Based on 5 Users
For this class, attending lecture was not mandatory while attending lab was mandatory. The material covered in lecture was not important and I stopped watching the recordings after a week into the quarter. The only time I had to go to lecture was when we did our presentations (super easy). I didn’t like how we had to go to lab because it felt like everything we talked about (using GenSAS) could’ve been a step-by-step guide sent over email. Lab sessions were taught by TAs, so I barely saw the professor during the quarter. Go to the TA office hours to get an idea of what they want in your presentation and final paper because they do all the grading for the class.
Easy lab requirement
55% Final paper
45% 3 presentations
This is a computer-based lab that focuses on gene annotation. The first two weeks of lab is basically all you need to understand what to do in the class. There are 3 5-minute individual presentations. He asks questions during the presentations but they're not hardcore or mean questions like other professors ask. So as long as you have an idea of what you put on your PPT slides, you're good.
Very chill professor. Goes over all the algorithms behind the programs and software you're using during lecture but he doesn't test you on them. Since this is basically a project-based course, as long as you finish your project then you don't need to go to the lab at all. The lab is 3 hours a day, two days a week. I felt this time was more allocated for asking the TA questions. So you can drop by and ask a couple questions and then not come back the entire week.
Overall, very doable lab and a very smart professor. Annotation may be confusing at first but, like the professor said, once you complete your first gene, you pretty much know how to do the rest of the genes. I highly recommend taking this over MCDB 104AL. Even a doctor at the Ronald Reagan Hospital took MCDB 104AL and told me to avoid at all costs.
187AL is a purely computer-based bioinformatics lab. You don't need any previous knowledge or particular skill set to succeed, aside from being generally competent with a computer. All work is completed during the lab section (3 hours/day, twice a week). Lectures (75 minutes/day, twice a week) are solely for providing background information on the programs you'll be using throughout the quarter and for student presentations (3 weeks-worth total). Your grade is three 5-minute "progress report style" presentations (15% each) which you pretty much get full points just for presenting on what you've worked on so far, and the final lab report (55%) which is approximately 15 pages long, give or take a few pages. You spend the first few weeks familiarizing your self with the tools/programs needed to annotate a genome (gene prediction, gene alignment, gene editing, RNA-seq, etc.) By Week 6, you should generally understand the entire annotation workflow you need to complete and the rest of the quarter is spent annotating a second/third gene and continuously refining your data. Draft sections of the lab report are due at the end of the week (intro, methods, abstract, etc.) throughout the quarter which is useful because it makes you stay on top of your report. The lab can be laborious and the software can be temperamental but this is not a difficult class whatsoever as long as you manage your time well.
If you do not have a good computer background, you will be at a disadvantage when taking this class. It's not impossible, but just keep in mind that even though like 30% got an A, the class size is only 25 people and those people are pretty good with computers. Overall I really enjoyed this class. The material was interesting and the professor was awesome. I was not a fan of the presentations. A bit too much work to get ready. For me at least.