Based on 10 Users
You will be assigned a random group at the start of the quarter, and I think your experience will depend pretty heavily on this. You will have a team project that you are working on throughout the entire quarter, while simultaneously having to complete 5 lab assignments (each pretty hefty, bigger assignments than from 157). The instructions for the lab assignments are often a bit unclear, so talking to your team is helpful, and the instructors are also very responsive on Piazza.
The class will feel like a ton of work, but I think the grading is actually quite lenient. As long as you get everything done to a reasonable level of correctness, there’s nothing to worry about. Even your team project (ours were rockets, but who knows if that will stay the same) can be terrible and your grade will still be fine as long as you go through the motions.
This class was very interesting. I took this as an elective, but was not ready for the MATLAB coding that used in the homework (as I never took the class for it). The TA’s tried to be very helpful with the code, I emailed and went to every office hour and was able to do the homework’s. Homework depending on how much coding there was could take between 2-4 hours, and the textbook and discussion sections were essential to doing them.
The professor had great lecturers and multiple ways to get extra credit throughout the course. Each lecture there is an online poll which gives extra credit points. Also at the end of the quarter completing the evaluations and doing a report gives extra credit. Although I did not do well on the exams, there was a curve and with the extra credit gave me enough points to make up for what I missed. Overall I enjoyed the professor and the material, and both him and the TA’s made this class well worth the effort. Yi (my TA) is the goat!!
This class was quite difficult, however I found it very enjoyable. I had some interest in applied thermofluids prior to enrolling in 150C, and taking it with Spearrin just reaffirmed that for me. Grading breakdown was 30% HW, 30% Midterm, and 40% Final. Lectures were engaging and informative, and because it was at 8 AM this quarter the professor offered an extra credit incentive to come in-person. In my opinion, Spearrin explained everything concisely and clearly, and he taught the basic concepts very well. He sometimes even gave direct hints on how to solve some of the homework questions and what to expect for conceptual exam questions. Homework was very difficult and time-consuming, sometimes taking upwards of 20 hours a week to complete. They were a mix of hand calculation/theoretical problems and coding ones done with MATLAB. He makes his own homework assignments so there are no answers anywhere online. Despite this, the (recorded) TA discussions are very helpful in that they essentially write the majority of the code (save for some parameters that need to be tuned to answer the questions) for you and give you some significant indications on how to approach the written problems. I made the mistake of trying to forge through these questions myself prior to the Friday discussions and ended up spending unnecessary time working on an analysis that ended up being incorrect. The exams are difficult, but fair. All you have to do is fully understand the homework assignments to be able to score very well, but this was easier said than done because some of the calculations were extremely long and involved multiple steps, therefore increasing the likelihood of you making an error under a strict two or three-hour time constraint. Fortunately grading was pretty lenient, not just on the exam but overall; scoring around average on the midterm (~76%) nets you in the A-/B+ range, but more people came down on the side greater than the mean. He also gave plenty of opportunities for extra credit, not least the aforementioned lecture attendance, but also via an extra credit problem on the final (worth 5 points on a 100 point test) and an extra credit research assignment which could boost your grade up to 3%. Overall, expect to put a lot of work into this class, but you will see your efforts pay off.
Professor Spearrin makes his classes purposely difficult and pushes students to learn the material thoroughly, but is a fair grader. There's a separate curve for undergrads and grad students, and generally curves the class to around a B/B+ average (I think). He has direct experience in propulsion from his time at Rocketdyne and teaches the course material with enough context to make the lectures relevant and meaningful. Also a cool dude outside of class, and really helpful in office hours.
Great lecturer, cool examples, gives opportunity for extra credit. Exam fair and straightforward (but not easy), he tells you what to study, no tricks or surprises. The homeworks were long and involved but I have heard they were better in previous quarters so that may be TA dependent.
Great lecturer, cool examples, gives opportunity for extra credit. Exam fair and straightforward (but not easy), he tells you what to study, no tricks or surprises. The homeworks were long and involved but I have heard they were better in previous quarters so that may fluctuate.
An enjoyable class overall, and pretty forgiving if you're willing to put in the work. The tests were tough, but they were pretty generous on grading. If you pay attention in class and listen to the professor and TAs, they give a lot of useful information that helps on the tests. The homeworks are really challenging and take forever. This makes the workload pretty heavy. The material itself was interesting and Spearrin is a pretty good lecturer, so that made the class worth it. The TAs have a pretty big impact on the class, and I really liked the ones for our quarter so that helped a lot. I wouldn't recommend this class if you already have a heavy workload, but if you can try to take it in a lighter quarter then its pretty enjoyable.
I enjoyed the class and thought the subject was taught well by Prof. Spearrin and the TAs (Dante and Joel). The homeworks were pretty damn hard and time-consuming. The tests were also quite difficult but they were pretty generous with partial credit. Prof Spearrin also offered an extra credit final project that is worth 5% of the whole grade, which you should definitely take advantage of. At least when I took the class the TAs were very helpful and offered a lot of homework hints during discussions and OHs. I agree with the previous reviewer: you should only take this class if you have a light courseload. I spent the majority of my time studying/doing homework for this class, and I didn’t do too hot in my other classes. But that’s my fault. The class was pretty cool though, and Prof Spearrin posting lectures/discussions/slides online was very helpful.