Derickson, Dennis  

Electrical Engineering

2.67/4.00

15 evaluations


EE 111


Freshman
A
Required (Major)
Feb 2012
EE 111 is an introductory class. Honestly, it can't be expected to completely annihilate students from the get-go. The goal of an intro. class is to get new students motivated and aware of the major that they are in. Dr. Derickson does this and more. Not only is he a likeable guy, but he presents the lectures smoothly and clearly with about as much coordination as could be hoped for in a class. Furthermore, he could be funny at times, often joking around with the class and guest speakers and always stayed after class to talk to students. Assignments were mostly composed of essays and research including interviews and reading. And our midterm was the HAM radio license exam! In my personal opinion, getting licensed was a very pleasant substitute for a typical midterm. Hopefully, future students will have that opportunity. Lastly, assignment grades are mostly based off of completion of assignments. The class is not terrible in the slightest and I had fun and learned quite a bit taking it. Derickson is awesome. Period.


Freshman
A
Required (Major)
Jan 2013
Derickson seems like a great department head, and really wants to inform the EE Froshes about what being a professional EE is like and what they should be doing now to prepare for their future careers. He gave assignments that I had meant to do before the class, but now was forced to complete like a 10 year plan, writing a resume, getting a HAM radio licence, and going to the career fair. Easy 1 credit A, and an overall enjoyable and informative intro course to the EE major.


Freshman
A
Required (Major)
Dec 2015
I say hi to DD every day and he still doesn't know me :(

EE 212


Junior
B
Required (Major)
Dec 2005
Dr. Derickson is a very nice and understanding professor. Fall 2005 was his first quarter teaching at Cal Poly, so he still has a lot of learning to do. Derickson was not quite up to par with some of the subjects that he was teaching, but admitted his weaknesses and did not hold his students accountable for what he did not teach. He reviews quite throuroughly before each quiz or test, and tells his students exactly what will be on them so that there are no surprises. Exams were pretty straight forward, and he gives a lot of partial credit. Homework was pretty managable where he assigns around 5-6 problems from the book each week. I would recommend Derickson to anyone because he is a very down-to-earth kind of guy and very understanding to his students.


Junior
A
Required (Major)
Feb 2006
reads another teachers notes slide to slide....teach us a little will you?

EE 241


Sophomore
B
Required (Major)
Feb 2008
Professor Derickson is very effective in lab. He constantly walks around making sure everyone knows what is going on while they perform the experiment. He is very eager to help anyone who seems to be struggling. I have not had him for lecture yet, but he is definitely a good choice for lab.

EE 306


Junior
B
Required (Major)
Jun 2008
I didn't really know what we were expected to learn in this class, and he didn't really push us to learn anything. He assigned way too much homework, lightened it up a bit, and then assigned a lot again. His midterms were just a couple really long questions, and no one ever finished. He gives tons of credit on them and allows re-dos for averaged grades, so there is no need for a curve, and you might actually learn more. His lectures always lost me because I didn't really understand why I was learning the stuff if I could pass the class with minimal effort. And has handwriting really sucks.

EE 308


Senior
A
Required (Major)
Jun 2008
Derickson is a very solid teacher. He had a lot of experience in the industry and knows a lot about amplifiers, RF and the like. He is a little disorganized but he is still very effective in both lecture and lab. The grading was very standard. After each of the midterms we had to redo the midterm and he would average those two grades for your final grade. Everyone usually did very well on the redo. The final however was killer. There was a little bit of material from the previous two exams but most of it consisted of new material. I thought it was really tough but he did let us know beforehand what would be on the test. Super fair teacher who is really into analog. You can;t go wrong by taking a class from Derickson.


Junior
B
Required (Major)
Jun 2008
Nice guy, though hard final. Though he was kinda scatterbrained in class, he was helpful in office hours. Also beware of his atrocious handwriting; it's almost like trying to read a map while driving, though I've seen worse.....


Senior
A
Required (Major)
Jan 2009
Derickson is not unnecessarily strict with grades, the majority of the class will receive A's and B's. He'll give you information packets of figures from the text accompanied with his scatterbrained hand-written notes (and an abundance of circled terms). A good amount of this information will make its way onto the test. Sometimes assigns way too much homework, but not a lot of emphasis is put on it. To get a good grade in this class, study the in-class and handout examples along with the old midterms and finals. He's very lenient with mistakes; you literally lose no more than 2-3 points on a 25 point problem for all computational errors. Definitely in the top tier of EE professors and very helpful in office hours. I highly recommend him for any EE class.

EE 412


Senior
A
Required (Major)
Mar 2011
Derickson is a nice guys but lacks organization. Passes out a fat stack of hand outs everytime you walk through the door. Some of the packets are very important and some you might as well just throw in the trash (or recycling). Derickson takes up alot of class time going over stuff that will not be on the test which is annoying because you never know what to study. Dericksons solutions are inconsistent and questionable at best but are actually the best way to study and learn how to solve the problems which will be on the exams. Got an A in the class but spent way more time studying than was necessary. Overall Derickson is a better version of Ahlgren.


Graduate Student
B
Required (Support)
Sep 2013
Derickson is a good guy and you can tell he cares deeply about his students. Even though he's the dept head he will still take extra time to help you understand the material. Lectures and explanations are good, but I found the course expectations to be ill-defined. Like others have mentioned, the amount of supplemental material he passes out is extensive. I think I still have over half a banker's box full of notes and handouts for this class. The worst part is that 99% of it is unnecessary, too, but I was only able to discover that after the course was complete. The best way to succeed in this class is to take excellent notes and study them and the homework almost exclusively. Tests are generally similar to homework in that they are based around designing/analyzing analog systems. For example, he might ask you to analyze a receiver system by determining the signal and noise levels as they propagate through the different blocks. Or he would ask you to find the optimal signal levels in a PLL and specify a type of filter and pole/zero frequencies. Just remember the design guidelines and all should be straightforward. For lab (EE442), don't concentrate on a deep analysis of the spectrum analyzer, just make sure you understand it at the block diagram level (filter, mixer, amplifier, etc.). Then proceed to build the different blocks, test them individually, and hook them together. If you are careful about how you solder it together then most sections should work the first time and you should have a working example by the 8th week or maybe earlier. Then generate a simple lab report that explains how it works (at the block diagram level) and you should be good. Overall, the class is worth taking but I probably could gotten an A by doing 80% less work if I had an idea of what was and wasn't important.

EE 416


Senior
B
Elective
Aug 2013
What a bloody waste of time this class was. Expect to contribute to deforestation of the amazon because this guy pretty much prints out chapters of his own book for every student of the class and then some. His ability to convey information is far from good. He literally takes projector transparencies of the notes he gave us and then circles things he thinks are important until the paper looks like Armageddon while struggling to open up and release this supposed vault of wisdom he has according to other students. Don't get me wrong, he is one of the most genuine people I know and if you go to his office hours, he will try to help you out with homework or what not. Otherwise, the homework has nothing to do with what he lectures, his test have nothing to do with the homework, and the final made me a worse person.

JOUR 418


Senior
C
Required (Major)
Nov 2016
Missed the first day, went to the second day. Went to the midterm. Went to the Final. Three days of class total. I got a B, easy. This kind of shit gives our school a bad name.

EE 425


Senior
A
Elective
Jun 2014
I didn't know what unorganized looked like until I took a Derickson class. His handout notes either look like the result of a really overdone brainstorming session, or a hyper-complex state machine diagram. In either case they are absolutely incomprehensible, and he hands them out in overwhelming volume. His homework solutions are sloppy, vague, and nearly impossible to follow. He also tries to cover far too much material in the quarter, and as a result, many people feel like they worked their butts off and learned basically nothing. He knows his stuff, and he's a nice guy - maybe if he put forth a huge effort to organize himself, and he drastically narrowed the scope of his courses, it might make sense to take a class with him. Until then, avoid if possible.