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COURSE TAKEN: LS 1
Fall 2015 Grading Scheme:
*Midterm 1 - 200 points
*Midterm 2 - 200 points
*Final - 200 points
Demonstrations - 180 points
Participation - 120 points
Total - 900 points
*The better grade, either Midterm 1 or the section on the final, or Midterm 2 or the section on the final, will be the score that is counted
Alfaro isn't really that effective of a professor. His voice can be annoying and he tries to be funny, and he doesn't really go over concepts well. A lot of lecture time was spent on in-class participation, which weren't that helpful and would've better be spent going over concepts more in-depthly. His lecture slides were very disorganized. He would upload them before lecture and he'd never finish all of the slides he was hoping to cover. I recommend just paying attention in class and filling in the blanks with what he says.
TA Jeffrey Lee:
He's pretty nice and a bit awkward, but a cool TA. Demos were kind of pointless, but he made them not totally horrible. In regards to his effectiveness in helping teach class concepts, I'm not sure, but he made demo concepts clear enough.
Midterm 1 Grade: 159/200 | 29/35
The first midterm took everybody by surprise. It is comprised of 50 multiple choice questions. He put very tricky questions on the midterm and I felt like he didn't prepare us well enough to do well on it. However, I did a little better on his portion of the final, which was 35 multiple choice questions, so that replaced my midterm score. I was a little pissed to find that he used a lot of the same questions he gave on the midterm. So I recommend going to your TA after midterm grades are up to go over the answer key.
Midterm 2 Grade: 192/192 | 0/33
I was really confident going into the second midterm, I was very sure of almost all of my answers and left knowing I did nearly perfect. Lloyd-Smith is a really great professor and he prepared us well to take his midterm. He is also really fair with grading as he took out some questions some students said were confusingly worded. I didn't bother looking at his section on the final, 35 multiple choice again, since I got a 100% on the midterm. But I heard from a friend that the questions were harder. I recommend just paying good attention in lecture and writing good notes. In studying, I found that I understood the concepts well enough through lecture that I didn't need to go over them too much later on.
Final Grade: 42/50
Yeh is very soft-spoken, so I recommend sitting closer to the front, though she tries her best to keep the microphone loud enough. The final was 50 multiple choice questions, but there was no way to replace this score, so you only got one shot. Yen's lectures were a bit boring, as she's a bit monotone and goes quite slow, but the content was easier to grasp I feel. The questions on the final were fair I think.
Demonstrations Grade: 193/200
In demo you'd have in-class assignments to be turned in at the end of the class, and then take-home assignments, which include worksheets, short papers, etcetera. They were all a little bs, but they're easy to do. You may get knocked off a few points for small things, but overall, they're fine.
Participation Grade: 42/43
There were five participations each section, so fifteen total, and you were allowed to miss two of them. Alfaro had all in-class ones, Lloyd-Smith and Yeh both had a mix. The latter two were better with keeping in-class participations shorter. But their outside participations were longer than the in-class ones, especially Lloyd-Smith's, which was a bit annoying. But they're not graded intensely, so as long as you do them basically, you'll get credit. There was also a participation grade for demos, but I barely participated, if at all, and I only got one less point.
Overall Grade: A-
Overall I think this is a decent crop of professors to take LS 1 with, if only for Lloyd-Smith. The course material isn't too difficult, and the exams were kind of stupid but doable. I was expecting an A, but I guess I'll be content with an A-.