Mathematics for Life Scientists

Description: Lecture, three hours; laboratory, two hours. Enforced requisite: course 30A. Introduction to concept of matrices and linear transformations to equip students with some basic tools to understand dynamics of multivariable nonlinear systems. Examples from ecological, physiological, chemical, and other systems. Letter grading.

Units: 5.0
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Overall Rating 4.6
Easiness 4.0/ 5
Clarity 4.5/ 5
Workload 3.3/ 5
Helpfulness 4.9/ 5
Most Helpful Review
Winter 2020 - Hi Everyone ! I'm back with my IN-DEPTH Review of this class. I will break down all aspects of this class, so even if it may seem like a LOT of words, I would definitely recommend reading it since this will be the only review you will need to read. If you still aren't going to read this then just read the TL;DR: TL;DR: TAKE THIS CLASS WITH JUKKA. THE END. Okay Lets Begin! PROFESSOR: Jukka is, and I can't emphasize this enough, the REALEST professor/teacher/instructor I have ever had. You know those professor that people meme about being amazing/nice or whatever. Well this is it guys ! You have found probably the best professor on campus. If you have taken Jukka for 30 A, you probably aren't reading this because you are already going to take his class for 30 B. Although he can be a bit passive aggressive at times, I honestly feel like it has to do with the vast difference in mathematical intellect between prof and students, since some of these concepts can be difficult to grasp to us, but is basic math to him. However, He does care for his students' success and wellbeing in the class and makes it very clear what he expects us to know for exams. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- LECTURES: Lectures are mandatory since there are clicker points to be earned in each lecture. The clickers are NOT graded on accuracy which is very nice, but they do add up to a good amount of the total class grade (at least 10%) so try not to miss lectures as much as possible. At the end of the quarter, he usually drops 3 of the lowest clicker scores so don't stress if you miss a couple of lectures for whatever reason. Other than that, the lectures are basically 20-30 minutes of review of the previous lecture, and whatever time remains after he lectures on new content, which he will review on the next lecture. The lecture is purely concepts with little to no problem solving, which is probably the ONLY flaw in this class, since homework problems can be a bit challenging to tackle by yourself since there is very little guidance in that matter. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- TAs: TAs are fairly Important since they grade your homework which can amount to a good chunk of your grade as well (atleast 10%, upto 16%). They also help you with the lab, which is arguably the most difficult aspect of the class since it is coding, so if you have background in Sage/Python, this bit will be super easy for you. Shout to my TA Yoon Jeong who helped us a lot more than the other TAs my friends had. Also, TAs DONT GRADE LABS ! -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- LAB SECTIONS: Labs aren't exactly mandatory, since they don't take attendance, but if you don't go you are most screwing yourself. People show up because most of us in LS are not good at coding, otherwise we would be CS Majors. During lab you can get help with the coding from TAs and LAs who have answer keys so they can tell you if you are doing it right or wrong, and how to do it. Highly recommended that you do attend, although again, it's not mandatory. LABS are GRADED ON ACCURACY, unless otherwise mentioned by the prof. Labs are also graded by random people that you will most likely never meet in life, and sometimes they take forever to grade them so you won't know your lab grades until near the end of the quarter. Not a big deal though. I don't believe they grade too harsh, but you do have to be at least close to correct. If you are stressing, don't. Prof dropped the lowest lab score so you'll be good. Lab does make up a good bit of the grade (at least 10%) --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- HOMEWORK: Homework can be a bit challenging as their is little guidance on how to go about it as Professor usually just goes of the concept, and TAs focus mostly on Lab assignment. Aside from going to office hours, you are mostly on your own. They are definitely doable, especially early in the quarter, but get significantly more difficult past week 5-6. Homework is also GRADED ON ACCURACY, and make up about (10%-16%) of your grade. But you can drop the lowest two homework grades, so its not too bad really. If you have a chill TA, you should be fine. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- BOOK: The book is required but it is PROVIDED in PDF by the prof. All Homework usually comes from the book, so you will need to use it. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- MIDTERM/FINAL: Now we are getting to the good stuff! - Yes there is ONE Midterm - Yes there is ONE Final - Yes there are study guides for both, as well as review sessions for both - They combine for about 60% of your grade I believe, but that is actually only good for you - You will most likely get As on both if you are willing to try even the slightest bit ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- STUDY GUIDE/REVIEW SESSIONS: These are the single most important aspect of this class. I don't care how fucking smart you are, if you don't use the study guide and attend the review sessions, you are only screwing yourself. the Prof practically goes over a slightly changed version of the ACTUAL EXAMS during the review sessions and tells you how to solve each problem. It's very difficult to do bad on the exams if you attend the review sessions and pay attention. 2 hours for a basically guaranteed A is honestly an amazing deal you won't get anywhere else at UCLA. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- OVERALL: If I had to take this class again (which I clearly fucking don't) I would definitely without a doubt take it with Jukka again. If I had to take ONE class for all 4 years, and the grade I would get would define my GPA, I would take this class in a heartbeat, eyes closed, face down, ass up. I don't care. In Short: TAKE THIS CLASS WITH JUKKA ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Good luck to y'all ! ##
Overall Rating 4.0
Easiness 3.9/ 5
Clarity 3.5/ 5
Workload 3.6/ 5
Helpfulness 3.9/ 5
Most Helpful Review
Spring 2022 - Dr.McCully is an overall okay professor. I think that the number of assignments for this class was way too much at times. She would assign multiple pre-class videos that ranged from 15 minutes to 45 minutes that have embedded questions on top of homework, labs, and weekly quizzes. And then, on the day of the lecture, she would basically repeat the entire video during the lecture so the lecture just felt kind of useless at times but it was mandatory to go because of Clicker questions which she was not accommodating about. It is a good way to practice concepts though since it kinda just continuously drills it into your head and practice with it. Homework was a fair amount but not too much. Quizzes were not too tough either since you got two attempts. Her midterms and final were fair as well so you will be fine just practicing the practice tests and quizzes. Labs were a lot more difficult than LS30A but I found them to be fun. The most annoying part of the course was the Capstone Project which was split up between 3 weeks and into finals week. Each week we were supposed to make a model, simulate it, document changes, create more changes, and write a final report. It was just very tedious and annoying, especially if your group mates do not help you with anything and on top of all your other work. This class definitely did take a lot of time but Dr.McCully's method of teaching is very tedious, slow, and drilling it into your head which can be both good and bad for people. I found it to be annoying at times but helpful at times when I fell behind. Concepts in this class are much more difficult than in LS30A but it was helpful to hear them multiple times. However, she did have a bad habit of going through 20 slides in the last 5 minutes because she was not able to fit her lecture into the allocated time. So, sometimes, things would be left unclear and vague or not brought up until the next lecture.
Overall Rating 4.2
Easiness 4.3/ 5
Clarity 3.2/ 5
Workload 3.7/ 5
Helpfulness 3.6/ 5
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