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Idk who will actually read this since all MSE majors have to take this class, but it might as well be documented how much of a mess this class was in winter 2022
This class needs to be redesigned. Pozuelo basically said hurry up and pick a project with little guidance whatsoever, but we quickly learned that if you're not characterizing something metallic or alloy-based, there is pretty much no equipment available to do the necessary tests to identify your materials. However, if you pick something not containing metals, she seems to be much more chill with presentation feedback since apparently if she doesn't have much experience with your topic, she won't have much criticism for you (or helpful feedback). Since my group was analyzing a polymer structure, we basically suggested wildly complicated and lowkey bunk characterization methods that she didn't have enough knowledge about to question, and we did pretty alright lol. If you pick metals, which she knows very well, she will probably rip your presentation apart regardless of quality, picking apart the most meaningless things. The papers end up being stupidly long and you will likely end up with absurd levels of criticism for formatting things that don't even stay consistent between the mid-quarter and final report. Your final report will basically be the same thing as the mid-quarter report except with way more sources and maybe a bit more data
Ultimately, the department is trying to get this class accredited by ABET after it lost its accreditation a couple years ago, so if the prof is pushing for things that seem trivial and meaningless, that's probably why. This class needs more clarity and direction if she's going to be so picky about everything
I pretty much agree with the first review! Pozuelo is absurd. I've gone through almost 4 years of undergrad in ucla and never met any professor like her before. She's nicky-picky to an extent that is driving people crazy. I was in her another class where I got points deducted for the midterm because I didn't use a ruler to draw vertical line down to the x-axis when reading a plot, which has log(time) as its x-axis. The unit increment was 100 min and the line fell between 100 and 200 and i wrote 150. She said the answer was 120 and only gave me one point for that question, the reason being "if you use a ruler and draw a straight line, you should've got 120 not 150". I think that's enough explaining her absurdity.
Now, let's talk about why she shouldn't be a lecturer. Her lecture is no more than just directly reading off her slides. You learn nothing more from her. She spends on average 1 min per slide and often dismisses the class early. She flies through the slides, going through a broad scope of topics but only touching the surface level of each. Her evaluation of each topic is always less than (at maximum equal to) the words on the ppt. Students learn nothing from her lectures.
The previous reviewer commented that the 140A needs to be redesigned. However, I think the problem of MAT SCI 140A - Winter 2022, COMPLETELY lies on Marta Pozuelo. She only went through her few-of-words slides and provided zero guideline, but she expected EVERYTHING FROM YOU!!!! Unlike regular classes with hw, midterm, final, the freedom of capstone only augmented her absurdity. You will never meet her expectation because she only tells you three when she has ten million requirements from you. The idea of the capstone is ok. It's just the professor that made it a hell.
I was in the same project group as the other review here, and I concur with everything that they said. Professor Pozuelo clearly had favorites in the class, and my group was not one of them. Her research is in metals, and it was blatantly obvious that she favored the groups that did projects on metals (ex: giving them effusive praise during presentations, while my group did not get any of that despite following her instructions and putting in the work). My group studied a tempered-glass screen protector and sought to improve its optical and mechanical properties, and it appeared that she was very unfamiliar with our topic. For example, she was confused that we would want to optimize transmission of visible light yet also account for blue-light filtering. Even though optics is not her field of expertise, I was very surprised that she asked that question. I think the class would be more effective if the professor had a breadth of knowledge of topics that would useful for advising students on their projects.
In addition, she had very arbitrary grading that she would not explain. For example, in my group's final presentation, I read off the slides and she (rightfully) criticized me for it. I ended up getting a B in the class, while the rest of my groupmates got A-'s and B+'s. While I was not the most involved in the project, I took an active role and I don't think reading off of the slides warrants that much of a grade decrease. I emailed her politely asking why I got the grade I did, and she wouldn't directly address my question, only mentioning that I shouldn't have read off the slides. In contrast to my situation, I know there were a few students (in different groups from me) who put in very little work and never came to lab meetings to the point where Pozuelo noticed, and they got A's and A-'s. She should have provided a rubric to explain how the final grade was determined, otherwise it appears to be very subjective.