Digital Signal Processing
Winter 2022 - If you're considering taking this class with Alwan, I wouldn't be discouraged by the negative bruinwalk rating. She isn't the most engaging lecturer, but will take time explain difficult concepts, and will stop lecture to clear up any misunderstanding that you may have. The pacing of the class is a bit odd, where the first half of class that covers material similar to 102 drags on a bit too much, and the latter half feels a little fast. However, I felt like there was still enough time to grasp the material. The homework assignments seem simple at first glance (usually three to four problems per week), but the problems are usually pretty thorough with multiple parts, so they will end up taking a good portion of time. I had Jinhan as my TA, and every week he would post discussion notes consisting of the answers of similar problems, which were especially helpful with difficult homework questions. This class is not very heavy on homework, and additional review of the textbook practice problems were helpful for exams. In terms of the exams, they were pretty fair. There was one midterm and one final. A good portion of the questions on there were related to the homework questions, but there were some parts that required some additional thinking. Paying attention to the examples she spends time going over on the lecture definitely helps. We were also allowed a sheet of written notes, which helped with all the different formulas. The exams definitely weren't easy, they weren't unreasonably difficult either. Overall, I'd recommend not being discouraged in taking this class with Alwan. There likely are better professors for 113, but there's no need to restructure your schedule to make that happen. You'll learn the concepts well, just that the overall curve might not be as generous as you would wish.
Daneshrad plays the game “I know but I won’t tell you.” Consequently, his lectures are totally useless. It seems that he instructs his TAs adopt the same philosophy (if it’s a philosophy at all, but let me be educated, you can use the most properly word to qualify this attitude). He repeats what is in the reader making an impressive rate of mistakes when he is not reading his notes. He does not provide any personal approach for understanding the topic is talking about. Conversely, he will confused you madly when his lack of understanding of this class (I mean EE13). There is a moment in which every good and excellent professor provides to student his insight about the course he is teaching that makes his lecture memorable and worthy to remember forever, and to attend. DO NOT EXPECT THAT FROM THIS ASSISTANT-PROFESSOR. If you enjoy his great English pronunciation, it’s fine, but he is an Electrical Engineering assistant professor, not a political sciences one. I don’t know what his problem is, but certainly, UCLA engineering school is going all the way down the hill with people like him. Midterm: Easy but tricky Final: 50% was the project. Overall quality: very low as teacher (From A to F, I would give him a D-) assistants were even worst
Winter 2019 - Honestly... she's probably the best you're going to get for 113. Her curve is set so that median is a high B+, pushing to an A-. But the way she runs her classes is problematic. Her examples and lecture notes are too simple, and are designed to teach you definitions and to present formulas to solve questions with (e.g. determining if a system is linear, TI, casual, stable). The homeworks and discussion sections are designed with similar principles, but much harder. Then you realize the goddamn midterms are EVEN HARDER, but on top of that, a large portion will usually involve proving some crazyass property and the questions related to homework and discussions make up maybe only 30% of the exam. And to nobody's surprise, the class got absolutely dumpstered. So on the final, the focus was on stuff similar to homework questions, which is good! But the test is now 36. FUCKING. PAGES. Just endless questions (i.e. endless torture). So that's already bad design. But on top of that, because of her grading scheme, and the fact that the midterm averages were so low and unrelated to the design of her final exam, it made me realize that I totally didn't need to even take any of the midterms. That's not a good outlook on the class, just fyi. Anyway she has an extra credit project. Do it lol.
Winter 2023 - Kadambi is pretty cool prof. Gives cool grad student vibes. His tests could be a bit confusing, but I thought he taught pretty well. His quizzes were stress-inducing and he seemed strangely attached to justifying their existence and use. Also loved his rant about how much money he has from selling his startup (in response to an anonymous student review saying he needs to touch grass and work in industry). We literally had to watch a recorded make-up lecture afterwards to cover the material because he spent like 40 minutes talking about how much money he made and how many patents he has which was hilarious.
Spring 2020 - Professor Lorenzelli is nice and professional. He provides well written (as in organization but maybe not in handwriting) notes. He would try his best to clarify things in class, and he can be easily accessed outside of class. Perhaps more importantly, he is a very kind human being, that he would try to accommodate everybody's needs and you could always talk to him if you need anything special (ddl extensions and etc).
Spring 2021 - First, it is evident that Professor Shoarinejad truly cares. He's passionate about the material, and really wants the students to learn it well. That's not true for all professors, and is a good first step. The lectures were mostly him filling out prewritten notes, which were too numerous to copy down by hand, so either you watched it recorded and pause or have a copy of the unfilled notes on hand. He covered the materially very thoroughly and rigorously, which is good. However, I feel that he did not do a good job of simplifying concepts and making them more digestible. The understandability of explanations he gave was on par with the textbook, which is kinda pointless - why not just read the textbook? He had very nice MATLAB filter plots which he spent lord knows how many hours preparing. He speaks fast and occasion gets a little carried away and becomes a rap god. Homework was the same - fairly thorough and quite long, usually. You do learn the material well, and he includes some practical MATLAB portions, which is nice. I felt it could have been cut down a little. Be prepared to spend at least 8 hours per week on homework. As if the weekly homework is not enough, there are also 3 Python labs. These also take 8 hours or so, but are spread over 2-3 weeks. Honestly, these were my favorite part of the course because they were the most practical and partially guided and very doable (i.e. the code templates were given to you). We took a poll at the beginning of class and we decided on Discord for class discussion. Professor Shoarinejad was online every day from like 6pm to 11pm at least, answering questions. He really tried to be helpful and there is no impediment to you asking questions. He listens to feedback, for example some people weren't happy about the length of the midterm and he let us vote on the time limit for the final (most chose 48 hours lol). Midterm and Final was pretty fair in terms of content, nothing outside of the (very dense) lecture notes was asked. However, as they were take-home, they were very long. Straight up grindy in some parts, like you could spend 20 minutes doing stuff worth 1 point while you question whether you really want to do this or not. (and what the meaning of life is). If you knew your stuff it would take 5-6 hours, but most students spent closer to 12 hours. Overall, Professor Shoarinejad is a good professor, but be warned this course is quite heavy and be prepared to spend lots of time on this. He is a little crazy in his dedication, and he expects you to be too. Take this class if you want to learn DSP deeply and have the time and brain cells to spare.