All Ratings and Reviews for Guillaume F Chanfreau
I feel like I become more qualified to be a biochemistry student after taking 153B with Professor Chanfreau. He expected reasonable skills from his students as this is an upper division course, but he also guided his students to learn and think critically. We did not just learn the facts, but we were required to understand and be able to apply, thus his exams were somewhat challenging in the sense that everything we learned was connected, and important.
His knowledge about the materials is admirable and if you have a question regarding the class material or anything related, he is the person to ask.
When I took the class, there were two midterm (50 pts each) and a final (100 pts). We had abt 6-7 quizzes which based solely on lecture materials. I found the quizzes to be helpful because studying for the quizzes forced me to stay on top of the materials and not falling too far behind.
It is important that you pay attention to his lectures and take good notes. I used his lecture notes and practice problems solely when preparing for the exams. I didnt use the book or any extra resources as I thought his lectures are the most updated ( to current research) and informative.
Also, you will enjoy his collection of DNA,RNA related T-shirts and unexpected jokes :)
This guy knows the subject inside and out. He is the most qualified person to teach this class, I mean it. However, he is boring and has no patience for questions that he thinks you should know already. As long as you know your 3D shapes and you can interpret some given data, you will be fine.
In response to the previous "lame jokes no one found funny" comment, the author of this post must tastefully disagree. Perhaps the previous poster's sense of humor is better suited for the likes of Dr. Kim's 153L lecture jokes.
As a ("graduated") long-time Biochemistry undergraduate student, I have to say Dr. Chanfreau was definitely one of the better biochem professors I've experienced (twice) at UCLA. He takes the right approach at teaching the implicit nature of "modern" molecular biology, where the knowledge comes from the experimental results, not the other way around.
He's also not a gigantic asshole, which seems to be an unfortunate recurring trend I've noticed among too many south campus UCLA professors (they seem to be limited to the larger classroom sizes, coincidence?)
I am retaking this class and luckily this time I've got an A. I took it with Dr.Clubb the first time and thought he was terrible (he has lower rating btw) but actually Chanfreau is harder and here's the reasons.
Dr. Clubb's lecture is much more fast-paced, the exams covered huge amount of material and he likes to test you on minor details that nobody cares about. But the good thing is that if you are familiar with the material then you'll be fine, really not much thinking required. (I failed that class because I missed the final and got a zero haha.)
Whereas Chanfreau likes to put experiments in his exams where you have to interpret the results. He also likes to test you on structures, and it's 100% gonna be on all the exams and this type of question is what I found the hardest (make sure you know all the amino acid structures).
The first MT covered least amount of material (well duh!) and was the easiest (avg ~73%) so make sure you do well on that one to boost your overall grade. He was actually unhappy about the avg and thought 73% was well too high so and don't think that MT2 (avg ~ 50%) or final (dunno avg) would help improve your grade because they're likely much harder.
All in all he's an OK professor, the material itself isn't that hard. and since this is summer session he didn't have time to cover translation so it wasn't on the exam, plus the final wasn't cumulative so it made the final a bit easier (Dr. Clubb's final was cumulative btw).
Side note: he thinks he's a humorous guy and kept making "jokes" all the time, but actually they are really lame and no one found them funny at all.
Just took the Chemistry 153B final exam and this is what I can say about Dr. Chanfreau:
The grading scale is as the following: 15% quiz (4 total, lowest one dropped), 20% MT1, 25% MT2, and 40% Final exam.
His midterms and finals are primarily ask questions on analysis of experimental data related to the materials covered in class. What makes some of the questions confusing is that the questions are sometimes little too general or broad, so the test can get difficult trying to understand what the questions are asking for. This is probably the MAIN reason why the average for midterms was around the mid 60’s. Although I pulled exam scores a standard deviation above the average, I did not like his test questions that because of the reason above.
In order to do well in his exams, do some of his practice exams. His experimental data analysis questions on exams are totally not covered in class nor problem sets but it does incorporate the concepts covered in class. They basically ask you to use the information you learned in class to come up with a hypothetical explanation that may answer the question. This is where practice exams are useful, because it gives you an idea of his exams.
Also, he also likes to test you on little things that are not important to understand core concepts in 153B. This is another curveball that he throws at you in an attempt to bring the class average down. He does not mention them nor does he seem to care about the little details, but he really likes to ask them on exams.
Now moving onto his personality and lecture style..
Dr. Chanfreau’s lectures are not hard to follow but it’s not easy either. His slight French is not much of a problem but his MONOTONOUS (notice the uppercase letters) voice make his lectures dull and plain. Although he admits this and tries to compensate it by coming up with a few funny jokes once every often but it’s just not enough to keep students awake. I would recommend sitting in front or listening to lecture podcasts.
The great thing about his lecture style is that despite his monotone and accent, he goes over materials really slowly (another reason for dull and plain lecture though...). And I’m not joking about this. Since his lectures are slow, he intentionally skips some big concepts which he thinks is not important to cover.
His lecture slides aren’t that bad as previous reviewers have said. it’s just that it’s slightly disorganized. so make sure to organize the concepts covered in class by making your own personal notes.
He is very available for office hour(s). However, just because he is available it doesn’t mean he would be nice to you. I do agree with other reviewers that he is overall nice and approachable, but he is only approachable only in the sense that you can ask him any question or make a small comment and he will give you a response. If you approach him personally, some of the comments he makes about you or other students can be “unintentionally” very offensive, so make sure you remain anonymous in his class. Otherwise, it’s very likely that you’d be turned into one of his class clowns.
OVERALL, he is an okay professor. His ratings are high only because his class is easier than other biochemistry classes. Take him if you want a passing grade or better. His biochemistry class isn’t that hard. But know that you will feel you did not learn many materials in detail as you would expect with other biochemistry classes.
Overall pretty concerned with teaching and goes through lectures slow. you could probably get through it in five minutes and the addition of a youtube video lol...I would probably advise people to memorize all the slides because that is just background information that he will test and the other portion of the test is experimental so finding as many practice problems would be key in understanding how to go about answering them because they are all conceptually similar.
Take Biochem 153B with him ! I hated biochem before taking this class because biochem 153A was just dreadful for me but i really enjoyed his class. He makes things easy to learn. Just looking at the slides by yourself seems really overwhelming and confusing but when he goes over it in lecture, it makes things really easy to understand. If you do not understand, you can go to his many office hours and he'll be more than happy to clarify the mechanisms. During Office hours, if you do not understand a mechanism, he will go about to explain it in several different ways until you get it. he doesnt get frustrated either. There is some memorization in this class but this class focuses on concepts and mechanisms. His tests are not cumulative. This is not an easy class where you can just stroll by. Go to office hours and lectures because lectures are really really important. This class was not podcasted during the summer but even if it were, he marks things on his lecture slides and points to things to make things easy to understand. His lecture notes are very comprehensive and well organized. He is very concerned about student learning. He even set up this answer and question thing on VOH where he answers questions even to the last day before the final or midterm. Hard class as the average for the class is a 67 percent but he curves it but i feel like i've learned a lot in this class isntead of just memorizing and forgetting. Got an A in the class though.
Dr. Chanfreau's class was pretty cool. Make sure you get there early on Friday mornings so you can see his video adventures of scuba diving, which include footage of schools of hammerhead sharks! As for the class, it was very conceptual and stresses learning by means of looking at experiments rather than just memorizing, so it's not a typical premed class. He is very approachable at office hours, and he brings his computer so you can go over the slides directly from class. He focuses on recurring chemical mechanisms and structures, so there is less to memorize, and you feel like you can take something away from the class. I would definitely recommend Dr. Chanfreau even if you're not a biochem major--you don't need to memorize that many chemical structures or complex mechanisms.
Professor Chanfreau is awesome!!! I must admit that I was a bit aprehensive at first about this class, but it turned out great. His expectations are clear, and he really makes the material interesting. His reader is really great and it makes studying very straitforward. Yes, there is a lot of memorization, but the tests are fair, and the class is curved. I found myself looking forward to this class every day, and I am really happy I took it over the summer. Professor Chanfreau does everything in his power to make this class as painless as possible, and he holds a ton of office hours for those who need them. My TA was great, and the reader was so clear that I did well without going to office hours. If you show up to class every day, pay close attention, and keep up with your studying (a little bit each day), you should have no trouble doing well in this class. Very straitforward and doable!!!
If you can, take 153B with Professor Chanfreau. He is very interested in student learning, clearly loves the material, and does an excellent job teaching the course. He holds a significant number of office hours throughout the quarter and also during final's week which comes in very useful because some of the concepts are difficult and very detailed. He uses a well organized and detailed reader to teach the class from, which will save you from having to dig through the textbook and sort out unecessary details. His tests are challenging, but they are fair-many of the questions require one to be able to not just memorize, but to be able to conceptually understand how to interpret experimental results. This is one of the main reasons why I appreciated this class. If you desire to not only learn, but to learn how to analyze and think about the material beyond memorization I recommend taking Chanfreau. In addition, Chanfreau succeeds in making the material itself very interesting and you will never be bored with lecture.
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