CS 1502


PRE-REQ: CS 441CS 445
Course DescriptionThe course is an introduction to the theory of information and computation as a physical phenomenon. The course covers standard formalizations of computational concepts and proofs of noteworthy implications of these formalizations. Typical topics include: finite automata, computability, reducibility, and complexity.
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Tan does a very good job teaching 1502 and he makes dry topics interesting. He has a pretty slow pace which is very good for learning the topics and his tests were basically straight out of in class/homework examples.

No joke, Max's 1502 is one of my favorite classes ever. He's a very personable and knowledge lecturer. His assignments are all very fair, and so are his exams. You should start on things early, and certainly study. That said, he's a huge help in office hours (I went for every assignment and before every exam). He's generous on regrades, and if you ever find a discrepancy on your HW/exam, go see him. You'll get your points back without much fuss, and all those points can easily add up to 5-10% of your grade. In general, his grading policies are relatively generous. He doesn't have slides, so you should definitely go to class. There is also a participation grade. If you miss class, chances are you won't pass.

Dr. Tan is hands-down one of the best professors at Pitt. 1502's material is suuuper dry but he makes it fun. He's super helpful in officer hours and his homeworks help you prepare for the three tests. Highly recommend!

Term Spring 2019Professor Nick Farnan

Rate My Professors

Quality rating 3.4/5

Difficulty rating 4/5

Difficulty 4/5Quality 4/5

Farnan is incredible at teaching topics correctly, but he is difficult on people. Make sure you spend a majority of your time working on the projects, especially project 5. Quizzes are worth only 4% of your grade, so know your priorities. The essays are peer-reviewed which can lead to some discrepancies between the amount of work you put in and the grade you recieve on the papers.

Tan's a great professor and even though I get the vibe most people don't like 1502, I think it was a really interesting class. I hear Bender is good too for this class.

A class focused heavily on logic and finite state automatas. If you expect a coding course, then you will be surprised. This is one of the most challenging CS courses that is not coding based.

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