Paul Weiss

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CHEM 20B
Chemical Energetics and Change See Full Profile

Overall 2.6 Easiness 2.5 Workload 2.0 Clarity 2.4 Helpfulness 2.9

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This class was supposed to be titled "Chemical Energetics and Change"
But what actually taught by Weiss were:
x-ray photoemission spectroscopy, x-ray diffraction crystallography, flow cytometry, fluorescent in-situ hybridization, silicone polymers, biopolymers, direct and indirect-band gap semiconductors, semimetals, semi-insulating semiconductors, and so on.

And yes, as you expected, these topics are designed not just for fun - they DiD appear on the exams, which were purely conceptual (no calculators were allowed, by the way, because there were NO questions involving any quantitative calculations). While the topics that were supposed to be in the syllabus - entropy, enthalpy calculations, acid-bases, kinetics, etc. were barely covered during lectures, which appeared to as highly incoherent, disorganized and strangely paced ("flow of consciousness" should be a better term) as a typical episode from Rick and Morty - that is, you never know what's coming up next.

I would recommend Weiss to all kids who are chemo-nerds/maniacs and enjoy bragging hours after hours about nanotechnology. However, if you intend to take chem20B to gain some true, fundamental and organized knowledge of chemistry, Weiss would never be your first choice.

(Winter Quarter 2016)
CHEM 20BH
Chemical Energetics and Change See Full Profile

Overall 4.6 Easiness 2.5 Workload 2.0 Clarity 4.3 Helpfulness 4.6

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TLDR: The class is a ton of work, but if you're planning on a career or major in science, it's completely worth it. You'll learn general chemistry principles like in 20B, albeit with a bit deeper understanding, and parallel to that you'll become literate at reading current scientific research. Also, if you want to do research as an undergrad, Paul is your guy and WILL hook you up with a position.

Compared to Chem 20B, this class is about 3-4 times as much work. In addition to the weekly homework assignment (problems from the textbook), Paul assigns weekly "creative problems," where we create and solve problems related to the current course material, and we have 5-6 literature assignments, which have us write reports on research articles published within the past year. In addition to a final exam you'll be assigned a lengthy final project, where you detail some current research area with a 5-10 page paper, presentation, and poster. And lastly, Paul assigns an "auxiliary assignment" each quarter, which are about the same amount of work as a syllabus assignment (but you can do multiple for extra credit). Sometimes it could be pretty nauseating doing the sheer amount of work that is assigned, but it is possible to do it if you don't procrastinate.

The class teaches the general chemistry principles that 20B does. Stuff like molecular bonding, electrochemistry, nuclear chemistry etc. But Paul puts special emphasis on adding in research-oriented content in his lectures. By that I mean he often teaches you about the experimental setups necessary to discover all the principles we learn about. This includes all the different types of mass spectrometry available, the different types of ways to "fingerprint" an atom/molecule, and flow cytometry. He cares that you learn more about the guiding principles and how to derive specific points of knowledge rather than memorize them (Like being able to tell him how to find an atomic radius rather than memorizing it for a couple atoms).

One con of the class is just how much background knowledge Paul assumes everyone has. Sure there's the tryhards who did research in high school, but fo someone coming out of AP Chem or Chem20A/AH, the first couple weeks it is VERY tough to follow along with Paul as he dives into anecdotes about his colleagues' research.

All in all, the class is extremely daunting if you don't have a very solid foundation in chemistry or don't plan on majoring in biology/biochem. However, it is definitely possible to adjust to Paul's pacing, and after a week or two you'll get a much better grasp at what the hell he's talking about. By the end (with enough effort), you can consider yourself relatively scientifically literate. If that's a goal of yours, this class is definitely worth the time, but I would recommend making sure all your other classes are easy.

(Winter Quarter 2021)
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CHEM 20BH
Chemical Energetics and Change (Honors) See Full Profile

Overall 5.0 Easiness 3.7 Workload 2.7 Clarity 5.0 Helpfulness 5.0

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This professor is absolutely fantastic. He is very invested in his students and we as a class were all on a first name basis. I absolutely recommend this class if you are also interested in entering a lab! He will help you out A LOT!! 100kJ/mol = 1 eV !! He teaches a lot of intuition and thinking in the class as well! The TA, Kris Barr was also fantastic as well :)

(Winter Quarter 2019)
CHEM 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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CHEM 99
Student Research Program See Full Profile

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CHEM 147
Careers in Chemistry and Biochemistry See Full Profile

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

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CHEM 192C
Undergraduate Assistant Education Practicum in Chemistry and Biochemistry See Full Profile

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

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CHEM 192D
Undergraduate Assistant Education Practicum in Chemistry and Biochemistry See Full Profile

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

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CHEM 194
Research Group Seminars: Chemistry and Biochemistry See Full Profile

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

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CHEM 196A
Research Apprenticeship in Chemistry and Biochemistry See Full Profile

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

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CHEM 199
Directed Research in Chemistry and Biochemistry See Full Profile

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

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