Advanced Topics in Cell and Molecular Biology: Molecular Biology of Cell Nucleus

Chentao Lin

Advanced Topics in Cell and Molecular Biology: Molecular Biology of Cell Nucleus

Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology department

Chentao Lin

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Overall 2.4
Easiness of class 1.0
Workload 1.0
Not Clear
Clarity of professor 2.4
Not Helpful
Helpfulness of professor 3.2


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Quarter Taken: N/A Submitted Dec. 19, 2015 Grade Received: N/A

I took his LS3 class Fall 2013…so quite a while back. I just fell like writing a comment for Professor Lin because I got an A in his class and I remember spending a LOT of time studying for this class. I also remember his tests being very picky. You really have to pay attention to the wording and notice one word differences that make an answer choice either correct or wrong. Also for the first two midterms I went to the test bank and studied those tests. I aced the first midterm cause back then no one knew much about the text bank tests, and did ok on the second midterm , cause by then a few people knew. Nevertheless, I aced the final because I started to realize that the key to doing well is studying each molecular/ genetic technique such as in-situ, southern blot, pcr, microarray western blot, etc and realizing when to use which, as well as being able to differentiate between them. Again, the right answer is due to the wording so really pay attention to wording…sometimes one word can throw a whole answer choice off. Of course, its been a while since I took this class, but I hope my advice still applies and helps.

Quarter Taken: N/A Submitted Dec. 31, 2013 Grade Received: N/A

Course taken: LS3

Professor Lin is one of the nicest professors in the LS department but he tests his students really poorly. The material for LS3 in my opinion was actually very fascinating since I am a life science major. However, his exams really made the class harder than it should have been. Honestly, you could walk into that testing room confident that you understand the material since this class is really just the central dogma in depth yet his test questions can be worded in such a puzzling manner.

He provides PPTs for all his lectures and also posts podcasts online. All the information you need is in the PPTs and the material can become clearer if you listen to the podcasts.

The makeup of his class is basically 20% Midterm 1, 20% Midterm 2, and 60% Final. The secret to acing the two midterms is just going to the test bank. I got a C- on 1st midterm and a B+ on 2nd midterm. I went to the test bank Week 10 (my biggest mistake ever). The past tests had pretty much the EXACT same questions as the midterms for that quarter. I cannot stress how important the test bank is. I felt extremely foolish for not going to the test bank for Lin's tests. My grade suffered because of it.

Seeing that I got an 88 on his 2nd midterm without the aid of the EXACT SAME TEST from the test bank, the midterms are doable since he only wants you to understand concepts, not necessarily details from specific examples. This is the method I suggest you take when you prepare for his final. There are many different concepts for LS3 and he uses specific examples to help you understand those concepts. The best thing is to just understand the examples and not memorize the details/names/procedures. This should help you utilize your study time wisely. Really... do not memorize procedures for experiments. Biggest time waster.

But even then that final will still be a pain. It's basically half conceptual and half experimental questions. The experimental questions aren't that bad like other reviewers say, it's the conceptual questions. He specifically asks for "the most likely" or "the least likely" of the answers. There's a good chance that there are two or more possible answers for a question but he asks for which would be the "most likely" to occur. The average was around a 60%. I ended up getting a B in the class.

Quarter Taken: N/A Submitted Dec. 20, 2013 Grade Received: N/A


First 2 midterms were OK. Final was semi-fair, but it's complete BS that it's worth 60% of your grade. I had an A going into the final, didn't do well enough above the average to maintain it. Very unforgiving. Went to his office hours once, he is a total douche and condescending prof. TAs were much more friendly, approachable, knowledgable even. Disappointed in this class. Not the end of the world if you get him, but don't listen to what others have been saying about giving a nice curve. I emailed him and he gave me a quick guideline based on the LScore guidelines, it's still only 10% getting a solid A.

Quarter Taken: N/A Submitted March 28, 2012 Grade Received: N/A

For LS3:

2 midterms + final, all multiple choice.

To get an A:

1) He reuses test questions, so get old exams from the test bank.

2) Memorize the slides

3) Don't waste your time reading the book. Spend even more time memorizing the slides, instead.

Quarter Taken: N/A Submitted March 23, 2012 Grade Received: N/A


He pronounces Neanderthal as Lindehntoe (but that's why I thought he was funny).

Prof. Lin is a very nice guy, he's funny during lectures. His Midterm I and II are do-able, relatively easy if you memorize the lecture slides and watch the podcasts (he sometimes mentions important bits of info that are not on the slides). If you know the slides, the amino acids, the experiments, and the methods (and how to apply them) you should be fine for the midterms. (A piece of advice: read the multiple choice answer choices carefully because one answer may look right but have some little piece of information that is wrong and therefore the whole answer choice is wrong).

THE FINAL HOWEVER was HARD. Because some of his questions are SOO wordy and therefore confusing, and it's hard to understand what he's asking. Also very annoying is his use of double or triple negatives when asking a question. It was very frustrating because I knew the material but had no idea what he was asking for some of the questions. About 60% of the questions were about facts, so those were ok, but the rest were applications of methods (ie. So. Blot, PCR, etc.) and often confusing.

All in all, Prof. Lin is a nice guy. Midterms are not bad. Final can be a nightmare.

Quarter Taken: N/A Submitted May 25, 2011 Grade Received: N/A

LS3 with him Winter 2011. Just memorize the slides and know them inside out and the tests will be good. Many people complained about the final being hard but agian, it's all about the slides. The book was too detailed and actually confused me more in the end. Overall I would recommend Lin and his LS3 class.

Quarter Taken: N/A Submitted March 22, 2011 Grade Received: N/A

I took him for LS3 and found that his class was very straightforward. He does have an accent but it does not get in the way of understanding him at all unlike most of the professors at UCLA with accents. His lectures slides contain all the information needed so you dont event have to buy the book. You can read the book to get a clearer picture but is very dense and has a lot of detail that is not necessary. If you need clarification I recommend re watching his lectures which are podcasted. There are two midterms that are non cumulative and a final that focuses on the material covered after the second midterm. There are also questions on the lab portion that are written by lab component director.

Overall if you re-read his slides and memorize the information the tests are quite easy since they are multiple choice. This was true since for the firs two midterms the average was around 85. His final though was horrible, he had a lot of obscure questions that did not make sense at all. Also a lot of the questions were about experimental situations that were a bit hard to follow through since they were very wordy. Overall though his class is quite good. The material is very much about memorizing a lot of processes and things of the sort but that is inherent due to the material being studied. Overall I would recommend him for LS3.

Quarter Taken: N/A Submitted March 18, 2011 Grade Received: N/A

Had him for LS 3. Overall, can't understand a word he says. His accent is very thick. It's kind of information overload, but that's how it is with all the LS classes. His lecture slides are easy to understand though and simple to a degree. Best method of studying was repetition, memorization, and re-watching podcasts. The first two midterms, the mean was really high, like 85%. I think this annoyed him or something because then he made the final extremely hard. Not the worst case scenario, but not the best case either.

Quarter Taken: N/A Submitted March 27, 2009 Grade Received: N/A

I had him for LS3 winter09. (there was no course listing for LS3)

Wow- this class was alot more difficult than I had imagined.

You will learn things hat you have never even heard of in highschool AP bio (unlike LS2). His first couple lectures cover basic DNA/protein chemistry, but don't be fooled, you will have LOTS and LOTS of new things to learn. He has his lecture slides posted up in advance, so I HIGHLY suggest you read over them before coming to lectures. Otherwise, you will have no idea what he is talking about and it will be a waste of 50 minutes. But he posts his lectures online, so you can review.

His exams were NOT easy. Make sure you learn all the lab techniques (ie Southern lotting, SDS-PAGE) but most importantly, know the concepts behind using them (what are you studying by using this technique; how do you interpret the results, etc). Lastly, don't neglect the material you learn just prior to the miterms; I asure you they will be on the exams. For the final (insanely difficult), study the material by organizaing how ALL the things you have learned are connected.

Quarter Taken: N/A Submitted March 23, 2009 Grade Received: N/A

Had him for LS3. He is passionate professor. He loves experiments. There are a lot of insane experimental questions on finals. Final was very very intense, a lot of materials. It is said that people thought they failed final. The only good thing about him is that midterms and final are mutiplechoice and plenty of time. Overall , I would recommend him because of multiple choices

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