Thomas G Mason
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
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2.8
Overall Rating
Based on 7 Users
Easiness 2.2 / 5 How easy the class is, 1 being extremely difficult and 5 being easy peasy.
Clarity 3.2 / 5 How clear the professor is, 1 being extremely unclear and 5 being very clear.
Workload 2.0 / 5 How light the workload is, 1 being extremely heavy and 5 being extremely light.
Helpfulness 2.5 / 5 How helpful the professor is, 1 being not helpful at all and 5 being extremely helpful.

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GRADE DISTRIBUTIONS

32.5%
27.1%
21.7%
16.3%
10.8%
5.4%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

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

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Reviews (3)

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Quarter: N/A
Grade: N/A
March 28, 2014

Pros:
Really cares about student education
Good at deriving topics
Available to access for questions
Has a great care for student learning

Cons:
The pace of each lecture was too inconsistent. While it was great to delve into concepts deeply, I feel as though we delved deeply into the wrong content. The first half of the class the pace was relatively ok, though it was still slow. The second half of the class went really really really slow, but then by Week 8 and 9 we went incredibly fast, skipping through the content that was most relevant for our future studies.

More specifically, here are a few examples.
I listened to distillation for 5 lectures. Went deeply in discussion once and mentioned in Lecture 4 times. 4 TIMES!!! Secondly, getting into thermodynamics, arguably the most important part of the class and the foundations for the rest of my college education was flown by. Supplementing with lectures Tuesday and Thursday during discussion was not conducive. Many students could not make any of the discussions. Rushing through thermo and spending time on less important topics like distillation was not helpful.

Additionally, although the class was meant to delve deeper into the content, we spent way to much time on extra questions. Though questions are encouraged, the types of questions we spent all our time on were the types to be asked during office hours and usually did not help the rest of the class actually understand the content in a relevant way.

Suggestions:
Go to professor or TA office hours. Mason and his TA my quarter were so helpful in answering all questions and the percentage cut for the homework is big so getting A's on homework is imperative. Not only that but you gain a better understanding on content.

Have a decent one pager for the final and midterm. If your onepage of notes is coherent easiily organized and comprehenisve you will have a much easier time on the test. Color code, section off, etc. Theres a thermodynamic equation chart somewhere on the internet. Much better than just writing each equation out

Start your Honors paper early. Thats definitely what I wish I did. If I got a better grade on the paper (15 percent of grade) I would have probably pulled an A- than a B+. If you are definitely looking for the grade rather than enriching your learning experience, pick a topic that you can easily right about, not one that necessarily you are interested in.

An A in Honors is definitely doable. If anything I'd actually say its less work than many other 20B professors, particularly Felkers. Just a few last social tips. If your 20BH class is anything like mine, than a whole bunch of 20AH students will have taken it. They are hella cliquey and ask way too many questions , but you can find those other honors students who are annoyed at them just as I was.
 

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: N/A
Grade: N/A
March 28, 2014

Pros:
Really cares about student education
Good at deriving topics
Available to access for questions
Has a great care for student learning

Cons:
The pace of each lecture was too inconsistent. While it was great to delve into concepts deeply, I feel as though we delved deeply into the wrong content. The first half of the class the pace was relatively ok, though it was still slow. The second half of the class went really really really slow, but then by Week 8 and 9 we went incredibly fast, skipping through the content that was most relevant for our future studies.

More specifically, here are a few examples.
I listened to distillation for 5 lectures. Went deeply in discussion once and mentioned in Lecture 4 times. 4 TIMES!!! Secondly, getting into thermodynamics, arguably the most important part of the class and the foundations for the rest of my college education was flown by. Supplementing with lectures Tuesday and Thursday during discussion was not conducive. Many students could not make any of the discussions. Rushing through thermo and spending time on less important topics like distillation was not helpful.

Additionally, although the class was meant to delve deeper into the content, we spent way to much time on extra questions. Though questions are encouraged, the types of questions we spent all our time on were the types to be asked during office hours and usually did not help the rest of the class actually understand the content in a relevant way.

Suggestions:
Go to professor or TA office hours. Mason and his TA my quarter were so helpful in answering all questions and the percentage cut for the homework is big so getting A's on homework is imperative. Not only that but you gain a better understanding on content.

Have a decent one pager for the final and midterm. If your onepage of notes is coherent easiily organized and comprehenisve you will have a much easier time on the test. Color code, section off, etc. Theres a thermodynamic equation chart somewhere on the internet. Much better than just writing each equation out

Start your Honors paper early. Thats definitely what I wish I did. If I got a better grade on the paper (15 percent of grade) I would have probably pulled an A- than a B+. If you are definitely looking for the grade rather than enriching your learning experience, pick a topic that you can easily right about, not one that necessarily you are interested in.

An A in Honors is definitely doable. If anything I'd actually say its less work than many other 20B professors, particularly Felkers. Just a few last social tips. If your 20BH class is anything like mine, than a whole bunch of 20AH students will have taken it. They are hella cliquey and ask way too many questions , but you can find those other honors students who are annoyed at them just as I was.
 

Pros:
Professor's Brown's office hours were very helpful and enjoyable. In the more intimate setting, Brown was very understandable and helpful and even very funny at times. Though office hours were very full, the times I was able to go were very helpful and I gained a much better understanding of the content.

The way she asked us to understand the concepts was good. Encouraging us to think about the content very visually and conceptually helped understanding, though the ideas that she conveyed were not conveyed well.

Her pictures were always very detailed and understandable, though the use of different colored chalk would have been hepful.

Cons:
The pace of the lecture was incredibly, incredibly slow. For example, Professor Brown would say some sort of content about the course, then she would write it VERBATIM on the board, and then say it again. I would honestly be able to fall asleep in the middle of her lecture, wake up, and she would still be on the same thing. The board was literally all paragraphs of words. It would have been much better to go into tangible problems to help us understand the content instead of saying it, writing it, and saying it again.

Esoteric writing: no one understood the words on words on the board. More pictures and examples. She would talk on end about a concept but no one would understand. Better analogies and more preparedness to relate the content to something tangible would have been helpful. 

Also Brown stuttered and seemed very unorganized and flustered throughout the lectures, as if she was just going over it the first time.

She almost never did practice problems as well.

But overall the course was way to slow and inaccessible unless one went to office hours. 

Suggestions:
For lectures, unless you have background on multivariable calculus, you will likely be confused during the lectures. The way she teaches the content is only valuable to those who have a relative understanding of what the content is. Many of my friends in the class went to lecture but found it useless. I, however, found most the lectures actually very helpful when I skimmed the book 30 minutes prior. Either way you are going to have to read the book so might as well read it before the lecture so that you'll get the most marginal return for lectures. 

I again suggest you go to office hours to supplement any material you dont understand. She's pretty big on having students understand conceptually what is happening rather than just students knowing the formula.

Regarding the midterms and finals, they were almost all variations of the practice midterms and finals. So for the midterms, definitely know your content, but especially know what's on the practice midterm and related concepts to those problems. 
The final is a little bit more difficult, but still accessible. The practice exam is like a watered down version of the final exam, but the types of questions that the final exam covered were still essentially covering the same things.

Luckily the curve is REALLY REALLY GENEROUS so you'll be ok if you stay on top of your stuff.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: N/A
Grade: N/A
March 28, 2007

I thought Mason was quite effective. He covered what needed to be covered, and I left 20BH with a solid knowledge of thermodynamics and equilibria. This is only his second year teaching 20BH, but I think he has improved a lot, compared to last year's rating and comments. He only keeps one midterm this year, and makes it 30% of the grade. The final was 40%, and the homework 30%, which I thought was really generous. He offers extra credit on every homework assignment, so that helped a lot. These problems might sound intimidating at first, but keep searching (Internet, thermodynamics textbooks, etc) and you'll improve your homework grade a lot. The first midterm in my opinion was not hard, but it was really time constrained, and you really need to do many practice problems before hand. Don't rely on the cheat sheet too much; within the time limit (50 mins, 4 problems, average 3 parts per problem) you need to know what you're doing really well. My advices: watch out for sig. figs on the homework (he's strict with them, you might lose up to 1 point - each hw assignment is 10 pts - just for these), do lots and lots of practice problems before exams, and you should be fine. Really try to include every single equation that you think is important on the cheat sheet. One equation can make a 20 pts difference on the exam. Darcy was a TA for my year (Winter 2007); she's an amazing TA who never gets tired helping people. And really funny. No matter who you have for TA, just go to her session for reviews and such. About the book Statistical thermodynamics by Engel and Reid, you don't really need it. It helps for many extra credit problems, but they have it at college library and Young, so go check those out.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: N/A
Grade: N/A
March 28, 2014

Pros:
Really cares about student education
Good at deriving topics
Available to access for questions
Has a great care for student learning

Cons:
The pace of each lecture was too inconsistent. While it was great to delve into concepts deeply, I feel as though we delved deeply into the wrong content. The first half of the class the pace was relatively ok, though it was still slow. The second half of the class went really really really slow, but then by Week 8 and 9 we went incredibly fast, skipping through the content that was most relevant for our future studies.

More specifically, here are a few examples.
I listened to distillation for 5 lectures. Went deeply in discussion once and mentioned in Lecture 4 times. 4 TIMES!!! Secondly, getting into thermodynamics, arguably the most important part of the class and the foundations for the rest of my college education was flown by. Supplementing with lectures Tuesday and Thursday during discussion was not conducive. Many students could not make any of the discussions. Rushing through thermo and spending time on less important topics like distillation was not helpful.

Additionally, although the class was meant to delve deeper into the content, we spent way to much time on extra questions. Though questions are encouraged, the types of questions we spent all our time on were the types to be asked during office hours and usually did not help the rest of the class actually understand the content in a relevant way.

Suggestions:
Go to professor or TA office hours. Mason and his TA my quarter were so helpful in answering all questions and the percentage cut for the homework is big so getting A's on homework is imperative. Not only that but you gain a better understanding on content.

Have a decent one pager for the final and midterm. If your onepage of notes is coherent easiily organized and comprehenisve you will have a much easier time on the test. Color code, section off, etc. Theres a thermodynamic equation chart somewhere on the internet. Much better than just writing each equation out

Start your Honors paper early. Thats definitely what I wish I did. If I got a better grade on the paper (15 percent of grade) I would have probably pulled an A- than a B+. If you are definitely looking for the grade rather than enriching your learning experience, pick a topic that you can easily right about, not one that necessarily you are interested in.

An A in Honors is definitely doable. If anything I'd actually say its less work than many other 20B professors, particularly Felkers. Just a few last social tips. If your 20BH class is anything like mine, than a whole bunch of 20AH students will have taken it. They are hella cliquey and ask way too many questions , but you can find those other honors students who are annoyed at them just as I was.
 

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: N/A
Grade: N/A
March 28, 2014

Pros:
Really cares about student education
Good at deriving topics
Available to access for questions
Has a great care for student learning

Cons:
The pace of each lecture was too inconsistent. While it was great to delve into concepts deeply, I feel as though we delved deeply into the wrong content. The first half of the class the pace was relatively ok, though it was still slow. The second half of the class went really really really slow, but then by Week 8 and 9 we went incredibly fast, skipping through the content that was most relevant for our future studies.

More specifically, here are a few examples.
I listened to distillation for 5 lectures. Went deeply in discussion once and mentioned in Lecture 4 times. 4 TIMES!!! Secondly, getting into thermodynamics, arguably the most important part of the class and the foundations for the rest of my college education was flown by. Supplementing with lectures Tuesday and Thursday during discussion was not conducive. Many students could not make any of the discussions. Rushing through thermo and spending time on less important topics like distillation was not helpful.

Additionally, although the class was meant to delve deeper into the content, we spent way to much time on extra questions. Though questions are encouraged, the types of questions we spent all our time on were the types to be asked during office hours and usually did not help the rest of the class actually understand the content in a relevant way.

Suggestions:
Go to professor or TA office hours. Mason and his TA my quarter were so helpful in answering all questions and the percentage cut for the homework is big so getting A's on homework is imperative. Not only that but you gain a better understanding on content.

Have a decent one pager for the final and midterm. If your onepage of notes is coherent easiily organized and comprehenisve you will have a much easier time on the test. Color code, section off, etc. Theres a thermodynamic equation chart somewhere on the internet. Much better than just writing each equation out

Start your Honors paper early. Thats definitely what I wish I did. If I got a better grade on the paper (15 percent of grade) I would have probably pulled an A- than a B+. If you are definitely looking for the grade rather than enriching your learning experience, pick a topic that you can easily right about, not one that necessarily you are interested in.

An A in Honors is definitely doable. If anything I'd actually say its less work than many other 20B professors, particularly Felkers. Just a few last social tips. If your 20BH class is anything like mine, than a whole bunch of 20AH students will have taken it. They are hella cliquey and ask way too many questions , but you can find those other honors students who are annoyed at them just as I was.
 

Pros:
Professor's Brown's office hours were very helpful and enjoyable. In the more intimate setting, Brown was very understandable and helpful and even very funny at times. Though office hours were very full, the times I was able to go were very helpful and I gained a much better understanding of the content.

The way she asked us to understand the concepts was good. Encouraging us to think about the content very visually and conceptually helped understanding, though the ideas that she conveyed were not conveyed well.

Her pictures were always very detailed and understandable, though the use of different colored chalk would have been hepful.

Cons:
The pace of the lecture was incredibly, incredibly slow. For example, Professor Brown would say some sort of content about the course, then she would write it VERBATIM on the board, and then say it again. I would honestly be able to fall asleep in the middle of her lecture, wake up, and she would still be on the same thing. The board was literally all paragraphs of words. It would have been much better to go into tangible problems to help us understand the content instead of saying it, writing it, and saying it again.

Esoteric writing: no one understood the words on words on the board. More pictures and examples. She would talk on end about a concept but no one would understand. Better analogies and more preparedness to relate the content to something tangible would have been helpful. 

Also Brown stuttered and seemed very unorganized and flustered throughout the lectures, as if she was just going over it the first time.

She almost never did practice problems as well.

But overall the course was way to slow and inaccessible unless one went to office hours. 

Suggestions:
For lectures, unless you have background on multivariable calculus, you will likely be confused during the lectures. The way she teaches the content is only valuable to those who have a relative understanding of what the content is. Many of my friends in the class went to lecture but found it useless. I, however, found most the lectures actually very helpful when I skimmed the book 30 minutes prior. Either way you are going to have to read the book so might as well read it before the lecture so that you'll get the most marginal return for lectures. 

I again suggest you go to office hours to supplement any material you dont understand. She's pretty big on having students understand conceptually what is happening rather than just students knowing the formula.

Regarding the midterms and finals, they were almost all variations of the practice midterms and finals. So for the midterms, definitely know your content, but especially know what's on the practice midterm and related concepts to those problems. 
The final is a little bit more difficult, but still accessible. The practice exam is like a watered down version of the final exam, but the types of questions that the final exam covered were still essentially covering the same things.

Luckily the curve is REALLY REALLY GENEROUS so you'll be ok if you stay on top of your stuff.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: N/A
Grade: N/A
March 28, 2007

I thought Mason was quite effective. He covered what needed to be covered, and I left 20BH with a solid knowledge of thermodynamics and equilibria. This is only his second year teaching 20BH, but I think he has improved a lot, compared to last year's rating and comments. He only keeps one midterm this year, and makes it 30% of the grade. The final was 40%, and the homework 30%, which I thought was really generous. He offers extra credit on every homework assignment, so that helped a lot. These problems might sound intimidating at first, but keep searching (Internet, thermodynamics textbooks, etc) and you'll improve your homework grade a lot. The first midterm in my opinion was not hard, but it was really time constrained, and you really need to do many practice problems before hand. Don't rely on the cheat sheet too much; within the time limit (50 mins, 4 problems, average 3 parts per problem) you need to know what you're doing really well. My advices: watch out for sig. figs on the homework (he's strict with them, you might lose up to 1 point - each hw assignment is 10 pts - just for these), do lots and lots of practice problems before exams, and you should be fine. Really try to include every single equation that you think is important on the cheat sheet. One equation can make a 20 pts difference on the exam. Darcy was a TA for my year (Winter 2007); she's an amazing TA who never gets tired helping people. And really funny. No matter who you have for TA, just go to her session for reviews and such. About the book Statistical thermodynamics by Engel and Reid, you don't really need it. It helps for many extra credit problems, but they have it at college library and Young, so go check those out.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
1 of 1
2.8
Overall Rating
Based on 7 Users
Easiness 2.2 / 5 How easy the class is, 1 being extremely difficult and 5 being easy peasy.
Clarity 3.2 / 5 How clear the professor is, 1 being extremely unclear and 5 being very clear.
Workload 2.0 / 5 How light the workload is, 1 being extremely heavy and 5 being extremely light.
Helpfulness 2.5 / 5 How helpful the professor is, 1 being not helpful at all and 5 being extremely helpful.

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There are no relevant tags for this professor yet.

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