Based on 55 Users
Worst professor I've had at UCLA (5 year tenure). His tests are ridiculous, if you (god forbid) miss any of his 3 days a week 8am lectures you will live to regret it. The 50 minute lectures are rushed and often wander, and his extreme personal bias is not very encouraging for those attempting to actually learn something new.
The midterm and final were both take homes, and counted for 40% and 60% of the total grade respectively. The midterm was given in the midst of a busy 5th week, and consisted of 5 short ID's and 3 essays. The grading was ridiculous, and I can only imagine the nightmare those who did not attend lecture consistently encountered if they tried to use the skimpy readings to get anything more than a C. The final was something of a case study, and contained two parts (a short ID sort of essay and a much longer essay which was horribly put vague). If you wander from his violently liberal material, you will assuredly fail. In short, if you have no issue sitting through rushed and poorly organized 50 minute lectures at 8 am three times a week, and have no opinions of your own you're probably in position for a high B or A.
On a personal level Liljeblad is kind of strange. He's USC JD and Political Science PhD, and is intelligent but definitely falls under ivory tower category. He speaks down to you, and has very little interest in teaching anyone who is not already liberally inclined. He has very little interest in general in people, and seemed to only favor students who were heavily interested in the sort of conceptual issues he was.
Classes like this are a bit of a joke in my opinion. Certain professors, often unqualified younger ones who are not full professors, are given far too much leeway to teach classes like this one. This course was a mess of one man's heavily biased unscientific opinions, and had little to do with what was suggested by the title or the synopsis given. You'll clearly see the difference when taking a course with a more experienced professor, and there are many far better ones in the department. I believe Liljeblad was laid off, which was long overdue. If he does ever rear his head again, steer clear unless you share his environmental views and liking for children's cartoons.
I too have taken Prof. L several times now, and each time he's been extremely fair. He may have certain leanings (none too far in either direction, either), but the thing is he puts everything on the board in outline form and speaks clearly. He is definitely a fair instructor, although the absolute expectation is that you go to lecture. There is simply too much stuff assigned in the readings to go off that. He's also fairly entertaining in class. Just GO TO LECTURE and take notes exactly as you see things on the board (and write in his words of explanation). As for the take home exams, base everything off your notes. Don't try to get overly creative.
The course was 40% midterm and 60% final, both of which were take home. The class is a little scary in that you have no idea what you got on the midterm until well into week 8, and the final is very hard in that it's a completely new, unknown format (an issue-spotting exam, like the kind people take in law school). I've taken another class with him in the past also and did really well on the three exams. I ended up with an A-, but it seemed as if a lot of people got final grades that were lower than expected. He's not a hard teacher exactly and is very clear in giving out notes (writes everything on the board). Still, he tends to be very suspicious of people and thinks he's being taken advantage of. He can also be a little arrogant in that he keeps emphasizing his science background like we're all total idiots.
I took PS140A with this professor. I never went to class and still got an A+. Regardless of what everyone says (that going to class is imperative to getting a good grade), all you really need to do is read after the midterm and final are assigned and before they're due. Take him.
I thought the class was pretty good- until I got my final grade. I got 100 and 96 on the two midterms, did really well on the final, and ended up with a B in the class. One, for a low paper score which was unfair and out of the blue, and two, for low participation, even though I attended every single class and participated a few times. I would not recommend him, he is unfair at grading and you wont know it till you get your final grade.
He is a great lecturer, and informs on what he plans to put on the midterms and finals. However, getting an A in this class is very difficult. I got an A- after doing 98 and 96 on the two midterms, the final he gave me an 88 and wouldn't let me dispute it. The readings are not all that important, just go to class and pay attention.
This class was tricky. Although Prof. Liljeblad isn't a bad lecture he isn't awesome either. The man has a slightly weird personality at times.
Just like everyone else said earlier it was very hard to get an A in this class. Even though I got 100 % and 95 % on my midterms I still got a B+ in the end. Believe me I was very shocked! You don't know what he wants in the paper and the final was all over the place. The final was cumulative and the theme was Naruto .
Overall: Fair--on the non-challenging side. The midterm, and final are both take home exams worth 40%, and 60%, respectively. Yes, I agree this can be scary. Now the important stuff how to get an A: Go to lecture and take notes. He will regret if you feel to don't do either one. Side note: you do not have to do the enourmous reading he assignes, just scan it and understand the main points. He is helpful during office hours. Interesting: He has several blogs; google his name he actually has some really engaging articles.
He is a horrible professor and absolutely does not know how to teach. He does not care about the students, and grades strictly off the rubric. The midterm and final are take home, and based exactly from the notes. Reading is not required at all, if you will use any material from the reading it will only lower your grade. He is an arrogant, self centered, selfish individual. His lectures are barely understandable and you do not learn anything in his class. I would suggest not to take any of his classes.