CHEM 154

Biochemical Methods II

Description: Lecture, two hours; laboratory, eight hours. Enforced requisites: courses 153A or 153AH, 153B or 153BH, and 153L, with grades of C- or better. Recommended: course 156. Two to three major laboratory projects using biochemical laboratory techniques to investigate contemporary problems in biochemistry. Topics include transcription activation, molecular basis of DNA-protein interactions, biochemical basis of platelet activation, and initiation of blood clotting cascade. Experiments entail characterizing function of proteins, nucleic acids, and lipids involved in these processes. P/NP or letter grading.

Units: 5.0
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Overall Rating 2.5
Easiness 1.7/ 5
Clarity 2.3/ 5
Workload 1.5/ 5
Helpfulness 2.3/ 5
Most Helpful Review
Winter 2021 - EDIT: This review became the #1 review of all time of Prof. Nakamoto within just a few hours of it being posted, really makes you think... I'm just going to post my instructor feedback as my review below: Never before in my entire four years of college and year of COVID online learning have I encountered such an incompetently designed course, led by TAs and an instructor who could absolutely not care less about their students' well-being and/or actual learning of the material... I hope there is some internal mechanism by which this class can be audited and investigated by the administration, otherwise I have thoroughly lost all faith in UCLA as an institution of learning. Prof. Nakamoto, you need to stop giving your TAs so much power in this class and be more involved yourself. Ryan is very clearly narcissistic and has mental problems which he projects onto his students, I genuinely never thought school or a class could give somebody post traumatic stress until I experienced this class. He needs to be fired, and he's lucky nobody has sued him yet for emotional distress, there are genuinely many people who wish horrible things upon him for the way he treats people. Rebekah is nicer but is just patently bad at what she does. Victor is the only good educator out of the lot of you, but his hands are tied because of how bad this course was designed. Any inkling of criticism brought up about the course design was shot down and spit on. This happened early on in the course and led to everybody being literally afraid of the instructor and TAs and put everyone in survival mode. This should be considered absolutely unacceptable. Genuinely, what makes you think the way you run journal club is any good whatsoever? I can honestly tell you not a single person understood anywhere near what you intended from it. The GLAD worksheets were genuinely good and helpful, and you literally stopped doing them after week 2. Throw out journal club as a whole and just do GLADs the whole quarter and people will ACTUALLY LEARN. The way we had to take our midterms was disgusting. We had to write out our answers on paper, and keep a webcam pointed down at our hands to prove we weren't cheating. On top of that, the questions for the exam were on our screens, so if we had a laptop (which is most of us), we had to keep awkwardly bending down and looking up at our screen, which was pointed down at our hands. Way to show lack of trust in your students to the point where you put everybody in an uncomfortable position. None of my other classes during the pandemic made us do anything as stupid as that. Midterm 1 was fine, but the way you handled midterm 2 is honestly disgusting. You didn't say a peep about the material that would be on it other than "study journal club 2", great, so if journal club was bad we all just get double penalized on the exam for not knowing it. There was no "second chance" to learn it because the TAs literally didn't care to help us, not to mention we DIDN'T GET OUR GRADES BACK YET. On the topic of grading: What the heck makes you think it's okay to just not give us back all but 2 assignments by the end of week 9? OH OKAY SO "we're very busy running this class" well then stop wasting everybody's time doing stupid things like grading journal club presentations and do actually useful things with your time please. I understand that you need to have the two papers, but the lab time usage is such a waste right now. These stupid 5-minute one on one sessions are an absolute waste of time. We aren't allowed to have more than an outline (Ryan literally refused to comment on my work if it was more developed than he cared to read) so all the feedback we get is just generic. We'd be better off getting more detailed explanations of the lab itself. I honestly doubt anything will happen with this, because this school suffers from being bogged down by bureaucracy. But I had to put this in here to give it a shot. All-in-all, this class was an absolute dumpster fire and I hope everybody responsible faces serious repercussions because none of this was okay in any way, shape, or form. To whoever is reading this: -If you are either the professor or one of the TAs, you are probably thinking "this kid is just mad that he's not doing well, this class is perfect, its a rite of passage, I took this myself and did it- blah blah blah." If you are thinking this, I want you to know that you lack all form of critical thinking and self-reflection skills and I hope you are not/don't go into science. -If you are somebody who has the power to investigate what might be going on, PLEASE do so. This course needs to be rebuilt from the ground-up for COVID, the way it's being run now is horrendous and causes anybody who takes it to 1. Regret literally every life choice that led them to this point and 2. Not learn a damn thing because they have more cortisol in their blood and PVCs/day than they are comfortable being aware of. I've only ever gotten one B in my academic career until now and will be lucky if I pass this class. I'm telling you, if you interview some of the students for more details, you will be absolutely shocked and disgusted with what you find. -Stacie, nobody needed a "social hour" because we were plenty social with each other sharing how much we despised this class. -Yes, I am in therapy, partially because of this class...
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