Heather Tienson

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CLASSES

CHEM 153A
Biochemistry: Introduction to Structure, Enzymes, and Metabolism See Full Profile

Overall 3.2 Easiness 2.3 Workload 2.3 Clarity 3.3 Helpfulness 3.3

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Warriors blew a 3-1 lead against the Cavaliers.

(Fall Quarter 2016)
CHEM 153C
Biochemistry: Biosynthetic and Energy Metabolism and Its Regulation See Full Profile

Overall 2.8 Easiness 2.6 Workload 2.1 Clarity 3.1 Helpfulness 3.0

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Dr. Tienson changed up how she runs this course. When I took it, it was graded as such:
-4 "quizzes," worst is dropped
-final exam
-group protein brochure project
-clicker questions

Let's start with the "quizzes." These are not quizzes. They are cumulative midterms that she calls quizzes, because they are half as long as the (from what I've read) god awful midterms she used to give in previous quarters. Did I mention they're cumulative? That means that not 1, not 2, not 3, not 4, but 5 times...5 fucking times during the quarter, you have to study everything you've ever learned in this class. It sucks.

The final exam was actually less difficult than the quizzes, IMO. I remember in 153A the final was a big shock to some people. Not so in 153C. The graded exams are terrible all quarter long.

The clicker policy is a bit nicer than in 153A. Participation and accuracy both count; you get 1 point for answering and 2 points for answering correctly. You need to get like 70% of the points up for grabs, so you can miss a couple days of class no problem. This is nice. However, the class was podcasts, not videocasted, it's better to just go to lecture.

The protein brochure project was fine, but I would have preferred not to have any portion of my grade depend on other people. My group solely communicated via google docs and fb messenger. You don't really have to worry about this until week 3, and there are checkpoint assignments throughout the quarter, so the project is never a huge burden.

A few tips: find a way to distill the core idea of each lecture onto one page, and study those pages multiple times a week. If you can make a diagram of something, it'll probably be on the exam. You need to know how all the pathways are regulated. Seriously, regulation, regulation, regulation. She will test you relentlessly on regulation.

All in all, it's a tough class, but I learned a lot of information that I value.

(Fall Quarter 2017)
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CHEM 189
Advanced Honors Seminars See Full Profile

Overall 5.0 Easiness 5.0 Workload 4.0 Clarity 3.0 Helpfulness 5.0

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If you're in need of honors credit, Dr. Tienson-Tseng's seminar for Chem 153A is sincerely a great opportunity! It does add on some extra work on top of Chem 153A, and there were times this adjunct course would stress me out given the intensity of Chem 153A itself.
That's definitely relatable, but the workload for this course as well as the grading scheme is EXTREMELY generous!! And for the effort I put in (which was, once again, very reasonable), I do believe I gained a lot out of this seminar - a better understanding of Wikipedia and the opportunity to discuss how science is communicated.
Essentially, this seminar allows you to either pick a "stub" Wikipedia article or create a new article relating to biochemistry. The first few weeks are very laidback - simply learning the interface, logistics, and purpose of using Wikipedia. Heather really breaks down the class into steps that act as checkpoints for you in writing the draft - therefore making each sort of "checkpoint" a way to gain easy points. From this, you can tell that she's rewarding effort and really trying to make this seminar a meaningful experience rather than a stressful one.
On top of that, she gives you the opportunity to contribute to / create an article on a woman scientist instead of doing a purely biochemistry-related topic . In my opinion, this is the easiest thing to do, given that half the work is simply writing a biography instead of it being 100% biochemistry or biology. With that said, I did still dive into the biochemistry of it and I loved the article that I created, given the lack of representation of women in STEM on Wikipedia. And I also loved the kind of work the person I chose was doing.
Ultimately, I THINK the breakdown of the class was something like:
- 5 points: online training modules (very simple, just do them all in advance so you don't forget to do them, although Heather is so understanding of confusion in communication)
- 5 points: first edit (making a real edit to a Wikipedia article)
- 20 points: first draft / rough draft
- 10 points: peer reviewing 2 other students' work
- 20 points: final article including images
- 10 points: in-class presentation (~5 minutes)
- 20 points: reflective essay
- 10 points: attendance/participation
She originally had training as 10 points, reflective essay as 10 points, and doing blog entries as 5 points - but she ended up scrapping the blog, and the rubric for the reflective essay was actually out of 20 points? And I think I remember the training being reduced in points.
But yeah, either way, it was a very straightforward class. An A- was set at 85, an A at 90, and an A+ at 96. This is incredibly generous! And as you can see, almost everyone gets an A+ or A in this seminar. She didn't give us the point-by-point breakdown, but I ended with an A+ myself.

(Fall Quarter 2018)
CHEM 192C
Undergraduate Assistant Education Practicum in Chemistry and Biochemistry See Full Profile

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

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CHEM 192D
Undergraduate Assistant Education Practicum in Chemistry and Biochemistry See Full Profile

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

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CHEM 375
Teaching Appentice Practicum Full Profile > N/A Overall N/A Easiness N/A Workload N/A Clarity N/A Helpfulness
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CHEM 375
Teaching Appentice Practicum See Full Profile

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

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