Based on 13 Users
Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.
Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.
Sorry, no enrollment data is available.
I had to go to the hospital for heart problems because of this class, no joke. I ended up having heart palpitations from the amount of anxiety and stress I had throughout the quarter. It is definitely the hardest subject I've taken so far, but I think surviving triple V is a rite of passage for many students. I am now confident that I can survive any other physics course, except perhaps another class with Vladimir. However, this class will really reveal who are the strongest and hardest working students. In my personal case I learned where my weaknesses are when it came to studying and I am confident going ahead taking future physics courses.
I do not necessarily believe that you need to be super smart to survive this class, you just need to have a EXTREMELY high level of endurance and willpower for this class, especially towards the end of the quarter. His lectures are very good and clear but they are DENSE and move VERY fast. After two years of experience in UCLA, I found that silent lectures generally mean students are lost, and this occurred nearly every day in his class because he moves quickly. He covers nearly every word of the chapters he is supposed to cover and goes above and beyond that, especially when you get to special theory of relativity. The book is absolutely essential. He covered Marion/Thornton VERY closely, although he would occasionally use Taylor since it is very similar. He mentions Landau/Lifshitz in the beginning and he does utilize them here there and it is a beautiful book if you managed to learn how to work through it, although it is a graduate level text. You can find that one for free online. WHEN YOU GET TO SPECIAL THEORY OF RELATIVITY, HE ALMOST EXCLUSIVELY USES LANDAU. The book is called"The Classical Theory of Fields", it is volume two in the course.
Here is how to survive this man. Seriously attempt every single extra credit question on the homework. This is quintessential to survive, so much so that if you had to do only one question it should be the extra credit question. When you get to later problem sets the amount of extra credit you can get is absolutely ridiculous. On one problem set I managed to get a 21/12 on it and throughout the course there was always at least one student that managed to get 200%'s on the sets. Mathematica can be up to 5%, so in my experience I managed to get about a full 10%+ extra credit to survive and jump up an entire letter grade based on his scheme.
The problem sets are fucking brutal. The first problem set is "easy" if you already know tensor calculus, but almost everyone certainly did not, so make sure to get help ASAP if you don't know summation notation yet. The next 8 problem sets are excruciatingly brutal and required significant help from the TA and classmates. We got lucky this quarter with Andrea who was a brilliant TA, but ideally you start working on them ASAP and work through the book. I would stay up till 4 AM probably twice a week working on the problem sets and then proceed to go to lecture and it did not do good things to my health. Make sure to check every book if the question is there. He pulls from Marion a lot but he also pulled a couple from Taylor and some questions were similar to Landau.
His tests are wild. He does not expect you to finish, you do not have time to think and he grades heavily on the curve, so on the exams you are actively competing against the rest of your classmates to be on top. He will tell you what is on the exams but to even get ONE question you need to REALLY understand the topic. I hope you got really good at practicing Lagrangian mechanics from 105A because those were the only questions I managed to get on the first two midterms. If he tells you "it will be similar to something on the problem set" it will be extremely similar and study the shit out of it. For the love of god, make sure to go to the final review session that he gives you at the end of the quarter. Our final exam was very similar to the stuff he was doing in that review session, although it didn't stop us from getting massacred on that test.
I can't even be mad at the guy because he is so nice. His grading scheme is ridiculously generous and he's always willing to try and make time to talk to you. I ended up meeting him outside of OH and class after doing extremely poorly on the first midterm and he was super helpful. I think my main problem with him is that he didn't make enough time for us outside of class and he is extremely busy. He only had 1 office hour a week and traveled frequently. Don't be discouraged, I did poorly in the beginning but still pulled through with an A+.
Avoid VVV under any circumstances to save yourself from 10-week torture. His class would take 3 times the effort devoted to average physics courses.
Professor Vladimir is THE most underrated professor in Physics Department from my opinion. Surely his class is intense, but with extremely clear structure and logic. It is normal to find yourself unable to follow his pace in lecture, but if you review his lecture slides later, you will absolutely find how beautiful these physics theories are. His homework and exams are not easy but doable as long as you sort everything out from the lectures. Besides, you would one hundred percent want to attend his optional lectures on the connection between analytic and quantum mechanics if applicable. It will be mind-blowing if you take quantum mechanic classes in the following quarter.
Lastly, if you find vvv's class is boring and unhelpful, I would suggest you to change your major as he could be the very first professor to show you how beautiful physics is. He definitely deserves a 5.0 rating.
It's pathetic some other dude in the comments try to show off their brilliance by saying VVV is easy and beautiful. This is not the class where I felt the beauty of physics. A year later, I also don't remember much what I learned.
He is so hard, but gives lots of extra credit. Most humbling, painful, but rewarding class in my opinion. I learned so much from him, but would definitely avoid him in the near future to protect my sanity.
The course material for 105B can be very challenging, and Vassiliev tends to do some things differently from the books. The homework problem sets take ages to finish, and often can't be done unless you get some help from the TA. However, Vassiliev is very generous with the curves on the tests and offers A LOT of extra credit. If you take the time to understand the material, and go to office hours, you'll be able to get an A.
TLDR- Time consuming and hard class with, but still sort of an easy A
I'll start off by saying Vassiliev is a very nice, approachable guy. The curve in this class was very generous, and there were plenty of opportunities to get extra credit. He makes it impossible to not pass the class.
However, IF YOU CONSIDER YOURSELF AN AVERAGE OR BELOW AVERAGE PHYSICS STUDENT KEEP READING. My grades in the 1 series and 105A lead me to believe I'm an average physics student here at UCLA. And if you're like me (no shame in being average at one of the best universities in the world of course), RUN THE OTHER WAY. Vassiliev holds his students to very high standards; he thinks we came out of the womb knowing linear algebra in Einstein notation (what?) I was lost from the start and never found my way back. Weekly homework assignments with 4 problems took up to 12 hours and an enormous amount of help from my TA and friends to complete. I've always loved mechanics and I loved 105A but all throughout this quarter I just wanted it to be over.
Vassiliev is an excellent instructor, don't listen to anyone if they say otherwise. He tries to teach us high level material and I greatly appreciate that as well as his enthusiasm for teaching. However, along with high level material comes a fast work pace and a requirement for pre-existing knowledge. These two conditions cause some issues in the class. Some topics moved very quickly and could not be covered in sufficient detail such that the whole class could understand. Vassiliev taught the methods out of the Marion book but the official class book was Taylor (this should definitely be changed). In addition, due to the nature of the material, myself and many other students felt lost from the very start of the class. Some of us managed to pick it up as the quarter went on but many remained lagging behind. Again to reiterate, I loved Vassiliev and will be taking another class with him next quarter, however, I do feel he certainly has areas which need improvement. Also he speaks and looks like a bond villain, is named freaking VVV and grunts in the affirmative to himself all the time "mmhmm". I recommend Vassiliev 7/10.