Fiat Lux Freshman Seminars

Description: Seminar, one hour. Discussion of and critical thinking about topics of current intellectual importance, taught by faculty members in their areas of expertise and illuminating many paths of discovery at UCLA. P/NP grading.

Units: 1.0
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Overall Rating 2.4
Easiness 1.4/ 5
Clarity 2.3/ 5
Workload 1.9/ 5
Helpfulness 2.4/ 5
Most Helpful Review
LS 3 A lot of material, watch videocast and take very detailed notes. Format and difficulty of the tests: First midterm: 90 true/false, 1 point each. Pretty straightforward and easy. Second: 63 T/F (1 point each), 34 (A,B,C,D) MC, each MC worth 2 points. Harder, much harder, but still everything was from the notes. Final: ~40 T/F (1 point each), ~40 MC (still worth 2 points each), 4 short answers (worth 16 points total). Not cumulative. The final was easy as well. However, this could be because I didn't do too great on the second midterm so I killed myself studying for this one. Really straightforward, no tricks. He gave a few practice questions for exams. Understand them because they show up on the exam in some form. He saves a class day on the Friday before the Monday exam just for review. Go, make sure not to ignore it. A bunch of questions come from the reviews. Makes sense, he already made the final so he knows what to review. A good number of answers came from the reviews. He's really nice, go to his office hours if you have questions, he takes plenty of time to make sure you understand it there. He accepts questions during class too, but this gets really annoying especially during reviews where he's basically handing out answers and people take up his time and we don't finish. His lectures weren't the most entertaining, so videocasts will take some effort to get through. It wasn't really him, it's the material. And there's a lot of material. Plan for 2 hours of videocasts for each 50 minute class. Overall - great guy, easy midterm 1, hard midterm 2, easy final. Non-cumulative exams. Generous curve at the end.
Overall Rating 3.0
Easiness 1.3/ 5
Clarity 3.8/ 5
Workload 1.8/ 5
Helpfulness 3.3/ 5
Overall Rating 3.5
Easiness 1.5/ 5
Clarity 3.2/ 5
Workload 1.8/ 5
Helpfulness 4.0/ 5
Most Helpful Review
LS 3 Final Grade: A+ Tamamnoi is a decent lecturer (7/10) who explains concepts fairly well and has some sense of humor, although he sometimes made the class laugh unintentionally. My advice is to memorize his slides, just like in any LS class. I hate making flashcard, so my advice is to write the lecture slides on scratch paper and repeat this so that you can memorize the slides in preparation for the exams. He only counts the higher of your two midterms, which is nice of him. The midterms were a combination of multiple choice and short answer (e.g., identifying structures, giving one or two word answers, writing the proper sequence, etc.) However, some questions were detailed, so cover everything when you study except the really large tables, extremely complicated pictures such as protein binding maps/diagrams, and anything he says he will not cover. The final was all multiple choice and the TAs at least wrote a significant part of it, if not all. Despite this, the questions were mostly fair but some did require thinking (experimental questions). You don't need the book for this class, but Bruincast is necessary to succeed so you can write down anything you miss during lecture Discussions are mandatory, so just go to get full credit. He did clickers, but due to tech issues, he kind of gave up and let everyone have full credit Average for the exams were between 75-80%, and by memorizing the slides, I managed to do well. Some people believe Tamanoi is boring and terrible, but I disagree. Although he is no Esdin in terms of speaking style, Tamanoi gets the job done at the end of the day and is knowledgable about the material. I found LS 3 and molecular biology to be far more interesting than LS 2 just in terms of the subject matter. I recommend Tamanoi, and just be sure to go over the Bruincast, stay on top of lectures, go to Wikipedia (or even the free Scribd copy of the textbook although I prefer looking online) if something still does not make sense, and memorize his slides well
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