Thomas Haines

4 reviews
Average rating: 3.50

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Anonymous 05/21/2015
Haines' MATH 341 class was the toughest course I have ever taken, bar none. Unlike most 341 profs, he spent significant time on linear algebra (which is closer to his expertise) [6 weeks] before spending the last nine weeks on differential equations. To put it bluntly, you will probably not have a life if you do all of the HWK for this class. I went through a whole legal pad reviewing for the second final. Our class covered everything 246 covered and went slightly beyond 240 into some additional applications. The tests are tough, but he occasionally includes book problems, so if you have done all of the problems you'll see familiar ones on the tests. Nonetheless, he still knows how to drop the test average when he wants to. He likes theory and rigorously proves everything we use, though you will need to learn from the books for actually doing the HWK assignments. My issues: 1) He did not make it particularly clear what the final grades would be like (he told us all along he would curve, but by how much we are still waiting to see). That is not so important so long as the curve is fair, but it can still be quite stressful. 2) He can come across as a bit cold or even condescending when people ask questions. I do NOT think he means to; just sometimes his answers seemed a bit blunt and almost "did you really ask that?" in tone. In office hours he is nice enough, though not as helpful as some other professors. In terms of how much I learned this semester, he gets a full seven out of five points. In terms of his jokes (he started a bit stiff almost, in our class, but lightened up as the class went on I feel like), he gets a five. However, I think that the former is a four for Haines and the three for learning with classmates while poring over homework. Because of the two issues alluded to above, I give him a four overall. If you are willing to suffer for a whole semester in order to really, really learn math, take Haines. If you think your will could crack, be it Week 2 or Week 14, I would consider someone else for 341. I think in like five years I will look back and appreciate the suffering and effort that was this class, but right now it is simply a relief to have made it out in mostly one piece.

keyoung 01/04/2010
Haines was a good and fair prof. His lectures were sometimes boring but he allows time for HW questions. He has 2 exams which are curved and weren't that bad if you keep up with HW. He gave practice exams for both. HWs were very helpful in learning and practicing the material and he drops 3. He told some "funny" jokes to lighten the mood several times. Overall good prof, nice guy.

Expecting a B
Anonymous95 04/15/2008
He is a very smart professor and will help with any problems. He does proofs about a third of the time and practice problems the other two thirds. He does curve at the end which is why I got a B. I would say if you are good or fair with math to take him. If math is a poor subject for you, look for someone else.

Expecting an A+
Anonymous 12/25/2007
He wants to push students towards state-of-the-art mathematics. Fastest course I've ever taken. I believe it's his opinion that understanding 20%+ of the lecture is doing a good job, and the details are really an individual responsibility to fill in at home. He proves powerful theorems with really general hypotheses (no warm-up theorems) and most of the course is a stream of corollaries -- this approach is very efficient, but also tends to make things seem unmotivated. Tests are at the level of the qualifying exams. but are never unreasonable -- but if you haven't had the equivalent of 403/405 or have forgotten the material, you will probably die. In case it's relevant, he doesn't come across as a very nice person, but I'm glad to have had him as an instructor.