Based on 8 Users
Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.
Overall, the class is not terrible but I wouldn't say I had a great experience. Most grades came out pretty late. We got the final grade on the deadline for submitting grades, which is fine, but over half of the individual grades (participation, parts of the project, final exam, and hw, if I remember correctly) were not shown, so there wasn't really any way for us to verify anything. A few days after grades were submitted, they were released (on myUCLA and the project grade breakdown on gradescope). However, for some things, such as participation and final exam, we weren't able to really see the breakdown.
Lectures are mandatory and professor enforces this by having Google Forms quizzes, usually 2-4 per lecture. I thought that the lectures were very helpful and the professor's slides were very detailed. He also has examples, which were really nice. I think that for many students, the material and concepts are rather new, which is what makes it difficult. But overall, I thought lectures were relatively clear and understandable.
Discussion sections are mandatory as well (supposedly), but I'm not sure how TAs took attendance, since they never explicitly did anything or asked us to fill out anything. However, section is usually just us getting into breakout rooms with our project groups and working on the projects. TA will go to every breakout room to answer any questions we may have.
We have do create an application w/ 5 other students and this is a quarter-long project. Besides the actual application, there are also 4 reports/things that we have to submit: project proposal, project design/description (basically, how you will implement your application, using concepts learned in class), final project report (what changes did you make since your previous report, etc.), recorded presentation video. I think that given that we worked in a team of 6, the project was pretty manageable, if you have good teammates. The rubrics for the reports were also very clear, so if you use what you learn in class and hit all the points, it shouldn't be a big issue.
We had four homeworks and they were pretty long. However, I think it was good practice, since it's pretty much the only practice you will get for the exams (in addition to the quiz problems during lecture. Those are helpful too!!!). Homework answer keys are released after the submission deadline, so you can review what you missed to study.
We had one midterm and one final. I would say that the exams are fair, but NOT EASY. There were a lot of questions, given the time limit, and so it was pretty stressful. I don't remember if it was open-internet, but it was at least open-book and open-notes for sure. However, you probably won't have time to flip through everything so I recommend really understanding the concepts + the homework/in-class quizzes to prepare for the exam.
Overall, I think the class was okay. I think the fact that our grades were held back for so long and the lack of statistics and details for the final exam and the last part of the project and participation probably upset a lot of people, but Professor Elaasar is very experienced in terms of software engineering so he's not a bad lecturer.
The materials in this class is quite useful in the real industry and in the project you did get some experience about how real SDE looks like. But the exams of this class is SUPER DIFFICULT and some questions come from nowhere and you have no way to prepare it properly. (kind of remind me of the Eggert exams) Thanks for the covid condition that I could make it pass/no pass or it will significantly sabotage my GPA. The clarity of his lecture is relative a minor problem comparing to the ridiculous exams. Avoid him if you want to have a decent grade for your capstone.
I don’t know why UCLA hired this Professor to teach in CS130. The material for this class is very heavy, and his lectures were not helpful at all; he only talked about everything in the lecture slides. And you shouldn't expect to know your grades on homework, project, and final exam; he will never upload them. I strongly advise you to take other professors.
Overall an awful experience for me. The lectures are really tedious to follow along and he forces you to attend with 3-4 participation quizzes each and every lecture. The homeworks are quite difficult and require you to brute force memorize insane amounts of small details. Exams are extremely difficult too. I would recommend with any other professor but him.
Avoid this professor at all cost!!! The class is very important, but he converts it to be a dumb class. He did not describe clearly what he said. Forced students to attend his boring lectures by having 2-4 quizzes every lecture. There were 4 20-page homework, one group project ( built an application and wrote reports every 3 weeks), one midterm, and one final. I recommend you to take other professors, even Eggert. Don't take this class with this Professor.
I took this class during the Winter 2020 quarter, and I think it was Professor Elaasar's first time teaching a college class. That said, you wouldn't know it by taking the class.
For starters, the lecture slides are among the best and most detailed I've had in any CS course. I found it really easy to study for exams by going through the slides since they were so informative. Each new concept is followed by numerous examples, and I feel that I learned the course material very well.
The course material itself started off a bit boring (in my opinion), but got more interesting as the quarter progressed. Personally, I felt that we spent too much time covering UML (which I really didn't enjoy), but for the most part, I found the rest of the material to be interesting.
There are two homework assignments, each only worth 2% of your grade. I found them interesting and sufficiently challenging while not being too difficult.
The midterm was long and a bit difficult, but I was able to score well on it by making a very comprehensive cheat sheet. Not the easiest midterm I've taken, but I felt that it was fair, if not a bit too long for the given time.
The main focus of the course is on the group project. For the first few weeks, you spend your time writing design docs and UML diagrams, though personally I found that any designs my group made immediately went out the window when we started programming. There are several checkpoints in which you submit reports to show that your group is on-track to finish by the due date. I would've preferred spending less time planning and more time programming, but I guess the class is supposed to be a realistic software engineering experience, so it makes sense. Watching the final presentations at the end of the quarter showed that the class was able to put together some really cool ideas, and I liked seeing what my classmates thought of.
Professor Elaasar was nice enough to make the final optional given the difficult circumstances. I found it quite difficult and did not finish all the questions, but the curve was generous enough that I think most people did well.
The professor is also very approachable and helpful; he was always open to questions during and after class, and was happy to revisit earlier concepts to make them more clear. He was also the most responsive professor on Piazza I've ever seen: I don't think a single question ever went unanswered, even on the weekend. I found it very helpful to ask a question, and get a detailed response only a few hours later.
Overall, I really enjoyed this course. I learned a lot from Professor Elaasar, and I think he did a great job teaching the class. He was very responsive and taught all the material very clearly. I would definitely recommend taking this class with Professor Elaasar.