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I took this course as Psych 124K (Legal, Ethical, and Societal Implications of Cognitive Neuroscience). This class was one of the best experiences I've had at UCLA! All students had to email Dr. Rissman prior to the course to express interest and we received an email with a PTE number should we be chosen.
The class was a seminar style with 24 students. While Dr. Rissman lectured during our class meetings, he encouraged a lot of discussion and left plenty of time to allow for this. The lecture material was a great sampling of the various topics involving the ethics of neuroscience. I think he went into enough depth to get a good understanding of the material without it feeling shallow.
Overall, Dr. Rissman is an incredibly nice guy. He's always willing to answer questions. The class was graded based off of class participation, two papers (one short paper and one longer paper), and a short-answer/paragraph final. Everything in this course was very fair and you can tell that Dr. Rissman cares more for sharing his knowledge and educating the students than meeting quotas or enforcing curves.
Easily the best class with the best professor I have ever had. I had the privilege to have Dr. Rissman as my professor for the past two quarters and it has been such a great learning experience. He has taught not only me, but the rest of the class far beyond what a textbook can teach. Very cool and interesting material about neuroscience and ethics. Many of the class discussions are very interesting and will have you thinking about it pass the classroom. Every lecture is clear and interesting. He is very receptive to comments and easily approachable. It was fun learning from him and learning from all the classmates in it. You get to learn about each other on a different level and hear a variety of comments that are beneficial to learning. Coming to class everyday was easy and leaving the class was not easy because you wanted to learn more. I wish the class was longer because this is the type of material that is not discussed in many classes. The information we learned was beneficial and will help you in life. This is the type of class that reminds you why going to school is important versus other classes that have a cut throat environment (which takes away the beauty or fun of learning). It is clear how much Dr. Rissman cares about his students' learning and for them to get quality education. He is passionate about what he teaches and wants to share that with his students. I definitely wish this class was at least 2 hours longer, and I am honestly sad that it came to an end (not something I can say about every class). Jesse Rissman is a professor who makes a difference and who truly makes UCLA a better place. UCLA and all the students that have had him are lucky. If you want to really experience quality education from ucla, take any class with him... but especially this class! GO NEUROETHICS. Make sure to enroll quick because it is a rare class that is not offered often. take it or miss out.
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