Majid Sarrafzadeh
Department of Computer Science
AD
3.0
Overall Rating
Based on 72 Users
Easiness 2.2 / 5 How easy the class is, 1 being extremely difficult and 5 being easy peasy.
Clarity 3.2 / 5 How clear the class is, 1 being extremely unclear and 5 being very clear.
Workload 2.5 / 5 How much workload the class is, 1 being extremely heavy and 5 being extremely light.
Helpfulness 2.8 / 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.

GRADE DISTRIBUTIONS
32.9%
27.5%
22.0%
16.5%
11.0%
5.5%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

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

39.0%
32.5%
26.0%
19.5%
13.0%
6.5%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

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

35.5%
29.6%
23.7%
17.8%
11.8%
5.9%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

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

29.1%
24.3%
19.4%
14.6%
9.7%
4.9%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

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

22.6%
18.9%
15.1%
11.3%
7.5%
3.8%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

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

32.3%
26.9%
21.6%
16.2%
10.8%
5.4%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

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

29.4%
24.5%
19.6%
14.7%
9.8%
4.9%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

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

28.7%
24.0%
19.2%
14.4%
9.6%
4.8%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

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

26.4%
22.0%
17.6%
13.2%
8.8%
4.4%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

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

28.7%
23.9%
19.1%
14.3%
9.6%
4.8%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

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

34.1%
28.4%
22.7%
17.0%
11.4%
5.7%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

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

33.0%
27.5%
22.0%
16.5%
11.0%
5.5%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

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

32.9%
27.4%
21.9%
16.5%
11.0%
5.5%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

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

ENROLLMENT DISTRIBUTIONS
Clear marks

Sorry, no enrollment data is available.

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Reviews (53)

2 of 6
2 of 6
Add your review...
Quarter: Fall 2020
Grade: B
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Dec. 31, 2020

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.

Helpful?

3 1 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2023
Grade: A
Verified Reviewer This user is a verified UCLA student/alum.
Dec. 30, 2023

Brief summary for those too lazy to read the essay length reviews: Professor is terrible and unhelpful and he does not provide any lecture notes, recordings or other materials. He does not cover content clearly, and refuses to answer clarifying questions regarding the ambiguous and unclear exam problems. The grading (exams specifically) is wildly inconsistent and inaccurate, and the graders refuse to honor valid regrade requests.

Helpful?

1 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2023
Grade: A
Verified Reviewer This user is a verified UCLA student/alum.
Dec. 28, 2023

Pros:
1. Majid is a good lecturer, although he is quite snarky sometimes
2. Majid covers more than most 180 professors (e.g. max flow)

Cons:
1. If your solution is not the one explicitly listed on the rubric, you will lose points. The rubric often does not contain the best solution, and you will have to frequently submit regrade requests to get points back during this course.
2. The exams are poorly worded and Majid has a strict policy of no clarifications. Some TAs are generous and will give you full marks for having reasonable interpretations. Other TAs will give you zero points for interpreting it differently from how Majid intended.
3. If you are sick or must miss a lecture/exam, good luck. There are no recordings/notes and getting a makeup exam is up to the whims of Majid.

Suggestions:
1. Majid and the TAs should be more open-minded towards alternative solutions. A simple word of assurance that alternative solutions may exist and that they will be reviewed fairly is enough. Feeling like you constantly have to fight for your grade is very taxing, and it feels terrible to have a regrade request denied with zero justification.
2. TAs should proofread exam questions beforehand and ensure that they are unambiguous. The guessing game of whether omitted details can be ignored or if there are extra assumptions you should be making is frustrating. For instance, one question on the midterm asked about "real numbers". When I asked if we can assume that "real numbers" can be hashed, I was told that that is not a question they can answer during the exam. The intended solution used hashing.

Summary:
Good lecture content, poor experience with TAs and Majid's old-fashioned policies. Unfortunately, most of the professors who teach this course do not care about you as a student. It's a shame, as algorithms are legitimately interesting and widely applicable.

Helpful?

1 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2023
Grade: N/A
Verified Reviewer This user is a verified UCLA student/alum.
Dec. 28, 2023

CS180 is a hard class. But overall I think that Majid does a good job at teaching the material. If you want to know exactly what your grade will be throughout the class and not worry about the curve coming into save you, I wouldn't recommend this class. However, if you really want learn the algorithms taught and are less worried about gaining points to your grade then I would recommend this professor.
Lectures are engaging and short. He usually does not use the full 2 hours to teach however for me this was perfect as the lectures were digestible and students got a lot of extra time to ask questions about the lecture content. He was patient answering questions sometimes going back over the algorithm 3 or 4 times to make sure that everyone understood it. I was disappointed when he cut content tho because he didn't use the full time to teach.
Homework questions are harder than exam questions. However, all homework questions are findable on the internet if you need some inspiration of how to approach them. I would recommend actually understanding the approach of solving them though and not just copy pasting. Budget 6 hours if you do all of the problems intended. I found that the discussions were very helpful to review the lecture material and make sure you understood it, in addition with going over new problems. However, you need to find the good TA, shoutout Vincent.
Exam questions are hard to do in the window provided. But they are generous with partial credit linked to key words. I would recommend going over all of the problems done in lecture and all practice problems provided as some of them will be verbatim on the test. If you have time pick some textbook problems too because there was 1 verbatim from the textbook. In addition, he curves at least a letter grade. For example we had an average of about 75 on the midterm post regrades and he said that 80 would be an A. I would say don't worry about problems that you and the majority of your classmates got wrong on the test, with the curve he basically throws out 1-2 problems on the exam which compensates for your grade.

Helpful?

1 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2023
Grade: N/A
Verified Reviewer This user is a verified UCLA student/alum.
Dec. 27, 2023

Overall not a good experience. Majid is incredibly unaccommodating with students' circumstances, he often ends lectures early, and is extremely vague about what material is important.
The homework is pretty difficult, but often times they do not help you too much with the exam questions. Moreover he gave us an optional homework 7 for review, but none of the concepts were tested on the final. What is even more ridiculous is none of the last two weeks concepts were even touched...
The final had 6 questions, and 3 questions (50% percent) were about dynamic programming, I would just say its very badly structured.
Please godsend take another professor if you can.

Helpful?

1 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2022
Grade: A
Jan. 1, 2023

FUCK MY LIFE

Helpful?

1 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Spring 2022
Grade: N/A
Verified Reviewer This user is a verified UCLA student/alum.
May 26, 2022

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.

Helpful?

1 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2020
Grade: A
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Verified Reviewer This user is a verified UCLA student/alum.
Jan. 3, 2021

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.

Helpful?

1 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2020
Grade: A
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Dec. 31, 2020

Majid is definitely a great professor. Be prepared to spend a lot of time on assignments. For me, I'd always look at the assignments earlier in the week, see that they're just 6 problems and think that it would be a breeze. But that's never the case. The assignments are going to make you want to claw out your eyes if you really put in the time to try and solve them correctly without just Googling the answer, and that's a really good thing. I felt like I really learned a ton from them. The tests are not so scary if you've done all the homeworks well, although the remote proctoring of the test were pretty scary, especially during the final when for some reason Majid made everyone turn on their Zoom mics during the test. Overall, from what I've heard about the other 180 professors, taking the class with Majid is absolutely the move.

Helpful?

1 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2019
Grade: A-
Dec. 24, 2020

Majid is clearly super experienced with teaching this course. He’s very engaging and funny without trying to be. When explaining solutions, he likes to go over wrong approaches before arriving at the final correct one so it really sticks in your head why other approaches were wrong. Homework was almost all based on textbook problems and took maybe 7-9 hours each week - find study groups for this course! Midterm was almost all questions we could find from test banks (but he realized that soon after sooo), and the final was REALLY tough, but a bit more generously curved. I found my TA to be quite helpful even though each discussion had less than 5 students attending at a time. Concepts in this class are crucial for job interviews so I highly recommend attending. I think Majid for 180 is the best choice, regardless of what grade I got.

Helpful?

1 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Quarter: Fall 2020
Grade: B
Dec. 31, 2020

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.

Helpful?

3 1 Please log in to provide feedback.
Verified Reviewer This user is a verified UCLA student/alum.
Quarter: Fall 2023
Grade: A
Dec. 30, 2023

Brief summary for those too lazy to read the essay length reviews: Professor is terrible and unhelpful and he does not provide any lecture notes, recordings or other materials. He does not cover content clearly, and refuses to answer clarifying questions regarding the ambiguous and unclear exam problems. The grading (exams specifically) is wildly inconsistent and inaccurate, and the graders refuse to honor valid regrade requests.

Helpful?

1 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Verified Reviewer This user is a verified UCLA student/alum.
Quarter: Fall 2023
Grade: A
Dec. 28, 2023

Pros:
1. Majid is a good lecturer, although he is quite snarky sometimes
2. Majid covers more than most 180 professors (e.g. max flow)

Cons:
1. If your solution is not the one explicitly listed on the rubric, you will lose points. The rubric often does not contain the best solution, and you will have to frequently submit regrade requests to get points back during this course.
2. The exams are poorly worded and Majid has a strict policy of no clarifications. Some TAs are generous and will give you full marks for having reasonable interpretations. Other TAs will give you zero points for interpreting it differently from how Majid intended.
3. If you are sick or must miss a lecture/exam, good luck. There are no recordings/notes and getting a makeup exam is up to the whims of Majid.

Suggestions:
1. Majid and the TAs should be more open-minded towards alternative solutions. A simple word of assurance that alternative solutions may exist and that they will be reviewed fairly is enough. Feeling like you constantly have to fight for your grade is very taxing, and it feels terrible to have a regrade request denied with zero justification.
2. TAs should proofread exam questions beforehand and ensure that they are unambiguous. The guessing game of whether omitted details can be ignored or if there are extra assumptions you should be making is frustrating. For instance, one question on the midterm asked about "real numbers". When I asked if we can assume that "real numbers" can be hashed, I was told that that is not a question they can answer during the exam. The intended solution used hashing.

Summary:
Good lecture content, poor experience with TAs and Majid's old-fashioned policies. Unfortunately, most of the professors who teach this course do not care about you as a student. It's a shame, as algorithms are legitimately interesting and widely applicable.

Helpful?

1 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Verified Reviewer This user is a verified UCLA student/alum.
Quarter: Fall 2023
Grade: N/A
Dec. 28, 2023

CS180 is a hard class. But overall I think that Majid does a good job at teaching the material. If you want to know exactly what your grade will be throughout the class and not worry about the curve coming into save you, I wouldn't recommend this class. However, if you really want learn the algorithms taught and are less worried about gaining points to your grade then I would recommend this professor.
Lectures are engaging and short. He usually does not use the full 2 hours to teach however for me this was perfect as the lectures were digestible and students got a lot of extra time to ask questions about the lecture content. He was patient answering questions sometimes going back over the algorithm 3 or 4 times to make sure that everyone understood it. I was disappointed when he cut content tho because he didn't use the full time to teach.
Homework questions are harder than exam questions. However, all homework questions are findable on the internet if you need some inspiration of how to approach them. I would recommend actually understanding the approach of solving them though and not just copy pasting. Budget 6 hours if you do all of the problems intended. I found that the discussions were very helpful to review the lecture material and make sure you understood it, in addition with going over new problems. However, you need to find the good TA, shoutout Vincent.
Exam questions are hard to do in the window provided. But they are generous with partial credit linked to key words. I would recommend going over all of the problems done in lecture and all practice problems provided as some of them will be verbatim on the test. If you have time pick some textbook problems too because there was 1 verbatim from the textbook. In addition, he curves at least a letter grade. For example we had an average of about 75 on the midterm post regrades and he said that 80 would be an A. I would say don't worry about problems that you and the majority of your classmates got wrong on the test, with the curve he basically throws out 1-2 problems on the exam which compensates for your grade.

Helpful?

1 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Verified Reviewer This user is a verified UCLA student/alum.
Quarter: Fall 2023
Grade: N/A
Dec. 27, 2023

Overall not a good experience. Majid is incredibly unaccommodating with students' circumstances, he often ends lectures early, and is extremely vague about what material is important.
The homework is pretty difficult, but often times they do not help you too much with the exam questions. Moreover he gave us an optional homework 7 for review, but none of the concepts were tested on the final. What is even more ridiculous is none of the last two weeks concepts were even touched...
The final had 6 questions, and 3 questions (50% percent) were about dynamic programming, I would just say its very badly structured.
Please godsend take another professor if you can.

Helpful?

1 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2022
Grade: A
Jan. 1, 2023

FUCK MY LIFE

Helpful?

1 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Verified Reviewer This user is a verified UCLA student/alum.
Quarter: Spring 2022
Grade: N/A
May 26, 2022

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.

Helpful?

1 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Verified Reviewer This user is a verified UCLA student/alum.
Quarter: Fall 2020
Grade: A
Jan. 3, 2021

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.

Helpful?

1 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Quarter: Fall 2020
Grade: A
Dec. 31, 2020

Majid is definitely a great professor. Be prepared to spend a lot of time on assignments. For me, I'd always look at the assignments earlier in the week, see that they're just 6 problems and think that it would be a breeze. But that's never the case. The assignments are going to make you want to claw out your eyes if you really put in the time to try and solve them correctly without just Googling the answer, and that's a really good thing. I felt like I really learned a ton from them. The tests are not so scary if you've done all the homeworks well, although the remote proctoring of the test were pretty scary, especially during the final when for some reason Majid made everyone turn on their Zoom mics during the test. Overall, from what I've heard about the other 180 professors, taking the class with Majid is absolutely the move.

Helpful?

1 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2019
Grade: A-
Dec. 24, 2020

Majid is clearly super experienced with teaching this course. He’s very engaging and funny without trying to be. When explaining solutions, he likes to go over wrong approaches before arriving at the final correct one so it really sticks in your head why other approaches were wrong. Homework was almost all based on textbook problems and took maybe 7-9 hours each week - find study groups for this course! Midterm was almost all questions we could find from test banks (but he realized that soon after sooo), and the final was REALLY tough, but a bit more generously curved. I found my TA to be quite helpful even though each discussion had less than 5 students attending at a time. Concepts in this class are crucial for job interviews so I highly recommend attending. I think Majid for 180 is the best choice, regardless of what grade I got.

Helpful?

1 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
2 of 6
3.0
Overall Rating
Based on 72 Users
Easiness 2.2 / 5 How easy the class is, 1 being extremely difficult and 5 being easy peasy.
Clarity 3.2 / 5 How clear the class is, 1 being extremely unclear and 5 being very clear.
Workload 2.5 / 5 How much workload the class is, 1 being extremely heavy and 5 being extremely light.
Helpfulness 2.8 / 5 How helpful the class is, 1 being not helpful at all and 5 being extremely helpful.

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