William Wulf
School:University of Virginia
Department: Science
Location:Charlottesville, VA
Overall Rating
rated by 20 students
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Wow, I went through an entire year with this professor and I feel like I did not learn a single thing about organic chemistry, which is horrible, because I am a chemistry major. I have gotten a 4.0 in every other chemistry class I have taken at MSU, even the organic chemistry LAB class.
This class was the worst I've taken at this school. There is no strict grading scale. He bases it off the grades as the course goes along, so you cannot see where you stand at any given time throughout the semester.
I got a 2.0 the first semester (351) and a 1.5 the second semester (352). I have never studied or tried harder in a course and done so badly. The book is easy enough to understand, the practice problems given in recitation increase in difficulty, the quizzes are slightly fair, but the exams are ridiculous.
The only reason I gave this a 0.5 and not a 0.0 is because it's obvious the professor is intelligent and he is interested in his subject. The problem for me (and based on the average, many others) was that he lectured like we are students who already had some kind of foundation in organic chemistry instead of beginners.
The only thing I got out of this course was the book, and I'm keeping that for reference. But otherwise, these past two semesters were a waste of my time and my money. I still feel like organic chemistry is as foreign a subject to me as it was when I started.
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I think people are a little bit too hard on him. I will agree that his lectures suck and aren't really worth going to. All he does in lecture is say the same stuff that's in the book; the only difference is that he doesn't say it as well as the book. A lot of people are expecting that if you go to class and take notes you'll do well, but you really need to read the book and do practice problems to truly understand what's going on. He makes it entirely clear that that's what's expected at the beginning of the semester, a lot of people just don't follow his advice. The TAs for recitation are really good and you learn a lot from them. You don't need to know EVERYTHING to get a 4.0 in 351 and 352 with Wulff, as long as you have a strong general idea you should do well enough on the exams to 4.0 with the massive curve.
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He teaches the way I think, so I never had to look at the book and still got a 4.0. I realize not everyone thinks the way I do, so I could have been very difficult. I really liked him, but if you don't want to actually learn the mechanisms behind the reactions then you shouldn't take this class because he focuses on that more and makes you figure out how to use them.
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by far the worst professor I've ever had.
All of his examples come from the book, but the book explains them better. Most of the people who do well in this class never even come to his lectures, which can be frustrating if you're like me, and never skip class. Also, he has a very monotone voice, which makes him hard to listen to, and he draws his examples to fast, so you won't have time to make neat, understandable notes.
The book offers very few practice problems (about 10 per chapter) and there is never enough time to go over any of the book problems, or even 75% of the problem sets in recitation. HOWEVER, MAKE SURE YOU GO TO RECITATION, THERE ARE POP-QUIZZES, AND YOU WILL LEARN MORE IN RECITATION THAN YOU EVER WILL IN LECTURE. ALSO, MAKE SURE YOU BUY THE ANSWER KEY FOR THE BOOK.
Taking this class was one of the worst decisions I've ever made. Don't make the same mistake as me--if you have too, wait another year and take it with a different prof.
If you do take this class, you'd better be absolutely sure that you want to be a chem. or biochem major.
Be ready to take some very hard exams--the average for the CEM 351 exam was something like a 30%
I’m generally a very good student; Before this class, I had a straight 4.0 GPA. For this class, I always read each of the chapters 3 times, took detailed notes, and never missed class. Also, I tried all of the practice problems that I could, (which was very few, since most of the problems are a lot harder than any of the examples in the book) All that, and I only got a 3.0 in 351.
Do yourself a favor: don't take a class with this prof!
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Wulf is NOT a teacher. He is a very smart researcher and that is the only reason he is at MSU. His class is literally impossible with a 4.0 at around 50%. Theres always one d-bag who gets 105/100 on his exams, if your that kid F*** YOU!
But seriously dont take any class taught by Wulf.
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exams are impossible, lectures are boring and material covered in lecture is useless, the book he uses is awful.
class is curved so a 2.0 ends up being around a 30%, and half of the class still failed.
WORST PROFESSOR IN THE CHEMISTRY DEPARTMENT!!!
never ever EVER take 351/352 with this man.
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This guy is the worst professor I have ever had in my entire college career. I read the book two, sometimes even three times and I still spent three quarters of my time during the final going WTF! I literally just made up answers for the entire test. Instead of covering concepts that we spent the semester "learning", the entire test was on one or two concepts, and the material was so hard that I didn't even know how to attempt the exam problems. Even if you do study, he will throw extremely hard questions at you that you have no clue how to answer.
As for my TA, she used to call students up to the board (they didn't volunteer, she would call names off of the attendance sheet) and make them answer the questions on the problem set. My class used to spent about four fifths of the class period waiting for kids to try and answer these questions that they had no clue about because my TA wouldn't help at all. One time this kid was called up to answer a question and he didn't know it and she told him to look the answer up in the book instead of helping him (with the entire class staring at him)
During the semester you will also have no clue whether you are passing or failing because wulf just doesn't care to put in the time to give us a grade report.
This guy is pretty smart, but as a teacher he is extremely lazy, and you will pay for his laziness with your grade. Seriously, just stay away from this class with wulf teaching. I'm taking 352 when it's offered with a different teacher.
Oh and my TA once said that she gave the questions we were given to her fellow grad students at MSU to try and she said they had no clue how to do them. good luck.
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If it is at all possible, avoid this professor at all costs! Professor Wulff is insanely smart, I'll give him that, but he cannot teach at all. He mumbles and spills out a ton of information during lecture, most of which you do not need to know. The lectures themselves are unhelpful. However, the difficulty level of his lectures do not match at all the difficulty level on his exams. My TA herself was struggling with some of the questions on the exams. The problem sets that are handed out are not sufficient practice for the exams and are considerably easier than what he teaches. The textbook for the class only has 12 questions at the end of each chapter and only 3 or 4 of them are applicable to the lectures. The class average was below a 50%, which he seemed to be proud of.
My advice: Do not take the class with him as a professor in any circumstance. Take it with another professor or even wait a semester or so. Being a 4.0 student, I still did poorly and I put in a good 30 to 40 hours of extra work a week just on this class alone. If it is absolutely necessary to take this class, this is what I suggest:
1) attend the lectures just to know what he is lecturing on, but taking notes will not help
2) buy the book, even though it is horrible, it helps a ton
3) make sure to get a good TA, because most of his TA cannot even speak english much less teach
4) be prepared to put in a ton of extra work, including going to every single office hour provided. There is no way of passing the class without going to them
5) find a smart friend or someone who took orgo 351 already to help you. Honestly, the professor is just that bad.
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It is almost like he doesn't care if we learn it or not. Because of his huge curves I will do ok in the class, but because I am not learning ANYTHING it is setting me up to do bad in the rest of my major.
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Avoid at all costs. He is a decent guy, but he mumbles, coughs about every two minutes, which to me got annoying during lecture, i personally just got lost in his explanations. He knows his chemistry just i dont think he can explain things very well. The quizzes are unannounced in recitation so basically you have to go to each one. The problem sets you go over are doable but then the quizes have the same concept but more difficult problems then the exams usually are a little unexpected. I had to learn it on my own and go to chem help because lectures were a waste
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Professor Wulf is not a proper teacher for Organic Chemistry. When he expects a 60% average on an exam, you know you're either grading an AP exam or you fail as a teacher. Organic Chemistry is understandable, and it is interesting, yet without the right teacher to guide you and explain it, it can be extremely difficult to get through. Professor Wulf shouldn't be teaching at all, he would do better in research where all he has to do is mutter to himself. Unfortunately for this year there is no choice for teachers for CEM 351, but if you have a choice, don't take him.
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he's a nice guy who, yes, mumbles but he is really really smart. he repeats himself on important points.. so pay attention to these. these are usually the explainations to a lot of this test questions. also do a lot of the book problems bc these are often the test questions. remember to keep up on the material for the recitation tests. if youre confused go to the ta's. if you don't like your's, then go to the other ones. they really help and so does dr. wulf:) i worked my ass off.. but it paid off in orgo 2
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I'll be honest, this class almost broke me. Wulff, in my opinion, is not the right man to be teaching the first tier of organic chemistry. There is a ton of new knowledge and it requires an entirely different way of thinking than other chem classes. But that aside, Wulff did a horrible job of lecturing. He isn't very easy to understand (literally, his diciton is terrible) and his exams are pretty evil. Not to mention my t.a. was pretty crappy as well. I managed to pass the class, but I don't feel I learned as much as I should have. If possible, I wholeheartedly recommend taking 251 with a different prof.
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Professor Wulff is by far the WORST professor I've ever had the agony of taking a class with. Does he know what he's talking about? Yes-but he cannot convey that to the class if his life depended on it. He explains things like we are all chemistry phd students and expects us to understand. Lecture was ALMOST worthless-I basically had to teach myself everything. Luckily there is a HUGE curve-but I would rather have learned something valuable.
*as an aside, he only wore 2 outfits the entire semester, and i highly doubt he ever bathed.
Conclusion: TAKE RATHKE!! The man is amazing.
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In organic its more of what you put into it outside of class that matters most. ITS HARD. it requires alot of studying. I went to lecture to get the major gist of what was going on but you had to read and do the practice problems on your own to be able to perform on the tests. The pop quizzes are bs and shouldnt be apart of the class. I missed one because he put one the day before thanksgiving break after i left to go home and thats straight up bs. The whole class is based on a curve so just do better than your two neighbors and you're fine.
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This man is an obvious genius in chemistry but save yourself a lot of heartache and do not take him! He expects undergrads to perform to the levels of his grads and he's only happy with the exams when over half the class if failing. I learned nothing from him. Do not take him!
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DO NOT TAKE HIM. Organic Chemistry is hard, it is confusing, and not an easy topic to learn. I had Wulff and he is not only bad a teaching but he gets corrected by the students when he makes mistakes, when hes the teacher. He calls his two exams "midterms" not tests or exams but two mid terms, and then the 5 quizes and the final are your grade. But the quizes are pop quizes, and 20pts each.... Prof CHANG taught our class ONE day and was AMAZING, 10x better than Wulff. BOTTOM LINE: Wulff class average for the first exam was a 52% and he was proud, second exam avg was a 45%, wanna pass this class? good luck trying.... anyway Changs avg for the second exam was a 75%. just shows who acually has teaching skills. Dont get a teacher which has to curve a class by that much because he cant teach well so students dont do well... oh and Changs quizes arent pop........ good luck
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he's fat and ugly, and can't speak english....but he knows his stuff and will teach if you ask. Get his tuesday night problem sessions...that's what he tests on. If you study the book like tepe's class, you'll die.
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Terrible. The lecture has nothing to do with the problem sections, the problem sections has nothing to do with the book, and none of them are like the exams... absolutely terrible. You will fail (or learn nothing) if you take this class
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Professor Wulf is not good at lecturing at all. Half the time you can not even understand what he is saying because he speaks so softly and mumbles everything that he says. Hope that you get a good TA and do the practice problems because that is the only way that you will do good in the class with Wulf teaching.

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