John Zaller

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Easiness 2.6/ 5
Clarity 4.0/ 5
Workload 2.5/ 5
Helpfulness 4.1/ 5
Most Helpful Review
If you are a Poli Sci major, you MUST take Zaller. I have never seen a professor at UCLA so passionate and truly interested in student learning. Sure, people wrote here that he is awkward and stand-offish, he's a statistician for god's sake-what do you expect. He teaches statistics and data analysis so slow, so detailed, and provides real world examples. You can tell he's a genius in his field but still can teach in a down to earth style. If you actually want to learn something and not worry about being super competitive, stress about grades, etc. take him. If you do the work reasonably well, I mean do ALL OF IT- whether it be quizzes, assignments etc.. He WILL give you the benefit of the doubt. He is not out to "screw" anyone over. Office hours are not necessary to excel but I hear good things about people how go to his office hours. I am a B+ average student who is not a suck-up or super hard studier, yet I found myself actually learning and wanting to do stuff in his class. For PS 6 Spring 2011, here was the breakdown -280 people in our class - lectures podcasted online. -4-5 T.A.'s with SO many office hours. Jesse Acevedo would do office hours at night, on weekends, etc. Rob and Stacey also wrote back e-mails within the hour. The best T.A's I've seen in any class at UCLA -5 Data Essays. These ranged from easy to super hard at the end. But if you met w/ a T.A. or even him for 5 minutes, they guided you. -Weekly quizzes. This was done online, not super hard and they are not timed. He does that so you can actually reference your notes -Midterm - 20 questions, some mathy, some just practical stuff. He even did a make-up midterm for people scoring a 75% or lower and provided 3 review sessions. -Final - 20 questions, not so much mathy, a lot of the questions were similar to the quiz questions. The only cons I could think of was that it got a little overwhelming and fast paced at the end but overall this class is good for any level of UCLA. I don't think I'll walk out of this class getting an "A", but it was worth it.
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