Winter 2021 - Professor Forlano made me feel a lot better about my math skills after fall quarter. He explained things pretty clearly and really really aligned with what the textbook was teaching, so anything I wasn't super clear on I could look and find a similar problem in the textbook with a written out explanation. He talks pretty slow, but he has a cool British or Australian accent so it's understandable even at 1.5x speed. His midterms were the first that I felt like would've made sense to give in an in-person setting. They weren't insanely hard like the other exams that professors made for 24 hour midterms, but it still tested the material so it was great. He also provides a lot of practice problems, but we only have to turn in about five specific questions each week. The workload is really light compared to other professors. 10/10 would recommend.
Fall 2021 - Professor Forlano is a decent professor, if you are OK with getting a B/C. Cons: The curve. For my class, the avg for 2 midterms and final are 59%, 49%, 64%, and HE DOES NOT CURVE DOWN for A/A-. YOU NEED 90% TO GET AN A-! (Just to reference, 2 out of 33 people got 90%+ in final, and no one got 90% for midterm 2.) His handwriting in the lecture notes is kind of hard to understand. Pros: Very tiny workload comparing to other professor for 131A. The homework is about 10 problems but you only need to submit the ones he require, which is about 3 problems. His lectures are clear. He is very helpful. He allows cheatsheet for final which is very useful. He gives an extra homework for 7% extra credit, but the problems are hard so it is hard to get all of the 7%.(Most students got 2-5%)
Winter 2023 - If you just want an easy A, Forlano is not your professor, as he generally tries to center his exams at an 80-85% median. If you really want to learn the concepts taught in class, Forlano is a great professor to take 170E with. He does a great job of breaking down the concepts in lecture for everyone, including non-math majors, went through all of the 170e curriculum (apparently one of the other 170e professors winter 2023 did not get anywhere close to finishing), and the homework generally does a good job of expanding on the concepts in class. Lectures may have been a bit dry, but he did record them via bruincast, so watching at 1.5x speed worked well, pausing when I needed to take notes. He also posted the annotated slides after the lecture which came in handy a couple of times. The homework tends to be on the theoretical side, with lots of "demonstrate X given Y" questions; some are fairly trivial, a few required a lot of calculation that I felt was unnecessarily long (extensive double sum problems anyone?) and/or required some insight, so I would definitely recommend blocking off your schedule to attend, in addition to discussions, office hours with a TA or the professor for the occasional question you get stuck on. I also heard before taking his class that homeworks are very long, but I personally didn't experience that, probably because I took heavy advantage of office hours (the TAs for my class were awesome but are graduating soon - thanks Ben Jarman for all of your support!). While the homework was not super close to the actual exams (the exams were almost all computational), I felt that it did a good job of forcing understanding of the topics needed for them if you first put in decent effort on the homework yourself before getting help. At the beginning, homeworks due friday only used concepts taught the week before it was due, but towards the end it started catching up with concepts touched on wednesday being used in the homeworks due that friday. Exams were in my opinion fair: they were very similar to the practice exams Forlano gave out (but not like copy-pasted wording) and weren't super difficult but they weren't easy either. Forlano also clearly made an effort to minimize multi-part question penalties, so almost always part B was solvable even without knowing how to do part A, and grading was also generous and fast (<7 day turnaround for all exams even with 160 students). Definitely make sure you work on a cheat sheet for the exams as you go along, as you'll need to know the different types of random variables and how to use them by the second midterm. Not specific to Forlano but just 170e in general, but definitely get used to doing basic double integrals before taking this class. It appears at the very end, and unfortunately 32a isn't a prereq/coreq but 95%+ will have taken it, so you'll be at a massive disadvantage if you don't. All in all, I would definitely take another math class with Forlano, You do not need the textbook.