Ahlgren, William L.  

Electrical Engineering

1.96/4.00

51 evaluations


EE 42


Senior
B
Required (Major)
Dec 2011
The best way I can describe Ahlgren is endlessly frustrating. I'd stop showing up to lecture for a week or two after a test, and then, like an amnesia patient, I go back, sit through lecture, and wonder all over again why I went in the first place. His lectures tend to be somewhat repetetive and slow. Lots of examples. Without numbers though. He hates numbers, and math. I've taken him in other courses, but he never changes. He doesn't collect homework (I don't think he likes grading). There were only three tests for your whole grade and he drops the lowest. Oh and they're multiple choice. It was a little odd at first, but after a year I understand them a lot better. He'll give you three problems that he breaks down into 5 questions for each so around 15 questions. Supposedly, he says that he chooses the test problems from the homework, but it's more strange than it sounds. He says that he takes the concept that you were supposed to learn from that problem and uses that to recreate another problem. ...? Never seemed like that to me. Anyway, he's nice guy and I think he just wants someone to come to office hours. Pretty easy to get a good grade with him. He curves the average to a B-

EE 111


Freshman
A
Required (Major)
Dec 2005
EE 111 is an automatic A class. The homework is worth 75% of the grade, luckily it is incredibly easy and the longest assignment took me around 15 minutes (including the walk to the library). The final is worth the other 25% of the grade, the final is pretty simple. There are a good amount of math problems on there from the math homework assignment. Ahlgren recognized this course had no real "content" to it and still was pretty lenient. In a couple assignments, especially the math assignment, he recognized that the material was foreign to most of us. So he did the entire assignment on the board the day it was due, then told us he'd delay it a week. Let me reiterate that for you: He did the assignment for us (he explained the steps too, it's not like he just gave us answers) and then delayed the assignment a week. If you can, get Ahlgren for 111.


Freshman
A
Required (Major)
Dec 2005
Like pretty much every other EE student, I think EE111 is a complete waste of time, and I'm very sure Ahlgren realized this. Just sit back, relax and enjoy; homework assignments are very simple (with the exception of perhaps the math) and are 75% of the grade and the final exam isn't very hard either. Ahlgren is a very nice guy and will postpone homework assignments if most of the students have trouble with them (such as in our case, the math assignment). Overall though, I would recommend him, but EE111 should be preparing you more for EE151 (lab) instead of just lecturing about the history of EE and how to use the library.

EE 208


Senior
A
Required (Major)
Mar 2003
Ahlgren is an okay instructor. He's a pretty bad lecturer though. He skims through all of the materials as if it were a review section, but then again, there's a lot to cover in this course. HIs tests are very fair. He believes that homework is the most important part of the course, therefore tests you only on homework problems that he assigns. The tests were multiple choice and only covered the two weeks worth of homework prior to the exam. Final exam is just like the midterms(it's not cumulative). Final is used as a replacement exam if you did bad on one of the tests. His office hours are long and he treats them as review sections... conducting it like if it were a tutor section. Take him if you don't want to learn anything, if you're good at multiple choice test, if you know how to make a good cheat sheet, and if you already know what's going on.


Junior
B
Required (Support)
Apr 2003
I liked the way he teaches the class. All of the lectures and homework solutions are on blackboard. If you learn more at home at your own pace, you have all that material available. However, if you need help from him, he makes himself very available at office hour and at study sessions. Recommended.


Junior
A
Required (Major)
Jun 2003
Nicest prof. I have ever had. He REALLY wants everyone to do good, go to his office hours he will stay there until you understand the material. But other than that the class is an EASY A.


Junior
A
Required (Major)
Mar 2004
I definitely recommend taking Dr. Ahlgren. He goes out of his way, more so than other professors, to help you learn the material. He also tries his best to be fair. For some classes he holds study sessions the night before each quiz. You can tell that he puts much effort into explaining each problem in a way so that students can understand it.

EE 212


Sophomore
B
Required (Major)
Mar 2015
You will get a B- in this class whether you go to his lectures or not He wastes half of class deriving formulas from trig identities and doesn't even follow the schedule that he laid out for the class yet expects you to understand how to do the homework and tests as according to the schedule. *personal note: I stopped going to his lectures after the first midterm and self studied for the second midterm and scored above the class average which is set at a B-... Yup


Sophomore
B
Required (Major)
Mar 2015
Easily one of the worst professors I've ever had. I stopped going to class entirely after the first test and just taught myself (usually with the book). After completely skipping his lectures, I ended up doing better then average on second and third tests. The biggest problem is that he is just so lazy. He doesn't really collect homework (and never grades it), his tests are all scantron, he is never prepared for class, and he will NEVER us numbers to explain a circuit computation. Also, it's pointless to ask him any questions because he will spend 45 minutes deriving a formula and then run out of time. At least you are pretty much guaranteed a B- in this class because he curves like 75% of the students to it.


Sophomore
B
Required (Major)
Mar 2015
To start off, I don't think Ahlgren is a bad guy but he is a bad teacher. It may be because it was his first time teaching the class but I'm not completely sure. Now to the facts. The way his class is set up is that homework is optional but if you do it you get an automatic 5% toward your final grade. Theres is also an optional project that also gives an automatic 5% toward your final grade. If you do not do the homework or the project your entire grade is based off of three non cumulative exams, two of which are during the quarter and the last is during finals week. He takes the best two out of three and those are used to compute your final grade. The exams are multiple choice with 3 questions with multiple parts. He grades on a curve and in then end you are pretty much guaranteed a C- or better. This being said, his class is basically a self study class. His lectures end up being a week behind his schedule and the lectures themselves are not very helpful in doing the homework which is what the tests are based off of. Most people stop going to class after the first test. If it wasn't for the curve almost everyone would be failing.


Junior
A
Required (Major)
Mar 2016
Dr. Ahlgren is a very nice guy, but not a very good professor. It is very difficult to fail his class, as he curves each test to the class average (So the majority of the class get a B- even if you guessed a lot). Add in that the tests are all multiple choice scantrons and that he is very good about giving points back if you have the right approach written down on the paper copy, you stand a good chance at getting a B or better with little effort. The lectures are slightly useful. You should go to them, as he'll rule out what is on the test while lecturing. I found that he was a much better teacher when answering homework questions, so if you just continually pepper him with questions you will get a lot more out of the class then you would have otherwise. All the proofs he does are out of the book, if he starts to get stuck, flip your book open and correct it quick or you'll be stuck on that proof all day.

EE 295


Junior
A
Required (Support)
Jun 2016
Lazy, unprepared, and not very helpful. The kind of lab professor that's like "let's just try this out and see what happens." Not really something I felt comfortable doing in an EE lab. Even though he was nice and he made the lab very easy, I didn't gain much from him personally and learned way more from the lecture.

EE 304


Senior
A
Required (Major)
Jun 2003
Even if I didn't get a good grade in this class, Ahlgren is a great guy. He enjoys having chats with students and makes class fun to go to. He is funny and always in a good mood. Lectures can tend to be boring, but his testing methods are awesome and the way he schedules tests etc. Ahlgren is a great professor.


Junior
A
Required (Major)
Jun 2003
Algren is one of the best teachers I have had. He is straight forward in his grading, and you can do well if you put time into studying. Trust me, he may not be the best/worst teacher in EE department(not very eloquent like Mr. B) (but not terrible like MR. C), but he know what the student want, and if you just listen to his advice, he will give it to you. There are about 60 peoples in class this quarter, and more than half of the class get A. So, study hard, and listen to his advice, and you will be happy. If you did poorly on his multiple choices test, well, just try your best to make a comeback, especially the final. I came into the final with a B- and came out with an A. Good luck and have fun learning on your own.


Senior
C
Required (Major)
Jun 2003
He was good at helping during office hours. You can tell he wants you to learn the stuff. As usual doing the homework will help you learn the stuff. The class is still a pain in the butt!

EE 306


Junior
B
Required (Major)
Mar 2004
If you never attended lecture, you would pretty much be fine studying on your own or with other students. He was always behind on lectures, either cause he took too long or would skip him. He was not bad since he spoke clearly unlike the rest of the EE faculty. He was nice about curving the grades up at the end. He gives out a lot of homework, but he provides all the solutions and they are not collected. The finals were supposed to be very similar to the homework, but make sure to know the concepts well because the test problems are pretty different.


Junior
B
Required (Major)
Apr 2004
If you're looking for an easy A, this is your professor. His grading is based on the following: 6 exams (drops the lowest)... then in each of the 6 exams, there's 6 questions, where the lowest scored question gets dropped. The final day is broken into 2 exams (#5 and #6) where #6 is cumulative over the whole quarter. I learned a lot of new material in this class... there's homework but it's not required. In all honesty, I didn't do a single hw problem the whole quarter and I pulled a B- at the very end. If you actually do the hw then you'll be gauranteed an A, pretty much. You get to use 2 sides of a 8.5"x11" piece of paper for each exam (so you'll have 5 sheets by the end of the quarter)... write these very carefully! They'll be your life-saver in the exams. One major problem with his lectures is that there's so much material that he'll skip like 1/2 the stuff in the quarter, and just say "read the book and do the problems and if you have any issues, come see me in my office hours"... ugh. It was quite annoying. Don't get me wrong, Ahlgren has lots of experience with what he's talking about... he's quite qualified, and an overall a good professor. Take him if you can!


Junior
B
Required (Major)
Apr 2004
Ahlgren is cool if you are looking for a good grade. His test are easy most of them are similar to the HW. The only problem is you wont learn anything from class, execpt for when he does example problems. I basically went to the first 3 weeks of class, after that i realized that you will learn everything from the book. There are a few things here and there that you should show up to class for but you can always get that from a classmate. Great in office hours, willing to help you! If you ask questions you will learn a lot more.


Junior
N/A
Required (Major)
Jun 2006
Yes, at first, ahlgren seems like a really nice guy, but as far as him being an effective teacher, he's horrible. This guy is a total spaz, and as a result, it's rediculously easy to throw him off-track with the lecture. This one guy asked him a yes or no question and it took ahlgren 45 minutes to answer it. I don't understand how anyone could do that, but he managed it. As far as actually learning anything, stick to the book as best you can, but he makes it hard as well. He'll assign about a hundred pages a week, spread out in cmall clumps over 5 or 6 chapters. He'll bounce around the book like a cerebal palsy victim trying to play racketball. Here is an example from his syllabus. The following chapters were assigned for reading (in this order): 1, 3, 1, 13, 11, 3, 5, 13, 17, 18, 4, 7. You can easily get how much this guy bounces. After about three weeks, I just stopped attending, his lectures are useless. He can't even get through an example problem without jumping into another unrelated topic about 3/4th of the way in. If you can find them, use his old exams for study guides. He uses the EXACT same problems each year in his tests. As far as actually understanding the material, try to talk to pretty much anyone else in the department. they will be more easily understandable, less spastic, and you will learn more from them.


Junior
N/A
Required (Major)
Jun 2006
I pretty much agree with the guy below's statement. The only reason he has a reasonably high score (2.86/4 currently) is because he has relatively easy tests. No offense to the EE's out there (I'm CPE), but every EE teacher I've had (6) either can't teach or can't speak clear and loud English. Sometimes both. Maybe it's just bad luck and I ran into alot of bad professors, but whatever. I stopped showing up after 3 weeks, and with some small amounts of studying I was at least able to work through most of the problems for the 2nd midterm and final. He also needs to learn how to write on the board and not crowd it. When he's drawing graphs we need to draw them with him instead of sitting there for a minute wandering our heads around, then catching up while he goes on to the next one. I got my first midterm, it was a little higher than 50% but he put a C on the grade. Most people were like that too, with grades around 50s 60s but had C's and B's. I assumed he gave us a curved score, but of course I was wrong. He mentioned to the class in almost exact wording that "that wasn't really your grade on the paper, just something I put on there because students like to see letters." Everyone just kind of looked at each other and laughed quietly, confused with that ridiculous and totally ineffective philosophy. If anything that made me take the class less seriously which is never a good sign. Oh yeah and the week after the midterm when he started saying everything wrong and having students correcting him wasn't too reassuring either. I quit going after the 3rd week because I wasn't getting anything from the lecture, and was afraid I was going to be taught something wrong if another student didn't catch the mistake. You can take that for whatever you want, I'm a slacker, the class was too hard for me, whatever. Bottom line was he is the kind of professor that if I were trying to become a teacher, I would think "Don't do what this guy did because I would want my students to actually learn something."


Junior
B
Required (Major)
Jul 2006
basically he can't convey what he knows. he takes forever to talk about one thing and jumps all over the place. the lectures were the biggest waste of my time and i probably wouldnt have gone accept i had class both before and after his. the one good thing is that the tests were very easy, pretty much just hw problems. sometimes he threw a crazy one out there but gave partial credit. i felt like i got nothing out of that class yet ended up with a B. i would suggest not taking him but if you have to then dont worry about it too much.


Junior
B
Required (Major)
Feb 2007
Ahlgren is bad at teaching. He knows a lot of stuff but he is just not organized enough to explain the material properly. He assigns homework but doesn't collect it which is good for people who want an easy quarter. Thing is most of the stuff in EE306 is super important for the next class EE307. So if you take him and end up without the proper fundamentals for transistor circuits, there is no hope for you in EE307 unless you are really smart or you work really hard. My suggestion is to take EE306 with a good teacher like Braun who is hard. When you are done with the course you will have learned much more than a BJT characteristic curve. It seemed to me like Ahlgren wasted a lot of lectures for no reason because the course not only consisted of knowing BJTs but the characteristics of MOSFETs and JFETs as well. If you have no choice but to take him, make sure you are prepared to learn everything on your own. There is no point half-assing this course.


Junior
B
Required (Major)
Mar 2007
Ahlgren is a really nice guy but it just seems like he is nervous ALL the time. You can tell he really like electronics, so much in fact that he goes off on tangents ALL the time. We learned diodes, BJT's and FET's in this class so we definitely covered all the devices we were supposed too. At the beginning of the quarter, the course schedule had around 40 topics on it and i believe we covered around 25. If you take Ahlgren make sure you READ THE BOOK and know that you will most likely have to do some review for 307/308 when you arrive. All in all I thought he was fair. There were a LOT of homework problems assigned but the exams(2 midterms and a final) are all based off the homework. He also lets you have a lot of reference material. I liked him enough to take him again next quarter for 335.


Junior
N/A
Required (Major)
Feb 2010
The other reviews are correct about this guy. He consistently comes to class completely unprepared, and often LATE. He brought this massive notebook the first few days with lots of papers in it, he has since never brought it to class. Which causes him to forget and attempt to re-derive simple examples that he could easily get right the first time if he brought his notes! He is not very easy to understand his logic, and his often very convoluted writing on the board. His tests are a joke. Multiple choice for an EE class!?!? Upside is there is a fatty curve, but it\'s not going to help you out for your next course that relies on 306 knowledge!


Junior
B
Required (Major)
Nov 2010
Great Professor! Able to convey the material nicely and he\'s also the nicest professor at Poly.


Junior
A
Required (Major)
Nov 2010
If you really want to learn you need to take Ahlgren. He was a great lecturer and gave fair tests. You can take Braun for the easy A, but you will learn nothing.


Junior
B
Required (Major)
Dec 2010
aside from exam info, his lectures are worthless and hard to follow. half of his class stopped showing up after the first few weeks because of how bad he is. upside is he does not collect hw and give massive curves on tests ( 4 out 17 was a C- on the first midterm). exams are done on a scantron form so no partial credit. First midterm (nearly all conceptual) was nothing like the homework. Second midterm was easier as it had plug-n-chug problems. Final was more like the second midterm than the first. Also, final is optional in this class

EE 307


Junior
N/A
Required (Major)
Mar 2012
Good luck with this one.

EE 334


Sophomore
C
Required (Major)
May 2004
If you learn out of textbooks well, then Ahlgren is a great teacher to take. He assigns homework, and the test problems are very similar to the homework. He doesn't even care whether or not you come to class. In fact, coming to class is probably a complete waste of time, unless it's a test day. After taking two classes with him, I came to the conclusion that his lectures concentrate on the theory, which is generally too abstract to stick with most people, but the homework and tests are on the applications of the material, which the lecture does nothing to prepare you for. This is the only teacher that has given me below a B in an EE course, so I completely plan on avoiding him. To sum it up, if you like learning from textbooks and never plan on going to class, then he is a great teacher. If you actually want to learn something from the teacher, do NOT take him.

EE 335


Junior
N/A
Required (Major)
May 2007
by the 3rd week i already wanted to gouge my eyes out it's so hard to pay attention too personally i would have rather taken this with harris or some other prof. who lectures the material more rigorously


Junior
N/A
Required (Major)
May 2007
Wow! This guy is a horrible teacher. He does not come to lecture prepared, so be prepared to not learn anything from the lecture. The class is really a joke. Nobody studies until the day before the midterm because you can pass the tests with minimal knowledge. And I'm talking about good students! On the first midterm I was one point away from an A, even though I really deserved a low F. I didn't even answer one question completely correct! I suggest that if you must take a class and you'd like to learn anything, don't take this guy. The only reason that I took his class is because he was the only teacher available foe EE 335. I'm really disappointed in this class.


Junior
B
Required (Major)
Sep 2007
Wow, this guy can't teach for beans. I guess the only reason CP keeps him is because they must feel sorry for him.


Junior
B
Required (Major)
Jul 2008
5 HW at 2% each, best 2 out of 3 exams at 45% each (the final is just midterm length/difficulty with more time.) It's the same issue every quarter - there is too much [overwhelming] material that he just curves the entire class to pass. Most people get Cs, and people who put a bit of effort into scoring well on exams get Bs and As. Exams are 3 out of 4 questions, and have easy and hard parts. Most people skipped lecture after the first couple weeks, since it really wasn't worth it at all. He really wants people to learn but the class is tough and not as important as other classes. He gives you solutions to HW beforehand so that copying is pointless, and everyone does it anyways. He lets you bring a sheet of notes or two, but people brought in everything. Recommended if you just want to get 335 out of the way. I bet his 402 class is of similar crappiness.


5th Year Senior
A
Required (Major)
Sep 2008
Ahlgren is not a good teacher. he's a nice guy and you will probably pass his class but you probably wont learn anything during the quarter. he has great notes posted online but doesnt bring anything to class. he just tries to wing the whole course from his memory. bad plan. he spent 15 minutes trying to derive some formulas that would have take him 3 minutes if he had his notes. going to class is pretty much a waste of time. the material was hard enough without having a "teacher" stand at the front of the class babbling about who knows what. i was sorely disappointed by this teacher. if you want to learn take another teacher. if you want to pass take Ahlgren.


Junior
B
Required (Major)
May 2014
Excellent instructor! Many people will tell you to avoid him because you simply won't like his class. From my experience, his class is actually taught in a way that promotes self study. He encourages his students to take the time to learn the material their own way. That being said, homeworks are optional. Homeworks being optional does not mean to not do them. Rather he made it that way because he understands that some students learn the material from other sources. (You can still turn them make the final have less weight thought) Anyway I'd encourage taking Ahlgren if you are a self learner or don't rely on lectures.

EE 346


Junior
B
Required (Major)
Jun 2008
Made us turn in the first and last lab report, and one in the middle only.. The guy probably didn't want to grade so many. So those 3 reports (and the final) were our entire grade. The lab material can get complicated, and for those, we just didn't finish the lab, and didn't do its report. His final is alright.. you just need everything that you did for the quarter in the lab notebook and a general idea of what you did. He's a friendly guy, and his grading is alright. He will lecture for ever and ever, so be sure to avoid asking him questions if you can.

EE 375


Senior
A
Required (Major)
Aug 2011
Ahlgren is a very nice guy. However, he is the perfect example of a professor who no longer cares. About anything. My lab group made the big mistake of actually trying to understand what was happening in the lab. Do not do this! Just connect some coaxial cables together, make some measurements, save the screenshots (it doesn't matter if they are right or not, just make sure there's something on the screen) and run like hell out the door when he isn't looking. No joke, this is what we did once we wised up. He tries to explain things in class and in office hours, yet he lacks a fundamental understanding of transmission line theory. After hearing him say "You are confused, I am confused, and that is a good thing" I gave up. Instructions to build your lab notebook(which is required): Cut the spine off of your lab manual. Glue all of these pages in your lab notebook. Add screenshots from instruments and some hand calculations. Run over with car and then spend at least an hour beating up lab notebook with other students in the senior project lab, joking about how awful Ahlgren is. Get an A. I'm serious.

EE 402


Senior
B
Required (Major)
Dec 2007
I'm finally glad to be done with electromagnetics, but this guy just made it hell. You'll do his midterms and go through the quarter thinking you're a failure (don't worry, pretty much everyone else will do poorly too), but in the end lot of people end up with Bs and Cs. Ahlgren's a really smart guy, but a HORRIBLE teacher. I'd definitely avoid him if he's teaching an important class that you need, but luckily for me this isn't it, since he was the only one teaching 402 this quarter.


Senior
A
Required (Major)
Jan 2008
The entire class, he seems to be trying to prove to himself he understands the material. Like a student doing homework out loud. Each class, he spends 15 minutes trying to figure out where he got lost. He has a binder full of notes but doesn't use them leading to him losing himself and wasting our time. After the first couple weeks, the reading he says to do ahead of time is not related to what he covers in class. The only reason I went to class was to see how far behind we were in the reading. His midterms were pick 3 of 4 questions. There was a huge curve because everyone typically does poorly on his tests. You better read the book because he doesn't really teach you much in class. Think of someone doing proofs for an hour but being really bad at it. Avoid if possible.


Senior
A
Required (Major)
Jan 2008
Ahlgren's lectures are a little scattered, but they definitely cover the material in a different way from the book. I mean this as a good thing, since you see a topic two ways. You do need to read and you do need to understand all of the homework rather than just get it done. He curves too much. Most of these other reviewers probably should have done much worse. He will get lost in some lectures, but if you're paying attention, it's just another chance to learn the material by following his work and finding the errors. He will be very helpful in office hours and will host a special lecture session, but less than 5% of the class will go. Good teacher, terrible students.


Senior
A
Required (Major)
Apr 2010
If you\'re taking 402, you probably know about Ahlgren already and his standard 2 midterms, final, and the best two tests make your grade. In 402 this quarter he basically gave us a bunch of problems and selected a few to put on the tests. If you try the problems and have trouble Ahlgren is really good in office hours as far as explaining the problems in layman\'s terms. In class he\'s really hard to learn from though, and most students realize it. In our class of probably 60 kids only 4 people showed up one day. On another day, HE forgot to show up. He gave me an A- and I showed up maybe 5 days including the 3 test days. Find a close group of friends to take the tests with and you\'ll do fine.


Senior
B
Required (Major)
Nov 2011
Wow... just wow. This is a senior level EM class, but this guy teaches it like it was high school EM-based physics. There are a lot of homework assignments, but you do not have to turn them in because the instructor's too apathetic to grade them. Your grade is based on three 17-problem MULTIPLE CHOICE exam on a Scantron, but only two out of those three counts. That's right. a 400-level class where its exam is on a Scantron. So you either do really well or do really poor. To be fair to him, the final is totally optional and can only boost your grade if you do well. If you do bad, you will maintain your old "pre-final" grade. It is advisable for lazy people who just want to work some sample problems and get it over with, but if you are really intended to concentrate in RF/Micro, GTFO and take someone else!


Senior
A
Required (Major)
Mar 2012
I've had Dr. Algrene for EE 306, 402, and 420, but they pretty are taught the same way. Algren will give you an B or and A, in 420 the average was an A-. That being said, you will learn between almost nothing and nothing at all. We all like A's, but please do not take him if you are a freshman or are taking an important class for you concentration. Roll Tide.


Senior
B
Required (Major)
Dec 2012
The key to succeed in this course is to do the required homework and turn it into Ahlgren you'll receive a free 10% on your grade. To study for exams, make sure you attend his lectures to absorb the conceptional portion of the course, because working on the homework and essentially bring them to the exams is not enough to receive an A.


Junior
A
Required (Major)
Mar 2013
Professor Ahlgren seems like he was once a great professor. He makes all his lecture notes available online along with all the answers to the homework. Judging by the lecture notes, you would conclude that Ahlgren is a great professor. His notes are very clear and are outlined in a way that makes it easy to understand complex concepts. They make a great supplement to the book (which is also great). If you don't pay attention (or don't go), then at least read them. Now for the bad news. After all the years teaching, Ahlgren must have gotten lazy at some point. All his tests are multiple choice scantrons (15 questions total). If you do and understand the homework from the book, you will be able to do the "plug and chug" problems with ease. He sprinkles in a couple conceptual/theory questions, so you'll have to read his notes to get the answers to those. His lectures are pretty dry, although he gets off track a lot and tries to add some humor. After the first lecture, about 80% of the class stopped showing up to class. He made homework collection optional. If you want to do it, he will glance at it and check you off every week in return for a free 10% of your grade. It's a good idea to take this option. His grading scale is pretty lax. It seemed like anyone who got above 80% in the class got an A. His final exam is also optional. He will give you your grade going into the final, and give you the option of replacing your lowest midterm score with your grade from the final. Overall, he's too easy and I hardly felt like I learned any of the material. Hopefully this doesn't hurt me too much in the next RF class.


Senior
A
Required (Major)
Nov 2016
Ahlgren is a lazy and irresponsible professor. His efforts in teaching and evaluation of students is definitely inadequate. On lectures: He prepares minimally for lectures and example problems. A majority of his lectures will be entirely "Does anyone have any homework problems they want to go over?" He does not review any material before lecture. When he covers a homework problem or example problem, he needs to relearn it in class. This is a large waste of time. Due to this lack of preparation, he makes significant mistakes in the process and calculations, leading to the example problem being not being finished. Most professors prepare lecture notes so they can maintain an organized structure for their lecture. However, Ahlgren does not. He writes what comes to his mind in class. On Exams: His course consists of 3 exams: two midterms and a final. These are all done with multiple choice scantrons, of approximately 15-20 questions. For roughly 3-5 questions on each, Ahglren messes up. By messes up, I mean he does not use the correct equations or he makes arithmetic errors. As a result, none of the available answer choices will be correct. This is bad because it makes students confused and doubtful during the exam, making them perform worse by having less time. These tests are time constrained, losing this amount of time is not an insignificant factor. His errors could be prevented through self review, peer review, or using a written exam instead of scantron. I think any of these options would be an entirely reasonable amount of effort. However, it appears he never tries these. Instead, he tells students to tell him if they think Ahlgren is wrong, or pick the closest answer. The tests are too ambiguous and time constrained to tell him he is wrong. Picking the closest answer is also unsettling. "Closest answer" usually does not mean a rounding error, it usually means a massive difference. For example, the "closest" to (-1/3) is (+0.28), or the "closest" to (100e^-350.0) is (19.0). The first example is the wrong sign, and the magnitude is impossible to be from rounding error. The second example is literally a difference of 152 orders of magnitude (10^152 times different). After exams, points lost due to Ahlgren's mistakes are usually given back. However, he is stubborn and irrational in this process. He will always claim "well, you should have expected me to make mistakes." and "you should have picked the closest answer, as I told you to". In summary: Ahlgren does not prepare adequately for lectures/examples/homeworkReview. Ahlgren does not prepare his exams adequately, and he makes them in a format that does not properly evaluate students for the subject matter. Ahlgren's stubbornness prevents him from fixing his course in future quarters and years.


Senior
B
Required (Major)
Dec 2016
If you're looking to pass this class easily, take this professor. If you actually care about learning the material, avoid him at all costs. He is an awful teacher. About 1/3 of the class showed up to his lectures (if that), and I'm a little surprised attendance wasn't lower. His lectures are scattered and unorganized, he often goes off on tangents, he has trouble holding the class' attention, and his grading system is idiotic. Also, he doesn't grade homework, and his tests are multiple choice. The fact that I ended up with a B after having such poor understanding of the material shows how much of a joke this class is.

EE 406


Senior
A
Required (Major)
Jan 2013
For his first time teaching this course, he exceeded my original expectations. I've taken Ahlgren for 402 and he was much better at explaining power systems because of the difficulty of the subject matter. He was very good during office hours, however his lectures consisted of example problems and it really wasn't worth it to attend class. Overall, Ahlgren is worth taking if you want an easy A or B. Otherwise, prepare to learn a majority of the material on your own.


Senior
B
Required (Major)
Feb 2014
I don't understand why all the 3rd years complain about him. He is a capable professor in the studies of power systems engineering and respects our opinions very much. Sure, he sometimes teaches classes outside of his concentration, but everything is relatable in the field of electrical engineering. He may be getting up in years, but this means he gains more experience. I give him my solid support as a student in the power concentration of electrical engineering.

EE 777


Graduate Student
Credit
General Ed
Jan 2011
"If you really want to learn you need to take Ahlgren. He was a great lecturer and gave fair tests. You can take Braun for the easy A, but you will learn nothing." OK, I don't know what that guy below is smoking, but I think he's stuck in Bizzaro-world.

ART 870


Senior
A
Elective
Nov 2016
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