Based on 17 Users
Here is a breakdown of this class as of Fall 2020 (subject to change):
Homework: 10 points each (4 homeworks); 40%
Projects: 12 points each (3 projects); 36%
CCLE Quizzes: 5 points each (5 quizzes); 25%
SONA Extra Credit: up to 3 points; 3%
**Each assignment offers a variable amount of extra credit**
Thoughts on graded materials:
Homework: 4 total due a week after they're assigned. The difficulty spikes in homeworks 3 and 4 were ridiculous in my opinion, and it reflected in the class as each had to be given multiple extensions. Each offers a variable amount of extra credit.
Projects: 3 total (including final project) although only two have do be submitted for some point value in order to complete the course. First project was relatively easy and the second one I barely did only to pass. Each offers a variable amount of extra credit.
CCLE Quizzes: Assigned weekly up until quiz 5 (we had to take a 6th because someone cheated). These are open book, open MATLAB and are easy to ace. Each offers 1 point of extra credit.
Overall thoughts on the course:
So I can assume this professor has a 5.0 overall either because the assignments he gave in earlier quarters were more reasonable or because the people who did well had prior coding experience, making this class a cakewalk for them. If you have prior coding experience, this class should be a breeze for you. However, as someone who had no prior coding experience, I cannot in good conscience give this professor a dazzling review. Mansolf is extremely overrated on Bruinwalk, at least according to what I experienced. To start, this class is high risk/high reward in terms of grading as each point you earn/lose counts towards a percentage of your grade. This wouldn't be so bad is the professor didn't give assignments with difficulty spikes tailored more towards those with prior coding experience. If you're a complete beginner like myself, good luck trying to get help from him and the TA because they won't even look at your individual code. This makes posting on the open forum and emailing extremely frustrating as they give completely useless responses or things you already thought of before. It wouldn't be so bad if the grading was not so high risk, but adding those unnecessary difficulty spikes made things 10x more stressful as one screw-up meant your overall grade going down significantly. On top of that, some assignments clearly required some knowledge of mathematical concepts outside the scope of this course, yet he expected you to know what to do regardless. Also, don't even bother going to lab since it is completely pointless and unhelpful in helping you solve some of the assignments. Overall, this class made me realize I'd be better off learning to code outside of a school setting as professors will give you impractical assignments that will make you tear your hair out. In conclusion, if you already have some coding knowledge, this class is good but if you are a complete beginner, just learn outside of the classroom without risking your GPA.
Max is a great lecturer, and he is always helpful in emails or forums.
Every assignment gets extra credit along with it.
It is possible that you can skip the last project and still exceed 100/100 from this class.
Max said that this class doesn't need coding experiences. However, if you have a basic understanding of functions and loops, manipulation of files and graphs, this will be a super easy class. I usually spend one day each week for the weekly assignments, and that is it.
5 Quizzes, you can get 30/25.
3 Homeworks, 46/39.
3 Projects: 47/36.
There are also 3 extra SONA credits.
Your grade is simply the sum of raw score you get, even though it may exceed the component "limit".
Wow. One of the easiest classes I've taken. SOOO much extra credit is offered on literally every aspect of the course (quizzes, projects, and homework), plus 3% for doing SONA. I'm passing with over 100% without doing the last project because of the extra credit. I've completed some PIC classes before this, but I know if I was just learning to code this class would be very manageable. Max is super helpful, cracks jokes, and dresses hilariously.
This professor is amazing! He is so chill, funny, and dedicated to student learning. He creates a google doc where you can write questions, and he responds to them within the hour or right after you write your question. Super fast. He is also super attentive to the questions you send through email. Make sure to use these resources... it'll make your life so much easier.
There is a lot to learn and understand (especially during summer), but this professor breaks down every little thing you need to know, and he makes sure you get enough examples and practice. During the summer, he gave 5 quizzes, 3 projects, and 3 hw assignments. So practically a quiz a week, and either one project or hw assignment a week. Every single assignment (quiz, project, hw) has extra credit points (sometimes up to 3 or 4), plus 3 SONA credits, so I didn't even have to complete the last project to get an A. I'd give 10 out of 5 stars if I could.
Maxwell Mansolf is the GOAT, wished I had this class with him in person cuz he seems like such a cool person
I had zero coding experience and a weak math foundation coming into this class, but was so glad that Max takes the "no prior coding experience necessary" part SERIOUSLY. He is so helpful and makes sure to explain everything in detail. He's also very responsive, whether it be on the open forum (where everyone can ask him questions and you can see all the answers), email, or even text! Every quiz, homework, and project involves extra credit, so by the end of the quarter I had enough points to not have to do the last project. The assignments can be difficult; i spent many many hours on them. But every project has a steady progression, so you're sure to get some points. He is so understanding of different levels of experience and tries to make this as hands-on and simple as possible. If you need to take this class, you definitely should take it with Max!
This man is literally a blessing. Every point in his class is worth 1% and he offers at least one point on extra credit on each assignment. There is consistently an assignment that can be done, but he gives ample time and is always super helpful. One of the best professors I have had at UCLA hands down.
Max was honestly the best professor I have ever had, period. His lectures were extremely clear, the grading scheme of the class was aimed at helping students succeed, his homework was challenging but rewarding, and overall he made a huge effort to make sure that everyone did well in his class, regardless of their previous experience. In addition to all of this, Max also makes his lectures entertaining and is generally a nice guy.
I can't recommend this class enough! If you are even thinking about taking 20A you HAVE to take it with Max
Definitely take his class. There are tons of extra credit opportunities and he responds to emails pretty quick if there are any questions. MATLAB is a pretty weird programming language to learn if you do not have any previous experience yet Max tries his best. Funny, helpful, and very understanding. He is the only professor that really took into account the stress students were put under Fall 2020 (election, covid, BLM)
I went into this class with zero coding experience and I think that may have been a mistake. Maxwell is an awesome and wholesome dude; you can tell he cares about his students' success. However, this class was HARD. It went from 0 to 100 real quick and the homework assignments would have me sobbing on the floor of my dorm. Anyway, I barely finessed an A in the course because of extra credit. But be warned -- if you're like me and are going into this class with no prior knowledge or experience with coding, it will be difficult and this class will pose as a learning curve.