Mind over Matter: History, Science, and Philosophy of Brain

Scott H Chandler

Mind over Matter: History, Science, and Philosophy of Brain

General Education Clusters department

Scott H Chandler

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from 33 users

Ratings

Bad
Overall 3.4
Good
Hard
Easiness of class 2.5
Easy
Heavy
Workload 2.3
Light
Not Clear
Clarity of professor 3.5
Clear
Not Helpful
Helpfulness of professor 3.7
Helpful
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Tags

  • Uses Slides
  • Needs Textbook
  • Engaging Lectures
  • Participation Matters
  • Appropriately Priced Materials
  • Often Funny
  • Tough Tests
  • Useful Textbooks
  • Has Group Projects

Grades

Fall 2019
53.3%
44.4%
35.6%
26.7%
17.8%
8.9%
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.

Fall 2018
33.1%
27.6%
22.1%
16.6%
11.0%
5.5%
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.

Fall 2017
44.7%
37.3%
29.8%
22.4%
14.9%
7.5%
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.

Fall 2016
32.9%
27.4%
21.9%
16.5%
11.0%
5.5%
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.

Fall 2015
37.3%
31.0%
24.8%
18.6%
12.4%
6.2%
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.

Fall 2014
43.4%
36.1%
28.9%
21.7%
14.5%
7.2%
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.

Fall 2013
37.0%
30.8%
24.6%
18.5%
12.3%
6.2%
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.

Fall 2012
34.7%
29.0%
23.2%
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.

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1 of 3

Reviews

Quarter Taken: Winter 2017 Submitted Sept. 14, 2017 Grade Received: A+

Okay, here's the deal. I think the reviews of this class are polarizing because it mashes up two opposite sides of the academic spectrum: humanities (history, philosophy, literature) and science (neuroscience, psychology [which could swing humanities], and neuroanatomy). Some of the basic neuroscience concepts swing nearly on the side of chemistry-type ideas. It's interdisciplinary and if you find yourself skilled on one end of the spectrum and are not willing to stretch out of your comfort zone and work hard to learn the concepts on the other end, don't take this class. I began this class fully expecting it to AP Psychology 2.0, and in some cases it was (if you took AP Psych, you're set for quite a bit of the neuroanatomy and psychology), but in many cases it is not. I find myself pretty well-rounded in that while I lean more humanities, I can switch to the more science-based concepts with a bit of work. Learning the neuroscience is a steep learning curve, even for those in science majors. However, if you go to your TA's office hours, the professors' office hours, and make sure to ask questions, you WILL get it. This class takes effort and I think very few would say its an easy A, but it is 100% worth taking. It was the best experience of my life and I learned so much. I think the first quarter is much harder than the second quarter because by the second quarter you can apply the knowledge from the first quarter to real concepts like movement and mental illness, which I found incredibly interesting. The seminar was also good, just be sure to choose a topic you really like. Fall and winter quarters have a midterm and final (multiple choice/short answer style), weekly quizzes, a final paper, and a midterm/shorter paper. It's all doable. The tests can be challenging, but if you do the weekly study questions they are very manageable. If you don't put in the effort, you will be miserable and get a poor grade. This isn't a class you can just skate by in, not study, and not do the readings. However, it is a class that will enrich your freshman year and put you in a great place for your subsequent studies at UCLA.

Quarter Taken: Fall 2020
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Submitted Dec. 23, 2020
Grade Received: A

Dr. Chandler specifically was the worst lecturer for this class. I love neuro, the multidisciplinary approach, etc but Chandler is so unorganized and hard to follow. Thankfully he has detailed notes for his slides and the TAs recognize that he’s confusing as well, but I would say his part of lecturing was the only time I had to truly put in work. The other topics and professors are much more clear and engaging, and I enjoyed every aspect of neuroscience they taught. The midterm was absurdly hard, all free response, extreme format requirements, and not enough time at all, but in turn the final was multiple choice, easy, and honestly horribly written (some questions were not even complete). There is quite a lot of extra credit however which I appreciate, so I’d take advantage of that! Although a bit up and down, I would highly recommend this course to anyone who is interested in neuroscience (yes, even if the science GEs overlap!), and I also enjoy that it’s a year long course so I can get to know my classmates better.

Quarter Taken: Fall 2020
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Submitted Dec. 24, 2020
Grade Received: B

Pros:

Professors are clearly passionate and knowledgeable about the material. They go into plenty of detail and are willing to answer questions if you have any.

There is a sense of community that you get with a cluster that you don't have in other classes - there's "community events" outside of class like watching a movie or going to a game night. In a normal year a cluster like this would be a great way to make friends as a freshman.

The discussions are helpful to review the material, we did plenty of kahoots and review games that were useful.

Cons:

The material is difficult, and a lot of it wasn't what I signed up for. There's enough extremely detailed anatomy to make anyone who's not a science person cry - I'm a STEM major and it was still too much for me at times. All the -encephalons will show up in my nightmares for years to come.

The writing assignments. Hooooooo boy, these were bad. The prompts were very convoluted and confusing (the prompt and Q&A for the final paper was eight pages long, lol) and the grading is very inconsistent. When your "feedback" is a comment about a sentence and saying that "this claim is not supported" when the next two lines do nothing but support that claim, your boy is gonna be a little salty.

The course doesn't do very well in an online format. The website was extremely unorganized, and everyone was constantly dealing with bugs all year. Not to mention that the sense of community that clusters try to bring is basically gone in an online format. Going to a movie night on campus with friends is a lot different then joining a zoom call with your mic and camera off and watching the movie, lol.

So, should you take this class? If you are very interested in neuroscience and willing to put in a lot of work, and assuming we'll be back in person next year, go for it. Though if you do, going to the library office hours before papers are due is an absolute must (so you can understand what's actually being graded and whether citations are important or not), and study a bunch before all of the quizzes and tests. There aren't many free points in the class, so it can mess up your GPA if you don't treat it as your top priority (which I couldn't, taking two other major classes at the same time). Considering GEs are supposed to be easier GPA boosters compared to your major classes, that's quite a big drawback.

Quarter Taken: Fall 2018 Submitted April 3, 2019 Grade Received: U

This comment is specifically for TA SONIA JAMANI. Avoid her at all cost (I don't think she will qualify for a TA next year anyway). I had her during the first quarter and she failed to fulfill the duty as a TA in every possible way: she did not know how to explain the questions on quizzes; she barely gave any useful information during discussion sections which were mandatory and simply a waste of time with her. The worst thing of all, she really had a problem with grading. She did not give out any grades throughout the quarter and procrastinated everything until after the final. When I received an unexpected final grade and approached her for comments, she did not give any convincing explanation. It sounded to me that she did not read my essay at all and just assigned an arbitrary grade. Though I shifted to a better TA in the following quarters, the OVERALL COURSE EXPERIENCE IS NOT THAT GOOD. As a cluster, all the professors just threw their own part of infos out there without building any connections between different disciplines. Not to mention some of them are really bad, dry lecturers. Quite a disappointment overall.

Quarter Taken: Fall 2020
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Submitted Jan. 5, 2021
Grade Received: A

Professors Chandler, Kristal, Levine, Knowlton, and Meldrum are the best of the best. Each of them are personable and friendly, and make you feel like you know them personally, despite the large class size. Although I struggle in math and science, this was hands down my favorite course, and the one that I feel taught me the most. The professors are super clear and always willing to help in lecture, office hours, or otherwise. There is a fair amount of work, which I suppose should be expected for a six unit class, but it was definitely doable. Ample time was given for each assignment, and it was always super clear what the expectations were. Would definitely recommend this class to any incoming freshman regardless of major-- I study Econ and still found this class extremely interesting, and although challenging, totally worth the effort. Be sure to take this cluster!

Quarter Taken: Fall 2020
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Submitted Dec. 31, 2020
Grade Received: A

While the material is difficult at times, this cluster is very interesting and the professors do a good job at engaging students. Professor Chandler tries his best to be relatable (it is very sweet) and he spent ample time rooting us on for starting college in the midst of a pandemic. My main struggle with the class was the exams, as both the midterm and final were at specific times and no makeups were given. This was difficult for me as I was taking the class from a different time zone. While I struggled to take exams at 9-10:30 PM I could not imagine what students in other countries had to do in order to successfully take the exam at odd hours later in the night. I appreciated all of the help from the inquiry specialist and time to edit papers with the TA, classmates and more in preparation for deadlines. If you want to ease into college, this cluster is your class. While I never felt babied per se it was comforting to have extra guidance, deadlines very clearly spelled out for me, and many professors, TAs, an inquiry specialist and a librarian to ask for help.

Quarter Taken: Fall 2018 Submitted July 29, 2020 Grade Received: B

This class is tough, but ultimately doable. The workload (specifically the labs and essays) could be pretty heavy, the content (specifically the neuroscience) was challenging, the lectures could be really confusing and/or boring. However, the psychological, literature, and film aspects were also pretty interesting and the professors were quite nice and approachable (Professor Chandler could be a little intimidating). I highly recommend the film seminar for the spring quarter if you want light, fun work, and a fantastic professor. The T.A's and InqSpec were also quite helpful so I highly recommend utilizing them (with the exception of Sonia who seemed pretty clueless).

P.S. I'm selling my textbook for this class at a cheap rate. If anyone is interested, email: daniella824@g.ucla.edu

Quarter Taken: Fall 2018 Submitted Sept. 24, 2019 Grade Received: B

selling textbook $75
email: GemmaMSamoy.22.01@gmail.com

Quarter Taken: Fall 2018 Submitted June 19, 2019 Grade Received: C-

If you are a humanities major and just taking this for the GEs to get rid of the science classes, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD DON'T DO IT. Im a poli sci major and my NSA thought it would be a good idea to take this cluster but I understood jack sh*t. I studied my ass off and read the readings and watched videos and maybe its cause im generally dumb but its a really complicated class if this is not your focus of study even if you are genuinely interested, as was I.

Quarter Taken: Fall 2018 Submitted Feb. 20, 2019 Grade Received: A

Great professor and super enthusiastic. The content is complicated but he is so willing to help you understand during office hours and the lecture slides are always posted online for review.

1 of 3

Tags

  • Uses Slides
  • Needs Textbook
  • Engaging Lectures
  • Participation Matters
  • Appropriately Priced Materials
  • Often Funny
  • Tough Tests
  • Useful Textbooks
  • Has Group Projects
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