Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.
The main pros of the class are that participation is not required whatsoever (everything was recorded and all the slides were released), exams were fair, and that the class is probably one of the most useful classes IRL; infinitely more useful than, say, Thermo or Mass Transport. However, lectures were extremely boring and homework problem sets were tedious "where's Waldo" exercises when it came to finding equations.
The lectures, as stated earlier were highly boring, with Monbouquette slowly droning on for 90 minutes or so. The slides do summarize the book very well; good enough I never needed to touch the book at all. Slides also have some good conceptual stuff too, but they won't ever be tested. The only important thing on slides are the equations and the example problems. Only math is graded in the class; if you can hyperfocus on the math then you should be good.
Homework was a whopping 30% of the grade, and handed out weekly. It was graded on accuracy, and quite a few people got scores as low as 60 something percent. The problems themselves ranged from mindless plug and chug to "use this equation from slide 6 to find Q, then modify this differential equation from slide 22 to find V, and with V, use this equation from slide 10 to get your answer." Unfortunately, the homework questions were usually the latter. The biggest problem with homework was finding relevant equations to use and using them correctly. Fortunately, homework was on the level of exams.
There were 2 midterms, each worth 20% of the grade. 2 hours long, and you were allowed to use a one-page cheatsheet. All the problems were extremely similar to homework problems. If you can get your hands on a previous year exam, even better; exam problems are relatively similar between years. The biggest challenge on midterms was the time crunch. If you know how to solve homework problems quickly, it is definitely possible to get high scores on the midterms; multiple people get 100% on the midterms. The final was 30% of the grade. The material was noticeably harder compared to the midterms, but we got 3 hours and 2 cheatsheets back and front.
Good luck when taking this class. You'll need it. Make sure to check your homework with your peers; taking L's on homework is not good. Likewise, do not be afraid to use old exams for practice, and take full advantage of cheat sheets.
TL;DR: Rapid-pace lectures that cover a truckload of content in a short period of time. Highly stressful and difficult, but what are you going to do about it, huh? This class is mandatory if you're going core chemical engineering.
Let's talk separations.
CH ENGR 103 is all about separations, using many different methods to separate and isolate products. Unfortunately for you, half of those separations are really difficult to model; but hey, that's what this course is about, right? It still doesn't stop me from wanting to separate my head from my body... ahem. Back on track. The lectures for this class cover a lot of material, and Monbouquette isn't exactly the most eloquent or engaging lecturer on campus. You'll find it relatively boring, but the most important parts of each lecture are the theoretical and mathematical portions. The exams and homework primarily deal with mathematical applications of each separation process you learn in lecture, and nothing conceptual is tested; therefore, if you just hyperfocus on anything remotely relating to math in the lectures, you'll be able to do well. The grading scheme of this class is homework (30%), midterms (40%), and final (30%), which I'll go more in depth in the following paragraphs.
You can expect a homework assignment to be assigned every week, based on the content and separation processes learned in the previous week. Unfortunately for you, the homework assignments consist of three to four problems of either brainless plug and chug calculations or literally impossible problems that cannot be solved with just the knowledge from the lecture material. I highly recommend reading the associated textbook for such problems and going to the TA's office hours; alternatively, if you can talk to an upperclassman for hints, do so. Homework is worth a substantial portion of your grade and is graded on accuracy, so you absolutely do not want to take the Ls on any homework; especially since none of them are dropped.
Midterms and finals are both two hours and three hours long respectively. The exam problems are relatively reasonable and focus primarily on recent material; however, you can expect a McCabe-Thiele type problem in every exam due to ABET requirements. It's closed notes but you're allowed a cheat sheet. I would recommend copying down the strategy for literally every problem you've ever solved, either on your homework or in discussion, because that will be your lifeline on the exams. The midterms are extremely time-sensitive, and you're going to want to make sure you can complete problems fast and efficiently. The final gives a lot more time, but has relatively more difficult content; you're going to want to focus on knowledge for this one by cramming your cheat sheet.
In summary, separations is a very difficult class with lots of content to be covered; however, if you focus only on the equations and math portions, you'll be able to manage. I have no words to say other than godspeed, especially if you're taking this class alongside CH ENGR 101C.
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