May 24, 2005

McGourty, Jack
Engineering and the Rise of Modern Industry

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

The most important thing you need to know about this class is that it is no longer an easy A!! As far as I know, Jack, cracking under pressure from the spec and probably from higher up in the engineering school and of course due to his lack of personality and belief in his philosophy, handed out grades that weren’t A’s. I heard from a group member that individuals in the class received B’s. However, in my case, after sweating through the class and contemplating dropping it at one point, I managed to get an A even though I am sure jack did not have time to read 200 individual papers and about 50 group papers in order to be fair. Seems like he pretty much gave out grades according to how good the topic title of the group project sounded. The class requirements are ridiculous, as expected, and as everyone probably already knows: you form a group, pick a topic vaguely having to do with technology, pick a book which you will just skim at best, write a 5 page “book report,” and then get together with your group once to slap together a 15 page paper and make a powerpoint slideshow which you will probably not have to present. Because of the unnaturally large size of the class jack had to chose only a few groups to present and then despite that, no one respected his 10 minute rule and only about half the groups ended up presenting.
Bottom line about this class is that it is now a BIG RISK, but if you don’t mind going through a whole semester not knowing whether you are going get an A or a C in a three point class (because there is absolutely zero feedback throughout) then this is the class for you. Oh yea, we were also supposed to “learn” in this class, but I don’t think I did very much of that. Class was boring most of the time, Jack’s lectures just droned on and were mostly uninteresting (no one wants to hear a 2 hour lecture about the history of bikes!!), and class discussions were disorganized and dominated by only a few people. Out of a class of 200, barely a quarter showed up to class and personally I went to all of 4 classes or so all semester. Jack never ceases to amaze me…..and not in a good way, but I shouldn’t be complaining right? I should be like one of those people who write “jack is amazing” in the reviews just because he boosted their GPA….well jack, thanks for the A but the class should definitely be eliminated. The only reason I took it is because I thought it was unfair that people got free A’s the semester before (and to make up for a VERY disappointing gateway grade)

Workload:

A 5 page "book report" about a book you choose (dont actually have to read the whole thing really), A 15 page group paper (groups of 3 to 5) and a powerpoint slideshow and possible (but highly improbable) 10 minute presentation