Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.
Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.
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
Where do I even start. Those seeking to take 20B this quarter got stuck between two badly reviewed professors. Seeing as how none of my friends had had Bouchard, I decided to take the "Safe" route and enroll in Bouchard's chem class this quarter. A week into the class I realized that this quarter would not be easy, and it honestly did not get any better. Bouchard assumes that every one of his 120 students (I believe the class started off with 250 students) is a PhD student who is already familiar with the topics being taught in the course. He expects people to answer his ridiculously hard questions on the spot, and if one brave soul answers, his default response is "that's not 100% stupid". He spends class deriving various equations and differentials; however, he does not teach us how to put those equations to use. The co-requisite for this class is Math 31B; however, most students in 32B (I do mean 32B) had trouble keeping up with the math being taught all throughout the year. Last time I checked, we were in a chem class, not Differential Equations. As this class is a 4 unit class, we are expected to spend 16 hours (including lecture and discussion) on the class. Sadly, Bouchard's weekly homework alone takes 13 hours to do and his homework basically consumed my study group's weekends and led us to many sleepless nights. Since his homework questions us on things not taught in class or in the textbook, our only hope is to ask Bouchard for help, which is often times followed with satirical and arrogant remarks. We are often times exposed to a Bouchard who is incapable of suppressing his anger: when his pen runs out of ink, he chucks it across the room to show his frustration. The first midterm had a D average, and Bouchard explained to us that he was rather disappointed-disappointed in the fact that the average was not a 30%. He made the second midterm unbelievably hard; I've never had a teacher who would rather see a student fail than succeed. I honestly hope to never take a class with Bouchard again and am sorry for all those who struggled with me. Strengths: Is a proud Canadian. Weakness: Teaching 20B
Avoid at all costs. Please. For the sake of your GPA. For the sake of waking up everyday without wanting to yeet yourself off the top of Boelter. Just don't. save yourself. R.I.P me
TL;DR : Satan
This was by far the worst class I have ever taken. I should have taken this class with any other professor or even at community college. Even Felker (who had a <2.0 Bruinwalk rating) would be more competent as an instructor. Bouchard was not only a horrible teacher, but he was actively trying to screw over students on exams as well, testing on things skimmed over once in class. Our final had a whole question based on something covered briefly on the last day of class, something the TA's said that we wouldn't be expected to know (which also shows how much he communicates with our TA's).
You get no equation sheets in a class that requires numerous lengthy equations in order to solve even the most basic problems on tests (Felkers class got 10 pages of notes on the final, compared to our 0). The only math pre-requisite was 31A yet the class frequently requires you to solve problems on homework and tests involving intimate knowledge of 32B material.
Homework was ignorantly difficult and took over 10 hours a week, effectively ruining every one of my weekends for 10 whole weeks. Also, participation was worth from 0 to -5% of our grade(who does that??). Basically, if you choose not to spend ridiculous amounts of time on this homework, you get points subtracted for your grade, on top of a fat 0% on your homework.
tl;dr: FUCK THIS GUY. Avoid him at all costs.
20B is hard. But Bouchard will make it 10x harder than any class you have ever taken in your entire life. For winter 2018, we were given the choice of Felker and Bouchard, both of whom have pretty shit ratings. But boy did I choose wrong. Bouchard takes pride in flexing his PhD. You will understand this after the first 5 minutes of the first lecture. He asks intentionally convoluted questions in lecture just so he can see the confused looks on our faces, and then when someone is brave enough to attempt an answer, he shoots them down dramatically, pointing out how stupid they are in front of the whole class. Lectures are boring and convoluted, and his lecture notes make even less sense. Most of the content of HIS version of 20B requires knowledge of Math 32B, which is not a pre-requisite of this class. His homework was created by him, took about 6 -10 hours to complete on a good day, and was graded extremely harshly. He went out of his way to make obtaining the solutions to the homework impossible- they were printed and posted in some random hallway in Young Hall. The TAs were useless; I think their relationship with the professor was just as bad as the students'. No practice exams were given, and if you were lucky enough to find one from previous years, the TAs were specifically instructed not to help with them. The exams were IMPOSSIBLE. The averages were in the 50s. There was no correlation between time studied/knowledge of the material and grade received. This guy needs to be fired.
20B is a relatively hard class on its own. There are a lot of equations and a lot of topics that often don't really relate to each other. On top of this, Bouchard is by far the worst professor I've had yet. He's arrogant, condescending, and genuinely couldn't care less whether or not his students succeed. Do everything in your power to take this class with a different professor. If you do get stuck with Bouchard, don't worry too much about your test scores; the averages are usually around 50%. You probably won't get an A, but you'll pass the course and never have to see Bouchard's smug face again.
Worst class I’ve taken so far. Bouchard IS NOT misunderstood. He is out to screw people over. Do not take this class unless you have worse options or if you have take physics 1A. Bouchard teaches this class with a physics approach since he usually teaches this class during spring quarter, so he assumes people have taken physics. This class will consume your life and your weekends. The workload is unreasonable since he doesn’t really teach shit. This means you’ll end up learning only by taking notes of his lecture notes, not by attending lecture. His homework assignments are ridiculous as they are so next level. He expects us to have already mastered the concepts he taught in class, so he makes the homework problems 30 times harder. The homework problems also don’t have enough information for you to solve the problem because he thinks that “it would not be fun if you just plugged in values into equations”. This means you’ll be looking shit up that you can only find by reading abstracts about that specific topic (occasionally the values you need are in the book). In short, the homework he assigns is simply a road-block to learning the concepts.
Bouchard himself is a massive pile of cr*p. He is possibly the rudest Canadian you’ll ever meet. A girl bravely responded to one of Bouchard’s cryptic questions and he responded with “That is certainly not a stupid statement” as if he expects her to be stupid. Bouchard also can’t dress. For the first 8 weeks I swear he wore the same grey pants with either a grey shirt, grey with stripes, or a blue shirt. One day he decided to style on us by wearing blue pants….and then he wore the same blue pants for the rest of the quarter.
The midterms and final are OK. They are hard but kinda reasonable……except for the fact WE DON’T GET A FUCKIN EQUATION SHEET. Quizzes will fuck you over so might as well take the L in that part.
If you do take this class, keep your head up and endure the pain. Attend lecture and take notes of his lecture notes. Create a document with all the equations you learn as you go (you’ll be thankful you did when midterms and finals approach). Don’t bother with the book. Going to office hours helps a little, but not much. Best of luck!
This class wasn't too bad, if you have the mental fortitude to survive unreasonable loads of homework, mind numbing lectures that make you feel dumber than when you started and twisted tests that leave you wondering whether studying even made a difference
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.
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