CHEM 20A

Chemical Structure

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PROFESSORS

Mahdi Abu-Omar See Full Profile

Overall 3.0 Easiness 1.8 Workload 2.2 Clarity 3.8 Helpfulness 3.5

Most Helpful Review

he's really good at explaining some things (like organic) but terrible at others (like orbitals - the TAs did better jobs). he's super easy, a really nice and funny guy. tests were just like homework problems, if not easier. pretty fair grading, but his system favors smart flakes (which ticks me off a little). i enjoyed the class.

March 14, 2003
Anastassia Alexandrova See Full Profile

Overall 3.7 Easiness 2.8 Workload 3.2 Clarity 3.0 Helpfulness 3.5

Most Helpful Review

She is a sweet woman, but her explanations in class are simply not there. She'll draw molecular orbitals on the board so fast with little elaboration, leaving you confused and scrambling as you draw meaningless (at least to the majority of the class) blobs on your paper. When asking for further explanation, she'll often repeat herself instead of providing a different way of thinking. Don't be surprised if material on the exam is something she barely glanced over during lecture. Additionally, there is a huge difficulty jump from the first midterm to the second midterm, so make sure you don't get lost in those pivotal weeks. If you take her, pray for a good/helpful TA (mine certainly was not).

Fall Quarter 2016
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Timothy Atallah See Full Profile

Overall 2.6 Easiness 1.7 Workload 2.6 Clarity 2.3 Helpfulness 3.3

Most Helpful Review

I got a C+ at the end of the quarter. However he didn't factor in the homework grades and extra credit (due to logistical issues). This lifted me to a 93.00%, which was an A. This is because Homework was very important in his class and he also gave a good amount of extra credit. I don't think I did too well on the midterm and final but he was lenient. I don't know how to finish this review...

Winter Quarter 2018
Delroy Baugh See Full Profile

Overall 2.1 Easiness 2.9 Workload 3.0 Clarity 1.4 Helpfulness 1.8

Most Helpful Review

Talk about an absolute disaster. In previous quarters, it seems as though his lecturing style may have largely been the same, but the tests/quizzes, as previously mentioned, were written by generous TA's with material pulled directly from the homework. Therefore, any student willing to put in a basic level of effort into the class would, without a doubt, get an A.

Unfortunately, this is no longer the case.

Baugh, based on students' previous end-of-term comments, has decided that he would start writing the tests and quizzes himself. One would think that this would be a good thing, but this judgement could not be further from the truth. Before I even talk about the material covered by the questions, I must address how they were written. Every single form of assessment has had some form of crippling error/lack of clarity (ESPECIALLY the 1st midterm, which would have been strictly impossible had the TA's not rushed in to clarify basic grammatical or numerical errors in the writing of the questions). In discussion sessions, even the TA's are not sure what could have possibly been on Baugh's mind when writing them.

On either of the midterms, the questions themselves were, in fairness, a mixed bag. While about 1/3 of the questions had clear influences from the homework, allow me to be clear: there was no case, either on a quiz or a midterm, where a question asked on the midterm was of comparable difficulty to a question asked on the homework. The 1st quiz had one question based on the homework that was far harder than any homework question. The 1st midterm, same deal but with two questions. The 2nd midterm had a question on molecular geometry that was legitimately impossible to complete based on knowledge that one would have gotten from completing the homework - it would have required prior knowledge of geometry not covered in the class.

On a 6 question midterm, one could expect two problems with faint roots from the homework, two problems based on the reading, one question based on some topic that was particularly stressed in lecture, and a final question on a topic with origin unbeknownst to anybody, including the TA's. This would be alright, if there was some form of overlap between these materials. Unfortunately, all of the material covered by each of these ideas is completely mutually exclusive - the textbook is weak in that the problems rarely have anything to do with the reading, and Baugh is on a whole other tangent altogether.

In short, do not be deceived by previous grading curves in this class. I have yet to see the final or my final grade in the class, and, despite my scoring significantly above the average on every single assessment thus far, I could hardly have less confidence in what my final grade will be based on the grading system in the class (midterms don't even matter). Beren may appear to have a harder grading curve, but I assure you, it is a strictly easier and less stressful environment than you will ever be in while in Baugh's class.

Fall Quarter 2019
Christian Beren See Full Profile

Overall 4.0 Easiness 3.3 Workload 3.5 Clarity 3.9 Helpfulness 4.6

Most Helpful Review

It's Beren. Chances are, you gotta choose between Beren and Baugh. I don't even have to write anything else. Choose Beren.

Fall Quarter 2019
Louis-Serge Bouchard See Full Profile

Overall 3.3 Easiness 4.7 Workload 3.3 Clarity 3.3 Helpfulness 3.0

Most Helpful Review

I was scared to take this class because the prof was rated like a 2.3, but I decided to give it a shot and drop it if it didn't work out. Some of his reviews say that he is really rude and condescending, but I didn't get that at all. In fact, he's really nice and will answer questions you have. I will say though, I learned very very little from this class. The exams were like 11 questions on this thing called owl, and they were of owl difficulty 1-3 while the HW questions were of difficulty 4. I basically got an A in the class by creating formula sheets for myself based on the homework questions, but I really didn't learn anything at all. Lecture was just his office hour and I eventually stopped attending them.
My major required only chem 20a and 20b, so I took this class to get an A and be done with it, but since taking it I've actually switched to a major that requires chem all the way up to 14D (switching tracks), so I'm kind of screwed.
Take this class with him online like I did for if you need to get an A and be done with, but don't expect to learn anything unless you decide to read the textbook and watch Youtube videos on your own for your own learning's sake.

Winter Quarter 2021
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Emily Carter See Full Profile

Overall 2.1 Easiness 1.0 Workload 1.0 Clarity 3.1 Helpfulness 3.6

Most Helpful Review

Dr. Carter shows an apparent lack of preparation for lectures (especially when compared to Dr. Scerri). Also, she goes very fast, but stops to answer questions during lecture. It still isn't very helpful.
My biggest gripe is that you're continuously furiously jotting down notes every lecture, where Scerri's class can passively sit and follow along in their course readers, therefore greatly increasing the amount of material absorbed per lecture.
Be prepared to study hard on your own if you get Dr. Carter.
On the bright side, she's not that hard, just that her lackluster lecturing makes the course seem hard.

Jan. 14, 2004
Peter Felker See Full Profile

Overall 2.1 Easiness 2.1 Workload 2.6 Clarity 1.9 Helpfulness 1.9

Most Helpful Review

Professor Felker is the epitome of the stereotypical "college professor" that does not care about his students. Not only was the class extremely difficult because of remote learning, but he cared very little about staying in touch with his students and being involved with our learning experience. His lectures put students to sleep and his exams are brutal. Even though his reviews on Bruinwalk are terrible, he was even worse than I was expecting. I hope he is not reflective of all of the professors at UCLA.

Fall Quarter 2020
Benjamin Finck See Full Profile

Overall 4.7 Easiness 3.7 Workload 3.7 Clarity 4.0 Helpfulness 4.7

Most Helpful Review

Professor Finck is absolutely incredible. He makes sure we understand every concept, takes feedback for every class, answers each doubt, and is also very engaging and funny. His tests are mostly based on the lines of his lectures and his homework. Overall, TAKE HIS CLASS!

Summer Quarter 2021
William Gelbart See Full Profile

Overall 4.4 Easiness 2.0 Workload 2.0 Clarity 3.8 Helpfulness 4.8

Most Helpful Review

He was VERY straight forward and his exams were pretty easy as long as you stay caught up with his lectures and the problem sets.
The problem set homework were hard at times, but most of the TAs just look for completion, so it's all good.
His midterms were based heavily on the practice midterms as well. The first midterm had an avg of 80. Second avg of 62 (he made the second one a lot harder, but still doable). The final was also like the practice exam.

He's pretty boring (i fell asleep every class, basically) but he puts up his lecture notes online and barely deviates from it.

He's VERY considerate of his students and sets aside a lot of office hours for them.

Decently funny at times, but I wouldn't really know cuz i slept a lot :<

MUCH better than scerri or lavelle.

Jan. 30, 2013
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