Based on 116 Users
Dear person who submitted on February 27, 2020:
Why are you so pressed? The average midterm grade was a D. So? Multiple times he said that a 19 was a good score, and not to worry too much about midterm grades. There was also 22% worth of extra credit offered, which is miles above what any other class at UCLA will offer any student. That is literally 1/5 of your grade. You could skip the midterm entirely and still end up with at least an A-. Addressing the fact that you were "appalled" by some of the lecture material, what are you, 80 years old?? He tries to keep lectures fun and interesting for his students, and is super funny. Sorry he didn't pass out permission slips for the in-class videos. He also extended the dates for all the extra credits and tried his very best to make the most of a bad situation. What else did you want him to do? Discover the Kuiper Belt? Oh, wait! He did that already :/
Overall, this class was ok. The way the midterms, final, and quizzes were worded made things very tricky. Also, I felt at times that if I didn't have an environmental science background, I'd be struggling to keep up with his teaching. His prerecorded lectures took a long time but he was very generous in his extra credits (like previous comments it can make or break your grade). That being said, I highly recommend doing every extra credit opportunity possible. I do agree that he probably wasn't going to make accommodations for this class (due to BLM) until he was pressed by ucla to do so. Anyways, keep up with the lectures, know the lab stuff, do the quizzes and extra credits and you should be fine.
Like the other reviews, there were often times I raised my eyebrow at some of Jewitt’s remarks. However, I found myself watching his lectures less as the quarter progresses. His slides are pretty informative and include a lot of information, so I depended solely on those and ended up doing fine in the class. The weekly lab/quizzes were pretty difficult. He gives 10 minutes for 8 questions, which is a pretty tight time limit. The midterms and final were CCLE tests. They weren’t as hard as the weekly quizzes in my opinion. He gives several chances for extra credit. I ended up not doing the extra credit report, but that would have been worth 5% of your grade, which is pretty hefty. Overall, I think the material is difficult as a non-LS major (I’m an Arts student), but with studying and learning the material, doing all of the EC, getting an A is pretty doable.
I logged in for the first to just to disagree with the negative comment below.
The course was alright. We were given about 22% of extra credit assignments to complete, so despite being tested on material that we didn't actually learn in class (Basic geometry formulas from high school), the grade distribution of the entire class is very likely to be mostly A+, A, A-'s.
Jewitt is a highly logical thinker; his class is organized in a way that is very clear and to the point. He likes cracking sarcastic jokes in almost every lecture, so in general taking this class with him was pretty amusing.
I sent him a picture of his mailbox angled in way to capture the label on the other side of the wall to make sure my assignments landed in the right place. He responded by saying this was the best picture of his mail box every taken, which I then responded by saying I was deeply honored. That's the kind of guy he is like - creative and humorous despite being a scientist.
Every assignment is about his personal research so look out for an entry-level narcissism.
It was an okay class. Not too difficult, but you do have to be on top of things. Extra credit was fairly simple and definitely saved my grade. Quizzes and tests in general were quite tricky. There were always questions purposefully made for you to mess up (strange wording, numbers, etc).
Now onto David Jewitt. Definitely a white man that says he's not racist because he has a Black friend or an Asian wife. Since the beginning I felt there was something off about him in that respect, but I tried to ignore it. Made weird comments about Chinese people. Also sent out a couple of slightly insensitive emails regarding protesting of George Floyd's death. I say slightly because it might not have been obvious to non POCs. Kind of like an email microagression if that makes sense. Definitely would not have accommodated to students if UCLA hadn't made him. One of those professors who argued it was racist to be sensible to black students during this time.
The course is definitely an easy and interesting GE. Professor Jewitt is a really nice professor and he explains all the course materials very clearly. The test and quiz questions are, however, sometimes very tricky. Overall, it's a nice course to take.
However, I did not enjoy the course throughout the quarter. Just as the last comments said, he gives too many comments on current and past political issues with his own opinion and emotions. Though his wife is Chinese, his comments toward some past events in China and the example about China and Chinese people he used to example some concepts during class are a little bit aggressive and made me feel really uncomfortable.
Maybe he just likes to share whatever he thinks, but he didn't do a good job at thinking about what his students, especially maybe Chinese students, in this case, would feel when he gives some comments.
Professor David deserves an overall rate of 5, BUT I only gave him a 3, with the fact that there're too much political comments in this class, especially some biased ones. For instance, his opinions about China are largely biased, despite the fact that his wife is a Chinese (in fact, his bias might come from his wife). With stressing the importance of scientific thinking, he didn't really try to know China in a comprehensive and critical way, but only adopt the information from his wife. His knowledge about oceanography is abundant, but he really shouldn't include that much political topics in this class.
the class itself is great and I definitely learned a lot. I was never actually interested in oceanography but it ended up being really fun, especially because he often brought in a lot of other topics related to the oceans. he gives a lot of extra credit that's fairly easy to do (this quarter, I think we got 8 or 9 points of extra credit max, and the entire class is out of 100 points), and the labs aren't hard. all the exams are multiple choice, and they're not too difficult. for the final, he reused a lot of questions from the midterms. he did go over time in lecture two or three times but I ended up not minding because the lectures were interesting. that being said, professor jewitt can be very opinionated at times and will bring up something political every once in a while. otherwise, he's a good lecturer, and if you like slightly crazy people I would recommend taking him. our class has seen him 1) drink from a clorox container 2) calculate the covid-19 fatality rates of his fellow faculty 3) play a video of bear grylls squeezing juice out of elephant dung as a "last resort" water source, which he prefaced by saying he was going to show us what could happen if we don't figure out how to desalinate sea water.
Jewitt is seriously a legend, I loved taking this class with him so much. He makes lecture so fun, clearly is an absolute expert on the topics he talks about, and is just overall an incredible person; I feel so lucky as non-science major to have even been able to take a class with him. My TA, Haotian Xu was also amazing, super kind and helpful when it came to completing labs. If you are at all interested in planets I highly recommend this class as a GE and GPA booster. Jewitt offers so much extra credit it's impossible to do bad. However, his tests are HARD. I thoroughly studied for the midterm and still only got a C (which was actually a lot better than my friends rip). I can't speak on the final's difficulty because this was the quarter UCLA abruptly transitioned to online finals bc of covid-19 and Jewitt, being the legend he is, thought that this was unfair to us (and he knew most people would likely cheat), so he cancelled it altogether! I'm genuinely sad covid-19 cut my time in this class short, as I heard the last lecture is supposed to be epic. Overall, this class is a great GE, and I would absolutely love to take another class with Jewitt in the future, he's the type of professor that makes me proud to go to UCLA.
Jewitt is a crazyman. I absolutely loved this cluster, but that was not due to him, it was due to the other lecturers and the content. This man literally said "all people have good in them, even Hitler," and said a bunch of other crazy shit like "scientific thought was born 500 years ago in Europe." He argued with students when they called him out for LITERALLY SYMPATHIZING WITH NAZIS and erasing non-European scientific history. He literally ARGUED. For like 10 minutes. Trying to defend himself. Anyway, I don't even know why he wasn't fired on the spot, he's a crusty old man and shouldn't be teaching. Other than that, great class I loved the content and all the lecturers/TAs except him.