Reviews for CMSC433

Information Review
Liyi Li
CMSC433

Expecting a C
Anonymous
11/23/2022
Please Please Please stay away from this professor. He makes the courses harder than it should be. TA's are not helpful because they don't even know it themselves. The professor doesn't help you either. You literally are left alone to die. Only take this course if you want to test hell.
Liyi Li
CMSC433

Expecting a B+
Anonymous
11/09/2022
PROS: - course content is not difficult; the sheer amount of assignments is what makes the class difficult - Professor Li is VERY responsive on Piazza. Between the professor and the TAs, posts usually don't sit unanswered for more than a few hours. Same goes on weekends too, though maybe a longer response time - Lectures are recorded and are posted to elms with the slides - online + open notes exams CONS: - Each week you'll either have 2 or 3 things due or nothing due. If there's nothing due one week there's a big project due the following week. - Your learning will come from the TAs office hours and learning on your own because the lectures provide little to no educational value. - His accent makes things impossible to understand. Doesn't apply to project descriptions though because he took them from Dr. Mamat. - Concurrency is only a small fraction of the course, but there are some other interesting concepts - Course is pretty unorganized - Straight up doesn't understand some of the concepts himself. There have been a few times where he answer questions in lecture/on piazza with "I don't know".
Liyi Li
CMSC433

Expecting a C
Anonymous
05/18/2022
Very difficult professor to understand in class. Condescending when students reach out for help. to quote liyi "Just finish it today. It is very easy. Even easier than I thought."
Liyi Li
CMSC433

Expecting an A
Anonymous
05/17/2022
If you think Kruskal was bad, this man is worse. There is no help in this class, and on top of that there are no online resources. The only way to pass is to bug the TAs for answers
Anwar Mamat
CMSC433

Expecting an A+
Anonymous
12/23/2021
Second class with Anwar and he's a great professor. His exams are pretty easy for the most part since he emphasizes more on projects (which I 100% agree with). The projects in the class range from extremely easy (Hadoop and MPI) to challenging (Akka), but they're all good skills to know. I didn't attend lecture live as he uploaded the recording, and he does fly through the material, but the slides and GitHub repository provide enough examples to help you understand the material.
Anwar Mamat
CMSC433

Expecting a C
Anonymous
10/10/2021
Not great lecturing style IMO. Lots of "you know?" "this stuff" "this thing" "this stuff is tricky" "just read the JavaDoc". Little motivational content to introduce concepts, which I've always found very useful in CMSC. Absolutely flies through examples without prefacing them well. Much prefer Dr. Hicks or even Prof. Herman hyper-explicit lecturing style and projects. Projects are open-ended and almost guaranteed to be 75% or more secret tests. TAs are exceptional but projects will still take 15-30 hours for average student, which was hell for someone balancing career responsibilities and other CMSC4xx classes as well. Midterms were fair and lecture slides were good. Main complaints are lecturing style and project difficulty/disconnect from lecture material/lack of direction given in description. Do not let this review discourage you from taking 433 with Anwar if you enjoy his style or are simply... well... smarter than me. Anwar is cool but the class just did not resonate with me. I've heard he's pretty good for 330 though.
Anwar Mamat
CMSC433

Expecting an A
Anonymous
05/18/2021
Pretty good 400 class overall. I don't think Anwar is a good lecturer, but he's pretty accommodating by making clicker questions fairly easy and worth 5% of the final grade to redistribute from exams. Some projects were tough (akka), especially due a high amount of the grade being secret tests, but others were fine. Make sure you put time into them, since they're worth a lot, and if you do you should be able to get a good grade. I thought the midterm and the final were fine, since I found them to be somewhat modeled after old exams. Also, TAs were great; they were really responsive on Piazza (much more than other 400s) and helpful for office hours. Great slides, and the material itself is also quite useful. Thus, if Anwar is teaching this class, I'd recommend taking it with him.
Anwar Mamat
CMSC433

Expecting a B+
Anonymous
05/12/2021
Anwar is fine. He explains the material decent enough in lecture, but he moves so fast! It's really hard to keep up with him during lectures. Also, the exams for CMSC433 are kind of really hard. I aced every single project but I couldn't for the life of me manage better than a 71 on the midterm. I don't expect to do much better on the final. All in all, Anwar is just okay. Not the worst CMSC professor I've ever had but certainly far from the best.
Anwar Mamat
CMSC433

Expecting a B
Anonymous
01/12/2021
Good professor that knows the material well. Mostly reads off slides but gives alot of examples which helped alot. TAs are very good and office hours provided alot of help on projects. Projects are standard and should be started when they are assigned.
Anwar Mamat
CMSC433

Expecting a B
josfeldmann
12/18/2019
I had Anwar for 433 and 330. He knows how to run a course well, curves fairly, and is generally pretty responsive to student concerns. I think he is a good standard that other UMD CS professors should hold themselves to. His slides are pretty good and his tests are fair.
Linda Yeung
CMSC433

Expecting a B+
Anonymous
11/09/2019
She's a bit hard to approach at first, but once you get to know her, she is excellent at explaining threading concepts. I hated threading from CMSC132, but she condensed it down to simpler terms for me to understand. Definitely recommend going to her!
Anwar Mamat
CMSC433

Expecting a B+
Anonymous
12/20/2018
Funny stories, nice guy. Class grades are pretty fair. Projects are kinda butt, and clicker questions suck, lectures are mediocre. I also hate slide trivia exams (which is what he gives)
Anwar Mamat
CMSC433

Expecting an A
Anonymous
05/14/2018
I like anwar and he keeps class fun but the material is just kinda boring so it is hard to pay attention sometimes. The class feels like just memorizing a bunch of java libraries used for multi threading. Easy Class though and projects are not too bad.
Adam Porter
CMSC433

Expecting an A
kballsler
05/03/2012
Awesome professor. Knows the material extremely well and very effective at teaching concepts. He becomes disappointed when less than half the class shows up after the first midterm. Make sure you ask questions in class for him to remain engaged in explaining the examples. Projects are difficult and time consuming. The section with Yeh had OPEN note/book/internet/anything midterms, which were held on google docs. Their class average was an 89, which is understandable since everyone gets 100% on his two midterms (worth 30% total). Take it with Yeh if you want to loaf around and still be able to pass. Take it with Porter if you want to learn concurrency and mapreduce.
Michael Hicks
CMSC433

Expecting an A
collegeguy752
04/28/2011
Great professor, excellent teaching style and attitude. Very helpful with in class examples and study guides for exams.
Michael Hicks
CMSC433

Expecting an A
Anonymous
01/02/2011
Hicks is a nice person and a very reasonable professor who knows his stuff.
William Pugh
CMSC433

Expecting an A
random
06/08/2010
Bill Pugh is one of the most famous (professionally) professors in CS dept. And he clearly knows his stuff very well. Unfortunately, you are not going to get much of it unless you make special efforts. He designed 433 in a slightly different way than described in the catalog; it was heavy on concurrent programming and we did very little on design patterns. I learned a lot in this course, but it was mostly by reading his slides and doing projects (one every week, and great fun). He isn't a very good grader; partial credit is hard to come by. Despite the fact that he is so knowledgeable, he won't make efforts to ensure students understand what he is talking about. He just reads through his slides and considers his job done. I would take this class with someone else if I can. But Pugh ain't that bad either.
Adam Porter
CMSC433

mkuenzie
11/12/2009
Porter is a pretty cool guy. The projects are kind of difficult, if only because his project descriptions are vague. Make good use of the forum because he answers questions there frequently. Exam(s) aren't too bad if you study.
Adam Porter
CMSC433

Expecting an A
hcnguyen88
12/29/2008
Reasonable teacher: The projects can be quite hard (though not impossible) and all the submit server tests are secret. Exams are fair and graded fairly. Lectures are boring -- Porter seemed to have lost interest in the material after the midterm because students had stopped coming to class. Just try a little harder and you'll get an A/B