Models of Cultural Evolution

Robert Boyd

Models of Cultural Evolution

Anthropology department

Robert Boyd

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from 14 users


Overall 3.2
Easiness of class 1.6
Workload 1.4
Not Clear
Clarity of professor 3.8
Not Helpful
Helpfulness of professor 3.6


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Fall 2009

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

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Quarter Taken: N/A Submitted June 3, 2012 Grade Received: N/A

Really boring class, not by way of subject material, but by way of everything is related to each other so everything is kind of the same so the topic gets confusing.

It's funny considering he wrote the book, at least you would expect the author to give clear explanations

Grading in this class was two exams 20 questions each. He has a nice curve where he gave 40 A's 40 B's,

But should have taken advantage when the fire alarm went off during the final, because that pushed my grade way down as everyone started collaborating, this was after 1/3 had left so this could affected you too without you knowing

I don't know how he dealt with that but I certainly got pushed off to the lower end of the grading scale for not choosing to collaborate

Quarter Taken: N/A Submitted Feb. 3, 2012 Grade Received: N/A

He is a really cool guy. He wrote the book required for the class, so the lectures pretty much mirror the reading. The grade is based on a midterm and a final, which are both on an extreme curve. Overall, the class was interesting and he made the lectures entertaining and worth showing up for.

Quarter Taken: N/A Submitted Dec. 27, 2011 Grade Received: N/A

Professor Boyd is one of the most amazing professor that I have ever had. He is incredibly intelligent and brilliant in the cultural evolution subject. This course urges you to see culture as a selection like natural and sexual selection. He argues cultural selection plays a huge role in human evolution and he pushes you to think beyond the basic understanding about mankind's evolution. Don't be fooled though, he still knows the current gossip on celebrities.

As for his classes, there were 1 midterm and 1 final with a mixture of M/C questions and short answers. He changed it up a bit from last time he taught 186P. His tests are rigorous but he gives a very generous curve (final avg is A-/B+).

Sadly, he is leaving UCLA to lead a newly formed department at ASU. I really wish he would teach one more undergraduate course before I graduate in Spring.

Quarter Taken: N/A Submitted Jan. 13, 2011 Grade Received: N/A

Easy and interesting. Two simple multiple choice test. Book is not required and is pretty much word for word of his lectures which are bruincasted. Most generous curve I have ever seen at my time at UCLA. Curves the class to an A- or B+. I don't know why other people are bitching.

Quarter Taken: N/A Submitted Dec. 11, 2010 Grade Received: N/A

Okay first off the comments below are pretty harsh with the SC Cheerleader remark! Lol Boyd's lecture's weren't the most invigorating (Not a lecturer like Prof. Fessler), but his class was interesting. If you attend lectures/ watch podcast, and complete his study guides, it's an easy A! If you use the book then your definitely going to pass his class. Simple 30 q & a mutiple choice midterm and final. I wish I could have him every quarter so I could graduate with a 4.0! It's an easy course and he's actual pretty cool and more then willing to help (if you don't annoy him)

Quarter Taken: N/A Submitted Dec. 9, 2010 Grade Received: N/A

This class blows more than a USC cheerleader. I was actually looking forward to taking this class, but it was so dull. A lot of the models Professor Boyd gave us were absolutely unrelated to Anthropology & his point. Apparently this class is "controversial", but it makes perfect sense: culture evolves & it evolves faster than our genes.

It would seem that he's anti-psychology (+10 points for you, Boyd!), but the information given was a bit of a hot mess (-10 points). A lot of his examples are based on psychological studies of groups & his disapproval of such conclusions from these studies is subtle. Dr. Temperance Brennan's disapproval of psychology = spews from her pores. Boyd's disapproval = subtle. He doesn't force his opinions down your throat. He presents each study & discusses the "scientists'" conclusions to which he will make comments about how there are multiple ways of interpreting such data &/or he will let you figure it out for yourself.

There was a guy who constantly heckled Boyd & I'm under the assumption that he's a psychology major. Don't get your panties all up in a bunch because psychology is 80% BS. Alas, I digress. Onto more important things.

In the beginning of each powerpoint are bullet points of what he will discuss, but so many of the examples involve kayaks, celebrities, oars, rudders, & a watch that the point of the lecture gets lost in that beautiful picture of David Beckham. If he stuck with anthropological studies & concepts to support his argument, this class would've been more interesting. Let's face it, as an Anthropology major would you rather learn about the evolution of sundials or evidence of natural selection amongst a group of primates &/or a population of people?

His class is curved like no other class I've ever had before. It is AMAZING. My raw score on the midterm was a D like around 70% of the class so I ended up getting an A after the curve. Either everyone in that class is just as disinterested & confused as I was, or they just decided not to show up for class since he has podcasts.

His multiple choice tests are horrendous. Most of the questions are just an entire chunk of a paragraph with 4 answer choices half as long as the question. His study guides are helpful, however it would benefit you to study the concepts pertaining the answers (get really in-depth with each answer to cover all topics just in case) than just studying the study guide at point blank.

Class is based on a midterm & final grade. No homework, no papers, some reading. I tried to read the book & even take down notes from the book, but everything he assigns you to read is condensed on his powerpoints.

Random note: Boyd is kind of attractive for a man who could very well be my grandfather, but I hated his class so much that it was difficult to like him.

Quarter Taken: N/A Submitted Sept. 24, 2010 Grade Received: N/A

The curve for this class was horrible. I don't know what the other reviews are talking about, but when I took the class I remember that 10% got As, 20% got Bs, and 40% Cs, and the rest C-s and Ds.

And on another idea thing, is that even if when he gives you the midterm questions beforehand, he doesn't give it early enough. And when he does give it he gave 35 questions for both the midterm and final and these were long questions that were extremely designed specifically so the class grader could cut points everywhere so you can fail.

I would look for another anthro class to fulfill this requirement. I like the 150 series better.

Quarter Taken: N/A Submitted March 31, 2009 Grade Received: N/A

As an anthro BS major, this class is what dreams are made of. The material is mind blowing. Unlike the rest of the anthro department who can't tell you what DNA stands for, Boyd incorporates his knowledge of the biological sciences into his take on culture. It's fascinating, fun, and a must take. And if you don't get an A in the class, you are a lazy person. He gives a list of all the possible midterm and final questions before the exam, so that you know everything that will be on the test. It's a slam dunk! My last and favorite anthro class.

Quarter Taken: N/A Submitted Dec. 11, 2003 Grade Received: N/A

Professor Boyd is awesome. He makes you think! The class is really fair, and his book is awesome, it's not hard to read at all and all the information you need is in it. He posts his lectures online so you can just follow along in class. His lecture gets confusing but if you do the reading you'll have no trouble. Awesome class, if you get a chance make sure to take him

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