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He is an awesome lecturer and great teacher. He does go really fast during lecture, so it's important that you review everything otherwise you'll get lost once you hit week 6-7 when you start mechanisms, like I did. He spends a long time on review at the beginning which is weird, but I guess if you don't have a good foundation in that then it's helpful review. Unfortunately I didn't do well in that class because I didn't put in the time, but he is an awesome professor and definitely wants to get to know you. As far as tests, I don't think I have the right to comment on them, except to say that he is not one of those professors that gives much partial credit because you either know it or you don't.
It's a damn shame he's leaving... I took Dr. Chang for 30A and after dealing with Felker the quarter before, this was a complete turnaround. He took a subject as intimidating as organic chemistry and made it clear as day. His sense of humor helped liven up the class and made the subject even more manageable. Further, he was extremely approachable and helpful in office hours, and held review sessions before each exam.
There were 3 exams which comprised 99% of your grade (25% for both midterms, 49% final) as well as 1% for an online instructor evaluation. The test were totally fair, covering the material he had taught and not pulling things out of the blue. He also sent out practice tests which were extremely helpful.
Until now, the best experience I've had in chemistry here at UCLA.
Chang is a brilliant teacher and I felt like I got the best possible foundation in ochem from his 30A course. He posts super clear, organized lecture notes on CCLE before each lecture, which are basically what he writes on the board in class. Luckily he doesn’t replicate the book on the chalkboard, and he stresses mechanism and synthesis concepts. But as a warning, his class is fast paced and 30A is structured crazily—all of SN and E in less than two weeks before the final!! That’s the textbook’s fault, but it turned out Chang’s fast pace gave us ample time for review before the final exam and that saved me.
Even though he posts notes, you have to go to class every day to get the Jonah Chang experience. Not only will Chang remember your name and answer your questions, but he is honestly the funniest prof I’ve had— I remember one of his witty lines had the WHOLE lecture hall in hysterics for at least a full minute. Legendary. But having said that, his 30A course was no joke. I had to study hard to pull off an A. His exams are fair and well written, strictly graded and you MUST be confident in organic synthesis or else. But his synthesis problems are so good, even though I later had 30B with different prof, I studied Chang’s 30B exams from a friend, and with that practice I went to set the curve in 30B! So rest assured that Chang will give you a top quality education in ochem.
His exam review sessions are essential. Go to them to fill your “synthesis toolbox”, as he used to say: he decomposes the massive number of reactions into clear categories, and even throws out a few hints on what to study. Overall, Chang is an unforgettable teacher who makes the famously tough subject of ochem both understandable and fun. Bottom line: if you’re lucky enough, take him.
Side note: Tioga Martin is the best ochem TA--definitely go to his sections if you have him.
Organic chem is a drag, but Dr. Chang makes it fun and bearable. His lectures are fast, but he posts notes that help you follow greatly. Also tests are totally based on the notes and optional homework; he doesnt try to pull a fast one. I dont know why a few hate on him; probably because its their first organic chem class. Generous grading scale allows 20% of the class to get an A. If he teaches an organic chem class, definitely go for him. Chang all the way!