Chris may have a voice full of monotone but he has a heart full of love. You can see that he puts a lot of effort into preparing his class materials.
This class was mostly interesting but the lectures could be quite dry. Most of Professor Hill's lectures were spent deriving formulas, which seemed like a waste of time. Make sure you go to class or get the notes from someone reliable when you can't make it. The book was kind of useful, but mostly really difficult to shove through; at least lecture made it easier to digest. Homeworks were the most awful part of this course as they took up a LOT of time, and didn't add any value. I never felt like I learned anything from the homework because it was mostly pages and pages and pages of algebra... I felt like the class had so much potential, but most of it was lost. Professor Hill, though, I have to say, was extremely enthusiastic about teaching and really takes his job seriously. He's not like most other Columbia professors who only care about their research and regard their students as useless. Professor Pacheco, while extremely nice, is a little tough to understand sometimes and might not have been the best teacher. It was her first semester, so that makes sense. To compensate, she did give really good handouts which we were allowed to bring to exams. I would also suggest participating in this class and asking questions whenever you don't understand. Treat the recitation section as mandatory. Make sure you don't schedule a class during that time. The professors basically treat it as lecture/review and go through slightly different stuff sometimes. Both professors are extremely nice and really really care about their students. Their teaching style could use a little work. If you're a chemical engineer, you have no choice but to take this class, but at least you can know what to expect. Good luck!
If you are taking this class, you are a ChemE required to take it. The material is fairly interesting, however it is sad and unfortunate that Prof. Leonard is teaching the class. He is the worst Professor I have ever seen. His lectures are less than useless, he does not test the material and more over he prides himself in being unfair. He gives 1 A for a class of 42. One A. Thats all, and the grading is unreasonable. He gave a test that he graded and the average was a 19...then he says we are not working hard enough. He isn't working hard enough. He comes to class unprepared to lecture and prepared to waste everyone's time. He does not teach the material. There are too many ways to hate this Professor, so I will stop. If you have a choice not to take his class, don't. If you are a CHEME, welcome to the world of a poor education.
I can see where the other reviewers' perspectives are coming from - he is quite an interesting character, inserting little jokes in the lectures and whatnot, calling on students...the bottomline is, the material is tough and intense, BUT he doesn't make it any better or easier (in a good? bad? way) First, there is essentially no class. The class IS the book (which he seems to love so much). His lectures, though amusing, are rarely informative - he merely points out different concepts from the book or problems. It's one of those lectures where you listen attentively for 30 minutes, and then wonder what the heck just happened because the important points he talked about could have been said in like 10 minutes. The book is really great though. The TA recitation sections are also really helpful (go over the homework) and I feel that the recitation should be the lecture instead! An improvement on the lecture time would be going over concrete examples (a walkthrough). The tests are very unreasonable. First, 40 minutes for a test that should have a more appropriate time of at least an hour (full class period would be best). And then he likes to give a lecture, RIGHT AFTER the test??? I'm really not sure where he gets this idea from, because the effectiveness is very very low. I'd rather have a longer lecture time on some other day, that would be more effective. Second, I have no idea what he is testing with his tests, and they are not consistent at all. I would like to see this format: 1 question is a basic, definition question that can be answered in under a minute or two (components of Tij, etc.). 1 or 2 questions are straightforward problems like from the homework (maybe 1 level A, 1 level B). last question is a difficult question that would require you to think creatively. and, you would be given the full class time to do this test. this way, maybe the class averages would be more reasonable and indicative of your knowledge (70's?) rather than the way it is now with averages in the 20's. Summary: interesting character, un-helpful lectures, helpful recitations, good book, poor test design
I absolutely LOVE prof. Leonard. You have to be willing to work hard, pay close attention in class, and see things in a very unique way to succeed in this class, but it definitely can be done. He picks his favorites at the beginning of class and often preys on those who sit in the back and come in late. Overall, he is a GREAT guy and more importantly an amazing teacher.......you should feel lucky to take this class.