professor
Jonathan Snow

May 2021

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.

Apr 2021

Snow's class was okay at best. He was often really unclear when describing a topic, and would often fit more into his outlines than he could cover, so some material was really rushed. Also, despite there being two separate sections of Intro Bio, only one section got to have live lectures, leading to a clear disparity in final grades with no difference in curve between the sections. He was pretty clear with his grading standards -- all tests were curved to an 84%. His online tests were much more difficult than the practice tests he provided, and there was often at least one grading error so grades were not accurate on Canvas. Mindtaps were a lot more in depth than anything we ever covered in class, but you get 3 attempts and 3 get dropped, so it's not that big a deal. Overall, he was an okay lecturer with some annoying parts, but this course is required for most STEM majors and is a lot easier than Columbia bio, so better to just suck it up and prepare yourself for a lot of frustration. The one highlight of his class was his daughter running around in the Zoom background, but you won't even be guaranteed that if we go back in person.

Apr 2021

LOL - this class sucked. the professor's explanations for content did NOT reflect the depth of understanding needed for the exams. he contradicted himself a LOT - would say things like "oh ignore what it says on the textbook" but then write questions in the exam that was part of the assigned reading and did not go over in class. p snow was also kind of rude? responses to email became progressively more passive aggressive, and not even addressing you at some points. did not make any exceptions for intl student hardships lol.

Mar 2021

john snow is a cruel, cruel man. Though he personally seems kind and warm-hearted, he is infamous for his IMPOSSIBLE tests. In an intro bio class, the test average is usually around 60%, which he curves to an 84. All exams are unnecessarily stressful, full of misleading questions (or ones that just make no sense). Doesn't help that his lectures are impossibly slow, and he's not the best at explaining even simple concepts. Most students rely on the textbook and outside resources to actually learn anything. Seriously, this is a miserable teacher to have. I can't imagine his other courses would be any different. beware!

Jan 2021

Professor Snow was the most engaging professor I had this semester! He adapted the format of the class a lot to compensate for the pandemic (allowing us to drop an exam) and you could tell that he really cared about his students' success and well-being. I think the material was presented in a way that was easy to understand and engage with and he made it clear what would be fair game for exams. You could tell that he really wanted students to engage with the material and also connect the material to the larger medical field. He structures the class through the lens of cancer, so the class feels very health-oriented. Overall, I would highly recommend this class to anyone with an interest in cell biology, cancer, or just biology in general!

Sep 2018

I can't say enough nice things about this man. If you have the opportunity to take a course with Professor Snow, take it! He's an engaging lecturer and more importantly a kind man who wants his students to succeed. 11/10 human!

Dec 2014

Jon Snow is the nicest guy! He is so passionate about everything he teaches (obviously the most about bees since that is what he does research on). This class was very light compared to other labs at Barnard (see workload below). There were weekly proposals, but they were not graded difficulty - basically he just wants you to ask good questions at the end of proposals. The labs themselves almost never took the full 5 hours - we were usually out of there by 4pm. A lot of times Prof Snow would finish the last part of the labs for us (i.e. he wouldn't make us sit for 3 hours for the PCR to finish, he would take the samples out himself) which we all greatly appreciated. Sometimes he can be a little disorganized but if you have a question he is 100% available all the time over email, phone call, and office hours. He will answer everything and anything regarding lecture and assignments. Make sure you get a good lab partner because you're stuck with that person for the entire semester probably, and for the independent projects.