Introduction to Programming

Alexey Miroshnikov

Introduction to Programming

Program in Computing department

Alexey Miroshnikov

Add Review
from 19 users

Ratings

Bad
Overall 3.2
Good
Hard
Easiness of class 2.7
Easy
Heavy
Workload 2.4
Light
Not Clear
Clarity of professor 2.6
Clear
Not Helpful
Helpfulness of professor 2.6
Helpful
AD

Tags

  • Uses Slides
  • Tolerates Tardiness
  • Appropriately Priced Materials
  • Tough Tests

Grades

Spring 2019
28.8%
24.0%
19.2%
14.4%
9.6%
4.8%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

Winter 2019
32.5%
27.1%
21.7%
16.3%
10.8%
5.4%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

Fall 2018
33.3%
27.8%
22.2%
16.7%
11.1%
5.6%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

Fall 2017
38.8%
32.3%
25.9%
19.4%
12.9%
6.5%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

AD
AD
1 of 2

Reviews

Quarter Taken: Spring 2019 Submitted July 2, 2019 Grade Received: A-

If you have the chance to take PIC10A with Alexey, do it. Even though I went to pretty much every lecture, I learned nothing in class or from office hours. I had no prior coding experience, so the learning curve and pace of the class (especially after week 6 or so) was pretty tough. I was lucky to have two friends who were experienced coders who could help out along the way. All the learning in the class is pretty much on you, so you have to keep up with the homeworks which can be a pain in the ass. A lot of people didn’t like Alexey, but I thought this guy was the man. He referred to himself in the third person and Was pretty funny in lectures. There’s only a midterm and final which are not too difficult. If you understand 80% of the homework and can code simple algorithms, there isn’t anything unexpected on his tests. Grading scheme is either 15% HW, 35% MT, 50% Final, or 25% HW, 15% MT, and 60% Final. Overall not an easy class but if you put in effort, you can teach yourself enough to get by in his class

Quarter Taken: Spring 2019 Submitted June 23, 2019 Grade Received: A-

The workload is super intense. He gives you a homework every week (and usually extends it by a couple more days), but they keep getting harder. The homeworks towards the end takes about 5 hours to finish. He has two grading schemes, and you midterms and final account for anywhere between 75 and 85% of your grade. To do well in his class, it is really essential to ace the exams. The curve is not as generous as it seems to be.

Quarter Taken: Spring 2019 Submitted June 19, 2019 Grade Received: B+

Homeworks were the worst. They're straight from the textbook but the coding process took so much time, so be prepared for that. But midterm and final was fair and easier to do compared to the homework. As for Alexey, he's a cool guy but he's difficult to understand sometimes and he's not very clear even though he tries so hard. TA's were honestly the reason I got the grade I got, they were very helpful

Quarter Taken: Spring 2019 Submitted June 17, 2019 Grade Received: A-

Alexey is an okay professor. But I would avoid taking this class with him.
Lectures - Alexey posts all his slides on CCLE prior to lecture. They are mostly enough to learn the material, but the textbook is an essential resource to supplement the slides. He also posts "code snippets" to CCLE that you can run yourself and tinker around with to understand the concepts. Somewhat helpful.
Homework - Homework assignments were a bitch. The problems were challenging and required multiple hours to complete, but I will say they made me understand the material a lot better in the end. Also, Alexey made it a requirement that all your code was able to compile using Microsoft Visual Studio in order to be graded properly. So if you were a Mac user (which the majority of students were) you had to go to the PIC Lab every week to check your code on one of the computers before submitting it. I highly recommend going to the PIC Lab to get help on homework; the PIC Lab employees are super helpful and I relied on them a ton to get through the class. The grader for this class also seemed to be pretty generous in grading the homework.
Exams - We had only one midterm. The exams were fair in difficulty, but the length/pacing were definitely challenging, which gave an advantage to more experienced people with coding practice. They were not easy exams by any means.
Grading - This quarter, >88% was an A, >84% was an A-.

Quarter Taken: Spring 2019 Submitted June 15, 2019 Grade Received: DR

Alexey is obviously very knowledgable about the material he teaches so it's a shame that I never understood what the hell he was saying. Alexey often gets confused during his own explanation, makes mistakes, and is generally unclear and unhelpful. The midterm and final were so hard I almost cried in the middle of the exam. The homework is unnecessarily difficult and is about 20x harder than it actually has to be (the first homework ever in the class took me like 6 hours no joke and it was the first frickin homework like tf?!?). Overall not the best prof, but his curve is pretty generous. Take the class if you're prepared to teach yourself C++ every day for a few hours.

Quarter Taken: Spring 2019 Submitted June 13, 2019 Grade Received: N/A

Alexey is a good person, but I won't go as far to say he's a good professor. The problem is that he assumes all his (intro) class students are cs genius and already know how to do all of these stuff. Sometimes the question involves mastering math material not required for this course, so for those who feel like they are not so solid in math, think twice before you take this with him. He often comes across as semi-aggressive and even a little bit mean in lecture, but I guess it's just him being a bit fed up with us not responding.(because we are all confused)
If you have to take this class, be sure to couple up with someone who actually know the material and is willing to help you--otherwise you truly suffer in this course. To this day I still don't know the difference between pass by reference and pass by pointers. His lectures are not very clear but at this point it's sort of like iykyk, if you know you know. If you know how to code, you know how to code. If you don't know how to code, you don't know how to code. In the end this class is just...get gud, you know. There's no way to study for it other than just get gud.

Quarter Taken: Spring 2019 Submitted June 13, 2019 Grade Received: A+

I felt bad for the students who didn't have prior programming experience because Prof Miroshnikov isn't an organized lecturer. (Funny guy when he's in a good mood and during office hours though.) Basically I didn't learn a damn thing during lecture. Regardless, the assignments and exams are very straightforward and typical for an intro programming class so I think I'd recommend him to anyone who is okay at self-teaching.

Quarter Taken: Winter 2019 Submitted June 4, 2019 Grade Received: B-

This class was horribly difficult. I would not have made it through with the grade I did without having to PAY for a tutor for at least three hours a week. I had never taken coding before, which I assumed was fine seeing that this is supposed to be an INTRODUCTORY class. Alexey assumes you know everything. Advanced calculus courses should have been a pre-req for this course, because you have to code solutions to advanced calculus problems. The tests were extremely difficult: the only way to have any hope of passing is to literally memorize the practice test questions he gives you. He gives an insane amount of homework every week, I talked to students in PIC 10B who said they only get like 10% of the homework Alexey gives in 10A. There was only one decent TA, and the professor was NO HELP at all because he assumes you know everything and basically thinks you're scum if you're struggling a lot. ONLY TAKE THIS IF YOU ARE ALREADY VERY FAMILIAR WITH C++ CODING AND YOU HAVE ADVANCED CALCULUS SKILLS. The ONLY good thing about this class was the grading curve. I would have failed the class without it.

Quarter Taken: Winter 2019 Submitted March 28, 2019 Grade Received: A

I'll preface this review with the fact that I do have experience programming (passed the AP test in high school).

As opposed to more traditional classes, the vast majority of learning you will do will be by doing the homework using some of the basic theory in from lectures. This also helps a lot during the exam because a lot of the questions are very similar to the ones for homework, you just have to write it with a pencil, not a keyboard.

As far as teaching goes, he was only OK. He was clearly knowledgeable, but his lectures were never very clear and were often very boring. Thankfully he is one of the best professors I have seen as far as making sure resources are uploaded to CCLE so that you can try them out for yourself (again, a much better way to learn programming than in a classroom).

Maybe it was just the TA, or the fact that many of my questions could be answered by just googling or just trying to code myself, but I never really saw any value in going to the discussion sections. Although, if you are having trouble with the homework, I know at least my TA basically gave the answer during their section so that would probably be very helpful.

Onto more concrete advice: Other than doing the homeworks and practice exams, actually try to see if you can't come up with some small tasks you've never been asked to do, and actually try to do them, but either in pencil or on a basic text editor entirely from memory, to help practice for the exam where you won't have Visual Studio or whatever.
For the more conceptual parts of the test, either look through the slides or previous practice exams (which I've seen have often the same questions worded slightly differently) to find the answer. The answers are often directly mentioned during lectures.

One final note on his personality. I didn't ever really need to go to him to ask anything, but from what I've seen he's the type that does lots of the "oh, you should know this" or talking down to people, probably thinking they just asked a very stupid question (even though once he was the one who was wrong lol). But, overall he's at the very least nice and a bit young and lively.

Quarter Taken: Winter 2019 Submitted March 26, 2019 Grade Received: C

DO NOT TRUST THE GRADING DISTRIBUTION. Despite getting 100% on every single homework and only performing a few points below the mean each exam, I received a C (whereas in the grading distribution that is posted, I would've been in the B+ range). I'm normally an A student.
The class has gotten harder over the years. This quarter's curve was not at all significant. An "A" was an 89+ in the class, which is incredibly unlikely to receive if you have never coded before. From my experience and conversations with others, I would estimate about 35% of students in the class had prior experience with C++, and even if you put in more than several hours a week, you'll inevitably fall behind in the class because the teacher does not do a great job of explaining any concepts. Most of the people I talked to self-taught themselves for the exams, and the HW's were at a much higher difficulty than anything we attempted in discussion sections or discussed in class.

Ultimately, be cautionary with taking this class with no prior experience, and if you have to take the class with him, find a computer science friend that is willing to help you over the course of the quarter with the HW. Otherwise, you are most definitely 100% going to hate your life.

1 of 2

Tags

  • Uses Slides
  • Tolerates Tardiness
  • Appropriately Priced Materials
  • Tough Tests
ADS

Report Review

Did this review contain...

There are errors in the report form.

Thank you for the report!

We'll look into this shortly.

It seems like you’re

using an ad blocker. :(


Bruinwalk is an entirely Daily Bruin-run service brought to you for free. We hate annoying ads just as much as you do, but they help keep our lights on. We promise to keep our ads as relevant for you as possible, so please consider disabling your ad-blocking software while using this site.

Thank you for supporting us!