Molecular Engineering & Product Design

Apr 2010

This is the Pre-professional course for Chemical Engineers. Alan West is a likable guy who really knows what he's talking about, especially when it comes to his research area, electrochemistry. Sometimes his lectures can be a little disorganized, but if you write down all the formulas he writes on the board, listen to him, and do the readings, you can understand the concepts, which is important for the quizzes (which are more like exams, which he admitted after the first one). He says that if you do the homework, you will be okay for the quizzes, but you really should look over the notes and read ALL of the readings he posts on Courseworks. It really isn't necessary to buy the book for this course, since everything you need is given in class or posted online, but it's an interesting read. The class is made up of three modules, each in groups of three or four that he assigns. Each module has a homework assignment which basically walks you through the design project. For one of the modules, you will be assigned a written report, one module an oral presentation, and one you will only have to do the homework. The written report is about five pages, split between the members of your group. The oral presentation should be about 10 or 15 minutes. Each group member needs to talk for at least 3 or 4 minutes. Attendance is mandatory and makes up 20% of your grade. The TA passes around an attendance sheet a few minutes into class. If you're a little late, you can usually still sign in before the TA takes back the attendance sheet. The homework is 15%, the oral presentation is 15%, and the written report is 15%. The quizzes (more like exams) make up 35% of your grade. He also brings in guest lecturers a lot to talk about their experiences. They really aren't relevant to what you are doing, but you have to be there, and some of them can be pretty interesting.

Sep 2003

This was a fun course. Professor Barton is a very personable guy and you can talk to him about anything. Sometimes he gets a little off-track and occasionally he can be a little scattered, but he cares about the course and the students and he tries to make it fun. He brings in other professors to talk about their areas of expertise which helps change up the material a bit. The field trips are fun and the end of the year project is fun and interesting.

Oct 2002

Very approachable, kept material interesting (although a couple of the guest speakers were a bit dull). Looking forward to having him for future courses. I highly recommend the course to all ChemEs, as well as to any other engineers who are looking for a good pre-professional course, and aren't scared of a little chemistry.