C3046 Intensive Organic Chemistry for Freshmen

May 2006

well.. lets start by saying this class is too hardcore and no one should take it except overachievers with genuine love for chemistry or dumbasses with unfailed ability to accept failures. his class is fast-paced with loaded information that cannot be found on the textbook(e.g. advanced biochem reactions). so take REALLY good notes and review them make sure you understand everything. make sure you go to the recitations. two secrets they dont tell you. the answers to the problem sets can be found if you google "C3046". also, do the exercises after each chapter, especially the ones where you have to predict the products or draw mechanism. on a final note. i think he curved around a B or B- this year (although he tells you that he doesnt curve so everyone CAN get an A... well... we all know thats BS) so you need to work *really* hard to earn a good grade, or DALI WILL OWN YOU LIKE IT'S HIS JOB

May 2005

I have mixed feelings about Dali's class. On the one hand, he works very hard to make sure that there is some interraction between the students and him. Lectures can be interesting at times, even if he does draw molecules much faster than you thought possible, and expects you to not only copy down the molecule but what he says. On the other hand, the tests were ridiculous. Lists of reactions where every molecule has a functional group that won't react but will be present just to confuse you. He is pretty merciless on grading (a small mistake loses you 7 points out of 10). This class is not for the weak. Breslow's class fall term started with well over 40 people. 24 people sat for this final. On the whole though, if you don't care too much about your grade, this is a good class; the final really forces you to learn and master the concepts you've learned over the course of the term.

Nov 2004

Welcome to the worst class you will ever take, taught by the worst professor you will ever have. After a semester with chemistry god Breslow, this class is an unbelievable let down. Monday and Wendesday mornings will become the bane of your existence, because this semester you HAVE to go to class. The curriculum is a hopelessly disorganized combination of the textbook, Sames's lectures, very difficult problem sets, and incomprehensible journal articles; the overlap between these is minimal, so studying for tests is nearly impossible. Sames's lecturing style is also very disorganized. He explains reactions by giving examples on the board. However, rather than picking basic examples, he picks the most complex examples he can come up with (you will be drawing rings until you would gladly shoot a benzene molecule on sight), so that way you will never know what the actual reaction is. In fact, he will make relatively easy reactions needlessly complicated, seemingly just for the sake of confusing bewildered students (those who are still awake - I promise you, there will not be many.) His monotone accent, combined with the 9am class time and the poor lecturing style, make it virtually impossible to stay awake. And then there's the grading. Major, major ouch. The means for the 3 midterms were in the 50s and 60s. About half the class dropped after the first midterm. I am NOT a grade-grubbing pre-med, and I can definitely say that this was the hardest class I have ever taken. The final was almost hilarious because it was so ridiculously hard; i say almost, because it also counted as 60% of our grade. I got an A+ first semester in Breslow's class, and despite working considerably harder second semester, I got a B. Overall, it's still worth taking this class; you won't have to take gen. chem., you get 6AP credits, and you get orgo out of your way freshman year. The price you pay, however, is a semester of pain and misery. I am friends with a lot of people who took that class, and they pretty much all agree: Sames is awful. helpful hint: for the final, STUDY AMINES!!!!

May 2003

Professor Sames provides an excellent classroom environment by asking the class questions and occasionally telling little science related stories or anecdotes. He is very approachable and always willing to take questions after class. His stimulating lecturing style shows his love of chemistry and helps one stay awake during a 10:00 am class. Students not interested in the subject matter may find the class daunting, as it requires much outside studying. You really must attend class to do well on tests, as Professor Sames only loosely follows the textbook and much of the material is only covered in class. Going to the TA's office hours is also invaluable in terms of clearing up questions. Professor Sames uses an addtional "optional" Sorrell textbook that can be found in library. Though most people didn't buy it, I did and found it incrediably useful. Although he is demanding, Professor Sames is probably the best teacher I have had a Columbia.