Eliezer Gafni
Department of Computer Science
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1.2
Overall Rating
Based on 33 User s
Easiness 1.4 / 5 How easy the class is, 1 being extremely difficult and 5 being easy peasy.
Clarity 1.2 / 5 How clear the professor is, 1 being extremely unclear and 5 being very clear.
Workload 1.7 / 5 How light the workload is, 1 being extremely heavy and 5 being extremely light.
Helpfulness 1.5 / 5 How helpful the professor is, 1 being not helpful at all and 5 being extremely helpful.

TOP TAGS

  • Tough Tests
  • Appropriately Priced Materials

GRADE DISTRIBUTIONS

40.4%
33.6%
26.9%
20.2%
13.5%
6.7%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

36.2%
30.2%
24.1%
18.1%
12.1%
6.0%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

19.3%
16.1%
12.9%
9.6%
6.4%
3.2%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

25.9%
21.6%
17.3%
13.0%
8.6%
4.3%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

31.0%
25.8%
20.6%
15.5%
10.3%
5.2%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

19.6%
16.3%
13.1%
9.8%
6.5%
3.3%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

42.1%
35.1%
28.1%
21.1%
14.0%
7.0%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

34.8%
29.0%
23.2%
17.4%
11.6%
5.8%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

27.1%
22.6%
18.1%
13.6%
9.0%
4.5%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

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Reviews (25)

1 of 3
1 of 3
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Quarter: Winter 2019
Grade: N/A
March 11, 2019

Update: Gafni is the CS department chair. I can even image that how sh*t_ty this department will be with his leads. LOL. Actually it is! Can't cs dep hire someone who can do both research and teaching? | CS 180 is a hard class and the materials are really important for the future work. But Gafni... Honestly, considering only teaching, he is probably the worst in CS department. He cannot explain concepts clearly. He class is extremely unorganized. His homework is ridiculously hard.

Helpful?

10 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Winter 2019
Grade: N/A
Feb. 25, 2019

The past reviews make me laugh out loud from how accurate they are. I go to every lecture, and indeed the midterm is the most crowded day of the quarter by a factor of 3. Most people don't go to lecture, which I feel is a mistake. Even though Gafni is incoherent, doesn't use slides, and writes useless/disorganized shit on the whiteboard which makes it impossible to take notes purely off of his lecture, the topics he talks about in class are incredibly important, particularly for the exams. He will sometimes put a term on the exam that he only gave in lecture, not on HW, and guess what, he will not define the term for you if you ask. Even if it's impossible to take detailed notes, I make sure to write down the names and general gist of the algorithms he mentions in class to look up later. Most of the material (including the HW) is on GeeksforGeeks. The homework is on average 4 questions, and while I've heard people complain about taking 30 hours on it, sometimes I literally finish half of it the day it's due. The grading on the HW is pretty generous as long as you write actual pseudocode and a couple sentences justifying your algorithm. Even if some parts are wrong, the TAs won't take off many points. I consistently get a 90+ average on my HW. The textbook is free (Algorithm Design by Tardos), but on the first day of lecture, Gafni recommended a different textbook, Introduction to Algorithms: A Creative Approach by Udi Manber. I have never cracked open the class's "official" textbook because frankly, the Udi Manber textbook is way better in terms of the class. There are homework questions that are ripped straight from the textbook EXAMPLES, so welp there you go, answers are right there. I cannot stress this enough, READ THE UDI MANBER textbook. On the midterm, the first two questions were on the skyline problem. Guess what the main example of divide-and-conquer in the Udi Manber textbook was. Right, the skyline problem! The TAs do their best, but it's pretty clear they don't really care and they have a hard time explaining complicated concepts/proofs. The only reason I decided to take this class with Gafni is because an earlier review said he was easier than other professors, and judging by my ok time, I guess this is true. Carefully weigh the pros and cons before taking this class. And if you walk away from the first week of lecture going wtf and absolutely hate Gafni's lectures, then you might want to drop. A final funny story about Gafni's rudeness and political incorrectness: early on in the quarter, this guy near the front wore a hat indoors, and I guess that must have offended Gafni, because Gafni called him out for wearing a hat (something like, why wear a hat unless you are planning to leave?) by referring to him as the Unabomber, like WTF. The student got so offended that he straight up left lecture pronto. His friend confronted the professor during break and asked him not to do it again. So after the break, Gafni makes the cringiest apology and then gets into an argument with the guy's friend on what the guy's friend said/didn't say (guy's friend was like, I only asked you not to do it again, and prof was like, so some students (not naming guy's friend initially) said my behavior was [insert word that I forgot, synonymous with disgusting]). It's pointless to ask questions in lecture because Gafni really is condescending. Oh, and he really can't hear anything, so you have to make sure to speak twice as loud as usual.

Helpful?

11 1 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Winter 2019
Grade: NR
March 20, 2019

Update: The curves shown here are misleading. At most 20% of the ppl got A+/A/A- 's this quarter. ~40% got C+'s and below. Official letter grade came out 2 days after the final, but the final isn't visible yet. Considering all aspects, it's the most ridiculous class I've ever taken at UCLA.

Original:

I now know how accurate these comments are. If I was given another chance I'd probably wait till next quarter to take this class. If you are super smart or have a very deep interest in algorithm theories you may try this professor and even find him interesting. Otherwise AVOID.

If you do take his class, PLEASE do go to his lectures. True, he doesn't explain a lot of stuff clearly, doesn't write clear notes on board, doesn't using slides at all, and may leave you confused after a lecture is finished. However, he LOVES testing you on terms he only mentioned in the class that's not in the book nor discussed in discussion sections. He also likes to challenge you with vague and confusingly written questions that you might have no idea what they are if you don't go to lectures. You'd be better off sitting through those lectures and take down the terms he mentioned. I didn't make it to every lecture because of a class schedule conflict, and I regret as hell.

I don't know how difficult other 180's are, so I can't really comment on the difficulty of this class, because the material is inherently difficult. However, I bet a lot of better professors are out there that are much nicer, write better notes, and explain things more clearly.

If you are one of those that love challenging yourself by actively participating in class and don't mind being cut off, and you want to do research in algorithms and don't mind studying on your own and being challenged with vaguely described "ideas", his class might still be worth a try. He will remember your name if you participate in class often, and willing to write a recommendation letter.

If you just wanna learn something solid and useful in lectures and prefer studying based on good lecturing/notes/slides, Gafni is NOT FOR YOU.

Helpful?

4 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Winter 2020
Grade: A-
Sept. 7, 2020

Professor Gafni is the worst professor I've ever had. He lacks any teaching abilities with his poor communication skills, illegible writing, and poor attempt at a "Socratic" style class. (Here's an actual snippet of his handwriting: https://pasteboard.co/JpWlH6n.jpg). The combination of his hearing problem (students had to repeat themselves over and over even when he was a few feet away from them...) and rigorous oral questions that he expects you to answer on the spot added to the agonizing experience of the class. In addition, he'd make sexist remarks at times especially to the female students in class concerning their ability to succeed in CS. All of this combined with his recent controversies has me shocked that he's still teaching and is now department chair for CS - unbelievable that someone like this is working and now leading at UCLA.

Helpful?

4 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Winter 2019
Grade: N/A
March 20, 2019

take this class only when the following is true:
you are super smart &
you wanna do theory in algorithm in future
otherwise, his class is a complete disaster

Helpful?

4 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Winter 2019
Grade: NR
Jan. 23, 2019

Hands down the worst computer science professor at UCLA. In all honesty, Professor Gafni has no business teaching computer science, let alone one of the toughest CS classes at UCLA. But this is to be expected from a public university that is only concerned with research and doesn't care about all the shitty professors they employ.

Professor Gafni is as senile a professor you will have. He cannot hear anything: not the person in the back row nor the person sitting in the very first row five feet away from him. He is an incredibly insensitive and rude person who mocks the students and uses derogatory terms to describe some students. For example, on the first day he said that "90% of the people who participate in class are males, and the women don't hardly contribute to discussion." Not only is he a mean person, but he is a lousy professor. He has no idea what he is talking about or what course he is even teaching. He doesn't use slides, and randomly scribbles unnecessary stuff on the white board from time to time. When people ask him a question about the homework, he says "I don't remember what questions are on the homework." He has no idea what Piazza is. Sit in on a lecture if you don't believe me. He has a very heavy accent, which makes it even more unbearable to listen to his lectures.

With or without Professor Gafni teaching, CS180 is one of the hardest CS classes at UCLA. For me personally, I would say it is the toughest CS class at UCLA (with CS111 being second toughest). This makes the class even more confusing when you have a lousy professor teaching it. This class is highly theoretical and I don't understand why it needs to be so complex and confusing. I have interviewed with countless top tech companies and have interned at several FAANG companies, and all the interview questions don't come close to the obfuscated questions seen in CS180. Most of the stuff you learn in this class you either already know or it is entirely pointless.

TL;DR Gafni is the worst CS professor at UCLA. He is rude, has a heavy accent, can't hear someone two feet away from him, and has no idea what he is teaching. Avoid him at all costs or be miserable for ten weeks.

Helpful?

8 1 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Winter 2019
Grade: B
March 25, 2019

This class literally assigns letter grade. By that I mean you have no clue what score you get on the final. You have no clue what the median is. And you are not allowed to see your exam paper or ask for regrade. TA will not bother to reply to emails. It is common to see hundreds of piazza posts and none of the instructors give a fk.

Helpful?

3 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: N/A
Grade: N/A
June 29, 2009

The problem with CS180 is that the material itself is already very hard, so it will be hard to have a professor teach the class such that it is easily understandable. This tend to lead to people giving CS180 professors a bad rep. Like another reviewer mentioned, he likes to ask questions in class and make people answer them. This is good since it challenges you to think on the spot. Unfortunately, I find that he is quite boring and he has trouble explaining the material. He does go off-topics at time, which can be confusing if you haven't been following the lecture since the beginning. Most people stop showing to lecture, since the material he covers tend to be much more advance than the homework and exams require. However, this class is doable on your own if you read the textbook, but it does help to go to discussions if you have a good TA. The TA will cover just what you need to get by the homework and exams. The HW and exams are not too hard (if you read textbook or have a good TA), unlike some other professors. BTW, he has a very generous grading policy, where if your final exam is higher than the HW+midterm+final combined, then the final exam is your final grade.

Helpful?

3 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Winter 2019
Grade: NR
Feb. 19, 2019

I decided to retake this class since I didn't do well the first time, but honestly even having taken this class earlier, I feel like I've learned even lesser this time around.

Gafni is rude, his homework has no connection to what's taught in class, the TAs don't know what's going on, and we had to spam them with emails to even get a Piazza started. The TAs seem to delete questions they don't like on Piazza, and don't give clear answers or even answer most of the piazza questions. It's just students helping other students.

Honestly, I think this class could have been taught so much better and more intuitively, but neither Gafni, nor the TAs seem to try and help build intuition.

Helpful?

6 1 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: N/A
Grade: N/A
Feb. 26, 2014

Gafni is an incredibly difficult lecturer, in the sense that at the end of each lecture, you feel like you've just wasted 2 hours. Yes, the material is hard, but if you're learning one problem for two hours when instead you could learn it in 5 minutes from wikipedia, it's just frustrating. Teaching by getting the students to come up with the answers themselves is fine, but if you just straight up don't know how to do it and end up spending 30 minutes trying to get them to say something inconsequential, then you need to figure something out. Also, after many years of having less than half the class show up, you figure he'd realize that he's doing something wrong...

Helpful?

6 1 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Winter 2019
Grade: N/A
March 11, 2019

Update: Gafni is the CS department chair. I can even image that how sh*t_ty this department will be with his leads. LOL. Actually it is! Can't cs dep hire someone who can do both research and teaching? | CS 180 is a hard class and the materials are really important for the future work. But Gafni... Honestly, considering only teaching, he is probably the worst in CS department. He cannot explain concepts clearly. He class is extremely unorganized. His homework is ridiculously hard.

Helpful?

10 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Winter 2019
Grade: N/A
Feb. 25, 2019

The past reviews make me laugh out loud from how accurate they are. I go to every lecture, and indeed the midterm is the most crowded day of the quarter by a factor of 3. Most people don't go to lecture, which I feel is a mistake. Even though Gafni is incoherent, doesn't use slides, and writes useless/disorganized shit on the whiteboard which makes it impossible to take notes purely off of his lecture, the topics he talks about in class are incredibly important, particularly for the exams. He will sometimes put a term on the exam that he only gave in lecture, not on HW, and guess what, he will not define the term for you if you ask. Even if it's impossible to take detailed notes, I make sure to write down the names and general gist of the algorithms he mentions in class to look up later. Most of the material (including the HW) is on GeeksforGeeks. The homework is on average 4 questions, and while I've heard people complain about taking 30 hours on it, sometimes I literally finish half of it the day it's due. The grading on the HW is pretty generous as long as you write actual pseudocode and a couple sentences justifying your algorithm. Even if some parts are wrong, the TAs won't take off many points. I consistently get a 90+ average on my HW. The textbook is free (Algorithm Design by Tardos), but on the first day of lecture, Gafni recommended a different textbook, Introduction to Algorithms: A Creative Approach by Udi Manber. I have never cracked open the class's "official" textbook because frankly, the Udi Manber textbook is way better in terms of the class. There are homework questions that are ripped straight from the textbook EXAMPLES, so welp there you go, answers are right there. I cannot stress this enough, READ THE UDI MANBER textbook. On the midterm, the first two questions were on the skyline problem. Guess what the main example of divide-and-conquer in the Udi Manber textbook was. Right, the skyline problem! The TAs do their best, but it's pretty clear they don't really care and they have a hard time explaining complicated concepts/proofs. The only reason I decided to take this class with Gafni is because an earlier review said he was easier than other professors, and judging by my ok time, I guess this is true. Carefully weigh the pros and cons before taking this class. And if you walk away from the first week of lecture going wtf and absolutely hate Gafni's lectures, then you might want to drop. A final funny story about Gafni's rudeness and political incorrectness: early on in the quarter, this guy near the front wore a hat indoors, and I guess that must have offended Gafni, because Gafni called him out for wearing a hat (something like, why wear a hat unless you are planning to leave?) by referring to him as the Unabomber, like WTF. The student got so offended that he straight up left lecture pronto. His friend confronted the professor during break and asked him not to do it again. So after the break, Gafni makes the cringiest apology and then gets into an argument with the guy's friend on what the guy's friend said/didn't say (guy's friend was like, I only asked you not to do it again, and prof was like, so some students (not naming guy's friend initially) said my behavior was [insert word that I forgot, synonymous with disgusting]). It's pointless to ask questions in lecture because Gafni really is condescending. Oh, and he really can't hear anything, so you have to make sure to speak twice as loud as usual.

Helpful?

11 1 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Winter 2019
Grade: NR
March 20, 2019

Update: The curves shown here are misleading. At most 20% of the ppl got A+/A/A- 's this quarter. ~40% got C+'s and below. Official letter grade came out 2 days after the final, but the final isn't visible yet. Considering all aspects, it's the most ridiculous class I've ever taken at UCLA.

Original:

I now know how accurate these comments are. If I was given another chance I'd probably wait till next quarter to take this class. If you are super smart or have a very deep interest in algorithm theories you may try this professor and even find him interesting. Otherwise AVOID.

If you do take his class, PLEASE do go to his lectures. True, he doesn't explain a lot of stuff clearly, doesn't write clear notes on board, doesn't using slides at all, and may leave you confused after a lecture is finished. However, he LOVES testing you on terms he only mentioned in the class that's not in the book nor discussed in discussion sections. He also likes to challenge you with vague and confusingly written questions that you might have no idea what they are if you don't go to lectures. You'd be better off sitting through those lectures and take down the terms he mentioned. I didn't make it to every lecture because of a class schedule conflict, and I regret as hell.

I don't know how difficult other 180's are, so I can't really comment on the difficulty of this class, because the material is inherently difficult. However, I bet a lot of better professors are out there that are much nicer, write better notes, and explain things more clearly.

If you are one of those that love challenging yourself by actively participating in class and don't mind being cut off, and you want to do research in algorithms and don't mind studying on your own and being challenged with vaguely described "ideas", his class might still be worth a try. He will remember your name if you participate in class often, and willing to write a recommendation letter.

If you just wanna learn something solid and useful in lectures and prefer studying based on good lecturing/notes/slides, Gafni is NOT FOR YOU.

Helpful?

4 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Winter 2020
Grade: A-
Sept. 7, 2020

Professor Gafni is the worst professor I've ever had. He lacks any teaching abilities with his poor communication skills, illegible writing, and poor attempt at a "Socratic" style class. (Here's an actual snippet of his handwriting: https://pasteboard.co/JpWlH6n.jpg). The combination of his hearing problem (students had to repeat themselves over and over even when he was a few feet away from them...) and rigorous oral questions that he expects you to answer on the spot added to the agonizing experience of the class. In addition, he'd make sexist remarks at times especially to the female students in class concerning their ability to succeed in CS. All of this combined with his recent controversies has me shocked that he's still teaching and is now department chair for CS - unbelievable that someone like this is working and now leading at UCLA.

Helpful?

4 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Winter 2019
Grade: N/A
March 20, 2019

take this class only when the following is true:
you are super smart &
you wanna do theory in algorithm in future
otherwise, his class is a complete disaster

Helpful?

4 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Winter 2019
Grade: NR
Jan. 23, 2019

Hands down the worst computer science professor at UCLA. In all honesty, Professor Gafni has no business teaching computer science, let alone one of the toughest CS classes at UCLA. But this is to be expected from a public university that is only concerned with research and doesn't care about all the shitty professors they employ.

Professor Gafni is as senile a professor you will have. He cannot hear anything: not the person in the back row nor the person sitting in the very first row five feet away from him. He is an incredibly insensitive and rude person who mocks the students and uses derogatory terms to describe some students. For example, on the first day he said that "90% of the people who participate in class are males, and the women don't hardly contribute to discussion." Not only is he a mean person, but he is a lousy professor. He has no idea what he is talking about or what course he is even teaching. He doesn't use slides, and randomly scribbles unnecessary stuff on the white board from time to time. When people ask him a question about the homework, he says "I don't remember what questions are on the homework." He has no idea what Piazza is. Sit in on a lecture if you don't believe me. He has a very heavy accent, which makes it even more unbearable to listen to his lectures.

With or without Professor Gafni teaching, CS180 is one of the hardest CS classes at UCLA. For me personally, I would say it is the toughest CS class at UCLA (with CS111 being second toughest). This makes the class even more confusing when you have a lousy professor teaching it. This class is highly theoretical and I don't understand why it needs to be so complex and confusing. I have interviewed with countless top tech companies and have interned at several FAANG companies, and all the interview questions don't come close to the obfuscated questions seen in CS180. Most of the stuff you learn in this class you either already know or it is entirely pointless.

TL;DR Gafni is the worst CS professor at UCLA. He is rude, has a heavy accent, can't hear someone two feet away from him, and has no idea what he is teaching. Avoid him at all costs or be miserable for ten weeks.

Helpful?

8 1 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Winter 2019
Grade: B
March 25, 2019

This class literally assigns letter grade. By that I mean you have no clue what score you get on the final. You have no clue what the median is. And you are not allowed to see your exam paper or ask for regrade. TA will not bother to reply to emails. It is common to see hundreds of piazza posts and none of the instructors give a fk.

Helpful?

3 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: N/A
Grade: N/A
June 29, 2009

The problem with CS180 is that the material itself is already very hard, so it will be hard to have a professor teach the class such that it is easily understandable. This tend to lead to people giving CS180 professors a bad rep. Like another reviewer mentioned, he likes to ask questions in class and make people answer them. This is good since it challenges you to think on the spot. Unfortunately, I find that he is quite boring and he has trouble explaining the material. He does go off-topics at time, which can be confusing if you haven't been following the lecture since the beginning. Most people stop showing to lecture, since the material he covers tend to be much more advance than the homework and exams require. However, this class is doable on your own if you read the textbook, but it does help to go to discussions if you have a good TA. The TA will cover just what you need to get by the homework and exams. The HW and exams are not too hard (if you read textbook or have a good TA), unlike some other professors. BTW, he has a very generous grading policy, where if your final exam is higher than the HW+midterm+final combined, then the final exam is your final grade.

Helpful?

3 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Winter 2019
Grade: NR
Feb. 19, 2019

I decided to retake this class since I didn't do well the first time, but honestly even having taken this class earlier, I feel like I've learned even lesser this time around.

Gafni is rude, his homework has no connection to what's taught in class, the TAs don't know what's going on, and we had to spam them with emails to even get a Piazza started. The TAs seem to delete questions they don't like on Piazza, and don't give clear answers or even answer most of the piazza questions. It's just students helping other students.

Honestly, I think this class could have been taught so much better and more intuitively, but neither Gafni, nor the TAs seem to try and help build intuition.

Helpful?

6 1 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: N/A
Grade: N/A
Feb. 26, 2014

Gafni is an incredibly difficult lecturer, in the sense that at the end of each lecture, you feel like you've just wasted 2 hours. Yes, the material is hard, but if you're learning one problem for two hours when instead you could learn it in 5 minutes from wikipedia, it's just frustrating. Teaching by getting the students to come up with the answers themselves is fine, but if you just straight up don't know how to do it and end up spending 30 minutes trying to get them to say something inconsequential, then you need to figure something out. Also, after many years of having less than half the class show up, you figure he'd realize that he's doing something wrong...

Helpful?

6 1 Please log in to provide feedback.
1 of 3
1.2
Overall Rating
Based on 33 Users
Easiness 1.4 / 5 How easy the class is, 1 being extremely difficult and 5 being easy peasy.
Clarity 1.2 / 5 How clear the professor is, 1 being extremely unclear and 5 being very clear.
Workload 1.7 / 5 How light the workload is, 1 being extremely heavy and 5 being extremely light.
Helpfulness 1.5 / 5 How helpful the professor is, 1 being not helpful at all and 5 being extremely helpful.

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