Fiat Lux Freshman Seminars
Prof Bradley is such an amazing professor. Go to his office hours! He actually makes it very clear what he thinks is important and might show up on the midterm if you attend OHs. If you're stuck on a question on the midterm/final or don't understand the question, ask him! He's very helpful. Like everybody else mentioned, he makes lectures very interesting and enjoyable.
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.
I took LS3 with Professor Cheng and I really loved him. He's such a nice professor and really cares about his students' learning. It is a little difficult to understand him because of his accent, but the podcasts/webcasts are very helpful. Anything that is on the midterm or final is something that he has talked about and his tests are very straightforward. Office hours are very helpful because a lot of the time, he will tell you not to worry about every detail and just to focus on the general concept of that topic. (This makes studying a lot easier!) The averages on tests are fairly high, so it is important to get a good grasp on the material in order to do well (which isn't all that hard). All in all, I would recommend Cheng if you can get past his accent. I was afraid at first, but I'm so glad that I took him! He is probably the easiest LS professor I've had so far.
First of all, someone below recommended this class as a GE. DON'T take LS classes as GE's. I had LS1 with Pires, and yes she is a good professor in the sense that she knows what she's talking about. My biggest problem with her however is her attitude. The one and only time I went to see her at office hours to ask the past midterm, she was impatient and talked down to me as if I was an idiot, and tried to get me to leave asap. She seems "friendly" and "cool" having people call her "Deb" and whatnot, but behind that is a person who is pretty arrogant and twofaced. I think it's because she has all the credentials that give her somewhat of a right to be all big-headed I guess? But if you're a professor, your obligation is to your students. Anyway, my roommate took her following quarter. My roommate was all set to get an A because the syllabus said something about dropping the lowest two quiz scores? Except when grades came out, she had gotten a A-, and when she calculated all her points she was less than 5 points away from an A because apparently Pires had NOT dropped her lowest quiz score. When she went to office hours to ask, Pires made up a BS excuse about how only the quiz from that week couldn't be dropped (although she never mentioned it). Seriously? Overall taking a class with Pires is an average experience, but just watch out because it's not easy, and she's not going to help you out either.
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
LS3 interesting and smart guy. i enjoyed his lectures because he enriched us with facts besides the material required for the exam. For those of you who like to stick solely to the topic, this might not be a good class..but otherwise I think the rest of you will enjoy him. Dry humor, but he managed to make me laugh numerous times throughout the quarter and he really tries to make his lectures interesting. Final was not easy, but somewhat manageable. Study everything he says because its hard to tell what his exam will concentrate on.