Ratings for Head-Gordon, T
Based on 22 ratings for this instructor.
Comment: Apparently I was in the first class she and her husband taught gen chem, and it was the WORST THING EVER. I can see her being good with higher levels, but she can't explain the basics for sh*t. Lectures are dull, impossible to follow, and way too ambitious for the semester schedule. She has a very soft presence that didn't motivate me to stay engaged at all. I ended up going to her husband's lecture half-way through (they co-taught) but it wasn't much better.There were weekly problem sets that were alright but exams got progressively harder. Discussion was practically useless because it was *ahead* of the already fast-paced lecture. To top it off, one of my friends (who failed her class) showed me his notes when he retook it the following semester, and his new professor covered much less material at a much more reasonable pace. Ugh screw this class. At least the curve was generous.
Submitted May 2nd, 2016
Comment: Overall an easy A class. The GSI went over what he was looking for after the first assignment, so it was easy to do well on the assignments since they all asked the same thing but with different case studies. It was easy to do well on the exams of you did the assignments, and went over the slides at least once. There's one debate per team.
Submitted Jan. 3rd, 2015
Comment: For BioE 100, there's no need to purchase the textbook - just go over Head-Gordon's lecture slides before midterms and you'll be fine. Homework wasn't difficult, although it was somewhat annoying to have points deducted for formatting issues (i.e. explicitly listing stakeholders or stating what each alternative entails). Luckily, the lowest homework score was dropped. Midterms were manageable and constituted half our grade. Since our final was originally scheduled for Friday (7-10 PM), Professor Head-Gordon allowed us to have a take home final instead. The final consisted of writing up an ethical analysis on a movie (which could be Inception, Minority Report, or several other films pertaining to bioethics). Participation in a debate accounted for 20% of our grade.
Submitted Dec. 20th, 2014
Comment: She's a nice lady one on one but damn near intolerable in lecture. She doesn't seem to comprehend when she's not being clear, and gets indignant (and may or may not drag you into her office) if you attempt to ask for clarifications or express a lack of understanding. Her problem sets are somewhat helpful but often contain huge amounts of typos and revisions. Her exams suck and are not very well written. Her lectures are basically just an hour of math on the board, spitting out derivations with little emphasis on conceptual or intuitive understanding.
Submitted June 2nd, 2014
Comment: It was kind of a sudden change of pace when professor Head-Gordon took over for the latter 2/3s of the course, since her teaching style was different than professor Cate's. I find that she is all right if you read the book before going to lecture, but she does indeed spend too much time on derivations already in the book and no time at all on problem solving, which is what actually matters. The problem sets and exams require you to understand a lot of statistical thermodynamics (physics) and chemistry. Seeing as this IS a course on biophysical chemistry, it should be quite heavy on mathematical concepts in the context of biology and such. So I don't really understand the remarks that the reviewer is making below. There are true or false questions as well as short answer questions that test concepts. It is just that these concepts are under the guise of physics/math. It is really nice that she posts all of her annotated slides on bcourses, which makes it a bit easier to study (plus there is extra credit on the homework!).
Submitted May 22nd, 2014
Comment: Most terrible professor I've had at Cal so far. It is obvious that she doesn't care for the class and students: she doesn't have any scheduled office hours (it is either by appointment or questions after class), she arrives late to lecture frequently, she makes mistakes on her lecture slides and practice finals and corrects them the day before and of the exam, she refuses to answer questions if they're already on her lecture slide, etc. The list goes on. She also focuses too much on math and derivations, so much that the class almost completely loses touch with the biology component. Her exams are pure math and do not test on biological concepts (this class IS a MCB class after all and SHOULD test on biology concepts.) She only focuses on concepts that she likes, to the extent that our final was almost completely on enzyme kinetics when the final should be inclusive of all material. I feel as if I didn't learn as much as I should have from this class, just useless derivations and the skill of cheat sheet making. I loved the material in the class, but Prof Head-Gordon ruined the class.
Submitted May 22nd, 2014
Comment: Professor Head-Gordon was kind enough to give us extra credit on several problem sets (not to mention two additional extra credit opportunities pertaining to the second midterm). Copy the derivations of several formulas onto your cheat sheets for the extra credit problems on her midterms.
Submitted May 19th, 2014
Comment: Head-Gordon is a very intimidating professor, and the section of 100A that she taught was the most math-oriented. However, her homework assignments were fair and her exam was significantly easier than I expected. Her portion of the final was almost identical to the second midterm, so you knew what to study in advance.
Submitted July 2nd, 2013
Comment: I took this in Spring '13 with Cate/THG/Krantz, and Prof. Head-Gordon was my least favorite. She enjoys asking questions to the entire class while she lectures, which often serves to just slow down the lecture when no one raises their hand. She's also quite intimidating, and although I usually am a very vocal participant in most lectures, I sat quitely while she lectured, afraid of saying the wrong answer. Her exam came out to be easier than I thought, and she is quite helpful during office hours(although still intimidating). Make sure you go over her annotated slides and really know the concepts/graphs that repeatedly came up.
Submitted May 27th, 2013