Ratings for Biology 1A

Rate this course:

Average Ratings

67

Based on 366 ratings for the instructor(s) that have taught this course.

Assignments
62
Exams
58
Helpfulness
65
Enthusiasm
72

Instructor Ratings

56
Dillin, A (BIOLOGY 1A, Spring 2016)
Assignments
50
Exams
61
Helpfulness
80
Enthusiasm
50

Comment: Dr. Dillin was okay, despite the other comments here. I thought his stories were interesting, even though I thought it was weird that he ended up putting 6 history questions on his portion of the final. I would skip the lecture on Mendelian genetics just because unless you want a history lesson, I pretty much learned nothing. He gives iClicker questions the night before, so naturally a lot of people just stopped going to lecture, including me. I ended up watching half of the lectures during Spring Break and got a B+ ish on the midterm, which was harder than the first one, mainly because it was very long. Still, I found the first half of the questions to be quite hard and computations-heavy (honestly, looking back, if I'd known how to do the computations, I would've been in the A- range) and the second half was much easier and took much less time, so I would say half of the midterm was very hard but the other half was manageable. I would recommend watching the course captures rather than going to lecture, just because then you can pause the video and actually digest the information/ copy it all down. He goes very fast, especially with the lectures about yeast galactose digestion and figuring out constitutive groups/operons/etc.

Submitted May 15th, 2016

58
Feller, M B (BIOLOGY 1A, Spring 2016)
Assignments
50
Exams
71
Helpfulness
86
Enthusiasm
89

Comment: Dr. Feller is very nice and enthusiastic, and seemed even a bit nervous during her first lecture because it was her first time teaching Bio 1A. She just ended up reading off the slides, but as time went on, she seemed better prepared. Final questions were pretty fair, and iClicker questions are very easy. Anatomy was also the most interesting section, in my opinion, so it was easier to stay awake, but sometimes when she started playing random NPR clips (that may be asked about on the final!) sometimes it was hard to stay engaged.

Submitted May 15th, 2016

64
Welch, M D (BIOLOGY 1A, Fall 2014)
Assignments
30
Exams
27
Helpfulness
30
Enthusiasm
59

Submitted Aug. 12th, 2015

29
Meighan, M R (BIOLOGY 1A, Fall 2014)
Assignments
0
Exams
0
Helpfulness
24
Enthusiasm
30

Submitted Aug. 12th, 2015

16
Fischer, R L (BIOLOGY 1A, Fall 2014)
Assignments
27
Exams
0
Helpfulness
0
Enthusiasm
84

Submitted Aug. 12th, 2015

39
Pauly, M (BIOLOGY 1A, Fall 2014)
Assignments
39
Exams
22
Helpfulness
20
Enthusiasm
74

Submitted Aug. 12th, 2015

70
Welch, M D (BIOLOGY 1A, Fall 2014)
Assignments
65
Exams
50
Helpfulness
70
Enthusiasm
77

Comment: I studied his lectures all of dead week and memorized everything. Too bad that nothing in his lectures were relevant to the final. Pretty sure Mike wrote his portion of the final. I should've spent more time looking at the practice exams.

Submitted June 15th, 2015

73
Pauly, M (BIOLOGY 1A, Fall 2014)
Assignments
65
Exams
49
Helpfulness
70
Enthusiasm
77

Comment: His midterm was so hard, I didn't even know how to study for it.

Submitted June 15th, 2015

69
Fischer, R L (BIOLOGY 1A, Fall 2014)
Assignments
66
Exams
75
Helpfulness
50
Enthusiasm
60

Comment: His exams were pretty close to his practice exams so make sure you understand that. I went over all the slides and realized how useless they were and how I should've spent more time with his practice exams.

Submitted June 15th, 2015

100
Firestone, G L (BIOLOGY 1A, Spring 2015)
Assignments
76
Exams
100
Helpfulness
65
Enthusiasm
100

Comment: Firestone is one of the best professors I have had in my two years at Cal! After the mayhem that was Dillin's section, Firestone was a breath of fresh air. If you learn by visual and/or memorization-based methods, you can succeed in his section. Firestone provides a reader for his section; buy it. It has all the diagrams he will draw in class and is great for taking notes on. I studied mostly from the reader and got a very high score on the final exam (and his section therein). Firestone is engaging, funny, and clear in his lectures; he even reviews old material for 5-15 minutes at the start of EVERY lecture! In office hours, Firestone was helpful, often reciting his lines from lecture word-for-word, but did sometimes come off a little condescending. Exam is really easy, very clear memorization questions (ex: "the spermatogonia cell produced after the first meiotic division is the _____?"). Overall, I really enjoyed Firestone as an instructor and loved getting to know him more through office hours. His section saved my grade from a B to an A- in the course, and he gave me a love for physiology that will stay with me through the rest of my MCB career. Truly, one of the best professors you will likely experience in your science lower-division courses.

Submitted May 22nd, 2015