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I’m really surprised not to see any good reviews for Prof Robichaux. She’s a really good lecturer and breaks down new concepts methodically in a way that it makes sense even if you’ve never heard them before. This math class is genuinely one of the few where I found the lectures to be the most valuable resource and didn’t depend much on Youtube. There’s a textbook as well that’s great although I didn’t use it exhaustively. Her uploaded notes are great to review before a test and all her lectures are recorded.
That being said, if u want to get a good grade, you actually have to understand the material in a way that isn’t memorizing question formats. On tests, she tends to use a familiar question format but changes something small that you cant ignore because it might completely change the way you approach the question.
There is a strict rubric, but I feel like you can’t be mad about it when TAs are trying to grade 200 proofs as similarly as possible. Find a study group and go through homework together, because it’s difficult not to make a small mistake here and there. Go to office hours if you don’t understand one of the A.E. Most of the time she’ll go through them if you ask. Usually these are the graded questions on the homework.
To give some credit to earlier reviews, I believe Fall 2023 was her first quarter teaching, and it seems like the class then was much more difficult. My guess is she’s since adjusted her test difficulty to accommodate.
Robichaux isn’t easy but she’s fair. This isn’t a class you can game, so make sure it’s one you prioritize.
Just took the finals; prof made it somehow harder than midterm 2 (MCQ was easy though). Don't take her if you value your time and sanity,
Professor chooses to keep 2 different version of the notes (one she writes in class and the other she puts on the website) for some reason. I suppose it is to encourage lecture attendance, but I feel like when studying sometimes I cannot find content she mentioned in class on the notes on the website, because they're different versions.The homework graders for this class are extremely inconsistent (I have had to request regrades on several occasions due the ludicrous grades given on the first time, at one point getting 35% of my grade back). The grading on exams (particularly midterm 2) were very unforgiving. In particular, there were multiple choice questions that were worth over a third of the total grade, which we have never seen before in homework.
For context , midterm 1's stat were:
Median: 67/78 High: 78/78
Upper Quartile: 74/78 Low: 0
Lower Quartile: 55.5/78
and midterm 2's stat were:
Median: 58/78 High: 78/78
Upper Quartile: 64.75/78 Low: 0
Lower Quartile: 51/78
The rubrics were also very inconsistent between tests. The first midterm had very detailed rubrics for a 20 pts question, while the 2nd midterm had an 18 pt question that basically amounted to a giant 2-subsection truth or false (had i known so little partial credit were to be given for attempts at proof for a 9pt problem, i would've saved that time and spent it elsewhere on the test). The TA's for this class were extremely unhelpful. The discussion worksheets consisted of hodge-podge problems taken from god know's where and thrown together the weekend before the discussion section. The TAs spend very little effort actually making useful problems that helps in learning, and instead chooses to opt from esoteric problems unrelated to the contents from lecture that they themselves are too lazy to actually solve (hence why for most discussions worksheets there are only 1 - 2 solutions for the 7+ problems on average given). When they do give solutions, the solutions are contrived and written with language far beyond the scope of lecture. The professor was helpful during office hours, but overall the grading and the TAs for this class have made it very difficult for me.
This was the worst math class I've taken at UCLA. Six months later, I am still traumatized.
I had good impressions initially, as Professor Robichaux presented the material quite clearly. Her exams also seemed pretty reasonable since the questions were pretty similar to in-class examples and homework problems. However, the grading scheme was overly harsh to the point where it's kind of impossible to do well no matter how much you study. Robichaux expects very specific things in the answers and she isn't transparent about what she expects, so it's easy to lose a ton of points for just not phrasing things a certain way or not writing a certain keyword. Even the most trivial errors deduct a ton of points, which sucks because the midterms are only out of 40 points each, so just losing one point deducts 2.5% from your midterm score and 0.875% (almost 1%) from your overall class grade. I made a very trivial numerical error on midterm 2 and that deducted so many points that if I hadn't made it, I would have gotten an A- in the class overall. It's possible to submit regrade requests, but they can be dangerous since it's possible for your grade to become lower.
Despite these warning signs, I didn't drop and stayed in the class because Robichaux said she might curve and she emphasized over and over again that she would design the final exam to not take too long and leave us plenty of time to check our work. After not doing as well as I would have liked for the first half of the quarter, I tried my very best to improve my homework and quiz scores and learn the material better. I put a ton of effort into the class and diligently attended office hours every week. I crafted an elaborate final exam study plan based on the tips Robichaux gave in office hours. I even put off getting treated for a serious health issue just so that I could focus on this class. Yet, despite all my studying, the final exam ended up completely screwing me over. It was nothing like Robichaux said it would be. The set of the things I studied according to the tips she gave during office hours and the set of things that were actually on the exam were disjoint!! For example, she had said that there would be a pretty even split of topics on the exam (rather than heavier weighting towards later topics) and that we should carefully review our midterms since she could put questions on the final directly from the midterms. Yet, the final was definitely weighted heavier to the later topics and had questions very different from the midterms. The final exam objectives list had proved to be pretty useless as well since there were exam questions that didn't come from the objectives. The exam was also very long and definitely wasn't anywhere near as short as Robichaux had hyped it up to be; I couldn't even finish in the 3 hours we had, much less check all my answers.
Devastated from the final exam, my only hope was that she might curve the class. Yet, despite the final exam average being only 74%, she didn't curve at all!!! This is especially messed up considering we didn't have any TA's for many weeks due to the strike.
Unless Robichaux reworks the grading scheme or becomes more transparent with what she expects, I would not recommend taking this class if you're not alright with your GPA tanking. With the way the grading currently is, it is pretty much impossible to do well no matter how determined you are. Exams are 80% of the grade and the midterms are out of few points, and it's very easy to lose a ton of points for trivial mistakes.
If you still do decide to take this class, I'd recommend going to office hours and discussion section as well as making sure to study a lot for the exams (as I mentioned, studying a lot probably won't be enough to get a good grade but at least it can help you pass instead of failing. Be careful, as the average score of midterm 1 was 65). Also, although Robichaux was good at teaching for the most part, be sure to read the textbook and/or utilize outside resources for the initial part of the class (specifically set theory), as she didn't cover those concepts enough in-depth and there were several questions on the first quiz which weren't covered in lecture.
This was Prof. Robichaux's first quarter teaching at UCLA. Everything was very fair about the course: she listed out expectations, grade breakdown, and exactly what percent needed to get what grade (no curve was used). However, her first midterm was EXTREMELY difficult (class average: D) and her second midterm was EXTREMELY easy (class average: A-). I'll cut her some slack because it really was her first time. Final was mostly MCQ due to the TA strike, which made it easier.
Additionally, she always sticks to her word and she grades at the speed of light. Her midterms would often be returned, with grades and comments, before I had even taken the midterm for my next class a few days later.
I would also recommend attending discussion sections. My TA was super kind and helpful, and really aided my understanding. Overall, this class was useful (had two questions that directly drew on course material for CS interviews, and it makes CS 180, Algorithms, much easier) and the concepts were fun.