CS1 is a mandatory 1-unit seminar for all CS majors...it is the most pointless class ever! Professor Cong didn't even do anything except introduce the guest speakers each week. We had to take quizzes on what was covered in the lectures and they were so specific that we basically had to memorize everything from the presentation to do well on the quiz. Hardly any of the presentations were interesting and everyone was always falling asleep. This class was one of the reasons I decided to switch my major from CS to Aerospace because it was such a waste of time and too much work for a 1-unit class. I told them everything I just said and more in our final essay and I know I'm not the only one who did.
Winter 2020 - Professor Cong is great. His exams are straightforward, his projects are interesting, and he actually cares about his students. His projects are performance-based, so some fraction of each project grade depends on how fast your code is. That being said, it is decently easy to achieve A-range performance on pretty much every project, and once you beat A-range performance you get extra credit. It's fun to hear people discuss what optimizing techniques to use and the insane performance some people manage to get on these projects. There's only a few homeworks, and they're not bad. They are graded somewhat harshly, but extra credit from the labs helps make that up. His exams are very much straightforward. There were no tricks on the midterm, just stuff you would know from doing the homework and the problems in the slides. Also, because of COVID-19, he made a special low-stress final that was mostly just reflecting on your projects and analyzing what you could have done better, which was great (none of my other professors changed their final at all). He also immediately let people who needed to leave the area skip the final as soon as he was given department approval. My single criticism of Professor Cong is that his lectures can be a little boring because of his speaking style, but the slides are still good and I still think this is a great class.