Professor Sean Szumlanski Reviews
Prof: Sean Szumlanski / Spring 2018
Dec 21, 2020
You might be wondering why I put 1/5 for “easy” but “5/5” for interesting. That’s because Szum is a fantastic professor, but the material itself is absolute murder. The class hinges on the C programming language and math at the level of at least Calculus with Analytical Geometry. With my multiple years of programming experience, I was able to easily do the C programming part but I bombed the math parts of the two exams I took because I had terrible math professors in the past and failed those classes entirely. I had a 70% with a project and an exam still ungraded by the time the withdrawal deadline came around, so I didn’t take my chances and I withdrew from the course. If Szum had graded those two things a little bit faster, I might have stayed in if I was more certain about my grad...read more
Learn math before taking this class. That’s the part that gets you.
Prof: Sean Szumlanski / Spring 2020
Feb 13, 2021
Want to figure out if CS is for you? Worried about the Foundation Exam? Just interested in coding? Then this class is for you! Szum’s lectures are awesome and he will prepare you well for the FE (he even used to work for Google!). Be warned though: the learning curve is very steep and things go at a fast pace. You will have to keep yourself in check in order to not fall behind (that means practicing your code/coding parts of your projects nearly every day). Projects are given out every two weeks, so make sure you start them when he hands them out! Even though Szum is very helpful, DO NOT CHEAT AT ALL COSTS! Catching cheaters is Szum’s equivalent to chilling with some Netflix and wine at the end of the day. He’s only this strict since he really wants you to get better at coding and pass th...read more
Again, I recommend starting your projects as soon as they are assigned. When I was in Szum’s class, some kids spent over 20 hours on projects! Luckily though, Szum’s office hours are very helpful and so are the TAs in the Cave! This class is also very math and logic-heavy and that’s the main thing that weeds people out of CS (sadly, myself included). Make sure you brush up on pointers and linked lists as well!
Prof: Sean Szumlanski / Spring 2022
May 1, 2022
Going into CS1 at the start of the semester, I knew this was going to be a challenging course. Not just the material and the methods of the exam, but also Szumlanski himself is known for being a difficult professor. I can safely say that this is known information for a reason: it's true. This class was brutal sometimes, with many of my programming assignments being massive headaches to get through (if I got through them at all). However, Szumlanski does make the material understandable and digestible if you put in the effort and go to class. This is not a class you can just breeze through, but if you buckle down and study, you'll be just fine.
Lots of data structures and runtime analysis in this class. There's some components that get skipped over or watered down until you take CS2, but for the most part it's all relevant enough that you'll be using the information taught for quite a while in your upper level classes.
Szumlanski is an absolute treat of a professor, and a true gem within the CS department. He knows the ins and outs of the material covered in class, and the way he explains stuff makes it make so much sense compared to how I learned it in the past. The main con with Szumlanski is that grading takes a while for your assignments, but he has explained that part of that is due to lack of available funding for TA's, which is understandable.
Office hours, while very useful, are often limited to certain days of the week. As such, this can limit your ability to get help for a programming assignment if you procrastinate on it. So don't procrastinate.
Prof: Sean Szumlanski / Fall 2020
Jan 10, 2021
Szumlanski's class is very difficult, but very vital if you're looking to gain the knowledge you'd actually want for a job in the field. The course has very fair grading, but don't expect to put in no work and get a C. Highly recommend.
Read each assignment's PDF the night it comes out and work on it a little every day. Eustis was down at pivotal moments, so you'd want to be sure to get the assignments done as fast as possible.
Prof: Sean Szumlanski / Fall 2020
Dec 24, 2020
Szumlanski is honestly one of THE best professors out there. His course is tough for beginners in programming, but goes through the content thoroughly and adds lecture notes usually after class. In lectures, he explains the content through code demonstrations (which you can follow) and provides source code in his lecture notes. He has 6 programming assignments across the year and 3 tests (including the final). He bans the use of IDEs and requires you to compile using gcc in a linux shell (it sounds bad at first, but you learn a lot more from it), essentially giving you experience using linux (using commands like scp, cat, diff, vim, ssh, output redirects, and piping).
Attend his or his TA's office hours, and do the practice problems and labs he provides! Most importantly, practice programming weekly.