CH ENGR 104A

Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Laboratory I

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Carissa Eisler Full Profile > N/A Overall N/A Easiness N/A Workload N/A Clarity N/A Helpfulness
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Yuzhang Li See Full Profile

Overall 3.0 Easiness 3.0 Workload 2.0 Clarity 3.0 Helpfulness 4.0

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Dr. Li himself was good. His lectures were engaging and on-point. I definitely learned a lot about statistics and experimental designs from him. Li also cared about the class, and student learning. He was also considerate about logistics. Slides were released early and all lectures were recorded. Student groups with international students were allowed to pre-record presentations, too. Quizzes were open-note and 24 hours, with collaboration allowed.

Unfortunately, lectures were only a small portion of the class. Non-lecture logistics were very haphazard (although this was Li’s 1st time teaching this class and 2nd time teaching ever). 90% of the class was labs, and labs depended a lot on the TA. A couple TAs were decent, but some stunk at teaching. Furthermore, most of the class was data analysis and report writing. Reports and data analysis were long and very time consuming. Just 1 or 2 bad groupmates can ruin your experience.

Next, grading was very inconsistent between TAs. I did not know why I was graded in a certain manner for lab reports. Quizzes too were graded inconsistently. Some TAs gave differing amounts of partial credit for the same answer. Sometimes 2 students graded by the same TA got different grades for the same answers.

Tl;dr: Professor was good but class logistics sucked. Grading was frequently unclear and arbitrary, due to difference between TA's (and even amongst the same TAs).

Winter Quarter 2021
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Yunfeng Lu Full Profile > N/A Overall N/A Easiness N/A Workload N/A Clarity N/A Helpfulness
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Anditya Rahardianto Full Profile > N/A Overall N/A Easiness N/A Workload N/A Clarity N/A Helpfulness
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Dante Simonetti See Full Profile

Overall 4.0 Easiness 2.0 Workload 2.0 Clarity 5.0 Helpfulness 5.0

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This is a time-consuming class. It was taught by Simonetti and Sam (Srivastava), but is clearly led by Simonetti. He's a tough grader! Very detail-oriented and will literally "grill" students on past material they should know. But in all honesty, you can tell he's a practiced, experienced engineer who is pushing you to really try.
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Organization-wise, for COVID, there are 4 labs where you will be provided with data excel sheets from the TA. You will also be provided with a word-document having you roleplay some scenario that involves the data ("you are an engineer hired to perform an analysis of a distillation column..."). I believe the difficulty of the course stems from its open-endedness. You have the lab manual from previous years, the word doc, and an excel sheet. With those three files, you are to generate a very professional, specific, focused, high-quality report to the best of your ability. Overall, it's a lot like the last ChemE lab, but with more focus on report quality. I honestly felt like the workload is way more, however, since we have way more time to work (there's rarely lectures and lab is not really mandatory...) but I still felt MORE stressed for this class--this might likely be due to the material, which is very 101C and 103 oriented, both of which I'm fairly shaky in.
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I ultimately have little complaints with the class. Our group absolutely could have done better with report-writing and time management, and I did feel heavily stressed as the report deadline approached (nothing beats a cold beer after 5pm on those Friday deadlines). Still, we did well enough each time! The class is stress-heavy and workload-heavy, but if you stick it through, you'll find your grade is just fine. This is coming from what I believe was an average group. My biggest piece of advice is to have your graded reports open as you construct your later reports--make sure you don't make any mistake you've made before.

Fall Quarter 2020
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