middCourses
with William Hegman6 months ago

I took this course during J-term, so it was differently a different experience from most. A good chunk of material was cut out in order to condense it into 4 weeks. Derrick and Bill co-taught this course. Overall, the department's GEOG 120 course is HIGHLY structured and HIGHLY planned out. They have spent hundreds of hours perfecting how this course runs, the lectures, the exact problems, etc which really shows. Very well organized and I never felt confused on where we were at in the course or what our goals were. Yes, this class is challenging and requires a lot of independent analysis and problem solving, but it really is not as bad as people make it out to be. The professors were very accessible and able to answer my questions. It felt super relevant getting to solve real-world problems and make relevant maps. Don't be afraid to take this course, there's a ton of support for it and I promise it's not as bad as most of these reviews make it seem! If you've taken any geography classes before this course, it will be much easier for you.

I took this course during J-term, so it was differently a different experience from most. A good chunk of material was cut out in order to condense it into 4 weeks. Derrick and Bill co-taught this course. Overall, the department's GEOG 120 course is HIGHLY structured and HIGHLY planned out. They have spent hundreds of hours perfe …Read more

Chill and RelaxedProject-HeavyFair Grading
10hrs / week Some difficulty Extremely high value Would take again
with Niwaeli Kimambo6 months ago

This course certainly lives up to its reputation. The workload is extremely high and you will spend hours and hours behind a computer in the GIS lab, but the topics explored are very interesting. Prof. Kimambo is clearly very invested in making the class valuable to everybody, not just geography majors, but the material is quite dense. Expect to do a lot of the learning on your own, and then have those topics reinforced in the next lecture. Independent projects are also very challenging, but worthwhile in the end.

This course certainly lives up to its reputation. The workload is extremely high and you will spend hours and hours behind a computer in the GIS lab, but the topics explored are very interesting. Prof. Kimambo is clearly very invested in making the class valuable to everybody, not just geography majors, but the material is quite dens …Read more

Fast-PacedFair GradingProject Exams
8hrs / week Extremely difficulty Extremely high value Would take again
with Niwaeli Kimambo8 months ago

Learned so much. However, this class's workload is ridiculous. The independent problems, where you need to use what you've learned in GIS to figure out how to use new tools, feels like asking someone whose never before used a ceramics wheel to make a giant vase. Niwaeli is incredibly kind and funny but that does not make up for how hard this class truly is.

Fast-PacedProject-HeavyTough Grading
15hrs / week Very difficulty Very high value Would not take again
with Niwaeli Kimambo7 months ago

This class is TOUGH, but I learned a ton. Independent problems are very time consuming, so plan accordingly. I spent the majority of my weekends in the GIS lab working on independent problems. I learned a ton in this course, and it was super satisfying to see all of what I accomplished at the end.

Fast-PacedProject-HeavyFair Grading
15hrs / week Impossible difficulty Extremely high value Would not take again
with Niwaeli Kimambo7 months ago

Prof Kimambo is very enthusiastic about geography, but as my first geography class 120 was difficult and time-consuming. It definitely helped me see the value of GIS in today's world and helped me declare my major in geography, though. Though the independent problems are hard and it may seem like it is hard to get a good grade in the class, the prof offered extra credit stuff at the end of the semester.

Prof Kimambo is very enthusiastic about geography, but as my first geography class 120 was difficult and time-consuming. It definitely helped me see the value of GIS in today's world and helped me declare my major in geography, though. Though the independent problems are hard and it may seem like it is hard to get a good grade in the …Read more

Fast-PacedProject-HeavyFair Grading
8hrs / week Very difficulty High value Would not take again
with Niwaeli Kimambo7 months ago

I would highly recommend this class to anyone who is interested in gaining some basic knowledge in spatial analysis. It is the "money-making" course that will bring you all kinds of research and internship opportunities later. This class is fast-paced with a lot of materials to learn, but you are always encouraged to form small study groups with others throughout the semester.

Fast-PacedLots of HomeworkFair Grading
10hrs / week Very difficulty Extremely high value Would take again
with Niwaeli Kimambolast year

This was my second course with Niwaeli and she is still great (first was Urban Africa). It is super helpful to have taken some sort of deductive class before you take this, such as CSCI 150 or other coding class. One main objective of the class is to create workflows of your analysis, which are super helpful to make and are a great skill to learn. I can completely understand that someone who is an ES major that is just taking this for a requirement might hate the class, and rightfully so... There is a ton of computer work, and if you are not comfortable with computers or do not enjoy them, you would not like this class. I love working through the independent problems and find both the process (workflow) and presentation (visual essay) extremely satisfying to create. This class even landed me a job working with GIS this summer. Definitely recommend.

This was my second course with Niwaeli and she is still great (first was Urban Africa). It is super helpful to have taken some sort of deductive class before you take this, such as CSCI 150 or other coding class. One main objective of the class is to create workflows of your analysis, which are super helpful to make and are a great s …Read more

Project-HeavyFair GradingProject Exams
10hrs / week Average difficulty Extremely high value Would take again
with Niwaeli Kimambo2 years ago

This class was just incredibly time consuming. And having to physically go into lab to do work made it so much worse. The material itself was not challenging and I enjoyed lectures. There was a weekly pre-class module with recorded lectures and an assignment that took me about 1.5 hours every week. In the past this was instead of a lecture, but ours was in addition to. There were also lab assignments that had to be turned in and often took more than lab time. Exams were project exams and were quite challenging and time consuming. And exam corrections were also really time consuming. There were weeks where I probably spent over 10 hours in the lab room.

This class was just incredibly time consuming. And having to physically go into lab to do work made it so much worse. The material itself was not challenging and I enjoyed lectures. There was a weekly pre-class module with recorded lectures and an assignment that took me about 1.5 hours every week. In the past this was instead of a l …Read more

Lots of HomeworkFair GradingDifficult Exams
7hrs / week Hardcore difficulty High value Would not take again
with Niwaeli Kimambolast year

I really found learning GIS helpful and was able to then use it for work beyond the class! Definitely a difficult class -- Independent Problems are HARD, but fulfilling if you engage with them thoughtfully. I enjoyed learning how to use QGIS and also Niwaeli is a great human (cares a lot for her students). The weekly Canvas quizzes were a bit frustrating in terms of grading, but the bulk of your grade comes from Independent Problems which she grades fairly and not too harshly since she knows they are hard and meant to push students. One of the most fulfilling classes I've taken in terms of the pride/confidence in workflow generation and QGIS gained at the end. Take this class when you have time to grind in BiHall and do the work, but also you learn so much and sharpen your analytical and creative problem solving parts of your brain throughout.

I really found learning GIS helpful and was able to then use it for work beyond the class! Definitely a difficult class -- Independent Problems are HARD, but fulfilling if you engage with them thoughtfully. I enjoyed learning how to use QGIS and also Niwaeli is a great human (cares a lot for her students). The weekly Canvas quizzes w …Read more

Lots of HomeworkTough GradingDifficult Exams
10hrs / week Extremely difficulty Extremely high value Would take again
with Niwaeli Kimambolast year

IN-SEASON ATHLETES STAY AWAY. This class is the most time-intensive I've ever taken. 3-4 Independent Problems (exams) which are spread out over two weeks means you spend 6-8 weeks working on exams. Pre-lab tutorials are due Monday morning, so if you have plans on the weekend, you have to find time to spend 2-3 hours in the lab in BiHall preparing for the lab. Grading is tough, and Canvas quizzes are misleading. Hard to get a good grade and takes a ton of time.

IN-SEASON ATHLETES STAY AWAY. This class is the most time-intensive I've ever taken. 3-4 Independent Problems (exams) which are spread out over two weeks means you spend 6-8 weeks working on exams. Pre-lab tutorials are due Monday morning, so if you have plans on the weekend, you have to find time to spend 2-3 hours in the lab in BiH …Read more

Lots of HomeworkTough GradingDifficult Exams
8hrs / week Extremely difficulty Average value Would not take again
with Niwaeli Kimambo2 years ago

This course is really time consuming and detail oriented. I really appreciate how well structured this class is, every week has a similar layout which makes it easier to stay on top of work. It is definitely hard and takes a big commitment to actually understand what is going on, but the subject matter is really cool if you're interested in spatial analysis or if you're a visual learner. Don't be intimidated by its reputation, this class is interesting and useful!

This course is really time consuming and detail oriented. I really appreciate how well structured this class is, every week has a similar layout which makes it easier to stay on top of work. It is definitely hard and takes a big commitment to actually understand what is going on, but the subject matter is really cool if you're intere …Read more

Fast-PacedProject-HeavyTough Grading
4hrs / week Very difficulty Extremely high value Would take again
with Niwaeli Kimambo2 years ago

Niwaeli is a really patient instructor. I found it really helpful to go to her office hours after classes to clarify unclear concepts. The first month of the class seems to be fairly easy, but after the first project begins there will be an increase in workload and difficulty.

Project-HeavyFair GradingProject Exams
8hrs / week Some difficulty Very high value Would not take again
with Niwaeli Kimambo2 years ago

Niwaeli is great, this course is just a tough prerequisite that is hard to enjoy if you're not a geography person. It really should not be required for ENVS majors. I did feel like I got a lot out of it as a GEOG major and found it interesting but it moves super fast and is definitely not easy. She is an awesome prof though and would take her other classes like Urban Africa.

Fast-PacedProject-HeavyDifficult Exams
10hrs / week Extremely difficulty High value Would not take again
with Niwaeli Kimambolast year

Extremely time-consuming class. Also, I missed a lab and subsequent lab quiz due to being sick. I made up the work but Kimambo would not allow me to take the quiz, which resulted in an extremely low score that tanked my grade for the first half of the semester. Kimambo can also be somewhat condescending when communicating which is extremely frustrating. Overall, the actual class material is fairly easy, but the course itself is difficult.

Extremely time-consuming class. Also, I missed a lab and subsequent lab quiz due to being sick. I made up the work but Kimambo would not allow me to take the quiz, which resulted in an extremely low score that tanked my grade for the first half of the semester. Kimambo can also be somewhat condescending when communicating which is ex …Read more

Lots of HomeworkTough GradingDifficult Exams
12hrs / week Very difficulty Average value Would not take again
with Niwaeli Kimambolast year

Niwaeli cares deeply. I appreciated her personable approach to teaching. But I wish this course had been taught in ArcGIS and not Q. I don’t find QGIS particularly useful to future internships or professional work in the geography field.

Project-HeavyFair GradingProject Exams
5hrs / week Some difficulty High value Would take again