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The class is about A.I., Genetic engineering, Singularity and other topics like that which I personally found very interesting. We had to write summaries for readings every week which is manageable if you do not procrastinate.
40% of your grade is participation and homework, 25% is the first paper and the other 25% is the second paper.
Another thing Professor Sussman does is that he makes you submit a first draft for your papers and gives you helpful feedback on it.
When I took this class with him in the Fall of 2016, of my freshman year, the overarching topic of this course was Posthumanism and Artificial Intelligence, which I thought were very interesting. There were only 2 papers 5 pages each and the first one was our response to AI in the movie Ex Machina, which I enjoyed watching and writing about. The second was about how technology was paving a way to an era of posthumanism.
PLOT TWIST: Althought I enjoyed the topics of the class, Sussman himself was unpredictable and often unclear. He is a nice person, don't get me wrong. What I didn't like about this class in particular was that we had to write so many one-pagers about articles we were assigned to read. He then told us to print 3-4 copies of those so that we would be all paired up in groups and revise each other's papers. At most, I only ever had to use 2 copies, which led me to waste paper and money to print them. He doesn't even collect them and a grade wasn't really given for them. He collected it the first few times, then he just stopped. Those were the daily assignments: 1 page response to the article he would assign that night. Not too bad.
The class was roughly 10% homework (pretty sure he gave everyone full credit regardless of how well you did the one pagers, or if you did it at all), 35% first paper, 35% second paper, and 20% participation. I'm going off of memory so don't take those numbers with much (idk the word). No midterm or final exams.
But anyways, for participation, all you needed to do was write any thoughts or ideas you had about/ during the class or about any topics covered in class onto a piece of paper called "the basket of ideas". By the end of the quarter, you would turn that in and that was your participation grade. Easy peasy tbh.
Now for the papers... this is where I got heated during the quarter. After turning in your paper where you argued advocating something, he would give you a grade and he would allow you to revise it for a better grade (kinda like a first draft final draft situation). Now when he said this, I thought I would just be able to fix up some stuff he marked me down for, such as grammar, clarity on topics, etc. But no. Once he gave you back your paper, he would then say "Now you have to write about the opposite view point." That took everyone by surprise. So what he's saying is that you have to argue against your viewpoint... which is basically writing a whole new f*cking paper. So even though the class is only 2 papers, in actuality, it felt like 4 papers. Every time you would turn in the initial paper, his idea of "revising a paper and turning it into a better grade" is writing a complete new paper advocating for a stance opposite of what you first argued for.
TBH idk how I got an A but I'm glad. This class gave me the impression of something you can BS your way through and still pull off a B+ or higher. I've had multiple friends in different English Comp 3 classes who had it way worse tbh. Even though this class made me flip my sh*t every time I had to change the topics of my papers, it was relatively easy.
You will be writing essays on extremely interesting topics relevant to engineers and watching film snippets in classroom! Although there are summaries as homework, you are not expected to put much effort into them. The lectures are actually intriguing discussions on the current science topics rather than a commentary on the boring mechanics of English writing. You can even earn extra credit sometimes! I believe this is the best writing class for engineers in UCLA.
I enjoyed this class. Prof Sussman gives a lot of feedback for your essays, and it's not hard to get a good grade on them if you go to office hours and hand in your rough drafts.
He's chill and I feel he doesn't really care if you're late or don't show up as long as you don't miss too many classes and hand in your essays. He shows us film clips and sometimes talks about random things unrelated to the assignments, but still reasonably engaging.
I felt this class was pretty easy. The essay topics were a little bit confusing to me, and took a lot of time planning and researching, but if you go to office hours/talk to him in class it won't be too difficult.
Enjoyed the class. If you are not a strong writer, no need to fear. sussman is definitely helpful and is a fun class. I was hesitant about the time of the class,630‐745, but I'm glad I enrolled . The workload is really nothing to worry about
Daniel can be a little boring in class, but other than that, it is a relatively easy class. You have to write summaries to articles you read every week, but he accepts late work and it usually only has to be one page. The workload is fairly easy but can be a hassle if you let it build up. You have to write two essays for this class, which he critiques and hands back for you to write a final draft. Overall, I did not enjoy this class, but it was relatively easy and not stressful.
I really enjoyed English Composition with Mr. Sussman. He is an engaging teacher and he structured our class/assignments around relevant and interesting topics. I would definitely recommend this class, and it is pretty easy to do well.