May 17, 2008

Firestein, Stuart
[BIOL W3004] Neurobiology I: Cellular & Molecular

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

Stuart is God. He is hilarious and his lectures were so fun. This class is hard, but manageable. Don't be daunted by the physics in the first part-just memorize it and it will be ok.

Yiang of course has it hard, since he comes after Stuart and also lectures on less interesting subjects (Synapses basically).

The book is phenomenal (Principles of Neural Science).

The final will kill you. Just a warning... i think it is so impossible because it is written by TAs. It is comprised of 6 primary research articles, on which random questions are asked. These can't be discussed in recitation or with any of the TAs, so you are on your own. Questions are scattered throughout the exam (as in, they may ask something about one article and then something else random about another article just to confuse you) and so you have no idea which article they refer to. What is worse, the articles all investigate very similar problems (taste receptors.) Meaning, the possibility of mixing up methods or designs is very likely.

Workload:

50-60 pages of reading per week. 3 midterms, drop one. Killer final. Mandatory recitation with one primary article per week.