Based on 53 User s
tl;dr: FUCK THIS GUY. Avoid him at all costs.
20B is hard. But Bouchard will make it 10x harder than any class you have ever taken in your entire life. For winter 2018, we were given the choice of Felker and Bouchard, both of whom have pretty shit ratings. But boy did I choose wrong. Bouchard takes pride in flexing his PhD. You will understand this after the first 5 minutes of the first lecture. He asks intentionally convoluted questions in lecture just so he can see the confused looks on our faces, and then when someone is brave enough to attempt an answer, he shoots them down dramatically, pointing out how stupid they are in front of the whole class. Lectures are boring and convoluted, and his lecture notes make even less sense. Most of the content of HIS version of 20B requires knowledge of Math 32B, which is not a pre-requisite of this class. His homework was created by him, took about 6 -10 hours to complete on a good day, and was graded extremely harshly. He went out of his way to make obtaining the solutions to the homework impossible- they were printed and posted in some random hallway in Young Hall. The TAs were useless; I think their relationship with the professor was just as bad as the students'. No practice exams were given, and if you were lucky enough to find one from previous years, the TAs were specifically instructed not to help with them. The exams were IMPOSSIBLE. The averages were in the 50s. There was no correlation between time studied/knowledge of the material and grade received. This guy needs to be fired.
This class is the worst I've had at UCLA. Bouchard is unclear on his own and manages to be even more unclear when asked very direct questions. Most of the answers he gives are exactly the question that was asked, but reworded. Ex. "what happened to the negative in this step?" "Oh that's gone now" I cannot count how many useless hours I have spent on homework that is completely irrelevant to what was lectured on. It is unnecessarily difficult and does not give a better understanding of material. He also makes it due Sunday nights which ensures you waste each weekend trying to finish. He gives no guidance for what will be focused on in any of the tests when asked and his lectures themselves are not what is on the tests, they focus on the footnotes and subsections of his lectures that he posts later on and is not mentioned by him in person. His topics do not follow the explanations of the textbook and he claims to disagree with several of the approaches they take and used a much more complicated, calculus based way. Felker has a lower rating so I chose Bouchard and deeply regret it. Don't trust those numbers and pls take any other professor. P.S. you have to memorize 50+ equations and you don't get any kind of equation sheet for any tests
Normally I would wait to complete the course before writing a review, but for the sake of you the reader, I write this now that you DO NOT take this class with this professor. I repeat: DO NOT. Are you a chemistry major? DO NOT take. You would rather wait another quarter to take this class than to take it with Bouchard. His homework is just a long list of tedious and frustrating calculus and derivations that nobody can solve or even knows why it's useful (for example, deriving the average velocity of gas molecules [this is already given in class, so there was no need to derive it] when given the Maxwell-Boltzmann Speed Distribution). Even if you complete the homework, it would have taken you hours and many pages of writing. And you won't even get a sense of pride and accomplishment because all of it has been previously derived by Einstein or other such scientists a hundred years ago. I'm no stranger to calculus (got an A in 32A) and I still find the homework unbelievably troubling. Complain that nobody understands the homework, and his predictable reply is to just attend office hours. His grading is mysterious and is never specified. He never says what's on the test. Doesn't provide formulas. Doesn't let you have cheat sheets. It doesn't help that he talks about tangents that seem to have little to do the actual course in class, so you really can't guess what he wants you to know. He has no redeeming aspect. He is the epitome of bad professors.
tl;dr: 0/10, do not take under any circumstances
This class wasn't too bad, if you have the mental fortitude to survive unreasonable loads of homework, mind numbing lectures that make you feel dumber than when you started and twisted tests that leave you wondering whether studying even made a difference
If you are taking this course with Professor Bouchard, this is what you should expect:
- does not motivate yet strongly discourage learning in class. Through the course of this semester, he has been adamant in his way of teaching, rejecting any challenges raised by the students and got irritated easily, responding “If you do not believe in X concept, you should not do science”.
- does not answer student’s questions after class; give only overly general responses or merely “you should know this”.
- scares students in class, constantly claiming that he is not afraid to fail seniors.
- fails to retreat students’ equally; have preference over some selected group of students; always treat these students with patience while ignoring or occasionally castigating other less preferred students. A concrete example is that, whenever I get answers to questions he raises wrong in class, Prof. Bouchard consistently used discouraging words like “Wrong” and “No” and did not let me continue answering the question, whereas he treats other student with much more patience, using words like “try harder” or “thinker deeper” while waiting for their answers. Such disparity in treatment directly impacted my passion for this class and discouraged me from participating in class discussion or engage in intellectual thinking.
- highly unfamiliar with the course material, could not help with students’ lab report or questions related to class material
- demonstrate unprofessionalism in grading: carelessly glance over students’ lab report carefully and do not assign grades based on a uniform standard; fail to respond to students’ re-grading request when points are unfairly deducted
But Professor Bouchard's notes are very clear and the course will indeed improve your Matlab skill and stats to a great extent. Even though the average score of the test is around or below 30/100 and the first lab report grade is also 30/100, I received satisfactory scores for this class. If you study really hard your hard work will pay off.
Worst class I’ve taken so far. Bouchard IS NOT misunderstood. He is out to screw people over. Do not take this class unless you have worse options or if you have take physics 1A. Bouchard teaches this class with a physics approach since he usually teaches this class during spring quarter, so he assumes people have taken physics. This class will consume your life and your weekends. The workload is unreasonable since he doesn’t really teach shit. This means you’ll end up learning only by taking notes of his lecture notes, not by attending lecture. His homework assignments are ridiculous as they are so next level. He expects us to have already mastered the concepts he taught in class, so he makes the homework problems 30 times harder. The homework problems also don’t have enough information for you to solve the problem because he thinks that “it would not be fun if you just plugged in values into equations”. This means you’ll be looking shit up that you can only find by reading abstracts about that specific topic (occasionally the values you need are in the book). In short, the homework he assigns is simply a road-block to learning the concepts.
Bouchard himself is a massive pile of cr*p. He is possibly the rudest Canadian you’ll ever meet. A girl bravely responded to one of Bouchard’s cryptic questions and he responded with “That is certainly not a stupid statement” as if he expects her to be stupid. Bouchard also can’t dress. For the first 8 weeks I swear he wore the same grey pants with either a grey shirt, grey with stripes, or a blue shirt. One day he decided to style on us by wearing blue pants….and then he wore the same blue pants for the rest of the quarter.
The midterms and final are OK. They are hard but kinda reasonable……except for the fact WE DON’T GET A FUCKIN EQUATION SHEET. Quizzes will fuck you over so might as well take the L in that part.
If you do take this class, keep your head up and endure the pain. Attend lecture and take notes of his lecture notes. Create a document with all the equations you learn as you go (you’ll be thankful you did when midterms and finals approach). Don’t bother with the book. Going to office hours helps a little, but not much. Best of luck!
If you are reading this, then more than likely you have heard horror stories about Bouchard and 114. And, you also probably don't have much of a choice about taking this class. But, let me address a few things.
The class is very difficult, no lies here. On top of the lab reports, Louie gives the hardest homework assignments I ever had at UCLA, and exams aren't a walk in the park (although if you study and do the hw they actually aren't all that bad). Ultimately, however, I ended up appreciating the class. Louie is very rigorous, derived, and straight forward in his lectures, and ultimately the lectures are clear. He also provides incredibly detailed notes, which are long but you MUST study them to do well. Be sure to go to the TA's to make sure your lab reports are well written, as you shouldn't lose sight of the fact that they are the biggest portion of your grade. The class is hard, and you will have to work your tail off, but Bouchard is actually a cool guy, he just enjoys challenging people.
20B is a relatively hard class on its own. There are a lot of equations and a lot of topics that often don't really relate to each other. On top of this, Bouchard is by far the worst professor I've had yet. He's arrogant, condescending, and genuinely couldn't care less whether or not his students succeed. Do everything in your power to take this class with a different professor. If you do get stuck with Bouchard, don't worry too much about your test scores; the averages are usually around 50%. You probably won't get an A, but you'll pass the course and never have to see Bouchard's smug face again.