Chen, John  

Mechanical Engineering

3.53/4.00

40 evaluations


ME 211


Junior
A
Required (Support)
Dec 2009
Chen knows what he is talking about and conveys the material to the students in a clear manner. Class notes are provided so you do not have to get distracted trying to draw diagrams instead of listening to what he is saying. Quizzes are big in the grading scheme, HW is turned in but doesnt mean anything (5% of final grade). Dont ask stupid questions in class or he will make you feel stupid in front of everybody, I never had the privelage of this treatment but was entertained by it a few times.


Sophomore
F
Required (Major)
Dec 2009
chen was a cool guy and loved by everyone until the final came around. you must pass the final to pass the class and everyone takes the same test. well chen did not leave us prepared and i got my butt kicked on it. i had a solid b going into the final too but with an F i have to retake it


Sophomore
C
Required (Major)
Jan 2010
Chen was awesome! the grade I received was because I had bombed the midterm which was completely my own fault by not studying beforehand. He is very very clear in lecture, and assigns homework that DIRECTLY follows his in-class quizzes and midterm. The homework directly follows in-class examples. Therefore, you do the h/w and understand it fully, you\'ll do well on the everything else! Absolutely would take him again.


Junior
C
Required (Support)
Mar 2010
Professor Chen was an excellent teacher, his lectures were set up very well with powerpoint and it was easy to follow everything when you had the same notes right in front of you. He assigned an above average amount of homework but it payed off for when the his midterm came around. He had weekly quizzes that were cake if you did the homework. Now for the final, this is the problem I had, he did not teach two out of five of the questions on the final at all. They were subjects that were completely looked over during our lectures. People had some many questions about that he stopped the class and told everyone what to do but his face looked like \"Oh shit, I forgot to teach this to them.\" So, I would definitely recommend Chen to anyone needing to take Statics, he is the best, but just look over everything in the chapters so you don\'t get blindsided on the final.


Sophomore
N/A
Required (Support)
Mar 2011
Professor Chen is the best teacher I have had at Cal Poly. ME 211 covers challenging material, but with Chen teaching, most of it seems easy. His lectures are extremely organized and really help you learn the material. I have never learned the material in a class as well as I learned statics with Chen teaching. Homework, quizzes and the midterm are all based off exactly what he teaches in his lectures. Seriously take this guy if you get the chance.


Sophomore
A
Required (Support)
Mar 2011
Kick ass teacher. He presented the statics material very clearly and methodically. He gave 1/3 the homework that the other statics teachers gave, but was still able to get us all through the course. He picks on people who say dumb stuff, and he's not very forgiving, but he knew what he was talking about and knew how to get everyone else to understand


Sophomore
D
Required (Major)
Apr 2011
Best teacher at cal poly! I enjoyed the course and would take chen again if I ever had the chance.


Sophomore
N/A
Required (Major)
Feb 2012
He gives a ton of quizzes. They aren't easy. He also lets you choose to weight your grade towards HW or quizzes. Choose HW and do a good job on it. He grades easier on the HW than the quizzes which is weird.


Sophomore
B
Required (Major)
Mar 2012
Chen was a great professor, he definitely knows his stuff and wants you to know it too. he is big on partial credit which can save your grade. I went into the final with a 96 in the class and ended with a B+, but I know I made a stupid mistake on the final. With Chen, it is easy to prepare for and get an A in Statics. His homework and quizzes aren't too bad, if you do the homework well, then you'll do well on the quizzes. Ask questions and participate, he really likes to interact with the class. DON'T be late or use your cell phone, he has a category for professionalism. Overall, I loved Statics thanks to Chen.


Sophomore
B
Required (Support)
Apr 2012
Dr. Chen was great! He is humorous, though a bit towards the dark side, which was awesome. He gives you an option of how much you want your homework is weighed in comparison to quizzes. There is one midterm and weekly homework. The common final is hard but I feel that Dr. Chen adequately went over all the topics that could be tested on. He does have videos of him working out problems which are short and super helpful.


Senior
B
Elective
Mar 2013
The BEST PROFESSOR I've ever had in Cal Poly and that's saying something because I'm graduating next quarter. I've never met a professor like this before. I enjoyed going to lectures because I actually wanted to. Hilarious! So evil and hilarious! Went to those online office hours just to have a good laugh. If Statics is not required for you take it if Dr. Chen is teaching! You'll have a good time and learn a lot. Seriously! The BEST PROFESSOR in Cal Poly!


Sophomore
B
Required (Support)
Apr 2013
great professor great guy very funny explains material very well


Sophomore
B
Required (Support)
Apr 2013
words aren't enough to describe Dr Chen. He is one of the best teachers I have had at cal poly. I wish we had more teachers like him, clear concise and just amazing.


Sophomore
B
Required (Support)
Jun 2013
I can honestly say Chen was the best prof I have had so far here at Poly. I'd never experienced such a well-structured course and teaching style. This guy will tell you exactly step by step procedures to every style problem - how to break it down and make it simple. His quizzes are fair- very similar to homeworks and his midterm was ... I would go as far to say easy (if you did the homework intently). The man.


Sophomore
A
Required (Major)
Jul 2013
Marry me.


Sophomore
C
Required (Support)
Dec 2014
Honestly the best professor I've had at CalPoly. The fact that I actually enjoy going to class just to hear him talk is a feat no one has accomplished. He is such an intelligent being that I am ashamed every time I get less than perfect on a quiz. For the structure of his class, you get to choose how you want the homework and quiz to be weighed. There was only 1 midterm (30%) and 1 final (25%) which you have to pass in order to pass the class. He definitely went through everything he was supposed to, but the final was a curveball. It wasn't his fault, though, since the final was a whole department decision and he only wrote 1 of the 5 problems. He assigns very few homework problem and he writes the homework problem himself so do the homework and put a lot of time into it. His homework are a lot harder than his quizzes in a sense that it prepares you for what is coming. Very fair and thorough professor. 10/10 would take again. I only got a poor grade because the final was a complete slaughterhouse.


Sophomore
A
Required (Support)
Dec 2014
Best teacher I have ever had. Explains everything clearly, gives the right amount of homework and the quizzes and tests are fair. He is also a very funny guy and I feel like I have a great grasp of Statics and truly know how to do most problems.


Sophomore
A
Required (Support)
Dec 2014
Chen is my least favorite professor at Poly. He's a good teacher but a terrible person. He should be teaching in a high school because he does not have the maturity level to teach college students. He'll hate you for the rest of the quarter if you walk in 1 minute late, oh but wait he does that all the time. He then also starts passing back homework and quizzes with 1 minute left in class, so I was late to my physics class just about every time. He reserves 3% of your grade for "professionalism" i.e. does he like you or not, which is some bullshit that belongs in a high school. Don't think I'm just ripping this teacher for getting a bad grade, because I got an A, I'm ripping him because he is an asshole. The main reason he disliked me was that I only attended class on quiz days and still got an A, which I am allowed to do because this is a COLLEGE course. If I don't feel like going to class, I'm not going to fucking go and I've never had a problem about this with any other professor. He thinks he's a god amongst professors and will take it as a direct fuck you to him if you ever show up late or miss a class. I will never take another class with Chen and I hope to never see his smug face on campus.


Sophomore
A
Required (Support)
Jan 2015
This guy knows what he is talking about and he has a gift for explaining it to students. He's got some serious sarcasm to throw at you if you don't take his class seriously and all the negative reviews on polyratings are from those people. Take his class seriously, do the HW and actually go to class and you'll easily get an A or B. Also, he is hilarious.


Junior
F
Required (Support)
Jun 2016
Statics is pretty hard, everyone knows that. Dynamics is said to be worse, but I still think Statics sucks dick. Chen was great overall, so I really can't say anything bad about him specifically. He is really smart and definitely understands how ME stuff works. I failed his class because (I believe) that he graded the 1 midterm we had very harshly. I got a C on the final, which would deserve a D, right? Nope. My cumulative was at a 59% and he wouldn't budge. Now, as a 4th year, I will have to retake this important but pain-in-the-ass class. I would say take him if you are an ME (I'm an IE), otherwise, good luck.


Junior
B
Required (Support)
Nov 2016
Very clear lecture. Theres a clear structure to class which helps for understanding the material. Great prof 10/10 would recommend


Sophomore
A
Required (Support)
Dec 2016
Chen is one of the best teachers I have ever had in my life. He is amazingly hilarious, knows his stuff, is an extremely fair grader, and overall just a cool guy. There were 12 homework assignments that averaged about 3 problems a week with a quiz every time one was collected. These quizzes were pretty easy, most people averaged an A and the lowest one was dropped. One midterm around week 6 worth 35% of your grade was also pretty easy because he teaches the material so well. Other teachers assign 10+ homework problems a week and my friends would be spending 5+ hours just to finish them. The way Chen teaches, this is not necessary because he presents the fundamentals so well. I did feel a little unprepared going into the common final because I was trying problems assigned by other teachers in the book (also don't buy the book literally used it once), which were way harder than anything that was on the final. He made statics easy. Yes easy. I barely studied outside of the class and pulled off an A-. Take Chen.


Sophomore
A
Required (Support)
May 2017
Literally best prof I've had at poly. Always prepared, very knowledgeable, ensures everyone is engaged during class, and very committed to helping students! I felt very prepared for the common final.

ME 212


Sophomore
A
Required (Support)
Dec 2016
Chen was by far my favorite teacher I have had at poly so far. He has you print the notes for the lectures which is super helpful because you dont have to draw all the FBD's ridiculously fast. The homeworks were fair, and much shorter than the other professors I had heard of. Plus, he sets up a study session for each homework which are the most helpful things ever. GO TO THEM. It is worth your time. Quizzes are every time a homework is due and they are good points. They are worth almost as much as the midterm so don't write them off. The midterm was fair and he doesn't test you on anything you didn't learn. The final was difficult, however he does prepare you for it in my opinion. Nothing on it was new, just harder. Overall I would highly recommend Chen!

ME 302


Junior
C
Required (Support)
Mar 2010
Awesome teacher! Excellent at relaying the information. Regardless of my grade; by far one of the best teachers I have ever had. You are crazy if you have the opportunity to take him and don\'t! Quizzes every week based straight from the h/w. One midterm and One final.


Sophomore
A
Required (Support)
Apr 2010
Chen was awesome for Thermo. I heard a lot of bad stuff about Locasio so I switched into Chen\'s section at 7am. Despite the early class, it was pretty fun. Chen\'s very serious about some things and doesn\'t like solution manuals, but in class he\'s funny and he teaches well. He\'s easy to understand and wanted our class to succeed. Got to the final and felt prepared for everything except Locasio\'s problem which was LAME. Honestly I don\'t know if Chen could have helped us prepare more for that but I failed pretty badly on that problem which was worth 1/3 of the points.


Sophomore
A
Required (Major)
Jun 2015
I have had the pleasure of having this brilliant man for Thermodynamics and Statics. I don't know what more can be said, most of the reviews below nailed it. But I'll give it a shot. Without hesitation, I can say John Chen is hands down the best professor I have ever encountered during my college experience. It's one thing to make material understandable and manageable, but this man takes it to the next level. He inspires you to learn it which, if you take his class seriously, makes high test and quiz scores achievable and learning what would usually be pretty dry material enjoyable and applicable. The man is also hilarious, one of the sharpest guys I've ever met. This man is #1 in every way, shape, or form.


Sophomore
B
Required (Major)
Nov 2015
John Chen is a boss. He creates awesome lectures very clearly. His tests aren't easy and if you are easily offended you might not enjoy his humor. But he's by far one of my favorite professors at Cal Poly.

ME 303


Senior
A
Required (Major)
Dec 2008
Chen, is a great proffessor. He conveys the material extremely well, and tests you on things that are actually covered in the class. He does quizzes everytime that HW is due but they are very simple and straight forward if you do the HW. He only give out a couple of problems for HW so it is not bad at all


Senior
B
Required (Major)
Jan 2010
Chen was great. I would take him again if given the chance. He does assign an above average amount of homework, but if you take the time to do it, you will crush every quiz and midterm. He is one of the most competent powerpoint users. For the most part, I hate it when professors use powerpoint but Chen did it in a very easy to follow and very informative way.


Senior
A
Required (Major)
Jan 2010
Dr. Chen is an AMAZING teacher! I think this is only his second year, but I certainly hope he stays at Poly. He is probably one of the most entertaining teachers I\'ve had. This guy is hilarious! It was almost effortless to go to class and pay attention. To top it off, he knows his stuff, and more importantly, knows how to explain it. Honestly, he did such a good job, reading the book was unnecessary. Also, he was always fair. We never had a quiz or test problem that was completely out of nowhere. If he didn\'t teach the topic, he didn\'t test us on it. I will say, our midterm was a little on the tricky side. It was all concepts he covered, but you had to take them a little further than he had expected of us on quizzes. What really stood out to me, though, was all the extra things he did. He posted power point notes online for us to print out and fill in during class. And during class, he projected the screen of his tablet PC and filled in the notes for us to follow along. And he had all the notes right there on his computer, so he never once made a mistake. He also passed out clickers and had everyone vote on a problem on the board - a completely anonymous way to get a sense of how well the class was understanding things. And the night before a midterm, he had extra office hours, online. So at 9pm the night before, when you have had time to study and actually have questions, you can click on this link which basically leads to a giant chatroom where he answers all your questions. Basically, take Dr. Chen if you can!


5th Year Senior
B
Required (Major)
Nov 2010
Chen is definitely a legit guy. Tests are pretty tough and he doesn\'t really curve things. Keep up with the homework, be engaged in class, ask good questions. For the record, he is one of the few ME professors I have had that have made a point to remember the names of his students. Hell yes.


Senior
N/A
Required (Major)
Dec 2011
Chen is probably the most entertaining professors I've had at Cal Poly. Never afraid to speak his mind. He is also one of the best professors I've had at Cal Poly. He has notes pre-made for all of the chapters that you fill in and follow along with while he presents on his tablet. He makes the material very straight forward and easy to understand and does A LOT of examples which is very helpful. Only downside is he one of the HARDEST graders I've had (hw and tests). But, study the material and you will do well. Highly recommend him and would take hime again.


Senior
A
Required (Major)
Dec 2012
~1 quiz a week, based on the homework - all of which are relatively easy if you did the homework. You should do the homework -_-. Midterms are straight forward. Chen only throws curve balls on quizzes. If you do the homework, you'll be prepared for the quizzes. If you can't do the homework, go to office hours and figure out how to do it. Homework grade is worth 15% but quizzes are worth 30%. Exams (midterm + final) are 25% each. Chen is a great lecturer and getting an A in the class is easy. The man radiates with brilliance so brightly that my presence in the classroom is an insult to his genius.


Junior
C
Required (Major)
Mar 2015
Honestly, Chen is is somewhat cool guy but his teaching is mediocre. I cant understand how he gets such good reviews. He jokes all the time but his grading is a joke. He takes major point of for small errors and he seems to busy with his life to ever explain topics clearly or to even write a quiz or midterm solution without mistakes which the students always have to point out. Given the option again I would take it with another professor which cares about his job and the students he is teaching. Not this nonchalant joker.


Junior
A
Required (Major)
May 2015
Dr. Chen is an incredible teacher! He teaches extremely well and jokes around a lot too, the class really ends up growing on you. Thermo II was easier than thermo I which helps too. He has quizzes and midterms which make up the whole grade, and then a .3% bonus at the end of the quarter if you do all of the homework he assign. I feel very knowledgeable in thermo now and own it him!


Junior
A
Required (Major)
Dec 2015
Professor Chen is by far the best professor I've taken at Cal Poly. I've taken him for statics, Thermo I and Thermo II. He's friendly, practical, knowledgeable, and reasonable. His homework assignments and quizzes are more than fair. If you do well on those and study decently, you should be fine on his exams. And he's funny. If he's making fun of you in class, it just means he likes you. Don't be afraid to throw a few jokes back at him. Seriously, if you have the chance to take professor Chen, take him. You will not regret it.

ME 343


Senior
N/A
Required (Major)
Jun 2010
Im currently writing this a few days before my final exam. Hopefully I dont sound too bitter. Chen organizes his class by teaching from a collection of slides based on each chapter. He provides you with a PDF copy to bring to class and uses a tablet pc to write in formulae, diagrams, and examples on an electronic version of the same note sheet for you to copy down (kinda cool). No quizzes for us, but apparrently he usually gives weekly quizzes in other classes. HW is due usually every week, but sometimes he\'ll throw in another assignment due sometime the same week it was assigned. Two midterms, one final, HW, and \"Professionalism\". The midterms were a total 56% of your grade, HW 5%, \"professionalism\" another 5%, and the final made up the difference (basically not a lot of cushion). According to Chen, this was the first quarter at CP (Spring 2010) that he has taught Heat Transfer. Chen\'s HW is usually 7 probs long. However, Chen has a big issue with \"plug and chug problems\" (he says they insult your intelligence) and instead assigned mostly derivations, proofs, and iterations that take forever to complete. As this is coupled with his \"it\'s only 5% so you dont have to do it\" attitude, it made it almost impossible for me to finish every assignment. The lame thing is, those insulting plug and chug problems are a great way to illustrate new material and help students understand concepts behind a type of problem before jumping into more difficult stuff. The tests were 3-4 questions long, but easy to finish on time. They are almost entirely conceptual (never had a numerical answer). But, Chen is a hack and slash grader, so be prepared to lose close to a letter grade for a small mistake. I left the first test feeling very good about how it went. I got a 49%. Chen will dock you on what you did do, and then again for some random thing you didn\'t do. So you\'ll do fine if you dont screw up anything. Novel idea. Chen refuses to calculate the class average on tests. His advice to those who did not do well was to \"study differently\". No shit?? Taking Chen was a mistake. Im sure there\'s plenty that will disagree with me. Don\'t care. I wasn\'t the only one failing tests. I would have done much better with Mullisen (also teaching this quarter). Maybe Chen\'s good for Thermo or Thermo II, but not for HT. Ive never even come close to failing a class before, but this might be a first.


Junior
D
Required (Major)
Jun 2010
Well, I went into the class expecting butterflies and rainbows based on the other glowing evaluations (for Thermo, though), so I was a little shocked to find that the Chen teaching Heat Transfer might be a little different from the Chen teaching Thermo. As was said in the last evaluation, this was Chen\'s first time teaching Heat Transfer here. I wasn\'t expecting the class to be easy by any means, but I tend to not do too badly in Thermo/Fluids classes. However, these tests slaughtered me. I\'ve never been good with tests, but the grading on them was pretty brutal. On these tests, Chen tends to add problems that won\'t turn into mundane plug-and-chug type of work. It made it seem like you just need to be able to get the concept and the procedure correct for the problems, but there was some very nit-picky grading at work. In any case, though, Chen\'s lectures were great, and he explained the material very well, but I think the homework could be handled better (the last evaluation describes it well), and the tests could be handled better.

ENGR 402


Junior
C
Required (Major)
Nov 2016
Fine teacher, but a little dry in the presentation. I wouldnt suggest having her at 8:00 in the morning, might be difficult staying awake.