I took LS2 with Dr. Simmons and Dr. Cooper. Dr. Simmons had more personality, but his slides contained only pictures and little explanations. He often added information that was not found on the slides or in the books to test if you pay attention in lecture. Dr. Cooper was the easier of the two professors, but Dr. Simmons was a decent professor.
I took NeuroSci 102 with Doctor Simmons, and to be completely frank with all the previous evaluators, I think that he did a very good job of teaching it. YES, neuroscience is a DIFFICULT class... but isn't that we are here for, to challenge ourselves? Did I struggle with the material, YES-- there were days that I walked out of class and did not understand a WORD that was said. But when I went back, listened to the lecture again, took copious notes and dissected the material, then it became pretty simple. You all claim that you want to be neuroscience and neurosurgeons.. I PROMISE that it will only get more difficult from here. If it is anything you take from this class-- it should be the fact that being a doctor or a scientist WILL take those 6 hours plus a day to even begin to understand the outline of the material, let alone studying it sufficiently. The flaw in this class may not be the method in which the professors teach; rather, the means in which the students learn. Look, I am not saying that I spent the 6 hours a day studying-- I didn't. I most probably spent 1-2 hours studying for this class... Did I do half well on the first exam? NO! But after taking it, I learned HOW to study and what would make me successful, applied my methods, and ended up getting an A. Now, I am not here to boast... I am here to tell you guys that there is great amount of hope in doing well in this class and actually ENJOYING it. Here are some tips on how to do well, and you will see that the problem factor in the course is NOT the professors' methods of teaching, rather the students' study mechanisms. 1) if you aren't passionate about the brain and do not care to learn every detail of it-- THEN GET OUT... What are you doing here? No offense, but you shouldn't be majoring in Neuroscience just because it is a 'cool' major and you think it will appeal to medical schools more. There are people taking this course who actually care to save lives by holding a scalpel to patents' brains or spending 12 hours a day on a bench top doing electrophysiology (or however you spell it)experiments. If you are not one of those people, then get out. 2) Learn to study actively-- not passively. This was my main concern regarding test 1. I would THINK that I am studying, while in reality, I would look at the slide, believe that I understood the concepts, and move to the next slide contently. NO!!! Do not do this! You have to come up with a method to TEST your understanding and synthesis of the material. For example, that may mean: cut out every single image in the lecture, pasting it on a side of a notecard, writing numbers to each important structure on the anatomical section, and writing a key on the other side. In this way, you are ACTIVELY testing yourself... 3)Study out LOUD!-- this goes hand in hand with the previous tip, but I thought it was important enough to write in its own. I personally, am an auditory learner and will ONLY understand the material if I sit another individual down and teach it to them. IT WILL HELP-- I promise. You cannot claim to truly understand something until you are able to teach it to someone. 4) DO NOT OCCUPY YOURSELF WITH EC ACTIVITIES: this is something that you are told in the beginning of the class by Dr. Prins... SHE WAS BEING TRUTHFUL WHEN SAYING THIS. This does NOT mean that you cannot have a social life. I hung out with my friends for about 4 hours a day (which is way longer than the usual, I believe) and was involved in LONG hours of lab work during the week-- BUT, i put off my volunteering for a quarter, took it easy on my hobbies like playing tennis on a weekly basis... And so forth. You should stay healthy,obviously, and go to the gym etc etc, and obviously attend UCLA games (if that is your thing)... but do not WASTE your time. I am sure this is something that I did not even have to write to make clear-- but it something that people forget too readily. ANYWAY, the last thing-- and the most important thing-- is: GET SLEEP. it is NOT a myth that your brain works SO much better when you have 7-8 hours of sleep. Before this quarter, I would sleep maybe 3 hours a night (if I was lucky). Because my brain needed to process so much more information this quarter, I found myself sleeping more-- and remembering the information more efficiently. AGAIN, I am sure I do not have to tell any of you that-- you are neuro majors who love and know that they brain needs time and care. This class is totally DOABLE-- and I have confidence that if you apply yourself, it will be awesome. You should ENJOY what you are learning. Is this class as difficult as a medical school class (and more specifically, the most challenging med school class, it happens to be)? YES. But again, we are neuro majors... Why would be settle for anything less?
Worst professor I have ever had throughout my whole time here at UCLA. As the person below previously stated, he only has pictures in his slides. His slides are ridiculously long. Worst thing is, he can't even explain them well. Yeah I read the book, but there's too much information. He didn't even send us our study guide for the final. He stands there, tries to be funny, but ends up cracking himself up. He repeats the same thing over and over and each time it gets more confusing. When he runs out of something to say, he stands there pauses, then says something that does not make sense. He is always late to lecture, and his breaks are only 5 minutes long, ridiculous. GG for those taking Phy Sci 111A. You cannot avoid him and he teaches the last two modules, which are the longest and hardest.
This man is the cruelest, worst professor at UCLA. Not only is he a horrible professor that cannot teach, he teaches the hardest part of this class. My review of him for teacher evals for the PhySci department follows: "Dr. Simmons is quite possibly the single worst professor I've had while at UCLA. Let me correct that, the single worst teacher I have ever had, period. Not only is the man completely unorganized, he is clueless to the commonplace feelings of scorn and disdain that all of his students have for him. He routinely contradicts himself and laughs it off, as if it is nothing, while we as his students remain lost. His notes make no sense, leaving us at the mercy of a textbook that is difficult to understand and remain engaged. Please, for the sake of the reputation of the physiological science major, do not allow this man to continue teaching as a part of this teaching team. Narrins and Tidball were amazing, making it even more sad that this great class is being closed by such a horrible teacher."
NS102 Seriously the worst professor I have ever taken. Attempts to cover twice as much material as he should and as a consequence his lecture is just pointing structures out on pictures, and then you're expected to learn everything about all of the structures, how they interconnect, what information they carry, etc. on your own. You'll have to take this class for Neuroscience so just make sure you're clear that it will be the worst class and quarter you have ever taken in your life. Be prepared to learn everything he breezes over to make up for his terrible job