CHEM 14A lec 2
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CHEM 14A lec 2 Advice

  • Average Rating

    2.5/5
    Overall Rating Breakdown
    • 2 Advice
    • 5
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    • 2
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  • Course Difficulty

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    Background Knowledge Expected

    Go to Office Hours

    Great Intro to the Subject

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    • Profile picture
    Jul 21, 2016
    | No strong feelings either way.

    This class was tough.

    Course Overview:

    It's not really a class to "recommend" per se; it's a prerequisite class for the majority of the life science majors, so chances are you'll have to take whether you want to or not. That being said, if you're not comfortable with self-studying and you expect your professor to help you as much as possible, I wouldn't recommend this class. Scerri is clearly well-versed in his area of study, but his teaching skills are lackluster at best. Be prepared for rambling lectures and exams that cover information not included in said lectures.

    Course highlights:

    His explanations of molecular theory and the patterns of the atomic table were very interesting, I'll give him that. He uses metaphors and visual models very well in explaining these particularly abstract and frankly difficult concepts.

    Hours per week:

    6-8 hours

    Advice for students:

    Read the textbook at least a little bit everyday; a lot of questions on his exams are about information directly from the textbook and can't be found in his lectures and powerslides alone. Get together with other students to study so you can really understand all the conceptual information as well; I found that different people's perspectives were often extremely helpful at getting me to understand things by looking at them in a new light. Go to office hours as well; though it will almost never be one-on-one, Scerri tends to go a lot more in-depth during these sessions.

    • Spring 2015
    • ERICSCERRI
    • Yes
    • Background Knowledge Expected Great Intro to the Subject Go to Office Hours
    • Profile picture
    Dec 18, 2015
    | Probably wouldn’t recommend.

    This class was tough.

    Course Overview:

    There are both pros and cons to this class. Scerri is very focused on the history and concepts behind chemistry instead of the mathematics, so students will need to do a lot of additional math practice in order to do well on the combined Scerri-Lavelle midterm and final. However, students that grasp concepts well will have an easier time in this class. Scerri’s lectures are organized and all the material on the final is in the course reader. One major criticism is that the Thinkwell quizzes Scerri assigns require knowledge of topics not covered in the course. There are relatively few things assigned and participation to both lectures and discussions are voluntary, so students will need to be self-disciplined and self-motivated in order to do well.

    Course highlights:

    We discussed the history behind the development of the periodic table, atomic model, and quantum theory. We learned about properties of particles and waves and were given an intro to quantum mechanics; these topics were then used to explain certain occurrences and properties of elements such as molecular orbital theory, photoelectric effect, and wave particle duality. We learned about multiple ways to represent molecules, from Lewis dot diagrams to molecular orbitals and VSPER shapes. We also learned about acids and bases—definitions, conditions that contribute to the strength of acids and bases, buffers, and how to calculate pH. We learned about equilibrium reactions and applied this knowledge to the concept of acids and bases to calculate the pH of solutions. The highlights of the course were the demonstrations, such as the demonstration of the wave interference using a human hair.

    Hours per week:

    3-5 hours

    Advice for students:

    This class is Bruincasted, but the Bruincasts should be treated as an additional resource instead of an alternative to attending lecture. Relying on Bruincasts creates a habit of laziness and it is extremely easy to fall behind. Stay caught up on all of the material to avoid cramming before midterms and finals. Scerri is sometimes vague, but he still expects you to apply concepts in novel ways so make sure you have a solid understanding of all concepts and ask questions if you don’t. Sometimes he glosses over concepts, but they are heavily featured on tests (i.e. acid/base calculations and titrations) so make sure to study everything even if it’s just briefly mentioned in lecture. Most importantly, don’t try to pass this class by yourself. Make full use of your peers, TAs, Scerri, and all of the academic resources offered at UCLA.

    • Fall 2015
    • ERICSCERRI
    • Yes
    • Background Knowledge Expected


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