Michel Cukier

This professor has taught: CMSC798, ENME392, ENME442, ENPM686, ENPM808E, ENRE684, HACS100, HACS102, HACS200, HACS202, HACS279, HACS287, HACS298, HACS318A, HACS498
Information Review
Michel Cukier
HACS200

Expecting an A
Anonymous
01/03/2023
Cukier has way too high expectations. He expects all students to come in with an understanding of statistics as if that's a prerequisite for this course (which it's not at all). He complained about the way we did our statistics despite not actually teaching us anything. Thankfully it didn't end up impacting our grade, but it made the course unbearable entirely. We had to repeatedly explain our entire research project every time we spoke with him and it required multiple people explaining it each time before he understood. Literally a waste of time.
Michel Cukier
ENME392

Expecting a C
Anonymous
01/03/2023
This guy really does not know what is going on in this course. He is a terrible professor, and people rarely go to his class just because you can't learn anything in this class. Finding a good study group or using the textbook is much more helpful.
Michel Cukier
ENME392

Expecting a C
Anonymous
12/28/2022
Cukier really wants to be a good professor, but he can't seem to do anything right. He makes mistakes in lectures, gets confused whenever he is asked a question, and has no confidence in his own teaching style. The homework for this class is absurdly difficult and requires you to do complicated things in matlab despite them not teaching a single thing about how to do things in matlab and the matlab class not even being a prerequisite. I wish the ENME department would get rid of this course and just require STAT400 instead.
Michel Cukier
ENME392

Expecting an A
Anonymous
12/20/2022
This is a terrible and awful professor. Don't take any class with him, that's a waste of time and money. Lazy and doesn't know what he is doing. University should not allow him to teach
Michel Cukier
ENME392

Expecting an A
Anonymous
12/19/2022
A terrible terrible terrible teacher, does not teach class at all. Taking class with him is just a waste of time and money.
Michel Cukier
HACS100

Expecting an A
Anonymous
12/18/2022
He does not actually teach this class - everything he is supposed to be teaching is taught through asynchronous videos that don't cover everything you need to know to complete the assignments. The person in the videos isn't even him - it is another professor that you never meet.
Michel Cukier
HACS100

Expecting an A
Anonymous
12/15/2022
He doesn't actually teach this class, he just takes credit for it
Michel Cukier
ENME392

Expecting a B
Anonymous
05/27/2022
A genuinely awful professor. I seriously have no idea how he is allowed to teach. He has no idea what is going on half the time. He teaches the course so that you are forced to utilize Matlab, but he never teaches you how to use Matlab. He does not even know himself how to use Matlab. His office hours are useless. He does not know how to answer any sort of question unless it is a question that he has an answer key for. The exams are at least pretty easy. The homework rely on Matlab. but even the TA's do not know hot to grade them properly. We did not know any of our homework grades for a large chunk of the semester. He uses the tiny whiteboard in the class to write notes on, but all his notes are irrelevant and useless because they are all already on the screen. Avoid this guy if possible.
Michel Cukier
ENME442

Expecting a B-
Anonymous
12/15/2021
This class is abysmal. He sold it as one thing in the beginning of the semester and the class ended up being totally different to how he described it. We had to use security tools for our homework and he never mentioned how to use them once during the entire course. I literally had to Youtube how to do every homework assignment and some of them took way longer than they should have just trying to figure out how to use them. He spent every lecture talking about nonsense for the first 20 minutes at least and when he was teaching his lecture slides were harder to decipher than hieroglyphics. His tests are dumb and usually had barely anything to do with what we learned in class. A trainwreck is a generous description of this abomination of a class. If you need any more convincing, he literally spent half of one lecture talking about how one of his former students who works in IT emailed him and roasted him because his class is not useful for learning about information security at all. I put in so much effort into this course and still feel like I’ve barely learned anything useful. It’s a god damn shame because I like the subject material and find informaton security interesting, but this class made me question why I’m paying for a college education. Avoid this class and this professor like the plague, at least for your own sanity!
Michel Cukier
ENME442

Anonymous
12/15/2021
Everything everyone has said about Cukier is true. He is not the professor to take for any class. I don't care if you really want to take the class, I promise he will ruin it for you. He doesn't lecture well. His notes are useless to follow. He doesn't give clear expectations on assignments and then grades with scrutiny. He doesn't provide rubrics. It took him an entire semester to grade our midterms. We received our 1st midterm grade after we already took the 2nd midterm. The 2nd midterm had repeat content from the first so I got it wrong twice not knowing my error until I spoke to my friend about it. He is definitely passive aggressive about the way he teaches. He will not give you a full picture of the course content that will be on the exam and try putting in "gotchas" on the exams to lower our grades. All of his 442 exam questions are written in a way which lets him subjectively grade them and the exams are not returned for you to review where you lost points. Avoid this professor at all costs!
Michel Cukier
ENME392

Anonymous
05/22/2021
Let this be a warning to anyone that has to take it with either Cukier or Fuge. Granted they may teach it differently once things are back in person, but being taught through zoom and asynchronous videos was just a huge mess to deal with it. Cukier, you won't understand his notes at all unless you've been keeping up with lecture to the dot. The notes that he does during lecture are a joke, typing out the solution makes interpreting his work difficult since this class is heavy on the notations. Its quite the headache. The HW you have to do is extremely tedious and time consuming, granted I didn't expect it to be a walk in the park, but they are very long and take time too. By the way, they also catch you off guard with how heavily emphasized MATLAB is used in the course. So if you haven't coded before or barely utilized it you're in for a great time. Tests are extremely challenging, there's a reason why the averages are low, you can't get partial credit, unlike a normal practical exam you can still get some sort of credit for attempting it. Here however, you only can salvage some credit when you get the question RIGHT. So really its either all or nothing with these exams. Ultimately you're gonna take an L with whichever statistics professor you have. This department needs to be investigated.
Michel Cukier
ENME392

Anonymous
04/30/2021
This is by far the worst course I’ve taken at UMD. The professors are incompetent, constantly retracting their own statements and overall a complete disgrace to the university. The course layout is awful and inefficient. We are expected to watch all lecture videos and do homework before coming to class which begs the question, Why even come to class? Furthermore the professors instruct us to asks further questions on Piazza, which they have frequently neglected to answers for multiple days on pressing issues. Cuckier is frequently wrong in his demonstrations which only further confuses students, while Fuge insults is by only asking for “high level questions” Lastly, no one can ever seem to give a straight answer without having to “confer” which in other words means they will never tell you the answer and are dodging the question. The worst part of all is the use of prarie learn. Each question must be completed twice to get full credit but if a student doesn’t compete one single part of a question, they have no way of earning any points on the second attempt. Furthermore the exams use instant feedback which i will admit is nice, but the professors don’t even bother with partial credit which destroys all hope of earning credit for displaying what you know.
Michel Cukier
HACS200

Expecting a B
Anonymous
12/13/2018
"Dumpster fire" barely suffices to describe the horror of this course. TLDR: course: absolute train-wreck, 0/10 would not take again. The students being so happy that a course is over is really something. instructor: performance beyond awful in running the course and for encouraging p-hacking. Would rate 0 stars if I could. First and foremost, this was way to much work for a 2cr 200-lv course. Lack of documentation / spec doesn't help either. Using MITM software provided by the course staff is virtually required, which wouldn't be too bad except for the fact that it's broken and lacks documentation. Important bug fixes to it were made multiple weeks into the semester, and the entire setup relies on deprecated packages, so updating breaks it. Even after those fixes, it's still bugged. (This is treating the "it's a feature, not a bug" aspects as features) Next up is asinine / lack of grading criteria. Initially, assignments at least had rubrics provided. (Marking in adherence to the rubrics, not so much) Peer reviews were used to give feedback (rather than instructional staff) for a large assignment early on, which wouldn't be an issue if the peer review comments correlated with the marks given. Grades were assigned here pretty arbitrarily, using justifications like 'this section was not 2 pages' (paraphrased) to deduct points from groups that had slightly above 2 pages as well as those with slightly below. With margins though, no group could possibly have exactly 2 pages. Early on, there were also marks for more subjective things like presentations, for which grades were not released until months later. The thing is, no rubric was used in grading these -- just "a general feel[ing]" (direct quote). (???) This is MONTHS after the actual presentation! I barely remember what my teammates talked about, much less little details of other groups; there is no way the course staff remembers details sufficient to assign meaningful grades months later. When confronted about this, though, they doubled down and refused to provide grading criteria for the final presentation/paper. Now, rumor has it that Dr. Cukier was attempting (successfully?) to make the course appear "rigorous" by assigning low grades. I personally have no evidence of this one way or another, but consider this case: The course staff told students that our proposals (worth about 20% of the overall grade) would be rejected and we would be asked to repeatedly revise them if they were not sufficiently well written. However, one entire group's proposal was accepted and subsequently scored 11.3/20 (probably 11.25 actually due to ELMS rounding) -- an F (mean was 15.3/20). "F denotes failure to understand the subject and unsatisfactory performance." An unsatisfactory proposal should have been rejected, no? While other students undoubtedly have a long list of grievances about this course, I'll just touch on this one. He actively encouraged p-hacking (see https://xkcd.com/882/) to groups who initially failed to reject their null hypotheses. This included suggesting "regrouping the data" and even as far as "just looking at one week [of 1-2 months worth]" (paraphrased). This is questionable at best, and most researchers view it as cheating in the experiment -- perhaps just shy of scientific fraud.
Michel Cukier
ENME392

Anonymous
12/11/2010
This is by far the worst professor I have ever taken. Homework assignment on the second half of the semester to up to 10 hours to do. And they had nothing to do with the exams because you cant use excel on the exams, but he expects you to know how excel calculated it and for you to show it on the exam. He did not give ANY practice exams. We all just groped in the dark, guessing for questions for practice. I think he's lazy and tries to recycle materials from semester to semester and doesn't want students to see the past ones. Also he does not give you your exams back. If grading was incorrect you will never know about it. He makes the exams cumulative but he doesn't give you back exams so you have no idea what you need to work on more for the next exam. The formal sheet he gives you for the exams have nothing labeled. If you don't know what the equation is for already you are pretty much screwed. Summary: Way too much work for a 3 credit class. Hard exams that are even harder to study for.
Michel Cukier
ENME392

Anonymous
11/23/2010
Wow Frostea took the words straight out of my mouth... His own HW problems are horrendously awful and take incredibly long to complete (HW is worth 25% of your grade). Like Frostea said, you *waste* half your time figuring out what he wants! The TA's were such a blessing. I wish Mary was teaching the class.. This is the worst class I've ever taken and statistics is an incredibly important subject. Its a shame this guy is so awful, avoid him like the plague. Dr. Barker teaches this class sometimes, he's an excellent professor.
Michel Cukier
ENME392

Expecting a B
Frostea
11/13/2010
I honestly get the impression he is teaching this course not out of desire, but necessity. Be *very* careful with this teacher; he purposefully quickly glosses over information and AVOIDS explaining it when he intended to have a clicker question on it or emphasize it on the exam. This isn't always the case, but often is. He is very passive aggressive in his teaching style. When he makes a mistake on his custom made homework problems since he worded it unnecessarily vaguely, he says it's your fault for not assuming X, Y, or Z, when it could very well be that the assumption could be invalid if you interpret the data differently. Students actively argue with him about his homework problems, which are often UNNESSARY. If he assigned just book problems, they would be bearable. But a HUGE amount of time always goes into trying to interpret his custom problems, NOT into actually applying the material. I did very well on the first exam but awful on the second exam as I had ZERO sleep due to staying up all night trying to play catch up for my other classes after one of his god awful homeworks that I had to spend my entire weekend + monday in order to complete with some understanding of the material. So I was a complete wreck for his exam. In a nutshell: he has a very typical professor-complex where he considers his class the only one in existance and expects you to "get rid of conflicts" if you can't attend the problem solving sessions on friday. Sorry sir, you cannot ask a student to drop classes just to attend the friday sessions. That is not only egotistical but also unethical. This a 3 credit class that you assign 6-9 credits worth of work per week. I've researching the necessary paperwork to report this teacher to the academic board; his unethical practices are negligent and destructive. If you do not like to teach, please leave. I shouldn't pay you tons of money to berate us in class.
Michel Cukier
ENME392

smefeman
11/02/2010
This guy is a horrible lecturer. His lectures don't help (learning from the book is better) and he is bad at answering questions. When asking questions during class, he will be easily confused with your question and probably give you a BS answer like "it depends what you're doing" and continue on with lecture. He gives the worst clicker questions at the end of his lectures (usually 2 or 3 questions) which are on some mundane detail of his lecture he went over for 30 seconds. These count for 5% of your grade (syllabus is not clear). He gives more homework than my other engineering classes (like 12-20 problems per week along with analyzing raw data). Also, he'll take off 2% of your final grade if you don't pick up your homework from his office. Seriously, wtf?? Tests are tricky on purpose, so you'll need to be very careful reading the problem over and over. They are long and you'll need to be proficient to finish on time. He does hold problem solving sessions on Fridays (can't go to them because of class), but I hear they are largely useless like his lectures. Overall, one of the worst professors I've had, especially for a course that needs a lot of careful explanation.
Michel Cukier
ENME392

Expecting an A
Anonymous
08/29/2010
Michel is a difficult professor to put a grade to. His lectures are largely useless even though he does put them online. They are very scattered and doesn't show work, so often it looks like he just jumps to the answer with no explanation. The worst part of the lectures was the clickers at the end. There are 2 questions that are graded as quizzes. The questions are usually about some very minuscule detail and his wording is sometimes very unclear. If you have him, I recommend bringing the textbook or his lecture notes and looking up the answers because he allows this. Sample exams: "How do you mean sample exams?" was one of his quotes from the year. He does not give sample exams and his regular exams are very hard and curves them to around a 75% average. Homework: Gives a lot of homework but pays more attention to effort, though the correct answer does count. Availability: He makes himself very available to students and is very approachable and a nice guy, and is always willing to help out students. His accent was somewhat of a barrier, but once you learn what certain words are, it's not too bad. The curve at the end seemed pretty large because the average grade was very low. I'm sure you could do worse than Cukier, but I'm sure you could do better as well.