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This class was great. His lectures were very well organized and the presentation was clear. I would say that Professor Bruinsma is the best lecturer I had at UCLA. His style was sort of Socratic: he always asked questions and interacted with us during the lectures. I found this motivating.
The homework assignments had about 5-7 question each, which was reasonable. Usually, the questions were not from the textbook, which meant that a solution manual was not available; in the end, I felt that this increased my learning -- it's often tempting to look at the solutions when they are available.
There was one midterm, and the average score was about 80%; so, the difficulty level was OK. The final exam was slightly harder, as expected. The question were based on the HW. There were review sessions before each exam, and they were very helpful. During these reviews, he would essentially cover the material that was going to be on the test (don't skip these).
The Mathematica component of the class was graded as extra credit, which effectively made this part of the HW optional. Being able to occasionally skip a Mathematica assignment made a huge difference when it came to the class load. Including Mathematica, 105AB are really 6 unit classes.
Lastly, the class had one characteristic that I find uncommon. Namely, the lectures were synchronized with the discussion sessions, which supplemented the lectures well. Generally, my impression is that professors don't know what is going on in the discussion sessions and vice versa. This was not the case with Prof. Bruinsma.
I would highly recommend him.
I had Bruisma for 2 consecutive quarters (105A&B). Here are some things to consider before taking a class with "Ze Flying Dutchman".
Prof. Bruinsma is the BEST lecturer I have encountered so far in my time at UCLA, or anywhere else for that matter.
He genuinely wants you to learn, and will answer any question have about the material, regardless of how obvious/trivial until he is satisfied you understand.
The tests are all curved with the average roughly set at a B-. (May not sound like a good thing, but when 60% on an exam gets you an A, it is.)
His Dutch accent provides endless entertainment. (Don't worry, he's not difficult to understand.)
The tests are all curved with the average roughly set at a B-.
His tests are hard. Very hard. Every midterm had an average of 40-50%. He's a mathematical bad-ass, and tends to forget that undergrads typically aren't.
Whatever subject the class is, you can be sure he will find every possible example that relates back to Holland or was discovered by some other crazy Dutchman.
Yes, his classes are hard, but they're hard for everyone. Since it's curved, all you have to do is beat the curve. No physics professor is going to just give away A's. Might as well take him, have an awesome, entertaining lecturer who will actually teach you something.