Introduction to Discrete Structures

Igor Pak

Introduction to Discrete Structures

Mathematics department

Igor Pak

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from 18 users

Ratings

Bad
Overall 3.2
Good
Hard
Easiness of class 2.9
Easy
Heavy
Workload 2.8
Light
Not Clear
Clarity of professor 3.4
Clear
Not Helpful
Helpfulness of professor 3.5
Helpful
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Tags

  • Engaging Lectures
  • Appropriately Priced Materials
  • Often Funny
  • Would Take Again
  • Participation Matters
  • Tough Tests

Grades

Spring 2017
16.6%
13.8%
11.0%
8.3%
5.5%
2.8%
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.

Spring 2015
19.3%
16.1%
12.8%
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.

Fall 2013
16.2%
13.5%
10.8%
8.1%
5.4%
2.7%
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.

Fall 2012
19.5%
16.2%
13.0%
9.7%
6.5%
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.

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1 of 2

Reviews

Quarter Taken: Spring 2017 Submitted Nov. 16, 2017 Grade Received: A

Igor Pak is a good professor. He teaches the content in a very clear and concise way. He occasionally makes fun of himself (including his Russian origin and his accented English), which sometimes makes the lecture more interesting.

Even though I had already known a lot about discrete math before I took this class, I still find going to lecture pretty essential. He introduces the theorems and facts, does example problems in class which are very similar to homework problems.

The homework problems are mostly easy, but occasionally there are a few hard ones, as well as a few that's not hard but very tedious to do, like giving you a complicated graph with more than a dozen nodes and asking you to find a Hamiltonian cycle. For those I lost patience after a few minutes of trying and used Wolfram Mathematica instead.

Midterms are not that hard, but the final is significantly harder and more tedious. On the final, there are also numbers so small that they aren't printed clearly enough: eventually the TAs started copying the several dozen numbers to the blackboard. Personally I'm glad that I did very well on the final, but before I saw the score, I was really not sure that I did well and not sure I would be able to get an A: there are just so many possibilities to make careless mistakes. I was pleasantly surprised when I saw that I in fact got an A but I guess it was close.

Verdict: his exams are a bit unpredictable but if you care about learning, he's an excellent professor.

Quarter Taken: Spring 2017 Submitted Aug. 22, 2017 Grade Received: B-

Professor Pak is a really smart guy and his lectures are pretty entertaining. He's pretty funny but he gets very angry very quickly. He will call you out if you are talking in class, and if you walk in late sometimes he'll stop class just to glare at you. I'd recommend going since a lot of the specific examples he lectures on have pretty similar concepts to the exams. Tests are average for math department, typical bell curve sitting around ~60. The textbook is pretty awful so I used "TrevTutor" videos on youtube for a lot of the concepts. The Homework Assignments are very long but he recommends you make study groups, which is helpful since some of the questions are incredibly hard and there are so many ways to go wrong in this subject.

Quarter Taken: Spring 2017 Submitted July 13, 2017 Grade Received: N/A

Selling Textbook Johnsonbaugh 7th edition for $30. Text if interested 503-880-4378

Quarter Taken: Spring 2015 Submitted June 20, 2017 Grade Received: A

Unlike the review a few sections below me, I wouldn't say that Pak dresses like a hobo, but he does have a unique approach to clothes. I would say it's pretty snazzy and speaks a lot to his chill, laidback character.

Anyways, he may seem really intimidating at first, but in actuality, I think he's a really nice guy. He makes sure to teach the basics and only the basics and doesn't really go into advanced topics because he doesn't believe that should be case for an introductory class. I would say he's one of the best professors I've had at UCLA because he really helps you learn the material in class. You can tell that he really knows his stuff because he doesn't use any notes or slides in lecture and everything he writes on the board is straight from memory. You also can't help but enjoy the material when you're in the presence of someone who loves it as much as he does.

As for tests, I didn't really have to study for them after going to all his lectures. His lectures were one of the few here at UCLA that I actually looked forward to going to. Overall, I would highly recommend having him as a professor at UCLA.

Quarter Taken: Spring 2017 Submitted June 17, 2017 Grade Received: A

Very engaging and funny professor, clearly knows his stuff. Midterms are easy, and homework assignments are doable. The final, though, blows everyone's mind as it requires some extraordinary understanding & advanced application of the course material (I would say it slightly goes beyond the courses' scope).

Quarter Taken: Spring 2017 Submitted May 16, 2017 Grade Received: N/A

BUYING textbook, which is Discrete Structures (Johnsonbaugh 7th edition) at $15. Email if interested to schoolwork4000@gmail.com

Quarter Taken: Winter 2015 Submitted April 21, 2017 Grade Received: A

Selling Johnsonbaugh 7th edition for $25!! Text if interested 3109137318

Quarter Taken: Spring 2017 Submitted April 7, 2017 Grade Received: I

Selling Johnsonbaugh 7th edition for $30!! Text if interested (562)682-0293

Quarter Taken: Spring 2015 Submitted April 15, 2016 Grade Received: A-

Pak dresses like a hobo but teaches like a hero. He's Russian, he's brilliant, and he doesn't give a crap about how smart you are. What he does care about though, is that you understand the material and that you go to class, absorb information, and synthesize it on homeworks and exams.

His lectures are incredibly straightforward. He solves a bunch of problems, working his way up from the basic concepts to the actual, meaty topics. Through this, students can gain a full understanding about how to solve problems from the bottom up. Formulas are stated and solved; there's never a formula given without an explanation of how we get them. These formulas (such as permutations, trees, Catalan numbers, etc), aren't like the crappy formulas you need to memorize in the 32 series. You'll learn the material well enough that you can come up with the formulas by your own thinking and your own problem solving. Even better, if you don't understand a concept, all you have to do is ask and he'll explain something over and over, in different ways, until you get it; he doesn't care about how far he gets in the book (which is pretty useless anyways), as long as you understand the material. One thing to note: the book is absolute garbage, and you're better off going to class to learn the material than try to wade through pages of crappy writing and typos.

He assigns homework better known as the legendary Home Assignments (HA), which are a couple book problems and then his own personal problems that he writes up himself. If you take good notes and understand class material, and put a little thought into it, you can work through his own problem set. He also encourages you to work in groups, which is incredibly helpful.

There are quizzes every week in class, which are just 5 multiple choice questions to test concepts. Although they're super easy, they're multiple choice so you'll probably average a 60% and be really sad.

Exams are pretty straightforward. There's nothing new, nothing tricky. All you really need to do to ace these exams are to understand the concepts, review the home assignments, and brush through the quizzes. He doesn't give out practice midterms because there's plenty online and you don't really need them. I would recommend not cramming and actually learning the material, because if you do the exams are actually really easy. If you do try to cram, you'll get lost in a sea of formulas and tears. Learn the concepts, and you won't need the formulas.

A lot of people don't like Pak, but they're probably just salty about his Russian accent and strict policies. Which by the way are things like him trolling you if you're late to class. Nothing to worry about. I'd highly recommend this class with this professor.

Quarter Taken: N/A Submitted June 21, 2015 Grade Received: N/A

Nice man but not a clear lecturer. Makes an easy and intuitive subject very difficult. Would not recommend.

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Tags

  • Engaging Lectures
  • Appropriately Priced Materials
  • Often Funny
  • Would Take Again
  • Participation Matters
  • Tough Tests
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