Introduction to Ecology and Behavior
1) A nice lady, but you may find that she pauses quite often, and keep saying "uh..hmm...." But it's not necessarily a bad thing as you can take your time to take note. 2) Never read the book ($82 course reader, too expensive), just studied my lecture notes + internet source --> Midterm = 93 (Mean = 83)(rank 6th out of 6X students but still only A-) Simply memorize everything from the lecture slides (no Q from the book luckily).....just a matter of rote memorization really (kinda like LS3) --> Final = dunno but definitely worse than midterm, at most 8x. The final was much HARDER, and TA has warned us that in advance....some questions are not as straightforward but still doable if you're familiar with the material....One question was from book (I skipped it)... Final Grade: A (I can't believe it, she must have curved it up a lot)
Fall 2018 - I honestly really liked Dr. Blumstein. I usually never write reviews but everyone trashed him on here so here I am. I liked him! You could tell he was obsessed with the subject, no clicker questions or real work for the class. He didn’t text on anything except what we covered in class (I never opened the textbook) and he explained things really well. His think pair shares were really hard at first but if you actually put effort in, you thought about them like a scientist by the end of his half. I actually really enjoyed his half, even if I didn’t love the material. Also his test is all multiple choice! And taken verbatim from the hundreds of lecture questions. The lecture questions were amazing. So hard at first and then you got used to them. I did the like 3x each throughout the quarter and rewrote my notes and that’s really all the studying I did for this class.
Let me start out by saying that she a good lecturer and you probably will not have any complaints until you take her test. When I walked out of her test I "knew" I did really well and missed three questions maybe. However, she is very picky about her essay questions. Even after looking at my answers and the answer key, I still agree with my answers she marked wrong. Her questions are so distorted and vague, but she expects answers that exactly match her thoughts (even though many answers suffice her written question). Regarding regrades, out of all the students that submitted one, she did not award any extra points, but took points away from one student's test. Avoid her if possible. After taking all the chem series and having Nelson for 153A, all the LS series, and all the physics 6 classes, her test was by far the worst. My grade did not justify the information I mastered.
Winter 2020 - The professor: - Gorlitsky teaches the animal behavior portion of the course, which is the more difficult portion. - She is clearly passionate about the course material and always has examples to give regarding the concepts she wishes to illustrate. - Gorlitsky is clear during lectures and often seeks student participation during lectures. She seems generally nice and is approachable after class and office hours. She does talk kind of fast, though, and I found it helpful to record the lectures since the class isn't Bruincasted. Everything you need to know for the exams is mentioned in the lecture. The material: - Animal Behavior portion of the class requires a lot of more memorization than the second portion of the class; generally, though, I found it to be really interesting. On average, I think most students will find portions of this class to be relevant and interesting. - class material and lecture is supplemented extensively with relevant videos that are shown during lecture. Grading scheme: - the course is out of 550 points; 2 exams worth 200 points each, 60 points for attendance; the rest is for discussion section attendance (mandatory, 18pts) and for responding to weekly reading assignments (72pts) - straight-scale i.e. no curve unless exam averages are below 80%, which they weren't. --Exams: Relatively difficult due to sheer amount of information covered but honestly very fair with the question selection. She doesn't try and trick you in exams but it's difficult just because so much information was covered in lecture. Gorlitsky knows and is transparent about the fact that Exam 1 is harder and that exam 2 provides as opportunity to boost your grade. -- Weekly assignments: Each week, you read a research article and have to generate three questions that show your understanding of the article. These are graded fairly harshly and generating good questions is more difficult than it seems. I would write 3-5 sentences per question in order to receive full points. Not incredibly difficult but it is incredibly annoying. -- Discussion section: Pointless but mandatory. Each week, a group would be assigned to give a 20min presentation on the research paper of the week. As long as you had slides, read the article a few times, and lightly prepared, you received full points. The rest of discussion section involved answering the questions we generated for the weekly assignments (described above) in small groups. -- Attendance is not taken every class but instead, the professor does "pop-quizzes" randomly, which you turn in at the end of class to provide evidence that you were present. The pop-quizzes are graded on effort and completion, not on correctness. textbook: - Not worth it. I rented the textbook for the first half of the course and I did use it but very lightly when studying for the midterm, if I was confused about a definition. Didn't bother renting it for the second half of the class (ecology). Overall: Interesting material, passionate professors, and fair/decent exams make this a good class in my book. If you're a psychobio student, definitely try and take this class (though the EEB department severely restricts seats), instead of Psych118.
He taught the first half of EEB 100 (animal behavior). He was very straightforward and not tricky. This class is not easy. It requires a lot of thinking and not really any memorizing. I did not study too hard for his exam, because a cheat sheet was given, however, do NOT rely on it.. It screwed me over and I only got average, which was about ~74-75% (Class is based on a scale). They were mostly MC. The other professor that taught the second half (ecology), Gorlitsky, is a new professor. She talks really fast and does not post her slides before class. It can be annoying to take notes, so I ended up not going to most of her lectures, but I did listen to the podcasts. There were an average 100+ slides per lecture. Around 10 lectures. Unfortunately, I failed her exam, so now I have to re-take the course, even though I felt like I studied harder. Her exam was mostly free response.
She taught 5 weeks of Ecology in this class and she did many not-so-nice things. She forced everyone in the class to buy a $40-$50 clicker to force students to come to class (attendance based on answering questions). I was extremely ticked off because the class was only 5 weeks long and that was a lot of money wasted to use twice per week. She would read from the slides word for word and not really go into much depth, which made people fall asleep because there's nothing worse than being read to during class. Her exam was fair but the multiple choice was ridiculously hard, probably to lower the overall scores. She is nothing special, just your typical dry professor.
I felt the course itself was not difficult. However, the exams were ridiculously long. Moreover, the T.A.s did all the grading, and they were harsh--rewarding little or no partial credit. That's no wonder the standard deviation was so large. Out of "fairness" for the T.A.s' preset grading rubric for everyone, almost all regrade requests were turned down. The prof supported the T.A.s. He did not take the time to evaluate the students'answers & T.A.s' grading or students' regrade requests. He ended up curving the class, but since he was adamant about the straight grading scale, the curve only allowed for a couple of A-s!