Saykally, R J on Ninja Courses

Average Ratings based on 190 ratings

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
61 63 54 53 83

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Instructor Ratings

CHEM 1A (Spring 2015)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
71 50 75 50 100

Comment: Prof. Saykally restructured the class when I took it after having screwed over last spring's class. He was always super enthusiastic about teaching and was not dreadful at all. He also posted lecture slides ahead of time so that we could print it out and follow along. Assigned readings which I followed strictly at first but towards the middle to end of semester, I merely skimmed the book and was ok. What I will advise for those taking Chem 1A with Saykally is to study his lectures and the blackboard examples! He also posted previous midterms/exams prior to our actual exams and they were 80% similar to previous ones he posted. So study these too! Overall, he was not as bad as people have said about him in the past.

CHEM 1A (Spring 2015)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
100 79 100 79 100

Comment: Very enthusiastic professor who was passionate about teaching. He made the class more about mathematics and didn't really lecture much about concepts, which may have given trouble to students in the class with weaker chemistry backgrounds. The exams were straightforward and just like the practice exams, but beware of the C+ curve. Overall a good experience, but really work hard if you know you do not have a solid chemistry background.

CHEM 1A (Spring 2014)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
50 88 75 38 84

Comment: Saykally is really enthusiastic, but I hated his lecturing. The exams were fairly difficult, but still doable and his assignments were easy but helpful. However, I really didn't like his nonchalance in some respects.

CHEM 1A (Spring 2014)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
63 77 40 59 85

Comment: Saykally is enthusiastic and entertaining but not excellent at teaching. SLC study group is a must to pass his class. Exams were really difficult, but the online homework is helpful and easy points.

CHEM 1A (Spring 2014)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
78 74 44 50 88

Comment: I was told spring chem 1a would be easy. And it was. Until of course after the pnp deadline. I was about half a standard deviation above average by the end and got a B- so watch out for that. Brilliant man. His shirts are always interesting. I kinda wish I actually put more effort into this class since I like chem. But nonetheless, I enjoyed the few lectures that I actually attended. Note all other negative ratings of him were because the people are butt hurt that they didn't study hard enough and got a bad grade on the semi tough exams (which granted I didn't either, but I acknowledge that). And yes he is normally a 4a professor, but even if he weren't you shouldn't slack off in any class at Cal.

CHEM 1A (Spring 2014)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
31 63 0 23 89

CHEM 1A (Spring 2014)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
15 33 13 24 70

Comment: DO NOT take Chem 1A with Saykally, who usually teaches 4A. AVOID him if at all possible. I took this class in Spring 2014 as a freshman, having heard that Chem 1A in the spring is easier. The previous spring professor, Nietsche, used to curve so that the average grade was a around a B, and fall professors would make it around a B-. Saykally, however, decided to screw everyone over and made the average grade a C+, which even in a pre-med weeder class, was probably one of the most ridiculous things I've heard. I haven't heard of any other weeder class with an average that low. On the first midterm, the average was a 70%, not too bad. Third midterm: around a 68%, still not too bad. But the second midterm? The average was a 92/200, i.e. a 46%! And the final was really intense. Given the fact that he wanted the average to be around a 70% on all exams ideally, he did not curve the class in a fair way. He should've lowered the grade cutoffs by 100 points at least, but he only lowered them by around 70. This meant that 35% of the class got D's and F's and only 15% got A's. He didn't write or grade any of the exams (he had the head GSI do it), and every lecture consisted of a couple explosive demonstrations, enthusiastic tangents, and a couple of hurried example problems. I basically had to teach myself everything from the book, and with 3 other classes on my plate, Saykally's Chem 1A class killed me. I got a 73% on the first midterm, a 70% on the second (way above the average of 46%), and 69% on the third, so all my midterms were slightly to very above average. On the final, I got just below a 60% which, granted, was low, but I should have at least gotten a B-. Instead, I still ended up with a C+ in the class because of his terrible grading scale. In summary, Saykally was bad at teaching and awful at grading, and he made the material (which wasn't terribly difficult to understand if you put in the requisite hard work) unnecessarily difficult, as if this was 4A instead of 1A. Again, AVOID Saykally! Hope this helps anyone looking to take Chem 1A in the spring.

CHEM 1A (Spring 2014)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
64 74 50 70 97

Comment: Saykally was an decent, yet enthusiastic instructor. His demos were cool, but they sometimes took away time from him actually teaching us. The assignments and exams were manageable as long as you pay great attention to his lectures and learn from the SLC tutors. He almost always threw in some questions from his lectures into his tests even if they were only talked about for a few minutes,which annoyed me. Overall, I think he's OKAY. I think chem 1a in fall 2013 was better than in spring 2014 with Saykally, despite rumors saying how spring is easier.

CHEM 1A (Spring 2014)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
50 50 50 50 50

Comment: This class was ridiculously easy. Went to no lectures, didn't touch the textbook, and got an A+. If you are enthusiastic about learning however, take 4A, not 1A... 4A forces you to actually learn more than 1A does... On every test, he threw 1-2 curveball questions that pretty much required intelligent guessing.

CHEM 1A (Spring 2014)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
10 14 18 17 80

Comment: Yeah, he was enthusiastic about his demos, but that's it. His practice midterms had irrelevant material, his lectures weren't helpful at all. I basically taught myself from the textbook, which wasn't very effective as I got a D in the class. The GSIs didn't make the class better either. Avoid him--terrible experience.

CHEM 1A (Spring 2014)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
7 35 18 18 77

CHEM 1A (Spring 2014)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
23 85 30 50 87

Comment: Saykally is normally a Chem 4A professor for chemistry majors and it's ridiculous that he taught our class this year. He's very personable and enthusiastic, but the curve was ridiculous. Yes, I understand that Chem 1A is a weeder class, but it's ridiculous that 35% of the class failed... The average for the class was a C+ which I thought was unreasonable. It sucks to have this grade on your transcript and we shouldn't be treated as a 4A class. The first and third midterm were reasonable, but the second midterm had an average of 42%... if the average is that low, he should curve final grades more. A lot of students suffered this semester and I was really surprised when grade distributions came out. If you study enough and understand the concepts, this class is manageable, but if you don't have to take it with Saykally, don't. Spring semester is supposed to be "easier" than the fall semester, but this semester definitely wasn't.

CHEM 1A (Spring 2014)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
19 75 26 27 87

Comment: DO NOT take Chem 1A with Saykally. I repeat, DO NOT take it with Saykally. According to the data for the past 7 years, Chem 1A has given 3.3% of classes D's and F's. However, Saykally gave 35% of our class this semester D's and F's. The average grade was a C+ as compared to the B that Chem 1A normally curves to. His argument for all of this is that he simply does not believe in grade inflation. I don't want to take away from professor Saykally's enthusiasm for the class, but if you are serious about pursuing medical school or a major in the sciences, you do not want this on your transcript. Take Chem 1A with another professor.

CHEM 1B (Spring 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
11 34 6 0 100

CHEM 1B (Spring 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
70 50 65 81 91

CHEM 1B (Spring 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
43 76 26 24 84

Comment: Saykally is a nice guy but his lectures are all over the place. Homework is pretty easy but not very good practice for the tests because so much of the material is not in the book. Make sure to study every example and every random piece of information he gives in class, no matter how irrelevant or unlikely to appear on the exam it may seem! His tests were ridiculous, but it looks like there's a generous curve.

CHEM 1B (Spring 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
57 77 63 76 56

CHEM 1B (Spring 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
20 87 36 17 100

Comment: He's a nice guy, but don't let him fool you.

CHEM 1B (Spring 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
80 62 56 100 100

Comment: Chem 1B was by far the most useful course I have ever taken. Prof Saykally went the extra mile to make sure you weren't learning out of date, useless chemistry. Instead, he threw out the Chem 1B standard syllabus and taught his own thing. I learnt the basics of Quantum Mechanics, the basics of Materials Science, the basics of Organic Chemistry, and the basics of Nuclear and Chemical Kinetics. Without this foundation, I wouldn't have been able to do well in my other courses (for which Chem 1B was not a prereq interestingly enough). In fact, I took this class for kicks, because I could, which made it even better. I HIGHLY recommend this class as it is non competitive, fun, and gives you a more solid foundation than any other class I have taken. If you are thinking of taking Chem 1B, do it, and I guarantee you will thank me later.

CHEM 1B (Spring 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
74 50 50 50 100

CHEM 1B (Spring 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
80 59 72 68 100

Comment: Saykally is nice. Went to ever office hours for him. Even with that though it was difficult to predict what the test was going to cover. This was frustrating.

CHEM 1B (Spring 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
88 89 73 93 100

Comment: He was an awesome professor. He was really passionate about just about everything and he was very clear in reinforcing the topics he wanted us to know. He taught some rather difficult concepts, but he did it in a very clear and precise way.

CHEM 1B (Spring 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
75 79 54 51 74

Comment: Entertaining lecturer but doesn't really teach a whole lot. I felt like most of my learning came from reading the book, which, by the way, is how he expects the class to be. Exams can have some random things from lecture/book but it isn't quite as bad as in previous years.

CHEM 1B (Spring 2010)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
58 79 28 23 85

CHEM 1B (Spring 2010)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
63 34 59 51 72

Comment: He blows stuff up in class almost EVERY day. Tells cool stories, wears funky shirts, plays old school music. Cool guy, but the lecture slides aren't enough to study with. Read the book, and use the homework to gauge how prepared you are for the tests because some of the homework problems are really hard. Find a study group for those. You're gonna hate titrations by the end of this course, there are SO many that take a long time.

CHEM 1B (Spring 2010)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
49 52 43 62 57

Comment: His teaching style is bland but he has some cool demos in class. The exams (in hindsight) are pretty straight forward except for the final which was a complete cheap shot and tested us on things we never learned from lecture or the book (they were the same questions he gave on old finals of his when he taught the class all semester). He is helpful in office hours but even show up to some of them.

CHEM 1B (Spring 2010)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
56 50 23 50 100

Comment: very, very tricky exams. you gotta know your stuff. study the lectures and textbook. make sure you're prepared for all his random facts he posts on the lecture slides

CHEM 1B (Spring 2010)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
81 38 71 82 97

Comment: Problem sets are killer, but Saykally is an excellent lecturer who will get you excited about chemistry.

CHEM 1B (Spring 2009)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
60 59 28 50 94

Comment: Exams hard, lectures exciting and interesting.

CHEM 1B (Spring 2009)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
28 43 0 38 100

CHEM 4A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
89 88 63 70 99

CHEM 4A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
56 59 29 72 76

CHEM 4A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
50 50 50 50 50

CHEM 4A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
46 61 62 45 86

Comment: His lectures are very basic and reading the book is usually more helpful. His demos are awesome though

CHEM 4A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
36 84 40 73 99

CHEM 4A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
100 100 100 100 100

Comment: Awesome guy!

CHEM 4A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
72 55 50 55 75

CHEM 4A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
37 28 31 28 74

Comment: Really enthusiastic but an awful teacher. Spent all of lecture blowing stuff up because we already "learned it in high school". Homework was easy, but completely irrelevant to the exams. Exams were an exercise in looking up values in tables and solving quadratics, and required arbitrary assumptions.

CHEM 4A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
50 50 50 50 50

CHEM 4A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
60 41 52 50 100

CHEM 4A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
96 65 71 76 100

CHEM 4A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
67 50 20 33 100

Comment: He showed great enthusiasm for his research but he put triprotic acid questions on the final, twice, when he said he wouldn't, or simply put one. This resulted in using the quadratic formula and doing excessive/tedious work that ate away time that should've been used for the later problems. He basically sucks at designing tests......

CHEM 4A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
58 50 41 50 100

CHEM 4A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
71 50 55 65 84

CHEM 4A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
76 80 35 69 95

Comment: somewhat easier than Head-Gordon part. work hard.

CHEM 4A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
46 37 47 28 80

CHEM 4A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
60 70 59 43 72

CHEM 4A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
70 63 45 63 67

CHEM 4A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
71 50 47 42 81

Comment: Very entertaining, you'll get to watch plenty of things blow up. Just make sure you're reading the book on your own time because lectures don't cover all of the material.

CHEM 4A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
91 46 70 51 71

CHEM 4A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
70 70 66 76 100

CHEM 4A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
37 40 73 38 68

CHEM 4A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
91 60 50 66 94

CHEM 4A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
67 57 32 31 50

Comment: Have to learn everything from the textbook.

CHEM 4A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
64 74 40 37 94

CHEM 4A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
44 35 21 35 23

CHEM 4A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
80 68 62 70 79

CHEM 4A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
50 78 50 35 100

CHEM 4A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
100 100 100 100 100

Comment: Great all around. He provided a solid opportunity to learn all the course material in a comfortable manner.

CHEM 4A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
69 68 64 46 78

CHEM 4A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
62 86 42 38 81

CHEM 4A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
51 50 42 50 100

CHEM 4A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
38 78 28 37 72

CHEM 4A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
26 50 27 50 39

CHEM 4A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
54 51 39 37 71

CHEM 4A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
84 50 50 50 100

Comment: Great professor! Plenty of explosions during lecture!

CHEM 4A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
45 85 75 33 86

CHEM 4A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
55 65 60 44 76

Comment: Head Gordon was a much better teacher than he was

CHEM 4A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
50 50 20 30 100

CHEM 4A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
76 60 70 32 79

CHEM 4A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
58 62 40 64 100

CHEM 4A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
50 68 36 45 64

CHEM 4A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
75 67 68 69 50

CHEM 4A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
65 72 72 39 82

CHEM 4A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
43 72 34 50 70

CHEM 4A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
69 68 74 34 90

Comment: </3

CHEM 4A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
37 50 50 50 50

CHEM 4A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
94 76 72 79 99

CHEM 4A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
100 50 50 50 50

CHEM 4A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
58 50 76 50 90

Comment: Cowboy chemistry is pretty awesome, but I don't think Saykally is the best professor. At least the section he teaches is easier so it's not much of a problem.

CHEM 4A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
50 7 12 7 93

CHEM 4A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
49 73 80 51 95

CHEM 4A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
57 56 51 48 69

CHEM 4A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
43 30 17 40 80

CHEM 4A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
100 100 49 100 50

CHEM 4A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
45 36 57 39 76

CHEM 4A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
50 50 70 50 75

CHEM 4A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
71 50 50 50 50

CHEM 4A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
57 50 44 28 100

Comment: doesn't teach anything we're supposed to know or is related to hw/test problems...

CHEM 4A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
27 40 28 32 74

Comment: Not very helpful and the final was incredibly difficult.

CHEM 4A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
40 74 5 12 60

Comment: Tests are a fail...don't learn that much in class and the exams are freakishly hard. Upside? the curve is pretty generous. Assignments are easy. Labs are time consuming...but lectures have nothing whatsoever to do with labs.

CHEM 4A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
32 70 32 0 50

Comment: teaches completely irrelevant things and barely teaches what you actually need to know

CHEM 4A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
85 79 81 88 85

CHEM 4A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
50 63 74 40 100

CHEM 4A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
75 70 50 50 61

CHEM 4A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
50 50 50 50 100

Comment: Cowboy Chemistry! But once that honeymoon period's over, people seem to get real unhappy. I didn't find him so terrible, but maybe everybody got spoiled from the explosions in the beginning of class. Once we hit equilibrium, there was no hope.

CHEM 4A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
50 100 100 100 100

CHEM 4A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
39 39 72 34 69

CHEM 4A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
72 86 50 75 64

CHEM 4A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
59 75 49 65 100

Comment: Exams were more focused on mathematical manipulation of eqilibrium systems than real chemistry, which is a shame, because the material of the course overall was actually really interesting.

CHEM 4A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
83 93 50 83 100

CHEM 4A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
62 65 79 37 97

CHEM 4A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
100 100 100 100 100

Comment: Read the book for midterm 3/final knowledge. Go to lecture for explosions.

CHEM 4A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
89 100 86 82 100

Comment: Very interested in the material and fairly clear lecturer. He definitely loves explosions, which is always nice.

CHEM 4A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
93 79 77 62 100

CHEM 4A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
63 100 77 38 78

Comment: Easy teacher, but less information packed lecture. He likes to blow up stuff

CHEM 4A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
68 65 73 64 89

CHEM 4A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
50 62 50 50 100

Comment: Cowboy chemistry is amazing. Everything else, not so much.

CHEM 4A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
75 50 76 70 100

Comment: Saykally was pretty awesome as a lecturer. He just really likes to make lots of explosions during class that has almost nothing to do with the material. Very enthusiastic and one lecture he just talked about his research all lecture long. Exams were fair and he gave lots of partial credit.

CHEM 4A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
78 74 73 50 76

Comment: Saykally is pretty cool. He loves blowing things up. His exams are really easy and straightforward. The format can pretty much be generalized by looking at the past year's exams. Should be the breezy half of the year.

CHEM 4A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
90 71 72 72 100

Comment: Really enjoyed Saykally, possibly even more than Head Gordon. His lectures themselves are not that helpful, and often end up with him doing all the gory details of a single (albeit complex) problem. He was able to motivate me to read before lecture, which is an important skill. His enthusiasm and general teaching presence restored my faith in the College of Chemistry, and for that I thank him.

CHEM 4A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
58 55 62 24 67

CHEM 4A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
71 75 73 50 100

Comment: He's very enthusiastic. He likes explosions although sometimes he does them not because of what we're learning but just for fun. However, he is not as helpful during lecture as Professor Head-Gordon; you have to read the book to actually do well in his exams.

CHEM 4A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
50 41 60 69 86

Comment: While Saykally a little more entertaining than Head-Gordon, his teaching wasn't as helpful, as least for understanding the material, though he says that it's because he wants to provide a greater understanding of the practical usage of the material. Definitely read the book before coming to lecture since Saykally's lecture notes aren't as thorough as Head-Gordon's, though in my opinion Saykally was a little more open to questions after class. You might also want to find your own practice problems in the book since the ones he gives are easier compared to Head-Gordon's.

CHEM 4A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
6 42 6 20 99

Comment: He is incredibly enthusiastic about the class, but obnoxious. The general premise of his class is to read carefully before you attend lecture. He teaches no theory in class whatsoever - he simply skips through slides on his powerpoints, telling you to read them when you get home, and blows something up in class everyday while doing random, poorly-explained calculations on the board. Didn't learn a single thing from him when we had him second half of the semester. He also told us that the final exam would be "extremely similar" to the Fall 2010 Final Exam, which wasn't so bad at all. Our exam in Fall 2011 turned out to be a complete and total disaster for everyone. Chem 4A kids, you don't have a choice in selecting a professor for Chem 4A. Best advice? Read ahead of time, ask lots of questions to your GSIs in office hours, and just stay self motivated and on top of everything. Don't depend on Saykally to further your knowledge of Chem 4A material.

CHEM 4A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
77 83 79 45 100

Comment: Not really a helpful lecture, but what he lacks in teaching ability he makes up for in enthusiasm. He clearly loves his job and it shows. Honestly, the concepts he teaches aren't that difficult (unlike the units Head-Gordon teaches) so it's not unreasonable to expect us to teach ourselves from the book while he spends lecture blowing things up. I personally really enjoyed his lectures and have seen enough explosions to last a lifetime!

CHEM 4A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
67 75 68 37 100

Comment: Not very helpful, especially for the Wet Chemistry unit. I personally liked him more than Head-Gordon though.

CHEM 4A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
83 63 58 63 94

Comment: He has good taste in music (though it's more because we collectively have horrible taste). He's pretty okay at lecturing, but his tests are semi-difficult. I didn't know how to write solubility as a function of pH or do a triprotic acid problem on the final at all.

CHEM 4A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
42 44 21 44 57

Comment: Compared with Head-Gordon, Saykally is an okay teacher. He makes you apply your knowledge and expects you to know everything/read everything beforehand. I liked that he applied the material, but he does not explain hard concepts or anything. His powerpoints aren't that helpful either. Definitely read the textbook from front to back. His problems are a lot harder than the textbook problems, but the ideas from the book help.

CHEM 4A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
70 79 37 67 75

CHEM 4A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
27 50 70 27 50

Comment: I will appreciate it if he could have less cliche in the lecture but talk about knowledge that is important and good for us.

CHEM 4A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
50 76 77 30 88

Comment: He was talking about his research a lot....likes explosions even though they are not relevent...

CHEM 4A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
24 77 75 27 79

CHEM 4A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
80 70 43 67 70

CHEM 4A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
48 78 70 33 77

CHEM 4A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
98 98 92 96 100

CHEM 4A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
69 84 83 39 100

CHEM 4A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
64 74 59 46 92

Comment: Saykally is always excited to teach you, and his problem sets are usually much shorter and much easier than HG's. However, his lectures are not nearly as informative. He relies highly upon the textbook and expects you to read beforehand - he likes to focus on more complex situations than are in the book. As a result, the homework problems do not reflect the complexity of the examples he describes in class. Exams are easier than for HG, if you take the time to memorize necessary formulas (in contrast to HG, who gives you all the equations you will need).

CHEM 4A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
43 50 50 39 67

CHEM 4A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
68 54 82 59 85

Comment: Saykally is really enthusiastic about chemistry and the "cowboy chemistry" he does in class is pretty exciting. That said, he doesn't teach everything you need to know very carefully in clearly. It is strongly advised that you read the book and learn from the book and treat the professor's lecture as a supplement.

CHEM 4A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
84 73 64 62 89

CHEM 4A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
59 76 50 50 86

CHEM 4A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
68 70 44 63 60

Comment: He really likes water

CHEM 4A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
95 79 60 100 100

Comment: Amazing instructor. He will make you love chemistry. Although do the homework though because he likes to show you the experiments instead of doing the math behind them. His test is fair if you understand your homework

CHEM 4A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
62 70 55 43 71

CHEM 4A (Fall 2010)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
86 50 44 86 100

CHEM 4A (Fall 2010)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
80 58 83 71 100

Comment: He taught the second part of the semester when we had to learn about thermodynamics. He actually made things very clear and interesting. Also, his test was the easiest, and it was graded very nicely. I still miss him...

CHEM 4A (Fall 2010)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
71 72 68 50 88

Comment: Explosions! He loves to blow stuff up. He's okay at explaining things, not the best. Study your practice exams well; he likes to borrow questions straight from them and just change the numbers around.

CHEM 4A (Fall 2010)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
80 72 67 73 100

CHEM 4A (Fall 2010)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
31 0 0 50 33

CHEM 4A (Fall 2010)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
82 83 77 39 87

CHEM 4A (Fall 2010)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
50 50 50 50 50

CHEM 4A (Fall 2010)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
73 72 38 70 91

Comment: Has a lot of fun in lecture, mostly doing cowboy chemistry (aka blowing things up). On exams he required a lot of memorization of thermodynamics equations which was harder than actually using them.

CHEM 4A (Fall 2010)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
76 69 37 50 100

Comment: crazy enthusiastic, a little disorganized. need to focus to keep up with the lectures. exams were a litle hard, mostly repeated from the year before or in the same format.

CHEM 4A (Fall 2010)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
77 100 100 78 100

CHEM 4A (Fall 2010)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
40 39 83 58 97

Comment: He loves to talk about himself but he's cool.

CHEM 4A (Fall 2010)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
45 100 44 37 100

Comment: Sometimes just being enthusiastic and not really teaching doesn't cut it

CHEM 4A (Fall 2010)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
45 66 58 41 61

Comment: Was far more interested in having fun during lecture rather than teaching effectively. So, while entertaining, lectures weren't very helpful for getting info needed for tests.

CHEM 4A (Fall 2010)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
76 78 71 80 100

Comment: If you can do the homework and labs you can do his test questions. His tests tend to be long but they aren't usually very difficult. He's extremely enthusiastic and loves the chemistry he teaches, he's an awesome guy but sometimes doesn't make the most sense. Go to his office hours and ask a lot of questions and you'll love his classes because you'll learn and you'll have fun.

CHEM 4A (Fall 2010)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
61 50 84 51 69

Comment: Cool dude pretty much sums Saykally up. I feel he would be better if he used the chalkboard more often; he's quite effective when he does so, but does it rarely.

CHEM 4A (Fall 2010)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
75 50 63 71 99

Comment: Beware: Flashy and explosive demonstrations every lecture. Often goes on random tangents. Great entertainer. Explains the material decently.

CHEM 4A (Fall 2010)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
76 61 71 56 100

Comment: His lectures are definitely amusing. They're not really that informative, but he focuses on a few details which are useful that will be permanently ingrained in your brain. His exams are pretty predictable, most of the questions were similar to the year before. His class is amusing, and doable, if not horrible informative.

CHEM 4A (Fall 2010)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
75 68 38 60 81

Comment: Good professor who does interesting demonstrations. Exams can be tedious and require a lot of annoying table calculations.

CHEM 4A (Fall 2010)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
63 70 40 38 100

Comment: Makes a lot of explosions. INteresting person, though

CHEM 4A (Fall 2010)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
72 54 50 72 85

Comment: Homework problems are always even-numbered, so you can't check your answers when doing homework. His exams will include obscure concepts from the reading that are worth a good portion of the exam/midterm scores, so I would recommend a thorough reading of the chapters each week before starting on the homework. Although his exams and homework assignments aren't slices of cake, his funny lectures (which are all done on powerpoint and require no note-taking at all) might somewhat make up for it.

CHEM 4A (Fall 2010)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
46 34 35 44 73

Comment: He likes to do a lot of demos in class....which usually don't pertain to the material you're learning. Read the book during the thermo section--KNOW the formulas backwards and forwards and how to derive them. Study past exams A LOT. Also, his notes are rather disorganized and all over the place (atrocious handwriting, if you ask me).

CHEM 4A (Fall 2010)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
83 85 82 76 100

Comment: Saykally's class is fun. He likes to do "cowboy chemistry" which is mainly his blowing stuff up. Interesting to look at. His lectures from powerpoints mostly. His lectures did not seem to supplement the materials in the textbook much. However I did not like powerpoint lectures, so consequently did not pay complete attention to the lectures. This might be why I don't think he is an amazing professor. His exams are fair and is someone who I would recommend as a professor.

CHEM 4A (Fall 2010)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
72 62 62 57 93

CHEM 4A (Fall 2010)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
92 80 62 67 74

Comment: His lectures were a lot more disorganized, but his assignments were very similar to Head-Gordon's, albeit different material. His exams were very fair and made it quite obvious what was going to be on the exams. They were basically hw questions!

CHEM 4A (Fall 2010)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
41 32 23 25 62

Comment: Made thermo and equilibrium much more confusing than it should have been. kept saying to "refer to the book" instead of doing his job and teaching some concepts. readings were a required part of the class, but was pretty vague during lectures and did not even use his own powerpoint slides. assigned even problems to make you think more for problem sets. exams were difficult, but fair.

CHEM 4A (Fall 2010)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
69 74 80 41 100

Comment: Entertaining professor, but didn't teach much of the thermodynamics section! Has a cool explosion or wet chem demo every lecture--had 5 in one hour once. He has somewhat disorganized (and hard to read) powerpoint slides, but they get the material across. He does a good job of connecting the material to real-life issues such as global warming and acid rain. Exams are straight-forward, though difficult because of the time crunch (he aims for an average of 65%). The questions are modeled after HW problems, so study with those.

CHEM 4A (Fall 2010)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
69 67 78 50 100

Comment: He's a very entertaining lecturer, but you don't really ever feel like you're learning anything. His assignments are all even numbered problems so it's hard to be sure if you did your homework right until you get the answer key, but his test problems are basically other problems (not on the homework) that are pulled straight from the textbook with a few different numbers. The hardest part of his tests is time management.

CHEM 4A (Fall 2010)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
72 62 55 54 100

CHEM 4A (Fall 2010)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
69 71 80 57 94

Comment: Very entertaining professor, but overall not very helpful. Though his midterms were pretty easy.

CHEM 4A (Fall 2010)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
72 75 67 70 100

Comment: Not the best lecturer but enjoyable to have. After having Head-Gordon for the first half Saykally's lectures seem somewhat superficial

CHEM 4A (Fall 2010)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
87 70 36 67 100

Comment: Very enthusiastic and energetic teacher but doesn't fully cover the concepts behind the material during lecture.

CHEM 4A (Fall 2010)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
50 50 50 50 50

CHEM 4A (Fall 2010)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
40 58 50 38 100

CHEM 4A (Fall 2010)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
66 66 79 68 81

CHEM 4A (Fall 2010)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
93 56 52 61 100

CHEM 4A (Fall 2010)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
81 50 50 77 100

Comment: Very fun and exciting professor. He will do explosive demos even if they don't pertain to the lecture. Reasonable and fair exams and average assignments. He's pretty helpful in Office Hours.

CHEM 4A (Fall 2010)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
63 69 50 66 90

CHEM 4A (Fall 2009)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
89 84 74 100 100

CHEM 4A (Fall 2009)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
50 50 50 50 50

CHEM 4A (Fall 2009)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
54 61 55 55 70

CHEM 4A (Fall 2009)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
50 50 50 50 100

Comment: Very excited about chemistry; seems like he's too smart to know the difference between challenging and impossible.

CHEM 4A (Fall 2009)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
68 66 71 57 94

Comment: He likes to blow things up frequently, and his cowboy chemistry is exciting. But other than that, I didn't really learn anything in that week he taught chem 4a.

CHEM 4A (Fall 2008)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
26 50 26 50 75

CHEM 4A (Fall 2008)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
66 50 15 33 90

Comment: Saykally's a pretty good professor. He's very very enthusiastic about his demos and the material he's teaching but my lecture notes from his part of the course suck. Get used to jumping from blackboard to projector and back every ten minutes. Not super organized in terms of lectures, and expect to read the book A LOT to fully understand what he teaches. His exams were not nice.

CHEM 4A (Fall 2008)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
63 61 68 66 79

CHEM 4A (Fall 2008)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
21 100 17 18 100

Comment: class aced his midterm, so he made his final excruciating; people were literally crying afterwards (the class wasn't curved, so he might have been compensating for everyone getting an 'A' on his midterm). great lecturer and very enthusiastic.

CHEM 4A (Fall 2008)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
39 45 34 30 40

Comment: Saykally just liked to blow things up in lecture, which isn't all that helpful for teaching equilibria and acid-base chemistry.

CHEM 4A (Fall 2008)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
33 50 24 50 50

Comment: Final was extremely hard. Average was like a 50% and nobody really could finish it. He was really boring, assignments seemed dull he wasn't very helpful. He knew his stuff though and I think general chemistry wasn't the greatest of what and how he could teach.

CHEM 4A (Fall 2007)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
39 82 77 32 76

CHEM 4A (Fall 2007)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
86 77 73 77 90

CHEM 4A (Fall 2007)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
29 64 1 84 97

Comment: exams were maddeningly hard. homework was OK

CHEM 4A (Fall 2007)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
94 66 71 87 100

Comment: he blows something up every day and is a good teacher to boot

CHEM 4A (Fall 2007)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
90 72 85 79 100

Comment: Homework is nice and short, but not so helpful. The text we used (Oxtoby) was sort of dense, but went well with the lecture material. Lectures were a bit brisk and superficial, but still understandable.

CHEM 98 (Spring 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
70 100 100 100 49

Comment: This class is CUIR decal. It is not very hard and somewhat useful. It is not taught by Saykally but by UCS

CHEM 98 (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
86 87 86 100 85

Comment: This class is a DeCal and wasn't taught by the professors listed, they were just the ones supervising it. However, the DeCal (CUIR) was helpful and interesting. It was not difficult.