December 30, 2008

Helzner, Jeffrey Silver_nugget
[PHIL W4565] Rational Choice and [PHIL G4515] Special Topics in Epistemic Logic

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

How to describe Jeff Helzner? He's a really great guy, very laid-back and approachable, and he's smart beyond belief. He genuinely cares about his students -- he wants them to learn, not just do the assignments, and to get excited about ideas. He himself gets pretty excited about the subjects he teaches, and his enthusiasm is contagious. I've taken two classes with him, and I loved both of them. The first day of the first class I took with him scared the sh*t out of me, because he gave only a cursory introduction and then jumped in at a high level. But instead of dropping the class I went to talk with him, and I'm very glad I did, because he was incredibly helpful, friendly, and understanding. He took my difficulties into account but at the same time challenged me repeatedly to think harder and at a higher level than I had been before or, honestly, than until that point I had thought I could. I took another class with him the next semester, and was equally happy there. As other reviewers have said, he's very responsive to student feedback about his lectures, and he's quite accommodating about extensions, etc. Highly recommended.


Depends on the class. Usually a few short but dense readings each week, and then a midterm and a final or a presentation and a final. The homework probably won't take as long as many classes, and there's a high "bang for the buck" -- they usually are quite relevant to the class discussions, and Helzner is very good at extracting the key ideas and weaving them into his lectures.