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## Michael Willis

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**Overall Ratings**

Based on 83 Users

*/ 5*How easy the class is,

**1**being extremely difficult and

**5**being easy peasy.

*/ 5*How light the workload is,

**1**being extremely heavy and

**5**being extremely light.

*/ 5*How clear the professor is,

**1**being extremely unclear and

**5**being very clear.

*/ 5*How helpful the professor is,

**1**being not helpful at all and

**5**being extremely helpful.

Man. I'm writing this some time after the class and the C still hurts today.

Willis is bar-none the best lecturer for math at UCLA. He explains things organically--it's like having a good friend of yours teach you a subject. He's very chill, but puts effort into his teaching. He chooses his words carefully to avoid the least confusion possible. He uses casual speech, writes clearly, etc. This sounds mean, but he's the only professor I've had for math that is a native English speaker... moreover, he's not some old dude that puts professionalism first. Willis cares about one thing: teach in a way that makes sense. And it works. You'll notice that the shittier professors try to seem very formal, cold, by-the-book, etc. The best ones throw caution to the wind and just *teach.* Willis is the latter--attend lectures and focus more on listening and watching than taking notes. If you NEED to take notes, I honestly say use the book for that.

I truly felt like I had learned differential equations fairly well in the class... so why a C? Simple answer is, I missed one problem on one midterm. The biggest criticism I have is that the tests are too easy! So easy, in fact, that missing a single problem on a test will literally get you a C in the class. I scored a bit above average on the final and exactly average on the 1st midterm. The 2nd midterm, however, had 4 problems. I did OK on the other 3 (again, did average), but one problem I made a stupid assumption... which got me a 0/10 where everyone else got 10/10 on that problem. I made a "duh" mistake, kinda misread the problem statement. On a test where the average is >90%, that immediately earned me a C on the test. Throw in a couple of -1 or -2 points on the other problems... that one problem got me a D on that test. So the easy tests are a double-edged sword... would you rather your final be 3 multiple choice questions or a holistic, long-form exam composed for 4 or 5 long questions? Miss one MC problem and you get a D.

In the end, it was my own fault which is why I still recommend Willis. Just look out for his easy tests and know that the averages will be very high.

This was the best math class (and definitely one of the best classes overall) I've ever taken. Professor Willis is extremely focused on delivering his lectures in a way that is engaging and comprehensible to students. He disregards notions of how math "should" be taught and instead opts for an intuitive way to explain tough concepts. I wish I could take all of my math classes with Willis.

Willis was an amazing professor this quarter. Taught concepts that seemed tough like they were cake, consistently responded to questions in the chat, and went through examples for every difficult idea. Office hours were spent going through homework problems and he held a review session for finals. He also gave practice mid-terms and a practice final all of which were pretty similar to the real thing, so if you're good with those, you'll probably do well for the real thing. We had to shell out 90 ish dollars for the homework website Sapling which came with a digital copy of the textbook which was annoying but the homework problems are really helpful and so is the textbook. Regardless, I absolutely recommend him for any class.

Prof. Willis is a fantastic lecturer; he's really responsive during lectures and actually pays attention to the questions asked in the chat (he'll actually answer all of them and make sure you understand by demonstrating with examples). His pacing during lectures is pretty much perfect, and the concepts were explained super clearly. He's also pretty funny and will interact with the students in the chat. Workload for this class is decent, there's a few written homework problems paired with online Sapling homework due every week. If there were any homework problems students were stuck on, Prof. Willis and the TAs would be super helpful during their office hours. The midterms and final were open-note, 24-hour window assignment-like exams submitted through Gradescope. The lectures were recorded, and attendance wasn't required for either the lectures or discussions. (Michael Johnson was also a pretty awesome TA; he was super helpful.)

I personally never believed I'd take any math class past Algebra 2 in high school, so to say that I managed to take a calculus class and actually enjoy it a bit is saying a lot. Willis is a very caring professor who's attentive to student needs and extended deadlines for multiple assignments when realizing that students were having difficulty with some of the questions. I emailed him once about an error that I made in an assignment and he emailed me back in TWO MINUTES, I was shocked. The mistake that I had made could've landed me with a 0 on the assignment, but Willis was understanding and the issue went away entirely.

Overall, Willis's explanations are pretty clear and he always referenced the textbook and told us where to find more practice problems in case we felt that we needed to see more examples. The way Willis taught the material correlated very strongly with the textbook, and as a result the weekly homework usually made sense. (He typically screen-shares notes from his iPad)

Before the final, Willis held a review session and encouraged students to ask questions, making it obvious that he has our best interest in mind. Even though I personally didn't go to the review session, I'm glad that he gave students the opportunity to drop on by if they needed to. Willis and his TAs also grade assignments more quickly than the average professor, we received our official grades less than a week after taking finals.

Willis also has a tendency for hilarious dry humor and at least in my lecture a lot of students began to have fun with comparing his drawings of rotations to household items. Despite my personal difficulties with math in general, Willis made the class endurable and I really wish that he was teaching Calculus 31B for next semester as well. Definitely recommend Willis for anyone's first time encountering Calculus.

In high school, the highest level of math I ever took was Algebra 2. I took the Math Diagnostic Exam and was placed in Math 31A, otherwise known as Differential Calculus. Willis was a great professor, to say the least. As a first-year, I knew my first quarter was going to be extremely difficult as I had to get accustomed to new study methods and deadlines. Exams are difficult at first, but once you learn the mathematical concept well enough, you'll be fine. Homework was decent/challenging at times. At times I wouldn't read the textbook on Sapling which will lead me to confusion during the exams. With that said, my grade in this class was fair and I would recommend this class with professor Willis.

PS: To get an A in this class, you need to devote at least some time to read over the textbook if this is your first time taking Calculus.

32B is probably the hardest class I've taken at UCLA so far, but Willis makes it as easy as can be. His lectures are engaging and easy to follow, and his explanations are amazing. The midterms are pretty similar in difficulty and kind to the homework. Plus, we had Bruincast. Take him if you can!

One of the best professors I will probably ever have. Willis is super articulate and is a very visual teacher (something that's important for this class). He's also super funny and interesting in office hours. I'm so glad I had him as a math teacher, would 100% recommend to anyone.

Man. I'm writing this some time after the class and the C still hurts today.

Willis is bar-none the best lecturer for math at UCLA. He explains things organically--it's like having a good friend of yours teach you a subject. He's very chill, but puts effort into his teaching. He chooses his words carefully to avoid the least confusion possible. He uses casual speech, writes clearly, etc. This sounds mean, but he's the only professor I've had for math that is a native English speaker... moreover, he's not some old dude that puts professionalism first. Willis cares about one thing: teach in a way that makes sense. And it works. You'll notice that the shittier professors try to seem very formal, cold, by-the-book, etc. The best ones throw caution to the wind and just *teach.* Willis is the latter--attend lectures and focus more on listening and watching than taking notes. If you NEED to take notes, I honestly say use the book for that.

I truly felt like I had learned differential equations fairly well in the class... so why a C? Simple answer is, I missed one problem on one midterm. The biggest criticism I have is that the tests are too easy! So easy, in fact, that missing a single problem on a test will literally get you a C in the class. I scored a bit above average on the final and exactly average on the 1st midterm. The 2nd midterm, however, had 4 problems. I did OK on the other 3 (again, did average), but one problem I made a stupid assumption... which got me a 0/10 where everyone else got 10/10 on that problem. I made a "duh" mistake, kinda misread the problem statement. On a test where the average is >90%, that immediately earned me a C on the test. Throw in a couple of -1 or -2 points on the other problems... that one problem got me a D on that test. So the easy tests are a double-edged sword... would you rather your final be 3 multiple choice questions or a holistic, long-form exam composed for 4 or 5 long questions? Miss one MC problem and you get a D.

In the end, it was my own fault which is why I still recommend Willis. Just look out for his easy tests and know that the averages will be very high.

This was the best math class (and definitely one of the best classes overall) I've ever taken. Professor Willis is extremely focused on delivering his lectures in a way that is engaging and comprehensible to students. He disregards notions of how math "should" be taught and instead opts for an intuitive way to explain tough concepts. I wish I could take all of my math classes with Willis.

Willis was an amazing professor this quarter. Taught concepts that seemed tough like they were cake, consistently responded to questions in the chat, and went through examples for every difficult idea. Office hours were spent going through homework problems and he held a review session for finals. He also gave practice mid-terms and a practice final all of which were pretty similar to the real thing, so if you're good with those, you'll probably do well for the real thing. We had to shell out 90 ish dollars for the homework website Sapling which came with a digital copy of the textbook which was annoying but the homework problems are really helpful and so is the textbook. Regardless, I absolutely recommend him for any class.

Prof. Willis is a fantastic lecturer; he's really responsive during lectures and actually pays attention to the questions asked in the chat (he'll actually answer all of them and make sure you understand by demonstrating with examples). His pacing during lectures is pretty much perfect, and the concepts were explained super clearly. He's also pretty funny and will interact with the students in the chat. Workload for this class is decent, there's a few written homework problems paired with online Sapling homework due every week. If there were any homework problems students were stuck on, Prof. Willis and the TAs would be super helpful during their office hours. The midterms and final were open-note, 24-hour window assignment-like exams submitted through Gradescope. The lectures were recorded, and attendance wasn't required for either the lectures or discussions. (Michael Johnson was also a pretty awesome TA; he was super helpful.)

I personally never believed I'd take any math class past Algebra 2 in high school, so to say that I managed to take a calculus class and actually enjoy it a bit is saying a lot. Willis is a very caring professor who's attentive to student needs and extended deadlines for multiple assignments when realizing that students were having difficulty with some of the questions. I emailed him once about an error that I made in an assignment and he emailed me back in TWO MINUTES, I was shocked. The mistake that I had made could've landed me with a 0 on the assignment, but Willis was understanding and the issue went away entirely.

Overall, Willis's explanations are pretty clear and he always referenced the textbook and told us where to find more practice problems in case we felt that we needed to see more examples. The way Willis taught the material correlated very strongly with the textbook, and as a result the weekly homework usually made sense. (He typically screen-shares notes from his iPad)

Before the final, Willis held a review session and encouraged students to ask questions, making it obvious that he has our best interest in mind. Even though I personally didn't go to the review session, I'm glad that he gave students the opportunity to drop on by if they needed to. Willis and his TAs also grade assignments more quickly than the average professor, we received our official grades less than a week after taking finals.

Willis also has a tendency for hilarious dry humor and at least in my lecture a lot of students began to have fun with comparing his drawings of rotations to household items. Despite my personal difficulties with math in general, Willis made the class endurable and I really wish that he was teaching Calculus 31B for next semester as well. Definitely recommend Willis for anyone's first time encountering Calculus.

In high school, the highest level of math I ever took was Algebra 2. I took the Math Diagnostic Exam and was placed in Math 31A, otherwise known as Differential Calculus. Willis was a great professor, to say the least. As a first-year, I knew my first quarter was going to be extremely difficult as I had to get accustomed to new study methods and deadlines. Exams are difficult at first, but once you learn the mathematical concept well enough, you'll be fine. Homework was decent/challenging at times. At times I wouldn't read the textbook on Sapling which will lead me to confusion during the exams. With that said, my grade in this class was fair and I would recommend this class with professor Willis.

PS: To get an A in this class, you need to devote at least some time to read over the textbook if this is your first time taking Calculus.

32B is probably the hardest class I've taken at UCLA so far, but Willis makes it as easy as can be. His lectures are engaging and easy to follow, and his explanations are amazing. The midterms are pretty similar in difficulty and kind to the homework. Plus, we had Bruincast. Take him if you can!

One of the best professors I will probably ever have. Willis is super articulate and is a very visual teacher (something that's important for this class). He's also super funny and interesting in office hours. I'm so glad I had him as a math teacher, would 100% recommend to anyone.