From Portage Northern.
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