Evolution of Cosmos and Life
Winter 2022 - Overall, this cluster is a great option for non-stem majors looking to know out their science GEs, however that didn't mean it was a walk in the park. This course is split into three subsections, one per quarter, because it is a year-long course. Professor Brown began instruction in winter quarter, and though she was evidently very educated and passionate, I found her lectures to be somewhat dull and kind of boring. Pro tip: how well you perform in this class honestly has nothing to do with the professor and everything to do with which TA you have. Lastly, I will say that the biweekly quizzes are somewhat difficult, but this section of the course, Cluster 70B, is significantly easier in workload, clarity, and overall easiness than Cluster 70A.
Fall 2020 - Cluster 70A is a great class for non-stem majors. It is super interesting and you can really learn some fascinating and interesting things if you open yourself up to it. Throughout the quarter the main grades were five quizzes, a paper, and some lab assignments. The quizzes were 10 multiple choice questions and a few free responses. The free response was generally straight forward, but sometimes the wording could be a bit confusing on the MC. The paper was also not too difficult and there was a lot of opportunity to work on it. In addition to these assignments there were lab assignments. These were not too difficult but could all build up if you procrastinate. Professor Friscia was a great lecturer. He was super informative, answered questions well, and used his slides effectively. Overall, he was really clear and covered a lot of information without the lecture feeling too dense.
Fall 2021 - My Cluster 70A and 70B professors were Petigura, Jewitt, Friscia, and Brown. This was my favorite class all three quarters. The topics of the evolution of the universe/galaxies/stars/planets/life/ecosystems were SO interesting. I would absolutely take this class again in a heartbeat. It has upended my life plan because now I am debating pursuing a career in astronomy/biology/ecology. Jewitt was an engaging lecturer during 70A, and I was stunned to find out that Jewitt is LITERALLY one of the people who discovered the Kuiper Belt. He is remarkably intelligent -- regardless of how controversial of a person he revealed himself to be in 70B with controversial statements. TAKE THIS CLASS THO!!! I'm pretty sure the department talked to him about the complaints he got. I would take this class 600 times again if I could -- I totally adored it.
Fall 2019 - My classmates would groan upon finding out that Lawrence was giving the next lecture for the cluster. For the most part, this professor is incoherent during lecture and leaves students hopelessly confused about what he discusses. The cluster as a whole is worth taking, but be prepared to put in a little extra work trying to make sense of the material this professor attempts to teach.