Marlius Castillo Rodriguez
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
AD
3.8
Overall Rating
Based on 100 Users
Easiness 3.2 / 5 How easy the class is, 1 being extremely difficult and 5 being easy peasy.
Clarity 3.3 / 5 How clear the professor is, 1 being extremely unclear and 5 being very clear.
Workload 3.4 / 5 How light the workload is, 1 being extremely heavy and 5 being extremely light.
Helpfulness 3.7 / 5 How helpful the professor is, 1 being not helpful at all and 5 being extremely helpful.

TOP TAGS

  • Uses Slides
  • Tolerates Tardiness
  • Is Podcasted
  • Gives Extra Credit
  • Appropriately Priced Materials
  • Would Take Again
  • Engaging Lectures

GRADE DISTRIBUTIONS

52.9%
44.1%
35.3%
26.4%
17.6%
8.8%
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.

43.6%
36.3%
29.1%
21.8%
14.5%
7.3%
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.

37.7%
31.4%
25.1%
18.9%
12.6%
6.3%
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.

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Reviews (79)

1 of 8
1 of 8
Add your review...
Quarter: Spring 2020
Grade: A
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
June 6, 2020

First and foremost Prof. Castillo from winter quarter to spring quarter 2020 has pulled a massive 360. Take the old reviews with a grain salt, but some things still remain. Also 85-92.9 is A- and 93 up is A. She became hella lenient ngl. Lectures can be ass but go to Office Hours she's more responsive. In summary, she has shit communication and attitude problems, but hella rarely. Anyone can get tired and some of us were hella pushy for extra credit etc. She's a really smart woman tbh and in OH she knows her shit. I repeat ditch lectures and go to OH. Lectures get recorded anyways and use the powerpoint.

To begin with this class as a general consensus is not as hard as Chem 14A and 14B especially if you had daddy lavelle. The concepts till about week 8 are fairly easy in this class and even the last two weeks aren't bad. The thing is this class isn't exactly organic chemistry. We do not cover reactions like SN2 and SN1 reactions. We cover concepts such as conjugation and aromaticity and etc. These are fairly easy. They don't involve calculations and hard stuff. You can even cram them tbh I did and got a 89 percent on the midterm and ended up with an A in the class.

The quarter being online did make lecture kinda ass, but her powerpoint were pretty good. Also, use Chad's organic chem videos. Stereochemistry its the only bitch in this course tbh. The quizzes are 10 pts each and you get about 4 questions on each worth 2.5 its each adding up to 10. Lowest quiz is dropped. On top of that Prof. Castillo gave like 2 points of extra credit straight up in the quiz category. The midterm was also straight up similar to lecture problems and we got 1 pt of extra credit on it.

Now the tea. The reason everyone basically called her a first class bitch is because the TA's and the professors had a MEGA-MEGA screwup on the grading of the midterm. They used a wrong answer key and basically our first scores were hella shit. There were 400 regrade requests and the professor got quite annoyed lmao and passive aggressive. Sometimes her attitude can be wonky, but for the most part she's a G.

Finally, Dr. Castillo does not trick you at all on exams. I didn't find any trick questions on neither the midterm or quizzes. She also gives you past exam questions which are hella similar.

I'm sure half this class has a solid A rn.

Grade Break Down:

---30% quizzes - 5 quizzes lowest one dropped

---20% midterm

---20% discussion/hw --- everyone gets full credit on this basically free 20%

---30% final -- shit got cancelled for us but knowing her it would have been simple

Final thoughts are that while Prof. Castillo has shit communication bc she never replies to emails, she is a decent lecturer. You may not learn the best from her but her assessments are frankly a joke compared to lavelle. Also, people are ungrateful cunts which led her to get annoyed. None of you would talk to lavelle the way some people did to her. She already lowered the bar for an A- to an 85 and gave hella extra credit. Take 14C with Castillo.

Helpful?

13 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. 22, 2020

TLDR; Dr. Castillo is a passionate professor who cares about her student's wellbeing. Throughout the quarter, she gave tons of EC (literally 3% worth), dropped our lowest quiz grade, and provided more than ample time for exams.

Tips:
1) Do not use the textbook - it makes everything harder than it should be; just look at her slides and you'll be more than fine
2) Discussion worksheets prelude to what is going to be tested on exams. If you go to discussion and work through them with your breakout group, you'll be more than fine.
3) Office hours are only helpful if you have specific questions about a problem - if not, Castillo sometimes goes on tangents and it could be deemed as a waste of time; instead just go on YT and try to learn from there if you're stuck

As many dread OChem, I would say that taking it with Castillo has been a godsend. I'll start off with the 'exams':
The quizzes she holds (6 total) are not cumulative and are based on the lectures that she says that they cover (and at the end of the quarter, she dropped the lowest quiz grade); you also have multiple attempts to do them.
The midterm and final were extremely fair and she gave 4-5 hours to finish them (if you're international or need more time, you can turn it in after with no penalty as long as you justify why you did). The only annoying part about her exams is that she put a ton of stereochemistry and that was a pain.

Her lectures are quite dry at times but I'd say it's because English isn't her first language (but she is very passionate about the subject and wants her students to all do well. If you don't understand something I would not recommend going to OH unless it's very course-specific as it could be even more confusing for you. Someone recommended Chad's Organic Chemistry on YT and I agree that this would be a great resource.

With respect to the content of the course itself, it is not too difficult - in a sense everything connects with each other very well and if you do ample practice you should be able to easily do the questions on the quiz. There are some topics that are conceptually harder to understand but they generally achievable with some extra practice from YT.

Helpful?

7 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Winter 2020
Grade: A-
March 31, 2020

Listen. This was the first time I had ever gotten an A in chemistry. I understood the professor when I would review the slides + bruincast, even though I did need to watch some youtube videos online. It wasn't that bad. Ideally, I wouldn't have had to watch any videos at all, but I've had to do that with every other chemistry class and that was okay with me. I don't know if I agree with everyone else who calls her a horrible lecturer. She was kinda bad at handling questions and she did kind of make you feel bad for asking some stuff, but she did answer things when you asked. Her slides were more of a help than the bruincast was. The TAs were great though, they explained things super clearly and in a way that was really easy to understand.
Overall, I wouldn't take her again, but I don't regret taking her either. She was nice, and It was her first time, I just think she needs more practice.

Helpful?

11 1 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Spring 2020
Grade: A
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
June 5, 2020

Professor Castillo Rodriguez genuinely tries her best to listen and respond to her students.

Helpful?

5 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Winter 2020
Grade: A+
March 16, 2020

Given that this was her first year teaching, she did struggle a little delivering lectures and explaining concepts. However, Dr. Castillo really cares about student learning and performance - providing extra credit, dropping the lowest quiz score, and making the final optional due to the change to online testing. I felt that her exams were very reasonable and simply studying her lecture slides and additional information on ccle were sufficient to do well on the exams. Organic chemistry is generally a tough and challenging course, but she made sure to provide enough resources that as long as you make sure to stay on top with studying, you can do well in this class and get a good grasp of the concepts.

Helpful?

9 1 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Spring 2020
Grade: A
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
July 1, 2020

Professor Castillo was very accomodating throughout the online quarter. You can really tell that she cares for her students and their growth. Like many, I was afraid of her class due to past reviews from previous quarters. She has definitely improved as a lecturer and professor overall. I found her resources (worksheets and practice exams) very helpful. Her tests were fair in my opinion because she made sure that the exams only included concepts we had learned in the lecture.

Helpful?

3 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Winter 2020
Grade: A-
April 11, 2020

She's a decent professor who cares about students learning. These reviews are really mean and do not reflect her as a professor. Shes not as bad as everyone says.

Helpful?

6 1 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Winter 2020
Grade: A
March 24, 2020

This class was a lot of work because her lectures are not the best, but it's doable if you spend time reviewing/learning the material outside of class so don't lose hope! I spent most of my time studying her slides by myself and reading about the subjects online and it worked out for me in the end. This was her first quarter teaching here so she was a bit shaky, but she DOES care about student learning - we had multiple opportunities for extra credit and she changed the grading scale so that 90%+ was an A because the class asked for it. While some of her email replies and answers in class do seem a bit standoffish, I think that she really tried her hardest to answer questions to the best of her ability.

Helpful?

6 1 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. 21, 2020

Castillo was one of the best professors that I've had at UCLA. Honestly I hated chem before I took this class, but Castillo got me to love ochem more than gen chem! I've never had such a great chemistry professor. I had Lavelle and absolutely hated every part of 14A and 14B, but with Castillo, I loved every minute in 14C. She genuinely cares about her students and as long as you do the discussion sheets and provided practice problems, you should be set for the midterm and final. We had 6 quizzes, which were pretty easy and helped buffer our grade and make sure we kept up with the material. Her midterm and final can get quite hard, but as long as you practice with the material she gives on lecture slides and worksheets, you can get a good grade in the class.

Helpful?

2 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Spring 2020
Grade: A+
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
June 22, 2020

Professor: She was the sweetest professor I've met at UCLA. She was just so kind and full of positive energy (which was needed in these turbulent times). I went to her once, at the beginning of the quarter freaking out about a quiz that went wrong, and she listened to me, and assured me that one bad quiz wasn't going to ruin my overall grade. The fact that she was so understanding and caring meant alot to me.

Course: She was very observant about how students felt about the material and would move at a pace that was right for the students. We did end up skipping a lot of material near the end, but the stuff we did cover, I understand fairly well. What sets her apart is that she was always thinking about what aspirations her students had and tailored the course that would best help pre-med/life science students.

Tips: Go to Office Hours. She is really sweet and will go over a problem until you get it for sure. There are alot of little rules that I feel like I would've missed if I haven't gone, and my quiz scores definitely improved after.

> She doesn't use the textbook. There is no point in buying/renting it for this class specifically.

> Do the optional worksheets and discussion worksheets, and make sure you read/watch all the material she posts for that week. All of those resources are amazing and helped me learn Ochem more.

The Questionable things: She promised many extra credit opportunities and then "revoked" them. She claimed that getting an "easy" point on the quiz counted as EC, but all the students expected a bump in the grade, or like a point to make us a question they did not get. I'm still not sure how her EC works, but I guess it worked out all right for me. My advice, is that if she offers EC, then just do it because she was treating it like an easy "extra" assignment as opposed to as EC, and don't factor the EC into your grade, just to be safe.

Quizzes were worth a big percent of our grade and each question was worth 2-3 points, and it was usually out of 10. Since there was no partial credit, missing one problem could be a huge deal for your grade. She let us drop one quiz, but still.

Like alot of people said, the midterm grading was a mess. I wish that instead of trying to change grades everyday, she would sort of "take back" our scores, regrade all tests, and give us a final score back. A few students argued with her about a question, and at the end, she admitted that the answer key was wrong and we all got our points back. Considering all this, I was really stressed about the final, but luckily she made it optional.

Conclusion: She is overall a great person and very good at explaining material. There were some bumps along the way this quarter (like the midterm, EC etc.), but I think that she will have those sorted out by next quarter. Based on the reviews, I guess I had her for her second quarter teaching, so I'm fairly confident that she will continue to grow as professor with time. If you get an opportunity to take this class with her, then go for it. She is a phenomenal chemist and an even better, compassionate and understanding person.

Helpful?

2 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Quarter: Spring 2020
Grade: A
June 6, 2020

First and foremost Prof. Castillo from winter quarter to spring quarter 2020 has pulled a massive 360. Take the old reviews with a grain salt, but some things still remain. Also 85-92.9 is A- and 93 up is A. She became hella lenient ngl. Lectures can be ass but go to Office Hours she's more responsive. In summary, she has shit communication and attitude problems, but hella rarely. Anyone can get tired and some of us were hella pushy for extra credit etc. She's a really smart woman tbh and in OH she knows her shit. I repeat ditch lectures and go to OH. Lectures get recorded anyways and use the powerpoint.

To begin with this class as a general consensus is not as hard as Chem 14A and 14B especially if you had daddy lavelle. The concepts till about week 8 are fairly easy in this class and even the last two weeks aren't bad. The thing is this class isn't exactly organic chemistry. We do not cover reactions like SN2 and SN1 reactions. We cover concepts such as conjugation and aromaticity and etc. These are fairly easy. They don't involve calculations and hard stuff. You can even cram them tbh I did and got a 89 percent on the midterm and ended up with an A in the class.

The quarter being online did make lecture kinda ass, but her powerpoint were pretty good. Also, use Chad's organic chem videos. Stereochemistry its the only bitch in this course tbh. The quizzes are 10 pts each and you get about 4 questions on each worth 2.5 its each adding up to 10. Lowest quiz is dropped. On top of that Prof. Castillo gave like 2 points of extra credit straight up in the quiz category. The midterm was also straight up similar to lecture problems and we got 1 pt of extra credit on it.

Now the tea. The reason everyone basically called her a first class bitch is because the TA's and the professors had a MEGA-MEGA screwup on the grading of the midterm. They used a wrong answer key and basically our first scores were hella shit. There were 400 regrade requests and the professor got quite annoyed lmao and passive aggressive. Sometimes her attitude can be wonky, but for the most part she's a G.

Finally, Dr. Castillo does not trick you at all on exams. I didn't find any trick questions on neither the midterm or quizzes. She also gives you past exam questions which are hella similar.

I'm sure half this class has a solid A rn.

Grade Break Down:

---30% quizzes - 5 quizzes lowest one dropped

---20% midterm

---20% discussion/hw --- everyone gets full credit on this basically free 20%

---30% final -- shit got cancelled for us but knowing her it would have been simple

Final thoughts are that while Prof. Castillo has shit communication bc she never replies to emails, she is a decent lecturer. You may not learn the best from her but her assessments are frankly a joke compared to lavelle. Also, people are ungrateful cunts which led her to get annoyed. None of you would talk to lavelle the way some people did to her. She already lowered the bar for an A- to an 85 and gave hella extra credit. Take 14C with Castillo.

Helpful?

13 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. 22, 2020

TLDR; Dr. Castillo is a passionate professor who cares about her student's wellbeing. Throughout the quarter, she gave tons of EC (literally 3% worth), dropped our lowest quiz grade, and provided more than ample time for exams.

Tips:
1) Do not use the textbook - it makes everything harder than it should be; just look at her slides and you'll be more than fine
2) Discussion worksheets prelude to what is going to be tested on exams. If you go to discussion and work through them with your breakout group, you'll be more than fine.
3) Office hours are only helpful if you have specific questions about a problem - if not, Castillo sometimes goes on tangents and it could be deemed as a waste of time; instead just go on YT and try to learn from there if you're stuck

As many dread OChem, I would say that taking it with Castillo has been a godsend. I'll start off with the 'exams':
The quizzes she holds (6 total) are not cumulative and are based on the lectures that she says that they cover (and at the end of the quarter, she dropped the lowest quiz grade); you also have multiple attempts to do them.
The midterm and final were extremely fair and she gave 4-5 hours to finish them (if you're international or need more time, you can turn it in after with no penalty as long as you justify why you did). The only annoying part about her exams is that she put a ton of stereochemistry and that was a pain.

Her lectures are quite dry at times but I'd say it's because English isn't her first language (but she is very passionate about the subject and wants her students to all do well. If you don't understand something I would not recommend going to OH unless it's very course-specific as it could be even more confusing for you. Someone recommended Chad's Organic Chemistry on YT and I agree that this would be a great resource.

With respect to the content of the course itself, it is not too difficult - in a sense everything connects with each other very well and if you do ample practice you should be able to easily do the questions on the quiz. There are some topics that are conceptually harder to understand but they generally achievable with some extra practice from YT.

Helpful?

7 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Winter 2020
Grade: A-
March 31, 2020

Listen. This was the first time I had ever gotten an A in chemistry. I understood the professor when I would review the slides + bruincast, even though I did need to watch some youtube videos online. It wasn't that bad. Ideally, I wouldn't have had to watch any videos at all, but I've had to do that with every other chemistry class and that was okay with me. I don't know if I agree with everyone else who calls her a horrible lecturer. She was kinda bad at handling questions and she did kind of make you feel bad for asking some stuff, but she did answer things when you asked. Her slides were more of a help than the bruincast was. The TAs were great though, they explained things super clearly and in a way that was really easy to understand.
Overall, I wouldn't take her again, but I don't regret taking her either. She was nice, and It was her first time, I just think she needs more practice.

Helpful?

11 1 Please log in to provide feedback.
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Quarter: Spring 2020
Grade: A
June 5, 2020

Professor Castillo Rodriguez genuinely tries her best to listen and respond to her students.

Helpful?

5 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Winter 2020
Grade: A+
March 16, 2020

Given that this was her first year teaching, she did struggle a little delivering lectures and explaining concepts. However, Dr. Castillo really cares about student learning and performance - providing extra credit, dropping the lowest quiz score, and making the final optional due to the change to online testing. I felt that her exams were very reasonable and simply studying her lecture slides and additional information on ccle were sufficient to do well on the exams. Organic chemistry is generally a tough and challenging course, but she made sure to provide enough resources that as long as you make sure to stay on top with studying, you can do well in this class and get a good grasp of the concepts.

Helpful?

9 1 Please log in to provide feedback.
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Quarter: Spring 2020
Grade: A
July 1, 2020

Professor Castillo was very accomodating throughout the online quarter. You can really tell that she cares for her students and their growth. Like many, I was afraid of her class due to past reviews from previous quarters. She has definitely improved as a lecturer and professor overall. I found her resources (worksheets and practice exams) very helpful. Her tests were fair in my opinion because she made sure that the exams only included concepts we had learned in the lecture.

Helpful?

3 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Winter 2020
Grade: A-
April 11, 2020

She's a decent professor who cares about students learning. These reviews are really mean and do not reflect her as a professor. Shes not as bad as everyone says.

Helpful?

6 1 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Winter 2020
Grade: A
March 24, 2020

This class was a lot of work because her lectures are not the best, but it's doable if you spend time reviewing/learning the material outside of class so don't lose hope! I spent most of my time studying her slides by myself and reading about the subjects online and it worked out for me in the end. This was her first quarter teaching here so she was a bit shaky, but she DOES care about student learning - we had multiple opportunities for extra credit and she changed the grading scale so that 90%+ was an A because the class asked for it. While some of her email replies and answers in class do seem a bit standoffish, I think that she really tried her hardest to answer questions to the best of her ability.

Helpful?

6 1 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. 21, 2020

Castillo was one of the best professors that I've had at UCLA. Honestly I hated chem before I took this class, but Castillo got me to love ochem more than gen chem! I've never had such a great chemistry professor. I had Lavelle and absolutely hated every part of 14A and 14B, but with Castillo, I loved every minute in 14C. She genuinely cares about her students and as long as you do the discussion sheets and provided practice problems, you should be set for the midterm and final. We had 6 quizzes, which were pretty easy and helped buffer our grade and make sure we kept up with the material. Her midterm and final can get quite hard, but as long as you practice with the material she gives on lecture slides and worksheets, you can get a good grade in the class.

Helpful?

2 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Quarter: Spring 2020
Grade: A+
June 22, 2020

Professor: She was the sweetest professor I've met at UCLA. She was just so kind and full of positive energy (which was needed in these turbulent times). I went to her once, at the beginning of the quarter freaking out about a quiz that went wrong, and she listened to me, and assured me that one bad quiz wasn't going to ruin my overall grade. The fact that she was so understanding and caring meant alot to me.

Course: She was very observant about how students felt about the material and would move at a pace that was right for the students. We did end up skipping a lot of material near the end, but the stuff we did cover, I understand fairly well. What sets her apart is that she was always thinking about what aspirations her students had and tailored the course that would best help pre-med/life science students.

Tips: Go to Office Hours. She is really sweet and will go over a problem until you get it for sure. There are alot of little rules that I feel like I would've missed if I haven't gone, and my quiz scores definitely improved after.

> She doesn't use the textbook. There is no point in buying/renting it for this class specifically.

> Do the optional worksheets and discussion worksheets, and make sure you read/watch all the material she posts for that week. All of those resources are amazing and helped me learn Ochem more.

The Questionable things: She promised many extra credit opportunities and then "revoked" them. She claimed that getting an "easy" point on the quiz counted as EC, but all the students expected a bump in the grade, or like a point to make us a question they did not get. I'm still not sure how her EC works, but I guess it worked out all right for me. My advice, is that if she offers EC, then just do it because she was treating it like an easy "extra" assignment as opposed to as EC, and don't factor the EC into your grade, just to be safe.

Quizzes were worth a big percent of our grade and each question was worth 2-3 points, and it was usually out of 10. Since there was no partial credit, missing one problem could be a huge deal for your grade. She let us drop one quiz, but still.

Like alot of people said, the midterm grading was a mess. I wish that instead of trying to change grades everyday, she would sort of "take back" our scores, regrade all tests, and give us a final score back. A few students argued with her about a question, and at the end, she admitted that the answer key was wrong and we all got our points back. Considering all this, I was really stressed about the final, but luckily she made it optional.

Conclusion: She is overall a great person and very good at explaining material. There were some bumps along the way this quarter (like the midterm, EC etc.), but I think that she will have those sorted out by next quarter. Based on the reviews, I guess I had her for her second quarter teaching, so I'm fairly confident that she will continue to grow as professor with time. If you get an opportunity to take this class with her, then go for it. She is a phenomenal chemist and an even better, compassionate and understanding person.

Helpful?

2 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
1 of 8
3.8
Overall Rating
Based on 100 Users
Easiness 3.2 / 5 How easy the class is, 1 being extremely difficult and 5 being easy peasy.
Clarity 3.3 / 5 How clear the professor is, 1 being extremely unclear and 5 being very clear.
Workload 3.4 / 5 How light the workload is, 1 being extremely heavy and 5 being extremely light.
Helpfulness 3.7 / 5 How helpful the professor is, 1 being not helpful at all and 5 being extremely helpful.

TOP TAGS

  • Uses Slides
    (66)
  • Tolerates Tardiness
    (42)
  • Is Podcasted
    (55)
  • Gives Extra Credit
    (60)
  • Appropriately Priced Materials
    (42)
  • Would Take Again
    (48)
  • Engaging Lectures
    (43)
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