Analog Electronic Circuits II
Electrical Engineering: 115B - Winter 2010
Pass: 17 ~ No Pass: 12 ~ Satisfactory: 0 ~ Unsatisfactory: 0 ~ Incomplete: 25
Going into the quarter, I was thoroughly put off by the reviews of professor Abidi that I had read on bruinwalk, and was trying to find any way possible of getting out of the class. However, I soon found out that many of the reviews were inaccurate. Here are the three main points I think are important for people to keep in mind if they are planning on taking a course with him:
1) He is a no-nonsense professor who expects you to have mastered the basic concepts of all of your previous EE and math courses. He will sometimes berate you for not being able to answer questions in class that he thinks are basic. Now, this may seem a little unreasonable to some people so I recommend looking back on all of your EE notes. Trust me when I say that if you're not 100% comfortable with everything you've learned so far about EE, you will not do well in his class. That being said, his lectures, the homework, and the discussion sections should be more than enough to get you caught up.
2) His lectures are by far the best that I've ever attended at UCLA. So it goes without saying, never miss a lecture! There is no other singular resource out there that will help you make up a missed lecture, both content-wise and clarity-wise. He is very methodical in his lectures and will explain each concept and proof in detail when he first introduces it. The flip side is that once he has gone through a concept in detail, he will never do so again. He will expect you to go through your notes and fill in any gaps in understanding you may have. I highly recommend going to his office hours or the TA office hours immediately after the lecture where you were confused. If you wait until later in the quarter, he won't be quite as patient with you, which brings me to my third point.
3) In my personal opinion, he is very difficult to communicate with and can come off as intimidating. He won't answer any homework questions or questions from exams because he thinks that is the TA's job. He only answers high level questions about the topics in lecture. Also, he doesn't post any solutions to homeworks or exams. My recommendation is that you get close to your TA because they will be your best friend for the quarter when it comes to helping you with homework and preparing for exams.
One final side-note: the homeworks. In previous classes, you may have dismissed problem sets and homeworks as pointless or busy work-DO NOT DO THAT WITH THIS CLASS. The homeworks are a very good sample of the exam questions and they are very time consuming: the first assignment took me an entire day to complete. As you go through the quarter, your skill will increase and the time it takes to do the homework decreases. However, even if you don't finish the entire assignment, go to your TA and make sure you understand how to do every problem! If you do this, you'll walk out of the class with a much better grasp of circuits and circuit analysis than your peers not in the class. I can honestly say that taking a class with Abidi was one of the best decisions I've made at UCLA.
Well, well. Abidi lives on. I took his electronics class 25 years ago, and amazingly got an A. This is in the bad old days when there were many classes in college that, if no one was good enough, well, no A's would be given. I was impressed with how he worked through his lectures and - sorry to say - his fame in the field. It's useful to see him go through an electronics circuit. However, getting to know him personally, I found the man spiteful, dark and evil to a degree. He simply hates students bar the obsequious, and I wager that extends to humanity beyond. What does that have to do with a review of teaching, you would ask? Here's the deal. The guy so turned me off, and everyone else in his lab like him, that I completely shut off on electronics and changed careers. No loss to myself or humanity; still made the mills and had a royal time at it, in a different arena than electronics. You can mercifully learn anything you want today on youtube without enduring characters like this bizarre man. Get away from cases like his. There are a hundred better lecturers out there accessible with a swipe of a smartphone that will inspire you and hand you their many gifts. This one has a few, but they come laced with the poison of a contrived, self-aggrandizing being full of himself, and full of, yup, you guessed it, a pile of that cow stuff.
Well Well Well ...
Abidi lives! Much to the misery of his students, though, it would STILL seem!
So...I was his student...TWENTY FOUR YEARS AGO...I took 3 courses with him!
And all this time later, I still remember almost everything he taught me. Like it was yesterday.
I guess I remember it because over the years I've used the way he taught us how to think about circuits, how to get to KNOW them, to grow in my own abilities.
I'm still an Engineer. I absolutely love what I do. And I owe it all - no really - ALL, to Dr. Abidi. He turned my head around from looking at electronics mechanistically, like I had been taught in other classes, back to a more intuitive feel for the field, something I knew I had when I was a kid taking apart old radios and tv's, but which I lost among the cramming of lower-division EE.
So take this old veterans view of things. Stick with him, through hell or high water. Go back to the stuff you didn't get and work on it later until you do. Build the circuits yourself to figure some of the stuff out (you can't do it all on paper...), and forget the grades.
I don't think I got more than a C in any of his classes (maybe one B, in the last one). But I'm a far better Engineer than any of my peers. Hands down. Because I LEARNED.
So if you're ever on this page, Dr Abidi, THANK YOU. SO. MUCH.
So basically this guy is a total badass, and won't ever fail at making that known. He's a complete douche, but a way that makes you laugh then feel uneasy cuz this means you're not getting an A.
At the beggining of the quarter he said there would be only 4 A's. At this time the class was around 120. After two weeks the size dropped to 80. The TA's warned us that the guy fails (C- and below) half his class almost regardless. Abidi says the class is not curved, but you're gonna pass no matter what if you're in the top 50%.
So I got slightly above the average on the midterm (51/120) and probably about the same on the final (33/100) and got a C+. Not happy with it, but I guess I should be thankful I didn't fail.
On the bright side though, the guy's lectures and really sweet and you'll learn a lot in the class, especially doing the homeworks. Too bad you won't be rewarded for it in your grade.
I think I've figured this guy out. I started with three options.
A. He's a sadistic sociopath who knows he's a master in his field and thus see's no reason to exercise anything more than a baseline level of civility to those he deems as insignificant.
B. He's a sadistic sociopath who wishes to greatly reduce the potential for new ideas and advancement of technology by discouraging would be engineers by imposing impossible standards that only 0.01% of his students can meet.
C. He's actually not a bad guy and has just realized the concept of grades has become greatly distorted and once reputable institutions of higher education have become profit driven diploma mills, and he has decided to tackle this by making it so impossible to get a good grade that grades become irrelevant and students actually stop worrying about grades and take the time to truly invest in understanding the material.
I've decided it is option C.
However this forced me to assume certain conditions. Primarily that this man, who admittedly is a brilliant, gifted lecturer, has intellectual weaknesses, in that though he might very well have good intentions, the manner in which he chooses to implement them is sacrificial and effectively results in the scenario of option B with respect to the students.
Students who lost funding due to the grades he bestowed upon them, students who lost a chance at graduate school, students who lost jobs or internships they received on a conditional basis, and most importantly, students who, while they may have met his standards for a good grade, were by and far better than the majority of students who received better grades in the same course taught by another professor.
And also sacrificial with respect to contributions to technology and humankind. I do not think he could have discouraged any of his EE115B students from being engineers but what of his EE10 students? How many will switch majors and will the world have lost a potential giant because of it?
The world almost did not receive the wonderful gifts bestowed upon it by Albert Einstein because he could not write eloquently. He was imperfect. He had an abnormal brain and could not meet the standards of academia. He pleaded for acceptance and someone saw past his weaknesses to his strengths.
So I have chosen option C. Like Albert Einstein, Professor Abidi has weaknesses, and like Albert Einstein, he has some phenomenal strengths. But he also must realize the same of his students. They have weaknesses, and they have strengths, and what a tragedy if he should inhibit them from making potentially monumental contributions to society.
Professor Abidi, you are an intelligent, influential man. I fail to believe you can't find a way to further your cause in a constructive rather than destructive manner.
I took EE10 with professor Abidi last quarter. After studying for more than 8 hours a day for a little less than a week, I ended up getting a D+ in the class. Here is a comprehensive but non-exhaustive list of things I could of done during that week instead of studying and still end up with the same grade in the class:
1. Watch the entire Lord of the Rings Extended Edition trilogy once a day for a week (including director's commentary)
2. Party with north campus majors who were done with finals or didn't need to study for them
3. Mastrubate probably around 12 times a day, which comes out to maybe 3 times the daily engineer average
4. Write a script and submit it to a Hollywood production company
5. Level up my character in World of Warcraft
6. Catch up on sleep
7. Create my own blog
8. Plan out what quarter would be best for me to retake EE10
9. Go on a weeklong, intense workout problem and end up slightly buffer than before
To be fair, I tried to cram an unpractical ammount of information in one week. That works for alot of professors here, but not Abidi. Basically, the dude's one of the most brilliant lecturers you'll ever find, but he's got about as much regard for you're GPA as most people do for household cockroaches, and unless you're some strange, sick cockroach lover, it's probably not much. If you're someone who doesn't care much for GPA and wants to learn more in a quarter than you ever expected to learn, then by all means sign up for this beast. But if you just want to brush by with minimal effort and only attain an average grasp of the material (ahhhem like me), Professor Abidi will mercilessly strike down upon you with great vengeance.
Keep in mind that I took EE10 with this guy, which is considerably easier than his analog circuit classes.
I learned more in 1 quarter with him than I may have during my first two years at UCLA. His lectures are eye-opening, his homeworks thorough and enlightening, and his tests relatively computation-free with clean numbers, though they do require some innovation on your part and a CLEAR understanding of the material.
In most standard EE10 courses, normal professors go over node/mesh analysis, resistive networks, op-amps, and very little to no RLC,RL,RC (reactive elements). This wasn't enough for Abidi. He blazed through the material, teaching us resistive circuits, node/mesh analysis, RL, RC, RLC circuits, transient responses, phasors, complex power, transformers, mutual inductances, sinusoidal steady state.... He taught us so much in such a short time, and for that I thank him. We learned so much that not only did we cover everything in EE10, we essentially covered up to 7 weeks worth of material in EE110, which is amazing.
I don't know why everyone was complaining about how condescending he was in previous quarters, because in our class he was very polite and always willing to answer questions until the student understood. Plus he was kind of funny every once in a while.
I don't doubt that the grades he's given out in past quarters gives him a bad reputation, and it might cause you to shy away from taking his class. I promise you however that if you are willing to put in the time and the effort, not only will you walk away with an A, you'll have walked away with so much knowledge it'll be LEAKING out of your ass. Even if you don't exactly get the grade you want and only attain an average level mastery of the stuff he teaches you, you'll be able to walk into other circuit classes and start kicking ass because you've been exposed to just to much material. I would recommend him to anyone, because we're all in college to learn, and everyone knows that there's no one better to learn circuits (or anything EE related for that matter) from than Abidi.
This guy gave 1 person B+ 5 C's and the rest D's and F's his lectures arent even that good and you have timed homework that has to be done non stop for 8 hours straight. His lectures also go not only the full 2 hours but 10-15 minutes over. Do yourself a favor and avoid him like the absolute plague
I took his EE10, and that was the biggest joke. My final paper was lost, so I didn't get any grade for this class. Moreover, he does not contact me in any way regarding the lost final paper.
Professor Abidi is a great lecturer, as we all know. He has his good days, when the lectures are just perfect with a great flow. Sometimes, however, he shows up to lectures tired, and those days are just boring as hell. Which is understandable, as we all have busy lives. Nevertheless, he enjoys picking on people with accents, so be prepared when you ask or answer in class. Just don't take in personally, as I think he has some sort of mental issue. He will never look you in the eye when he talks to you or when he passes your midterm. I guess he is just afraid that someone might get pissed off at him and kick his ass one day for being such a jerk to everyone. lol. It seems like he has changed his exams to "more doable" and this is more of a normal class with realistic problems that you can actually solve during your exams, unlike mentioned in previous posts. I guess the department has forced him to change his exams as well as the grading policy. However, be ready to get homework assignments assigned on Friday nights that are due Sunday nights. He won't care if you want to enjoy your weekend. He thinks that his class is the only class on your schedule. Nevertheless, you learn a lot in his class, even though he tries to pick on other professors... MY RECOMMENDATION: READ RAZAVI'S BOOK - IT'S A GREAT BOOK THAT MAKES A LOT MORE SENSE THAT ABIDI!!!
Professor Abidi is in fact brilliant and can articulate ideas incredibly well. In my opinion, he has got to be one of the best circuit designers on the planet. So why was my Fall 2010 EE 115B experience such a bad one?
- The homework was above and beyond the undergraduate level. I found myself reading graduate level books and research papers to try and understand the course material.
- He did no examples in class.
- Our TA (Sam) simply didn't care.
- One of our homework sets was lost. This is really bad considering there were only 4 assigned throughout the quarter.
- Professor Abidi's ego was intimidating
- I ended up in the lower 70th percentile and still got an F.
- Some of the things he said about international students during lecture were completely inappropriate.
Professor Abidi is a great lecturer. He is very big on fundamentals, and generally shows you how to look at circuits from a different perspective. His lectures can be a very eye opening experience, especially since many students use circuits equations without knowing where they come from or why it's used. I had a technical interview for an internship position, and I was able to answer every single question they asked me due to Abidi's 215A lectures.
As his ratings show, Abidi is a difficult professor. His grading is notoriously harsh, so be prepared to take a GPA drop if you have to take a class with him. For graduate students, I highly highly recommend taking at least one class with him, even if you get a bad grade. It's worth it for that eye opening experience.
For undergraduates wanting to go to graduate school, avoid this man at all costs. You will not get a good grade, unless you are Tony Stark.
He will insult you in class. He will fail you because you don't meet his standards. He's smart, but too smart to teach undergraduates.
Taking this course with Professor Abidi was one of the worst experiences of my life. If you want to get dropped to the floor and then kicked around go for it. Save yourself some intense headaches and avoid him at all costs.
Definitely one of the most knowledgable Profesor that I know so far. Gives very eye-opening lectures in the EE115B class, but I wouldn't recommend taking him to be honest.
For sure, he has an amazing understanding of circuits and can analyse circuits easily with his intuitive insight. However, this ability isn't that easy to be picked up by undergraduate students. I personally believe those "insights" and "intuition" can only be built upon a prior solid understanding of the material.
I don't know whether he made the exam too hard for us this quarter, or we the students, as a whole, failed to grasp the concepts he attempted to convey.
The lectures, to me, weren't that all hard to follow. The lectures were all very interesting and eye-opening, but in my opinion, has very little value in helping you solve the problems on the final exam. As a result, the average for the final was way below average ee115b classes.
One interesting I heard is that he pretty much took over EE3 last quarter, where usually there would be a guest professor speaker for every lecture. Last time, he showed up in most of the EE3 lectures and pretty much talked about everything in EE by himself.
In the fisrt few weeks, Prof Abidi convered stuff that isn't the core of ee115b (ie convolution, laplace transform..). Those, to me, did not help me at all in terms of the learning of ee115b material. However, how he explained those concepts again to the class in a diffent perspective was quite interesting. I would recommend offering somthing like an EE333 class (perhaps P/NP) where Prof Abidi can teach and will cover the highlights of whole EE curriculum.
The whole class that took EE115B with him this quarter ALL experienced quite a GPA drop. It might be the case that we, the students, didn't learn the material properly, but I don't think we were the one to blame. Most of the students that I know spent extra time and dedication to the course compared to other classes but still ended up getting a poor grade. I personally believe it's Abidi's teaching style that resulted all this. According to Prof Abidi, it's our prior EE professor's fault that they didn't get us prepared good enough to understand his lectures. This maybe partially true, but that certainly is NOT the main reason.
Bottom line: For your own best, avoid taking Abidi so you can get a reasonable grade, apply for good Grad school and move one with your life. It is, however, not such a bad idea to sit in his class and see how the same material can be analyzed differently.
You know there's problem when nearly HALF of a class (~45), COLLECTIVELY goes to the dean to complain about a professor.
The average was a D and nobody got A. 1 person got B+ and that's about it. I think the review below mine says it all. I think the guy that wrote the review 3 times below mine is on crack. He is a good professor but you get so screwed...and Sam was the worst TA ever. He got fired because he did such a terrible job