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This class really prepares you for a career in research. I enjoyed taking this course and I learned a lot. I thought Alex was a great professor and formatted the class very well so the class was never boring. He's very helpful and he was always available to help us. The oral presentation was a great (but nerve wracking for sure) experience for me but I did learn a lot from that experience and I do think I do a better job at presentations now. There proposal was another learning experience for me. I became way more comfortable with reading scientific literature because of it. Extra credit was offered in the class and also pizza rumors are true! I highly recommend this class to anyone that wants to go to graduate school or anyone that is interested in research in general.
I really appreciate how Alex designed this class to better prepare us for the real world. Each of us was assigned one researcher to present on. I know that I can get nervous when talking about formal things in front of crowds, but by giving us opportunities like these, we become a little more confident in our words. No matter where you go after UCLA, this skill is important. Also, he asks you some questions on the spot about your presentation and the researcher's work that you have to think about, which some are difficult but he doesn't drill you. The point is to get you thinking. The presentation and also the proposal assignment really make you have to learn how to read journal articles. I really liked the proposal because you have the freedom to propose a research project that hasn't been done before. Getting started is really hard though, but go to his office hours and he'll help guide you. In addition, besides the proposal's final deadline, there was only one deadline which was for your specific aims (3rd week) to get you thinking and working on it. However, between that time and when it was due (like 9th week?), pretty much no one really worked on it. Yeah, that's pretty much on the students themselves and to not procrastinate real world stuff, but I don't think we would've peer-reviewed lots of seemingly incomplete proposals if we had more deadlines. There's no midterm and no textbook. All of his lectures were on PowerPoint and he lectures for the first hour; the second hour is two student presentations. He really encourages questions during his or student presentations, also this counts towards your participation points. But besides that, I encourage you ask questions too because all the topics are really cool. We were only allowed to collaborate among ourselves for the take-home final. The final required reading papers and this is where how you interpret his lectures come in. Overall, Alex is a great and engaging lecturer who really cares about his students. He's funny and understanding and really wants us to learn and appreciate the many interesting aspects of research in inorganic chemistry. You gain valuable life experience in presenting, and also being able to extract the important things in really long and loaded papers.
Alex is one of the most engaging professors I've ever met. He really wants you to understand the implications of inorganic chemistry as well as the research that has been done to further advance the field today. It will be relevant for those who wish to pursue a career in research. Even if you aren't, it was a really fun class where you'll get to meet other people and bond together! He also gets you pizza <3 Would take again.
Alex is a fantastic professor who teaches a great class that is an broad overview of inorganic chemistry as applied to biology and bionanoscience. Very relevant topics. Assignment is a presentation on a researcher and an NIH style research proposal. Great class for anyone planning on continuing in science or medicine.