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- Majid Sarrafzadeh
- COM SCI 180

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**Overall Rating**

Based on 54 Users

*/ 5*How easy the class is,

**1**being extremely difficult and

**5**being easy peasy.

*/ 5*How clear the class is,

**1**being extremely unclear and

**5**being very clear.

*/ 5*How much workload the class is,

**1**being extremely heavy and

**5**being extremely light.

*/ 5*How helpful the class is,

**1**being not helpful at all and

**5**being extremely helpful.

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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.

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

Sorry, no enrollment data is available.

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Designed two sets of tests with one easier for domestic students and one harder for international students?

What a good strategy!

OK this review may destroy all the good impressions you got from the other reviews, but I have to tell u I am telling ONE HUNDRED PERCENT TRUTH!!!!!

Dr. Sarrafzadeh clearly knows the contents of the course very well because I have to admit his lecture contents are acceptable. I enjoyed his lectures because he always tried his best to introduce the algorithms and lead us through the steps. As other reviews mentioned, he came with a bit of "sarcasm," and this really made his lectures intriguing. His homework questions were fair considering the time I spent working on them and the TAs' generous grading policy. There are usually 6 questions per problem set and I spent roughly 6h to finish each week. His midterm was comparatively easy, and I got almost 100 out of it. Until now u are seeing positive comments right? Get prepared here comes the bullshit part.

Note, I got almost 100% before I took the final exam. But for the final, he designed, like the midterm, 2 sets of problems, one for domestic students and one for international students (there were 2 exam time windows, one at 8am, one at 8pm). I took the 8pm test and got 70/100. There were 23 students (most of which from Asia) who took the 8pm final, and we had a group chat. I checked with most students in the group chat and found out 70/100 was actually a pretty decent grade because most of my peers got a score around 60-65.

Now you may think the average for the final should be around 65 and Majid would curve up the grade . Well you are wrong, or I have to say more than wrong. Later I received a B grade and he told us he would not curve because the final grade was "unusually high". As a result, I asked the Dean for help and got the distribution of the final grades. It turned out domestic time window got a mean of around 88, and international 78. I could not figure out why was the median 78 given that I had already spoken to most of my classmates taking the 8pm test and they received scores around 65??? He gave out 62/180ish A's and it turned out almost none of them were from the 8pm test. He insisted that the 2 tests had same difficulty level, and international students did poor on the exam simply because they did not master the materials well. But I got 100/100 before the final and I still screwed the final to such an extent. So I personally do not think he offered a fair set of tests.

"WHAT A GOOD ALGORITHM," quoting one of my classmates

I personally think Majid is a good professor. His lectures were clear and paced really well (not too slow, not too fast, not too boring, not too many jokes). The HWs were long and hard but doable if you put time into it (and they're graded very leniently). For exams, he gave points quite leniently as long as you wrote something for proofs/time complexity.

I feel like Majid really cares about the students. For the final, he actually changed the grading rubrics of two questions in favor of the majority of the students due to our feedback, which is rare to see. I also like how he gave a large percentage of A's because of the high avg/median in the exams (midterm and final were both around 90) instead of curving down the class.

Majid was a good lecturer—spoke clearly, made the content approachable, and was entertaining.

Homework was around six questions per week and was graded primarily on completion. Homework solutions were online for almost every problem. Though, if you want to derive the solution on your own and fully understand each question, expect the homework to take a while to complete (on average >1 hour per problem). Homework questions seemed more difficult than exam questions, so if you understand the homework, you should do well on the exams.

With respect to the midterm and final, partial credit is key in this class: if you write the correct keyword in your algorithm or proof, you can get a majority of the points while still having a flawed algorithm. You may even have a completely incorrect algorithm, but if you explicitly cite paradigms taught in class, you will earn many points.

Overall, this was a good class, and I'm glad that Majid was the professor. I highly recommend diving into the material since this exact content is what needs to be mastered for leetcode/job interviews. Good luck!

Majid is a good professor. I wouldn't say he's godlike or anything, but he's definitely the choice to make for 180. He comes off as a little sarcastic and abrasive at first, but throughout the quarter you can really see that he means well and cares about student learning. His lectures are very methodical: he takes a lot of time introducing problems, making everything clear, and illustrating the problem solving process in detail. Usually he does only 1 or 2 problems each lecture. This means he only goes through a few examples for every topic.

Homeworks and exams were pretty challenging for me. As someone who rarely studied the material outside lecture, I had a lot of trouble doing the problems without help. For most normal/average students, doing well in the class will probably involve reading the textbook and doing extra practice regularly. And if you procrastinate on homework, expect to pull some all-nighters to finish.

I'm guessing exam averages were unusually high this quarter or something, because he did not curve at all. In fact, because he gives so few +/- grades, quite a few people got curved down (e.g. 88% -> B). Sad times. Overall, I'd still recommend. Just remember that there is no way around putting in the work for developing the skill set of this class, regardless of how good of a lecturer the professor is.

The professor was very nice in class but arrogant and a bit irresponsible after class. It is disappointing and truly a waste of time when you found out he failed to make to his office hours (without even noticing the class in advance). The midterm needs proof of correctness and time complexity analysis but the problem statements did not explicitly specify, and I got lots of points deducted just because of those ambiguous requirements, and the professor refuses to admit such ambiguity. The grading scheme i think is pretty lenient at least you have some stuff in terms of algo, proof, and time complexity. I nearly bullshitted one question and got 15/20 but only got 10/20 without any proof/complexity analysis just because i thought the problem does not require for them(((( Overall the material is very useful but the experience and grading sucks.

I think where Majid's lectures shine is his focus on giving you a good theoretical grasp of the material without being bogged down in the details. Implementation, corner cases, etc. you'll have to figure out yourself if you really care, but Majid just wants to know whether or not you understand when to apply different algorithmic paradigms.

There were some underwhelming parts to this class, however. It wasn't as comprehensive as I would have liked, and the whole wishy-washy many words = perfect proof grading scheme was a bit sketch. I swear all you have to do to get full credit for the proofs is to structure is with as many bullet points as you can for as many sub-proofs by contradiction, or proof by induction if you're doing anything recursion or DP related - the actual words you write can be gibberish.

Anyways, let's be real here...whether it's Majid or some other CS 180 prof, the best way you are going to learn algorithms is by practicing yourself.

Designed two sets of tests with one easier for domestic students and one harder for international students?

What a good strategy!

OK this review may destroy all the good impressions you got from the other reviews, but I have to tell u I am telling ONE HUNDRED PERCENT TRUTH!!!!!

Dr. Sarrafzadeh clearly knows the contents of the course very well because I have to admit his lecture contents are acceptable. I enjoyed his lectures because he always tried his best to introduce the algorithms and lead us through the steps. As other reviews mentioned, he came with a bit of "sarcasm," and this really made his lectures intriguing. His homework questions were fair considering the time I spent working on them and the TAs' generous grading policy. There are usually 6 questions per problem set and I spent roughly 6h to finish each week. His midterm was comparatively easy, and I got almost 100 out of it. Until now u are seeing positive comments right? Get prepared here comes the bullshit part.

Note, I got almost 100% before I took the final exam. But for the final, he designed, like the midterm, 2 sets of problems, one for domestic students and one for international students (there were 2 exam time windows, one at 8am, one at 8pm). I took the 8pm test and got 70/100. There were 23 students (most of which from Asia) who took the 8pm final, and we had a group chat. I checked with most students in the group chat and found out 70/100 was actually a pretty decent grade because most of my peers got a score around 60-65.

Now you may think the average for the final should be around 65 and Majid would curve up the grade . Well you are wrong, or I have to say more than wrong. Later I received a B grade and he told us he would not curve because the final grade was "unusually high". As a result, I asked the Dean for help and got the distribution of the final grades. It turned out domestic time window got a mean of around 88, and international 78. I could not figure out why was the median 78 given that I had already spoken to most of my classmates taking the 8pm test and they received scores around 65??? He gave out 62/180ish A's and it turned out almost none of them were from the 8pm test. He insisted that the 2 tests had same difficulty level, and international students did poor on the exam simply because they did not master the materials well. But I got 100/100 before the final and I still screwed the final to such an extent. So I personally do not think he offered a fair set of tests.

"WHAT A GOOD ALGORITHM," quoting one of my classmates

I personally think Majid is a good professor. His lectures were clear and paced really well (not too slow, not too fast, not too boring, not too many jokes). The HWs were long and hard but doable if you put time into it (and they're graded very leniently). For exams, he gave points quite leniently as long as you wrote something for proofs/time complexity.

I feel like Majid really cares about the students. For the final, he actually changed the grading rubrics of two questions in favor of the majority of the students due to our feedback, which is rare to see. I also like how he gave a large percentage of A's because of the high avg/median in the exams (midterm and final were both around 90) instead of curving down the class.

Majid was a good lecturer—spoke clearly, made the content approachable, and was entertaining.

Homework was around six questions per week and was graded primarily on completion. Homework solutions were online for almost every problem. Though, if you want to derive the solution on your own and fully understand each question, expect the homework to take a while to complete (on average >1 hour per problem). Homework questions seemed more difficult than exam questions, so if you understand the homework, you should do well on the exams.

With respect to the midterm and final, partial credit is key in this class: if you write the correct keyword in your algorithm or proof, you can get a majority of the points while still having a flawed algorithm. You may even have a completely incorrect algorithm, but if you explicitly cite paradigms taught in class, you will earn many points.

Overall, this was a good class, and I'm glad that Majid was the professor. I highly recommend diving into the material since this exact content is what needs to be mastered for leetcode/job interviews. Good luck!

Majid is a good professor. I wouldn't say he's godlike or anything, but he's definitely the choice to make for 180. He comes off as a little sarcastic and abrasive at first, but throughout the quarter you can really see that he means well and cares about student learning. His lectures are very methodical: he takes a lot of time introducing problems, making everything clear, and illustrating the problem solving process in detail. Usually he does only 1 or 2 problems each lecture. This means he only goes through a few examples for every topic.

Homeworks and exams were pretty challenging for me. As someone who rarely studied the material outside lecture, I had a lot of trouble doing the problems without help. For most normal/average students, doing well in the class will probably involve reading the textbook and doing extra practice regularly. And if you procrastinate on homework, expect to pull some all-nighters to finish.

I'm guessing exam averages were unusually high this quarter or something, because he did not curve at all. In fact, because he gives so few +/- grades, quite a few people got curved down (e.g. 88% -> B). Sad times. Overall, I'd still recommend. Just remember that there is no way around putting in the work for developing the skill set of this class, regardless of how good of a lecturer the professor is.

The professor was very nice in class but arrogant and a bit irresponsible after class. It is disappointing and truly a waste of time when you found out he failed to make to his office hours (without even noticing the class in advance). The midterm needs proof of correctness and time complexity analysis but the problem statements did not explicitly specify, and I got lots of points deducted just because of those ambiguous requirements, and the professor refuses to admit such ambiguity. The grading scheme i think is pretty lenient at least you have some stuff in terms of algo, proof, and time complexity. I nearly bullshitted one question and got 15/20 but only got 10/20 without any proof/complexity analysis just because i thought the problem does not require for them(((( Overall the material is very useful but the experience and grading sucks.

I think where Majid's lectures shine is his focus on giving you a good theoretical grasp of the material without being bogged down in the details. Implementation, corner cases, etc. you'll have to figure out yourself if you really care, but Majid just wants to know whether or not you understand when to apply different algorithmic paradigms.

There were some underwhelming parts to this class, however. It wasn't as comprehensive as I would have liked, and the whole wishy-washy many words = perfect proof grading scheme was a bit sketch. I swear all you have to do to get full credit for the proofs is to structure is with as many bullet points as you can for as many sub-proofs by contradiction, or proof by induction if you're doing anything recursion or DP related - the actual words you write can be gibberish.

Anyways, let's be real here...whether it's Majid or some other CS 180 prof, the best way you are going to learn algorithms is by practicing yourself.

**Overall Rating**

Based on 54 Users

*/ 5*How easy the class is,

**1**being extremely difficult and

**5**being easy peasy.

*/ 5*How clear the class is,

**1**being extremely unclear and

**5**being very clear.

*/ 5*How much workload the class is,

**1**being extremely heavy and

**5**being extremely light.

*/ 5*How helpful the class is,

**1**being not helpful at all and

**5**being extremely helpful.

#### TOP TAGS

There are no relevant tags for this professor yet.