This class was tough.
Out of all of the classes I took during the spring semester, this one was easily the most difficult. The content of the class itself was very difficult to digest due to both the very complex nature of chemistry in general, as well as Professor Tyson's extremely technical and detailed explanations of the sample questions. Due to the difficulty of the subject and with knowledge of the his own teaching style in mind however, Professor Tyson's exams are much easier than the in class and online content that he has you practice on. The syllabus is very very clear, and the professor is willing to work with you on due dates if you have difficulty submitting the assignments on time, he really is especially reasonable to work with in this regard. The class has a large online homework component that can be fairly tedious but also very helpful, and it also has several online tests and pre-tests, some of which you are allowed to work on outside of class and with a friend. The in class tests allow you to bring a single page cheat sheet that can be a lifesaver. A big portion of your time in this course will also be spent on writing. There are about 7 mandatory papers in the class but believe me when I tell you, they are not as bad as they sound. Writing in this course is all straight to the point so it requires much less thought and energy than you would expect. Also most of the papers do not have to be that long, about 2 pages, and the majority of the time spent on these papers is just finding your sources online, the writing itself is more transcribing really. He also offers a ton of extra credit, mainly from doing more short papers and some extra online and in class activities, and allows you to retake up to two of the tests to improve your scores. Overall the class can be confusing at first, it's a lot of time consuming work and a difficult subject, but because of this he gives everyone a break and grades much less harshly than you would think. As long as you put in the time and take advantage of the many bonuses he gives you, I don't think theres anyone out there that couldn't be successful in this class.
This course is centered around the dangers surrounding arsenic contamination of rice, and the effects it can have on consumers of these staple products all across the world. The topic was surprisingly interesting and through the many papers we did I learned a great deal about how widespread and dangerous this contamination can be. Trust me, you will eat less rice after taking this course. Also this course taught me a lot about what to look for in future courses because of how balanced it was. It had just a nice even mix of difficulty, flexibility, and satisfaction that I use as an example when I search for other classes. A good introduction to the difficulty you should expect in future semesters.
Hours per week:
Advice for students:
He has student teaching assistants that run help sessions outside of class, if you are stuck on the material these students are your lifeline, its also a great place to meet people to study with. Always take advantage of every little bonus he gives you to its fullest potential, it can really save your grade. But most importantly, don't stress out if you don't get the material at first, he always reviews before exams and the help sessions will have you prepped and ready in no time. Also take advantage of the practice tests and do them with a friend to prep for the exams, they are extremely close to what appears on the real deal. Your test cheat sheet can also hold a lot of data if you type it on a small font size, you can practically bring your entire notebook if its small enough, use this to your advantage!