Panagiotis Christofides

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CH ENGR 99
Student Research Program Full Profile > N/A Overall N/A Easiness N/A Workload N/A Clarity N/A Helpfulness
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CH ENGR 99
Student Research Program See Full Profile

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

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CH ENGR 107
Process Dynamics and Control See Full Profile

Overall 3.7 Easiness 2.0 Workload 2.0 Clarity 3.7 Helpfulness 3.3

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Standard Christofides. You had him for 109 and he's the same. He's very clear. No nonsense. You'll learn the material well, but it may be dry at times. Overall, more interesting than 109.

(Winter Quarter 2020)
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CH ENGR 109
Numerical and Mathematical Methods in Chemical and Biological Engineering See Full Profile

Overall 3.9 Easiness 2.6 Workload 2.3 Clarity 4.0 Helpfulness 3.5

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The most recent, and top upvoted review seems to be a bit out of date...at least during COVID, he consistently uploaded notes before and after lectures alongside uploading recordings of the lectures. So if you’re not able to attend lecture synchronously, it shouldn’t be too much of an issue. Besides that, that review was generally accurate: Christofides is definitely a master of his craft and he can actually teach numerical methods well, unlike the 102a professors.

His lectures and personality may be dry at times, but he keeps students engaged enough. He is really good at answering questions, and is willing to spend 15 minutes to answer a student’s question during lectures. His lectures are also very clear on what the numerical methods are.

Logistics wise, it was 5 biweekly homeworks (10%), one MATLAB project (10%) and two tests (MT/FNL = 30/50). The homeworks themselves were on the same level as the exams; if you can do the homeworks well, you should be able to handle the exams. They almost always require tedious number crunching and MATLAB coding. If you’re an experienced programmer, expect them to take 5 hours. If not, they’ll take longer. Fortunately they’re graded on effort.

That said, the exams are a big time crunch more than anything. It is more important on an exam to know how to write out an iteration of a numerical method than to know the concepts. Furthermore, you get a cheat sheet. On the midterm, you get one side of paper, on the final you get both sides. The only conceptual stuff that’s really tested is convergence speed, error, and convergence conditions/requirements of methods. Furthermore, old exams are a great way to study for both the midterm and final. Again, the exams are a time crunch. When you are given a question, you should immediately know which method to use for solving it. You should drill yourself for speed when studying for the midterms.

Project is extremely time consuming. It’s hard to put it lightly; expect around 20 hours on it. I myself spent 25 hours, and that was because I was lucky and coded both problems correctly the first time. Some people took well over 30 hours to do it. You have to code multiple 400 by 400 matrices. Also, you have to write a very, very long report, usually 20 something pages. You’ll be well served by knowing how to use mathtype and MATLAB beforehand.

At the end of the day, Christofides is really good at teaching. He curves the class generously. Our class bombed the midterm with a 74% average and a 16% standard deviation. Basically he tested us on shooting and finite difference methods even though we only learned it the lecture before. This didn’t stop many people from getting A’s in the class.

(Fall Quarter 2020)
CH ENGR 298A
Research Seminar Full Profile > N/A Overall N/A Easiness N/A Workload N/A Clarity N/A Helpfulness
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CH ENGR 298A
Research Seminar See Full Profile

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EC ENGR 299
MS Project Seminar Full Profile > N/A Overall N/A Easiness N/A Workload N/A Clarity N/A Helpfulness
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EC ENGR 299
MS Project Seminar See Full Profile

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