Ratings for Radke, C J
Based on 36 ratings for this instructor.
Comment: An earlier review said that people either love Radke or hate him. I tend to agree with that: there were a lot of people unsatisfied with his teaching but I personally loved him. He's a crass, witty, unapologetic guy and he knows his stuff inside and out. Lecture was always a pleasure to go to and I don't remember the last time I've laughed as hard in an 8 AM as I did during some of the lectures in CBE 140. The class is an overview of most of the concepts of CBE you'll cover later on in your undergrad career, and so it feels like a lot of material is being thrown at you at once. However, this class shouldn't be too bad (at least the first half) if you were comfortable with CBE 40. Assignments are long but not too difficult. Exams are open book/open note (in some cases this actually helps you a lot) and are generally pretty tricky (our second midterm was just 1 problem on a PFR). The GSIs for this course were impeccable and really helped us through, going above and beyond their call of duty.
Submitted March 17th, 2016
Comment: Professor Radke is one of the best professors at Berkeley. He is passionate but mean....> < His homework is helpful but hard. It's important for you to finish his homework because they are similar to midterms. His tests are hard but fair. He is a super good lecturer and makes staff really clear. Take class with him!!!
Submitted Aug. 17th, 2015
Comment: The most important fact about Radke is that you are either going to love him or hate him. There really is no one in between. He is a rather polarizing person as you can likely see from the other reviews. Assignments are generally on point with what is taught in lecture though some can be rather difficult and require a fair amount of critical thinking. The exams generally work in the same way as more difficult problems from problem sets though only one question with multiple parts on midterms can ruin you if you don't understand the problem correctly. Radke is clearly passionate about what he teaches since it is in line with his research and is generally a good lecturer though I have heard he is not as helpful during office hours. However one thing to take note of is that he has typically taught CBE 140 meaning he has certain expectations on what students learned in 140. However for our year he did not teach 140 and so we did not learn all the concepts he expected us to. This led him to go very slowly through these concepts and then rush through a bunch of stuff ie. heat exchangers in the last couple of lectures, a topic that he typically spends a couple of weeks on because we were running short on time. He also has a rather crass sense of humor that I enjoyed but I understand why some people would not.
Submitted Aug. 11th, 2015
Comment: This was a tough, but relatively enjoyable class as far as ChemE courses go. The first two thirds of the course deal with fluid mechanics, and bascially involved mass, momentum, and energy balances along with Navier-Stokes problems, which were conceptually not very difficult, but in practice involved a lot of tricky calculus (integrals upon integrals...). The final third is more of the same, but deals with heat transfer and heat exchanger design, which was slightly easier imo. Problem sets were difficult, but there were usually answer keys online that do a decent job of explaining stuff, although GSI office hours is where the bulk of students figured them out. Exams were difficult, but fair in that they took the concepts from problem sets and applied them to a different physical scenario. If you understand how the concepts apply to the scenario, then you were golden. If not, then you wrote down whatever you could and hoped for partial credit. The best part about this course was undoubtedly having Radke instructing it. He was such a likeable, enthusiastic, and smart lecturer. He did complex derivations in lecture that were difficult to follow, but you could just tell from his tone and the pace at which he ran through his lecture that he knew exactly what he was talking about. Plus he tells random stories sometimes that are always hilarious. Overall a pretty dry course with boring subject matter, but Radke made everything tolerable.
Submitted May 18th, 2015
Comment: Definitely a lot of work. Main work consisted of 2 written and 4 oral (powerpoint) reports. Stayed up later than I ever have in Berkeley for the written reports. Had Radke as primary "instructor." He's a tough grader and it was often hard to do anything seemingly right on the written reports unless you made the effort to go into office hours multiple times a week. He was generally very helpful during OH's though. Learning the COMSOL modeling software was a bit annoying, but once you get the hang of it, its easy to use. Just requires about a full day of messing around with it to learn all the stuff. The labs themselves could get incredibly frustrating as you 4 lab periods to get your data/finish the experiment and more often than not, the equipment would be giving pretty shitty results and you'd struggle to get any results that looked remotely decent. But Radke didnt really grade on results since he knew you'd get crap data, but was more focused on what you learned from the lab and what conclusions you can draw from bad data and how you would compare to what you SHOULD have gotten. In that sense he was more than fair. Oral presentations were set up in his office in power-point format and you just give a presentation like you normally would except Radke(or whoever your primary instructor is) is the audience (maybe a GSI sits in too). The orals were split such that one person gave 1 of the 4 orals and one of the orals was a group presentation. PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT. Practicing 6-7 times in front of my group before the actual oral presentation definitely came in handy as we critiqued each other as if Radke would critique us. This builds confidence up to the presentation and it clearly shows in the real thing since not one of my group members stumbled mid-sentence at any point in front of Radke. He takes this into account and can tell who has prepared and who hasnt. 154 can be really frustrating and you'll be in for long nights of data crunching and formal lab writing, but the feeling when this class is over is absolutely amazing. This class will bring back to life a lot of the concepts learned in 142, 150A, and 150B, so make sure you have a strong understanding of everything from those classes. Good luck with 154!!
Submitted May 18th, 2013
Comment: I was lucky to be in Radke's last ChemE 140 class. The course was a very good introduction to chemical engineering. Difficult yes, but looking back on this class after taking the other upper-division chemical engineering courses, you'll find that 140 isn't bad. You should come out of this class feeling like you learned a lot. Very rewarding. :)
Submitted Sept. 30th, 2012