Armand Makowski

7 reviews
Average rating: 1.71

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Anonymous 11/20/2018
Makowski has personified the act of poor teaching. He focuses on the "big picture", which essentially means no concrete examples and instead you get proofs/the theory behind the approach. He expects a lot of mathematical know-how in order to do the homework/exams, so if you don't already have a B.S. in Mathematics, good luck. The textbook used was written by Adrianos Papamarcou, (whom you should register for ENEE222 with instead), and reading the textbook rarely helps when it comes to Makowski. Lecture is the equivalent of putting your brain in a blender and leaving it on pulse for a good hour and fifteen minutes. On the bright side, it has reaffirmed my faith, for now I know that there is indeed a hell and chastisement exists in the form of these exams. Advice: - Stay away, if you value anything in your life. - If you need this course and this is your only option, invest in a high-quality bedspread so when you cry yourself to sleep at night your sheets aren't ruined.

Anonymous 11/19/2018
I heard that this course was hard but taking it with this Professor only made it harder. He likes teaching with little to no examples. It came time for him to teach some topics in Linear Algebra (a course I am familiar with) and he made it harder for others to understand by making easy tasks like LU factorization complicated. There are no practice exams for him in this course. He likes to form his own questions for exams which is good because it keeps you on your toes. He likes to ask exam questions that prove something. He kinda loses a little patience when you ask questions. If you have no choice but to take him, read ahead and practice a lot. It takes a certain kind of mind to understand what he wants from you during an exam so knowing how to do problems in the textbook won't just cut it. Pros: will let you retake a quiz Cons: Poor Teaching, Hard Tests, will cut you no slack about your grades (No extra credit, no dropped test, If you're failing before the drop date, drop it quick)

Expecting a B
Anonymous 05/26/2018
Here are the median grades for our tests this semester: Midterm 1: ~50% Midterm 2: ~25% Final: ~40% For overall grades, there was 1 A, 7 B's, 12 C's, and 6 D's. Spare yourself the trouble and avoid Makowski at all costs. He will tank your GPA, teach you little, and underhandedly insult the class when it inevitably does poorly. Test questions are typically either fairly easy or completely reliant on mathematical tricks that few people will get. Unfortunately, as should be clear from the grades, most questions are of the latter type, and he will not change that.

amercado 10/11/2014
His lectures are super clear; but you have to be in tune to what he's saying as you copy the notes from the board. If you listen, you can get a lot of intuition about the subject from what he says. The exams are not so much difficult as very, very wordy. You have to read about half a page of typed question, just to set things up. If I could have done his exams on a legal pad instead of those tiny exam booklets, it might have helped my organize my thoughts, but you end up flipping pages back and forth to make sure you're taking everything into account. And you do have to take everything into account, because usually you can solve the problem quickly if you realize that the assumptions allow you to simplify everything in a couple of steps. If you don't SEE that short-cut, then you'll really miss that legal pad.

Anonymous 12/13/2013
Makowski is a snooze fest. Yet for some reason this dude does not allow a single phone out otherwise you will be personally confronted about it. If you whisper at the beginning of the semester, he will never let you forget about it. So let's recap: he makes us sit with our eyes glued on him for an entire hour and way too many minutes while he's up there being boring. Then, he explains the information in a really complicated manner and throws in new variables that no one has ever seen before and no one actually needs to ever see, so we are more confused than ever. This is the one class I can say that not attending lectures may have actually helped on the exam, and my friends' exam grades proved this point. I will give him kudos for understanding this material probably better than he knows his wife and children. He just thinks about what he wants to talk about and the material appears for him, it's pretty amazing. He unfortunately expects that out of his students. He also expects us to read the chapters before going to class. My recommendation: don't go to class. I am glad that by attending class I learned that my 13 years of Hebrew School taught me nothing because I had no idea how to say zero in Hebrew. My temple really failed me on that, just to add on to the failure I already feel every day thinking about this class. If you somehow find yourself with him as a Professor, he claims to not curve the class. You do get one formula sheet on the exams, but they won't help. Talking to him may help if you think you will fail, but do not expect an A unless you are one of those naturally gifted types.

Expecting a C-
Anonymous 12/11/2013
I have used for many years, as a lurker, mostly. I have never felt the need to review professors, because most of them at UMD are not noteworthy, in my opinion (not to say there aren't GOOD professors, just none that motivated me to write a review). Until I had Makowski. You see, even the shitty teachers are tolerable. Kruskal made algorithms the biggest pain-in-the-ass topic I'd ever taken before, but I got a B. Why? The class was still tolerable and DO-ABLE. But the same cannot be said of Makowski; he is on an entirely different level of shitty. A level of shitty that is politely cruel, convoluted, and irrelevant. The worst part about all of these things is that you don't realize this during the class. For most of the class, it just seems like you're not studying hard enough. It just seems like the hours of reading and rereading the book and meticulously going through every homework step-by-step, isn't enough. You've been studying for hours a day every day for seven days and you walk into that exam and it's as if you didn't study ONE MINUTE. IT'S AS IF YOU DIDN'T EVEN STUDY FOR THE RIGHT CLASS. The level of math required for Makowski's exams goes beyond the prerequisite calc 2 level of math necessary for ENEE324. This is saddening to me, because I went the entire semester thinking I didn't study enough or didn't try hard enough, when the truth was that I didn't have the prerequisite bachelor's degree in math necessary for probability with Makowski. Probability with Makowski was a time in my life where I questioned the following things: - my major - my intelligence - my happiness - my ability to do anything If you have a minor in math or are double majoring in math, then this class should be a fun exercise of your skills. Otherwise, stay clear of Makowski if you value your sanity, happiness, and GPA. On the bright-side, he's a very nice guy, and genuinely enthusiastic about probability. This is actually refreshing, but significantly overshadowed by all the negative shit. This class is the reason I started going to the counseling center on a weekly basis.

Anonymous 06/14/2013
This class was definitely an experience. There were only six people in the class, so, uh, if you're reading this Dr. Makowski, hello. Anyways, he's a decent lecturer, though my main complaint is that he sort of expects us all to be some level of mathematics wizards. His explanations are solid enough but when he starts doing example proofs I begin to contemplate my life decisions which led me to enroll in the ece honors program. The bi-weekly quizzes are easy enough but the grading is all over the place. A bunch of the test questions involve some arbitrary math trick which makes the question become super easy, which is great, because I suck at figuring sh*t like that out and end up with a grade that causes me to spend a thursday afternoon drinking my troubles away. The rest of the questions are multi-step, but the kind where if you can't do step one, you might as well end your miserable existence of a life because that makes the other parts impossible. Also the final was extended to four hours, because the we all agreed that probability is so baller that we wanted to have a double dose before we were allowed to go home. I am proud to say that after passing this class the amount of information I know about probability is so little that if you were to give me a probability question I would solve it the same way I derive the first and second moments of the cauchy distribution. I worked really hard on that joke and it's bad but what are you a math major