Uncle Walter's Guide to Aero/AstroFall 1997IndexIntroductionCreditsStatisticsCommentsCourse RatingsInstructor RatingsExams & Problem Sets
Uncle Walter's Guide to Aeronautics & Astronautics

16.010, 16.020 Unified Engineering I, II

Prof. Hall, Prof. Harris, Prof. Markey, Prof. Lagace, Prof. Waitz, Prof. Frey 
Pre/ co requisites: 8.02, 18.03 or 18.034, 3.091 or 5.11 Hours From Bulletin: 8-3-13
Response Rate: Actual Hours: 10.9-1.0-11.3
Course Ratings Instructor Ratings
Course Difficulty: 5.2 / 7.0
Overall Course Rating: 6.2 / 7.0

Prof. Hall (L) 4.6 / 7.0
Prof. Harris (L) 5.4 / 7.0
Prof. Markey (L) 5.5 / 7.0
Prof. Lagace (L) 4.8 / 7.0
Prof. Waitz (L) 6.3 / 7.0
Prof. Frey (L) 7.0 / 7.0

Overall the teaching in Unified was described as very good to excellent.  One comment was that the professors could be more
engaging.  Many people mentioned that lecture notes, such as Professor Waitz passed out, would help lecture a lot.  Individual professor's
comments follow:

Professor Hall (Signals and Systems) had mixed reviews.  Half of the class thought he did a good job with a tough, perhaps boring, subject.
He is a clear lecturer and has a systematic way of teaching the class.  Others thought he was too confusing and fast, and did more
talking to the students than teaching them.  It was suggested he find a textbook for the circuits half of the class, or at least improve his
lecture notes.

Professor Lagace (Materials and Structures) received poor comments from many of the students.  While a couple praised the structure in
his lectures, most felt that he covered too much material too fast, without giving adequate examples .  His tendency to write notes on the
board before class started made students struggle to copy everything down as they tried to listen to his lecture.  Some students felt he
had a negative attitude toward the class, which made it difficult for people to ask questions.

Professor Harris (Fluids) received good comments from many students, and is open to questions from the class.  Some thought his lectures
tended to be confusing, and at times he could be stuck in equations without explaining the basic concepts.

Professor Waitz (Thermodynamics) has only positive comments.  Students like his sense of humor, his positive attitude, as well as his
enthusiasm, which made Thermodynamics interesting.  His lecture notes were very well received.

Professor Markey (Dynamics) has a good teaching style, is kind, enthusiastic, and covers his material well.   The one problem is that
his material is too similar to 8.01, so many students found it repetitive.

Professor Frey (Recitation Instructor) was very well liked by the entire class for his dynamic, inspirational teaching style.  He went
out of his way to help the students understand the material, and was credited with being organized, humorous, and for being available
whenever students had questions.  He went so far as to start Sunday office hours to meet studentsU needs.

Lee Yang (Graduate TA) also received praise from the students for putting tremendous amounts of time and effort into the class.  He was
always willing to help out students whenever they had questions, and along with Professor Frey played an invaluable part in making sure the
students actually learned the material presented in lecture.

Several thought the pace of Unified was okay, with others suggesting it was a little fast as a whole.   Individual comments varied, but one
person suggested that not enough time was spent on specific subjects to get a good mastery of them.  Several commented that Materials and
Structures, and Signals and Systems went too fast, while two people said that Dynamics and Fluids could be sped up.

Dan Frey's Recitation and the TA Office Hours received unanimous praise.  Everyone said that recitation was very helpful, and most
continued by saying it was key in their understanding of the material.  Half of the comments commend Professor Frey's teaching
style, and remark upon his real-world problems, his lectures notes, and the time he puts in to make recitation interesting.  Two comments
also praise the graduate TA Lee Yang, and the undergraduate TA's for being helpful and putting in extra time to help students.

When asked which aspects of the class most helped them learn the material, students listed problem sets first, followed closely by
recitation and lectures.  Other responses included office hours, and a couple of students mentioned the Thermodynamics notes and the Dynamics
text, as well as working with fellow students.  A useful background for this class is the freshman core, especially 8.01, 8.02, and 18.02,
and generally a solid math and physics background.  18.03 was listed by the majority of students as a very useful class, especially for
Signals and Systems.  More general comments for good performance suggested dedication, problem solving skills, creativity, and having
an interest in the subject.

The textbooks received poor reviews. Several people complained that the Materials book and Signals notes were confusing, and a couple
people said that they never opened the texts.  The Fluids text was decent, if confusing.  Only the Dynamics text and the Thermo notes
received positive reviews.  The majority of responses listed the Unified Bible as the one resource which helped them the most.

While several people spoke well of the exam reviews, most people though they were pointless and didn't help prepare for the exams.
Comments about the exams themselves mostly indicated that they were too long and there were too many of them.  Many of the students
remarked that the problem sets were useful, and that they received necessary help in office hours.  Several mentioned that the problems
in some subjects were too long, especially in the middle of the term. One person thought the System Problems were terrific, and several
comments about the labs were all good.

The overall impression of Unified was very positive.  Most people admit that some of the material is difficult, and that the pace is
fast, but the great majority also described how much they enjoyed the class and what they were learning in it.  Adjectives like "awesome"
and "wonderful" were used to describe it, and several people named it the best class at MIT.  About half the responses mentioned how
dedicated the faculty was to teaching the material, and to the class in general.  Several people suggested changing the text books as a way
to improve the class, and having Fluids not be taught simultaneously with Materials and Structures.  Others wanted heat in the classroom,
37-212, as winter approached.

"Slightly more time spent on subjects would make for better mastering
of material"

"A good physics and math background, and an ability to pace yourself
and manage your time are key!"

"[Problem sets] too difficult.  Material not gone over in class
thoroughly.  Example problems should be given."

"Awesome class.  Toward the end my brain became fried, but it was a
very well taught class, and I learned a lot."

"I loved it.  It is my favorite course ever at MIT."

[How would you improve the class?]
"Make people realize it's not the hell class it's rumored to be."

Course ratings

was graded fairly: 5.0 / 7.0
was organized and displayed continuity: 6.1 / 7.0
was well-administered: 5.8 / 7.0
had accessible lab facilities: 5.5 / 7.0

Instructor ratings

Instructor Prof. Hall Prof. Harris Prof. Markey Prof. Lagace
Gives well-prepared, relevant presentations: 4.9 / 7.0 5.6 / 7.0 5.7 / 7.0 5.2 / 7.0
Explains clearly, answers questions well: 4.3 / 7.0 5.2 / 7.0 5.4 / 7.0 4.5 / 7.0
Uses the blackboard and visual aids well: 5.2 / 7.0 5.4 / 7.0 5.1 / 7.0 5.2 / 7.0
Enunciates clearly: 5.6 / 7.0 6.0 / 7.0 6.0 / 7.0 6.0 / 7.0
Encourages questions, is sensitive to class: 4.9 / 7.0 5.6 / 7.0 5.7 / 7.0 4.3 / 7.0
Excites interest and is enthusiastic: 4.1 / 7.0 5.1 / 7.0 5.7 / 7.0 5.1 / 7.0
Is friendly and supportive: 4.4 / 7.0 5.6 / 7.0 5.9 / 7.0 4.6 / 7.0
Is available outside of class: 4.4 / 7.0 5.1 / 7.0 4.1 / 7.0 4.0 / 7.0

Instructor ratings

Instructor Prof. Waitz Prof. Frey
Gives well-prepared, relevant presentations:
6.5 / 7.0
6.9 / 7.0
Explains clearly, answers questions well:
6.3 / 7.0
6.8 / 7.0
Uses the blackboard and visual aids well:
6.0 / 7.0
6.4 / 7.0
Enunciates clearly:
6.2 / 7.0
6.5 / 7.0
Encourages questions, is sensitive to class:
6.4 / 7.0
6.9 / 7.0
Excites interest and is enthusiastic:
6.5 / 7.0
6.9 / 7.0
Is friendly and supportive:
6.3 / 7.0
6.9 / 7.0
Is available outside of class:
5.3 / 7.0
6.8 / 7.0

Exams, problem sets and projects

Relevancy Length Number Difficulty
5.6 / 7.0
5.1 / 7.0 5.0 / 7.0 5.0 / 7.0
Exam reviews
5.0 / 7.0
4.0 / 7.0 3.9 / 7.0 3.9 / 7.0
Problem sets
5.9 / 7.0
5.0 / 7.0 4.9 / 7.0 4.8 / 7.0
Papers / Projects
6.2 / 7.0
5.2 / 7.0 3.4 / 7.0 4.2 / 7.0

Required texts / handouts

Relevancy 4.3 / 7.0
Length 4.4 / 7.0
Interesting? 4.1 / 7.0

Uncle Walter's Guide to Aeronautics & Astronautics