Reviews for Evan B. GolubAverage Rating:
Grade Expected: A
April 10, 2013, 10:08 am
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.
November 26, 2011, 3:29 pm
|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).
Sit closer to the front; it'll help you pay attention, participate, and be entertained.
Manage your time well in the exams.
Grade Expected: A
June 8, 2011, 6:40 pm
|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.
Grade Expected: A
May 21, 2011, 10:28 am
|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!
Grade Expected: A
April 25, 2011, 3:14 pm
|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.
Grade Expected: A-
December 18, 2010, 9:36 pm
|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.|
July 3, 2010, 12:50 am
|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
Grade Expected: A+
May 22, 2010, 11:32 pm
|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...
Grade Expected: A
May 18, 2010, 9:39 pm
|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.
May 17, 2010, 9:32 pm
|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.
May 4, 2010, 7:45 pm
|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 Homeworkâ€™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, itâ€™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.
Grade Expected: B
May 4, 2010, 7:20 pm
|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.
March 31, 2010, 8:58 am
|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.
Grade Expected: ?
March 26, 2010, 12:26 pm
|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
Grade Expected: A-
December 17, 2009, 3:53 pm
|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.
December 16, 2009, 7:07 pm
| 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.
Grade Expected: A-
May 26, 2009, 8:59 am
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.
May 22, 2009, 9:58 am
|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.|
Grade Expected: A
April 18, 2009, 9:52 pm
|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.
January 22, 2009, 7:06 am
|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!!!!
December 17, 2008, 11:31 am
|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.
Grade Expected: B
December 10, 2008, 3:26 pm
|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.|
Grade Expected: B
December 4, 2008, 11:30 am
|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.|
May 20, 2008, 4:15 pm
|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.|
May 18, 2008, 5:42 pm
|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.
May 17, 2008, 2:36 pm
|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.|
Grade Expected: A-
April 25, 2008, 1:59 pm
|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.|
Grade Expected: A
April 25, 2008, 1:55 pm
|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 :)
December 23, 2007, 2:04 pm
|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.|