May 18, 2008

Eisenthal, Kenneth
PChem II

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

I didn't find Eisenthal to be as unbearable as some of the previous commenters. He's a pretty nice guy, but typical of higher level science professors: he knows his stuff, but unfortunately has a hard time making it understandable to his students. He definitely tries to make the class worthwhile for everyone though. Judging from the previous comments, it seems that he's changed his exam policies and style--only 2/3 midterms count, and they also got progressively shorter and easier as the semester went on. What got me through was just memorizing all the formulas before each test (no cheat sheets were allowed). All in all, this was a decent class.

Workload:

About 6 problem sets, for borderline grade decisions only.
3 midterms & 1 final that served as the equivalent of two midterms. Best 3/4 counted.

February 04, 2006

Kaufman, Laura
PChem II

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

Overall, excellent professor. Her lectures are organized, clear, and paced perfectly to hold your attention from the beginning to end. Very approachable both inside the class and out, and very fair exams (although I think there were always 1-2 questions too many for a 50 minute exam-- if you didn't know everything you needed to before, there was very little time to figure things out or correct calculations).

Workload:

Very reasonable-- problem set a week, 3 exams, and a final. Final is 40%, the rest 20%, with lowest 20% dropped.

July 08, 2005

Eisenthal, Kenneth
PChem II

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

Sigh.
I think the best phrase that sums up this semester with Ken. A very defeated sigh. I can honestly say that I've never felt so cheated in a class.

Eisenthal's lectures are, for the most part, nonsensical and trivial--often focusing on patronizing topics such as how to take a derivative or an integral rather than the actual subject at hand.

On the first day of class, he is quick to offer up that "no question is a dumb question," but quickly it becomes apparent that that is not the case--he often gets combative when asked questions, and I think the class reached a certain point where intimidation overtook intellectual curiosity.

Eisenthal also fails to communicate the expectations of the class. The homework load is very light, maybe 5 simple problems every two weeks or so, and readings from one of the worst pchem books out there, Tinoco. However, when the exams roll around, you are expected to be able to make some pretty interesting deductive leaps and manipulations of the material that are very difficult to wrangle without the familiarity one would normally gain from doing challenging problems. His grading scheme is arbitrary as well. At the beginning of the semester, he said that he was going to curve the class, but in the final grading all the students hovering around the 70's (the mean) sure got a nice summer surprise when C-'s, C's, and C+'s rolled in.

He doesn't do a very good job preparing for class or tests either--there is speculation going around that he refuses to teach anything but pchem on the undergrad level because that is the only thing he has notes for--and it shows. He is constantly backtracking on the boards, gets things blatantly wrong and often leaves it to the students to correct. Not to mention the unsolvable first problem on the final! The lack of professionalism in the class is discouraging and makes learning very difficult.

I've been complaining all summer to professors at different schools about how sucker-punched I was by this class; when they were told who was teaching it, most of them groaned or rolled their eyes in empathy. Yes folks, this man has an intercollegiate reputation for sucking.

It's a real shame that Chemistry majors, after wading through 2 years of premed bs hogging all the departmental resources, have to have an encounter with such a miserable class. Maybe you'll like it. Maybe you'll do fine. Maybe you'll think you're doing fine, and then end up with a C. I'd go with the latter--but no worries, unless your a pchemist, no one gives a shit what grade you get in this man's class.

April 19, 2005

Brus, Louis
PChem II

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

He is extremely approachable, and I never ask questions of professors because I am on the shy side. But he is great!!! His lectures are not boring they are straight and to the point.
I agree the exams are hard, but I agree that it should be more about understanding the theory than being ale to punch in numbers in a calculator till and answer matches the choices.
It is worth going to lecture

Workload:

A bit intense but well worth it.

March 31, 2005

Eisenthal, Kenneth
PChem II

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

I had Eisenthal last year. He was the worst teacher I have ever had by far. Horrible lecturer. Vague questions on tests. He's really old (early 70s).

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