All Ratings and Reviews for Hilary Coller
ok. where to begin. her class was always kind of confusing. Her first exam was very easy ( the average was around a 90%). Her second exam was increasingly more difficult and she didn't allot enough time for students to complete the test. For this exam she ended up extending class period and giving students an extra credit opportunity( some students didn't even finish the test). People above are right about her providing many sources for extra credit tho! The most annoying thing about her class is the timed-quiz by far. She gives you a thicccc paper ( we had a 32pg cell manuscript) to 'read' and you have to answer questions regarding the paper during class. This ( for me) was near to impossible. I though i did really bad but apparently many students did so she hella curved. In fact, the second midterm was probably curved too because I got over 100% and for a fact did not get everything right. I ended up with an A+ lol.
How I got an A+:
- skipped lecture, watched bruincast( take notes on slides and UNDERSTAND the methodology behind the experiments)
- discussions are not necessary to attend ( I only went to two of them and they weren't helpful-- plus they post the slides)
- EMPHASIS ON SLIDES AND EXPERIMENTS- that's all you need to know.
- do the extra credit assignments
- make sure you dont lose points on the hw assignments
If you have to take 165A, definitely take it with her. There are so many extra credit opportunities and the tests are incredibly fair. She is very clear on what will be tested and you learn so much involving cell biology. I love her!
Coller is an amazing professor who cares about her students. Would recommend 100%.
Coller cares a lot about techniques. She places an emphasis on experimental design. She often asks questions during lectures, which are somewhat dry.
How to ace this class:
I recommend really focusing on the papers. Understand the experimental design and all the reagents/model systems used for each paper. This part of the course -- the emphasis on research -- is what made the class interesting and valuable, in my opinion. I really feel like I learned a lot about cell biology.
Other parts of her midterms/final are dependent on lecture material, so I would say that it's important to review her slides often. They are actually not that dense, just a bit boring to go over. If you can handle that, you should be fine for this class.
Best professor possible for 165A... take it with her and no one else if you can!
GOD BLESS HER.
This was by far my favorite class in MCDB at UCLA--due in no small part to Dr. Coller's humble brilliance. Her lectures are very well put together and she knew the answers to every question students posed. Her tests were fair and she wasn't a tough grader. Also, the material in this class is applicable to anyone doing research or interested in doing research. The papers chosen are pertinent and timely. I learned how to read a paper properly in this class. As for Dr. Coller as an individual, she is extremely pleasant and caring. I highly recommend taking 165A with her. I wish she taught other MCDB classes.
Note: I have yet to finish the class, so me claiming to have gotten an "A" is a bit presumptuous. Dr. Coller has become one of my favorite professors at UCLA. I almost wish this course was a prerequisite for the LS Core courses because Dr. Coller does such a good job of explaining so many fundamental cell biology concepts (like microscopy, different experimental techniques, transport, etc). Her course is also designed to improve your analysis and understanding of scientific papers, which, personally, I believe she has accomplished. What I have learned is valuable and incredibly interesting.
She makes it very easy for you to succeed in this class. As mentioned in a previous review, her exams are fair, and she isn't a tough grader. The averages for both of our midterms were 88%/89%, and the medians were both in the low 90's. There are 6 take home quizzes based on papers relevant to the material you're learning (she drops the lowest score), and your TA's help you break down the papers. There's one in-class quiz, where you're a given an entire lecture period to read a paper, and answers questions on said paper. It's all doable! Try not to fall behind, and leave everything to the last minute, and you should have no problems getting a good grade.
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