Malcolm S Gordon
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
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1.8
Overall Rating
Based on 13 User s
Easiness 1.4 / 5 How easy the class is, 1 being extremely difficult and 5 being easy peasy.
Clarity 1.6 / 5 How clear the professor is, 1 being extremely unclear and 5 being very clear.
Workload 2.6 / 5 How light the workload is, 1 being extremely heavy and 5 being extremely light.
Helpfulness 1.4 / 5 How helpful the professor is, 1 being not helpful at all and 5 being extremely helpful.

TOP TAGS

  • Tolerates Tardiness
  • Needs Textbook
  • Engaging Lectures
  • Useful Textbooks
  • Appropriately Priced Materials
  • Tough Tests
  • Participation Matters
  • Would Take Again

GRADE DISTRIBUTIONS

19.0%
15.9%
12.7%
9.5%
6.3%
3.2%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

27.4%
22.8%
18.3%
13.7%
9.1%
4.6%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

25.7%
21.4%
17.1%
12.9%
8.6%
4.3%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

29.6%
24.7%
19.8%
14.8%
9.9%
4.9%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

28.6%
23.8%
19.0%
14.3%
9.5%
4.8%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

34.7%
28.9%
23.1%
17.4%
11.6%
5.8%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

26.3%
21.9%
17.5%
13.2%
8.8%
4.4%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

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Reviews (9)

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Quarter: Fall 2015
Grade: A
Feb. 18, 2016

First of all, this is not an easy class. Seriously, it's not easy.

With that aside, I honestly don't think it's that hard of a class either. Professor Gordon makes you read out of the textbook. He makes you come to lecture. He makes you actually listen in lecture because what he says will be on the exams. But if you do those two things you'll be fine. People are complaining because they think it's gonna be an easy class but it's not. Just like any other class, you have to put in work to do well in this class. For the practicals, make flashcards, don't just memorize off the paper the TA's give you. And Professor Gordon doesn't even make the practicals, the TAs make 100% of them. I learned a lot from Professor Gordon and I really appreciate all the things that he's taught me. He's an old guy, so props to him for still doing what he loves and teaching it to the younger generation.

tl;dr
Read the textbook, listen to his lectures, make flashcards for the labs, you'll get an A.

Also, there's literally 200 easy points in this class, you just have to go to the field trips.

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Quarter: N/A
Grade: N/A
Dec. 30, 2015

Dr. Gordon lectures on topics revolving around the textbook (but not actually in the text so take notes). He doesn't use powerpoint except for pictures and does not record his lectures. If there is one piece of advice I can give, it's READ THE BOOK. If you don't read the book there's no way you'd understand 50% of the questions. His tests take up the majority of the allotted time and are formatted in short essay with a few definitions. The material is difficult, but if your work hard the curve will save you. Our class average midterm score was 68%. The TAs really save the day and are extremely helpful and encouraging. Lab is absolutely necessary since there are 2 practical exams that require extensive memorization. I highly recommended photographing all of the specimens with their information on your smartphone for studying. I'd say I learned the bulk of the material from lab and the textbook rather than lecture, but it's still necessary to attend for the best grade. 2 field trips are required (easy). You will spend a lot of time working on this class so don't take it if you're planning a heavy course load during the same quarter. Overall though I really enjoyed it! If you like animals, this gives you a nice solid overview of all of the ones with a backbone!

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Quarter: N/A
Grade: N/A
June 11, 2015

Honestly, I don't know why everyone has so much beef with this professor. He is terrific in my opinion. I took EEB 111 with him (Biology of Vertebrates), not MCDB 100, and it's by far my favorite upper-div bio class. Sure, his lectures are unstructured and I found myself typing almost everything he said, but this guy truly knows his stuff about animals and he is one of the most caring, lovable professors I know, he begins lectures with a smile on his face, and has a pleasant sense of humor. His exams are totally fair, especially since the TA (Mason, who is amazing btw) would email everyone a study guide for the midterm as well as the final. These study guides really saved me, as Professor Gordon tends to recycles some of his old test questions. You have to attend 2 out of 3 required Saturday field trips (natural history museum, zoo, and aquarium), which are easy points and actually very interesting! Please don't be dissuaded by all these negative reviews! You will definitely learn a lot in EEB 111 and if you put in the effort, it's totally possible to get an A. The textbook is extremely detailed but you don't have to be that knit picky though, just know the basic concepts! The biggest tip I can give is to memorize, memorize, memorize, as the practicals are all basic fact recall questions, but even then I think it's not all that bad, especially if you have a keen interest in animals! :)

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Quarter: N/A
Grade: N/A
March 10, 2014

DON'T DO IT! I only did it because I'm in my 4th year and it was the only elective that fit into my schedule, but I would rather have stayed a 5th year versus take this class. It was worse than any of the weeder LS and Chem classes. The TAs are nice, and so is he, but this class was way too hard and completely pointless, which leads to a quarter filled with regret and way too much stress (I cried a few times).

He doesn't do lecture slides and there is no real structure to his lectures. He does put up some pictures every once in a while, but that's it.
The book is outrageously dense, but you have to read the 3+ chapters per week to get any kind of acceptable grade in this class.
The labs are cool only because you get to see so many animals, but the lab practicals are way to difficult and are mostly based on biological classification (Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species, geographic location, etc.) of 100s of animals versus the actual biology of the animals (which is pointless for a class that is offered as an elective for non-EEB majors)

Please heed these warnings and don't take this class. It's not worth the stress.

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Quarter: N/A
Grade: N/A
Dec. 19, 2013

Don't waste your time. Just don't take him.

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Quarter: N/A
Grade: N/A
April 23, 2013

A comment below says 25% of tthe students dropped...

In this quarter (2012 Spr), about 30% dropped (including me).

This class is completely pointless, esp. the lab practicals where you have to memorize 100 species latin scientific names (+order + family + class + superorder + subclass + structures + functions + other useless stuff)

DO NOT, i repeat DO NOT take this class unless you absolutely need to. I'm a forth year bio major and this is THE HARDEST science course I've ever taken

Take it unless you don't have a life or if you have photographic memory to memorize all those 100+ pointless latin scientific names

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Quarter: N/A
Grade: N/A
June 12, 2011

one of the best/fun classes ive taken at ucla thus far!

he basically summarizes the book for you chapter by chapter in lecture and explains all the figures in further detail, sometimes pretending he's the animal to clearly demonstrate his point, it's really entertaining. he doesnt podcast and sometimes talks about this not in the book, which later ends up on the exam so going to class is crucial. to get a good grade in the class, you must read the book!

2 midterms/1 final - based mainly on the book and lecture

2 lab practicals - info from handouts given in lab and purely memorization of hundreds of specimen shown in lab

2 field trips - easy to get full credit for if you show up and do the assigned handout

i do recommend him if you really like evolutionary bio. you get to touch preserved sharks, learn about dinos, and go on field trips! -- it's awesome!

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Quarter: N/A
Grade: N/A
April 28, 2011

I'd like to add that as of after the first midterm in EEB 111 with Gordon, over 25% of the students have dropped this class. That is the highest drop I've ever seen in a class, not even Biochem had this many drops.

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Quarter: N/A
Grade: N/A
April 28, 2011

I took EEB 111 Vertebrates with him. For some reason this professor was rated a 2.5 on difficulty BEFORE bruinwalk got reformatted (that's a 7.5 now) so everyone signed up to his class expecting a cakewalk.
We got so jipped.
This class is hella hard. You have to memorize over one hundred species names, common names, traits, and evolutionary trends. And you have to be able to write them from memory. That's right, there's no multiple choice so the tests give zero hints on what to write. If you are good at recognizing a name, great, you won't do so well in this class. If you are good at seeing 100 latin genus species common names and being able to write all of them down onto a blank piece of paper, you'll probably get a A in this class. Otherwise, it's gonna be really tough. If you look at the average grade for this class, it's a C+. WHY WOULD HE MAKE THE AVERAGE SO LOW WHEN THE WEEDER CLASSES ALREADY WEEDED OUT THE C AND BELOW PEOPLE? Think about it: all the people taking this class probably got B-'s or better in the weeder LS classes. You take those top 70% ish and make the average grade a C+. That's like making the average a D in a LS 1 class!!! I wish I could drop this class but it's too late now. I'm just working my ass off now to be above average in an above average class.
I want my first pass back.

Helpful?

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Quarter: Fall 2015
Grade: A
Feb. 18, 2016

First of all, this is not an easy class. Seriously, it's not easy.

With that aside, I honestly don't think it's that hard of a class either. Professor Gordon makes you read out of the textbook. He makes you come to lecture. He makes you actually listen in lecture because what he says will be on the exams. But if you do those two things you'll be fine. People are complaining because they think it's gonna be an easy class but it's not. Just like any other class, you have to put in work to do well in this class. For the practicals, make flashcards, don't just memorize off the paper the TA's give you. And Professor Gordon doesn't even make the practicals, the TAs make 100% of them. I learned a lot from Professor Gordon and I really appreciate all the things that he's taught me. He's an old guy, so props to him for still doing what he loves and teaching it to the younger generation.

tl;dr
Read the textbook, listen to his lectures, make flashcards for the labs, you'll get an A.

Also, there's literally 200 easy points in this class, you just have to go to the field trips.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: N/A
Grade: N/A
Dec. 30, 2015

Dr. Gordon lectures on topics revolving around the textbook (but not actually in the text so take notes). He doesn't use powerpoint except for pictures and does not record his lectures. If there is one piece of advice I can give, it's READ THE BOOK. If you don't read the book there's no way you'd understand 50% of the questions. His tests take up the majority of the allotted time and are formatted in short essay with a few definitions. The material is difficult, but if your work hard the curve will save you. Our class average midterm score was 68%. The TAs really save the day and are extremely helpful and encouraging. Lab is absolutely necessary since there are 2 practical exams that require extensive memorization. I highly recommended photographing all of the specimens with their information on your smartphone for studying. I'd say I learned the bulk of the material from lab and the textbook rather than lecture, but it's still necessary to attend for the best grade. 2 field trips are required (easy). You will spend a lot of time working on this class so don't take it if you're planning a heavy course load during the same quarter. Overall though I really enjoyed it! If you like animals, this gives you a nice solid overview of all of the ones with a backbone!

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: N/A
Grade: N/A
June 11, 2015

Honestly, I don't know why everyone has so much beef with this professor. He is terrific in my opinion. I took EEB 111 with him (Biology of Vertebrates), not MCDB 100, and it's by far my favorite upper-div bio class. Sure, his lectures are unstructured and I found myself typing almost everything he said, but this guy truly knows his stuff about animals and he is one of the most caring, lovable professors I know, he begins lectures with a smile on his face, and has a pleasant sense of humor. His exams are totally fair, especially since the TA (Mason, who is amazing btw) would email everyone a study guide for the midterm as well as the final. These study guides really saved me, as Professor Gordon tends to recycles some of his old test questions. You have to attend 2 out of 3 required Saturday field trips (natural history museum, zoo, and aquarium), which are easy points and actually very interesting! Please don't be dissuaded by all these negative reviews! You will definitely learn a lot in EEB 111 and if you put in the effort, it's totally possible to get an A. The textbook is extremely detailed but you don't have to be that knit picky though, just know the basic concepts! The biggest tip I can give is to memorize, memorize, memorize, as the practicals are all basic fact recall questions, but even then I think it's not all that bad, especially if you have a keen interest in animals! :)

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: N/A
Grade: N/A
March 10, 2014

DON'T DO IT! I only did it because I'm in my 4th year and it was the only elective that fit into my schedule, but I would rather have stayed a 5th year versus take this class. It was worse than any of the weeder LS and Chem classes. The TAs are nice, and so is he, but this class was way too hard and completely pointless, which leads to a quarter filled with regret and way too much stress (I cried a few times).

He doesn't do lecture slides and there is no real structure to his lectures. He does put up some pictures every once in a while, but that's it.
The book is outrageously dense, but you have to read the 3+ chapters per week to get any kind of acceptable grade in this class.
The labs are cool only because you get to see so many animals, but the lab practicals are way to difficult and are mostly based on biological classification (Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species, geographic location, etc.) of 100s of animals versus the actual biology of the animals (which is pointless for a class that is offered as an elective for non-EEB majors)

Please heed these warnings and don't take this class. It's not worth the stress.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: N/A
Grade: N/A
Dec. 19, 2013

Don't waste your time. Just don't take him.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: N/A
Grade: N/A
April 23, 2013

A comment below says 25% of tthe students dropped...

In this quarter (2012 Spr), about 30% dropped (including me).

This class is completely pointless, esp. the lab practicals where you have to memorize 100 species latin scientific names (+order + family + class + superorder + subclass + structures + functions + other useless stuff)

DO NOT, i repeat DO NOT take this class unless you absolutely need to. I'm a forth year bio major and this is THE HARDEST science course I've ever taken

Take it unless you don't have a life or if you have photographic memory to memorize all those 100+ pointless latin scientific names

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: N/A
Grade: N/A
June 12, 2011

one of the best/fun classes ive taken at ucla thus far!

he basically summarizes the book for you chapter by chapter in lecture and explains all the figures in further detail, sometimes pretending he's the animal to clearly demonstrate his point, it's really entertaining. he doesnt podcast and sometimes talks about this not in the book, which later ends up on the exam so going to class is crucial. to get a good grade in the class, you must read the book!

2 midterms/1 final - based mainly on the book and lecture

2 lab practicals - info from handouts given in lab and purely memorization of hundreds of specimen shown in lab

2 field trips - easy to get full credit for if you show up and do the assigned handout

i do recommend him if you really like evolutionary bio. you get to touch preserved sharks, learn about dinos, and go on field trips! -- it's awesome!

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: N/A
Grade: N/A
April 28, 2011

I'd like to add that as of after the first midterm in EEB 111 with Gordon, over 25% of the students have dropped this class. That is the highest drop I've ever seen in a class, not even Biochem had this many drops.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: N/A
Grade: N/A
April 28, 2011

I took EEB 111 Vertebrates with him. For some reason this professor was rated a 2.5 on difficulty BEFORE bruinwalk got reformatted (that's a 7.5 now) so everyone signed up to his class expecting a cakewalk.
We got so jipped.
This class is hella hard. You have to memorize over one hundred species names, common names, traits, and evolutionary trends. And you have to be able to write them from memory. That's right, there's no multiple choice so the tests give zero hints on what to write. If you are good at recognizing a name, great, you won't do so well in this class. If you are good at seeing 100 latin genus species common names and being able to write all of them down onto a blank piece of paper, you'll probably get a A in this class. Otherwise, it's gonna be really tough. If you look at the average grade for this class, it's a C+. WHY WOULD HE MAKE THE AVERAGE SO LOW WHEN THE WEEDER CLASSES ALREADY WEEDED OUT THE C AND BELOW PEOPLE? Think about it: all the people taking this class probably got B-'s or better in the weeder LS classes. You take those top 70% ish and make the average grade a C+. That's like making the average a D in a LS 1 class!!! I wish I could drop this class but it's too late now. I'm just working my ass off now to be above average in an above average class.
I want my first pass back.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
1 of 1
1.8
Overall Rating
Based on 13 Users
Easiness 1.4 / 5 How easy the class is, 1 being extremely difficult and 5 being easy peasy.
Clarity 1.6 / 5 How clear the professor is, 1 being extremely unclear and 5 being very clear.
Workload 2.6 / 5 How light the workload is, 1 being extremely heavy and 5 being extremely light.
Helpfulness 1.4 / 5 How helpful the professor is, 1 being not helpful at all and 5 being extremely helpful.

TOP TAGS

  • Tolerates Tardiness
    (1)
  • Needs Textbook
    (1)
  • Engaging Lectures
    (1)
  • Useful Textbooks
    (1)
  • Appropriately Priced Materials
    (1)
  • Tough Tests
    (1)
  • Participation Matters
    (1)
  • Would Take Again
    (1)
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