Joint Research Colloquia in Invertebrate Model Systems

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Jau-Nian Chen See Full Profile

Overall 2.6 Easiness 1.6 Workload 1.8 Clarity 2.4 Helpfulness 2.8

Most Helpful Review

To do well in LS 4, it's different from the rest of the LS series... . you need to be active about doing those genetic problems... . But DR. CHEN made everything easier because she's a very approachable person. Her office hours were """VERY""" helpful... . some people find her office hours to be useless since they don't go prepared with questions to ask. but if you do give an effort in understanding before asking for help, you WILL catch little bit of hints about midterm/finals here and there... . I've been to every single office hours, and honestly couple hard problems on the finals were giveaway points, because she mentioned/went over that similar problem through-out the quarter in her office hours. Hands down, THE BEST professor i've had at UCLA so far... .

Dec. 19, 2008
Arthur Gibson Full Profile > 2.2 Overall 1.3 Easiness 1.7 Workload 2.7 Clarity 3.2 Helpfulness
AVOID AT ALL COST (Feb. 12, 2009)
Arthur Gibson See Full Profile

Overall 2.2 Easiness 1.3 Workload 1.7 Clarity 2.7 Helpfulness 3.2

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Feb. 12, 2009
Lianna Johnson See Full Profile

Overall 2.6 Easiness 1.9 Workload 1.7 Clarity 3.3 Helpfulness 3.0

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I took LS3 with Johnson fall '08 and it wasn't as bad as many people say. She bruincasts all her lectures and on top of that she uploads her powerpoint presentations plus several practice exams (although the practice exams were nothing like the actual ones). I barely used the textbook since her exams are mainly off of her lectures; thus, you will be fine as long as you review the notes and understand everything in the course reader. Also, her exam curves are VERY generous. As long as you keep up with her lectures, an A or B should be an adequately attainable grade.

Jan. 13, 2009
John Merriam See Full Profile

Overall 2.8 Easiness 1.8 Workload 1.5 Clarity 2.5 Helpfulness 3.5

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I took Dr. Merriam for LS4 (there wasn't a choice for LS4 in the tab). Although many students, including me, noticed many instances where he tried to help us and acted "nice" towards us, overall his lecturing style, organization, and communication skills were disappointing for someone that our parents/we are paying money to.

First of all, his lectures, although entertaining in the 1st few weeks, will fool you in their simplicity because after the 1st midterm many people who thought he was a harmless "old santa/grandpa" figure, felt like the exams were unfair. The wording was very confusing. There are typos, but most of all, there was one exam question where NONE of the TA's could answer because it involved knowledge of a very minute detail in the textbook. For genetics, most people DO read the textbook, but I never was expected to know such trivial details for any class I've EVER taken before.

Second of all, his "clinics"/office hours do help you, but you have to sit through him lecturing you about useless stuff (arrows, education, ethics) for a good hour until he finally gets around to answering your question. I spent quite a lot of my precious Monday, Tuesday, and Friday afternoons/mornings in these clinics, along with 20+ other students clawing for the professor's and TA's attention. I would say you need to spend ~ 2X the amount of lecture time in office hours to even have a chance at competing for a decent grade. Also, although the curve is nice for LS 4, beware of uber-competitive pre-meds that will take your eye out. I encountered this guy who told another person "you should know that hemophilia and colorblindness are X-linked by now."

Third of all, his final has a lot of multiple choice because it's easier for his TA's and him to grade. Professor M said in class "MC's are hard for me to write because I have to think really hard about all the wrong answers and how to make it harder...."

Fourth, I am not a sadistic pre-med who got a bad grade. I did well in the class, but it ruined my quarter.

Gluck with Dr. Merriam.

March 15, 2009
Jay Phelan See Full Profile

Overall 3.5 Easiness 1.7 Workload 1.3 Clarity 3.5 Helpfulness 4.0

Most Helpful Review

I had Phelan for LS 15, and it was SUCH an enjoyable class! I'm not a science person so I was dreading it, but it doesn't focus on any of the nitty gritty stuff other science classes tend to highlight. Instead, his class is entirely relevant to how we live and I feel like I have a newfound appreciation for science! He is an incredible and entertaining lecturer who frequently makes the class laugh. His lectures are on BruinCast, so coming to class is completely unncessary. The exams are ridiculously straightforward, and the weekly quizzes are the same as the problem sets. Overall, I HIGHLY recommend this class!

Jan. 6, 2009
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