Review Comment

[PHIL G4471] Philosophy of Mathematics

December 23, 2017

Gaifman, Haim
[PHIL G4471] Philosophy of Mathematics

This class was dreadful for only one reason: prof. Gaifman. His utter lack of respect for his students' time showed through week after week. He was almost always late for lecture, and when he did arrive, he would be completely unprepared and disorganized, and somehow struggled each week to figure out how to use his own laptop and how to lower the projector screen. He would ALWAYS keep lecturing past the ending time for the class, sometimes by up to 15 minutes. Readings were typically distributed around 3-3:30am on the morning of lecture, giving students zero time to read in preparation for class. Assignments were always "hinted at" and never concrete, i.e. prof. Gaifman would hint that there would be a midterm paper, but never *actually* assign anything—no prompts, no expectations of content or quantity of work to be done, not even deadlines! It got so bad that the office of academic affairs had to step in and tell him that if he wants his students to do assignments, then he needs to tell them what the assignment is. Why it took university administrators to make that point clear to a professor is beyond me. He assigned the take-home final on the first day of finals week, a total of eight Peano arithmetic proofs. Then on the second to last day of finals week, he assigned an additional long paper to be written during Christmas, with the consolation that we could submit it via email. He didn't seem to understand that it's incredibly rude and unprofessional to wait until 3-4 days before Christmas to assign a big research project (university libraries are closed during the holidays) that's due on the 27th. The bottom line is prof. Gaifman is a very confused and forgetful man who did nothing but cause me undue stress. I learned *absolutely nothing* from him.

Avoid this professor at all costs.


The total amount of work was manageable, but the way in which it was assigned made it effectively feel like twice as much as it was. Assignments were mentioned ("there will be a take-home midterm), then one day, suddenly, prof. Gaifman would say "who has their papers to turn in to me today? The papers were due today." He would "graciously" extend his deadline by three days, forcing us to churn something out for which we had not prepared for.

Directory Data

Dept/Subj Directory Course Professor Year Semester Time Section
PHIL / PHIL PHIL PHIL G4471: Philosophy of Mathematics Haim Gaifman 2008 Fall M / 2:10- 4:00 PM 1
PHIL / PHIL PHIL PHIL G4471: Philosophy of Mathematics Haim Gaifman 2005 Fall R / 2:10- 4:00 PM 1
PHIL / PHIL PHIL PHIL G4471: Philosophy of Mathematics Haim Gaifman 2003 Fall M / 4:10- 6:00 PM 1