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Professor Kojima is very organized in his lectures and expects A LOT from his students.
His tests are ridiculously hard not because the material is hard but because his questions are conceptual and you have to understand what you were doing during labs. However, you get to bring in your lab notebook/notes into tests, which is probably why the test is so hard. Oh, and he's picky about your answers, so you have to word them really well.
Lab reports are a pain in the butt. You spend hours just for a measly 15 points. Oh, and you don't even get those 15 points because the TA takes off the dumbest points ever. Vigano took points off EVERY single time no matter how hard I tried. She took points off because I labeled a graph "Gas Chromatography of of Fraction 1 - Signal vs Retention Time" and forgot to label it as "Figure 1." She also tooks points off for not citing common knowledge such that acids donate protons and bases accept protons. Also a ton of points for significant figures.
Vigano, however, was very helpful in her office hours. Kojima not so much because he ALWAYS answers your question with a question.
Overall, this class is ALL about your lab reports and SIGNIFICANT FIGURES. Kojima isn't helpful. There is no curve. Tests are very hard. I got a B.
(BACKGROUND: I had Kojima for 20L and got one of the very few A's.)
Somehow, this class is only 3 units.
When you work your butt off for 20L, yes, you will curse it for being only 3 units. But when you see your grade at the end, you may profusely thank it for being only 3 units.
Kojima MIGHT be a nice guy, somewhere down beneath that thick, seemingly impenetrable wannabe-Pang shell.
As any of us students will probably ever know him, though, he's just a younger Pang. He rushes through every lecture, flipping to the next slide before people can finish reading the first few lines. You can go to office hours to get your face on the radar screen, but he won't ever answer your questions directly.
Some of the lab reports are just atrocious. In the first lab, you'll spend a few HOURS measuring water with a pipet. One of the later labs was over 35 pages long. In another one you'll have to record titration data by hand every 0.2 pH units...for three separate titrations.
Have fun...it's all I can say.
The CPR (Calibrated Peer Review) online writing assignments are utter BS. The CPR system in its current state is so hopeless that I'm not going to rant in detail, but be prepared to loathe it with a fiery passion.
A word on the exams. They're terrible. The exam grading was absurdly picky to the point of incompetence. Kojima often asks vague questions while secretly expecting specific, often multipart answers; if your answer does not contain a certain word the graders may put a red "X" through your entire paragraph and give you a zero without reading it. You have to read Kojima's mind on what he wants...and prepare to be wrong a lot of the time.
Now, if the class were curved, I would be able to understand. But IT'S NOT. Kojima seems pretty proud of this fact, too.
The averages on the midterm and final were 61% and 59%. That's a D and an F.
Indeed, he did not curve.
Your lab TA makes a HUGE difference. My TA wasn't helpful at all - in fact, he'd accidentally mislead you a lot of the time - but his easy grading was my section's saving grace. It's the only reason I ended up with an A in the class.
Bottom line: Kojima's a lot like Pang, 20L sucks in general, get a good TA or drop the class, and remember that it's only 3 units.
~Good luck :)
Good lecturer and seems like a nice guy. Labs were actually pretty interesting and made me start to actually appreciate Chemistry. My TA (Sam Hernandez) was a very nitpicky grader so my grade on lab reports weren't as good as I think I deserved. The lab reports themselves are tedious, but not exactly difficult. What kills this class though is that the exams are insanely difficult. They are very conceptual and he is a VERY picky grader.
Kojima is an okay lecturer, but his exams are graded ridiculously hard. The actual material on the tests do not appear to be difficult, but then everyone loses a ton of points on each question.
I went to his office hours once, and he seemed to judge me by my blonde hair. He assumed I was just a dumb blonde, when in reality, he simply didn't understand what I was asking him. He often avoids answering questions directly, and usually asks you another question instead. It seemed like he misunderstood students' questions on VOH all the time. It was really frustrating.
Also, the TAs take loads of points off every lab assignment. It seemed the only way to get by in that class without going crazy was just to do your best and forget the rest. It was terrible, and I'm glad it's over.
Definitely avoid Vigano, E as a TA. She is super nitpicky with taking off points. Kojima is a young guy and very nice to talk to. He really won't answer your questions directly ever, which is really annoying. Go to his office hours!!! Other than that, I really hated this class. Everything is meaningless busy work and you get tons of points taken off.
I took Chem 20L Winter 11 with him and that was his first teaching experience. He seems very knowledgeable about chemistry and is fairly young, so he knows his material from his college days. The lab work is pretty easy although the prelabs can bring you down. His midterm was pretty hard although I simply messed up and should have gotten higher. The average on that was a C. His final was very hard and you only get 1 hour to do it, so that had an average of 45/80. This class is not curved at all, but the tests aren't worth a lot. I got a B.