Fall 2019 - Took it because the EE department advisors recommended it to get an 'diverse overview' of what the industry is like... I disagree. This is just a speaker series class where a different EE alumni comes back to talk about what they do, how they got to where they are, and a bit about what their experience with UCLA was like (which won't matter much because on average they all graduated 10 years ago). Every single one of them talks about how they do a lot of CS in their day-to-day lives, some are in management, almost all of them have worked for Raytheon, it's not really interesting. Someone has to swipe everyone in for attendance. Every class they leave time for questions, and no one asks any. All that was asked in terms of work was to write a short a paragraph highlighting 3 take-aways for every lecture, never took me longer than 30 min. I wouldn't say it's a complete waste of time, but many of my peers would.
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.