Based on 36 Users
Alexandrova was an awesome lecturer, and although the class was difficult (especially her problem sets -- some of her problems are based on her own research and require you to think outside of the box), you will leave the class with a solid overview of quantum chemistry. Tests are difficult but not impossible, as she focuses more on applying concepts rather than computations.
She's one of the best professors at UCLA. Super super approachable and an excellent teacher. She managed to both teach all of the traditional material and also tie in her own (very interesting) research.
Alexandrova is fair, and seems to genuinely care about her students. The same cannot be said for many other teachers. While she doesn't go easy on her tests, she prepares you for exams and tells you the material you will be tested on. Study and pay attention in lectures
She is a sweet woman, but her explanations in class are simply not there. She'll draw molecular orbitals on the board so fast with little elaboration, leaving you confused and scrambling as you draw meaningless (at least to the majority of the class) blobs on your paper. When asking for further explanation, she'll often repeat herself instead of providing a different way of thinking. Don't be surprised if material on the exam is something she barely glanced over during lecture. Additionally, there is a huge difficulty jump from the first midterm to the second midterm, so make sure you don't get lost in those pivotal weeks. If you take her, pray for a good/helpful TA (mine certainly was not).
While her lectures aren't that interesting or engaging, her tests are easy compared to those of the other professors teaching Chem 20A. That being said, the course in general isn't easy.
However, the grading system itself is pretty generous. The assignments are online and count for 20 percent of your final grade (and you have unlimited tries to do them correctly), and the class is curved.
Overall, not a bad professor if you just need to get your chem requirements out of the way with a decent grade.
Ok the scale does not allow for .5 so it should be 3.5 overall, which should be good news for you, the reader, whoever you may be. This is a class that can be confusing at times but generally understandable and FOCUSED. That's the keyword. No bs in her class about obscure research or personal interests. 95% of the class is straight up chem. No slides, but she writes on thr board quite a bit. Get ready to copy, because she will test the stuff that you thought was not important or too hard to copy down. No joke. Happened at least twice. Copy. Everything. That said, watch out for errors in HER notes. Yep. She makes mistakes, more than handful, but less than a dozen, so that's good i guess. Go to her office hours if you are not sure about something she said. She has a Russian accent. Not too thick, but you should pay attention when she speaks or you will miss what she said. She is a bit quieter than other teachers. In terms of tests, they are fair, mostly based on notes stuff. But beware. Some stuff does come from the book that she may not have talked too much about. Read the book and do practice problems to familiarize yourself with certain thought processes rather than question types. She knows how to make diverse questions. So your best bet is to know how to apply concepts quickly and accurately. And do the owl hw. They are easy points.
Bottom line is she is a traditional professor who doesnt rely on technology to teach her material. I cant say she is tough or easy. Thats different from person to person. But if you want a solid learning experience, she is a good choice.
She is also kinda bad with computers. Grades dont get updated until last minute, and she makes errors when posting grades. I did say she is old fashioned.