Thermodynamics, Electrochemistry, Kinetics, and Organic Chemistry
Professor Abu-Omar is very funny and approachable. I STRONGLY recommend going to his office hours -- he even has a couch in his office. But beware -- just because you did well on his first midterm doesn't mean you'll do well on the second. He usually gives you a good idea of what'll be on the test.
Fall 2018 - First of all, this was the BEST chemistry class I've ever taken. Christian really cares about his students. First day of class he made sure everyone could make at least one of his office hours. He has office hours every day and holds one or two review sessions before each exam. The tests are pretty challenging but they're completely fair. From what I can remember the grade distribution is about: 85% tests (2 midterms and a final) 15% homework There are only 5 or 6 homework assignments, which aren't busy work. They're about 6-10 problems that you have about two weeks to do. They're great prep for the test. Office hours are super helpful and I actually showed up to every MWF 8am, so you know the lectures were good. Overall I genuinely enjoyed this class and got a very conceptual understanding about thermodynamics. I would definitely take a class with him again.
Winter 2020 - WHAT CAN I SAY ABOUT MY MAN, ALBERT COUREY. ANYONE WHO IS ANYONE NEEDS TO EXPERIENCE THERMODYNAMICS WITH THE LEGEND THAT IS ALBERT COUREY. I had started with 14A with Lavelle and I remember wondering whether I should switch to Courey or stay with Lavelle for 14B. I strongly encourage taking 14B with Courey. He genuinely cares about teaching us everything from Thermodynamics to Chemical Equilibria. So the course is comprised of: Midterm I 16%: So Midterm 1 based on the scheduling will be the midterm that has the least amount of material being tested on so it will be the easiest of the Midterms and the Final. Midterm II 16%: Midterm II is covers more material, but for some reason I think this test was easier and everyone did better on than Midterm 1. Final 32%: Because of the COVID19 crisis, we could opt-in/opt-out of the test and I opted out because I already had the grade I wanted but my friends also said this was a very fair test. Worksheets 5%: Graded in completion, but I highly recommend studying the format of these as they are just like his tests. Usually, you will get your worksheet and be like "WTF I cannot do this" but that is the point so you work in your discussion section with your LAs and TA. After a while, you'll get the hang of the worksheets and be like "wait WTF am I like lowkey smart??" Pre-class quizzes 16% : These quizzes had unlimited tries and were online but Courey encouraged us to not use so many tries and actually work on them by offering some extra credit if we completed the quiz in 1-2 tries. The quizzes are also very similar to the tests especially his "Challenge Quizzes" 10/10 recommend finding friends to work on them with because these definitely require group effort for like the Challenge Quizzes. Participation 5%: Participation was the hardest thing in the class. We had these minute papers due after Fridays lectures and they would open at 2pm and close at 8pm. A lot of people would forget about them and lose these participation points. Then the next way to get participation points was the Cold Call Discussions. Basically you sign up and as long as you sign up you get participation points. The bad part is that signing up makes you available to be called on in class so if Courey has a question he can call your name from a list to answer. You do not have to be right or anything he just wants to have the lecture attentive. But it easily is the most stressful 50 minutes of your life but it will make you attentive in class I must admit. i>clicker 10%: these iclickers are based on just doing them in class there really is not much about them. **WARNING: Courey is different than Lavelle in the sense that Courey mainly tests on conceptual rather than calculations. His tests sometimes only used variables instead of chemical compounds so we would be forced to critically analyze the problems in front of us. But lowkey I never thought I was a conceptual person but Courey is such an amazing professor that I understood the concepts. But of course there are people who are better at calculations than conceptual so keep that in mind. Just wanted to shout out Jason, my LA. Literally a god but i think he is graduating this year. And Jessica Soule, my TA was also pretty good. IN SUMMARY: COUREY IS THE BEST PROFESSOR EVER
Winter 2018 - This class is great, as we gain a strong foundation in general chemistry with both a mathematical and conceptual understanding. Dr. Lavelle goes above and beyond to assist students to the highest possible extent. I attended a few of his office hours; he was super helpful. After lecture, he always answers questions and is a very friendly guy. *HOW TO SUCCEED IN THIS CLASS* YOU NEED TO DO ALL THE HOMEWORK QUESTIONS IN ORDER TO GET AN A OR A+ IN THIS CLASS. This is the main thing in order to get an A or A+. The second thing is DO THE OLD MIDTERMS AND FINALS. Combined, these two things are almost everything you need. No matter what people recommend, whether it’s attending lecture or going to any type of review session, the #1 and #2 things you need to do is the HOMEWORK AND OLD EXAMS; everything else pales in comparison. The professor even copies one or two questions from the homework — verbatim, including the same numbers. UA Sessions - MY THIRD RECOMMENDATION! HIGHLY recommend Michael Johanis, Sean McCauley, Lindon Bui. Without them, I would have only gotten around a B+, and not an A+ or A (I’m expecting an A+, but at the minimum I’m getting an A). They both do weekly worksheets, which is SO helpful. Michael Johanis’ review session included a bunch of practice questions, and these questions alone constituted literally at least 80% of the entire exam (slight variations in wording and scenarios, but essentially the same thing). This kind of makes me suspicious that all the UAs see the exams well in advance of the midterm. They CLAIM to not see the exam, but how do their weekly sessions and review sessions capture the midterm, test, and final content so accurately; or maybe they’re just experts, I don’t know… Anways, Sean McCauley’s weekly sessions also have a FEW conceptual questions, which I thought were okay/good practice. I went to a few other UAs, but they made me more confused and used weird analogies/stories to explain things; I won’t say names, but I can only vouch for the two guys I previously mentioned. GO TO THESE TWO GUYS. THEY GET A REALLY HIGH VOLUME OF STUDENTS FOR A REASON. TA Office Hours Never attended these, because I thought it was smarter to ask UAs for help. TAs sometimes can’t answer questions, and UAs actually took the course and all did very well. UAs also teach you tricks. No offense, but my TA didn’t know anything and simply assigned us practice questions from the textbook; please, I could’ve done that independently in my dorm… SIDE NOTE 1: Buy old midterms and finals if you can. My friend let me borrow his DECADE of midterms and finals. SIDE NOTE 2: It’s good to pick a discussion late in the week, so you get more time to study for your quiz. Also, you have to turn in homework, so I dreaded waking up for my 8AM discussion — on a Friday… Try to get a convenient time!
Winter 2017 - I had the greatest opportunity of having professor Li for 14B. I believe it was her first time teaching class and she was AMAZING. Coming from a person who struggles with chemistry, Li cared for everyone's understanding of the material. She would hold multiple office hours and even had snacks during them! During her review sessions, she bought 300+ students pizza! How great is she?! She's super approachable and explains everything so well. She really understands what it's like to be a student, especially at UCLA and rewards those who show improvement. LITERALLY THE SWEETEST. I hope she comes back to teach again!
Spring 2019 - Honestly, I came into the class worried about 14B especially since Liu was a new teacher. However, I'm glad to have taken this class over any other teacher. What you get on Liu's tests are pretty much what he makes you practice during clickers and discussion worksheets. He gives practice midterms and finals which are very representative of the material on the tests. It's easy to consistently score high just by reading the lecture slides and looking through clicker questions, which he uploads online. He's approachable and very receptive to student feedback. Also he gives extra credit to pad your grade. The best thing is that you make up clicker points by emailing him your explanations for them. Additionally, the midterms are only 50 minutes with plenty of time left for you to check your work!
Today is the last day of the lecture and I thought Luceigh gave us a really touching speech at the end. ^_^ Something I'll never forget as a student here at UCLA. I just want to say that Luceigh is a really good professor, she makes chemistry so much easier for me to learn. Personally, I never like chemistry much, but after this course, chemistry isn't so bad as I think. I am really lucky to have her as my professor for Chem 14B. It's rather sad that Luceigh will no longer teach next year, or else I would definitely get her class again for 14C and 14D.