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(Updated in December) Note: this is a COVID-19 review. Grading: Homework 20%, 2 Midterms 25% each, Final 30%.
I think the fact that the other reviews are pretty mixed is indicative of how I felt about the class; I felt there was a mix of negative and positive aspects. Koffi Enakoutsa is absolutely a kind person, but it was his first quarter here at UCLA after having been at a few CSUs before, so I think he took some time adjusting to the school and the pace of the quarter system. Lectures were ok, not the best nor the worst, and he has a slight accent so it's sometimes difficult to understand him, but not impossible. For the most part, they followed the textbook, though he sometimes posted supplemental videos that built onto the lesson a bit more. He definitely tried his best to be accommodating of online learning. He extended our last few homework deadlines and was tolerant of late work. Lectures were recorded and he didn't require attendance, though he did give us a big scare about potential "live quizzes" to try to boost attendance mid-quarter due to declining numbers (which was a ruse, there didn't end up being any live quizzes). Homework was rather difficult, however. Towards the beginning of the quarter, we only seemed to get about 15 problems per lesson but it slowly ramped up as time went on, and many of the questions were from the "further insight" portion of the textbook's problem pool making them more theoretical, abstract and, in my opinion, difficult.
He later added on multiple choice quizzes which weren’t originally listed in the syllabus. These quizzes ended up accounting for 10% of our exam grades, so in a way they weren’t super high stakes (if you got a 0 then you’d still be able to get up to 90% on exams, and with random guessing you’d probably get greater than a 0). It’s just that some of us were just taken aback by the sudden addition of the quizzes. As stated the quizzes were all multiple choice, but were timed and tended to be very conceptual and abstract, much like the homework questions from the ends of the chapters. Your performance on them really depended on your conceptual understanding of the material. Of course, they were also open book much like everything else in the math department during Covid.
Exams were also tricky. Due to covid, we were given exams with 24-hour completion windows, but it was stated that the exams should've been possible to complete in the typical time frame that we'd usually have without covid. This did not feel entirely true for me personally, as some of the questions felt a bit too conceptual, similar to the homework. The more computational questions ended up being rather long and complex, and I used up quite a lot of space just showing work for them. That said I did ultimately end up getting an A on most of the exams, so I can't say they absolutely horrible. This may have been down to the extra time I had from the 24 hour policy, seeing as I used it to think more about the problem and construct a much more thorough answer than if I were working on the typical time limit. Koffi provides review sessions before several of his exams which are helpful since several of his examples reflect exam questions, so be sure to attend them whenever you can.
I think one reason people might experience varying degrees of difficulty is definitely due to experience with the material. Some people are coming in already knowing most if not all the material because they took AP Calculus BC and are only taking the class due to getting a 3 or 4 on the exam rather than a 5. People who did not take Calc BC but have something of a natural aptitude for math may also find this course not to be too challenging. People who are less of the mathematically thinking type or who only took AP Calculus AB (I fall into the Calc AB category) will be more likely to struggle due to lesser exposure to the more complex aspects of the class such as series. This brings me to another point that relates to my mixed feelings about this class: pacing felt very off - lessons on series were only covered the last 1-2 weeks of class. Personally, I found series to be the hardest topic in calculus, so the fact that we spent so much time on log and trig integration and so little time on series was what made me struggle the most on the final (there were numerous problems on series).
Personally, it's hard for me to say if I'd take math with Koffi Enakoutsa again. He really did try his best to accommodate us and he seems like a genuinely nice person. However, a lot of the assignments felt rather unnecessarily difficult and long. That said, some of that could be chalked up to the subject itself being hard to understand; the professor can't really take all the blame for the difficulty of the work. I do think a few of the homework problems and exam problems could've and possibly should've been changed to be more reflective of what we learned in lectures, but at the same time, I can't say they were impossible seeing as I ultimately figured things out and ended up with an A. I guess my recommendation would be that if you're good at math or are familiar with the material already, feel free to go for his class. If you aren't and there's a more highly rated professor teaching that same quarter, try to go for the other person. If the alternatives all seem to have worse reviews, or if there's a time conflict with the other sections of this class, or whatever situation makes it hard for you to choose another professor, go ahead and take this class and try not to feel too scared or worried. Go to office hours and ask your TA for help and put some time into studying for this class. You may struggle a bit, but I believe you'll be able to grind it out and make it through with enough effort.
Overall, this was a very tough class. First, the homework is very, very long. It would take anywhere from 7-15 hours per week. It is comprised mostly of "extension" questions which don't really show up on tests, but make the homework really time consuming and difficult. The tests were 24 hours due to covid, take a very long time, and are quite difficult. In regards to the professor, I didn't really find the lectures engaging or helpful and learnt most of it through the textbook (he follows the textbook closely) and from the TAs. He does review sessions which were nice. Don't take this class with this professor unless you have no other choice. You'll probably grind it out and be okay, but it will be a quarter of a lot of stress.
Koffi is a very nice professor. Even though sometimes I cannot understand what he said during the class, it doesnt quite matter lol. His lecture slides are VERY USEFUL. If you dont have time to attend his lecture, make sure you go over his lecture slides and understand every SINGLE EXAMPLE QUESION so that you can perform well in HW and the exam.
There are some tricky questions in the exam in which the wording is weird. You might lose some points on that but the other calculate-based questions are easy. Be sure to get clear with basic concepts. The workload of this class is not that light but not that heavy as well, you can manage that within a day or two for the weekly homework.
My experience in Professor Koffi's class has been quite disappointing and frustrating. The topics covered were needlessly complex and convoluted methods/proofs and HW load is ridiculous.
The testing format added further stress with the first test being 50 minutes of tough questions, leaving little time to think critically.
However, the second midterm was slightly more reasonable in difficulty.
The final was completely comprehensive on all of the chapters, with no formula sheet as we received in the 2nd midterm, and the last topic was covered 2 days before the final. I hope that in the future, Professor Koffi will take student feedback seriously instead of writing fake reviews for himself
-The quality of the posted notes added to the struggle as they were disorganized, messy, and often illegible.
-Although I understand this isn't his fault, Professor Koffi's thick accent proved to be a significant barrier.
To put it plainly, if you take him you'll have a homework each week (no exception) with on average 25 exercises but it can go as much as 40, which takes on average 7 to 15 hours. It's a heavy workload, especially when you have him in 2 classes (would not recommend at all, I had 60 to 80 exercises a week just with these 2 classes, it was a nightmare).
He doesn't drop any grade (not flexible at all on that), but you can give back all homework until the last day of the last week.
For the test, it was covid so we had 24 hours, it was honestly not that bad compared to the homework and the course. Everything was doable, but clearly not in 50 minutes as he said, more in 5 to 6 hours. But doable, not impossible.
I have mixed feelings about this class. On one hand, I do feel like I learned a lot of the material, and that the class could've been worse than it was. Koffi is the type of professor who genuinely wants to help is students and cares about teaching, which was encouraging. However, I felt that as a whole, this class was more difficult than it needed to be. The homework assignments at times were very long (I think the longest assignment was a little over 30 questions), which takes a long time, considering that most of the problems are theoretical, further insight questions from the textbook. He also threw in a couple of quizzes that contributed to 10% of the midterm grade, which I think were designed to help us, but ultimately ended up lowering both of my midterm scores by a couple percent. The first midterm was not too difficult at all, the second one was a bit harder, and the final I felt was way harder than it needed to be. The tests were mainly comprised of advanced, theoretical questions, which I felt were a bit unnecessary in testing what we knew, additionally he did not curve any of the tests and was very unreceptive to the idea of altering some of the questions to make them less difficult. I would probably recommend him for a more introductory, computational based class, but for 31B, I felt he made the content way more tricky than it needed to be. Additionally, the pacing of the class was weird - we had a first midterm on week 4, a second one on week 9, and then crammed an entire chapter of information before the final (much of which was on the final exam).
easy exams (extremely similar to what he shows in review sessions, often the same or with changed numbers), lots of homework including several proofs (however he lets you turn it in as late as the end of the quarter), unclear lectures with messy handwriting (only worth going to for fun because koffi is a nice wholesome person)
- very easy exams
- can turn in homework at end of quarter
- cool professor
- poor lectures
- lots of homework
- poorly paced class (you will definitely not be on schedule don't bother looking at the class calendar)
Horrible class. By far the worst class Ive ever taken anywhere
* Ridiculous amount of hw, totally unrelated to lecture content
* Disorganized, unclear lectures. Difficult to know what section we are on
* Unreasonably fast-paced
* Indecipherable handwriting (not his fault but accent tbh)
Don't be fooled by his fake reviews lol, you dont need to be sherlock holmes to decipher which ones are fabricated. Pathetic behavior if you ask me--just screams a fragile ego. Honestly I have no idea how this guy is employed by UCLA. He gives off a good facade of a caring prof but this class has caused me so much unnecessary stress. Avoid at all costs
Enakoutsa...was not good. he genuinely does not know math. Besides spending his lecture purely reading from the textbook and just rewriting all of the information, he is constantly making basic and fundamental mistakes that students must correct him on, other wise he just assumes his answer is right and rolls along. He writes everything out in literal caligraphy and you can only grasp about 30% of what he's actually saying so you are much better off just skipping lectures and reading the frickin book because it will just give you a headache. His homeworks are also PAINFULLY LONG and he consistently assigns the last. problem. of the chapter. Which we ALL know is the hardest and weirdest problem that ends up taking literally an hour. Sorry, ranting, this class is a pain but it has the redeeming quality of having relatively easy tests and finals, probably because he doesn't really know how to form questions on material other than the basics but no complaints on that part.