Based on 29 Users
When I first signed up for this class, I was actually quite scared due to the previous reviews. However, after taking this class, I can confidently say that Dr. Huang definitely deserves a much higher rating than a 2.6, and I definitely found this class quite easy and straightforward.
This class definitely revolves around the textbook. Slides are based off of the textbook, homework problems are textbook problems, and sometimes, exam problems are ripped straight from the textbook, verbatim. So definitely know the textbook material; grind problems out, check your answers with Slader, and you're good. Homework is definitely on the level of exams. If you can ace the homework, you can definitely ace the exams. That said, there are definitely conceptual questions you need to know; you can't math your way out of this class.
Dr. Huang's lecture slides are really good, and same for the slides that the TAs give out. I personally found them to be very comprehensive, and useful for exams. If it's not on the slides, it's not going to be tested. Even better, Dr. Huang releases slides before lectures, so you won't have to write stuff down at 90 miles per hour. Dr. Huang's lectures may be dry, but they definitely cover what'll be on the test. She also throws in some cool videos that explain concepts well. That said, she refuses to record lectures.
The course material is quite interesting, and the exams and homework are definitely fair. Exam averages were 75 in my year, and Dr. Huang said that she'd set the average grade to a B+. Let's see if that ends up being the case.
I took Professor Huang this past quarter (Fall 2012). Let me begin by saying that this class isn't that hard of a class other than there is a lot of reading and memorizing. Her 2 quizzes are pretty easy, very similar to homework problems. Make sure to do the suggested problems she gives because the problems on the midterm and quizzes are very similar. As for her final, the final is a lot harder; make sure to read the book and understand all the concepts and you should be fine.
As for her lectures, they aren't so helpful if you have not read ahead in the class. I showed up to lecture many times just clueless on what was going on, but after reading the book, it helped clarify a lot of things. My advice: Read the book! Even better, read the sections discussed in class before the lecture and everything will make sense. I ended up with an A- in the class and this was due to mostly relying on the textbook. It is very well written.
Professor Huang was initially at the white house receiving an award from president Obama for her work in materials science when the quarter started. Professor Lan filled in as the class lecturer the first two weeks. Professor Lan was the best teacher I have yet had at UCLA and it is unfortunate her stay was so short. When Huang began teaching, it was clear everyone was thinking the same thing: "wait a minute...she was gone getting an award??" Fortunately(?) her tests aren't as difficult to understand as her accent and the TAs for the class were equally English impaired. I'm not just bagging on Huang's accent either: I'm pretty sure she would still be unable to get across information if she were speaking beautiful English. Huang will often ask the class if she's "lost anyone" in the middle of her lectures. Anyone who is still awake and understands what she's asking gives up on questioning the material because her idea of clarifying information is to repeat it. Avoid this teacher if you can.
True, her accent is thick, but that's engineering for you, so stop whining...She may not be able to explain the material as clear as you want, but at least she doesn't give impossible exams like some professors do. Plus, the material is not too bad. Just read the book and you'll understand everything. She hands out lecture slides which lets you know what areas you have to focus on. Her exam problems are pretty straight forward and close to the homework problems.
I took MAT SCI 104 with Dr. Huang and even though I did not get an A, this class can be an easy A. This isn't like most classes because the lectures are unreliable since the professor doesn't cover everything in class. The professor is not bad, but the class covers too much material in a short period of time that the professor cannot cover everything. I'm one of those students that normally attend every single lecture but the problem is that her lectures DO NOT prepare you for the midterm and finals at all! You will see exam problems which she never covered in lecture. Study every section and chapter as outlined in the class syllabus.
I made the fatal mistake of not reading the book thoroughly and only attended lectures up to the midterm and I scored below average on the first quiz and midterm. I decided to skip lectures all together from there on and just self studied from the book and the slides, and I scored very high on quiz 2 and the final. If you're genuinely interested in the material of this class, you're better off reading the book yourself than going to lecture because the professor is too brief with the material.
Here are some tips on how to do well in this class:
1. READ THE BOOK! The textbook is good and it's very easy to read. This class is not very math heavy and it's mostly just plug'n'chugging and understanding concepts. Don't bother going to lecture; you can learn more by reading the book for 2 hours yourself. Hence, attending lecture wasn't worth my time. You will not pass the class if you rely solely on the lecture slides.
2. Go to discussion sections. They will pass out practice exams and go over them. Fortunately, my TA was really good at explaining the concepts.
3. Go to office hours just before the exam and shower the professor with questions.
4. Memorize every single graph and equation in the book. Note all their subtle behavior and mark them. What I did just the day before the midterm was create a summary list outlining important concepts in each chapter and all the equations. Compile those notes into a single cheat sheet.
Again, DON'T BOTHER ATTENDING lecture and do not make the same mistake I made. I managed to get a B+ after bombing my quiz 1 and midterm.
The only thing that sets Professor Huang apart from other mediocre professors is her desire to help her students. To begin with, while looking for study material online, I found that the slides she uses to teach us come directly from the publisher of our textbook. She includes videos and some of her own written notes in lecture, but her substandard command of the written English language can cause confusion, especially because she frequently does not understand student questions. I have found her to be much more useful in 1-on-1 situations. Additionally, I think that our exams are a poor reflection of the material that we have been taught through class examples, homework, and the provided study material. (I was in the top 25% for the first exam, and top 50% for the second.) While I would probably not recommend Professor Huang, she is a solid choice if given other poor options.
Her accent is there, but you can definitely understand what she is saying. She has very nice writing, though she mostly uses ppts. Lectures are really boring since she just goes through the slides quickly, though some of the examples are helpful for hw. This quarter, both lectures had all the same hws and midterms, which sucked if you were in the second class and didn't cheat to find out what was on the test. The class is A LOT of reading and memorizing random graphs, but doable.
Huang used slides straight from the textbook, so they're fairly clear and informative. However, she goes through them way too quickly, to the point where I couldn't copy anything down and going to class became useless. Her accent makes it kinda hard to understand what she's saying, and her handwriting doesn't help either. She's also "forgot" to finalize my grade for two weeks after grades were due, to the point where it showed up as "incomplete" on my transcript until I asked her (several times) to submit it. The class isn't that bad overall, just a bit frustrating.
Also, the final only covers topics that were NOT covered on the midterm or the quizzes. Don't make the same mistake I did and only study your past exams.
Dr. Huang was a nice person and seemed to want to help her students. Her lectures were clear but monotone, so it was hard to pay attention in sometimes. She would also go through slides really fast, so it's hard to write everything down in time. Fortunately, she posts all her slides on CCLE so you can catch up with whatever you missed in lectures. Also, she was willing to meet with me at the last minute when I couldn't meet with my faculty advisor in time for the week 4 deadline.
Her quizzes and midterms were pretty straightforward and based heavily on memorization. In retrospect, if you put in the time and memorize *everything* covered in lecture and discussion, you can score very highly on these and well above the average. However, her final was pretty tough and was a mix of tough conceptual questions and questions asking for some minute detail that was maybe mentioned once in lecture.
My TA, Michael, was probably the best part of the class. He did interesting and engaging demonstrations during discussion (like putting a string of colored LEDs in liquid nitrogen to show how their colors change when in a very cold environment) and basically told us verbatim what Dr. Huang would cover on the quizzes and midterm.
Overall -- Dr. Huang is a nice, safe choice for 104 if you don't know who to choose
I feel very honored to be the first to review Dr Huang and let me tell you what a piece of shit she is. the worst teacher in the world (despite some heavy competition in that area). I think it was her first time teaching and perhaps she didn't want to do it. It's sort of like when your parents ask you to do something and you do the shittiest job you can so that they wont ask you again. she hasn't taught 104 since I took it and it's been like 2 years or something.
onto more fun aspects of the review:
Her Chinese accent is thick and doesn't sound like English and she has horrible horrible teeth that rivals some of the worst British teeth. I like her hair though I think it goes well with her face.
here is the good news, you don't need a teacher for this class. I got an A+ just by reading the book.