Plant Biochemistry

Sabeeha S Merchant

Plant Biochemistry

Chemistry and Biochemistry department

Sabeeha S Merchant

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Ratings

Bad
Overall 4.1
Good
Hard
Easiness of class 2.3
Easy
Heavy
Workload 2.3
Light
Not Clear
Clarity of professor 4.1
Clear
Not Helpful
Helpfulness of professor 4.0
Helpful
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Grades

Winter 2014
36.4%
30.3%
24.2%
18.2%
12.1%
6.1%
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.

Spring 2010
30.0%
25.0%
20.0%
15.0%
10.0%
5.0%
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

Quarter Taken: N/A Submitted April 18, 2014 Grade Received: N/A

This class was probably my favorite class in all of the chemistry department. Initially, the class can seem very difficult just by looking at the syllabus - there are about 4 or 5 presentations, 3 tests, and 3 homework assignments. The class was very small, it is capped at 20 students. While she lectures in depth about plant biochemistry, the exams did not test your knowledge on it directly like the tests you may have taken in previous classes. This class is ALL ABOUT READING RESEARCH PAPERS. The book is crazy detailed, but by all means is unnecessary to take this class. I sat in class and listened but didn't take notes. The presentations are in groups of 2 or 3 and are on selected papers about various studies on plants. The first presentation was a little bit rocky for everyone but we quickly got the hang of it and by the end of class it was a breeze. She is very approachable and nice, and a very good teacher. She will teach you how to dissect research papers, make judgements, and argue/comment on them. She often provides examples applicable to "real life" and expands on topics - all to enhance your understanding. She's very interesting and there is a ton to be learned from her. For the exam, you're given a research paper you haven't seen, and a packet of questions to test your understanding on it...and one hour to answer them. Just like the presentations, this became easier as the quarter progressed - showing how our skills have developed. The homework assignments were a bit time consuming, but they weren't too difficult (1.gather research, 2.research on a protein, 3.propose a genetically engineered plant). Like I said, it was my favorite class because of the friendly environment and the skills I actually gained(as opposed to forgetting everything you memorized after the final). We also had a few MOVIE DAYS(on GMO/GE plants), a fun debate day on GMO/GE plants, and on the day we turned in our final homework assignment(on week 10!), she bought us all our OWN custom PIZZA from 800 degrees. I really, really suggest you take this class if you're interested in plants, if you want a small class size, if you want to make a few friends, if you need skills in reading research papers in your career path, and if you like pizza :) Although she probably wont do that every quarter haha.

PS - sorry this eval is sort of all over the place.

Quarter Taken: N/A Submitted June 16, 2010 Grade Received: N/A

This was without a doubt one of my favorite classes at UCLA. It was a pretty small class(only 20 students), so it was nice to get to know the professor and the other students.

Dr. Merchant is really nice and approachable, and she's always willing to help with the journal articles. This class is all about learning how to read, dissect, and present a journal article. Although it is quite a lot of work(3 assignments, 2 midterms, and 3 presentations), I felt that what I gained from this class was well worth it. It really taught me many useful skills(reading journal articles and searching databases) and it was a nice break from the huge 100+ lectures that biochem majors are used to.

I took this class with 2 other biochem classes (154 and 156) and an elective and, though the workload was overwhelming at times, I felt that the things I learned from 161 really helped me with my other classes(especially the research for the lab reports for 154).

That being said, I know that some people in the class struggled. It is not the easiest class and the exams can be pretty tough(you basically have to answer questions about a journal article). Reading the assigned journal articles helps a lot. If you don't understand something, you can always go to office hours. Dr. Merchant is really great at explaining the concepts and helping you to understand the articles.

If you want a super easy upper-div. biochem class where you don't have to attend lectures, this is not the right class for you; however, if you want a smaller upper-div class where you get to know the professor and your fellow classmates and learn a lot of valuable skills, take this class. I HIGHLY recommend it! Again, it's quite a bit of work, but it's not impossibly hard to get an A. Professor Merchant is AWESOME! It was at 9 AM, and she was able to get coffee and food for us. :)

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