Maria Cameron

14 reviews
Average rating: 1.79




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MATH246

Expecting a B
Anonymous 04/25/2014
Cameron was the worst teacher I've ever had. It was so hard to understand her during lecture since she had a heavy accent and didn't really explain the things she wrote on the board. I stopped going to Tuesday lectures and only came to the other lecture because she had weekly quizzes on this day. I had to learn everything from discussion, but 50 minutes a week is not enough to cover all the material taught in Diff Eq. Therefore, I had to teach myself a lot of the material, which is really hard considering the fact that quizzes were every week, and I had other things to do. She also assigned a LOT of Matlab projects, which were very difficult considering a lot of people had no prior experience with it. I actually wish I didn't look at the ourumd grade curve for Cameron so I could've taken a teacher that explains the material better. If you're taking Diff Eq, I recommend NOT taking Cameron. You won't learn anything in lecture and the weekly quizzes will wear down your grade unless you're willing to put in a lot of effort outside of class.
CMSC466

Expecting an A
dfarias 12/23/2013
She's a LOT better than people give her credit for. It can be difficult to understand her because of her accident, but that is where her faults end. She puts a tremendous amount of effort into the course: she is even willing to print your homework out for you if you email it to her, and lets you turn it in overnight. She gives very reasonable test problems: if you practice with her provided material, the tests are easy. She makes it a very reasonable class. If you cannot learn from her, read over the optional book instead. She goes over a lot of material, and makes you learn, while making it reasonable to learn. The only other thing is she has a LOT of homework. It can be pretty annoying, but you'll get through it.
MATH246

Expecting an A
Anonymous 12/11/2013
I seriously do not understand why everyone hates her so much. I mean, I can see why her teaching style (which involved rigorous theoretical proofs and only very complex examples) doesn't work for some people--especially those who aren't math majors--but this backlash is a tad strong. She has an accent. It's pretty darn understandable. If you can't deal with an accent, go elsewhere. Otherwise, it's not a big deal and it shouldn't affect your understanding of the material. If you're used to either writing down nothing or writing everything the professor writes, you need to reconsider. The material is complex enough that you can't get away with paying no attention (or not going to lecture because they don't like it). She also will do entire proofs which are not necessary for applying the concepts, but may help your understanding or come in handy in later proof-based classes. If you're smart, you'll know when to stop taking notes (around the time imaginary numbers show up) and just try to absorb it. The quizzes were quite difficult and I do think she should have lightened up on them a bit once the averages dropped significantly). The Matlabs were pretty hard, but such is the nature of Matlab for those who aren't fluent in it. I think they should be removed from the course entirely, but I don't think that's her decision. The exams were entirely fair. Nothing was unexpected. If you knew what you were doing, you would get a good grade. Sure, the averages were low, but getting that just means that what's considered good has shifted. It doesn't feel great to have an 85 and not know what is going to happen to your grade, but now I can tell you that an 85 is at least a solid A. The TAs were absolutely wonderful and complemented her theoretical style by giving step-by-step instructions. If you're into theoretical math and proofs, go ahead and take Cameron. You're going to have the stress of a low grade throughout the class, but know that it will be improved by a curve at the end. If you do well on the midterms or the final, you're golden.
MATH246

Anonymous 10/24/2013
They need to fire her. First of all she has a thick russian accent. Second the online book that levermore made is full of errors so when we want to check a solution to see if we got the right answer on the homework, literally half the time the solution is wrong. Learning nothing from lecture and not being able to trust the book is not a good way to learn diffiQ and I dont know why they think this method of teaching is acceptable. If we are paying all this money for college they should not have such low standards.
MATH246

Anonymous 06/10/2013
There were several issues with this class. The major ones: Time management. The first chapters were covered in 2-3 weeks, the last chapters were covered one per week (or more, if you include discussion). I imagine this will improve in future classes. The MATLAB assignments. This was barely covered in class and the book less than helpful. On one hand, they were graded EXTREMELY leniently. On the other hand, I'm pretty sure they did not in the least improve my MATLAB skills. She has an accent. Not much to say other than it's there. The pros: Examples. This professor did more step by step example problems than any other professor I have ever had. Everywhere around me people *****ed and moaned when a problem took two pages to write. But now I'm reading your reviews, and apparently skipping steps (after she had done several of one type of problem) is bad too? She is amazing in office hours. I felt like an idiot struggling with problems at home. When I went to see her, she explained them to me in five minutes. Overall the class consisted of tests, weekly quizzes based on hw problems (hw is not graded), and MATLAB projects (which in my section received full mark for submission). I went to lecture every day, took notes, did homework and studied for tests, and I got a B+. I put in a decent effort, a solid effort would have gotten me an A. As a side note - if any engineering student in Cameron's class thought she has bad handwriting - you are in for a rude awakening. Engineering professors are second only to doctors in bad penmanship.
MATH246

Expecting an A
Anonymous 05/29/2013
I feel bad for the lady looking at all of these reviews, she was so nice to everyone. I wish she had more command over the classroom, it was a very noisy lecture. Everyone is giving terrible reviews because they couldn't keep up with her lecture. She structured her class badly because her lecture was always at least a section ahead of the homework. I think if people kept up they would have found that she was a decent lecturer. I couldn't keep up, so I just learned from Levermore's notes that are on his website. I did a little above the class average on everything, but absolutely crushed the final, so she just gave me an A in the class. She ended up grading the last 3 matlabs for completion, so there's that. Overall, not the end of the world if you take her.
MATH246

Expecting a C
Anonymous 05/17/2013
She is just terrible. I remember the first day of class a substitute came in and taught for us and I thought to myself diff eq ain't bad as all of my friends and advisor had told me. The following week when Cameron finally showed up I knew the moment she opened her mouth that I couldn't understand what she was saying. Her handwriting is so atrocious and she tends to skip steps to cut off time but leaves us confused. Anytime someone asks a question she answers in a way no one can decipher. After a week of this nonsense I just skipped lecture and learned off the book. The quizzes were similar to our homework at first but then she drifted off to just things she made up. I went to scoring an average of 8/10 at first to around 3/10 by the end of the semester. It wasn't just me as I saw my friend and fellow classmates go down this way. Matlab was too hard for this class. The matlab questions for this class requires you to know a large amount of knowledge about matlab beforehand. I have only been acquainted with the copy and paste method I have learned in MATH241. If you do the matlab projects alone, you are gonna have a bad time. The tests that she give out are not hard and I even found out the test comes from another professor. There is matlab involved and she does not cover well most of the questions that are on the tests. Then again, she doesn't cover most things well. The TA for this class will make or break your experience. Luckily, I had Hana Ueda who dissected the topics Cameron will talk about for the following lecture into steps to solve. The math discussion basically became my lecture time. Other than the book and the internet, I learned diff eq from my TA. For anyone that is looking into taking this class, take my advice. Read the book, find an online homework help source, attend all the discussions if your TA is good, skip all lecture except the last 20 minutes on thursday since she gives out quizzes at the end of class, and form a matlab group! If you do all of the steps you will definitely get at least a C like I did. Lecture is definitely a waste of time when you can actually learn Diff Eq off the book.
MATH246

Expecting a B
Anonymous 05/15/2013
Here is MY problem with this professor. I went to class, read the book, beat the curve on nearly all the quizzes and all but one test (the one test i barely missed the curve), and I still got a C in the class. I can't argue that my raw grade in the class was a literal 70%, because thats what it was from a strict (points earned)/(points possible) standpoint. Lets first establish that diff eq is a hard class, there's no two ways about that (not sure what the person below me is talking about...). Due to this fact, I expected to come out with a B, because teachers typically curve the class by giving the majority of the students C+ or B-. However..... If I beat the curve on most assignments and got a C (so lets say that pulls me from 70% to 75%) what happned to the rest of the class? Did you SERIOUSLY pass half of the class and fail the other half? I personally thought she was bad at lecturing, and if she didn't put you to sleep then she just confused the daylights out of you. Questions usually went unaddressed, and even when she did finally see someone with their hand up she always managed to make everyones comprehension worse. She has a thick (Russian I believe?) accent and its hard to understand her sometimes, her handwriting isn't great. I even went to her office hours a couple times, and just stopped going because she was never of any help. So.... if for scheduling reasons, or some other circumstances you are forced to take this professor (I feel for you, by the way) then here's what I believe helped me survive and things I probably could have done better : 1) Whenever she gives out quizzes, they are usually based on homework. If you are doing homework and think "oh this problem is insane, she wouldn't give us that" then you've just found the quiz question. 2)The TA's are remarkable. They will be your only lifeboat in this class, and typically you'll only get once a week discussion where they are forced to cover excessive amounts of material in a short amount of time, but they are good at it and will get it done. Go to discussion and TA office hours for questions, it is vital to your survival. Don't take her. Please. It's GPA poison. I learned all the material, scored above average, and I still got screwed. I'm more in shock that she did this as opposed to upset
MATH462

Anonymous 05/15/2013
I'm sure she is a nice lady but it’s really hard to follow her lecture. It's not just her accent. She teaches undergraduates like she teaches graduate students. I'm sure more than half of the class stopped listening to her after few weeks. I had to rely on my TA for everything. There is a quiz every week and she said they are from book problems but I've never seen anyone getting a perfect score on it. I studied hard every week and the highest score I've ever gotten was an 8 out of 10. There are two exams, the first one was a joke the average was like 83% but the second was 63%, and the final was 67% There are 5 matlab projects and they are brutal. This was my first time dealing with matlab and I expected her to teach us something but she never did. I had to learn everything from the book. She graded the first two projects but she never even bothered to grade the other 3. Final grades are in so I guess they are just not graded even though I spent so much time doing them. I agree with everyone else here. I don't recommend her but if you have to take her, never miss discussion.
MATH246

Expecting a B
Anonymous 05/14/2013
Cameron did a terrible job of managing this class. I understand that this is the first time she has taught this course, but she could have done a much better job on many levels. She spent the majority of the semester going over the first three chapters (which contain the easiest material covered in the course) and did the last three chapters in the last 3-4 weeks of the semester. My roommate took a different professor for this class and he was having tests on material that our class hadn't even covered yet in lecture. Considering the fact that our class was learning the last chapter less that a week before the final really put our class at a disadvantage compared to the other sections. Her classroom lectures mostly consisted of copying the lectures that Prof. Levermore posted online. The tests and quizzes were also very similar to the ones posted on Levermore's site. She even assigned the exact Matlab projects that he posted. If you are severely unfortunate and get stuck with Cameron as a teacher, just google 'umd math246 levermore' to find all of Levermore's material. Besides the fact that she sounds like the Count from Sesame Street, her teaching style is awful. Even if you focus really hard to understand what she is saying, it is impossible to keep up with her lecture. She consistently skips essential steps in problems that makes it extremely difficult for anybody to understand how the problems are being done. For example: When learning about linear systems, she would routinely skip the steps when you have to multiply matrices together or do other matrix related functions. So unless you have taken linear algebra you would have no idea how she got the answer. Class attendance was a joke. After the first two weeks a large majority of people stopped going to class with an exception to the weekly quizzes, with the averages being around 40-50%. Take another MATH246 teacher. If this is not an option for you, skip class and use your time to teach yourself this course, because it will help you more than actually going her lectures.
MATH246

Expecting an A-
UMDStudent2 05/12/2013
She is really bad at lecturing. Lectures are rarely helpful, so you will be learning most of the material in discussion and on your own. Her weekly quizzes are moderately difficult. They are not impossible but are difficult given that you only have 10 minutes to complete them at the end of class. Her exams were reasonable, and she does curve them (unfortunately this includes curving DOWN). Overall, I would NOT recommend this professor. If you have to choose between her and Lipsman, I would go with Lipsman because he is the better lecturer.
MATH246

Expecting an A
Anonymous 05/09/2013
I wish I could give this teacher negative stars. When I say I expect an A, I mean I taught my self everything and understand all the material, and can do all the book problems, but the quizzes are literally impossible. She picks the most ridiculous questions from each chapter and adds another part that makes it 10 times as hard. Not only are the quizzes impossible, but she is a terrible professor. I stopped going to class after the first couple weeks, except to take the quizzes because she writes things on he board that make 0 sense, doesn't explain them, and then erases them. When she works out problems she skips 3 steps at a time and says "hence" like we are all supposed to know the methods before going to class and shes reviewing it to us. She barely speaks English and it took her more then half the semester just to tell the class a proper grade distribution and she doesn't grade the Matlabs at all so i have no idea if all the work i put in is necessary. The 50 percent A's is such bull shit, I know no one with above a 75% in this class. I hope she gets fired. With that being said Dif Eq is probably the easiest of all math classes so if you can teach yourself and don't mind ridiculous quizzes then she is the professor for you.
MATH246

Expecting a B
Anonymous 05/08/2013
By far the worst teacher I have ever had. Her Syllabus was constantly changed 2 weeks into the class because she had forgotten to take account for things. Her handwriting is god awful and the notations she uses confuse people to no end. I know this is her first time teaching this course but there is no excuse for the confusion her course brought me. I agree with the person who says that they regret taking her and would never reccomend her for any class.
AMSC466

Anonymous 04/04/2013
I'm not going to say she is awful, I am just going to present my case. We had three grades in her class: homework, midterm, final. The average for the midterm was around 62%. The first couple of homeworks were fine, but then she gave us crazy computational stuff and if you would get it wrong and ask for solutions, she would say please see me. I never went to see her because then I'd have a question about all the things I got wrong because I didn't understand them. Her lectures are basically a recitation of the book. BUT she chose the strangest book. I've never seen a textbook like this. She also lectures off of her own notes on Linear Algebra where she uses completely strange notation. And then does not even explain the notation. I can't believe she is teaching again next fall, and I would not take her again. I regret taking her every day.