Winter 2022 - Okay so basically... Zocchi is really bad and I would not recommend taking his class, even coming from someone who received an A for the work this quarter. Personal grudge first, then the technical stuff later: Zocchi quickly fell behind in the material early in the quarter, and instead of cutting the irrelevant content (of which there was a fair amount), he held a class twice the length of a regular one, ON A HOLIDAY! There was no class allowed by UCLA on Presidents' Day, and instead, Zocchi assigned twice the classwork because he failed to cover the relevant content in a timely manner. Zocchi is a very unclear lecturer who will just run through practice problems for the entirety of the class, without stopping/slowing down to explain why or how things work with physics. The first week made sense and saw about 180 people attending each lecture. Fast forward through the quarter, and you'll see that 39 students, of the total 188 enrolled, dropped the class. Even though 149 people were still technically enrolled, I never saw more than 40 people in the Zoom call by the second half of the quarter. This is because of a class plan that I would also recommend: If you HAVE to take Zocchi, don't waste your time attending his lectures, but use the time instead to read the textbook equivalent of whatever the lecture's title is (he lists their titles on the syllabus) or work through the content he has listed for each exam. Zocchi is also just a bit rude and inconsiderate. His frustration with questions grew throughout the quarter, and his reactions were less like a teacher answering questions and more like a Twitch streamer yelling at his chat for not understanding things that take time to learn. The structure of the class is very simple and reasonable, which was the saving grace of this class (and the only thing that made Zocchi still preferable to Corbin): 20% is completion-based homework assigned on Mastering Physics (he gives a week to do about 2 hours) 20% is the first midterm which was very easy and straightforward in my section 20% is the second midterm which was pretty scary but still manageable for most students 40% is a god-awful final that will bring up things you've never even thought about - and luckily anything over 80% in the class counts as an A So the best advice I can offer is: Read the textbook, try to ace the midterms, and do all the homework so that you can cry less while pretending to understand why a square hockey puck and a salad bowl are on the final.
I feel that previous evaluations slightly differ from the Zocchi I had for Fall 09. Zocchi did have an authentic concern for us. One time during class, he told us he received a lot of questions about surface integrals, volume integrals, etc. so he devoted an entire lecture to it. After the 1st midterm he said that if you have been going to class and you just received a low grade, come to his office hours because he will teach you how to properly study for physics. After the second midterm, he seemed kind of pissed because the scores were kinda low and he suspected a lack of effort on our part. The main problem with this quarter's class and Zocchi was this: Zocchi's accent is strong and understanding EXACTLY what he said was difficult. He loved physics too and would kinda go off in lecture. So kids substituted going to lecture by staying home, doing the HW and reading the book. Now this is fine; this works 95% of the time. However, the MAIN ISSUE was this: the classwork and tests were different from the book, mainly with something called LRC Circuits. The book had this noob treatment of it but Zocchi did the full-frontal, pure-physics-mathematical treatment of it. So this set the class off-balance, caught us off guard, and there was alienation/dissatisfaction/anger/etc... What should you do? 1) Find an Italian model wife, date, marry her, and learn Italian or get used to her accent so you can understand Zocchi. Have kids, get a nice house in suburbia, look at pictures from her golden days in Vogue... 2)Take this class with Math 33B. Solving LRC circuit problems makes more sense with 33B's knowledge. Go to office hours. I didn't. You should. Seriously, there's only one beast in this class and it's LRC circuit problems. The rest is easy shit. But nonetheless, there's more calculus here than 1B. I got an A-. I was well above average both midterms (midterm 1: average 27/40 midterm 2: avg. 21/40). I THOUGHT I raped the final (with respect to the class that is, average on final was 44.4/80 ) but I guess not. I just beat it up a little. Pushed it around a bit. It fought back a little. But I subdued it. And it gave up. And it turned itself in and got graded.
Professor Zocchi is a really genuine and sincere teacher. He doesn't make it seem like you're in lecture to reinforce and embed concepts, but rather to introduce you to concepts that you should go and practice later. The readers for these classes do a really good job of explaining the concepts. Don't be fooled by the H suffix at the end of these classes. If Zocchi's teaching they stand for (H)ella Easy.
Professor Zocchi is one of the worst teachers I have had. I'm sure he loves physics, but he is not effective in teaching the material: lack of articulation and very diffuse organization. I cannot say there was more than 1 or 2 days in which I actually got something out of his lectures. Upon looking back at my notes, it's hard to make any sense because all he does is write equations without sufficient explaination. One upside is that his tests are pretty straightforward and people do pretty well.
Fall 2019 - Zocchi's 105A is like what you would expect for a university physics class. His lectures are clear and he's really a nice guy. The key of this class is the formulation of Lagrangian, and that's something you have to do a lot of practice on. Homework problems are hard and really needs some time, but they are really helpful for me to know the course materials. Sometimes there are some problems that requires a bunch of calculation, but they will not appear on the tests. Tests are somewhat difficult. They mainly focus on the ideas and concepts, so once you've figured out what you should do, the calculation would not torture you. And tests are curved so seems like we will be alright.
Spring 2019 - This professor sucks. He starts on a topic and gets easily flustered by a mistake he makes on the board which derails the entire lecture. He MOSTLY follows Griffiths but copied the occasional Feynman lecture or 2 so make sure to reference that. Some lectures he actually provided derivations that were not in either resource which were appreciated. I basically gave up on attending lecture at all and used Griffiths and Feynman which was sufficient. Homework is almost always out of the book and exams are super fucking easy. Make sure to go carefully through the derivations on some stuff. I distinctly remember on the final you basically had to derive the radiation for a charged particle.
Winter 2020 - Considering how well you understand the basic formalism of qm determines how well you do in the following chapters, there isn't a better professor than Professor Zocchi to take this class with (he does an excellent job teaching physics 131). He sometimes likes to apply material from later chapters to earlier ones (e.g. using spin as an example in formalism), so it's important to attend every lecture.