the reviews were right--he's a great guy really--just need to put up with some mumbling and illegible handwriting---don't miss a day of class otherwise you'll feel even more like an idiot than the idiot's guide he makes you read- makes you feel....so enjoy....but he's really nice....just not worth spending your money on but what else can you do when its the only course that easily fulfills a requirement?
Hands down the worst professor I've yet to have at Barnard or Columbia.
He was one of the worst lecturers I've ever had. He had the already fascinating material (infectious diseases) to work with, but the lectures were a total bore even though I loved the readings. Many things he simply couldn't remember and had to look at his notes to clarify, and even then it might be wrong so you had to look at your books to make sure it's the right information that he's given you. Once, he couldn't remember what I in HIV stood for. Unbelievable but true. Thankfully this course was comprised of three modules taught by different professors, but I would seriously stay away from any courses that this guy teaches no matter how interesting the material might be. Oh, and he also disappeared for the entire week before the exam, not answering any phone calls or e-mails or officie visits. No TA help was available either. Needless to say, he wasn't a whole lot of help in preparing for the exam.
Prof Mohler is very kind and cares a lot about his students. He has good intentions, however you may leave his office more confused than when you came there. He's brilliant and thinks you are not, however, you will feel that you have learned so much by the end of the course. You must study the notes if you are to do well in the class. If you want to understand your notes later, you really should tape the lectures. The take-home midterms are nearly impossible. you will stare at them for a few days before you even begin to understand what he's asking. but if you put enough time into them, you will do well. he puts a lot of time into making them, and they are entertaining, but don't try to figure them out right away, b/c he's notorious for finding mistakes in the data given. you may spend hours and hours trying to figure out a problem only to find that he messed up. this class is hard work, but gratifying if you are up to a challenge. also the curve is very accomodating.
The material in this class is often difficult and Prof. Mohler's teaching style was sometimes confusing. However, despite it being a 9 AM class I never fell asleep. He is a mediocre lecturer, not the worst, not the best. But here comes the good part: He curves around an A! The median grade (usually in the 70s) on all his tests were an A. The lowest final grade he gave was a B or B-. One student even got an A+. His curve is the best kept secret.
I had Jim for my second semester of Bio. His lectures cover material not present in the text so attending lectures is a must if you care about your GPA. Overall he is an average lecturer. I wouldn't take a class just because he was teaching it but I also wouldn't run in the opposite direction.