Organic Chemistry: Reactivity and Synthesis, Part II

Description: Lecture, three hours; discussion, one hour. Enforced requisite: course 30B with grade of C- or better. Third term of organic chemistry for Chemistry, Biochemistry, and engineering majors. Chemistry of enolates, enamines, dicarbonyl compounds, and amines. Molecular orbital theory and conjugated pi systems; UV/vis spectroscopy. Aromaticity and reactions of aromatic molecules. Heterocycles, pericyclic reactions, carbohydrates, and lipids. P/NP or letter grading.

Units: 4.0
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Overall Rating N/A
Easiness N/A/ 5
Clarity N/A/ 5
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Overall Rating 4.8
Easiness 2.6/ 5
Clarity 4.6/ 5
Workload 2.8/ 5
Helpfulness 4.2/ 5
Most Helpful Review
Spring 2020 - I took this class the first time Pham taught it online, during the pandemic. I've previously taken Chem 14C with the dude (I switched from life sci to biochem), and knew that I would like him. For context, I tried out taking Chem 30C with Merlic for the first 2 weeks of Winter (before the impacted course drop deadline) and REALLY did not like Merlic's teaching style. I personally know that I do fine with slides and appreciate the greater organization over seeing everything drawn out. Merlic was a lot more messy and harder to follow, and spoke so goddamn fast that lecture was just excruciating. I just couldn't retain anything from his lectures because of it, which made me super anxious. But Pham is highly understandable, able to point out key concepts and good at simplifying things. For huge ochem buffs, you may prefer Merlic since Pham may have a tendency to over-simplify (but not in a way that would hurt you on an exam b/c his exams reflect what he teaches you), but I definitely didn't mind. Because of the nature of this quarter, we only had one midterm and one final. Everything was open-book, open-note. We were given 24 hours to submit, but were encouraged to follow guidelines for taking it within 2 hours for the midterm and 3 hours for the final. However, this was only an honor-based system and he only started pushing this more heavily when he felt like students were taking advantage of the system...and ended up going back to saying 24 hours was okay at the end of the quarter when things were getting crazy with the protests. The class was originally supposed to be 50 points BACON, 100 points midterm, 100 points problem set, and 150 points final, but Pham was extremely accommodating following the protests. He made the class instead out of 250 points, and the final optional. Essentially, he adjusted the final to be 100 points and would just take the better exam between the midterm or final. If you did take the final, it was made no-harm as well. The problem sets and BACON were the same number of points. Problem sets weren't bad at all. Only select problems were graded. He added them so we wold have more buffer points during this online quarter. We had a total of 3 main opportunities for extra credit. CryOFF project for 8 points + 2 more points if you were chosen as best project, 2 points for evals, and 1 point for pre-midterm survey. Following the protests, he gave everyone minimum 6 points on CryOFF though. On the midterm, there was one random EC point (not skill). On the final, there was 4 EC points, with 3 points coming from some ochem relevant knowledge (knowing UCLA professors) and 1 free EC point. But yeah, Pham was great, although it was sad to see him less enthusiastic/more down this quarter. He's a good teacher, although I finally understand why some people say he's not as patient with questions. He switches between being usually pretty nice during lecture, to being potentially blunt/intimidating for individual questions during OH or at the end of class. But I know he means well and just tried not to take it personally. I still really appreciated him b/c ochem could be somewhat confusing/convoluted to me with other profs, but I had no trouble whatsoever with Pham, even though it's been 2 years since I took ochem. He was more than fair - promising us that he would not make the exams any longer or harder than he normally would even with all his accommodations. And I can verify that this is true. Never in a million years did I expect ochem to go this smoothly, and yes there were a lot of accommodations, but I still feel like I learned a lot :).
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