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Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.
Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.
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Some of the reviews on here are really unfair. Dr. Holczer is probably one of the nicest professors I have ever had at UCLA. He really does care about whether or not you do well in his class. I really didn't know what I was getting myself into when I first went to class because his writing can be illegible and I felt like dropping the class, but I stuck with it and it paid off. I went to his office hours frequently and he was really helpful. He also stuck around for like15 minutes after class one time to answer my questions. He really did help me see the value of physics and for that I am appreciative. Not all professors are perfect and Holczer is by no means a perfect professor, but he is kind and completely fair to the class. His tests are just like the Mastering Physics and recommended problems. I never missed a lecture, I would bring my book with me to lecture and open it up to the same lesson he was going over in class and take notes as he was talking so I could better understand the lecture. I haven't been in a single physics class that didn't require me to read the book, so note, that this is what comes along with any physics class. Just do the homework and you will be set, it could be a lot sometimes but it is a great review. Also go to office hours and ask him your questions, he is more than willing to help.
Good Luck!! And don't listen to everything on bruinwalk they probably never went to class and therefore struggled. It isn't all that bad, I survived and it was by far the easiest physics class I have taken at UCLA.
I agree with the previous review in that a lot of the reviews posted are quite unfair. Professor Holczer cares A LOT and is very friendly and understanding. It is worth going to his office hours. His lectures are meh but everything else is good. His exams are extremely fair as is his partial credit rubric. He also gives a lot of opportunity to gain extra credit. He is a great professor and is definitely passionate. It is kind of rare to find such a kind professor on this campus. To ace the class: review masting physics thoroughly, know the material, know the equations, use your cheat sheet well, go to office hours and ask questions!
Karoly Holczer is a great man. He exemplifies honor, strength, and passion. In addition, he exemplifies courage. Cut this guy some slack. Going from being a Soviet spy to a meager physics professor at UCLA, teaching people who think this class is hard (what?), is quite the tough task for Russia's greatest nuclear physicist.
No but in all honesty, this class is super easy. Do the homework, and you'll get an A. I have literally no idea what the people below me are saying, but I know that anyone who got through physics 6b and 6a (with any professor) will find this class a joke.
What can I say about Professor Holzcer....HE IS THE WORST!
Tl;dr: AVOID AT ALL COSTS
First of all, HE PRINTED OUT THE WRONG FINAL AND MADE US TAKE THE EXAM ON OUR CELL PHONES. He had the TA write the correct problems out on the board too, but the marker wasn't working well and the TA had small handwriting. I have 20/20 vision and was sitting maybe in the 8th or 9th row and struggled to read the board. I doubt anyone sitting in the back of lecture could read it at all. I found it incredibly unprofessional to take a test on our cell phones/tablets/laptops/anything with wifi. There must have been so much cheating on the exam...he honestly should just have let us go home instead of taking it.
Secondly, he made us cover 16 chapters of physics in 10 weeks when all the other professors teaching this quarter only covered ~10. He also assigned an average of 30 homework problems for week (high of 50 problems, low of 20 problems), while the other professors assigned 10 or less problems per week. Ok yeah, yeah so heavy workload.
His tests are also incredibly hard. He posts lecture slides that are roughly 80-100 slides/lecture (yes, lecture is only 50 minutes and no, he does not actually cover all of the slides). I don't understand his teaching method. He would just stand in front of the class and mumble to himself for 50 minutes. He NEVER solved problems on the board or did demonstrations. By lecture 2, there were maybe only 20 people in lecture out of the 200 people enrolled. IF YOU CAN, TAKE PHYSICS WITH SCHRIVER INSTEAD. Schriver's lectures were ALWAYS packed (like people sat on the floor). I even went to some of his lectures instead of Holzcer's because Schriver actually will teach you the material.
Fun fact: he wears the same outfit every freaking day! He loves this reddish jacket...not even kidding, he switched up jackets (same jacket, but purple color instead) and THAT made it on the UCLA campus story.
To be honest, I didn't learn anything. I didn't go to class but it's very manageable to do well. Just do the assigned problems and you can do well. His lectures are really dry and his writing sucks. You're on your own.
Definitively one of the worst professors I've had in my entire college career. I can honestly say I gained absolutely NOTHING of worth from his "teaching". Everything single thing in the class was something I learned on my own from the textbook. His handwriting is illegible, his accent occasionally understandable, and he wears the same exact outfit every single day of the quarter. I'm not joking. If you want someone who reads word for word off slides he stole from the textbook, then this is the guy for you. If having that ability is something that qualifies you to be a professor these days, teaching standards sure have dropped. Something that can sum up the entire quarter in a sentence: after 3 weeks of class, literally less than 50 out of 250 students were showing up to lecture. And honestly, it seems like he didn't even notice. I feel an ounce of pity for him there, but it doesn't make up for the fact that he is a useless professor and doesn't make an effort to improve or communicate with his students.
He is a terrible professor! He is a liar and he is super shady! I have never had such a terrible professor at ucla before. What made me dislike him as a prof. was that he spent less than 5mins going over the entire chapter of the book! He also sent out an email saying that we are responsible for ch. 35-44 on the finals. GUESS WHAT???!!! I can say that out of 9 big problems on the final, only 1 problem was from the new materials after the 2nd midterm. While i was taking the final, all i did was cussing the entire time. How could he do that to his students? If he decided to cram in the new materials for the finals, then he should at least test us on it. I spent 2 weeks learning the new materials, and ended up none of the problems were on the new materials/concepts that were covered in ch.35-44 except 1 problem and 2 concept questions that barely worth 5points. I cannot express how terrible this professor is. Shady, liar, horrible professor ever at ucla! He used to give out 50points extra credits for writing the essays, now he gave 25 points only. He used to give 30points ec on the 2nd midterm, now he only gave 20points. Well,everything had changed. No longer easy! Don't take him! you will regret it sooo badly! Not just the professor crappy, his ta is crappy too! The ta spent an hour trying to solve on of the hw problem and he would get stuck on it. Then he would send out an email saying how he made a mistake on so and so problem. SIGH.....
I feel like a lot of people took this class expecting it to be an easy A and it's really not. It's not a killer class, but it's not super easy either. He also lies a lot and is SUPER shady about everything in the class; at times it felt like he didn't want to help us out at all and just wanted us to go in blind.
Old reviews here say that he gives 50 points of extra credit or whatever but he really doesn't anymore. He gave 20 points of extra credit on midterm 2 by giving us 6 problems instead of 5. You could also get 25 points of extra credit by writing up to 5 essays (5 points each) on some physics concept being used in real life. And he claimed that he only gave this extra credit because we bitched him out for it...wtvr.
He is very unclear about what happens in his class and you really never know what to study for. He attempts to teach the entire book and that obviously fails miserably. His syllabus literally states that he aims to teach Ch. 13, 17-20, 31-44...and he doesn't but he still tests on it! He takes too long to cover stuff and when he runs short on time he starts spitting out the main concepts of a chapter in the last 30 seconds of class and then claims to have taught it and declares it fair game for the exam.
The biggest shitshow was the final exam in that class. For our final he said that it would be cumulative and that we would have to know how to do problems for Ch. 34-39 and the previous chapters and we would have multiple choice for Ch. 40-44 - he even sent out his only email of the quarter telling us this. So when we get to the final what do we see....No multiple choice, there's short answer. 1 easy question from 34-39 and the other 8 questions are thermo n other shit. He straight up lied to us. He's the definition of shady.
But overall, if you wanna do well you're gonna have to read the book yourself and teach yourself everything - he never says what sections to know so you basically have to know everything. Going to class is pointless cuz he has a super thick accent (score 1 for UCLA for hiring another physics teacher who can't fucking speak English) and his handwriting sucks and you never know what he's getting at. The only thing I ever found it useful for was knowing where we were in the class and knowing what he emphasized. Also he's kinda rude and will go on a rant during office hours if he thinks you're asking something stupid.
First off, Holczer isn't a bad guy and, dare I say, not a terribly deficient professor either.
Yes, he has flaws - he's terrible at answering e-mails (I'm convinced that he doesn't even have a computer), and his penmanship and visual artistry (somewhat necessary for some concepts such as optics) are absolutely terrible (although, surprisingly, the man does draw a very good electromagnetic wave - something not many people could brag about).
But the guy cares about his students - if you don't believe me, go to his office hours. A lot of pre-meds go in there - all sweaty and ridiculous - asking about what's on the midterm, whether or not he'll be offering extra credit, etc. But he'll just play cool, twirl his scarf, chuckle and say, with his thick Hungarian accent, "Don't vorry about it. Stop bloody stressing. ENjoy the bloody thing." And, the truth is, you don't have to worry about it. He puts everything on the damn table for you when he writes up the test. Half of his shit is plug and chug - if you read the book, you're good. More importantly, if you UNDERSTAND the concepts, you're good. Very good, in fact. His first midterm was almost pure algebra, and you just needed to know what equations to use based on the language of the problem. Done.
Having that said, this guy is good at explaining concepts - what he sucks at is applying the mathematical dimension to them (and half of this weakness is due to the mere fact that his writing is terrible - his thetas look like q's, so on and so forth). But his exam questions don't require much complex mathematical manipulation or derivation anyway. His skill of explaining the conceptual, though, is very effective during the last modern physics portion of the course, where everything in classical physics breaks down, nothing carries a trace of intuitiveness, and you're sitting there like "wtf, time can slow down when approaching the speed of light?" It helps that he gets really excited about it, too. What this cat wants you to do is understand the conceptual and learn to interpret nature in the quantitative physical mindset, and he makes this very clear if you go to his office hours and attend lecture after the first midterm, when all the good shit starts being taught. His ability to philosophize is also quite astounding - he adds a bit of a poetic flavor to his lecturing, if you're into that kind of thing (physics is pretty poetic).
The biggest deficit of this class, however, is not Holczer, but the structure of the class itself. The structure of the curriculum is absolutely laughable. I'm currently studying for his final, and going from Schrödinger's wave equation to fucking fluid dynamics feels like jumping from one world to another completely unrelated one. Although all of the subjects meant to be covered by the course are pretty fascinating (fluids, thermodynamics, optics, relativity, quantum mechanics), it's not at all practical to even think that you could learn all of it well, particularly the modern physics portion.
Due to this, I really regret not having taken the 1 series, because this quarter could've been a whole lot better if I didn't have to re-learn thermodynamics (covered in Chem 14B and 20B), or if fluids had been covered when learning classical mechanics. I'd recommend that UCLA either cut down on the modern physics portion of 6C or just devise a 6D class to cover those concepts more thoroughly, though it would be relatively pointless to dedicate a whole class for the purpose of teaching biology students the special theory of relativity or wave-particle duality since they wouldn't give a flying fuck anyway (I'd only give a floating fuck, and would perhaps consider the course).
So, bottom line: take this guy if you like reading the book. And, to be honest, Giancoli wrote a pretty good fucking book for introductory university-level physics. If you want to get a fucking A, read the fucking book and understand the fucking concepts, and you'll be fucking fine. More than fucking fine. You'll be flying, soaring, defying gravity, even, especially considering the rate at which this guy offers extra credit (it's almost shameful). In fact, if you wanna do it the hard way, you can do what the cat below me says and memorize the fucking problems so, when they show up on the midterm, you can do them with ease and not piss yourself because you didn't really understand the concepts in the first place anyway. Sure, you can do that. But you'd be wasting time, and, personally, I'd rather spend that time drinking cheap beer or learning French or some shit. So, there you go: master fluid dynamics, drink beer, learn French, become a doctor. Easy shit. Take Holczer. Gotta love his scarves, too. I wonder what he's hiding under there.