Based on 30 User s
I took Anthropology of Food when he first offered it.
I enjoyed the class as he gave better than average lectures for an Anthropology professor and one that comes from an engineering background. He also integrated movies to further validated his points which gave a break to the traditional classroom
What I didn't like was his avoidance to deal with grades. He has a policy that I respect where you don't question final grades. But I didn't like how he handled the final. He left during the Finals Week, and had proctors.
I had 95% going into the final, but ended up with a B, because the proctors did nothing when people were texting answers on their phones obviously. This totally screwed the curve, even though he gives 50% A's and 40% B's,
It was really bogus. I should have gotten an A
Do not take Gupta if possible.
He cares so little about teaching or students. He told us he would not respond to questions via email.
The only grades are the midterm and the final, and the class is curved. This may sound good to a lot of people, but in reality the questions were deliberately designed to trick you - with choices such as "A, B, C, A & B, A & C". The questions were often framed in an unclear manner, but you are not allowed to ask clarifying questions.
He is a completely ineffective teacher and does not implement any student - focuses teaching methods.
Anthropology of Food was an interesting subject matter, and Professor Gupta incorporated popular movies and books into the class material. I enjoyed his lectures, and he presented the information clearly while highlighting the important material. He stressed key concepts in lectures and on the exams. There was a midterm and final with the midterm weighted at 40% of your grade and the final at 60%. The midterm consisted of 20 multiple choice questions and the final of 22 multiple choice questions and two short answers. If you go to class and pay attention, both tests will be easy. He grades the class on a curve, as well - giving around 30 to 40% of the class A's. Take this class! His accent makes lectures a little difficult to understand, but I would still recommend this class.
I had Gupta for the Anthropology of Food. I regret taking this class. I thought it was going to be a fun, interesting class, but it turned out to be boring and pointless. I ended up with a decent grade, so this isn't a rant because I didn't get the grade I wanted. His lectures were boring at best, he repeated himself a lot, and talked either about very broad concepts or very minute details, with no regard to connecting them. The material was unorganized, as he would assign readings for one day, and not talk about it until the next week, we would never finish movies in order, it would be half of one here, half of another one there. He doesn't take ANY regrade requests. So if your scantron is messed up, you're screwed. He was originally an engineer, and now teaches anthropology. Your entire grade depends on 40 multiple choice questions, and two short answer questions spread over two tests. Also, the final is cumulative, which wouldn't be an issue if the material built upon itself. Instead, it was a waste of time to go back to look over old material that was only loosely connected to the current readings. Also, half of the test questions started of as "according to prof. Gupta..." or "prof. Gupta mentioned in class..." so it's not about know the material as much as it is knowing his opinion on the readings and movies.
I've had two classes with Gupta [Anthro of Food and Developmental Anthro] and I have to say I absolutely love him! His classes are easy. He curves all the grades, giving almost half the class As and most of the rest Bs, you have to have not gone to class at all to fail his classes.
Anthro of Food
The readings aren't very necessary, he tells you what you need from the readings in class. For studying you just need to review your lecture notes. As for the post about his test questions saying "according to Prof. Gupta . . . " thats because he tests off his lectures. The tests were mostly multiple choice with a few short answers. I thought this class was very interesting, it started off boring but he eventually moves into current day things: fast food,corruption, etc. We even watched Supersize Me. My only complaint is that he focused a lot on India and Japan and not too many other places.
This was the first time he taught this class it was interesting but not really my thing. The readings were more necessary because there is a discussion with participation grade. The tests were very slightly harder because the TAs made up some of the questions. It was interesting but there was a lot of theory at the end, and he gets some of his info [mostly stats] from wikipedia.
Overall he's a really good professor and pretty easy classes. People tend to be afraid to take him because he doesn't do regrades. But the tests are multiple choice with 2 or 3 shorts answers that are usually regurgitating a list or definition. Just watch out for the "none of the above" on the tests he loves those.
I took Anthro 133F (Anthropology of Food) with Gupta and all I can say is wow. Hands down one of the best, most interesting classes I have ever taken at UCLA. Gupta is a kind, well articulated professor who loves what he does and has a great deal of knowledge about it. If you're looking for that easy A, this may or may not be your class. All you need to get a good grade is go to lecture (or listen to the podcast) and read the readings/view the films. He incorporates the readings and movies (which are actually good movies) into class lectures effectively. This class forever changed my conception and understanding of food/culture in a very positive way. Most importantly, he is not monotone and his lectures are actually interesting. I highly recommend taking this class to anyone who values learning something that isn't just going to be an easy A, but might actually teach you something that is useful and entertaining.
First of all, I wouldn't recommend this class unless you have no choice. It is true that you go to lecture and do your readings, then you do well. BUT think of this class is a 4-unit class, but it is way much more stuff, even more than some of the 5-unit classes. You have hundreds of readings to do every week, weekly assignment due on discussion section, two additional assignments (a diet diary and a 1800-word project), AND you have a midterm and final which are not easy at all. His lectures are basically just that he read off his notes/written essays about his review on those readings in a fast, quiet tone. He had nothing on his slides except a few pictures. There isn't any so-called "lectures." All this class is about readings, if you don't read, you can't understand in lecture and you screw up. BUT the readings' workload are huge and they are hard, not easy to understand at all! He requires you to finish reading before every class, but these readings are about like food and Marx theory (WTH?!). I would say give some introduction about the big picture before letting us read will be more effective. It seems like he thinks all students only have this class. SO, if you only think this class as a 4-unit class and enroll it with other major classes, you gotta be careful. ALSO, he has so many requirements. He didn't allow you to argue your grade unless its a calculating error. A lot of "you can't do..." and he takes picture of the scene of every student taking exam in case of cheating, which is a little bit over. He tells us in the last class, "I can tell you right now the final will be a difficult 3-hour exam." I really feel he's intending to MAKE students work hard.
Overall, I really enjoyed the material presented in the class. Everything you discuss is relevant to your everyday life. The workload is intense. We were often doing 400-600 pages of reading a week, which is tough when you have other classes to worry about. You are required to read 4.5 books + weekly articles. Reading is mandatory and lectures are based on your readings. The course isn't necessarily difficult if you keep up with your readings, attend lectures (they're podcasted), and understand the underlying themes of the course. Often times he repeats the themes of the readings, movies, and lectures. If you put in the work, you'll do fine. The grading scale is in your favor. I believe it was 40% receive A and A-, 40% receive B+ and B-, and 20% other.
There are weekly assignments due in discussion. You also have to complete 2 projects, which are relatively easy. The Midterm and Final rely heavily on your understanding of concepts/themes and ability to connect readings/themes.
Cool class. Ate ass. The content of the course is interesting, but I found the lectures to be more on the boring side and repetitive (although it is better to air on the repetitive side ya know). Highlight of the class for me was the discussions. I was lucky to have Aditi as my TA, and my section actually had really insightful discussions.
The course consists of 2ish reading assignments per week, and most of the grade is the midterm (35% of grade) and the final (40%). The two tests are 60 multiple choice Qs and 2 short answer. The wording of the multiple choice questions on the tests reminded me of a standardized test – it tries to be misleading, so I wasn't a fan.
I found the class to be very interesting. The workload is A LOT but after the first two articles, the material itself is easy to understand. You don't have to attend lectures but you NEED to go to discussion because you receive a participation grade. End of quarter survey gave me 4% EC even though he says he doesn't give out extra credit and curving is in your favor. His English is not the best and that translates on his tests through tricky questions. Both the midterm and the final had 6 answer options (4 regular and the other two were all of the above or none of the above). Just do all the readings and you can get an A. I didn't study for any of the tests but I never fell behind on the readings.
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