All Ratings and Reviews for Joshua Trachtenberg
For Trachtenberg's module, I thought the neurodevelopment material was pretty interesting and it was new information we hadn't seen in 101A or basically any biology class before. But this also made the module extremely difficult and memorization-heavy, because you have to know how all of these molecules and pathways work in brain development, and at least for me, I had never seen most of those before, so it was basically learning all of that information for the first time. So for his midterm, you'll want to put a lot of time and effort into knowing everything on his slides and from his lectures, I think the best way to study is just rewatching lectures and looking over notes, make sure you basically memorize EVERYTHING he says.
As a professor, he's not the worst but he's not the best. He tells you the information you need to know, but he's also a little bit disorganized. He goes off on 50 different tangents during one lecture and it's funny at first but then gets kind of annoying. Overall, his module isn't terrible, but it'll definitely take a lot of effort to study all of the information.
I really enjoyed this module on neurodevelopment! I found that material to be super interesting, and I thought Trachtenberg presented it in a clear, organized fashion. His exam was definitely challenging, but doable if you put in the proper time and effort to study. I would recommend you know the experiments discussed in lecture well. Overall, I really loved the topics discussed in this module, and wished we could have spent more time on it!
Very friendly and intelligent guy. He definitely knows his stuff. The only "bad" thing is that he talks waayyyyy tooo fast (He's from the east coast). I recorded his lectures because I couldn't write fast enough to keep up with him. Even when I was listening to the lectures, I had to pause and go back many, many times because he was talking so fast. For his module, I'd recommend taping his lectures. The stuff he presents is very interesting. His test is doable. It's a multiple-choice test, but it's more like a multiple true/false test. For every question, you have to circle all the correct answers AND cross out all the wrong answers to receive credit. I'd say memorizing his slides is the best way to study for the test. Just keep an organized chart of what each thing does. There's no point buying the Bear book for this class (if you're not a neurosci student and already bought the Bear book for 101A). His materials come from this other crazy neurobiology book that's usually on reserve at the library but has way too much information. Just go to his lectures, listen (don't try to take notes, just record the lectures), go home and take notes. It is possible to cram for his midterm the night before, but I'd suggest start studying for his test a few nights earlier to make studying less painful. Another great neuroscience professor!
Indeed, he does know his stuff, but the only problem was his exam. He gives a MC exam with A,B,C,D,E,F,G,H... options to circle. I honestly think that's quite confusing and it's not the way that an advanced science class should be tested. He does lecture a little too quick, but I guess if you tape record him then go home and listen to the lectures, you'll be just fine when it comes to understanding the material. The topic he teaches "neural development" and the experiments he talks about in his module are really interesting. I only wish he had a better testing style, that wouldn't confuse students, but makes sure they understand the material or could design experiments similar to the ones he taught.
Though the material is a bit dry, he made coming to class worth while. He jokes a lot, is very good looking, and makes the module enjoyable. His exams are very strange. They are multiple choice with a-f and more than one correct answer of some of them, and short answer questions. The exam was tricky but there was definitely a good curve. All you have to do is go to lecture, read the two articles, no book reading is necessary. Make sure you know the experiments because you will be asked about them on the exam. Compared to Drier who taught the next module, Trachtenberg was amazing.
Not bad..did better on his test than i thought i would. The test was multiple choice and short answer. The multiple choice was difficult because you could choose more than one answer so you would doubt yourself each time. The second module with Dreier made trachtenberg seem that much better. WOW dreier was the worst teacher in the world. but trachtenberg decently explains things and at least tells you wat you need to know for his test.
Took Neuroscience M101B Module 1 with him.
Very straightforward module exam. The questions were right off the lecture slides, and he gave 4 easy extra credit points for an 85 point test. The average was extremely high...72.8 out of 85 (86%), but it's fine since the curve will never harm us. Some students complained that some of the questions were ambiguous, but the majority clearly disagreed, as indicated by the high exam average.
He lectures just fine. No reading required as well. Overall, zero complaints for Prof. Trachtenberg.
He teaches the first module and is absolutely HILARIOUS! he has a quirky sense of humor and goes on tangents about random things, but they are actually interesting. i recorded his lectures and actually looked forward to hearing the lectures again!! you don't use the bear or the other book that he suggests. make sure you know the slides back and forth. he explains it out in Office hours too, but i don't know how receptive he is to meeting outside of OH since he's REALLY into his research. I studied a bit every weekend when i relistened to the lectures and it really helped. the only bad thing is that he covers a lot of molecules and instead of doing one molecule at a time, he does it chronological in order of brain and spinal cord development, so you have the same set of molecs popping up but with different, and sometimes contradicting functions. if you have Qs, make sure to go to his last lecture because its really a review. um....his voice squeaks--yet another endearing factor. his test is ok--i got an A- without the curve and i have YET to get an A in ANY science class. i basically want to BE him when i grow up and think he's a great neurosci prof--i only wish he taught more. seriously, i can't praise him enough. most NS majors have to take this class, but if you are contemplating an elective, he's great and i recommend him! =) good luck!
He is a great and really funny professor. He can really make you laugh out loud during the lectures and at the same time he teaches really well, keeps you interested.
His exam however is slightly annoying. Questions like: tell me everything you know about *x*... And that 'everything' is not from one lecture, you have to gather info from all the lectures because some things come out in like one slide in other lectures. You have to actually memorize the molecule names and function for each and so on.
I took 101B with Professor T.
BEST TEACHER IN UCLA.
He is very organized, methodical, knows exactly what he is talking about. I have no idea how I did on his test, but even without getting it back, I can saw with sure confidence that I learned A WHOLE LOT in his module.
TAKE HIM! HE ROCKS YOUR SOCKS! Wohooo!
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