Based on 6 Users
I am a CS major, and I took this class as one of my CS upper div electives because the grade distribution seemed pretty good. Big mistake.
Firstly, this class is not a computer science. It's mostly just a theoretical math class. The class focuses on rather dense mathematical algorithms to analyze genome sequences. The main problem though is that the class has no textbook. So the only material you have is the lecture slides, and the slides are almost exclusively mathematical formulas. So if you are having trouble understanding a concept, good luck, because there is no class material to read that will help you understand anything.
The homework is also unreasonably hard. I think that the homework would have been doable if I had a solid understanding of both the conceptual and practical understanding of the material. The only problem was that I had neither of those things despite attending lecture and pouring over the lecture slides.
The tests on the other hand are much much easier. The professor gave us a sample exam for both the midterm and final. And if you could do well on the sample exam you were guaranteed pretty solid grades on both tests.
Overall, the class is way too theoretical and very poorly taught. Despite what the grading distribution may imply about this class, I highly recommend that you avoid it.
I took this class for my Bioinformatics minor, so I may not have had as strong a math/computational background as other students, but I think even the CS majors were struggling most of the time. Even though the material is extremely dense, the graded parts aren't bad. The HW is hard, but going to discussion every week is helpful. They also go over the practice midterm and final, which are very similar to the real exams. Even though linear algebra wasn't an enforced pre-req, you're definitely at a disadvantage if you haven't taken Math 33A or something similar. Lots of stuff about matrices that you'll have to teach yourself. Overall I think this class had interesting topics that mostly went over my head.