Mary Ann Price

Dec 2020

TLDR: This class can either be your worst nightmare or the best class you take at Columbia. Regardless, A is very possible (no curve, total points) and is very helpful for MCAT information. This is my favorite class at Columbia so far. Honestly, the workload is minimal (90% of outside of classwork is reading textbooks and studying) and the information is extremely interesting. However, you will not learn anatomy. There is a heavy focus on signaling (GPCRs) and small scale biological processes. I found the information so interesting and applicable to my passions (medicine) and therefore this class did not feel like work. Going to office hours is a dream! She may not always know the answers, but is willing to go over things she already taught. It is the most important part of this class IMO because although I studied and knew the info as much as a few of my classmates, I regularly scored 5-15 points higher because I knew what she was looking for in each question all because of OH. Besides this, if you show face, she will know you understand the information and will maybe throw you a point here or there. I finished the class with the easiest A I have ever earned at Columbia (even easier than a language class) because the material is fascinating and the exams were extremely doable given you know what she's asking. If you do not feel interested in the info or have had past trouble understanding Price's exams in IntroBio, either do not take or try to break the trend! (FYI I did exponentially better in this class than IntroBio simply because of office hours and learning how to answer the questions). While it sucks that this is how tests are, you are still learning an incredible amount and once you understand her, you'll ace the tests.

Dec 2018

This class is ABSOLUTELY horrible and mislabelled as a course in General Physiology. It's a pity that so many premeds flock to it because of its title. None of them know what they are getting into unfortunately. Dr. Price misses the big picture. She really doesn't care if you think your liver were in your foot if you know about very molecular things like G-Protein Coupled Receptors... I'm not saying that any of what we are learning is bad, but we are overlooking some very important aspects of Physiology (what this class is supposed to be about). PLUS her delivery is really unclear, and you require a good deal of luck to do well on her exams because a lot of what she asks for, she never teaches. For example a lot of her questions presuppose a knowledge of effect sizes of various processes – a google search is not enough to reveal some of these answers and her lectures rarely touch on these things. On other things she tests you on there isn't consensus on in the scientific community, so what in the world is a poor student to do. During biweekly case studies, she expects you to discuss MANY questions in a group and write responses within time limits that make NO sense. You have to make frequent submissions through the hour (up to 5). The stress on everyone's face during these case studies is horrendous. It is not that hard to reduce the number of questions you make students do if you're really married to these case studies! These case studies, however, do get at some of the things Dr. Price overlooks, because they are not written by her. However they appear so disconnected with the rest of the class and her exams don't reflect the same thing. Plus the stress levels don't let you benefit from these case studies. Please practice self care and don't take this class. And if you do, may god be with you.

Oct 2018

I took Physiology with Dr. Price because I thought her lectures in Dr. Mowshowitz class were clear. I also knew I would like the subject. So far, the class is great. We do case studies and group problems. I enjoy learning the material very much. I want to say, I've never considered writing a CULPA review until now. I'm not angry, but I was sincerely disappointed in the professor. I felt I needed to warn students to spend their $7,000 elsewhere (or to save it and use Khan Academy). Her exam looked like Mowsh (same cover page, no ink, no regrade for pencil, etc.), the questions were the same type of questions as Mowsh... but she definitely had something to prove. It was way more ambitious than Mowsh. Whereas Mowsh's exams were 4-page exams of logic questions, hers was 5 pages. The median at 68 (after her inflating it -- mine was inflated 10-points) was even lower than Mowsh's class. It's been rumored she's replacing Mowsh for introductory bio. I'm not sure if it's true... but she seems to be playing the part. Or, perhaps, at least using us as a sort of dress rehearsal... lol. I spent more mental capacity deciphering her language and if the answer could be A, B, and C, and not D, or E, F, G, H, I, J, K, and not L (Yes, the options ranged from A. TO. L) than thinking about physiology or its application. I didn't know professors still had these type of insulting questions on exams? What are they testing? Also, her language is easy to misunderstand (at least I thought so). Her exclamation points in red across answers where I did misunderstand let me know that I am to blame, and her test writing skills were never the problem. She does lectures her way and her lectures are great. But testing, she seems to care more about tricky multiple choice and strangely worded questions than really getting to know what her students understand. I'd recommend she find her own way on tests and stop trying so hard to write them like Mowh's. They're strange imitations. . Lectures will be sessions where everyone jots down every word she says, pedantically masters every minute detail, and completely misses any kind of big picture, or let alone allows curiosity to develop. Tests like this don't allow for much curiosity or exploration. I'll continue to learn the subject, enjoy it, and not give two-hoots about her crummy ill-worded, ill-advised exams. She's a disappointment in my book and I'm sad I wasted $7000 on her course. One more bio class from a test writing "authority" where you and your 68% are the problem, not her wording or test writing skills. Recommendation: DO NOT TAKE THIS CLASS. PERIOD. A $7000 let down and insult to the work you put in to it. Whereas I had to take Mowsh, I didn't have to take her. Learn from my mistake.

May 2018

Ok, so it looks like Mowsh is pretty much handing off the reins to Price for roughly half of intro bio ii. That means Price gives the lectures, sends the emails, and writes parts of the tests for her portion. That’s good news and bad news for you, premeds. Good news is, you can always tell when Price wrote one of the exam questions because they’re more straightforward, or at least less confusingly worded. Could be because she lacks Mowsh’s demonic proclivity for writing biology-themed word problems, could be because physiology’s easy or that she’s a softy, could even be she’s just a better writer (making sense of single-spaced paragraphs with poor sentence structure is 3/4 of the battle for Mowsh’s questions imo). Bad news is that she’s boring. Like, really boring. Like, you go to all of your lectures for your first three semesters of college and then just sleep in when it’s Price’s turn to present powerpoints. She’s got this nervous laugh and a deliberately non-monotonic lecture style that actually repeats in cycles of about 15 seconds and ends up being a monotone. Nice woman, clearly knows a lot about the stuff she talks about, but needs to work on her delivery. That said, the notes have everything you need to know so paying attention/going to lecture is nonessential. Other bad news, Price is in charge of the class’s Canvas page layout, which gave me more anxiety this semester than Lerner protests. To navigate that page you have to bounce around a bunch of redirects and unevenly spaced tables full of too much information (OCD people beware), all at the snail-pace of Sakai’s servers that clearly can’t handle 400 stressed out premeds poring over recitation problem keys (can’t blame them, neither can I). Well have fun, don’t go to lecture, and switch to econ while you still can.

Oct 2017

Dr. Price does not have full understanding of human physiology to teach this class. She is a chemist, not a biologist, and for that reason she learns the material as she teaches the class. This explains why whenever someone asks a question in class 99% of the time her answer is "ummmmm I'm not sure ha ha". The way that her syllabus is planned out allows too much time for group quizzes and group assignments in class, which ultimately feels like a bio high school class with bad teacher. I'm truly concerned on why she is teaching such an important class for premeds or just anyone majoring in bio. Moreover she lacks public speaking abilities enormously. Every two words she inserts "um" , which makes her recorded lectures useless. She fake laughs whenever she doesn't know the answer to a question to cover the awkwardness. The average of her exams is around 60, just to show that she doesn't teach.