Introduction to Geographic Information Systems
The professor is a nice guy, but the way he had taught GIS was absolutely boring and even awful. He has two assignments throughout the quarter and one final in-class exam. The two assignments are pretty stupid and did not help you understand what GIS is and does. The first assignment was based on lectures and the book, where there were about 9-10 ?s you had to answer. The next assignment was based on labs, and all you had to do was answer 9-10 ?s for this paper too. The papers were redundant and did not help with the class. What made it worse was the final being essay questions, and this class is made more for multiple choices exam than essay exam. He may be a good guy and all, but his lectures are all power point and not helpful. I spent most of my time surfing on the web than listening to his boring lectures. If someone asked me what this class was, I would not have a clue. The class is somewhat easy, but sooo hard to keep track with what he is teaching us. The book is not great either, so it is just hard to really understand what you need to know.
Illes is a very funny, engaging professor in lecture but acts more cold & disinterested in office hours. This course definitely pushed me from being an ArcGIS novice to actually understanding a lot of the things you can do in the program. There are weekly projects which are pretty straightforward because she presents them in a step-by-step tutorial way. She's a fairly easy grader and this class is a great way to walk away with UCLA with a tangible skill that shows that you are capable of learning technology & analyzing data--even if you don't end up pursuing a career that uses GIS.
I actually took the newly created Geography 7 (formerly 168) with Professor Shin. Prof. Shin is probably the coolest, most entertaining professor I've had at UCLA. He's extremely nice, down-to-earth, chill, and funny. He is a very good lecturer who uses PowerPoints and is easy to follow. I like him a lot as a person. However, this class was a disaster for me. I'd been considering GIS as a career option, so I thought it would interest me but the material he covered in lectures was very dry, technical, specific, and BORING. I got the impression that everyone else in the class was a "computer nerd," technology expert kind of person. Since that's not me, I simply could not learn this material. I got a D on the midterm so I changed to Pass/No Pass and tried to study harder but I ended up getting a D on the Final & barely passing the class. The only part of the class that was worthwhile was the labs, which did teach me a lot about GIS and were pretty interesting to complete. I wish this class had only been a lab, because I think I could've done well. LOVE Shin, but Geog 7 was HARD.