Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.
Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.
Professor Das was not great at teaching, he gets really excited about certain topics and starts to talk really fast and no one understand what he is saying. His handwriting is often cursive-like so it was quite hard to read if you sat in the middle-back half of his class.
His exams were pretty standard and very similar to his past midterms, so look in to them when you're studying.
He gets easily distracted by certain students in class, which leads to us not learning about eigenvalues until the very last week before the final.
His quizzes are pretty easy, so don't worry too much about them. He stopped giving quizzes from week 7 onwards, so that was pretty great.
Overall, he is just not good at explaining, but if you can self study and understand the concept, his tests will be very doable for you.
As a class, 33A was much more logical and structured than 32 so I enjoyed it a lot more. Das is a pretty good professor, super straight-up and helpful when asked of. He's a bit of a character though so people often don't find him approachable. I would say the exams are very doable even if you're not like super good at math. The problems are basically all from the homework problems (including optional ones that I definitely recommend you do) or the questions in the book right next to the assigned problems. I would just make sure you have a really tight understanding of chapter 3. He did rush through the last few chapters too fast but they were pretty superficial so I can see why he timed it the way he did. Overall, if you really get chapter 3 and know the mechanics of eigenvalues and whatnot, this is a class that you can do well in.
Professor Das is one of those professors where you don't really know how to feel about, especially in light of a [certain] student who would frequently eat up about 20 minutes of each lecture asking some of the most disrespectful and rude questions.
Onto the class however, I thought that he really paced by the textbook when going through the lectures, so make sure you get that (it's free online and you can even find the solution guide for all the homework problems LOL). I will agree with others that he writes/derives a lot more proofs than what is necessary, and the examples of "applications of theorems" that he gives are nothing more than the textbook examples reworked. He assigns weekly homework, but, um, we only had five of these through the quarter, as he didn't assign any after week 7 I believe. They're easy enough and good practice for the midterms/finals, so make sure to do the homeworks (they're collected but it seems that with the solution manual, everyone gets 100% on those).
For discussions, I would agree with others that it was really up to your TA. The only common denominator between all the sections is that we usually had a quiz to start out a discussion (just a homework problem so if you did the HW it should've been pretty simple). Like homeworks, one lowest quiz grade is dropped.
Our class had two midterms and a final exam, with the first midterm and final having C averages, and the second midterm having an abnormally high average of B+. I say this because this class is CURVED, and judging by the wording on the syllabus, he CAN downcurve, so it's important that you do well relative to your peers. There are two grading schemes, one being HW 10%, quizzes 10%, midterm 1 20%, midterm 2 20%, final 40%, or the other being HW 10%, quizzes 10%, better midterm 30%, final 50%. Another issue is that because most of the exam problems are just homework problems or a relatively easy proof (that he mentioned would be on the exam), everyone does pretty well so that means the curve will ruin you unless you also do well. Beware that the two midterms have a relatively low point total (20 and 30 points), so one mistake can cost your grade to drop by letters (proofs are the place where you can lose the most points, so make sure to get those!!). However, it seems like most people in his class find this class easy and do well, and you do seem to have a solid knowledge of the fundamentals (eigen stuff, matrix algebra), so Das' is not a bad section to take 33A for.
Finally, Om is a boss with dealing with question guy, straight up. Das will crack the jokes, and I found myself laughing a few times (hopefully it isn't just my humor is bad). Also, he's legendary for only having like three outfits or something, so you know in every possible sense you are getting consistency every day :).
Although Das does care about his students and sends emails frequently to ensure everyone understands expectations, the class itself was not a good experience. While the final was fairly straightforward and most people did fine grade wise, there was an unnecessary amount of work/confusion. I would not recommend taking him, but if you do, here's some things to know:
-This quarter, we fell very far behind, very quickly. We covered a bunch of key linear algebra topics very quickly in the last day or two of lecture before the final. As a result of poor pacing, I didn't walk out of that class really understanding what we were doing.
-Discussion sections do not have worksheets. Rather, the TA just lectures on some problems he/she seems to pick on their own.
-Both midterms did not represent the homework and were very proof heavy, but the proofs were simple if you figured it out. One could make it through both of them with flying colors without actually computing much.
-The final seemed more reasonable and balanced between computation/proofs, but was heavily weighted on those last couple of days of lecture.
-There was a very large amount of homework assigned in the class, and 90% was never tested on it felt like, but one had to do all of it just to make sure they were safe.
-Lectures were just very dry and dull in my opinion, though this is mostly due to an infamous guy in our class who asked an excessive amount of questions and took up all the time. When Das actually gets on a roll, there are some good moments.
Taking 33A with Das was easy but also confusing. His lectures are slightly disorganized, and he's not amazing at explaining certain problems - he focuses a lot on proofs of theorems, and less on how to apply those theorems to the kinds of questions we'd see in the homework. In addition, our class was quite behind on the syllabus, and we rushed some pretty important concepts: we got to eigenvalues at the start of week 10 (2 or 3 weeks behind), which didn't give us much time to learn about some of the most important material for the class. In addition, we entirely skipped imaginary numbers (and eigenvalues) and SVD, which is not great if you need to apply the math in 33A to other classes. However, Das does try to make sure that students understand the material he goes over in class, though he's not always effective at it.
Das's tests are very easy if you do the homework: he mostly just takes problems from assigned homework questions, changes the numbers a bit (or not at all), and puts them straight on the midterms and finals. Doing the homework regularly is more than enough preparation for the tests (I think about half of our class was in the A/A+ range for one of our midterms), and he mostly tests you on basic fundamental ideas rather than nuances of those ideas or carrying out ridiculous computations. In a way, I really appreciate this format of testing, since it rewards you for understanding the material - however, we probably could've been tested a bit more rigorously.
Overall, I'm ambivalent with Das - taking the class is good for your GPA, and if you do the homework, you'll have a solid understanding of the core fundamentals, though you might miss out on more complex details (or fall behind and not cover topics at all)! If you do need the math you learn in this class for other classes, I'd recommend following through his lectures in the textbook - that helped me out in understanding the material.
ok so das is really nice but his lectures are very disorganized and without the book i dont think i would've understood or felt like i had a clear picture of what exactly we were doing. the tests were easy in that every single problem you have seen from homework, but you have to be careful with the proofs and actually prove things correctly haha because that's where you can lose a lot of points despite the rest of the test being super easy.
Das teaches incredibly slowly which is why he doesn't have a step by step breakdown of the syllabus according to weeks in the quarter. I would really advise against taking his class: you don't cover enough, his lessons are disorganised, and he too easily gets sidetracked by students asking stupid questions. Honestly, the TA could've taught the material better. What you should definitely keep in mind is that he tells you pretty much exactly what will be on tests so actually study those. His exams were all stupid easy this quarter so if u don't study exactly what he tells you to, the curve will destroy you.
Das is a very nice man who is more or less lost in his own world. I feel like he's chill as a person, but he's an outright terrible teacher. He teaches so so slowly, and his homework and quiz system is very disorganized. He didn't teach like 90% of the things I needed to learn for my career in engineering, and what I did learn from him was word for word recited out of the textbook. The nice thing about his class is that his tests are for people who only go to his lectures, which means they are extremely easy. I recommend enrolling for his class but attending the lectures of a more highly ranked teacher. I did that and was able to learn the required material while breezing through the tests. His main redeeming factor is that he has like 3 outfits, and you get to see which one he wears the most. Right now, the purple pinstriped shirt is in the lead.
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