Thermodynamics II

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Gerassimos Orkoulas See Full Profile

Overall 2.3 Easiness 1.0 Workload 1.0 Clarity 2.3 Helpfulness 3.7

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Oh man, you are in for a tough ride. I got a bad in this class but my friends both got As (some of the few). What's the consensus among us? This is by far the most difficult class conceptually you will ever take at UCLA's chemical engineering department. You will be confused from 2nd week to the final. And thats just how it is. My opinion is this class is the weeding out class, and from what I could judge--it did a pretty good job. Teacher is funny, has a lot of funny habits. But its not the teacher that makes it hard, its just the material. Thermo is just a hard thing--and it sucks when you don't have a book either, we mainly used a course reader. So don't expect to read a book and think you're fine if you don't go to lecture. And don't expect to understand the material just by going to I said, its gonna be hard. But once you get out---everything pales in comparison.

Feb. 2, 2010
Philip Romero Full Profile > N/A Overall N/A Easiness N/A Workload N/A Clarity N/A Helpfulness
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Philip Romero See Full Profile

Overall N/A Easiness N/A Workload N/A Clarity N/A Helpfulness N/A

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Philippe Sautet See Full Profile

Overall 3.0 Easiness 2.6 Workload 2.7 Clarity 2.0 Helpfulness 2.4

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Standard disclaimer: I took the class during the COVID-19 pandemic, so everything was online. That meant that homework was not collected, and that the quizzes were not in person (nor were they proctored). Other than that, we also had an extra generous grading scheme: either 40% midterm, 20% final, 20% quiz, and 20% project or 20% midterm, 40%final, and the same for the rest. Normally it’s a 30%/30% split between midterm and final.

Besides that, Sautet’s class was not terrible, but definitely not good. Sautet himself seems like a decent, chill guy, but it’s clear he lectures because UCLA told him to lecture for this class. As stated previously, lectures are live readings of the textbook. At least Sautet sort-of digests the book for you and tells you what’s important or not.

About half the homework is algebra and algebraic derivations, 20% is numerical stuff to do by hand, and the rest of the homework requires MATLAB or a graphing calculator. Unless the homework is mandatory, there’s no reason to do HW problems that require MATLAB; it won’t ever be tested. This means that homework should only take about 2-3 hours/week.

Next, almost every exam question, for both the midterm and final will be from the book. Copied verbatim. Guess what? That means do book problems, especially the unassigned problems. Focus on the algebra-based stuff and the stuff you can do by hand/with a graphing calculator.

Even worse (or to some, better) Sautet reuses midterm problems from previous years. He likely does the same for finals. So if you can, get you hands on old exams, and study those especially. They’ll definitely help you focus your studies.

Finally, the MATLAB final assignment is just terrible. Utterly terrible. It felt unnecessarily long and tedious. Granted, it’s more applicable to real life than 90% of the class, but still just a horrible experience. You can sum it up like this:

Step 1: Look in the book’s algorithms for solving equilibria problems.
Step 2: Try to decipher the book’s notation.
Step 3: Try to implement the algorithms.
Step 4: Spend 20+ hours debugging your code and hope your classmates can help you debug your code.

However, if you collaborate with others the project should be a free A.

This class isn’t horrible, and certainly better than others. But ultimately, something you just get done and over with.

Spring Quarter 2020
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