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Took LS3 with Pires Spring 2011, intitially thought she was a total bitch but by the end of the quarter when I finally figured out her teaching style I really think now she is one of the best professors to take for lower division LS classes. All MC exams (with 2x midterms worth only 16% each on the overall grade, easy discussion points, online quizzes which have a couple of tricky questions but are not too hard, although I will admit the turning point clicker attendance crap was kind of annoying (but she gives 2 free days).
Now, on to her teaching style: she seems to be one of those younger, "newer" professors. Basically she just uses her lectures to introduce key concepts to focus on (hint: on the exam). Sure, her lecturing style is a big random and she jumps from point to point but I really found the last couple of lectures (especially that antifreeze protein fish stuff) to be really cool.
Also, the 'assigned readings', outside of using them for the online quizzes, are nearly useless. The readings cover way too much information but do have some good stuff in them, I would recommend skimming them and focus on the topics brought up in lecture. I do remember she recommended consulting wikipedia on a specific topic in lecture one time, but I didn't catch on to that tip until finals week. Really, although wikipedia does have some erroneous information, for the major bio topics it's actually pretty useful.
My best tip I would give to people in the future that take Pres would be to attend lectures and search those topics brought up in lecture (or the lecture slides she frequently & conveniently updates) on wikipedia and study off of that.
Also, the study guides she gives before each exam also are good to study off of pre-exam. Attending her office hours to check what you got wrong on your midterm is kind of a bitch, but I honestly found it to be really helpful for the final.
anyways gl hf 15 mins no rush BIG UP PIRES!!!!
First of all, someone below recommended this class as a GE. DON'T take LS classes as GE's.
I had LS1 with Pires, and yes she is a good professor in the sense that she knows what she's talking about. My biggest problem with her however is her attitude. The one and only time I went to see her at office hours to ask the past midterm, she was impatient and talked down to me as if I was an idiot, and tried to get me to leave asap. She seems "friendly" and "cool" having people call her "Deb" and whatnot, but behind that is a person who is pretty arrogant and twofaced. I think it's because she has all the credentials that give her somewhat of a right to be all big-headed I guess? But if you're a professor, your obligation is to your students.
Anyway, my roommate took her following quarter. My roommate was all set to get an A because the syllabus said something about dropping the lowest two quiz scores? Except when grades came out, she had gotten a A-, and when she calculated all her points she was less than 5 points away from an A because apparently Pires had NOT dropped her lowest quiz score. When she went to office hours to ask, Pires made up a BS excuse about how only the quiz from that week couldn't be dropped (although she never mentioned it). Seriously?
Overall taking a class with Pires is an average experience, but just watch out because it's not easy, and she's not going to help you out either.
I actually took LS 1 with Dr. Pires. I'm still waiting on my final grade, but overall it turned out not too bad. The final was SO easy, I thought ten minutes in she'd come out with the real thing; it was a joke. The midterms were muuuch harder so I started studying a week in advance.
But throughout the quarter, be ready for this class to suck the life out of you. Two quizzes a week, long, meaningless lab write-ups (and the TAs are ridiculous and will mark you down for the stupidest stuff), clicker questions during lecture, and separate writing assignments for her. Be ready to put in a lot of time reading each week. I do NOT suggest taking this class as a GE unless you are really interested in evolution, cause that is all this is about. Maybe in the end, ecology is barely squeezed in.
Overall, the subject matter is pretty interesting, but I was taking two science labs this quarter and I thought this was definitely too much work. Going to lecture really isn't that helpful because she mostly tells personal anecdotes of her travels, which are completely irrelevant to the actual concepts. If you want to do well, READ THE BOOK. Its pretty well-written, too.
Deb is a really fun professor and cares so much about her students. She makes the lectures fun by the use of a PRS clicker, which ensures you dont doze off, and gives you a couple easy points.
But the labs are extremely hard and irrelevant, and even though her online quizzes are easy, her midterms make you wanna cry.
I personally love her teaching style, but I wouldnt for the life of me take LS1 with her again (okay, maybe I would cuz I love her teaching so much, but). Im not sure about LS2, but in LS1, my demo section was 2 pm on Monday.
Mondays are my hardest days, and I had four or five classes before the demo. And the demo requires two hours of walking around the room, writing down data, and presenting it!
I dont know about the curve, but the class didnt do so well.
The good thing about Deb is she welcomes feedback from her students. When her second midterm was ridiculously hard and students complained, she made the final easier.
So, if youre taking this as a GE, and want to learn things, take Deb!
If youre an LS major, and this class goes straight to your GPA, then dont take it unless you want to study your ass off (and get good results).