Sturmfels, B on Ninja Courses

Average Ratings based on 71 ratings

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
69 69 63 60 74

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Instructor Ratings

MATH 10A (Fall 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
38 70 71 36 69

Comment: Sturmfels' lectures are basically him reading the theory of derivations of problems off of the powerpoint slides. If you ask him a question, he'll answer back with a question without ever really telling you how to do something. You learn everything in section, so hopefully you have a good GSI! The tests in general are not difficult and the homework doesn't take that long. If you took AP Stats and AP Calc BC, you'll think the class is easy.

MATH 10A (Fall 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
44 39 50 39 69

Comment: Reads directly from Powerpoint slides and barely did any examples until the middle of the semester (probably took suggestions from students). His voice somehow kept me awake during the 8AM lecture. Lecture materials, HW, and exams are not correlated at all. Very nice and enthusiastic guy, though.

MATH 10A (Fall 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
26 50 27 26 50

Comment: Imagine this... 8 am math class, you walk into the lecture hall and Sturmfels asks you the answer to a difficult math question. He's enthusiastic but it's scary sometimes when he chooses people from the audience. The exams were way harder than the previous exams from pachter.

MATH 10A (Fall 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
32 68 49 39 32

Comment: I have always loved math since middle school and high school, but after taking this class, I feel relieved that I now only have 1 semester left of math to take. It was hard absorbing material in lecture, as Strumfels just re-read what was on the lecture slides and didn't really explain things very well. GSI sections were very helpful, for my GSI worked out sample problems for us and had us complete helpful worksheets. Each homework had about 5 questions, and usually 1 or 2 problems on each one were very hard, and if i didn't go into my GSI's office hours and ask him how to do the problems, I would have had a lot of difficultly doing the homework. But homework and quizzes overall were fair. The two midterms were fair, except that there wasn't much partial credit, and making simple mistakes on questions can greatly affect your test score. The final was the hardest math test I've ever taken. My suggestion is to try to get access to as many practice problems as possible and work them out repeatedly to study for the tests. The lack of textbook for this class limits access to practice problems, but going over the homework problems, quizzes, and GSI worksheets will help a lot. I didn't buy the optional eBook, but accessing that might help to get more practice problems. Make sure when studying for tests to do practice problems over and over again. For the final, although I went through the practice problems given to us, I focused more on a "memorize how to do the problem" approach and memorized a lot of statistical definitions, which ended up hurting me. I understood the calculus concepts of this class, as I took AP Calc in high school, but the statistics concepts were very hard to grasp, as he covered them quickly and I didn't take AP Stats in high school.

MATH 10A (Fall 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
32 71 58 22 50

Comment: Class as a whole was mostly review material for me. The midterms were easy, but I felt the Final exam was way more difficult than we had been prepared for. Sturmfels is not a good teacher, especially with his primary use of powerpoints. He read exactly from the slides and did few examples. I disliked the course greatly, but it was not that difficult for me. I loved my GSI!

MATH 10A (Fall 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
18 86 12 12 25

Comment: The plan for this class was ambitious and a great idea in my opinion, but Professor Sturmfels did a poor job of executing it. He pretty much read from his lecture slides in class, and his emphasis on writing full sentences made me rather confused as to whether this was a math or an English class. Partial credit was rarely given on exams, and one literally had to write paragraphs for a problem in order to get a perfect score. The homework problems and the discussion worksheets were helpful in understanding, and the midterms were pretty easy- but the final was pretty damn hard. However, the GSIs for this class were brilliant, and I don't think I could have passed without mine. Don't take this class unless you absolutely have to (or unless Sturmfels isn't teaching).

MATH 10A (Fall 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
8 75 43 12 29

Comment: Sturmfels was not the suitable professor for this course. Going to lecture at 8 am was not worth it because he simply reads off his slides filled with Wikipedia definitions. For me, I learn math best when its worked out on the board--not with just powerpoints. He does ramble from time to time, and even when you ask a question, he either answers it very vaguely or opens it up to the class if he doesn't know the answer and then leaves you hanging at the end of the lecture. That being said, the GSI's were crucial to my success in this course. All of the GSI's for Fall 2012 Math 10A were phenomenal and definitely taught/explained much, much better than prof. sturmfels. I don't know how I survived Math 10A without my GSI. Definitely take advantage of discussion sections and ask LOTS of questions...because often times (if you even go to lecture in the first place) you will not understand a lot of the concepts when they're first introduced to you. Sturmfels' midterms are generally easier, but the final was quite difficult. Also, I do not agree with his policy of writing full sentences with correct English to justify your steps in the problems on midterms. It was a big time-sucker. Midterms were fine, just don't make careless mistakes because he does not give very much partial credit. Overall, I learned a lot in this course, but not really from the professor. It's interesting to see the connection between math and biology...but if you're not passionate about pre-med, go with the easier math series. You need to work hard in this course and really spend time on the HW and take advantage of any resources (i.e. tutoring, online notes, GSI OH, etc;). Good luck!

MATH 10A (Fall 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
24 72 24 72 50

Comment: Yeah, the course is going to be mandatory for MCB and IB majors in the future. Sorry guys. I'll start with the professor. Sturmfels wasn't horrible. But he wasn't great either. Like the others say, he doesn't seem to be the best professor for 10A. He can keep you entertained, but more often than not you'll catch yourself nodding off. The assignments (homework/quizzes) are good ways to keep your grade up. They're easy enough. The GSI's were key in this course for me. Thankfully I had an excellent one. And the exams? Eh. Don't make mistakes. They'll cost you, trust me. Midterm 1 was easy, Midterm 2 was harder, and the final was terrible. Of course, that's a personal opinion. It'll help if you took AP Calc and AP Stats in high school. I don't mean to scare anyone but this class isn't one you can take lightly.

MATH 10A (Fall 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
23 47 7 23 56

Comment: I'm being extremely generous with my scores. One thing I can say for certain, Professor Sturmfels was not the right professor for this course. His method of teaching was meant for students who are MAJORING IN MATH and this course is designated for MCB majors. Going to lecture was pointless, especially because it was at 8 am, because he basically read off the powerpoint which is available online. I definitely do not recommend this class but most of you don't have an option if you're an MCB major. Prof Sturmfels has a tendency to break out into chants in that hilarious accent of his. But most of the time you will be asleep in his lecture and will only wake up when he gets into a rage and starts to scream concepts at his students. Midterms sucked. GSI's were fairly generous with points. The final sucked even more. Homework was pretty simple and an easy way to boost your grade so do it! Quizzes always fluctuated on the difficulty scale since GSI's took turns writing the quizzes. Overall, if math isn't your forte, prepare to suffer in this class.

MATH 10A (Fall 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
41 82 53 14 88

Comment: Lectured directly from powepoint, which wasn't very helpful. Fair homework assignments and midterms, but the finals was rape.

MATH 10A (Fall 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
62 50 50 50 64

Comment: It sucks that they're going to require this for MCB students. Overall the class lessons were organized in a very confusing way; it would have been better if the class was taught calc first and then stats making connections like that (or vice versa) instead of trying to connect the two right a way. Prof. Sturmfels was okay. Whenever I e-mail him questions he answers them with explanations and he was very encouraging, he knew that this course is confusing, especially since this is the only the second time it's been taught.

MATH 10A (Fall 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
76 100 87 41 95

Comment: The first midterm was very easy, the second was a bit more difficult, and the final was in between the two midterms in difficulty. The assignments are pretty straightforward most of the time too. Never went to office hours. Sturmfels was pretty generous in his curving of the test(s). He wasn't the best instructor for this course specifically, but the course itself was very informative and interesting too. If you like calculus more, take Math 1A. If you want to see what a class is like where stats and calc are shown to be interconnected, take this course.

MATH 10A (Fall 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
10 18 25 0 49

Comment: Sturmfels is one of the worst people to teach this class because he is used to teaching math majors and mostly everyone in the class is majoring in something other than math.

MATH 10A (Fall 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
67 71 71 10 76

Comment: Class was at the ungodly hour of 8 am, but he carried a voice powerful enough to keep me awake. Displayed lots of enthusiasm during presentations, poked fun at students, and encouraged class interaction. After awhile, I didn't feel that attending lectures were necessary since for the majority of class time, he reads off slides that were given to us beforehand online. Midterms weren't difficult, but a small mistake will cost you a lot.

MATH 10A (Fall 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
26 23 15 11 84

MATH 10A (Fall 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
5 21 0 0 15

Comment: Worst class ever. Ruined my first semester gpa at Cal. Don't take this class

MATH 10A (Fall 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
35 41 57 33 47

MATH 10A (Fall 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
50 56 65 50 65

MATH 10A (Fall 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
50 26 20 26 62

MATH 10B (Spring 2015)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
94 79 65 71 95

Comment: Sturmfels is a very enthusiastic teacher who really wants you to understand the material! He does cold-call people for answering questions at first but you can always say you don't know the answer in which case he'll move on. He wrote everything on the blackboard and did a lot of example problems in class and honestly he made this difficult material easier to understand, though the exams were tough.

MATH 10B (Spring 2015)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
100 86 87 85 100

Comment: He is an effective teacher and has great enthousiasme. His lectures, albeit too early in the morning, have never failed to be entertaining and refreshing. The exams were challenging but very fair.

MATH 10B (Spring 2015)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
85 73 64 76 92

Comment: I'm not sure why Sturmfels has such low rating on Ninjacourses. He was a much better professor than Persson for Math 10A, who simply glossed through lecture slides, claiming that everything was trivial. Sturmfels is enthusiastic about the material and takes the time to write what he thinks is important from the lecture slides on the board. The material for this semester was all new to me, versus Math 10A where I knew the calculus but just none of the statistics, but somehow I got an A in Math 10B but a B+ in Math 10A. Go figure. As far as advice that I can give to you: make sure that you study definitions as well as computations. Often, Sturmfels would throw a curve ball on tests by making us define certain terms such as p value, central limit theorem, random variable, event, etc. Also, if you can get Joe Kileel as your GSI for any math course, I would highly recommend him. He simplified the material in a way that made it easier for us non-math majors to understand. As far as exams go, the first midterm was fair, the second midterm was easy, and the final was hard, but certainly not as hard as the Math 10A final with Persson last semester.

MATH 10B (Spring 2015)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
72 84 71 47 87

Comment: This course involves probability, statistics, combinatorics (i.e. permutations and combinations), differential equations and matrix algebra. AKA a whole mess of stuff, but it was presented logically and wasn't so bad in the end. Bernd was solid, he presented the material. By the end of semester, his lectures started to get a bit too theoretical for me, but in general, he was able to keep me awake at 8am. Homeworks were a lot better than in 10A, for the most part he gave a reasonable amount and it wasn't overly difficult. The midterms were a little too easy, resulting in a difficult final. Bernd is adamant about writing in complete sentences. This was annoying to many people, but I felt that this gave me a more sound understanding of the topics.

MATH 55 (Spring 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
86 83 78 75 93

MATH 55 (Spring 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
70 37 43 41 68

Comment: Moves very fast. Make sure to give yourself adequate time to do the homework. You don't need Math 53 or 54 in order to do well but really pay attention to the homework.

MATH 55 (Spring 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
82 84 80 60 62

Comment: Lectures presented similarly to how the textbook presents the material. The class itself was fairly easy.

MATH 55 (Spring 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
62 75 65 69 88

MATH 55 (Spring 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
85 100 75 83 92

Comment: Midterms are extremely easy -- basic concepts from the hw. Just review homeworks and examples covered in class and you'll be fine. The final is really hard, but the material itself is difficult by that point. If you study, you'll do well. He's very entertaining in class too! And he keeps you coming to class by offering very easy "quiz" points in lecture (8AM!)

MATH 55 (Spring 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
90 78 56 63 85

MATH 55 (Spring 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
100 100 100 100 100

Comment: It was a killer to wake up for 8 a.m. class, but unbelievably, I never fell asleep; his tone when he teaches just manages to keep me awake somehow. Overall, he's a great instructor; he explains concepts well, has good examples, and is a humorous man. His midterms are very easy, but sometimes a bit tricky and easy to mess up. His final is very, very difficult, but very carefully constructed so it SHOULD (not guaranteed) sort the students out very well to reflect how well they actually learned the material. I would definitely search for him for future classes.

MATH 55 (Spring 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
72 70 57 71 62

MATH 55 (Spring 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
91 78 87 62 71

Comment: Enthusiastic lecturer, knows his material well. Rather difficult to approach, in my opinion. If you are comfortable with mathematics and proofs, the homework/quizzes/tests are all pretty simple.

MATH 55 (Spring 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
70 59 60 50 74

MATH 55 (Spring 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
83 97 74 63 75

Comment: There were 5 pop quizzes, 11 HW assignments, and 2 midterms. The quizzes are open book, so they are easy to ace. The midterms are like the HW, which are easy to complete as well. However, the final was extremely hard so don't let the easy midterms fool you. But overall the class is pretty easy. The lecture is from the book, but he did went over some exercises as well, which are not examples in the book. Honestly, I would not have gone to lecture if it were for the pop quizzes. He has clear handwritings and speaks clear enough. Never been to his office hour, so I can't comment on his helpfulness.

MATH 55 (Spring 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
85 75 70 72 54

Comment: as a math teacher, sturmfels is good enough. the lectures are not fun, but he explained things well. his midterms were easy, and final is a little harder but doable.

MATH 55 (Spring 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
50 19 25 27 70

Comment: lectures straight in the book; intimidating to ask questions from, because it seems like he gets frustrated by the way his face looks and voice sounds after you ask something that may sound dumb, but dont really understand; but this guy really loves math and encourages a lot of class participation

MATH 55 (Spring 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
67 56 57 66 59

MATH 55 (Spring 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
90 50 91 82 83

Comment: His lectures are very engaging and interesting.

MATH 55 (Spring 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
84 76 74 78 76

MATH 55 (Spring 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
99 72 70 84 86

MATH 55 (Spring 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
100 100 76 83 100

Comment: Perfect professor. He is extremely enthusiatic and the course is very helpful. Also his course is very interesting. Notics, he has 5 pop quizs randomly so you'd better not miss the class~

MATH 55 (Spring 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
88 100 66 63 100

Comment: The exams were not very difficult but they graded them very harshly, taking off points for very minor things.

MATH 55 (Spring 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
100 94 100 85 100

Comment: Sturmfels was awesome! I originally was taking this course as a prerequisite for Cognitive Science, but after a semester with him, I actually decided to change my major to Applied Math. He's really passionate, and enthusiastic in lecture, a tad sassy as well! His office hours may sometimes SEEM unhelpful; however, he's really just trying to help you get the answer/solution yourself. I loved Sturmfels. He loved math and he really tried to share it with his students. I'm definitely going to try to get him as a professor again.

MATH 55 (Spring 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
79 76 50 72 78

MATH 55 (Spring 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
99 96 99 99 98

Comment: he is really enthusiastic and helpful in OH

MATH 55 (Spring 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
61 69 73 59 70

MATH 55 (Spring 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
77 73 80 63 71

Comment: Sturmfels is just okay. His entire lecture is straight out of the book so it's really, really boring to listen to a rehash of the textbook at 8AM. It was so boring that I only went to lecture about half the time. Other than that, he's quite enthusiastic and does that random shouting thing. It's nice that he tries to be enthusiastic about the class. Homework can be tedious but is manageable. Midterms were very fair and straightforward.

MATH 55 (Spring 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
98 96 100 100 92

Comment: awesome. sturmfels is great. easy class, easy tests, little homework. only problem--8 am class

MATH 55 (Spring 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
90 91 80 92 83

Comment: Great teacher overall. Fair quizzes and fair exams. Proofs can be annoying though.

MATH 55 (Spring 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
100 88 90 72 100

Comment: An awesome professor. He really loves the subject and he explains it very well. He gives random quizzes so go to lecture. Quizzes and exams are very easy.

MATH 55 (Spring 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
86 66 71 69 86

Comment: passionate professor. pretty easy exams

MATH 55 (Spring 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
79 84 74 80 89

MATH 55 (Spring 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
86 73 68 86 100

MATH 55 (Spring 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
85 79 56 50 53

MATH 55 (Spring 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
97 80 50 81 76

MATH 55 (Spring 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
64 63 75 67 58

MATH 55 (Spring 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
69 65 59 79 79

MATH 55 (Spring 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
88 81 65 90 88

MATH 55 (Spring 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
100 100 100 100 100

MATH 55 (Spring 2010)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
76 50 50 86 100

MATH 55 (Spring 2010)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
88 83 92 79 73

Comment: easy exams!

MATH 55 (Spring 2010)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
68 83 85 50 75

Comment: Make sure to study the previous exams, especially his old midterms and finals. His only downside is that he gives pop quizzes in class

MATH 55 (Spring 2010)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
78 50 69 76 86

MATH 55 (Spring 2010)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
71 68 87 85 61

Comment: Lectures are right out of the book, but he does make the information very clear. Exams are very much like the homework and like previous exams.

MATH 55 (Spring 2010)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
83 68 69 87 100

Comment: Easy midterms, hard final. Homework was fair, but this guy is a real character. Yells in the middle of lecture (it was at 8 am so it helped me stay awake!) and overall very enthusiastic. Highly recommended to take this prof if you gotta take this class, very fun subject

MATH 55 (Spring 2009)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
88 51 71 75 70

Comment: Professor Sturmfels is very approachable during office hours and speaks well throughout his lectures. The homework and exams were not exactly challenging but were certainly graded hard (I believe one mistake could be your grade's downfall on the midterm). To keep up our hopes, he made it so that your final COULD count for almost all your grade, if you did poorly on the midterms. However, the final was a lot harder than the midterms.

MATH 55 (Spring 2009)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
73 76 87 25 77

Comment: Not a totally difficult class, but I can't say I loved the instructor. At first, I really liked his enthusiasm, randomly shouting during his lectures. But a) it was 8am and I really was not ready for shouting and b) he may have been enthusiastic, but if I ever actually listened to the content of what he was saying, I would just get totally confused. The course is easy enough, but it's difficult to learn anything from lecture. I passed by reading the book and going to my GSI's office hours after doing the homework problems. Sturmfels did have the nice policy of allowing your final exam to replace any or all of your past midterms if you get a higher score. I bombed both my midterms but I aced my final, so it was like they never happened. :)

MATH 113 (Summer 2010)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
79 82 86 77 69

MATH 113 (Summer 2010)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
56 50 50 50 50

MATH 113 (Summer 2010)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
86 72 82 92 87

Comment: Great Prof. I actually took this course Summer 2006, but same teacher same course. He is very enthusiastic about mathematics, and is definitely worth taking a class from. A renowned mathematician and a pretty good lecturer.

MATH 255 (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
63 50 50 50 50