Spring 2019 - The class consisted of about 8 assignments spread out over the quarter, and one final project. The class was fairly straightforward, but without previous computer programming experience, I can see how this class can seem overwhelming. That being said, be sure to make the most of both the instructor and TA office hours, they are very willing to help, even proofread your code.
Fall 2017 - This class reminded me of high school math classes. The material and workload aren't too bad, but it's really important that you're consistent with all the computations you're making and don't make mistakes. His lectures can be dry and based off the textbook, but I personally found going to lecture worth it. Definitely the most straightforward math class I've taken at UCLA.
Fall 2023 - Went in with CAD experience so I can't speak for how well Gao teaches it, but overall I'd say that he's a fair professor. Homework and a lab every week, plus a final project, but no exams. Most of the class is learning drawing conventions, working in SolidWorks, making models, and turning the models into drawings. Depending on your TA, prepare to have your homework put under a microscope though. One word of warning, the final project is relatively simple but is accompanied by a tedious report. If you can, pick people who you know won't slack off... Don't ask me how I know.