As I sit at my desk cramming and dreading the hours to my quantum mechanics mid-term, this question crossed my mind. Obviously this class is small potatoes compared to others at the university, so to make me feel better what are some hard courses you've survived at the U (or other colleges)?
Hardest Class at U-M?
I did civil engineering so I didnt really have any super challanging courses. Structures classes were the toughest.
aren't too bad, at least the design ones are alright, but hydrology was awful for me. The past 2 years all I've heard is negative reviews and terrible grades.
I would say any class that you sat by past alum, and current Miss Michigan Rima Fakih. How could you focus? SHEESH
Miss Teen Michigan was in my sorority (ugh I hate admitting that) and she was a brilliant math major.
I'd post her photo but I'm not sure if she would be happy with me.
hopefully not calc 2, as I have 40 minutes till I have to take it
Calc 2 wasn't too bad for me. Calc 3 on the other hand....
seconded - I thought 3 dimensional calc was a beast
I thought calc 3 was the easiest, and that both Calc 2 and DiffEq were harder. Maybe I think better in 3-D.
I found Calc II to be hardest. III wasn't all that bad...and IV was kinda fun. But that's just me.
If it weren't for my Russian professor's accent and strangely dry sense of humor, I would have jumped out the window and plummeted to by blissful demise from Dennison. Calc III made Calc II look like 7th grade algebra.
is not that difficult. The only reason why it's so hard is people, who aren't an engineering, physics or math major, suck at math and have to take it as part of their academic requirements.
Calc 3 is difficult but the exams are pretty easy which is more important IMO. If you know how to do the practice exams, you generally will do well in the exams.
is not that difficult. The only reason why it's so hard is people, who aren't an engineering, physics or math major, suck at math and have to take it as part of their academic requirements.
Calc 3 is difficult but the exams are pretty easy which is more important IMO. If you know how to do the practice exams, you generally will do well in the exams.
I hated DiffEq because there was so much hw. If I remember correctly, we had written hw, online hw, and group hw. Calc 3 wasn't too bad.
Math of Finance (Financial Engineering) was challenging, but do-able. Just had to bang your head against the wall for a little while.
Are you refering to Math 423? If so I agree. In fact pretty much all financial math classes are that way. Not as conceptually challenging as theoretical math but mind numbingly dull and nuanced(at least in my opinion)
I believe that was the one.
Took the Honors Calc 3 course my first semester. Insanely difficult... I recall taking an exam where the mean score (out of 100) was 16. Never took another Math course again!
I nominate Math 285 for most unpredictably fucking insanely hard class possible. I don't know if it was just really hard to wrap my head around the applications of the concepts, or the fact that my prof was just too brilliant to understand what we could possibly be struggling with, but this one kicked my ass without apology.
I was a little worried about taking enough Honors classes to get the sophomore honors award, after 285 - but 286, Diff Eq, was much easier (honestly, it seemed easier than the non-Honors Math 216 class my friends were taking) and I soon realized that Honors classes were mostly a joke.
T minus 30 minutes until I attempt to fail less than everyone else.
calc 2 was the course i hated the most, i had a strong desire to thrust my face into a wall after class everyday
Ugh...i took Calc 2 Honors last year when I thought I was good at Calc.
Lets just say I no longer think I know anything about Calc.
...is that Calc 2 (Math 116, I think?) is the hardest class at the University, and the 2nd exam is the hardest exam at the University.
Obviously it isn't the hardest subject matter, but FWIW, that was the rumor when I was a young engineering student.
EDIT: Sorry, Kurt... Good luck. Integrate that bitch.
...when there are probably a dozen or so Math classes alone that are more difficult.
Yeah, for me it was Math 419. Made me decide not to be a math major, or even get a math minor when I was only 1 math course short.
Math 295 ruined my life my first semester. It's literally so hard that if you fail it they give you and A- for effort.
C'mon, Math 295 is the easy part of the honors sequence.
i got like 9/15 on every homework assignment and somehow got an A. i hate delta/epsilon proofs. also, i got a 5 on the Calc BC AP test which got me out of the first two semesters of math. little did i know, Math 295 counts as Calc 1, so i forfeited 4 free credits. sonofabitch. 10 years later and i'm still bitter.
I took the Math 295-396 series right around the same time (in fact, sounds like we may have been in the same class). I definitely got math 120&121 AP credit, I think you got hosed.
As for hardest class, I'd have to go with Math 512, algebraic structures.
While the material isn't nearly as challenging in Calc 2 as other math courses, the reason it is reportedly the toughest class at U of M is because they specifically design the exams to be over the top hard and then adjust the grades accordingly.
So if you are talking simply from a comprehension point of view, no, Calc 2 is not the hardest. If you are talking about getting a good grade or doing well on the exams...I think Calc 2 can make a case for that.
i hear this alot too - that calc 2 or orgo are the hardest classes at UM.
They are the hardest courses to the people that take them because so many, including those not so intellectually gifted, take them because they are part of so many core curricula. They are the most failed courses on campus for the same reason.
do people seriously think calc 2 or orgo is harder than something like EECS 470? or 400-level math or some super hard literature course?
Orgo isn't the hardest class at U-M. It's just that a lot of "Pre-med" kids who are never gonna end up as Med students take it.
This is the only class i've ever failed. and on the 2nd exam I got a 4 of 125.
But during the exam I did draw up two sweet flag football plays that my team used to score 3 TDs later that night....
lowest in the classes history (and maybe in the Universitys history) I do believe that it was in the mid 20's.
I did not take psych at UM, but was that sarcasm? It seems like intro psych should be a fairly easy and fun course.
It is entirely possible that this is an inside joke that I just didn't get, and if so...I sincerely apologize.
that he is "Ted Bundy."
"Al Bundy" when creating his account. ( Can't rule out schizophrenia )
you'll only give credence to his insanity defense.
Probably the easiest class on campus. I took it (along with most of the freshman from the 2008 recruiting class) and didn't bother showing up to lecture once after the first exam. It just wasn't necessary.
That was a joke, but it's not too funny for me. I took it with Brian Malley and the average GPA for his class was something like a 2.85. *pickaprof.com used to keep track of these things for free, but now you have to pay for it.
I didn't mind Malley that much, except that I did do rather poorly in that class.
Yeah, I take that back. Malley sucks and he is to blame for my failures in the easiest class at U of M.
EECS 280. Had a crappy teacher and I just couldn't put it together. Almost dropped out of engineering school because of that one class. The worst part is for all countless hours I spent on that stupid class, I've never used any of it again (focused on MEMS in college but now I'm a controls and automation engineer). If one of my friends didn't write my last 2 programs, I would have failed the class. Damn I hated that class.
That was my 2nd favorite class (close behind History of The University of Michigan). It sounds like we didn't have the same Professor.
I had 2 roommates taking EECS 280 at the same time my sophomore year, and I swear they didn't move from their computers all semester. Watching them do that almost single-handedly drove me into IOE, which was cake by comparison.
I personally scraped bottom with a C- in calc-3. Rebounded with a C in calc 4 though...
of course IOE was easy, it is its acronym after all. true story, we had a contest senior year taking IOE 301: told time spent to get an A including times in exams. I lost with 4.5 hours! Dammit.
that seems legit, im just curious as to what the fuck ioe 301 is
you should've taken EECS 281. That class was 100 times worse than 280 and was my hardest/favorite class that I've taken at Michigan
I took both 280 and 281 (I got a CS minor) and I didn't think either was that hard. When I took 280 I had 2 easier classes, and when I took 281 it was my easiest class of the semester. I got a high A in 280 and an A- in 281.
Personally, I think 281 depends on the semester. If you took it Fall 2007, you really had to put in a lot of work because the prof took projects that were designed to be done in a group and made everyone do it individually.
Having said that, I took it the following semester and although it was easier, I still put a good amount of time into it lol
You're absolutely right; unlike several other EECS courses that are pretty much set in stone, in EECS 281 they're trying to figure out the right balance of material. How hard it is can vary a huge amount depending on when you take it (and who the prof is, and how much emphasis he/she puts on different parts of the curriculum).
If you thought EECS 281 was hard, you should take EECS 381. It's 10 times harder than 280 and 281 put together.
...which resulted in 2 F's. I spent 50hrs a week working on EECS 280, which deprived me from working hard in Calc 3, only to fail both. Awesome.
I took both those classes in the same semester too unfortunately (along with my chemE classes). It was by far my worst semester. I've tried to remove that semester from my memory.
I took Calc 3 and EECS 206: Signals and Systems in the same semester. It murdered me. I ended up getting shingles the November of that fall. EECS 206 isn't tough for most CS or EECS majors I know, but for the non-CS majors (AOSS), that combined with Calc 3 just packed my shit for 4 months.
I really liked 280. 373 was the worst for me. I don't think it's nearly as conceptually difficult as higher level classes in theoretical physics or math, but it was a shit ton of work.
i was logging like 4 hours a day in the lab for that class when i took it. also, the professor quit halfway through the semester. that didn't help.
EECS 373 was a living hell for me. Professor Brehob, who I'm assuming still teaches the course, proudly stated that he thought it was the hardest undergrad class at Michigan. I did terrible in that class.
The funny thing is, I design microprocessor based systems for a living now haha.
I hated EECS 280 more than any other class during my time at Michigan. It was ridiculously hard, the professor sucked, the autograder sucked, and it was ridiculously hard (wait, I said that already). I mentioned this in a previous thread back during finals week last December, but that class single-handedly altered the course of my college career. I became an academic felon (three honor code violations) and changed majors to IOE. Best decision I ever made.
Having said all that, I don't consider EECS 280 to be the most difficult class I took. No, that distinction would go to ME 235 (Thermodynamics). I know some of you mechanical engineers are probably reading this and laughing at me, but I didn't know what the fuck was going on in that class. Good thing no one else in the class knew what was going on either. As I recall, the average for every exam was in the 30% range. I recorded the lowest test score ever in my academic career during that class: a 17% on the second midterm. Amazingly I came out with a C at the end of the term.
..can eat sh*t and die for the rest of time. I failed it, and the damage from that is still affecting me in job interviews a decade later.
I hope they didn't make you sign that engineering honor code on those programs.
I agree though 280 was a POS.
If I had a share of Google for every hour I spent in front of a computer during school, I'd be retired on my own island right now.
I agree with EECS280, but not because the subject matter was difficult. Doing battle with the auto-grader was the hard part. I spent 40 or so hours once banging my head against a program because an invisible character (carriage return maybe?) was different in Windows than in the Linux used on the auto-grading machine, so it failed all of the tests.
I know this post is old.. and I'm hoping you respond (West Texas Blue) before my project is due...
I'm wondering what your project/exam grades were... if you could e-mail me those, that'd be great, I can give you my e-mail...
I'm in the course right now, it convinced me to not do CSE anymore... I'm scared of failing...... I don't think anybody else in the course is doing as poorly as me....
Please, Calc 2 is a walk in the park.
Calc 3 (multivariable) was a bitch. My worst grade at U of M was math 425, but it probably comes very easy to some people.
Since so many classes are graded on a curve, the question isn't whats the hardest class, the question is what class do you have the biggest competitive disadvantage at?
Is where I started to fall apart. I got my only A+ of my college career in Calc 3. I got the only C of my college career in Calc 4.
I still think that Calc 2 might have the lowest curve.
Not sure if it's still taught, but man was that hard. I mean, talking about sports and daily life, geez.
I took Sports and Daily Life... with Prof. Potter back 2004 and the legendary Graham Brown (the tall, white Goliath Center of the Amaker era) was in my discussion section. The insights that he brought to our discussions really opened my eyes and stirred my soul.
I took Roman Sports with Potter in 2003 right after Gladiator came out and saw him on the History channel talking about the Coliseum while I was enrolled.
I actually remember that class being really easy. I got cued into it by my plugged-in fraternity friend that had the line on all the cakewalk classes.
my roomate copied one of my homework assignments and we both got penalized. ouch.
LOL I remember taking that class back in the 90's. They gave out 'homework' involving a computer program that would tell you if you got the (multiple choice) answer wrong or not, then let you try again. You couldn't do less than get 100% unless you didn't turn it in.
One of the relatively few classes I got an A in, sad to say....
I am giggling furiously at this comment because my girlfriend and I were in a discussion section for Classic Civ ... 192 (?) with Graham Brown, and we still talk about Graham's astuteness and, uh, dashing good looks.
I also had football tickets right next to GB when I was a freshman (in row 13... some kind of a fluke), and he would 'ask' to borrow my ticket so some similarly large gentleman could join him. I've never been a fan of standing completely sideways because a bunch of people have brought their friends down to the bottom of the section, but... I probably would've moved up to row 50 if that behemoth had demanded it.
ECON 401 can be known for being a bitch, but ECON 401 w/ Kuhn truly was less than enjoyable.
+1 for same exact thought at same exact time...
I just assumed that the University made a one semester mistake and would never again put Kuhn in front of a 401 class. I hope you were in my class. If not, that means the UM has put countless other students through that same disaster. Those were the worst lectures I've ever sat through. I had professors with very limited English language skills who were far better lecturers than Kuhn. geesh!!
No way - Kuhn taught that class for a long time. Beyond horrific.
I just threw up in my mouth. That guy made me hate economics. My heart hurts, and my soul is weeping. What a tragedy.
I think Gerson also taught one section of 401 my semester. That would have been way better. I've never forgiven myself.
But you got to play the ultimatum game for $10!
He was just such a condescending douche bag on top of being a bad teacher. He always mentioned his Oxford ties and even the student-teachers thought he was a d-bag. I learned way more from the discussion classes than I ever did in his lectures.
that class sucked ass. It made me want to gouge my eyes out instead of trying to sit through lectures and the homeworks are too damn long.
ECON 401 is definitely at the top of my list. I'm currently taking it with Lauerman and it is no fun at all.
401 was the hardest class I took. The disappointing thing was that I went into exams thinking I knew things fairly well and still did a lot worse than I thought I should have.
My roommate at the time was taking 401 just for the hell of it. He was an engineer (EECS I think?) and also a math major (this was our junior year, and he was GRADING upper level course math homework). When he came to class, he'd never pay attention and just do crosswords in the Daily the whole time. The only preparation he did for any exam was the week of, where he would take a look at the practice problems, ask me how to do them, and proceed to ace every single one. In fact, without doing jack shit but the exams, he finished 15th in the class. Asshole.
This was my thought the second I saw this thread. The biggest problem for me with this class is that I've always been more into the applied real world and policy aspects of econ. I'm pretty sure Kuhn didn't touch real world implications once in that class, and I'm certain that the guy doesn't realize that economics is more than just drawing curves and doing math problems. I took a few more Econ classes with some pretty dry and detached course material and professors, but this one takes the cake, easy.
I'm glad I took a couple classes with Adams before I graduated to get the bad taste out of my mouth and make me feel ok about my choice of major...
401 was tough but I don't think it was the toughest I took. It was, however, the most time consuming. by far. Someone made the point about a high total work v. credit hr ratio. I agree with that. 26 total problem sets, which usually took 4 -10 hours each to do. Plus class time and exam studying.
Econ 405 and 411 especially were a bitch for me. Fricking stochastic equations and building your own mathematical model to simulate an economy with a 25 pg. explanation for a final project. I'd take preference curves over that shit any day. And had a russian instructor - Kapinos. No clue what he was explaining.
401 was lame. I remember Kuhn had this honors discussion that he personally taught. After the second midterm, these 2 kids from his honors discussion went up to him and said "We really enjoyed that exam. It should have been a bit harder though."
I never wanted to punch 3 people at the same time as much as I did then.
I'm sure some engineers will contest this, but at least from an LSA perspective, I heard ECON 401 was right there. I think I got like a 42% on the final and it worked out to a B+ or something... Just so stupid.
Orgo was always complained about too as one of the hardest.
Bah, did Econ 401 REQUIRE a minimum of 40+ hours a week for the whole semester to only at best get a passing grade? 60+ per week if you wanted any chance of getting an A? There were literally some weeks where I never hit a bed because of that class. Its widely considered to be the higher work vs credit course at UM.
20 years ago when I took Econ 401, there were weekly 20 question quizes that you got negative points for wrong answers. One week, I got a negative score for the quiz and still beat the class average.
because you just have to integrate such a ridiculous combination of trig.
I would say my hardest class was DSP (digital signal processing) because the prof wasn't good and I hate Matlab (just saying it makes me cringe).
In terms of workload, there is no comparison. No other school (Stanford, MIT, Berkeley, etc) has anything close to it. The average time spent on either of these classes is around 40-80 hours/week.
How do you know that no other university had anything comparable? It's not that I don't believe you, I am just intrigued by the thought of a class like this actually existing.
I know for two reasons:
1. I have friends at other schools and I've asked them.
2. I have looked at course webpages at other schools which provide the syllabus, which are generally publicly available.
my professor told me this too, that no other engineering school had a major design course like this. i remember him saying it was probably "the most time-consuming undergraduate course in america"
because for years almost every other major EE school has wanted one like 427. In the industry, completion of EECS427 is pretty much a guaranteed hire. Plus having interviewed people from every major school in the US in the field EECS427 applies to, none of them even have anything close. The course is legendary not only at other schools but in industry as well.
I second ertai's statements. A class like that actually exists. I knew several friends who lived in the Duderstadt Center because of 470 and 427 (and, yes, I mean they actually slept in the lab at night instead of going home...this latest for at least a month, if not longer). Of the two, EECS 427 is considered the tougher one, but both are in their own category in terms of workload.
Personally, I took EECS 452 for my major design, which took up a fair amount of my time, but not as much as my friends in 470 and 427. To those who took 470 and 427 (and passed), you have my utmost respect.
Just wanted to help support the case for EECS 470. I have 2 friends who breezed through all kinds of tough EE and CS courses, but spent every waking hour at the Media Union (back when we didn't know who Duderstadt was, and the name "MuJo" on the coffee kiosk still made sense) for well more than a month. God help you if you disturbed one of the paper signs on the Solaris keyboards that said they were running a simulation overnight, when they finally did leave.
Anyway, I know people who spent hundreds of hours studying for Orgo, but they were premeds and kinda dumb but mostly OCD. The 470 guys were not the kind of people who take a long time to figure out or execute stuff - the workload was just fucking unconscionable.
VLSI (427) is the reason EECS CAEN Labs and the upper level Dude smell the way they do.
470 was easy! 427 however is quite possibly the most time consuming course EVER. I knew people that were in med school that had more free time than me while I was taking 427.
470 wasn't bad when i took it...
For those who don't know, EECS 470 is Computer Architecture or how the hell a Pentium Processor works. From a difficulty standpoint it wasn't that bad. What makes the class suck is the amount of time you spend on the project. Personally, I would meet with my group members around 2pm everyday at the Dude and go home around around 1 or 2 in the morning. On the weekends we were there for 13-15 hours at a time.
i took neither of those courses. the pre-reqs were enough to scare the living shit out of me. i gotta say, the pre-req for eecs 427, eecs 312, was probably the hardest class i took. eecs370 wasn't that bad, but the exams were fucking way too hard for their own good.
my roommate took eecs 427 our senior year and i hardly ever saw the kid. and i too have heard that we're one of the only schools to offer such a class to undergrads.
back in the day (pre tech bubble bursting), people claim that intel would come in and essentially hire entire design teams from that course.
Having taken both EECS 470 and EECS 427, I will agree that 427 is probably the hardest undergraduate class I took while at UofM.
However, 427 and 470 don't compare to EECS 627 (VLSI II). I would put that class up with any other class at any school for the amount of work and difficulty of material. I spent over 60 hours a week in the media union for the whole semester to work on the project, and unlike 427 where the project is basically your grade, the exams were something like 60% of your grade.
Then again, I now design circuits for a living and no course has taught me more so I guess it was worth it.
Was pretty damn hard.
It didn't get any easier the second time around either.
I also nominate the 400 level Game Theory class as well...and I don't even think it would've been easier if my Prof was proficient in English.
That was a great class. We obviously had different professors. I thought that was one of the most interesting economics classes I took at UM.
To finish that semester, I had three exams in the same day, and Game Theory was the last one. My brain was fried, and I failed it...pretty bad, too. I know I could've taken it another day, but I was chuck-full of machismo, bravado, stupidity, etc.
Ahhh, we live and we learn.
Quantum mechanics. I got the feeling the subject matter was over the head of the professor, let alone the students.
Are you talking about Chem 469? Because that was my hardest class and I hated it. But I admit, it could have something to do with the fact that I took it my senior year and I was horribly lazy and unmotivated by that time.
I failed miserably at Calc 2, I later took it at a junior college where it was not used as a weed out class, I got an A. I took all my calc classes elsewhere after that. I must admit I don't get the point of making a class hard just because. Took a phyics class once that the professor was sooo happy about how tough he made it. First grade I got was a 23, it was a C- on the curve and he was torqed that some kid got a 55 on it. In summary, if the professor wants it to be a hard class or the admin wants it to be a weed out class it will be tough, regardless of subject matter.
Amcult 496 Canoe Cultures of the Pacific Islands
In case people are looking to balance out their econ 401 and calc classes w/ something a little easier
Orgo definitely sucked, but I drank like it was my job when I took that class so I can't fairly give an opinion as to its difficulty.
Physics 240 was a real bitch, though.
Seriously, how can you calculate how much you DON'T KNOW where something it?
I am not certain that I can comment on that...check in with me tomorrow.
My thought is that Heisenberg was asked a question that he didn't know the answer to but being Mr. Big Shot Scientist, he had to make a big deal out of it.
I recall finishing the Physics 240 exam realizing I'd narrowed down almost every question to 2 possible answers (multiple choice test) and had to guess between those. I got a 50% on that exam. Cha-ching.
This was one of the two classes I thought of when I first saw this thread. I was always better at chemistry (I thought Orgo was pretty easy) than physics, and this stuff blew my mind.
AOSS 464 - Space Plasma Physics. It's like physics of plasmas... in space...
Worst grade: Modern Sports in Society. Wrote more damn papers for that "blow off" elective... Professor was supposedly world's preeminent scholar on the subject, and he acted like it. Dude didn't give out a single A to a class of 300+.
Was it Andrei Markovits?
If its Markovits, then yes he is the preeminent scholar on the subject.
Yup, that's him. First hand experience?
Think I went to slaughter in that in winter '05, memories of lots of long, cold walks to the grad library.
Yes sir. I had him for "German Politic History Since 1945", a poli sci course. I thought he was a good teacher, but I dropped it because I was somehow let it into without prereqs. I guess they accidentally listed it without the prereqs as German 302 which was billed as a history (not poli sci) course.
The best part of the class was his tangents about UM football before class that lasted well into class time. BTW, he's a RR supporter "even if 2009 is a failure".
I had read some of his stuff, my son had him for that same class and dug it. But, yeah, he's not giving away the A's.
I took three classes with Professor Markovits because he was so awesome--(Sport and Society, a Poli Sci class on Fascism and a Poli Sci graduate seminar on the history of European Socialism.)
He turned into a really close mentor and family friend. He's a really brilliant guy and really down to earth. Oh, and he never, ever calls me by name but rather "my dear Jenny"--even in real life!
Edit: One of the coolest things he did was move our Fascism class (about 30 people) to Pizza House during the GEO strike because he told us he doesn't believe in crossing picket lines regardless of whether or not he agrees with the strike. He reserved all of these tables and bought all of us lunch while he "lectured". Good times.
When I took class with Markovits (German Politics) we had the option to rewrite the papers as many times as we want (and there were like four of them) and get them regraded. There was pretty much no way to not get an A in his class. Didn't really like him that much as a professor though
I took a bunch of classes in the b-school including the econs, and a ton of stats, and I gotta say nothing comes close to EECS. Don't know which one, I really struggled with the concepts in 210, though 370, 470, 482 where just insane in terms of the work load. I never knew it could be possible to work as much as we did in those classes.
Graduated CE 6 (!) years ago, and I agree on that one. Put in a ton of time for those upper level courses you mention, but at least I knew what I was doing. Couldn't ever really get my head wrapped around EECS 210 and (especially) 206 though. Guess it was a good thing I wanted to be a CE and not an EE.
OBTW Tons of work for EECS 373, but that was my favorite class I ever took.
Oh yeah, how did I forget that one, EECS 373 was hell, prob the worst one... wow, it has been 9 years since I finished
It's not the hardest course at the school, but the hardest in Movement Science is biomechanics. Part physics, part anatomy, part computational analysis. Add in poorly designed labs and a crazy freaking Jamaican professor and you have a bitch of a semester.
Cognitive psych was tough. More anatomy (the way different parts of the nervous system to respond to things) than psychology.
Astro 111 (?) was also much less of a blowoff than its name (Intro to Solar System) suggested. (There was a reason it qualified for quantitative reasoning credit.)
tell me that was sarcasm
If we are talking objectively hardest class, it wouldn't be Astro. But if we are talking hardest relative to the amount of effort I planned to expend, yes. I took that as my planned blowoff in an otherwise tough term, only to discover that I had to actually use math for the first time in four years. The GSI for that class also had the worst English skills of any instructor I ever had. He was lost trying to pronounce the names of the constellations.
one of those intro astro courses actually was my lowest grade at u-m, but it sure as hell wasn't actually a hard class
I once took a 1 credit mini course on dinosaurs. What a doozy!
during an experimental semester in which I took NINE 1-credit courses at the same time.
Easiest of them all? Lord of the Rings and/or Ice Ages Past and Present with Jeffrey Alt (for the simple reason that he gave us the final exam with an answer key during the review session, then the only change made to the actual final exam was that most of the questions counted as bonus. He also instructed us not to buy any of the course materials because he "didn't get paid enough to really teach" us.)
Hardest? For some reason, Continents Adrift. And there are only 7 of them.
The hardest for me at Tech was Dynamics & Kinematics. The professor was horrible, the book was horrible, and it was the first class that really kicked my ass in every conceivable way.
That semester, every final but one was on the Monday of finals week. I studied 20+ hours alone just for that class the weekend before. I averaged around 55% but ended up with a BC since everyone was in the same boat.
Dynamic Systems and Controls was probably the most work though but by that time I was a lean mean studying machine and ended up with an A.
Physics 126 hands down.
Math 451, Advanced Theories of Calculus
Ding, ding, ding. I'm taking it now. For the second semester in a row. I'm still confused as hell.
As a CS major and math minor, I'll put Math 451 ahead of any EECS classes I've taken on the difficult concept level (maybe not the workload level). Other classes that were a b****:
EECS 280, 281, 376, 482 (OS), 484
Math 116, 215, 475
Man, I think I've taken about every hard class that's been mentioned here other than VLSI and Econ 401. Oh, the things I could have done at UM if I was a Psych major.....
FWIW, Math 451 is a slightly easier version of Math 295, which is just the first (and by far the easiest) part of a 4 semester sequence for incoming honors math students.
I thought 451 was a pretty rewarding course. I had Dan Burns for it who was one of my favorite professors in the Math dept.
My worst performances:
Math 425 = D-
I had over a 3.0 heading into the semester that included this class. That semester saw two of my housemates fail out and I was placed on academic probation.
Math 433 = W
I knew I was in for a rough ride and stuck it out through the first exam before making the decision to jump ship. I got a 9 on the exam...
It wasn't unworkable, but it did seem unreasonable. The teacher was a ball-breaker, and the workload was immense. I mean, c'mon, it's just Spanish for shit's sake.
That class was the bane of my existence for a semester.
Spanish 3 was rather tough.
Granted, I was a psych major, so it's not like I took many difficult classes, but Spanish 3 was tough, especially since I had just transferred in from UMD university and hadn't taken any Spanish classes in over a year and a half.
don't remember the number, physics 438 maybe? 1st day was about calculus with a transposed coordinate axes, 2nd day was tensors, third day was tensor calculus. I think I dropped before the 4th...Most difficult class I saw and I was a chem major.
engin 101, the first time i took it. the second time it was a lot easier.
only because it's BORING!!! I think the fact that I had it at 8am made it worse.
Current flavor of the week: ChE 487
460 & 344 (w/Linic) were also pretty tough. Conceptually, not too horrible, however the workload is pretty damn high.
I wound up somewhere between homocide and suicide. Couldn't figure out whether to be a jumper or a shooter. So I went to Dooley's.
I graduated last April with a ChemE and MSE degree and actually just started my first "real" job today (it only took me 10 months of looking!) and I can honestly say that 487 was THE toughest class that I took. And, as an MSE person, I had to take a quantum mechanics class*.
Assuming that you have Barkel, he's mean and tough but you learn so much in that class.
*I should say that I think I had the easiest version of this very hard class ever. I don't think that because we didn't learn hard stuff, we did, or because the professor was an amazing teacher, he wasn't, but because I got screwed over twice. We had a big group assignment (a wiki project) and my group started with 5 people. We had two people drop the class and change majors (in large part because of that class) in the middle of the project. And of the three people left I was the leader while another person did little. So, we were graded very nicely (I think) and since we got to divy up the grade I think that my good group member actually gave me more than 1/3 of the points.
Also, several times the professor accidentally posted the solutions to some coding that we had to do so some of the tougher assignments were waved.
I hated ChE 330 with Lin. She was awful. I'm in 344 right now. It's not too bad, but I'm not excited for Linic's exam this Thursday.
You've got to be freaking kidding, or you're out of touch with the rest of the world. I would have no more considered taking a quantum mechanics class than advanced techniques in brain surgery. I took first semester calculus at UM, got a solid D on the first exam, and bailed out before it was too late. The TA sucked, but that wasn't the ultimate reason—I had no goddamn clue what the hell was going on. I was only marginally more successful at first semester inorganic Chemistry and first semester Physics, scoring a skin-of-my-ass C in both classes. Structures and Environmental Technology in Architecture School were similarly tough on me. Thank god all the history, english, art, poli sci, econ, language, and art/design classes were a piece of cake, otherwise I'm not sure I would have made it all the way through. I might be stacking cheese at Krogers instead.
IMO quantum mechanics is hard because it's not intuitive. You can see a progression as you take calculus courses and the first couple physics courses, but quantum mechanics is "- and now for something completely different."
Exactly the problem I have with it.
I had a class where I had to read 10 different books and write a 15 page paper on each of them. It was basically a 15 page paper every 10 days.
Diff EQ (Calc4, or Math 216) was a horrible experience for me. We had a "guest" lecturer from Greece or some shit and was horrible. My breakout TA teacher was brand new from China and could hardly speak english. I spent many many hours in help sessions at that building near Blimpy Burger, about a two day walk from MoJo. I managed to steal a B-.
I crushed Calc 1, 2, 3 and GOT crushed in 216. Horrible experience.....
...that really make me believe that UM should offer a refund on tuition in some cases.
I once had a class on "Persuasive Communication" taught by a Korean who had been in the states for two weeks and knew little English. Um...how exactly was she going to persuade us on how to communicate persuasively?
The only class I had to take twice at UM... and I got a C the second time. I still have no clue what the hell I was doing.
It took me six weeks to figure out that when he said "dewahbadewee', he meant dy/dv. It went a lot better after that.
+1 for dewahbadewee
Have a chinese woman for Electromagnetics right now. Needed to make a dictionary for her words:
darta : delta
arlpha : alpha
erection : reaction
street : straight
onion : unknown
the list goes on and on.
Spaceman : specimen
teeta : theta
beeta : beta
eCONomix : economics
also, i had a tiny chinese woman for whatever the EECS probability class is and we had to endure things like this:
talking about a coin flip: "so then what is the probability that you get head?"
Related calc story, but inverted: I think it was 215, I walked in to see a Chinese TA and anticipated poor English with dread. But he spoke PERFECT English and answered questions really well.
Then a week or so into the term, he says the head of the dept had told him he was going to teach another class that was at the same time. And we got some visiting Finnish prof instead.
I didn't have too much trouble understanding his accemt, but some people did. And his tests were hard: there were a lot of questions, and you could only get through them all if you knew the proper way to answer right away - if you had to think about it, you couldn't get to them all.
When I took diff EQ, which was like 4 years ago, the average in my class was really high and I think they curved down...
except my prof was from Russia. Just awful. I stopped going to lecture after the first few weeks and taught myself from the book.
I think the math department must put all the profs who can't speak english in 216 sections. By then all the engineers just can't wait to be done with the math requirement and just suck it up enough to be done.
I had a Stats prof from Madagascar. Good times. She basically admitted on the first day that she really couldn't speak English, and that she'd be happy to converse in French or Malagasy in her office hours.
Took Chinese for three years...did quite well, for someone with absolutely no experience in the language..started 4th year...could not understand anyone, lasted 3 days before I had to bail
Actually, that was the title on the textbook; I must have blocked the class number from my mind.
god, if that is an extension of Math 216, yikes. I think I just threw up in my mouth a little.
Math 454, I believe.
No friday classes in the B-school as well. Hate to break it to you, but this is exactly why the physical sciences mock the b-school.
I had the hardest time with Calc (not even calc 2 - Calc 115) - but that was probably easy for many.
I can say the hardest non-calc test I ever took was Bio Antro 565 with Wolpoff. He gave us something like 100 quotes from the course pack (which I had not read) and we had to identify the author.
For everyone that seemed like it agreed with Wolpoff I listed the one scientist I could recall who agreed with him, and for everyone that did not agree with him, I put down Stephen J. Gould. Everyone in the class (tehre were grad students and undergrads) did horribly. I think I got like 16 of them correct.
Still ended up with an A in the course, but that test was ridiculous.
I'm taking my Chem463 (Statistical Thermodynamics) exam tomorrow night. Right now its a doooooooozy.
Sorry. It just does.
COMM 211 took my fancy poet mind by surprise with all those fucking statistics
ChemE 344/528 (Reactor Design and Kinetics). 344 is the undergrad, 528 is the grad course. Both taught by Fogler, whose book is used by ~90% of U.S. chemical engineering departments. The subject is pretty tough, but the workload is really pretty insane and each weekly homework is like a group project that you spend a minimum of 2-3 days on.
ChemE 360 (ChemE Lab I). Used is be a total bitch of a course, and has been wussified since I took it. Basically, we had to write a 20ish-page report each month on something we'd only had 12 hours of lab experience with, and then give a presentation on it. Ridiculous amounts of work, terrible lab partners that bail on you, etc. Everything you hate about group work.
Basically every ChemE grad course I took.
Calc 3 was rather tricky, definitely trickiest of the math courses I took. You could study all the time for that course and the spacial concepts would still kick your ass for the exam. Glad to get out of there with a B+. Differential equations was much easier.
None of the chemistry classes were too tough, but I never got too deep into quantum mechanics and never took p-chem.
The only thing about Econ 401 that I hated was when they screwed the key up and everybody that had form 4 for one of the exams got like 25%. That completely freaked me out until they fixed it. I still contend that if you know the key is fucked up, don't post the scores for that form. Otherwise, not a hard course if you know the calculus well enough.
A funny course for me was the first accounting course. I took this as a senior because a friend of mine was, and I needed an elective, so I figured what the hell. Not a hard couse, but it's funny to see a million soph B-school applicants sweating bullets over it.
And lastly, it was really funny taking astronomy 101 as a senior. Easiest A+ you can get as an engineer because it's full of freshman non-science LSAs trying to get their quantitative reasoning credit or whatever they need. The curves were ridiculously low for a course that's basically straight from the book and has questions on the midterm that are copy/paste from previous quizzes.
Scott Fogler is a great teacher, but he sure doesn't let any grass grow. I once got him laughing when I told him the reason we were struggling to keep up was that we weren't the ones who wrote the damn book.
We got to be pretty good friends, and he was kind enough to take me on in his labs.
Scott's a great guy and a great Michigan Man -- for an Illini.
He's a big basketball fan and when I was there he had season tickets. One time I was walking to a hockey game and the bball game had just finished. I'm walking down S. Forest and I walk across Hill and this guy at the stop sign is honking his horn like crazy. I figured it was some guy that was pissed and wanted me out of the way, so I hustled across Hill and kept going, thinking to myself what an asshole this guy was honking at me like that when I had the right of way. For one fleeting moment, I thought about flipping him off, but thought better of it.
Sure enough, next day I'm in the lounge in Dow and Fogler comes up to me and tells me he was honking at me like crazy but I just ignored him. It was good for a laugh.
Wish there had been more when I was there.
JJ Martin (a nice gentleman).
I forget the guy who taught design of materials -- could have done without both.
Brymer Williams was a nice guy, I just don't remember him teaching much.
Henry Wang had just started -- couldn't understand him.
Gulari - didn't have him for any classes.
Some decent grad students, but the TA for Curl's Thermo class wasn't much.
Met Don Katz with Fogler one time -- another nice gentleman.
Which made 344 and 528 reasonable. Is he still around?
The toughest ChemE classes for me were the Grad transport class with Gulari (can't recall the #), and Thermo II with Ziff. Those guys might be brilliant in the lab, but it didn't translate to the lecture hall.
Couldn't agree more on Ziff. Fogler is still there, but he hasn't been teaching much since he just launched a new version of his reactions book.
Still can't understand Wang, but he is a pretty good guy. Funny story, someone was sizing a podbielniak extractor in 460 and they were using way too much wash water. His comment was, "Why don't you just throw the damn stuff in the Mississippi river? It'd be more efficient."
Couldn't remember the number either. I had Gulari as well. Exams didn't match up very well with the homework. I still remember him distinctly saying that there wouldn't be a spherical finite Fourier transform problem on the exam, and then boom, there it was. The wording on the problem said "write an equation to describe this system," so I basically wrote down the differential equation and left it unsolved (I didn't FFT it). It was an equation, you didn't say solve it! Escaped that course with a B+.
Ziff is a character. I had him for Thermo II in undergrad, but I never took Stat Thermo in grad (they didn't offer it that semester). He just seemed kinda spaced out all the time.
I agree about Fogler. Most of the people that I know didn't like him at all, but I think that he's probably the best teacher in the department and his book is probably the best out of any of the ChemE books. The red books that we used for the thermo classes were useless by comparison. When I was at Michigan ('91 through '95) he seemed to be the only guy who understood that intuitive understanding of concepts is just as important as being able to solve a bunch of differential equtions.
Not sure if it counts since I'm a Dearborn-grad, but Peace and War with Wayman was hard...he's one of the most published authors on the subject and the class was chock full of really, really smart kids (duh?) so the curve was virtually non-existent. I hacked a B+ but it was rough.
BOOM DOUBLE POST'D
...and the alphabet is pronounced completely different. We were to memorize the entirety of it by the 2nd day. To CRISP I went (you young-uns don't know what that is) to drop. I'm not saying that was the hardest class, but it was the language requirement...I wasn't about to make something I was trying to get out of the way harder than it had to be. (I was talked into taking Russian instead of Spanish by my academic "advisor.")
Side note: CRISP (forgot the acronym already) was where one would go to register for classes. Back then, there wasn't even phone registration, even in the late '80s and early '90s, putting UM in the stone ages when it came to registration technology. I mean, you're getting millions of dollars in tuition and fees from the students and yet you're making them walk over to Angell Hall and stand in line for a long time to register in person? Really?
Computer Registration Invovling Student Participation. It sounds even dummer now than it did then. BTW - I graduated from undergrad in '93. You?
I know it doesn't count since it is grad level, but Commercial Transactions with JJ White was the toughest class ever known to man.
I was the inaugural wolverineaccess class--we got to enroll online instead of using CRISP (which was over the phone by that time so at least somewhat less painful I'm sure).
I probably would have hated it if I had to use it, but I love CRISP for the fact that I there supposedly was a "James Earl Jones for CRISP-Lady" society whose sole purpose was to try to get James Earl Jones to record the prompts for the system.
I made it through three years in that program for some odd reason. It became less cumbersome after day two. To be fair though, it is only 33 letters, two of which don't even make sounds.
I'll cosign that CRISP'ing was a pile. Dreaded it.
In terms of toughest classes I was an LSA student and thought I had some work but my roommate for 3 years was an EECS student. From what I could tell the workloads are not comparable: EECS courses treat their students like they're free labor at a coal mine. My experience was that a tough class was largely related to your prof/ta combo. I was rarely intimidated by the subject but if the prof/ta thought to spite the class or individual, they could make life hell.
It could be worse. It's only for registering for this semester (winter 2010) that I didn't have to manually register, with a person, at Pitt (and that's for 2 different grad programs, one from 2002-2004, and the other from 2008-now). And I thought UM was behind the times when we switched from CRISP to the telephone with number commands in 1994.
I came in '92 so I did the in-person registration for a term or two before they had the phone system. And yeah, it was bogus to wait in line, but at least at the end of it you had a fairly nice person helping you get your classes. Or at least, I generally did. Sometimes there was a real surfeit of smiling faces in offices around campus, so that stood out for me.
I remember the enthusiasm for getting James Early Jones to be the CRISP voice.
Not at Michigan, but Signal Processing would have killed me if our professor had actually required us to learn the material for a decent grade.
Also, Abstract Algebra mind-raped me. I didn't know which way was up.
I wasn't an undergrad at Michigan so I can't offer much. The 8-hour take home final with a word limit for Con Law was pretty awful but then it was over and everyone went out and got drunk.
But the two-semester class MFAN 666, "Advanced Acceptance of Dong Punch" (hopefully offered only this school year) is probably the least fun Michigan class ever. The amazing part is that you don't even have to be enrolled in the University to be in that class. I'm taking it distance-learning from Chicago, for example. And it sucks.
is Econ 398: Game Theory. Worst class ever and the professor is terrible. The professor is unwilling to help you out and the exams does not relate to the lectures nor the book. I surprisingly got a B+ despite all of it but I never want to experience this class ever in my life.
Quantum mechanics was the toughest class I took. Felt like taking fastball after fastball right down the middle and not being able to even move the bat.
The worst class was Quantitative Analysis back in the days of wet chemistry. Felt like the greatest skill needed was the ability to wash glassware. Ugggh. Stop me before I measure again!
This thread is giving me heart palpitations! Haven't experienced class anxiety in a few years...
Time for a beer.
...I'm still having that nightmare, at least once a year, almost 14 years removed from my last final.
Does it ever stop?
Took it as my "easy" course in a semester with 3 400 level EECS courses... I made it to maybe 5 lectures on the semester and walked away with my lowest grade of any class in my 4 yrs, B-.
The best part was that I didn't care one bit. Excuse me. The best IS that I DON'T care one bit. :)
I can't remember that far back, but according to my son, EECS 489, Computer Networks, was the worst course he ever saw. He lived in the Dude for the entire semester, often until the early hours of the morning, for the entire semester.
so nothing was really hard, but some of the B-School pre reqs, like Accounting were "hard" because of all the gunners who really wanted to get into B-School. I did take Econ 401, which I guess was the hardest (but it wasn't bad at all, like Engineering classes).
I took organic chem, Math 417, but my piano juries were the hardest. Here's the case for them
- Nobody studies 4 hours a day for any course. Piano majors practice 4 hours a day and more for their final.
- 15 minutes vs. 2 hours. You can make up time or realize your stupidity in 2 hours, but not in the 15 minutes of a jury
- one shot. You can't go back if you screw up in your Piano final, whereas you can go back and fix your mistakes on a test.
- Win or you're out. At Junior finals, if you fail, you're OUT of the major and have to find another school to accept you! The fail rate is also a lot higher than chem or math or something like that.
I double-majored in Theatre & English, so I never suffered like all of these engineer types. Performing, however, is a completely different kind of hard.
I had acting classes where your grade for the entire semester was based on one 60-second monologue performance, just like auditions in the real world.
Beginning at the end of second semester, and every semester thereafter, you also had to audition for the whole theatre faculty to stay in the program.
A lot of this is so foreign to me . . . maybe because I went to Western. What are TAs? :-] I had a single class period taught by a TA (and the professor was in the room). That's it--2 hours total over four years. Every other class was taught by a professor, and I only ever had about two classes with more than 30 students in them. Most were closer to 10-12. Viva la teaching college.
I got my MM in flute performance at Michigan. I was principal flute in the Symphony Band under H Robert Reynolds, and also played in the USO under Gustav Meier (the section always rotated in that group) for both years of my degree program. The pressure to perform at a level deserving of those positions was unlike anything I'd experienced before. The most difficult thing I accomplished during my tenure at UM was to retain that Symphony Band seat for my second year. Pressure from profs and peers... WHEW! I'm glad to have survived and am certainly better for it.
Biochem sucked. Orgo and orgo 2 weren't all that bad, but chem 452 was pretty terrible.
Right now I'm taking EECS 501 (Probability and Random Processes, or something like that), and that's supposed to be really hard, especially since I didn't take the prerequisite EECS 401. It's pretty rough so far. I'm also taking NEUROSCI 570 - Human Neuroanatomy. That's just an absurd amount of memorization.
I had EECS 492 (Intro to AI) last semester, with a new professor. That class was pretty hard, although I ended up doing fine in it.
I think BIO 310 (Intro to Biochemistry) was also pretty tough, but I just might have not put enough time into it.
BIO 310 is easy, as long as you read the book 3-4 times.
I don't think I even opened the book for that class. Or not outside of the cell map we had to do, anyway.
If the course number starts with AEROSP and it's not a one-credit seminar...
...except it's not even a surprise anymore.
Accounting 271... Chuck Klemstine is a great professor and very helpful, but goddamn accounting is rough
EECS or astronomy 101. granted that was 11 years ago.
being a polisci major, I think I worked less in my 4 years than my engineering friends did in 1 semester.
The class I did the worst in had to have been Great Books 192. I thought it fulfilled my upper level writing requirement (it did not) and I had the hardest grading GSI ever. Only class I never got at least an A- on a single paper
lol at the psych 111 comment
I did both undergrad and pharmacy school at Michigan and nothing compared to Pharmacology.
My vote goes to any foreign language class that required you to speak that language throughout the class, while getting drunk five nights a week while pledging a fraternity.
"Ich verstehe das nicht" "Noch Einmal Bitte, aber langsam"
"Wie Sagt man auf English?" "
I replied to another comment about this but I've got to say that ChemE 487 was the hardest course I took. It was the ChemE senior design class... we had to keep track of our time so when I say that I'd spend 30 hours/week on that BEFORE it got hard then you know that I'm not exaggerating. I had a great group, the best one that I ever had at U of M, but it was insanely tough. I learned a lot, but it was hard.
Also, I found MSE 410- Biomaterials, very very difficult. Part of that was that I had a bad group for the project, part of it was that I suck at memorizing and subsequently suck at Bio, and a lot of it was that the night before the first exam I stayed up until 3:00 studying and woke up half an hour into the exam, by the time I got to North Campus I'd already missed half the exam.
Yeah, it was bad.
I didn't think it was that bad, but I was an MSE major, and I think I took it the first time it was offered (the prof was from the Dental school, or something like that).
Anyway, I thought it was very interesting, especially all the materials in implants and that kind of thing.
Who were your prof(s) for ChE487? I can't remember the guys' names that I had but they were ass kickers no doubt. One guy was an MIT grad, old as dirt, white hair, wore bi-focals. He had an uncanny way of staring at you above those bi-focals during presentations. It made an uncomfortable situation nearly unbearable. EDIT: The guy's name was Rane Curl. Wow, it took me all night to remember that one. Drove me nuts.
Ahhh, those were the days. It was difficult but it was fun as HELL. I loved my time at Michigan and miss it very much.
It was an LS&A art class, with a prof emeritus, Prendergast, who looked exactly like John Gielgud in "Arthur." He would discuss the work of Paul Klee for five minutes, and then for the remaining two hours, we would artistically interpret a word he had written on the board. We all used crayons. The final was a triptych (three panel drawing) done with markers and crayons, inspired by Paul Klee.
Oops, did I just bring down the US News and World Report ranking??
4th semester of the Honors math sequence (295-296-395-396). I think this wins by far in terms of sheer difficulty of the material. It's supposed to be a class for sophomores, but it's closer to a second year graduate course. The year I took the class, it probably would have been considered difficult even as a second year graduate course.
Wasn't this an "intro" class for students who had absolutely no intention of majoring in NERS? Or did they make is a prereq for something else (after I came through)?
Not really serious. It is/was an intro class for non-NERS engineers with Ron Fleming, mostly populated with IOE students. If you did his extra credit assignment you got an A (my only A+ at Michigan).
However, the class average on the midterm was like 25%, the high was 60%, and people were despondent over it. Then again, hard for IOE kids needs to be taken with a grain of salt. EECS kids probably would have got 100% on everything (all of 2 graded exams).
Calc II and Orgo probably get that reputation because they are really hard classes, that while not as hard as 400 level classes, are probably a big shock to freshman who take them. I know Calc II was for me, and I took a ton of AP classes in high school and pretty much aced Calc I.
What a lot of these classes have in common is how marginal amounts of studying mean nothing.
I have seen EECS, Calc II, Calc III, Diff Eq, and econ 401 all mentioned in this thread, all classes I have personally taken. Some times, I was on the side of things where I could do essentially no work at all and still ace the course, and others I could study all day, yet some other guy was undoubtedly blowing the class off and still getting an A and wrecking the curve.
A lot of the courses are more about how well you fit the curriculum before the syllabus was ever handed out.
ME 395 - 8 labs (with full lab reports), 12 weeks. It's a bum rush from day one. Every mechanical engineer I've ever met has hated this class.
Sounds like I'll be having a blast with this class next semester.
My advice to you: Get good at data reduction in Matlab. You'll get out of writing most of the report as you "crunch data", and your team will look to you as a sort of data wizard. It'll also help you later in 495 or in your acutal job.
Second term junior i did well in ME fluids then decided to take the grad level course my first term senior year. Same prof but it didnt take long to realize he didnt like underclassmen in his grad classes.
i worked my ass off then on the final - 4 questions. I couldnt answer one!
After 5 or so minutes he asked the class if anyone wanted a C+ they could turn their papers in now. the other 3 under classmen did. -- smart move.
prof left the room for about 10 minutes then came back and asked if anyone wanted a C
I went for it
30 years later i still think about that final - DAMN that man!!!
I don't remember the class name, but I think it was EECS 470 (or something like that). Basically, had to create a processor pipeline from scratch, which sounds easier than it is. Not necessarily the hardest material, but testing was a bitch.
Fluid Mechanics was a big pile of No Fun. Remember not enjoying Calc 3 either, much like the rest of the board.
I took Fluid Mechanics (in the ME dept, I think it was 370) after some brutal 400-level physics classes and thought it was cake in comparison. There was a girl sitting in the front row who stopped lecture one time to ask about the "giant S". The prof couldn't figure out what she was talking about so she walked up to the board and pointed to a integral sign. The professor, incredulous, said it was an integral. She replied, "And we're just supposed to know that?" I knew then I'd be getting an A.
Pretty cool they let you take classes at OSU while enrolled at UM.
For those complaining about Calculus 2, I am currently teaching that class (not at Michigan, sadly), and it is really hard to teach too. It is for the most part repetitive and technical and incredibly difficult to make interesting.
But think of it this way: it is the Barwis workout of math. What everyone really wants to do is play football. But before you can do that, you need to run up and down the stairs of the stadium several thousand times.
To do interesting things in physics or engineering or whatever, you need to not be phased by hairy quantitative problems. One reason Calculus 2 is generally such an ordeal is because it is attempting to whip you into shape for that.
I found the hardest class in MSE was the one on electromagnetic properties of materials (I don't remember the number, it was a while ago). It took a lot of the Physics 240 and 242 (which I didn't take) and all that Schrodinger equation crap was confusing.
Thermo-fucking-dynamics (MECHENG 235). I know I took the class, but that's about all I can tell you about it.
Unless there are any Structural Engineers in here, I doubt any of you are familiar with CEE 517, Reliability of Structures. This class was a turning point in my life. Before it, I thought I wanted to go in to the Structural aspect of Civil. After it, I went into Construction Management. The coursework was heavy on probability and statistics, of which I had very little exposure. I tried to suck it up but couldn't hack it and ended up with a fat "W" on the transcript.
It made the regular old fluid dynamics look like a cupcake course! Surprisingly, all the math courses I took there even, partial differential equations were easy!
I remember having 70% of the class in GGBrown computer lab or 3rd floor Dude at 4am any day within a week of a project being due. SO much of that class was the blind leading the blind, but you make some good friends during times like that. I remember a grad student bringing in like $40 worth of McDonalds breakfast for everyone after an extended session for the final project. A lot of work but ended up with an rare (for me) A.
I am also a member of Alpha Chi Sigma chemistry fraternity.
Hardest class I took at Michigan was ChE 210. That was the weed out class to end all weed out classes, IME. It almost made me want to quit Chemical Engineering. But I toughed it out and went on to finish my B.S. ChE. As it turned out, my job steered me towards an M.S. MechE and I am now working as an M.E. Go figure...
Reading the posts below mine it would seem that the entire Mgoblog community are engineers.
more chem frat on the blahg?! when did you graduate?
I meant ChE 230, not 210. I guess 16 years of the real world has killed some of my memory cells.
Agreed, 230 was a tough tough class. Especially with the first exam - first ever chemical engineering exam in one hour. That was definitly an experience.
EECS 280 sucked. Worst class out of all the EECS courses, hadns down. It was annoying b/c the professors I had sucked, the autograder sucked, and half the class was filled with nerdy kids with tons of prior programming experience who ruined the curve. Once I submitted a program to the autograder and got a 29/100. I took it to the GSI for advice, and after incorporating his comments, the score dropped to a 9/100. Then I took it to another GSI and a professor (it was team taught), and after their help, it didn't compile any more. I promptly dropped that class, retook it, and (barely) passed.
All in all, a lot of classes depended on the professor and the way in which things were taught. For example, I remember Physics 240 being really hard and confusing because the professor and methodology sucked. Then I started the EECS courses and could've blown Physics 240 out of the water. Different way of teaching the same material.
The math courses were pretty easy if you were going into EECS, probably in the same way that 280 was easy for the CS majors. At the end, none of this mattered too much, since I ended up becoming a lawyer anyway.
If you're reading this and are in the EECS program, I'd give you two pieces of advice: 1. It's hard as hell, but stick it out, because it pays off. 2. Each semester, try to take one class outside of EECS (in the humanities, other than the sequence or whatever requirement)--the reason is because you'll be able to meet normal (and more attractive people), you'll be able to stay balanced in things you're interested in, and you'll be able to do really well in other "hard" humanities classes. You'll feel like you got your money's worth, and it will surprisingly make you feel more connected with the University. I majored in EE and minored in PoliSci; I took some of the hardest PoliSci classes. They were cake compared to any EECS course. And UM had (has?) the #1 PoliSci program in the country. The reason I say this is because you have so many interesting opportunities that you won't even realize that you had until you graduate--trust me on that. Stick with EECS, but explore other things to maximize the high UM tuition that you're (presumably) paying.
I'd probably have to go with the NERS 590 class I took while still in undergrad (I was one of two undergrads in the class along with 8 or so grads). The semester I took it, it was Stochastic Processes (I think it's one of those classes that changes topics every semester). I'm big into statistical analyses, but damn if that class wasn't an exercise in futility. It was all calculus derivations of the most obscure and mind-numbingly complex statistical equations, but at least the professor (Akcasu, for the record) was very good and willing to help, which happened a lot for everyone.
Never too late to pile on a topic.
By far, the most frustrating class I ever took. Like an earlier poster said (about a different class), it's like taking fastball after fastball down the middle, but unable to get the bat off your shoulder.
I scored a 21/100 on the first exam...and it curved to an A-. I considered dropping that class long and hard. Unfortunately, I stuck it out, and it never got any better. There isn't a more dreadful feeling than reading each question on a final exam, flipping each page hoping to find a question that you can at least get some points on, and returning before long to the first page without even putting a pencil to paper.
If you asked me, I couldn't even tell you what that class was about. Figures I spent top money for that kind of "knowledge."
General chemistry, 2nd semester (this was back when a year of general chem was a prerequisite for organic). I think this was Chem 126, and much of what they taught was actually physical chemistry.
All of the exams were multiple choice, an apparently nobody understood anything as the mean was below the guess-rate (which was something like 4 out of 18).
Anyway, the question that virtually nobody got right:
In a sealed room (no heat transfer), there is a refrigerator that is plugged in with the door open. Does the room:
(A) get colder
(B) stay the same temperature
(C) get hotter
I'll admit that I was a poltical science major, so I never had to deal with these tests where an A is really a 25%. How is that even a legitimate class? If an A-level student is operating at a level of comprehension that is below just marking "C" on everything, is one really learning anything at all?
It seems to me you can't have it both ways. If a class like this is curved, is it really a hard class since the objective is clearly not to actually learn what is being taught?
Just saw yours after I added mine. I had Aronson as a prof. One of my classmates went to her office hours for help and she said that providing help to him wouldn't be fair to the other students. He started to break down and begged for help. She told him "That which doesn't kill you only makes you stronger." He dropped the class.
Does a class qualify as hard if 1) you got a decent grade but 2) you look back years later at the work you did (e.g., lab reports) and don't recognize it as anything you possibly could've ever done or understood?
For all the architecture grads (and students) reading...
First year design studio is a bear. 6 credits. Late nights from week one of the semester, and the workload only gets tougher as the weeks roll on. The information isn't the hardest I had to deal with, but the workload... oh the workload! Not to mention the constant barrage of soul dong punches that accompany the endless reviews and critiques you are subjected to throughout the semester.
Easily my hardest class. The good news is, you get used to it by your 8th studio (in grad school), and they end up becoming kind of fun.
My husband (Taubman grad) said that at his orientation, several current students presented on surviving the place. They asked the assembled new faces "How many of you have boyfriends or girlfriends?" and when a few people raised their hands, they just shook their heads and said "you can forget about that lasting."
I took it during the summer and had an eastern european professor (with THICK accent) who had parkinsons, so I couldn't understand him or read what he wrote on the board. It was brutal.
Physical chemistry (don't remember the #) was my hardest. Orgo, A-chem, and biochem were just time consuming.
20 years ago, there were 3 different professors teaching Econ 402 and each taught what he thought was important. On the day of the bluebook final, a multple choice scantron portion of the test suddenly appeared. Since nobody had brought pencils to the final, they gave us stubby golf course pencils to fill out the scantron. Turned out that the scantron test was only for information gathering to determine whether there should be one uniform Econ 402 class and was not part of the graded test.
Econ 400 something the course was "International Finance" I do believe that it was 453 or something like that. Also Bio-Chem (310) I also thought was a very difficult course.
I personally thought that Orgo 1 & 2 wasn't that difficult and that most of the econ classes weren't terribly hard either (especially the "terrors" 401 and 402).
The actual hardest class taht i ever had was Heat and Mass transfer in Chemical Engineering with Professor lahann. Class was a MONSTER!
Also agree that P-Chem Chem 261 totally sucked a big one.
These were thermodynamics classes.
When I took ChemEng 230 (thermodynamics I), there was standing room only in one of the the Angel Auditoriums (they may not be there any longer). There must have been over 400 people signed up. Homework due twice a week, and there were requirements as to the exact size of the paper, where your name and date and assignment went, etc. A friend wrote his on spiral bound (not allowed) and cut off the fringe. Got a 0 as his paper was then 8 3/8 x 11 inches, not 8 1/2. These assignments usually took 5 to 6 hours to complete.
After the midterm, half of the class did so badly that they dropped the course. Half of the remaining class failed, so the department got the number of majors down to what they targeted, about 100.
There were then 2 50-student classes for ChemEng 330 (thermodynamics II), one taught by (I think) Martin, the other by Gulari. I was in Gulari's class. The guy with the highest raw score got a B+. There were 2 B's and 2 B-'s given, all the rest was C's D's and E's.
When I found out the grade distribution, I became quite proud of my C+. But by then, with all of the damage done to my grade point by these course, I had to re-think my med school aspirations.
God help you if you don't outline your answer on your homework with a straight edge.
This list starts and ends with Physics 401. It was the weeder class. Seems like every other major was trying to attract students and the physics dept was trying to get rid of as many as possible. Problem sets took a group of 6-8 students 2 days to do and we had means on the exams in the teens. Just brutal.
Physics 401 wasn't even the hardest class I took freshmen year.
Anyone on here have to make a custom computer chip by hand from scratch? This class was the worst of all time. It did get me a job, but I have to say, it was horrifyingly hard.
My friend at work TA'd it in grad school, and he said kids would come to him crying because they couldn't get their designs to work.
When I took it we had a great group and the amount of time spent was deplorable and the subject matter was extremely dense. We had a rule that everytime a team member had to pull an all nighter to finish the project that we'd all do a shot. We ended up saving up all the all-nighters and cashed two bottles of jaeger after finishing the class.
Differential Equations wasn't my cup of tea.
I had to chuckle at the few mentions of ME 235 (Thermo). I remember getting something like a 17% on the second exam....and an A in the class. The material was difficult, but at least there wasn't anyone out there who could wreck the curve.
Diff EQ was tough for me as well. I aced Calc 3 somehow, really no trouble at all. Then Diff EQ blindsided me. My professor didn't speak English either.
I think for sheer amount of work, ME 395 takes the cake for me. As someone noted, it was just a bunch or really long lab reports. Lots of sleeping in the Dude that semester. The hilarious part was the class had a technical writing portion that was just about equally weighted with the engineering work. We had these brillant controls professors whose lectures carried the same weight as the tech writing GSIs. The split for amount of effort the two sections required was about 99/1 weighted for the science, but the grading was 50/50.
Fluid Dynamics (don't remember what the course# was) was probably the hardest conceptually. Everybody could tell that not even the professor understood Navier-Stokes. Heavily curved at every turn....
MATH 597 (Measure Theory).
How ironic. I'vs got a Quantum Mechanics test in my high school AP Chem class in about 20 minutes.
"Why Do People Believe In Gods?" with Dr. Malley. I took it to finish up my psychology bachelor's as a senior. For such a "philisophical" style psychology course, the content was pretty dense and not really as open to interpretation as the title might suggest.
He also made sure to publicly ridicule you if you missed out on his lectures. Office hours were pretty non-existent and I swear that if you didn't agree with his opinion/views on particular subjects he held extra disdain for you.
Also, he wrote the textbook for the course and constantly touted it as the "bible on religion" (no pun intended). Definitely not the way I wanted to spend my last semester at UM. I ended up with an A but the workload was definitely not neccessary for such a specialized psych course.
Can anyone share the username and password for EECS206. i need solutions to homeworks. I will be verythankful