Reviews for professors for CMSC131

Professor Information Review
Nelson Padua-Perez
Expecting a B+
Anonymous 12/04/2019
Perfect, approachable, answers questions, funny, and commands classroom
Matt Patrick
Expecting an A-
Anonymous 11/30/2019
Great TA and easy to talk to. He would take time after lab to talk to me about jobs and future classes too which I really liked.
Fawzi Emad
Expecting an A-
Anonymous 11/16/2019
Fawzi is AMAZING! I don't see how anybody could give him a negative review. He is a true professional who loves teaching and cares deeply about his students. He's the best natural "teacher" I've ever had (including college and high school). The lectures were informative and held my attention the whole time. He was also very helpful and encouraging to me during office hours. I wish I could take another class with Fawzi!
Fawzi Emad
Anonymous 08/15/2019
Fawzi is pretty overrated. Maybe it's just me since everyone else seems to love him, but he was under-prepared for class almost every single lecture. Maybe its because I was his first class of the day, not entirely sure, but he'd frequently forget about slides or not have materials ready. His lecturing style was alright, but nowhere near as phenomenal as people make it out to be.
Fawzi Emad
Expecting an A+
Anonymous 08/11/2019
Trust these reviews. Fawzi knows how to teach CS to beginners unlike any other professor in the department. I came in with absolutely no knowledge of Java and got an A+. By no means is his 131 class easy, conversely it is actually very difficult. I am a business major adding CS and this was definitely the hardest class I've ever taken. You need to work really hard and study literally every day to do well in this course. Fawzi is an astounding lecturer and if you sit in the front, ask questions, and take notes on everything he says, you can do well. Fawzi is miles better than any other professor (including Nelson/Pedram) for CMSC131. Take him!
Fawzi Emad
Expecting a B
Anonymous 08/06/2019
Great Lecturer
Ilchul Yoon
Expecting a B
Anonymous 06/02/2019
Yoon wasn't an amazing attention grabber during lecture but he taught the class really well. The projects really helped with learning the material and starting with Processing before Java was such a great idea. Overall highly recommend his class for beginners and experienced people alike.
Evan Golub
Expecting an A
Anonymous 06/01/2019
I thought he was fine for 131. Lectures aren't great, frequently goes off-topic. Kind during office hours. If you have prior programming expierence you'll be fine. If you don't then develop a hand in Java before starting 131.
Ilchul Yoon
Expecting a C
Anonymous 05/19/2019
Although his teaching style is not that good and lectures are very hard to understand sometimes, Yoon has a great personality. The projects in this class can be hard, but he tries his best to make sure everyone knows what they have to do. Finally, the best thing about Yoon is that he makes big fair, curves in the class as a whole.
Diarre Ibrahim
Expecting an A-
Anonymous 05/10/2019
Amazing TA!! He actually cares about your success and answers any questions you have. Even though he wasn’t a teaching TA, his office hours really helped me get a better understanding of the content and projects!
Shriraj Gandhi
Expecting an A-
Anonymous 05/10/2019
Hands down best TA out there. Goes above and beyond to help students, dedicates time outside of class to hold 3 hour review sessions and practice exams, answers ALL questions, and simply cares a lot about student success.
Diarre Ibrahim
Expecting an A
Anonymous 04/27/2019
This guy...let me tell you...this guy has dedication to his students! He stays over his hours to help anyone who still needs help! Probably the most clever TA of the staff. Sad he will not be able to TA after he graduates, he knows how to reeeeeeech deeeeeeese keeeeeeeds!
Ilchul Yoon
Expecting an A-
Anonymous 04/15/2019
A very dedicate professor, who always tries his best to help students to understand lessons.
Nelson Padua-Perez
Expecting an A
braniac9 04/11/2019
Lived up to the hype. Great and engaging lecturer who cares about his students (overused some jokes, though). Other reviews mention grammatical errors in project specifications, but this was not my experience. Receptive to student concerns.
Nelson Padua-Perez
Expecting an A
Anonymous 02/28/2019
Don't know why a lot of people hate on Nelson. He's an awesome professor and I thought he explained things to beginner programming students very well compared to other 131 professors. I had experience in Java before coming in, so I didn't have to study as much I guess. I would recommend Nelson over Herman any day. He does make some weird jokes here and there, but if you have at least a little sense of humor, the 75-minute lectures fly by.
Mohammad Nayeem Teli
Expecting an A+
Anonymous 02/14/2019
He was the best professor of CMSC131 at the semester I took it. He is a nice guy. He allows using laptops for taking notes. He answers questions from the class. He is good at explaining various concepts clearly, using terminologies. Only he is not very good at making analogies. If you consider analogies essential for explaining concepts in computer science, you may not like his explanations.
Fawzi Emad
Expecting a B+
fellowterp2022 01/21/2019
Everything I want to say has already been said by all the 5-star ratings of Fawzi Emad! This man is an enthusiastic, organized, well-spoken professor who is passionate about whatever he teaches. Of course, if you don't put effort into reviewing concepts and doing the CS projects early, your grade will reflect that. I liked his teaching style. Very straightforward and to the point, plus his humor to enhance the learning environment. Fawzi is surely the way to go when deciding which professor to learn from! In fact, I'm taking him again for CMSC132 and CMSC250 this semester :)
Nelson Padua-Perez
Expecting an A-
Anonymous 12/19/2018
My only prior experience to CS was Programming 1 my senior year of HS, and all those topics were covered within the first two weeks of CMSC131 so everything was fairly new. Nelson is an incredible professor! He makes the lecturers funny and engages with his students. He really cares for his students and extends projects when he sees fit. Sometimes there are 1 point assignments to boost your grade a little. His lectures are posted online but I highly recommend going to class and then going home to rewatch the lecture and taking notes. I did this for the final exam and scored really high that I wished I did this throughout the semester so that I wouldn't have been crying about the projects. Projects are hard but people are willing to help!! His exams and quizzes are no surprise if you studied and dedicate time for the materials. I ended up with an A- in the class with the small curve. I highly recommend Nelson!
Fawzi Emad
Expecting an A+
Anonymous 12/13/2018
Fawzi is a good lecturer, has good explanations. He is sometimes rude to students, specifically women, in lecture and in office hours.
Evan Golub
Expecting a B
Anonymous 12/13/2018
I had to take Evan Golub for CMSC131 because I am international student and the seats for Fawzi Emad (Best CS Prof) were full. Its pretty much the same as his other negative reviews for 131 where his lectures are boring and off-topic, doesn't help you prepare for the exam, weird grading criteria, stupid clickers, laughs at his own jokes!!
Fawzi Emad
Expecting an A
Anonymous 12/13/2018
One of the best computer science instructors I have ever had. He is extremely organized, and is great at explaining new topics in lecture. He is enthusiastic when teaching and wants to see you succeed. I would prioritize signing up for his class over anyone else.
William Pugh
Expecting an A
Anonymous 12/11/2018
Great professor if you have background with Java. Not so great if you know nothing, but I already knew Java and he only furthered my understanding of programming concepts and how to more effectively use Java.
Fawzi Emad
Anonymous 11/20/2018
Fantastic professor, he is very engaging and pretty funny. The course (CMSC131) covers a lot of ground, so things move very fast-paced, but Fawzi does a great job covering everything. Study Questions are great for exam preparation (but not sufficient alone). Projects are not too difficult but become increasingly more time-consuming as the semester progresses, thus starting early is a good idea. Exams are very fair, not too difficult, not too easy. Things that are passed by in lecture may show up on the exam, so it is a good idea to make it to every lecture and take detailed notes. Definitely practice writing chunks of code on paper if you are not used to it, those are usually the most difficult portions of the exams and you won't have a lot of time to think of how to go about the problem, so it's important to know your approach immediately. Do the labs, the code that you have to write in those often resemble the code problems on the exams. Fawzi is superb at explaining abstract concepts and their practicality. The class is not an "easy A", but if you put in the work then you should be fine and will certainly learn a lot. The man is good at his job.
Mohammad Nayeem Teli
Expecting an A
Anonymous 11/20/2018
Professor Nayeem is pretty good. He's always willing to answer questions and speaks in a clear voice. Occasionally, it seems as if he accidentally leaves out small details that are important to the concept he is explaining. I'd recommend that if you take him, don't be afraid to ask questions and keep doing so until you understand the concept, he is very approachable.
Roger Eastman
lactaid 09/20/2018
A really nice guy and great professor. He really cares about students. Definitely recommend going to his office hours to talk to him about anything.
Ilchul Yoon
Expecting a B
popo 06/05/2018
Professor Yoon is a nice and careful lecturer. He provides enough time and hints for us to work on our projects and labs. However, he is not good at lecturing. So, if you do not have prior coding experience like me, you need to teach yourself to keep the pace with his lectures.
Ilchul Yoon
Expecting an A
Anonymous 06/02/2018
Not a great lecturer, but cares about students
Ilchul Yoon
Expecting a B
Anonymous 05/23/2018
Professor Yoon is very respectful and does his best to teach the class fairly. Some of the projects/labs can get a bit difficult but there are countless office hours to get help and he often extends the deadline if the students feel that it is too hard. Despite this, his lectures are clear and helpful, and CMSC131 is completely doable with Yoon.
Roger Eastman
Expecting a B+
Anonymous 05/22/2018
He's a solid professor. He does everything he can to help his students. Great sense of humor. Does tend to lose his place sometimes during lecture but he's great overall. His practice exams look very much like the actual exams given.
Fawzi Emad
Expecting an A+
Anonymous 05/17/2018
Excellent lecturer! This was my favorite class to go to. The projects are interesting the exams were not too bad. Take that with a grain of salt since I have programmed before. He posts weekly study questions and those are the guide to acing the exams.
Ilchul Yoon
Anonymous 05/15/2018
Great prof, he's very enthusiastic about CS. He also cares a lot about is students and their success in the course. Definitely wouldn't mind taking CMSC 131 with him again.
Colin Chen
Expecting an A+
Anonymous 05/14/2018
Super helpful and easy to understand! A p funny guy who knows his stuff
Matt Patrick
Expecting a B+
Anonymous 05/11/2018
Explained concepts really well and was lots of fun too. Take his section if you can.
Ilchul Yoon
Expecting an A+
Anonymous 05/11/2018
Amazing professor! So friendly and approachable. He really cares about his students and listens to our concerns. He's also really excited about the topic which makes the lecture a lot more interesting to attend.
Colin Chen
Expecting an A+
Anonymous 05/11/2018
Extremely helpful when asked. Very friendly TA!
Jasraj Singh
Expecting an A+
Anonymous 05/11/2018
Awesome TA! Funny, explains things well and also gives general advice about the major!
Fawzi Emad
Expecting a B+
Anonymous 05/11/2018
This guy is both hilarious and very passionate about teaching. My favourite teacher so far! Take him whenever you can
Fawzi Emad
Anonymous 05/11/2018
Fawzi's way of explaining the material really makes it stick. I'm not sure what it is. He just makes you see why a concept is useful or why it matters and the explains it in a logical manner. Everything just clicks.
Jonathan Saewitz
Expecting an A+
tomorrow 05/11/2018
A grade A TA. He also writes this website.
Shriraj Gandhi
Anonymous 05/10/2018
Awesome TA. Answers questions very quickly and gives a clear response. Holds review sessions with another TA and helps him create practice exams. Approachable and friendly.
Jonathan Saewitz
Anonymous 05/10/2018
Incredible TA. Very clear when he teaches a concept and tries to help anyone that does not understand. Easy to approach and very friendly person. Holds reviews before tests that are extremely helpful and posts practice tests with answers.
Saadiq Shaik
Expecting an A+
Anonymous 05/10/2018
Saadiq is great! He is very clear with his explanation, and he was able to successfully help me debug 99% of my coding error. Overall, he is a great TA, and I highly suggest you switch into a discussion with him as the TA.
Ilchul Yoon
Anonymous 05/10/2018
I work for him and he cares so much about his students and TAs
Ilchul Yoon
Anonymous 05/10/2018
Really, super nice. He's very excited and enthusiastic about teaching which is great.
Jonathan Saewitz
Anonymous 05/10/2018
Hosts CMSC131 review sessions, seemingly of his own volition. Really helpful, great at answering questions.
Anastasiya Stolyarova
Expecting a B-
Anonymous 05/09/2018
amazing TA, always eager to help out during class and leads great reviews for the material we do in lecture. Quizzes are sometimes tough but I don't think she makes them.
Anastasiya Stolyarova
Expecting an A-
Anonymous 05/08/2018
She's a little timid at first, but she truly is a great TA. She is great at explaining things and she makes sure to ask if any students have questions or if anything is confusing. She is also very patient. Any student would be lucky to have her as a TA. (:
Evan Golub
Anonymous 05/08/2018
AVOID HIM IF YOU CAN, worst professor ever, you barely learn, exams get a tad harder near the end of course, and the clicker quizzes were so pointless and literally the only reason I bothered to show up to his lectures. Anyone I took to watch his lectures with me all said that it was the worst lecture they'd ever been to, one of them chose Kruskal over him for his 351 class after he watched in on my 131 lectures.
Roger Eastman
Expecting a B
Anonymous 05/08/2018
An alright professor, he jumps into 132 concepts a bit sometimes and expects you to know them for the tests. Also, one annoying part was we went over this basic programming language (basically elementary java) called Processing for over HALF of the semester which was really annoying, made me want to transition into Eclipse ASAP, as much as I hate to say it. Otherwise, Eastman's a nice person and good to talk to if you need help.
Joseph Lui
Expecting an A
Anonymous 05/08/2018
Outstanding TA
Jasraj Singh
Anonymous 05/07/2018
Humorous, gives good advice, understanding of the frustrations of being a compsci student
Colin Chen
Anonymous 05/07/2018
Helpful and quiet, informative.
Anastasiya Stolyarova
Anonymous 05/07/2018
Ana was a great TA and was always very helpful during office hours and discussion. She always responded to emails quickly and was patient with her students and wanted them to learn the material so they can succeed in the course.
Jasraj Singh
Expecting an A+
Anonymous 05/07/2018
Best TA
Anastasiya Stolyarova
Anonymous 05/07/2018
Great TA, super helpful; went above and beyond to help us understand content
Anastasiya Stolyarova
Anonymous 05/07/2018
Humorous and engaging, would for sure take again.
Roger Eastman
lactaid 05/06/2018
Really nice guy. Dr. Eastman is always looking for ways to help students learn the material well. Would definitely recommend.
Evan Golub
Expecting a C
Anonymous 04/17/2018
I had him for 131 and did not learn a single thing except how is made world a better place, how is a influential person in many things. He should not be teaching 131 at all. This class needs a person who actually teaches.
Anastasiya Stolyarova
Anonymous 04/04/2018
Extremely hard working TA, goes to great lengths to ensure you understand concepts. Great at explaining stuff, and genuinely cares about her students.
Pedram Sadeghian
Expecting an A+
Anonymous 03/20/2018
Class wasn't too boring for an intro course. He tried his best to teach to the lowest common denominator, since it is an intro course. Grading is fair, didn't always know everything in lecture but he tried his best to answer what he could.
Allison Chatham
Expecting a B+
Anonymous 03/15/2018
Very nice & helpful
William Pugh
Expecting an A+
Anonymous 02/05/2018
Take his class if you have programming background before. You will learn a lot if you know what is going on. Really a knowledgeable and talented professor but not good at lecturing.
Nelson Padua-Perez
Anonymous 01/30/2018
The worst thing about Nelson is that his jokes get really old.
Ilchul Yoon
lactaid 12/28/2017
Really nice guy. Co-taught CMSC131 with Dr. Pugh this past semester and didn't lecture much but still was active in teaching the course. I'm confident he'll do a great job teaching 131 next semester.
William Pugh
Expecting an A+
Anonymous 12/15/2017
extremely smart professor, but not best at lecturing. would highly recommend if you have a little coding background; you'l learn a lot
William Pugh
Expecting a D
Anonymous 12/11/2017
Terrible lecturer
William Pugh
Expecting an A-
Anonymous 11/30/2017
He's a good professor but his projects can be kind of difficult. His exams are somewhat manageable, but the time crunch makes it a race to see who can scribble code the fastest. His lectures are okay but at least he tries his best to make the course interesting. I would recommend Pugh to you if you have had some coding experience before, but if you don't, just a warning that it may be a bit too difficult.
Nelson Padua-Perez
Expecting an A+
Anonymous 11/26/2017
Amazing professor! Keeps the class entertaining while teaching the material in a well paced manner.
Nelson Padua-Perez
Anonymous 11/19/2017
Good personality with a great sense of humor but that’s about it. Complaints: + His project descriptions do not flow well at all. They often have grammatical errors and information seems to be scattered all over the place, making projects very intimidating for beginners. Explanations do not make much sense at all unless you’re proficient with programming. Instructions for projects are simply horrible to say the least. Either too much info scattered throughout or too little. You’ll spend a lot of time trying to figure out what exactly it is you have to do, unless you’re already good at coding. + His lectures are all over the place. Every minute, he interrupts himself to tell someone to stop talking (even if they weren’t talking). For us beginners, it doesn’t help that he keeps doing that. He should just focus on his presentation and teach us the lectures without interruption. If you’re good at coding, take his class. He’s funny and makes class fun. But if you’re new to coding, be careful. His projects will give you constant headaches, and you’ll waste a ton of time trying to make sense of the project briefings.
Evan Golub
Expecting a B+
Anonymous 12/14/2016
Wow.... Where to start with this monster of person. Not only does he have the most dry sense of humor but it's like he's allergic to teaching in general and avoids it at all fucking costs... IT'S YOUR DAMN JOB MAN don't tell us stories about some bullshit NASA stuff you made up and how people were just begging to use your code. We get it... comment our code yeesh just teach the damn class. The only reason I plan to get a relatively high mark is because I taught myself out of class... I have 100% on all of the projects and labs but shit grades on the exams. Wanna know why??? well i'll tell you... THE MAN DOESN'T TEACH YOU WHAT HE ASKS ON THE EXAM.... although there could just be a situation we may never considered about his case. He could be a savant and only understand coding and can't comprehend how to interact with other humans or do his job... If that's the case I'm sorry for my tone
Fawzi Emad
Expecting a C
Anonymous 05/12/2016
BEST PROFESSOR FOR CS! He is so funny and passionate about the topic. However the class is really hard, especially for people who have never coded before, like me. I struggled a lot in this class. You need to dedicate a lot of time to understanding the material. Class is hard but Fawzi is awesome!!
Evan Golub
Expecting an A
Anonymous 03/03/2016
Basically if you're the type of person that's pretty good with computers and knows his stuff, and goes to lecture, this guy is for you. I've had 11 years of computer programming experience since elementary school, so I found this class to be far too easy. But I don't think he's a bad professor. He asks questions to make sure people are involved, and he gives hints on what might be on quizzes, etc. Basically, he says to study daily, and YOU SHOULD. I studied C++ in middle school on my own, so these concepts are familiar to me. Also, review the quizzes for the tests. If you have questions, try to go to his office hours to ask a question. But to be honest, he won't help nor will the TA really help. You really have to figure out what's wrong with your program yourself. Once you get to JUnit Tests, make sure to write little junit tests for each method as you go along. That will help a lot. With your JUnit tests, you can figure out what's wrong easily unlike the submit server's JUnit tests.
Nelson Padua-Perez
Expecting a B
Anonymous 01/05/2016
Nelson is a great guy! His personality is so nice and he's HILARIOUS in class. He makes it fun to learn and a lot easier to pay attention in class. I am a newbie to computer science so the class itself was a little difficult. Nelson is a good guy for people new to computer science because he will make your introduction to compsci very fun. The first midterm for us was really easy and was just like the practice study guide they gave us. The second midterm was ridiculously difficult. It was impossible for anyone with no experience prior to have done well on that exam. Even people that were experienced were depressed after the exam. As for the final, it was a lot better. It wasn't too difficult like the first one but it was still challenging. Make sure to study a lot and go to all the discussions and lectures and to try to learn on your own time because class time is not enough. This class is tailored more for the experienced kids so being a newbie is quite the disadvantage. The whole "you don't need any experience prior" was one of the biggest lies I was told. Also be aware of cheating and copying other people's projects or even collaborating. There was a whole thing this year where the professors are going to prosecute those who cheated on projects which will result in an XF (failure and cheating mark) that will stay with you forever even if you retake the class. It's also better to do it on your own because you learn a lot more that way. BTW: TA hours are a HUGE mess. It's always packed in the TA office and you have to wait a long time for the TA to even come to you to help you. Kinda why I don't understand why the rules for even talking about the projects together are so strict, but can't really do anything about it. Don't show anyone your code and don't ask anyone for theirs. It's a serious issue. TIP: Do really well on the projects because those were the only things holding my grade up (as well as the quizzes). You can bomb the exams and still get a decent grade if you do extremely well on quizzes and projects.
Evan Golub
Anonymous 05/17/2015
He was a horrible professor. He talked about himself the entire class and what you needed to know and why you needed to know it, but would never actually teach you how to do it. His exams were long and difficult and if you need 20 seconds to finish a line of code he will scream his head off and literally rip the exam from your hand. He does not teach the material and leaves it up to the TA. So if your TA sucks good luck in the class. I never learned a thing from his class even though I attended lecture, reviewed daily, and bought the book. Whatever you do, do not take this exam.
Evan Golub
Anonymous 05/12/2015
AVOID AT ALL COSTS. Worst professor I have ever encountered. Lectures are the most pointless waste of time(I went to everyone) where he spends time going off on tangents that have nothing to do with computer science. Extremely harsh grader when comes to projects and tests. Due to the snow he attempted to cram every project into the semester, the last being due in a week as we also have finals to study for. If you have zero experience in Computer Science avoid. The tests are tough and so are the projects expect to put a lot of time into this class. He must enjoy wording the most complex questions into exams. Dont be mistaken if you have learned anything by the end of this class its because of your TA or the people you decided to work with, how Golub has a job here is astonishing. He gives you study questions that, guess what, have no real impact on tests and quizzes :). Dont believe any of the reviews that rate him from years ago as they do not reflect Golub's terrible teaching strategy. Not to mention his condescending attitude when faced with question, prepare to be spoken to like a baby. As an intro course designed for people new to Computer Science courses the workload was by far too heavy his expectations are flawed for students. AVOID AT ALL COSTS
Evan Golub
Expecting a C
Anonymous 03/29/2015
By far the worst teacher I've ever had in my entire life. First off his lectures are terrible. You don't learn a thing from them. He just talks about life experiences and why you need to know something but he never actually teaches it to you. He's so self conceited you'd think the class was named GLUB131. All he talks about is himself. Impossible to pay attention through the stories in his lectures so when he does actually say something related to the class, you're not paying attention to it. He is BATSHIT insane. Would literally rip students tests out of their hands and yell at them at the top of his lungs for finishing a line of code on tests seconds after he said stop writing. Least personable and reasonable person I've met in my life. Comes off as if he hates all of his students. I received a 77.954 average after putting in more work for this class than any other by far and he wouldn't give me the C+ for the class. DO NOT take this class even if it is the absolute last option. You'll regret it. Golub is just the worst candidate for a teacher. I have no clue who hired him with his psychological brain, but he needs to be fired. Doesn't help a soul being there.
Evan Golub
Expecting a F+
The_Golub 01/30/2015
Imagine the first day of class. As you embark on your journey through the mystifying complex universe of computer science, you have no idea what to expect. You could be dealing with the unforeseen; singularities caused by Eclipse phenomenons, encounters with fierce, atrocious bugs on the submit server, or even bang you head on your very own $800 laptop as you scream at the ambiguous results of the release tests! A toilet bowl of intellectual thoughts flurries around your noggin; there could be computers, video games, cameras, programming, computers, flying cellphones, virtual pinball and more! Then all of a sudden. BAM! Golub's hairstyle is crazy – he’s like the Yoda of comp sci. Don't underestimate his powers. As soon as you walk through the door, the surrounding air temperature drops 30 degrees as you witness the epitome of the human race. A majestic white haired dude strides across the lecture hall and spreads his arms openly– with a devilish grin on his face – so fast you could have blinked and missed the moment of a lifetime. (I strongly advise bringing a camera to savor the moment) Golub E., or professionally known as “Evan de Golub”, is a retired super villain who now only uses his powers for forces of good….. for students of the CMSC major at the University of Maryland. He wears a silk vest every day - except on every other Friday. However, I personally felt like when he wasn't wearing the vest his lectures were more interesting and remained on topic. (Escalating theories in the scientific community that this very vest may have been part of his original super villain costume - and retains faint traces of pure evil.) His vest is swaggy doe. Props to him. Although his receding hairline may fool you upon first glance, he has a magnificent pony tail and has the full-fledged back-head experience. But keep in mind he is no Lebron James. Golub is an extremely young person – his hair is only grey from an abundance of knowledge and sagacious wisdom he has accumulated throughout his career. (One, of course, which would take the average man many lifetimes to equal.) Golub is a young warrior, holding years of experience computer sciencing, playing wacky poker in the devious back rooms of mobster hideouts, taking photographs of people’s feet and farm animals, and executing simulations of the mass genocide of pond fishies. But don’t let me spoil the extravagant, Oscar-worthy backstory though. Let the Golub himself reveal it to you through his eloquent novel-worthy lectures which leave you hanging on an epic, thrilling cliff hanger after each 51 minute session. But don’t worry my fellow Golub-goers, he always comes back the next week to continue the story almost where he left off, even after he has given tests that were not on the future topics he touched in the lectures – but on the stuff you should’ve KNOWN ALL ALONG FROM THE START. Damn, this guy practically wrote Inception. (Before Christopher Nolan bought the rights to it.) Anyway, at first his lectures might seem pointless, spontaneous, random, unconnected, irrelevant, boring, and really confusing - but don’t let that fool you. In each session there is a small ten second topic that will become a pivotal test question somewhere down the road. Trust me. All of the spontaneous, random, unconnected, irrelevant, boring, and really confusing tangents he goes on are actually tests, testing the mental capacity of all 140 stude– I mean 45 students who bother to show up- in search for a new padawan. So if you want the prestigious position of “Golub padawan” on your resume, it’s best you sign up right now and claim your first row seat. I strongly advise not bringing a computer to his lecture – this only distracts you from the true Golub-glorified experience. His signature hand gestures during his elegant lectures engage full houses of students – from all over the world- elevating them to the balls of their feet as he tells witty jokes that no one listens to. Seriously, one time someone almost let out a giggle and the whole universe practically collapsed inward upon itself and imploded. I suggest bringing the classic pen and notepad – which were the slim-lined computers Golub himself used when growing up in college – not those vintage clay tablets developed by the Mayans. (They’re too intricate for the average man!) No matter which type of device you plan to bring, always stare at it and never make eye contact with the master while he speaks – this is a sign of challenge, an instinct Golub has picked up from his years chillin with lions and tigers and preforming weird combos to their portraits. Golub is a man with an infinite bag of tricks – did you know he was bilingual? Early on he’ll amaze you with a programming project that no only asks you to prompt the user in English, but also in SPANISH?!!?! hhhhoooooowwwWWHHHHAAAAAAA?!!?!?! This man is a genius. You’ll soon learn the concept of accounting for different cultural values and measurement systems because Golub exposes the flaws of NASA and unit conversions. During his reign as supervillain, Golub encountered the forces of NASA and recollects how the US measurement of distance was different that Europe’s system, causing the NASA probe to crash (wasting the hundreds of millions of dollars Golub could have used for world domination). He references this story at least once every week, which now in hindsight, I think was a reoccurring subliminal message for comp sci students: don’t trust NASA. Not only will you embark on pointless, unnecessary projects while other classes are sticking closer to reality, Golub will personally teach you the secrets to his mischievous trade of the wacky poker underground. His wacky poker project seemed too wacky for my taste, but then again, I was never playing a high stakes poker game with 300 zoo animals on the line. Golub is truly a modern superhero. When I took this class I never expected to learn essential life skills including: what Rwanda’s flag looks like in 3 bit-resolution, how to do calculus in Martianese notation, how to program, or even the science behind a fish pond exploiting the true concepts of Darwinism. But now I know, and I shall hold on to these precious gifts dearly as I move on with my life. If you have been missing a real Bill Nye the science guy in your life, then this is the opportunity of a life time. Golub is a golden star, which luckily this review system can represent for future generations yet to come. 1st out of 5 stars Would take again…… And audit too if forced by gunpoint.
Fawzi Emad
Expecting an A
collegeben 12/11/2014
Fawzi was an excellent professor for 131. He was really great at explaining the concepts and his projects were fair and fun to do. I would definitely take Fawzi if you get the chance. His class wasn't particularly easy, but if you want to learn the material and have a bit of a challenge take a class with him.
Evan Golub
Expecting a C+
Anonymous 12/11/2014
Terrible professor. Avoid at all costs for your own sanity. The people who give him good reviews are the students that already know everything there is to know about computer science and find his jokes and stories amusing. He spends sometimes up to half of the class telling stories about things he used to do in previous coding jobs that have absolutely nothing to do with the material you are learning, then gives you quizzes on the same material. If you are even somewhat of a visual learner that needs to see how things work, do not take Golub. He explains everything using stupid metaphors that he finds helpful and almost never shows actual code in java. Exams are not very similar to the study question posted. As someone below me said, he definitely leaves core topics to the TA's and barely teaches anything in class. So if you have a bad TA, you are in a terrible position.
Jandelyn Plane
Expecting an A
Anonymous 11/25/2014
I have no idea why people are saying she's a bad teacher. If you aren't a bright person you aren't gonna do well in computer science, the material isn't easy to comprehend. That being said, I had never programmed going into college and got a 100 on every single project. Jan hooks it up in office hours and bumped my grade when I was borderline. Make sure you practice writing code on paper or it will hurt you come exam time, which is the only reason I needed a bump. jan is a great lecturer, teacher and person.
Jandelyn Plane
Expecting a B-
Anonymous 04/30/2014
She's nice, but her examples in lecture are terrible. If you're obsessed with cats you'll love her because every single example she gives in class deals with cats. The projects are also very different from what she teaches, if you expect her examples to help you on projects you're wrong, and the lectures aren't very helpful towards teaching the concepts of the class. If you go to discussion, though, the TAs are actually really helpful and teach in a much simpler way than Jan.
Fawzi Emad
tdsouza 01/18/2014
As an freshman who is a CS Major with no prior experience in Computer Science, I can say that Fawzi Emad is an amazing professor. He keeps the class interesting while also teaching the material in an extremely clear fashion. However, if you are new to programming languages like Java, there are obstacles that you have to overcome (Don't worry, they're not to bad!). 1. Fawzi can't review every topic with a fine tooth comb because it's only a semester-long course, therefore the rate at which new material is introduced is fast. You will have to attend pretty much every lecture if you want to be at a good pace, and you must take copious notes - Fawzi doesn't use the textbook (don't buy the textbook, it's completely useless). 2. The projects. The first two projects are very easy and doable...however the difficulty then increases quickly. PROJECTS ARE THE MOST CRUCIAL IN GETTING A GOOD GRADE!!! The biggest problem students have with the projects is not figuring out what to do...it's actually completing the project on time. Fawzi gives you about a week and a half to do the projects, but most people wait till the last minute and their grade suffers mightily. PLEASE START YOUR PROJECTS EARLY. I CAN'T STRESS THAT ENOUGH. Now that I'm done addressing those who might be new to programming entirely, let me broaden my view to everyone taking the class. Fawzi's tests are perfectly fair. Not too easy, but definitely not hard as well. Study well, and you'll do fine. PAY ATTENTION TO THOSE STUDY QUESTIONS. They're the keys to a good test score. Quizes and Labs count for a small portion of your overall grade, but make sure you don't BS them. Fawzi's Final Exam was definitely tougher than both his midterms, so don't blow that off and make sure you study hard for that one. Fawzi is a fantastic professor and I can't imagine any professor better in the CS Department who is better.
Evan Golub
Expecting an A
chromebeast 04/10/2013
Horrible Professor. I've taken 115 credits of classes, and this professor is honestly the most incredibly lackluster and astoundingly nitpicky professor I have ever seen. The first lab was a total disaster, Golub cannot plan logistically at all. He tried to have over 100 students download eclipse at the same time to complete failure. This was then supplemented by him blaming the students for this failure, and making the due date for the first lab the next morning (this was considered "being nice") I submitted the project the next AFTERNOON, to which Golub was apparently physically incapable of giving me any points for. So there you have it! If you want a teacher who will fail you three days into the class for his own complete incomptence with logistical issues, this is the man for you! I've aced every other assignment he's ever assigned (taken the class in HS), but for your average student, this teacher should be avoided like the plague. Emad is way better, sat in on his lectures, and Emad is much more entertaining/worth going to lecture for.
Jandelyn Plane
Expecting a C
Anonymous 01/04/2013
This course was absolutely horrid. This was my first time learning to program and I made a mistake taking it with Plane. She is extremely confusing, boring, and her voice just makes me want to tune her out. Her examples and analogies don't make any sense, either, which causes me to become even more confused. The lectures were such basic material that when it came time for the quizzes/projects, I struggled. Quizzes are given every week and for the little amount of time given, the concepts were so much more difficult compared to the labs and the lecture examples. She cannot expect us to understand something at a higher level if she cannot even teach us the basic examples, especially for a beginner Java class (where most students in my lecture had no prior programming experience). The projects were also substantially more difficult than any of the examples ever given in class. Even those with prior programming experience found them to be a little difficult. My TA was also horrible. She was so snappy and anything she wrote on the board could not even be seen .. GET BETTER MARKERS PLEASE. She never spoke loud enough for me to hear and was snappy whenever a student asked a question. However, those with previous programming experience had no trouble in this course. J. Plane basically catered to those who already knew Java .. I am a CompSci major and this bad experience has caused me to reevaluate my choice of major. Hopefully 132 with Fawzi will change my mind. DO NOT TAKE THIS CLASS WITH J. PLANE IF YOU HAVE NEVER PROGRAMMED BEFORE.
Jandelyn Plane
Anonymous 12/06/2012
Sorry to say this, but I feel like this course would be more appropriately titled "introductory minutia of Java syntax." I greatly enjoyed all of the programming assignments, but to be honest, I found the course material extremely frustrating and unenlightening because there was an overwhelming focus on Java's syntactical conventions, rather than the conceptual basis for the object-oriented programming paradigm. All in all, this wasn't a bad course, but I think the content could be a lot better. Unfortunately, Jan also took a rather parental tone towards her students in this class. I'm sorry, I tried, but was unable to find her explanatory metaphors very compelling :(
Fawzi Emad
Expecting an A+
Anonymous 09/23/2012
Incredible professor. Teaches everything himself; never need to buy or look at the book (nor will it help you to). Take good notes in class; they are your only source of substantial information because truth be told, the online lecture slides (which are written by another professor anyway) are convoluted and give much extraneous information. Do not skip exams (as obvious as it sounds, it happens) or quizzes because he strictly adheres to university policy and will give you a zero. You can get by with showing up late but if you try and leave lecture early he will stop you and make you feel terrible in front of the entire class. Start projects early (especially those toward the end of the course) since nobody can get it perfect the first time. Review the study questions he puts online, they mirror key questions on the exams. I came into this class a Business major with no computer programming experience whatsoever, but he goes out of his way to make sure that everyone understands the material.
Jandelyn Plane
Expecting an A+
Anonymous 05/21/2012
At first I wasn't sure what I thought of Jan. I've definitely never had a professor with her style of teaching and communication. That being said, I thought she did a great job teaching 131. Here's why: 1) She is VERY approachable outside of class and is really good at clarifying stuff 1 on 1. If you don't understand a lecture she could probably explain it all to you in a matter of 10 minutes if you're bright. 2) She explains stuff and demonstrates what she's talking about by coding in front of you in lecture. It necessarily make the material easy, per se, but it definitely makes it a lot easier to visualize and understand. 3) She has a PhD in both Comp Sci AND Education so she knows what she's doing. 4) She curved both of her midterms this semester. Honestly, she's probably one of the best professors I've had at Maryland yet. Here's the rub, however, with CMSC131: If you're not logically inclined (and honestly not exceptionally bright...there's no point in lying to yourself) you're going to really struggle with this class. That being said, Jan is definitely your best option because of her approachability outside of class. Regardless of that fact, I thought Jan was a great professor and I would highly recommend her for CMSC131.
Jandelyn Plane
Expecting an A
Anonymous 05/03/2012
I had taken computer science classes in high school, but hadn't learned some of the material taught in the 2nd half of the course. I thought Jan was a great teacher. If you came into this class knowing absolutely nothing about java, then I can see how this class could be very difficult. I know a lot of people got C/Ds on the quizzes. Anyway, the use of projecting Eclipse onto a large screen really helped. Unlike some reviewers mentioned from past years, she only used a few pointpoints near the end of the course. And Piazza was great for communication. I came in dreading this class b/c of these bad reviews, but I thought it was pretty bearable.
Nelson Padua-Perez
Expecting an A
Anonymous 01/16/2012
I thought Nelson was a really nice guy, but his lectures weren't really all that good. He makes the class easy tho, so if all you're worried about is your grade, you'll be fine. I recommend taking another instructor (Fawzi Emad or Evan Golub) if you really want to learn something.
Evan Golub
Anonymous 11/26/2011
I took 131 with very little prior programming experience (I took a god-awful class in Java when I was a senior in high school). Regardless, Golub's exceptional style of teaching not only drilled all the fundamentals securely into my mind, but also sparked a passion for programming in me. He does NOT read off slides; he does NOT drone on the entire lecture. (We all know a professor like that!) He buttresses every concept he covers with fantastic analogies, anecdotes from his own impressive career, and examples of practical implications. He takes clicker polls, which may annoy some, but which I found helpful; they motivate you to attend all lectures (which you should anyway) and they help you commit the more important points in a lecture to memory. His quizzes are perfectly fair as are his projects. His project descriptions are especially great - visually appealing, lucid, and not too wordy. He is not as quick with email responses as some other professors, but he is alright. And he always welcomes questions before/after lecture and at office hours. He is a very approachable individual who gives students' questions a good amount of consideration. I have nothing negative to say about him! Look elsewhere in this page for vicious criticisms (LIES, I TELL YOU! haha). TIPS: Sit closer to the front; it'll help you pay attention, participate, and be entertained. Manage your time well in the exams.
Laurence Herman
Expecting an A+
Anonymous 11/02/2011
Wow - these reviews are funny to read. Larry is extremely precise with the material (reason for long project descriptions, too), which makes learning what the code does really easy, and he's very clear about how he wants to be interacted with as an instructor and what he expects of you. If you keep your cell phone away, come to class and actually pay attention, and go to his office hours when you want to talk to him, he's just fine. He seemed a bit harsh on students with certain types of questions at first, but if you get used to the fact that that's just his manner and don't ask questions that he's already answered when you weren't paying attention, no big deal. He's pretty amusing as well, just has a dry sense of humor and is a little bit awkward. I would definitely take a class with him again.
Fawzi Emad
Anonymous 06/12/2011
I disagree with the person one below me. Fawzi is a really nice guy, and he does care about students. You'll find that out if you go to his office for help. He is definitely one of the best teachers in the CS department if not the best. Teaching people how to program isn't an easy task, and no one does it better than Fawzi. If you've never programmed before you'll have a hard time while taking cmsc131. It's because learning how to program for the first time is really hard, and you'll have to work extra hard in that class. He'll make sure that you learn all the material needed. He doesn't always write the exams, but he'll look at the exams and make sure there isn't anything that he didn't cover. When I took 131, he was running the class, and he wrote the exams, and the exams were very reasonable. On the other hand 132 was run by Nelson, and the exams weren't that great, but still fair. Yes, CMSC389C (C++) didn't go that well, since it was the first time the class was being offered, and Fawzi tried to cover too much stuff in 3 weeks, which didn't work out so well. Fawzi hates curving, but he ended up doing a 10% curve in that class. Fawzi cares about his students, and he'll definitely straighten out that class the next time he takes it. Fawzi has recently started to teach from slides, since he has some physical issues from writing on the blackboard for a long time, and his doctor told him not to write on blackboard. This is kind of unfortunate. He is not like one of those dorky CS professors, he's a very fun guy. On response to the reviewer one below me. Fawzi is a human being. He'll only get angry when there's a very good reason to be angry. One time a student was asking Fawzi if he could gchat with him over the weekend if he has any questions!!! You expect your professor to sit in front of his computer all weekend so that he can answer students' questions! Now who wouldn't get angry at that? I took 4 classes with Fawzi. And I would never take a class with anyone else if Fawzi's teaching it.
Evan Golub
Expecting an A
Anonymous 06/08/2011
Dr. Golub has received a few negative reviews, but I disagree with them. Sure, he's a bit on the crazy side(good crazy), but that's par for the course in college-level science courses, especially in the UMD Computer Science dept(according to friends of mine who are Comsci seniors). Dr. Golub's teaching style in CMSC131 regularly includes real-world examples and previews of things to come in future CMSC courses. Dr. Golub and his TAs this semester kept a very wide amount of office hours(26 Office hours/week for our course, in addition to the 5 50-minute inclass hours each week). You likely will not need the textbook if you're paying attention in class. Grading wise, the 2 tests had 105 points but graded out of 100(5 point curve). For our class, the median on the 1st test was 79, and the 2nd test was 80. In addition he dropped the lowest quiz and the lowest lab grade. Grading for this course was pretty lenient, and it is very possible to earn a little over 100% in the course. I can't comment on how effective he is at teaching as I took this course with a decent amount of prior knowledge of the material. On the course webpage, we had access to study questions and answers for each week, the powerpoint slides, project descriptions, and some code examples. The study questions and answers are very helpful in preparing for quizzes and tests, and pretty much all you need to study from. The slides were pretty much a skeleton of what's covered in class, and were not much help if you had to miss a class or 2. Project descriptions were clear about what was and wasn't allowed in a certain project, and how to obtain the maximum points. I can't comment on the code examples as I didn't look at them often.
David Jacobs
Expecting an A
Anonymous 05/14/2011
Dr. Jacobs is a good professor, but he is new at teaching the 100 level classes, so he does not know how to really interact with students that have a very basic understanding of Java, or computing, in general. I came into the class with a firm foundation, and received an 95% in the class and got almost perfect scores on all of the projects, but I don't think I learned as much as if i were in another teacher's class. He works with other professors and so his exams and all of the material come from them, so the students are almost getting it second hand. He knows the material and is very friendly and a good person all around, but i am not sure that he is the best teacher to teach the lower-level undergraduates. If you can take another professor's class, like Nelson's, then it might be more worth-while and entertaining, but he is not a bad teacher, you just will have to be willing to jump-in in the middle of lecture and say "what are you talking about" at some point.
Nelson Padua-Perez
Expecting a B+
Anonymous 05/03/2011
Nelson is a very engaging and fun teacher to have. He enjoys to teach and make jokes at the same time which is very entertaining. Even though he said in the beginning that he will teach like you never did programming before, I believe that is not true. Exams are not that difficult and projects are pretty fair, where as if the class is struggling to finish it, he will extend the deadline. Overall, I would recommend him as a teacher 100%. The TA does not explain the concepts pretty well.
David Jacobs
Expecting a B+
Anonymous 04/28/2011
Professor Jacobs is a nice guy and a good teacher. He covers all of the material that needs to be and try will answer any questions you may have; the emphasis of the previous statement is on "try" - sometimes he clarifies the thing you asked about, other times he leaves you more confused than before you asked the question. Overall, he's still a good pick for 131.
Fawzi Emad
recjra 02/07/2011
Fawzi is an excellent professor. I went into his class not having any programming experience and I came out with a great foundation in Java. He really enjoys teaching, so his enthusiasm made the class fun and interesting. His grading is very fair and he is very helpful and personable.
Jandelyn Plane
Expecting a B+
Anonymous 01/26/2011
She is a really nice professor. She cares about her students but does not mind that most of them are not paying attention to her. She gets really annoying with her cat analogies, but she is a good teacher. She describes concepts well and exams are not that hard. Quizzes are also pretty easy. The bad thing is that the last project she assigned were almost impossible. They were way beyond our level of programming and I just feel she did not prepare us well for CMSC132
Evan Golub
Expecting an A-
atloud 12/19/2010
Golub was an okay teacher. His lectures were pretty boring and not always helpful, but he was very approachable and always willing to help. The quizzes were very difficult however. Fawzi Emad is the better option for CMSC131 and 132.
Fawzi Emad
Expecting a B
Anonymous 11/19/2010
Excellent teacher, obviously I'm not the only one with this opinion looking at others people's appraisals. He knows java in and out, explains everything you need to know about the upcoming projects and he's just a likable person. His great personality makes the class bearable. If you have to take CMSC131, try to take it with Fawzi.
Nelson Padua-Perez
Anonymous 10/25/2010
Guy says he teaches the class as if none of the students have had programming experience before but that's so false ....... guy sits there and writes code and just gives little explanation. Majority of the class already had programming experience so they understood so the class was clearly catered toward them. Get Fawzi.
Jandelyn Plane
Expecting an A
Anonymous 02/21/2010
Jan is a decent professor. She does a good job teaching the material, but if you have any programing knowledge you'll find the class slow and boring. Since this is an intro to java course and aimed at people who never programmed before. Projects and exams are the same with any teacher and aren't very hard. Contrary to what others say I found the quizzes to be quite easy, some of the quizzes on inheritance were pretty hard and I failed maybe 2 the entire semester but each quiz counts for very little of your grade. Just do well on your projects and exams and you'll do fine. You will breeze though the class if you have prior programming knowledge. If you don't have prior programming knowledge this class isn't impossible you'll just have to work a little harder and go to office hours or ask a friend to explain it to you.
Jandelyn Plane
Math_Major 12/22/2009
I completely hated this class. I really didn't learn anything from the power points. The quizzes were confusing and if you don't know how to program, it's pretty tough. If anything take this class with Fawzi.
Jandelyn Plane
Expecting an A
Anonymous 12/21/2009
Easy class, especially if you have programming experience. Contrary to what others have said, I believe she did a decent job teaching programming. Her lectures were to the point and covered most of the important exceptions that help. Quizzes and tests were a breeze, as was the final. Labs are very simple and take only a few minutes. Projects sometimes do not overlap with the material being taught, and often take a bit of extra effort, but they are generally not difficult to finish, as long as you start on time. The last project is a bit tricky, though. Overall, a pretty good teacher. I found her lectures helpful, although she does tend to be rather repetitive since this class is geared more towards people without programming experience. Some of her metaphors are quite helpful, I found quite a few of them enlightening, although I can kind of understand being put off by them. Don't listen too much to the other reviews; as long as you actually attend classes and vaguely pay attention, it's definitely a softball class.
Jandelyn Plane
Expecting an A-
Anonymous 12/18/2009
Pros: Jan cares a lot about the progress of her students. I went in to her office hours a few times, and she was a huge help. She's very thorough with her explanations. Cons: I found it extremely difficult to pay attention in lectures, and I stopped going after a few weeks. Don't be deceived by the lecture slides posted online, because they don't always cover everything that Jan covers in class. Also, if you're like me and you prefer to learn everything the night before an exam, don't expect to do well. Weekly quizzes are given to ensure you're keeping up with the material. Bottom line: This class wasn't exactly a nightmare for me, but it wasn't all that fun either.
Jandelyn Plane
Anonymous 11/22/2009
Jan Plane is a horrible teacher! She actually does try, but she just makes no sense to me. About half way through the course I started going to lectures by the other instructor -- Fawzi Emad -- and it is 1000% better. Mr. Emad explains things in a way that anybody can understand. If you have a choice, take the class with Emad not Plane.
Jandelyn Plane
Expecting an A
Anonymous 05/22/2009
I got an A in this class but I cannot imagine how hard it is if you have no programming experience. My programming experience is very limited but it definitely helped a lot. She tries to use metaphors but she doesn't understand that metaphors are suppose to be something that students can easily relate to to make things more clear. So when she teaches she just makes things confusing as hell. She responds to her emails at ridiculous speeds and is very friendly and approachable outside of class. The quizzes in the class are INSANE. They are so hard and purposely made to hurt your grade. My TA sucked but some of the others were awesome. Exams are hard to finish on time (except for the final)
Jandelyn Plane
Expecting a B
fhawkes 05/16/2009
I consider my self to be a pretty computer savvy guy, but this was my first programming experience... Lectures were boring, didn't really cover everything I felt was needed for the projects.. Jan did offer help on projects and pretty much does them for you if you go to here office hours or email her constantly.. Thus I received high As on every project.. QUIZZES were IMPOSSIBLE.. I have a D average for quizzes. EXAMSSS.. are rediculous like everyone below me said they are beyond impossible to finish on time and extremely hard.. look to make most of ur points in projects. if you do Well on projects you might just get a B
Jandelyn Plane
Expecting a C
RalphSteiner 04/20/2009
This class with this teacher is ridiculous. Not only is she incredibly boring, but she makes things that could be easily understood incredibly hard to understand. She also LOVES cats and makes every analogy incredibly confusing. Projects are extremely unclear and confusing. Exams are idiotic. She gives a study guide and study questions, and guess what, very few of them have anything to do what showed up on the exam. SOME of them are based on what she says during lecture but who can understand her? To top it off, you get very little time needed to complete the exam. Even the people who have prior CMSC knowledge are struggle to finish on time. Do NOT take this professor, you WILL regret it, especially if you have no prior CMSC knowledge.
Jandelyn Plane
Expecting an A
vbury 02/25/2009
I took 2 years of Java during high school, but chose not to do the AP Comp Sci test, so I had to sit through this class, which was essentially my 2 years of high school Java condensed into one semester. Didn't fall asleep in class, but didn't pay close attention, either. I did most of my learning through the projects. Quizzes were similar to others' experiences. I'm still kicking myself that I didn't take Fawzi.
Jandelyn Plane
Expecting a C
MichaelS 02/23/2009
This class is beyond horrible, but she was the ONLY teacher available for CMSC131 at this time. Only those who have prior knowledge in programming will do well. The first week or two were okay as it was relatively simple and therefore easy to understand, but after that, it gets boring, at least, with this professor. Teacher: She is a really nice lady, she tries to help you as much as she can and is approachable outside of class. However, she cannot teach at all. She is incredibly confusing, boring, and only she tends to know what she is talking about. She makes things that could be easily understood even harder to understand. She makes a lot analogies, which are freaking horrible as they only confuse you further. (She uses lecture slides and refers to examples she puts up on screen.) TA: My TA was pretty nice, but she follows the instructions of the professor when it comes to how to grade or what to do, so it doesn't really matter how nice she is. Projects/Homework: You get a project/homework once every 1-2 weeks, since it takes a while to do. You get a guideline on what you have to do and you have to use what you have learned from lecture. This isn't so bad because you have a long time to do it, so you can get help from TAs, the teacher, or friends(sometimes). Quizzes/Exams: WOW, these things are beyond RIDICULOUS. For someone who does not have prior programming knowledge, you will NOT finish on time. In my class, only 1-2 people, who DID have prior programming knowledge, were about to finish in time. Everyone else did not. Not only are they badly timed, they are HARD. Like I said earlier, she was the only teacher available for CMSC131, but if you can avoid her, DO SO WITHOUT HESISTATION. If you aren't a major in computer science, AVOID. If you can't avoid, you will need to invest an incredulous amount of time if you want an A. Make sure you get a lot of rest before you enter her class, because she goes through a lot of stuff and she will bore you to sleep. Her poor speaking skills and habits do not help her either. It was hard for me to stay interested and awake.
Jandelyn Plane
Expecting a C
Snipe911 01/26/2009
Other reviews pretty much hit it on the head, so I'm going to let you know that they were right. At first, she's alright, tolerable, the material is interesting. And then, just after 'if then' statements, her lectures are off the mark completely. She zips right through incredibly valuable material with some occasional examples, but nothing near what your then supposed to be able to...code... in your own project. I emailed her several times with the most unhelpful condensed reply I've ever seen, as if I was wasting her time. If you haven't had background experience, she is brutal. She puts questions on the exams that are a harder evolution of an unexplained example in class. Oh, and yes, "Office Hours" IS a 'barrage of chaos', 50 kids to one TA. A real shame to have this class the first experience that CS majors get.
Fawzi Emad
Expecting an A+
Rahulm5000 01/02/2009
Awesome professor. Makes sense of difficult concepts. Students of other professors always come in and sit in on his lecture because he is always a better teacher. His exams are really easy also. He gives 2 mid terms and one final, about 8 quizzes, and 8 projects.
Jandelyn Plane
Expecting an A
samiam762 12/20/2008
This being my first computer science class, at Maryland or anywhere, I didn't come in with any idea of what a computer science class would be like. I thought overall Jan Plane was a successful professor - I learned a lot, and got a lot of good practice for programming. The lectures started off interesting, but as time passed they became less and less, but make sure you keep paying attention, because otherwise you'll suddenly have a ton of information to catch up on without much to draw from, other than going to the TAs for help. She has a lot of metaphors for the programming, and the usefulness of those vs. the amount they might just confuse you is definitely up in the air. The tests weren't too bad at all, but like I said if there's a topic you don't really feel that comfortable with writing code on, make sure you fix that because chances are there'll be a test problem that has you writing code on that. For the projects she was very helpful, always willing to look through your code to see what the problem was, which was immensely helpful, but make sure you start the projects early or you'll find yourself having to put hours and hours in the few days before it's due.
Jandelyn Plane
Expecting an A
Anonymous 12/07/2008
She is simply not a good teacher. The projects are the majority of the grade, but the examples she provides in class are inadequate. Therefore I've had to rely heavily on my programming experience from high school. The last few projects are a little hard even for me, so imagine how hard it must be for someone with no previous experience. If you have never programmed before, don't expect to pass her class unless you're prepared to invest a truly incredible portion of your time into it.
Fawzi Emad
Anonymous 11/07/2008
He is a great teacher, he is fun to listen to, he has a great way of making difficult concepts easy to understand, and he is quite approachable. Very nice.
Fawzi Emad
Anonymous 09/05/2008
Not all professors are great communicators; Fawzi exceeded my expectations, providing excellent information in easily understood terms. Fawzi's classes had a good energy, making it easy to ask questions and get clear, concise answers.
Fawzi Emad
Anonymous 08/31/2008
I dropped this class. he caters to those who already know the programming language. yes, he has a good personality, but if you don't know the material to begin with, expect to fail. not my fave.
Fawzi Emad
bcwik 08/06/2008
Fawzi really is a excellent teacher, definitely one of the best at UMD. He explains everything extremely well, providing concrete examples along with easy-to-understand explanations of the material. I didn't have to buy anything for the class (books), just go to class and you will get a good grade, which is easy because the class is very enjoyable. If you can, definitely take a class with Fawzi.
Fawzi Emad
Expecting an A
Anonymous 05/12/2008
Had him for 131 and he is damn good. One of the best profs in the CS department. However, there is a downside, in that if you don't know some level of programming before walking in, you will have trouble. This is partially because Fawzi does not curve extra to cope with kids who know code inside out and still take the class. As his GPA spreads say, he is a tough professor, and curves pretty minimally, but in the end, he is a solid teacher. Regardless of the grade you get, you will know the material to a good extent.
Jandelyn Plane
Expecting a B
Billy4202 04/15/2008
At the start, this class was quite simple to understand, all the concepts were basic and taught at a steady pace that was optimal for understanding the material. A few weeks in, however, I, being the very-limited-knowledge-in-computer-science person that I am, was overwhelmed. Seemingly infinite material is provided in a matter of a few weeks, and if you're not extremely diligent and nearly obsessive about learning the material, you'll most likely have trouble here. Lectures rarely helped where they needed to (projects, quizzes, etc.) Quizzes were harder than you could imagine, rarely would anyone pass them (besides the ones that have been programming for 5+ years...). Projects were just as frustrating - and when you try to go in for help, you're met with this barrage of chaos, stuck in a void where the TAs only meet with you for less than five minutes. Really, you could learn more about computer programming from the textbook, or any other equally equipped textbook. If you're not a Computer Science major or don't have an extremely high interest in Computer Science, save yourself the trouble, money, and credits and don't take this course. If you do...you've been forewarned.
Fawzi Emad
Dez 02/29/2008
the best professor Ive ever had in all of my educational experience. Very approachable, very cool, very nice. Ver good person, i wish he taught all my cmsc courses.
Jandelyn Plane
Anonymous 02/22/2008
not a bad lecturer, but not great either. this was my first programing course ever, so i was in the deep end early. she explains every thing, but if you zone out, even for a minute, you are gonna be lost for the next half hour. if you already know about programing, than you probably dont even need to go, as the slides are online
Jandelyn Plane
Expecting a C
Anonymous 12/15/2007
Not a very good teacher, bad jokes, only went when there was a review, and even those weren't helpful. Final was pretty rough.
Fawzi Emad
Expecting a B
pluralfacade 12/12/2007
Probably the best teacher I have ever had in college. Don't bother buying the textbook; just go to his lectures and you'll learn everything you need to. He's very friendly and approachable outside of class and will always try his best to help students out. He is pretty fair when it comes to tests, quizzes and projects - you will be challenged, but you will also learn a lot from him as long as you study.
Fawzi Emad
Expecting a B-
trimalchio 11/29/2007
Fawzi is a great professor, he's incredibly approachable and he'll help you with any problems you're having. His class wasn't a walk in the park but it also wasn't made any more difficult than it had to be. Fawzi's exams were fair and he taught you what was necessary to understand the material you were expected to know. One problem was that the book required for 131 was not even mentioned once by Fawzi, I assume the only reason it's required was for the other professor's lecture and sections. Make sure that the text is going to be used before you buy it for this class. Also, Fawzi is a computer science advisor for non-freshmen, and he's really nice if you come in wanting to get advice about classes. He's just generally a cool guy.
Fawzi Emad
pelers 11/08/2007
Excellent professor, one of my favorites. His lectures are interesting and he's a fun guy. He does an excellent job explaining material and caters to the beginners in the class. Will definitely be looking for him teaching other courses I need to take.
Fawzi Emad
Anonymous 11/06/2007
I took a class with Fawzi a few semesters ago, and he is still the best professor I've had. This was the first comp sci class I took at UMD, and he went into great detail about all subjects, while still keeping the class interesting. I went to just about every class (something I never do now) because I knew I'd learn a lot and have a fun time. Great guy, great teacher...if you have the option, take a class with him
Jandelyn Plane
Expecting a B
Anonymous 10/31/2007
sucks at teaching, corny jokes, just sucks