Introduction to Programming
Summer 2020 - Just FYI: I received less than 95% and an A in Summer 2020, so the review that says "only achieving above 95% will give you an A" is false. Also, that review has other misleading information, like “his homework allows no mistakes.” I didn’t get 100% for each HW… I had no prior coding experience, but this class is really doable for beginners. Professor Andrews is an excellent professor who is genuinely passionate about teaching. Taking his class was always a pleasure. He explained everything clearly, and his teaching style is so effective because he is knowledgable, witty, engaging, and thorough. I seldom got absent-minded following his lectures. Some homework is a bit challenging, but most of them can be solved if we review the snippets carefully. Sometimes I did experience the situation where I had no idea how to write the code for HW, but we can always go to office hours to ask. Professor Andrews is so helpful that he will give us useful hints or explain the logic behind each question. So even if I was new to coding, I never felt stressed taking this class. If you worry about the grade of HW, just start them early and ask when having problems, then everything will be fine! Tbh among the classes taken, Professor Andrews is the one who cares most about students and holds far more office hours than other profs. He is so nice and patient. Really, highly recommend this class!!
Winter 2018 - Azencot was a decent professor. His lectures were ok and informative, but not very engaging. Overall, I learned more in the discussion section than I did in his lecture, and I would recommend taking Ryu over him. Ryu subbed for one of our classes while Azencot was out of town, and he was knowledgeable, engaging, and funny.
Fall 2015 - You're better off learning from the textbook than going to Dr. Balague's. He is by far one of the worst professors I have had at UCLA. He doesn't actually teach anything in class. He tends to just copy and paste codes onto his compiler and show you how different things work without going into much detail. He is rude and unhelpful to his students. Is only available for office hours 1 hour per week BY APPOINTMENT. He prefaces many questions directed at him with "well you should know this". Homework can be incredibly tedious and time consuming. Oh, and the worst part is that if your project doesn't compile ( even by the slightest error in one line in your code), you can't get higher than a 50% on that assignment. Midterms and final were difficult, with questions ambiguously worded (and Balague not willing to clarify any wording during the exams). HE'S THE PROFESSOR FOR THE LAST AVAILABLE LECTURE FOR A REASON. DO NOT TAKE HIM.
Spring 2020 - Coming into this class with no coding experience I was pretty scared, but Cai was pretty good with easing into the class and material. Although his slides are organized and he gives some basic examples using the covered concepts, I definitely would have struggled much more to get an A in the class without the help of other more experienced people and open note midterm and final due to being online (the midterm was two projects we had to code, and the final was multiple small questions - both were 24hr windows). The homework assignments and exams were definitely fair, but throughout the quarter I would have to relearn some concepts through youtube or other means because Cai's lectures just don't go in-depth enough, or he doesn't give great examples. I can tell Cai cares that we actually learn, but he can definitely be intimidating to go to ask questions to in office hours or over email or in class. Especially when his camera was off the whole quarter.
Winter 2022 - Super helpful slides & clear lectures. I would definitely take this professor again for other PIC series. The workload is very manageable. For each week, there are two or three small projects to work on. The description of projects is often within two pages (which is super easy compared to CS31). The last two homework are more difficult than the previous ones, but you can drop the lowest grade of all 8 homework, so you can simply skip one of them. Chu cares a lot about her students. For EVERY class she would answer almost every question in chat box. Even when I fail to articulate my questions, she can know what I'm confused about. This makes me think that Chu is very clear about the material. I saw some comments about Chu's accent but her accent doesn't bother me.
Fall 2016 - DeSalvo is a fantastic lecturer, he designs the class perfectly to accommodate people who have never programmed before. The homework assignments are a little challenging at times, but it is very easy to get a perfect homework score. His midterm and final are designed such that you will probably use all of the exam time to do them, but they are well balanced between difficult and rather simple questions. He is a very fast grader and you will know how you did on the exam by the end of the day (Or the next day). You also do not need the textbook at all, DeSalvo designs all of his test questions based on his slides and they also contain all the information you would need to do the homework. His lectures are very engaging as he is always full of energy and excitement, not just droning on reading off the slides. 10/10 would take again.
Fall 2022 - Professor Ding is kind of a GOAT in that he prepares you a lot for the tests. He provides study guides very similar to the exams, so as long as you do the study guides, you'll get a good score. He also allows group submissions for the homework, which is great. I definitely leaned into these policies and probably didn't do as much work as my group-mates, so I didn't absorb that much of the material. That being said, his lectures are extremely boring and disorganized in that they are not organized by topic at all and he just starts typing things. He also does not record these lectures. As someone with a social science background, it was hard to adjust to the style of the class because most of the time I had no idea what was going on.