Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.
Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.
Ethan Young is an amazing professor. I would absolutely recommend him to anyone who needs to learn programming.
By far the most enjoyable class I've taken at UCLA. It was a lot of work, but Ethan has done an excellent job of creating problems that are relevant, interesting, and valuable.
I've never touched MATLAB before this class, and now I can confidently say that I'll be using it a lot to solve my own problems in the years to come.
Fantastic class, absolutely phenomenal! First, MATLAB is a great language for engineers. It’s super easy to use, very easy to pick up, and much easier to troubleshoot than many other languages in my opinion. I took this course during the summer (8 weeks), and even though we moved faster than during the school year, the class was still a breeze. Also, I never had any programming experience before this, but you can learn the main concepts pretty easily and quickly, as long as you go to all of the lectures/labs. In summer, you have two live lectures (you can watch them later) with Ethan and another lab discussion with a TA, 2 hours a piece. I never watched anything live and I was fine, but they’re good to watch live if you have questions. I would definitely recommend taking this course in the summer between first and second year because it’s not that bad of a time commitment, and in most engineering disciplines, MATLAB becomes pretty useful almost immediately upon starting upper divs.
Ethan basically goes over one homework problem each day, each one teaching different concepts for that week. He’s very funny, charismatic, engaging, and really good at explaining problems. He’s very clear, and his slides are always very well-done. By the time I started the homework problems, Ethan may not have given everything away for the problem, but he definitely gives you a really good start on the problem. If you can take MATLAB with anyone, definitely take it with Ethan! He may be a little cryptic if you ask questions via email (makes sense because he wants you to learn) but if you go to his live office hours (also available via Zoom online meeting) he’s pretty helpful about debugging and very clear. Overall, I would definitely recommend him because he’s just a really cool professor and he’s really helpful too!
For the summer, you have 6 assignments and a final project, with the 6 projects making up 75% of your grade and the final making up 25% of your grade. Each assignment is worth 50% in code and 50% in a written report. The actual code part for each homework really doesn’t take that long. You probably have 2-3 problems, and I probably did all of the code in maybe an hour or two for each homework assignment. However, the actual written reports takes a little while, but they’re really easy and are kind of just busy work. It’s fine though, because all of the problems are really fun! Ethan goes a lot into the theory behind each problem’s concept for the week, and we had problems based in the context of the game of life, Euler bending, DNA, lunar calendars, etc. They’re really cool problems and I always enjoyed working on them.
For us, the final was a problem on ant colony optimization. We had two weeks to work on it, but I started a bit later than I should have, so I only had like 5 days to work on it with a lot of other session C classwork to do instead of having two weeks with nothing else. If you take it during the school year, you basically have one week and finals week which is totally open, so time shouldn't be an issue. On all of the homework assignments, I would do them entirely on the weekend, so I thought I would be fine. The actual mechanism of the problem (the ants moving) is pretty easy, but the visualization part is a real pain. I spent a lot of time trouble shooting various aspects of the visualization, and it takes a good amount of time. This also happens in the last two weeks of summer session A, or the first two weeks of summer session C, so be careful about overloading in those two weeks overlap. I had some trouble because of said overlap. Overall, it’s a fun problem to do, but it’s much harder than any of the homework assignments. This is one of the times when I wish that I could go to office hours in person because it’s a lot easier to trouble shoot the final project in person than over email correspondence. Also, if Ethan is busy, just go to the TAs (I had Jordan); they're super helpful and probably more free than Ethan.
The only “problem” is that during summer, there’s only one TA (versus 4 TAs), and the class is about half the size as normal, so Ethan and the TA have a lot of homework to grade, so they’re pretty slow at grading during the summer, but it’s no big deal.
Overall, I would give the course a 10/10! Ethan makes a big deal about making sure that you understand the concepts you use in MATLAB, so that you’re getting not only an introduction to MATLAB, but an introduction to programming in general. A lot of people fanboy this professor, and it’s for good reason – he’s awesome! This has been my favorite class at UCLA by FAR!
Professor Young is incredibly engaging. He loves programming and wants everyone to succeed at it. The work consists of solving the problems he assigns by designing a code and then doing a writeup on why you did what you did. There were not any exams during the summer session when I took it. He is also incredibly open to offering help. I took the class online and it wasn't an issue not being physically at UCLA. He answers emails and for the final project, he had video chat office hours for people who were taking it online. His notes are easy to follow and you learn so much. Matlab is one of the most fun classes I have ever taken.
This is a fantastic class. Ethan Young is a brilliant professor, is extremely good at explaining concepts and most importantly, is very helpful. This class was perfect in so many respects.
Ethan manages to combine programming with very interesting mathematical problems. I didn't go to lectures very often, especially since lectures were podcasted.
Ethan is a fantastic professor. His lectures are well put together and extremely engaging. There are no tests, not even a final; your grade comes from 75% on the 8 homework assignments throughout the quarter and 25% on the final project. Each homework assignment is half coding (writing Matlab scripts) and half written report (explaining in English how your code works). This is a fantastic introductory programming class, much easier than CS 31. Ethan and the TAs walk you through the homework problems every week in lecture/discussion, so make sure you go to those (or watch the podcast). He is very helpful in office hours. He also makes it a point to teach the basic coding concepts which are applicable to all coding languages, not just Matlab. I highly recommend this class and Ethan as a professor!
I knew going into this class it was going to be difficult (in large part because I had not taken a programming class before), but boy oh boy was I in for a treat!
Where do I start?
The first day of class, I walked in and was pleased to see a very young (hahaha hilarious pun) charismatic, friendly professor ready to show us the ins and outs of MATLAB. After an introduction to the course, which included the thrilling experience of realizing that this class was not going to have a midterm (grade is solely based on homeworks and the final project), I was starting to like the guy. My positive first impression of him did not wane for the first few weeks as I hardly ran into any problems with the first few homeworks.
Inevitably, the class suddenly got quite complicated for me.
What most people will tell you is that Ethan does actually explain concepts pretty well during lecture, which is true. The problem with him is that what he teaches during lecture is perhaps 1/10th (if I'm being generous) of the difficultly that some of the homework projects are. He answers emails frequently, but he almost always responds with a very cryptic answer (I understand what he's trying to do; he is trying to get us to figure out the problem ourselves, but it usually just winds up in getting oneself even more confused than you were before).
But what is perhaps most frustrating about the class is that the TA's essentially wind up giving in since they see how confused we are. Some of them practically write up the exact code that you need in order to figure out the problem that you are having., which basically undermines all that Ethan is trying to accomplish.
Don't get me wrong, this guy can definitely improve, but he is far from being perfect. I can definitely see that this is a very difficult class to actually teach well, but that should not mean we give him a free pass to a high rating simply because he is charismatic and he can explain the easiest possible fundamentals to the class.
Most of the class at the beginning of the quarter did not raise their hand when he asked if we had taken a programming class before, so while some of you coding experts might be saying to yourself, "haha what a whining little ****," just remember that you also still have to write the godawful, pointless 10+ page reports for EVERY HOMEWORK, EVERY SINGLE WEEK.
JOKE'S ON YOU FOOLS!
In all seriousness, just remember one thing; being young, charismatic, and friendly does not maketh a great professor.
One of the most annoying classes of my time at UCLA. Project code and reports took upwards of 15-20 hours certain weeks. Ethan is a nice guy, but he acts like everything is easy when we are all struggling. Reports are extremely redundant. They should work on creating templates and fill in questions instead of having us write meaningless paragraphs and paragraphs (...and paragraphs).
If you have to take this class and you're not familiar with programming, expect a ton of work and a lot of confusion. Hopefully you have a TA that will actually give you help and intuition.
Ethan is a wonderful professor. Classes are interactive and interesting, and he clarifies any and all questions students have. M20 (same as CEE M20) is an introductory course, and the pace is as such. There are no exams but rather 8 homework assignments (weekly basis), and a final project that you have ~3 weeks to complete. The homework is 50% based on your code, and 50% on your report. The reports are mundane and long (~8 pages), but halfway through the quarter he told us to shorten our reports since the graders didn't want to read so much. Lectures are taught by Ethan are once a week, there is a discussion taught by a TA once a week, and there is a lab section once a week taught by your specific TA. Normally there are three problems per homework assignment, and at least two are gone over in depth during the lecture and discussion, so homework is never too difficult if you go to class or listen to the podcasts (lecture/discussion only). I would definitely recommend taking this class with Ethan!
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