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Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.
Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.
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The professor is incredibly unclear. He teaches as if we already knew the material. TAs didn't communicate with the professor which made them completely useless when it came to clarification on tests and it felt like they hardly knew the material themselves. Levine's office hours were right after class, so many people weren't able to go to them. Tests were mainly conceptual and involved problems that we had never seen before or involved a very deep understanding of the material. I would avoid taking Levine again at all costs.
Can't seem to select Chem 123B, so I'll just post my review here:
I really don't recommend taking this class unless if you're a post-doc or a professor. If you sign up for this class, be prepared to learn nothing and be expected to know the material already. I quote from Professor Levine: "I know it's bad to assume what you don't know, so therefore I'll assume you already know how to do this [high level mathematical concept]." He likes to "teach" by showing off what he knows. I'm not sure what in his life made him so insecure that he needs students to stroke his ego, but he has a terrible teaching ethic. He also one time said in lecture: "this exponent value is called the engineering exponent because it's wrong and engineers are dumb. Hey, that's fun to say: engineers are dumb." Honestly, the only students that got along with Alex are those who painfully lack basic social skills (e.g. being polite) and disgustingly elistist. I realize that work life outside of school will destroy this kind of student demographic, but I hate to see our students with potential be discouraged by this teacher-peer combo. Advice: stay strong and rise above!
The class was overall difficult, but it is manageable to get a good grade. Professor Levine cracks his usual stupid jokes (which are occasionally funny) in class, so the class can be a little entertaining. However, Levine just assumes that we already know all the material when he teaches, which is definitely not the case once we moved to quantum mechanics. I took thorough notes for the first couple of weeks, but I stopped doing that towards the end because I preferred studying out of the textbook. Also, I stopped going to lectures in the last few weeks, because the textbook and Khan Academy were a better teacher in my opinion. The first midterm was quite doable (class average was in the high 70s), but the second one was difficult (average was in low 30s)- time was a big issue in the midterms. Also, TAs don't help very much, as they are themselves unfamiliar, and sometimes overwhelmed, by Levine's exams and teaching style. The final was much better than the second midterm- you get to choose 5 of 6 questions to do in 3 hours, which was quite a lot of time. Overall, I wouldn't take another class with Levine. If you could take someone else, then do that. Otherwise, you'll manage just fine if you put in the work.
I found Professor Levine to be an awful start to my first quarter of college. I don't have a very strong physics background, but I do have a strong math background and a decent chemistry background from high school. This didn't help me. The class is very physics focused and Levine spent most of the classes making jokes and running around the board proving equations that would barely be of use on the tests and quizzes. Levine doesn't communicate well with his TA's, and made me not want to go to office hours because he would put people on the spot and act incredulous if students didn't know the answers to things (that they were coming to him to find out!) Basically the class consisted of OWL (online homework) which was very doable. It consisted of problems that were similar to what the book was teaching us. There were 3 quizzes, one question each. The first one was hard because he hadn't quite taught us half of what was on it ( he did the following week though!). The second quiz was impossible. I think almost everyone in the class got 0 or 5% on it. The third quiz was really easy book problem, probably because he was feeling a little empathy that day. There were 2 midterms. The first one was very doable and followed what the book (and what Levine to some extent) was talking about. The second midterm was impossible and basically wanted people to make insane connections with formulas and concepts and who knows what else. The class average was a 33%. It probably could have been higher if he hadn't given us only one hour to complete 4 heavily analytical questions that each had multiple parts (I've heard that other teachers for this course give students at least 1.5 hours for this amount of questions. The final was definitely difficult, but also definitely not as hard as the second midterm. I have no idea what I scored on the final because he doesn't put grades up until the very end when he submits your final grade. Overall, I would not recommend Levine to anyone who wants to keep their sanity, or to anyone who wants to have a decent time at UCLA.
Where do I even start, wow this class was definitely an interesting way to start off (and quite possibly end) my academic career at UCLA, just kidding it wasn't THAT bad. Professor Levine is definitely one of the funniest and most knowledgeable professors I have met, as of yet, and overall I enjoyed being in his class. This guy knows his stuff, and if you are really into knowing "extra" details about this course then this is where you'll learn them. Professor Levine is also a Physicist and Mathematician by trade. That being said, he definitely made our lives unnecessarily difficult over the past quarter since he doesn't have that "chemist" mindset. Not only does he expect us to have a very solid physics background (thankfully I took Physics in HS), but he also expects us to quite literally become Quantum Physicists overnight. There is very little consistency in his class, in terms of material covered, homework, and exams. I went to lecture and discussion every day, had extra help from PEERS (a science program at UCLA), took in-depth notes (chapter notes aside from lecture), did every single chapter problem from the back of the book of assigned chapters, and did all the homework and still found myself lost on most of the exams. It is because of this that I did relatively well, but even in doing so, received an "average" grade amongst my peers who "did less work". I have to say, the TAs for his class were pretty much useless, they aren't used to Professor Levine's teaching style, being that he doesn't teach this course too often, so they just gamble with what to cover during discussion and what may be asked on an exam. Personally, my TA just did chapter problems from the book which were of some help but honestly didn't help me for the exams and quizzes. One of my TAs quite literally said "Professor Levine even messes us Grad Students up so don't worry'. I feel like that was a common theme this quarter, "sorry you ended up with the hardest and semi-sadistic chemistry professor on the planet, don't worry though, it can't get harder than this, right?" Professor Levine's lectures are just a repeat of the book chapter so if you are okay with self-study you won't need to go to lecture. Doing chapter problems does help because sometimes he'll throw in one or two on one of his exams. Make sure to do them all INCLUDING THE CHALLENGE PROBLEMS! Dr. Levine is an extremely funny guy, I think he spends 15% of class just cracking jokes or sharing some funny anecdotes (helped lighten up the mood). All in all, if you want a good grade you have to put in the work, if you want an A, take another professor. Comparatively, I think Levine is the best of them all. I personally never went to office hours because I had a class right after but I'm sure they'd be quite useful to attend. His tests are insanely difficult and I'm not sure how anyone managed to receive a 90 on a few of them. I know a lot of people have a strong abhorrence for Levine but honestly, even though he made chemistry insanely difficult, I know I am a better student because of it. The average test grade in our class for Midterm 1 was an 80% (fairly easy exam) Midterm 2 that average plummeted to 33% (extremely difficult test). As long as you fail just a little less than everyone else (like I did LOL) you will manage a decent grade. Don't be afraid to take this class, just put in the work.
This class was hard, even if you've taken AP Chemistry in high school. The first midterm wasn't too bad. The class average was in the high 70s and all the problems were taken out of the textbook. The second midterm was rough. The average was a 33. You definitely have to put a lot of work into this class. Go to TA office hours and do book problems. That's what I did, and I ended up with an A.
Professor Levine is funny and intelligent, but there is definitely a disconnect between what he thinks we can do and what we can actually do. His tests are difficult and involve a lot of math. Doing problems in the textbook really helps with that because you understand how to apply formulas better. I'm willing to bet that if you never go to lecture and just read the textbook and do the textbook problems, you'll do fine.
If it wasn't for my boy Erick Harr, the TA of legend, I woulda dropped this class. All of the learning I did was from the textbook, I actually stopped showing up because I had no idea what Levine was saying in class.
This was one of the first classes I took at UCLA, and he was talking about upper div math classes as proofs of the "elementary subatomic/quantum tendencies". Okay, yeah, once I wrapped my head around them they were very logical concise and quite beautiful, but it DEFINITELY wasn't thanks to Levine that I learned.
I got a 5/20 on the first quiz in class, but was still above average. The next quiz was trivially easy and nearly everyone – who had the foresight to show up that day – aced it. The final was brutal, but I had studied a ton ( to the exclusion of my other classes) and I did extremely well.
I had a bad experience in this class, despite loving the material. This class low-key made me become a CS major.
Personally speaking, you need to read the textbook and do exercises by yourself because he never provide sample questions or examples or format for any tests. Also, he sometimes tests something that he never thought in class, for example, high school physics. I get 95 in the first exam (Thanks my high school chemistry teacher) and 30 in second midterm (which focused on quantum mechanics he teached). But honestly, if you really read the textbook and do all practise problems, his test will not be a big problem. The problem is I am not that kind of person:(