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A few days ago, I was in a horrific car crash. At some point, the paramedics told me that my heart stopped beating, and I was considered medically dead for 2 minutes. At some point in my period of unconsciousness, however, something incredible happened. After being in a state of utter and complete blackness for what seemed like an eternity, I suddenly woke up in a bright field with a long staircase in front of me. I walked up the staircase, feeling a pleasant warmth from the radiating sun surround me as I did so. Eventually, I reached giant golden gates at the top of the staircase. That's when the memory of the car crash hit me like a ton of bricks, and I suddenly realized that I had died and I was now at the gates of heaven. However, I wasn't frightened. There was something calming about this place. After waiting a few minutes, I saw a figure slowly walking towards me and the gates. He eventually reached the gates, and without even touching them, he summoned them to open. Something deep inside told me that this figure opening the doors and about to confront me was God. When the gates opened, he stepped forth, and that's when I saw his face. Standing in front of me, in all his godly grandiosity, was Akram Almohalwas. I was frozen with awe. He handed me a chi square table, and told me that the meaning of life can be determined alone from taking his Stats 13 class. At this moment I was certain: Almohalwas himself was God. I reached to touch his beautiful face, but that's when I woke up in the hospital. I will never forget this experience, and my life will never be the same afterwards.
I've literally never written a Bruinwalk review until this quarter after I had Almo for 101A. I've had the whole spread of stats professors from Chen, Tsiang, Christou, Zhou, and Sanchez and Almo is for sure the worst experience so far.
To compare Almo and Sanchez, I felt that Sanchez was fairly organized. She had lecture notes, and a structured curriculum that go in a linear fashion. She may not be super nice but at least you know what you're learning about. Almo on the other hand is horrendously disorganized with regards to his notes, his lectures, his teaching, and his instructions. His lectures in particular feel that he is just YELLING words that are important but you have no idea what he's actually trying to teach.
Not to mention, literally a whole question out of four questions on the midterm was unsolvable which was not mentioned until after the exam was graded meaning that we wasted a ton of time trying to solve this problem during the exam and likely lost points on the other parts of the exam.
But overall, this class is not super hard. The homeworks aren't that hard and you can pretty much learn all the material in a day before the final by going through the textbook. But for sake of your sanity and feeling like you're getting your tuition's worth I would not recommend taking this class with Almo.
He talked proudly about getting students expelled the very first day of class and set a bad taste in my mouth for the rest of the quarter. He rambles throughout the lecture and sparsely gets to the point. There was not nearly enough time for either midterm because it had to be taken during class with our cameras on (only 50 minutes). He is very inflexible and said, "you don't deserve special treatment" when talking about extensions. The labs are very tedious and quite literally impossible to do without the code provided to us by the TA's (often not given by the professor). For the beginning of the quarter, most of the TA's were unsure of what he wanted regarding the labs and my TA dropped the class the first week. Good luck besties!
Disorganized, unclear, insane, unreal. These are just a few words that come to mind when I think of STAT101A with Almohalwas. The level of disorganization in this class is actually impressive. His lectures are beyond confusing (I actually think he gets confused during them). They lack any sense of structure whatsoever or any objectives and it is simply impossible to know what ‘topic’ you are supposed to be learning during each class, even after the class has ended (I CAN NOT emphasize this point enough). There is no clear train of thought or structure to his classes. He posts an increadible amount on CCLE, most of which are unreadable R markdown documents which are impossible to learn from. The textbook is unclear and outdated as well as being broadly irrelevant to the course. Homeworks are very difficult and massively time consuming. Luckily, our TA literally gave us the solutions to them, otherwise I can garuntee 1/4 of the class would have failed every assignment. The group project was also a huge mess (like the rest of the course) with very little guidance. There was little to gain through it and it just added to a very high workload. Now, onto the midterm. Average grade for the midterm was 55%. This was because of a combination of very poor lecturing (as mentioned above), an unreasonably long test as well as the fact that the homeworks and textbook are all based on R, so before the midterm you are spending 99% of your time learning the material on R whereas th test is all by hand, which causes a lot of problems. Finally, the grading of the course. I believe the grades for this course were largely fabricated. I’m not sure how anyone got away with this but in one of the homeworks, I did not answer an entire section and got 100%, as did everyone else who handed it in (you can see this on the grade distribution on myUCLA). This was also the case with the extra credit assignmentand some of the quizzes and other homeworks. As well as this, we got our final grades BEFORE our final project was marked.
Do not take this class with this professor. This is the most unorganized class I have ever taken at UCLA. He is a very poor lecturer on Zoom; he goes off on random tangents and then tries to rush through hundreds of pre-made slides packed with information. I stopped watching his lectures after the first three weeks of learning nothing and instead tried using the online book to keep up.
The exams themselves aren't supposed to be hard, especially if you've taken AP statistics before, but his poor teaching combined with lack of communication with his TAs make them a lot more stressful than they need to be. Not only that, but you're expected to complete both midterms in 50 minutes, way less time than what is needed to properly complete each long short answer and mcq question. You're also expected to use R code or simulate things during the exam before being able to complete the short answer. Not to mention, there wasn't any system for partial credit--it was variable from TA to TA. I had both my midterms regraded and received 5+ points more each time because of an error in grading or not adding partial credit. We also never got scores for our final exam and were not able to review any parts of it--just a final grade.
The labs usually consisted of the TA telling us what to write since none of us actually understood how to do write the required code.
Basically, don't take this class with this professor. You'll be better of waiting or taking another math class.
Just finished a midterm for this class. I haven't got a grade from this class yet, so I have no idea how he would deal with curving issue. But the lectures, homework, and exams are DEFINITELY HORRIBLE experience! I do not feel like learning anything from the mandatory lectures, and his unorganized class structure just made students not able to concentrate on the materials. The notes posted online was just like sketchy drafts, and professor gave practice WITHOUT answer. The questions in the exam were also very unfairly hard and did not match the difficulty of the problem sets he usually gave. Overall, I do not recommend taking 101A with Professor Almohalwas if you want to learn anything.
Absolutely disorganized. Not recommended at all.
The material is not hard itself, but Professor A.A makes it difficult for us. I feel like the grade distribution in the past years is also a lie. Because of the low average in the midterm, he personally gives partial credit to raise up the average. However, the result was that some students got ten more points, some students got no partial credit at all. Is it actually fair for everyone??? If the Prof wants to curve, he should curve the whole class instead of giving someone more points than others. He also gives a final project which requires a group to finish. If you meet up with someone lazy and contributes nothing, it will be several stressful weeks for you. The final project report was due on Friday of our Spring break, which is BS! I've never met a professor who made the deadline during the break. There is never so much hate and complaint for a class like this one.
It's very difficult to learn the material in Prof. Almohalwas' class because he doesn't give an outline of his lectures very well so they are hard to follow. He also expects you to know a lot of things about basic statistics "from Stats 10" which were not necessarily taught in that class. If you have a lot of time to invest in self-study, he does post all lecture notes on CCLE and assigns reading in the textbook, but it was very difficult to keep up with it all. The homework assignments were extremely difficult (especially at the beginning of the quarter) but the TA always helped with it in discussion. I think he could be a good professor if you already have a really strong background in statistics. Otherwise you will be lost and confused in his class.
This is a very honest review. I don't think Professor Almohalwas is a good lecturer. He knows everything already so sometimes he expects students to understand what he talks about without really explaining everything clearly to students.
Good thing is though, he posts all the slides you need in order to be successful throughout the course. The amount of reading isn't even much as long as you spend around a day or two every two and a half weeks. And as long as you remember half of them (you don't even have to know all of them- just know the stuff he talked about in class), you can do well on exams. You can also have cheat sheet(s) for midterm (final).
I would recommend you to go to his office hours. You don't need to go to every single one; if midterm is on Thursday and he has office hours on Tuesday and Thursday, visiting him on Tuesday is enough. You can also visit him on Thursday before midterm, but this is optional.
Also, when you visit him during office hour, try not to go alone. I feel like he likes student"s" rather than a student. When he sees many students in front of him, he will get happier and help you out more. But this is just my feeling. You can see how you feel about this after going to his office hours :p
In general, Almohalwas is a caring and loving professor who truly wants his students to learn and success. If you pay attention to his classes and especially if you study all the materials he posts, you will learn a lot.