Piotr Swistak

This professor has taught: GVPT221, GVPT289D, GVPT390, GVPT391, GVPT831, GVPT834, HONR229D
Information Review
Piotr Swistak
GVPT390

Expecting a C+
Anonymous
12/01/2022
Professor Swistak is kind, witty, and definitely a smart person who knows what he's teaching. That's just the thing - he teaches as if all the students have also spent years studying game theory. Because of his teaching style and inability to provide further, clearer explanations on concepts that make sense to him but not to students, the class is a definite struggle to pass. If you're interested in game theory, you're better off watching YouTube videos on it. I wouldn't recommend this class to anyone, especially if math isn't your strong suit.
Piotr Swistak
GVPT390

Expecting a B
Anonymous
10/25/2022
It's a hard class if you're not mathematically inclined (which I am not), and his lectures can be a little boring, but he is hands-down one of my favorite professors at UMD. I find him easy-going and funny. The homeworks are more difficult than the exams and are weighted lower. He understands that many students who take the course are in the social sciences and makes allowances for that. One thing I would have liked is to have more TA office hours, but if you're even marginally interested in game theory, I would take this class. It's not necessarily an easy A, but it can teach you to think a little differently.
Piotr Swistak
GVPT390

Expecting a W
Anonymous
09/06/2022
Swistak has a long, drawn-out teaching style that leaves you on the verge of sleep and then proceeds to give you some of the longest homework. Definitely the type of professor that takes pride in how "challenging" he makes his course.
Piotr Swistak
GVPT390

Anonymous
05/22/2019
Best professor I have had at UMD. He is a genius when it comes to math and Game Theory. His classes will definitely change the way you think about daily interactions in life. Very fun and interesting and he is hilarious. Definitely take a Swistak class before you graduate. It is an experience that you should not miss out on.
Piotr Swistak
GVPT390

Expecting a B
deli996
05/06/2015
Class can be pretty boring as he tends to talk a lot, and the material is often times difficult. That said, he puts a lot of things into place to make it so that everyone can do well enough in the class, and to make sure the grading is completely impartial. There's a lot of problems in class for extra credit to keep you engaged and thinking about the problems, although it seemed like mostly three students got all of the extra credit.
Piotr Swistak

Anonymous
12/14/2013
Swistak prides himself on the fact that half the kids drop this class halfway through the semester. Obviously, this should not be the case, if the class is inaccessible for most students he should revise it to make it accessible. I hated this class so much and had to drop it despite really WANTING to learn the material simply because he was so full of himself. He doesn't understand that we're not all prodigies who will ace this class like him, and he doesn't understand how to be an effective teacher. He should have to take a class on how to teach and on what it means to be a teacher not just a smart, pompous know-it-all. Finally, he grades with negatives, so if you get something wrong, you get points off. This is totally ineffective, as we are not taught this way in other classes and shouldn't have to learn a new grading method just to take a class.
Piotr Swistak
GVPT100

Anonymous
07/05/2011
I took this class freshman year.. I had a low B before the final and after the final i got a D! HATED this class. the true/false was so confusing.. I had to read the question so many times before I understood what it meant. Focuses too much on game theory. get an easier prof if you can! gvpt 100 is not supposed to be this hard!
Piotr Swistak

Expecting an A+
go_green
05/13/2011
If you're pretty good at math, this class should be very easy. Definitely not very insightful material, the course was really watered down. The course seems to just be for GVPT majors to be exposed to a little math before they graduate. Wouldn't recommend this course, but if it is a requirement toward graduation, here are some tips: Make weekly visits to the TA's and do your homework with them, do the practice exams he gives out, and brush up on your basic algebra.
Piotr Swistak

Expecting an A
Anonymous
02/21/2011
Probably the smartest guy in the Government department. He's hilarious too, if you're smart and at least average at math the class is easy. This class alone made me glad I stayed as a GVPT major. Best teacher in College Park
Piotr Swistak

Expecting an A+
gG
01/13/2010
Professor Swistak is probably the most intelligent person I know. 399A requires math/logic and can be difficult for people who are not quantitatively competent. Swistak knows what he's talking about because he has contributed to a great deal of the literature in the field. Although some people think he does not relay information very well, I think it's just because he comes from Europe where the people are mathematically more learned than Americans. Thus, he moves fast.
Piotr Swistak

Expecting a B-
Anonymous
12/16/2009
Swistak is one of the most brilliant people on this campus. Game theory will change the way you think about the world. The class is definitely not easy but is worth taking. His tests were difficult but never tricky, and he gives opportunities to get points back. The homeworks were difficult, but if you go to the TA sessions, you'll do fine
Piotr Swistak

Expecting a B
Anonymous
04/21/2009
399a is not a normal government course, it requires a lot of math and logic skill. the class can be very difficult, but is made much easier if you attend the weekly TA sessions. the homework is tricky, but doable if you work in a group or attend the TA sessions. take this course if you are gov major who likes math
Piotr Swistak
GVPT100

Expecting an A
umdttt
12/08/2008
fairly easy course. all you have to do is read the assigned texts along with the lecture notes, which are posted online, and you'll do fine on the tests. the tests are true/false/idk questions. although he has an accent, you can understand him perfectly and he is very knowledgeable.
Piotr Swistak
GVPT100

Expecting a B
Anonymous
12/07/2008
Swistak is certainly a professor worth avoiding if you have the chance. Just reviewing his overall class GPA for GVPT100 will show you that he can be more difficult than other professors. Tests can be prepared for by taking notes on his lecture powerpoints. The test questions are often verbatim what was on the powerpoint. However, assignments were what killed me in this course. They almost certainly require the help of a TA.
Piotr Swistak
GVPT100

Expecting a c
Anonymous
11/26/2008
terrible class, is more of a philosophy class than anything, no one goes to lectures until test days. the tests are basically true false but really confusing. cant really understand him because his accent and most people do pretty bad, the last test avg for the class was a 65. I dont know how people like this get jobs at the university