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- Panagiotis D Christofides
- CH ENGR 109

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**Overall Rating**

Based on 17 Users

*/ 5*How easy the class is,

**1**being extremely difficult and

**5**being easy peasy.

*/ 5*How clear the class is,

**1**being extremely unclear and

**5**being very clear.

*/ 5*How much workload the class is,

**1**being extremely heavy and

**5**being extremely light.

*/ 5*How helpful the class is,

**1**being not helpful at all and

**5**being extremely helpful.

#### TOP TAGS

- Tolerates Tardiness
- Appropriately Priced Materials
- Engaging Lectures
- Would Take Again

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

Sorry, no enrollment data is available.

###### AD

The most recent, and top upvoted review seems to be a bit out of date...at least during COVID, he consistently uploaded notes before and after lectures alongside uploading recordings of the lectures.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 102 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.

Solid class. My one and only problem with it is that Christofides is a bit behind the times. You show up, take notes on what he writes in class, and review your notes. There's no other resources in the class. No notes posted online, no list of stuff to review for tests, no real way to make up for missing a class or two other than office hours. Because of that, it's a harder class for a commuter like myself.

Still, it's more than doable. I did admittedly get a sad grade (seems like ~1/2 the class gets A's), but it's fine and really my own decision to focus less on this class. The class has weekly homeworks (10%), one MATLAB project (10%) and two tests (MT/FNL = 30/50).

Christofides is one of the better lecturers in the department IMO. He's really adamant about getting his very structured thoughts out on the board before anyone asks anything ("Please wait a minute!") which I sort of appreciate. You can tell he has a bunch of years teaching this class under his belt and knows what students are going to ask next and where the pitfalls are. He will legitimately have no problem reiterating the same point for 2 hrs if the class doesn't understand (No "We have to move on to cover all the material I had for you guys today" bullshit.) Though both the material and his personality are a bit dry, his teaching has enough quality to keep you engaged. He has strong familiarity with the subject and really knows his shit, and better yet, how to teach his shit. And I know from experience that a professor mastering their craft =/= a professor able to teach the stuff. Christofides is both!

The material is not hard. You study a bunch of tools that an engineer might use to solve problems that can be best solved using a computer (we're typically talking about iterative methods to build or solve equations). The tests don't demand a lot of your theoretical knowledge of how each method works--just crunch the numbers using one of the MANY methods taught in class with speed and precision. You can study the conditions of Jacobian convergence all night, but that might be worth 2 pts on the exam, max. Don't study so much as practice doing each method by hand--the exam is a time crunch. If you have to think before starting a problem (they're straightforward and even tell you what to use), that's not ideal. Being able to iterate the first 2 steps of a Jacobian problem is WAY better than knowing all the little theory facts about the Jacobian method, though the latter is still somewhat important.

Homework is slightly bothersome, but honestly the same amount of work as any other engineering homework... unless you have the past solutions sheets that are floating around. Project is similar, but still very time consuming any way you cut it... I'd say expect a ballpark of 12 hrs work to complete it honestly. The real bitch in the project is generating a Jacobian matrix for a fairly large matrix (>20 element dimensions). The rest is cake.

Overall, I honestly liked the class. The workload is reasonable, Christofides is a great lecturer, and the exams are very fair. Again, my only problem is that there's no book to read or online notes to download if you miss a class. Unless you have friends in the class, you're SOL. This can be helped by studying the stuff online if you know the general topics he taught, but a good portion of the stuff is obscure and hard to find good resources for learning online (really). The best advice I can offer is to religiously attend classes, ocassionally attend an office hours, and drill yourself for speed and accuracy to prepare for tests. The tests matter most. Get comfy with your calculator. 4/5

Professor Christofides is great. His lectures are very clear and well taught. The exams are nothing different than what you see in class and homeworks, which explains why the average for the midterm was 92.

Only cons are that the final project takes up a lot of time and the homeworks require matlab coding.

PDC is the man. Slightly scary and intimidating but he knows what he’s talking about. First half of class is EZ just plug and chug. Second half you have to discretize which is slightly harder but he goes over it a lot so it’s no problemo. I say again he kinda scary so people don’t talk in class. Best bet to do well is just go to discussions where they go over past exams. One of the exact exam questions for final was done in discussion, many on final were similar to discussion questions.

Overall, he a cool man. Gives long breaks which in middle of class which I appreciate. Also, speak up. And don’t talk.

Christofides is a really great professor. Engaging lectures, he isn't afraid to go slower if the students are not understanding the material. His work load was fine. I felt like he really cared about student learning. The project was a pain in the ass, took forever. But overall, it is a good class and I hope I can have him again for another class in the future.

I liked how this class took the ideas of Linear Algebra and applied them to real life. This class was difficult but not too awful. It requires a copious amount of MATLAB for the homework, so make sure to review a little. The main way to do well in this class is to organize information by method and what it solves (i.e. to solve Ax=b matrices, use Gauss-Seidel, Jacobi, LU Decomposition, etc.). Make sure to understand the theory of the class because the midterms have a mix of theory and physical calculations. The final project is long and confusing, but not too terrible. Plan extra time for it because the code can be tricky and doesn't always work the way you expect it to.

Professor Christofides is a little monotone and gives off a little bit of an unapproachable vibe, but he seems to want to ensure that everyone understands. He wants people to participate and answer questions in class.

I don't really know if my experience was just different from the other reviews so far, but this class felt just all right, not great and not horrible. Christofides presents the ideas fairly well, but none of the Matlab code actually gets written in class or in discussion, which is weird since the department requires students take Matlab.

The new math material in this class mostly consisted of elementary point-set topology (normed spaces), boundary value ODEs (if you haven't done these before), Fourier series and separation of variables for PDEs (mostly heat, wave, and Laplace equation). If you've had some prior experience in any of these, the explanations will be greatly simplified from what you've learned, and so you should probably consult the source you learned it from (especially Fourier series and separation of variables).

The numerical methods in this class are not so hard to understand, but the class really does not do all that many examples and usually does the easier ones anyways. The codes written are mostly just putting into Matlab code the ideas that you memorize in class (since most of them require real analysis to prove). You should try to write functions when possible as codes written earlier in the course get used for later assignments.

The class structure basically follows this format

Weeks 1-2: solving matrix equations

Week 3: solving nonlinear systems of equations

Week 4: systems of ordinary differential equations

Week 5: Midterm

Week 6-7: boundary value problems

Week 8-9: heat, wave, and Laplace equations

Week 10: separation of variable methods, Fourier series

The midterm covers everything from weeks 1-4 and the final covers everything after the midterm. However, the past final and the one I took really emphasized separation of variables and finite difference approximations. The exams are fair, but also really tedious as you're basically writing out the calculations a computer does in a For loop. On one problem on the final, the numbers got so big that my calculator would have refused to do the calculations for the next step. They are also really hard graders on short answer for some reason? Definitely lost a lot of points on explanations that I thought were complete.

The project for this class literally never changes over the years. Some of the TAs did the same project as undergraduates. Just ask an upperclassman with how they would deal with the problems you're having or how to do something.

Grading for the class follows like this.

Midterm: 25%

Homework 10%

Project: 15%

Final: 50%

The homework was never returned and I doubt they actually check your code. They also ask you to print out your code and output, so they don't actually have the ability to test it. The midterm average was 83%, which is fairly high, but I think a lot of people struggled on the final.

Overall, a relatively fair class for chemical engineering, but you need to see a lot more examples than the one shown in class to understand the material (especially some examples for Fourier series where you actually do the integral, which for some reason was always avoided in this class).

Christofides is the best professor I've come across thus far in the ChemE department. In fact, he's one of the best professors I've come across at UCLA, in general. He is crisp clear with what he is teaching and is very thorough with his material. Course organization is very thorough.

The midterm was similar to previous midterms. The midterm and final are quite fair, and for the most part, easy.

Some homeworks may be a little time consuming. It is, however, quite enjoyable.

Christofides appears quite unapproachable, but is, in fact, quite helpful in person.

I am quite glad that I have to take another class with him (107).

I like this guy's lectures a lot. His homeworks take forever but there only 4 of them. The matlab coding takes forever. The midterm exam was fair. Exactly what I expected. The final exam was a COMPLETE mess and the TAs admitted it was far more difficult that it should have been. So I feel a heavy curve was applied this year.

Everyone said he is a very good teacher, but I was pretty disappointed in this class. The project at the end takes forever, and is very stressful trying to finish it on time with finals. He doesn't seem approachable, but when I did he was very accomdating.

The TAs don't really care about you as usual.

Best Chemical Engineering Professor I have had in terms of clarity of materials, expectations, and what will be on tests. He is concerned about the students and has a very good system that is helpful to the students.

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 102 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.

Solid class. My one and only problem with it is that Christofides is a bit behind the times. You show up, take notes on what he writes in class, and review your notes. There's no other resources in the class. No notes posted online, no list of stuff to review for tests, no real way to make up for missing a class or two other than office hours. Because of that, it's a harder class for a commuter like myself.

Still, it's more than doable. I did admittedly get a sad grade (seems like ~1/2 the class gets A's), but it's fine and really my own decision to focus less on this class. The class has weekly homeworks (10%), one MATLAB project (10%) and two tests (MT/FNL = 30/50).

Christofides is one of the better lecturers in the department IMO. He's really adamant about getting his very structured thoughts out on the board before anyone asks anything ("Please wait a minute!") which I sort of appreciate. You can tell he has a bunch of years teaching this class under his belt and knows what students are going to ask next and where the pitfalls are. He will legitimately have no problem reiterating the same point for 2 hrs if the class doesn't understand (No "We have to move on to cover all the material I had for you guys today" bullshit.) Though both the material and his personality are a bit dry, his teaching has enough quality to keep you engaged. He has strong familiarity with the subject and really knows his shit, and better yet, how to teach his shit. And I know from experience that a professor mastering their craft =/= a professor able to teach the stuff. Christofides is both!

The material is not hard. You study a bunch of tools that an engineer might use to solve problems that can be best solved using a computer (we're typically talking about iterative methods to build or solve equations). The tests don't demand a lot of your theoretical knowledge of how each method works--just crunch the numbers using one of the MANY methods taught in class with speed and precision. You can study the conditions of Jacobian convergence all night, but that might be worth 2 pts on the exam, max. Don't study so much as practice doing each method by hand--the exam is a time crunch. If you have to think before starting a problem (they're straightforward and even tell you what to use), that's not ideal. Being able to iterate the first 2 steps of a Jacobian problem is WAY better than knowing all the little theory facts about the Jacobian method, though the latter is still somewhat important.

Homework is slightly bothersome, but honestly the same amount of work as any other engineering homework... unless you have the past solutions sheets that are floating around. Project is similar, but still very time consuming any way you cut it... I'd say expect a ballpark of 12 hrs work to complete it honestly. The real bitch in the project is generating a Jacobian matrix for a fairly large matrix (>20 element dimensions). The rest is cake.

Overall, I honestly liked the class. The workload is reasonable, Christofides is a great lecturer, and the exams are very fair. Again, my only problem is that there's no book to read or online notes to download if you miss a class. Unless you have friends in the class, you're SOL. This can be helped by studying the stuff online if you know the general topics he taught, but a good portion of the stuff is obscure and hard to find good resources for learning online (really). The best advice I can offer is to religiously attend classes, ocassionally attend an office hours, and drill yourself for speed and accuracy to prepare for tests. The tests matter most. Get comfy with your calculator. 4/5

Professor Christofides is great. His lectures are very clear and well taught. The exams are nothing different than what you see in class and homeworks, which explains why the average for the midterm was 92.

Only cons are that the final project takes up a lot of time and the homeworks require matlab coding.

PDC is the man. Slightly scary and intimidating but he knows what he’s talking about. First half of class is EZ just plug and chug. Second half you have to discretize which is slightly harder but he goes over it a lot so it’s no problemo. I say again he kinda scary so people don’t talk in class. Best bet to do well is just go to discussions where they go over past exams. One of the exact exam questions for final was done in discussion, many on final were similar to discussion questions.

Overall, he a cool man. Gives long breaks which in middle of class which I appreciate. Also, speak up. And don’t talk.

Christofides is a really great professor. Engaging lectures, he isn't afraid to go slower if the students are not understanding the material. His work load was fine. I felt like he really cared about student learning. The project was a pain in the ass, took forever. But overall, it is a good class and I hope I can have him again for another class in the future.

I liked how this class took the ideas of Linear Algebra and applied them to real life. This class was difficult but not too awful. It requires a copious amount of MATLAB for the homework, so make sure to review a little. The main way to do well in this class is to organize information by method and what it solves (i.e. to solve Ax=b matrices, use Gauss-Seidel, Jacobi, LU Decomposition, etc.). Make sure to understand the theory of the class because the midterms have a mix of theory and physical calculations. The final project is long and confusing, but not too terrible. Plan extra time for it because the code can be tricky and doesn't always work the way you expect it to.

Professor Christofides is a little monotone and gives off a little bit of an unapproachable vibe, but he seems to want to ensure that everyone understands. He wants people to participate and answer questions in class.

I don't really know if my experience was just different from the other reviews so far, but this class felt just all right, not great and not horrible. Christofides presents the ideas fairly well, but none of the Matlab code actually gets written in class or in discussion, which is weird since the department requires students take Matlab.

The new math material in this class mostly consisted of elementary point-set topology (normed spaces), boundary value ODEs (if you haven't done these before), Fourier series and separation of variables for PDEs (mostly heat, wave, and Laplace equation). If you've had some prior experience in any of these, the explanations will be greatly simplified from what you've learned, and so you should probably consult the source you learned it from (especially Fourier series and separation of variables).

The numerical methods in this class are not so hard to understand, but the class really does not do all that many examples and usually does the easier ones anyways. The codes written are mostly just putting into Matlab code the ideas that you memorize in class (since most of them require real analysis to prove). You should try to write functions when possible as codes written earlier in the course get used for later assignments.

The class structure basically follows this format

Weeks 1-2: solving matrix equations

Week 3: solving nonlinear systems of equations

Week 4: systems of ordinary differential equations

Week 5: Midterm

Week 6-7: boundary value problems

Week 8-9: heat, wave, and Laplace equations

Week 10: separation of variable methods, Fourier series

The midterm covers everything from weeks 1-4 and the final covers everything after the midterm. However, the past final and the one I took really emphasized separation of variables and finite difference approximations. The exams are fair, but also really tedious as you're basically writing out the calculations a computer does in a For loop. On one problem on the final, the numbers got so big that my calculator would have refused to do the calculations for the next step. They are also really hard graders on short answer for some reason? Definitely lost a lot of points on explanations that I thought were complete.

The project for this class literally never changes over the years. Some of the TAs did the same project as undergraduates. Just ask an upperclassman with how they would deal with the problems you're having or how to do something.

Grading for the class follows like this.

Midterm: 25%

Homework 10%

Project: 15%

Final: 50%

The homework was never returned and I doubt they actually check your code. They also ask you to print out your code and output, so they don't actually have the ability to test it. The midterm average was 83%, which is fairly high, but I think a lot of people struggled on the final.

Overall, a relatively fair class for chemical engineering, but you need to see a lot more examples than the one shown in class to understand the material (especially some examples for Fourier series where you actually do the integral, which for some reason was always avoided in this class).

Christofides is the best professor I've come across thus far in the ChemE department. In fact, he's one of the best professors I've come across at UCLA, in general. He is crisp clear with what he is teaching and is very thorough with his material. Course organization is very thorough.

The midterm was similar to previous midterms. The midterm and final are quite fair, and for the most part, easy.

Some homeworks may be a little time consuming. It is, however, quite enjoyable.

Christofides appears quite unapproachable, but is, in fact, quite helpful in person.

I am quite glad that I have to take another class with him (107).

I like this guy's lectures a lot. His homeworks take forever but there only 4 of them. The matlab coding takes forever. The midterm exam was fair. Exactly what I expected. The final exam was a COMPLETE mess and the TAs admitted it was far more difficult that it should have been. So I feel a heavy curve was applied this year.

Everyone said he is a very good teacher, but I was pretty disappointed in this class. The project at the end takes forever, and is very stressful trying to finish it on time with finals. He doesn't seem approachable, but when I did he was very accomdating.

The TAs don't really care about you as usual.

Best Chemical Engineering Professor I have had in terms of clarity of materials, expectations, and what will be on tests. He is concerned about the students and has a very good system that is helpful to the students.

**Overall Rating**

Based on 17 Users

*/ 5*How easy the class is,

**1**being extremely difficult and

**5**being easy peasy.

*/ 5*How clear the class is,

**1**being extremely unclear and

**5**being very clear.

*/ 5*How much workload the class is,

**1**being extremely heavy and

**5**being extremely light.

*/ 5*How helpful the class is,

**1**being not helpful at all and

**5**being extremely helpful.

#### TOP TAGS

- Tolerates Tardiness (4)
- Appropriately Priced Materials (3)
- Engaging Lectures (5)
- Would Take Again (5)