Some of my friends and I were having this discussion last week as we reflected upon our time here at Cal and I thought it would be great to ask here as well.
The question is simply, what professor(s) and/or class(es) at Cal did you really like or was inspired or motivated by? And the opposite, which professor(s) and/or class(es) did you dislike. And by professor I mean actual professors, lecturers, GSIs, TAs, advisors, etc. Anyone who could've "taught" you something.
For me I'd have to say I really the class CS61C (it's a computer science class) taught by Dan Garcia. Now I'm controversial in this because many people I know HATED this class and really do not like Dan. But I believe otherwise. First of all I took this during my second semester at Cal and my first semester was an unmitigated disaster. I royally effed up my classes, had a low GPA, didn't have fun and definitely did not enjoy my classes. My only major related class I took was CS61A which for those who are not computer nerds like myself, is a very pure theory class. Now-a-days I happen to love CS theory, but back then I was so close to changing my major from EECS to something else (possibly History). And then I took 61C and the class just got me to love the major, love what I could learn (and did learn!), and most importantly saved my GPA from death. And it helped that Dan just oozed enthusiasm.
For best professor it has to be Professor David Wagner for CS170 that I took just this semester. The only time I actually saw a standing ovation by most of the class lasting for more than a few minutes! Not only was he pretty easy (at least his midterms were... damn me for getting too cocky with finals), and gave us some really nice homeworks and projects, he was just enthusiastic, had lame "oh my god why am I laughing" jokes and more. And most importantly he really cared (or at least that was what it looked like) that all of us learned. Whenever we asked him a question he'd go really in depth and make sure we understood. And when we asked a question in the newsgroup (sort of a message board that most of EECS folks use) he'd write an essay with diagrams and everything explaining until all of us understood. He'd even do this at 1AM, whereas most of my other professors barely answered or not at all. Honorable mention goes to Professor James O'Brien for rickrolling the class by pretending he had footage from Portal 2.
As for worst class and professor it would be Math 53 taught by Professor Givental. This class is the one that killed my freshman 1st semester's GPA. I guess I wasn't ready for the class as I had skipped your basic Calculus classes using AP stuff but still it shouldn't have been this bad. And it wouldn't have been if it weren't for Givental. Givental is a russian professor who had a really thick accent and terrible handwriting. That by itself isn't so bad, but he lectured every day about the THEORY of multivariable calculus and then expected us to write MATH ESSAYS (about the theory) for midterms and finals. These accounted for a large percentage of the grade unfortunately. To make matters worse he forgot that he was lecturing lower division kids and undergrads and would really just not help us understand anything. And for the final and midterms he'd give us math problems (after the essays) that we had never learned to solve!
Well that's my story.