Sharmila Venugopal
Department of Life Sciences
AD
4.2
Overall Rating
Based on 23 Users
Easiness 4.3 / 5 How easy the class is, 1 being extremely difficult and 5 being easy peasy.
Clarity 3.2 / 5 How clear the professor is, 1 being extremely unclear and 5 being very clear.
Workload 3.7 / 5 How light the workload is, 1 being extremely heavy and 5 being extremely light.
Helpfulness 3.6 / 5 How helpful the professor is, 1 being not helpful at all and 5 being extremely helpful.

TOP TAGS

  • Uses Slides
  • Needs Textbook
  • Is Podcasted
  • Useful Textbooks
  • Appropriately Priced Materials
  • Participation Matters
  • Gives Extra Credit
  • Has Group Projects
  • Tolerates Tardiness
  • Would Take Again

GRADE DISTRIBUTIONS

72.5%
60.4%
48.3%
36.2%
24.2%
12.1%
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.

41.7%
34.7%
27.8%
20.8%
13.9%
6.9%
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.

40.2%
33.5%
26.8%
20.1%
13.4%
6.7%
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.

AD

Reviews (20)

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Quarter: Winter 2021
Grade: A+
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
March 4, 2021

I've heard a lot of complaints about Dr. V and I was kinda scared to take her class at first, but honestly, it's quite a good class.

She's really reciprocating with our requests, like, our first bi-weekly quiz was kind of hard, so when she got the feedback from us she immediately changed her test style and made the rest of our bi-weekly quizzes much more suitable.

She's also organized in terms of letting you know exactly what you're learning, and there's a clear outline to each lecture, homework, and quiz.

The midterm was pretty much exactly what she taught in lectures and the TA's study office hours. It was very straightforward.

Also, she links us to supplement videos to get a better understanding of the content. Obviously, it seems tedious to have to watch even more videos on top of lectures, but I see it as studying, just like how you would read textbooks outside of lectures to gain a better understanding.

I had a different professor last quarter which many students loved, but I find myself understanding Dr. V's lectures with ease, and just understanding the content in general much better. To me, the workload isn't too bad either. Every two weeks I probably spend a day doing the bi-weekly homework, and a day watching supplement videos as revision for bi-weekly quizzes.

Obviously, this is just my personal experience and opinions, everyone is different and has different learning styles. But yea her class is really manageable.

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Quarter: Winter 2021
Grade: N/A
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
March 23, 2021

I don't know why Dr. V got a lot of hate in previous years. Sure, she may not be very clear during live lectures, but rewatching the lectures really help. She is also very accommodating and responds well to any concerns that students might have in order to minimize our workload. Dr. V also provides resources that may help further clarify some concepts such as supplemental videos. She's very sweet and it's evident that she's proud whenever students get a good grade on tests/assignments.

Helpful?

6 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Winter 2021
Grade: A+
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
March 19, 2021

Hi, first of all, I want to say that a lot of people come into this class already having a certain opinion about Dr. V because of what they've heard. However, none of these things are really true. I personally loved having Dr. V for LS30B and wish I would've taken her for LS30A. Dr. V is extremely caring, receptive to student feedback, and genuinely wants students to succeed. I don't really understand what people mean when they say she's not a "good lecturer" because she breaks down all the concepts into easy-to-understand explanations, and her slides are very well organized. I learned a lot better in LS30B than I did in LS30A with a different professor. The midterm and final were straightforward and related to what we covered in lecture/labs, so everything was extremely fair.

I can see why some people thought the class was disorganized though. I'll admit that in the first 1-2 weeks of the quarter, things were a little chaotic and students voiced their concerns with the class structure. However, some of the students, especially those who were most verbal in the GroupMe, went pretty far with their concerns. They were oftentimes very rude to Dr. V, despite her making appropriate accommodations for the class afterwards. But there were also a lot of people I know who appreciated Dr. V's flexibility, so don't be swayed by negative Bruinwalk reviews or people who send the most messages in the GroupMe (those who have strong opinions tend to be more verbal about them so oftentimes, people end up thinking this is the majority opinion when it's not). One thing that could be improved about this class though is the clarity of things. At times, instructions for the bi-weekly HWs, midterm, final were a little unclear/confusingly phrased.

However, one thing I do want to mention too is that Dr. V completely transformed the format/grading structure of this class for Winter 2021 specifically. I loved this new format, as it allowed me to learn more effectively, and I didn't have to stress as much over homework like I did in LS30A. Your experience may differ taking this class in a different quarter/in-person.

Bottom line is, take some of these negative reviews with a grain of salt because Dr. V really cares for students and is extremely empathetic.

Helpful?

5 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Winter 2021
Grade: A+
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
March 28, 2021

OKAY I AM GOING TO GIVE IT TO YOU GUYS STRAIGHT...
-As someone who had both Jukka (for LS 30A) and Dr. V (this class obvi) I can confidently say that this class is waaaaayyyyyy easier & less stress & workload.
- Dr. V has a bad rep but honestly, this class was embarrassingly easy and low stress compared to Jukka (crying I still love you Jukka)
-I am going to be honest I gave this class little to no effort and I still did well I don't think you can get away with that as easy with Jukka
SO TYPICAL WEEK...
1) You HAVE to attend every live lecture for participation points WHICH SUCKS not really useful
2) I guess this is where you are supposed to do the homework but I NEVER did lmaoooo
3) Labs which suck but the graders are hella nice & I still do not know how to code to this day but I got full credit on the labs
4) On the weeks where actual homework is due and we have bi-weekly quizzes I reviewed like an hour before I took the quizzes and it's really easy to get a high grade bc of the retakes (you're welcome :) )
5) for the homework my group and I split it up so we completed it on the same doc & had less homework but then before we turned it in we reworded to & whatever so we don't turn in the same copy (totally okay I think)
6) MIDTERM & FINAL were super low stress bc we got to work with our groups and even then, the content was not hard
OVERALL...
I would recommend even over Jukka if you are looking for an easy class with minimal effort

Helpful?

3 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Winter 2021
Grade: N/A
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
March 21, 2021

Dr. V. is definitely very accommodating and values student feedback. To replace homework problems, we had biweekly study guides and biweekly exams, alongside a midterm and final. Although the frequency of exams could get tiring, each biweekly exam had 2 attempts so it is very possible to do well if you put in a reasonable amount of effort into putting together your study guide. I honestly liked the study guide system, as it touched upon concepts that Dr. V. included in later tests (including the midterm and final), and I consistently referred back to the ones I made throughout the year. Generally, the more effort you put into your study guide, the more valuable it is!

Again, textbook HW problems were not required this quarter but I would recommend doing most of them anyways as it is great practice – Dr. V. posts the answer keys for them so it is easy to check as you solve. (For some reason she omits the answers to certain challenging problems, which I to this day don't understand the reason for, but she includes the answers to almost everything else.)

She also posts lots of supplementary content videos, which honestly add up to a lot of time. Garfinkel's videos are useful for the first few weeks (on chaos, stable oscillations, DDE, etc), but to be completely honest I would say only watch them if you are struggling with a concept or the way the professor explains it (a lot of the videos tend to explain things better than actual lecture).

The midterm was similarly structured to the biweekly exams and also reasonably written (doing the practice finals help a lot!), with a 24 hour period allotted. The final, which had a 48 hour period allotted, also had a coding component which was intimidating but ended up being doable, as she provided template code. The coding component covered mainly the material that was covered in the first few labs.

Lastly, a quick summary of my review using pros and cons:
PROS
- very receptive to student feedback
- exams are fairly written
- provides lots of supplementary resources to help struggling students
- active/actually answers questions on Campuswire
- provides answer keys to textbook HW problems so you can easily check your work

CONS
- answers to questions are vague and not the most helpful
- explanation of concepts can be long-winded and difficult to follow (reading the textbook/watching other content videos helps a lot)
- responses to Campuswire questions can be a little on the blunt side
- frequency of exams can get tiring (biweekly exams, midterm, and final – the last biweekly exam we had 4 days before the final)
- no labs dropped

Helpful?

2 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Winter 2021
Grade: A+
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
March 21, 2021

People are really harsh on Dr. V, but she was honestly a good professor.
After each quiz, she would poll the class to gauge how we felt about the difficulty. When she noticed that people were unhappy, she immediately made them easier so more people could get full credit. Throughout the course, Dr. V was constantly adjusting the course to make it as accommodating as possible.
Sometimes, her lectures could be hard to follow because she would run out of time to go in-depth on new topics, but she always provided optional videos that would clarify things in lecture.
I really enjoyed her format for homework because instead of assigning textbook problems, she had us construct study guides with questions directly taken from her slides. This was a great way to review and it really showed which textbook questions were worth doing. Plus, we could use them during tests.
Dr. V is genuinely such a sweet person and you can tell she loves teaching this course. Don't be scared off from taking her class!

Helpful?

2 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Winter 2021
Grade: N/A
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
March 18, 2021

YES!! Dr. V! I took LS 30 A with Dr. V and I will say there was a clear clear improvement. Her slides have always been very organized making sure the learning objectives are very clear and easy to find. I really liked the system this quarter of being able to make study guides for homework. This really helped me study for the material and be prepared. She is great at taking feedback and really wanted us to succeed. There are a lot of complaints from other people or bad reviews however I recommend this class and as an online format. The final and midterm were group exams that were more than fair. The biweekly quizzes had two attempts as well. She also provided helpful videos and resources to study.

Helpful?

2 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Winter 2021
Grade: A
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
March 17, 2021

This class is challenging at times but Venugopal is a great teacher and really made an effort to make the class go as smooth as it could online. The material is difficult but Venugopal did good with making it easy to learn. Really enjoyed this class.

Helpful?

2 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Winter 2018
Grade: A
July 2, 2019

Venugopal is nice, but she's a terrible lecturer. She wasn't good at explaining concepts and was really unclear. I hated going to class because it was a waste of my time, but I had to because of clickers. The midterm was easy, the final was kinda rough but still not too bad. Homework wasn't mandatory, and the labs are pretty easy. Honestly I hated this class but at least it was easy. TAs were honestly more helpful.

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2 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Winter 2021
Grade: A
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
March 31, 2021

As someone who had Jukka for 30A, this class was so much easier. Dr.V is not the best lecturer, but the class is straightforward. She was a bit unreasonable with the grades at first, but then was willing to change it to benefit us! Honestly, you may get annoyed of this class at one point or another, but she is such a sweet woman lmao. She also provides supplemental videos which, in my opinion, were SOOO helpful. The biweekly homework is set up to make you review lecture slides, use the book (which you probably won't even use much), and to help you better understand class material. Dr.V gets a lot of bad rep, but honestly this class wasn't half as bad as people made it out to be.

Helpful?

1 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Quarter: Winter 2021
Grade: A+
March 4, 2021

I've heard a lot of complaints about Dr. V and I was kinda scared to take her class at first, but honestly, it's quite a good class.

She's really reciprocating with our requests, like, our first bi-weekly quiz was kind of hard, so when she got the feedback from us she immediately changed her test style and made the rest of our bi-weekly quizzes much more suitable.

She's also organized in terms of letting you know exactly what you're learning, and there's a clear outline to each lecture, homework, and quiz.

The midterm was pretty much exactly what she taught in lectures and the TA's study office hours. It was very straightforward.

Also, she links us to supplement videos to get a better understanding of the content. Obviously, it seems tedious to have to watch even more videos on top of lectures, but I see it as studying, just like how you would read textbooks outside of lectures to gain a better understanding.

I had a different professor last quarter which many students loved, but I find myself understanding Dr. V's lectures with ease, and just understanding the content in general much better. To me, the workload isn't too bad either. Every two weeks I probably spend a day doing the bi-weekly homework, and a day watching supplement videos as revision for bi-weekly quizzes.

Obviously, this is just my personal experience and opinions, everyone is different and has different learning styles. But yea her class is really manageable.

Helpful?

8 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Quarter: Winter 2021
Grade: N/A
March 23, 2021

I don't know why Dr. V got a lot of hate in previous years. Sure, she may not be very clear during live lectures, but rewatching the lectures really help. She is also very accommodating and responds well to any concerns that students might have in order to minimize our workload. Dr. V also provides resources that may help further clarify some concepts such as supplemental videos. She's very sweet and it's evident that she's proud whenever students get a good grade on tests/assignments.

Helpful?

6 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Quarter: Winter 2021
Grade: A+
March 19, 2021

Hi, first of all, I want to say that a lot of people come into this class already having a certain opinion about Dr. V because of what they've heard. However, none of these things are really true. I personally loved having Dr. V for LS30B and wish I would've taken her for LS30A. Dr. V is extremely caring, receptive to student feedback, and genuinely wants students to succeed. I don't really understand what people mean when they say she's not a "good lecturer" because she breaks down all the concepts into easy-to-understand explanations, and her slides are very well organized. I learned a lot better in LS30B than I did in LS30A with a different professor. The midterm and final were straightforward and related to what we covered in lecture/labs, so everything was extremely fair.

I can see why some people thought the class was disorganized though. I'll admit that in the first 1-2 weeks of the quarter, things were a little chaotic and students voiced their concerns with the class structure. However, some of the students, especially those who were most verbal in the GroupMe, went pretty far with their concerns. They were oftentimes very rude to Dr. V, despite her making appropriate accommodations for the class afterwards. But there were also a lot of people I know who appreciated Dr. V's flexibility, so don't be swayed by negative Bruinwalk reviews or people who send the most messages in the GroupMe (those who have strong opinions tend to be more verbal about them so oftentimes, people end up thinking this is the majority opinion when it's not). One thing that could be improved about this class though is the clarity of things. At times, instructions for the bi-weekly HWs, midterm, final were a little unclear/confusingly phrased.

However, one thing I do want to mention too is that Dr. V completely transformed the format/grading structure of this class for Winter 2021 specifically. I loved this new format, as it allowed me to learn more effectively, and I didn't have to stress as much over homework like I did in LS30A. Your experience may differ taking this class in a different quarter/in-person.

Bottom line is, take some of these negative reviews with a grain of salt because Dr. V really cares for students and is extremely empathetic.

Helpful?

5 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Quarter: Winter 2021
Grade: A+
March 28, 2021

OKAY I AM GOING TO GIVE IT TO YOU GUYS STRAIGHT...
-As someone who had both Jukka (for LS 30A) and Dr. V (this class obvi) I can confidently say that this class is waaaaayyyyyy easier & less stress & workload.
- Dr. V has a bad rep but honestly, this class was embarrassingly easy and low stress compared to Jukka (crying I still love you Jukka)
-I am going to be honest I gave this class little to no effort and I still did well I don't think you can get away with that as easy with Jukka
SO TYPICAL WEEK...
1) You HAVE to attend every live lecture for participation points WHICH SUCKS not really useful
2) I guess this is where you are supposed to do the homework but I NEVER did lmaoooo
3) Labs which suck but the graders are hella nice & I still do not know how to code to this day but I got full credit on the labs
4) On the weeks where actual homework is due and we have bi-weekly quizzes I reviewed like an hour before I took the quizzes and it's really easy to get a high grade bc of the retakes (you're welcome :) )
5) for the homework my group and I split it up so we completed it on the same doc & had less homework but then before we turned it in we reworded to & whatever so we don't turn in the same copy (totally okay I think)
6) MIDTERM & FINAL were super low stress bc we got to work with our groups and even then, the content was not hard
OVERALL...
I would recommend even over Jukka if you are looking for an easy class with minimal effort

Helpful?

3 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Quarter: Winter 2021
Grade: N/A
March 21, 2021

Dr. V. is definitely very accommodating and values student feedback. To replace homework problems, we had biweekly study guides and biweekly exams, alongside a midterm and final. Although the frequency of exams could get tiring, each biweekly exam had 2 attempts so it is very possible to do well if you put in a reasonable amount of effort into putting together your study guide. I honestly liked the study guide system, as it touched upon concepts that Dr. V. included in later tests (including the midterm and final), and I consistently referred back to the ones I made throughout the year. Generally, the more effort you put into your study guide, the more valuable it is!

Again, textbook HW problems were not required this quarter but I would recommend doing most of them anyways as it is great practice – Dr. V. posts the answer keys for them so it is easy to check as you solve. (For some reason she omits the answers to certain challenging problems, which I to this day don't understand the reason for, but she includes the answers to almost everything else.)

She also posts lots of supplementary content videos, which honestly add up to a lot of time. Garfinkel's videos are useful for the first few weeks (on chaos, stable oscillations, DDE, etc), but to be completely honest I would say only watch them if you are struggling with a concept or the way the professor explains it (a lot of the videos tend to explain things better than actual lecture).

The midterm was similarly structured to the biweekly exams and also reasonably written (doing the practice finals help a lot!), with a 24 hour period allotted. The final, which had a 48 hour period allotted, also had a coding component which was intimidating but ended up being doable, as she provided template code. The coding component covered mainly the material that was covered in the first few labs.

Lastly, a quick summary of my review using pros and cons:
PROS
- very receptive to student feedback
- exams are fairly written
- provides lots of supplementary resources to help struggling students
- active/actually answers questions on Campuswire
- provides answer keys to textbook HW problems so you can easily check your work

CONS
- answers to questions are vague and not the most helpful
- explanation of concepts can be long-winded and difficult to follow (reading the textbook/watching other content videos helps a lot)
- responses to Campuswire questions can be a little on the blunt side
- frequency of exams can get tiring (biweekly exams, midterm, and final – the last biweekly exam we had 4 days before the final)
- no labs dropped

Helpful?

2 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Quarter: Winter 2021
Grade: A+
March 21, 2021

People are really harsh on Dr. V, but she was honestly a good professor.
After each quiz, she would poll the class to gauge how we felt about the difficulty. When she noticed that people were unhappy, she immediately made them easier so more people could get full credit. Throughout the course, Dr. V was constantly adjusting the course to make it as accommodating as possible.
Sometimes, her lectures could be hard to follow because she would run out of time to go in-depth on new topics, but she always provided optional videos that would clarify things in lecture.
I really enjoyed her format for homework because instead of assigning textbook problems, she had us construct study guides with questions directly taken from her slides. This was a great way to review and it really showed which textbook questions were worth doing. Plus, we could use them during tests.
Dr. V is genuinely such a sweet person and you can tell she loves teaching this course. Don't be scared off from taking her class!

Helpful?

2 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Quarter: Winter 2021
Grade: N/A
March 18, 2021

YES!! Dr. V! I took LS 30 A with Dr. V and I will say there was a clear clear improvement. Her slides have always been very organized making sure the learning objectives are very clear and easy to find. I really liked the system this quarter of being able to make study guides for homework. This really helped me study for the material and be prepared. She is great at taking feedback and really wanted us to succeed. There are a lot of complaints from other people or bad reviews however I recommend this class and as an online format. The final and midterm were group exams that were more than fair. The biweekly quizzes had two attempts as well. She also provided helpful videos and resources to study.

Helpful?

2 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Quarter: Winter 2021
Grade: A
March 17, 2021

This class is challenging at times but Venugopal is a great teacher and really made an effort to make the class go as smooth as it could online. The material is difficult but Venugopal did good with making it easy to learn. Really enjoyed this class.

Helpful?

2 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Winter 2018
Grade: A
July 2, 2019

Venugopal is nice, but she's a terrible lecturer. She wasn't good at explaining concepts and was really unclear. I hated going to class because it was a waste of my time, but I had to because of clickers. The midterm was easy, the final was kinda rough but still not too bad. Homework wasn't mandatory, and the labs are pretty easy. Honestly I hated this class but at least it was easy. TAs were honestly more helpful.

Helpful?

2 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Quarter: Winter 2021
Grade: A
March 31, 2021

As someone who had Jukka for 30A, this class was so much easier. Dr.V is not the best lecturer, but the class is straightforward. She was a bit unreasonable with the grades at first, but then was willing to change it to benefit us! Honestly, you may get annoyed of this class at one point or another, but she is such a sweet woman lmao. She also provides supplemental videos which, in my opinion, were SOOO helpful. The biweekly homework is set up to make you review lecture slides, use the book (which you probably won't even use much), and to help you better understand class material. Dr.V gets a lot of bad rep, but honestly this class wasn't half as bad as people made it out to be.

Helpful?

1 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
1 of 2
4.2
Overall Rating
Based on 23 Users
Easiness 4.3 / 5 How easy the class is, 1 being extremely difficult and 5 being easy peasy.
Clarity 3.2 / 5 How clear the professor is, 1 being extremely unclear and 5 being very clear.
Workload 3.7 / 5 How light the workload is, 1 being extremely heavy and 5 being extremely light.
Helpfulness 3.6 / 5 How helpful the professor is, 1 being not helpful at all and 5 being extremely helpful.

TOP TAGS

  • Uses Slides
    (16)
  • Needs Textbook
    (12)
  • Is Podcasted
    (11)
  • Useful Textbooks
    (13)
  • Appropriately Priced Materials
    (10)
  • Participation Matters
    (14)
  • Gives Extra Credit
    (14)
  • Has Group Projects
    (12)
  • Tolerates Tardiness
    (9)
  • Would Take Again
    (12)
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