Probability and Statistical Inference
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Kostya is a very entertaining and enthuastic lecturer who is willing to give time to help his students. However, his teaching methods and lectures notes are very flawed. The lecture notes are filled with undefined notation and acronyms (which are often different from the textbooks the course is based on), and many of the theorems are 'proven' with casual one-to-two line comments followed by his trademark 'bingo!!'. His explanations provide insight into the poor state of the lectures notes; they often feel aimed at a graduate or someone revising content they are already familiar with. Overall, this course is very difficult for the wrong reasons. It is hard to recommend it unless you are very enthuastic for probability and a good self-learner (trust me, you ain't learning anything from the notes) or would like a shallow introduction to measure theory. As mentioned in the beginning, the main reedeming quality of this subject is the lecturer's enthusiasm.
Anonymous, Semester 1, 2022
I'm an average student (or maybe slightly above). I don't think I'm alone in saying that the previous review is unfair to Kostya. Yes, this subject is challenging. But many of the students who enrolled in this subject already expected this. Is the pace of the lectures outrageous? Compared to other subjects, I will agree that it is fast. But this shouldn't be a surprise - don't pick this subject if you aren't ready for it. The SSLC survey indicated that most people felt the pace was between "about right", and "slightly fast". Not "outrageous". ONE question on each of the ten assignments is marked. I had no problem with the assignments, and they were more than enough for learning purposes. Sounds like this dissatisfied student cares more about doing the bare minimum for grades. The tutorial format. It seems to have not changed for many years. Although I'm not a fan, it's not really hindering learning. You can still learn perfectly fine. Is Kostya "condescending", "callous", and did he "mock" the student cohort? He was disappointed with the overall results of the cohort for the midsemester test, but I have never felt that he was rude & aggressive to the student cohort. If anything, it felt more like impatience, as many students do not seem eager to participate in consultations. Don't get me wrong. This is not a perfect subject. Many students did want more worked solutions so that we could review our mistakes and improve more. I thought some explanations were difficult to understand. Overall, if you want to feel good about your marks and your grades, this is the wrong subject for you. If you are a diligent student but you don't want to put in difficult hours in learning an advanced field, then this subject still may not be for you. But if you want to actually learn something challenging and be exposed to a new area of mathematics, then this subject may suit you.
Anonymous, Semester 1, 2021
The lecturer, Konstantin Borovkov, is condescending, callous, and his explanations are incomprehensible. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy challenging problems and subjects, and I reckon I'm pretty good at them. But the pace of his lecturers are outrageous and there are TEN assignments PLUS a mid-semester PLUS an exam. Only ONE question on each of the ten assignments is marked, and Borovkov ignored the numerous complaints he received from students in the mid-semester survey. The tutorial format is also bizarre and involves the tutor COPYING a written set of solutions, uninterrupted for 50 mins, while we're about to receive these answers in a few days anyway. Again, many students including myself complained, and he dismissed us saying tutorial format is different for third year subjects. This is despite the fact that all my other third year maths subjects have the normal format! His eccentric and slightly aggressive style of lecturing was funny at first, but is just annoying now that no one understands what he's saying. He has also mocked "a declining ability in third year students", and has frequently shown little regard for student woes. Withdraw IMMEDIATELY from this subject, especially if you receive this lecturer!!
Anonymous, Semester 1, 2021
This subject is very difficult and demanding; lecturer is good but honestly the way he explains proofs seems like he's talking to post-grad students.. a lot of it is unclear, and tutorial questions are extremely hard (as well as the questions in the 10 assignments)
Anonymous, Semester 1, 2019
Very hard subject (very abstract). Quite interesting, but I'd say best to only take it if you need to (to go onto further study in Probability and/or Statistics) or if you want an interesting elective as a Pure Maths student. You get a lot of background into many of the things you would take for granted in a more applied subject. Lecturer is very good, if not a bit.... eccentric.