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Gabriel Freiman is without a doubt, the WORST teacher I have ever had anywhere, and I’ve had horrible teachers before. I’ve had teachers that actively belittle and mock students, teachers that have been fired for physical assault, teachers that don’t even bother showing up for class sometimes, and in all honesty, none of those teachers reached the insanity that was Freiman’s Physics 1A.
The very first thing you realize when taking Freiman’s class is that Freiman has no organizational skills whatsoever. For starters, the Bruinlearn page for this class was not published until the second day of the first week, and to add on to that, the page published was completely disorganized and clearly intended for a different class. It took several days for Freiman to update the page to reflect the current class, and even now, the page is still a mess. For some other examples of Freiman’s nonexistent organizational skills, lecture slides and recordings are often posted hours, if not days late, equation sheets for exams were missing many equations, lecture material were often incorrectly locked behind Bruinlearn modules, Freiman takes weeks to grade exams, etc.
Freiman is not transparent about grading - he provides no way to accurately calculate grades, and has changed the grading scale during the quarter. The class is graded on an absolute grading scale, as well as a class curve (ie. top 10% gets an A, 50% B, 80% C, etc.). You get the higher grade of the two scales. Freiman does not provide anyway to measure yourself against the class, and since the exam are so hard, the vast majority of the class will possibly be graded on the class curve, so most people have no idea what grade they will get (if the class curve even exists at this point).
Freiman’s lectures are a sick joke. Freiman has a horrendous French accent and has the English communication skills of a third grader. The pacing is awful - Freiman goes incredibly slow on very basic example problems (ie. plug and chug f = ma difficulty), but will then speed through incredibly important concepts by simply dumping formulas with no explanations whatsoever. The lecture slides he post are similarly useless - all they consist of are the formulas with no explanations behind them, the same extremely basic example problems Freiman spends 5 years going over in lecture, and stupid GIFs of people pushing boxes or pandas rolling or whatever Freiman feels is slightly related to the lecture’s topic. It doesn’t help that the class relies on Kudu’s online textbook, which is confusing and awful to study from.
Speaking of Freiman’s nonexistent communication skills, trying to communicate with Freiman is a chore. Freiman takes days to respond to emails, and when he does, his responses tend to involve him either demonstrating nonexistent reading comprehension, or simply trying to dodge the question. It doesn’t help that his office hours are conveniently placed at 8:30 AM and last only 30 minutes long. I can only begin imagine how useless his office hours are!
Let’s talk about discussion sections. Discussion sections, like just about everything else in this class, are awful. They are mandatory, yet are completely useless, thanks to the TA Michael Wyatt, who just like Freiman, is horrendous at teaching physics. For starters, the discussion sections are consistently behind the lecture’s topics - for example, week 4, the discussion was still focusing on kinematics, while the lecture was moving on to conservation of energy and kinetic energy. Additionally, the discussion worksheets are both hard (granted, the difficulty is partly created by Freiman’s nonexistent teaching skills), and worst of all, they are graded extremely strictly. I’ve lost points on the discussion worksheets for simply writing the incorrect symbol for work! Wyatt does not explain his insane grading standards for the discussion worksheets, and frankly, it seems that he just deducts points for the sake of it.
Every week, we have pre lecture assignments due on Tuesday and homework due on Friday, both during noon. Tuesday’s assignments are stupid - they are three incredibly basic questions, yet are often not officially taught in lectures beforehand. The homework, on the other hand, is absolutely insane. The questions asked are extremely hard, and because they are due at noon before Friday’s lecture, often involve material involving topics that haven’t been officially taught yet. On top of this, sometimes the homework involve material that are straight up taught weeks later, if not in future Physics 1 classes or Math classes not supposed to be required for Physics 1A. If you try to do these homework assignment legitimately and not use Quizlet or Chegg, then maybe you can finish the homework by the end of summer. The one saving grace is that the homework are “graded on completion”, which is a relief as otherwise everyone would have an F in terms of absolute grading.
Now for the fun part - the exams. They are a fucking disaster. They are all multiple choice exams, which doesn’t sound bad until you realize that for the midterms they were 20 physics questions given in 50 minutes with very little partial credit (the final was also 20 multiple choice questions, however they were considerably longer). The exams involved extremely conceptual questions that were completely different from the style of the questions given in the homework, discussion section, and lectures. Nearly all of the questions on the exam covered material and problem solving strategies never taught properly by Freiman, with midterm 1 even involving material that had not been officially taught yet.
There were supposed to be five extra credit labs, but one of them was never published and another was only assigned yesterday after the final. The extra credit labs are extremely tedious and take hours to do, and because Freiman has been extremely vague about how the extra credit helps you, if you’ve done enough work to earn the extra credit, etc. it’s honestly not worth wasting your precious times over these stupid labs.
I should’ve made my point clear by now, Freiman is a fucking joke, and should not be teaching anyone, let alone college students. Frankly, it is insulting that UCLA, a school that calls itself “the #1 public university” thinks that someone like Freiman is an acceptable lecturer, much less a lecturer you’d expect from such a highly renowned university. Had I known that by choosing to come to UCLA, I would’ve had to go through the misery that was Freiman’s physics class, I would have definitely went to another school.
TL;DR: Don’t even consider choosing Gabriel Freiman as a professor for any class. It’s appalling and telling that I’ve spent 100x more effort writing this review than Freiman spends teaching classes.
LMAOOOOOOOOO DONT DO IT 💀💀💀
Like all of the other reviews from Spring 22, unless you know physics already from high school, DO NOT take it with Freiman 😭
I literally went to FOUR lectures before I decided that I was losing more brain cells trying to understand what he was talking about. No, I did not watch the lectures later either because they are so bad. If you have to take this, I recommend just reading the textbook (NOT Kudu, the actual textbook) and doing Khan Academy practice/videos. Kudu is probably the worst invention ever. At one point, it literally said something along the lines of "we're not going to show the calculation, just trust us." BRO?? And the practice problems were ABSURDLY complicated too. The only good side of this course was the TA, he literally taught so much better during discussion in just 10-15 minutes. But unfortunately, the discussion was like 4-5 weeks behind lecture so idk. The exams were easy to be honest, very conceptual, but like in a good way. The questions were much, much easier than any of the practice problems in class, Kudu, and discussion. They were similar to Khan Academy practice problems (ratios etc.).
Now, how did I get an A? To be honest, I don't know and I don't want to ask. I literally got a D in both midterms, missed some of the Kudu sections (graded on completion), missed points on discussion worksheets, and didn't even do all the extra credit labs. If you've taken AP physics in high school or you're SURE that you're solid on mechanics, then this class will be easy for you, but otherwise AVOID AT ALL COSTS!
This class is basically the equivalent of AP Physics 1 in high school. If you did the class, and understood how the questions were asked on the AP test, you might be ok for the class. The midterms and final are 20 multiple choice questions. Getting 1 question wrong basically screws your grade over (minus 5 percent). However, there is some partial credit if you show work. I stopped going for lectures after week 2 because I had problems understanding Freiman in class, and I felt better off just studying the material on my own. This class is basically a self-study class. The textbook is on a website called Kudu which is not structured well. The Kudu textbook barely brushes the concepts and it does not give proper examples to help with the tests. The homework problems were assigned from Kudu and were either super easy or super hard. Kudu also did not give explanations for most of the homework problems so good luck understanding the question if you got it wrong. There are weekly discussion worksheets. The worksheets are not bad, but they are graded harshly. Additionally, the worksheets are usually weeks behind what is actually being taught in class. So when the exams come up, its hard to find material to review.
The grading of the class is super vague. There are two midterms, a final, the discussion worksheets, homework problems, discussion attendance, and some extra credit labs. The homework and the extra credit labs are graded on completion. In all honesty, I am super confused on how I got an A. I had no idea what my grade in the class would be throughout the quarter since I had no idea about how to calculate my grade, and I was unsure if the Kudu homework assignments were even submitted properly. I eventually decided to not stress about it and simply leave it upto God. This class has definitely improved my connection with the divine and I have definitely become a faithful person since coming into this class. I now feel that religion triumphs science in all ways and I have decided to renounce my sinful past to deepen my ties with God. My revelation about the divine should demonstrate how annoying this class is for me to have to resolve to God to get rid of my anxiety.
Overall I think its best that you choose a different professor. Freiman is good only if you really understand the concepts and you are fine with vagueness. The lack of practice material, the vagueness about grading, and the inconsistencies in the exams made the class harder than it should have been from the beginning.
Gabriel Freiman is helpful, kind, and very responsive. That being said, this class was still a very unpleasant experience for me. I will try to write this in the least biased way possible, since Physics 1B is a difficult class in general.
Our first assignment was not graded until week 8. And I mean NOTHING was in the gradebook. There is absolutely no way to gauge how you are doing in the class.
He assigned us our 3rd midterm during week 10 - four days before our final. It was like having two finals. Also, we had to take our second midterm before even receiving our grades for the first one (or any grades in the class at all), which felt unfair.
He is difficult to understand. It is not his accent, but A) his mask really muffles his voice, and B) the microphone system he uses (it's his own system, not the one offered by UCLA) muffles his voice like crazy. Unless you are sitting in the first 3 rows, you cannot understand him. I, like most students in the class, stopped attending after Week 2. This class was graded on a curve (because the midterm averages are so low), and teaching yourself physics 1B while competing against 200 other engineering and physics majors is not an amazing experience.
The syllabus was not followed at all. Homeworks would be assigned on random days, the first midterm got pushed back, and if you were not aware that a homework assignment was randomly posted, there were no late submissions allowed. Don't bother looking at the syllabus for due dates. Everything is disorganized.
There were some pros to taking this class, however. First of all, there is an option to receive up to 5% extra credit. Second, the homeworks are graded on completion. Finally, a lot of the exam questions are very closely followed from the textbook. Note, they are not from Kudu (the textbook he actually gives you), but the other textbook that is "optional". I only learned about this right before the final and I was pretty upset that I had basically been practicing from the wrong textbook all quarter. Kudu is garbage.
Overall, Gabriel Freiman is helpful and somewhat accommodating. However, if you are not strong in physics, I advise against taking his class. It is essentially a self-taught course with a UCLA curve.
Lectures: Professor Freiman was not the best lecturer. He didn't explain concepts very well, and the class felt quite rushed. If you've taken physics in high school, I think you'd be fine/ understand most of it (I only took AP Physics 1 and understood most of it), but if you have no prior knowledge in physics, it would be quite difficult to learn from him. Lectures use slides, which he posts on Bruinlearn, and are recorded via Zoom but the audio is quite bad.
Homework: We used Kudu as our textbook and for our homework, which I really didn't like because the website/ textbook is not very good and the homework questions are quite difficult (and unlike anything we've gone over in class). The Kudu homework questions also aren't similar to the exams, so I wouldn't bother to use them to study. Homework was graded on completion for us, so it wasn't that bad.
Exams: We had 2 midterms and a final. They were all 20 MCQ, with the ability to earn partial credit for showing work. The questions weren't like anything we practiced in class, so the averages were quite low for the midterms (D+ for the first midterm, C- for the second). Timing was also an issue for the midterms since we only had 50 minutes. The questions tended to be more conceptual and involved using variables instead of numbers. I thought the second midterm was more difficult than the first. We were given an equation sheet for all exams but 1) the formatting of the equation sheet was quite bad since all of the equations were just written together without any organizing and 2) some equations were missing. However, most of the time, if an equation wasn't on the sheet, it wasn't needed on the exam. Exams also took very long to be graded. Regrade requests were allowed though.
Discussion: Discussion sections were mandatory, and the discussion worksheets were graded on correctness. I recommend going to the TA's office hours to double check your answers/ ask questions. The worksheets weren't very on topic since like half of them were on kinematics and forces even when we had moved on to other topics. The worksheets were quite standard multi-part physics word problems, similar to AP Physics problems. They were, however, not very similar to the exams.
Extra Credit: He gave up to 5% extra credit by doing labs. They were graded on completion, and we had usually around a week to do them.
Overall: I would not recommend Freiman as a professor unless you had prior physics knowledge. Even then, I still would not really recommend him, but if you had to take him, you'd probably be fine.
Don't take this class unless you're willing to teach yourself the entirety of the physics 1A material. I stopped going to lecture altogether in week 2 after realizing how completely useless it is due to Frieman's terrible teaching, and the fact that his accent is so strong and he speaks so quietly that you can't even hear him most of the time. I literally learned all of the course material through Khan Academy and sometimes the textbook (Kudu, which is also a horrendous learning tool). Michael Wyatt was the TA for every section, and I thought he was a way better teacher than the professor was, even though the discussions were always weeks behind the current material. The tests themselves weren't that bad in my opinion, 20 pretty simple MCQ in 50 minutes that were all pretty conceptual rather than requiring a whole lot of calculation.
Professor Freiman has improved a lot since Spring of 2022. I've now taken Physics 1A and Physics 1B with Professor Freiman and I can say that most of the reviews on this page are pretty harsh. I think there was likely a bit of a learning curve, but I noticed that he took student's comments into consideration and did what he could to improve upon any negative feedback. He clearly cares about his students and is very open to feedback and willing to make changes for the benefit of his students' education and grade.
1B is a lot more difficult than 1A as most of the content is stuff you haven't seen and the class is pretty fast paced with a lot of material to cover. The textbook is a helpful resource on this front, but be prepared to give quite a bit more effort to learn this content. As for the class in specific, Freiman's grading scheme is very generous and the 5% extra credit is huge (something you should certainly take advantage of). 3 midterms was a bit much, but he drops the lowest which is nice. To best prepare yourself for the exams, you're definitely going to have to do more than just the Kudu problems and Discussion Worksheets, though the discussion worksheets are great practice. The practice midterms he gave were also useful, but be warned, the exams are more difficult than the practice ones.
Overall, physics is a notoriously difficult subject, but Freiman's generous grading scheme on top of recorded lectures and his receptiveness makes it a little more palatable.
Great personality! A bit difficult to hear him at times so make sure you sit at the front of the class. He has a french accent but it helped make the lectures more engaging as he'd often make some funny jokes that would simply make the lectures more engaging. I thought he was a really cool dude. GO FREIMAN!
The TA Worksheets are graded VERY harshly! This is 10% of you grade you can't sleep on these!
Even though Freiman's mic sometimes wouldn't work, his lectures are still pretty clear. He also cares a lot about how his students are doing in the class and is always available for office hours. The midterms were fair and so was the final. I'd say the other reviews are pretty harsh. Overall, a good quarter.