Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.
Well, I'm a North Campus major who took Cline's cosmology class after enjoying the easy but interesting Astro 3. It really was frustrating and not as good. I'm not an idiot with math, and the honors section with the TA gave me some really fascinating insight into the principles in support of relativity and stuff, but lectures had some major drawbacks, most of which have been stated by others. His notes are truly illegible, especially if your eyesight is a bit week. Also, he doesn't keep the overheads up long enough (like others said). The textbook is incredibly confusing... I actually enjoyed reading and learning from the Astro 3 book, but even by the end of the quarter I was barely getting used to the writing style in this one. Anyway, like others, I assumed I got a B or a C+, but ended up with an A+...presumably, he's really into grade inflation. I learned some interesting things, and it inspired me to read Scientific American and stuff, but it could have been taught so much better.
Not a good lecturer. Lectures are boring and confusing. He doesn't have good communication skills. I do not recommend this professor. the textbook is not easy reading either. The material might have been interesting if taught differently. I thought the class was hard. However, the grading must be easy. I thought I was gettiing like a D, but I ended up with a B- somehow. He has lecture transperencies during his lectures, however, one cannot pay attention to what he is saying because you have to hurry up and copy down the notes since he rushes through them.
If you have an interest in astronomy or cosmology at ALL, then do not take a class with Cline. He has no idea how to teach, and when he is able to make a coherent statement there's a decent chance that it will either be incorrect (e.g. galileo developed certain gravitational laws actually developed by Kepler, black holes are governed by relativity [we don't know what laws govern black holes], the center of the universe doesn't exist because of gravitational lensing [the reason is entirely different]), or he will later contradict it.
As someone said before, he cares only about his research, not getting any messages across to students. He is a particle physicist, not a cosmologist. His tests are worded terribly and confusing not because of difficult material, but because of a lack of understanding of the material and of the English language on his part. The practice sets have little (if anything) to do with what is taught in the class and what is on the tests. Yes, the class is relatively easy, but not worth the inanity of his lectures and tests. If you value knowledge, steer clear of Cline.
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