Campbell, John  

Computer Science

0.65/4.00

46 evaluations


CPE 101


Freshman
B
Required (Major)
Apr 2014
This last quarter, I was unlucky enough to have Campbell for not one, but TWO classes: CPE 101 and CSC 141. This evaluation is on his performance with teaching CPE 101. From the first day, he flat out told the class that he is not passionate about teaching. This became pretty obvious from the start, as every one of his lectures was dreadfully boring. Every now and then he would give us a few useful hints and tips for a lab or project that we were working on, but aside from that his lectures for the most part lacked cohesion and structure, making them pretty hard to follow. Itís quite clear that he knows the course material, itís just that he cannot explain the concepts very well at all. Thankfully, the labs that were due were pretty easy to grasp on your own, though it was a different story with the 3 projects, which often had vague instructions on how to go about certain problems. His grading policy is also pretty strict; if you turn in a lab assignment or lab quiz even a few minutes late, itís an automatic 50% deduction. The worst part of this teacher, however, was that if you asked him questions whether during lab or during a quiz, he would say something like ďYou should know the answer to that; Iíve said it many times before!Ē or give you such a convoluted answer that youíre left even more confused than before. BOTTOM LINE: If you can avoid taking Campbell, do it. But, if you have no other choice but to take him, make sure you make friends within the class and COLLABORATE. Collaborating with others on labs and projects is pretty much the only way you can be successful in this class


Freshman
B
Required (Major)
Apr 2014
As a teacher he's not very good, but that shouldn't completely deter people from taking this class. His tests and quizzes are very straight forward, in fact he usually gives you the exact answers in the lecture before. Don't rely on his lectures though for a grasp of concepts, as they are somewhat useless, I learned more from Google, stack overflow, and YouTube than from him. The labs are extremely helpful, although repetitive, they are good practice, his grading on them is pretty shit though, but they aren't worth too much. C language in 101 is pretty easy, if you're new to programming you'll learn quite a bit, just not maybe from him. Also he has a weird sense of humor, you can tell he's comp sci from a mile away.


Freshman
C
Required (Major)
Apr 2014
The other reviews are pretty accurate. Even though he may not be a good teacher, he's not looking to fail everyone. Before a quiz or test, he'll tell you exactly or something close to whats on a test/quiz. He is an arbitrary grader, so if you feel you got too many points taken off, definitely approach him. His handwriting sucks so reading the board will be difficult. Do all the labs, it's literally the only way you'll completely understand the course material because the labs are all written very thoroughly (not written by Campbell). He's definitely willing to help you and answer your question, just sometimes he himself won't know how to help, but it doesn't hurt to ask. Pro tip: become friends with the people who actually understand what's going, they'll usually be the ones that will help you understand what's going on in the class. Good Luck, you'll need it.


Freshman
C
Required (Major)
May 2014
Campbell is not a bad professor. However, his labs tend to be filled with a lot of errors. He renames variables halfway through them, as well as alters formats of strings. This poses a problem, because he uses scripts to grade, and thus one must clarify with him as to what he meant. He automatically gives 50% on labs provided they compile, which is helpful. However, the three projects he assigns are difficult, and he never really discusses them. Overall, good teacher.


Freshman
N/A
Required (Major)
Mar 2015
Campbell should not be teaching. It angers me that Cal Poly would hire someone that lavks the skills required to do a job I pay so much for. He does not stray from his written material in order to answer questions or elaborate on ideas. He is robotic in his teaching and conversations. He grades his homework what seems to be autonously so dont be surprised when you fail an assignment because you got one indent wrong and lose 10% of your final grade right there. Lab quizzes are manageable if you make sure to do the pre quiz but his in class quizzes are brutal. If you have the option, for the love of god do NOT take a class with Campbell. Especially if you value your GPA.


Freshman
N/A
Required (Major)
Mar 2015
Campbell walks in the first day of class and tells you that he doesn't like teaching, which is a statement he proves every day for the rest of the quarter. His lectures are quite difficult to follow due to his trademark combination of a lack of enthusiasm and a lack of ability to teach the subject matter effectively. Campbell is a shining example of how not to teach a class, and aspiring computer engineers should avoid him at all costs if they want to advance to CPE 102 for the next quarter.


Freshman
N/A
Required (Major)
Mar 2015
Here is the main issue with Campbell, he doesn't teach. If you are unfortunate enough to have to take him, you will need to spend hours and hours outside of the class and lab. The class is broken down into five parts. The first are the labs, which are a pretty easy 10% of your grade. Just make sure you have part of it done before going into the lab, and you can easily finish. The second are the programming quizzes which are 15% of your grade. These are tedious and you are only given an hour to do them, so be prepared. Oh, and if you do not pass this category of your grade he will not pass you in the class. The third category are the 6 assignments which are 30% of your grade, or 5% each. This is where everyones grade gets messed up. Not only are his directions written extremely poorly and very hard to follow and understand, but you can write code that runs and works but can still fail an assignment. This is because he himself does not grade an assignment. He has a program which analyzes the code and grades it, and based on what his program tells him thats the grade he gives you. All of my assignments did what he wanted them to, but I only got full credit on one of them. Next there are two midterms each worth 10% of your grade. These are nice because they are open notes and handouts. The first midterm was extremely easy with the class average being an 87 and the second was a little harder bit still manageable. Finally, the final is 25% of your grade and this is another problem because he not only doesn't write this final, but doesn't even tell us what is on it. Conclusion: 1. Passing this class isn't the hardest thing in the world, but it requires you put a lot of extra time. Getting a "good" grade however is nearly impossible if you have little to no programming experience before entering this class. 2. His lectures are pointless. He jumps all over the place and writes code on the board which is completely irrelevant. And half the time his own code is wrong. The only thing worth going to his lectures are his handouts which have very similar problems on the midterms. 3. He doesn't care about the students. He has never had an interest in teaching. And the fact a prestigious university like Cal Poly would hire him is beyond my belief. 4. If you are a CS major, avoid at all costs. For all other majors, avoid at all costs. It's not worth the struggle and time, for no reward.


Freshman
N/A
Required (Major)
Mar 2015
Campbell lacks the ability to teach. If you don't have any prior experience with computer science, you're pretty much screwed. He doesnt explain and present the lab and assignments well. The assignments are worth 30% of your grade, but the instructions aren't very clear because the website is written by another professor.His grading doesn't favor the students, he never gives you full credit and doesn't justify why he took points off. Also his lectures are useless and he basically reads of his notes. If you don't want your GPA to be messed up, avoid him at all costs


Freshman
N/A
Required (Major)
Mar 2015
No....Just.....No


Freshman
N/A
Required (Major)
Mar 2015
Just avoid him. I've never seen a worse professor than him. Very robotic and doesn't understand your difficulties.


Freshman
F
Required (Major)
Mar 2015
terrible


Freshman
B
Required (Major)
Apr 2015
Yeah he's pretty bad. He really just doesn't present the material in a very effective way. Not only does he wait until the day before the huge assignments are due to lecture about how to complete them, but he doesn't really indicate that what he currently is telling you is going to help you with the assignment. So usually after banging your head for 5 hours into the desk, you will realize that your notes which made no sense are actually the key to it. Do the reading that he assigns, that's where I actually learned everything. I came in with very little programming experience and I worked hard (nothing excessive, a couple long afternoon/evenings) and got a strong B without much effort.

CSC 101


Freshman
A
Required (Major)
Mar 2014
Campbell is da MAAAN!! He is downright hilarious and more tongue-in-cheek than any of us students. One of the funny things about him has to do with the fact he doesn't care if you goof off. If you think the content in 101 is easy to begin with, you can take him, fool around, or not go to class. If you think that the 101 content is hard or you have never seen a for loop before, you're gonna have to teach yourself. Just look at the other dude's review for CPE 225 or whatever, that gives a pretty clear explanation of how he teaches.


Junior
A
Required (Major)
Mar 2014
Campbell is good at teaching the material, but isn't really much better than a decent textbook. He's not very good at answering questions or helping students that are having trouble and isn't that interesting to listen to. The grading should have been more lenient too. Forget to factor a quadratic, and you go down from a 100 to a 75 on a programming quiz, which by the way, if you don't pass, it means an automatic F in the class. Campbell is certainly a cool guy, but as a teacher, he's only about average.


Freshman
F
General Ed
Mar 2015
No.


Sophomore
F
Required (Support)
Mar 2015
is a loser in every way shape and form.


Freshman
N/A
Required (Major)
Mar 2015
Prepare to teach yourself everything if you have him.


Junior
F
General Ed
Mar 2015
REALLY bad


Freshman
D
Required (Major)
Mar 2015
uh nope. No. No in a million years.


Sophomore
F
Required (Major)
Mar 2015
Spends a ton of his time arguing with students and writes unreadable crap on the board. You will teach yourself better than learning from this dude, don't know why he doesn't just go back to industry when he loves it there.


Freshman
F
Required (Major)
Mar 2015
...


Sophomore
F
Required (Major)
Mar 2015
old fart that doesn't even grade your programs, so the entire class's grade gets screwed up. bad, do not recommend -10/10


Sophomore
F
Required (Major)
Mar 2015
take a quarter off before you get this dude


Freshman
B
Required (Major)
Mar 2015
Campbell is a pretty cool guy, but he's not a very good teacher. For the big assignment(s) we had in the quarter, we felt a little lost, when people with other teachers were really on top of things. The midterms weren't too terribly difficult, they were open-note and would pretty much reflect what he talked about in lecture. If he said something more than once, it was probably on the midterm and hopefully you remembered to write it down. The assignment was pretty fucking hard. It's one giant program that you're going to keep modifying over the quarter. It takes a lot of time. Campbell will talk about shit that doesn't seem directly related to the assignment that you'll use in the assignment, but then he'll actually address what you should be doing for it the day before the deadline. So, I guess if you like to procrastinate a lot, he'll talk about what you're procrastinating on the the day before it's due. The lab quizzes are a joke, you can do them in 15 minutes and he gives you an hour. The final is a common final, and it's about as difficult as what Campbell gives for tests. Overall, it's unfortunate that Campbell is teaching probably one of the hardest CSC classes, since you will feel quite helpless in the class because it's actually pretty damn hard if you're not an experienced programmer. You can survive, but you will not have a lot of freetime this quarter.


Junior
F
Required (Major)
Mar 2015
bad


Sophomore
F
Required (Major)
Mar 2015
never again...


Freshman
F
Required (Major)
Apr 2015
awful


Freshman
F
Required (Major)
Apr 2015
NOO. NEVER. Just... don't...


Sophomore
F
Required (Major)
Apr 2015
fucker


Freshman
F
Required (Major)
Apr 2015
sets you up for failure


Sophomore
F
Required (Major)
May 2015
sucker


Freshman
A
Required (Major)
May 2015
Campbell is a good professor. He is not as bad as a professor as everybody thinks he is. The reason all these guys are ripping on him is because they suck at coding. You will have to put in a little bit of effort but he does try to help everybody. Kids would not show up to office hours and then talk shit about how he never helped them. He even tried to hand out candy at office hours to get kids to show up. I came in never coding before in my life and I found it to be a moderately difficult class. If everybody who talked shit on him spent half their time studying instead of shit talking they would have thought this class wasn't that bad.

CPE 141


Sophomore
B
Required (Major)
Dec 2014
He is often wrong. He will tell you something that is blatantly false at least once a class (not to trick you, he just is wrong). He can't explain concepts very well. He is incredibly boring. Near the end of the quarter maybe 5 people in a 35 person class would show up. Also, the final is worth 40% of your grade. The only cool thing about him is that he: 1) Tells you exactly what will be on quizzes/tests 2) posts solutions to hw (even if it is in a .gif per question and often not the same questions assigned) 3) takes the highest grade between weekly hw and weekly quizzes. 4) Attendance was not graded

CSC 141


Sophomore
C
Required (Major)
Mar 2014
Had to take class again cause I didn't pass with Hatalsky. Campbell just takes the entire class from Hatalsky. Homework was exactly the same, tests and quizzes were very similar. He sounds annoying when he speaks and he's dreadfully boring, but this class in general is boring no matter who the teacher is. He can't really explain anything at all and it's pointless to ask questions or go to office hours, so be prepared to teach yourself from the book or by looking up homework online. He makes a lot of mistakes too so keep a sharp eye out and you're likely to get lots of points back. But honestly, he's still slightly better than Hatalsky. Hatalsky purposely put the hardest questions on quizzes and tests and even said outright that the final was meant to trick us. Campbell at least is fair with quizzes and tests. Just go over the homework thoroughly before a test and you'll be fine. So if you can avoid Campbell at all costs, do it. But if you're stuck with him, it's not the end of the world.


Freshman
A
Required (Major)
Mar 2014
Mr. Campbell is a terrible professor. His lectures were directly off his notes and hard to follow, and he sometimes forgot to copy certain parts of the problem onto the whiteboard. He didn't seem to have a good understanding of some of the subjects, which resulted in taking a good chunk out of class from time to time to watch him argue with a student, just to finally give in. His grading is pretty lenient -- he gives you whichever is the higher grade for each week, your homework grade or your quiz grade. The midterms and final were curved. On the midterm, he gave everyone 10 points back after a student explained to him that he had the wrong answer on his rubric for a problem, and the same thing happened in the middle of the final -- he gave in and took off a problem 10 minutes after telling the student that "your logic was wrong and you're going about it wrong." The class is a relatively easy A if you're good at learning from the textbook, but if you want a professor who knows what he's doing and can explain the material clearly, based off of what I saw during his final review session, I'd recommend Kearns.


Freshman
C
Required (Support)
Apr 2014
Before reading this, you should know that CSC 141 aka Discrete Structures is one of the WORST classes that computer-related majors have to take, and that no matter who you take it with, you will most likely hate the class. That being said, itís even worse when you have a below-average professor like Campbell teach it to you. So, why is Campbell bad? Well for one thing, he gives you notes that lack cohesion and almost never help you on the homework or quizzes. Because of this, about 99% of you learning the material is not through Campbell but rather yourself reading the textbook. Most of the class is spent listening to his nasally voice drone on and on about topics that he doesnít even seem to fully understand himself. I said in my review of him teaching 101 that he was bad at explaining topics, but he is even worse at explaining the topics for this class. Several times during the quarter he would be lecturing about something only to be corrected by a student a few minutes later. Even on the midterm, he took off points because he thought I had did the problem wrong, but after showing him why it was right, he gave me back my points. Ever since then, I was unable to trust his grading on tests and quizzes, especially on the final. At least his grading policy was somewhat lenient; for every week, he gives you a grade, which is the higher grade between the homework due for that week or that weekís quiz. Still, there were several times that he gave me a lower grade than I thought I deserved on either the quizzes or the homework. For example, one week I handed in a homework assignment that contained 5 of the 6 assignments that were due, simply because I didnít have time to do the last assignment. My homework grade for that week ended up being a ZERO because he ONLY checked problems from the last section for that week. So BOTTOM LINE: Avoid Campbell for Discrete Structures at all costs. But if you have to, I wish you luck, because youíre going to need luck to get a good grade in his class.


Freshman
D
Required (Major)
Apr 2014
Worst teacher I ever hope to have in my life. As others have said, on the first day of class he explained to us that he had no real interest in teaching and just took the job because it was offered. He then explained that he had no particular interest in computer science either, and that his true passion was working with lasers. This became more and more obvious as the quarter progressed, as he often made mistakes in his own problems had to backtrack significantly to correct them. Often he wouldn't even notice these mistakes on his own and they had to be pointed out by students. As someone else mentioned, one of these mistakes was during the final. It's true that he has the most obnoxious voice I've ever heard from a professor, but you do get used to it after the first week or so. The thing that annoyed me the most about his class though was his grading, and this will impact you even if you're able to overcome his aweful lectures by teaching yourself the material at home. The outlook will look good at the beginning because he gives students the benefit of taking the highest score between our homework and our quiz every week, but this is the one feature that prevents his grading from being completely intolerable. The main issue is that he apparently does not believe in partial credit at all, so every assignment becomes almost credit/no-credit, with no credit given for the smallest imperfections. For example, on a homework packet of 5 assignments (of 20+ questions each) he'll look at about 3 problems, and whether you got those correct (any mistake will make them incorrect) will determine your homework score for the week. Then, on a quiz with 3 long problems, any kind of mistake on any part of the problem will get you a zero for that entire section of the quiz. That means that on the average quiz, if you don't do everything perfectly, the highest you could get is a 66%. Don't get me wrong, it was largely my fault I wasn't able to pass this class, but the reason wasn't because I wasn't able to learn the material (on my own) but because I wasn't able to figure out how to manipulate his joke of a grading scheme quickly enough. The man just needs to go back to his lasers.


Freshman
A
Required (Major)
May 2014
Professor Campbell has no desire to teach and should not be teaching classes. Be prepared to teach yourself.


Sophomore
A
Required (Major)
Jun 2014
Campbell was a lot better than I expected after hearing about him before the quarter. In the beginning of the class, he seems like he doesn't care about teaching. This isn't necessarily true. He doesn't prefer teaching the class because the students don't like the material. The class is a lot of obscure concepts, which we don't go into depth with, over a short period of time. Campbell isn't the best at getting the material across at times, so it is a class where you have to learn a lot from the book and trail and error. However, he isn't a very hard grader either, so his tests match the teaching. If you go to office hours, you will learn a lot more and come to see he is a pretty nice guy. If you're like half the class and don't show up most days and complain that you're being shafted by his exams, then obviously you wont do well and you will see him in a worse light. Also, you can count on these people (and the people who generally don't understand the material at all) to help curve your test if you at least somewhat understand it. I got a 7-10% curve up at the end of the class to put me at a solid A because of this. In conclusion: Campbell is not one of the greater teachers, but he is a generally nice guy, and absolutely not the worst teacher ever as many people are saying.


Sophomore
B
Required (Major)
Oct 2014
Imagine Joe Pesci trying to impersonate Kerman the Frog. Now imagine that voice trying to teach you about the mind-numbing theory of discrete structures. That is exactly what you are going to be going experiencing if you take his class. Seriously though, all humor aside, Campbell is a professor who makes it known that he does not care about what he is teaching. Not only that, he is also sub-par at explaining course topics. And you might as well not bother writing down what he writes on the board every day since he makes so many mistakes. Bottom line: get someone else unless you're okay with lecturing yourself.


Freshman
B
Required (Major)
Oct 2014
Campbell made it very clear on the first day of class that he does not like teaching. He liked lasers, and would much prefer to still be working with them. While his entire self-introduction was something akin to this, I figured he couldn't be that bad. I was horribly wrong. First of all, Campbell does not know his material. Discrete Structures itself is hard enough to keep track of, but his continuous mistakes made it difficult to get anything from his lectures. In addition to this, his complaining of having bad hearing, being dyslexic, and "not [being] good at math" as an excuse made me have little faith in his ability to teach. By the third week, at least one third of the class failed to show up. As far as his grading went, I had no problem with it. You would get a weekly grade based on your performance with a quiz, and weekly homework (the higher scoring of the two being your weekly grade). His tests were usually directly grabbed from his lectures (mistakes often included), but he also gives ungodly amounts of homework, and bases its score off of randomly selected problems out of the entire set. Eventually, I gave up the homework and just relied on the quiz for my grade. Most of this could have been ignored, if it wasn't for the final. Way too many questions, multiple choice, with every answer purposefully algebraically scrambled from the solution that you would most likely find and "none of the above" on every single question. It would be hard enough if it weren't a common final that we were in no way prepared for. TL;DR Only take Campbell if being set back a quarter is completely out of the picture for you.


Sophomore
C
Required (Major)
Dec 2014
I really want to like Campbell, I really do. He means well, definitely. He's not very good at teaching, nor is he passionate, but he knows it. He gives weekly grades based on a quiz and homework, the grade determined by whichever you do better on (if you get an A on the homework but D on the quiz, you get an A for the week). He curves bad midterms like a saint. But god help you if you can't learn from the book/have a Chegg account. You won't learn much about this abstract and vague subject with this man's abstract and vague lectures. But he'll try to help you as much as he can, he's not seeking to fail anyone. Take another professor if you can, but Campbell isn't the worst I've had, definitely. He understands a student's difficulty and will help.


Sophomore
D
Elective
May 2015
He really is as awful as others make him out to be. When he writes notes on the board, he stands in front of them and quickly erases everything, so taking notes is quite the struggle. After failing the first midterm (after countless hours of hard work), he pretty much told me that I was the only one failing and gave me little hope for improvement. His advice was "you may have to take it again to replace the grade." My advice: Go into office hours like crazy and try to befriend him in hopes that he'll raise your grade for your dedication. But in all honesty, I do not recommend!


Freshman
F
Required (Major)
May 2015
fucking dumbass

CSC 225


Sophomore
A
Required (Major)
Dec 2013
Campbell is a new professor. On the first day of class, Campbell opened up with "I am not passionate about teaching". What followed was pretty consistent. Campbell is a nice guy, but there are some areas that he is really lacking in. To begin with, a professor should seek to establish ethos, not destroy it. There were times where he admitted he did not know the content of the course either. His lectures were poorly delivered as he merely went through the content. There were some pretty good one liners ever now and then. For example, he opened the discussion of assembly with, "today....we get LABELS". I really enjoyed the class, but not because of the professor, but because of the content. One of the more hilarious moments occurred during a midterm. A student handed in a midterm and then went and sat back down and started talking with his buddy. During the test. Campbell stares at the kid and is rather confused. The discussion is quite audible. Campbell gets up and starts to walk over to the student. The student gets up and starts to leave, Campbell breaks the silence. "[STUDENT NAME]!, get the fuck out!" Student replies, "Sorry professor, I wasn't talking about the midterm I was just..." Campbell seals the deal "I don't care just get the fuck out". All in all this class was a real dread. I like Campbell a lot, but I'm not sure if teaching is the right profession for him.

PSY 631


Sophomore
B
Elective
Nov 2016
What else is there to say? Fine person, nothing interesting. Class was meh... Blah, blah, blah... Fine person.