Professor Garfinkel is the absolute epitome of a brilliant professor. His brilliance, coupled with his unparalleled ability to explain difficult concepts in an easy-to-comprehend manner makes him the greatest professor that I have ever encountered. This is coming from a student who has taken classes at MIT, Harvard, and Columbia, and so you have my reassurance that his ability is not exaggerated. Take his courses.
professor garfinkel was a brilliant professor. his teaching style really sticks with you, even after a whole year after having taken his course. we didn't learn easy stuff either: we learned about finding eigenvectors and eigenvalues, chaos theory, matrices and applying partial derivatives, which is highly relevant to new medicine. take his course (ls30b)
Course: Life Sciences 30B Professor Garfinkel is among the best professors whom I have had here at UCLA. There are very few people who can match his level of lecturing. A very inspirational individual, and a genius at the same time. He can make you realize that math is more enjoyable than you can imagine. Take him, and you will not regret it.
Winter 2016 - Take this course if you want to learn about math modeling with biological systems instead of doing calculus. The labs are tough, but get a solid group together to get them done faster or go to office hours. Also, no book needed! Overall, I would recommend this course.
Winter 2018 - One of the best decisions I could've ever made upon entering UCLA is doing the LS30 series. I never thought I would gain an understanding and genuine appreciation for math but here we are :) I love this course because I wanted to apply math in real life situations and this course is perfect for it. If you like application of science/math or just want to learn more about math in a different way I guess, I recommend this class. I love this class so much it breaks my heart to not continue the series :'( **Warning: Just like with every other class, the LS30 series does require effort and dedication. I don't know if it is an "easy A" because I can't compare it with other math classes since I have not taken any others but nevertheless, your grade is a reflection of the time and effort you put into it. Professor Garfinkel is an awesome professor. He is a genius. SERIOUSLY. A GENIUS. He is very open to his students and very helpful. He purposely stays a couple minutes after lecture to answer questions and he has office hours twice every week. He is an awesome professor!!!
Winter 2023 - I thought that Professor Garfinkel was very passionate about this subject, and that normally made the lectures very engaging and interesting. He explained concepts in a way that made sense and unlike the 30 series-the coding that we did outside of class was INCREDIBLY relevant to what we were learning in class and it actually really helped to solidify my understanding of different statistical methods. The coding was actually talked about in the lectures and didn't feel like two separate lectures, as 30 a and b did. However, the workload for this class was very unreasonable. It seemed like the LS40 professors thought that this was students only class. The content was actually really interesting and I think it is very important to learn the problems with "traditional" statistical approaches. I found myself consistently spending 10-15 hours on the weekly homework and lab. It was difficult to get help because when I went to office hours, the TA was so overwhelmed with questions. Sometimes, the TAs also weren't able to give concise answers-they often seemed just as confused on the material as the students. There were two team data analysis assignments that were worth a total 20% of the grade. These assignments weren't unreasonably difficult but were a TON of work-especially considering that we also had weekly homework and a midterm on top of these assignments. I also found myself doing the majority of the work for my group, and it was frustrating because we all got the same grade and I received little help with the coding.
Professor Garfinkel's LS30A class was (can I curse on BruinWalk?) FRICKEN FANTASTIC! I had a very weak math background coming into UCLA, but after this course, I feel confident and SEXY. I'll be frank. The Sage coding portion (yes, we do a lot of computer modeling int he class) was hard, and sometimes took me a very long time to finish. But I had an amazing TA (Jacob) and a fricken BRILLIANT UA (Myki) who helped me survive what would have been a disaster. This class was just so much fun on so many levels. Towards the end of the quarter, Jacob would blast T-Swifflez and we all had just such a fun time!! Professor Garfinkel was AMAAAAAZING. Whenever you come to class, you feel this energy around you, and he is SO full of energy when he teaches. It comes without saying that he is the best professor on campus. TAKE LS30A!!!
I'm actually embarrassed to write a review for this man because no length of words of praise and adoration is enough to express just how brilliant, and phenomenal this man is. He is incredibly enthusiastic about his work, prioritizes student learning and engagement, and is absolutely the greatest professor that I have ever had the honor of learning under. There is no question about why his reviews and ratings on BruinWalk are so high: All of the comments made thus far by his students are TRUE, and I will not even bother rephrasing what most people have already stated (but I probably will). Yes, professor Garfinkel is unavailable most of the time, but NO worries. He has chosen excellent teaching assistants to help you ANYTIME that you need help! Seriously, up to this point, I had been thinking of transferring to a private college because most of the teaching assistants that I have had so far were HORRIBLE (chemistry 14A, LS2, physics 6A, DESMA10) and the class sizes were HUGE (like, I literally had to sit on the stairs for Lavelle and LS2). Something is different about this class though. I don't know if this class has amazing teaching assistants because the class is relatively new, or if the professor is so charismatic that the teaching assistants themselves find themselves in a position where they want to give it their 110% to impress him, but in either case, they were AWESOME. His lecture wasn't HUGE either. It was just the right size, to allow for small class time discussions when people asked questions. Yes, his lectures are fantastic. I never got bored listening to his lectures, and to be quite honest, his late lectures were a huge concern for me in the beginning. His amazing lectures have made me disregard the bad timing of the lectures, and made me WANT to go to classes every day. There was once a poll going around in my freshman year, that stated that "if you were to have one last lecture, who would it be from?", and it's a shame that I didn't have professor Garfinkel sooner because I would have definitely chosen him. As for grading, don't worry too much. He even told us the first day that he doesn't believe in the bell curve and a percentage scale, and that if you demonstrate understanding of the material, you will get the grade that you deserve. l was worried a LOT before taking this class, because l hadn't taken AP Calculus BC since my sophomore year, and I didn't do any math review since then. Oh man, professor Garfinkel goes through EVERYTHING, as if we're learning math from the ground-up. Now, this doesn't mean that he goes easy on us. It means that he brings up different facets of the same subject that reinforces your previous knowledge. I know of no math professors that do this (which is awesome). He also has fantastic REVIEW sessions for the midterm and final, where he covers EVERYTHING that you need to know. How awesome, right? As for the charisma and brilliance of professor Garfinkel, I'll leave that up to you to witness.
*An Ode to Greatness* Professor Garfinkel Is a Great Genius Who makes my mind Twinkle, During lectures I'm Speechless; Like a star on a dark night, I was lost in the abyss At last, gone is my fright And Math gives me bliss; His presence is holy, His wisdom is Deep; Please give this man a Trophy As now we no longer Weep Onwards we march toward unknown Roads, With knowledge equipped and hungry to Code.
I too, was told recently [about three hours ago, actually] that dr Garfinkel's bruinwalk page was active by an old classmate. Awesome! As mentioned below, dr Garfinkel is absolutely amazing at what he does, and his brilliance resonates through each and every single mind present in the room. His lectures are fascinating, also as mentioned below, and it is true that his lectures are indescribably captivating. dr Garfinkel incorporates much of his own research into his class, and they too, are amazing. As mentioned below as well, dr Garfinkel is not available 24/7 as any hopeful premed would like, but he instead has amazing teaching assistants like Jane [who, by the way, is actually teaching LS30A during summer session c!] and captain Nguyen and brilliant and helpful classmates like Mike [I think that's how you spell his name, if you ever see this sorry!] who actually would help me with a program called Sage [this cool math modeling program] and general studies :) All-in-all, I loved ls30b, and you'll definitely love it too :)