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The TA's were pretty helpful despite being confused, so I really appreciated that even though the professor often dismissed our concerns about the hw or the rests. I found it funny that the TA's didn't even know how to help us with the hw for this class since the wording was ambiguous and confusing sometimes. I hated hw 2 (excel and solow model) because there were no clear instructions, was time consuming, and had long parts that didn't make any sense, although you didn't need more than a basic understanding of excel for that. i also disliked how some of the TAs told us that they couldn't "tell us the answers," when we asked for help on the hw in the beginning of the quarter so they just gave us confusing hints. It was very hard to try to master the material on our own, since a lot of the hw was incredibly time consuming. I thought the professor should've given more reign for all the TA's to be able to teach us the concepts more when we ask for help on hw questions. I felt like I was going to fail the class the entire time, but luckily grades are curved.
Tests: Midterm was straightforward even though it was hard (but not as hard as final), as long as you did the hw and paid some attention in class. The final was super difficult and I had no idea how to do most of it. I still think that if you try your best, you can (at least) pass this class.
Some positives: I liked the discussions that the professor posted on Canvas (10% of our grade is participation) since it was relevant to both the class and what was happening to our economy today. He clearly is a guy who is very passionate about macro. His lectures would've been way more interesting if only there were less confusing math on the slides that he rushed through. I also liked that we were able to use notes on the test (paper materials only).
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.
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.
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.
This class is not the best, but not the worst. Especially, given that he gave a fat curve for the exams. Firstly, his lectures are hard to follow. He reads off his slides and skips the majority if not all the formulas which become very confusing (if you do not read the textbook). The first part of the course right before midterm exams was challenging. It was hard to follow and confusing. However, following the syllabus and attempting to grasp a bigger picture of what story he was trying to get across it helped somewhat. Do attend discussions, even if it makes you feel even more horrible about the class in the end it will pay off and be worth it. I took advantage of having access to all TAs files and materials, navigating through and deciding which one cliques with my studying method. He provides practice midterms DO solve them as many times as you can cause his real exams are fair. I personally did not enjoy this class it was a lot of pressure, worries, and nights of studying a lot with tears lmao which was worth it in the end. Best of luck.