Based on 15 Users
This dude was the worst professor I have ever had. He does use slides; however, all the slides just consist of pictures and no text. The textbook has absolutely no correlation to the lectures and when asked during lecture which part of the textbook the lecture correlated too, he brushed it off with no answer. I do believe professor Miller is a nice man, this is definitely just not his area of expertise. My TA even agreed with this as she was fairly upset with how the class was being taught. DO NOT TAKE THIS CLASS WITH MILLER. IT IS NOT AN “EASY GE”. Save yourself the time. The only thing I enjoyed about this class was the lab with my TA.
This was by far the worst professor I have ever had. He uses slides but they're all pictures he finds online or photos of the places he's traveled to. The required textbook is not in any way helpful. The exams are totally different from the course material. Although I took notes and actually knew the material, the exams ruined us all. As a result, I failed my midterm, but his curve set me at a C. He also curved the final, and I ended up with a B- in the class, but I know that I could've gotten an A. In conclusion, don't take this class with him. Take it with Gillespie. Also, I have the textbook in pdf version for free. Text me if you want it (323)214-9085
Overall this class was okay. Professor Miller seems to be very knowledgable about Los Angeles and knows a lot about the evolution of this city. However, his lectures are often disengaging and often focuses on architecture or landscape space of certain parts of LA. I was often confused as to what I should be taking notes on, but then he told me that he would rather students listen rather than take notes. My notes were never needed or used during the midterm and final essays, so I would say you don't need to take notes at all. Your grade is based on a midterm paper, a final paper, and 4 workshops that are based on completion and attendance. For the midterm paper, you essentially pick a topic from a provided list to write about for one of the 3 Pico locations he wants you to go to. I chose flora/fauna topic for the Pico Urban site. He does not provide much direction other than what is instructed on the syllabus-- he is definitely more helpful during office hours and can answer any question you have, so I suggest going if you need the assistance. I also believe going to OH benefits your grade if you're borderline. The final is almost identical to the midterm in terms of expectations, but instead, you choose your own topic and location you want to research on. I basically recapitulated my midterm topic but applied it to a different plant at a different location. The professor does not grade the assignments because he hires a "reader" to assist, and our reader for the quarter seemed to be an easy grader. As long as you make a statement/argument and support it with mostly primary evidence that all makes sense, you will do well. Go to office hours if you feel like you have no idea how to start or if you don't know what to write about, he will help you.
I love Professor Miller but he does not know how to structure classes and teach effectively. However, in this class, you have to write 2 essays based on qualitative research (aka surveying, interviewing), which was super useful and helped me understand how to write long essays based on just concepts. The final essay was 2000 words and you can't really cite anything, so although I struggled when I wrote the essay, I have learnt how to write in this class essentially.