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Best and Worst Professors

EmoryGirl :)EmoryGirl :) Registered User Posts: 41 Junior Member
edited June 2010 in Emory University
I'm a rising senior, and would be curious to hear about who you think the best and worse profs are. I only have two more semesters, so I want to make sure to take some good profs before I graduate!
Post edited by EmoryGirl :) on

Replies to: Best and Worst Professors

  • bernie2012bernie2012 Registered User Posts: 614 Member
    Awesome. Have you had Edwards for psychology yet? Stein for Arab-Israeli Conflict? Patterson for any religion course? Or Dr. Dianne Diakite (formerly Steward) for a religion course. Bing for physics? What area of study are you interested in?
  • IndeEdISuperIndeEdISuper Registered User Posts: 21 New Member
    Sorry if I hijack this thread but I'm an incoming Freshman and want to know also, specifically for freshman chemistry, physics, math, and english.
  • bernie2012bernie2012 Registered User Posts: 614 Member
    Math seems lame if you are doing calc. 1 and 2. The bio-calc. series profs. are decent though. Calc-based physics is risky and hardly ever gets the good profs., especially for first semester. Physics 141/142 gets Bing and Roth, both who are decent. Weaver, Morkin, and Mulford are all good for chem. 141. Most freshmen English courses are taught by passionate grad. students. It depends on which topic (because you get to choose from an array of topics for your Freshmen writing requirement. I did TransAtlantic Romanticism. It was pretty good. Grad. student/post-doc was really passionate and nearly expert in the topic area)
  • Colleges00701Colleges00701 - Posts: 1,790 Senior Member
    I recommend Spell/Shepherd for Bio, both are pretty easy. Don't take Calabrese, I did well in his course, but I had to work REALLY HARD to get that A. In 142, I picked a better prof, and I made 100s on 2/4 tests (class averages on tests were around a 77), so its def. doable. My average in the class was like a 97 at the end of the semester.

    For Chem, I DO NOT recommend Weaver, he is a very tough chem professor. For chem, kindt, mulford, morkin are great profs.

    For Physics I recommend Bing, everyone says hes tests are hard, but if you study properly, its easy to do well.

    English 101, and 181 are considered easy As, because they are taught by phd-grad students, but it can be a lot of work.
  • bernie2012bernie2012 Registered User Posts: 614 Member
    Dude, most people will not consider Spell easy (You are right about Shephard however. He even curved the hell out of the first exam) That is a mistake. You are just extremely adept at biology. All three of those professors (Spell, Eisen who is most difficult, and Calabrese) are difficult and a normal person will have to work for the A. As for 142, it's pretty easy in general. Easier than 141 could be in my opinion. However, apparently there were issues in Greg Orloff's class (lower test/quiz averages. Low-mid 70s) from my understanding. Did you have Shephard, Escobar, Orloff, or Corces for bio 142? If you had Escobar or Corces (actually, he's out because his averages are far beyond 77, and normally escobar is too. I'm gonna guess Orloff), I understand how you nearly got a 100. Then again, I saw the tests from this year as I assisted my friends, and the other profs. (other than Corces of course) seemed to standardize theirs against Dr. Spell's whose tests (142) were significantly easier than in the past (those backzams for example were tougher, and the questions from the PSets were actually helpful on those, whereas they are now too tough to be relevant to the new tests). All you need to know is that for bio, most profs. do multiple choice only for the exams. Which means that if study hard and memorize a lot, you can do really well. If you like applications, I recommend avoiding Eisen first semester even though he is an excellent prof. from my understanding. He gives short answer/essay (normally at least one where you design an experiment to explain a certain phenomenon that involves a certain topic covered in class) and a tougher version and shorter version of multiple choice. I prefer this format. It makes you think/learn more as far as I'm concerned. The other profs. should go back to this format (pre-2006-7 or something like that). Pure multiple choice seems to encourage regurgitation learning, which isn't good for pre-meds wanting to do well on the MCAT (which is Multiple Choice itself, but I think you prepare better by over-training).

    As for Weaver, I would not write him off because many failed the first exam (average 66). The grade distribution was more than fair at the end due to extra credit problems. In any normal year, Mulford would be the most difficult professor. I don't know what happened this year. As for Morkin, her class was still pretty hard. The averages were probably higher because many of the people who did not do so well in her 141 class (which was also tough, perhaps moreso than the others) did not return for 142. However, I have no idea why she scaled at the end do to the average on their final. They had basically gotten close to 80 and sometimes higher on the midterms. They should just have gotten over it and accept what they got. She obviously made the last exam a little tougher (they got 73 average, which is completely normal and acceptable) than the others and they couldn't handle it. Just means they didn't prepare well enough. I'm sorry, but even though they sometimes vary in difficulty, the big 3 are solid professors. I've heard too many conflicting opinions on Kindt that don't even have to do with the level of difficulty. That's how you know his quality is questionable to many. Most people here only complain about difficulty.

    Damn, I wonder if this school needs to go Princeton and implement a grade deflation policy sometimes. Then again, I guess it's not that bad. The average graduating GPA is not 3.4 yet (though extremely close), and I suppose curves in intro. science courses, if they occur, are significantly less generous than other schools. My friend explained to me Blakey's orgo II class only awarded 5% As and like 13% A-range grades. The distribution was the same at the bottom. As normal, most got a B/B-. This is after the upcurve (76 became B). This sounds like the normal distribution in orgo. here, even after curving. So I suppose they keep percentiles in check more effectively.

    Instead of providing anecdotes, I want to provide numbers.
  • Colleges00701Colleges00701 - Posts: 1,790 Senior Member
    ^^^ I had shepherd, but Shepherd used Spell's tests throughout the semester. He never made his own tests, just borrowed spell's tests. He told us before every test, that he was just going to borrow Spell's tests, rofl. So since I really took Spell's tests and made 100s on 2 of them, I consider her class to be doable.

    Actually Shepherd never curved the first exam,instead both Spell and Shepherd threw out a couple of questions that almost everyone missed. For the first exam the average in both Spell's and Shepherd's sections was originally around a 72. As a result, they decided to take away questions that almost everyone missed, and if you had gotten those questions right you got extra points. This raised the average on the first test to a 76 in both spell's and shepherd's sections. 76 class average is considered normal for Spell's section (and Shepherd's section since he just used Spell's tests throughout the semester).

    Last semester, my friends in weaver's class told me that the class averages on 2/3 tests were 67 and 68. Kids were ****ed off about this.

    The only thing I found difficult about Calabrese's class was the 3 point mapping. Other than that, the class was doable.
  • bernie2012bernie2012 Registered User Posts: 614 Member
    It was 66, 81, and 70.5. This guarantees about B- with a decent lab and hw grades (like 90%).
  • Colleges00701Colleges00701 - Posts: 1,790 Senior Member
    ^^ I forgot he had extra credit for the class. I was mad that he didn't offer extra credit the first semester in 141, when I had him.

    What was the average on the final?
  • bernie2012bernie2012 Registered User Posts: 614 Member
    I think it was like 76-78. Keep in mind that before we came, it was common for Mulford's class to essentially have high D/D+ averages on nearly all exams. And he did have the extra credit problems on the exam. One is normally conceptual, and the other based upon a demo he did. The idea that the class is too hard because averages are low is crap (I've seen Weaver's 142 test, and they are doable. I haven't seen the 141 tests. But I think the level of difficulty on the 142 exams is appropriate, but perhaps a hard transition for many freshmen who may be used to relying on merely a textbook and those problems to learn. Same problems existed in freshmen orgo.) Averages can be achieved in various ways. The mode, and median are more important. Normally those averages are skewed downward. Take orgo. for example, where most of the time, the median is higher than the average by a couple of points.
  • Colleges00701Colleges00701 - Posts: 1,790 Senior Member
    the problem with weavers test wasn't that they were hard, but there were long. Students found it difficult to finish the test on time. (which was my problem, and many of my friends problem).
  • lionsrcute3lionsrcute3 Registered User Posts: 72 Junior Member
    so colleges007....... you said "if you know how to study properly" and what does that mean for science classes most of the time? reading the textbook? going over notes from lectures? im really curious.

  • bernie2012bernie2012 Registered User Posts: 614 Member
    I'll let him tell you the answer for gen. chem, but I'll help with biology. Seems as if some people have to put in far more effort than others. I put in significantly less effort (I like stuff like gene expression and stuff like that as opposed to straight chromosomal genetics, which is 141. I will admit, the metabolism stuff in 141 was cool, b/c I like organic, but I hated everything else) in 142 than 141, and got an A- (B- in 141, I didn't put in effort until late and was trying to save orgo.) in a harder profs. class. I started off studying a decent amount of time, but decreased it after the first exam and like 3 quizzes. I would do the whole biology problem set before exams and perhaps go over all of the powerpoints and skim chapters in the book for areas I'm weak in (as indicated by my ability to complete the PSet and the backzam). The quizzes were tricky/somewhat unfair (we actually had to challenge L'hernault) at first, but eventually I found the material more interesting so it required hardly no effort at all (maybe 20-30 minutes of looking at the material before class). Again, for the exams, the PSets are over-training. Once you can do those, you're set on a multiple choice exam. Perhaps even if they changed over to some short answer. Some of those PSets are hard, but I actually found doing them enjoyable and somewhat stimulating, while I hardly felt challenged by those multiple choice exams. The Back Zams helped too. They are probably harder and more tricky than the exams you will get. Point is, you have lots of resources so that you can do well. Had I put in more effort, I would have gotten higher than the grade I got (consider the fact that I get an 80 on the first test). With all of that said, this is my recommendation, even though I am not representative, because many/most struggled to adjust to L'hernault's class.
    And Colleges: Mulford's tests didn't get any shorter, yet they did better. I will admit that his tests did looked somewhat simpler than either Morkin or Weaver's.

    Again, I can only give advice on that and orgo. I can't tell you how to approach gen. chem.
  • Colleges00701Colleges00701 - Posts: 1,790 Senior Member
    For Bio I never did any of the practice exams, never went to supplemental instruction, and I never did any practice problems, I just read the book a couple of times, and worked through the lecture powerpoints. For Bio, I sometimes wished I hadn't worked as hard, because in order to get an A you just need above a 93. As a result, my 97 in bio was no different from someone's 93.2 (An A is an A). I remember reading the chapter material once before the lecture that covered that material, once before the quiz at the end of each week, and then re-reading all the chapters in the days leading up to the test. (The chapters are not long, around 15-17 pages each, and tests covered around 3-4 chapters). Reading a chapter usually took me like an hour, because I would make sure I understood all the tiny details (I am REALLY OCD about this, lol, but at least it paid off) The key thing about Bio is that it is REALLY important to focus on the little details and how they relate to the big picture. By re-reading the chapters 3 times, I was able to find all the tiny details and then connect them with other information from other bio chapters, plus it made studying for the final REALLY easy, because I was able to better retain the information. I also went through all the powerpoints once before the every test.

    For Chem, I had a tough time in 141 (I was still trying to figure out study strategies for Chem) , but did well in 142 (I was able to figure out how I needed to study for Chem) . For Chem I would read all the chapters before the lecture that covered that material, and then after the lecture I would review all of my notes to make sure that I understood the concepts. After that, I would go and work the problems in the textbook, to make sure I had a firm grasp of the material. I also went to supplemental instruction ( supplemental instruction for chem, the professor usually provided problems that were similar to the ones on the test, so it really helped for chem). In the days leading up to the tests, I would skim the textbook, go over my lecture notes a couple of times, and rework some problems that I orginally had a tough time in. After doing that, I usually managed to do well on the tests.

    These strategies may help some, but not others, because everyone learns differently. First semester is all about figuring out how you study for different courses. Second semester is all about destroying the **** out of courses, once you learned how to study for them. Or at least that was the case for me, I made a 3.75 my first semester at Emory (I was still learning how to study in college courses) and I made a 3.85 my second semester at Emory (After learning how to study for classes, I managed to do better). Overall I ended my first year with a 3.8, which I don't consider bad for a pre-med student at Emory.

    Dude Bernie, got any tips for Orgo? I am taking it next year with Weinshienk (I can't spell his name)
  • bernie2012bernie2012 Registered User Posts: 614 Member
    I'll agree with you on that. I never went to SI for 142 either. Again, I just liked doing the back zams and problem sets for fun. To be honest, I hardly ever read the book lol. I would use the ppts. I would just learn general concepts and cases (biochemical pathways, gene expression, w/e) covered in class and spit it back out on the tests. I saw that Shephard's test require the same level of knowledge. This is why I had to do the PSets (my 141 lab instructor is responsible for many of those problems. I saw her one day and thanked her. She's really nice. Clearly she and Holzman are putting more effort into learning than the profs. themselves) and backzams. If I didn't, I think I "may" have scored lower and I would have failed to retain any information from the course. That's all I cared about after doing well on the 2nd exam (I pretty much knew I was gonna do well after that). I wouldn't be able to help my friends at all if I didn't retain it.

    As for orgo. No specific advice. The book material is actually somewhat relevant to his class which makes it different from mines. However, for Weinschenck, you will need to use the extra learning resources provided outside of class. He will cover frontier orbital theory extensively, so pay extra attention in lecture, and his learnlink postings. The back zams for his class are crucial along with the OYO problems.
    Trust me, orgo. will be much different from /harder than (despite the curve) gen. chem. and bio, which seem to be evolving into jokes over time. Well, actually it's bio. It went from being the premier weed-out class that required a serious level of effort to get even in the B-range to being easy to get an A-range grade from my understanding (Thank you Corces :( ). Good material, but no longer challenging and less likely to lead to retention of the information. The tests should be more like the PSets, end of discussion.
    Also, do you know Shephard's class was adjusted upward at the end? My friend got an 88 and got an A-. It was probably deserved, because most thought that Shephard kind of sucked and was distant and apathetic. I think they need to do another bio 141/142 reformation (or maybe just 142) like they did in 07'. If you look up information on these classes (like via the Emory.edu website) chem. and bio 141/142, you'll notice that they tried hard to make the courses more interesting back in the day. Deam Ram made some decent strides for gen. chem a long time ago in terms of innovation (which is why she won teaching awards and the like), but I don't see a trace of the effects today. Bio tried reformation just before we came in, but it appears that the lab is better, while the lecture format sucks. Appears bio will end up another failed experiment like gen. chem. I wish I never did such research because I am beginning to wish I went to Emory a while ago. Even though the facilities (and in theory, the resources) have dramatically improved, it just seems like standards and quality of science (especially at entry level) education are going down. Maybe it's a result of the increased enrollment and the economy to some degree.
    Again, in fairness, if I had not seen that there was more to be offered at one point in the recent history of the school, I wouldn't expect more. In context of the economy and the increased enrollment, I guess it's decent.
  • Colleges00701Colleges00701 - Posts: 1,790 Senior Member
    Also, do you know Shephard's class was adjusted upward at the end? My friend got an 88 and got an A-

    ^^^^ Well I had an A before the upward "adjustment" so it didn't affect me. Like I said, i made 2 100's on tests, and I did well on the quizzes and other tests, so I had an A before before any upward "adjustment". I didn't even realize there was an upward adjustment.
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