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He was by far the worst professor I have ever had at UCLA (and being a 4th year econ major, that is saying something). He honestly does not care if you learn or not. I did not miss a single lecture, but let's just say that I've gotten extremely skilled at my crossword puzzle. Half of the lectures were him mumbling to himself so you could not even hear him. The other half, he attempted to use a microphone. The feedback was so excruciating that I literally wanted to gouge my ears out with a blunt instrument. He also lectures really fast, but as aforementioned, using a recorder may or may not be useful at all. Lal also will laugh at you if you participate in class, whether asking a question or asking him to slow down/put the overhead (that's right, he still uses an overhead projector) back on. We watched at least 4 (maybe 5?) lectures worth of videos. Considering we have class only 2 days a week, that's at least 1/5 of the coursework wasted (as the videos are all about global warming and how huge of a scam it is). There is no homework for this class, just a midterm and a final. There are also no real way of studying for these tests (no review or even a sheet of overall topics from the quarter). The best way is to find old tests, or start memorizing old lecture notes. Pray that your note taker is good. Mine was decent enough even with her spelling mistakes (and sometimes omitted parts) to help fill in what I missed in my own notes.
If that was too long, here's what you need to know--fuck that shit, avoid at all costs.
Yeah, like the previous guy said, Lal is pretty bad. It's almost impossible to take notes (his writing is not legible, his slides don't even show up on the projection correctly, he mumbles). I have to say that his test was nothing like the lecture notes, and there's not much else to work off of.
I think Professor Lal is one of the best teachers. He is also one of the smartest. His lectures may be hard to understand at times because few people actually put in enough time for reading the material. But his lectures have this inner beauty in them. They are EXTREMELY LOGICAL. The material eventually converges into one and everything become clear. If you are interested in economic development, TAKE this class.
Lal is undoubtably one of the worst professors at UCLA. I would have learned more staring at a blank wall for 3 hours a week, and it would have been more interesting. He does not teach, but instead talks monotonously mumbling to himself waiting to prey on anyone who dares attempt to ask a question. Please do not take either of his classes unless you want an opportunity to do the crossword twice a week for 4 units.