Chemical Dynamics and Reactivity: Introduction to Organic Chemistry

Description: Lecture, three hours; discussion, one hour. Enforced requisite: course 20B with grade of C- or better. First term of organic chemistry for Chemistry, Biochemistry, and engineering majors. Covalent bonding, shapes, stereochemistry, and acid/base properties of organic molecules. Properties, synthesis, and reactions of alkanes, cycloalkanes, alkenes, and alkynes. SN2, SN1, elimination, and radical reactions. P/NP or letter grading.

Units: 4.0
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Overall Rating 4.4
Easiness 1.7/ 5
Clarity 4.3/ 5
Workload 1.4/ 5
Helpfulness 4.1/ 5
Most Helpful Review
Merlic is a really good professor. You can understand him during lecture, and he basically tells you what you need to know. His practice tests are very similar to his actual tests, although they are a bit harder, as expected. His office hours are very helpful, and he'll even give you practice problems if you ask. He also gives out review rxn problems before each test. The class is tough as it is, and he makes it a bit easier. I'm sure he makes it easier than other teachers do. The only bad thing about him is that he goes through the material pretty quickly during lecture, so that if you don't come to class prepared or are good at understanding ochem pretty quickly, it makes it difficult to understand lecture. But if you take notes and look back on them later, along with reading the book, it makes things easier. The good thing about him is that during lecture, he tells you everything you need to know. He doesn't make you go to the book and fill in blanks or leave you confused as to what you need to know for the tests. But be sure to read the book. He could ask you for definitions that he didn't completely explain during class, and you can better understand how to explain things, e.g. what makes a certain molecule acidic, what a Lewis Acid/base is, what makes something a protic/aprotic solvent (besides having or lacking hydrogens). His review sheets for the rxns really come in handy because you really start to understand how the mechanisms work. And be sure to know the mechanisms! Although, when you get to the Sn/E rxns, he mostly wants you to know what reactants you need or what reactants you start with or what products are created. But understanding the mechanism is the key way to know what reactants you need. And the extra credit problem for the second midterm asked for the H2SO4 mechanism and he had 3 2 mechanism problems on the final.
Overall Rating 4.6
Easiness 3.8/ 5
Clarity 4.8/ 5
Workload 3.6/ 5
Helpfulness 4.6/ 5
Most Helpful Review
Materials You didn't need anything for this class besides the textbook. You could only get that in a bundle at the UCLA Store for near $200 and it includes a solutions manual, Pushing Electrons supplementary book, and a model kit. To save money, get the textbook another way and find a buddy with the solutions manual to do homework with. You should probably buy a model kit off of Amazon. Grading Scheme Midterm 1 25% Midterm 2 25% Final 45% BACON 4% Class Evaluation 1% Grading Scale 99.0 = A+ (lol) 95.0 - 98.9 = A 90.0 - 94.9 = A- 86.0 - 89.9 = B+ 82.0 - 85.9 = B 82.0 - 85.9 = B 78.0 - 81.9 = B- 74.0 - 77.9 = C+ 69.0 - 73.9 = C 63.0 - 68.9 = C- 55.0 - 62.9 = D+ 45.0 - 54.9 = D 35.0 - 44.9 = D- At the end of the class, she curved down a little by adjusting the grade breaks (lower the barrier to get a certain grade), depending on how the class did overall. After that, she added in extra credit. By a little, I mean a little, like 5% at most. Lectures Her lectures were all right. They were interesting and she had a cute sense of humor. My only complaint is that they were too trite. There weren't enough examples given, so I had a hard time doing the homework and had to resort to the textbook for some basic stuff. But that's a rather petty complaint. She held good review sessions. Discussions Not mandatory. The TA would go over the week's material and do practice problems. TAs with beginning of the week discussions tended to preview the week's material and TAs with end of the week discussions tended to review. I thought it better to go to end of the week discussions. Homework Simple. We didn't have any assigned, but it existed. She would write down a ton of problems on the board each day. You had to do these in order to get practice for the clicker questions the following class. She also had weekly problem sets and their answer keys made available, and these were the ones you wanted to master in order to do well on the exams. Simply put, she provided us a lot of resources, not to mention those of the TAs. Exams Midterm 1 Median: 80 Midterm 2 Median: 58 Her practice exams were a good indication of the format of her exams, but they're hard regardless, especially because they're 50 minute ones. I got a D+ on the first one, a C- on the second, and an 80% on the final to end with a C+ in the class. BACON This was easy. We had six tutorials, of which the four best scores would be taken, so once you finished four, you were essentially done. Extra Credit Her extra credit came in the form of two clicker questions at the start of every class. If you were late, you would miss the questions. 55 questions were offered, and you would get 0.5% extra credit for every five questions, with up to 5% total extra credit possible, so you had a five-question leeway. But even that was not enough, because these questions were hard. It wasn't really the material, since you would know it if you did the homework, but rather the time. She would give us a minute to do each question. You just needed to stay calm. Office Hours She held two 1.5 office hours per week and was super helpful during them. Everyone went, so you didn't have one-on-one answering time, but everyone got their chance to ask a question. Pro-Tips - Study everything from the problem sets. - Keep up with everything. You don't get any second chances in this class. That's how I ended up with a C+. - Use your model kit, especially to understand stereochemistry! Dashes and wedges are tricky little buggers. tl;dr Take Neufeldt. She provides you a lot of resources to succeed, but you're not going to be spoonfed an A if you don't do well on your exams.
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