Matthew Bigio Luks
Based on 26 Users
Took him for 102, he is the absolute worst, most horrible, difficult, unrealistic, and unfair professor I’ve ever had. Cant emphasize this enough- do not, I mean, DO NOT, take this class. You will be crying, going to every single TA’s office hours panicking, and have all your hairs go white. I have been in a constant state of anxiousness for the last 10 weeks, awaiting for the moment I can give this man the worst review I could.
He’s a bad lecturer, gives the most unfair HW ever (assumes everyone knows excel at an advanced level), grades homework on accuracy, and is the most condescending, useless professor. He never answered any of my emails, and leaves the TA’s to care to the students he could care less about. In office hours, the TA’s would have to dedicate time to even try to ANSWER THE QUESTION. That’s right, PHD level Economics students couldn’t even intuitively answer the questions he gave us.
I could go on for hours about how the only way this man could be of use to UCLA students is by retiring. I hope that one day he reads this review, so he knows how much I personally loathe him. Thank you for absolutely nothing Saki!
Took ECON 102 with him but since that class isn't listed I just wanna say this guy is the worst professor I've ever had and I've had some bad ones.
Took saki for econ 102. I wrote a review of this prof that summarizes the class pretty well.
"Definitely one of my least favorite classes I have taken at this school for a plethora of reasons. For starters, the course material/difficulty was way harder than what it should have been. It was obvious to me this professor does not have a good understanding of what kinds of classes econ majors at UCLA take in preparation for this class. For example, there were economic concepts none of us had heard in section, and the professor just taught us these concepts under the assumption that we have already had exposure to them. This was only mildly annoying however. The thing that I really took issue with was how he expected we understood the math he used in his homework, slides, and tests. We have had exposure to most of the calculus, but he would not slow down and really explain it slowly for us. He would just have slides about the math and expect us to instantly understand it. The other things I took issue with were about the first 2 homework assignment. These took an unnecessary amount of time and effort. I like the idea of the homework because it lets us apply abstract concepts to real world examples. However, these homework assignments were executed poorly. They were excel assignments that took so so so long to complete. Moreover, he never taught us how to use excel. It took me longer to actually learn how to use excel and manipulate the data than it did to actually complete the assignment. I would have appreciated if this professor had shown people like me how to use excel beforehand instead of just saying figure it out on your own. This professor was also pretty condescending. When students asked him in lecture to modify the homework or if he could help us out a little more he acted as if we were the ones out of line. He said that he has given us all the tools for us to do the homework so we should be fine. Even though this might be true, if a majority of the class is still struggling, do your job and teach more because something clearly got lost in translation. He also said that we should be thanking him because this is practice for the real world. He said we will not always have the answers and will need to do things on our own. When I heard this I was like stfu we don't owe you anything. That excuse is the ultimate cop out.
Positives of the class: He is probably a really nice guy outside of the context of him being a professor. He invited the high scoring students on the midterm to go out to dinner with him as a reward. The professor is very passionate and knowledgeable about the material. I could tell he wants us to be passionate about macroeconomics as well. This just ain't the way to do it chief."
The grades were heavily curved which was nice, but this class wasn't worth the constant stress.
TLDR: I recommend taking this class if you hate yourself
I took this professor for 102 as well, and similar to the other reviews, this was by far the worst class I have ever taken at UCLA. His tests and homework caused immense levels of stress and I was genuinely lost the entire quarter aside from Week 1. He expects his students to instantly understand all of the content and complex calculus. My recommendation is to avoid this professor at all costs because I cannot imagine a professor teaching this class worse than he did.
I'm not normally one to complain, and 99% of the time when people complain about a professor on here they are never as bad as they seem. This is not the case for this class. The only good thing about it is that the exams are open note so you can just print out the prior years' test and answers and essentially copy/paste some questions with the new numbers. That's all the pros. Everything else is a con, from the lengthy and difficult homework where you have to answer problems we've never even gone over in class, to the dull lectures where page after page of mindless, vague math and derivation just turns into a blur. Professor Luks is very intelligent, he is also a terrible teacher. He was born to be an economist, not an economics professor. Try your best to steer clear of him, if you're stuck with him your best bet is just to print everything out for the tests that way you can at least get some points when questions are repeated with different numbers.
I don't usually write reviews but I figured people would come on here and blast him so wanted to provide some perspective (especially since I was terrified to take this class after reading last quarter's reviews). The lectures are definitely boring and hard to follow since they're just going over formulas and it's hard to see the intuition, but Professor Saki does his best to explain why they're relevant and starts each topic off with a motivation slide to let us know why it's important that we learn this, which I appreciate. I think the material of this class in general is pretty dull regardless of who you take it with, so I wouldn't blame him for that. The homework sets (there's only 4, and 2 of them were a practice midterm/final) are very similar to the practice exams he provides, so a lot of the solutions overlap and make it slightly more doable. They're definitely the most challenging part of the course, but he gives us a long time to do them and you can work with your TA and other students. The midterm was not necessarily very hard, but was long, so nobody finished. It ended up being absolutely fine as he gave us a very generous curve (my 52% went to 85%). The TAs are super helpful (take Bangyu if you can!) and prepare you for exams well. Definitely attend discussion because you get your participation points just for attending, and they're very very helpful. Overall, he's not the best professor I've ever had but he's definitely not the worst, especially in this department. He even started the class by saying he tries to learn from reviews and wants to do better than he did last quarter. He's passionate about the subject and is a great guy who really wants us to learn the material with the same passion he has. I agree with the person who said he was meant to be an economist, not an economics professor, but overall, if you need to take this class with him you'll be fine.
As mentioned in other reviews, this class was terrible. Yes, the grade distributions may not indicate this - the class was curved exceedingly heavily, in what was perhaps the only redeeming quality of the course. However, it terms of educational attainment, this class was easily the worst econ course I have taken. Other courses like 101 or 104 were challenging, but I felt that by the end of the quarter, I had at least learned something of relevance to economics. This course lacked even that - I can confidently say that my grasp of 102 course concepts now is no greater than my grasp of the course concepts prior to having taken the course. Little to no practice material was offered besides biweekly homework assignments, and a single practice midterm and final respectively. Additionally, exams contained questions unlike any examples given previously, leaving students to figure it out during the exam.
Lectures were directly copied from the textbook, except they were somehow made even more useless through tangential anecdotes and irrelevant backstory. No original content was developed by the professor, however the TAs did try their best to provide necessary information to somewhat comprehend the course.
Take this course with another professor if you can.
Saki's lectures are beyond useless as well as boring. Textbook does not prepare you for the difficulty of the midterm or even the homeworks. Anecdotally, I would be doing his ridiculous homework while c*ssing at him under my breath for just how dog-sh*t the assignment and the whole class were. Trust me when I tell you that should heed these other reviews -- I wish they were around before I took this class w this professor.
The open note tests may be a "saving grace," but it does not feel as so. There is no heart to this class. No knowledge was truly tested. No economic insights were gained (which I normally don't even care about). & there wasn't a deep-down good, likable person to lead the class.
You will walk out feeling unsatisfied with anything other than your ability to print out the right questions.
Worst Economics class I have taken at UCLA before (topping Haanwinckel 101). As written in other reviews, I tend to take every Bruinwalk review with a grain of salt. For Saki, I wish I had listened to previous reviews on this guy. Bigios is an intelligent dude for sure, but a horrible teacher with little concept of how well his students understand the material. The only pro to this class was his open note tests which allowed you to print every practice problem ever solved in his class and bring them to the final and midterm and hope that you can plug in answers with different numbers that you have printed out. Other than that, the class was very difficult and Bigios's TAs did all the real teaching. His lectures were pointless and he never taught us how to actually solve the problems he tested us on, just gave quick theoretical overviews. This class is doable, but not without a serious headache and serious doubt on whether you learned any useful information over the course of an entire quarter. in retrospect, I really wished I had waited and taken 102 with another professor.