I took Chem 156 with Dr. Bowie Winter 2005. I thought Physical Biochemistry was a very interesting course because it was the first time that all of the theories and equations taught in previous courses were applied to actual research. It was the first course I took that I felt exposed me to current techniques in biochemistry. Dr. Bowie shows you actual equipment and experimental data and then applies the numbers to what is happening on the molecular level. He doesn't necessarily expect us to understand the minute details, but I believe he wants us to be exposed to current techniques so we are well prepared for graduate school. This course jumps from topic to topic fairly rapidly, in order to expose us to a broad range of subject matter. This course is very mathematical. Dr. Bowie is a good teacher, although at times he would "hand-wave" explanations to some students' questions. Some students were frustrated by his unwillingness to argue over little details or exceptions to theories, but I assure you, he doesn't expect you to know more detail than what he teaches. I believe his exam questions are very straightforward as well. I disagree with previous reviews. I believe that Dr. Bowie's problem sets DID accurately reflect the types of things we were supposed to know for exams. Perhaps he has changed his format in response to prior criticisms. Bowie's exams are conceptual but very manageable. Most of his questions usually require you to identify an equation that describes the situation he has set up in the problem. He allows you to bring equation sheets in, so you don't need to memorize ANY equations, you simply need to know how to properly apply them (which is easy if you do the problem sets.) You may need to manipulate the equation in some simple algebraic manner and then determine what variable in the equation is affected by the experimental conditions. This seemed really difficult for some students because they didn't THINK about the equation. For example, a huge number of students in my class missed a midterm question about sedimentation because they failed to think in terms of the equation. In the problem set up he explicitly stated that two different plasmids (one supercoiled and one relaxed) have the same mass, partial specific volume, and solvent density and that the relaxed plasmid failed to sediment (don't worry, you'll learn all about this). From the equation, if all of these variables are the same, then the supercoiled plasmid should fail to sediment also. This should have been a VERY easy question, yet most people missed it (saying the supercoiled plasmid would sediment) because they didn't focus on the equation. So... be forewarned... Dr. Bowie will ask questions where perhaps your intuition leads you to one answer, but the equation points to another. IN EVERY INSTANCE FOLLOW THE EQUATIONS!!!!! If he's not asking a question that requires you to identify an equation and explain some phenomenon based on the equation, he gives very straightforward "plug-n-chug" types of questions. I think most everyone did well on these. In all cases, an equation should be written down for every single answer to get full credit. Just an explanation, without an equation, is not enough. Otherwise, I think Bowie is a great guy. He's very easy going and reasonable and approachable. My TA, Mary Jane, was amazing. Every time we had a midterm she had it graded and returned by the next class period. She was extremely knowledgeable. I'm very, very glad I took 156 with Bowie, and I was able to pull off an A with only a moderate amount of effort. Best of luck to everyone!!