Diplomacy and War

Robert F Trager

Diplomacy and War

Political Science department

Robert F Trager

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Ratings

Bad
Overall 3.6
Good
Hard
Easiness of class 2.4
Easy
Heavy
Workload 2.0
Light
Not Clear
Clarity of professor 3.4
Clear
Not Helpful
Helpfulness of professor 3.2
Helpful
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Grades

Winter 2014
19.8%
16.5%
13.2%
9.9%
6.6%
3.3%
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.

Winter 2010
18.5%
15.4%
12.3%
9.3%
6.2%
3.1%
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

Quarter Taken: N/A Submitted Jan. 2, 2015 Grade Received: N/A

I’ve taken the following courses with Trager PS 20 (A) / PS 129 (+A) / PS 139 (A) and I’ve loved all three courses. PS 20 is a lower div so its work based lots of briefs. PS 129 extends the material you learn in PS 20, it’s based on a midterm, a final and a survey project. PS 139, which is a small seminar like course, is based on two research papers, which are combined for the final 15-20 pages long.

Trager is a really good professor, he is very knowledgeable, his classes are straightforward, not extremely difficult but do require work. With that said, Trager isn’t the most exciting lecturer. I can’t call him boring because it’s his calm tone that creates this effect, not the lecturing material or him as a professor. This is most evident when it comes to large lectures like PS 20 where he tries to engage the class, but the sheer size of the course makes this very difficult. In a small class like 139 his style is amazing and extremely engaging. There was never a dull moment in this class, hands down the best class I’ve taken so far.

I highly recommend him, he is a young professor and his ideas are intriguing compared to some of the older professors we have at UCLA. He does care about his students, and really makes them think. He wants students to question and analyze everything they learn. He has become one of my favorite professors, I highly recommend him.

Quarter Taken: N/A Submitted June 19, 2012 Grade Received: N/A

I, too, don't understand why Trager's ratings are so low. He is quite possibly the most straightforward Poli Sci professor I've had at UCLA. His tests are not meant to trick or deceive you. If you've done the readings and attended class, you should be just fine.

I agree with the poster below me that Trager's engagement with students during lecture really is lost on some people. He always tries to involve the students in the lectures, and he really does value and appreciate that.

The readings were on the light side (no text!), just some articles. I actually really enjoyed reading the articles, because they were specific and interesting. In fact, I enjoyed Trager's classes so much that I took PS 20 and PS 129 with him one quarter after another.

Be warned about the week of the midterm, though, because the lecture after the midterm was actually part of the final exam, and I know that a lot of people couldn't answer that question since most students skip the lecture after the exam.

His voice and SUPER calm lecturing tone can also put you to sleep sometimes, as he is more carefully articulate than energetic, but generally I really enjoyed the class, and it even made me consider an IR concentration.

Quarter Taken: N/A Submitted March 27, 2012 Grade Received: N/A

A lot of students in my class with Trager seemed very disengaged and disinterested. Trager is one of the few professors I've seen at UCLA that actually tries to engage students during lecture and to get people to participate; this was lost on most students. I think if people would put forth more of an effort Trager's ratings would be higher, as he is very intelligent, knowledgeable, and articulate. There was no text for this class; however, the articles posted on the website ought to be treated as the text and read just as thoroughly and with the same diligence as for any other class (possibly more so). The reading can be a little bit heavy during some weeks. I recommend reading it in advance and showing up to class with a basis for what will be discussed. The lectures are a very skeletal look at the material in the readings, and you won't get max value from the lecture if you wait until after to do the reading. To do well on the mid term and final requires a knowledge of the ideas laid out in the articles, familiarity with the historical events used to illustrate the concepts, and an understanding of the structure of the models. Missing the structure of the model and giving an overview of your understanding will probably earn you a mid-range B. Landing an A requires all three of the components listed above. Having said all of that, the concepts and theories covered are useful at further analysis of any political science discipline. Trager is a great guy, very open to helping students, and is entirely approachable. Take him.

Quarter Taken: N/A Submitted March 19, 2010 Grade Received: N/A

It's not the WORST class in the world, but I don't recommend it. Trager is a nice guy, but he absolutely does not show ANY concern for the students. I can't count the number of times a student tried to ask him something after class and his response was ALWAYS "talk to the T.A." He does not encourage going to his office hours and instead directs you to the TA for almost everything. His lectures are basically him reading a powerpoint in a fairly low, dull tone, sure to put you to sleep. He has nothing to offer during lecture, except for his ability to read his own slides. The class consists of a midterm and a cumulative final. He provides a study guide for both and the exams pretty much consist of the exact same questions. You MUST read in order to pass this class because most of the questions on exams are from reading material, with questions from lecture thrown in as well. The reading is manageable but sometimes very dry. Section quizzes are fairly easy if you've done the reading. The final was the killer. The study guide was 30 questions (the same handed out for the midterm) and 30 new questions from the second half of the class. Both midterm and final consisted of 4-7 short answer questions, and then you have a choice from a few options for one essay. It took a LONG time to study because there was so much material. The content is not too hard, but exams cover a TON of material and are very time consuming to study for, and he is also VERY dull. I say take it if you have to, there are worse classes, but you're going to dislike the class, very boring.

Quarter Taken: N/A Submitted Nov. 5, 2009 Grade Received: N/A

Very unclear in his expectations and overall direction of the course. The course was war and diplomacy so you'd expect a course that dealt with such theories and used real world examples, but this guy reads off power point slides on IR theorist whose arguments are so inapplicable to real cases/history. I got so little out of this course and did 90% of the copious and dull text. I received a B+ in the course because it's just so tedious and uninspiring. Oh and this guy could not care less about what you get out of the course; there's no guidance, passion or concern in his teaching style.

Quarter Taken: N/A Submitted Aug. 25, 2009 Grade Received: N/A

Nice as he may be on a personal level, he's pretty bad as a teacher. Boring, dry, unclear, overly complicated lectures.

Quarter Taken: N/A Submitted April 1, 2009 Grade Received: N/A

He is a very sweet guy! I liked him but my TA was a very harsh grader. the material itself is super difficult. a lot of reading and YOU NEED TO DO THE READINGS otherwise forget about getting a high grade. it was a difficult class but once you are done it feels nice since you have gained a lot of knowledge. My advice just try to get a NICE T.A.

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