Uncle Walter's Guide to Aero/Astro Fall 1997 Index Introduction Credits Statistics Comments Course Ratings Instructor Ratings Exams & Problem Sets
Uncle Walter's Guide to Aeronautics & Astronautics

16.010, 16.020 Unified Engineering I, II

Lecturer: Prof. Hall, Prof. Harris, Prof. Markey, Prof. Spearing, Prof. Waitz, Prof. Miller
Pre/ co requisites: 8.02, 18.03 or 18.034, 3.091 or 5.11 Hours From Bulletin: 8-3-13
Response Rate: 31/43 (72.1%) Actual Hours: 10.7-2.1-13.8

Course Ratings Instructor Ratings
Course Difficulty: 5.2 / 7.0
Overall Course Rating: 6.2 / 7.0
Prof. Hall (L) 4.1 / 7.0
Prof. Harris (L) 4.7 / 7.0
Prof. Markey (L) 5.6 / 7.0
Prof. Spearing (L) 6.5 / 7.0
Prof. Waitz (L) 5.7 / 7.0
Prof. Miller (L) 4.1 / 7.0
Noguchi (T) 5.7 / 7.0
Rochlis (T) 6.1 / 7.0

Generally, students thought that the teaching was very good and that instructors were well prepared and organized. Below is a summary of student comments on individual instructors, followed by student comments on the class.

Instructors:

Prof. Hall [Signals and Systems] didn't receive many comments. A few students felt that he did a good job of covering all the subject matter and that his problem sets were challenging. A couple of students liked his systematic approach to leactures. Some students thought that he used "too many shortcuts" in lectures, instead of teaching the basics. Others suggested that he try to raise students' interest in the subject.

Prof. Markey [Dynamics] received mixed reviews. Some students found his lectures "interesting" and "excellent". Others found the lectures confusing and did not appreciate his lecture style - one student in particular thought that concepts were not fully explained in lecture.

Although some students found Prof. Harris [Fluids] an "awesome lecturer", most thought his lectures were confusing. Students pointed out that Prof. Harris made mistakes on the board and got "mixed up in the math, failing to explain the conceptual background". A couple of students said that they would like to see more enthusiasm in the lectures. One student pointed out that Prof. Harris' teaching had "improved dramatically" over the term and that the professor "responded to and actively sought out student comments [on his teaching]."

Prof. Spearing [Structures] was hailed as an excellent lecturer. His lectures were praised for giving a good presentation of the concepts and making the material easy to understand. Students also found Prof. Spearing enthusiastic and one student mentioned that the professor had an "innate desire to have students succeed." It was also noted that he "never fails with donuts!" However, one student thought that the structures exams were hard and too strictly graded. Overall, students seemed to enjoyed Prof. Spearing's teaching.

Most students enjoyed Prof. Waitz's lectures [Thermodynamics] and thought that he delivered concepts well. However, his lecture notes received mixed comments. Some students liked them, but one suggested that the impetus then became to get through all the notes rather than explain the material thoroughly. Prof. Waitz is overwhelmingly praised for his enthusiasm and energy. One student even credits him with making a confusing subject understandable.

Prof. Miller [recitation instructor] only received two comments. One student found him knowledgable, but the other student thought he got "a little bogged down in math".

Students thought that the graduate teaching assistants, Reid Noguchi and Jennifer Rochlis, delivered concepts well. Students also found Noguchi and Reid enthusiastic, friendly and willing to help outside of class. The few students who commented on the undergraduate teaching assistants thought that they weren't very helpful.

Class:

The overwhelming response to the class was very positive. Most students thought that although the assignments were challenging, the material was interesting and relevant and the class was well organized. The majority reportedly enjoyed the class.

Suggestions for improvements to the class varied widely. Some students asked for less work: fewer problem sets, more time for exams, clearer system problems, better structured labs. Others wanted more office hours or recitations per week, the improvement of some lectures and lectures moved to later in the day. A few students also thought more concepts should be introduced and less "grind it out kind of stuff".

Most students thought that the pace of the class was fine. A few commented that the pace of thermodynamics and fluids was a bit fast. Some others felt that the pace was slow at the beginning of a discipline, but sped up towards the end. A couple of students complained about having two tests on the same week.

Although a few students said they were content with the exams, the general feeling was that they were a bit long and sometimes the material covered by the tests was unpredictable. For the most part, students thought that test reviews were useful. While most students said that problem sets were relevant and useful in learning the material, many complained about the length and number of assignments. Several students also noted that better grading of problem sets was necessary, specifically more feedback. System problems and labs received mixed reviews. A few students thought that system problems "were fun" and that labs were interesting. Others thought that the labs were "pointless" and "not very educational". Several students thought that labs were "poorly prepared and TA's were useless" and that both lab write ups and system problems took too long to do.

The majority of students agreed that the background needed for the class is well covered by the pre-requisite courses. In order to do well in the class students suggested "showing up to lecture", having good time management skills and finding a good study group. Others thought that nothing short of having "the ability to never sleep" and other "superhuman abilities" would help.

"Unified is a wonderful and challenging course."

"Awesome, but hard."

"Many, many, many sleepless nights ...."


Course ratings

Subject
was graded fairly: 4.5 / 7.0
was organized and displayed continuity: 5.5 / 7.0
was well-administered: 5.5 / 7.0
had accessible lab facilities: 5.5 / 7.0

Instructor ratings

Instructor Prof. Hall Prof. Harris Prof. Markey Prof. Spearing
Gives well-prepared, relevant presentations: 4.7 / 7.0 5.0 / 7.0 5.9 / 7.0 6.5 / 7.0
Explains clearly, answers questions well: 4.5 / 7.0 4.2 / 7.0 5.3 / 7.0 6.5 / 7.0
Uses the blackboard and visual aids well: 4.7 / 7.0 5.0 / 7.0 5.4 / 7.0 6.2 / 7.0
Enunciates clearly: 5.4 / 7.0 5.7 / 7.0 5.4 / 7.0 6.1 / 7.0
Encourages questions, is sensitive to class: 4.9 / 7.0 5.0 / 7.0 5.7 / 7.0 6.5 / 7.0
Excites interest and is enthusiastic: 3.9 / 7.0 4.3 / 7.0 5.8 / 7.0 6.5 / 7.0
Is friendly and supportive: 4.0 / 7.0 5.0 / 7.0 5.7 / 7.0 6.6 / 7.0
Is available outside of class: 3.8 / 7.0 5.0 / 7.0 4.8 / 7.0 6.2 / 7.0

Instructor ratings

Instructor Prof. Waitz Prof. Miller Noguchi Rochlis
Gives well-prepared, relevant presentations: 6.0 / 7.0 4.5 / 7.0 6.2 / 7.0 6.0 / 7.0
Explains clearly, answers questions well: 6.0 / 7.0 4.6 / 7.0 5.8 / 7.0 5.9 / 7.0
Uses the blackboard and visual aids well: 6.4 / 7.0 5.5 / 7.0 5.5 / 7.0 5.4 / 7.0
Enunciates clearly: 6.0 / 7.0 5.4 / 7.0 5.7 / 7.0 5.4 / 7.0
Encourages questions, is sensitive to class: 6.5 / 7.0 4.9 / 7.0 5.8 / 7.0 6.1 / 7.0
Excites interest and is enthusiastic: 6.2 / 7.0 4.2 / 7.0 5.6 / 7.0 6.2 / 7.0
Is friendly and supportive: 6.2 / 7.0 4.7 / 7.0 5.8 / 7.0 6.2 / 7.0
Is available outside of class: 5.3 / 7.0 4.0 / 7.0 6.2 / 7.0 6.4 / 7.0

Exams, problem sets and projects


Relevancy Length Number Difficulty
Exams 5.6 / 7.0 4.9 / 7.0 4.2 / 7.0 4.5 / 7.0
Exam reviews 5.4 / 7.0 3.4 / 7.0 3.0 / 7.0 3.9 / 7.0
Problem sets 5.7 / 7.0 5.0 / 7.0 4.7 / 7.0 4.6 / 7.0
Papers / Projects N/A N/A N/A N/A

Required texts / handouts

Relevancy 4.4 / 7.0
Length 4.3 / 7.0
Interesting? 3.8 / 7.0
Difficulty 4.2 / 7.0

Uncle Walter's Guide to Aeronautics & Astronautics