Robert Shaefer

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Easiness 2.4/ 5
Clarity 3.0/ 5
Workload 2.7/ 5
Helpfulness 3.6/ 5
Most Helpful Review
I don't know why a fusion researcher would be the professor of a mechanical product design class. This quarter's pre-determined project was to fabricate a can-crusher. His lectures were boring to most students, and luckily they lasted at most 90 minutes. Instead of talking about theory, he should have lectured about the different materials and mechanical applications which are relevant to our projects, not derive the power screw equation. His meetings with the group were useless half of the time. Sometimes he would have no idea what out project is about and then ask random questions like "Do you have the torque-speed curve?" or "Did you buy your motor from Apex?" Much of what is "learned" in this class is through machining and through trial and error. Shaefer only gives you advice. His motto is "I believe that students teach themselves and that the professor’s primary function is to guide the students." If you ask him about specific machining questions, he will direct you to the TA or Anatoly. He can only give you advice on whether your design is manufacturable, so after the design stage, he is virtually useless. Luckily, he has simplified the projects in the past years, as in the past more challenging projects such as a lawn mower and other complex electro-mechanical machines were demanded. Also luckily, even if your project fails during the product demonstration, you still have a chance at an A. He is also very lenient on grading the reports (as long as you label your figures,) which makes up a significant portion of your final grade.
Easiness N/A/ 5
Clarity N/A/ 5
Workload N/A/ 5
Helpfulness N/A/ 5
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