O'Brien, J on Ninja Courses

Average Ratings based on 16 ratings

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
59 78 51 58 56

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Instructor Ratings

COMPSCI 184 (Spring 2015)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
100 100 100 100 100

COMPSCI 184 (Fall 2014)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
82 72 50 53 50

Comment: If professors had spirit animals, O'Brien's would be a honey badger because he doesn't seem to give a s***. This class has the very interesting combination of being very loosely administered while at the same time being backbreaking in its rigor and time demands. You don't really need to understand a whole lot of deep theory about graphics as a superficial understanding of his lecture material (and a thorough crib sheet will get you high scores on his exams, which are basically completely recycled and nearly identical over the past 8 years. (Strangely enough, he still gets reasonable distributions/averages so exam grades don't necessarily bunch up around 85-90%.) There's no homework and just ~6 assignments (the first two barely count) spaced through the semester. The assignments are loosely graded basically by just looking at the images your program spews out, so there's no autograder. They're also theoretically not particularly challenging to understand. You could figure out how to do the entirety of a project in about two days, but since most of the projects have zero skeleton associated with them you will spend an ungodly amount of time (>25 hours a week if you want to do every bit right) designing and debugging thousands of lines of code (most likely in C++) from scratch. The assignments end up teaching you just a bit about graphics and a whole lot more about software engineering and development. It's valuable for greatly increasing your confidence as a programmer, and it's very rewarding to see your programs finally work, but the amount of graphics theory they actually help you understand is very superficial and only covers a small subset of the course material. There's plenty of opportunity for extra credit in each project (implementing extra non required features) so it's possible to inflate your grade if you're willing to put in the extra 10-15 hours each time.

COMPSCI 184 (Spring 2014)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
84 100 35 99 43

Comment: exams are almost the same year to year

COMPSCI 184 (Fall 2013)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
86 75 83 29 36

Comment: exams were basically completed recycled? projects were fun but a lot of flailing on your own

COMPSCI 184 (Fall 2013)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
11 74 31 0 4

COMPSCI 184 (Spring 2013)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
0 100 0 0 0

Comment: Terrible lecturer, exams are complete copies of previous ones and completely useless. The class is fun though, purely because of the material + projects.

COMPSCI 184 (Spring 2013)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
43 82 77 52 61

COMPSCI 184 (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
50 31 58 50 60

COMPSCI 184 (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
70 82 44 71 73

Comment: Really rewarding projects. The exams were strange as they were almost identical to previous years'.

COMPSCI 184 (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
84 83 81 65 65

COMPSCI 184 (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
79 94 23 77 81

COMPSCI 184 (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
20 75 0 44 46

COMPSCI 184 (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
66 63 38 63 61

COMPSCI 184 (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
11 50 22 71 50

COMPSCI 184 (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
85 87 86 88 91

COMPSCI 184 (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
86 83 92 75 83

Comment: cs184 with O'Brien is very math intensive. I wish I had a stronger background of linear algebra before taking this class. If you have a strong background in math, I strongly recommend this class. Midterms/Finals are pretty straight forward, the projects are what can kill you. Projects are awesome though.