Evan Golub

47 reviews
Average rating: 2.30




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CMSC131

Expecting an A
Anonymous 06/01/2019
I thought he was fine for 131. Lectures aren't great, frequently goes off-topic. Kind during office hours. If you have prior programming expierence you'll be fine. If you don't then develop a hand in Java before starting 131.
CMSC131

Expecting a B
Anonymous 12/13/2018
I had to take Evan Golub for CMSC131 because I am international student and the seats for Fawzi Emad (Best CS Prof) were full. Its pretty much the same as his other negative reviews for 131 where his lectures are boring and off-topic, doesn't help you prepare for the exam, weird grading criteria, stupid clickers, laughs at his own jokes!!


Anonymous 12/01/2018
confirmed bad
CMSC351

Expecting an A
Anonymous 07/12/2018
Golub talks a lot during lecture without having a lot of information on the slides themselves. The most crucial information you will learn is what he writes down during class. However, he will not post those notes online, so you can't miss any classes. If you show up to class and take down his notes, you will most likely be successful. Every once in a while, he will post example solutions on the course website - take advantage of them because he will most likely ask a similar question on his midterms. He has many homework and practice questions, but never posts the answers. So make sure that you compare answers with other people before the midterms. Study groups are key since you will never be provided with homework answers. If you go over every practice question and every homework, you will be adequately prepared for the midterms. The midterms are simple compared to the practice questions - just make sure you read the instructions carefully because Golub often asks that you only set up the question and not solve it. He isn't the greatest lecturer, but he will teach you enough to succeed in your class.
CMSC434

Expecting an A
Anonymous 05/22/2018
Had him for 131 and 434 and I learned that he is good in teaching non coding classes. I hated him so much for 131 but really liked him for 434. He was so organized in 434. Lectures were still boring but they were informative. Project descriptions were extremely well organized. In 434 there is a big group project. If you follow all of his directions, you should get a good grade in class.
CMSC131

Anonymous 05/08/2018
AVOID HIM IF YOU CAN, worst professor ever, you barely learn, exams get a tad harder near the end of course, and the clicker quizzes were so pointless and literally the only reason I bothered to show up to his lectures. Anyone I took to watch his lectures with me all said that it was the worst lecture they'd ever been to, one of them chose Kruskal over him for his 351 class after he watched in on my 131 lectures.
CMSC131

Expecting a C
Anonymous 04/17/2018
I had him for 131 and did not learn a single thing except how is made world a better place, how is a influential person in many things. He should not be teaching 131 at all. This class needs a person who actually teaches.
CMSC434

Anonymous 01/24/2018
Golub is, well, Golub. This class is fun, but he can really make things serious about the designs and implementations. Design mocks required hours of effort (in a team), but were kinda satisfying in the end. It's a pretty chill class, but I don't recommend skipping too many classes - he seems to love random pop quizzes. Tests were pretty much right off the slides, and the homeworks were just 1-2 page question and answer things. If you take this course, be prepared to spend some time out of class for the project. Designing something in Android can take hours to make look pretty.
CMSC351

Expecting a B
Anonymous 01/02/2018
Taught me all I needed to know, he had no surprises on his tests and was a great resource when I had concerns about my grade. I failed the first test (like 20%), studied my butt off for the next 2 and the final and ended up with a B.
CMSC131

Expecting a B+
Anonymous 12/14/2016
Wow.... Where to start with this monster of person. Not only does he have the most dry sense of humor but it's like he's allergic to teaching in general and avoids it at all fucking costs... IT'S YOUR DAMN JOB MAN don't tell us stories about some bullshit NASA stuff you made up and how people were just begging to use your code. We get it... comment our code yeesh just teach the damn class. The only reason I plan to get a relatively high mark is because I taught myself out of class... I have 100% on all of the projects and labs but shit grades on the exams. Wanna know why??? well i'll tell you... THE MAN DOESN'T TEACH YOU WHAT HE ASKS ON THE EXAM.... although there could just be a situation we may never considered about his case. He could be a savant and only understand coding and can't comprehend how to interact with other humans or do his job... If that's the case I'm sorry for my tone
CMSC351

Expecting a B+
Anonymous 10/31/2016
Golub was a terrible professor. It was extraordinarily difficult to pay attention in his class because he talked about the material in such a fluffy way. There was no concrete information on the slides, and the copies that he put online were half complete and didn't show the work he wrote in class. Also, he refused to put full solutions to homework and thought questions online, which made it very difficult to study by myself. Overall, I was extremely unhappy with how little I felt I learned from this course. You need a professor who can teach the material much more clearly and in a concrete way, not one where he blabs for half the class. I also don't feel that I learned at all how to apply the knowledge I learned from this class to anything I would see outside of this class. He was also very strict and not willing to be accommodating of student concerns for the most part.
CMSC131

Expecting an A
Anonymous 03/03/2016
Basically if you're the type of person that's pretty good with computers and knows his stuff, and goes to lecture, this guy is for you. I've had 11 years of computer programming experience since elementary school, so I found this class to be far too easy. But I don't think he's a bad professor. He asks questions to make sure people are involved, and he gives hints on what might be on quizzes, etc. Basically, he says to study daily, and YOU SHOULD. I studied C++ in middle school on my own, so these concepts are familiar to me. Also, review the quizzes for the tests. If you have questions, try to go to his office hours to ask a question. But to be honest, he won't help nor will the TA really help. You really have to figure out what's wrong with your program yourself. Once you get to JUnit Tests, make sure to write little junit tests for each method as you go along. That will help a lot. With your JUnit tests, you can figure out what's wrong easily unlike the submit server's JUnit tests.
CMSC131

Anonymous 05/17/2015
He was a horrible professor. He talked about himself the entire class and what you needed to know and why you needed to know it, but would never actually teach you how to do it. His exams were long and difficult and if you need 20 seconds to finish a line of code he will scream his head off and literally rip the exam from your hand. He does not teach the material and leaves it up to the TA. So if your TA sucks good luck in the class. I never learned a thing from his class even though I attended lecture, reviewed daily, and bought the book. Whatever you do, do not take this exam.
CMSC131

Anonymous 05/12/2015
AVOID AT ALL COSTS. Worst professor I have ever encountered. Lectures are the most pointless waste of time(I went to everyone) where he spends time going off on tangents that have nothing to do with computer science. Extremely harsh grader when comes to projects and tests. Due to the snow he attempted to cram every project into the semester, the last being due in a week as we also have finals to study for. If you have zero experience in Computer Science avoid. The tests are tough and so are the projects expect to put a lot of time into this class. He must enjoy wording the most complex questions into exams. Dont be mistaken if you have learned anything by the end of this class its because of your TA or the people you decided to work with, how Golub has a job here is astonishing. He gives you study questions that, guess what, have no real impact on tests and quizzes :). Dont believe any of the reviews that rate him from years ago as they do not reflect Golub's terrible teaching strategy. Not to mention his condescending attitude when faced with question, prepare to be spoken to like a baby. As an intro course designed for people new to Computer Science courses the workload was by far too heavy his expectations are flawed for students. AVOID AT ALL COSTS
CMSC131

Expecting a C
Anonymous 03/29/2015
By far the worst teacher I've ever had in my entire life. First off his lectures are terrible. You don't learn a thing from them. He just talks about life experiences and why you need to know something but he never actually teaches it to you. He's so self conceited you'd think the class was named GLUB131. All he talks about is himself. Impossible to pay attention through the stories in his lectures so when he does actually say something related to the class, you're not paying attention to it. He is BATSHIT insane. Would literally rip students tests out of their hands and yell at them at the top of his lungs for finishing a line of code on tests seconds after he said stop writing. Least personable and reasonable person I've met in my life. Comes off as if he hates all of his students. I received a 77.954 average after putting in more work for this class than any other by far and he wouldn't give me the C+ for the class. DO NOT take this class even if it is the absolute last option. You'll regret it. Golub is just the worst candidate for a teacher. I have no clue who hired him with his psychological brain, but he needs to be fired. Doesn't help a soul being there.
CMSC131

Expecting a F+
The_Golub 01/30/2015
Imagine the first day of class. As you embark on your journey through the mystifying complex universe of computer science, you have no idea what to expect. You could be dealing with the unforeseen; singularities caused by Eclipse phenomenons, encounters with fierce, atrocious bugs on the submit server, or even bang you head on your very own $800 laptop as you scream at the ambiguous results of the release tests! A toilet bowl of intellectual thoughts flurries around your noggin; there could be computers, video games, cameras, programming, computers, flying cellphones, virtual pinball and more! Then all of a sudden. BAM! Golub's hairstyle is crazy – he’s like the Yoda of comp sci. Don't underestimate his powers. As soon as you walk through the door, the surrounding air temperature drops 30 degrees as you witness the epitome of the human race. A majestic white haired dude strides across the lecture hall and spreads his arms openly– with a devilish grin on his face – so fast you could have blinked and missed the moment of a lifetime. (I strongly advise bringing a camera to savor the moment) Golub E., or professionally known as “Evan de Golub”, is a retired super villain who now only uses his powers for forces of good….. for students of the CMSC major at the University of Maryland. He wears a silk vest every day - except on every other Friday. However, I personally felt like when he wasn't wearing the vest his lectures were more interesting and remained on topic. (Escalating theories in the scientific community that this very vest may have been part of his original super villain costume - and retains faint traces of pure evil.) His vest is swaggy doe. Props to him. Although his receding hairline may fool you upon first glance, he has a magnificent pony tail and has the full-fledged back-head experience. But keep in mind he is no Lebron James. Golub is an extremely young person – his hair is only grey from an abundance of knowledge and sagacious wisdom he has accumulated throughout his career. (One, of course, which would take the average man many lifetimes to equal.) Golub is a young warrior, holding years of experience computer sciencing, playing wacky poker in the devious back rooms of mobster hideouts, taking photographs of people’s feet and farm animals, and executing simulations of the mass genocide of pond fishies. But don’t let me spoil the extravagant, Oscar-worthy backstory though. Let the Golub himself reveal it to you through his eloquent novel-worthy lectures which leave you hanging on an epic, thrilling cliff hanger after each 51 minute session. But don’t worry my fellow Golub-goers, he always comes back the next week to continue the story almost where he left off, even after he has given tests that were not on the future topics he touched in the lectures – but on the stuff you should’ve KNOWN ALL ALONG FROM THE START. Damn, this guy practically wrote Inception. (Before Christopher Nolan bought the rights to it.) Anyway, at first his lectures might seem pointless, spontaneous, random, unconnected, irrelevant, boring, and really confusing - but don’t let that fool you. In each session there is a small ten second topic that will become a pivotal test question somewhere down the road. Trust me. All of the spontaneous, random, unconnected, irrelevant, boring, and really confusing tangents he goes on are actually tests, testing the mental capacity of all 140 stude– I mean 45 students who bother to show up- in search for a new padawan. So if you want the prestigious position of “Golub padawan” on your resume, it’s best you sign up right now and claim your first row seat. I strongly advise not bringing a computer to his lecture – this only distracts you from the true Golub-glorified experience. His signature hand gestures during his elegant lectures engage full houses of students – from all over the world- elevating them to the balls of their feet as he tells witty jokes that no one listens to. Seriously, one time someone almost let out a giggle and the whole universe practically collapsed inward upon itself and imploded. I suggest bringing the classic pen and notepad – which were the slim-lined computers Golub himself used when growing up in college – not those vintage clay tablets developed by the Mayans. (They’re too intricate for the average man!) No matter which type of device you plan to bring, always stare at it and never make eye contact with the master while he speaks – this is a sign of challenge, an instinct Golub has picked up from his years chillin with lions and tigers and preforming weird combos to their portraits. Golub is a man with an infinite bag of tricks – did you know he was bilingual? Early on he’ll amaze you with a programming project that no only asks you to prompt the user in English, but also in SPANISH?!!?! hhhhoooooowwwWWHHHHAAAAAAA?!!?!?! This man is a genius. You’ll soon learn the concept of accounting for different cultural values and measurement systems because Golub exposes the flaws of NASA and unit conversions. During his reign as supervillain, Golub encountered the forces of NASA and recollects how the US measurement of distance was different that Europe’s system, causing the NASA probe to crash (wasting the hundreds of millions of dollars Golub could have used for world domination). He references this story at least once every week, which now in hindsight, I think was a reoccurring subliminal message for comp sci students: don’t trust NASA. Not only will you embark on pointless, unnecessary projects while other classes are sticking closer to reality, Golub will personally teach you the secrets to his mischievous trade of the wacky poker underground. His wacky poker project seemed too wacky for my taste, but then again, I was never playing a high stakes poker game with 300 zoo animals on the line. Golub is truly a modern superhero. When I took this class I never expected to learn essential life skills including: what Rwanda’s flag looks like in 3 bit-resolution, how to do calculus in Martianese notation, how to program, or even the science behind a fish pond exploiting the true concepts of Darwinism. But now I know, and I shall hold on to these precious gifts dearly as I move on with my life. If you have been missing a real Bill Nye the science guy in your life, then this is the opportunity of a life time. Golub is a golden star, which luckily this review system can represent for future generations yet to come. 1st out of 5 stars Would take again…… And audit too if forced by gunpoint.


CamelCase 01/20/2015
Unfortunately, Professor Golub is a decidedly average instructor/lecturer. He's not at all clear about his expectations, and is condescending to the point where it seems one of his primary goals is to leave you feeling inferior to him. Questions about the subject matter are often met with replies that don't answer the question, and his expectations for students are arbitrary and unequal. This is reflected in communications with him both in person and via email (and unfortunately he's not very responsive over email either).
CMSC131

Expecting a C+
Anonymous 12/11/2014
Terrible professor. Avoid at all costs for your own sanity. The people who give him good reviews are the students that already know everything there is to know about computer science and find his jokes and stories amusing. He spends sometimes up to half of the class telling stories about things he used to do in previous coding jobs that have absolutely nothing to do with the material you are learning, then gives you quizzes on the same material. If you are even somewhat of a visual learner that needs to see how things work, do not take Golub. He explains everything using stupid metaphors that he finds helpful and almost never shows actual code in java. Exams are not very similar to the study question posted. As someone below me said, he definitely leaves core topics to the TA's and barely teaches anything in class. So if you have a bad TA, you are in a terrible position.
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.
CMSC131

Expecting an A
chromebeast 04/10/2013
Horrible Professor. I've taken 115 credits of classes, and this professor is honestly the most incredibly lackluster and astoundingly nitpicky professor I have ever seen. The first lab was a total disaster, Golub cannot plan logistically at all. He tried to have over 100 students download eclipse at the same time to complete failure. This was then supplemented by him blaming the students for this failure, and making the due date for the first lab the next morning (this was considered "being nice") I submitted the project the next AFTERNOON, to which Golub was apparently physically incapable of giving me any points for. So there you have it! If you want a teacher who will fail you three days into the class for his own complete incomptence with logistical issues, this is the man for you! I've aced every other assignment he's ever assigned (taken the class in HS), but for your average student, this teacher should be avoided like the plague. Emad is way better, sat in on his lectures, and Emad is much more entertaining/worth going to lecture for.
CMSC131

Anonymous 11/26/2011
I took 131 with very little prior programming experience (I took a god-awful class in Java when I was a senior in high school). Regardless, Golub's exceptional style of teaching not only drilled all the fundamentals securely into my mind, but also sparked a passion for programming in me. He does NOT read off slides; he does NOT drone on the entire lecture. (We all know a professor like that!) He buttresses every concept he covers with fantastic analogies, anecdotes from his own impressive career, and examples of practical implications. He takes clicker polls, which may annoy some, but which I found helpful; they motivate you to attend all lectures (which you should anyway) and they help you commit the more important points in a lecture to memory. His quizzes are perfectly fair as are his projects. His project descriptions are especially great - visually appealing, lucid, and not too wordy. He is not as quick with email responses as some other professors, but he is alright. And he always welcomes questions before/after lecture and at office hours. He is a very approachable individual who gives students' questions a good amount of consideration. I have nothing negative to say about him! Look elsewhere in this page for vicious criticisms (LIES, I TELL YOU! haha). TIPS: Sit closer to the front; it'll help you pay attention, participate, and be entertained. Manage your time well in the exams.
CMSC131

Expecting an A
Anonymous 06/08/2011
Dr. Golub has received a few negative reviews, but I disagree with them. Sure, he's a bit on the crazy side(good crazy), but that's par for the course in college-level science courses, especially in the UMD Computer Science dept(according to friends of mine who are Comsci seniors). Dr. Golub's teaching style in CMSC131 regularly includes real-world examples and previews of things to come in future CMSC courses. Dr. Golub and his TAs this semester kept a very wide amount of office hours(26 Office hours/week for our course, in addition to the 5 50-minute inclass hours each week). You likely will not need the textbook if you're paying attention in class. Grading wise, the 2 tests had 105 points but graded out of 100(5 point curve). For our class, the median on the 1st test was 79, and the 2nd test was 80. In addition he dropped the lowest quiz and the lowest lab grade. Grading for this course was pretty lenient, and it is very possible to earn a little over 100% in the course. I can't comment on how effective he is at teaching as I took this course with a decent amount of prior knowledge of the material. On the course webpage, we had access to study questions and answers for each week, the powerpoint slides, project descriptions, and some code examples. The study questions and answers are very helpful in preparing for quizzes and tests, and pretty much all you need to study from. The slides were pretty much a skeleton of what's covered in class, and were not much help if you had to miss a class or 2. Project descriptions were clear about what was and wasn't allowed in a certain project, and how to obtain the maximum points. I can't comment on the code examples as I didn't look at them often.


Expecting an A
Anonymous 05/21/2011
I am an engineering major and I found this class to be ridiculously easy. It is by far the easiest CORE class. There were 5 projects and the lowest grade I got on them was a 95. He gives step by step directions so its really easy to finish them. The last graded project was to create webpages which was the most fun and useful thing we did in class. His class is really boring and hard to stay up in. But he has clicker questions for attendance, so I tried to be there as much as possible. He assigned two papers which I completely BS-ed and got an A on both. For the exams, I looked at all the lecture notes (which he posts online) and I got A's on the exams. If you are good with computers or are an engineering major, definitely take this class. It is an easy A. Just make sure to take you laptop to class or have other stuff to do because its the most boring class ever!
CMSC131

Expecting an A-
atloud 12/19/2010
Golub was an okay teacher. His lectures were pretty boring and not always helpful, but he was very approachable and always willing to help. The quizzes were very difficult however. Fawzi Emad is the better option for CMSC131 and 132.
CMSC351

Anonymous 07/03/2010
This guy is the worst, one of the worst professors ever. Don't pay attention to any of the good reviews, they come from people who got good grades because of his "curve", who studied in groups and did the homework in groups. His curve only benefits people who do well on his exams. Yeah...this class is easy if you study really hard everyday, attend every lecture, studying in a group, ask questions about everything, and pay attention to every little detail Otherwise if you don't do ALL of those things you won't get a good grade, now that's what an easy class is. You are technically not allowed to work together on homeworks but I'm guessing the good reviewers who studied in groups did anyway. You basically have to study in groups or be very good at algorithm theory in order to get a good grade
CMSC351

Expecting an A+
Anonymous 05/23/2010
I don't know what the deal is with what ALMOST EVERYONE told me but this class has been fairly easy. One thing to note about this class (which is perhaps why I found it easy) is that the material that you learn is actually extremely relevant to the field of computer science. If you tackle the material with that attitude you're bound to do much better in the class. I have had internship interview questions based on material learned in the class -- so learn the material any way that you can! The only thing about Golub's class is that you need to be in lecture. You need to learn how he wants all of the problems' solutions to be set up -- exactly the way he does them in class. Do your best on homework and try to imitate his examples in lecture to get the best grade. Also, definitely do the thought questions -- get a study group. I can't stress this tip enough. His exams seemed to be based much more on the thought questions than the homework questions (how convenient..) -- and if you've done the thought questions, you're bound to ace the exam. Go to office hours if you are confused about something. He actually is very helpful in office hours (not necessarily in class), just make sure that you have notes from class because the first thing some of the TA's and Golub sometimes asks is "okay, well lets look at your notes." If you do miss a class make sure to get the notes from someone else. If you miss some classes you can still get away with an awesome grade, but if you miss even a single one of the classes where he discusses critical material, you're grade will drop like a rock unless you have access to someone else's notes. All three of our midterms were pick 4 out of 5 questions. It was not this way in the past semesters (not for all 3 exams anyway) so don't bank on it, but it did make the class a hell of a lot easier. He also tells you he weighs grading as follows: 17% per exam, 14% homeworks+quizzes+projects, 35% final. For us, he changed it to 12% lowest midterm, 17% middle midterm, 22% best midterm, and for the homework section (which totalled 150 pts), he took the score out of 125 instead. He also seems to curve exams arbitrarily..but everyone else has already touched on how he curves. Our first exam was taken out of 88 points, our second was 95, and third 97 or so. I would have expected a much higher curve for the second exam, which makes me wonder where he gets his numbers from (the 12 point curve on the first exam was unnecessarily high, but I'm not going to complain). Also, the book is unnecessary. I would have given him 4 stars but if you try to ask him questions right after an exam even if it's unrelated, he will yell at you. He is also very condescending sometimes. Even if you have a legitimate question he will cut you off and say "I'm not answering those questions right now" or "I can't solve new problems for you right now" or "that's not relevant to the topic" even if a) it's a general conceptual question, b) you're not asking him to solve a new question, and c) it is relevant to the topic. Golub many times (not always) assumes that his students are idiots and comes off as being extremely mean and as someone else has said, his head can be very far up his ass. Finally, when you're taking a test, make sure to get your question across if you have a legitimate question. Many times the TA's too (and Golub) may think you're fishing for the answer even when you're not. This has happened so many times it makes me want to smack them and tell them to listen to my damn question before cutting me off. You're basically on your own. Also I don't know what the other people are smoking who gave him 5 stars. I ended up with ~99.5% (so it's not like I'm biased against or bitter about his grading) in the class and I still think he was not a very "patient" and "approachable" and friendly guy who cared for his students...
CMSC351

Expecting an A
Anonymous 05/19/2010
I don't see where the hatred stems from. All the negative reviews about this guy and all the complaints about how ridiculously tough the material is - is complete bullshit. I am by no means, a top student. I merely got a B in CMSC250, and that was with a curve. I found this class to be somewhat enjoyable and predictable in terms of what would be on the exam. I agree with the guy below me, form study groups. Most of the "lone warriors" ended up failing the course, or barely passing with a C. If you honestly go to all lectures, office hours, and do all the homework problems and thought questions intuitively, then you have no problems getting a B or higher. The guy was nice enough to curve exams (although randomly and not by much) and drop 25 hw points. Verdict: Go to every class, attend office hours if you sincerely get stuck, form a productive study group, and do ALL the homework and thought questions. Assuming you aren't the type to choke during exams, you should net a relatively A or B.
CMSC351

sashah 05/18/2010
This course is pretty easy in my opinion. Especially if you found cmsc250 easy, this one is similar. However, the professor himself is a total loser and a-hole. First of all, he thinks he's the smartest person alive, talking about how he can do pretty much any proof alive and how him and his friends go around cracking systems. He will tell you countless stories every class about how he outsmarted one thing or another. It's funny one kid told me about how we should do a drinking game where everyone takes a shot whenever he boasts about himself. Of course, all professors have some ego but that is not why he's a terrible professor. He can be excessively rude and repressive during lecture and office hours, up to the point where he will yell at you if you ask a question he finds trivial. Personally, I went to his office hours once to explain how he did a certain proof, and he yelled at me, "okay you are not doing this the way i mentioned in class, you have to pay attention!" Forget about even asking any tangential questions, because he will automatically shoot down anything that's not related to the topic at hand. His default response: "we're not talking about that. see me in office hours." Also if you approach him with your own problem and ask him to solve it, he refuses to do so out of concern that others won't get a chance to see the solution. As other people have mentioned, he does not post up lecture notes or worked out examples, so you must attend class or get notes from someone else. the only good thing i have to say about the class is that his exams are reasonable and predictable; there is very little deviation from his homework and thought questions. Also, he is generous in that he allows you to answer 4 out of 5 questions and curves each exam score. I was able to coast through this course with an easy A, but I still hated the professor.
CMSC351

Anonymous 05/04/2010
Okay number one if your major is computer science you should be expecting hard courses. The teacher is a great teacher, provides plenty of extra help and if you DO NOT wait until the day of the exam you can get plenty of help. He will explain something as many times as necessary until you completely comprehend the topic. He does not post his in class notes online because he wants to encourage student to attend class and once again if you are a computer science major you should not be looking for the easy way out. The class takes place in the afternoon so there is no excuse to not attend class. His Homework’s are fairy difficult however, if you email him or seek help during his office hours he will provide you plenty of help and clues. His test can be Extremely hard or Extremely Fair, it’s all based on how much you have actually learned. It is not impossible to get an A in his class. Also, he is very patient, approachable and does not make you feel stupid for not understanding a topic. Also, he cares about his students!!!! I would recommend him to other students.
CMSC351

Expecting a B
Anonymous 05/04/2010
Such a lovely person. He's always so nice and smiling to you whenever you talk to him. He made such a amazing adjustment for the percentage distribution to try to help the class. He has a unique way of encouraging students to go to his class and office hours, yet it's really helping people to understand and learn the material. Didn't really appreciate what he did in the beginning of the semester but now I understand why and am truly grateful. Unlike some of the CS professor, he's friendly and approachable. People whoever don't want to make any effort and slack off but still hope to pass better not take his class.
CMSC351

snooki 03/31/2010
This guy's head is so far up his own ass that he can see out his mouth. He has made 351 to fail you. This is one of those courses where you will have to come to his office hours or the TA's office hours if you want to actually learn anything. If you do show up for office hours, don't expect to get help for about an hour because EVERYBODY ELSE is also trying to get help. Good luck. His slides are absolutely useless. For whatever reason, he does not post his written examples online. Make sure to take good notes. He will do examples in class on his fancy shmancy Tablet PC, but not post them afterwards. He posts extra assignments and examples online, but again, he does not post solutions. Same deal with the homework: NO SOLUTIONS ARE POSTED EVER. This alone makes the course hell for the math illiterate. You want to learn from examples and build up your confidence, but you can't because you have NOTHING to work off of. Exams are generally based off the homework and his "thought questions," the extra problems he posts online without solutions. Don't expect any extra help with those exams because he doesn't post sample exams. (If he did, they probably would come without solutions. So useful.) Of course, how he expects you to master some of theses proofs after one or two examples is beyond me. His exam grading policy is the worst. If you get a problem wrong, you will lose almost all the points if you don't lose them all. Don't expect points for effort. You can write out an elaborate proof and get maybe a couple of points for it. And then his "curving" system... Since he's all into his mathematics, he "curves" by dividing your exam grade by a decimal he magically calculated or pulled out of his ass which is now also his mouth. Now your simple arithmetic abilities should tell you this is an issue. If you got a 100 on the exam with a curve of .90, you'll enjoy an extra 11 points. If you're the unfortunate guy that only got say a 50 on the exam, you get a mere 5 extra points. So if you do well on an exam, you get an extra boost. If you're already failing, expect to be failing even more. The rich only get richer in his world. This guy always talks about how he's "clever" yet he doesn't do a damn thing to endow his students with his "clever"-ness. This guy is incompetent as a teacher. Just dodge him for your own sanity.
CMSC351

Expecting a ?
Anonymous 03/26/2010
This is the worst professor ever The book does not cover the material on the exams The slides also do not cover the material on the exams All of his posted examples are either half of the problem or very unclear and vague All of the most important real work he does in class on a note pad for a few minutes but he never posts these notes online on the slides at all, instead he just assumes you get it You are not allowed to study together on homeworks or use notes from online This makes this class nearly impossible to study for Overall, one of the worst experiences so far


Expecting an A-
a3ng25 12/17/2009
He's enthusiastic about what he's teaching... but that doesn't make it less boring. The course is for non majors...so don't expect coding. The hardest thing you'll do code wise is probably a basic cascading style sheet for an html page. You learn about email... and file transfers...and html...and spreadsheets...sound fun yet? 20% of the first test grade was on dates like when the first mac graphical os came out... or when the microsoft mouse came out... and the dates are one digit apart... things like that made this course ridiculous. I'd never take it again and never suggest it to a friend.


Clover89 12/17/2009
The first half of class is pretty easy. I am not great with computers, but I got an A on the first exam and the first 3 projects. Then things get harder, and his notes are not that helpful, so I just looked stuff up and didn't use his notes. In class, a good way to stay awake is to play GOLUB BINGO. Under the G, put "blows his nose". Under the O, put "Tells a story about the inaugration". Under the L, put "Tells a story about an East German spy." Under the U, put "Talks about his sister, who is in law school." Under the B, put "Mentions the New York Times". If you get all 5 in one class, you WIN GOLUB BINGO! YEAH!! Note: You may win very, very often.
CMSC351

Expecting an A-
blackshellbowser 05/26/2009
Oh Golub... His lecture notes aren't the best in the world. He'll show how to do a proof on his Tablet PC...but not post those notes online. Sure it discourages the class-skippers but what about those who actually take notes and need to review them? He might have the occasional "generic" proof posted online but thats about it. His exams are painful but doable. The biggest thing is reviewing all those homework/thought questions he gives and manipulating them. Practice practice practice! One of Golub's bright spots: He'll happily answer "any" questions in class. If you missed something in the examples he does, he'll gladly go over it again until you get it. Please don't be asking "what-ifs". He often cut you off. He does curve the exams. Often it's drop a question and add a few points. With the final exam, he'll give you about 12 questions and you only have to do 8 of them. They are grouped into sections...like a section of three questions, a section of two questions, etc. Overall Golub does know his material very well..but he's quite arrogant about it. He can be helpful but his teaching methods are questionable. And yes, he doesn't give much partial credit.


Anonymous 05/22/2009
If you're a journalism major and do not know a whole lot about computers, do not take this class with Golub. The lectures are boring, his notes are awful, and overall he is an absolute nut job.


Expecting an A
dk12 04/19/2009
He is probably the most boring lecturer I ever had. He cannot teach at all and just so painfully boring. If you take the class with him, you better be good at UNIX. That being said the class itself was pretty easy for me. I am an Electrical Engineering major and I found this to be the easiest class I have ever taken through out my academic career. I got above 100's on all 8 projects with curve/extra credit. Exams were really long and was not able to finish in 45 minutes, but he curved them anyway. The final for the class was the easiest test I have ever had. It was all html coding/trivial question about html and I found it really easy. I even finished it in 15 minutes and got above a 100. On the other hand a lot of other people found the class hard because they never was exposed programming or not used to UNIX. But if your some one like me and your in engineering you probably will find this class really really easy.
CMSC351

Anonymous 01/22/2009
As bad as the CS department professors are I would say Golub is the worst. To start, his lecture notes are very bad. He hand writes his lecture notes on his tablet PC during lecture and says these will be online. The bad thing is that he works through a problem in class and doesn't put that work online. This is no help at all. He post thought questions which are supposed to be sample like questions but he posts no answers or ideas about how to go about approaching them. You never really know for sure if you are even close to getting the right answer. His exams are extremely hard. He does not have sample exams because as he says at the beginning semester "He never really thought they were helpful". Are you kidding??? If a question is worth 20 points you will only receive around 4 points for work if you are wrong. There is so much more to say about this guys teaching that is bad. The sad thing is that in the past 4 or 5 semesters he is the only professor teaching 351 during the fall and spring so you are pretty much forced to take him. I think it is better to take this class during the summer with someone else in my opinion!!!!
CMSC351

nd4speed348 12/17/2008
As previously stated, Golub isn't the greatest professor the CS department has to offer, more like one of the worst I've had. As others said, he knows the material, but you never will. Algorithms aren't for everyone, but he will make you regret taking the class in the first place. His notes are USELESS, and I mean utterly, supremely pointless. He will give examples in class that are on the slides, yet he leaves out the actual answer. He uses a tablet PC to do most of the lectures, writing in the answers to questions as he goes along. He fails to keep those handwritten items in what he posts. His homeworks are difficult and you really have to take them head-first. He doesn't post any practice exams, etc... NO answers posted to HW's, NO answers posted to his "thought questions", NOTHING. So if you don't go to lecture, you will have no reference as to how to do the work. Despite all of this, office hours with him help a lot, but he still doesn't want to give you the answers to anything.


Expecting a B
osykes 12/10/2008
I would have had an A if i hadn't screwed up submitting one of the projects. This class is not easy if you are unfamiliar with Unix and have no real computer background. I found myself trying to do a simple command for hours. His project directions are extremely vague. I am a journalism major and took this class thinking it would be easy. Definitely DO NOT take this class with Golub if your looking for an easy A. A's are possible, but not fun to get. Lectures are boring as hell and are mandatory for good grade because of clickers. Overall he is nice, but just a bad teacher.


Expecting a B
Anonymous 12/04/2008
Golub is a terrible lecturer who is extremely hard to follow. The first few weeks of lecture youll learn that taking notes is impossible and pointless (he posts notes online.) Going to lecture is pretty much pointless except to get attendance points via clickers, afterwards you would be best served to leave. The class consists of three exams which are 15 percent of your grade, 7 projects all worth 3-7 percent, attendance/scheduled in class discussions, and one monster of a final exam worth 27 percent. The projects are just step by step instructions that take anywhere from 1-3 hours. You work with UNIX command lines (yes, in an intro class), HTML code, spreadsheets, and a few other things. the exams are pretty tough, but if you study you can definitely pull off a B. Im pretty good with computers and had experience with HTML, but the class was still confusing. Had to take this for journalism requirements, but avoid it if you can.
CMSC351

Anonymous 05/20/2008
His lectures are okay, but his examples can be a bit hard to follow. It's not difficult to do well in his class, but some of his exam questions are overly difficult and can be vague in terms of what he is really asking. No quizzes. Were assigned eight homeworks throughout the semester. Homeworks aren't too bad and are actually useful as a couple of homework questions were asked to me in job interviews. He is very helpful during office hours and will go out of your way to explain things to you before and after class. Make sure to do all of his "thought questions" and alter some of his homework questions to study for his exams.
CMSC351

MadVillain 05/18/2008
Golub is a guy who seems to mean well, but his flaws are pretty serious. For one his grading methodology is questionable at best. If you read the syllabus he claims to curve each assignment...but his curving method is random and mathematically suspect. For example, on one exam we were told to divide our scores by .8. The problem with this curve is it gives MORE of a curve to people with higher grades...seeming to violate the point of a curve. Another time he gave everyone in the class 5 extra points as a "curve" but admitted that he had not yet calculated the average. He will intermittently claim that he has to "recheck his formulas for final grades"...so basically he leaves your grade as one of his thought questions. I finished the final for class yesterday, so the final grades aren't up yet, but it will be interesting to see what he does. I know kids who are brilliant and very knowledgeable about the material who currently have Bs. Then there are the exams which give little to no partial credit, and somehow expect you to answer questions based on information that he doesn't give you. For example, when he says "use the quantified definition" somehow in Golub-speak this means "use the quantified definition using an inductive proof"...the later part being a crucial piece of information I wish I had. His class is set up like a discussion. He gives you limited notes, and then you work out the details in class. This looks good on paper...but the problem is all those damn smart-ass CS kids who want to show off instead of letting everyone else learn. They'll derail him and let him think he can gloss over the details because everyone gets it already. Don't let him get away with this, shy people! Also, because his notes were so sparse and I'm a bad note-taker, I was affected negatively by his teaching style, but not everyone will have a problem with this. If you want to do well in this class, you HAVE to come to class. His notes aren't going to help you. Trust me, come to this one. Also, see him in office hours if you can. This is kind of irritating to me, because this isn't feasible for everyone, but unless you have prior knowledge of the material, you're going to want to get extra hours with him to clarify some of his vague details (especially towards the end of the semester when the algorithms get weirder). Ask questions in class! He's more than happy to answer them. Also, submit regrades even if you have the slightest question about your exam. He will sometimes expect answers for questions he doesn't ask, and you can get those points back easily...once I got an exam bumped up a full letter grade because of this. He can be very stubborn about some things though...I know one student who had a log base 3 in one of his answers which golub argued with him for at least 5 minutes over whether it was a 2 or 3.
CMSC351

pluralfacade 05/17/2008
An awful professor. He really knows what he's talking about, but nobody else does. He is very stingy with grading and will give little to no partial credit.


Expecting an A-
Anonymous 04/25/2008
He clearly knows the material very well, but is terrible at teaching it. Lectures are painstakingly boring, so try to bring a laptop and stay awake, though almost no one will attend. You can definitely get an A in the class, but it is not fun and you will not walk out with any practical knowledge.
CMSC351

Expecting an A
Anonymous 04/25/2008
People really scared me into thinking Golub was a terrible professor. I don't think he is really that bad. However, you will need to goto his office hours if you don't understand something and make sure you practice the material. He is sometimes overly tough, but generally fair. For example for the first test this semester he gave us decimals and fractions all over the place. It was really just a pain in the ass more than a test of knowledge. However, he is a competent though not excellent teacher, and is more than happy to help you out during office hours. That said though, he is not the sort of guy who will bump you up if he sees you in his office a lot or w.e. He will give you what you earn and nothing more. That said, I abused notes from the previous semester with Bonnie/Vibha's sections because Golub just has garbage for notes sometimes. So, pro tip: look at Fall 07 section notes :)
CMSC351

Anonymous 12/23/2007
Golub does not really aim to prepare you in lecture for exams or homeworks. After the first midterm I found myself ignoring his lecture notes and working entirely off of the other section's (taught by Bonnie Dorr and Vihba) posted notes. Golub was also indeed stingy with grading, and people in the other section could get points back on midterms that our section could not get back via Golub. I rather wish I had been in the Bonnie/Vihba section.