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Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.
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Ok, so I saw the person who ranted about Prof. Shaked making you estimate values and dividing scientific notation without a calculator, and I think he/she needs to grow up. First of all, when you estimate something, she allows you to be off by a factor of 10 (Look at your own damn finger, how long is that in metric units? Then divide that length by half or something.. Stupid.) The point of her asking you to these estimations is to help you grow into being able to apply the knowledge you learn in class to the real world.
Though it is unlikely she's going to teach any more classes because the LA program is becoming successful, I think all prospective students should try to enroll in her class, if offered. It's been one of the most rewarding classes I've taken at UCLA. She tailors her class to the needs of her students, which I have found rare in a professor. On our first midterm, she gave half of our points back if we did corrections because the majority of the class felt that the exam was too long (Average was a 73% still). And because she was impressed by our corrections, she allowed us to do corrections again to get half our points back on the second midterm.
Oh boy where do I begin with Dr. Shanna Shaked...
She is without a doubt the worst professor I have ever had at UCLA. She thinks she is revolutionary with her 'interactive' style of teaching...where she asks iClicker questions that nobody knows the answer to. Then, she wastes a significant portion of class time explaining the answers to clicker questions when she still hasn't even gone over the material.
Oh, and you've probably heard of her lovely fascination with estimating. In one problem, we were supposed to estimate the width of a child's finger. In another, we supposed to somehow know the length/width of a guitar. Or how about the Are you f***ing kidding me? On top of it all....you can't use calculators on exams. So in addition to estimating all of these variables, you're expected to estimate answers that have calculations of (1.6e-19)(*5e-7)/2.6e-4....according to her because the MCAT doesn't have calculators then that makes this reasonable. Oh wait...the MCAT doesn't ask us to estimate the width of a baby's damn finger or ask us to do these types of calculations. Stupid.
In my opinion, what makes her class utterly ridiculous is that I honestly felt like I learned very very little even for someone who works very hard. All of her questions were excessively stupid and did very little to capture our knowledge of physics at all. Homework problems are useless for studying. I genuinely do not know if people who received A's deserved them any more than the people who received lower grades.
Don't let her nice personality deceive you....you have been warned.
I took Shaked in Spring 2015. I'm going to be objective as possible saying these things, but I'll address the usual 3 main concerns with a personal opinion at the end.
1. Class Layout
Optional: Participation to replace one MT score
Optional: One Real World Application project to replace 10% of your overall grade (and reduce your final exam from being 45% to 35% worth of your overall grade)
Participation, if you choose to take it, includes: Clicker questions, Mastering Physics ‘pre flights’ (they’re like chapter overviews you have to take before she teaches the actual chapter in class, usually about 1hr+ long), HW due once a week, discussion attendance mandatory, and quizzes (I may have missed a few things, idk).
Note: Shaked will drop MANY of the participation things (such as 2 of you lowest quiz scores and 6 clicker days or something like that).
Many opportunities for extra credit.
Piazza will be the class website you use to post questions, etc. Lecture slides will be linked through CCLE. There will be optional surveys/questionnaires you can take for extra credit (through another website).
If your final exam grade is higher than your MT she’ll replace it with the final exam grade.
2. Teaching Style
Shaked is all over the place in her teaching. The main issue is that she is that since she does clicker questions in her class, she will spend 5 minutes worth of class on one clicker question. She is extremely concerned with whether or not you fully understand the material, so she will spend class time to make sure everyone clearly understands it. This takes away from her clarifying other concepts and skipping through some slides so that she can stay on time. She also has OH and a platoon of TAs and peer tutors. She is not very good at explaining concepts (6B is more conceptual than 6A). She will curve generously and understands she’s not perfect right now, so she will alter things in class as time goes on in response to feedback she gets. Though this is nice, it’s also sometimes annoying because your syllabus is never really set and things always change.
3. Exam Layout
She will expect you to estimate values and do calculations on your exam without a calculator. Get used to it. And it’s not 2+2 is more like (9x10^12)(1.6x10^-19). Don’t let the numbers scare you though, you’ll get used to it. Leave calculations for last. She gives you a flashcard to have your formula sheet + notes on for MTs and a sheet of paper’s worth for your final. Don’t freak out by low scores and low averages, I know lots of people aren’t physics majors but 60% as an avg is normal for a physics class. Again, she will 'curve.'
I disliked her teaching style and the style of her exams. If you have not ever taken a Shaked exam, it smacks you silly. The questions in her lectures and HW doesn’t really mimic her questions on exasm. You’ll pretty much just have to take it the first time and get used to it after that. Invest in whatever freaken iClicker she asks of you. I said there’s a curve, but really it’s really an extra credit quiz based on the midterm to boost your score. It can only be taken in class and with the specific iClicker she wants, so get it. Her course material is scattered everywhere and all the crap she says is confusing. Piazza sends notifications to your email which is really annoying (even when I unsubscribed I still got them). Read her instructor’s notes, sometimes they inform you of changes and links to extra credit. Otherwise ignore her. What I did was: MT I, MT II, Final exam (because fuck all that participation it’s insane) and I missed the deadline for the RWA project. Do all of the extra credit you can. The RWA drafts and stuff are dumb, but she said she’d replace our draft scores with our final RWA score if our final one was higher.
MT I (without curve): 60%. Avg: 60%
MT II (without curve): 78% Avg: 70%
Final (with curve): 87% Avg: 74%
Final grade: A
Note: I did most of her extra credit and studied very hard for the class since I took it with only the MT and Final grades. I really liked her as a person, she was a generous grader, I disliked her teaching style and methods. I got a lot of help from my friends who are good at Physics. A LOT OF HELP.
I took both 6A and 6B with Dr. Shaked,and I have to say that the bad evaluations are not fair.
Personally, I think everything would be very easy if you ever took AP Physics, and it is kind of Dr. Shaked to have everything other than the exams optional. Just go take the two midterms and the final and you will be fine, or do the participation part if you want to make it safer (it is easy to get a 99%+ for this part, since it is easy, and many bad grades are automatically dropped).
If you did not take AP Physics or did not learn much in high school, well, probably you need to work a little bit harder. Dr. Shaked generally addresses the concepts quite clearly, but you really need to work after class.
I notice that many bad comments are about 6B. I agree that Dr. Shaked's 6B is not that good as 6A, but I think this is basically true for almost every Physics teacher. If you have any friend taking Physics 1B, you would know how great Dr. Shaked tries to be (and essentially is).
I never write reviews here but I need to say something that contradicts all these bad evaluations. I had Shaked for two classes and yes, she's unorthodox, and yes, her teaching methods can be very frustrating for a linear thinker like me, (they totally were at the time!!) but you don't know how lucky you are until you have another professor. After having a much more traditional professor for 6C I realized how grateful I should have been to have Shaked who really tries to think about how students learn and how to best teach them. Not only does she try to tailor her class to teach life sciences students instead of throwing hard physics at students who think differently, she is perpetually available to help you for hours on end. If you're willing to put in the time to go understand how she wants you to think instead of throwing up your hands, you can do very well and in the long-term. You will also build better foundations to actually understand physics and its relevant applications, and most importantly how to approach solving problems than just memorizing formulas and derivations that you don't understand, like my 6C prof wanted. Anyway, I encourage everyone to take Shaked. You are definitely going into an unusual class, but you should give it a chance and be open to what she's trying and how it could actually be better. You might also come out at the end really frustrated, and I also experienced this, but I'm writing this a few months after being in her class, because she is one of those teachers of which you need some perspective to appreciate the merits.
I recently wrote a review on the date 4/29/2015. I've just gotten back my second midterm and I'm writing an updated review. I will try to be as objective as possible. Here goes....
I HATE HER I HATE HER I HATE HER I HATE HER I HATE HER I HATE HER I HATE HER I HATE HER I HATE HER I HATE HER I HATE HER I HATE HER I HATE HER I HATE HER I HATE HER I HATE HER I HATE HER I HATE HER!!! OH MY GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I didn't sign up for this!!! I am enrolled in Niemann who is conceptual and for some crazy reason I am taking Shaked's midterms which are numbers oriented. Let's just say that I am enrolled in Shiemann (Niemann+Shaked). YES. I am enrolled in freakin Shiemann's course! I didn't sign up for this hell ride!! Wtf is this!!!!!
Don't take Shaked (in other words, don't commit GPA suicide). She's crazy. Her obsession with estimating numbers has ruined 6B for some 400 ucla students. It's insane. I was off by a magnitude of 10 on one of the questions. Formula was right. Work was right. Units was right. Explanation was right. Estimation just a bitttt off. I got 2/9 points. The entire exam only has 40 points. Madness.
Yes, she is a nice professor. Too bad her niceness won't save my GPA. The fact that there is going to be a curve doesn't make me any less pissed off at her. It's bs that I spend hours studying only to have her ridiculous exams thrown at my face. I got a freakin A from 6A with Huang who is considered difficult and I am getting a score from Shaked that hurts me whenever I say it!!!
JUST TESTING THE WATERS HERE..
IS ANYONE ELSE FED UP WITH SHAKED AND FEEL LIKE EMAILING THE PHYSICS DEPARTMENT REGARDING THIS. LET'S JUST SAY THAT I AM CONSIDERING IT. IT'S JUST NOT FAIR THAT WE'RE TAKING 6B WITH ONE PROFESSOR, BUT BEING TESTED BY ANOTHER. LIKE MY POST IF YOU THINK I SHOULD, ASK YOUR CLASSMATES TO LOOK AT THIS POST AND PLEASE SEND AN EMAIL YOURSELF IF YOU SHARE MY FRUSTRATIONS.
Email the academic coordinator, Francoise at
I've never submitted an evaluation before but taking 6B with Shaked has prompted me to do so.
I wouldn't wish her on my worst enemies. She is one of the worst professors I've ever taken here. Her class is so much work and yet I've learnt nothing, and this is the general consensus among her students. Her exam was long and the questions were stupid. She has a fascination with estimating (estimate the width of a baby's finger, the length of vocal cords etc.). She has pre-flight quizzes which test your understanding on material SHE HASN'T TAUGHT YET. So basically you have to learn the concepts yourself, struggle through mastering physics questions on the topic, then she quizzes you in lecture to see if you've done the questions before attending lecture.
Don't believe the other evaluations. Maybe she was good for 6A but she is HORRIBLE for 6B.