December 29, 2004

Hua, Shao-Ying Silver_nugget
[BIOL W3004] Neurobiology I: Cellular & Molecular

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

Professor Hua is a gem, especially amongst the Bio professors at Barnard. On the first day of class, she told us that we were her first priority, and research came second - how many other professors in the science departments have told students this (and actually meant it)? I can tell you my answer: zero! Yes, this class is challenging and the readings get progressively more difficult to decipher, but as long as you study hard, you will be fine. Each exam requires a greater amount of memorization, but is excellent preparation for graduate/professional school. Professor Hua can sometimes be difficult to understand, but I feel that most people blow this out of proportion. If you don't understand something, she will bend over backwards to explain it in as many ways as it takes for you to obtain a firm grasp of the topic. She will meet with you anytime, provided you email her in advance or talk to her about it in class, and she also holds lengthy review sessions to answer questions before the exams. Furthermore, after the first exam, she gives a "comment card" to students so that she can learn from the things that they found helpful or difficult to understand in order to improve teaching for this class and future classes. Student input is extremely important to her, and she takes it very seriously and works on any problem areas with the class (such as difficult to understand exam questions or topics). I highly recommend this class, both because the content is interesting and very useful and because Professor Hua is extremely intelligent and well-versed on the topic and devotes herself tirelessly to her students. You don't find too many professors like her in science departments, so take advantage of the opportunity!

Workload:

Two midterms and a final exam. Reasonable in difficulty as long as you thoroughly review the material.