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LS 4 was not listed but that was the class that I took with him.
I do not recommend him for anyone. He is a horrible lecturer and the textbook does not help so you are pretty much teaching yourself the entire course with help from the TA's during discussion. His tests were impossible and the averages for my class were in the low 50's each time. The TA's and UA's had trouble solving some of the problems. He justifies his inadequate teaching by claiming that he is available and holding various reviews and problem solving clinics. He has a quirky smile and seems to get joy out of watching his students struggle. When you ask him for help, it's as if he is looking down at you for not understanding what he has done all his life. Be prepared to put in way too much work to teach yourself the entire course. Save yourself the work and take it with a different professor.
LIFE SCIENCE 4 ( not MCDB C174)
I AM CURRENTLY STUDYING FOR HIS FINAL. HIS TESTS ARE VERY DIFFICULT BECAUSE HE ADDS A LOT OF TWISTS AND ASSUMES YOU KNOW KNOW ASSUMPTIONS THAT ARE "ASSUMED" TO BE KNOWN. you know what i mean. take another teacher if you can. NO SLEEP TONIGHT! shout out to william and diana for being great TAS!
I would not recommend Merriam for LS4. His lecture style isn't structured like usual classes. The class itself is horrible. The topics jump everywhere and don't connect with each other.
I took LS 4 with Dr. Merriam this quarter (ignore MCDB C174B at the top; LS 4 wasn't one of the options), and he is indeed one of the most concerned and available professors I've had. He really does try to help you learn and understand the material, and he's a really nice guy. Although Dr. Merriam may not have been the most effective teacher, you could tell that he is really passionate about the subject and really tries to motivate us to learn, and I appreciate that. His lecture slides are not too helpful though (they're usually just figures from the textbook); what I suggest is to read the textbook, do the practice problems, do problems on the Interactive Genetics, do old practice exams if you have the time, and most definitely go to discussion and do the discussion problems. I found the material in this class to be really interesting, but the fact that we had four midterms was exhausting because you have to constantly be on your feet. One midterms come around, you fall behind the new material taught in lecture and have to spend the next 2 weeks or so catching up. However, this did help me in the long run because I still remembered a lot of the material so I didn't have to study too intensively for the final. His midterm problems weren't too bad; the difficult part is to finish all 20 word problems in one hour. I often have time to finish all the problems, but not enough time to go over my answers, or I end up not having enough time to think certain problems through even when the problems were do-able. Other than the first midterm, the averages for the midterms were like 55-60 (5 points for each problem). The final (50 problems; 6 points each) was a bit harder than the midterms. They were "different versions" of midterm questions, but I felt like a lot of the problems were worded in ways or asked us to solve for things that we haven't really seen in discussion, so it really required you to know the material well. I ended up doing pretty well in this class, but it does require a lot of attentiveness and good study habits. If you do decide to take LS 4 with Dr. Merriam, make sure you don't procrastinate because you're gonna end up having to cram in a lot of material. Good luck!
I took Merriam for LS4. He's really nice and always available. He gave like 10 OH's every week. The class had 4 midterms whick kept you study every single day. But it wasn't that hard to get A. Just go to Clinics to solve the problems, do the CD really well (he wrote the CD), do the practice tests he posted online, and pay attention in Discussion, you'll be fine
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