Spring 2019 - Shuming is amazing! Organic Chemistry is not easy but she tries her best to make sure every student is successful and well prepared. She gives out A TON of practice problem sets (outside of the homework problem sets), she gives a bunch of practice exams that don’t mirror the exams but they do help you learn the skills that you will need for the actual exam, and she hosts WEEKLY reviews to go over materials that are taught the previous week. Her exams are extremely difficult, but she tells you so and prepares you very well for them. The average for the first exam was a B- and the second was a B, which in her class a B- is 70-75% and a B is 75-80%. I got a 109/120 on the first midterm and 111/120 on the second and i got an email from her writing to congratulate me on my scores. The final is a monster! I got a 131/215, which was above average somehow. She does give out 2% extra credit for your overall grade in the class though, so make sure to do Bacon and evaluations. In her straight scale, and A is 90-95% but I ended up with an 83.something% (extra credit already included) and she curved the class enough for me to get an A. Overall 10/10 would take again.
Spring 2019 - Shuming consistently goes above and beyond for her students. I haven't had a single teacher or professor from elementary, middle, high school, or college as dedicated as her to teaching students. Her class is extremely tough-don't get me wrong, but she prepares students well for her exams. The homework is more-or-less free points, and it's very similar to what is on exams. She gives two practice exams which are fairly representative, along with additional problem sets. You can also get up to 2% extra credit, but you'll need it. Again, the exams are really hard. Most importantly, Dr. Chen herself does weekly review sessions in the evening, which contain even more practice and are highly useful. Her lectures are engaging, and very clear and useful. However, only buy the modeling kit-you get to use that on exams. Otherwise, the book is practically useless; just pirate it as you won't read much from it. Looking back after having taken Chem 30B with Merlic, her class really does give students the fundamentals to succeed in future courses. Her tests were definitely hard; I'd say that her synthesis problems were even harder than the ones I had to do in 30B, with over a dozen of steps compared to 5-6 max in 30B.
Winter 2018 - If you are dreading 30CL because of the fact that you have to go to lab twice a week, I wouldn't worry too much. The labs aren't that bad although there will be ups and downs. Some lab periods you come in and throw some stuff into a flask and then go home. Other lab periods you run a column, work up the reaction, and do some other stuff all within the period which means you're probably going to stay the full time. Professor Chen is also pretty cool. She's fairly new and young/hip so it's very easy to get along with her. If you are expecting the same level of difficulty as 30BL then you might be disappointed. The class is laid out exactly the same way as 30BL so your entire grade essentially rides on the final because everybody does well on the lab reports. Professor Chen comes up with some interesting questions for the final so the test is fairly challenging compared to 30BL.