General Chemistry Laboratory
Professor Gould has very organized lectures, and hands out powerpoint notes for each of them. The material covered corresponds to 20B so having both classes at the same time would be advantageous. Her exams are fair (though the midterm was long, but she lowered the point value after she realized it). The final was a lot easier than the midterm, partly, in my opinion, because she realized that her midterm was too long. The CPR exercises are tedious but doable. The labs themselves are pretty simple, a lot of titrations, a distillation, dilutions, spectrophotometric anaylsis, etc. The TAs tend to grade the labs differently though, so your grade does kind of depend on who your TA is. However, Professor Gould herself is always willing to help during her office hours, which are worth going to. Overall, I would highly recommend taking Gould if you're going to take 20L, since I heard the other professors aren't that great.
Spring 2021 - Pros: - Very reasonable tests. What appears on his tests is definitely not harder than sample problems in lectures and practice exams (which are straightforward already). - Most of the stuff in his class is really easy if you took AP chem in high school or CHEM 20B before taking this class. - Only one midterm which is worth only 12.5% - Pre labs and post labs are worth a lot of your grade (around 20% and 30% respectively) so as long as you spend enough time on those you will be fine in the class. - Exams aren't open book but you do get to use cheatsheets you created Cons: - He doesn't explain things clearly in his lectures so you have to rely on asking TA's if you have questions - He is unclear abt what he's looking for in your pre and post lab assignments. We were pretty much asking the TA's constantly abt what the prof was looking for in the assignments and sometimes each TA has a different answer. Suggestions: - Do not expect to have a good grade without self-studying. The prof is, again, not a good lecturer. But as long as you understand every concept you will have an A in the class. - Make sure to spend extra time checking your pre and post lab answers they are graded pretty strictly and are worth a lot of your grade. - When the prof says "listen up guys i want you guys to focus" or "this might be on the midterm/final" during a lecture then whatever he says next is HIGHLY likely to be on the upcoming test. - Make sure to do his practice tests because they are extremely similar to what appears on his exams.
Definitely avoid Vigano, E as a TA. She is super nitpicky with taking off points. Kojima is a young guy and very nice to talk to. He really won't answer your questions directly ever, which is really annoying. Go to his office hours!!! Other than that, I really hated this class. Everything is meaningless busy work and you get tons of points taken off.
Winter 2021 - Professor Pang made this course very accomodating for students everywhere. Asynchronous lectures, light workload, and 24 hour exams. The exams, as well as the homeworks and lab reports were light in terms of courseload. I would spend about 4 hours a week max working on homework and lab reports. His slides are concise and informative, and we breeze through a lot of content in such a short time. His lectures are done on PowerPoint though, so no 2x speed. He is available for many office hours, and labs were not very time consuming (we could leave early). He is also very responsive to emails, so don't be afraid to reach out if you need help. Overall, Professor Pang has been one of my favorite instructors so far, and he has made this class very fun! I would take this class again with him in a heartbeat.
Spring 2020 - I think that the transition to the online lab format was a bit too much for Prof. Russell. The CCLE was incredibly disorganised, the only reason I was able to keep up with the seemingly random due dates was because of my TA (shoutout to Kat lol), and the lectures just weren't very engaging. I stopped going to the lectures after about week 2 and just did the assignments by looking up the assignment topics, and they were straightforward enough that I was able to do well on them (although I was taking chem 20B at the same time so I think that may have helped as well, so maybe take that with a grain of salt). The final was very straightforward as well, however the multiple-choice format for the midterm was not great (hopefully that was just because the class was online). Overall, I think Prof. Russell wasn't a great lecturer, had rather arbitrary due dates, and gave us a lot of loosely related busywork (those calibrated peer reviews were such a pain) but she listened to student concerns, especially at the end of the quarter. Maybe this class will be better when we're actually able to take the class on campus (rip)
I have mixed feelings regarding Professor Walsh. She did go over all the lecture material in class, and she did so efficiently and with enough detail such that it was understandable. Her hand-outs were organized, and she was helpful when you asked her questions. She's really kind of a dork so lecture is a bit dry and she sometimes has students do absurd things (She made one person in our class sit on their butt and fall down the stairs). It kind of felt like a high school class in this respect. She also didn't use the whole time which was somewhat irksome since it was such an effort to wake up and get to this class. But lecture was a worthwhile venture for those who attended. My biggest complaint is with the grading system. It's simply absurd how difficult some TA's are in comparison to others. I ended up with an average of maybe 70% on the labs because my TA would brutally deduct all credit for errors rather than giving any partial credit, which many TA's actually do give. Furthermore, the exam grading key was very specific, I lost 2.5 points out of 48 for not writing "Equivalents of H+" despite the fact that I had the units in all the calculations (and I even cross-cancelled them, I just didn't write it in my final boxed answer). If you want an A in the class you must be very detail oriented and follow directions in the grading rubric PRECISELY, especially if your TA is a strict grader, since it's not curved I was basically screwed. Also they deduct one point for every error with significant figures which is very problematic for people who are not as detail oriented as others. First exam was relatively easy, second exam was much more difficult, but they were doable. The exam seems to have a curve centered around high C, low B, but only because you people really lose tons of points on those small nit-picky things.