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- Heather Calahan
- MATH 1

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Math 1 with her was one of my first classes ever at UCLA in fall of 2011. At the time, it was so frustrating. I really disliked the book and the fact that it was over $100 and you needed the dumb access code to do homework that was irrelevant. On top of this, I had a bad T.A. Because obviously she was really advanced in math and this was pre-calculus, I felt like she did not really explain things to help us.

In lecture, Heather was okay. Yes, we were all freshmen, and maybe if we were quieter at times, she would not have been so pissed at us. But other than that, what everyone else has said is true about when in the world are we going to use this math in real life. She spent forever setting up that wave detector thing and her projector just to bounce a tennis ball on it a few times. So yes, for 50 minutes, I felt like she could have explain concepts differently. The final exam was just whoa. I wrote down whatever I could, as in I rewrote problems and tried t make it seem like I knew where to go with them. Somehow ended up with B's on all my midterms and the final, and a B in the class overall.

Calahan is the worst teacher ever. The only thing you get out of this class is to never take any classes with Calahan or now Dallas. Her lectures were extremely unorganized and pointless. What she does is she teaches you "concepts" by giving you "real life" examples that no one understands. Her midterms and final were irrevelant to what she taught us. She will truly ruin your whole quarter. Honestly, people are enrolled in math 1 to get a stronger foundation in trig and pre cal.. obviously to prepare you for calculus, not to make you confused and lost the whole quarter. I strongly recommend people to take Math1 with Greene rather than Dallas, unless you are extremely good at math. But seriously, if you are so good at math, why would you take math 1? Bottom line is, DO NOT EVER TAKE HER CLAsS!!!!!!!!!!!

Where to begin.... S.Y.S. (SAVE YOU SOUL)Calahan has got to be the worst teacher, by far, I've ever had. Her class is RIDICULOUS and extremely PATHETIC. First of all a class being that of 50 minutes, is not enough for this lady to explain how to use basic math in my EVERYDAY LIFE. Like I'm seriously going to use a wave detector while bouncing a ball to detect the waves it makes to find how to draw a freakin sine graph from that. That's the problem with her. She teaches math with examples emphasizing models that can be deferred from everyday life. When it comes to home works, quizzes, and tests, that's what its all about. I spent endless amounts of hours doing my homework online because I didn't know how to solve the problems which were not even based on lectures.

Honestly, this class is a waste of time with this teacher. If I would've known better before I took this class, I would've taken it with Greene. I mean seriously,if she's getting so many bad reviews and students were complaining to her inside and outside of class, shouldn't she change her ways of teaching? Her midterms and especially her final are nothing you expect.

If a lot of people are failing her class, it totally says a lot about the teacher. This class shouldn't be as hard as she makes it, yet it is.

I would just like to point out that the ginger bitch wrote herself two reviews dated 12/5/11. They are regarding attention span. At that Calahan, you can go fuck yourself. I took her class last year in fall, and shame on her for doing what she does.

Regarding attention...

You teach mostly 18 year olds, and it is their first class in a college setting. There are two types of attention. Immediate attention, and sustained attention. As an ex-high school teacher you should know that on average sustained attention for 18 yr. olds is 20 minutes. Your lectures are 50 minutes long, so try and understand what it is like being in our shoes. Oh yea, research shows that the best way to retain attention is by being engaging. Attention is caused by the prefrontal cortex and the release of dopamine. So crafting an engaging lecture helps students become more engaged because you are biologically assisting them in the process. By stressing your students out, (and I'll bet money on it) you cause a release in cortisol a stress hormone. That hinders memory, concentration, and makes education difficult. If students don't enjoy your lectures and say you are "incoherent", then YOU are the cause of the problem, deal with that and except it as constructive criticism. Nobody complains as bad about Professor Greene, so maybe you can take a pointer or two from her. Teach the math first, and then if there is time left, apply it to cats killing rats. Regarding your 3 hour exercise idea for improving concentration, studies show that it does not work. Mental marathons are not an effective tool when trying to concentrate. Working an hour, and distressing for 5-10 minutes has been proven most effective.

Lastly...

Bruinwalk is a tool for peers to give each other feedback on what instructors to choose, and what to expect from a class. By writing on a review forum designed for students, you are dilapidating the credibility of bruinwalk. It can be compared to a businessman going on yelp to write reviews of his own business. It is unethical and uncalled for. You would punish students for cheating, well this is a form of dishonesty on your end.

For Students:

Rather than venting with anonymity and it going nowhere I invite everybody to write an email with your problems, and what you thought of the class to the department chair. In case you guys did not look over your evaluations close enough, it is allowed and highly encouraged.

Department Chair:

Sorin Popa

[email protected]

(310)825-1378

Heather Calahan will probably be the worst teacher you will have in your life. Her lectures are presented incoherently, so you probably need to know all of the concepts ahead of time before coming to class. Her finals and midterms are extremely difficult, and if you prepare extensively expect to get a C at best. Overall I really think she does not know how to teach. Best of all, her other job is teaching math pedagogy to students becoming math instructors. What a joke lady! I hope god pays you back for all your shit!

Not as bad as everyone makes it seem. (not easy though)

She attempts to teach you why you do math the way you do, which helps if you understand the real world applications and where a formula/concept comes from, but if you are not paying attention to her closely, you will easily miss the concept.

Basically, makes an easy math class unnecessarily hard, and though you can do well, you must put more work into it.

Midterms: Lots of work, very little time

Final: Lots of work, plenty of time.

Listen to her examples in class!

I got a B, but had already taken precalc, and worked a decent amount.

AVOID! Precalculus is an easy class, but not with Calahan! The only reason I did well in her class is because I had already taken precalculus and calculus in high school and could vaguely remember the concepts she taught in terms that I understood. Her entire class is based around "real world examples" and she spends more time setting up the problem or scenario than talking about the mathematical concept you are supposed to be learning (ie, drawing a ferris wheel on the board). During lecture, she goes off on random tangents and wastes valuable time out of the 50-minute lecture period. In fact, she wasted so much time that we ended the quarter a week behind the syllabus she handed out the first day of class. It is difficult to discern what is important and what is a side-note explaining an easier concept. Her lectures are extremely frustrating and difficult to sit through. When solving math problems on the board, she writes out every obvious step, but will not write out the most complicated step because her mathematically-inclined brain understands it, while to you it is a huge leap. One of her main problems, besides being annoying ("Dagnabit, Calahan!" is one of her favorite phrases) is that she is simply too smart to teach a precalculus course. Same goes for all of her TAs. Mine could not explain a single problem in a way that made sense; I left discussion every week more confused than when I arrived. Her brain is at a higher math level than her students', so the way she explains things is weird and complicated. For example, at a review session of skills we should know from lower math courses, she explained the concept of completing the square by talking about ancient Babylonians and drawing giant squares on the board. She forces you to know how to derive the values on a unit circle rather than memorize them. While it IS nice to know that you can figure out the values and don't need to worry about memorizing them, on the midterms and final this is a hugely time consuming task! The midterms are far too long to finish in the given time, and the final is ridiculously difficult. She forces you to memorize proofs for just about every equation or property we learn, tells you they will be on the final, and then-surprise!-they are not there! Granted, she curves generously, but at the cost of students who have not taken calculus previously and thus don't understand the concepts. On the final, of the six problems, two were related to a concept on which she only spent one lecture. Yes, she does claim to care that her students do well in the class, but she emphasizes concepts and real world applications versus being able to actually do the problems, which is harmful to her students in the long run.

She's an amazing teacher, but her tests are extremely difficult!

I think that Professor Calahan actually was not all that bad. Granted I probably will end up with a c or something from her, so I thought ahead. You guys should know that for most majors her class is not at all required. You are permitted to test out of precalculus at any time. I did not test out, so I just decided on the 5th week that I was going to switch my grade in her class to P/NP. If you would like to avoid having a "C" on your transcript that is a good solution. I learned a lot in her class so far. Her tests have been very difficult, but she curves them generously. I thought her real world examples were quite useful. In her class you can learn mathematical formulas to figure out how many cats kill rats in how many minutes. You can also learn about tuning forks and how their sound waves are sinusoids, or how you can figure out what time of day the sun will rise. I feel if i did not go into Calahan's class with a shitty impression from bruin walk I could have gotten better scores, and you can too. Fuck all these past reviews, if you put your mind to it you can do anything. (I was not high when I wrote this)

Amazing teacher! She is very encouraging and helped me get over my dreadful fear of math. I would take her again for any math class if I could. She really cares about her students understanding the concepts. She doesn't just want you to memorize solutions and equations...she wants you to know the why's and how's of mathematics. She has review sessions just to make sure everyone is on the right page and is very easy to talk to. This is my favorite class to go to and I used to hate math.

ASK QUESTIONS!!!

If you don't understand something she will explain until you understand! There is no reason to do poorly in this class.

PS

She's pretty!

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