Introduction to Engineering Thermodynamics
Fall 2020 - Professor Abdou is a great professor. Professor Abdou cares about his students and did a great job trying to make the class more comprehensive given the online format. Just do the homework without help and you will do great. He always said "You may feel like I assign too much homework", but homework never took more than 5 hours per week. It consisted of about 7 problems some more difficult than the others. If you read the book and go over the example problems in the book then the homework will be easy. Overall I spent about 5-7 hours per week doing work outside of class. He does not give many example problems in the class, so be prepared to attend the discussion sections. The TAs ( Sun and Eylul) are also great and discussion is where you learn how to solve problems. The tests are timed, you get 2 hours for the midterm and 3 for the final. Don't bother asking for a 24hr test. Time was not an issue for the midterm. Although I barley finished the final. Overall the class will go well if you put in work, or it will be hard if you don't put in work.
Winter 2020 - I really liked this class! Very standard upper div mech e class- homework, one midterm, four pop quizzes (lowest dropped), final. Lectures could be dry and he was a little hard to hear, but I thought he did a really good job of having us work through examples. A lot of my classmates agreed that they didn't have to study very much outside of class and homework, so if you put the work in during lecture, the material wasn't so bad. However, you do have to come to every lecture and pay attention. He gave pop quizzes during lecture that were worth quite a bit of your grade and were definitely difficult. Homework questions were standard, out of the book, but he posts them online so you really don't need the book as long as you take good notes in lecture. Discussion was not mandatory, and they basically went through three or four problems each week. I thought discussion was super helpful and helped me out on the midterms and quizzes. I thought the midterm was very fair. He wasn't very transparent on averages/curves, but I think the average was around a B/C. For the final he liked to find problems that combined all the things we'd learned throughout the quarter. I thought he was a pretty nice guy, but could be a little tough on people who answered wrong or asked bad questions, so come in with a tough skin and don't be too put off if he doesn't respond very nicely. Overall I would recommend him! Especially if you learn best by working through examples.
Going to the discussion sections helped a LOT with the homework. Don't buy the Moran and Shapiro book because you'll never use it. He writes his own textbook that you can download from the class website. Make sure you buy the required book though, which is actually a reference manual that you need to for homework and tests. Gives a couple of quizzes during the quarter that are mostly based on lecture and his textbook. The midterm was moderately difficult. The final exam was extremely difficult, but the curve helped my grade out a lot. Make sure you study lecture notes and his textbook really well. He's very nice about going over concepts that you don't understand, but is reluctant to help you out too much on the homework. Go to the TAs for homework help instead. Overall, a pretty good professor who makes sure his students learn a lot. If you go to class and discussion and pay attention, instead of trying to learn everything out of the textbook at the last minute, you'll get a good grade.
Spring 2019 - I would consider this course as one of the most enjoyable upper-division classes I have taken, primarily due to Professor Lavine's engaging teaching style. She brings a passion for thermodynamics and an impeccable understanding of its underlying principles, as well as a commitment to fully educate her students throughout the course. Virtually every principle used in the class was painstakingly derived mathematically, which in my opinion is the only suitable way to convey this information. Professor Lavine did not hesitate to answer any questions posed by her students on any portion of the subject matter, even clarifying her explanations post-lecture via email/CCLE; this was a major part of my appreciation for this course. Lavine is brilliant but cynical, with a very specific sense of humor; however, she is kind and caring to her students, addressing concerns or inquiries almost immediately as they are posed. I would definitely take courses taught by her in the future, and would highly recommend this course (Introductory Thermodynamics) under her tutelage.
Fall 2019 - Professor Marner is one of the rare examples of a professor that cares about his students' learning and he is clearly very passionate about the subject. For him to come back to UCLA at his age and teach with a fervor that can rarely be found in many of his younger colleagues speaks volumes about his dedication. He lectures very clearly and always takes the time to answer every question in depth. He has a natural knack for knowing when the class is uncertain about a topic and will take the time to go through it again or in more detail. He is funny and likes to develop genuine connections with the people in his class, especially those that sit in the front row. Homeworks are optional, exams are exceedingly reasonable in difficulty and length. He does give quizzes in discussion, but they're in the first 15-20 minutes so you can leave after. If you are taking MAE 105A and want a great chance at an A while also having an entertaining lecture, Marner is your guy.
Spring 2020 - Pilon is alright, but this class was incredibly frustrating. (Taken as an online class). I felt like I had a good handle on everything before the midterm, but the midterm wrecked me so much I had to Pass/No Pass this class. There were two parts on the midterm, one for 'conceptual questions' where we weren't supposed to have a cheat sheet, but all the questions were about details of the equations or plain ridiculous (apparently we had to memorize the critical point of water). The second part, with in-depth calculations were more reasonable, but still more difficult than the homework, and not enough time was given. Because there is only one midterm I didn't feel confident in my grade after it and switched my grade type, which made me lose interest in the rest of the material. The lectures are fine, they are easy to learn from, but because they aren't live it is hard to ask questions or connect with the class. Homework assignments also take forever.