David A Smallberg
Department of Computer Science
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3.9
Overall Rating
Based on 121 User s
Easiness 2.6 / 5 How easy the class is, 1 being extremely difficult and 5 being easy peasy.
Clarity 4.1 / 5 How clear the professor is, 1 being extremely unclear and 5 being very clear.
Workload 2.3 / 5 How light the workload is, 1 being extremely heavy and 5 being extremely light.
Helpfulness 3.9 / 5 How helpful the professor is, 1 being not helpful at all and 5 being extremely helpful.

TOP TAGS

There are no relevant tags for this professor yet.

GRADE DISTRIBUTIONS

41.6%
34.6%
27.7%
20.8%
13.9%
6.9%
0.0%
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B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

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

47.8%
39.9%
31.9%
23.9%
15.9%
8.0%
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.

49.8%
41.5%
33.2%
24.9%
16.6%
8.3%
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.

29.6%
24.6%
19.7%
14.8%
9.9%
4.9%
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.

38.7%
32.2%
25.8%
19.3%
12.9%
6.4%
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.

24.1%
20.1%
16.1%
12.1%
8.0%
4.0%
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.

24.1%
20.1%
16.1%
12.1%
8.0%
4.0%
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.

19.4%
16.2%
13.0%
9.7%
6.5%
3.2%
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.

20.6%
17.1%
13.7%
10.3%
6.9%
3.4%
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.

21.3%
17.8%
14.2%
10.7%
7.1%
3.6%
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.

24.5%
20.4%
16.4%
12.3%
8.2%
4.1%
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.

17.5%
14.6%
11.7%
8.8%
5.8%
2.9%
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.

23.4%
19.5%
15.6%
11.7%
7.8%
3.9%
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.

21.0%
17.5%
14.0%
10.5%
7.0%
3.5%
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.

24.2%
20.2%
16.2%
12.1%
8.1%
4.0%
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.

17.3%
14.4%
11.5%
8.6%
5.8%
2.9%
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.

21.4%
17.8%
14.3%
10.7%
7.1%
3.6%
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.

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Reviews (89)

2 of 9
2 of 9
Add your review...
Quarter: Spring 2021
Grade: A+
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
March 30, 2021

just here to get smallberg another page of reviews

ngl tho, projects 3,4 take a lot of time but are decently fun.
hes reasonable (midterm 2 had something that he didnt teach so he made it a no-harm midterm)
he teaches very clearly

tbh smallberg > carey b/c smallberg teaches with more detail/ u get a better conceptual understanding

everything else probably is already enumerated in his other reviews lol

also friendly reminder pls leave bruinwalk reviews

Helpful?

1 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Winter 2021
Grade: A
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
March 15, 2021

I suspect most people reading the reviews are trying to decide between Nachenberg and Smallberg for CS32. Keep in mind, you can really just go to whatever lecture you want regardless of what professor you have (though this was easier due to it being remote and lecture halls not filling up).
Due to it being remote, I went to both for the first few weeks and ended up just watching Smallberg's recorded lectures on my own time in the second half of the quarter.
While both professors cover largely the same material, going to both, there were definitely times where some subjects were better emphasized in one class over another. Keep in mind Smallberg writes the tests, so for Midterm 2 for this quarter, a decent amount of people from Nachenberg's class ended up being super confused on the first question because it wasn't really focused on in Nachenberg's class. On the flip side, Nachenberg would often try to relate topics to more applications (which you can see in his slides describing Huffman encoding). Also, graph algorithms were basically not touched on at all my Smallberg this quarter (though to be fair I think Nachenberg only covered it for like half a lecture).
If you plan on tending all the lectures live anyways, Nachenberg's lectures would often be filled with interactive activities, games, and guest speakers to break up the 2 hour long lectures. However, this is less helpful if you plan on watching them on your own time.
Smallberg often tries to give the rationale behind C++ design features, which I found helpful in understanding the topics.
Also, because Nachenberg designs the projects, Smallberg didn't always know how to answer specific project-based questions off the top of his head.

For CS32 in general, I personally didn't think it was that hard (I may regret saying this once grades come out), but Project 3 and 4 both took ~30 hours, mostly due to debugging. Since they're both near the end of the quarter, you should probably avoid having too many other classes you suspect will take a lot of time near the end. Project 3 was long, but we were given like 2 weeks so it wasn't too bad if you managed to spread out you workload. Project 4 was shorter, but much more technically difficult and involved a lot of debugging. There was a lot less time to work on it as well.

Grading has been slow for tests, but that is justifiable due to the sheer number of students. But that can be frustrating going into midterms/finals with no gauge of how well you've been doing.

Overall, more interesting class than CS31. If you take Smallberg you'll probably be fine and you can always review using Nachenberg's slides if you need to.

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Quarter: Winter 2021
Grade: NR
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
March 7, 2021

Smallberg is literally amazing. He just exudes niceness. And he seems to know everything. And he's absolutely outstanding at explaining things. And he's super helpful with difficult projects. And he's willing to talk about anything else in computer science you might want to talk about. And he literally explained data structures and algorithms so well I feel like its become ingrained in my brain. And the course material is so well organized. And.. need I go on. Even though I got caught up in the Nachenberg hype as first (he is pretty good though to be fair), Smallberg is way better. Smallberg rocks!!!
(Seriously this is not meant to be a joke in anyway Smallberg is actually amazing. I highly highly highly recommend this class with him. Or any class with him. Just take all the classes you can get with him.)

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Quarter: Spring 2020
Grade: A
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Oct. 25, 2020

---Lectures: Smallberg's lectures provided all the necessary information, but they were not always super clear. Lectures were often not super organized and not very engaging.
---Exams: I took this class during online classes so exams were different than there normally would be. Both midterms and the final were only a few questions long, but they usually weren't too hard.

---Projects: The project descriptions were not always easy to follow, but the professor and TAs will clarify everything. None were unreasonably hard, and all were graded reasonably. Some of the later projects do take a lot of time and are not something you can cram in a couple days.

---Tips: Google "Carey Nachenberg CS32". You'll find animated slides for CS32 that are extremely helpful. Go to office hours whenever you are working on a project: it will save you a ton of time and frustration.

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1 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Spring 2020
Grade: A
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
July 1, 2020

This class was honestly exactly what I expected going in, even though it was a weird quarter. I have taken some CS classes in High School and have a good grasp on object oriented programming.

Smallberg has a gift for delivering the material in a way that is accessible, easy to remember, and informative. He was a really top notch professor.

Projects / Homework:
All of them were unremarkable except,

Project 3 was the most interesting and long project we had. It was a simple RPG using keyboard characters and a dungeon. I didn't finish some recursive function and got -10% but other than that it didn't require much more than some creativity and planning. It was honestly fun and I'm proud of the code I wrote.

Project 4 was tricky but really easy to code once you figured it out. It was an optimization problem where we were graded on how fast our code went. Just paying attention and understanding data types and hash tables was enough to get 100% with less than two days of work. Pay attention in class and don't be afraid to review lectures.

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Quarter: Winter 2020
Grade: A
March 30, 2020

Smallberg was an absolutely phenomenal professor for this class. Rarely do you find a teacher who is so skilled at explaining complex concepts in a simple fashion using real life examples. While many people recommend attending Nachenberg's lecture, I actually really enjoyed Smallberg's lecture since he often explained the reasoning behind C++ design decisions and dove deeper into specific topics. While attending Smallberg's lectures, it is still good to look over Nachenberg's slides since they do a great job of boiling everything down into a visual picture of what is happening.

The projects in this class can take up a ton of time if you are new to programming, however if you have prior experience they're really not that difficult (although still time consuming due to size). Rarely in classes have I looked forward to doing projects, however the CS32 projects are so well designed that they really allow you to test your abilities while building something fun like a game. The best advice I can give for the projects is START EARLY (especially if you do not have much coding experience). This will allow you to take time to learn along the way and not stress yourself out. Getting a 50+ page spec for Project 3 can be daunting, but if you simply start early and take it one part at a time, you will do fine.

The exams for this class were all very fair. Doing the projects and reviewing Nach's slides were the best way to prep.

If you are doubting taking this class, it can be a lot of work, but it is 100% worth it and you will learn a ton from a professor who is very knowledgeable and really cares about his students.

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Quarter: Winter 2020
Grade: A
Feb. 3, 2021

I came back to write a review for David after taking so many other CS lower and upper div classes.

My only words are "David is a legend."

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Quarter: Winter 2020
Grade: A
July 28, 2020

Smallberg is love, Smallberg is life

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Quarter: Winter 2020
Grade: A
March 27, 2020

Pretty solid professor, although his lectures can get a little boring sometimes. You definitely can't go wrong with Smallberg, and if you can pay attention for the entire 2 hours you will have a clear and conceptually deep understanding of the material.

The work for the class consists of five homework assignments, four projects, two midterms, and a final (which was made optional for our class given the circumstances). The homework assignments are reasonable, and can be completed in a few hours if done diligently. The first two projects are similar in difficulty to the homework assignments and do not require much work, maybe in the ballpark of a couple hours a day for a few days and you should be good. The last two are significantly longer and more difficult, but not impossible to complete on time; moreover, you will definitely strengthen your programming skills upon successfully doing them. The midterms were pretty easy in my opinion, and were doable with minimal studying if you paid attention and knew the material. It's not entirely clear what method he uses to assign letter grades, but 90+% raw = A is as good a guess as I have been able to make.

Overall, good professor and a fine class, even though projects 3 and 4 were a pain in the ass.

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2 1 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Winter 2019
Grade: A
June 17, 2020

My only word for him is a bad word

Helpful?

5 7 Please log in to provide feedback.
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Quarter: Spring 2021
Grade: A+
March 30, 2021

just here to get smallberg another page of reviews

ngl tho, projects 3,4 take a lot of time but are decently fun.
hes reasonable (midterm 2 had something that he didnt teach so he made it a no-harm midterm)
he teaches very clearly

tbh smallberg > carey b/c smallberg teaches with more detail/ u get a better conceptual understanding

everything else probably is already enumerated in his other reviews lol

also friendly reminder pls leave bruinwalk reviews

Helpful?

1 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Quarter: Winter 2021
Grade: A
March 15, 2021

I suspect most people reading the reviews are trying to decide between Nachenberg and Smallberg for CS32. Keep in mind, you can really just go to whatever lecture you want regardless of what professor you have (though this was easier due to it being remote and lecture halls not filling up).
Due to it being remote, I went to both for the first few weeks and ended up just watching Smallberg's recorded lectures on my own time in the second half of the quarter.
While both professors cover largely the same material, going to both, there were definitely times where some subjects were better emphasized in one class over another. Keep in mind Smallberg writes the tests, so for Midterm 2 for this quarter, a decent amount of people from Nachenberg's class ended up being super confused on the first question because it wasn't really focused on in Nachenberg's class. On the flip side, Nachenberg would often try to relate topics to more applications (which you can see in his slides describing Huffman encoding). Also, graph algorithms were basically not touched on at all my Smallberg this quarter (though to be fair I think Nachenberg only covered it for like half a lecture).
If you plan on tending all the lectures live anyways, Nachenberg's lectures would often be filled with interactive activities, games, and guest speakers to break up the 2 hour long lectures. However, this is less helpful if you plan on watching them on your own time.
Smallberg often tries to give the rationale behind C++ design features, which I found helpful in understanding the topics.
Also, because Nachenberg designs the projects, Smallberg didn't always know how to answer specific project-based questions off the top of his head.

For CS32 in general, I personally didn't think it was that hard (I may regret saying this once grades come out), but Project 3 and 4 both took ~30 hours, mostly due to debugging. Since they're both near the end of the quarter, you should probably avoid having too many other classes you suspect will take a lot of time near the end. Project 3 was long, but we were given like 2 weeks so it wasn't too bad if you managed to spread out you workload. Project 4 was shorter, but much more technically difficult and involved a lot of debugging. There was a lot less time to work on it as well.

Grading has been slow for tests, but that is justifiable due to the sheer number of students. But that can be frustrating going into midterms/finals with no gauge of how well you've been doing.

Overall, more interesting class than CS31. If you take Smallberg you'll probably be fine and you can always review using Nachenberg's slides if you need to.

Helpful?

1 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Quarter: Winter 2021
Grade: NR
March 7, 2021

Smallberg is literally amazing. He just exudes niceness. And he seems to know everything. And he's absolutely outstanding at explaining things. And he's super helpful with difficult projects. And he's willing to talk about anything else in computer science you might want to talk about. And he literally explained data structures and algorithms so well I feel like its become ingrained in my brain. And the course material is so well organized. And.. need I go on. Even though I got caught up in the Nachenberg hype as first (he is pretty good though to be fair), Smallberg is way better. Smallberg rocks!!!
(Seriously this is not meant to be a joke in anyway Smallberg is actually amazing. I highly highly highly recommend this class with him. Or any class with him. Just take all the classes you can get with him.)

Helpful?

1 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Quarter: Spring 2020
Grade: A
Oct. 25, 2020

---Lectures: Smallberg's lectures provided all the necessary information, but they were not always super clear. Lectures were often not super organized and not very engaging.
---Exams: I took this class during online classes so exams were different than there normally would be. Both midterms and the final were only a few questions long, but they usually weren't too hard.

---Projects: The project descriptions were not always easy to follow, but the professor and TAs will clarify everything. None were unreasonably hard, and all were graded reasonably. Some of the later projects do take a lot of time and are not something you can cram in a couple days.

---Tips: Google "Carey Nachenberg CS32". You'll find animated slides for CS32 that are extremely helpful. Go to office hours whenever you are working on a project: it will save you a ton of time and frustration.

Helpful?

1 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Quarter: Spring 2020
Grade: A
July 1, 2020

This class was honestly exactly what I expected going in, even though it was a weird quarter. I have taken some CS classes in High School and have a good grasp on object oriented programming.

Smallberg has a gift for delivering the material in a way that is accessible, easy to remember, and informative. He was a really top notch professor.

Projects / Homework:
All of them were unremarkable except,

Project 3 was the most interesting and long project we had. It was a simple RPG using keyboard characters and a dungeon. I didn't finish some recursive function and got -10% but other than that it didn't require much more than some creativity and planning. It was honestly fun and I'm proud of the code I wrote.

Project 4 was tricky but really easy to code once you figured it out. It was an optimization problem where we were graded on how fast our code went. Just paying attention and understanding data types and hash tables was enough to get 100% with less than two days of work. Pay attention in class and don't be afraid to review lectures.

Helpful?

1 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Winter 2020
Grade: A
March 30, 2020

Smallberg was an absolutely phenomenal professor for this class. Rarely do you find a teacher who is so skilled at explaining complex concepts in a simple fashion using real life examples. While many people recommend attending Nachenberg's lecture, I actually really enjoyed Smallberg's lecture since he often explained the reasoning behind C++ design decisions and dove deeper into specific topics. While attending Smallberg's lectures, it is still good to look over Nachenberg's slides since they do a great job of boiling everything down into a visual picture of what is happening.

The projects in this class can take up a ton of time if you are new to programming, however if you have prior experience they're really not that difficult (although still time consuming due to size). Rarely in classes have I looked forward to doing projects, however the CS32 projects are so well designed that they really allow you to test your abilities while building something fun like a game. The best advice I can give for the projects is START EARLY (especially if you do not have much coding experience). This will allow you to take time to learn along the way and not stress yourself out. Getting a 50+ page spec for Project 3 can be daunting, but if you simply start early and take it one part at a time, you will do fine.

The exams for this class were all very fair. Doing the projects and reviewing Nach's slides were the best way to prep.

If you are doubting taking this class, it can be a lot of work, but it is 100% worth it and you will learn a ton from a professor who is very knowledgeable and really cares about his students.

Helpful?

1 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Winter 2020
Grade: A
Feb. 3, 2021

I came back to write a review for David after taking so many other CS lower and upper div classes.

My only words are "David is a legend."

Helpful?

2 1 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Winter 2020
Grade: A
July 28, 2020

Smallberg is love, Smallberg is life

Helpful?

2 1 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Winter 2020
Grade: A
March 27, 2020

Pretty solid professor, although his lectures can get a little boring sometimes. You definitely can't go wrong with Smallberg, and if you can pay attention for the entire 2 hours you will have a clear and conceptually deep understanding of the material.

The work for the class consists of five homework assignments, four projects, two midterms, and a final (which was made optional for our class given the circumstances). The homework assignments are reasonable, and can be completed in a few hours if done diligently. The first two projects are similar in difficulty to the homework assignments and do not require much work, maybe in the ballpark of a couple hours a day for a few days and you should be good. The last two are significantly longer and more difficult, but not impossible to complete on time; moreover, you will definitely strengthen your programming skills upon successfully doing them. The midterms were pretty easy in my opinion, and were doable with minimal studying if you paid attention and knew the material. It's not entirely clear what method he uses to assign letter grades, but 90+% raw = A is as good a guess as I have been able to make.

Overall, good professor and a fine class, even though projects 3 and 4 were a pain in the ass.

Helpful?

2 1 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Winter 2019
Grade: A
June 17, 2020

My only word for him is a bad word

Helpful?

5 7 Please log in to provide feedback.
2 of 9
3.9
Overall Rating
Based on 121 Users
Easiness 2.6 / 5 How easy the class is, 1 being extremely difficult and 5 being easy peasy.
Clarity 4.1 / 5 How clear the professor is, 1 being extremely unclear and 5 being very clear.
Workload 2.3 / 5 How light the workload is, 1 being extremely heavy and 5 being extremely light.
Helpfulness 3.9 / 5 How helpful the professor is, 1 being not helpful at all and 5 being extremely helpful.

TOP TAGS

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