Intermediate Inorganic Chemistry
Just another rave review here. Professor Kaner is awesome. He communicates the material very well, does demonstrations, takes all questions during lecture, and hosts multiple office hours. The class is out of 330 points with the following contributions: HW 30 points Midterm 100 points Final 200 points The midterm was straight forward but time is a major issue, the average in my class was 65. The final is substantially harder and was harder than the practice final, which surprised me. I assume a B in the class is around a 60 or 65. Last note: take his CHEM189 seminar, it's interesting and easy. He just talks about different materials for an hour a week. No homework, nobody even takes notes, you just listen. Easy 5 page paper due at the end of the quarter, but he lets you turn it in after finals so that it doesn't get in the way of studying.
Prof Ow is pretty cool. His lecture is very well organized and concise. His exams are pretty much straightforward from his notes and practice exams. He curves the average to B/B-, which looks good. My only complaint is that he sometimes does not explain the concepts in detail if you don't ask him. If you put some efforts, definitely you can get an A. Highly Recommended.
Just out of curiosity in regard to the last poster below: If you don't need chem 172 (and thus have not and will never even take 172), how do you know if the way Spokoyny taught will not prepare for 172 in any way? To be honest, 172 can be taken independently from 171 material-wise. I'm not sure why 171 is a pre-requisite; 172 is very straightforward because you just follow the motions of solving the same problems over and over again. I feel 172 is just an intro class for group theory and 171 helps establish appreciation and recognition of what's out there in 171. It's not the teacher's fault if the student can't put two concepts together and has to have the teacher spell out every single thing...that's called studying at home. Spookily is a great teacher and does not trick you. For the second poster: ok sure he asked some history questions...look back at the test again...you may have missed 4 points out of 100 AND he curves in everybody's favor. Also recall the solid state chemistry questions that took a whole page. How about the page of quantum mechanics and conceptual mass spec questions on the next page? It's a lot to learn but it comes down to the student's responsibility. Good luck!
I had professor Zink for Chem 171--Inorganic. It was one of the worst experiences of my career at UCLA. Although the class itself wasn't hard, the tests were freakin' unrealistic. They would test on material that we hadn't gone over in class. The homework that he assigned was absolutely useless, since it would expand on ideas that we didn't even cover in the classroom or show up on his tests. One piece of advice: DO EVERY single problem on his practice tests till you can solve them in your sleep. One time, we asked professor Zink to do a HW problem on the board for us, and he couldn't solve it because the numbers and variables became way too complicated. He, in the end, just told us not to worry about that problem being graded on the HW. The TA's were also horrid. One of them didn't know what she was doing and completely depended on notes prepared by the other TA--if you asked her a question outside of the realm of her notes, you wouldn't get an answer. The other TA was also only barely competent. It is true that professor Zink seems to care more about research than his classes. He did seem like he was concerned about student learning--but the learning we did in class and our homework was in no way connected to the tests. I'm still reeling over his inability to teach. DO NOT TAKE HIM!