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Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.
Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.
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I have quite mixed feelings about this class. Before I begin, let me mention that Professor Pham in an amazing teacher and is very educated on the topics he discusses. However, his flaw is that he stop class too often to answer questions, which causes us to stay later online or have to watch the recordings after class. Who knows, maybe in person class will be different. I believe that the grading system is quite fair, they give you room to miss a couple of points in each category, similar to LS7A. The textbook and launchpads are absolutely useless. The only thing that is worthy of your time is the PEQs and the quizzes in the launchpad. The tests are pretty difficult and wordy, however if you enjoy the subject that might make it slightly easier. The labs are long and mindlessly boring. Overall Pham makes the subject interesting, but it does take a little time and effort. I believe the lectures and clicker questions are most helpful in preparing for the exams.
Professor Pham is GREAT! Throughout the quarter, he was extremely helpful and did a good job explaining clicker questions, concepts etc. He’s an extremely passionate professor and if you have to take this class, I would definitely suggest taking it with him!
My main critique isn’t about Professor Pham, but just the class as a whole. The material (barring genetics) is absolutely uninteresting and launchpad is not helpful and will put you straight to sleep. I stopped reading launchpad about midway through the quarter and didn’t feel like I was missing out whatsoever. Labs are not helpful either, although TA Jalyssa made them a lot more enjoyable (BIG shoutout to her!!). They consist of filling out tedious worksheets that, in some cases, are legitimately at a 7th grade level. The exams were alright in terms of difficulty, but the wording (particularly on the 2nd midterm) was unclear for many questions and made it difficult to demonstrate my understanding of class material.
If you have to take this class, I’d highly suggest taking it with Professor Pham, as his enthusiasm makes this class more bearable.
Professor Pham is a stellar professor, the class itself... not so much. Supposedly this class is the "easiest" of the LS7 series but the tests didn't feel like it was. Even one of the LA's during lab stated that they had no idea why the tests were hard compared to previous years; the wording was often very vague and tedious to comprehend. They (the instructional team) did give back points for questions they deemed unfair however. There was a fair bit of extra credit in the form of reflections and mini-midterms. I would take this class again with Pham (and any other classes he may teach) and highly recommend him. DO NOT underestimate this class just because it's called the "easiest".
Pham is an extremely nice guy and knowledgeable. Very accommodating and always answers people's questions. However, classes were sometimes a bit slow or he stops to answer too many people's questions. We fell behind and had to watch extra recorded lectures.
General course comments:
Lab worksheets are boring, long, and don't really help that much. Exams were hard to understand, wording is so vague sometimes. Launchpad's aren't very useful in terms of exams and spending extra time on them is a waste of time.
Poor Pham. He is so sweet and tries to help everyone so much, but people kinda just disregard him and talk over him during lectures because his accent makes it a bit hard to concentrate/follow. If you take this class please don't talk over him. That aside, this class is just another one of the LS 7 hellhole series. What else is there to say. The material is literally middle school level stuff, and the only reason I got an A- is because I didn't study for the final and bombed it. The only way to study really is to look at past tests because nothing they give in class is useful
7B is just a really boring class. Pham tries a lot to make this class engaging or trying his best to explain all the clicker question. But every class just feels like a load of clicker questions and no real lecturing. My TA also tries her best to engage us and explains the concept to us. It's just the structure of the 7 series that make this class boring to go to.
I was really unmotivated during winter quarter, so my experience in this class reflects that. The only reason that I showed up to lectures was because of the iClicker points. Otherwise, I definitely would not have gone. However, Dr. Pham is incredibly nice and encouraging and you can really tell that he cares about student learning. He does have an accent which some people might find hard to understand (I understood him perfectly fine though), but it does help to sit closer to the front if that’s the case for you. The assignments (Achieve, PEQs, lab worksheets) were really easy and basically free points as long as you did them. The first midterm was the easiest for me and tested the content that was the most interesting (genetics, Punnett squares, pedigrees). You could do pretty well with a very basic understanding of the topics and a good sense of logic. The second midterm was a bit more difficult in my opinion since you actually had to know the definitions to answer the questions which were mostly T/F. The final was roughly the same difficulty as the second midterm. There were a couple extra credit points throughout the quarter. You can definitely get an A in this class with minimal effort, but the content is pretty boring so it is a bit of a struggle to stay engaged.
Pham is great. I don't have much else to say because I found the actual class content to be boring but easy to understand. The labs were kind of annoying but otherwise this class was pretty good overall. I think Pham is one of the nicest and most knowledgeable professors I've ever had. He definitely cares about student learning.
Dr. Pham gives dad-vibes, not sure how else to explain it LOL!
Overall, he's a great lecturer, and he is very accomodating in terms of office hours, and he's super approachable with questions and happy to help. My TA Nikhil was the best too so that made discussions pretty engaging.
Overall, the discussion worksheets were kind of useless in terms of studying, and RGs were optional, but it's structured very similar to 7A and it was also a lot easier than 7A. (For context, I missed one question on the first midterm and got a 100 in the second.) Content can be a little boring because the second half of the course is just ecology etc.
Professor Pham is an incredibly knowledgeable and helpful professor. For both LS 7A and LS 7B, he made sure that all student questions were answered and offered various opportunities after class including office hours for students to ask questions and discuss the content. He knows the content extremely well, and is overall just a very nice and funny guy. 10/10 recommend Professor Pham for any class in the LS7 series.
As for the LS 7B class itself, it was quite similar in structure to LS 7A. Two midterms and one final. A lot of pre-class activities, labs, practice exam questions, and other easy assignments that were grade boosters and made it very easy to get an A in this class. There was also a few extra credit opportunities offered throughout the quarter. The class was overall quite easy to get an A in, although each midterm did have a few questions that were worded extremely trickily/difficult to understand. There's nothing to stress about in the end because of all the other free points on the table, though.
LS 7B covers genetics, evolution, and ecology. Personally, ecology and evolution are not the most interesting of topics within biology, so some of the topics covered in this class was definitely not as interesting as LS 7A was. Other than that, LS 7B was a very similar experience to LS 7A with Pham.
For those who are required to take the LS 7 series for their major, Pham is definitely the way to go!