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Professor Esdin seemed highly knowledgeable about physiology,and bio in general. His tests are hard as hell. I gave up my life studying for LS2 and I only managed to pull a "D". This was my first exposure to college level biology material, because all my AP's in high school were in humanities. Here is the "takehome message" for all you guys. Take 14B before you enroll in this class.If you have not had AP bio borrow your friends bio book and read it before hand. Multiply your standard UCLA study hours by 6, that should be adequate. I honestly feel crushed. My dream since I was 4 was to become a doctor. I don't know of any medical schools that take students who have D's on their transcript, even with re-takes. Kudos to UCLA the school that fucks with your future goals!
Course Taken: LS2
Take this professor if you want an enjoyable life science course. His tests are extremely fair. As long as you put in the work, you should be fine. His lectures are very clear and concise. Dr. Esdin is way better than any of the other LS professors that I've taken.
Course Taken: LS 2
I had Esdin/Bok for LS 2 and even though Esdin spoke VERY quickly with his heavy accent during lectures, he was a good professor overall. I thought his exams were alright, some of the questions were a little ridiculous but the averages came out to a 70%. In lecture, the best way to take notes is to save the lecture slides that he posts online and then type notes directly onto them.
The lab portion of this class (which they are omitting in the future) was a HUGE portion of our grade, and since everyone did so well in it, I'm not sure if the class was actually curved in the end. The best way to study for his exams is to organize his lecture notes since your notes from class might be difficult to follow and just memorize them. The TA's even admit that this is one of the heaviest LS classes with regards to the amount of information you have to know, so just know the slides by heart. Study the slides and you'll be fine.
Dr. Esdin is a sack of shit in disguise. His exams are not there no test you for what you know, but rather trip you into mistakes. His questions are worded horribly! I would not recommend this teacher to anybody, avoid at all costs. It seems as though only the people who got A's are taking the time to review him, please think of the other the other 98% of the class who did not leave with an A. Hard as hell.
Dr. Esdin is a smart, qualified professor. His accent was cute, and he put some pictures of attractive girls on his lecture slides sometimes to wake people up. He is funny without trying to be funny, which I appreciate. However, his tests are difficult! For example, if you don't know how the blood travels through the heart (naming all the valves and chambers and special vessels) before the second midterm, you might be curve-crushed.
Another thing I would like to impart upon his future students is that the tests are 100% from his lectures. Nothing comes from the book. So, if you are thinking about buying the LS2 book for Esdin's class, don't. You only need the lab manual. If you need to brush up on something that wasn't clearly explained in the lecture, go to Wikipedia!
Another advice: review the lectures and concepts right after lecture! And make a study guide for yourself of things you are iffy on, and stuff you think is important that might be on the test. Helps a whole deal when studying for midterms :)
P.S. He is much nicer (in terms of difficulty) during Summer Session C.
His class was very enjoyable.
Life Sciences 2 is a very difficult course. However, professor Esdin makes is so enjoyable. His lectures are really interesting and constructed differently than the textbook. They are so detailed and you do not need the textbook. In the textbook, there is a lot of details (outerlayers) that you have to go through to get to the core. In his lectures, professor Esdin takes all the outer layer away and focuses on what is important. Be ready to take notes in his class. He tests you on what he lectures on. Great class. He gets a 10+++++++++.
One of my favorite professors at UCLA. His accent is cool, you'll hear the phrase "take home message" about a billion times throughout the course, his email return time is pretty fast (same day, usually), and you'll learn a lot.
Now the material:
LS2 is a rough course, regardless of the professor. That being said, Esdin does a great job explaining it. Bad part, it's not podcasted, so either record it, find someone who recorded it, or take REALLY DETAILED notes. He doesn't use the book, all based off his notes. But the tests were kind of tricky. The class is not purely based on memorization, but it's also about applying the material. Here's the thing, the class is curved rather generously, so if you think the test was really hard, the class results will probably show it. It's just as much based on how everyone does too. Does this mean sabotage any friends in the class? Your call; if they do better than you, and you helped them, they'll get a better grade than you because you helped them. That pissed me off at the end of the class, kind of regret helping them now...
Don't put off studying for the last minute, there's a lot of stuff to know. Also, he takes off certain lectures from the final, so not all the material is on there. He gives a few questions on the test in lecture, so don't miss it.
Take home message - take him! But be prepared to work hard!!!
Well organized lectures and nice slow pace. He'll get you with the details though because everyone in LS 2 is premed (exaggerating, but still true) and studies everything. Put in the time and you'll make the curve.
I had Dr. Esdin for LS2, Fall 2009. Professor Esdin IS the best professor I had of the LS series. His lectures are interesting; he cares about his students; he doesn't go on random tangents, etc. etc. He is perhaps the best professor you can have for LS2. (My TA taught LS2 for 6 quarters and he can confirm this.) Just go to lecture and study the lectures notes (no textbook needed) and you'll be good. He likes to focus on small details to help create a curve and such - so make sure that you get the big picture first, then focus on the details. LS2 is an interesting subject, and Esdin makes it even more interesting - I think a lot of people switched to Physiological Science after taking this course.
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