Based on 6 Users
Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.
I took this course in the Winter of 2016, and received an A in the class. First of all, Professor Wake is a fairly new professor for this class. Overall, I thought he was a sub-par lecturer. He had a very shaky voice, and wasn't very clear in his lectures. His hand-writing is fairly legible, but his lectures were incredibly useless in my opinion. Now, I really enjoy math, so like I stated in my review for Popa in Fall 2015 for Math 31A, I thought the course material was really interesting. However, don't expect to learn much during lecture; I learned everything out of the book. In terms of the course, it wasn't very difficult. There were two midterms and a final. All three tests were multiple choice and true/false formatted. The true/false were conceptual topics, and are meant to trick you, so make sure you understand the concepts really well. The multiple choice portion is the big chunk of the test, and is the math part (i.e. answering math questions (e.g. integrals, derivatives etc)). The averages on the tests were relatively low (like most math courses), but I was able to score highly on all three. My recommendation to those who take the class with Professor Wake is to read directly out of the book, and do a lot of the problems out of the book for each section. To be honest, I went to about five lectures all quarter, and did just fine.
I think Professor Wake was pretty average. He lectures just like every other professor in the sense that he explains the concept and then does a couple basic examples from the textbook a.k.a not super helpful but okay. I believe his lectures were clear even though he tends to mumble. I did go over the textbook before every lecture so that probably affected my understanding. The tests were multiple choice and had problems that were VERY similar to the practice problems he assigned weekly. He also only assigned odd numbered problems for homework so that was cool cause you could check the answers in the back of the book. Basically if you read the book and do a whole bunch of practice problems you're set.
If you are not a mathematics major, taking 31B with Wake is a terrible decision. He teaches the class in an extremely conceptual manner, making it very hard to actually apply what you learn in lecture to the tests and quizzes. Though the curves are generous, the averages are quite low (60% range), practically making it impossible to succeed without one. The lack of graded homework is disappointing, as that usually provides a nice cushion on your grade. In Wake's 31B, there are weekly quizzes in discussion worth 10% of your total grade (each quiz worth 1%). This just adds difficulty, as depending on your TA, you will not receive that nice grade cushion. Wake himself is extremely soft-spoken and somewhat awkward, speaking in a quiet voice that is often difficult to understand. He will ask questions about how to proceed even when we haven't even touched on the material in question, leaving awkward 15 second gaps until some brave soul ventures a guess at the answer he is looking for. Overall, Wake is a nice guy but should stick to teaching higher level math, as us non-Math majors are set up to fail in his class.