Joseph Esdin

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LIFESCI 1
Evolution, Ecology, and Biodiversity Full Profile > 3.2 Overall 2.4 Easiness 2.8 Workload 3.4 Clarity 3.6 Helpfulness No reviews have been written yet.
LIFESCI 1
Evolution, Ecology, and Biodiversity See Full Profile

Overall 3.2 Easiness 2.4 Workload 2.8 Clarity 3.4 Helpfulness 3.6

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No reviews have been written yet.
LIFESCI 2
Cells, Tissues, and Organs Full Profile > 4.2 Overall 2.6 Easiness 2.8 Workload 4.2 Clarity 4.3 Helpfulness
Holy crap that final was so hard. (Fall Quarter 2016)
LIFESCI 2
Cells, Tissues, and Organs See Full Profile

Overall 4.2 Easiness 2.6 Workload 2.8 Clarity 4.2 Helpfulness 4.3

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Holy crap that final was so hard.

(Fall Quarter 2016)
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PHYSCI 3
Introduction to Human Physiology Full Profile > 3.3 Overall 2.0 Easiness 1.6 Workload 3.4 Clarity 3.6 Helpfulness
I took LS2 with Dr. Esdin. Dr. Esdin is a very good professor in every aspect except his written communication skills. He is a good lecturer; he makes ... (July 31, 2014)
PHYSCI 3
Introduction to Human Physiology See Full Profile

Overall 3.3 Easiness 2.0 Workload 1.6 Clarity 3.4 Helpfulness 3.6

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I took LS2 with Dr. Esdin.

Dr. Esdin is a very good professor in every aspect except his written communication skills. He is a good lecturer; he makes concepts easy to understand, gives interesting examples, and he's funny. He tries to be fair by normalizing section scores and being clear about what he won't test on, but his exams are problematic. He writes badly worded questions that are ambiguous and often times misleading. This is common in the LS department, unfortunately, but he didn't allow us to ask questions, which made it a pretty serious problem. Lots of people missed questions because he was unclear and didn't allow us to clarify. That being said, he lectures well, is very organized, and does try to be open to student concerns.

(July 31, 2014)
PHYSCI 5
Issues in Human Physiology: Diet and Exercise Full Profile > 4.2 Overall 3.7 Easiness 3.4 Workload 4.0 Clarity 3.9 Helpfulness
People be writing some mean reviews. I don't care what people say, it's not a hard A. It's about 90% effort based. Grade breakdown is as follows: ... (Spring Quarter 2016)
PHYSCI 5
Issues in Human Physiology: Diet and Exercise See Full Profile

Overall 4.2 Easiness 3.7 Workload 3.4 Clarity 4.0 Helpfulness 3.9

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People be writing some mean reviews.

I don't care what people say, it's not a hard A. It's about 90% effort based. Grade breakdown is as follows:

631 total points. All points are weighted the same.
55 points for lab/lecture attendance. You just need to show up for 9% of your grade. Even better, you can find friends to sign you in (maybe do a rotation between a few people, and you show up for maybe 10 lectures the entire quarter).
100 points for the workbook. It's really not a lot of work, maybe 15 minutes per week, and you get full credit for full effort (as long as you answer most questions decent enough).
100 points for your project. Takes about 6 hours to hammer out, and as long as you follow the guideline you'll get full points.
6 points for filling out myUCLA professor/TA eval.
40 points for "lecture" quizzes. 2 quizzes 20 points each. Supposedly based on lecture material but it is actually straight from the course reader, all super easy. You don't even have to you read and you can look through the course reader to find the answers.
30 points for discussion quizzes that probably aren't even graded. Another free 30 points. Probably less effort point for point compared to filling out the eval.
150 points for midterm, 150 points for final. Not cumulative. About 45 questions in 50 minutes, all multiple choice. If you read one or two chapters at a time to stay caught up, and then read it again before each exam, you should be totally fine. I didn't quite pay attention in lecture, I had maybe a page front and back of notes in the last 6 weeks; reading the course reader sufficed. Most people walked out of the exams within 20 minutes (this includes double checking work). There's some people saying you have to memorize every single thing on the course reader. Not completely off the mark since the exam questions are pretty specific. Either you know it or you don't. But let's consider your situation though. You're aiming for an A. Assuming you've already gotten 331 free points (TA literally says that you should get full points on everything else as long as you do it, and he's absolutely telling the truth), you need to average 80% on each exam. Some statistics for the midterm: the mean was 79% and median was 81%. For the final: mean was 78%, median was 83%. Pretty much the average student gets an A in the class. And let's be real, the average student in a 400 person lecture probably doesn't go to class or read the course reader.

Grading aside, this class is actually pretty interesting and relevant to most people. There's tons of people who go to De Neve and pig out, and even more who go to BPlate thinking they eat healthy and way overinduldge on peanut butter and spritzers. The class is all about raising awareness about lifestyle diseases and providing a solid knowledge base so you can make informed choices in your life. It's probably more relevant than Ethno or Scand.

If you're looking for an A, this class is for you. The difficulty of this class is probably a 2/10. Workload is probably 15 mins a week, plus a single 5-10 hour project depending how slow you work. Perhaps the hardest part of the class is signing in every lecture at 9AM for participation.

(Spring Quarter 2016)
PHYSCI 6
The Human Machine: Physiological Processes Full Profile > 3.5 Overall 1.7 Easiness 1.8 Workload 3.7 Clarity 3.7 Helpfulness
--LS2-- So this guy is fantastic - clear notes, exams strictly based on lectures instead of that gargantuan book - it's all good. LS2 is normally reg... (Feb. 3, 2012)
PHYSCI 6
The Human Machine: Physiological Processes See Full Profile

Overall 3.5 Easiness 1.7 Workload 1.8 Clarity 3.7 Helpfulness 3.7

Most Helpful Review

--LS2--

So this guy is fantastic - clear notes, exams strictly based on lectures instead of that gargantuan book - it's all good.

LS2 is normally regarded as a difficult class by the general populous, but he makes it easier. If you want to learn, write out all of his slides into conceptual pictures (e.g. process of the digestive system), and you are sure to get a good grade. His first exam is bad, but the second one is extremely fair. Study lots for the final, though not cumulative, it can get fairly detailed. Very personable, excellent professor.

(Feb. 3, 2012)
PHYSCI 111A
Foundations in Physiological Science Full Profile > N/A Overall N/A Easiness N/A Workload N/A Clarity N/A Helpfulness No reviews have been written yet.
PHYSCI 111A
Foundations in Physiological Science See Full Profile

Overall N/A Easiness N/A Workload N/A Clarity N/A Helpfulness N/A

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No reviews have been written yet.
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PHYSCI 111L
Physiological Science Laboratory Full Profile > 3.3 Overall 1.4 Easiness 1.7 Workload 3.4 Clarity 3.4 Helpfulness
*Course: LIfe Science 2.* Spring 2012. Bok/Esdin. I really enjoyed having Prof. Esdin! He seems like a good guy and he lays out the material very nice... (June 20, 2012)
PHYSCI 111L
Physiological Science Laboratory See Full Profile

Overall 3.3 Easiness 1.4 Workload 1.7 Clarity 3.4 Helpfulness 3.4

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*Course: LIfe Science 2.* Spring 2012. Bok/Esdin.

I really enjoyed having Prof. Esdin! He seems like a good guy and he lays out the material very nicely in lectures. In my first year at UCLA, he would definitely rank in my top 3 favorite professors. I would definitely recommend trying to get into his class. I wish I had gone to his office hours and, according to my roommate, he is very helpful if you come prepared with good questions.

I had both Bok and Esdin for LS2, so the first midterm was all of the intro/basic bio that I was really familiar with that Bok taught, but then the second midterm was four chapters of material that Esdin taught. I would say that both tests were fair, but I did a lot better on Bok's test, even though I found his lectures to be boring. The final was not cumulative. If you take Esdin, he writes the questions so that you truly have to understand the material AND can apply it to a situation that you haven't necessarily thought of before. For example, we were asked on the final something like: what are the effects of hyperventilation on the body? After studying the respiratory and cardiovascular systems, we were supposed to connect the dot and apply the various concepts to the question.

You should give yourself plenty of time to study for LS2, regardless of which professor you get. I took Biology Honors and AP in high school, which helped a lot, and made it more like a review in the beginning, but the is still a TON of information to be absorbed in 10 weeks. Do not let yourself fall behind, especially if you haven't taken advanced biology in high school.

The take home message for doing well in LS 2 is:
---learn the material based on the lectures. (Esdin will only test what he lectures on- its a good idea to print and bring his lecture notes to class)
---Use the lecture schedule as a tentative study schedule, so you don't end up cramming right before the exams.
---*RECORD* Esdin's lectures!!! (this is very, very important. He does NOT podcast, at least during my quarter, so bring a lap top/ recording device. The lectures go FAST, so take notes in lecture, then re-listen and take notes in a different color at home... I did this before the final, and I generally only got down half of what he said during the actual class. The exam questions are detail oriented, so definitely listen to his lectures again)
---Try to go to discussion prepared. (I think you probably will get more out of it if it feels like a review...and that way you can ask your TA questions. I really liked my TA, Brian Mullen. I was in his third discussion of the day, so he always had coffee by the time we got there, but he does a great job condensing the material)
--- Figure out a study method that works for you, and do it. (This may seem obvious, but if you don't do so well on the first midterm or whatever, do something differently for the next exam)
--- Try to find a good study group... Even though asking question to the prof and TA is great, if you find a couple fellow classmates to digest and review the material, it will help a lot. I know I liked studying the material first on my own, and then talking through everything gave me a good grasp on the details.

(June 20, 2012)
PHYSCI 136
Exercise and Cardiovascular Function Full Profile > 3.8 Overall 2.0 Easiness 2.2 Workload 3.8 Clarity 3.5 Helpfulness
Took Dr. Esdin for the exercise class. When I first saw this class on the course website, I didn't think it would be that bad; we're learning about the ... (Aug. 6, 2010)
PHYSCI 136
Exercise and Cardiovascular Function See Full Profile

Overall 3.8 Easiness 2.0 Workload 2.2 Clarity 3.8 Helpfulness 3.5

Most Helpful Review

Took Dr. Esdin for the exercise class. When I first saw this class on the course website, I didn't think it would be that bad; we're learning about the benefits of exercise right? ... NO, this class is pretty intense and there is a LOT of material covered in 6 weeks (Summer). The class is basically about how a bad diet can affect your health (atherosclerosis, diabetes, obesity, etc), and we learn how it is affected at the physiological/molecular level. The details get pretty intense, especially when you learn how atherosclerosis develops.

In addition, there is a diet/health analysis paper (3-4 pages, single-spaced) due during finals week, 3 homework assignments (short quizzes), and two exams (midterm/final). He also gives you 20 scientific journals to read, which takes forever, but manageable if you read like 5 per week.

I really liked this class and learned a lot of valuable information regarding diet and exercise, but what sucks about this class is that it's curved (just like any other physci class). So it gets harder to get an A when you're competing with the rest of the class (about 60 students). The grade distribution is like 25-35% As, 30-40% Bs, and 30% Cs or something like that. If you're going to take this class, make sure you don't get rocked by the curve. Also, it's good to take this class after taking PS111B since some of the materials overlap.

(Aug. 6, 2010)
PHYSCI M158
Cell Biology Full Profile > 3.0 Overall 1.5 Easiness 2.0 Workload 3.8 Clarity 3.5 Helpfulness
I took LS2 with Dr. Esdin, and he was amazing. I have nothing bad to say about him. His lectures are clear and condensed so you know exactly what to stu... (Nov. 17, 2010)
PHYSCI M158
Cell Biology See Full Profile

Overall 3.0 Easiness 1.5 Workload 2.0 Clarity 3.8 Helpfulness 3.5

Most Helpful Review

I took LS2 with Dr. Esdin, and he was amazing. I have nothing bad to say about him. His lectures are clear and condensed so you know exactly what to study for. They were fast-paced but not impossible and kept you alert. His tests are fair and not bad at all if you study the lecture slides well.

(Nov. 17, 2010)
PUB HLT M160A
Health Outreach and Education for At-Risk Populations Full Profile > N/A Overall N/A Easiness N/A Workload N/A Clarity N/A Helpfulness No reviews have been written yet.
PUB HLT M160A
Health Outreach and Education for At-Risk Populations See Full Profile

Overall N/A Easiness N/A Workload N/A Clarity N/A Helpfulness N/A

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