Richard B Kaner
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
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4.5
Overall Rating
Based on 46 Users
Easiness 2.3 / 5 How easy the class is, 1 being extremely difficult and 5 being easy peasy.
Clarity 4.4 / 5 How clear the professor is, 1 being extremely unclear and 5 being very clear.
Workload 2.5 / 5 How light the workload is, 1 being extremely heavy and 5 being extremely light.
Helpfulness 4.6 / 5 How helpful the professor is, 1 being not helpful at all and 5 being extremely helpful.

TOP TAGS

  • Tolerates Tardiness
  • Engaging Lectures
  • Appropriately Priced Materials
  • Often Funny
  • Tough Tests
  • Would Take Again
  • Is Podcasted

GRADE DISTRIBUTIONS

41.5%
34.6%
27.7%
20.8%
13.8%
6.9%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

32.9%
27.4%
22.0%
16.5%
11.0%
5.5%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

36.4%
30.3%
24.3%
18.2%
12.1%
6.1%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

39.1%
32.6%
26.1%
19.5%
13.0%
6.5%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

48.1%
40.1%
32.1%
24.0%
16.0%
8.0%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

45.6%
38.0%
30.4%
22.8%
15.2%
7.6%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

33.9%
28.2%
22.6%
16.9%
11.3%
5.6%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

34.6%
28.8%
23.1%
17.3%
11.5%
5.8%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

24.3%
20.2%
16.2%
12.1%
8.1%
4.0%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

30.4%
25.3%
20.3%
15.2%
10.1%
5.1%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

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Reviews (38)

1 of 4
1 of 4
Add your review...
Quarter: N/A
Grade: N/A
Dec. 25, 2015

Just another rave review here. Professor Kaner is awesome. He communicates the material very well, does demonstrations, takes all questions during lecture, and hosts multiple office hours. The class is out of 330 points with the following contributions:

HW 30 points
Midterm 100 points
Final 200 points

The midterm was straight forward but time is a major issue, the average in my class was 65. The final is substantially harder and was harder than the practice final, which surprised me. I assume a B in the class is around a 60 or 65.

Last note: take his CHEM189 seminar, it's interesting and easy. He just talks about different materials for an hour a week. No homework, nobody even takes notes, you just listen. Easy 5 page paper due at the end of the quarter, but he lets you turn it in after finals so that it doesn't get in the way of studying.

Helpful?

4 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2016
Grade: B
March 10, 2018

DO NOT TAKE A CLASS DIRECTLY AFTER HIS! He usually has office hours right after class and these were extremely useful and essential to doing well in the class. This was by far one of the hardest classes I took at UCLA, but Professor Kaner is extremely helpful and approachable. If you want to succeed in this class, stay after class and listen to his office hours, make sure you understand the most difficult problems on the homework, because half of the exam will be application of these concepts in a way you haven't seen before, but don't let that scare you, most the class will struggle with these questions as well.

Helpful?

3 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2015
Grade: B
March 1, 2016

Kaner is a great professor to take 171 with. I learnt a lot about inorganic chemistry and the class was always engaging. He brought a lot of models and performed a lot of in lecture demonstrations that made concepts easier to visualize. If you have a chance to take the 189 lecture that is run concurrently with this class, I highly recommend it. Kaner brings in a lot of cool materials to come play around with and the class is very engaging.

Helpful?

2 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: N/A
Grade: N/A
Jan. 28, 2014

Best teacher I ever had in my life. It's a gift to bruins.

Helpful?

2 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2017
Grade: A
Dec. 20, 2017

Professor Kaner is the best! I am not really into inorganic chemistry, however, I loved his class and his teaching style. He uses a lot of models and he does cool demos in class so make sure to attend lectures (no bruincast for his class, just audio). The class is not easy, however, getting an A is doable. Go to lectures, rewrite notes and don't fall behind, go to discussions as TAs write the exams and might give hints about what you need to know, office hours are extremely helpful, do the problem sets and practice exams. Actual exams are a little harder but similar in style to the practice one. On the midterm, make sure to be fast as you only have 50 minutes and it is a pretty long exam. For the final, you have plenty of time but make sure to understand all the material as the final is more conceptual and tricky. One more thing, take his honor seminar if you can, one hour a week, no tests, and just a 5-page paper that is due after finals' week.

Helpful?

1 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2015
Grade: N/A
Feb. 26, 2016

Professor Kaner is a legend. He is such a talented professor and really enjoys teaching, which makes his class so much more enjoyable. Chem 171 involves a lot of conceptual topics, so if you like the visual aspect of chemistry, this class is great. Also, getting an A in this class is very doable. Simply keep up with the weekly homework sets (don't fall behind in this class) and go to TA office hours as much as possible just to discuss the material- it makes all the difference. Lastly, be sure to go to every lecture because Kaner is a very well-known scientist and does a great job at articulating the class material.

Helpful?

1 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2019
Grade: A
Dec. 14, 2019

I had this class recommended to me by friends who took it last year, given that Prof. Kaner is a phenomenal teacher. He is very encouraging and receptive to questions during class and his lectures are truly engaging. Every step of the way, he was able to relate inorganic chemistry to its useful, practical applications and interesting stories.
With that said, he does not use PowerPoints, but instead refers to lecture notes that are likely a couple decades old. He does post these online beforehand. If you don't glance at them before class or have it open while you're listening, it can become a little confusing as to what is really important given that his lecture can otherwise come off as more conversational at times. But otherwise, you'll see that he actually is following some sort of structure.
I would have liked to go to more office hours but his tended to be very crowded which was a bit of a turn-off, but the TAs are phenomenal. To reinforce my learning without forcing myself to go above and beyond constantly outside class, I went to two different discussions (Lisa's and Mit's) per week as each has a different style and go at different paces. In other words, it usually did not feel repetitive and assisted greatly in organizing the material.
Exams are more difficult, particularly the midterm in terms of timing/pacing. You will truly have to be watchful of time and force yourself to move on and familiarize yourself with the problems to be able to succeed on the exams. Our exam average was 65, and I think the distribution may have been bimodal. Prof. Kaner is generous in that he recognizes his exams are long and has his policy of replacing this grade with your final exam score if you improve. Note that his exams are incredibly formulaic so even if it feels a little difficult at times, it's entirely possible to get the material down even in a short amount of time. Although he probably wouldn't approve, honestly, for the final, learning to memorize some of the information to increase speed may help even if you can draw it all out (ex: Jahn-Teller distortions and whether they're z-in or z-out).
Anyway, I definitely liked this class and Prof. Kaner is a great guy, but do note that this class is probably medium-ish in difficulty (although no one concept is super difficult if you know how to ask for help).

Helpful?

2 1 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2020
Grade: A
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Dec. 25, 2020

Absolutely amazing class I'm honestly quite sad that I didn't get to take him in person- Dr. Kaner is honestly an icon. He's incredibly knowledgeable, gives detailed lectures, tests are fair and class is overall very informative.

Some things:
-With Covid, he gave 2 midterms instead of one as well as a final which were all quite fair. He gave us extended time for all of them so you weren't super time pressured. He gives practice midterms and if you do well on those the tests will be quite similar.
-Curves were around high 60s and mid 80s for midterm 1 and 2 respectively, he also drops your lower midterm score and replaces it with final AFTER curve which is super generous.
-OHs were usually full which kinda sucked :(
-He gave 8 psets throughout the quarter that are graded fairly lightly and I usually just did them day of.
- Textbook is not incredibly useful? I feel like UCLA skips a lot of group theory in undergrad inorganic and all my friends in other schools were kinda confused about what I was learning but I still felt like I learned a lot. When reading inorganic research papers for my research group I honestly felt like I began understanding things so take that as you will.
-Take 189 it's not a lot of work and super insightful and chill!

Overall, highly recommend and echo to not have anything planned after his classes as he usually holds office hours then. He will actually go out of his way to prioritize student learning with 3 office hours per week and he'll stay extra if ever needed. For the final office hours he stayed I think an additional 3/4 hours- he's just too amazing.

Helpful?

1 1 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2018
Grade: A-
June 14, 2019

Take this class!!! As a biochem major, this was an easy way to satisfy upper div chem requirement to graduate. The concepts are really confusing at first, but just put in the time and you will do fine in the class. Kaner is also a really great professor. He’s really rich and is tenured, yet really cares about student learning. He never made me feel stupid for asking stupid questions. The weekly homework was kind of annoying and stressful but the TAs will give you answers if you go to discussion.

Also take the honors seminar! You don’t have to attend every week (there’s no sign in sheet or anything) but you should because it’s interesting. At the end of the quarter you just have to write a paper about something you like that is related to inorganic chemistry. This is an easy upper div 1 unit A that could help your GPA a little bit. (every bit counts!)

Helpful?

1 1 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2021
Grade: C
Aug. 13, 2022

This class was definitely top 3 hardest classes I've taken so far. This class covers a lot of brand new information which I don't think is really covered in other chem classes. Had weekly problems sets which weren't too bad but make sure you have a good understanding of them! Do not recommend taking this class your first quarter as a transfer student because I was not prepared for the quarter system + a super hard class. If you spend time trying to understand the concepts and memorizing things like the different crystal structure, it will be really beneficial! Make sure you have good understanding of pi orbitals, hybridization, molecular geometry because this class is fulllll of that!

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: N/A
Grade: N/A
Dec. 25, 2015

Just another rave review here. Professor Kaner is awesome. He communicates the material very well, does demonstrations, takes all questions during lecture, and hosts multiple office hours. The class is out of 330 points with the following contributions:

HW 30 points
Midterm 100 points
Final 200 points

The midterm was straight forward but time is a major issue, the average in my class was 65. The final is substantially harder and was harder than the practice final, which surprised me. I assume a B in the class is around a 60 or 65.

Last note: take his CHEM189 seminar, it's interesting and easy. He just talks about different materials for an hour a week. No homework, nobody even takes notes, you just listen. Easy 5 page paper due at the end of the quarter, but he lets you turn it in after finals so that it doesn't get in the way of studying.

Helpful?

4 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2016
Grade: B
March 10, 2018

DO NOT TAKE A CLASS DIRECTLY AFTER HIS! He usually has office hours right after class and these were extremely useful and essential to doing well in the class. This was by far one of the hardest classes I took at UCLA, but Professor Kaner is extremely helpful and approachable. If you want to succeed in this class, stay after class and listen to his office hours, make sure you understand the most difficult problems on the homework, because half of the exam will be application of these concepts in a way you haven't seen before, but don't let that scare you, most the class will struggle with these questions as well.

Helpful?

3 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2015
Grade: B
March 1, 2016

Kaner is a great professor to take 171 with. I learnt a lot about inorganic chemistry and the class was always engaging. He brought a lot of models and performed a lot of in lecture demonstrations that made concepts easier to visualize. If you have a chance to take the 189 lecture that is run concurrently with this class, I highly recommend it. Kaner brings in a lot of cool materials to come play around with and the class is very engaging.

Helpful?

2 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: N/A
Grade: N/A
Jan. 28, 2014

Best teacher I ever had in my life. It's a gift to bruins.

Helpful?

2 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2017
Grade: A
Dec. 20, 2017

Professor Kaner is the best! I am not really into inorganic chemistry, however, I loved his class and his teaching style. He uses a lot of models and he does cool demos in class so make sure to attend lectures (no bruincast for his class, just audio). The class is not easy, however, getting an A is doable. Go to lectures, rewrite notes and don't fall behind, go to discussions as TAs write the exams and might give hints about what you need to know, office hours are extremely helpful, do the problem sets and practice exams. Actual exams are a little harder but similar in style to the practice one. On the midterm, make sure to be fast as you only have 50 minutes and it is a pretty long exam. For the final, you have plenty of time but make sure to understand all the material as the final is more conceptual and tricky. One more thing, take his honor seminar if you can, one hour a week, no tests, and just a 5-page paper that is due after finals' week.

Helpful?

1 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2015
Grade: N/A
Feb. 26, 2016

Professor Kaner is a legend. He is such a talented professor and really enjoys teaching, which makes his class so much more enjoyable. Chem 171 involves a lot of conceptual topics, so if you like the visual aspect of chemistry, this class is great. Also, getting an A in this class is very doable. Simply keep up with the weekly homework sets (don't fall behind in this class) and go to TA office hours as much as possible just to discuss the material- it makes all the difference. Lastly, be sure to go to every lecture because Kaner is a very well-known scientist and does a great job at articulating the class material.

Helpful?

1 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2019
Grade: A
Dec. 14, 2019

I had this class recommended to me by friends who took it last year, given that Prof. Kaner is a phenomenal teacher. He is very encouraging and receptive to questions during class and his lectures are truly engaging. Every step of the way, he was able to relate inorganic chemistry to its useful, practical applications and interesting stories.
With that said, he does not use PowerPoints, but instead refers to lecture notes that are likely a couple decades old. He does post these online beforehand. If you don't glance at them before class or have it open while you're listening, it can become a little confusing as to what is really important given that his lecture can otherwise come off as more conversational at times. But otherwise, you'll see that he actually is following some sort of structure.
I would have liked to go to more office hours but his tended to be very crowded which was a bit of a turn-off, but the TAs are phenomenal. To reinforce my learning without forcing myself to go above and beyond constantly outside class, I went to two different discussions (Lisa's and Mit's) per week as each has a different style and go at different paces. In other words, it usually did not feel repetitive and assisted greatly in organizing the material.
Exams are more difficult, particularly the midterm in terms of timing/pacing. You will truly have to be watchful of time and force yourself to move on and familiarize yourself with the problems to be able to succeed on the exams. Our exam average was 65, and I think the distribution may have been bimodal. Prof. Kaner is generous in that he recognizes his exams are long and has his policy of replacing this grade with your final exam score if you improve. Note that his exams are incredibly formulaic so even if it feels a little difficult at times, it's entirely possible to get the material down even in a short amount of time. Although he probably wouldn't approve, honestly, for the final, learning to memorize some of the information to increase speed may help even if you can draw it all out (ex: Jahn-Teller distortions and whether they're z-in or z-out).
Anyway, I definitely liked this class and Prof. Kaner is a great guy, but do note that this class is probably medium-ish in difficulty (although no one concept is super difficult if you know how to ask for help).

Helpful?

2 1 Please log in to provide feedback.
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Quarter: Fall 2020
Grade: A
Dec. 25, 2020

Absolutely amazing class I'm honestly quite sad that I didn't get to take him in person- Dr. Kaner is honestly an icon. He's incredibly knowledgeable, gives detailed lectures, tests are fair and class is overall very informative.

Some things:
-With Covid, he gave 2 midterms instead of one as well as a final which were all quite fair. He gave us extended time for all of them so you weren't super time pressured. He gives practice midterms and if you do well on those the tests will be quite similar.
-Curves were around high 60s and mid 80s for midterm 1 and 2 respectively, he also drops your lower midterm score and replaces it with final AFTER curve which is super generous.
-OHs were usually full which kinda sucked :(
-He gave 8 psets throughout the quarter that are graded fairly lightly and I usually just did them day of.
- Textbook is not incredibly useful? I feel like UCLA skips a lot of group theory in undergrad inorganic and all my friends in other schools were kinda confused about what I was learning but I still felt like I learned a lot. When reading inorganic research papers for my research group I honestly felt like I began understanding things so take that as you will.
-Take 189 it's not a lot of work and super insightful and chill!

Overall, highly recommend and echo to not have anything planned after his classes as he usually holds office hours then. He will actually go out of his way to prioritize student learning with 3 office hours per week and he'll stay extra if ever needed. For the final office hours he stayed I think an additional 3/4 hours- he's just too amazing.

Helpful?

1 1 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2018
Grade: A-
June 14, 2019

Take this class!!! As a biochem major, this was an easy way to satisfy upper div chem requirement to graduate. The concepts are really confusing at first, but just put in the time and you will do fine in the class. Kaner is also a really great professor. He’s really rich and is tenured, yet really cares about student learning. He never made me feel stupid for asking stupid questions. The weekly homework was kind of annoying and stressful but the TAs will give you answers if you go to discussion.

Also take the honors seminar! You don’t have to attend every week (there’s no sign in sheet or anything) but you should because it’s interesting. At the end of the quarter you just have to write a paper about something you like that is related to inorganic chemistry. This is an easy upper div 1 unit A that could help your GPA a little bit. (every bit counts!)

Helpful?

1 1 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2021
Grade: C
Aug. 13, 2022

This class was definitely top 3 hardest classes I've taken so far. This class covers a lot of brand new information which I don't think is really covered in other chem classes. Had weekly problems sets which weren't too bad but make sure you have a good understanding of them! Do not recommend taking this class your first quarter as a transfer student because I was not prepared for the quarter system + a super hard class. If you spend time trying to understand the concepts and memorizing things like the different crystal structure, it will be really beneficial! Make sure you have good understanding of pi orbitals, hybridization, molecular geometry because this class is fulllll of that!

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
1 of 4
4.5
Overall Rating
Based on 46 Users
Easiness 2.3 / 5 How easy the class is, 1 being extremely difficult and 5 being easy peasy.
Clarity 4.4 / 5 How clear the professor is, 1 being extremely unclear and 5 being very clear.
Workload 2.5 / 5 How light the workload is, 1 being extremely heavy and 5 being extremely light.
Helpfulness 4.6 / 5 How helpful the professor is, 1 being not helpful at all and 5 being extremely helpful.

TOP TAGS

  • Tolerates Tardiness
    (9)
  • Engaging Lectures
    (11)
  • Appropriately Priced Materials
    (6)
  • Often Funny
    (8)
  • Tough Tests
    (11)
  • Would Take Again
    (11)
  • Is Podcasted
    (8)
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