Henry Hess

Feb 2010

This course is not a traditional engineering class with numbers and equations, but covers more qualitative factors involved in TE related to product development and research. It can be a very useful class, but his lecture notes are very sparse and it can take a while to get to the point. For us, he assigned us the entire textbook to read, a chapter a week (followed by a quiz), which would have been manageable if he had highlighted important sections (and one chapter hadn't been 250+ pages). About 1/3-1/2 of the material overlaps with other classes, eg. MatSci, MowshBio, and QP, and a bunch of other stuff you should just know from being in BME. In my opinion, this class could easily be combined with MatSci and made into a biomaterials class, since TE II rehashes some of the same material too. Since this is Prof. Hess's first class at Columbia, his teaching didn't really have the polished feel of some of the other courses in BME. For example, assignments and quizzes were ambiguous so you had to ask for clarification or else your interpretation could be totally off. There is also a group project where you have to propose a solution for an existing problem, down to what experiments you would do, how you would assay things, etc. At the end of the semester, you give a presentation on your idea and write a 10-20pg report on it. There is also a comprehensive final in short answer format, involving a lot of writing. Curves to a B.