Based on 62 Users
I am writing for a friend who doesn't have a bwalk account here. From his experience in 115, this professor can hardly teach and my friend selfstudied almost everything. I took math 61 with him, and it was just as terrible, if not even worse.
NEVER TAKE A CLASS WITH JAMES CAMERON. IT IS A WASTE OF YOUR TIME AND MONEY.
James was incredibly understanding this past quarter and really worked with the students to make sure our needs were met. If we were struggling, he would add additionally office hours and he even made adjustments to the grading scheme. Overall, even though this class was challenging and unclear at times, it was a great experience and James is a good professor. If you are willing to engage, you will get a lot out of his class.
This class has very light workload, but the tests are difficult. However, Cameron and his TAs are knowledgable and very helpful. Additionally, many of the test questions are very similar to worksheet problems and examples in class.
Avoid this guy.
I think he does try to be a good professor, but he's just not good at explaining concepts at all, kinda annoying when he talks, and will often get things wrong while he's lecturing. His inability to explain such concepts really shines through during the longer proofs such as for Euler cycles/paths, Towers of Hanoi/Catalan Numbers, decision trees and especially for computational complexity. It seemed like he covered more material than most professors do too (i.e. the computation complexity bit), which I did not understand until now that I'm taking CS 180. Thankfully, it wasn't tested heavily on the final at all.
The exams are pretty difficult compared to many other Math 61 professors, especially the first midterm which gave some very complicated mappings to construct, and to determine equivalence relations on. He never taught us, or assigned homework that was anything like that. Second midterm was riddled with 4 or 5 errors throughout, and one of the questions was not possible making it unfair to those that spent a while working on that one, before the prof. made the correction. Final was also quite difficult, but nothing new there. Medians were like 64, 72 and 66. I was able to I think barely get an A in the class with a raw score of 84, so there is a curve I guess.
Would not recommend. Just take Manolescu in the spring lol, I hear he's quite good and makes the class pretty cool.
Uh this professor doesn't know jack and can only recite definitions from the textbook, but expects us to do proofs... so tldr don't take him unless you understand the material already because the textbook isn't clear and the professor doesn't teach. Also, if your TA is Ben, be ready to ask a question and then have take an hour to work it out with you by asking YOU how to do each step, which you most likely won't know how to do because you're asking the TA the question....
TLDR: don't take this prof and go to another TA other than ben :)
A wise advice is to sit in the front, so that you can understand his speaking fast and "twisted" handwriting. However, after you manage to keep pace with him, you'll find his thoughts super clear and logical. He always starts a concept with a fun example, and keeps digging deeper and deeper as he progresses, which I think helps me understand the material very well. Also, he is very knowledgeable, and seldom gets confused by himself (which many professors will). If you have a bit trouble concentrating throughout the lecture, think twice before taking him, but if you don't, I strongly recommend you take him, and get a lot from him.
Do not take this class with Cameron! As a student who enjoys both math and CS, I assumed this course would be both useful and interesting. Somehow professor Cameron managed to make me hate every minute of it. Lectures are very stilted, without requisite explanations of the reasons behind his proofs. The discussion sections were worse than useless, and it was clear that the TA wanted to be anywhere else.
This has been mentioned by previous reviewers, but his tests are wildly unreasonable. The material on them is often (if not usually) absent from the homeworks. Further, they would take ridiculously long to complete (9 hours for midterms and 12 for the final). On top of this, the grading was often arbitrary, with substantial points being docked for minuscule lack of clarity (which is an enormous problem for a straight-scaled class). The moral of the story? This class was an example of an interesting topic ruined by a bad professor and TAs who didn't care.
--Lectures: Cameron is a pretty good lecturer. When it comes to complicated topics, it is at times difficult to follow, but he is very open to questions and clarifications.
--Homework: The work was only 5-7 questions per week, so it was super light.
--Quizzes: The weekly quizzes were just to check that you're following along, so they were pretty easy. You'll get 100 as long as you stay up to date on class material.
--Exams: There were two midterms and one final. Overall the exams were pretty hard, but you do get 24 hours for each. The problems did match the homework decently.
--Discussion: They didn't have mandatory attendance, but they were pretty useful. The TA just went over new example problems.
--Tips: Discrete math is all about exposure to many problems. It's more important to do a bunch of practice problems than simply absorbing the lectures.
Don't get me wrong, Professor Cameron is a nice person but steer away from him if you want to avoid reading the textbook to learn the slightly complex 32B syllabus. Professor Cameron is an extremely nice guy who genuinely seems to care about his students. Given the coronavirus circumstances, he was also very lenient about his syllabus and ended up changing it slightly (he allowed us to drop 3 quizzes instead of 2 and let us drop a HW grade). The online format of the class also made it extremely easy since almost everything assigned was 24+ hours and the final was 72 hours which made it extremely doable. The professor uses Piazza for questions and answers which I found rather dull and Campuswire is a better option (Professor White used this). There is one huge issue about Professor Cameron though, he is really not a good professor. His explanation is based on textbook definitions with very little conceptual emphasis and his terrible handwriting makes it hard to understand his already unclear explanations. Furthermore, his quizzes were terribly hard for the given timeframe on Gradescope and made up 30% of our grade. Since it was his first time teaching the class, he essentially ripped off Noah White's content and attempted to use his lecturing techniques but terribly failed. I got so sick of his lectures that I stopped attending them and instead asked a friend for Professor White's lecture links. Overall, I enjoyed the class purely due to the content and not due to Professor Cameron's teaching so it is hard for me to give him a high grade. He is a very helpful and nice person though so props to him for that!