Alan's Carnegie Mellon Page

My completed classes

Info, thoughts, and other fun stuff about classes I'm done with. Yay.

99-101 Computing Skills Workshop

August 30, 2004 - October 11, 2004
MW 3:30 - 4:20
David Fu
This is the most pointless class ever for CS majors. All students at CMU must take it (we should get exemptions!). They teach you how to use computers, access your email, use Excel, whatever. Bleah. And it all ends with an amazing lesson on ethics! This is a mini course, so it only meets half a semester. Graded pass/fail. Three tests, two homeworks. Bleah. I usually go in the room and surf the web for an hour. Good waste of time :)
Target grade(Pass/fail): Pass
Final grade: Pass
Final word: Waste of time

33-111 Physics 1 for Science Students

August 30, 2004 - December 17, 2004
Lecture: MWF 8:30 - 9:20
Recitation: TH 8:30 - 9:20
Steve Garoff / George Klein
This class is hard as hell... but at least it's curved nicely: 40% D, 85% A. The teacher is awful... don't take physics with Garoff if possible. I'm not the only one having problems here though: almost everyone else I talk to thinks they're failing or doing really bad in phys, so that makes me feel better. Yeah, hard class, bleah. Dr. Klein is a good TA. Forget my TAA's name, but she's helpful too.
Target grade: B or A
Midsemester grade: B
Final grade: B
Final word: Hated the class

21-120 Differential and Integral Calculus

August 30, 2004 - December 14, 2004
Lecture: MWF 9:30 - 10:20
Recitation: TH 1:30 - 2:20
Russ Walker / Alex Rand
Walker is a good teacher, but I have trouble staying awake in calc just because he speaks in a monotone. Or maybe it's the fact that almost everything in the class is review. In any case, easy class, especially if you've had calc before. Alex is a great TA. I hope I don't annoy him too much... I'm kinda frustrated that we're doing stuff I already know. That's what I get for doing badly on the placement exam, I guess.
Target grade: A
Midsemester grade: A
Final grade: A
Final word: Alex rules!

15-200 Advanced Programming/Practicum

August 30, 2004 - December 13, 2004
Lecture: MWF 11:30 - 12:20
Recitation: TH 10:30 - 11:20
Rich Pattis & Mark Stehlik / Will Haines
Pattis is decent. Could be better, could be worse. Whatever. Not a bad teacher, although I don't like his style of lecturing to us as if we're stupid. Mark is great though... he's the upperclassmen advisor, but also does Thursday recitations. Woop woop. Will is knowledgable. Does his job. Fun programming assignments though, but really tedious.
Target grade: A
Midsemester grade: A
Final grade: A+
Final word: 99.5% final grade! YUS!

79-104 Introduction to World History

August 30, 2004 - December 16, 2004
Lecture: MW 1:30 - 2:20
Recitation: F 1:30 - 2:20
Donna Harsh / Jason Morgan
Know how Ms. Pullen gave me a love for history? Harsh continues that. A lot of people hate this class and her lecturing style, but I'm impressed. I dunno, I just find her lectures captivating and informative. The reading load is a bit heavy (70-90 pages every few days, 5 books over the semester), but that's okay. Your grade is based on only 5 things though: participation, two essays, the midterm, and the final... so if you screw any of those up, you're screwed. We have the BEST TA too. Think Rick Archibald.. because he's a Doctorate student who is just about as laid back as Mr. A. I love this course.
Target grade: A
Midsemester grade: A-
Final grade: A
Final word: Loved this class!

21-127 Concepts of Mathematics (Discrete Math)

August 30, 2004 - December 15, 2004
Lecture: MWF 3:30 - 4:20
Recitation: TH 9:30 - 10:20
Richard Statman & Victor Adamchik / Avi Gavlovski
The class from hell. Bleah. I don't know if it's the material, the professor, or what, but this class is just really really damn hard. Essentially, the students in this class are split into two groups: those that already understand all the material and don't need this class, and those that don't understand this material and aren't getting anything from the lectures. Avi does a good job in recitations, but sometimes it's really hard to follow him. Maybe the grading scale says something as to the difficulty: 15% D, 30% C. Too bad this is a required course for all freshmen CS majors.
Target grade: C or B
Midsemester grade: B
Final grade: B
Final word: Don't take Statman, if at all possible.

15-128 Freshman Immigration Course

August 31, 2004 - December 7, 2004
T 3:00 - 4:20
Jim Roberts
Required for all incoming first-year CS majors, but I don't mind it. In fact, this is one of my favorite classes. Each week, we have new speakers from all areas of CS come and talk about their research areas. We're getting an amazing insight into all CS has to offer, and I have to tell you, it only confirms my decision to major in CS. This class is graded pass/fail, based on an IC Points game, where you get points for getting out of your dorm and doing stuff (going to a movie downtown, going to a play, attending an event, etc). Fun course.
Target grade (Pass/fail): Pass
Midsemester grade: N/A
Final grade: Pass
Final word: Fun, and very informative.

15-113 System Skills in C

January 10, 2005 - March 3, 2005
TH 1:30 - 2:50
Tim Hoffman
Great teacher! He's good at explaining things to us and doesn't expect the impossible from us. At the same time, he challenges us... woot. This was one of my most enjoyable classes ever.
Target grade: A
Final grade: A
Final word: Great class. Required, but who cares? It's fun!

98-009 Stuco: Introduction to Digital Photography

January 13, 2005 - April 28, 2005
H 7:00 - 7:50
Wenyao Ho
A nice way to end Thursdays. Seems like an interesting enough class.
Target grade (Pass/fail): Pass
Midsemester grade: N/A
Final grade: Pass
Final word: Fun class. Good for the amateur photographer to learn some techniques.

33-114 Physics of Musical Sound

January 10, 2005 - May 2, 2005
MWF 11:30 - 12:20
Tom Ferguson
A great class. Very enjoyable. However, it IS physics.
Target grade: B
Midsemester grade: B
Final grade: B
Final word: A great altenative to regular physics.

15-211 Fundamental Data Structures and Algorithms

January 11, 2005 - May 5, 2005
Lecture: TH 12:00 - 1:20
Recitation: W 1:30 - 2:20
Klaus Sutner & Margaret Reid-Miller / Jeff Stylos
Doom doom doom? The class is very difficult... but it also seems interesting. Ah the life of a CS major...
Target grade: A
Midsemester grade: A
Final grade: A
Final word: Hard, but definetly not undoable.

15-251 Great Theoretical Ideas in Computer Science I

January 11, 2005 - May 5, 2005
Lecture: TH 3:00 - 4:20
Recitation: M 2:30 - 3:20
Steve Rudich & Anupam Gupta / Hubert Chan
Studies in CS theory... difficult... go to lots of office hours.
Target grade: B
Midsemester grade: B
Final grade: B
Final word: Very difficult... but one of the most rewarding classes I've ever taken.

21-122 Integration, Differential Equations, and Approximation

January 10, 2005 - May 9, 2005
Lecture: MWF 10:30 - 11:20
Recitation: TH 10:30 - 11:20
Deborah Brandon / Nick Kirby
Best professor EVER. She's funny, but can be serious at the same time... it's weird. As far as math goes, she knows her stuff and is great at teaching it to the rest of us. Nick is a good TA as well, even though the recitation is a bit big for my liking.
Target grade: A
Midsemester grade: A
Final grade: A
Final word: Good course. Harder than it first seems, but not bad.

73-100 Principles of Economics

January 10, 2005 - May 10, 2005
Lecture: MW 12:30 - 1:20
Recitation: F 12:30 - 1:20
David Frame / Ashish Agarwal
The teacher is so absentminded... I'm not sure if he doesn't know the material or if he simply is unsure how to teach it. In any case, it makes for interesting, if uninformative, lectures. Recitations are good though.
Target grade: B
Midsemester grade: A
Final grade: B
Final word: I hated this course. Do NOT take econ with Frame.
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