CHEM 153A

Biochemistry: Introduction to Structure, Enzymes, and Metabolism

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PROFESSORS

Rebecca Nelson See Full Profile

Overall 2.2 Easiness 1.0 Workload 1.2 Clarity 2.0 Helpfulness 3.8

Most Helpful Review

Well, this was a fun ride. I guess I can say I'm glad to be done with the class. But how will future students prepare for Nelson (if she does stick around)?

Here's probably the best advice: DO NOT SLACK OFF AFTER THE SECOND MIDTERM.

The first two thirds of the class are rather manageable, but eventually you have to memorize glycolysis, the citric acid cycle, and the electron transport chain. While not too difficult to memorize on their own, it's the other stuff that comes with them that really gets to you.

I don't know what my grade is yet, but based purely on experience, do not fall behind after the second midterm. Keep up and really pay attention to every word she says in those final jam-packed lectures.

June 6, 2011
Alexander Patananan See Full Profile

Overall 4.7 Easiness 3.3 Workload 3.4 Clarity 4.6 Helpfulness 4.7

Most Helpful Review

I love Patananan!! He's such a nice, funny guy who is genuinely concerned about student learning. This was the first time he taught 153A, and I think he did an excellent job. This class is notoriously a massacre, but I feel like he succeeded in making it very manageable. His exams weren't a breeze but they weren't necessarily difficult, but I still feel like I learned a lot. He also offered a bunch of extra credit. 10/10 would take again

Summer Quarter 2020
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Verne Schumaker See Full Profile

Overall 3.3 Easiness 2.7 Workload 2.4 Clarity 2.6 Helpfulness 2.4

Most Helpful Review

The professor is not that bad as some students rated him! He is kind of boring, but he knows material really well. He is very kind old man if you talk to him. And low averages mean that if you put a tiny bit of effort, you are much ahead of everyone. I think professor Schumaker was easy in this class. His tests are for the logic and application of material, not for just memorization.

Jan. 6, 2003
William Silkworth See Full Profile

Overall 4.0 Easiness 2.0 Workload 3.0 Clarity 4.0 Helpfulness 5.0

Most Helpful Review

This is my first Bruinwalk review, and the reason I'm writing it is because I feel like more people should know about Prof Silkworth. This class was super interesting and hard as hell! but Prof Silkworth is so into biochem that it's hard not to catch his enthusiasm. Don't freak out if you bomb your first midterm. Even though he doesn't technically curve the class, he does scale your grades and offers a good amount of extra credit if the class collectively does poorly on a test. I studied my ass off, but was honestly floored when I got my final grade. A couple things:
GO to office hours!! I know everyone says that, but seriously, go to his office hours. Lecture can be rushed due to the sheer amount of info, but office hours let you actually take time to go over difficult topics.
Worry less about the problem sets and more about what he says to focus on in class. I started recording his lectures in case I missed something and it really helped, because he constantly drops hints about what to study. Focus on those problems in the sets.
Do get the textbook. An older version is fine, but it just really helps to get that extra clarification on mechanisms and additional diagrams. I'm pretty visual and the textbook has lots of that.
Finally, don't get too caught up with your grade. Just study hard and participate, and I think he recognizes that. You may be pleasantly surprised. Good luck!

Summer Quarter 2018
Heather Tienson-Tseng See Full Profile

Overall 3.2 Easiness 2.3 Workload 2.4 Clarity 3.2 Helpfulness 3.2

Most Helpful Review

Warriors blew a 3-1 lead against the Cavaliers.

Fall Quarter 2016
Richard Weiss See Full Profile

Overall 2.4 Easiness 1.4 Workload 2.0 Clarity 2.4 Helpfulness 2.6

Most Helpful Review

This man is 75 and a retired professor who only comes to teach when they need an extra section. I took this class last quarter and it was at 8am, four days a week (so already awful off the bat). Luckily it was bruincasted, his attendance was in the 20-30% every single lecture, which he was mad about (dont teach an 8 am then). His voice and lectures are not engaging whatsoever and the class is based almost entirely on two midterms (which are 50 min during class) and a final, all which was so hard. His TAs grade and look for verbatim words and phrases that he uses in lecture, and if you paraphrase, its wrong, and partial credit is rare. I shouldve taken Awad but both of her sections were full when I registered and I thought taking Weiss would be fine. Sike i was wrong. I would recommend waiting for a better professor if this is your only option. I am now paying the price and am going to have to retake the course.

Fall Quarter 2019
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Julian Whitelegge See Full Profile

Overall 4.2 Easiness 2.4 Workload 2.4 Clarity 4.6 Helpfulness 3.4

Most Helpful Review

I heard that summer 2001 will be the last time Whitelegge's gonna teach. I can see why people see him as a teacher who is not concerned about students, but I think he improved a bit when I took him. Still, he sounds a bit arrogant sometimes. Beside me, I know some other people who got intimidated by him. The hard part about the course is the material itself, and I believe that Whitelegge's test may be easier than Bates' already. One thing that makes me think Bates will be better is that she has her own reader, so you know exactly what to expect in the tests. While for Whitelegge, he just assign pages to read in the book (Which is hard and boring readings). Some details from the book ends up on the test, although he may have briefly mention it in lecture. He's not a high school teacher, so he doesn't write down every single thing on board; taking notes on what he says is more important than the stuff on board. To me, reading book is neccessary for succeeding in the class, because you won't be able to comprehend everything in lecture, nor TA will be good enough to answer all the questions you have. The readings are bad though, I feel like they take more time than the readings for my English Literature class that I took with this class.

Aug. 8, 2001
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