Fundamentals of Atmospheric Dynamics and Thermodynamics
Overall good professor. He's a fast lecturer so make sure to write quickly. Although he speaks fast, he is constantly asking "does it make sense?" so if you aren't keeping up, make sure to let him know and he will repeat it. Not many people raised their hand to clarify things, but I think everyone kind of just went with his teaching style. Homework sets are relatively easy. They usually refer back to the material presented in lecture so just go back to your notes. Midterm wasn't too hard either. He gives you a sample midterm and questions were similar to homework questions, just a little more challenging. As long as you understand the material, it's not hard. Final was not too bad either. Fovell makes the topic as interesting as possible, which isn't the easy task considering it's thermodynamics. He's a great professor and really cares about his students actually learning the material. Never went to office hours, but it wouldn't hurt.
Fall 2023 - Personally, this was my first quarter at UCLA and also my first course Atmospheric Science related. I have little knowledge of physics due to bad professors in the past, so I felt very worried about this course being physics/math heavy. I ended up displaying noticeable growth and did well in the class and enjoyed the class overall. Jasper truly cares about student learning and provides many materials for you to help with learning and for work on homework sets. He believes in group collaboration and its ability to strengthen student learning as opposed to solo work, so students are expected to collaborate with neighbors to discuss in class problems and questions. He also assigns students to homework groups as well for discussions. The homework is very challenging, but the discussions, LAs/TA and other materials he offers for help came in clutch. I will provide a few tips to be successful in this class. 1) Don't be late. At the start of each class you will have a clicker quiz based on an assigned reading. The book you will use for the thermodynamics portion is very easy to read and understand, but the book for the dynamics portion of the class is a bit dense. The four questions asked are taken straight from the reading and generally do not have anything tricky (if you carefully read the readings that is). These quizzes are 20% of the grade and four quizzes are dropped at the end. What is nice is that he starts your grade for each of the quizzes at 60%, and each question being worth another 10% so that you don't fail miserably. 2) Engage and pay attention in the lectures. Jasper is a clear lecturer with well-organized slides. He also asks clicker questions throughout class to facilitate active learning. There are also some cool and funny topics you'll cover such as the Coriolis Force from The Simpsons and the buoyancy in the balloons from the movie Up. 3) Rewrite the notes, re-derive the equations and go over the exercises/questions in class on your own. This was extremely helpful because he does tend to move a little quickly through the slides before I had time to finish writing, and a lot of times i was more so focused on just copying down the material in time as opposed to gaining an understanding of the material. Looking at everything again helped me form a connection and understanding of the material presented. The lecture material is also excellent to study for the midterm and final. 4) Do NOT be afraid to ask for help. Utilize the resources he provides to help with the homework sets. Being able to understand these helps so much with the midterm and final. Overall, he is an excellent professor. Just making sure to do your part to not fall behind in this class is key.