OT: Hardest class at U-M?

Submitted by 1974 on April 7th, 2016 at 10:19 PM

I saw the "Easiest class at U-M?" post and thought that some might find the opposite question interesting.

My hardest class? "Dynamics of Mechanical Systems" I think it was M.E. 340. That (and M.E. 240, come to think of it) just didn't "click" for me. Interestingly, most of my classmates did not share my opinion. They typically chose Fluids or Heat Transfer.

My easiest? A 100-level (Social) Psychology course. It was interesting and almost laughably easy. I took it during my senior year.



April 7th, 2016 at 10:23 PM ^

For me ME395. I'm not going to say it was the most difficult as far as course material, but it was by far the most demanding and work intensive. It also was very challenging because of how little direction was given, and how much group collaboration was required.

ME340 wasn't a fun class either - that's up there for me as well.

03 Blue 07

April 8th, 2016 at 10:35 AM ^

Interesting comment re transnational law in law school. I felt the whole crux of it was, essentially, that international "law" is sort of a misnomer; he with the biggest army makes the rules, and if you can't defend your borders, you're not a sovereign... along with the concept that treaties and international law are followed by nations, but not when it's really inconvenient to do so. I actually did decently well in that class, for what it's worth (nothing). 


April 8th, 2016 at 1:21 PM ^

Agreed, and that concept can be distilled into 2, maybe 3 classes, not a semester. Or maybe I just had a really bad professor. They've gotten rid of Transnat as a requirement now, it's just an international law class requirement.

NOLA Wolverine

April 8th, 2016 at 12:31 AM ^

Lab course difficultly correlated directly with the stupidity of your cohorts. If you had one/two competent people, life was fine. If you had three morons trying to figure out how a water rocket worked, it was a rough go. 

Given that people have tossed out Calculus 3 and Intermediate Microeconomics, the ME X95 courses are far more than a fair entry for this topic. 


April 7th, 2016 at 11:58 PM ^

Was that the BME 400 level fluids class? We'd get these take home exams that required these obscure trig identities to solve these diff eqs. The exam took like 40 hours of work to do and you often ended up with absolutely nothing because you just kept hitting walls. The year after us in 2009 decided to "collaborate", and apparently all got some minor punishments for cheating.


April 7th, 2016 at 10:46 PM ^

I'm 41, had Gerson for 101 and 401. Wasn't that bad. More annoying than difficult. Then again, all the Econ major hockey players, (Botterill, Morrison, and luhning), had tutors that took care of all assignments. They were kind enough to share. Those dudes were pretty sharp and probably didn't need the help, though. I even remember the Econ 485 final was scantron multiple choice and Morrison had the key. Good times.

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April 7th, 2016 at 11:20 PM ^

Stephan Lauermann. We must have been classmates together. I share your pain.

I missed an A- in that class by 9 points out of 1000 (LITERALLY LESS THAN 1% ERROR) and he and my GSI were like "lol tough shit buddy better luck next time".

Honestly though Econ 402 was pretty awful too, if only because it was another German professor with a thicker accent who couldn't be bothered to address class questions. Those two made for a relentless sophomore year.


April 7th, 2016 at 11:46 PM ^

Funny you say that. I was literally 1/1000 points away from getting a B+ instead of a B.

The extra shitty thing was if you ended up with a borderline grade, they'd bump it up had you completed all the HW assignments. But that's all they counted for, so you were probably like me at the time thinking "fuck it, slim chance that happens."


April 8th, 2016 at 9:30 AM ^

I can't remember his name, but I had to drop a 400-level Econ class because I couldn't understand him... and this was after taking five years of High School and UM German classes.  I may have been better off if he spoke German in class!

Coach Carr Camp

April 8th, 2016 at 10:32 AM ^

I also had the back to back 401/402 with the German guys (must have been fall/winter 08/09 respectively). The good thing about getting through those classes there are a lot of good upper level econ classes that are interesting and have a very generous curve.


April 7th, 2016 at 11:19 PM ^

I took this to fill out my 3-course elective sequence.  The math 215 prereq is no joke, and I think a lot of people that took it had either never seen a partial differential equation before or they didn't realize there was going to be that much math.  I loved the course and it was not difficult for me, but it was definitely a huge step up in the math from 101/102


April 8th, 2016 at 9:45 AM ^

This 1000 times.  I had to retake 401 in the summer of 2002 and got an A- on the midterm and then ended up with a B in the class.  Took it the first time and missed the C- by a few points.  Crazy hard class. Once you realized that the exams would test you mostly on the exceptions to the rules and not the main concepts you were better off.  What a meat grinder that was.  But, great feeling to conquer that demon.  Hats off to anyone here who passed that class!  Cheers & happy Friday!


April 7th, 2016 at 10:28 PM ^

Theory of Calculus. I just couldn't get my head around metric spaces and such. One of my boys is much more gifted in math, as he starts a Ph.D. at Wisconsin this Fall.

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April 7th, 2016 at 11:14 PM ^

i did study (rare for me), but we had so little guidance from the prof, who was a very bizarre person - i think she was about 90% of the issue.  she couldn't relate to anybody in the class. i had the 2nd or 3rd highest grade in the class, and it was my worst ever in school, a C+.  

i was ticked about it.  kind of like a preventable crash, it didn't have to happen.  

MLD Woody

April 7th, 2016 at 10:30 PM ^

IOE 425... no I'm just kidding. Of course it isn't an IOE course. 


Math 286 Honors Theoretical Diffy Q's. I think that class had the lowest average test scores out of any class I took. 

Otherwise I would have to agree with ME 395. Not the most difficult material, but when all aspects of the class get put together, it is awful. 


April 7th, 2016 at 11:03 PM ^

Well played on the IOE front.

I did Math 286 too.

For me, by far my hardest course was PHY 453 Quantum Mechanics. They didn't have quantum broken up into two semesters like they do now (at least, I'm pretty sure they do now). Anyway, the real problem was the professor, Yukio Tomozawa. I couldn't understand his English, he didn't use a textbook, and he stood directly in front of whatever he was writing on the board. Ironically, I also took a ton of Japanese, and I still couldn't understand him, in English or Japanese.


April 8th, 2016 at 12:14 AM ^

Is it bad that I was a member of HKN and didn't even rememer it until you just mentioned it?  Needless to say that outside of manning the donut stand for one semester I wasn't an overly active member. 

Since I didn't actually end up working in either electrical or computer engineering I just don't think of it very much. 


April 8th, 2016 at 9:11 AM ^

Most difficult in terms of workload: EECS 427 (VLSI Design I)

I spent 40 hours per week, as did the other 3 members of my team, outside of class working on this class. All semester. Every Week. I did get an A+.


Most difficult in terms of hard tests: EECS 478 (Logic Circuit Synthesis and Optimization)

Means on the exams hovered in the mid 30% range. Book was atrocious. Professor read overhead slides in a monotone for 2 hours at a time... but wouldn't publish the slides online.


Classes most difficult for me: EECS 216 and Math 116

EECS 216...with a professor who isn't interested in seeing your work and gives no partial credit. Either the answer is correct to a couple decimal places or it's zero points. Somehow managed a B+


Math 116... weeder course with absurdly LONG integration problems, taught by a GSI that couldn't do the math and didn't speak English intelligibly (even though he was an American from Ohio). Still don't understand getting a C- in 116 when I never had another grade worse than a B+ in the entire math sequence.


April 8th, 2016 at 5:41 PM ^

If you pulled off an A+ in EECS 427 but barely passed Math 116, there must have been something seriously wrong with the way your Math 116 class was taught.

That's the one thing I didn't like about my time as an undergrad at Michigan. There was barely any quality control in the way GSIs were assigned to teach those major introductory classes like Math 115, Math 116, Chem 130, etc. even though like 70% of all undergrads end up taking them. 


April 11th, 2016 at 11:26 AM ^

Yeah... based on my engineering and other math class grades... there is no question my 116 GSI was absolutely horrendous.

I had an A+ in Math 115.

I had a C- in Math 116.

I had an A- in Math 215.

I had a B+ in Math 216.


EECS 270: A

EECS 370: A-

EECS 373: A-

EECS 380: A

EECS 400: A

EECS 427: A+

EECS 470: A-