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Thomas Briggs
(Computer Science)


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Comment Summary
Total
Past Month
Past 6 Mo.
Positive
14
0
0
Negative
15
0
0
Neutral
5
0
0
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This Professor's Average Ratings
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How effective was this teacher?
Not Effective (1)
5.85
Very Effective (10)
What is the difficulty level of classes taught by this professor?
Very Difficult (1)
3.56
Very Easy (10)
How would you rate this professor's availability outside of the classroom?
Never Around (1)
6.94
Always Around (10)
What is your overall rating? Would you recommend this prof to your friends? 
Not Recommend (1)
5.74
Highly Recommend (10)

This professor has been rated 34 time(s).


Student Comments about this Professor
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Positive Comments (14)

Subject: Best Prof I Ever Had  (Mar 22 2006, 02:46PM)
Student: Amanda (Computer Science)
Class:CSII, Comp Org (B)
 12 of 37 students found this review helpful.

 Professor Briggs is the best professor I've ever had. He is tough at times but you will learn a lot. He explains the material very well and he is always available to help you one on one if you need it. If you have the chance take him, simple as that.
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Subject: One of the Best @ Ship  (May 12 2005, 03:41AM)
Student: Anonymous (CS)
Class:Several (A-)
 12 of 37 students found this review helpful.

 You'll notice that most of the negative comments are from Comp Sci 1 students. Briggs weeds out the incompetent. He's a very effective teacher, and if you're stuck in the highschool mentality you're f*cked. Go ahead, try to cheat: He'll catch you. How? Because he knows how to work a search engine, too. He demands that you learn to code in your sleep. He probably sleeps on a pile of OS code printouts. If you're not dedicated enough to the comp sci field, you're not going to survive his classes. This all sounds negative, but in reality, it's a good thing. Too many sh*theads make it into the upper echelon classes, and wind up dragging down team members and anyone nearby. Briggs weeds them out. He forces us to discipline ourselves, to learn to code, to study hard, and to actually understand the material, not just memorize it by rote. He's always around when you need to discuss something with him, he gives plenty of extensions on labs, but he does not hold your hand. If you want to be mollycoddled and babied, major in elementary Ed, not compsci. If you screw off, he will burn your ass come test time, and that's the way it should be. Overall, I'd say I learned more from him than any other prof at Ship, except maybe Stambaugh. And he's a good person to get to know, as well: he gives good advice regarding life, the universe, and Shippensburg.
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Subject: excellent  (Jan 11 2005, 04:11PM)
Student: Derek Wolfe (Chemistry/Computer Science)
Class:Computer Organization (A)
 12 of 37 students found this review helpful.

 I thought Prof Briggs was an excellent professor. Class was challenging enough to weed out people who don't belong there, but not by any means impossible or unfair. He constantly used real life situations, his personal experiences with computers, and demonstrations like runtime differences on different processor architectures to help explain the material. He was available in his office even outside of office hours and was willing to help me with things in and out of class. Excellent job overall
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Subject: Good Prof  (Dec 28 2004, 08:46PM)
Student: Anonymous (CS)
Class:Computer Organization (B)
 12 of 37 students found this review helpful.

 This was my second class ive taken with briggs. Hes the best ive had so far. Hes cool and really teaches you something. Homeworks can be hard but its because he really wants you to learn. He doesn't try and screw you on tests so thats good. If you have problems in his class just go ask for help cause he really just wants you to understand. Class isn't bad either he can be funny at times, when he tells stories and when he gives his opinions on products and whatnot. I suggest taking him.
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Subject: Cool Guy  (Apr 21 2004, 06:00PM)
Student: Anonymous (Comp Sci)
Class:CS2 (--)
 12 of 37 students found this review helpful.

 Briggs really knows his stuff. He was more willing to help than my last CS prof and he didn't make me feel stupid when i asked a question. Labs weren't that bad. The project was tough but if you want CS to be easy then you should switch to MIS. Very funny at times. I didn't like that we were a little slow early on and had to skip a project but it wasnt that big of a deal. Read the chapters before you go over it cause its very likely you will get a pop quiz, but if you bomb some quizes it won't hurt that much. Overall i liked his class and recommend him to others. Oh yeah make sure you can spell before taking his class.
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Subject: Tough but good.  (Jan 13 2004, 01:15PM)
Student: Anonymous (Comp Sci)
Class:Java II (--)
 12 of 37 students found this review helpful.

 Prof. Briggs really piles on the projects, he told us flat out we should basically be eating, sleeping, and drinking coding 24/7. I came into the class with no real Java experience (shitty Java 1 teacher), and I did okay. He wasn't afraid to extend due dates on projects, and he was always available to help you. Yes, he told us to Google things a lot, and I don't blame him: Why wouldn't a Comp Sci major know how to use a search engine? I googled the shit out of stuff when I didn't know how to do something. When we get out, we won't have a friendly prof to tell us everything. His tests are a bitch, but the final was open notes for the programming part, and several of the required programs were right there in our notes. All in all, I learned a lot and so far he's been the best programming teacher I've had, albeit that ain't saying a whole lot. Pay attention and participate in class, do the reading, use good English in your reports (he's a grammar nazi) and you'll do fine. f*ck off, do projects at the last minute, and skip class or space out and you'll be screwed. Simple as that. This class really weeds out the wannabes.
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Subject: HE is GOOD  (Apr 26 2003, 12:33PM)
Student: Anonymous (CS)
Class:DBMS (A)
 12 of 37 students found this review helpful.

 He is good. He was inexperienced when he taught the course. But he has shown a lot of commitment, he guides the students in proper way. He knows well about students and their thinking...As time progresses, i'm sure he's going to be THE best.
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Subject: He is a down to earth guy  (Apr 07 2003, 11:15AM)
Student: one dumb fuckin comp sci kid (Mathematics)
Class:comp sci 1 (--)
 12 of 37 students found this review helpful.

 Understands u have other classes and that there is life outside his class. will always help u when u need it, even if it is not for his class. the course is a little difficult if u have no prgamming background. but as long as u do the assignments and read his class is not bad at all... test are easy... programs can be a lil hard
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Subject: Very Good  (Nov 17 2002, 02:00PM)
Student: Anonymous ()
Class:DBMS (A-)
 12 of 37 students found this review helpful.

 Tom goes with students in the class, If u want learn the stuff I strongly recommend u to take his course.
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Subject: Good, but yeah  (Nov 07 2002, 02:52AM)
Student: Anonymous (Computer Science)
Class:Data Struct (B+)
 12 of 37 students found this review helpful.

 Briggs is a good teacher. He knows what he's talking about and he loves recursion. So much so that its sickening. He does throw alot of Labs at you. One every week...BUT if you are having trouble with it TELL HIM AND HE WILL GIVE YOU MORE TIME! He will push things back if you request it. Homework, Projects, Labs, Tests. His only quirk that bugged me is that sometimes when you ask him a question in class...he kinda just rambles to himself and writes on the board. He's a decent prof otherwise. His tests are kinda difficult, but he is eager to help you out if you need it.
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Subject: Awesome Guy  (Oct 24 2002, 09:59AM)
Student: Anonymous (Computer Science)
Class:Overview of Comp Sci (-)
 12 of 37 students found this review helpful.

 This guy is awesome. He is very laid back in class, and covers only what he thinks we'll find interesting and tosses out the other bull. If you have the chance take this prof, he knows about everything and is very interesting.
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Subject: very good professor  (Oct 24 2002, 09:03AM)
Student: Anonymous (CS)
Class:overview to CS (B+)
 12 of 37 students found this review helpful.

 this prof really knows his stuff, and he has the ability to take a boring topic, such as...how we process data, and make it interesting with cool examples and guest speakers, seriously, if you have the chance, take a course or 5 with him, youll love it, by the way, he puts his notes on his site, do dont worry about writing alot
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Subject: TAKE HIM  (Oct 16 2002, 07:56PM)
Student: Anonymous ()
Class:Microcomputer Basic (A-)
 12 of 37 students found this review helpful.

 this guy is great! he expains things great, is very helpful and an easy grader. Pay attention to the slides, but you don't have to write down the notes. He's really laid back and relaxed. If you have to take Microcomputer basic, take it with him!
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Subject: good prof  (Aug 27 2002, 04:26PM)
Student: Anonymous (Computer Science)
Class:N/A (A)
 12 of 37 students found this review helpful.

 he was cool. very helpful always taking the time to help.
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Negative Comments (15)

Subject: Upgrade  (Feb 11 2009, 10:50AM)
Student: Anonymous (Computer Science)
Class:N/A (--)
 12 of 37 students found this review helpful.

 Recently this professor had decided to take over our department system known as clipper. He had decided to install ubuntu on the server and lab computers in an effort to make everything work properly. The machines with windows never worked quite right. After the transition was started, it was a guessing game if our login information would even work. In addition to this, it was unknown if any of your saved files could be accessed. Some of my classes had to push back the due dates because of this. Instead of making the system work for another 2 weeks until a break opened up, he decided to alter everything and for a short time leave us high and dry. Aside from a god complex for the ages, his classes made me fear my own profession. Last year we covered about 1/3 of the course material because he hardly ever showed up, and was not prepared to teach a lesson. It was done on the fly as the topic came to him. Even the comp sci majors that have been rooted out have to retake any class he teaches. Mind you, it is about half of us, not all of us. Avoid this professor.
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Subject: Personality complex  (Dec 12 2007, 12:28PM)
Student: Anonymous (Comp Sci)
Class:Computer Organization (--)
 12 of 37 students found this review helpful.

 He gave a few little speeches throughtout the semester that would have you believe that he genuinely cares about his students. He claimed that a class average of 17% on the first exam was the fault of the students. His evidence was good. We weren't reading the book like we were supposed to, and we weren't asking questions. OK, I bought that, but now I think differently.
The good: Very knowledgable guy (a underrated thing these days). He has the potential to be the best CS professor at Ship. He is challenging, so if you meet the challenge there is no doubt that it will yield great real-world benefits.
The bad: This guy has got the biggest personality complex I've ever seen in a professor. Your class will go one of 3 ways: 1) Briggs seems genuinely happy to be there, people ask questions, we have interesting discussions, and you leave the class inspired and eager to get to work. 2)Briggs seems moderatley happy to be there, but you're engaged in the learning process nonetheless. He asks a question that nobody responds to. BAM, he throws a little temper tantrum in his own unique way, your learning process is ruined, and you dream of classes where the professors display professionalism all the time. 3) Briggs does not want to be there, he says that hes in a "bad mood" like its your job as a student to worry about his mood. The negative atmosphere in the room absolutley ruins any chance you have of learning.
The result: After half of the kids dropped the class, most of the #3 days (from above) dissappeared. We had many interesting discussions and it started to feel like a real class for once. Unfortunatley by this time I found myself weeks behind on understanding the material because of the sh*tty nature of the first half of the semester. I started to get a solid footing and began working hard as I felt this would be rewarded. Well then the next exam came and the half of the class that remiained performed only marginally better than on the first exam. Keep working though. Then final project time, my partner gave up on the class (which I don't even blame him for), I try to take on the project myself and ask Briggs some simple questions on AIM. No reply, fine. I doubt it was on purpose. Then I hear others in the class saying that they emailed him and got no help or reply. Well at this point I decide that even a C is not a grade I am happy with so I give up too and decide I will retake the class in the future. I feel cheated, and I feel he got the best of me, and I don't think he cares one bit.
Sorry for writing you all a book, but I'm in a "bad mood."
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Subject: Bad Professor  (Dec 11 2007, 12:52AM)
Student: Anonymous (Computer Science)
Class:Computer Organization (--)
 12 of 37 students found this review helpful.

 Professor Briggs is probably one of the hardest and possibly one of the worst professors I have ever taken. I would call his classes nearly impossible. When half the class withdraws and two thirds of the remaining people are failing, then you know something is wrong. The averages on all the tests and assignments were almost always below fifty percent. He assigns complex homework assignments and worksheets every week. If you went to ask him for help outside of class, he would tell you what you needed to use to fix your problem, but he would never tell you how to do it. I strongly do not recommend this professor, unless your course load only consists of his class, because you will find yourself doing about twenty plus hours of work outside of class a week. But if you do get stuck with this professor, then read the book!!!!! And be ready to sit through some very boring power points, agonizing tests, and long lectures.
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Subject: A little treasure  (Dec 10 2007, 05:16PM)
Student: Anonymous (Comp Sci)
Class:N/A (--)
 12 of 37 students found this review helpful.

 A friend of mine had a question about a final for his class and this was the conversation that ensued.
me: I was wondering if the final was designed for an hour or all 3 hours
me: did you happen to receive my previous inquiry?
Tom: yes
me: would you be able to tell me then?
Tom: actually, I was so offended by the lack of common sense in your question that I do not feel it is worthy of a response.
me: I dont feel that there is a lack of common sense in my question, Iv had professors do a final exam that was completed by most in an hour or a little more
Tom: begone
me: so if a student asks you a question that they feel is legitimate and they give you their reason for asking, your response is "begone"; or an extended version would be 'I don't have to deal with you even though I told everyone I would try to answer questions from students'?
The conversation ended there. Doesn't he just seem like an understanding and helpful professor. Avoid this professor at all costs
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Subject: Those who can not do teach  (Oct 25 2007, 12:10PM)
Student: CD (Computer Science)
Class:Comp Org (C)
 12 of 37 students found this review helpful.

 This is a gentleman who is very very good at what he does. He is in fact so good at what he does that he forgets that the students he has are seeing all of this for the very first time. Because of this many people fail or drop out of his course. I will say I have never had to work so hard for a grade in my life, but I learned so very much. If you have a question in class he will blast through the answer to your question and if you don't get it the first time you have to visit during office hours (pain if you commute and have a job). His class teaches you to be self-reliant and self teaching. Because he sure as hell wont provide any actual form of help to his students. Example: I was having trouble with a HW program, I showed him my code and he said the following: "that is not how you do that method". I asked could you maybe give me a hint or some guidance. He says rewrite that method and read over a 70 pg small print chapter for a single answer he could had just as well provided to me in 3 seconds. He makes having a job, 4 other classes, and personal things to take care of nearly impossible. Lastly a little story to share, He spent about 30 minutes of class time trying to divide 7 by 2 in binary. He is supposed to be an expert in his field and had trouble with division...enough said. Those who cannot do teach... this man can do, so he shouldn't be teaching. I recommend if at all possible, avoid this professor.
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Subject: Just don't get it.  (Mar 07 2007, 10:58AM)
Student: Anonymous (Computer Science)
Class:Comp Org (D)
 12 of 37 students found this review helpful.

 It sucks that no one bothers to ask a question in class as I'm too lazy to raise my hand and say I don't know what's going on. Also, I don't see how he's so prepared for class with the fact he has a family, teaches full time, and is going to grad school with a two hour commute to classes. It sucks, people that good shouldn't be allowed to teach as it makes my life too difficult so that I have to study while I'm at school and ask for help.
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Subject: Watch Out  (Jan 16 2007, 02:05PM)
Student: Anonymous (N/a)
Class:Comp Org (F)
 12 of 37 students found this review helpful.

 Briggs used to be a good teacher a few years ago, but his style of teaching has gotten so out of hand that if you expect to have a Job, and do other classes while taking his, you won't get far. He doesn't realize College students have lives, jobs, and other classes with work too. He teaches the material and everyone is fine, but no one wants to stop class when they get lost, by the end of the year everyone but maybe one person was lost. This is one professor who went from good to bad in a few years and should be avoided.
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Subject: Absolutely Horrid  (Mar 31 2005, 11:49AM)
Student: Anonymous (Computer Science)
Class:Computer Science 1 (B-)
 12 of 37 students found this review helpful.

 Briggs was an absolutely horrid teacher! His projects were too hard, and he didn't care if he would fail half of the class or not. When we didn't understand the programming, Briggs told us that we weren't reading the book, yet he told us that the book wasn't very useful anyway. Poor teacher, do not take!
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Subject: the definition of a bad teacher  (Nov 19 2004, 12:32PM)
Student: Anonymous (undeclared (formerly comp sci))
Class:computer science 1 (D)
 12 of 37 students found this review helpful.

 I took his course in hopes of furthering my knowledge of computer science, but after a couple of weeks of being in his class I knew I was doomed. He is the worst teacher that I have ever had. His methods are ineffective and his humor is dry. I highly recommend avoiding him if you like computers because he will make you hate them.
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Subject: Not a good choice if u wanna learn  (Mar 30 2004, 03:57PM)
Student: Anonymous (Comp Sci changed to IT)
Class:Comp Sci 1 (D)
 12 of 37 students found this review helpful.

 This guy is a professor who does not teach you the material. If you know how do program in java you will do fine but if you were like me and didnt know how, you will be lost. He hit us with a project in the beginning of week 2 and i was lost from there on. Yeah he tried to help some people but he had his favorites who he liked more. Come final time he made it so a couple kids he didnt like would fail and they did along with about 2/3 of the class. So if you dont know what ur doing dont take him take stambaugh or someone else.
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Subject: Don't even think about it!!!  (Dec 20 2003, 02:00PM)
Student: Anonymous (Computer Science)
Class:Computer Science II (B-)
 12 of 37 students found this review helpful.

 This guy is a horrible professor. He started off the class with a project so hard that people in the class either considered changing their major, or actually did go ahead and drop out. He thinks students should know way more than they actually do. His projects are usually only loosely associated with what is being taught in class and he almost never gives any example of code. Then when you try to email him, he either does not answer or tells you to look for your answer on google. He actually said this one time "look it up on google, I did and I found 5000 results..." If I wanted to learn how to write java code from google, I would not be paying to go to this school!!! He gave only 2 tests, a midterm and a final. Both of these were very hard. I felt as if I could have spent all of my time studying for this test alone, but I still would have done poorly on the final because there were things that I had never even seen before. At the end of the semester, he stood in front of the class and told that he did a bad job teaching our class. He admitted that he doesn't know what he is doing!!! DO NOT TAKE HIM!!!
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Subject: He Sucks a Big One  (Dec 18 2003, 02:23PM)
Student: Anonymous (Comp Sci)
Class:Data Structures Abstract Data (C)
 12 of 37 students found this review helpful.

 Taught absolutely nothing, if students ever had a question he said "oh look it up on Google." His projects involved material that he would not usually teach until after the project was due or a class before the project due. Also he had his class buy textbooks yet he would tell us how bad they were and we should never use them. Also his final was ridiculous, Avoid him and try to take a different comp sci professor at any chance you can!
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Subject: He is a Jerk!!!  (Nov 24 2003, 03:21PM)
Student: Anonymous ()
Class:N/A (B-)
 12 of 37 students found this review helpful.

 Most of the time, Tom does not appear to know what he is teaching. He blames the slides he got from some websites as not correct to cover himself. He is very contradictory and untrustworthy.
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Subject: jerk  (Mar 25 2003, 06:06PM)
Student: erin (cj)
Class:comp sci (--)
 12 of 37 students found this review helpful.

 this guy is a jerk. he sucks as a prof and goes back on his word. theres nothing i hate more than a dishonest person.
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Subject: HE GOES AT HIS OWN PACE!!!  (Nov 06 2002, 03:07PM)
Student: Anonymous (Computer Science)
Class:Data Structures (D)
 12 of 37 students found this review helpful.

 I recently took him this semester because he was the only teacher available. He seemed very nice at the beginning and tried relating to the students. Throughout the semester he started writing psudocode that I had no clue what he was talking about. All my computer classes up to this point i recieved B's in and this killed my GPA. Last year he said he got behind on the labs so the semester i took him he didn't care if anyone got behind he just kept throwing labs at us until the class average was a 27% on them. DO NOT TAKE THIS GUY if you can avoid him!!!
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Neutral Comments (5)

Subject: The short of it.  (Nov 22 2007, 08:22PM)
Student: Anonymous ()
Class:N/A (--)
 12 of 37 students found this review helpful.

 Do you have a genuine passion for computer science?
-You'll love his classes.
Did you wander into this major unsure of what you really want to do?
-You better be a hard worker.
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Subject: 2 sides to the coin  (Jan 19 2006, 03:05PM)
Student: Anonymous (comp sci)
Class:comp org (D)
 12 of 37 students found this review helpful.

 This professor is really good at teaching the material and I learned more in this class than I have in any other, but his home and test are what killed me. Every point on the test is 1% of your grade so if mess up one(of usually 5) problems on a test there goes like 5% of your total grade. Like I said, good teacher but gives hard work and tests worth taking if you want to learn, but not if you dont want to work.
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Subject: Wow.  (Dec 06 2004, 04:22PM)
Student: Anonymous (Computer Science)
Class:CS1 and CS2 (F)
 12 of 37 students found this review helpful.

 This was, by far, the worst class EVER. If you want to work, and certainly want to learn (who does?) take this guy. This class really affected my party-ability. I mean, he actually expected us to write a program in CS1 and CS2!!! I mean, this is supposed to be easy - all I want to do is write video games!!!
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Subject: Average in some cases  (Nov 11 2004, 03:06PM)
Student: Anonymous (Comp Sci)
Class:CS1 (C+)
 12 of 37 students found this review helpful.

 Prof briggs knows what hes talking about, but he isn't that great of actually making the students understand what he knows... His projects are quite difficult and you will definitely need help from him or someone outside of the class who knows a lot, this is a fact. His office hours sort of suck, but hes there when hes supposed to be, and he does actually help you if you go and see him, but if you don't youre screwed, and even if you do go and see him you might still be screwed....
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Subject: Looking for a challenge?  (Nov 02 2004, 05:05PM)
Student: Anonymous (CompSci)
Class:Computer Organization (--)
 12 of 37 students found this review helpful.

 There is no doubt about it that this teacher is one of the hardest teachers I've ever had. He excepts students to devote a very large portion of your time in reading & doing hw. You get what you put into the class though. Recommendation: find another professor
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