Based on 7 Users
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.
Jasper is an absolute legend. That certainly does not mean this class is a walk in the park, but it is a class where you certainly earn the grade you get. There are a plethora of resources that Jasper and our TA provided for us as a class that greatly help in learning the content. If you go to the homework parties, keep up with the readings, and stay on top of the relatively large workload, then this class should be an absolute joy.
I could not recommend Professor Kok more. He really wants to see you do well and is committed to making the class the best learning experience possible. The material can be tough and the textbooks rather dense but he has a ton of resources to help you do well. The homework is a really good way to prepare for the tests. Kok is also just a really nice guy so go to his office hours, he'll explain anything as many times as you need.
You should definitely take this class with this professor. He makes a huge effort to structure his classes in the best possible format for students to learn and succeed in, and it shows. This class is among the more difficult ones in the AOS department for those who struggle with physics - homework and tests are definitely rigorous. He highly encourages collaboration on homework sets by setting up class study halls though, and these are worth a significant amount of your grade. Every lecture begins with a quiz on a short reading that introduces the next topic, so attendance and readings are also important. It is also very worthwhile to show up.
Overall, you'll do a reasonable amount of appropriately challenging work with a prof who is super approachable and just wants to see everyone succeed.