All Ratings and Reviews for Gaurav Sant
Professor often gives long convoluted problems which lead to long convoluted problems on the tests. He wasn't particularly helpful when I asked about reviewing my midterm. Homework after week 6 was extremely dense and was partially alleviated by a very good TA, bless Byron.
Technically, Iman Mehdipour taught the class but Gaurav Sant was the listed professor at the beginning so this will be in regards to this class.
Iman's lectures were very thorough AND they were posted on CCLE!! They were great for understanding homework a little better, and he's very responsive to feedback. We used Slack to communicate as a class, which was helpful for asking questions and hearing back from Tandre the TA at great speeds! This class isn't curved, but Iman gave out many "bonus points" through Kahoot quizzes or asking questions in Slack or sending a "creative way to study for the final" which just became a meme channel in the Statics Slack group. We also built popsicle stick bridges in teams for bonus points, and that was one of my favorite memories of the quarter! The class is like the first 5 weeks for Physics 1A with a structural application.
IMO, he was not a good professor who cared about the students. He was very snappy and had the TA lecture the course on multiple occasions. He apparently had to travel to Asia about three weeks before the class was over. He simply had his TA lecture the course, whom had no idea what she was doing. I would avoid him if at all possible for 101. He has good credentials, but I would not suggest him for 101.
Best teacher I've met at UCLA. This guy took the time to sit with me in the hallway after class to help me with a concept I wasn't understanding. That was crazy considering there are professors here who have refused to answer my questions during their own office hours.
Guy has a good sense of humor, which other people have mentioned. He also travels a lot to present his research; since he's a big shot he might have a sub for class sometimes.
If you do the work, you will do well in the class. Statics really isn't that hard one you get the hang of it.
Sant is a good professor. Focused on student learning, almost to a fault. You will learn very few equations, but lots of problem solving skills in his classes.
He has attendance quizzes, so show up to class. Quizzes aside, he's a very unique professor with a sarcastic sense of humor and an aggressively engaging lecture approach.
Very good professor. Cares almost excessively about whether the students are learning. He frequently stops the lecture to make sure we're following, and encourages us to give feedback on what's working, what isn't, what we understand, what we don't, etc.
Doesn't focus too much on concepts, but does lots of helpful examples. The midterm (all statics) was brutal, but grades very leniently, and the final (all dynamics) was a piece of cake, and also graded fairly.
Overall I highly recommend Sant.
Professor Sant is a great teacher. He took the time to make sure the class was familiar with all concepts that he wanted us to learn. His interactive teaching style is very unique, and helped engage the majority of the class throughout the two hour lecture.
You won't learn many equations in this class, but you will learn how to problem solve, which I think is the more valuable skill anyhow. He can be a bit snappy and rude at times, but overall he is a great teacher and you will benefit from taking his class.
As for grading, he can be hit or miss with partial credit on exams. If he doesn't think you get the concepts, then he will offer you no partial credit, which can be brutal at times. He also doesn't curve the class, which makes the lone midterm and final high pressure. The midterm was completely statics and was very hard, but fair. The final was dynamics and I considered it very easy.
Overall I would definitely recommend this professor.
By far my favorite professor here at UCLA and the only class in which I never felt in engaged. Sant believes that embarrassment and intimidation are the best ways in which to get your attention so he will take the time to know who you are so that he can call on you in class. And he won't just give you the answer, either-- he'll wait for you to give a response and will ask you why you think that way.
He's not exactly the most available since he's got a huge research lab to run and often goes on business trips. (On a side note-- he usually offers a place in his research lab to students who do well in his class.)
Like other reviewers have said, you'll learn very few equations but lots of really great problem solving techniques.
Grades are not curved at all so your grade is primarily based on your midterm, which will be only statics, your final, which will be only dynamics, and your homework. Take the time to do your homework well and understand it as that can make all the difference in your grade.
Sant is a horrible lecturer and you won't learn much from him. I would recommend not going to lecture at all and just doing the homework and reading the textbook, because it'll save you 6 hours of your life per week, but he sometimes has quizzes and doesn't tell you when. Sant makes every concept way more complicated than it actually is in lecture, and doesn't really lecture, he just does like 8 problems in class which is so unhelpful, because he does them all super quickly and basically just writes down the answers. If that is a style of teaching you enjoy, then I guess you'll enjoy class. However, I feel like if a good professor taught this class, it could just be a one hour lecture + one hour discussion three times a week instead of two hours, and with much more student engagement/understanding.
Sant was an okay professor. He tries to seem intimidating and hard-ass at the beginning, but he isn't really like that and he's just trying to scare you. He teaches you how to solve problems pretty well but isn't very good at explaining concepts. Fortunately, the exams and homeworks are very computational and methodical. He also travels a lot so his TAs and post-docs sometimes teach the class.
The homework assignments were pretty reasonable, but some of them were long and significantly more involved than others. I don't remember having any complaints about them. He gave these little "attendance quizzes" but he really just asked the class for random trivia and had us give him the answers at the end.
The midterm was pretty easy and the class average was over 80% I think. The final was a lot harder because he likes having a B- average but he doesn't curve the class. I got a 97% on the midterm and ended up with a B+ in the class, so I probably got a 70% or so on the final. He also says that he doesn't really give partial credit for incorrect answers on exams and homework, but he only penalizes math errors once, so that always confused me.
Overall, Sant was an okay professor and I had a pretty good experience in the class. The TA really makes or breaks this class because the TA ends up teaching a lot when Sant travels. I had Tandre, who was soft-spoken and worked really quickly, but he really cared about students and always had lines of people at his office hours asking him questions. I think he also wrote the midterm and the homework assignments, so it's good to pay attention to how he teaches.
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