All Ratings and Reviews for Anoop Mahajan
Totally agree. The material in 120B is very accessible. Its not to say it's easy. Credit the Prof. for making what could potentially have been boring into lively debate and laughter filled lecture. One of the best linguistics professors ever. You've got to take his class!
I wholeheartedly agree with all of the comments below. Mahajan is definitely the best teacher of the bunch, in addition to being very witty and engaging. He makes even the driest, most boring material fully accessible to his students.
Mahajan is by far the best teacher of syntax in
the linguistics department. He presents the material in the clearest way possible; his homeworks test your knowledge thoroughly without being too long or needlessly frustrating; and his tests are fair. Try to get him for syntax 1 or 2 - it's worth the wait. He's easy to talk to as well - an all around great professor and person.
I had heard that Prof. Mahajan was the teacher to take if you wanted to learn syntax. Well, I haven't taken Syntax I or II with him, but typology was great. His explanation of ergativity was simple and quick, erasing all the confusion I'd had before. He is very willing to talk with you about projects, grades, really anything... and he is very kind about it. His homeworks were not difficult (especially if you took notes in class) and his tests were open book, open notes. (As he said, "I'm very liberal.") With this class, it's really about learning the material, not just going through the motions. I look forward to having him again for syntax!
I couldn't agree more with the student below who said that Anoop is the best syntax professor in the linguistics department by far. His homeworks are excellent--both in terms of level of difficulty *and* usefulness, and his lectures are very clear and well-organized. He has reasonable and fair expectations of students, and you can walk away from his class feeling that you've actually learned something, rather than merely feeling confused.
He is one of the few professors who seems to not only value the material he presents to you but, he also values the fact that his students learn while in his class. He is very, very knowledgeable and and can present the material in an efficient manner. He will go out of his way and make time to explain the material to you. His lecture presentations are well thought out, he is fair and accurate, his exams are well prepared and his homeworks are very helpful in learning the material. His Typology class is a 'must-take' class. Anyone in the Linguistics major should take at least one class with him to appreciate the material and appreciate his way of teaching. He's one of the best!!
good at explaining concepts, takes time to go over and completely answer any questions. really knowledgable about subject. Funny guy =]
First of all, if you're a ling major at UCLA, TAKE 127! Regardless of the professor, take it! It's such a fantastic class.
Professor Mahajan teaches the material in an extremely understandable, clear manner. I think some students thought his teaching style to be a bit dull or slow-paced, but the topics each week make up for that imo. He's a really knowledgable, approachable guy. The homework assignments take quite a while, so start early. He refuses to post any homework or handouts online, so make sure to attend class (he won't give you an extra copy for a friend). If you do well on the assignments, you'll do great on the midterm and final. They were challenging as hell, but I felt truly prepared for them due to the work given throughout the quarter.
First of all, his lectures are incredibly boring. INCREDIBLY boring. All he really does is read straight from the course reader for 2 hours, so lecture is kind of pointless, but you have to go to get your hw assignments and for pop quizzes. He emails you a PDF of the course reader for free though, so this class is cost-free which is a major plus. As a person, Mahajan was kind of rude - never to me, but sometimes I would get uncomfortable at how he spoke to other students in class for minor things that interrupted his lecture (like when someone sneezed). He REALLY hates cell phones and will scream at you if you pull one out or if it buzzes. Also try to not fall asleep in class, one time he threw chalk at a guy who was sleeping.
Our breakdown was:
Pop quizzes: 5%
Final project: 10%
The pop quizzes were super easy, you get to use your notes and they're basically just a way of taking attendance in lecture. Discussion is not mandatory, it's just helpful to go if you have questions about the homework. The main theme of this class was to pick a project language, one that you don't natively speak, and analyze its syntax in your HW assignments. Homework is a large packet of analyzing some sample data from a random language and then providing data about your project language. Stuff with your project language is easy, but analyzing the given data can be challenging. DON'T wait until the last minute to start the homeworks, they do take a while. The midterm was basically just the analysis part of a normal HW assignment, except 5000x easier. I finished the 2-hour test in 20 minutes and got a 100 on it. The final was slightly harder, but same idea. You get 2 pages front/back of notes for the midterm and 3 front/back for the final. The final project is just a final writeup of the data from your project language, which you should already have from the HW assignments throughout the quarter. Just combine all your past HWs into a formal paper and apply feedback from the TA and you'll do completely fine on the project.
As a south campus major (and Ling minor), I'm used to classes that have high-stress, no-notes tests. It was kind of stressful to have a decent amount of homework due every week, but it made up for it midterm and finals week when I didn't have to study for this class at all! - just had to copy some stuff from the course reader onto my cheat sheet. Overall, it was a pretty easy A+ that just took some time set aside each week to do well on the HWs. Would recommend / take again!
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