Strain, J A on Ninja Courses

Average Ratings based on 18 ratings

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
78 62 73 72 83

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Instructor Ratings

MATH 55 (Fall 2009)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
96 96 75 100 100

MATH 55 (Fall 2009)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
69 60 55 70 80

Comment: strain is a very clever but quirky professor. his jokes are sometimes irrelevant to the topic, but they definitely lightened up the mood for the 1.5 hour class. at times, strain would ignore his lecture notes and attempt to work through a difficult concept using his memory, which only left most of us lost or bored. thankfully the book helped a lot

MATH 55 (Fall 2009)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
100 100 100 100 100

MATH 55 (Fall 2009)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
50 80 100 65 75

Comment: Easy to get a good grade. Topics were pretty fun. If you get a good GSI, it's better. Don't go to lectures, pretty pointless. Study his past exams!

MATH 55 (Fall 2009)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
74 72 75 74 80

Comment: fair homeworks and exams. entertaining sense of humor

MATH 55 (Fall 2009)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
85 84 70 74 80

Comment: Really entertaining in lectures, but exams were pretty tough, so he offers the final to replace either or both midterms, which pretty much saved my grade in the end.

MATH 118 (Spring 2015)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
100 100 100 100 100

Comment: as always, strain is king!

MATH 128A (Spring 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
78 73 70 71 70

MATH 128A (Spring 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
81 44 50 83 69

MATH 128A (Spring 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
88 50 68 50 93

Comment: I found Professor Strain to be hilarious. I think he's the only professor who's gotten me to laugh out loud during a lecture. He always makes jokes about math, like, "We've tested the result with n equal to 1 and 2. Therefore, it is always true. End of proof." Unfortunately, his lectures can be quite confusing. When he does go through formal proofs, they take forever, take up all six chalkboards, and are irrelevant on exams. However, I found that the professor's sense of humor made the lectures enjoyable anyway. The choice of textbook may have been a mistake. It is really more of a graduate-level textbook, and the homework problems were torturous. Many were almost impossible to solve without help from an expert, and some literally were impossible to solve due to typos in the textbook. The programming assignments, however, were much more manageable and even fun, depending on how much you enjoy programming. Exams were fair, and I would say that grading was generous. Just make sure to bring blue books because Strain hand-writes his exams and hands out copies.

MATH 128A (Spring 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
87 24 40 70 73

Comment: Prof Strain is a wonderful lecturer with a great sense of humor, made lectures very enjoyable although lectures tend to be very hard to follow along (because of the nature of the material).The textbook (Stoer) was also horrible, more suited for someone who is already familiar with the material or for a graduate level course. HW was assigned from the txtbk and were ridiculously hard. Programming assignments were hard as well. Like the other reviewer mentioned, when you don't have a proper understanding of key concepts, everything makes no sense. 2MTs and Final were hard, about 4 questions each. Good grasp of linear algebra is required, although the pre-reqs don't include 110, I'd recommend taking 110 before 128a especially since the way Strain teaches it relies heavily on linear algebra for most chapters.

MATH 128A (Spring 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
70 26 68 31 80

Comment: holy moly, the textbook we used this semester is terrible. strain is an awesome professor and seems like he knows what he's preaching, but i felt that the rest of us (with a few exceptions) could barely keep up and had roughly 10% understanding of what was being taught. on a blue moon, strain would give us an example but the concept still wouldn't make too much sense. the gsi's, depending on who you get, are somewhat helpful but grade really harshly. without proper understanding of concepts, programming assignments can make absolutely no sense. the regular homework out of the book usually asks you analyze, rather than apply, numerical methods, so definitely expect to clearly write proper proofs. all in all, i would suggest signing up for this class after first taking math 55 and math 110, as they will surely come in handy. hopefully, for your sake, strain will use another book.

MATH 128A (Spring 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
58 17 62 76 94

Comment: Strain makes the class unnecessarily difficult. Had he chosen a better book, I believe the class would have not only been able to study the same exact topics but to also have a more firm understanding of them. There is no reason why a fairly easy topic should be made more difficult by utilizing a textbook that does not communicate information in a user-friendly manner. However, I must say that Strain is a really, really good guy. He's absolutely hilarious, he really likes his students, and his lectures are very enjoyable (who would have thought my Numerical Analysis lecture would be the one I looked forward to the most?); I wish there were more math professors here like him. But still, I believe he makes this course artificially difficult.

MATH 128A (Spring 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
32 5 77 15 81

Comment: This professor talks a lot of jokes in the lecture. But since he talks too fast, you cannot actually get what he is saying until you look book for a several times.

MATH 128A (Fall 2009)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
83 69 72 83 73

MATH 170 (Fall 2014)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
94 81 100 100 100

Comment: Lectures are entertaining as Prof Strain is extremely humorous. The assignments often involve a lot algebra without offering much insight into the theory. (this is mostly due to the book we used for the class, which has pretty bad problems at times. However, when Strain write his own problems for assignments, it's always a lot more interesting.) Overall, it was a very enjoyable class!

MATH 170 (Fall 2014)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
100 100 98 100 100

Comment: strain is king!

MATH 273F (Fall 2010)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
66 50 50 50 50