All Ratings and Reviews for Louis-Serge Bouchard
This class is the worst I've had at UCLA. Bouchard is unclear on his own and manages to be even more unclear when asked very direct questions. Most of the answers he gives are exactly the question that was asked, but reworded. Ex. "what happened to the negative in this step?" "Oh that's gone now" I cannot count how many useless hours I have spent on homework that is completely irrelevant to what was lectured on. It is unnecessarily difficult and does not give a better understanding of material. He also makes it due Sunday nights which ensures you waste each weekend trying to finish. He gives no guidance for what will be focused on in any of the tests when asked and his lectures themselves are not what is on the tests, they focus on the footnotes and subsections of his lectures that he posts later on and is not mentioned by him in person. His topics do not follow the explanations of the textbook and he claims to disagree with several of the approaches they take and used a much more complicated, calculus based way. Felker has a lower rating so I chose Bouchard and deeply regret it. Don't trust those numbers and pls take any other professor. P.S. you have to memorize 50+ equations and you don't get any kind of equation sheet for any tests
He was an okay guy. Sometimes he would laugh in lecture and seem like an actual human being. The homework was hard but it gave you a better understanding of the material plus its only 5% of your grade. Midterm is just the notes. Take your time reviewing everything.
Normally I would wait to complete the course before writing a review, but for the sake of you the reader, I write this now that you DO NOT take this class with this professor. I repeat: DO NOT. Are you a chemistry major? DO NOT take. You would rather wait another quarter to take this class than to take it with Bouchard. His homework is just a long list of tedious and frustrating calculus and derivations that nobody can solve or even knows why it's useful (for example, deriving the average velocity of gas molecules [this is already given in class, so there was no need to derive it] when given the Maxwell-Boltzmann Speed Distribution). Even if you complete the homework, it would have taken you hours and many pages of writing. And you won't even get a sense of pride and accomplishment because all of it has been previously derived by Einstein or other such scientists a hundred years ago. I'm no stranger to calculus (got an A in 32A) and I still find the homework unbelievably troubling. Complain that nobody understands the homework, and his predictable reply is to just attend office hours. His grading is mysterious and is never specified. He never says what's on the test. Doesn't provide formulas. Doesn't let you have cheat sheets. It doesn't help that he talks about tangents that seem to have little to do the actual course in class, so you really can't guess what he wants you to know. He has no redeeming aspect. He is the epitome of bad professors.
tl;dr: 0/10, do not take under any circumstances
If you are reading this, then more than likely you have heard horror stories about Bouchard and 114. And, you also probably don't have much of a choice about taking this class. But, let me address a few things.
The class is very difficult, no lies here. On top of the lab reports, Louie gives the hardest homework assignments I ever had at UCLA, and exams aren't a walk in the park (although if you study and do the hw they actually aren't all that bad). Ultimately, however, I ended up appreciating the class. Louie is very rigorous, derived, and straight forward in his lectures, and ultimately the lectures are clear. He also provides incredibly detailed notes, which are long but you MUST study them to do well. Be sure to go to the TA's to make sure your lab reports are well written, as you shouldn't lose sight of the fact that they are the biggest portion of your grade. The class is hard, and you will have to work your tail off, but Bouchard is actually a cool guy, he just enjoys challenging people.
He’s the greatest Professor I’ve taken in UCLA ever. I don’t understand why someone’s saying that he requires us to read the textbook—
Avoid this class at any cost. Even my chem110A is better than this class.
The first day of class, he told us specifically that we would not need to use or even purchase the textbook for this class, and that the only thing we would need were his lecture notes. Unfortunately this is far from true. A few days before the midterm, he sent an email that said that he expected the students to read and understand all the material in the textbook and the lecture notes. There is also ADDITIONAL material in the homework (e.g. two page long explanations of new material for a certain question that you were required to know). There were mistakes on the solutions, which made my life so much more confusing. That's three different sources of different material. Plus actually going to lecture which sometimes he discussed material that wasn't in any of these three sources that was on the test.
He didn't discuss at all what from the material would be on the test and did not know his grading scale at all (when asked he basically just said he wouldn't know until all final grades were in). The only reason I did okay in this class was that I read all three sources of material and took ridiculously thorough notes of the textbook. I say ok because I got an A but my scores on the midterms were both C's, and I left a decent amount of the final blank. I took 4 classes and this is basically the only class I had time to study for. I knew an overwhelming amount of material including upper-div chem for this class slightly well instead of the ACTUAL information that I was SUPPOSED to know for this class very well. The midterms and final were actually not that hard in retrospect, but the averages were something like 30-50%, because he gave us so much material and people studied the wrong things/didn't know what they were supposed to study.
He is extremely condescending and will not answer your questions straight. I asked a very direct yes or no answer question to him and he kept giving roundabout answers, and lo and behold he very question I asked him was on a midterm and guess what I didn't know the fucking answer because he wouldn't help me.
I don't know what the final grade distribution for this class was, but seriously it is not worth your worry or stress with this professor I seriously aged 100 years by having him.
Prof Bouchard is misunderstood by the student, I'd suppose. Even though the course materials are hard, Bouchard gives fairly clear lecture about these course materials. His lecture notes posted online are very thorough. The test is very hard, but if you work through lecture notes and the problem sets posted, you will be fine. Also, prof Bouchard is really helpful and really willing to help students during his office hours, and especially outside OH. He would simply tell you to just come by his office, and he will help you with your problems. Good professor overall. But if you simply don't like Chem 20B materials, you can find other easier professors.
Bouchard's lectures involve mostly derivations. He won't actually show you how to use the equations that he derives, nor will he explain any big conceptual ideas in chemistry/how to approach problems. You'll have to teach yourself most of the material. The only reason I did well in this class was because I had a helpful TA. Avoid this class if you can, or if you must take it, good luck.
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