Cell and Molecular Biology

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Professor Most Helpful Review
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Siobhan Braybrook See Full Profile

Overall 4.2 Easiness 3.1 Workload 2.8 Clarity 3.7 Helpfulness 4.3

Most Helpful Review

Professor Braybrook is a wonderful person and decent lecturer. She is extremely funny and interesting as a person, but she sometimes stumbles a bit when it comes to teaching. She can make certain concepts unnecessarily confusing. One time she did not know something about a certain concept and had to be corrected by Professor Maloy. However, as she taught the last half of the class, she began to teach much better.

Fall Quarter 2020
David Campbell See Full Profile

Overall 3.1 Easiness 3.3 Workload 2.6 Clarity 2.7 Helpfulness 2.9

Most Helpful Review

Campbell is a good professor, but you have to put some energy into staying focused while he is lecturing. He is very knowledgable and excited about the material he is teaching, but he often gets lost in thought during class. His exams, however, are very straightforward without any trick questions, which I appreciated. Stay on top of your LaunchPad assignments and actively pay attention during class, and you should do great.

Spring Quarter 2019
Asim Dasgupta Full Profile > N/A Overall N/A Easiness N/A Workload N/A Clarity N/A Helpfulness
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Asim Dasgupta See Full Profile

Overall N/A Easiness N/A Workload N/A Clarity N/A Helpfulness N/A

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Rana Khankan See Full Profile

Overall 4.5 Easiness 2.9 Workload 2.9 Clarity 4.4 Helpfulness 4.7

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While the whole LS7 series is not structured really well, Professor Khankan makes the best out of it. By always being engaging, funny, and very informative of the material, she makes this series not so bad after all. In all honesty, she is the best professor for LS7A!

Winter Quarter 2020
Beth Lazazzera See Full Profile

Overall 3.0 Easiness 2.6 Workload 2.6 Clarity 2.1 Helpfulness 2.6

Most Helpful Review

Professor Lazazzera is a decent professor. I can tell that she cares about her students and is definitely willing to help if you go to office hours and her review sessions. She has a lot of office hours even over the weekend so she's pretty much always available. Her lectures are not the clearest but I think she did a good job with the material.
The Launchpad material took me a while to go through sometimes. I personally took notes on it and tried to understand the concepts well before I went to class. The Launchpad quizzes are not that helpful for the tests though so I would recommend not spending loads of time on them. I got a C on the first Midterm but I still managed to get an A by studying the clicker questions in order to prepare for the 2nd Midterm and Final. The clicker questions are the key to doing well in this class.
Professor Lazazzera does provide good explanations for the answers in her lectures. She also provides many extra credit opportunities throughout the quarter so take advantage of them. There is a weekly worksheet in discussion that is pretty easy if the TA helps you through it and goes over the answers. That also gives a couple extra points to pad your grade, since grades are based on points not percentages in this class. Overall, Professor Lazazzera is a pretty good teacher. She's not the best but she's decent. I think she does her best and seems like a nice lady.

Fall Quarter 2020
Chentao Lin See Full Profile

Overall 2.0 Easiness 2.3 Workload 2.5 Clarity 1.3 Helpfulness 1.7

Most Helpful Review

Lin took over teaching during week 4, and it was a messy transition. There were some things that Maloy hadn't finished teaching us and it wasn't a smooth transition. He had the worst Asian accent (I'm Chinese and I only understood his accent like 60-70% of the time, just to show you how confused I was). He used the weirdest analogies/metaphors that have no correlation to biology. So be prepared for lots of confusion.

I feel like most reviews are students that either did extremely well or extremely poorly, so this is coming from a student who did right smack in the middle. It's a flipped classroom concept and I thought this was beneficial at first, but it's difficult to keep up with Launchpad, especially since they had hard deadlines. Miss one assignment? Lose free points. I did pretty bad on both my midterms and I improved by one letter grade on my final (almost two letter grades), and with all the points that I earned from Launchpad and section (the total was like 700 points or something), I somehow got a C+. I highly doubt they curved it because if they did, I think I would have gotten a B-. This is one of the downsides of taking a class with 360+ students. You can be in the average tier or one of the few students in the lower tier and the professors wouldn't give a crap because there are so many students that are doing well.

Honestly, what I would have done differently includes really taking my time to understand the content (especially through the lecture slides, clicker questions, and learning goals) and to go to office hours (whether it's your TA or the actual professor). What I'm planning to differently for LS 7B is that I plan to go over the learning goals every week and make sure that I understand them and can explain it to someone who has no idea what I'm talking about. If you can explain the concept to someone, that means you understand the material. I also suggest practicing through the clicker questions and then create some yourself and then ask a friend to exchange your newly generated questions. Remember to always ask yourself, "What would happen if this changes?" because the midterms and finals are all "What if" questions. Know the normal life processes and what would happen if you change a certain step in the process.

Fall Quarter 2019
J.P. Maloy See Full Profile

Overall 4.3 Easiness 3.2 Workload 2.8 Clarity 4.5 Helpfulness 4.6

Most Helpful Review

I've heard so many people complain about the exams of the 7 series, and I don't get it. People who don't do well in this class are not studying correctly. SO many materials are given in this class, but you really only need a couple of them do well. Launchpad is good to learn a vague background about the material, but after that, it's irrelevant. Do not use it to prepare for exams, it will be a waste of time.
There are four things you should care about when studying for a 7A exam: lecture slides, iClicker questions, Discussion section handouts, and the handouts given in class. That's literally it. If you understand the concepts given on these, there's no reason why you should't be able to get an A in this class. These specific materials help familiarize you with the types of questions that appear on a 7 series exam. I got high A's on both of the midterms by studying the material listed above and rarely ever doing launchpad in depth. I feel like people who don't do as well place too large of an emphasis on launchpad. The final was more difficult and was worth double what the midterms were, but I still got a low to mid A through minimal studying via this method.
This class is total points, which is really good. About 100 come from midterm 1, 100 come from midterm 2, and 200 come from the final. The class is ~750 points, so all of the other points come from participation. DO NOT miss out on these easy participation points for your grade.
Maloy is a really good lecturer and is one of the most engaging professors I've had

Spring Quarter 2019
Megan McEvoy See Full Profile

Overall 3.0 Easiness 2.6 Workload 2.4 Clarity 3.2 Helpfulness 3.2

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(Took this class during COVID)

This class is pretty difficult. I think the LS 7 series in general is less about memorization but more about actually understanding concepts and applying them to new situations you've never seen before, which can be difficult for people who haven't done so in high school etc. It's pretty similar to AP bio in a sense where you apply your knowledge instead of just regurgitating it.

Even though this class was a lot of work, the LS 7A professors made accommodations for online learning which I think saved a lot of people's grades: group exams. For the 2 midterms and the final, there were two phases: an individual phase, where you would take the exam by yourself (open from 6 AM - 8 PM on a single day), and a group phase, where you would be assigned a group of 3 other people and have about two days to set up a time, talk about the exam, and individually submit a second copy of exam (all on CCLE). Your score for the midterms/final is an average of the individual and group phase exams. So yeah, you could straight up fail the individual portion but get carried in the group phase and come out with a relatively decent score, which I think really helped people out and changed perspectives on this course because I only heard negative things coming in (however there were students who *still* complained... despite having group exams). I'm not sure if the professors will continue doing this when things get back to normal, but I think it will really help the LS 7 series be more respected because there are many, many complaints about this series. As far as I know LS 7B and 7C have different kinds of accommodations in regards to helping recovering lost points on exams, but anything helps.

In regards to the professor, I took it when McEvoy was co-teaching with Pires. I found Pires to be a lot more knowledgeable and prepared to answer questions, but I do recognize that it was probably McEvoy's first time teaching 7A (if I'm not mistaken) and I wouldn't call her "bad" by any means. They were both pretty good and kind.

Be prepared to work hard in this class. It takes a lot of time to go through weekly launchpad readings but actually reading it and *not* just skimming it will actually help you learn the concepts, but I do get that sometimes launchpad content can give you more than you actually need to know. Clicker questions are probably the best practice tool you have in that class as they represent the questions on the midterms/final pretty well, so make sure to go through them while studying and be able to justify why an answer is correct or incorrect. A lot of people say they "skipped through launchpad" and "barely paid attention in lecture" and then wonder why they have a bad grade, I don't get it. If you're disciplined enough and put in the work you'll get the grade you deserve! You can do it! Good luck!

Fall Quarter 2020
Aly Mulji See Full Profile

Overall 4.7 Easiness 3.1 Workload 2.7 Clarity 4.7 Helpfulness 4.8

Most Helpful Review


Total Points: 669 Points + 4 Points Extra Credit for doing the course evals
Launchpad Readings: 45 Points
Launchpad Pre-Class Quizzes: 45 Points
Launchpad Practice Exam Questions: 45 Points(You can miss up to 5 points and still get a 45/45)
Clicker Question Participation: 60 Points
Discussion Assignments: 64 points
Midterm 1: 90 Points
Midterm 2: 120 Points
Final: 200 Points

Professor Aly is a great lecturer, the Launchpad is really dense and it's easy to get lost in all the terminology. The entire 7 series is "flipped" so you are always doing the reading before the lecture, and the lecture just covers the material that you should have read on Launchpad. The class's participation is measured by clicker questions (you don't need to get them right and you need to answer ~75% of them to get points for the lecture). He often put us into breakout rooms when there were questions that he believed would be best answered through a discussion, and I thought it was a nice way to bring some of the students together. He also leads the LA Problem Solving Sessions, so even if you don't have him as a professor, you might see him there.

He has a very caring personality, and he always asked us how we were doing and what our weekend plans were to take our minds off of the stress we had from the class. He held the LA sessions 4 times a week, and he had office hours twice a week. I would say as a tip to go to as many office hours as you can (about 30 came to the first one, and around week 6 there were only 7 people), especially since he is a great guy if you want to get to know him.

I had Sean Campeau as a TA, and he was good at explaining topics that were often unclear. He was good at solving disputes over concepts such as "should the stop codon be counted as a part of the open reading frame," and told us everything we needed to know for the exams. Discussions were mostly held in breakout rooms, where we would reconvene to the main room to share answers.

The midterms were pretty tough, and you really had to make sure you understand the concepts from Launchpad. I would suggest studying the clicker questions and the practice exam questions to practice for the midterm. We were allowed to check what we got wrong on the first midterm, but not on the second midterm and final.

This was my first class at UCLA, and I took AP Bio the year before that, so the class was a bit easier for me to grasp the new concepts. The workload was a bit tough (it took about 8 hours per week, where one part was due Monday and the last part was due Wednesday), along with studying previous content as a review. I would definitely take this class again with Professor Aly, and you should take this class if the opportunity should arise.

Fall Quarter 2020
C O'Leary See Full Profile

Overall 5.0 Easiness 5.0 Workload 5.0 Clarity 5.0 Helpfulness 5.0

Most Helpful Review

Overall, an easy class comparing to other STEM classes I've taken.

Selling the weekly practice exam answers if any are interested. Email me at
I will answer within a day.

Spring Quarter 2018
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