Calculus of Several Variables
Fall 2017 - SUCH A HARD CLASS. Doesn't do a great job at explaining things and my class was way off compared to other classes in terms of the material we covered. You can understand the professor but not the TAs, and the tests are super hard. Curved like a normal math class, with bottom 15% getting Cs and below, top 15% in B+ and A range, and everyone else in the middle. Don't take this in the fall because then you're with all the super smart people and you'll be at the bottom of the curve unless you think you are one of those super smart people. UCLA is hard, and this class proves it.
Dr. Brown was unfortunately an ineffective professor in my opinion. Her lectures failed to truly explain all the material. Her definitions and theorems in class were often less rigorous than those in the homework, requiring students to learn much of the material on their own. Her ability to draw graphs, however, was impressive. I cannot speak to the quality of her office hours as I did not attend them. As far as her grading goes, it was a textbook case of grade inflation. For both midterm one and midterm two, she curved the median test score to an A-. I assume that roughly half the students in her class received at least an A-. I suggest avoiding this Tova if you truly want to learn the material. Without my very helpful TA, I would likely have struggled in this course.
Took Math with Ifti. His lectures were really boring and came straight from the book (literally-- he copied everything word-for-word and even read all the sentences out loud). However, his weekly homework was really doable, but it sucked having to come to class every Friday just to turn in the homework (I developed a habit of reading the book for myself during class time in the library instead of listening to him read it to me). His tests were super straight forward and I ended up with a B+ with pretty minimal effort. I don't even think a curve was necessary.
TAKE BUTLER! Professor Butler is a hilarious and caring mathematics teacher. I enjoyed going to all of his classes this quarter. He often makes hilarious remarks during class and is always excited to be teaching. He has funny T-shirts as well...some of them are math-related. He was the first math professor at UCLA who I truly understood and actually felt excited about. His tests can be on the difficult side, but if you keep up the hard work, attend his office hours, and study a good amount you should be fine. He also tends to give hints on his test that are really helpful, but only if you understand the hint ;) If you try to do the problem the traditional way, it may take forever or seem impossible. BUT if you understand his hint, it can be easily solved in a few lines. Often his tests seem hard while you're taking them, but then when you see the answer key you're like, REALLY? COME ON! But learn from this. Learn his ways..haha. Finally, take covel tutoring with this class also if possible. I found it to be very complimentary to the course.
Fall 2021 - Majority positive comments for Prof. Hood so I'll provide a different perspective: - Lectures: lectures were unclear and Hood does not use slides. He lectures with notes from ripped notebook paper reminiscent of high school days. He does post handwritten notes on Canvas a few days later but they are in condensed form and don't very much match with lecture notes. - Homework/textbook: homework problems are pulled from the textbook. Although time consuming, they are doable and can reinforce content understanding. Odd numbered answers are available in the back. However, Hood's lecture content and the textbook content often differ (one annoying thing was that the mathematical symbols used were different and it was easy to get confused). Hood includes content on his exams that the textbooks do not cover. - Exams and practice exams: Hood posts practice exams several days leading up to the exam. The real exams are basically a complete replica of question type with practice exams with the numbers changed. However, the real exams are an incredible time crunch and involve many tedious calculations. You might get stuck on the algebra part of a problem instead of the calculus concept. While partial credit is given, there is no mercy for minor calculation errors and typos. On one midterm I wrote dxy as dyy for one sub question and had -10 points cause of it, entire letter grade gone. Straight raw scores are used for exams - no curve. At heart Hood is a friendly professor and easy to talk to. He's tolerant and wants to help. However, from an objective standpoint his lectures/lecture notes are difficult to understand and exams are toughly graded. Textbook will help but about 1/4 of the content will not be included. He will not be teaching Winter 2022 but will teach again for Spring 2022. Some students are definitely going to do well for the class but for others/majority this class wont be easy.