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Prospective linear guys and gals. At this point in time, you might be struggling to find a professor who'll help you understand all the content while keeping your GPA nice and pristine. After diligently scouring Bruinwalk you come across the Italian Stallion himself. My man STEFANO. Despite having him in his first year at 8am :(( (a scary sign at first), I was blessed to strike absolute lottery G O L D. He is one of the few professors who is worth getting up that early for. He explains things so well that everything in the textbook makes sense, despite having to go so fast due to the limited time of the quarter system. And better yet his tests are straightforward and the workload is very, very reasonable. Put in the effort to understand the content / do all the homework / go to discussions and you'll likely be rewarded with a rare, shiny A. And when you do, tell the math department in your evaluations for him to give him a fat raise/promotion and come back to Bruinwalk blessed like me to drop the saucy 5.0 rating for him to bless other future students :).
Professor Filipazzi is both a nice person and a good lecturer who explains every concept clearly. His exams are extremely easy.
The only problem is that the class is at 8 a.m. I remember in week 9 only around 10 people showed up in one of his lectures.
Stefano served as an amazing introduction for my first quarter at UCLA. He goes above and beyond in caring for students. If you want to master the material and are willing to put in the time, he will make sure he can help you in any way possible. For instance, we received our final grades less than a day after the exam. On the next day, he opened up office hours for students to check their finals and make sure no mistakes were made. That kind of dedication shows that he isn't at UCLA only for research, rather he cares for undergraduate students and wants to ensure our success. One of the most phenomenal math teachers and classes I will ever have the pleasure of taking.
Stefano is great. I had the most fun in this class than ever. His homework problems were more conceptual but his tests are just what you expect from the example problems in the textbook. 8am lecture but bruincasted and with a great textbook. The lectures are early but honestly worth the time, because Stefano is actually a good lecturer.
I honestly don't even know why I took this class... This was my first quarter at UCLA, and my major didn't even require this course. But boy was MATH33A DIFFICULT for a freshman (Doable, but you need a pretty solid foundation in theoretical math, which I didn't have). Might just be me since I haven't taken Math since my Senior Year of high school at community college.
My advice to you is to definitely go to more Office Hours (been to only one and Filipazzi was able to make me understand the information really well), and try to work through the homework problems he assigns every week, they are graded for correctness though so it was annoying trying to make sure everything was right. Discussion sections for this class were pretty useless since the TAs are not allowed to go over homework problems. As a result, only 5-6 people went to discussion after Week 2. The tests really vary, this was Filipazzi's first time teaching so the test he wrote was a bit confusing when first reading it, and the difficultly varies vastly (Got a B+ first test, straight F second test, and got a B- on the final).
Filipazzi still follows the textbook conventionally, all lectures are Bruincasted, and the homework was fair, it was mainly annoying that everything has to be spot-on correct. So overall, still a great teacher and worth taking! Just have better study strategies and go into MATH 33A with more preparation!
His lectures are clear (albeit rather dull sometimes) and his exams are not too hard. The homework load is appropriate, and he posts practice material for the exams as well. Overall, he is a good math professor, but not the best I've had.
Stefano (he goes by just his first name) is brand new to teaching. You could tell in his first few lectures he was getting used to it but after that he found his groove. He’s an amazing professor. He teaches what you need to know, teaches it well, has fair homework and fair tests. Linear Algebra is weird and he made it very easy. He’s a great guy on top of that. 10/10 recommend him
Filipazzi is a pretty great instructor for 33A. Clear lecture style and easy-to-follow presentation, though his Italian accent may be a bit jarring if your English is shaky (his is not-- he's pretty much as good as a native speaker as far as I can tell, aside from the accent). He does try to come up with alternate ways to express or exemplify the concepts in the textbook, but there's only so much variety you can achieve with the subject matter in 33A. The only time I would say lectures are absolutely 110% necessary is at the beginning of the class and when studying determinants, since the book does an absolutely trashy job at teaching that subject, and Filipazzi did fine with it. Overall, a great first class at UCLA for him (he just finished his PhD at the University of Utah right before lecturing for fall 2019). Hope he stays around.
Filipazzi is really everything you could ask for in a lower-div math teacher. His lectures closely tracked the textbook and he does a pretty good job of introducing new concepts/theorems. He does a great job of communicating his expectations for the class and all the assessments were fairly straightforward with a focus on computations but some theoretical questions as one would expect. He was super helpful during office hours and seems to genuinely want his students to do well. Even though it was his first quarter teaching, all of his discussion sections were given the same set of practice problems/answers which were super helpful (so even if your TA is unorganized and not great at explaining material, you still get something out of the discussion, unlike some other classes I've taken). The homework he assigned was a bit annoying, however, mostly consisting of super theoretical/proof based questions that you won't see on the exams. All things considered, would definitely recommend that you take his class if you can—you won't regret it.
Professor Filipazzi teaches right out of the textbook, so if you miss a few lectures it's ok. There are weekly homework assignments that aren't too long. The majority of his tests are computation based, so they were all pretty easy (averages on midterms 1, 2, and the final were 88, 77, and 86.5, respectively). I never went to discussions and did fine. Overall, a very manageable class with a light workload, but also a class that will only give you a topical understanding of the subject. The textbook tries to teach in a "intuitive" way that's hard to follow if you've never learned this material before, and the professor pretty much follows the book to the dot.
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