Biochemistry: Introduction to Structure, Enzymes, and Metabolism

Description: Lecture, four hours; discussion, one hour. Requisite: course 14D or 30B, with grade of C- or better. Recommended: Life Sciences 2, 3, and 23L, or 7A. Structure of proteins, carbohydrates, and lipids; enzyme catalysis and principles of metabolism, including glycolysis, citric acid cycle, and oxidative phosphorylation. P/NP or letter grading.

Units: 4.0
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Overall Rating 3.2
Easiness 1.8/ 5
Clarity 3.2/ 5
Workload 1.5/ 5
Helpfulness 3.8/ 5
Most Helpful Review
I didn't think that Dr. Martinson was "easy." So, I think I arrived at the conclusion that the class, 153A, is hard no matter who you take. My advice to you, who's reading this, is don't take Martinson just because his review for difficulty is a 7 instead of an 8 compared to bates. I loved this class, and it was because I thought the material was so interesting and applicable to everything that I have learned in sciences so far. Dr. Martinson is a great lecturer. You walk out of class learning something everytime you attend lecture, but you also have to do your part. You MUST read the book!!! Even though he is conceptual, his so called concepts come right out of the book. It's just that he explains them more clearly than the book does. It's really really annoying how he spends lecture time talking about how to study. That kind of bothered because I think that he thinks we're stupid. I mean, we're all UCLA students and I think that by the time someone takes chem 153A, he/she knows how to study! But then again, that's just how he is. He thinks his teaching style if revolutionary, but I didn't really think so. Overall, exams are very tough. But, he makes them that way in order to challenge our learning (sarcastic tone here), and the averages are very low. So in terms of getting an A, it's totally doable. I liked the fact that he is very patient with students and is available to talk to you anytime. Occasionally, he'll put you down for asking dumb questions, but I wouldn't get discouraged because who's your grade and he doesn't know you. I'd recommend him but the class is TOUGH!!! Study a little for it almost everyday, do his past exams, read the book, understand lectures, ask him questions...and good luck!
Overall Rating 2.8
Easiness 1.8/ 5
Clarity 3.2/ 5
Workload 1.6/ 5
Helpfulness 2.6/ 5
Most Helpful Review
Sooo I took this professor during session A this summer, and overall, this was not easy. She says on the very first day not to take the summer course, so that's a clue right there...but I had to stay b/c it fit my schedule and nothing else. I commute to school on the bus everyday, and while I was taking this class I worked 20 hours a week at night, so after 4pm Monday-Friday, I could NOT study anything. BUT, I did end up getting an A in the class. So there is hope! I went to lecture every day, and yes her writing on the compendium overhead is kind of annoying but not too horrible, kinda just wasted a few minutes every day, I went to a couple different TA sections during the week, and multiple CLAPS sessions. I didn't buy a textbook, and I memorized the entire joke -.- not fun...I wrote and rewrote allllll of the pictures and notes in the compendium, so that when the final was coming, I didn't have to look at the compendium to study, I just used my own notes. Definitely do all of the CLAPS and hw questions, even the ones not assigned, and bring questions to discussions, they help A LOT. The midterms were straight up memorization, so memorize everything :/ but the final was random. I did not end up leaving early, and I almost cried when I came out of the room. I had left some parts blank, and I thought I was gonna get a C...I started to get nervous during the final and began just writing whatever I could remember without thinking into much detail b/c I didn't have enough time, and thank God the memorizing worked and I wrote out everything like a reflex. There were some naming of molecules that came out of the blue, but I had to use knowledge from the chem20/30 series info to help me on those...So again, midterms are memorization (very doable) and final is more conceptual. I never asked her questions so I don't know whether or not she was easy to get a hold of...but pretty much I had to study every day till 4pm, did notes, rewrote notes, memorized EVERYTHING, and came out with a solid A...and it was the summer...Just focus (which I know is hard to do with this kind of class) but you gotta just pump yourself for the class. I also studied with 2 good friends and we studied together every day, sometimes next to each other in the library, but having a solid study group is very helpful. To summarize again, memorize the compendium, have really good and thorough notes, go to multiple discussions and CLAPS sessions, go to class every day, and FOCUS. It was kind of hard for me to focus during the summer b/c a lot of my friends were out having parties, touring abroad and such, and it was easy to just give up, but if I can do it, anyone else can. Trust me. My brain isn't exactly wired to be a genius, I'm not, and I was kind of jealous of the kids in discussions that got everything right away, but you have to work hard. It's not an easy class, but you can still get an A. :] Good luck!
Overall Rating 4.0
Easiness 2.0/ 5
Clarity 4.0/ 5
Workload 3.0/ 5
Helpfulness 5.0/ 5
Overall Rating 2.9
Easiness 2.2/ 5
Clarity 2.9/ 5
Workload 2.4/ 5
Helpfulness 2.9/ 5
Most Helpful Review
Winter 2019 - I highly recommend you read the other reviews, as I found them to be generally accurate toward Tienson. Her lecturing is pretty mediocre, a solid 3.5/5 maybe. But her tests are the trashiest that I've ever seen. Her tests alone make my overall rating 2/5. In general, I don't think the any of the course is worth much emphasis except the tests. There's a ton of things that you can point out that's terrible, so let's just list them out. 1. Questions are worded vaguely or in a misleading way. You often struggle to figure out what in the world Tienson actually wants. Tienson doesn't seem to have the self-awareness to realize that if a bunch of students complain, then it's probably the question's fault, not every single one of the student's fault. 2. The short answer questions have a strange limitation that you cannot write more than x number of sentences. Mind you, x is usually something like 1 or 2. Try explaining a concept in 1 or 2 sentences. Then she takes off points during grading for not being detailed enough. Oh, and writing run-on sentences gets counted as multiple sentences. 3. Her grading policy allows partial credit in a question. The only problem is that her grading rubric demands relatively specific things to be mentioned, such that having a question mostly right will usually still net you almost no partial credit. 4. She only allows 10 regrade requests for the entire quarter. That is, 10 questions. Due to how vague the questions are and how oddly specific the grading rubric tends to be, it can often be a struggle to figure out if it's worth it to use up a regrade request on that question. Of course, if she does determine that the question was graded incorrectly, then you get one regrade request back, but come on. I've never seen a professor that mistrusts students to this degree to not abuse the regrade requests. The course is *not* graded on a curve, though the professor does scale it so that something like an 82% still counts as an A. Good luck getting even 80% on the tests though. Anyways, I find that the best way to prepare for the tests is to watch the Bruincast lecture vids before the test. That'll refresh your memory on what it was that Tienson brought up in class, since you can bet that she'll use something that's only mentioned in passing as a question on the test.
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