COM SCI 143

Database Systems

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PROFESSORS

Alfonso Cardenas See Full Profile

Overall 3.6 Easiness 2.7 Workload 2.7 Clarity 3.0 Helpfulness 3.3

Most Helpful Review

He's an okay professor. He has a somewhat soft voice, so if you sit in the back, you might not hear him. He tends to read off slides, so it might be boring at times. A lot of the material can be done through reading, which is based on a book he wrote himself. If you have a good TA, then it will be helpful to understand the material. His exams and homework are really not that hard, so if you just do the reading, you should be able to get a decent grade.

June 29, 2009
Junghoo Cho See Full Profile

Overall 4.2 Easiness 2.6 Workload 2.4 Clarity 4.1 Helpfulness 4.4

Most Helpful Review

He's actually ok. He teaches with many examples and slides were easy to follow. He makes sure to answer every question and come up with solutions until the students figured it out.

I have one issue with this class however. A lot of students cheated on the midterm and final. Professor noticed a very high average on the midterm (93% average), and decided to make the final harder (90% average). Even with that, many students still cheated because students are really afraid of their grades apparently. Midterm was proctored by the way on Zoom, but many students got on Google doc or some messaging app on Chrome and collaborate throughout the exam. Final was held 24hrs, but the timer will start once you click on it. Still, gives a lot of students opportunities to cheat and collaborate with each other, and the average was still relatively high. It really sucks for people who are trying their best like me, but these cheaters in my class set the curve, and the professor cannot do anything about that, because of how COVID limits a lot of options. It's very unfortunate for those honest students.

Homeworks and projects are honestly whatever. For projects, you can definitely learn something out of it and will apply to your future SDE. Make sure you use Google often because you will need to learn a lot by yourself. Homeworks, you can literally write whatever and get full credit.

I'm sure by the time you read this, you will most likely be on campus since it is likely that he will teach this class again next year. If you need a professor who teaches well, this professor is that person. I am not saying this professor is awful when dealing with cheaters. I am saying it is very unfortunate this quarter that many students cheated and that the professor cannot make assumptions to go find those cheaters. I can see the professor is pretty much helpless when it comes to academic dishonesty, and I wish I had a much better experience.

Your grades do not matter, it's your brain that matters.

Winter Quarter 2021
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Tyson Condie See Full Profile

Overall 4.5 Easiness 3.5 Workload 4.0 Clarity 4.0 Helpfulness 4.0

Most Helpful Review

He's not the greatest lecturer at UCLA, but the material is presented in an easy-to-understand manner. His slides are really good.

I thought one of the best parts of the course were the "bunnies" -- mini-quizzes worth nothing that gave concrete examples to in-class material. Condie went through the examples in full depth, and that really helped out with understanding the material.

Most students ended up not attending class. It put those who did at a significant advantage. I would recommend attending class, if only to go through the bunnies and midterm in-depth.

Winter Quarter 2015
Ryan Rosario See Full Profile

Overall 2.4 Easiness 1.9 Workload 2.2 Clarity 2.3 Helpfulness 2.5

Most Helpful Review

Let me write the most accurate review of this class ever. Ryan R Rosario (RRR) is a "wannabe". He want's to be a top tier CS lecture like the ones before him: Paul Eggert, Junghoo Cho, David Smallberg etc. But, he falls terribly short of his lofty goals. Deep down, I like to think he means well. But this is not at all evident from his demeanor.

His lectures are dull and uninspiring. He straight up reads from his slides. To give him credit, his slides are well made. But there can be parts which are unclear and could use an example and RRR does a decent job of expanding on these parts in lecture and during office hours. It is also possible to understand the confusing bits using several online aides such as StackOverflow or by simply asking a friend to help you out. The other main draw for his lecture is that not everything in his slides will show up on the final exam or are required. This cannot be easily determined by the student. Topics that seem advanced and beyond the scope of an introductory database systems course will APPEAR on the exams. RRR does NOT like it when students ask him for clarification on topics. He expects you to attend lectures and pay attention to what he highlights to be important. This is understandable, after-all this is the point of lecture. But we are students in a very competitive and high-work load major: Computer Science. We stay up late completing projects against deadlines. We may miss a lecture for personal reasons. Even then, to be fair, the professor is NOT required to re-clarify what's covered on the lecture. But when a TA goes rogue and stars listing topics that RRR said was not important, butchers explanations of questions and gives up mid-discussion and begins conversing with herself in a foreign language (क्या? @ स्वाति शर्मा) then the least RRR can do is clarify what topics will be on the exams and provide explanations on practice questions. But, he FAILS to do this. Instead, he harasses stressed out students during finals week. One such instance taken from Piazza:
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To quote him "I'm not sure at which school or department the professor isn't the one writing the final. I will not be providing a list of topics. I've made it very clear in lecture after lecture what I feel is important and what I don't feel is important. If students chose to not attend ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
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When a student calls him out for being "vindictive", RRR deanonymizes him and publicly calls him out for doing so. This is serious violation of rights and should be reported to the dean of students.
Don't worry it does not end there. When students confronted his attitude on reddit this is what happened. RRR called a random Redditter to be someone from his class. Over reacted to a comment against him by reporting the "alleged" Redditer to the police. He also described some psychopathic policies he has implemented in the course.
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When I see the same name pop up on Piazza, I reach for my photo roster and usually it's "yep, never seen that person."
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(The Reddit post has not been linked. But can be found by searching through u/LADataJunkie/)
That is weird! No we students are not entitled. If anything, we are stressed and just trying to get by. Please try to empathize. RRR is accomplished and hardworking but so are we!

The projects are not that bad but we had to repeatedly seek assistance on Piazza for his specs. The second did take some time as it had some ML work but it is impossible to make a project in which no student has experience in and is fair to all. The first project is a cake walk if you have web development experience. The specs could use more work. Smallberg, Nachenberg and Eggert all have better specs. You don't learn much from projects.

The grading for this class is NOT SPOT ON. RRR does not allow regrades beyond a certain date for projects (this is sometimes just 12hrs, how are we supposed to check myUCLA every 12 hrs?) and does not allow regrades on exams.

The final was ridiculous. Hardest final I have taken at UCLA. It was incredibly hard but that is not something to complain about. The one thing I have against it is that we were not prepared to handle an exam of that caliber. If we received more practice exams and assistance from the instructors it would have been much smoother. Midterm was long but not nearly on the same ball park as the final.

He curves the final based on what he thinks should have been the average score. So if thought the median should be a 60 and it was a 40, tough luck cause everyone who got a median score gets a C- on the final! The median on the final was 42 and that was a C- for Spring 2019.

With all this said, it seems to me that RRR has a need to feel respected and validated by his students. But I don't really get why! RRR is accomplished and established and there is no reason for him to come give back to UCLA unless he really wants to.

RRR is kind and helpful during his office hours but caters quite a bit to students who are trying to slide in to an internship at his workplace, Google. Some of the questions students ask are plain stupid and are just there to get to know him better and hopefully get an internship referral. Its pretty nasty but CS students do steep that low for internship. Oh yeah, there is also an RRR cheer team on Piazza that upvotes everything he says (even the nasty, rude and sarcastic responses). I suspect these are the same kids that are trying to get a recommendation from him.

In short, don't take his class. If you do, go to all lectures, office hours and practice everything on the slides. Do not rely on RRR to always help you out.

Spring Quarter 2019
Shwetha Srinath Full Profile > N/A Overall N/A Easiness N/A Workload N/A Clarity N/A Helpfulness
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Shwetha Srinath See Full Profile

Overall N/A Easiness N/A Workload N/A Clarity N/A Helpfulness N/A

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Carlo Zaniolo See Full Profile

Overall 2.3 Easiness 2.8 Workload 2.7 Clarity 1.7 Helpfulness 2.3

Most Helpful Review

Well, I should say this course practice my listening and understanding ability.

Fall Quarter 2017
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