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Very challenging class but Gelbart is the best teacher I've had at UCLA thus far. He is so dedicated and really wants students to learn. Sometimes goes slow on harder topics and speeds through the less important. Go to AT LEAST one office hour a week... I went all the time and I couldn't have gotten an A without it! I highly recommend!
Professor Gelbart somehow made quantum mechanics understandable. He's an extremely nice person, funny at times, but you can see how passionate he is about what he's teaching. I went to a few of his office hours and he was really good at explaining difficult concepts. His tests were fairly hard, as you'd expect. I will say that the material we learned felt very repetitive, but maybe that's a good thing. Take him, seriously. You'll be glad you did.
He was VERY straight forward and his exams were pretty easy as long as you stay caught up with his lectures and the problem sets.
The problem set homework were hard at times, but most of the TAs just look for completion, so it's all good.
His midterms were based heavily on the practice midterms as well. The first midterm had an avg of 80. Second avg of 62 (he made the second one a lot harder, but still doable). The final was also like the practice exam.
He's pretty boring (i fell asleep every class, basically) but he puts up his lecture notes online and barely deviates from it.
He's VERY considerate of his students and sets aside a lot of office hours for them.
Decently funny at times, but I wouldn't really know cuz i slept a lot :<
MUCH better than scerri or lavelle.
Like the others said, Gelbart is a pretty damn good chemistry teacher. He doesn't expect you to memorize any equations or numbers, and he really cares about the students understanding the material. I barely used the textbook for this class because he gave us lecture notes for each of his lectures, and the only homework was a problem set each week that he made. Although this is a chem class, it's physical chemistry, and there is a bunch of math, including integrals in three dimensions and spherical coordinates. Pretty much the whole class is focused on finding a friggin electron in an atom or molecule, so AP Chem will not help you at all here. Nonetheless, he really helps you understand the material.
One of the best chemistry professors I have ever had. Gelbart teaches the material extremely well. He is always available and even encourages students to come to office hours and ask questions. I felt like I could just sit there and listen to him talk for hours and still feel like I'm learning stuff. He focuses a lot on quantum mechanics and Schrodinger's equation so none of your AP chem will help much here. The problem sets can be very math heavy and frustrating at times, but if you have a good TA like I did then its not that bad. One of the reasons why I felt his class was easy is because he doesn't expect you to memorize ANYTHING. He will give you a sheet with all the equations and values that most other professors will make you memorize. This was great for me since I hate memorization. Grades haven't come out yet but I'm pretty sure I got an A- if not an A. If hes ever available for 20A again take him!
I had him back when I was a dumb little freshman. He's a very charismatic and caring individual; however, sometimes his lectures tend to be hard to understand from what I remember, especially when we got into the quantum and molecular structure portion of the course. Because I was a dumb little freshman, I did no work in the class until the final. Thus, I recommend you do not do this (duh), and be on top of your homework assignments and the lecture material. Before each test, he also gave us a very helpful outline of the material the test would cover. The exams did not deviate much from this outline, so if you paid attention to this you probably ended up fine. For the final (i.e. the first test I really studied for), I managed to snag a peak at my friend's 20A course reader from professor Scerri and it was quite helpful in clearing up holes in Gelbart's lectures. I managed to drive my grade up about a whole letter grade on the final after improvising in preparing for that test. Class is definitely not hard. In fact, I highly recommend Gelbart because it seems like everyone except him and Scerri is absolutely dreadful in lower division general chemistry.
I didn't like this class. It was very confusing and I felt like he put too much emphasis on the Oxtoby textbook, which was also very confusing and full of way too much irrelevant information that we were never tested on. I feel like he could have done a much better job of condensing the information and teaching us what we needed to know to do well on his exams. To be fair, his exams weren't extremely difficult, but I felt like I had no idea what to study. I don't recommend taking this class unless you're not a freshman.
Gelbart cares about student learning. He is always available during his office hours and by email. However, his lectures and tests are purely concept based. You will not get away with memorizing formulas in his classes (except for TA quizzes). I didn't understand the material very well, so I only got a C, but the class was fairly interesting and I could have probably pulled a B if I put much more effort into it.
Gelbart is a really nice person, no doubt about it. However, how to do the homework he assigns oftentimes isn't really explained during lecture. During office hours, he tries to be as helpful as he can, but the office hours are still conducted in the way that class is taught and didn't really help me much. I HIGHLY recommend going to different TA sections and office hours though. Usually, each TA will explain the concept a little differently than the others, so if one explanation won't work for you, go ask another TA! Also, STUDY GELBART'S LECTURE NOTES. There were many times where he didn't finish his lectures, but still tested information from lecture notes that weren't covered in class.