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Available during office hours and encourages questions during class. Exams are difficult but he tells you everything that will be on them and you will get an A if you study thoroughly. Professor Pak makes class fun; his Russian accent is funny but not hard at all to understand. He genuinely wants students to succeed.
This guy is easily one of the worst teachers I've ever had, in any subject...at any school. The terrible accent and constant stuttering aside, he has no patience to explain anything and is absurdly disorganized. Would rather graduate late than take another class with this guy
He genuinely cares about student's learning and gives a very comprehensive guide to exams. His Russian accent brings some humor in his lectures. He would answer questions during lectures and makes sure everyone understands before he moves ahead.
Very engaging and funny professor, clearly knows his stuff. Midterms are easy, and homework assignments are doable. The final, though, blows everyone's mind as it requires some extraordinary understanding & advanced application of the course material (I would say it slightly goes beyond the courses' scope).
Pak dresses like a hobo but teaches like a hero. He's Russian, he's brilliant, and he doesn't give a crap about how smart you are. What he does care about though, is that you understand the material and that you go to class, absorb information, and synthesize it on homeworks and exams.
His lectures are incredibly straightforward. He solves a bunch of problems, working his way up from the basic concepts to the actual, meaty topics. Through this, students can gain a full understanding about how to solve problems from the bottom up. Formulas are stated and solved; there's never a formula given without an explanation of how we get them. These formulas (such as permutations, trees, Catalan numbers, etc), aren't like the crappy formulas you need to memorize in the 32 series. You'll learn the material well enough that you can come up with the formulas by your own thinking and your own problem solving. Even better, if you don't understand a concept, all you have to do is ask and he'll explain something over and over, in different ways, until you get it; he doesn't care about how far he gets in the book (which is pretty useless anyways), as long as you understand the material. One thing to note: the book is absolute garbage, and you're better off going to class to learn the material than try to wade through pages of crappy writing and typos.
He assigns homework better known as the legendary Home Assignments (HA), which are a couple book problems and then his own personal problems that he writes up himself. If you take good notes and understand class material, and put a little thought into it, you can work through his own problem set. He also encourages you to work in groups, which is incredibly helpful.
There are quizzes every week in class, which are just 5 multiple choice questions to test concepts. Although they're super easy, they're multiple choice so you'll probably average a 60% and be really sad.
Exams are pretty straightforward. There's nothing new, nothing tricky. All you really need to do to ace these exams are to understand the concepts, review the home assignments, and brush through the quizzes. He doesn't give out practice midterms because there's plenty online and you don't really need them. I would recommend not cramming and actually learning the material, because if you do the exams are actually really easy. If you do try to cram, you'll get lost in a sea of formulas and tears. Learn the concepts, and you won't need the formulas.
A lot of people don't like Pak, but they're probably just salty about his Russian accent and strict policies. Which by the way are things like him trolling you if you're late to class. Nothing to worry about. I'd highly recommend this class with this professor.
Unlike the review a few sections below me, I wouldn't say that Pak dresses like a hobo, but he does have a unique approach to clothes. I would say it's pretty snazzy and speaks a lot to his chill, laidback character.
Anyways, he may seem really intimidating at first, but in actuality, I think he's a really nice guy. He makes sure to teach the basics and only the basics and doesn't really go into advanced topics because he doesn't believe that should be case for an introductory class. I would say he's one of the best professors I've had at UCLA because he really helps you learn the material in class. You can tell that he really knows his stuff because he doesn't use any notes or slides in lecture and everything he writes on the board is straight from memory. You also can't help but enjoy the material when you're in the presence of someone who loves it as much as he does.
As for tests, I didn't really have to study for them after going to all his lectures. His lectures were one of the few here at UCLA that I actually looked forward to going to. Overall, I would highly recommend having him as a professor at UCLA.