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Peter Mott

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  • 2 reviews
  • 2 completed
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I was entirely new to thermodynamics when I began the course. I found the course often enjoyable and often frustrating. With the exception of some throw away remarks about Jacobean matrices/determinants towards the end the mathematics used is not too forbidding. The lack of a textbook was a very serious defect. There was nowhere to go to clarify and/or extend the lecture material. And of course revision without a textbook became very hard indeed. This was made worse by the use of uncommon names for things which make it hard to impossible to use web resources (try Google for "one way mode of work"). In future iterations there should be a text chosen and closely followed (the text by M. Achuthan who was Prof. Gaitonde's teacher is unfortunatley not available in the UK). The release of lecture "slides" late in the course was no substitute. The other major problem was the presentations largely ignore problem solving - so you will likely feel at sea when confronted with the sort of problems that fill the pages of thermodynamics texts. I certainly did, and in fact scarcely bothered with the Final Examination. The part by Prof Bhandarkar gave some problem solving work. Excellent - but too little and too late. These negatives I think are serious. But from reading other reviews I gather that this subject is somewhat notorious, and I certainly learned a lot and even got a certificate (though only a C grade!) I hope it is repeated with textbook and problems, as it has the makings of a real star course and can only improve ("one way mode of work")!
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Very good course. I have no background in Thermodynamics and just wanted to learn some. This I did. The special virtue of the course is the instructor working through examples and avoiding gaseous generalities. She has won teaching awards and one sees why. Leaving out a discussion of entropy (though T-s diagrams appeared at the end) was a good idea as far as I was concerned. I have one advantage in that I have Borgnakke & Sonntag, Fundamentals of Thermodynamics 7e so could read around topics. I have had the book a while now, but can now manage it, thanks to this course. Only one gripe. The instructor writes on a "whiteboard" with a pen that is invisible, so its hard to be looking at the right place when she writes.