Solar System and Planets
Professor Angelopoulos is incredibly nice and passionate about what he is teaching. He is always willing to answer questions during lecture and is very helpful if you go to his office hours. Like the previous eval said, he drops a lot of assignment grades and also curves the final grade. I changed my grading type to P/NP after failing my midterm but regret it because I ended up getting a really good grade after all the worse assignment grades were dropped/he curved the class. He also offers 5% extra credit which is not very hard at all. You want to attend all lectures because sometimes he gives pop quizzes, but they're T/F and only 10 questions. Overall, he's a very good professor who is passionate about what he teaches and is very nice.
The material is incredibly dry and boring. My friend and I would love to periodically look across the lecture hall to see who'd fallen asleep. People would often leave after a few minutes after lecture started, or you could look across and see tons of people on facebook (more than usual for a lecture, that is). As a person who hates math, I struggled with the midterm and final. The final was 40-something percent math, and there were about 15 formulas to choose from. He rounds your overall grade, not individual test grades. Also, he does not round up. I was .015% from the next letter grade. For those who don't fear math and who like the topic, he's a great guy. Friendly, likes young people, etc. He wears Bill Cosby sweaters and has an Aussie accent.
Winter 2020 - Dear person who submitted on February 27, 2020: Why are you so pressed? The average midterm grade was a D. So? Multiple times he said that a 19 was a good score, and not to worry too much about midterm grades. There was also 22% worth of extra credit offered, which is miles above what any other class at UCLA will offer any student. That is literally 1/5 of your grade. You could skip the midterm entirely and still end up with at least an A-. Addressing the fact that you were "appalled" by some of the lecture material, what are you, 80 years old?? He tries to keep lectures fun and interesting for his students, and is super funny. Sorry he didn't pass out permission slips for the in-class videos. He also extended the dates for all the extra credits and tried his very best to make the most of a bad situation. What else did you want him to do? Discover the Kuiper Belt? Oh, wait! He did that already :/
Personally, I wasn't very interested in astronomy, but if I had to learn in from someone, I'm glad it was from Margot. His lectures are extremely organized and clear-cut, posted the night before so you can print them out. There is textbook reading, but its not too bad. The first half of the class is more reading-intensive but it lessens as time goes by. Grading is divided into quizzes, homework, midterm, and final. You get to drop you 2 lowest quiz scores and 2 lowest homework assignments, so an A in the class is definitely attainable. Overall, Margot is a fair professor, who's clearly passionate about astronomy and tries to help all his students understand the subject well.
Loved this guy. His class is simple, his lectures are about as informative as the reading, and he even has a sense of humor. He's very approachable and cares about students who have questions. As homework you basically get three handouts over the quarter that are mostly problem solving. Sometimes they're a bit challenging, but if you go to his office hours, he will explain them and in some cases do the problems with you on the board. Reading what he assigns does help for exams, and it's really not that boring (the book's tries at humor were actually amusing... at least the book for Fall08 quarter). The main key for this class is to go to his office hours and you'll be fine.
Professor Rubin is a very dedicated and passionate teacher. I'm not very interested in the subject but he did a good job keeping it interesting and making lectures funny. The class was not very hard, but did require a solid amount of studying right before midterms and finals because his powerpoints are 70-120 slides each.
Fall 2021 - Hilke is the bomb and this class is very easy, wether it's online or in person. Sometimes what you learn in class seems hard (hard formulas and other stuff) but her mid-terms are legit a joke. You will fool around with some formula that looks complicated then start the mid term and BAM 1st question is like what is a planet. The final exam was the exact same questions of mid term 1 +2 verbatim, all of which YOU COULD REVIEW. This class requires no hard math and you only need to understand basic concepts to do well on all her tests. And even if you don't do well on her tests slinky won't let you suffer because she offers a 10% EC opportunity, basically a whole letter grade, by going to the observatory and taking a selfie. Also, there was a select group of students in the F2021 class who gave the prof a hard time in class, wasted time, lowered the class avg etc. Don't pay attention to them, they just spent all class complaining like they were in HS and managed to procrastinate a 10% extra credit opportunity, miss it, and have the audacity to ask for A MAKE UP. This was also coming from the same select group of students who managed to get the chat disabled and said they shouldn't have to study for her tests bc she wasn't being fair. If you get anything below an A in this class (a 90 and above is an A lol) then that's what you deserve. Put in a few hours a week to this class and it's an easy A.
Winter 2021 - Note: I haven't finished taking this class yet but I know I'll end with a good grade because of what I'm about to write. Also, I took this during COVID. I recommend taking this class! He always has organized slides, always records lecture, and he always encourages questions. His lectures are very informative. The recent midterm was pretty easy and it was open note. He is very nice and easy-going. You get weekly labs, unless its the week before midterm, and you get more than enough time to turn in the labs, which are pretty easy and the TA is very helpful. I have TA Lesly Insixiengmay, and she's very kind and thorough with the lab info, so I recommend this TA. There is a good amount of info for lectures but it's not overwhelming. It's not super exciting material, unless you're really into the solar system and planets. But it is still pretty interesting. This is a good class to take for your GE.