Based on 23 Users
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.
Dr. Gao is a very good lecturer, who definitely knows his stuff about MATLAB. The lectures are actually highly engaging, but due to the format of the class, there's little need to actually go to them if you have any coding background (which is quite a shame, because he's a REALLY good lecturer).
Dr. Gao gives the standard powerpoint lectures alongside the standard "code as you teach" thing many CS professors do, so most students don't go to lecture. I mainly went to the lab sections instead.
The class is graded purely on homework, so you only need to be able to code well. I personally found the homeworks to be much easier than CS 31 homework, for example. In fact, for all but one homework and the final project, you're even given the algorithm to code about one week BEFORE the homework is due. The only issue with the homework is that the directions are unclear. Also, there are numerous extra credit opportunities for this class, in case you lose points.
There's a reason why the vast majority of students get A's in Gao's class; the grading scheme really favors students getting A's. So take this guy's class if you have to/have the option to take MATLAB with him.
Gao is pretty good. MATLAB in itself is just very interesting. There is no midterm, just weekly projects. The projects imo are very good practices. He is also very happy to help with any questions you might have. Overall, he cares about his students and tries to present the material as clearly as possible.
Easy A, actually learning a useful skill to apply to other engineering classes, and no test so low stress makes this the best engineering class on campus. If you have any idea how to code you don't need to go to lecture, just don't start the project at the last minute all commands can be learned on google. Also the reports are graded very easily as long as your code gives right answers, so don't worry about being professional. Only key is to take the class with a friend to check and make sure the outputs for each project are the same, you probably got the code right then. Grade is all project based on your code, all individual projects so you do not have to worry about working with others and he offers over 10% extra credit at the end and still uses straight scale grading. Couldn't ask for a better class.
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.
Great professor with VERY informative slides. Took m20 as my first programming class and had no problems. Again, the slides can serve as your "textbook" as they are very straightforward and directly relate to the homework projects. There are no exams, but you do have weekly projects. Difficulty picks up as you near the final project, but if you did well and understand the homework projects, you'll do well. There are also several extra credit opportunities to make up for lost points. Hope this helps!
The class is very time consuming when it comes to the projects (especially the final project). However, as a person who is not very good at coding, I would suggest you pick this class any day over CS31. I took both and found M20 to be slower paced, and not having tricky midterms or finals definitely makes it preferable. This class will require some work if you don't have a great understanding with coding, but the TAs lab sections are super helpful, make sure to attend those. Also, don't save your project for last minute as office hours are before the due date.
This class was definitely not a hard one. Some things to know, the TAs are super helpful so make sure to go to their office house. Theres 8 quizzes (5 questions multiple choice). The quizzes are not hard they are usually from the lecture and can usually be checked on Matlab. There are some tricky questions though so be careful. The grading on the hw was pretty lenient since the TAs grade them. Pretty much as long as you get the right answer you will get full points (unless you get an annoying TA who always finds reasons to dock points. The final project on the other hand is graded by the professor so it is definitely not as lenient. I made the mistake of not doing the extra credit and I was literally .5% away from an A. Make sure you do the extra credit and don't rely on lenient grading on the final project because even if you get 100% on all of the projects, don't expect the same on the final project. Great class though, you should take it over the summer.
Take Gao! He is a very engaging and straightforward professor. However be warned--this class is very work heavy. We had lecture exercises, homework, and lab due pretty much every week along with the final project. The homework definitely took a long time because you had to do a lot of drawing and googling--not hard but just very tedious and took many hours. The labs were very helpful but also pretty time-consuming. The finals project took the most time by far--our report ended up being almost 100 pages. But overall, I learned a lot about Solidworks and the basics of engineering design. Gao explained things very well and taught a lot of concepts. As long as you do your work, you should get a good grade.
If you have any coding experience, M20 will be a breeze for you. I only watched the lecture videos so I could learn the syntax and see what differences there were between MATLAB and other programming languages. Professor Gao has some of the clearest explanations out there. He explains everything - and I mean everything - step by step, so you won't have trouble understanding the content. He's also very helpful on the Piazza forum. The projects were relatively easy. However, the reports honestly felt like a huge waste of time. On some projects, I spent more time writing the report than doing the project itself, so be warned. Overall though, if you want to take an easy class, take M20 with Gao!