Spring 2020 - One only takes his class because it is a major requirement. If you come in with a prior foundation of chemistry, with work you can get an A in this class. However, the reason I write such a negative review for him is because he is a terrible professor. His lectures are extremely disorganized, and incredibly hard to follow. He is terrible at communicating. He tells you in his syllabus not to send him emails and to ask questions on the discussion forum. But, here is the thing he doesn't respond to them. Even when you ask him about essential things like the timing of the exam or a confusion with gradescope, he replies so rudely. His syllabus and lectures is unclear and full of typos. He simply doesn't care about you. He is very uppish and highly unprofessional. Serious action needs to be taken against professors like him.
Fall 2020 - This man in a menace to society. He is by far the worst professor I have had at UCLA and anyone that says otherwise is lying. For starters, his lectures are absolutely unbearable. All he does is read his notes off a word document and that is about it. You can ask him questions, but unless you are one of his little pets then expect to get a rude remark back. He is so unengaging that more than 2/3rd of the class decided not to watch his lectures live and just watch the recording. I personally had to watch them in x2 speed because he talks so slow that I could renovate my whole room before he reaches to any meaningful part of the lecture. Now lets go into the course content ( spoiler alert: it's not any better). Okay first and foremost, he makes all the students buy a subscription to Thinkwell. "But surely he has a good reason to do so" you might say, well you would be wrong. All that anyone does with thinkwell is take the four quizzess he assigns, which is something he could just do on CCLE, but no he would rather lock our grades away behind a paywall. If you genuinely want to learn anything in this class, I recommend you get a PLF because Scerri will not be helpful. Let us move on his despicable tests. He has the midterm and final, but I can tell you that no matter how long you study for them, you will still be unprepared. Oh and even you do somehow manage to understand his tests, well good luck even finishing them. He is so intent with making sure student's don't cheat that each question is subdivided into the whole alphabet. So prepared to take on question 1a, 1b, 1c, 1d, 1e, 1f,... you get the idea, and no just because its subdivided does not mean it is any easier. And while it may sound good on paper, for those of us that cannot write or process almost instantaneously, we end up having to suffer because we now have to submit our test with multiple sections left unanswered. Do not even bother trying to talk to him about it because you will get no sympathy from him. If you want to know how he interacts with students, I'll give you a little anecdote: on week 10 a girl asked him if the review session he was going to have would be recorded. And what did he do? He (very obviously) rolled his eyes and said yes, and then proceeded to interrogate her on why she would not be able to make it to the live viewing. Mind you this was in front of many other students, and even recorded. When I was watching it, I had to replay it because I was in disbelief that he would dare roll his eyes at a student. He has a huge ego and it was apparent since day 1. As a professor, he is horrible, but as a person, he is despicable. So, do not listen to these positive reviews on bruinwalk because I have a sneaking suspicion some are TAs trying to get students to take his class. IF YOU CAN AVOID THIS PROFESSOR, DO SO AT ALL COSTS. Trust me, it is NOT worth it. If you happen to have the misfortune of having him please enroll in a PLF or watch youtube videos on the topics instead because I assure you that you will learn more that way.
Spring 2020 - Scerri is the most confusing, least helpful professor I have ever had at UCLA. He is somehow worse than the entire 7 series which is saying a lot. He curved everyone's grade down incredibly this quarter--I earned a 99% in the class, opted out of the final due to the circumstances, and somehow got an A- in the class. He rarely knows what he's talking about, does not care about students, and is pretty much only teaching for tenure. Instead of grading on a bell curve, he should maybe make his exams more challenging? Students should not be penalized because Scerri makes his exams so easy. AVOID THIS PROFESSOR AT ALL COSTS.
Winter 2018 - Chem 17 offers a lot of help for first timers in Chemistry, but also is insanely quick. Scerri covered 11-12 topics in the 10 weeks and, in truth, missing a class or dropping out of focus for a minute can put you behind. I heavily recommend attending his office hours (the ones he holds in the morning I found work best for 1 on 1 time with the professor). The classwork is light, with four online quizzes that are open everything (book, professor, classmate, internet, and can be taken three times with the highest score being in the gradebook) and two graded homework assignments from the textbook. There is one midterm. If the pace scares you, I still recommend taking this class. It absolutely helps with understanding the subject and opens doors for attending professor and TA office hours.
I took a philosophy of science class ("What is this thing called science") with Prof. Scerri and he was an amazing professor. His lectures were clear and truly fascinating, the readings were interesting (if extensive), and the final was VERY fair (no midterm). It was a small class and he led the discussions himself. He was very interested in what we had to say and seemed very concerned that we understood the material. I HIGHLY recommend taking a class with him! But if you've never written a research paper, make sure you talk to him about it - he requires a good amount of research and proper citations.
Winter 2020 - Scerri just doesn't particularly care. This unfortunately became more and more obvious as the class progressed. At first I was impressed by his obvious intelligent and occasional dry humor, but he is not a good professor. He speeds at a breakneck pace through a vast array of material without giving any context as to how concepts relate to each other or why we should care. Additionally, his lecture slides are spotted with typos and are almost entirely useless to review afterwards, so you need to take expansive notes. On the positive side, the Owl homework is very forgiving, and is a substantial part of your final grade. I learned pretty much nothing through the majority of the class, and had to frantically study outside materials and previous tests to make any measurable progress as tests drew near. While this landed me with very good scores, it was not a particularly comfortable or rewarding way to go through class. Through all of this, Scerri speeds on, unconcerned with the fact that 90% of the students have no real clue what's going on. Anyway, the long and the short of it is this: avoid Scerri if humanly possible, especially if you are not strong in chemistry coming in. My previous knowledge was the only thing allowing me to do well, and things would have been far more hellish in an already brutal class if I had not had experience going in.
Scerri is an awesome professor. He's not as difficult as people say and he is definitely very entertaining. He will sometimes make fun of students but it's all in good fun. He does demos in class and gives you a 2 minute break during lecture. It doesn't sound like much, but it really does refresh you for the second half of the lecture. His exams are not difficult at all. Everything on the exams can be found in the reader and you'll breeze through the tests if you go to lecture. I would recommend this professor, especially over Baugh.