Based on 19 Users
Second the reviews given here! Dr. Liu was incredibly caring since it was his first time teaching this class I think it will be even better the next time he teaches. The 3 problem sets were pretty extensive but I think the tradeoff for not having midterms is pretty good and the class felt like you were getting out what you were putting in. I think it was super manageable with the other 3 classes I was taking and research and the week long final that we had was also not too bad and I could fit it in after I was done with my other finals.
I think the only disclaimer is brush up on molecular orbitals because that is literally what this class is: using symmetry to make molecular orbitals and what results we may obtain with this. Deriving MO diagrams was introduced week 1 and stayed up until even the final :)
Also, here is the grading breakdown he used with our class: A+, > 100; A, 95~99.5; A-, 90~94.5; B+, 85~89.5; B, 80~84.5; B-, 75~79.5; C+, 70~74.5; C, 65~69.5; C-, 60~64.5; D/F, < 60. Each problem set was 20 points each (60 total) and final was 40 points. There were 2 points of extra credit given for completing surveys (as well as .5 bonus points possible on each pset) and honestly the grading was pretty light- I was never stressed about my grade.
Would definitely take a class with him again!
Disclaimer: Taken during COVID
This quarter was his first time teaching 172/C172, and I couldn't have asked for a better professor. He breaks down concepts in a way that makes it easier to understand (less linear algebra heavy) and is honest when he doesn't know the complete answer to something. He encourages questions and he is never condescending about it so it was easier to clear up any confusion that I had.
As for the class structure, I think it is similar to his other classes where he uploads the slides before class and uses Slido for anonymous questions during lecture.The lectures complemented the problem sets very well in that the applications are clear and straightforward. There are 3 problem sets, 1 final, and we were given around 2 weeks to finish the assignments. In my opinion, the assignments can be a little bit tough and time consuming, but some of us would go over the answers together so study groups are highly recommended. The TAs I had prepared review slides and practice questions during discussion so I never felt like I was behind.
Overall, his reviews for the other classes he taught are accurate. He was very receptive to our comments or concerns and it was apparent that he cared about his students. He taught everything he said he would, and all the content he tested for was covered thoroughly in lecture. I would take this class again and whatever other classes Professor Liu teaches!
If you've taken 172, this class is structured quite similarly with 3 psets and a take-home final. If you're looking at the grade distribution to decide to take this class, I'd take caution as the TA from the previous quarters has left and the newer TA is a bit tougher so it might not be a super easy A as it was before. The content was interesting but was a bit indigestible from the mountains of math and derivations with little talk about practical applications. You're also expected to be able to process a lot of the data that is not taught in class so be prepared for that. The psets are also quite hard and time-consuming and the only advice I have here is to work with others as the book and lectures don't help you at all. Also, the TAs were incredibly helpful albeit everything so email and go to their office hours if you need help! I'd probably stay away from this class unless you're interested in doing research in the field.
Honestly, I came into the class worried about 14B especially since Liu was a new teacher. However, I'm glad to have taken this class over any other teacher. What you get on Liu's tests are pretty much what he makes you practice during clickers and discussion worksheets. He gives practice midterms and finals which are very representative of the material on the tests. It's easy to consistently score high just by reading the lecture slides and looking through clicker questions, which he uploads online.
He's approachable and very receptive to student feedback. Also he gives extra credit to pad your grade. The best thing is that you make up clicker points by emailing him your explanations for them. Additionally, the midterms are only 50 minutes with plenty of time left for you to check your work!
Dr. Liu is the goat! His exams were straightforward , and he was very open to suggestions. Also, you weren’t required to attend discussion because they didn’t take attendance so that was an added bonus.
Chong is the best, his tests are 100% fair. All his guidelines for the midterms and even the final are basically the exact test he just changes the numbers. So as long as you put some effort into getting the practice midterms he posts then you'll get an A. He also gives like 8 bonus points on the tests.
Chong is such a delight who has clear slides and will make the effort to clarify any confusion especially in office hours. He's overall very sweet as well. Expect to learn a lot about MOs and how different symmetries reflect them; the class is very chill and the content isn't too hard. As for the class breakdown:
- 3 LONG, somewhat confusing PS (60%) + 2 EC for undergrads
- 4-5 day Take-home final (40%; also kinda tricky in some questions)
For the PS, I suggest you ask Chong for concept clarification but ask the TAs on how to approach the problem because sometimes they have conflicting ideas of how to approach it (but it's never too different from what they ask). For the final, you don't necessarily have to prepare for it, I would suggest just looking at past PS problems. We didn't, however, get the results for our final, but again it wasn't too difficult and the EC gives some cushion.
Liu really cared about the learning that we did in class - and constantly gave us more material to practice with - practice midterms, weekly worksheets etc. His presentations are great to work with after class. Do the worksheets, because they are slightly harder than the actual exams, so if you clearly understand what's in the worksheets, the exams should be a breeze. His clicker questions are a great check to see if you understand what's on the slides. Do the practice midterms and finals PROPERLY because the actual exams follow the same format so you will find it easier and faster to finish the exam. He is a really great teacher and you should take him if you can!
chong liu is the biggest sweetheart I have ever met and I genuinely could not love him anymore. 14B was not hard by any means; I rarely paid close (re: much of any) attention in lecture and the exams were extremely easy, I got a 98% or higher on both midterms and a high B on the final (mostly because i just ran out of motivation and ultimately didn't study really at all at the end) . Honestly 14A and 14B were basically AP Chem and as long as you do the guides and review things Liu provided, you’ll be fine. The quizzes were not hard either, minimal studying garnered me A’s on three out of the four and the lowest of the four he drops. Everyone did relatively well on the midterms and honestly so many people over exaggerate how hard the course is when if you put in some effort and have targeted practice you will literally have to try hard to not get an A or B with Chong. Liu really really tries to help you. The only downside was his lectures were full of proofs and integration that didn't really apply or even help all that much. Basically he's a beautiful soul that babied us through the course. He also ended up curving grades up a couple percentage points in the end to boost everyone's grade a lil extra. also discussion was optional.