I'm glad I took this class over zoom or otherwise I WOULD NOT have survived without the ability to rewatch lectures. Snow gave out the most basic information during lectures and created really difficult exams that did not necessarily reflect the content he taught during lectures. Honestly, his exams were always a guessing game about what type of content might be in the exam or the depth of the material we had to know. I spent most of time using YouTube videos, Khan Academy, and other outside sources to study for this class. Even then that was barely enough to do well on his tests. Keep in mind, I would study 4-5 hours each day and dedicated a lot of time to reading the text book/taking notes so I could get a good grade. I understand he really wanted the class to engage with the material and look beyond the surface but his exams were too much. When students brought the difficulty of his exams up to him, he just dismissed these comments. Regardless of student comments, I don't think he was willing to restructure the class to improve students learning ( which is awful considering that we are in a pandemic) My Tip: Be prepared for hard exams and don't rely on only lectures to do well. Make a study group. Use peer tutoring. I would not recommend taking this class with a notoriously known hard class at the same time because this course requires a lot of dedication. Overall, a very time-consuming course but sadly unavoidable if you are a STEM student. If you are looking to fulfill your science credit, I would NOT recommend this class.
One of the most condescending professors I have come across at Columbia. He doesn't give out answer keys because of a fear of them circulating around after the fact... which does not stop cheating but instead only serves to make everyone confused. The only way to get answers to anything is to (a) go to his office hours, where he will make you feel terrible about yourself. he has a general disdain toward helping students (b) go to the TA office hours... who often are wholly unprepared to answer your questions. He reads directly off slides in class, and does not know how to use bullet points. Good luck to my fellow BMEs who are required to take this class... seriously, I feel for you.
One of the sweetest and kindest professors in the BME department. He went above and beyond to help students during Covid. He made video solutions to all of our homework, and was kind and patient in all of my encounters with him. He granted extensions for homework whenever you needed it. Overall, even though it was definitely a tough class, I only have positive memories of it because of his thoughtful and caring nature.
If you take a class like accelerated physics, you'll find juicy, long, well-worded problems which take serious depth of thought and understanding to tackle. The wording is clear, and getting at the answer involves a clean exertion of your logical understanding of the material. If you take this class, you'll find the exams are often subjective, have strangely short questions (which are poorly thought out), and have obfuscating wording. The reputation this class gets is mainly from teaching material that should usually be taught in organic chemistry or biochemistry. They make the class "hard" by taking material which the students should have been exposed to over a longer time (as is standard literally anywhere else), so it's not as if this is a truly unique and magical intro biology curriculum. It's frankly a bit cheap. It would do Columbia students a favor if a second semester biochemistry option were added and intro bio stuck to standard intro bio material.