Pre-Meds Pre-Reqs, Spring 2008

Biology 1A, General Bio Lecture
Mark Schlissel, MWF 8-9, 1 Pimentel
“Just an average lecturer, nice professor though. Don’t like his powerpoint presentations. Lectures can be quite boring sometimes…Exams are difficult though, just looking at his slides won’t cut it – you’ll have to listen to his lectures carefully and really understand the material, as well as know a whole lot to do well on his tricky questions…He is extremely helpful in office hours in answering questions. He is also very clear on emphasizing what is important for the exams…would advise future students to take your own notes for his section though, because his lecture slides are next to useless when you’re studying.”

Texts: Biology, Study Guide for Biology, Investigating Biology Lab Manual

Biology 1AL, General Bio Lab
Michael Meighan, M 5-630, 1 Pimentel
“Truth to be told. I do not recommend taking this class if you are pre-med so AP out of it if you can. However, if you really want to learn something BUT DO NOT CARE ABOUT THE GRADE then by all means take this class…He explains things well and covers an enormous amount of material in a short perid of time. His tests are extremely difficult. GO TO OH and WATCH HIS REVIEW!..Mike, although a generally nice man, prides himself of writing “difficult”, but useless tests. His lectures up to the first midterm were somewhat satisfactory, but were quite poor for the second half of the course…

Texts: Biology, Study Guide for Biology, Investigating Biology Lab Manual

Biology 1B, General Biology
L.J. Feldman, MWF 8-9, 2050 VLSB
“Feldman is a wonderful teacher with a committment to undergraduates. He genuinely cares about students and learning the material. Go talk to him during office hours, and you might actually start to like plants…I LOVE PLANTS. tricky midterm with only 32 questions (miss two answers and you cant get an A), but all very reasonable questions. he is totally accessible and visits all the lab sections…If you go to lectures/watch the webcasts and take notes you can get an A without touching the book. Wants students to understand concepts, so he asks a lot of hypothetical questions on midterms…He writes everything down clearly and you just need to memorize what he writes. Test seems easy but when you get it back you may find that you made a few mistakes.”
Texts: Biology


Chemistry 1A, General Chemistry
Either section: Heino Nitsche, MWF 9-10 or 1-2, 1 Pimentel
“Heavy accent and cannot explain anything. You learn by doing the homework (which is tedious) and reading the book… His tests were poorly written, but I was able to manage the class because of Discussion and I had a bad-ass GSI…Chem 1A would definitely be challenging if you haven’t taken it in high school; however, it is totally doable. Like the people said before, take advantage of the extra credit, study with your peers, and look at his old tests. They are really helpful…As someone else has already mentioned, take advantage of the gimme points! There are around 400 of them (you get extra credit for going to lecture!). Your GSI is definitely the key to a high grade, so pay attention and ask questions in lab.”

Texts: I-clicker for Chem 1A

Chemistry 1B, General Chemistry
Richard Saykally, MW 10-11, 120 Latimer
“Weird class. He tried to get us interested in studying crystals by saying that they would improve our sex life. The material is very simple, but he likes to add random tangents. Textbook is awful! Office hours are useless because he just talks about his kids…Fun guy, fun class. Saykally gives interesting lectures and tries to incorporate recent advances in chemistry into the course material. As lower division science courses go, this one isn’t too hard. Tests are usually fair…Good, interesting lecturer. Included lots of information about modern scientific applications. He also blew things up a lot. First 3 mid-terms weren’t hard and followed his practice tests closely. However, his final was very difficult. Tip: facts in lecture that don’t seem important (e.g. the entire C-N-O cycle, energy use statistics) will show up!”

Texts: I-clicker for Chem 1A

Chemistry 3A, Chemical Structure and Reactivity
Both sections: Jean Frechet, TuTh 8-930 at 2050 VLSB, TuTh 2-330 at 1 Pimentel
“Professor Frechet is a great teacher who makes the material interesting and easy to remember with somewhat lame (but weirdly funny) jokes mixed in with the material. His accent is never a problem, and though his handwriting may be a little hard to decipher at times, he posts the notes online so you have time to figure it out…Prof. Frechet does an excellent job of teaching ochem. It’s a hard subject no matter what, but a bad prof could make it impossible. Frechet explains concepts well and his exams are apparently much easier than Vollhardt’s. He is also friendly, has a great sense of humor, and isn’t at all overbearing. He’s on Wikipedia…His tests were hard but fair. He actually writes out notes in class in multiple colors even though he’s color blind, and they were easy to follow; much better than power point. A great prof and I heard he’s “easier” than some other o-chem profs but I think it’s b/c he’s more helpful, not exactly easier.

Texts: Student Lab Notebook, HGS Molecular Structure Model Kit: Organic Chemistry : With Instruction Manual, Organic Chemistry: Structure and Function, Organic Chemistry, Study Guide/Solutions Manual, ACS Model Kit & Guide (not sure, check if this is the actual one)

Chemistry 3B, Chemical Structure and Reactivity
Steven Pedersen, TuTh 8-930 at 1 Pimentel, simulcast at 10 Evans
“Put off taking this class to get Pedersen if you have to. Don’t bother with the text, but always go to lecture. He really does teach the concepts, and he’s even funny sometimes. One of the best professors I’ve had. Not easy, but excellent… I had all three of the main Ochem professors (Frechet, Vollhardt, and Pedersen) for different classes and there’s no doubt that Pederson is #1. His lectures are very clear, and he’s the only one who can lecture the hardest subject in a way so that anyone can understand. So if you are going to take a hard class, this professor is the one…if you work hard it is easy to get a B, but unless you are exceptional, it is very difficult to get an A. he’s funny, nice, extremeley smart, barely uses text, emphasizes amino acids more than other o-chem professors (which is good for bio people). ONLY real flaw is that he rushes certain parts of the course and takes other parts very slow.”

Physics 8A, Introductory Physics
Section 1: William Golightly, MWF 3-4, 1 Pimentel
“This class was unbelievably boring, it seems to me he would take forever copying a sample problem from the book to the board and then go through the solution in half a second. His meek presentation style does not help raise interest…One of the best profs I’ve ever had. I dreaded taking physics before, but Golightly’s such a great profs that I don’t hate physics as much now. Very clear and helpful. His demos are interesting too, especially when they fail…Professor Golightly is the sweetest physics professor. He’s dorky and enthusiastic. The tests are pretty easy because they are almost exactly like the review sheets…He is definitely dedicated to his students. Exams are pretty easy. But just be aware that he can only give out so many A’s, so you’ve got to work hard.”
Text: Volume 1 of Essential University Physics

Section 2: Michael DeWeese, TuTh 1230-2, 1 Pimentel
“He is inexperienced, and it shows. He spends a lot of time on demos, and sometimes gets flustered. However, that being said, he is extremely enthusiastic and wants it to be fun for his students. His midterms are relatively easy, and the text good enough to learn what he doesn’t cover well in lecture…He has a great personality and is actually pretty funny. Besides the occasional jokes, his lectures are boring, because they are so hard to follow. He’s pretty unorganized, isn’t all that great at explaining, and doesn’t spend time on concepts that need to be explained. However, his midterms were pretty straightforward and relatively easy…Horrible teaching. Does not know what he’s doing on the board. Confusing textbook, confusing homework, confusing lectures. Straight up horrible…Deweese is a first year professor and it is quite noticeable in his teaching, however he is really nice and the homework and the book are great teaching tools….he allows you to have cheat sheet and for never having taken physics, the first midterm seemed easy compared to the other class. there is no curve, so everyone is pretty friendly!!!!!”
Text: Volume 1 of Essential University Physics

Physics 8B, Introductory Physics
Section 1: Jan Liphardt, MWF 3-4, 4 LeConte
“This class was the easiest science class I have ever taken. Lecture is pretty useless and boring. Discussion was the most helpful-if you have a good GSI. He assigns 45 problems from the book for each exam and chooses around 8-10, which makes it easy to get a good grade if you do the problems. There’s no curve, but it’s really not needed…He assigns you exam problems in advance and then picks a few, changes them and that is your test. About 50 problems per midterm and 140 for the final, so the days before the tests are painful. You don’t learn any physics since the problems are so difficult you just memorize them. Lecture is useless, but his demos are cool. Discussion can be helpful…Absolutely horrible. Teaches 8b at a 7b level. Despite 8b not being a calculus based class, his teaching style depends almost entirely on calc. derivations. Lecture is pointless and his unenthusiastic comportment makes this class almost unbearable…this class got a lot better about halfway through. he started to use powerpoint and he put his slides on the web (mostly). also stopped deriving everything. the book we used was useless.”
Text: Volume 2 of Essential University Physics

Section 2: Robert Jacobsen, TuTh 11-1230, 1 Pimentel
“He has very good intentions of giving students an ‘intution of physics’ and puts a lot of emphasis on conceptual understanding. That aside, his lectures are boring and often involve demos that don’t really help. His tests are inconsistent in difficulty, and don’t involve much math (do not mistake no math as being easy)…Don’t freak out if he says he don’t curve– he tests very fair and if you are an A student you’ll get an A if you are a B student you will get a B not matter what. And do the homework it is one the exams…I really liked having him for 8A but he wasn’t nearly as good for 8B. There was a fairly large discrepancy between what he talked about in class and what he tested on the midterm. He expects you to be able to do problems completely unlike any you’ve seen before, in a high-pressure test environment. I would do all the practice problems and understand them but when I only had so much time there wasn’t much I could do for those really hard problems.”
Text: Volume 2 of Essential University Physics

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