend this class and the professor!
Compared to Ling 20, this class was definitely a step up as there is more emphasis on analysis rather than memorizing facts and rules. Also, the content keeps building upon itself throughout the quarter, so it's good to make sure you know what's going on as you go, because it'll get more confusing later. It definitely helps that Professor Poole is very organized and clear in lectures, and his handouts are a lifesaver
Grateful to have had Ethan for LING120C, and learned a lot in his class.
Lectures are structured in a "follow along" way with handouts for almost every class. Although some parts of lecture are reading/copying from this worksheet, the fill-in-the-blank/complete derivation sections are super helpful and are great resources for completing homework and studying.
There are weekly homework assignments based on the previous weeks lecture material, and Ethan/TAs are very helpful in clearing up any ambiguities and offering small hints. Homework is worth 60% of your grade but can be easy points with your lecture worksheets for reference and optional homework partner.
The exams are open note (see how the worksheets can be helpful) and open book; I found the exams to be extremely fair with one or two challenge portions to test if you can apply the material. The midterm and final exam are each worth 20% of your grade.
Overall, I would definitely recommend taking a course with Ethan due to the fact that he puts in the time to structure the material in a clear and digestible fashion.
Professor Poole is definitely a super organized instructor and even provides handouts so it's easier to take notes. This is my 2nd Ling class, Ling 20 being the first, and it's super easy to get confused and lost. Totally my fault but I wish he would dumb down his lectures a bit. It's hard to truly understand the topic when he's speaking in big words lol. I think he's just too smart to dumb it down though. Hoping and praying for a C!!!
Syntax 1 with Poole is a great class, it is definitely not a cake walk by any means, but you have the support and attention from TAs and Poole when you need help and clarification. (Grade was low due to outside circumstances during the quarter). The second half of the class is the harder section that will make or break grades, so stay alert and make sure you understand the material each week.
The material in this class is dry. However, Poole is a helpful professor during office hours. He is patient to explain and guide you to the answers. He provides handout notes in class so students don't have to print out anything. I like his sense of humor. Sometimes it helps during a boring lecture. Things in class usually don't make sense to you until you do the homework. The test (open-book) is challenging, in my opinion.