All Ratings and Reviews for Vasilios Manousiouthakis
This guy does everything but teach the subject he is supposed to.He thinks only in terms of eigenvalues and eigenfunctions.Those interested in Numerical Methods can take his course "Advanced Reaction Engg" .
There were about 3 homework assignments and those homework even though at first seemed intimidating but it's actually not that bad. Those homework actually helps prepare freshmen engineers to know what's coming in future upper div engineer course. I mean he took one of the generation process of Chem E 100 and do pretty much all the messy stuff and then give it to us. Once you get the homework and the point, it's not that bad.
Final Grade: A- --> this is because I did not spend so much time on the homework. All my friends got A and A+ so you should be fine if you do the first and second homework well.
The final is kinda confusing because it was the process generation worksheet without all the excel file but then I don't think it really matters so yeah.
Vasili may not be the best lecturer, but he is one of the most caring professor out there. He wants you to learn thermo properly. Nevertheless, his handouts are amazing. Don't bother studying the book except for the cycles.
Since all his exams are open book, you must have a very clear understanding of the concepts, and you don't need to memorize anything, which is good.
He grades pretty generously too. Average is put on a B+.
Study his handouts, that is what the test is based off of and he is a brilliant guy.
Vasilios is the best! He's a cool professor who knows his stuff. Mercedes gave him a free Merc Fuel Cell car for something he did for them. He's really chill and there's an 80% chance you'll end up with an A.
Course Taken: Intro to ChemEngineering
At first, I thought this professor was way beyond our level. After taking his course and finishing the final, however, I noticed that he understood that students needed to be challenged and he was preparing the students for upper division engineering courses. His office may be a little bit...messy... but go to his office hour if you do not understand certain parts of the lecture. Form a group and approach him if you don't want to feel intimidated, but overall, he is a good professor.
For finals, focus and CLEARLY understand your homework. Our final was based only on the homework. Good luck!
This is literally one of the only few professors whose lectures are worth attending. Seriously, he's the best ChemE Professor hands down, if not the only good ChemE professor at UCLA(which is a shame).
I've taken 102A and 100 with him, both great experiences. He even taught fluid flow material better than the 101A course did, (whats up with that?)
He is the best because:
1. Knows his stuff, doesnt have fancy/wimpy lecture notes to look off of
2. Extremely concerned if the class is understanding the material
3.Although he can be very scary looking sometimes, he is EXTREMELY APPROACHABLE, and definitely urges students to do so.
4. Explains the concepts of whats going on using good analogies; not just writing equations and saying, okay and then dee-you divided by dee-tee equals dee-pee times vee"
5. I actually took the time to create and account to rate him positively just to show how great he is. He really puts other professors to shame.
At first he may seem hard because he introduces all the math background, and as you know, the greek letters get thrown around every where in math and science, meaning anything from course to course, So dont be intimidated, you'll get it eventually.
One more thing, READ HIS PAMPLHETS AND NEVER THROW THEM AWAY!!!!
LECTURE: Horrible lecturer. Just awful. He makes things that are supposed to be relatively easy insanely hard due to his enormous mathematical background. It takes a ton of time to even understand what he is talking about. He doesn't mention what sections of the book he is using and he just says the book is terrible, when really it is much clearer than he is.
Don't get me wrong though, Vasili is a super smart guy, I don't think anyone will tell you otherwise. He can give a lecture with no lecture notes - he knows his stuff back and forth. He is just really, really bad at explaining things.
HOMEWORK: Lots. Actually very useful, but can be tedious and time consuming.
HANDOUTS: Good lord, the pamphlets! They're actually pretty useful too, but they're basically a reflection of his lectures: super long, complicated, and hard to understand beneath all the math jargon. For one of them you get "The Axiomatic Approach to Thermodynamics", a 30 some page handout of straight math BS from first principles. The key points in this pamphlet could probably be summed up in a page, tops - But instead, Vasili compiles them into a nearly 100 axiom long ultra-tedious and brutal math exercise, for example deriving and comparing arcane things such as Pfaffian differentials in abstract variable spaces.
TESTS: He typically has three problems on each test with lots of parts to each problem. One "gimme", one "tedious", and one "that separates the A+ from the A-". In my experience with this class, the difficulty of the problems are not so clear cut, but are about the same as the homework. Grading is generous though.
PERSONALITY: Vasili is an approachable and very nice person who is very interested in the material. He'll always help you out.
OVERALL: Hard, tedious, time consuming class. You'll need to teach yourself A LOT, unless you're a genius and can actually follow any of the garbage Vasili writes on the board or tries to explain from the pamphlet. This is more like a class that a graduate student would take after taking several introductory Thermo Classes - literally everything is derived from first principles, and you don't need to do that for an undergraduate, entry level Thermo class. I do not recommend Vasili as a professor, but since you're a ChemE, you'll probably have no choice.
I must say I have to disagree with some of the reviews in the post below:
Lectures: Professor Vasili has a tremendous mathematical background. So expect a lot of mathematics in this class. Having said that, it is up to you to decide whether an engineering class should or should not be math-heavy. My personal view (shared by many) is that while this class might seem to be too much math, it is essentially making you dig down to the very fundamentals of thermodynamics and from there on, build theorems and come to conclusions that the textbook has merely stated.
Homework: Homework assignments are huge (35% of grade). However, Prof Vasili is accommodating with due dates - that makes it better. Most of your learning in this class will come from doing homework. You are made to combine thermodynamics with mathematics- not just take equations from textbooks, plug numbers in and print results.
Exams: Fair, graded generously. Mostly based on homework.
All in all, this is a great class. It seems a little too much in the beginning, but as the quarter progresses, it gets better. Don't let the homework overwhelm you.
His pamphlets are rich with information. You don't need to memorize anything for this class. (Except maybe "GENERATION = IN + OUT - ACCUMULATION").
There is absolutely no question that this is a very different class - it is something you would expect in an engineering-heavy school. And that, I believe, is good.
Again, for all the hard work you do, grading is very generous.
At the end of the class, you will appreciate the fact that you took a class that was in so many ways different than most classes taught here at UCLA. Take it.
Vasili's thermo class was very demanding but you will learn a lot and that is what matters in the long run. Understanding the material and completing the homework may take you quite awhile, especially if you need to do some math review or are not very familiar with Matlab or Excel. However, that process of reviewing all your past math skills and then incorporating them to solve a problem is precisely what makes this class so rewarding and useful. After all, isn't this what the learning process is all about? Problem solving and understanding new concepts will never be easy, but the skills and confidence you gain in the process is definitely worth it. Vasili does a great job of making you think, putting all your calculus classes to great practical use, and enhancing your computer/problem solving abilities (ie. using tools in Excel you never knew about before that are actually really great to get to know). Bottom line: work hard and good luck- this class is an amazing learning experience and you will learn tons from Vasili if you put in the effort!
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