Reviews for CMSC250

Information Review
Paul Kline
CMSC250

Expecting a B+
Anonymous
04/05/2024
Kline is a great lecturer and a very nice guy, but that's about all there is good to say about this class. The homeworks are ridiculously tedious and long, with 7-8 problems, each having up to 8 sub-parts each. Everything is graded ridiculously inconsistently, the TAs grade everything, and a different TA grades each question. So trying to understand what you did wrong, especially with the lackluster feedback that Gradescopes provides is a nightmare. TAs are all about as unsure about the class as we are, one saying the discussions were mandatory the day after Kline said they were for extra credit in the lecture. It's unclear how the extra credit will even add up at the end of the semester making the final grade so difficult to predict. Do not take this class if possible.
Paul Kline
CMSC250

Expecting an A
Anonymous
03/06/2024
Kline is a nice guy and makes lectures interesting and engaging. But that's the extent of his pros. DO NOT TAKE HIM! The TAs write quizzes and homework, and both are annoying in their own ways. The quizzes often have extremely vaguely worded questions (which for a proofs/logic-based class can completely change how you answer). Homework is very challenging and tedious. They are usually 7 questions, each having 2 to 8 parts each. They stretch to topics not covered at all in lecture and are somewhat asinine. Additionally, grading is done very, very, very slowly. By the first exam, only 2 grades were released out of around 10 that would be covered on the exam. This meant you went into exams completely blind with no feedback, unsure if your methods and styling were correct. Because of everything above, students go to Piazza to ask questions (as emailing is useless) about vague problems or things they're confused about, but no one answers. TAs only answer about 50% of posts. Even when they do answer, it is very short and still unclear, and usually a long time after the question was posted (meaning the homework/quiz you asked about was already due).
Emily Kaplitz
CMSC250

Expecting an A
Anonymous
02/26/2024
Greatest. She will make you understand the material thoroughly and make it a stress free experience. I was helping out my friends with their 250 HW months after I took this class cause she's just that good at elucidating concepts.
Maksym Morawski
CMSC250

Expecting an A+
Anonymous
02/26/2024
Max is goated, super down to Earth, very fun guy. He's a lot more human than most professors, and is much more likely to add curves and change class circumstances based off of feedback. He is also much more of a normal person than most professors, so while he might make some mistakes in lectures, he also teaches in a way that makes the content much easier to understand.
Mohammad Nayeem Teli
CMSC250

Expecting an A
Anonymous
02/20/2024
Teli is a great lecturer and cares about his students and their problems. He takes feedback and tries to make the course better for everyone. None of his exams required a curve and he also gave us a extra credit assignment at the end. He wants you to succeed and takes time to respond to everyone's questions. One of the best professors I've had so far. The only problem I have is that I feel he didn't cover some useful topics in structural induction (like trees and graphs) and never tested it on the exams. At the end felt slightly less prepared or CMSC351 than people in other professor's classes.
Maksym Morawski
CMSC250

Expecting an A-
Anonymous
01/19/2024
Max was an overall good professor. The start of the semester was incredibly rough as it was his first sem teaching the course and there was a lot of ambiguity as far as assignments went and what was expected of us in terms of proof structure and the detail to which we had to explain arguments. However, as the semester went on Max was very adamant about listening to feedback and implemented many of the suggestions we asked for, including extra credit and more detailed instructions for assignments. Overall he's a good professor who genuinely cares about his students and will listen to their suggestions.
Paul Kline
CMSC250

Expecting an A
Anonymous
01/09/2024
Kline is kind and approachable, but aside from making the slides for lectures, he doesn't do much. The TAs write the homework/exams/discussion section materials, decide on a healthy majority of class policies, and answer questions in office hours/on Piazza. Understandably the class became very disorganized and frustrating for many students because TAs created everything and kept changing various policies arbitrarily. Homework assignments are difficult, but the intention is that students work in groups and actively come to office hours for help. Exams are doable if studying off of discussion section materials and homework keys.
Paul Kline
CMSC250

Expecting a C+
Anonymous
01/08/2024
Don't expect any communication from him, if you try to email him about anything- administrative issues, sickness, or anything of the sort, just forget it. He will NOT respond. The TAs run the show, and are painfully vague about everything. Elias Prieto, the head TA, has promised us extra credit by doing work in discussions, only to be a pitiful 0.03%, and extra credit homeworks and quizzes (that were as hard as the general homeworks which many people have already talked about below). Point being, Kline literally does nothing in this class, and TAs getting paid minimum wage run the show, which lead to a multitude of problems. Absolutely do NOT take Kline.
Mohammad Nayeem Teli
CMSC250

Expecting an A
Anonymous
01/08/2024
Teli is a good professor. You can tell that he cares about the students and whether they understand the topic. But sometimes the way he explains the topics just doesn't make sense and he repeats his explanations. But his homework and handwritten notes are amazing and consistent. 250 is a course in which if you have seen problems like this or know problems like this because of competitive math, this class would be easy, but if you are a person who struggles with proofs and logic you have to put more time into the class. Everything else about the tests and midterms are amazing about teli but the weekly quizzes can be a hit or miss because getting one question wrong can ruin your grade for the quiz. But he is a good professor recommend him.
Paul Kline
CMSC250

Expecting an A
Anonymous
01/05/2024
oh boy pros: good lecturer and RECORDS HIS LECTURES thank god biweekly quizzes are definitely doable final was fine and definitely felt fair cons: homeworks can be long, start it early class is just messy exams were a mess, first one they caught a major mistake like 45 min in, second one was bad and to make up for it he gave like a worksheet for the third one discussions went from nobody going to them to "extra credit" that did not actually count towards your final grade LOL huge disconnect between him and TAs, at the beginning i would get so many points taken off from formatting even though I would check with the TAs in office hours beforehand, thank god he become more lax about it Kline is a good lecturer but his class was a mess. I think this is his second year teaching 250, first year doing it by himself, so I would give him time to figure what he wants to do with it. currently, you will learn a lot but will have so much unnecessary stress
Maksym Morawski
CMSC250

Expecting an A
Anonymous
01/04/2024
Nice and supportive professor. Often asks for feedback and does listen to his students. This semester wasn't his best since this is his first time teaching and he had some health problems. But I believe he does have a lot of potential and will improve. Also, I would say he needs to do better at working with his TAs instead of letting them make the homeworks and discussion worksheets.
Mohammad Nayeem Teli
CMSC250

Expecting an A
Anonymous
01/01/2024
Good teacher. Pretty reasonable midterms and finals. If you do homework well you'll be able to do well
Mohammad Nayeem Teli
CMSC250

Expecting an A
Anonymous
12/30/2023
Good lecturer.
Paul Kline
CMSC250

Expecting an A
oopsie
12/29/2023
TL;DR: Kline is a solid lecturer, but the homeworks are unnecessarily difficult and he ends up having the TAs handle most non-teaching tasks. Kline is definitely a strong lecturer. He covers concepts quickly but in a manner that's easy to understand and pauses for any questions you might have. All of his lectures are posted on Panopto so if you miss something or want to review you can easily access everything. Unfortunately, if you want to ask him any questions outside of class, you are almost out of luck. He teaches part time so almost anything outside of class is handled by TAs. Quizzes and exams are much easier than the homeworks. There were 5 easy quizzes (and the lowest one gets dropped!) that were all online and open-note, which was pretty nice. The exams were also pretty fair. I had a fairly easy time on all 3 exams, which surprised me given how difficult the homeworks were. Grading is quite slow, probably because there weren't many TAs this semester. Most homework assignments and quizzes took 3-4 weeks to get graded, with exams usually taking 1-2 weeks. Overall pretty good experience.
Maksym Morawski
CMSC250

Expecting an A-
Anonymous
12/28/2023
Don't get me wrong - he's a really nice and chill professor and takes his feedback into consideration. But, he is SO DISORGANIZED and that makes his lectures difficult to follow. He also seems unprepared coming during lecture and makes a handful of mistakes throughout. He came in once claiming how he had "looked at these problems beforehand" and "knows how to solve them" but as soon as he got stuck on one, he just skipped it with an "ah whatever" mentality. Also, his TAs (this semester) had a lot of attitude..... Overall, it's not the end of the world if you get him as a professor, but just know that you'll have to put in a lot of effort.
Paul Kline
CMSC250

Expecting an A
Anonymous
12/28/2023
He is a decent lecturer, but he is kinda boring to listen to. He explains what he wants from the students pretty well in terms of style, but the homeworks are very hard and take so long to grade. The TAs do a lot of the heavy lifting, but the exams are pretty fair based on what we learn in lecture, discussion sections, and from the homework.
Paul Kline
CMSC250

Expecting a C+
Anonymous
12/26/2023
Insane how gassed up his reviews are. This class has been extremely unorganized and is COMPLETELY ran by the TAs. Kline has absolutely no involvement in the course aside from his one lecture twice a week, which are slides he made last year. To be fair, he is a decent lecturer, records lectures, and seems fairly passionate about his course. However, thats where the good ends. The homework is unnecessarily hard. It is the hardest part of the course and IMPOSSIBLE to do alone. The TAs write it, and it is just way too hard. Unbelievably so. Hardest out of any other professor. Expect to spend upwards of 10 hours working on these ridiculous problems that obviously were not covered in class because Kline has 0 involvement with writing the homeworks. Elias Prieto was the head TA for Kline’s 250, and while he is a nice person he absolutely should not have control over the course. There was supposed to be extra credit for the course that should have bumped your course grade up significantly, by doing work in discussions and an extra quiz + homework. When people asked about how substantial this extra credit would be, they would ignore you or be completely vague about it. Ultimately, it would only end up being 0.05% of your grade. It’s basically like doing a single question on a homework. The class itself felt extremely disorganized and the professor did absolutely nothing to solve it. Oh, and don’t bother emailing Kline about anything regarding your grade or sickness. He will absolutely not respond. I ended up with a 79.99% and while any real extra credit would have helped, of course when everyone asks for clarification about extra credit and final grades, absolutely none is given. Just save yourself and take literally anyone else. Most 250 profs are great, EXCEPT Kline.
Paul Kline
CMSC250

Expecting an A
Anonymous
12/25/2023
most reviews are pretty spot on, homework is insanely hard for no reason. It's actually not the biggest problem though because most times you work in a group anyways and Kline actually encourages this. He is a very good lecture and records them so you don't HAVE to come to class. Exams are a bit hard, but are doable. Not an easy A.
Paul Kline
CMSC250

Expecting a B+
Anonymous
12/24/2023
Quite possibly the most disorganized class I have ever taken in college. Exams and quizzes were fair for the most part, but the homework alone is enough to stray anybody away from taking this class. Also, the TA's run the class, and Kline functions as almost a guest lecturer. You can not reach him, and the one time he made a quiz, he made it so ambiguous and confusing that he had to end up dropping it because only a few people were able to do well. All in all, take literally anybody else.
Mohammad Nayeem Teli
CMSC250

Expecting a B-
Anonymous
12/24/2023
Teli is such a great professor! He posts his notes and records for every lecture, which is super helpful if you skip. He does plenty of examples during lecture and is great at explaining concepts. He has a few homeworks throughout the semester that weren't too difficult and he gives at least a week to do them. Weekly quizzes in discussion aren't too bad, but they are kinda 50/50 in difficulty in my opinion and are worth 15% of our grade. Though I think if I studied a bit more for them they would've been a lot easier for me. We do a lot of practice questions in discussion, so going to them is very helpful and having a good TA can really impact how well you understand the material. Exams were fairly easy and he provides practice exams which are pretty similar to the actual exam. Overall I really liked this class and I highly recommend taking Teli.
Paul Kline
CMSC250

Expecting a B+
Anonymous
12/23/2023
Probably the most poorly organized class I have ever taken in my entire life. I will say the exams and quizzes (besides exam 2) were really fair, but the homework’s and the way that Kline covers induction are probably some of my worst moments at the university. If you have to take Paul, know that you’re getting a decent lecturer at best for the first 2 months, with literally no avenues of communication at all throughout the semester. I may have emailed him 4-5 times with no response to date, and the semester is over. There’s genuinely no point in going to lecture because he just ends up reading off the slides anyways, and he doesn’t give any ways to succeed in the class because he doesn’t even run the class, the TA’s do, who are really nice people except for the fact that they think 15-20 hour homework’s are feasible.
Paul Kline
CMSC250

Expecting a B+
Anonymous
12/23/2023
The class is disorganized, the TAs are not on the same page, and they assign an unreasonable amount of homework weekly. The head TA was particularly ineffective at their job. If Elias is still a TA, good luck. There are consistent mistakes in the class lectures, homework, and every exam. Despite promises of extra credit, it had no impact, and there were no grade curves or rounding up. If you were told otherwise, it's likely not true, so it's best not to rely on it. It's also challenging to get in contact with the professor. Save your time; DO NOT TAKE KLINE.
Maksym Morawski
CMSC250

Expecting an A
Anonymous
12/22/2023
Max is pretty mediocre, but an entertaining guy and his class isn't difficult. His lectures are somewhat poorly structured and he frequently makes mistakes while lecturing. Occasionally he'll admit he's not well-versed in what he's teaching at the moment. He often changes course policies at the whims of the TAs, which can be frustrating as students never know exactly what to expect. Overall the class isn't run very well. Moving on to his positives, he gives out weekly homework which is great practice material but not too difficult. There are lots of helpful third-party resources given to students so it's hard to get lost or fall behind. The midterm exams were both fair and easy, and the first one was curved up significantly. The final was long and difficult but had a heavy curve, I personally got above a 100 after the curve. Max is fine. Take him if there aren't better options available. 250 isn't a hard class, but with Max you'll have to put in most of the effort yourself to succeed. I think he has room to improve into a good prof if he puts more effort into class organization and consistency.
Mohammad Nayeem Teli
CMSC250

Expecting a B
Anonymous
12/22/2023
All the information he goes over, from his lecture slides to his lecture notes, are readily available for any student wanting to look at them on Canvas. He's also very understanding if you are running into any issues directly related or unrelated to the course. His homeworks can be tricky sometimes, and I do feel like TAs sometimes grade the homeworks too strictly, but most of the time, all of the questions are fair and straightforward. His exams were not hard, but some questions were formatted in a way that you may not get any partial credit (which is what happened to me on the final), and in a class where most of your overall grade comes from your exam performances, you need to be a bit aware of any slight curveballs that he could throw at you. I felt like his quizzes were a hit or miss sometimes, because for some reason my discussion section did really poorly compared to the class average, even though my TA really helped build our understanding on all the topics we covered in class. The TA you get will play a big role into if you understand the content more or not, which I think Teli could work on a bit (since his explanations to any questions or his thought process when going through examples in lectures can be a little bit confusing). Dr. Teli gave an extra credit assignment (adding a possible 2% on our grades), and bumped anyone <0.5% below the cutoffs (that he slightly adjusted from the typical cutoffs UMD uses).
Maksym Morawski
CMSC250

Anonymous
12/22/2023
I guess it was his first time teaching but he's horrible during lectures, made so many mistakes, and is very unprepared. Towards the end of the semester good luck reaching out to him as well, he disappears on you and responds to like one piazza post every blue moon. Understandable because it gets busy but we students have questions and concerns. TA times were also posted but they come as they please. I guess if you're willing to self-teach yourself the grade distribution is pretty good.
Mohammad Nayeem Teli
CMSC250

Anonymous
12/22/2023
He lectures too fast but hes pretty good besides that he exams pretty fair and all
Paul Kline
CMSC250

Expecting an A-
Anonymous
12/22/2023
He's honestly pretty bad. Terrible Homeworks and Exams. And quizzes were unfair. He doesn't respond to emails either. If you have an option for Fawzi or Teli you will be far better off with either.
Paul Kline
CMSC250

Expecting an A
Anonymous
12/21/2023
CMSC250 with Kline was worth it. Yes, the homeworks were really hard but you have an entire week to complete them, can work with a group of students, and the lowest is dropped. Not to mention, you could go to office hours if you were struggling. The TAs are, for the most part, incredibly helpful. If I could, I would give a 4.5 rating just because there was definitely some disorganization in terms of questions on quizzes or homeworks worded incorrectly, or the answer keys using completely different numbers from those on the actual quizzes/homeworks. Other than that, the exams were fair, the quizzes were very easy, and there were even opportunities for extra credit. Discrete math is not supposed to be easy, and I'm glad that the homeworks challenged us.
Paul Kline
CMSC250

Expecting an A-
Anonymous
12/21/2023
Okay lecturer. HW were pretty long and hard. A lot of things were offloaded to the TA and were disorganized. The TA graded quite leniently and the exam averages were quite high. Overall, not a hard course to pass or get a decent grade although you will encounter some disorganization and may have to put in the hours to get the HW done.
Paul Kline
CMSC250

Expecting an A-
Anonymous
12/21/2023
Honestly, when entering this class, many people recommended taking Kline, stating that he was a better option and a good lecturer. However, that turned out to be a fat lie. Lectures: Starting with lectures, he speaks too quickly, often skipping essential steps in a lesson and assuming students will understand or skipping because it's too much to explain for this lecture, and he does not feel like going in-depth. Even though he records them, these recordings are often released days after lectures. At times, students had to ask for them since he did not upload them promptly. Personally, after the first exam, I stopped regularly attending lectures and only came to talk with friends or because I had nothing else to do. Attending, other than for exams, was a huge waste of time if I was not going to get anything from it. His lecture style also focused on engaging only the front row of students, and there was always a correction or mistake made in his lecture slides, which was confusing in terms of formatting work. Homework: The homework is probably the most difficult and time-consuming assignment in this class. Although it prepares you for the exams, the amount is ridiculous, considering we have other classes and work to balance alongside the homework. Moreover, they were weekly assignments, so most of your week was spent trying to figure out what the homework was even asking for. I feel as though there were also a lot of mistakes in the homework at times, and you would likely have to go to office hours to understand some problems since they often included extended problems we may not have talked about in class. Exams/Quizzes: The quizzes were not too bad. I would just say that at the beginning of the semester, we had quizzes on topics we had not gone in-depth into in the lecture or homework, which meant unless you did all the homework initially, the quiz might have been slightly more difficult. Overall, the exams were not too bad either as long as you understood the homework, quizzes, and discussion worksheets. The only thing that I disliked about the exams was how heavy they were with content, having multiple sections of multiple choice and more sections of free response. For the second exam, there were a lot of sections of questions and content, and not enough time to answer them, which led to the average being the lowest in the class because most people did not finish. Something else I found frustrating was the number of corrections made during the exams. You would think they have all this time to make the exam and go through them for any mistakes, but for every exam and even in the final, there was always some sort of correction to be made, which was very annoying in my opinion. Sometimes, they did not even announce the correction out loud; they just wrote it on the board and assumed you would look up. Final Review: The TAs in this class were never on the same page regarding what they were looking for when it came to assignments, so it was very disorganized. Kline is merely the professor, but the TAs run the class. Kline is not as accessible to contact outside of class apart from his office hours which are only about twice a week for 1-2 hours. I would say you're better off just using Justin's 250 notes, which is what I did. I barely even bothered to use Kline's slides after the second exam. All in all, a very disorganized class. I would not recommend taking this unless Kline is literally your last option.
Paul Kline
CMSC250

Expecting an A
Anonymous
12/21/2023
Kline is a kind, engaging lecturer that is clearly passionate about what he teaches. His nerdy sense of humor makes class more interesting, and he goes out of his way to thoroughly answer students’ questions and concerns during class. The homework is difficult, but you are allowed to work in groups of 3, and they are open-internet. If you work in a group, start early, and go to office hours when stuck, the homework is still challenging but very manageable and prepares you extremely well for exams and quizzes. The quizzes are easy and a good grade-booster, and the exams were all fair. The lowest quiz and homework grade were also dropped. I am taking off a star because the class does have organization issues, with Kline and the TAs giving conflicting guidance or policies on some homework problems. However, this got much better by the end of the semester.
Paul Kline
CMSC250

Expecting an A
Anonymous
12/21/2023
Kline has had historically good ratings over the last few semesters but they took a nosedive this semester, and I don't think this is reasonable. Homework is hard, but it's been like that since previous semesters. There's no new news there, you pretty much need to consult all available resources, work in groups (which is allowed) in order to complete it. Exams for the most part have been pretty fair. However, exam 2 was definitely unfair, and some of the material tested wasn't really taught properly. In addition, exam 2 had arguably the hardest content. However, overall, I think 2 other good/easy exams and a pretty fair final made up for this. (also, exam 2 average wasn't even that bad, it was a 74.5 median) Quizzes are online and pretty easy because they give you way more time than needed to do them. They end up being grade boosters. TLDR: If you put time into the homework then you will walk away with a good grade in this class.
Maksym Morawski
CMSC250

Expecting an A-
Anonymous
12/21/2023
Nice guy, but can't teach and bad final. There was legit a problem on the final that was not doable.
Paul Kline
CMSC250

Expecting a C-
Anonymous
12/21/2023
(Note: this review is from the perspective of a transfer full-time student who also works a couple of part-time jobs) There are a lot of bad reviews or mixed reviews on Professor Kline that resulted from exam 2 but in my opinion I feel as though the class is worth taking with Paul. At first every assignment including exam 1 was do-able and pretty simple material to follow except quiz 1 since it was the first quiz and you have nothing to prepare you for the following quizzes except that one. The structure of the class is really fair and allows for flexibility to get a passing grade. Lowest 1 quiz and 1 homework dropped, homeworks every week have a grace period of 2 days for full credit, extra credit was given just for showing up to discussion, & even recorded lectures. With all of this, it was good for me as a part time employee and student to be able to complete my work for full credit on days when I’d be at my job for majority of the week. I will say material and assignments get harder and tricker after exam 1 but that’s with any class in comp sci tbh. Now homeworks are very tedious and it’s best to start at the beginning of the week and you’re able to work with other students which is good. One reason I give this class a 4 instead of 5 star is because of TA grading. You can always of course do regrade requests but sometimes it felt like the smallest mistake could result in a lot of points being taken away. Same thing for certain exam questions. Now to be frank I am the type of student who just wants to get my credits and go. It’s hard managing jobs and school so I can take what I can get. I did well on exam one, poor on exam 2 and the final, and decent on exam 3 and still managed to get the credits due to maintaining my homeworks and doing good on my quizzes, as well as the gracious amount of extra credit opportunities. Being that everyone isn’t on the same boat as me, if you’re able to focus on school full time or have an excellent schedule and time management skills, this class will be good for you. I don’t have those and i still passed so honestly not as bad as everyone is making it because I’m sure most of them passed anyway. Good luck to those reading and don’t like the +/- system get to you!
Mohammad Nayeem Teli
CMSC250

Expecting an A
Anonymous
12/20/2023
Had very reasonable exams and lecture slides were quite helpful
Mohammad Nayeem Teli
CMSC250

Expecting an A
Anonymous
12/20/2023
Almost everything in this class is fair: there were some points where homework questions were somewhat strangely worded, but in general, I have no complaints regarding any of the course material. The lectures were phenomenal; even if you didn't attend them, the notes/slides/recordings posted are more than enough to help you through this course. The only real drawback (or fear I guess) that I had during this course was the fact that all of the tests together were 70% of the total course grade (though tbh this may be due to me not really being adjusted to college), but all the tests were really fair as well. Overall, would easily take him again.
Paul Kline
CMSC250

Expecting an A-
Anonymous
12/20/2023
Great lecturer gets alot of hate honestly the homeworks are tough and there were some issues this semester but Paul sorted them out. There is some misinformation going around about how the second exam average was a 64% that is wrong that was said by a TA before everything was graded the average was really a 73%. The first midterm average was a 88% roughly and the third midterm average was a 90%. The final was around a low 80% and all if not all the homeworks averages have been around a 80 to 90%. I'm throwing these numbers out to say that you might think Paul is the worst teacher ever reading these reviews yet he gives these "hard" homeworks that people get between an 80-90% on average. In terms of his teaching quality he's great at explaining things and records his lecture I think people underestimated his ability to teach complicated topics like induction or combinatorics. Discussions were reworked many times but Paul finalized this format of covering practice problems relevant to the lecture material and went over problems that helped us with the homeworks. He did this at response to student feedback and even gave extra credit for simply attending discussion. If you reach the end of this review the point is Paul is going to make you work a lot but his class is very rewarding with the averages reflecting this. Also there are 5 quizzes the semester that you take online for two hours that have a 90% average plus on every single one of them. He's not perfect but he's getting there he's been shortening the homeworks as time goes by so hopefully the issues people have with him will be gone soon and people will realize how much of a great teacher he is.
Mohammad Nayeem Teli
CMSC250

Expecting an A-
Anonymous
12/20/2023
Teli is one of the most underrated professors in the CS department, he's probably one of the best I've had in my two years. While proofs aren't for some, he wants everyone to do well. He stops numerous times and makes sure all our questions are answered. He posts all lecture slides, examples, and discussion worksheets (sometimes with solutions) so that you understand the concepts and his thought process and are prepared for the weekly quizzes and midterms. The quiz and exam questions are very fair and reflect exactly what we go over in the lecture. My only recommendation is for him to be clearer on what the final will cover. I was balancing other advanced Math and CS courses with extensive material and I was told the final would be cumulative when it didn't turn out to be. While I excelled at most topics, the final felt more like a third midterm but it was weighted a lot more and had newer topics some people struggled with. Other than that, he's a great professor and I'm sure this is a small issue he'll fix/clarify in future semesters.
Paul Kline
CMSC250

Expecting an A-
sbhima
12/19/2023
Strictly in terms of teaching, Paul does a pretty good job. His lectures aren't the most engaging, but I feel like he explains the topics well. His office hours are also incredibly helpful as he teaches well one on one. ON AVERAGE, his tests were fair. The questions asked on the tests reflected the material of the lectures. The quizzes were incredibly easy, especially since they were open note, open internet. The homeworks, on the other hand, were incredibly difficult. The homeworks were weekly, and you were allowed to work in up to groups of 3. On average, each of the homeworks would take me 7-10 hours per week, and I was working with a partner. However, these difficult homeworks did prepare us well for the exams. In office hours, Paul is also willing to help you with the homeworks if you are stuck. In terms of organization, the class is very unorganized. Policies about things like discussion attendance and homeworks deadlines were very scattered and kept on changing. While these didn't affect the actual material of the class, or the class too much on a large scale, it was still annoying to deal with this stuff. If you are ok with a class being a little unorganized, but can keep up with the material well. then you should take Paul's 250 course.
Maksym Morawski
CMSC250

Anonymous
12/19/2023
TLDR: low-medium workload. Avoid him if you just want to get through 250 as painlessly as possible, take him if you don't mind dealing with a bit of BS for a fun and memorable professor. One common thread you'll see throughout Max's reviews is that the class is pretty disorganized, that held pretty true this semester too. He frequently made simple mistakes during lectures, had practice problems that were wrong or incomplete, and on occasion something on a homework or exam pops out way harder than it was supposed to. Grading speed was also a big issue, although the homeworks were much harder than the rest of the class/exams. I can see if you just want a straightforward professor who posts all their notes nice and neat, is consistent with teaching, and is generally predictable why you would not like Max. If, however, you commit to going to class and can deal with a little BS, you'll find him a very memorable professor who had the class bursting in applause for anything from getting basic arithmetic right to designating an entire exam problem extra credit. I genuinely enjoyed my time in the lecture, even through all the hiccups. If that's something you can see yourself doing, give him a try.
Paul Kline
CMSC250

Expecting an A+
Anonymous
12/19/2023
TLDR: Paul's a good guy/teacher with some organization problems. PROS: - Incredibly fair and understanding person. If you have a problem/situation, he's more than willing to accommodate you. If you have a question, he'll go for hours 1 on 1 with you in office hours until you understand it. - Lectures were clear, cogent, and recorded (slides were posted too). Idk what other ppl are talking abt when it comes to his lecturing; he has genuine passion for the subject and that comes to life in his lecturing. Lectures are problem-oriented: he'll start with a problem and walk through the thought process for how to solve it, which is really useful come exam time. - Speaking of exams: everybody here is completely capping. Paul's exams were EZ: Exam 1: 89 median, Exam 2: 75 median, Exam 3: 94 median, Final: 84. Yes, exam 2 was a little tough, but the other exams more than made up for it. - The homework point is the one I really don't understand. The homeworks are substantial, and usually harder than the exams (which means you can walk into the exams and kill it bc you've literally done harder stuff). Tbh, not one took me more than 4-5 hours and I got either 97s or 100s on them. Most were a 2-3 hour job. If you go to office hours (shout-out to Rushil!!!) you'll be totally fine on them. (And in case you think I'm some kind of math genius, I am not. Calc II was hard; def harder than this). - Quizzes are literally free 100s. They'll just be repurposed lecture problems, and you have 2 hours to do it + its open internet. So all you have to do is pull up Paul's slides and you're good to go. CONS: - Grading. It's slow (kinda understandable given that there are 300+ students and it's a proof based course, but still) and the grading TAs can vary wildly. Some have absolutely no chill, so make sure to format your quantifiers and proof goals correctly bc they'll rip you to shreds over the small stuff. - Poorly worded questions: Towards the end of the semester, homeworks and quizzes starting being hosted on ELMS (I assume for the autograding since they were behind, see prev point). The problem was, they kept entering in the wrong answers or the wrong questions. I remember one problem asked about straights (in poker), but you had to somehow assume they meant straight flushes (very different answer!!). This happened to some extent earlier in the semester (homework questions were changed/reworded), but it got really bad at the end. - Some flip-flopping in discussion formats. It started being a mini-lecture, then it was a problem-solving sec, then it was checking other ppls proofs, then it was back to problem-solving but this time you could get extra credit. I mean, the extra credit was nice, but it was still kinda hectic finding out what we'd be doing in discussion via a canvas announcement the day of. I would normally give him 4-4.5 stars for the organization issues, but since he's getting dragged unfairly by these reviews, I'll give him a 5. Def take him if you get the chance!!
Paul Kline
CMSC250

Expecting an A-
Anonymous
12/19/2023
Paul is a really good lecturer. His lectures are very interesting and entertaining. The homeworks are very difficult and take a long time to do. Exams are fair-ish. Exam 2 was a bit on the low side but we were thrown a bone with exam 3. Final was easy. What really set me off was quiz 6. Quiz 6 was autograded and 2 of the questions had answers that answered a different question. There was never any statement about quiz 6 which I believe to be unfair.
Paul Kline
CMSC250

Expecting a B
Anonymous
12/18/2023
Only Paul could make a course like 250 so unnecessarily hard and stressful. The content and course itself is not very difficult but he did everything in his power to make it terrible. Grade wise, you will probably do fine in this class, but boy was it a rollercoaster. Paul is the most unorganized and hands off professor I have ever had. Turns out his head TA does everything and I mean everything. Paul does very little except show up for lecture twice a week. Lectures themselves were very slow and boring and a lot of the time he would waste time explaining or doing things that were not important. The lecture slides are terrible, a lot of the time slides were missing or out of order or hard to find. Probably do not have to mention this since so many did before me but the homeworks are awful and while some quizzes were easy, some of them were terrible. Exam 2 was the worst written, most unfair exam I have ever taken. While the other two exams and the final were perfectly reasonable, exam 2 was such a disaster that it made for a much more stressful semester than it ever should have been. The TAs were not great and discussion was pretty pointless. All of this nonsense that we had to deal with that didn't even have to do with the course material is why I absolutely do not recommend him. I am sure that many who took 250 in Fall 2023 will agree with all of the above and give him similar reviews. His average rating will surely go down and for good reason. Please avoid.
Paul Kline
CMSC250

Expecting an A-
Anonymous
12/18/2023
Paul was a fine lecturer and made the material easy to understand, but the course design was very unorganized. Most of it was run by the TAs, and even after finals we still have homeworks left ungraded. Paul himself is fine, but be prepared if you do decide to enroll in his class.
Maksym Morawski
CMSC250

Expecting an A
Anonymous
12/18/2023
While Max himself is a great person, very funny professor, and super engaging, I'm not sure many people in the class enjoyed his teaching style and I'd recommend not taking him for CMSC250. Most of his lectures were incredibly unorganized, and his notes were never uploaded on time. He posted Justin's notes which helped a lot more than his own notes, so I guess that helped. There was very unclear communication between students and TAs about grades on homework and discussions, and most grades were entered after the exams that covered them. Fortunately I figured out most of the content on my own, but Max's lectures didn't really help much at all. I would try to take another professor if you could.
Mohammad Nayeem Teli
CMSC250

Expecting an A
Anonymous
12/17/2023
Teli is actually the greatest professor I've had. His exams are fair, the TAs are very chill, the lectures aren't boring whatsoever and he records them. He also scans his notes from class, so its ok to skip lecture. Weekly quizzes aren't bad, but the homeworks can be a pain sometimes. He's made this course very easy for us overall. Also the final was not cumulative, so it was only on things we learned after the 2nd midterm. Its 2 midterms and a "final". He gives out practice exams with the answer key for each exam and they are exactly what you need to know for the exam. Finally, he also gave an extra credit assignment that was very easy and short. If you do it, you get a free 2% boost to your grade.
Paul Kline
CMSC250

Anonymous
12/17/2023
He seems like a nice guy, but he's not really involved outside of lecture time. His TAs write the homeworks (which are way too hard without a partner), answer Piazzas, and write the exams. Shoutout to Kanav for being a great TA. Elias was the head TA and he's a good teacher but he writes pretty hard homeworks and exams. I wouldn't say don't take Kline, but just wish for a good TA.
Mohammad Nayeem Teli
CMSC250

Expecting an A
Anonymous
12/17/2023
Great professor, honestly one of the best i’ve had at umd. Exams are super fair and he makes the class very manageable. Would highly recommend!
Paul Kline
CMSC250

Expecting a B
Anonymous
12/16/2023
So, as many other reviews have accurately depicted, this professor is extremely disorganized and hard to work with in a sense. It is 100% true that the TAs do everything ranging from the HWs, Quizzes, and even the Exams where one TA, Elias, does the whole thing. What's so funny to me is that Elias is the one that specifically makes the HWs and sometimes the professor and most of the time, other TAs will get confused from the question and not know how to properly solve a question. Besides that, I'd say Paul himself is a good lecturer but I feel like he needs to take better initiative and not mention in class half the time that "it makes grading easier for the TAs." That is one thing I hated the most, which was saying that statement, and sometimes he'd say it so often that we'd laugh in class because of how often it was mentioned. On top of this, as others have stated, the quizzes are truly easy as it is open-note, and the HWs, despite their difficulty, can be easy if you have a group and split the problems among yourselves. With the exams, I'd say Exam 1 was the easiest, by far, Exam 2 was relatively difficult because it has proofs with T/F questions that can easily trip you up with properties regarding surjectivity, injectivity, etc... and Exam 3, was a step in the right direction in terms of difficulty, which I'd say was a more fair exam. Lastly, the Final exam was also really fair, and if you had last semester's final exam, it may have been a little easier.
Maksym Morawski
CMSC250

Expecting an A-
Anonymous
12/16/2023
Max is understanding and approachable, but I don't know if I would suggest taking one of his classes (or at least this class) based on his teaching style. Throughout the semester lectures were disorganized (got a little bit better towards the end, but still weren't great), and he would sometimes leave gaps in the steps of a problem/not do some problems since they were "too annoying" (but we would have to know how to do them). This semester, the class weights were 40% homework, 10% lab worksheets, 30% midterms (2 midterms), and 20% final. The homework problems were difficult, but you were able to get most done on your own (you have at least a week to do each of them) and if you had any questions about any of the problems you could go to office hours and the TAs would help you understand them better. The worksheets were every Wednesday and they were done in discussion (some TAs would go over how to do the problems, but mine didn't) and they were graded on completion. The midterms were fine for the most part, but on both midterms, there was a problem where very few people got them completely right (e.g only 5-10% of people got full credit for them) so your exam grade basically dropped a letter grade just from that one problem (on the first midterm that problem ended up getting dropped, but it was a special circumstance). Max also taught using Justin's notes (so you could have chosen to not attend lectures). I feel like the class would have been a lot better if Max learned the material ahead of time and planned the course in a way that would work for him (instead of using Justin's notes, there are pros and cons to not using Justin's notes though). I felt like he was learning the material/what he was teaching the day of or the night before the lecture because he often made mistakes when explaining/doing the problems in the lecture. I also felt like the class was being run by the TAs and Max (and this isn't necessarily a bad thing), but it felt like the TAs would tell him often what to do and what not to do. I was going to give Max a higher rating, but the following reasons are why I didn't. The final was more challenging than the midterms and I would almost go as far as saying that some of the problems on the final were as hard as the homework problems. I also felt like there was a problem on the final that was just straight-up, not possible (maybe it's a skill issue, but it didn't seem possible to do based on what the question was asking). This leads me to another issue that I have with the class. Almost all homework assignments/review sheets that we had in the class had typos which is frustrating (since some problems are either impossible/completely different even with a slight change in wording). I will say that most typos were noticed and fixed quickly, but I don't think it should happen that often (this is a red flag for me because if typos happen that often are they reading/doing the problems beforehand?). Max is a 10/10 person, but a 3/10 teacher in my opinion.
Paul Kline
CMSC250

Anonymous
12/15/2023
He's a solid choice, if you have the time to work really hard and sit in OH every week. I'm serious about that. PROS: - decent lecturer, spends just enough time on each topic - his exams are actually pretty great overall, decent question difficulty and topic coverage - he recorded each lecture and had it on panopto bless - he put tables of some of the things we needed to use on our exams so we didn't need to memorize CONS: - his slides are sofa king useless, guys-- SO useless. Don't rely on them. - the TAs like making the HW physically painful to do-- takes HOURS out of your week and graded really harshly OTHER: - I needed to reschedule my final and had to get his approval and he responded to my email on that day but according to other people who have contacted him/tried to find him said he goes poof outside of the lecture hall. So, take the two contradictory tales as you will. - HW takes FOREVER to get back but I heard it's worse in other sections. TLDR: He's a solid choice, all things considered. If you take him, take this advice too: - This is a class you should take notes in, rewatch the lectures if necessary but his slides aren't gonna help and you're gonna need more info than Justin's Notes has. (they're still helpful though so give em a look) - The moment you find yourself struggling with a question on your HW, ask a TA during OH or discussion. It will save you so much time, and you're more likely to get full credit on your answer. - if you don't have neat handwriting or a touchscreen device, learn some basic LateX. If you do, get an app that lets you write on pdfs. This is coming from someone who had to handwrite 15 pages of homework for a single week. Don't be like me.
Mohammad Nayeem Teli
CMSC250

Expecting a C
Anonymous
12/15/2023
Haven't taken another professor for CMSC250, but I can assure you that if you take Teli you are in good hands. He records lectures, posts the notes from the lectures, and he is just a great guy (both as a teacher and a person). His lectures are engaging and he tells fun stories sometimes. Although I am expecting a C, that is just me being a bad student, if you even try a little in this class, then you will be fine. Just make sure you go to the lecture or at least watch the recordings, go to discussions as they go over what you learned from the lecture with examples. You do have HW in this class, which from my experience it was not too hard, just a lot of problems. There are some problems on the HW that I assume is there to make you think more about the concepts, but generally you won't see the harder HW questions on exams or quizzes (from my memory). Quizzes are easy assuming you attend discussions as they go over problems that you may see.
Maksym Morawski
CMSC250

Expecting an A
Anonymous
12/14/2023
Honestly, Max is not too bad as a professor. I have to admit that he wasn't my first choice for 250 because Kline was rated better, but I had to take him because of course conflicts. Take him. It's a easy course. Most of it is common sense. Sure, you'll be introduced to new stuff, but with Max it was pretty easy as a course. I saw my friends struggle with Telli and Kline, but I studied for about 7 hrs before each of Max's exams(including the final) and I did pretty well on all of them. Homeworks are graded extensively and we have discussion worksheets that are graded which I didn't love but overall he's fine. Rocky start, but he's been learning to teach better and get more organized (in the first few classes he didn't even get the name of the course right) but now he makes powerpoints and goes over everything; it's good enough honestly. Make sure to read Justin's notes which are online because his whole structure was based on it. Good luck!
Mohammad Nayeem Teli
CMSC250

Expecting a B+
Anonymous
12/14/2023
He is great, provides you with everything you need to succeed. Exam averages were Midterm 1: 83 Midterm 2: 92 (They are mostly similar to HW/ Practice exam) Homework's are a bit challenging sometimes but you get plenty of time to do them as they are mostly weekly. I would recommend going to office hours and asking the TA's if you are doing something correctly and they are mostly helpful. (Most can also be found online) There are quizzes every Wednesday on the material from the prior week and are mostly easy. He also records and posts his notes. Is very quick and efficient with email/piazza responses. Also gave us an assignment for 2% extra credit at the of the semester. My TA Siyuan Peng was great and super chill. I know his reviews are low, but as someone who is not the greatest at math I did very well in his class. There isn't much work that needs to be done if you are pairing it up with something like 216 or 132.
Paul Kline
CMSC250

Anonymous
12/12/2023
i literally dont understand a single word this man says in class
Elias Pierto
CMSC250

Expecting a B+
Anonymous
12/11/2023
This TA singlehandly taught me the course through discussions. He was able to simplify concepts to their core.
Zoya Tasneem
CMSC250

Expecting a B+
Anonymous
12/11/2023
She's actually the best TA in the world. She's helped me with countless proofs and is the only reason why I passed the class tbh. She never made me feel bad for asking questions and was extremely patient with me. I think everyone should have the chance to work with her, however I do not wish for her to deal with the world's incompetence (only mine).
Paul Kline
CMSC250

Expecting a B
Anonymous
12/10/2023
Overall, this class was incredibly challenging for no reason and really wasn't engaging in the slightest. For lectures, Kline was very boring and hard to follow. Discussions were not helpful and despite going, didn't really help me much on homework and exams. I would highly suggest (if possible) not taking this course, and if you do, at least find another professor who is possible to pay attention to several times a week.
Mohammad Nayeem Teli
CMSC250

Expecting an A
Anonymous
12/10/2023
Very boring lectures, and the organization of files on canvas is a complete disaster. I wouldn't have much of problem with either of these on their own, but together it means that the class is very difficult to learn, not because of the difficulty of the class, but because searching for information that you need for a homework is difficult (e.g. what the definition of something, like divisibility, is). Quizzes and tests seem pretty fair to me, but grading is sometime very arbitrary, focusing on very unrelated concepts to what you would need in future classes, like enforcing writing the type of proof you are using, or other details that are not important to the concepts as a whole.
Paul Kline
CMSC250

Expecting an A
Anonymous
12/10/2023
cool guy, fair tests, hw's are a little tedious but enough extra credit given, quizzes are open notes idk why yall buggin. the guy got me real interested in discrete math ngl. only slight issue is sumbission for assignments was tad bit annoying when they switched around from elms to gradescope and vice versa
Maksym Morawski
CMSC250

Expecting an A
Anonymous
12/09/2023
Although this was Max's first semester teaching CMSC250, I can't recommend him in good conscience. Lectures are highly disorganized. He frequently shows up with mistakes in his prepared materials and makes several errors in most proofs that he attempts in class. The first midterm was ridiculously long and ended up with a 70-average and he only provided a curve after many students wrote several paragraph long requests via Piazza. Grading is a nightmare. We have a weekly problem set (which I believe are written by the TAs) which are often filled with unclear questions and/or typos. These problem sets take the instructors weeks, and sometimes months, to grade. On both midterms, we were tested on concepts that we had never actually been graded on yet since we were still waiting to get our submissions back. I fear this may be the case on our upcoming final exam too. He's also bad at replying to emails in a timely manner. Also, I don't think he gives good instructions to TAs since their responses on Piazza are very short, abrupt, and sometimes teeter on rude.
Mohammad Nayeem Teli
CMSC250

Expecting an A
Anonymous
12/08/2023
Professor Teli is decent. His lecture slides are helpful, and he sometimes tells fun stories during class to make the students engaged. My only complaint would be that sometimes he goes over proofs a little messily, but the TAs help give us a more systematic approach. The probability part was also messy, but overall, I think he tries his best to help his students, and it shows. We had two midterms, and quizzes every Wednesday at the end of class. His homework is reasonable. He also gave us rule sheets and some formulas to use during the exams.
Paul Kline
CMSC250

Expecting an A-
Anonymous
12/07/2023
He's a great lecturer and cool guy but you probably think he's the worst guy ever after reading some of the recent reviews. The homeworks is hard and lengthy yet not a single review mentioned how Paul provided hints to the homework and shortened them each week. In addition people complain about the latex extra credit being gone but he gave extra credit for attending discussion. In addition people are throwing around the 64% second midterm average which was not true at all that was said by a TA before everything was graded. In addition the first and third midterms were really easy the average being way higher than the second midterm which seemed to be more of a fumble than anything. He gives take home quizzes that are really easy and serve as a grade booster. In general he's a professor that you can get a good grade with by doing the work. Yes the homeworks were hard and are super lengthy but the class was rewarding through free extra credit in discussions. These one star ratings are a joke and to act like after a semester of lecturers never learned anything from the class is a joke. He is a solid choice to learn all the material from and get a good grade.
Shruthi Rajesh
CMSC250

Expecting a B-
Anonymous
12/07/2023
I have never seen a TA project their insecurities on a class as hard as Shruthi. Genuinely the worst TA employed at this school. She is unreasonable, rude, and literally inept. For some reason she tries so hard to run the class, she needs to take her $7.50 and relax it was never that deep. I never write reviews because I find it pointless, but I needed to bring attention to how bad this TA is.
Paul Kline
CMSC250

Expecting an A
Anonymous
12/06/2023
Kline is a decent lecturer, not outstanding but not bad by any means, and he also records his lectures. Quizzes are easy and exams are pretty fair. The course is super disorganized though since Kline doesn't actually do anything besides lecture, his TAs basically run the course. Homeworks are unnecessarily complicated for the content they're based on and were frustrating despite the topics and concepts themselves not being that difficult to understand. I found MATH310 to be easier than Kline's 250, even though 310 is basically just 250 but more rigorous and abstract, only because the 250 homeworks were significantly less straightforward. Homeworks and quizzes also don't get graded for weeks or months at a time which is even more annoying. If you have to take him, it won't be the end of the world, but I would avoid if possible.
Mohammad Nayeem Teli
CMSC250

Expecting an A-
Anonymous
12/05/2023
He's great tbh. Records and gives reasonable assignments.
Paul Kline
CMSC250

Expecting a B-
Anonymous
12/03/2023
This class is really disorganized and unecessarily difficult. As a lecturer he isn't very interesting and he also doesn't do anything outside of lecturing, and outsources the HWs to the TAs, who for some reason thinks giving overly complicated problems will set us up for success, when they themselves realized that people were having a lot of trouble with fundamental concepts. Also so many of the answer keys to the discussion docs that are given to us are incorrect, so there is not much practice, with problems of similar difficulty, to test problems available to us. Yes the 3rd midterm was quite easy, but I won't understand how one singular midterm being easy should give a professor 5 stars, when everything else was a mess. I would highly urge you to take anyone else but Kline whenever he teaches CMSC250.
Paul Kline
CMSC250

Expecting an A-
Anonymous
12/02/2023
As others have said, Kline is a pretty good lecturer but this course is no joke and at times I think it was more difficult than it really needed to be. The weekly homeworks were very challenging and required you to make big leaps from what was covered in lecture. The head TA started posting hint documents partway through the semester but they were still difficult. Even when working with other people and putting many hours of work in I still got Cs on a few of the homeworks. Exams I feel were not terrible. Exam 2 was by far the hardest of the three, but they generally were pretty reasonable and were graded very generously. It seemed like Kline had the TAs doing most of the work making homeworks, quizzes, and exams. Overall I would say Kline was decent but you might be able to do better elsewhere.
Paul Kline
CMSC250

Expecting an A-
Anonymous
12/02/2023
It seems like Exam 2 was a blunder, but Kline really clutched up and gave a free 90%+ Exam 3. Take his class y'all 🙏🙏
Paul Kline
CMSC250

Anonymous
11/30/2023
homework's are terrible, they're overly complicated and nuanced for no reason and take 10+ hours to complete each week. kline himself is a fine lecturer, he has all lecture recorded but slides are very confusing and he tends to speed through them. Kline outsources everything to the TAs which makes the course very frustrating and unorganized. by far the worst class i'm taking this semester
Paul Kline
CMSC250

Expecting a B-
Anonymous
11/30/2023
Homework is way too demanding Quizzes are online and easy Exams are very fair in comparison to homework Lectures are disorganized but he records all of them I've never gone to a discussion and I only go to lectures for exams. One of the worst classes I have taken due to the homework.
Mohammad Nayeem Teli
CMSC250

Expecting a B
Anonymous
11/29/2023
really underrated professor, like the person underneath me said, i feel like most the bad reviews came from when Teli first started teaching this class. His lectures are basically him going over topics and then doing a bunch of problems/proofs by hand so you can see how and what his thought process is. He posts the lectures slides and his work as well as recording lectures so its not an issue if you skip. He does a good job of answering any questions you have. He does go a little fast sometimes, but he always makes sure to ask if everyone understands. There are quizzes and homeworks roughly every week or so. The quizzes aren't too bad as long as you ask your TA to go over sample questions. The homeworks can be tedious but you have plenty of time to do them. I will say that having a good TA can be a make or break for this class, as discussions are pretty important to digesting the material. Another thing is that the exams aren't too bad, but it feels like theres always one question thats weirdly different from any other problem we've done. Doesn't make it impossible, but can be kinda annoying. Would def reccomend this prof tho
Mohammad Nayeem Teli
CMSC250

Expecting an A
Anonymous
11/29/2023
I don't know why his rating is so low but he is one of the best professors I've had so far. Records everything and posts notes writing during lecture. In my opinion the quizzes were easy, exams were extremely easy, and homework is fair. Only bad things I can say is that sometimes the homework questions were tricky or some questions on the exam were unclear. Definitely take him.
Mohammad Nayeem Teli
CMSC250

Expecting an A-
Anonymous
11/29/2023
I was really scared coming into this class especially seeing his rating was at 3 stars but I would reccommend taking him if you can. He records lectures and posts notes which I found very helpful so I could go back and see points that I misunderstood. The pace isn't too fast and he really wants students to understand the material and is open to questions. His exams and quizzes were for the most part fair and easier than the homeworks. In addition he provides practice material for exams. The homeworks could sometimes be time consuming but I think you usually have more than a week to work on them. He also connects the material to how you may use it in upper level classes such as algorithms which I appreciated. My only issue with the class is that it seems as if most of the TAs did not have Teli when taking the class so the style in which they solved problems differed from his which led to some confusion for me personally. It also seems as if some TAs didn't really know the material when I went to office hours. Other than that I highly reccommend Teli for this course. I think previous bad reviews were likely due to him not having taught the course before but it seems as if hes gotten the hang of it and the course is well organized now.
Mohammad Nayeem Teli
CMSC250

Expecting a B
Anonymous
11/28/2023
Extremely fair exams and homeworks. Just do the hw problems, quiz and the practice exams before the exams and you’ll do well.
Paul Kline
CMSC250

Expecting an A-
Anonymous
11/27/2023
Oh wow, where to even begin. This class is perhaps the worst, most disorganized class I have ever taken. First of all, let me begin by saying Kline is a very nice guy who is quite understandable. BUT... He is practically nonexistent outside of class. You will never be able to contact him about anything so your best way of getting to him is during class or by method of his TAs. Now, his TA's are absolutely atrocious. They have no idea what they're doing and confused all the time. And the head TA (Elias) is probably the most unfair person when it comes to creating homeworks and exams (Yes, Kline has the TA's make the exams and doesn't do anything himself). The course structure just seems disorganized. Although the quizzes are okay, pretty easy in my opinion, they are not a very significant portion of your grade and they do not really help when it comes to exam preperation. Now, onto the worst part about his class, the homeworks. Elias makes the most cruel homeworks known to mankind. Expect to spend over 20 hours a week just doing homework for this class. The idea for homeworks should be to help you for the exam, however, his homeworks make me very confused and make it more likely for me to screw up basic concepts. In conclusion, I do not know why Kline is rated so high, as in fact, he is the worst professor for this course by far, and you will be FAR better off taking any other professor. (His ratings when I took the course where a 4.3 and now they're a 3.4) TLDR: DO NOT TAKE KLINE. Trust me you will thank me later.
Paul Kline
CMSC250

Expecting an A-
Anonymous
11/22/2023
Paul is a great lecturer but the class is a bit disorganized. The "rules" have changed multiple times over the semester. He changes how quizzes and homeworks are submitted pretty regularly. Every two weeks it seems like the format of discussion changes - at one point it was optional lecture review, then it was optional worksheets, then it was required groupwork, then it was extra credit worksheets(you have to go both monday and wednesday to get the extra credit) with little warning. I woke up one morning to a message in the groupme saying that I had an assignment due that morning at 8am and that attendance at discussion that day was required(I am in the 8am discussion). While some of the later changes were in response to a lot of backlash from students, it was still very disorienting. In general, the homeworks are challenging and graded harshly but you get a full week to do them(technically more because you get a "free" two day extension) and you can work on them in a group. Personally, I have found that doing the homework helps me learn the content and I haven't really had to study for either exam. You also get biweekly two hour take home quizzes but they usually take under an hour and for me have been grade boosters. Overall, if you can take 250 with Justin I would definitely do that but it's not the end of the world if you end up in Paul's class.
Paul Kline
CMSC250

Expecting a B+
Anonymous
11/20/2023
I had high expectations coming in but the class has really taken a nosedive it seems since last semester. The first couple of weeks were fine, but once we got into proofs, its as if the homework difficulty increased exponentially. As others have stated the class is basically run by the TAs, and they make the homeworks. Plan to dedicate at least 20 hours if you are working on it individually. The idea is that difficult homeworks = easy time on exams, but that wasn't the case at all. Homeworks would be on unrelated and obscure topics, leaving you with a bad understanding of the fundamentals. At least the quizzes were really easy, but exams have not been good so far. The first was alright, the second was so difficult - barely anybody had finished by the end because the exam was wayyy too long. This, combined with the overall disorganization of the class, really puts me off of taking Kline again. He is a nice person and seems chill but there aren't many other redeeming aspects of this class.
Paul Kline
CMSC250

Anonymous
11/18/2023
hard hws. some tas dont even know how to do the hws. lecture content is ez then exam content hard. records but is sometimes late. doesnt make hw or exam just tas.
Mohammad Nayeem Teli
CMSC250

Expecting an A
Anonymous
11/18/2023
Teli is a great guy! he gives extremely fair exams and quizzes. The only downside is that you have to do well in those quizzes as they are 15% of your grade and he doesn't drop the lowest quiz. His homeworks doesn't take long to do and are very fair.
Paul Kline
CMSC250

Expecting a B
Anonymous
11/17/2023
Kline had a 4.3 star rating before this semester, but now its a 3.5 as of writing this. He gives long, difficult, confusing homeworks every single week that usually take me 2 day of grinding to get right (except weeks with exams). His quizzes are open book and online, and are about 60% as hard as the homeworks so they aren't too bad. But the exams 💀 This class has three exams and a final. The first exam had an average of 85%, then he had a mid life crisis and the second exam average was a 64%, as of writing this, not sure if there is a curve or not, or if the upcoming exams will be easier to make up for it. He is a good lecturer, but sometimes he explains things in an overcomplicated way. Like his 75 minute lectures, you watch a 30 minute video online and understand it better. He is a nice and chill guy, but the class is just too much.
Paul Kline
CMSC250

Expecting an A-
Anonymous
11/17/2023
TLDR: Kline has very high grade averages on all assignments Homework's are hard but google is allowed and encouraged on them (half the answers are already online) Lowest HW and Quiz dropped if you bomb it or forget to do it. Quizzes are simple and straightforward (I would argue easy) Exams are a little more complicated but still pretty simple. 4/5 only cause some homeworks are VERY hard. These reviews are absolute insanity. The people who are saying the exams are hard are the anomalies. The mean of the first exam (fall 2023) was an 87% with a median of 89. I skipped every discussion and did well on both exams so far. Lectures are recorded so missing those would be fine too if I didn't ask so many questions. The weekly homeworks are hard to do by yourself, but luckily you don't need to do it by yourself. You can collaborate with others and if no one else is willing to help you, go online for the answers as it is OPEN INTERNET. The lowest mean on these was an 82 (and the 2nd lowest was an 87) The lowest median on these was a 86 (with the 2nd lowest of 91). The biweekly quizzes are very easy and open internet as well. They are also online so it isn't that hard to finish in time. The lowest mean was a 86 (with a 2nd lowest of 92) and the lowest median was a 90.5 (with a 2nd lowest of 96). The exams I studied not one bit for and got an A on both so far. We haven't seen the mean or median for the 2nd exam yet but I can't imagine it be that much lower. Also lowest quiz and homework grade are dropped so that's pretty nice too. Assignment type by difficulty is probably: Homeworks > Exams > Quizzes from most difficult to least. Also regarding the "strict grading", my friend completely misunderstood what a question on the exam asked, wrote a proof for his understanding, and got full points. Bro didn't even answer the question and lost not 1 point.
Paul Kline
CMSC250

Anonymous
11/13/2023
Kline had a 4 before this semester and he's only gone down. This is a perfect example of why you should not rely completely on planet terp reviews. Extremely hard homeworks, unfair exams, class is basically run by the TA's. If you fall even the slighest bit behind the class will turn into a nightmare. This class is already a weedout, and Kline's mismanagement makes it borderline unbearable. If you are struggling in CS and are signing up for 250, take Max or Teli. I'm only giving 2 stars because Kline is a chill guy, but his class is terrible.
Paul Kline
CMSC250

Expecting a C-
Anonymous
11/13/2023
This class is certainly one of the hardest classes you will have to take, especially with Kline as your professor. First off, the weekly homeworks can be ridiculous in difficulty, which requires you to spend 10+ hours a week doing 8 problems. Combine this with your other classes and the workload is unbearable. The lecture slides that are posted can sometimes be incomprehensible, and therefore useless for review. The quizzes are fairly easy for the most part, which "makes up" for the unbelievable difficulty of the 2nd midterm. What is the point of assigning homeworks and quizzes if the exam is going to be 20x more difficult than what we've been practicing? Under no circumstance should the average for an exam be a failing grade. It seems that past students have reaped the benefits of Kline handing out easy exams and giving extra credit for using Latex for the homeworks. Unfortunately, it seems that Kline has substantially increased the difficulty of the class.
Paul Kline
CMSC250

Expecting a B
Anonymous
11/12/2023
So prior to taking 250, I was not too worried about the class, my friends who took it before with Justin said the class isn't that difficult, and I saw Paul's reviews and was pretty satisfied. Oh boy was I soooo wrong about what my 250 experience would be like! This class has got to be the most overkill class I have ever taken so far. We have homeworks every single week, except the occasional midterm week, which are more or less the most painful questions you will have to answer. Paul will teach you the concept in the most basic form in class, and expects you to be able to do an extremeley complex proof on that concept. You would think since he was having us do really difficult homeworks that his tests would be on the easier side, oh man you would be so wrong. His tests, while definitely having better questions than the homework, are also quite difficult for the time given. I believe the second midterm average was around 64. As a lecturer he is also not very interesting. It is such a struggle to sit through his 1 hr 15 min lecture, when it's just him quickly showing proofs on a slideshow. Oh yeah that's another complaint, he moves through his slides way too fast, you can barely finish the sentence or definition written. He does post his slideshows and recordings, but having to sit through that is not the best experience. Because I am working extremeley hard, I think I can manage to get a B, but I would highly suggest taking another teacher for 250. I get that this is a weed-out class but this is just rediculous.
Elias Pierto
CMSC250

Expecting a B+
Anonymous
11/10/2023
He teaches well, but who let this man write our second midterm? Only 6 people finished.
Paul Kline
CMSC250

Expecting a C+
Anonymous
11/08/2023
This is a mid semester review for students who intend to take him for the spring 2024 semester. First off like the other reviews say, the homework's are incredibly difficult and require roughly 12+ hours a week to finish which is almost impossible sometimes if you are busy with other classes and you probably won't get full credit either because the TAs grade very roughly. Kline said the reason for the tough homework is to gain a better understanding of the concepts and prepare you for the exams, however I feel that the homework being as difficult as it is does not help me learn at all. His lectures are fine, not the best or worst professor I have had and he records all of them and posts resources like slides on Canvas. Outside of the lectures, he is not very involved. The TAs make and grade the homework, exams, and do most of the extra stuff such as responding to Piazza posts, making discussion worksheets, and doing regrade requests. The quizzes we have almost biweekly are very easy compared to the homework and exams which is nice. Overall the class feels very disorganized, the expectations are very vague for a lot of the proofs and the exams are wildly inconsistent in terms of difficulty, where some problems are very easy and others very difficult. The exams also seem to have a lot of errors/clarity issues in them. The class is not impossible but the disorganization, difficultly of the homework, and lack of clarity make the class very difficult to learn in, expect to put in a LOT of work and I would recommend finding an outside source online to help you learn if you want to do well in this class.
Maksym Morawski
CMSC250

Expecting an A-
Anonymous
11/08/2023
The communication in this class is extremely sporadic and homeworks were not nearly graded in time to review for exams; he frequently made mistakes during lectures and overall seemed unprepared for class.
Paul Kline
CMSC250

Expecting a C
Anonymous
11/08/2023
Not a terrible teacher but def be prepared to teach yourself.
Paul Kline
CMSC250

Expecting a W
Anonymous
11/04/2023
These previous reviews must be trolling because this class is the worst I'm taking this semester. He has weekly homeworks, biweekly quizzes and 3 midterms. First of all, this dudes homeworks will have you tripping, because they are insanely hard. You're allowed to have a group, but even then be prepared for a ton of work only to end up with a subpar grade. If you don't have a group be prepared for 15 hours of work. His quizzes are fine, but his midterms will range from easy to insane. His first midterm was okay-ish, the second one was a complete disaster. The difficulty has no consistency, and he didn't even show up to proctor the exam. He also is barely involved in the class, it's basically run by the TA's, he's not involved on the Piazza and random policies like mandatory discussion will popup out of nowhere. His slides are complete garbage. They make absolutely 0 sense and you will end up more confused. It's crazy how he'll take easy concepts you can learn from Justin's notes in 10 minutes and turn them into a headache while doing them in class during his lecture.
Paul Kline
CMSC250

Expecting a B+
Anonymous
11/03/2023
Very chill and helpful. His lectures are pretty good, but slides are hard to follow if you aren't watching his lecture online or in person. I can easily imagine other students suffering if they aren't used to things like number theory. It seems like he offloads everything onto his TAs. We get the grades back pretty much the week after submission, but they aren't posted onto ELMS. I guess that's a little inconvenient because we have to manually calculate our final score, but nice to see the feedback come in quickly. A few of the TAs grade pretty harshly and give no partial credit, but if I submit a request that changes a bit. Homeworks are long and challenging, but they make me feel confident when it's time for quizzes or exams. I wish they were a little bit shorter though. The first exam did have a typo, but it was corrected in exam pretty soon. Other than that, Kline is pretty organized and predictable. Everything is uploaded at the right time, and his google calendar is accessible has everything down. Also shoutout to some of the TAs like Elias and Zoya. They sometimes offer Q&A sessions or extra practice problems.
Paul Kline
CMSC250

Expecting a C+
Anonymous
11/01/2023
First off, Kline seems like a nice guy. He isn't rude and takes time to answer people's questions in class. He's chill. But man, his class blows. Incredibly disorganized, insanely frustrating, and such a chore. First off, the class organization just sucks. Kline does not communicate with his students on Piazza, his TAs do. Kline does not make the exams, his TAs do. Kline does not put the grades in online, his TAs do. He kinda just shows up for lecture; that's all he does. He couldn't even put in our midterm grades on time because he hadn't made any of the assignments on ELMS. I got bombarded with 20 Canvas notifications of him creating the assignments and putting grades in on a random Saturday. That is ridiculous and unprofessional, in my opinion. His homeworks are ridiculously hard - in the class Piazza, literally every student had this complaint, and the TAs responded with that's how Kline wants it to be. I don't learn from the homeworks, they only make me more frustrated and unmotivated to learn the material. And if you don't have partners (you can have up to two partners), you will be doing 20 hours of homework a week. It's utterly insane. I actually get more out of Justin's notes online from his CMSC250 class than Kline's slides. His slides are filled with messy proofs and unclear explanations of what the hell he's trying to teach. I don't think he's very clear in his explanations. On our first exam, various questions were either wrong or worded wrong, causing many students to completely waste their time answering an unsolvable problem. It was such a messy disaster of an exam. In all my exams that I've taken as a student here, I've never had an exam that disorganized. Maybe it's because his TAs write his exams and not him? Once again, what does he even do? I would not recommend this professor to anyone. If you want a teacher that is organized, knows what they're doing, and assigns fair assignments, do not take this guy. I'm giving him two stars and not one because at least he's a chill person, he records lectures, and makes slides available online. But yeah I'm never taking this guy again
Justin Wyss-Gallifent
CMSC250

Expecting an A+
Anonymous
10/24/2023
He has a pretty thick Aussie accent, but other than that he is pretty rad
Evan Golub
CMSC250

Expecting a C
Anonymous
09/18/2023
I know I'm not one to talk since I got a C lol but also he is not that bad as many of the other reviews state he is. He's a nice guy and we had no quizzes in discussions which meant the majority of the grade fell on the exams. Others are right where he is pretty particular with how he wants you to write and his style, but literally if you go to class and pay attention you will be completely fine. It is easy enough to study for his exams since he posts his slides and also provides practice problems. Sometimes he will even mention in class if a problem similar to the one he is giving is going to be on the exam. I had a B+, and A- throughout but I flunked the final because I treated it like another one of his exams (which I feel isn't a bad thing). So if you're debating another professor, sure Golub does put more emphasis on exams, but it's so much more free with less work to do I would take it any day over Klien with weekly quizzes.
Mohammad Nayeem Teli
CMSC250

Expecting a C-
Anonymous
09/14/2023
The Instructor is alright, however whats the use if he doesn't know how to hire TAs. My TA was Yue a grad student, and you can ask anybody in CMSC 250 in her discussion. An absolute waste of UMD money, she doesn't know how to teach or explain and leaves for the bathroom majority of the time. This was detrimental for my academics as I really needed support when learning new contexts as a commuter I did not have a study group. For context I am a straight A student in CS but Teli teaches the overview and concepts but doesnt delve in deep into applications of the concept. Which is understandable as that is why CMSC250 has discussions. If your TA is not doing his/her job please dont wait till the end of the semester to complain make sure u get your grade right and ur academics first.
Maksym Morawski
CMSC250

Expecting an A
Anonymous
09/05/2023
Bro is so cool. Only lecture I attend.
Emily Kaplitz
CMSC250

Expecting an A+
sashu
08/27/2023
I took CMSC 250 with Dr. Teli and Emily Kaplitz was my TA. She went above and beyond making sure every student, including the students of other TAs, learned the material successfully. She poured hours and hours of her time into creating helpful material to help us succeed on the exams. She also hosted several study sessions to help students go over content that would be on the exam. Additionally, she is the most kind and understanding human. She respects mental health, and she's the one person I'd go to if I was struggling with something. In fact, I did. She knows the resources to go to. Overall, best teacher I've ever had, and probably will ever have, at UMD.
Emily Kaplitz
CMSC250

Expecting a B
Anonymous
08/07/2023
Great teacher. She knows what she is talking about and she is very understanding and lenient. She will give you an extension on homework or exams (I took it during the summer) if you need it. Her slides are great and she is very active on email and Piazza, so you will usually get a response within 30 minutes anytime during the day. I got a B only because I was taking this class in the 7 weeks of summer so it was extremely packed and I was taking it alongside cmsc216. Other than that, you should easily be able to get an A in this class.
Evan Golub
CMSC250

Expecting a C+
Anonymous
08/03/2023
Very inconsistent grading along with test making up a large percentage of class grade
Paul Kline
CMSC250

Expecting a B+
Anonymous
06/25/2023
Overall great teacher. Very nerdy and passionate about the subject and he explains the topics well. Easy to talk to if you have any questions. The homeworks are challenging but you have a week to do them, and afterward the quizzes and test seem relatively easier. Be sure to utilize the TAs for help.
Paul Kline
CMSC250

Expecting a B+
Anonymous
06/15/2023
Great Professor, enjoyed taking the course.
Elias Pierto
CMSC250

Expecting an A
Anonymous
05/29/2023
This guy was an extremely helpful TA for Kline's CMSC250 class and a good lecturer but he made homeworks really difficult at the beginning of the semester.
Paul Kline
CMSC250

Expecting an A+
Anonymous
05/29/2023
Took in Spring 2023. Kline is a good lecturer that makes concepts easy to understand. I appreciate how he frequently reviews topics from previous lectures before building on top of it in the current lecture. His head TA Elias was a bit crazy this semester and gave extremely difficult homework at first. After many complaints on piazza, the homework became easier towards the end of the semester. Kline is difficult to reach like many others in the CS department so most of your contact will be with TAs through piazza. There are chances for extra credit on homework if you use latex; you get 8 points extra on 100 point homeworks so these can certainly add up considering we had 10 homeworks throughout the semester. I ended with an A+ even though I did poorly on one of the 3 midterms. To succeed in this class I would recommend finding a good study group and working on problems together and starting homeworks early.
Justin Wyss-Gallifent
CMSC250

Expecting a D+
Anonymous
05/28/2023
Justin is a very good professor, all the reviews are pretty much right about him. I didn't go to many lectures because they were early in the morning and he posts his lecture notes, but the few I did go to were very entertaining and engaging. Unfortunately, the final was really hard, and I scored just a few percent under the C-, so I'm going to have to take this again. I don't think it was his fault, the final was hard for everyone, but I wish I could have passed because I can't take this class again with him next semester.
Paul Kline
CMSC250

Expecting a B+
Anonymous
05/28/2023
Great and down to earth guy. Class had many logistical issues especially surrounding the quizzes/exams and some of the homework, but Paul was quick enough to rectify those issues. Homeworks were absolutely difficult initially (expect to spend over 10 hrs/week). But the TAs (especially Elias, Lily, Nav, Zoya) were the real MVPs of this semester by hosting 3+ hour study sessions before the midterms, creating hella practice material for the final, and more. Class is not easy at all, so expect to put a lot of work into it.
Justin Wyss-Gallifent
CMSC250

Expecting an A
Anonymous
05/26/2023
He makes the class easy and the exams are straightforward enough where you can do well as long as you review lecture notes and homeworks (I actually found these homeworks much more difficult than the exams). As a professor though, he clearly knows his material, but he is a little slow when it comes to providing resources for students to study. If you can, definitely take the class with him; no hesitation about that. Just be prepared to sometimes be a little lost and bored in lecture.
Paul Kline
CMSC250

Expecting a B
HashedString
05/26/2023
This is going to be a long and complex-ish review so skip to the bottom for a basic tl;dr THE GOOD: Kline himself I think is a good professor. His lectures are very casual and are usually decent, albeit they do have mistakes in them quite often which he does catch in class. Not a huge detriment but it does make it slightly annoying. He records all his lectures as well which is again, very helpful. Kline also is one of the profs who does not weigh tests heavily as part of your 250 grades. Your quizzes and homework can be a huge grade booster in that regard which can be helpful. His exams are also noticeably on the easier side I feel. The grade averages for my semester were around ~90%+ for Exam 1 (INSANE!) ~80% for Exam 2 and 3, and the final (with the final being slightly lower than 80% in the high 70s) While these are good averages, they aren't crazy, but I'd imagine the majority of the class passes with a higher grade due to the homework and quiz having higher weights. Additionally, all the extra credit in the course probably adds up to 3%+ (There is extra credit on some tests which is hard, and homework extra credit which I will get to later) THE BAD: Oh boy, where to begin? Kline is virtually nonexistent outside of lectures. He outsources everything to the TAs. They make the homework, the quizzes, answer all the Piazza posts, grade everything. This can lead to some issues. The "Style-Guide" is a style reference that we are supposed to use when doing all our homework and quizzes. Unfortunately, because this is a TA resource, at times it is disconnected from what Kline teaches. On more than one occasion (INCLUDING AN EXAM!!!) the style that Kline wished us to use did not match the style guide from the TAs. While this usually ends up not harming your grade directly, it can make the questions much more confusing and unnecessarily hard. Additionally, due to this disconnect, there are SO MANY occasions where quiz or homework questions are flat out DROPPED because they either had style mismatches or other issues that made them not be graded and gave everyone a 100% for them. One quiz we took had 3 questions, and 2/3 were dropped. While this is good for the student as they get free points, it is highly annoying and clearly a sign of a disorganized class. It can also feel discouraging to put in effort on homework only for it to not matter once the question is dropped. Now onto the major point of contention: THE HOMEWORKS The TAs write all the homework and they subscribe to the policy of "Hard Homework" preps you for the exam. And by Hard I mean that the homework are a MAGNITUDE harder and can get downright crazy. The infamous HW4 had an average completion time of over 10 hours for the majority of the course. Some homework got to 14 pages long. It's bad. The TAs eventually chilled near the end of the semester after all the complaints, so perhaps my dear future terp you will have it easier. Just be warned though, it can get bad! OH or internet searching on proofwiki and other things is downright required sometimes for some of the more insane proofs. To compensate there is a flat 8% bonus extra credit if you use LaTex for your homework. This adds up to about 2.5% extra credit for your entire course grade which is very nice and the sole saving grace of turning your homework averages high. Tl;DR THE SUMMARY: Kline is a decent prof who outsources his work to the TAs. It is easy to get a good grade in this class due to easy exams and frequent extra credit, but the workload for this class can be high due to difficult homework. If you are ok with spending a lot of time in this course but an easier course grade-wise, take Kline.
Evan Golub
CMSC250

Expecting a B
Anonymous
05/26/2023
A decent lecturer. Make sure you learn the proof syntax and do practice problems and you'll be fine. HW assignments were chill and the exams were pretty much the same as the HW and practice problems.
Justin Wyss-Gallifent
CMSC250

Expecting an A
Anonymous
05/25/2023
Lovely professor. Explains things very well in lecture, and gives homeworks and groupworks that serve as good practice, with fair exams.
Justin Wyss-Gallifent
CMSC250

Expecting a B+
Anonymous
05/25/2023
Very nice professor. His lectures at 9:30am were engaging but I did fall asleep a couple times. He has a nice accent. The course was challenging and the final was much harder than I expected. I had a 98% going into the final because I did well on the two midterms and my grade dropped to a 86% which was a B+ so he does curve. Honestly, the bad grade on the final is my fault. I made a lot of silly mistakes and didn't prepare much. Other than the hard final, the structure of the class had groupworks which is basically just required discussion attendance (you can miss up to 4 without it affecting your grade). Homeworks were not very difficult but there would be times when the TA grading your homework would just be very picky about a certain problem. Kinda annoying especially when ur just skipping steps cuz you can do it in ur head. The pace of the class was a bit off but this was the second time he was teaching this class so it was reasonable. Felt like we were going really really slow at the beginning and then really really fast at the end. Wasn't terrible but skipped a lecture in the beginning and next one was still the same. Skipped one at the end and was lost at the next lecture even after looking at the lecture notes he posts after every lecture. Would recommend totally recommend. Be wary of his finals (the myths about his hard finals are true from my experience).
Justin Wyss-Gallifent
CMSC250

Expecting a B
Anonymous
05/24/2023
Justin explains concepts very well and his notes are very organized and clear. His exams are straightforward and he provides practice exams which are helpful. If you attend lecture, then the homeworks are easy to complete, as he goes over very similar examples.
Paul Kline
CMSC250

Expecting an A
Anonymous
05/24/2023
Amazing professor. Super helpful and approachable. I wish I could take more courses with him in the future, but I think he only teaches 250 since he teaches part-time. HW is a little tough in the middle of the course but if you go to TA office hours you will be fine. Great guy.
Paul Kline
CMSC250

Expecting an A
cdavis73
05/22/2023
250 is a hard class and it's hard to comprehend the topics and ways of thinking regardless of how good the professor is. However, I have to say that Paul was an excellent instructor. His lectures were very engaging and he explained the difficult concepts in ways where it was really easy to understand, focusing on developing the ways of thinking rather than just memorizing methods and formulas. Although he himself was not very reachable outside of class besides office hours, he had a team of TAs that were very reachable for help. With that being said, the TAs were RUTHLESS sometimes with their homework and quiz assignments, expecting high understandings of number theory, proofs, and combinatorics that I didn't possess nor did the majority of students. We would learn the basics and be slapped with a problem that called for hugely advanced applications of the concepts that we shouldn't have been expected to do. Exams were pretty free, but the final was a little much, and almost everyone took the full 2 hours. But all of the problems associated with this class are at the fault of the TAs, and Paul himself was a fantastic lecturer and clearly knew what he was talking about.
Paul Kline
CMSC250

Expecting an A
Anonymous
05/21/2023
Solid guy I'd say, some of his TAs go a little crazy on the homework but it got better by the end of the year. He teaches concepts really well, posts his slides and records lectures. Has a piazza which is helpful and all homeworks/exams are uploaded to gradescope to you can easily get regrade requests. He has style differences from his TAs which came to bite us on our third exam but its nothing to terrible. His exams are super fair/easy and his TAs often release hella practice material. Teaching is his side gig, he works at a software company but is a really good teacher. Also he is the biggest nerd known to man, 4.0s straight throughout high school and colleges, but in a cool way. I'd
Evan Golub
CMSC250

Expecting a B-
kathleenMiles
05/21/2023
He was the third choice out of three professors for CMSC 250, after Kline and Justin. Would I have taken Kline or Justin if I could? Of course. But I had to keep moving forward, and so I do not regret taking Golub this semester. If the professor is bad enough, some people skip taking the class that semester entirely. But Golub does not warrant such drastic action. Golub was bad as expected, but manageably bad. He is very inefficient and slow, and his lectures are incredibly boring. However, you absolutely must attend his lectures. He does not record his lectures and he fills out his slides during lecture. He forgets to upload the filled out versions of his slides on his badly-designed, ugly website. That means his slides online are pretty much useless. The man claims to be an expert in human-computer interaction, yet you can only wonder at how ancient his HTML and CSS skills are when looking at his badly designed website and weird divisions and course structure. Golub cannot lecture, but however he is an incredible teacher when approached one-on-one. So my recommendation is to go to his personal office hours, which surprisingly nobody ever went to during my course. He also replies very fast to email, which is nice. Another good thing about Golub is that he teaches exactly what you need to know for his exams. If you can learn to do things in exactly the way that he wants things, you will be fine.
Paul Kline
CMSC250

Expecting an A-
Anonymous
05/20/2023
Note that I took 250 with Kline in Fall 2022 when he co taught with Cliff. Great professor overall, really nice, and good lecturer that tries to engage with students. The weekly hw's were alright (although this seems to be different in the more recent semester), we had extra credit for each hw for doing it in Latex. There were some issues with the TAs teaching a different notation than Kline, but it was not a big issue as both notations are accepted on hw and exams. Exams were also fair and straightforward.
Evan Golub
CMSC250

Expecting a B
Anonymous
05/19/2023
Solid professor and class. He provided a good amount of practice material and the exams were fair. Having the course be 88% exams is pretty tough though.
Evan Golub
CMSC250

Expecting an A
Anonymous
05/19/2023
Golub is a genuinely underrated professor. Going into his class, I was genuinely worried because 250 is considered a hard class, and Golub's reviews weren't exactly anything to write home about. That's why I was so pleasantly surprised when he actually turned out to be a great instructor. He very clearly explains concepts in lecture, and it's very easy to understand them. My only gripe with his teaching style is that he sometimes gets off-topic, going off on a tangent that's only vaguely related to the topic at hand. Still, Golub is a good instructor and deserves a lot of credit for making 250 easily understandable. Golub's exams are very straightforward. His exams aren't deliberately meant to be confusing or tricky. Although he does not provide practice exams, he does provide practice problems that are pretty similar to what are on the exams. Unfortunately, he only provides answers to some of the practice problems, but the TAs also go over them in discussion before exams, which is super helpful. Homework assignments aren't anything too tedious, and they're honestly pretty similar to what you'll find on the exams. Overall, Golub is a very underrated professor and, at least for 250, I'd strongly recommend taking it with him.
Justin Wyss-Gallifent
CMSC250

Expecting an A-
Anonymous
05/18/2023
yea that final was pretty tough. But he's the GOAT.
Justin Wyss-Gallifent
CMSC250

Expecting a B+
Anonymous
05/17/2023
Justin is a great professor, don't get me wrong. Engaging lectures, reasonable homework deadlines, mostly reasonable exams, etc. However, I don't know if he's the best 250 professor. The first section of the course was far too easy. The concepts were simple, and the exam was easy (avg 90%). I don't know if this was the best thing, as it may signal some to stop taking the class seriously (I know I did, which was a terrible decision). I don't know how I feel about the second section of the course. This was set theory and proofs. The lectures were effective in learning the material, but I feel like we could have gotten more practice beyond what was on the homeworks to really solidify the material. For example, my thick skull didn't realize you could prove the two sides of a biconditional using different methods, so on the exam I tried proving both halves directly. The homeworks given weren't enough to solidify the material in my brain. My big issues with the course are in the third section. I felt woefully unprepared for some of the content in this section. Sums, products, and induction were fine (although it wasn't so cool that the sum formulas weren't provided on the final). It's combinatorics where the major issues start to arise for me. The range of combinatorics problems is much broader than anything else in the course, and I feel that Justin didn't prepare us very well on that front both in lecture examples and homework. Admittedly, I don't understand the subject very well at all. Regardless, after going through the homeworks, reading the solutions, and going through the final practice problems he posted towards the end, I just didn't feel prepared for what may have come on the final. It felt like too little practice given how much there is to it. I found probability a bit easier, but the problem remained that there was not as much practice as I would have liked on it. Bayes Theorem is free though, granted I memorize the formula. I don't feel that needed more. The weekly groupworks should have been a potential remedy for this. Unfortunately, they're not. The questions, especially early on, could get extremely vague, which was unhelpful in learning the material. Something about these ones didn't click in the same way as the groupworks I had in calc 3 did (I did not have Justin). A textbook was recommended, but without guidance on how to most effectively use it. I don't know if I should have used it in retrospect, but it is what it is. Overall, do I recommend Justin for 250? Absolutely. He's Justin after all. You will likely end with at least a B if you try. I just have a few gripes with this run of the course.
Paul Kline
CMSC250

Expecting an A
Anonymous
05/16/2023
Kline is a super solid prof for lecturing. He is enthusiastic, his lectures are easy to follow, and he makes the material reasonably easy to grasp; HOWEVER, the TAs are immensely frustrating. The grading on the homeworks is wildly inconsistent. You could follow the style Kline uses in lecture pretty much directly and still manage to get points off for style. There are also hundreds of regrades for each homework because the TAs just grade things incorrectly, and to top it all off it takes forever to get grades back. It is not fun to deal with at all. Also Elias, the head TA, has a stick so far up there it might as well be a second spine. The good news is though the latex extra credit can offset this. Overall it's not hard to get an A but it is tedious to fight for your grade.
Paul Kline
CMSC250

Expecting an A
Anonymous
05/16/2023
The class is very frustrating. Paul Kline is a good lecturer and a nice guy, but the TA's are incompetent. They seriously cannot do their job. They don't even know half the course. When we got to the section on Combinatorics, half the TA's said "go to a different section, because I have no idea how to do this stuff". It baffles me how they even got to be TA's. One of the TA's slept through his discussion time and sent out an announcement saying "oops sry guys i forgot to set an alarm". I get that we're all college students, but that's your job. Worst of it all, is that all the quizzes, and homeworks, and style guide isn't written by Kline himself. It's written by the pompous ***wipe Elias, the head TA who actually runs the whole show. You will lose so many points on homeworks because of "style issues". If you follow the style Kline uses in class, the TA's will take off points due to bad style, if the homeworks ever get graded (it took till the end of the semester to get the last half of the homeworks graded). It's honestly not that hard to get an A in the class, the TA's just don't know how to do their job.
Michael McCourt
CMSC250

Expecting a B
Anonymous
05/15/2023
Hey, are you a CS major? Are you looking for a FREE class? Look no further! I shit you not, this is LITERALLY the first two weeks of CMSC250. Unit 1 is truth tables (week1 of 250), Unit 2 is proofs (but in a different style than taught in 250, just read the textbook for 10 minutes) and the final unit is universal quantifiers (but with less restrictions). If you did 250, you can skip 98% of lectures. I literally don't have an A on this class solely because I kept forgetting it existed. Do the hw, do the quizzes, the whole workload of the course can be done in like 3 hours. About McCourt, seemed very nice and very helpful in lecture. Well, I only went like 5 times.
Evan Golub
CMSC250

DenialWhammy
05/10/2023
The class is relatively simple for anyone with a background in math. Didn't go to lecture after realizing how simple the content was. However, I'm giving Golub 3 stars because the proofs are heavily reliant on proper syntax, so even if you get the right idea, you'll be docked points if you don't do it the way he does it. Find a way to do every problem he can give you, and copy it word-for-word, so you can throw it back during exams.
Cliff Bakalian
CMSC250

Anonymous
05/09/2023
the structuring of this class was actually perfect. only issue was that he was very mistake prone and he didn't record lectures while kline did, which lowkey saved everyone
Justin Wyss-Gallifent
CMSC250

Expecting an A-
Anonymous
05/03/2023
I had no issues with him up till these homework, he shows how to do a certain type of question during lecture, then puts that type of question in the homework, and then takes points off when you do it how he did it during lecture.
Justin Wyss-Gallifent
CMSC250

Expecting an A-
dfesenko
05/03/2023
I believe Justin makes this class a lot more fun and interesting than other professors. The lectures are enjoyable, homework is not overbearing (one homework a week) and exams are relatively straightforward. Also no random quizzes during lectures unlike some other CMSC professors. 10/10 would take again and recommend to anybody choosing between professors. You won't regret taking this guy.
Paul Kline
CMSC250

Expecting an A-
Anonymous
04/25/2023
great professor but the TAs gotta chill on the hw
Paul Kline
CMSC250

Expecting a B+
Anonymous
04/18/2023
Great lecturer and did a good job making the content of 250 seem really simple. There were times where what he was saying contradicted how the TAs were grading, but he was new and it never was that big of a problem. Great professor and cares
Evan Golub
CMSC250

Expecting a B
Anonymous
04/03/2023
Entirely invalidating proofs on exams due to minor mistakes at the beginning of proofs and destroying exam grade.
Paul Kline
CMSC250

Expecting an A-
Anonymous
03/29/2023
Had him for the first semester he taught. Did a really great job. His lectures were always clear, I would actually be enjoying the content because I was able to understand it instead spending the whole lecture confused and trying to figure things out. He had some really good TAs too that made it even better. I thought I would struggle going into the class based on the reviews for 250 I've seen before but It surprisingly went better than I thought. He was really down to earth and understood everything from the perspective of the students. 10/10 would do it again.
Cliff Bakalian
CMSC250

Anonymous
03/12/2023
Cliff was super nice and chill. I honestly didn't learn a whole lot but I think that may be the way Discrete Structures is as a class. His hair is mad luscious too. The exams were online when I took it in spring 2022, and they were very fair. His class did kinda reward cheating behavior, but I didn't mind it personally.
William Gasarch
CMSC250

Expecting an A
Anonymous
03/10/2023
Incredible teaching!
Cliff Bakalian
CMSC250

Expecting an A
Anonymous
03/10/2023
Really nice instructor. He's quite approachable during his office hours and answers questions or explains concepts really well. He has started from the basics many times even though it's repetitive/obvious. His lectures were quite good and I enjoyed his classes.
Justin Wyss-Gallifent
CMSC250

Anonymous
03/04/2023
I had Justin for MATH206, which I was able to finish in the 2 days before the semester started, and I also have him for CMSC250. He's a really great guy; I'd probably give him 4.69 stars if I could though, simply because I think he babies the class a little bit. Our first exam was ludicrously short and a ton of people were finishing with a full 40 minutes left. His lectures and notes are extremely organized, and you can get ahead of the game if you absolutely wanted to. Homeworks don't take more than 3 hours a week. Very talented at explaining concepts in a simple and concise manner.
Mohammad Nayeem Teli
CMSC250

Expecting a B+
akl2025
02/20/2023
Professor Teli is fantastic. His lecture notes are neatly written and available on ELMS, and he provides clear explanations for every class. Additionally, his quizzes, midterms, and final exams are all fair, so I can't complain if I lose points due to my own mistakes. I also want to give a shoutout to my amazing TA, Emily Kaplitz. She's been incredibly helpful in our discussion section and has gone above and beyond to ensure that we all understand the material. I'm grateful for her support and guidance throughout the course.
Emily Kaplitz
CMSC250

Expecting an A-
Anonymous
02/10/2023
She is very knowledgeable on all of the course material and explains each subject very well. She cares deeply about your learning and also supports you. It's also super easy to talk with her. I would highly recommend her.
Paul Kline
CMSC250

Expecting an A
Anonymous
01/25/2023
Great lecturer, teaches well and is enthusiastic about the material. My only complaint with the class is that some of the exams, particularly questions on probability, were worded poorly. Still not going to dock a star because I think Paul is aware of this and working on it.
Paul Kline
CMSC250

Expecting a C-
Anonymous
01/23/2023
For Professor Kline's first semester here teaching, he did an outstanding job. He is extremely helpful in office hours and so are his TA's but I was rarely able to attend since my focus was on linear algebra(MATH240) and CMSC132. On of my biggest issues with the course was that there was a lack of practice material that was available online to prepare for much of the harder concepts in the course like induction or combinatorics. Start the homework early as you have a week to complete it. Youtube and Justin's Notes for CMSC 250 are your best friends to do well in the course. There are only two midterms so not performing well will drop you significantly. That first exam is not a joke as I did not prepare with enough time in hand and did very poorly. He is a very nice guy that wants his students to succeed and have no doubt he will be a top professor at UMD.
Mohammad Nayeem Teli
CMSC250

Expecting a C
Anonymous
01/23/2023
Yes the grade I got is a C. However Professor Teli is an amazing professor, a professional with indepth knowledge on the subject matter. The lectures are very relaxed and full of information that is relevant to the CS field and exams. However in application, is where your TA comes into play where they go over applying the concepts learnt in class in various scenarios. My TA, Yue (I hate specifying names but I feel is nessecary) did not teach a single thing and showed absolutely no interest in the subject or the class. I feel students should speak up because at the end it is our grade that is hurt not the the TA's
Cliff Bakalian
CMSC250

Anonymous
01/03/2023
Decent instructor, but lectures can sometimes be boring. Exams (in-person) and quizzes (online) are fair but require studying. Weekly-ish homeworks were tricky at times but a few got dropped. Some TAs were very helpful and took time outside of discussion (which doesn't consist of graded assignments) for exam review sessions. The content itself isn't too difficult but can require some practice to understand. Would recommend taking it with him.
Cliff Bakalian
CMSC250

Expecting an A
Anonymous
01/03/2023
I wanted to like Cliff, I really did. He was a bad lecturer. He often got confused during lecture and his style was extremely different from what we were expected to replicate, making it impossible to do well in the class without studying the style guide. I stopped going to his lectures completely and instead watched Paul Kline's recorded lectures that we had access to while they co-taught. When I talked to him in person about issues with his TAs and their grading though, he was very understanding and willing to help with regrade requests.
Cliff Bakalian
CMSC250

Anonymous
12/29/2022
I was really disappointed by Cliff's teaching. He seems like a really chill guy and was very helpful during office hours. However, his teaching was pretty uneventful. To begin, his slides were impossible to use. He decided to use reveal.js which, while being very sleek and clean, forced you to look through a 2D maze to try and find what you were looking for. Add to that transitions which prevented all necessary info from showing on the overview made it a mission to try and find a formula or method to do a problem. His lecturing wasn't fantastic either. He would mumble through his slides and not do a lot of in-class practice problems. A more class-wide issue was style. Having a style guide was very helpful in showing what would be accepted as homework/test answers. However, it would be more helpful to designate a specific way of doing a problem/signs to use to prevent confusion when one professor uses one symbol/method, the other uses different ones, and the TAs use whichever their profs used when they took the class. Although the previous gripes made the class frustrating, Cliff was very fair about how he ran the class. Each homework could get a 10% boost if you used Latex (which is not hard to learn/use) and almost every test/quiz had an extra credit question that was very possible to get right. He gave opportunities to submit homework late for full credit and even gave a supplement to a question on the first midterm that did not go well initially to boost test grades. He also gave a survey to gauge class satisfaction after the first midterm. All in all, a fair class but with sub-par teaching. 10/10 hair and fit though (worth an extra star).
Mohammad Nayeem Teli
CMSC250

Expecting an A+
Anonymous
12/24/2022
Teli was doing so good in 250 this semester. His class is the most organized class compared to other classes that I was taking this semester. Quizzes were easy but sometimes challenging enough. Homework was not long and doable. He also gave us 1.5% extra credits which helped a lot. He revealed the cutoffs at the end and it's reasonable. Teli is also a good lecturer since I saw a lot ppl attend his lectures than in other classes. I got confused during his lecture sometimes, but it's acceptable.
Mohammad Nayeem Teli
CMSC250

Expecting a B-
Anonymous
12/24/2022
Teli was super nice and a great lecturer. Midterms and Finals were extremely fair. Quizzes were difficult for me but the homeworks were great practice for it. I'd take his class again.
Cliff Bakalian
CMSC250

Expecting an A
Anonymous
12/24/2022
Great professor who understands what the students are dealing with and changes/adapts to accordingly. This is only this second year teaching so there are a few rough edges but if you get in touch with him, he is more than happy to help. His slides could use a little more work especially towards the later chapters but at the same time, TAs release detailed notes on the topics discussed. There is also Justins Notes and the entire Fall 2020 250 class webpage to consult.
Mohammad Nayeem Teli
CMSC250

Expecting an A-
Anonymous
12/23/2022
Probably one of the best lecturers for CMSC250, you can understand a concept very clearly after a lecture - I can't say that I have had this experience with many other lecturers. The main issues in this class is a lot of times he assigns homework's with concepts that we barely covered in class and it becomes a requirement to go to office hours just to figure out how to start the homeworks. He gave out an extra credit assignment in the end(did not drop any other assignments). The exams were also very fair.
Mohammad Nayeem Teli
CMSC250

Expecting a B-
Anonymous
12/23/2022
Teli is not a bad professor himself, he's actually very straight forward in lectures sometimes. I do think at the start though, he did go a bit fast, but he's understanding when it comes to answering questions and office hours. However, his quizzes and exams are in my opinion a gamble, sometimes they are easy/fair, meaning it is the content taught in class but other times he has completely given us a homework and quiz that is entirely different from his lectures. At one point, lots of people crowded office hours because there were so many questions on this one homework. It definitely was inconsistent. As well, you have a quiz every week in-person unless stated otherwise, and as stated before, some were straight forward and others were completely different from what we learnt. The platforms being used are a bit annoying to, having to use Piazza, ELMS, and a whole different website (for the syllabus) is a bit disorganized. I also do want to mention that the grading felt very inconsistent on exams, so try your best to get a regrade request (for a valid reason of course).
Cliff Bakalian
CMSC250

Expecting an A
Anonymous
12/22/2022
His TAs are inconsistent with grading. There have been multiple instances where my answer is basically the same as my friends but I get less points. I emailed Cliff for a regrade because it was impossible to get one done over gradescope (the TA wasn't taking my argument) and he never got back to me. The only reason I might get an A is because you get 10 extra points for using Latex on your homeworks, and two of them get dropped. I like his late tokens policy, even though I've never used them. I know it would have been nice to have that for some of my other classes. Cliff sometimes gets confused during his lectures, but it's understandable since he's not as experienced as other lecturers. Other than that, he did a pretty decent job of explaining the concepts. His TA took over one of his lectures, though, and I think she was a lot better.
Mohammad Nayeem Teli
CMSC250

Expecting an A+
Anonymous
12/21/2022
His quizzes and tests are very fair, which is very nice. Homeworks are also relatively straightforward - very closely mirrors what is done in class. Unfortunately, CMSC250 as a course is sort of this weird Frankenstein of a math class trying to be taught to CS kids that don't really care about math, so the material is a bit weirdly presented, but that is by no means his fault. My biggest takeaway, though, was that he really really cares about people doing well, and is super accommodating. Someone asked he post the lecture slides before class, so he did just that. He gave an optional extra credit assignment at the end. Great dude.
Paul Kline
CMSC250

Expecting an A-
Anonymous
12/21/2022
As a side note, Kline first co-taught this course with Cliff Bakalian, who has his own set of issues, so I'll cut him some slack. As a lecturer, Kline is great. It's clear that he's very enthusiastic about teaching the course material. HIs style is teaching by example, which is really beneficial for a class that is oriented around proofs and intuition. In terms of the structure of the course, there are some issues. The homework was pretty awful and—for students who tend to have a slow start adjusting to course material—overwhelming. It didn't help that the grading of homework was incredibly delayed either. Additionally, out of the three exams that we had (including the final), only ONE practice exam was posted (and based on the grade distributions for each exam, the one with the practice exam is the one people did the best on). Regardless, several of these issues can be attributed to being a new lecturer at UMD and not having complete authority of his course, so I think he'll be a better option for incoming CS students in the future.
Mohammad Nayeem Teli
CMSC250

Expecting a B-
Anonymous
12/20/2022
You know, I didn't really pay attention in lecture but I somehow still learned by osmosis anyway. Very nice guy, I like his lectures even though I just fuck around or skip it altogether. The course material is pretty good, the homework is really good practice. The quizzes are a bit weirdly timed to the homework, where you might get quizzed on something before you get homework about it. Otherwise, he's really nice, and very solid. The only real problem I would say is that the final exam turned out to be exam 3, not really a final exam. But hey, whatever.
Mohammad Nayeem Teli
CMSC250

Expecting a B
Anonymous
12/20/2022
Teli is a good professor, but CMSC250 is definitely a difficult class. Attending lectures will fs help you. Plus, he records them so you can review for any times you missed or to prepare for exams. Discrete is different than a typical math class in that it's more proof and logic heavy, so expect a fair bit a writing as well. Also, if you have Emily as your TA, she is AMAZING. She's a god-send and helps explain topics so well during office hours to help students with the homework, and she also hosts review sessions before finals. I HEAVILY suggest her as a TA for the course.
Paul Kline
CMSC250

Expecting a B+
Anonymous
12/19/2022
Paul is a solid lecturer and was very fair throughout the entire course. I'm not going to dock him stars here for the organizational problems that cliff's class has because I mainly attribute those problems to Cliff.
Mohammad Nayeem Teli
CMSC250

Expecting a B+
Anonymous
12/19/2022
Lectures are clear and organized and he always posts the recording and notes. Exams were always more than fair. Quizzes and Homeworks were a bit difficult but if you study a bit you'll be fine. Pretty solid professor if not a little boring at times.
Mohammad Nayeem Teli
CMSC250

Expecting an A
Anonymous
12/18/2022
Explains things in an easy to understand way and gives us a lot of practice material.
Paul Kline
CMSC250

Expecting an A-
Anonymous
12/17/2022
Kind of a nerdy, chill guy. Good lecturer, moves his class at a reasonable pace. Homework is challenging, but they're designed to be that way because they have significantly harder questions than you will ever see on an exam or quiz. There are 4 online quizzes during the semester designed to take 2 hours each, which is a bit excessive but they're typically doable. Exams are very fair, there was one section on exam 1 that most people did horrendously on and he offered a makeup assignment to get points back. Final exam was also very fair. He currently co-teaches with Cliff so the class is definitely a bit disorganized, but show up to lectures and discussions and this is a very doable class.
Daeun Jung
CMSC250

Expecting an A-
Anonymous
12/17/2022
One the kindest and best TAs out there. Very thorough with her explanations.
Mohammad Nayeem Teli
CMSC250

Expecting a B-
Anonymous
12/17/2022
i actually think he's an very underrated professor. although his class was a bit disorganized, he did a great job in making things make sense. Really nice dude, and I genuinely enjoyed this class even though it was hard at times.
Cliff Bakalian
CMSC250

Expecting an A-
Anonymous
12/17/2022
Decent choice overall. Lectures can be a bit dry but the TA's are very helpful. Exams were pretty easy and fair
Cliff Bakalian
CMSC250

Expecting a B
Anonymous
12/16/2022
Pros: - Slides are very detailed and easy to read - Goes through many examples when explaining concepts - Exams reflect content covered in lectures - Offers extra credit Cons: - Doesn't post lecture recordings
Mohammad Nayeem Teli
CMSC250

Expecting a B+
Anonymous
12/16/2022
take him
Mohammad Nayeem Teli
CMSC250

Expecting a B
Anonymous
12/14/2022
Solid professor. Taught what needed to be taught, was very nice. Everything you'd want out of a professor. Homework could be a bit hard, but are fair. Quizzes and exams were totally fair so long as you studied the material. Plus he posts the lectures and slides, and gave us an extra-credit assignment after someone asked for one!
Paul Kline
CMSC250

Anonymous
12/14/2022
Great professor, not a very good course. Discrete Structures is a challenging course. In my honest opinion, Paul does a decent job at teaching the material. He is a nice guy who is interested in the things that he's teaching. He also knew that a part of an exam was hard, so he did a supplement assignment to the exam on the part that was hard. One of my concerns is that (like others have said) he co-teaches and is not in full control of his content. He is also a first-time 250 teacher (which is why I'm more lenient on his rating). Also, his slides are not as interesting as what I've seen with Cliff. Sometimes I get lost and I don't know where we left off. Overall, I hope that this semester will help him see the waters of teaching so that in the future, he will be one of the best lecturers.
Cliff Bakalian
CMSC250

Expecting a B-
Anonymous
12/10/2022
I would stay away if possible. His class management is very poor and his teaching is horrible. He over complicates everything and makes stuff harder to understand than it needs to be. However, his exams are very fair.
Paul Kline
CMSC250

Expecting an A+
Anonymous
12/10/2022
It's obvious that Paul enjoys the material he teaches in a nerdy way. He made great efforts throughout the semester to engage us with discrete math and generally explained concepts very well. The exams and quizzes in this class were also generally very fair, closely matching the course content and what we had seen before in homework questions. However, mostly due to the fact that this course was co-taught with Cliff Bakalian, there were still some structural issues. My main problem was that the instructors didn't reference any textbook throughout the course - this probably fine for any other 100- or 200-level CMSC class, but in a largely proof-based math course it meant that the sole authorities for clarifying concepts were the slides (often with typos or with information omitted because they were good slides for *presentation* but not for reference) and the provided style guide (updated throughout the semester but not consistently). It would have been nice to have more consistent resources to refer to throughout the course instead of having to reference Stack Exchange or Proof Wiki for some homework questions that were not adequately given context in lecture.
Emily Kaplitz
CMSC250

Expecting a B
Anonymous
12/10/2022
OMG The best TA ever. She is so helpful and you can tell she would do everything for her students to be successful + she's funny and so nice. I loved taking a class with her. 100% WOULD RECOMMEND
Mohammad Nayeem Teli
CMSC250

Expecting a B
Anonymous
12/08/2022
Prof. Teli is a solid professor. He goes over examples clearly in class, gets his TAs to grade homeworks and quizzes relatively quickly, and the material tested is fair game. Make sure you prepare for, complete, and understand your weekly homeworks and quizzes on time. Sometimes he can go too fast for you to take notes, but he always posts his lectures and lecture notes immediately after class.
Emily Kaplitz
CMSC250

Expecting a B
Anonymous
12/03/2022
CLAIM: Emily is the absolute best teacher ever. PROOF by contradiction: First, we will assume Emily is not the absolute best teacher ever. Emily breaks down concepts and explains them very clearly. It's obvious she goes above and beyond to make sure every student can do the best that they can. Despite being a busy grad student herself, she is always very consistent, gives us feedback quickly, responds to emails, and more. Moreover, I can definitely tell she deeply cares about the success of her students, thus, proving a contradiction. I highly recommend everyone to totally, definitely, absolutely take her. QED
Cliff Bakalian
CMSC250

Expecting an A-
Anonymous
12/01/2022
Cliff is an alright choice for 250. He's not amazing at explaining new concepts but not terrible either. Tests were pretty easy, though, especially when compared to the homeworks. Not a bad choice by any means.
Paul Kline
CMSC250

Expecting a B
Agt
11/30/2022
It's important to keep in mind that Paul's first semester teaching CMSC250 was for a class shared with Cliff Bakalian, so his class inherited much of the same, notorious issues that Cliff is known for (frequent grading discrepancies, disorganized structure, delayed feedback on submitted work, inconsistent expectations, etc.). However, Paul lectures are solid and always conveniently recorded online. He will provide generous accommodations to students who need them, and engages with the class on a frequent basis. I can see him becoming a solid lecturer for CMSC250 once he has full charge of his own class.
Mohammad Nayeem Teli
CMSC250

Expecting a B
Anonymous
11/23/2022
Telli is a great professor: - Comes to class with a ton of energy, - Always willing to help and spend an hour if need be to clarify - Quizzes aren't bad actually, rules of inference/proofs is the only thing I should've doubled down on - Tests: are hit and miss but overall, I'd say they are decent and cover everything equally - HW: In the beginning of the year, very long and tedious but later in the year, dirt easy. - TAs: Mine was ok, but definitely be sure to learn his/her style. - Teaching: Good pace, lots of explaining, and writes the notes in real time so you can see the mechanics. Overall, Telli is an amazing professor with a great heart. I am taking him again in CMSC 320. He is a professor you want to stick around with. I hope this review helps! Harshit Garg
Mohammad Nayeem Teli
CMSC250

Expecting a C+
Anonymous
11/22/2022
Nice professor. Lecture is pretty nice, but can get boring at times. Harsh grading, though.
Mohammad Nayeem Teli
CMSC250

Expecting a B
Anonymous
11/15/2022
Nice guy, explains every concept and topic really well. Exams and quizzes can be tricky, and the homeworks are graded extremely harshly for some reason. My main pitfall is that he's not super great with responding to emails or anything like that, took him almost a week to respond to my email about rescheduling an exam I had to miss due to COVID. Otherwise pretty good professor!
Emily Kaplitz
CMSC250

Expecting a B
TheAscian
09/29/2022
The best professor/TA to learn 250 from next to Justin. If you see Emily teaching 250 I encourage you to take it with her. She is a godsent for this class! She makes sure you understand the topic and does a fair amount of examples. Also please attended the review session around exam time they are so helpful and can clear any problems you are having. There sure be more positive reviews for how good she teaches. Overall if she is teaching or being a TA go to her!!!! Also talk to her about Nintendo things especially Pokémon makes for good conversation.
Emily Kaplitz
CMSC250

Expecting a B
Anonymous
09/29/2022
I had Emily during the summer 2022 after completely failing 250 in the spring with Cliff. His teaching style just was not for me. But Emily she is godsent idk why there isn't more reviews for her . She clearly explains the topic in depth and does several examples to make sure you are ready to do the homework. Around exam time she does have a review session with practice problems I encourage you to go to them! Overall she is the best professor for 250 because she does not try to trick you at all and makes sure you understand the topics. Side note talk to her about anything Nintendo related especially Pokémon you'll have a blast having a conversion with her.
Daeun Jung
CMSC250

whiskers
09/08/2022
dude, i cannot understand what shes saying, and ive been around thick asian accents for my whole life. she does write on the board in a very explanatory way but she erases what shes written after like 10 seconds. would avoid
Cliff Bakalian
CMSC250

Expecting an A-
Anonymous
05/28/2022
To do well in this course, study Justin's notes. For quizzes and exams, showing how you got the answer is important and you will lose points. However, Cliff doesn't teach how to do it, he just scribbles all over the board leaving the class confused. His class is manageable, but I would rather take it with someone who grades harder and teaches better.
Cliff Bakalian
CMSC250

Anonymous
05/20/2022
really bad organization of the class
Cliff Bakalian
CMSC250

Expecting a B-
Anonymous
05/20/2022
Just gonna say, this class was so rigged and I'm so glad I'm out of the woods. Most people cheat and screw others over by making the exams have an unusually high average. Cliff is nice but also delusional when it comes to this issue. It was survival of the fittest/"get a high grade by any means possible" all semester long. The exam reviews were not that helpful and were recycled from last semester. Additionally, we were given wrong answers for them. I felt like two of the TA's at office hours took more of the role of professor than Cliff did in lecture. Can't even read his hand writing because he uses a super pixelated drawing program. He also took out learning about logic circuits from the class which really sucks considering this is a computer science course it'd be nice to know about those. Just be prepped to be at office hours regularly and maybe you'll do okay.
Mohammad Nayeem Teli
CMSC250

Anonymous
05/18/2022
While very knowledgeable about the topics the class was pretty bad. Quizzes had random content at times but exams were ok. Try to avoid taking him if you can.
Cliff Bakalian
CMSC250

Anonymous
05/18/2022
People are correct about his disorganized class, but I think he still is a great prof to take. All exams and quizzes were online which was nice, and the overall was just a great and accommodating person. His lectures were tough to understand at times as his handwriting is pretty horrible. If he continues to keep the content online take him, if not then run.
Cliff Bakalian
CMSC250

Anonymous
05/17/2022
I think some of the bad reviews that he is getting on here are a bit unfair (especially the comment about his speech impediment) considering how accommodating he was to students this semester. He made all quizzes and exams online, moved multiple quizzes because of upcoming exams in other courses, and was generous in providing make-ups. Also after students complained about it taking too much time to take the first exam, he made the second exam and final shorter and easier. Grade averages this semester were pretty high for this semester, so not much of a curve will be needed. For the most part his lectures went at a decent, if not a tad slow, pace. However, there were certainly some issues in the structure of this course. Grades took a very long time to come out for many assignments, and many times the TA's made mistakes in grading. But they were all rectified with regrade requests. Overall, I do think that taking this course with Cliff is a good experience, and I thought that all-around he was a very solid professor. There is no doubt that he truly cares about his students and wants them to succeed in his class. His luscious locks make attending lecture worth your while.
Cliff Bakalian
CMSC250

Anonymous
05/17/2022
Cliff is a great person and a decent teacher. He is definitely understanding of students' concerns and I feel that he teaches the material in the course properly (wish Cliff was more engaging though and enthusiastic). However, I think his management of the class was rather poor. Assignments were never graded correctly and very few TAs seemed to care about teaching the course material properly. There would be several times when a student had the correct answer and approach to solving a problem but would get graded incorrectly. I think that through better management and more enthusiasm for the content, Cliff could easily become a great professor. He is young and has a lot of time to improve. Hopefully, the class will go much better next sem.
Cliff Bakalian
CMSC250

Expecting a B
Anonymous
05/16/2022
Pros: The class was entirely online and open note this semester so was not particularly difficult (stress load/work wise). His exams are more or less fair although a bit of a time crunch. Cons: This man is a genius in everything EXCEPT teaching. His lectures are straight from Justin’s Notes (which carried me through the course), but the way he explains everything so disinterestedly makes them so hard to watch. Plus, the examples he provides in lecture are not well explained and incomplete. Honestly I ended up just using Justin’s notes for most of the class and the only reason I watched his lectures were to make sure I was using the style he wanted for proofs. However, there was no point as he is EXTREMELY inconsistent in grading. I don’t know if it’s him or his TAs. He goes back in what he says about style numerous times and the only reason I’m even finishing with a B is the amount of regrade requests I submitted. Overall, the only positive about taking Cliff this semester compared to the other professor is that his class was online. I feel bad for whoever has him in coming semesters in person. I honestly don’t know how I would pass the class with his terrible teaching and inconsistent grading .
Cliff Bakalian
CMSC250

Expecting a B+
Anonymous
05/16/2022
I took Cliff in the Spring of 2022, and I probably have a totally different experience than everyone else. Cliff was a super flexible guy who cared a lot about his students, and he did try to set us up for success. I believe the downfall of the course was the disorganization and laziness of most TAs throughout the semester as the grading had a lot of errors for people with it being inconsistent as well (since everything was online). There were a lot of errors on assignments as well, which I hope Cliff is more cautious of next semester. However, i never really got affected by any of this and I really did enjoy and felt like I learned a lot in this class. Cliff offered tons of OH, and I know some cannot make it to OH, but i found it to be super helpful I could come anytime to OH whenever I had a question, and I would say all the in person TAs were super helpful this semester over the ones online. I will stand by my 5 star rating because I thoroughly enjoyed the class, I never had anything wrong happen for me, and Cliff (and all In person TAs) were super helpful to me this semester to learn discrete math. If you are willing to just get out of your bubble and try to use the resources Cliff gives you to the best of your ability, the class isnt too bad. Some materials that really helped me in the class was: The lecture slides, IN PERSON OH, Justins Notes, the recommended textbook, discussion slides and recordings from some TAs, and answer keys for every single assignment despite the errors. I think Cliff will do a better job next semester and will eventually shape how he wants to structure his class in an organized manner soon.
Cliff Bakalian
CMSC250

Expecting an A-
Anonymous
05/16/2022
Solid guy, seems pretty chill. However, his teaching and course organization abilities are frankly dismal. Most assignments have errors in them, adding to that there would be grading mistakes for almost everything. Lectures are boring and hard to follow. The pacing of the material is extremely poor, with some lectures covering seemingly nothing important and others leaving many students confused. The worst part of the class, however, are the TAs. It is obvious that the TAs don't care about the class whatsoever, the discussions are poorly led and the TAs often give contradictory information. To do well in the class, students are forced to constantly haggle for points on blatantly ignorant grading. The material should be easy to understand but being in Cliff's section made this class far more stressful and difficult than it had any right to be. The silver lining is that Cliff is a new teacher and should learn from his mistakes as he gets more experienced, oh, and he has cool hair... I guess.
Cliff Bakalian
CMSC250

Expecting a B
Anonymous
05/16/2022
Immaculate hair, but his TAs are quite disorganized and grade inconsistently from each other. His handwriting Isnt stellar so you have to pay extra attention to what he is saying and his lecturea overall arent too good for note taking since its almost all just examples, each being implement in a different manner. Regrades take ages and the autograder has had mistakes in almost every homework, 8/11 if im counting correctly.
Cliff Bakalian
CMSC250

Expecting an A
Anonymous
05/16/2022
CMSC250 with Cliff started off very well, but it ended with some noticeable flaws. This may be due to lack of teaching experience, miscommunication with the TAs, or some TAs slacking on their share of grading work. But PLEASE NOTE, I'm not considering class management in this review. Homework grading took a considerable amount of time, and there were often incorrect problems/solutions in exam practice problems. Whether this was Cliff's fault or the TA's, this was a major issue that stressed out many students and must be taken care of for future classes. Considering lectures, I thought Cliff was a solid instructor. Sure, some content could have been explained better, but Cliff made an effort and answered every question during or after lecture. I think the best way to prepare is to read Justin's 250 notes alongside regularly attending lecture. Other than doing the homework (yourself!), you should understand the general content. To me, lectures felt well paced and taught. Some content was boring, but well, it's 250. Just attend lectures and take notes and do your share of studying and you'll be fine. Exams were fair. Quizzes were fair. Got extra credit opportunities sometimes. Like others have said, Cliff is one of the most understanding instructors. If you approach him and explain your situation, he will accommodate. Super nice and chill guy. I genuinely think that in a few years Cliff will be a top-tier instructor. Hopefully 250 will not have these issues with grading/TAs moving forward. Side note: Cliff might keep exams/quizzes online moving forward. Don't cheat with others. Not worth the risk and 250 content is important in later courses. You'll get imposter syndrome if you do.
Mohammad Nayeem Teli
CMSC250

Expecting a C+
Anonymous
05/16/2022
Teli is strange. At the beginning of the semester, it seemed like he was a great professor, and that he and Cliff were keeping pace. However, it just got worse from there. The difficulty, quality, and wording of his assignments vary wildly (both in between assignments of the same type and assignments of different types). This made it extremely difficult to productively study for exams and quizzes because I'd never be quite sure how they would flow. Teli also fragments course information across 4 different platforms (ELMS, Piazza, Gradescope, and his own UMD web space), and not all of these platforms send notifications. For the platforms that do send notifications, it is so hard to keep track of them and I have felt like I'll receive them a long time from when they were relevant (I have definitely missed a regrade window because of this fact). Finally, the TAs all had their own slightly different ways of doing things and interpretation of assignments, which I can only assume comes from lack of communication. This made grading inconsistent with different rules being applied to different assignments. TLDR: Do not take CMSC250 with Teli unless it is your only choice.
Cliff Bakalian
CMSC250

Expecting an A-
Anonymous
05/15/2022
Cliff's 250 this semester was quite an experience that could (and should) have been much smoother. As already mentioned, his biggest flaws are much mismanagement (having no work graded until 1 week before the final, including the second exam, very little explanation as to why points are taken off and what is expected, hardly responding to emails). A decent portion of my grade lost would be from assignments that I was not able to send or resend in time from not having a printer which stifled numerous questions on quizzes and exams. Additionally, there were some times when he muddled up material, or said things incorrectly and didn't follow a set standard that TAs may have graded. However, given that Cliff is a relatively new professor, and was handling 2 huge CS courses this semester, it seemed he did try to put a good deal of effort in both courses. In addition, the hybrid structure of in person lectures and exams/quizzes being online was weird to adapt to and caused numerous issues, which is not Cliff's fault particularly. He definitely has a chance to grow and despite the problems, he did an alright job handling the teaching/lecturing he needed to do this semester.
Cliff Bakalian
CMSC250

Anonymous
05/15/2022
This class had the potential to be good. Cliff structured the course in a "hybrid" kind of way that was very understanding towards students—lectures were-in person but basically everything else was online and/or asynchronous. Homeworks were encouraged to be done collaboratively; quizzes and tests were open-note. Lectures are dull but not notably duller than any other 3-star CS professor I've had so far. Incredibly poor organization, however. Slow and inconsistent grading. Takes off points for style yet the lecture examples—Cliff handwrites proofs and screen shares—are a mess. I stopped showing up to discussion because my TA didn't seem to care about the content, and because what we were told in discussion didn't always line up with what we were told in lecture and/or what was expected on graded assignments. The proof style guide was helpful but only for the first few units, and then it was no longer maintained. Most of my learning in this course came from provided practice material, which was okay in the beginning but once we started getting to more word problems—proofs, statistics, combinatorics, etc.—hilariously poor quality. Hilarious because if someone just proofread the material once, 90% of the problems could be fixed. They're obviously copied and pasted from other sources—they'll be talking about pizzas one sentence and party hats the next, which isn't so bad until you try to check your work and they didn't even bother to change the answer key to match the new question at all. Answer keys are wrong or just plain irrelevant on a good chunk of the questions. Unclear phrasing and the questions can be interpreted many ways, which isn't great when they're expecting one solution. Ask three different people these questions and they're bound to interpret the question three different ways. I only grasped the combinatorics and statistics unit because of Justin's notes and through group studying in order to figure out what the question is really asking.
Cliff Bakalian
CMSC250

Expecting an A-
Anonymous
05/14/2022
Lectures might be a bit boring but all of the content you need to know for the exams is explained pretty well. Quizzes and tests were online and open-note for us which made them very stress-free.
Cliff Bakalian
CMSC250

Expecting an A
Anonymous
05/12/2022
Very disorganized class, grading was extremely poor, examples were convoluted, and it seemed that there was no consistent standard for how proofs should be written, as Cliff seemed to change his style at random between lectures. Would definitely recommend avoiding Cliff.
Cliff Bakalian
CMSC250

Anonymous
05/11/2022
While there were a few snags this semester, Cliff clearly cares about the class and is doing his best for his first-time teaching independently. At most, the late turnaround on assignments and errors in grading were inconveniences, and did not impact my understanding of the class at all. His lecturing style worked for me, and I always felt set up to complete all the assignments just from just the lectures. Most of all, Cliff is simply the most compassionate and understanding professor I've ever had. People here put that in as an aside, but if some roadblock suddenly emerges mid-semester, you will be very glad to have Cliff instead of a more apathetic professor. Overall, I think it is only fair that we give Cliff the same level of compassion that he extends to us. Given that it's his first time alone and he's clearly trying his best, I'm willing to let a few things slide.
Mohammad Nayeem Teli
CMSC250

Expecting an A
Anonymous
05/09/2022
Teli is a terrible professor. He doesn't teach us anything and the quizzes/HWs don't match up to what we're learning at all. However, I must concede that he is experienced and knows the content. The exams were also rather reasonable. Only take Teli if you have to. And if you do end up taking him, buckle up.
Cliff Bakalian
CMSC250

Expecting a C-
Justacoder
05/09/2022
TLDR: Nice dude, poor teacher Look I want to be fair. Cliff is a nice person and I feel like he understands what we go through. With that said I really felt hopeless at time during his class. I didn't really understand these concepts until I started reading Justin's notes. (I guess that's sort of my fault, if I had looked at the notes earlier maybe I would have done better) His lectures honestly jumped around a lot. When showing us steps he would sort of pull out solution from thin air. He didn't show us the intuition and the though process behind what he was doing. This lack of clear steps really frustrated me. Grading wasn't great. His examples in lecture don't go into enough details and so on exams and quiz's I would miss several points because of formatting or slightly different methods. The grading was also inconsistent at times. Several regrade request were sent.
Cliff Bakalian
CMSC250

Expecting a B+
Anonymous
05/08/2022
Cliff is nice and understanding but his teaching style is very subpar. He's constantly unorganized and doesn't respond to emails. Although he records lectures to post online, he is constantly late and posts the material needed for homework on the day it's due. It seems he doesn't understand how to take responsibility and maybe that's because this is his first class he is teaching without help, but over the course of the semester, I started to realize that he continues to fall below normal standards.
Cliff Bakalian
CMSC250

Expecting a B+
Anonymous
05/07/2022
Great person, horrible teacher. Every single paper or lecture has has a mistake, even answer keys and en exam. Don’t expect to get scores back for anything until 2 months after you submitted it. Cliff doesn’t look at Piazza doesn’t post lecture videos until weeks after you need it. Terribly run class but I believe he has potential ti be great, just not anytime soon.
Cliff Bakalian
CMSC250

Expecting an A-
Anonymous
05/07/2022
immaculate hair but terrible class management
Cliff Bakalian
CMSC250

Anonymous
05/07/2022
Cliff's class is the most awfully organized class I have every taken. Nothing is posted on time: lectures, grades, etc. Good person, but highly overrated as an instructor because he co-taught with Justin. All of his content is recycled from Justin's material, and it doesn't even feel worth going to lecture. His practice exam for the final consists of a copy paste of the Exam 1 and Exam 2 practice exams, with like two additional questions, even when he stated that over half the final would be on stuff after Exam 1 and Exam 2. Probably because this was all the content available from Justin. It's overall a horrible experience to constantly be frustrated with nothing being graded properly, posted on time, having no idea what your grade is, and feeling like you aren't set up to succeed in the class. I would not recommend taking Cliff if there is a better alternative.
Cliff Bakalian
CMSC250

Expecting a B+
Anonymous
05/06/2022
Honestly has the potential to be a great teacher but is completely unorganized and seems like he doesn't care. Grades for assignments are not released until 2 months later which does not help you for exams or homework at all.
Cliff Bakalian
CMSC250

Expecting an A
Anonymous
05/06/2022
Maybe the material just came quickly to me, but the organization of this class was a mess. I understand Cliff is young and stressed and new to teaching, but oh my Took about 2 months to get an exam graded, multiple questions were messed up. I am not joking when every single assignment/homework/quiz/exam he gave us had some sort of mistake on it. I have never seen a group of TA's who have cared less about what they're doing, and honestly, it was extremely insulting. Every single homework had an issue with grading, as well as quizzes and exams. I understand that this isn't Cliff's fault, but it felt like my future in CS was being determined by his TA's who must've had their eyes closed while grading any assignment. It honestly felt like the entire team gave up halfway through. With all that being said - He understands what he's doing. My guess is that he just needs time - AND NEW TA'S.
Cliff Bakalian
CMSC250

Expecting a C-
Anonymous
05/06/2022
Don't take him. Period.
Cliff Bakalian
CMSC250

Expecting a B-
Anonymous
05/06/2022
DO NOT TAKE CLIFF!!!! Confuses himself in lectures, illegible handwriting, speedruns lecture slides in monotone, doesnt post lecture slides for weeks, takes 3 MONTHS to grade EACH homework, and once it is graded there are mistakes everywhere with autograding and TAs. The previous ratings were when he co-taught with Justin so he had high ratings, but now that he is on his own, he is beyond awful. Perhaps the worst class and lecturer I ever had. If you are fine with not having half your homework, quizzes, and exams graded when you take your final exam and are fine with a disorganized monotone speedrunning professor with illegible handwriting then take this course.
Cliff Bakalian
CMSC250

Anonymous
05/06/2022
Cliff has good intentions but is far from being a good, or even an average instructor. This was his first semester teaching and the class has been a disaster. Mistakes on every assignment, weeks to grade, slow responses - overall a really frustrating experience. His class was the worst organized class I have ever taken.
Cliff Bakalian
CMSC250

Expecting a B
Anonymous
05/05/2022
Cliff doesn't know the material he is teaching and recommends us to use Justin's notes because he even confuses himself during lecture. He didn't post lectures until weeks after the material was covered in class and in those videos, usually posted after the homeworks were due for that material, he would correct himself about something he said during the in person lecture. He didn't hold his TAs to any standard and he was very behind in grading and we had to go into every quiz and exam without knowing the grades of the relevant work we turned in weeks prior. He told us at the start that he came from a philosophical background and not CS and it showed. He would trip up on his wording and sometimes would scrap half of the work he was writing because he was lost himself. I would try to avoid him in future years if he ends up teaching anything more than 250 because I can't deal with being taught by someone who acts like a student themselves and can't stay on top of their own responsibilities. I know this was his first semester teaching on his own but it was even worse than I thought it could have went.
Cliff Bakalian
CMSC250

Expecting a B
Anonymous
05/04/2022
Great guy, terrible teacher. Cliff cares about his students, but the structure of the class and lectures was god-awful. There was seemingly little communication between him and the TAs, leading to a lot of misunderstandings and extremely delayed grading. Lectures were either incredibly trivial and boring or very confusing. Lectures also often didn't prepare us fully for the homework or exams. The grading was super questionable for everything, and almost everyone I talked to in the class submitted multiple regrade requests throughout the semester. Mistakes on seemingly every homework assignment were only fixed several days after being released. I actually learned most of the content in Discussion thanks to my GOAT TA. Cliff bases his lectures and content off of Justin's notes, but often presents them in a more confusing manner. The previous positive reviews were from when he co-taught the course with Justin, so I guess it was drastically different than this semester, because the general consensus is that this class was a mess.
Cliff Bakalian
CMSC250

Expecting an A
Anonymous
04/29/2022
Cliff is a very understanding person, but he has very boring lectures, keeping me and others very disengaged. Handwriting is not good so it’s hard to follow, and when it comes to grading, there will either be a lot of mistakes or grades just won’t come out until a month after the assignment.
Cliff Bakalian
CMSC250

Anonymous
04/28/2022
Very boring and unorganized teacher. Don't expect anything graded for weeks.
Mohammad Nayeem Teli
CMSC250

Expecting a B+
Anonymous
04/28/2022
The best I can say about Teli is that he is a good guy and he really cares about his students. However, this is only the second time that he has taught 250 and it really shows. His course materials are at least half a decade old focusing on subjects none of the other 250 teachers teach anymore. Additionally, notes and materials from other teachers are useless since he sometimes just makes up his own proofs. Teli also doesn't provide any detailed notes or practice exam materials which is very frustrating. His lectures are difficult to follow skipping essential material and making substantial mistakes in all of his example problems. The worst part is that his test, quizzes, and homework are extremely difficult and is completely different from anything he teaches in class. His grading is brutal and the TA often grades incorrectly so it's important to request regrades. Overall, I hope Teli gets better as he gains more experience teaching this class, but I cannot recommend taking CMSC250 with Teli at this time.
Cliff Bakalian
CMSC250

Expecting an A
Anonymous
04/25/2022
Not very engaging as a teacher but gets the job done. Handwriting isn't the best so sometimes it's hard to follow, and examples in class aren't nearly as hard as the homework/exam questions. Class is unorganized as a whole, as documents and solutions always seem to have some typo or mistake. TA's are not that helpful and sometimes can't answer certain questions. Grading is very poor, as graders often make mistakes when grading and it takes very long for assignments to be graded. Regrade requests aren't looked at for a long time as well. Cliff is an understanding and nice guy, who keeps the students' best interests in mind, but there are definitely many things that can be improved.
Cliff Bakalian
CMSC250

Expecting an A-
Anonymous
04/25/2022
Hard HWS but can do with friends. Generous to students about quizzes and exams. Lectures start off slow, but speed up. Never got too fast tho.
Cliff Bakalian
CMSC250

Anonymous
04/14/2022
He does not respond to emails. TAs are as unresponsive as him. They mess up grading and answer keys.
Cliff Bakalian
CMSC250

Anonymous
04/10/2022
He does not read his emails, TAs are unresponsive. Assignments take forever to get graded and graded incorrectly a decent amount of times. Not great.
Jason Filippou
CMSC250

Expecting an A-
Anonymous
03/31/2022
Cringe professor. Tries too hard to be funny; has pointlessly stupid questions for quizzes that don't make any sense (i.e. one time there was an answer choice that says "Proof by Human Exahustion"), and for multiple choice questions you have to pick exactly all the write options and none of the incorrect options, or you will lose all points for said question, which makes no logical sense for someone who claims to be a "logician". Another time he said you have to answer 0 instead of "63 choose 64", even though they both equal 0 and are technically correct, simply because "63 choose 64" doesn't demostrate cRiTicAL tHinKInG. Choose him if you want to cringe for a semester.
Cliff Bakalian
CMSC250

Expecting an A
Anonymous
02/13/2022
Great hair and a good lecturer who likes legos.
Cliff Bakalian
CMSC250

Anonymous
01/22/2022
Lectures get a bit confusing at times, but he answers questions clearly. He’s also very understanding and really wants everyone to succeed. Would take this class again if he were teaching it, if the material itself wasn’t so confusing at the end o_o
Cliff Bakalian
CMSC250

Anonymous
01/21/2022
Cliff is amazing. 250 itself is hard but he made it as easy as possible to understand the material. 10/10 hair and 10/10 teaching.
Justin Wyss-Gallifent
CMSC250

Expecting an A
Anonymous
01/02/2022
Had Justin for MATH241 and used his notes for CMSC351 this past semester. He's the hardest working and probably best prof I think I've ever seen. Definitely take if you can.
Justin Wyss-Gallifent
CMSC250

Expecting an A+
Anonymous
12/27/2021
His rating speaks for itself. Take Justin if possible.
Justin Wyss-Gallifent
CMSC250

Expecting a B
Anonymous
12/26/2021
He is the GOAT! Take him at all cost!
Justin Wyss-Gallifent
CMSC250

Expecting a B
Anonymous
12/22/2021
Fantastic lecturer, makes concepts easy to understand and apply. His notes on his website are a life saver and are remarkably thorough. His exams were fair and straightforward if you were prepared, and the homework problems were extremely relevant to the exams. Greatly enjoyed taking this class with JWG; even if math is not quite your thing, pay attention and do the homework and you'll succeed. Highly recommend.
Cliff Bakalian
CMSC250

Anonymous
12/22/2021
First of all, his hair is amazing. Second, he is a really nice guy and he wants you to succeed. The co-taught with Justin WG this semester, and the exams were reasonable. Some of the homeworks were pretty difficult, but they are not impossible if you utilize office hours. I would recommend him!
Justin Wyss-Gallifent
CMSC250

Expecting an A
Anonymous
12/18/2021
Great lecturer, hard to pay attention at times with the 75 minute lectures but that's a personal problem. Only thing I can complain about is the absolutely atrocious organization of the course. Every released practice has at least 13 mistakes on the answer key, 50% of my homework had to be regraded because the TAs misread and marked my answers as incorrect when they were correct. Overall, probably one of the best lecturers out there but not great at organizing courses.
Justin Wyss-Gallifent
CMSC250

Expecting a B-
mewuzhere
12/16/2021
This probably doesn't need to be written again but Justin is one of the best at UMD. If you have the opportunity to take him, take him. Lectures were engaging and super organized. He provided all of the notes that he used for lectures. Exam expectations were very clear. Homework tracked well with the material in the lectures and was helped reinforce concepts. Everything was graded in a timely manner and everything was well communicated.
Cliff Bakalian
CMSC250

Anonymous
12/09/2021
Cliff teaches really well. He's young and relatable, his lectures are organized, and he does a great job of answering questions and clarifying on points of confusion. He seems like a nice person too. My only qualm would be with the class itself, which was that the homeworks often covered really complicated or difficult applications of what was covered during the lectures, especially towards the end of the semester.
Justin Wyss-Gallifent
CMSC250

Expecting an A
fiftyseven
12/09/2021
Amazing teacher. Super engaging and explains everything really well. He handles any student questions really well too, not only answering them but going into depth so everyone gets a better understanding. Uploads the notes for the class so you can see everything and review it. In addition, he has his own typed up LaTeX notes he uploads which are also really good. Workload is good too, just a weekly assignment. Would highly recommend.
Cliff Bakalian
CMSC250

Expecting a C
Anonymous
12/06/2021
Solid professor, super nice. Couple times had some confusing examples and lectures but super understanding with student concerns
Cliff Bakalian
CMSC250

Anonymous
11/30/2021
impeccable hair, 10/10 teacher
Cliff Bakalian
CMSC250

Anonymous
11/08/2021
Great guy
Jason Filippou
CMSC250

Expecting an A-
Anonymous
06/01/2021
Phenomenal course. The course was organized amazingly well. Major kudos to the whole team (Jason + TAs). You learn a lot and you get to practice weekly with homework and quiz to solidify your knowledge. Sadly, I don't think Jason will be back to teach again.
Jason Filippou
CMSC250

Expecting an A-
Anonymous
05/26/2021
Jason's a really good professor. Yes the class is difficult, but that's to be expected. If you're having trouble with concepts, talk to Jason or the TAs in office hours. Jason's easy to talk to and he always keep it real. He also released additional videos outside of lecture to help us understand concepts that we're struggling to pick up. In short Jason really did everything he could to ensure we had a smooth semester. Also quick shout-out to the TAs. They were all phenomenal.
Jason Filippou
CMSC250

Expecting a B-
Anonymous
05/25/2021
Difficult course, prepare to be challenged a lot. If you don't understand a concept fully, ask questions. If something doesn't click for you properly, it will not go well for you on exams. Jason is a fine teacher. He explains everything well though at times it can get a little bit confusing and wordy, discussions and homework were also really helpful to fully understand concepts. Jason tries to relate to his students a lot and he's sort of like the elder brother you never had. He definitely keeps it real with his students.
Jason Filippou
CMSC250

Expecting an A-
Anonymous
05/25/2021
Extremely well recommended. The course was difficult, and I definitely could have done so much better in the class in hindsight, but Jason did extremely well explaining concepts and taking time out to go through student questions and concerns and address them to the best of his ability. He and the TAs did an extremely good job helping us as students and doing their best to provide us a better experience in the course. Exams and quizzes were graded on time, we had a 24-hour window to submit exams which was extremely helpful, we had recordings of lectures and lecture slides available to us, and Jason created a spreadsheet complete with resources, discussion links, relevant textbook sections, etc. All in all, I had a pleasant experience with the course, and would recommend taking Jason as a professor. :)
Jason Filippou
CMSC250

Expecting a B-
Anonymous
05/25/2021
Pretty difficult course overall, but Jason explains things pretty well and is very receptive to student concerns. TAs are also awesome for this class. Exams are also very fair and were pretty generous, including a 24 hour submission window.
Jason Filippou
CMSC250

Expecting an A-
Anonymous
05/16/2021
One of my favorite professors now. The class is difficult and I definitely could have done better on the exams, but Jason explains everything so well. He and his TAs were always quick to respond to student concerns, and he made adjustments to the syllabus throughout the weeks to better accommodate everyone. He's easy to communicate with and he always gives a straightforward answer when you ask him questions in office hours. Overall I would recommend him to anyone trying to take the course.
Jason Filippou
CMSC250

Expecting a C+
Anonymous
05/04/2021
Say what you will about CMSC250 but I think Jason makes the course all the more enjoyable. The course is difficult (hence my grade, which is due in part to slacking off for the first exam) but Jason explains the material in multiple ways which is extremely helpful. Additionally, there are many resources that are available in the class that exist solely to make the life of students easier. He is a very sarcastic and frank individual, so if these characteristics in a professor don't bother you then Jason is a perfectly acceptable option for this course. Something I wish I had known earlier on was the GSS sessions and 1-on-1 tutor sessions available through the Iribe (ask your counselor). These became especially useful when office hours were full or you're someone who just needs more personalized help.
Jason Filippou
CMSC250

Anonymous
04/30/2021
Jason's lectures are amazing. He is very thorough with his explanations and examples, and he makes an effort to make his lectures engaging. His slides are very detailed. There is a lot of HW, but it is manageable if you don't start it on the last day and all of it really helps with the exams. He is very caring about his students and adjusts the course to fit his students' needs.
Jason Filippou
CMSC250

Expecting an A
Anonymous
04/29/2021
Jason is a great CMSC 250 teacher. He explains the concepts well and his lecture slides are very descriptive towards the process and logic behind every topic. Jason is very open to feedback and wants his students to succeed even providing extra credit opportunities and video announcements relating to the course. On the topic of Jason he is very down to earth and tries to connect with the students. It's always a good time in his lectures and I look foward to meeting him in person once fall opens up!
Jason Filippou
CMSC250

Expecting an A
Anonymous
03/01/2021
Anyone who thought Jason was a lousy professor was simply caught lacking. His lectures are great and the topics are explained well and the HW and exams are not that hard if you've paid attention to the lectures and done the practice problems in the textbook. Yeah if a majority of the class does badly on an exam or HW he will say "wow you all got rekt" or something like that, but it's all in good fun and very clearly not meant to be hurtful. I think y'all are just mad because he made you realize your late-night cram sessions aren't a good way to study and you lost sleep for no reason. Don't slander his name because you got caught lacking.
Justin Wyss-Gallifent
CMSC250

Expecting a B
Anonymous
02/08/2021
Justin was a lifesaver during Zoom U. He was very knowledgeable and taught everything clearly. He was very good at engaging with his s tudents during lecture and they could ask questions. 100% the best professor in the CS/Math dept.
Jason Filippou
CMSC250

Expecting a B
Anonymous
01/11/2021
Good lecturer, and explained the topics well, which are important to know. However, online transition was rough. Hard hws and exams, and send emails that berated us. He also downcurved our grades when clearly the opposite should have happened. However, he was getting a lot of abuse from jerk students in the past who felt entitled to a good grade no matter what, so it's not completely his fault; he just cracked. Future semesters should be smoother.
Jason Filippou
CMSC250

Expecting a P
Anonymous
01/03/2021
His name is actually Jason, I don't know why he has a different name here. He is a very passionate and caring lecturer, one of the few that you will come across. He is a millenial, so he will talk to you like a big brother. I took him in Spring 2019 when we went into online classes and thought that he did a great job of teaching. A lot of people had problems with his communication style and complained about him to the department but he was definitely worth my tuition unlike Dr.Yoon. I wouldn't sweat about his long e-mails etc. Take him, he is a great lecturer. His communication channels and methods can be confusing sometimes so that would be feedback to Jason from me. Jason, please keep your communication short and perhaps use piazza since campuswire wasn't any better.
William Gasarch
CMSC250

Expecting an A
abhimod
01/03/2021
Class was challenging but very doable and I learned a lot. The grading was very fair and lenient in a lot of cases. Office hours were very easy to go to.
Justin Wyss-Gallifent
CMSC250

Anonymous
12/29/2020
Even though it was his first time teaching this course, he was very knowledgable about the material and his lectures were very interesting and helped prepare us for exams.
Jason Filippou
CMSC250

Expecting a B+
Anonymous
12/22/2020
I took this course in Spring 2020 Pros: + It is extremely obvious that he is passionate about class content. lecture is never boring. + At the end of the day, he does care about student long term understanding and success. + Pretty funny at times. + Transparent about how he grades questions, and what the curve will be. + Lecture content is extremely digestable. + Is quite adaptable to extenuating circumstances. Cons: - Has made unprofessional announcements which increased everyone's stress levels (if you took the class when I did, you know what I am referring to). If he has problems with individual students, then he should email them individually. - Partial credit is sporadic, sparse, and brutal. On proofs, you can lose 5-7 points immediately for not explicitly stating certain statements. Likewise, some probability problems will cause you to lose 10 points for calculation mistakes, even if your work is correct. In his defense, you may know about these ahead of time, but it's still frustrating to lose a significant amount of points for little things.
Justin Wyss-Gallifent
CMSC250

Expecting an A-
Anonymous
12/22/2020
Very hard class but his explanations made them doable. Exams were timed, but not on Zoom.
David Sekora
CMSC250

Expecting an A
Anonymous
09/16/2020
I'll offer a differing opinion, as these reviews seem to skew negative. Course work was difficult but manageable. As the course was asynchronous, homework was often used as a way of developing understanding & building intuition. Quizzes were straight-forward (just checking that you understood/paid attention to the lecture). Exams were difficult but David gave ample time for each (24 hours for the first, 48 for the second, 72 (I think) for the final). David wrote interesting problems and explained concepts well. He was a bit overly reliant on slides, which, in my opinion, aren't conducive to a productive learning environment. Having said that, most piazza posts were answered quickly or at least by the next morning. Occasionally, answers were curt/dismissive (fairly, in my opinion), but, mostly, answers were in-depth and helpful. Additionally, David gave a ton of partial credit and dropped enough quizzes and homeworks to potentially curve substantially. If you are not good at self-learning, you may struggle. Be warned, however, that self-learning will only be further emphasized as you continue through college. Given all of this, I think David is a fine teacher and will only become better as he gains more experience. He clearly wants his students to do well. It may be difficult, but don't confused difficulty with malevolence.
David Sekora
CMSC250

Expecting an A
Anonymous
07/11/2020
You would think Sekora may be understanding as he is relatively young. But the class was very unorganized. With his method of updating slides for classes, there is absolutely no way to being able to keep track of the order. David also makes quizzes and exams much harder than what he goes over in class, and doesn't even bother to touch on problems that my give students an idea of how to apply them to other situations. He explains concepts, and sends us off expecting you to be able to handle any situation. He is terrible at writing problems as well, where he writes them in a way they could be interpreted several ways, where he would like a very specific answer which usually doesn't relate to any problems he does. Overall, trash teacher and do not sign up.
Jason Filippou
CMSC250

Expecting a B-
Anonymous
06/25/2020
Great professor. Always prepared for class and puts in so much effort into them. Did have some crazy things happen this semester but Jason honestly tried his best and students needed to cut him a little slack as it's been challenging all around. One of the most detailed and organized professors, I never was confused about what was going on. Sometimes he does make mistakes during lectures but he'll correct it if someone points it out. It was a hard class in general though, unless you pretty much already know what's going on. Grading can also hit hard too with grading proofs and stuff, but there are regrade requests. Acceptable workload and all the assignments were helpful for the exams. Really enjoyed his class and I appreciate him and his class a lot.
Jason Filippou
CMSC250

Expecting an A-
Anonymous
06/09/2020
This professor sent an email to his entire class of 250+ people saying ‘all lives matter’, more than 2 weeks after the course ended. This is in the midst of the nationwide civil unrest following the death of george floyd in 2020.
Jason Filippou
CMSC250

Expecting an A
kjmehta
05/17/2020
Really really good lecturer. Class was properly tough. Kinda scary though
Jason Filippou
CMSC250

Anonymous
05/11/2020
i'M a cOLLeGe sTuDeNt aNd i sTiLL eXpEcT eVeRyThiNg tO bE sPoOnfEd tO mE. bro pick up a book, hop on google, jason is a fine professor.
Jason Filippou
CMSC250

Expecting an A-
Anonymous
05/07/2020
Jason is a really nice professor. He is extremely approachable, he makes jokes in lectures, and his lectures are extremely thorough and easy to follow. He likes to break them up with a small check your understanding type question and does his best to walk around the classroom and answered questions. That being said this is not an easy course. This requires a lot of work and studying. His exams tend to be hard and such that if you mess up one question bad you look at a B. His grading is fair, and I never felt like I lost more points than I should have, but the class was challenging. It makes you think in a way most of us are unfamiliar with doing. If you go to office hours, he will do his absolute best to answer your questions, and I always left feeling better. GO TO DISCUSSIONS -- DISCUSSIONS ARE IMPORTANT they will go over practice problems exactly like the homework WHICH HELPS A LOT and they also will go over material Jason will not cover but expects you to know, or will reiterate material that was complex and confusing in lecture. The TAs are really helpful. The class is hard, but Jason is really nice. I highly recommend taking his class if you have to take this course.
Jason Filippou
CMSC250

Expecting an A
Anonymous
05/03/2020
Great guy who seems to truly care about his students. Interesting lectures
Jason Filippou
CMSC250

Expecting an A
Anonymous
04/27/2020
Jason is easily the best prof i've had here so far. PROS: - lectures are engaging and slides have extensive explanations (he goes at a good pace and occasionally stops to answer questions, has his TA's in the lecture so they can reach all the students w/ questions efficiently) - exams are very fair (95% is loose variations of problems from lecture/quizzes/HW, 5% is a challenge question) - jasons a solid guy -- pretty funny, caring, etc. (really wants to set up his students for success in 351 and other upper levels) - i personally like the math part of cs more than the programming & found the logic/proof aspect of the material in 250 very interesting, and jason presented it in a pretty clear way. CONS: - the grading with this class can be annoying occasionally, i remember losing 10-15 points on HW's for small mistakes here and there, but the TA's are solid with accepting regrade requests - his daily (or hourly lol) elms announcements can get annoying but thats really just because he doesn't want anyone to fall behind/forget about an assignment/exam
Donald Perlis
CMSC250

Expecting an A+
Anonymous
04/10/2020
Lectures can be pretty boring/dry, but the content is gone over well both in lecture and discussion. There is more than enough practice for the exams from the discussion sections even though he does not provide practice exams. Exams are pretty straight-forwards.
Jason Filippou
CMSC250

Expecting a C
Anonymous
12/21/2019
Fair professor but can be really unapproachable/rude with the way he responds to students' piazza posts and elms messages. There are pop worksheets (basically quizzes to make people attend lectures) that are graded on "participation" but are actually graded on accuracy. Sometimes he is nice and tells us when to expect a worksheet. He goes over fairly easy examples in class but the homework and worksheets are usually much harder so if you didn't take good notes or rewatched his lecture, you'll be very unlucky for the worksheet. He also curved DOWN the entire semester since people were doing pretty decent in the class but since students didn't too hot on the final, there ended up being a slight curve up. Main pro: records lectures and has great TAs Main con: expects you to know the material completely once it's taught (hence the timed worksheets the following lecture) and expects you to know confusing notation that was barely taught
Donald Perlis
CMSC250

Expecting an A
Anonymous
12/18/2019
Prof. Perlis was a great choice for CMSC250! Take his section if you can. The good: Lecture notes and discussion practice are thorough and updated frequently on ELMS - textbook not even required! Exams were fair in both difficulty and length, with averages around the department norm of 80. Of the homeworks (~2 per week), one easy ("A") and one hard ("B") version are dropped, and one midterm as well, if it benefits your final grade. Feedback is prompt, and Prof. Perlis is always willing to help you understand topics! The bad: Lectures can sometimes be a bit dry or repetitive - staying attentive can be difficult. "B" homeworks are quite a bit more challenging than the exams, and often require you to think outside the box to get full points. My advice: GO TO CLASS. Ask TAs for help in discussion! Start your homeworks (especially "B") homeworks early. Also, ignore the older reviews for this class - Prof. Perlis no longer assigns quizzes in discussion.
Donald Perlis
CMSC250

Anonymous
12/18/2019
This class made me enjoy mathematical reasoning. Perlis is not very strict on notation and is more concerned with the overall mathematical concepts, which is nice. I bought a textbook but never had to use it because his lecture notes are very detailed. His exams are almost entirely based off the homeworks, which makes studying for them easier. He's a nice guy too and gives a lot of info on what to expect on the exams.
Aditya Acharya
CMSC250

Anonymous
12/12/2019
Class was fun. Very mathematical and rigorous. Actually prepared me pretty well for 351. He posts lecture notes, which I feel are more helpful than slides that other instructors use. Homeworks and exams are hard but he curves generously. If you're looking for an easy time though, avoid him.
Aditya Acharya
CMSC250

Expecting an A
Anonymous
12/12/2019
Knows his material. Loved that the homeworks were challenging and collaboration was allowed. Had to put a lot of effort but personally learnt a lot
Aditya Acharya
CMSC250

Expecting an A-
Anonymous
12/11/2019
Great
Jason Filippou
CMSC250

Expecting a P
Anonymous
11/28/2019
Imagine being the reviewer beneath me, and criticizing Jason for making mistakes, but you being the one who made the mistakes. I could never.
Fawzi Emad
CMSC250

Expecting an A
Anonymous
11/27/2019
Fawzi is an amazing proffesor, one of the best in CMSC. He makes topics that could be really hard as easy as possible. Homework always fits well with the exams. Warning that he has a dry sense of humor so if you're not prepared for it you might think he's making fun of you. Hilarious and cares about his students.
Anthony Ostuni
CMSC250

Expecting an A
Anonymous
11/04/2019
Perfect!
Jason Filippou
CMSC250

Expecting an A+
Anonymous
10/30/2019
Easily one of the worst instructors I have ever had. Makes silly mistakes nearly every lecture and uses nonstandard terminology that makes no sense to mathematicians. For a discrete math class, I feel like the topics could have been introduced more rigorously with precise definitions and more formal proofs. This guy once said that "the rationals are closed under multiplication" and that "the derivative of a sequence is undefined, so it is zero everywhere," or something along those lines. Instances like these made me question if this guy was even qualified to teach a discrete math class. In fact, they should change the name to "introductory proof writing for computer scientists," or just allow the math department to teach the topics instead (in fact math310 covers more content in greater detail so it is a mystery why it does not exempt students from cmsc250). The quizzes that he has started doing in Fall 2019 are basically joke questions whose only purpose is to force students to attend his lectures. Also, the guy is super passive-aggressive and sends out ELMS announcements pretty much every day. One of the head TAs is extremely cringy, and although I would say he's overqualified for the role, he's super unprofessional and tries way too hard to be likable. Also, homework problems prepared by this TA in question often use ambiguous terminology such as "simple" or "new" that is never given a precise definition in class.
Aditya Acharya
CMSC250

Anonymous
07/14/2019
Taking him for CMSC250 in Summer 2019. He is a good instructor at what he teaches but I will never understand why he insists on making the homework feel like hell. I hate having to rely on going to office hours to understand it. It never makes me feel prepared for any kind of midterm; if anything, it only makes you feel worse. Additionally, he doesn't put in grades into ELMS, which makes it harder to calculate your own grade in the class (something that I don't understand either). This makes always ask questions about what the curve is going to be, and we don't have a generally good feeling about how we will do.
Clyde Kruskal
CMSC250

Expecting an A
Anonymous
05/29/2019
Kruskal made it clear he was not too excited to be teaching 250 this semester. He is a knowledgeable professor but during lecture he would often refuse to answer questions and would sometimes make students feel unintelligent. He was not very responsive to students' concerns and the class was not very well run. If you take him make sure you attend lecture because he purposely does not record lectures and there are often no slides posted (and if they are, all the examples are absent and say "do in class").
David Sekora
CMSC250

Expecting an A
Anonymous
05/29/2019
The class was very disorganized. There was a lack of slides and it was clear that TAs and professors did not communicate (TAs often did not know what we were learning in lecture), nor did the professors seem to communicate with each other. Some of the homework problems were ridiculously hard but for the most part TAs were fair in grading both homeworks and exams. The midterms were pretty fair and similar to the homeworks except for the occasional challenge question, but the final was much longer and harder than the midterms despite having the same amount of time to finish as the midterms, making it an unfair exam (average was less than 60%). It took a long time to get grades in and the class did not have much structure to it, although I know that this was Sekora's first time teaching 250. Sekora was an engaging lecturer despite my complaints with the way the class was run.
David Sekora
CMSC250

Expecting an A
Anonymous
05/11/2019
Terrible terrible teacher. Posts slides online but it is completely useless, any problems in the slides are marked "do in class". Teaches on the fly without clear formatting whatsoever. Waste of our time.
Junchi Chu
CMSC250

Expecting an A
Anonymous
05/02/2019
Honestly he's a great TA that clearly cares a lot about his students and their success. He made a review sheet for our exam when the prof didn't provide one, and attending discussion with him definitely boosted my final grade. Very understanding with any issues / conflicts students had.
Jason Filippou
CMSC250

Expecting an A-
zainbhaila
04/06/2019
Good lecturer. Exams were fair, but you need to study and stay on top of things.
Jason Filippou
CMSC250

Expecting a B
Anonymous
01/30/2019
Jason was a decent teacher and I liked his style of handwriting problems step by step during lecture. However, sometimes he could be unclear about the small details, such as how to write an inductive hypothesis for strong vs weak induction, and the TAs would have to clear that up during discussion. He also could get very defensive or annoyed if people asked a lot of questions during lecture, which was entertaining once in a while. The homework problems could be hard but go to office hours early in the week and some of the TAs were very helpful (I figured out early in the semester that some of the TAs were very confusing and explained things in a super complicated high-level way while other TAs explained the problems clearly so be careful which office hours you go to). A lot of the times Jason would make mistakes on the homework questions and then have to send out an announcement, that happened quite frequently throughout the semester so pay attention to your ELMS announcements. At the end of the semester Jason dropped our lowest homework grade which was a pleasant surprise because it wasn't in the syllabus and he didn't tell us until then he was going to do it. The two midterms were quite fair and very similar to the homeworks, so the best way to study was to go over the homework problems and then if you have more time go over class and discussion problems. I thought the final was much more difficult because a bulk of it was on a topic (countability) that we had learned at the very end of the semester and had only learned very briefly. I did the worst on the final but ended up getting a B in the class because Jason curved a decent amount (6-7%) considering I didn't think he would curve at all. In general for this class I would say keep on top of your studying and every week go over the problems from lecture and discussion. Ask a lot of questions in discussion and office hours (but be careful who you ask your questions to if you want a clear concise answer lol).
Jason Filippou
CMSC250

Expecting an A-
Anonymous
12/13/2018
Jason is disorganized and disrespectful. I would not recommend taking him. Also, don't even bother to go to class. He records all his lectures and even so you won't learn anything from them that you couldn't learn from reading the slides.
Clyde Kruskal
CMSC250

Expecting an A+
Anonymous
12/13/2018
Clyde's class is difficult. His homeworks are the same as Eastman's, but different from Jason's. I found that the "prep" and the self-study sheets that Jason would post around midterms or throughout the semester were very helpful if you did all the problems listed. Most of the exam problems look just like the ones on the practice midterms but expect a few curveballs. As an instructor, Clyde is objectively frustrating to follow. He'll take examples from the slides and change them so that if you don't pay close attention the whole time, you may end up lost. Asking questions in class is good. He won't demoralize you if you have the balls to ask a question, but if you try and answer a question that HE asks, and you get it even slightly wrong, he will not be forgiving. Just before Thanksgiving, he taught a lecture that was like an intro to algorithms, and there were only 15 of us in class that day (weather was bad and it was the day before break). I guessed the answer to one of his problems, and upon learning that I got it wrong, he followed it up with "I guess you really don't know anything." It's objectively a terrible teaching tactic, but the TA's will be a lot more helpful in giving constructive feedback during discussions or office hours. My tips for surviving the Clyde: 1. I definitely wouldn't have survived without this. Go to discussion. The TA's will go over problems more in-depth than he does and will answer your questions without ridicule. I personally never went to office hours but if that's your thing hey more power to you. 2. Do problems from the textbook to prepare for exams. I got a 78 on the first midterm when I didn't do this, and then a 98 on the second when I cracked open the book. 3. Look back at the homework to get an idea of the types of questions that can come up on exams. Oftentimes, midterm problems will be carbon copies of these with a few words or numbers changed. 4. Follow along during lecture on a laptop with the lecture slides. I found it helpful to get some notes a minute or two in advance of him covering it. Side note - Jason makes the slides and Clyde lectures on it, so that's why it seems like he's only reading it for the first time. Also, Clyde will sometimes skip over a lot of slides at once because he feels it's not important, but it can be helpful to get a couple more examples under your belt while he's rambling. 5. Try to keep your cool. Clyde is so frustrating, I can't stress this enough, but if you're taking his class, the best you can do is get your bearings and learn more in-depth on your own time (which honestly can be during lecture). I hated his class, but I'm taking 351 next semester with him because I'm a freshman and register last so wish me luck.
Donald Perlis
CMSC250

Expecting a B-
Anonymous
12/11/2018
I couldn't really understand what he was saying in lectures because he goes on so many tangents. I attended Jason Filippou's lectures instead, and quickly understood concepts better. Barely scraped by with a B-, though because 250 was tough for me as I was new to that style of math. Tough class, but interesting and insightful. I learned a lot, but I would recommend taking Filippou instead if given the chance.
Jason Filippou
CMSC250

Expecting an A
Anonymous
09/23/2018
I took 250 Fall 2017, my 1st semester of freshman year (no joke here). I thought he was a great teacher. The homework I recall could be difficult at times, but if you did them then you'd be ok. Even though my TA was terrriiibble, I still got an A. So I guess a mix of Jason + working hard. I'm taking 420 now and I have Jason again. It is lit
Clyde Kruskal
CMSC250

Anonymous
05/03/2018
If you can take Jason Filippou instead for CMSC250, you should. Kruskal knows the material and can teach it, but he always complains about his lack of interest in CMSC250 and even when he teaches, skips over steps. He thinks that everyone knows about certain things, so he'll just skip over things, but most people attending the lecture may not know what he is doing. However, he does like to joke around and have some fun, so his lectures can be interesting on occasion. Normally, I attend his lectures and then look at Jason's slides on ELMS, which are more in-depth and have better examples. If you have to take Kruskal due to the fit of your schedule, you will be fine, but I hope that he has regained excitement in teaching CMSC250.
Rohan Chandra
CMSC250

Anonymous
04/23/2018
One of the best TA's I've ever had. Rohan goes out of his way to help the students and I actually learned more from him than from the prof. He sends out useful practice resources before exams. Other than being very knowledgeable about the subject, he actually cared if we learned the material. I couldn't have succeeded in the class without him
Roger Eastman
CMSC250

Expecting a B+
Anonymous
04/11/2018
Nice guy. Gets a little frazzled during class and always read off the slides. Helpful in office hours but overall very average, not the worst
Jason Filippou
CMSC250

Expecting an A-
Anonymous
03/15/2018
Had him for 250 in Fall 2017 and he was great. Jason's homeworks can definitely be long, but they're straightforward if you pay attention in class or know how to search for information you don't know. Exams were also very fair. His exams always had a free bonus point question on topics unrelated to class as well. Overall, I would definitely recommend Jason for 250
Jason Filippou
CMSC250

Expecting a D
Anonymous
12/30/2017
I had the misfortune of taking Jason for CMSC250 in the Fall 16 semester. It was not a pleasant experience. We had quizzes in discussion every wednesday and it was on material we would review then and there and be tested on it immediately after. Not how I learn. His lecture slides were too...brogrammer like. He made "post lecture" quizzes every time after lecture due online 10 minutes before our next lecture. These were pretty stupid and I never did well on any of them. The homeworks were really hard and I could never do them on my own. I found myself in the TA room doing them every week which was really frustrating. As a lecturer he is very dull. Very technical and doesnt explain things very clearly. I had to rely on TA's a lot just to understand the whole point behind proofs and induction. And when it came time for combinatorics, I was eaten alive.... Jason is pretty immature. At the end of my semester, not only did he NOT CURVE but he sent out a message on ELMS where he defended himself for his lousy teaching and blaming it on what he called a "un sexy bowel decease". I understand he has become the only option for 250 and he apparently sounds better for 420, but if you have to take him for the former, I suggest you spend a lot of time studying with a group or become buddies with a TA. If you have other options, avoid Jason.
Jason Filippou
CMSC250

Expecting a B
Anonymous
12/15/2017
Jason is very knowledgeable in this course, it's just that the there's a lot of material and it's difficult
Sina Mirnejad
CMSC250

Expecting a C-
Anonymous
12/14/2017
Great! So enthusiastic about the material and he carries it over to teaching his students!
Andi Hopkins
CMSC250

lactaid
12/13/2017
Knows the material well. Really helpful and nice — would definitely recommend as a TA to anyone.
Larry Herman
CMSC250

Larry_Loves_All
01/18/2016
Fawzi Emad
CMSC250

Expecting a B
Anonymous
05/19/2015
Best professor in the Computer Science Department, and I don't think it can even be debated. I've taken him with both 131 and 250. Fawzi teaches every course with a genuine interest and enthusiasm that just makes you want to learn and grasp every concept. His ability to teach with clarity is absolutely amazing. In addition, he's always there to help if you have any difficulties with the material. His quizzes, homeworks, and exams are incredibly fair and with a good amount of studying, doing well in the class shouldn't be an issue. CMSC250 is traditionally known as one of the weedout courses, but with Fawzi it never seemed like one. If you ever get a chance to decide between Fawzi and another professor, you pick Fawzi, end of discussion.
Fawzi Emad
CMSC250

Expecting an A
Anonymous
05/15/2015
Fawzi is the best teacher I have had at UMD, if not the best teacher I've ever had. He knows the material very well, is actively interested in it, and loves to spark interest in others. His tests are not necessarily easy, but they are a very fair reflection of the course. The best part about Fawzi, though, is that he's just a really cool guy. He has a great balance of nerdy, intellectual habits and a perfectly normal personality. He's the type of person you'd want to have as an uncle.
Fawzi Emad
CMSC250

Expecting an A
lordwill753
05/06/2015
Fawzi was a really fun and engaging professor for 250. Although the material in the class is fairly difficult, he manages to make the material fun and engaging sometimes. He's actually funny, which is another plus since his jokes will probably wake up the class if they ever decided to doze off. Tests were pretty fair too, sticking to questions that were on quizzes. The homework assignments were challenging, but at the same time doable. Overall a great class for me, and I definitely would take Fawzi again if I could.
Evan Golub
CMSC250

Expecting a C
wonderful_wonton
05/18/2014
His lectures are good but he's very self-absorbed, biased and will passive aggressively undermine students he doesn't like. He wastes lecture time on repeatedly describing his past exploits catching proofing errors in other people's work, but then leaves core topics for TAs to teach in discussion. Too few exercises & worked problems overall. Pedantic, with heavy focus on empty formalism. He starves his course without adequate worked problems, especially since he places so much emphasis on extremely formal procedural steps. You often can't tell if you got points off because of some formal expression nicety you didn't follow or because your whole proof was wrong. It's difficult to learn well when you have only a couple of examples for each core topic to work off. If he didn't leave so much core teaching to his TAs, the discussion sections could be used for more exemplars and working of problems, but as it is there is inadequate work. He compensates for this all by having limited coverage of topics and never gets to graphs at all. All he really cares about (obsesses over) is formulaic formalism, it seems. Yet, he hands out a lot of A's simply because students who want to memorize off the few worked examples you get and the limited coverage his course provides can do well in his classes. The people who have it worst are those who want to do their own work (not get solutions from other people) and not memorize problem-solving. The average students who do well in his class are ones who band together and pool their resources to create a set of solved problems. What they are doing in effect is compensating for how he starves his course for worked problems and exercises. His personal biases and prejudices against individual students comes across strongly at times in the classroom, like when he snaps impatiently at a student he clearly thinks is a fool. Personality and appearance-wise, he's rather like that character in the Simpsons who runs the comic book store.
Jandelyn Plane
CMSC250

Anonymous
02/19/2013
I know this is late but I had her for 250 over the summer. I was a little scared because I've heard crazy mixed reviews, but there is nothing to be afraid of. She is very kind and helpful but most importantly she wants her students to succeed. She knows that the material can be confusing so she goes over it and makes sure the class understands before moving onto the next unit. What I really love about her is how approachable she is. She had set office hours but I sometimes showed up at her office randomly and she still was happy to help. She is really helpful about exam grading too. She will explain to you why you got the grade you did and will negotiate with you if you don't think you deserved it. There was one time I misread a question and would have lost a lot of points but I explained that to her and she let me rewrite my answer. She is overall a very understanding and caring professor. She made 250 a fun class (like we were doing puzzles rather than long boring proofs). I recommend her not only as a professor but also an adviser (you can ask her about anything!)
Clyde Kruskal
CMSC250

Expecting an A
zaqu413
12/22/2012
Lecture: Kruskal seemed to be a little out of his element this semester (Spring 2012). He supposedly never uses power point, but was forced to because Meesh said her class and his class had to keep up with each other. I didn't really learn much from the power point slides, most of the interesting tricks came when Kruskal would steer away and do one of his 'fun' problems. He was disorganized and late to every class. I honestly don't know how I learned during lecture, but I did. So I would suggest going to lecture (no pop quizzes or anything like that though). Homework: Assigned weekly, and very hard. I took MATH310 and MATH406 (A+ in both) already, and I thought this homework was very difficult. Quizzes: On Monday's during discussion. Usually pretty easy, just look over the slides. Exams: the midterms were long, I kind of finished them, but I didn't really get to check my answers. Final: He randomly gave us 2 hours and 7 minutes to finish the final. When I asked him why he just said "I have my reasons" which is the response he gives to just about everything... The exam itself was not that bad, I got a 90% but the class average was a 60%. It was only a little bit longer than the midterms, but it was harder. **Finally I would like to say that I considered testing out of this class, since I was a math major I could have probably passed the placement exam. But I wanted the free 4 credit A. Turns out this class is not a free 4 credit A no matter how much math you know. Kruskal makes the homeworks too hard for that. That being said I think that you should take this class rather than test out of it, I learned a lot of stuff (especially Induction stuff, which isn't covered very well by the math dept. but Kruskal did a extensive covering of induction). ---------------------------------------- ---------------------------------------- ---------------------------------------- ---------------------------------------- I also had Kruskal for 351: He did a much better job in 351 than he did in 250. I think he just wasn't really into the 250 stuff. In 351 his exams and HW were very hard, but he curves like crazy so don't worry about it (like a 60% = B for our class). This seems weird, but it is done because it is hard to test algorithms. The only thing I didn't like was that there was one midterm that was 40% of my grade, the final was 50% and homeworks were 1% each. On exams if you are asked to make-up an algorithm on the spot just make one that works and disregard efficiency, you get a lot of points for one that works. Efficiency will get you more points, but just move onto the next question and try for efficiency if you have more time at the end of the exam.
John Aloimonos
CMSC250

Expecting an A
Anonymous
09/23/2012
He admittedly does not cover the material he is supposed to, and whenever he does, it is always a very cursory overview whereas Fawdi Emad's section comprehensively went over all of the material, yet we were all given the same exams and quizzes, all written by Fawzi. Seems pretty unfair, eh? On the bright end, Yiannis is a very nice person who appreciates other people's input. He may not be the best professor, but thankfully this class is extremely easy to begin with and you can be fine by just teaching yourself everything from the textbook.
Clyde Kruskal
CMSC250

Expecting a B
Anonymous
05/01/2012
You have to work your butt off in this class because it is a hard class to begin with. But, to top it off, the professor doesn't teach well. Hopefully you have a good TA
Donald Perlis
CMSC250

Expecting an A
Anonymous
02/20/2012
Honestly, going to class is optional and so is reading the book. However, I hear the book is excellent in clearing up most of the topics covered. Also, find someone that has taken the class before because at some point they find out the textbook is available online... His exams are based on the homeworks and almost identical to the practice exams he puts online. I can't comment much on his teaching style because I never paid attention in class. But he posts notes up online if you need, I never used them. I never studied for this class. Understand the homeworks and you'll do well. I loved Perlis because the way he grades helps out everyone and does it in such a way that is beneficial for everyone. He has no need to curve but he might. I definitely recommend him. I will say that some of his classes are extremely boring and I learned nothing from them.
Michelle Hugue
CMSC250

Expecting a B+
Anonymous
01/26/2012
This class was one of the more boring/frustrating ones that I have taken here at UMD. It seemed like the curriculum we covered was just all over the place, and I didnt feel like I learned much at all from this class. The graduate teaching assistants for this class were not good at all; they didnt care very much about the students and were horrible at grading exams. A lot of people found 5-10 points worth of mistakes on each of the exams, in addition to the fact that many of the points awarded were subject to the grader's own opinion, rather than actually getting a right/wrong answer. As for Dr. Hugue, most of the stuff mentioned below is true. She is pretty crazy, which can make the class funny at times but will also annoy you to no end if you actually are confused about something and want to learn the material. In lecture it seemed as though she just went over random topics with no real sense of organization or purpose. I had to teach myself everything for the assignments and exams. She is a really nice person who will listen to you after class and respond promptly to email. If I had to choose over again Id take this class with Perlis, because I learned more from him the one time I was in his lecture than I did all year in Dr. Hugue's lecture.
Michelle Hugue
CMSC250

bigbabby
12/20/2011
Hugue...oh boy. I thought the subject matter of 250 was pretty boring to begin with, and Hugue didn't change my mind. Lectures start off with a TA teaching for the first few minutes, then Hugue going over slides mixed in with random stories about her life. Homework is easy, about 20 minutes a week, and quizzes are just as easy, as long as you've done the homework and stayed semi-conscious in lecture. Tests are okay, alot of partial credit, which is great if you mess up on a proof. Hugue isn't great but compared to the other professors I'd prefer her. From what I hear the other 250 professors are like Hugue minus the stories in lecture, and that's the only thing keeping me from falling into comas during lecture. Also, she's much nicer than the other professors. She wants the class to do well and promises to curve/give partial credit/etc. if it will help the class.
Fawzi Emad
CMSC250

Expecting an A+
rockinbassman
03/21/2011
Fawzi was a great teacher. Fawzi sets his expectations at a reasonable level and then expects you to meet them, unlike many teachers that expect WAY too much and then curve. Curves always seem to add more stress to the class than necessary. Fawzi always did a good job conveying his thoughts, and was also good at coming up with multiple ways to explain the same concept for people who were struggling. Fair exams too. Don't expect much of a curve, but you shouldn't need it since he's fair.
Donald Perlis
CMSC250

Expecting an A
Anonymous
02/15/2011
Easy class. Weekly quizzes and homeworks given, but mostly re-iterate simple topics. Grading in the class is set up to help immensely. Honestly, the material is not too difficult, so there isn't really much to say. Perlis' lectures are okay, but attending them is not actually necessary to understand the topics.
Donald Perlis
CMSC250

Expecting an A
Kristian Sooklal
12/23/2010
Perlis is a great professor to take CMSC250 with. Coming into this semester, I read ourumd.com's reviews and I was pessimistic about this course because of the low reviews and comparatively low GPA that Perlis had, but after taking this class I can assure you that Perlis is fair, if not even easy to take. His tests are fairly easy with a major recurring focus on induction, and his homeworks are pretty fair as long as you pay attention to details. The quizzes are extremely easy and are just attendance points. The curve is significant and he dropped the lowest 2 homeworks and 2 quizzes. Combined with the curve, this allows you to pretty much have an 85% and get an A. I'd definitely take 351 or whatever other classes he teaches in the future, because I enjoyed this class, learning about new mathematical concepts, and getting the A at the end.
John Aloimonos
CMSC250

Expecting an A+
xenonscreams
05/20/2010
He is the most accommodating person I've ever met. If you have a problem and you address it to him, he will absolutely help you out. He is completely engrossed in the success of his students. This is an extremely rare quality in a professor. There are only a few things holding me back from giving him five stars. Firstly, he goes on a lot of tangents. If you are the type of student who learns solely from lectures, it might be difficult since sometimes he does not cover all of the material. Secondly, he seems to have difficulty teaching the students who have difficulty grasping the concepts. If you really have trouble with theoretical math and logic, it might be best to take it with a different professor.
Donald Perlis
CMSC250

Expecting an A
Anonymous
12/28/2009
Perlis is a pretty good professor. He is extremely fair on every assignment, quiz, and exam in terms of what he asks and how he has the TA's grade it. He tries very hard to make the material interesting with his own little twists in how he presents the topics. However, the topics were fairly easy in general, especially if you come from a strong math background, so class can seem like a waste of time. Also, he mostly just presents stuff from the book, so you technically don't really need to go to class at all if you can just learn it from the book. Though this class, while being easy, will introduce you to some very interesting areas of math which I'm assuming will be covered in more detail in later classes. Overall, you've got a few very interesting topics, a pretty good professor who is at least very fair in grading, and not much hw (just one short assignment due each week), making this a decent class to take.
Donald Perlis
CMSC250

Expecting an A
Anonymous
12/24/2009
Coming from MATH, I can say 250 is an unique course. It takes elements from different math categories that you have either seen (As a math major) or will see (as a CS major). Some overlaps include elementary number theory (seen it if you took MATH406), counting (seen it if you took STAT400), and logical equivalences (CE majors probably have already seen truth tables and logical curcuits. Although, I was very familiar this class is not a walk in the park. Hence the overall GPA of the course. If you want to get a 4-credit A or B, take this class with no one other than Perlis. He has two methods: Method one: 15% quizzes, 15% homework, 20% midterm 1, 20% midterm 2, 30% final Method two: 15% quizzes, 15% homework, 30% best of two midterms, 40% final Your grade is determined based on the highest of the two methods and the curve. This class with Perlis is really convenient, especially if you are taking 212 or 313. I suggest taking this with Perlis if you are taking them, or take 250 and 212 or 313 separately.
Donald Perlis
CMSC250

Expecting a B
Anonymous
05/26/2009
This professor consistently confuses himself to the point where he wants to bang his own head on the wall and waste 25 minutes of our 80 minutes lecture time. His examples in class are completely irrelevant to the stuff on the quizzes and the final. The homeworks are challenging but if you memorize the examples solved in the book you will do fine. Final verdict: Because Perlis is incompetent at understanding the material himself, he is not the best professor to take this course with. It's like paying good tuition for someone who doesn't even know what he's talking about. Pick another professor.
John Aloimonos
CMSC250

Expecting an A
Anonymous
05/06/2009
Dr. Aloimonos is a great guy, good teacher, and interesting to listen to in lecture. Like some of the other reviews said, he covers the material really quickly and perhaps not in as much detail as they should be, but if you do the worksheets in discussion and/or study, you'll be fine. His lectures are good to go to because he covers a lot of stuff that other professors don't, and talks about philosophy and stuff sometimes (its always somewhat relevant though). He knows a lot, but if you don't want to study and don't already know some of the material, then maybe someone else would be better.
John Aloimonos
CMSC250

Expecting an A
Anonymous
03/20/2009
He is a great professor and a teacher. I mean he may not cover the subject material in any detail (u HAVE to read book to get stuff and practice for this class). But it is a fun class with him coz' he brings in so many higher level fun topics into the discussion. he is very knowledgeable and funny. recommended if u like logic math.
Donald Perlis
CMSC250

Expecting an A
Anonymous
01/12/2009
Perlis is an interesting guy, very frail. His lectures aren't difficult to follow, and his tests are ridiculously easy. I went to about 50% of lectures up until the first exam and got a 100 on it. I then did not attend one lecture for the rest of the semester, and still got a B+ on the final (left a lot blank, and did not review or study at all) and an A in the course. Sometimes he seems to get a little confused in class, but always answers any questions via email (which gets really annoying after a while, since he replies to the whole class). My recommendation is to attend all of the discussion sections, as this is where you will see what you really need to know.
Donald Perlis
CMSC250

Expecting an A
Anonymous
12/24/2008
Personally, I agree with some of the earlier complaints about Perlis confusing himself on some of his examples and problems, but he always corrects himself when he figures it out, by email if he can't in person. He also sends answers to any homework questions students ask him to the entire class listserv, which can be very helpful in figuring out the problems. The homeworks are hard, but considering that you have a week to do them and can ask questions about the assignments to the TAs (I personally had Peter Fontana, who I have to say made everything SO much easier) or Perlis in class or via email, they're not so bad. Quizzes are also hard, sometimes extremely so, but to compensate, he drops two of them at the end of the semester. He also drops two homeworks. As for exams, as long as you have a reasonable understanding of the material, they're quite easy. None of them are terribly long; a few large questions, a few short answers, a couple fill-in-the-blanks, and you're done. To make things even better, if you screw up terribly on one of the midterms, it gets dropped (though the other midterm and the final are made to count for more to compensate). All told, I found Perlis to be a very fair and nice teacher, which is a lot more than I can say for some others.
Donald Perlis
CMSC250

Expecting a C
Anonymous
12/23/2008
Dr. Perlis would post huge reviews online that were normally problems taken right out of the book and then changed a tiny bit... with a couple tricks. The range of grades in the class is very large. As any math major that is in the class will maintain an easy A, while pure CS students will struggle. The curve for our class was as follows: For each student grades were calculated as follows: Method 1: HWK 15%; QUIZZES 15%; TWO MIDTERMS 20% each; FINAL 30% Method 2: HWK 15%; QUIZZES 15%; MIDTERM (best of two) 30%; FINAL 40% The curve is as follows: A >= 85.6 B >= 76.0 C >= 58.5 D >= 47.7
Donald Perlis
CMSC250

Expecting a c
Anonymous
12/21/2008
this guy is the worst lecturer ever. he is all over the place, and has terrible handwriting. he insists on using markers that are half out on the dry erase board. you can tell that he knows what he is doing somewhere in his crazy little head, but he just cannot translate it into something other people will understand. the course itself is also rather dumb. most of it is spent formally proving intuitive things. ex. on the final, he gave a hint that 1+1=2.... okay this is all good and fun, but when it is graded off because you stopped your proof when things got that intuitive, someone needs to get shot.
Donald Perlis
CMSC250

Anonymous
12/18/2008
THE worst professor ive ever had. unorganized during class, VERY sloppy notes, quizzes are often not relevant to anything gone over in class. his explanations are terrible because he gets confused with his own problems a lot. halfway through a problem he will realize he made a mistake and go back through the entire problem. homeworks are mostly hard. in my opinion he might know what hes doing, hes just terrible at explaining it. also, he'll spend an entire lecture on the same topic doing the same 2 or 3 problems. a lot of the class is based on learning things from the book or online. BUT, there is a HUGE curve!!! A >= 85.6 B >= 76.0 C >= 58.5 D >= 47.7 it saved me from taking the class again!!!
Donald Perlis
CMSC250

Anonymous
10/16/2008
terrible, terrible professor!! is very unorganized, gives examples that make no sense, quizzes cover stuff not covered in lecture
Larry Herman
CMSC250

Anonymous
08/06/2008
I second that the guy is anal. You should avoid him as much as possible ...trust me , start planning your schedule from avoiding any of his classes ... You will regret the day you decided "Oh, well, this class fit into my schedule"
Larry Herman
CMSC250

Expecting a B
pluralfacade
05/17/2008
He was pretty good at teaching the material. However, appraoching him outside of class is out of the question. He just does not seem to want to help people, and even gets angry when you send him emails asking about the homework. Tests and quizzes were pretty fair though.
Clyde Kruskal
CMSC250

Expecting an A
Anonymous
04/22/2008
Heh, what can I say about Kruskal... first off, I had him for both CMSC250 and CMSC351. He seems very averse to doing work, and though he is very smart he rarely imparts this knowledge on students in a way that really impresses people. His lectures can be disjointed (he never has slides) and it can be hard to follow what he is doing, most of the class was not able to learn the material from the lectures. On the other hand, if he likes the material, I feel like he is able to teach something. And he seems to be really passionate about algorithms. So there is a silver lining - if you understand and follow what he does, you can learn.
Donald Perlis
CMSC250

Expecting a B
Anonymous
02/28/2008
I've never seen a professor baffled by his own sample problem until I took this class. Literally, he would give us a practice problem over the listserv and then be unable to solve it the next day. He was disorganized and invariably gave an inaccurate description of his exam material. For example, his "cumulative final" had a small section at the beginning pertaining to early course work and the remainder of the exam was based solely in the material of the last two lectures. The average on that exam was... distressing.
Larry Herman
CMSC250

Anonymous
02/13/2008
Herman is not a bad teacher; you will likely understand some material from lectures and take some solid knowledge away from the class. His tests were also quite fair in this class. He is, however, completely unapproachable before class, many times shrugs people off during office hours. He wouldn't even let me ask him if I could come to an earlier lecture session, because he was "too busy." He is also VERY partial to girls, often fawning and flirting.