This class was tough.
Two weeks ago, when I finished taking the final for this course, I would not have rated it nearly as high. I left the final miserable, unsure that I would even manage to pass the class. The professor made the tests extremely difficult, with averages usually around 50 percent. Though the low raw scores were essentially meaningless, as the class is curved according to the median and standard deviation, it was still difficult leaving each exam unsure if I had earned even half of the points. In addition it was sometimes difficult to reconcile the concepts taught with real world issues. However, looking back on the class now, I see it's relevance every day. Materials science is a truly integral part of engineering that is often forgotten. Without strengthening mechanisms and an understanding of the properties of materials, technology would not have advanced past that of the stone age. The professor's dedication to providing help for students also contributes to my now positive review of the course. After not performing as well as I would have liked to on the first exam, Professor Baker highly encouraged that I and other students in my position come and meet with him. His persistence especially helped me, as normally, I would stubbornly refuse to ask for help, and seek to solve the problem on my own. At the meeting, the professor provided many helpful suggestions to help me succeed in the class. Sure enough, my performance greatly improved on the following test. While the course may be difficult, there are more than enough resources to help you succeed. The course provides information that many people go through life without knowing. Having now been given insight into material properties, I find it hard to believe that knowledge so integral to the way we function in everyday life is unknown to so many.
The breakdown of this course is simple, though the concepts and details can be quite complex. The course provides a "horsies and duckies" (as the professor often called it) look at the mechanical properties of materials. More specifically, the class delves into the mechanisms behind the elastic deformation, plastic deformation, and fracture of four categories of materials: metals, polymers, ceramics, and composites. By learning these deformation mechanisms, insight into stopping such deformation was also gained, revealing just how the properties of materials can be altered and, as is usually sought after in engineering applications, strengthened.
Hours per week:
Advice for students:
Stick with it. It may be tedious and seem difficult to reconcile the concepts learned with real world problems at first, but it has truly changed the way I view the world, and the materials it is made of.