All Ratings and Reviews for Vrinda Chidambaram
Loved Vrinda! I took her for both Ling 1 and 20, and she is extremely brilliant! She's also younger than most linguistic professors, so she's cool and hip and can relate to many students. She also has a stunning wardrobe, is not afraid to make jokes, and presents lecture material in a positive and engaging way. Highly recommend!
Taken in Winter 2015
The class was interesting, and it really wasn't difficult. We had quizzes every 2 weeks, but those were just 3 short answer questions that you should be able to answer if you do the readings, and homework due every week. The Midterm and Final involved more application than regurgitation, so you should make sure you understand the concepts. She's very approachable and you should absolutely consult her if you have any questions about the class. Our class was pretty small, so she also really made an effort to remember all our names as quickly as possible, which was really cool too.
Overall, the class was fun, and the exams and tests very fair. I had a great time in this class with this professor, who's super sweet and friendly, and can joke around with the class as well. I'd absolutely recommend taking this class with her! It wasn't too hard for a GE, and it was pretty interesting.
Taken in Spring 2015
Class was way too hard for no apparent reason. Considering that most of the 400+ students who took it wanted an easy GE, I'd say most of the people got screwed over. The quizzes were each worth 3 percent and each homework was worth 5% which is way too much. Plus towards the end of the class, she lost the plot and started teaching us about the important parts of the brain and how it can be damage. NO THANKS.
As if all of this wasn't enough. She essentially blackmailed us into doing the evaluations by saying that she would only release a study guide once 80% of the class completed the evaluation. When I received the email that told me this, I was extremely annoyed as I had already submitted the evaluation and now my getting a study guide depended on almost 300 other students doing the exact same thing. That is just not fair. Overall I would say do yourself a favor and take a different GE.
To be honest I thought this class would be fun and easy... but... I felt like being screwed after the class. Professor Chimdabaram is a nice lady. She wants you to learn stuffs (maybe a bit more than a GE). As the commenter in front of me said, each hw was 5% of the grades. The thing I don't really like is she and her TAs were too picky about the hw. They wouldn't let go a single mistake in your hw even though it's nothing to do with the hw itself!! Also, this class is not curved!! So if you guys wanna take her ling1, just be prepared because her ling1 is not a easy GE as you think.
I took the class in Winter of 2015, and to be honest, she frustrated me. While she tried to make the class fun and interesting, her grading system was stacked against the students. One point off on our quizzes or homework, which is assigned weekly, would correspond to a point off our final grade. I got As on both my midterm and final and got a B in the class, which is ridiculous. I learned a lot, put in the work, and deserved an A but didn't receive the grade I was due.
I took this class in the Fall 2014 and can say that she was very enthusiastic about teaching the class! I certainly learned a lot from her and because of her, I moved onto Syntax II.
The general break down of the class is as follows:
40% Homework (5% each assignment)
I really looked forward coming to this class every day! She made the class fun and is definitely approachable and will explain a concept to you over and over again if need be. By far one of my favorite classes here at UCLA. Overall, definitely recommend her!
Taken in Spring 2015
I feel the need to submit this since it seems she's gotten some flak that isn't really accurate. As far as grading goes, small mistakes in homework do get points marked off, which can add up if you don't know what you're doing. However, if you follow the book and work with friends, most are easy enough to get near full credit. Each assignment is worth a lot, so if you spend some time thinking it through you should be fine. The quizzes are kind of annoying. She gives you a list of around 15-20 possible questions to put on the quizzes in discussion. The actual quizzes have 3 questions. Some of the possible questions are kind of iffy, but she didn't tend to use those as actual quiz questions. The midterm and final were very fair. The material you learn before the midterm is heavy on working with sentences and words instead of memorization. I don't like memorizing things, which is needed when you get to terms for parts of the brain, history of language changes, etc, but I still managed an A range score on the final. She also allows you to participate in up to 3 psych studies, each giving 1% to your final grade.
I don't like that she sometimes doesn't give out lecture slides on CCLE if she feels that not enough people are at lecture that day. However, she does go over major concepts pretty well and explains things while keeping you engaged. She is really interested in helping students learn the material instead of just monotonically reading through slides.
Final notes...Somebody previously complained about how went off track by talking about parts of the brain and how language is connected to that. This is required by the department, she doesn't get to decide what she thinks is important to lecture about. So it's not off-track at all, and it's relevant even though it doesn't fit what we did earlier. It's an introduction to linguistics course, and the psychology/neurological part is not out of place. This class with her isn't very hard, and it's not reading intensive. I got an A+, I'm sure people who complain just didn't take the class seriously or find it interesting.
Due to financial reasons, I was only enrolled in the first week of class of summer 2017 before having to drop it. However, the class is organized between quizzes, weekly responses, and essays- and I reckon if you devote enough of your time to the reading/lectures and do the assignments, you are bound to get a decent grade. The material seemed interesting enough even in the first week, sad I had to drop it.
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