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## Alexander Sherstov

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**Overall Ratings**

Based on 5 Users

*/ 5*How easy the class is,

**1**being extremely difficult and

**5**being easy peasy.

*/ 5*How light the workload is,

**1**being extremely heavy and

**5**being extremely light.

*/ 5*How clear the professor is,

**1**being extremely unclear and

**5**being very clear.

*/ 5*How helpful the professor is,

**1**being not helpful at all and

**5**being extremely helpful.

Prof Sherstov is awesome! He's super kind and always willing to help his students understand concepts. A lot of times, the two hour classes feel really long and tiring, but this wasn't the case with 181 with Sherstov. He was great at keeping the class's attention, and the concepts themselves were pretty interesting. Like other reviewers have mentioned, his exams have a built in curve (max 30 points for midterms but score is out of 25 and max 36 points for final but score is out of 30). The final was significantly harder than the midterms imo. Definitely do all the practice midterms and finals he provides, and reading the textbook also helps solidify your understanding. Doing textbook problems can also be helpful.

Some homeworks are harder than other, but they're great practice for exams. They're graded on completion/effort, so make sure not to lose these points by forgetting to do them.

Final grades were calculated using standard cutoffs:

eg: A- : 90-93, A: 93-97, A+ : 97-100

Overall, I totally recommend this class!

Professor Sherstov is hands down, without a doubt, my favorite professor of all time. He is genuinely the most honest, down-to-earth, lighthearted professor I've ever had the pleasure of taking a class with. If I got a C in this class, I would not be disappointed at all because at least I got to take an Alexander Sherstov class. I don't even know where to start: he doesn't record lectures but he doesn't need to because the pace at which he goes by in class is just right and perfectly digestible. If you absolutely need to miss a class for whatever reason, all you gotta do is shoot him an email and he'll send a lecture video from a previous quarter he taught where he did in fact record. He gives so many examples and walkthroughs during class and his homework is challenging enough to prepare you for the exams. He has 2 midterms and 1 final, none of which are cumulative. In my opinion, the first midterm is the hardest because the subject material (regular and nonregular languages) was the hardest for me to grasp, but typically people find the second midterm the hardest because of the subject material (context-free languages, context-free grammars, and pushdown automata). He has built-in curves for the exams and they are extremely generous in my opinion: you can earn up to 30 points on the midterm, but they are recorded out of 25 points in the gradebook (for example, a 23/30 translates to a 23/25, a 25/30 translates to a 25/25, and anything above a 25/30 is capped at 25/25). There are SO MANY opportunities for partial credit on every single problem (it's kind of amazing how many different cases the TAs come up with just to give you some partial credit) so that 5 point buffer is very generous. At the time of writing this, the amount of grace points on the final is TBD (but more likely than not, you can earn up to 35 points on the final but will be recorded out of 30 points with the same idea about the point cap).

This class seemed like a boring CS-theory class that all CS majors have to take but oh boy did this quickly turn into my favorite class of all time. Realistically, most of us won't use these concepts in the real world but this class has really shaped me so much into being an analytical thinker and this is something anyone can for sure take away and use outside of school and in the real world. Sherstov doesn't have a single ounce of hatred, anger, or disappointment in his body: he makes this content very easily accessible to all his students and he TRULY cares about his students.

My favorite quality of Sherstov is how he tries to learn the names of anyone who talks to him, despite him teaching a class size of 160 students. I feel so welcomed in his class when I talk to him and he personally addresses me by my name. This is not an easy class at all but if there's anyone who's going to teach it well, it's Alexander Sherstov

I don't know where all the old reviews for this professor went... but I really enjoyed taking Theory of Computing with this professor. If you can, definitely take it with Sherstov! Definitely one of my favorite CS courses at UCLA.

He is definitely the best lecturer I've ever had (yes, better than Smallberg). He writes all his notes on a whiteboard, which I found very easy to follow. He is very passionate about the topics and explains them clearly and engagingly. His lectures are well-structured and he uses a lot of examples and diagrams to illustrate the concepts. I also highly recommend the office hours since it just makes everything click. The homeworks get challenging but they help you learn a lot and prepare you for the exams. The exams are fair and he provides practice exams that cover the main points. As for the curve, I'm pretty sure he just truncates 5 points for Midterms 1 & 2 and 10 points for the final. For example, the midterms were out of 30 points, but the maximum grade you can get is 25/25, so if you got 27/25, you would get 100%. I found this to be pretty generous.

Prof Sherstov is awesome! He's super kind and always willing to help his students understand concepts. A lot of times, the two hour classes feel really long and tiring, but this wasn't the case with 181 with Sherstov. He was great at keeping the class's attention, and the concepts themselves were pretty interesting. Like other reviewers have mentioned, his exams have a built in curve (max 30 points for midterms but score is out of 25 and max 36 points for final but score is out of 30). The final was significantly harder than the midterms imo. Definitely do all the practice midterms and finals he provides, and reading the textbook also helps solidify your understanding. Doing textbook problems can also be helpful.

Some homeworks are harder than other, but they're great practice for exams. They're graded on completion/effort, so make sure not to lose these points by forgetting to do them.

Final grades were calculated using standard cutoffs:

eg: A- : 90-93, A: 93-97, A+ : 97-100

Overall, I totally recommend this class!

Professor Sherstov is hands down, without a doubt, my favorite professor of all time. He is genuinely the most honest, down-to-earth, lighthearted professor I've ever had the pleasure of taking a class with. If I got a C in this class, I would not be disappointed at all because at least I got to take an Alexander Sherstov class. I don't even know where to start: he doesn't record lectures but he doesn't need to because the pace at which he goes by in class is just right and perfectly digestible. If you absolutely need to miss a class for whatever reason, all you gotta do is shoot him an email and he'll send a lecture video from a previous quarter he taught where he did in fact record. He gives so many examples and walkthroughs during class and his homework is challenging enough to prepare you for the exams. He has 2 midterms and 1 final, none of which are cumulative. In my opinion, the first midterm is the hardest because the subject material (regular and nonregular languages) was the hardest for me to grasp, but typically people find the second midterm the hardest because of the subject material (context-free languages, context-free grammars, and pushdown automata). He has built-in curves for the exams and they are extremely generous in my opinion: you can earn up to 30 points on the midterm, but they are recorded out of 25 points in the gradebook (for example, a 23/30 translates to a 23/25, a 25/30 translates to a 25/25, and anything above a 25/30 is capped at 25/25). There are SO MANY opportunities for partial credit on every single problem (it's kind of amazing how many different cases the TAs come up with just to give you some partial credit) so that 5 point buffer is very generous. At the time of writing this, the amount of grace points on the final is TBD (but more likely than not, you can earn up to 35 points on the final but will be recorded out of 30 points with the same idea about the point cap).

This class seemed like a boring CS-theory class that all CS majors have to take but oh boy did this quickly turn into my favorite class of all time. Realistically, most of us won't use these concepts in the real world but this class has really shaped me so much into being an analytical thinker and this is something anyone can for sure take away and use outside of school and in the real world. Sherstov doesn't have a single ounce of hatred, anger, or disappointment in his body: he makes this content very easily accessible to all his students and he TRULY cares about his students.

My favorite quality of Sherstov is how he tries to learn the names of anyone who talks to him, despite him teaching a class size of 160 students. I feel so welcomed in his class when I talk to him and he personally addresses me by my name. This is not an easy class at all but if there's anyone who's going to teach it well, it's Alexander Sherstov

I don't know where all the old reviews for this professor went... but I really enjoyed taking Theory of Computing with this professor. If you can, definitely take it with Sherstov! Definitely one of my favorite CS courses at UCLA.

He is definitely the best lecturer I've ever had (yes, better than Smallberg). He writes all his notes on a whiteboard, which I found very easy to follow. He is very passionate about the topics and explains them clearly and engagingly. His lectures are well-structured and he uses a lot of examples and diagrams to illustrate the concepts. I also highly recommend the office hours since it just makes everything click. The homeworks get challenging but they help you learn a lot and prepare you for the exams. The exams are fair and he provides practice exams that cover the main points. As for the curve, I'm pretty sure he just truncates 5 points for Midterms 1 & 2 and 10 points for the final. For example, the midterms were out of 30 points, but the maximum grade you can get is 25/25, so if you got 27/25, you would get 100%. I found this to be pretty generous.