Reviews for BIOE120

Information Review
Brian Blair
BIOE120

Expecting an A
Anonymous
01/17/2023
Dr. Blair was a nice guy and clear about what was on his tests. He also lets you have notes on your tests. I'll give him that. He was however, lazy about the content he had to cover. In the beginning of the year, we had "history lectures" in person and the actual science lectures online (probably because he just added the history lectures and already had science lectures recorded). A lot of us would have much rather had the science explained in person and had the history as a supplement online. Throughout the year, he would show up 5-10 minutes late to class (he had another class right before). Then, it seemed like the first time he looked at the slides was as he was teaching them. He also did not know how to do most of the problem set problems without looking at the answer key. He also doesn't grade anything-- it's all the TAs.
Ganesh Sriram
BIOE120

Expecting an A+
Anonymous
12/17/2022
Took BIOE120 with Dr. Sriram in Spring 2022. Dr. Sriram is an incredible professor. He's very knowledgeable in this field and wants students to succeed in the course (which they do thanks to his great teaching). Dr. Sriram hosts 2 hour exam study sessions before an exam, and they are extremely helpful. Midterms are extremely fair. Homework is on the slightly challenging side, but the TAs assist greatly. Would definitely take BIOE120 with him if you have the chance.
Brian Blair
BIOE120

Expecting a B
HannahRasmussen
12/15/2022
Dr. Blair is definitely a great teacher to have. It is true that his lectures do not have much to do with content until the end of the semester and the practice problems are difficult, but he gives you SO MANY opportunities to do better and improve if you just ask for it. His teachings are mostly on recorded lectures and can be a little misleading in the level of difficulty. I struggled with this format but after emailing him and going to office hours, I saw my grade improve and I would argue that Dr. Blair is definitely not lazy. He has spent countless hours helping me and accommodating me to make sure I fully understand the material. As long as you reach out and ask for help, the class is very enjoyable and no stressful. I highly recommend taking this class for everyone.
Brian Blair
BIOE120

Expecting an A
Anonymous
09/07/2022
Blair is one of the best professors I have taken at UMD and really helped me in learning the subject material. His past experience as a cancer researcher at Hopkins helped tied in many concepts to bioengineering and made lectures more interesting. All exams are also open note.
Brian Blair
BIOE120

Anonymous
05/16/2022
Dr. Blair is such a sweet and passionate person!! He is probably my favorite professor ever. His lectures are very interesting and not hard to understand. After lectures he is always willing to stay and help you understand a concept if you have a question. The exams are not too hard nor too easy, however my second exam was pretty difficult and he made the final much easier after hearing that students really struggled. My main issue with the course was that a lot of the lectures were online/out of the classroom so you learned more by yourself. Personally, I do not learn well with recorded lectures so I did not like that aspect of the course. Overall, he is the best professor to take!! I cannot say enough good things about him.
Catherine Kuo
BIOE120

Expecting an A
Anonymous
02/02/2022
not the most enjoyable professor, she gets the material across though.
Brian Blair
BIOE120

Expecting a B+
Anonymous
01/16/2022
I am not sure why Dr. Blair doesn't have more reviews. I loved his lectures because they were super interesting and he is such a fun person to listen to and he is also really knowledgeable. I do not think the course content was too difficult, but take advantage of your notes and make sure you don't fall behind. He is the best biology professor in my opinion so you are lucky yo have the opportunity to be his student.
Brian Blair
BIOE120

Expecting an A
Anonymous
01/05/2022
He's such a great teacher. Very passionate, very caring. He will stay after class if you have any questions even though it might impede on his time. he's also very understanding. One of the best teachers out there. He is a very fair grader, and he even tells you what will and won't be on the test, so you know what to study.
Brian Blair
BIOE120

Expecting an A
idonthaveapisskink
12/10/2021
Dr. Blair is one of my favorite teachers I've ever had! In addition to being very understanding and a fair grader, he keeps lectures interesting and to the point.
Angela Jones
BIOE120

Expecting an A
Anonymous
12/11/2020
Dr. Jones is very good at what she does and makes sure you have the resources you need to do well in the class. Her lectures are great and the ta's are always very helpful too. That being said, she can be very nit picky, especially about sig figs and citing sources. You will end up losing points if you don't follow the directions exactly as they are written. Also, if you are taking her class online, make sure not to miss the synchronous recitations. These problems very closely match what will be on the exams.
Angela Jones
BIOE120

Expecting a B-
Anonymous
12/04/2020
Jones is very picky. Submission font and organization requirement have to be followed to the letter. She sounds nice but can be condescending at times. IMO the exams are also harder than they need to be and little to no curve is applied. With that being said, I would sign up for another one of her classes. It wasn't too difficult, just very annoying at some parts.
Angela Jones
BIOE120

Anonymous
11/16/2020
I took her in spring 2020. imo she teaches her class kinda like a high school class. Her personality can be uppity during lecture but as the other reviews say she can be unpleasant and passive-aggressive if you don't follow directions the first time they're given. It is very apparent who her favorites are in the class and I think she might base it off of who does well on her exams tbh. Homework was due every week and was moderately okay. She takes a lot of points off on exams if you don't have the right sig figs. Her midterms were okay but her final was hard.
Angela Jones
BIOE120

Expecting an A
Anonymous
04/11/2020
This is without a doubt one of the worst teachers I have ever had. She overcomplicates many subjects by going into extensive chemistry that is not required for the course which then dillutes the actual material and made understanding all of the concepts nearly impossible from her lectures. If you read all of the chapters or go through the slides on your own for hours while googling stuff before tests is the only way to succeed. She is also very rude and not in the slightest bit understanding so if you do have her, you better do everything exactly how and when she wants or expect to see a huge drop in your grade.
Angela Jones
BIOE120

Expecting an A
Anonymous
12/19/2019
Angela Jones knows what she is talking about, however she can be unnecessarily petty. For example, she does not allow students to use her stapler to staple their homework and takes off a half point if they don't staple it. She also has a lot of favorites in the class, and is very unpredictable and moody. However, she gives fair exams and teaches all the content that will be covered.
Ganesh Sriram
BIOE120

Expecting an A
Anonymous
01/15/2019
He had a good lecture style, printed packets for you, and had interesting lectures. If you ever needed help for anything in his class, he was more than willing to take time and go through it with you. He would also post multiple hints or clarifications on ELMS promptly whenever you emailed him a question. Though I found his discussions kind of pointless (but mandatory) he was a nice guy who genuinely loves teaching his students and the materials.
Ganesh Sriram
BIOE120

Expecting an A-
Anonymous
05/11/2014
I am posting this review to potentially sway you to NOT TAKE THIS PROFESSOR. As a straight A student at UMD, and a very-hard worker, I found the content and manner in which Sriram teaches class to be ineffective at evaluating my knowledge of basic biology-engineering concepts. The content of the tests and homeworks are completely irrelevant to the Engineering curriculum of your major, and test you on material that is most often not taught in class. Expect to be taken back by the arrogant attitude of the professor as well as his hasty emails that lack any sort of professionalism. Also, expect to spend the majority of your time at Keystone, with the TA. Having Dr. Sriram teaching Biology for Engineers, is a disgrace to the University as well as the Engineering School. Does not care about the students. AVOID AT ALL COSTS
Adam Hsieh
BIOE120

Expecting an A-
nbarshain
02/26/2014
Not an engaging speaker, which made it difficult to pay attention sometimes. However, he was good at answering questions and explaining concepts. Depth of material was good and tests were challenging but fair. Powerpoints were easy to follow and thorough. Homework was handled well: we had to answer questions in a word document and submit it online. It was mostly putting the calculation techniques that we learned in class to use. Group project was debating about controversial issues in the modern day fields of bioengineering. Very interesting, and it helped pad my grade a lot.
Ganesh Sriram
BIOE120

Anonymous
05/11/2013
Professor Sriram is very intelligent and knows what he's talking about... That being said... He is not a good teacher... I very much dislike him and his attitude. He acts like biology is the end all be all of the world and that everyone loves it as much as him and knows as much as him. He makes the homeworks and the exams near impossible. Also, I had to miss a couple of his classes (and one exam) for medical reasons, and he was completely uncooperative! It took me an entire month A MONTH to finally get ahold of him and get him to give me the make up exam... I wound up taking it two days before the second exam causing me to have little time to study for the second exam (I wound up failing the 2nd exam). He has a very high opinion of himself. Sriram is lazy and never gets anything graded and returned to you in a reasonable manner nor does he ever get anything to you on time. Yet he penalizes us very heavily for being even a minute late on our homeworks. Overall, I am not a fan...
Adam Hsieh
BIOE120

Expecting an A
Anonymous
12/21/2012
Initially, I was very skeptical of how his teaching style was and the material he covered in lecture. But as the class went on, I began to enjoy the material we were covering. This was only a 100 level course but the depth of material that we covered was far beyond an introductory class. Regardless, his tests always contained the most nuanced material, so it was imperative to actually read every single word of the assigned readings or you would risk missing a question he might ask on the exam. However, this actually makes you learn the material because you have no idea what will be on the test so you attempt to memorize everything. Hsieh is also super helpful and receptive during office hours and strives to help you as a person in his class. He might seem dull and inattentive at times but he is pretty intelligent. I doubt he'll teach this course again but if he does, I would definitely take it with him if you want to learn cellular biology.
Ganesh Sriram
BIOE120

Expecting an A
gsneck
04/11/2012
Sriram might pull some ridiculousness when it comes to turning in homework in time (He arrives late half the time too) but he also knows what hes talking about. he overplays his own research, but he knows how to explain what he wants to, and the same things he stresses in class he will stress on a test. if you go to class every day and pay attention you should have no problem acing any class he teaches, he's the kind of genius being a doctor at the age of 26 suggests
Ganesh Sriram
BIOE120

Anonymous
02/24/2012
Dr. Sriram is TERRIBLE. like others have said he's brillant, and he really is; but he expects you to know as much as he does while taking this intro course. His homeworks are ridiculously hard and his grading on his homeworks are pretty unfair. Its HW #3 and I've spent hours upon hours in research for things the average bio person doesn't know. this is an intro class but he treats it like a 300-400 level class. I don't know what the exams are like but I'm sure it wont be pretty. whatever you do DO NOT TAKE THIS PROFESSOR! if you have to wait a semester for another one I'd strongly advise it.
Ganesh Sriram
BIOE120

Expecting an A
Anonymous
12/09/2011
Sriram is extremely smart, and sometimes I think he expected his students to think the same way he does. You have to go to class, as he memorizes all 100+ students in the lecture by name and will notice if you aren't there. He expects quiet at all times and the class can get extremely boring, but he is kind at heart and will occasionally try to crack a joke. The class itself was difficult in that the weekly homework he assigned always seemed to take a couple hours and would be more difficult than anything covered in class. His tests also were very tough. This being said, he was an easy grader. On tests, the range for an A was usually anything over a 70. I ended up with an 85 in the class (without any curves) and was comfortably in the A range. He is also very receptive to students during office hours.
Ganesh Sriram
BIOE120

Expecting an A-
Anonymous
05/29/2011
Dr. Sriram is tough. Not gonna lie. But hes absolutely brilliant and really knows his stuff. From wht ive heard the other professors for BIOE120 are also really hard so I'd say Sriram is as good a bet as any but be prepared to work hard. Theres a good curve though so if u stay above the average you should be just fine.
Ganesh Sriram
BIOE120

Pochacco
05/19/2011
Dr. Sriram is the DEVIL. He knows what he's teaching inside and out. He's an extremely intelligent person and a good lecturer, albeit a little monotone and too fast-paced. Unfortunately, his homeworks are super hard and take me HOURS to do, and his exams are just ridiculous. Even if you understand the material, it's a very comprehensive class. He tries to get you to apply concepts in ways that are difficult to see at first. He also teaches stuff that you apparently learn in upper level courses, making it unnecessarily difficult... I think his manner of teaching this class is really unfair for an introductory level class. I got a 5 on AP bio and an A in bsci207, and I still found his class very difficult. He's not very approachable and makes you feel rather stupid when you ask questions. His exam averages are really low (like 60%). Not entirely sure how big his curves are, but as of now, I have a B-. He likes to curve the class so that most students will get a B, but his class is honestly not worth the time. If you have the option of taking another teacher DO IT. It'll save you hours of time, and your ego from taking a beating.
Ganesh Sriram
BIOE120

Expecting a B
Anonymous
05/09/2011
Dr. Sriram really knows his stuff! He teaches using the chalkboard, and gives examples and stuff, but when you start the hw, it's like 10 times harder then what he went over in class. Also, he says that he'll have something done by a certian day (like assigning the new hw, or updating grades), but it never is. You'll come to expect that saying he'll return something on monday really means thursday, or friday at the earliest. He does take advantage of the discussion feature on bb though, and it is extremely helpful!!!! I wish all of my teachers used this feature. Basically, take a crapload of notes and ask questions, and you'll be fine.
Arthur Johnson
BIOE120

Expecting an A
zhangsta
12/22/2010
overall, he was a terrible teacher for 120. so terrible, i cannot find the words to describe it the experience. all his exams took questions straight out of his book. between 10-20% of the questions on the exam would come right from his quizzes. For 455, he was much better. He actually tended to know what he was talking about. For 455, your grade is evenly split between lab reports, homework, weekly quizzes, a final lab practical, and a final project. The quizzes usually include material covered the week before and also included questions from the previous quiz that everyone got wrong. The quizzes given in the first half of the semester are doable since they tend to be similar to the homework in the book so make sure you do all the homework in the book. The quizzes given in the second half cover material he wrote so really pay attention in class then to know what's going on. He gives out 13-14 quizzes, but only counts 10 of them so pretty much, do well on the quizzes while you can.
Arthur Johnson
BIOE120

jahs389
03/03/2010
Well I have this guys as my BioE advisor and my BioE120 instructor and boy did he suck. Sure, he knows the material - he wrote the book, literally. But, he can't convey it whatsoever and 90% of people don't go to his class or sleep through it. His test questions are totally random and obscure tid-bits in the text. You need to find old exams from upperclassmen to have any idea whats on the test because he gives you nothing. Really disconnected from what students want / need. Finally, he is never available, not my phone or e-mail. You best option is to find him in person in his laboratory because he cares infinitely more about his research then teaching. Edit - got a B in his 120 class, apparently so did 95% of the class.
Arthur Johnson
BIOE120

Expecting an A
Anonymous
01/19/2009
To reiterate what the other reviews say, this professor is incredibly BORING. He's also not very helpful and does not respond to e-mail. The material covered in this course(if you want to call it that) is completely pointless and random. The majority of the topics are obvious observations that Johnson decided to give a proper title. Tests are just as random as the "material". I attended lectures and outlined the text and yet there were still some questions on the tests that were not mentioned in either of these places.
Arthur Johnson
BIOE120

Expecting a B
Anonymous
12/17/2008
Class was extremely boring! It made my interest in bioengineering drop. However, Dr. Shah the professor for the Cell Module section of the course revitalized my interest in the major. Dr. Johnson was extremely knowledgeable and presented interesting viewpoints on biology. After a cup of coffee before his class, he is pretty interesting; just pay attention to the lecture. Tests were random; the only way to pass is to read the textbook. I never had an idea as to what my grade was, even heading into the exam. Dr. Johnson was also impossible to reach by email.
Arthur Johnson
BIOE120

Expecting a B
Anonymous
11/19/2008
...OMG. HE'S SO BORINGGG. and his tests and quizzes are so dumb. He wrote the book, so he lectures straight out of it...and it's not even a real bio book. Pretty much, don't let him scare you away from bioE. He's the only guy who teaches the class, but it'll get better..
Arthur Johnson
BIOE120

Anonymous
04/04/2008
This class was extremely boring and a waste of my time. The textbook was ridiculously unhelpful and full of really bad jokes and seemingly scattered information. I read all the chapters and can honestly say it would have been better if I had not read any of the chapters at all. The tests test you on testtaking skills. If you did well on the SAT, you will probably do well in this class taking all the tests. The problem is, if you are a bioE major, you can really avoid this class or Professor Johnson. He is also really boring so my notes ended up not being about much biology anyway.
Arthur Johnson
BIOE120

Expecting an A
Anonymous
03/04/2008
Terrible teacher!! He was so boring in BIOE120 and he turned many students away from the Bio major because of his antics. Tests were difficult because he tested us on trivial knowledge from his ludicrous textbook, and not on actual biology. I feel like I lost knowledge while taking this class!