Erker, Jay  

Chemistry and Biochemistry

1.77/4.00

60 evaluations


CHEM 110


Junior
D
Required (Support)
Nov 2017
AVOID. NEEDS TO BE FIRED. AWFUL TEACHER. "Dr." Erker is an a**hole. He is a terrible teacher and if it weren't for the three student helpers in the class everyone would have an F. He realized the class did bad on a quiz so he decided to keep giving quizzes every class until we stopped failing them but he never would go over them or teach us what we were doing wrong so the quizzes continued to be F's. Then he would teach new material and never make sure we understood the old material so all of our grades started plummeting. Super rude man. Screamed at a student that walked in our class to deliver a message. Continued to yell at him to get out at the top of his lungs. He doesn't explain well and he gets mad in class when he asks a question and no one answers because no one knows the answer.


Sophomore
A
Required (Major)
Nov 2017
He never showed us how to actually do anything. First off, he used his Chem 127 lecture slides the whole entire quarter until the last day he changed the name on the slides, but not the actual slides. This made the class very confusing because you never knew exactly what you needed to know and what slides to ignore. He rambled about on and on unnecessary stuff and then would say "Oh, but you don't need to know that for the test". Next, he would post a good amount of examples, but he never one posted the answers to them or showed how to do them so we as students never knew if we were doing them correct. Finally, he is the WORST teacher with his emails, I sent him multiple emails throughout the quarter and did not get a single response which is funny because his response to everything is, "shoot me an email and I'll take care of it." 10/10 would never recommend him as a teacher. I only got an A in the class because of the Student Assistant.


Freshman
N/A
Required (Support)
Nov 2017
The most confusing, unclear class I have ever taken. Whenever we took a quiz and failed, he would never go over what we did wrong or how to do the problem. Lectures were unclear and he used Chem 127 slides for the whole quarter. Things he told us we did not have to know appeared on quizzes and the midterm. Impossible to succeed in this class unless you actually understood Chem before taking this course.


Sophomore
C
General Ed
Dec 2017
For anyone taking this class that isn't a science major or have a PhD in chemistry: you will hate your entire quarter. I transferred into this course and loved it. Then I had day two. I sat at a table of seven drop dead gorgeous girls and I still dreaded going to this class. He gave us practice problems that he never posted the answers to, so I had no idea if I was doing them correctly and when I asked him if my work looked correct, he responded with "I don't know...probably." How in the hell am I supposed to learn if he gives us practice problems that he doesn't even know the answers to. On top of that, he gave us countless quizzes to fail and when we failed them, he gave us MORE QUIZZES WITHOUT EXPLAINING THEM. I went into this class with a basic understanding of chemistry‚ÄďI took it in high school and aced it. However, I am pretty sure this class lessened the amount of chemistry I knew. I knew stoichiometry like the back of my hand in high school but when taking this class , it was beyond difficult and I failed the majority of the stoichiometry quizzes of the same difficulty as my high school course. I would like to think of myself as a pretty smart guy but there was no way in hell that I could have done well in this class strictly because of the horrific teaching abilities he had. If you choose to take this class, transfer immediately because he is absolutely horrible teacher and will ruin your quarter.

CHEM 124


Freshman
B
Required (Major)
May 2015
This guy is great. Definitely knows his stuff, and is very helpful in office hours


Freshman
N/A
General Ed
Jun 2015
Jay is super enthusiastic in class, yet he still bores me because it doesn't make him a good teacher. Chemistry is not hard, but he finds a way to teach it in such a way that makes it challenging. He is super disorganized in his lectures and talks way too much. He uses PowerPoint slides with a ton of information that is usually not helpful at all. Sure, he is a nice guy but he is an awful professor. If you want to struggle more than necessary for a class, take him.

CHEM 125


Freshman
A
Required (Support)
Mar 2017
So Erker is a great guy, hard not to like him. But his teaching style was relatively disorganized, and he tends to talk in the most confusing way possible. No actual homework is due, but the homework quizzes take questions from the recommended homework and tests you on it. Problem is Erker doesn't believe in giving answers, so you will never know the answers to homework questions, exam questions, quiz questions, post-lab questions, worksheets, etc. This makes it difficult to understand what you're doing wrong until the last second, aka when you get a midterm back and see that you were actually doing something wrong, or a lot of things wrong. So if you have him, you should probably aim to go to office hours to check that you're doing stuff right, or compare with people with chem majors, otherwise you will get wrecked. Midterms/exams are kinda crazy hard, but study his worksheets and the homework and you'll do fine, assuming he doesn't murder you with the free response. But Erker does want the best for you. I pulled a D on the first midterm, and B+ on the second, but he noticed the improvement and said that if I did well enough on the final, he would reduce the weight of the first midterm, saying one bad day shouldn't ruin the quarter. I ended up with an A- in the class, so I can only thank Erker for giving me a second chance lol. Bottom line is that he's a good guy, but not a great teacher, so the class will stress you out, but if you push through and use him as a resource, you'll do fine.


Sophomore
B
Required (Support)
May 2017
Avoid this professor if you can. He is extremely disorganized, taught in a way that made no sense to most people, and is a difficult grader. If you aren't a CHEM major and are just taking this course to pass fulfill a requirement, do not take this guy. The material really isn't that hard but he finds a way to make it really difficult

CHEM 127


Freshman
B
Required (Support)
Dec 2013
Professor Jay Erker is a new teacher at Cal Poly. I believe he tries really hard but hasn't gotten the hang of teaching yet. He gives midterms and finals without really telling the students what information will be on them. In the beginning of the year we spent about a month doing Excel graphing with our labs and it was so unnecessary and time consuming. I honestly didn't learn much of anything from this class. The only plus was the time he wore his fedora to our midterm with his hair down, so great!


Freshman
B
Required (Support)
Dec 2013
Dr. Jay is a cool guy. He is a new teacher and you can tell that he is unorganized, his lectures do not really make sense or match up with homework problems, but he is extremely helpful during office hours and you can tell that he cares about his students success.


Freshman
B
Required (Support)
Dec 2013
Great personality and truly wants his students to succeed. Though the lectures always left me confused, if you go in for office hours ,Dr.Erker is incredibly helpful and wanting to help you.


Sophomore
A
Required (Support)
Jan 2014
This teacher was absolutely awful. I chose the instructor, Drew, and halfway through summer they switched it on me. I may have earned an A in the class, but it was by no means due to any instruction from him. He curved our class 9% due to his failed teaching. He does NOT present material in any helpful way at all. His powerpoints are random, make no sense, and don't relate to the material on the test. He'll give practice examples in them, but never explain them fully or even give us the answer. Half the time he does an example on the board, he does something wrong and writes so microscopic and disordered that you don't understand what even is going on. He spends 90% of the time lecturing on something that doesnt make sense, and then 10% on labs. He doesnt teach you how to do the prelabs or post labs so you end up with awful grades on them. He assigns weekly homework and grades it harshly -- even if you copy it verbatim from the solutions manual he finds something to mark it wrong for. Overall, this teacher is plain AWFUL and I would avoid him at all costs. He didn't prepare us at all for the final all the chem classes take, so we were SOL because he didnt know what he was doing. He fudges due dates and even moved the midterm SOONER than when was on the syllabus. He has no idea what he is doing, and he's rude. He doesn't understand how to teach, and he is so horrible that it sets you behind for the rest of the chem series.


Freshman
B
Required (Major)
Feb 2014
Erker is a new teacher, and it clearly shows. He has a very hard time communicating material in an understandable way to freshmen Gen Chem students. Although you can tell he is extremely bright, his lectures are confusing and unorganized. The tests were extremely difficult compared to other teacher's tests for the same class. I would not recommend taking Erker. He made the material much more difficult to understand than it actually was.


Freshman
Credit
Required (Support)
Feb 2014
Dr. Erker is a sweet guy, but he is seriously lacking in his teaching skills. He does powerpoints and talks for his lectures, the powerpoints are very unorganized and he clicks through them kind of quickly. Its hard listening to what he has to say while you are worrying about writing all of the info from the powerpoint down before he switches to the next one; he also talks way to long, it gets really boring, really quickly! He messes up frequently and questions himself when he is doing examples for the class and when he comes around during class to answer questions, he isn't very helpful. If you take his class, he is most helpful during office hours! He is great one on one in his office, not so great when it comes to teaching a 40 person lecture/lab.


Freshman
C
Required (Support)
Feb 2014
Dr. Erker is new, and it definitely shows. But although he has a hard time communicating the material to the students, he really pushes to attend his office hours and to always email and ask for help in class. I think that he knows he isnt the best at communicating, so it is really important to make sure ( for your own sake) that you understand something because he will gladly help. I DO NOT RECOMMEND for chem 127 but for chem 128 and 129 he is a fine teacher who is willing to help, if you want it.


Freshman
B
Required (Support)
Mar 2014
Erker is a really funny guy but I would not recommend taking him. I basically taught myself this entire class by reading the book because he is so unorganized in his teaching that I couldn't follow along. I think if you are capable of following along that it wouldn't be too bad because he can teach but I'm the type of person that needs it all straightforward. However, even if you can pay attention, you better know everything by heart because his tests are impossible. The multiple choice was never too hard except on the final it was ridiculous, but the free response was so hard! Thank god for partial credit. Also, the entire free response section on the final was something that he taught us on the last day of class and nobody knew how to do. He likes to put a lot of the labs on the tests so make sure you pay attention to those and he also likes to put stuff that he didn't teach on the tests so you are kinda screwed in general. The average of the tests were always really low. Be prepared for a lot of studying but I think that no matter what teacher this class will be hard either way.


Freshman
N/A
Required (Major)
Feb 2015
Professor Erker is a super nice guy and a pretty good teacher. I was worried because his rating on polyratings was really low, but after the first few classes it was clear that he's made some serious improvements since those ratings were created. His lectures are very clear and he goes through everything systematically and makes sure the majority of the class understands the topic before moving on to the next topic. Lots of practice problems given in class so you know if you understand the material or not and can ask questions if you don't. He is VERY helpful during office hours and is willing to spend as much time helping you as you need. He loves chemistry and cares a lot about his students. Most friendly teacher I've met here. He honestly wants to do a good job teaching. His office hours are incredibly useful and also fun because he's such a nice person to hang out with. CHEM 127 is a difficult class for me, but that may be because chem is not an easy subject for me and I've always struggled. Lots of resources to help you get through this class... use them.


Freshman
C
Required (Support)
Mar 2015
This teacher is very enthusiastic about what he does, but he also goes off topic a lot. This was confusing when it came to knowing what to study for the final. Make sure you do all the suggested homework and worksheets so you know what you will be tested/quizzed on. There is much outside class studying necessary. The labs are very harshly graded so make sure your titles and answers are perfect, if not s justification. On the bright side there are helpful study workshops where you can potentially take practice tests. Because the average for his assignments are so low, there is usually a pretty nice curve. Will be testing another teacher next quarter.


Freshman
B
Required (Major)
Mar 2015
I absolutely adore Dr. Jay! Iím not quite sure why he has such a low rating on here, because he is one of the best professors Iíve ever had. Heís super passionate about chemistry, which shows in every lecture and makes him totally endearing. He definitely knows his stuff, and if you go to office hours, heíll spend as much time as you need going over the material until you understand it. There were two midterms, a final, and various homework quizzes and labs. Labs are graded by the LAs, and they take a while to get a feel for how theyíre graded. The free response portion of the exams can be brutal, so definitely go to office hours and do the worksheets Jay provides on Poly Learn. That being said, this is definitely a class that needs extra time and effort outside of class put in to get a decent grade. But hey, itís college and that should be expected. The professor canít make you learn the material. I'm stoked to take Dr. Jay for 128.


Freshman
N/A
Required (Major)
Mar 2015
Jay is a good guy. He tests hard, but curves generously. Super helpful in office hours, and presents info in class pretty well. Would recommend


Sophomore
F
General Ed
Mar 2015
I have never failed a class in my life, 3.7 cal poly GPA prior to this class, I worked hard, gave this class everything I had and failed. The amount of time I put into this class caused other grades to suffer as well. Jay Ercker is a very, very bad teacher with a good personality, so he likely earns good polyratings from students who have extensive backgrounds in Chemistry prior to his class. Unless you had a great high school chem teacher or have taken AP, I strongly recommend NOT TAKING THIS CLASS AT ALL COSTS, and I am being generous right now, I felt much more strongly about this class while I was taking it. As far as what the actual class is like, he jumps around the book, so you don't know what to study besides the homework, he gives very difficult quizzes once per week, and you will either cover as much as 100 pages of text in a week or you will have multiple labs in addition to thirty to forty pages of text. The labs are by far the most forgiving portion of the class, they are very time consuming, but not too difficult. The midterms are very difficult and the final is a nightmare. Most students who are not confident in their chemistry skills prior to the class will likely earn a C- or lower, and an A is all but impossible. Taking this class a second time, with a different teacher I got an A-. A quick note for KINE majors (I am one myself). I have talked to upperclassmen in the major all of whom are 3.5+ cumulative GPA, this class was one of the lowest grades they got. The two I spoke to specifically both had tutors and were in a workshop and they got D's. Make sure you have a cushy schedule around this class. In conclusion, save yourself the time and do your GPA a favor and just get a different teacher.


Freshman
D
Required (Support)
Apr 2015
Professor Erker is a nice person and is knowledgeable about chemistry. However he is an inadequate instructor who bases his teaching pace off of how many fingers students hold up. He blazes right through all of the material and never truly takes time to clarify on details because he is OBSESSED with getting ALL the labs done. If you struggle with tough concepts and need an effective instructor DO NOT take Erker because he is an inefficient professor who is not interested in teaching chemistry, only the idea of it.


Freshman
B
Required (Major)
Apr 2015
I personally think that Dr. Jay is a great professor, but I know lots of people struggled with this class. I was initially super stressed about having to take this class because I didn't do so hot in AP chem back in high school, but Dr. Jay explains things with so much enthusiasm that it makes it hard to not pay attention and enjoy class. He's incredibly helpful in office hours, which I totally encourage going to because he will answer any and all questions you have (and he's not intimidating at all, so it's super easy to talk to him). I feel like I learned so much more about how chemistry actually works rather than how to just plug some numbers into an equation and call it good.


Freshman
C
Required (Major)
Dec 2016
Dr. Jay is a super chill and nice guy. He tries really hard to make a hard, complicated subject fun and enjoyable. He does rant some and the class material is pretty tricky; however, he is very approachable and willing to help if he can. He's not great in office hours unless it's one on one, so I would recommend that. Also I would recommend taking the supplemental workshop and study sessions because this class isn't easy.


Freshman
N/A
General Ed
Dec 2016
If this isn't a prerequisite for future classes, DO NOT TAKE. I took this class as a Business major to cross off a GE and it was unnecessarily difficult. There are workshops available, which was very helpful. You basically have to teach yourself the material and then Erker reviews it in class. He is very helpful in office hours. The class average on both midterms was a C and D. Haven't heard great things about the other 127 professors either, so if you absolutely have to take this class Erker is fine.


Freshman
C
Required (Major)
Jan 2017
Dr. Erker is a really cool guy but not the greatest professor. He has a PhD in Quantum Mechanics which definitely shows. His lectures are pretty confusing due to the fact that he tells you a lot of random stuff about quantum mechanics that you do not need to know for this course (I kid you not, some of his lecture slides had "you do not need to know this" written in all caps as their title) and the fact that he will randomly skip a ton of slides during his lecture, not tell you what was on them, but expect you to know their information because they are posted online. I went to his office hours at least once a week and still got a C. I have no idea how anyone passed his class without going to office hours. In addition, he grades on a bell curve so if you are even slightly below the class average you will get curved down from a B to a C.


Freshman
D
Required (Major)
Jan 2017
Prof. Erker definitely knows his information well and is enthusiastic about the subjects he teaches. However, I feel like he goes a little too fast and simply assumes you have a good knowledge of chemistry before taking his course. Definitely go to office hours if you can. I made the mistake of not going bc I was too scared he'd look at me like wtf you don't know shit. I was lost in that class. Do well on the labs and triple check you have all the requirements, check online for answers to verify. Do the homework so you're prepared for his quizzes. They're pretty much the same. I've heard his office hours are crowded so definitely talk to him as much as u can. Also, register for a workshop for this class. IT HELPS A LOT, trust me. Overall, if you know ur chemistry well, you'll like this class cuz he'll challenge you to really think and connect all the chemistry you know. GOOD LUCK!


Freshman
B
Required (Support)
Mar 2017
Dr. Jay is a hard professor, but it is possible to do at least decent in his class. Here's what you need to do. Read the book, because he is very thorough with teaching the mathematical part of chemistry but not as thorough with concepts. Luckily, the majority of the points on his tests are from calculations, not conceptual questions. Second, GO TO OFFICE HOURS. He is helpful in that environment and happy to answer every question you have thoroughly. He may not be a perfect professor, but he is honestly much better than a lot of the alternatives in the CHEM department. Took him for 127 and 128 and planning on taking him for 129 in the spring.

CHEM 128


Freshman
C
Required (Support)
Mar 2014
Dr. Jay is one of the most enthusiastic professors I have ever had. His genuine love for the subject encouraged me to do better in class when I felt as though I would never understand the material. Although sometimes his class would be disorganized or very scattered, he was always very helpful in office hours. Because he was so approachable, it made me more comfortable to ask more in-depth questions pertaining to the subject. Dr. Jay is also one of the nicest professors, and he really cares about his students' overall success. He always took the time to ask me how I was doing in my other classes and paid attention to anything I shared with him. I had him for both Chem 127 and 128!


Freshman
A
Required (Major)
Mar 2014
Erker is a great guy and incredibly enthusiastic when he teaches. His lectures were unclear and left a majority of the class confused at times, but as long as you read the textbook and take some additional notes you'll be fine. He is really helpful in office hours and cares about his students. His grading scale was based on 2 midterms, labs, classwork, and a final (no quizzes, unlike other professors). I felt like his finals focused on more specific details rather than broad concepts, so make sure you know your chemistry. Overall, Erker is a nice guy who genuinely wants you to succeed and is really helpful in office hours. His lectures are unclear, but are understandable as long as you read the textbook and take supplemental notes.


Freshman
A
Required (Major)
Mar 2014
Professor Erker is the worst professor I've had thus far at Cal Poly. I took AP Chem in high school and am very good at it. I got a good grade because of teaching myself and having previous knowledge in the material and the curve. His lectures are not worth listening to and his tests are completely unfair. He expects students to know concepts and do problems far beyond what he "taught" and even beyond what the book teaches. His office hours are not helpful because he is either late or doesn't answer questions because he doesn't actually know the answers. He actually says that he is going to try to trick you and that he enjoys tricking and confusing his students. On another note, he's a pretty nice guy.


Sophomore
C
Required (Support)
Apr 2014
Terrible professor. What's sad is that he thinks he is such a cool guy and doing his students a favor by displaying himself as a hippy. But in reality he is a weird person who can't teach if his fuckin life depended on it. Hopefully he will GTFO of Cal Poly soon.


Freshman
N/A
Required (Major)
Jun 2015
Erker erks me. He is such a nice person and he does try to be enthusiastic and kind but I had SUCH a hard time with his style of teaching. I am not kidding when I say I went into office hours every single time he had them. He means well but no matter how hard I tried, I ended up having to either teach myself, get help from others, or just suffer. Take him if you like an extreme challenge, otherwise, avoid if you are not a chem fanatic like myself. Good luck.


Freshman
C
Required (Major)
Jun 2015
JERKER!!!!!!!!


Freshman
A
Required (Major)
Jun 2015
Jayís patience is never-ending, and that in itself is extremely commendable. Itís not often that you have a professor who is more than willing to answer all of your questions with enthusiasm (and trust me, I had a lot). I personally think that heís one of the best professors Iíve had at Cal Poly. That being said, chemistry isnít an easy subject, so donít go into his class expecting all of the material to be spoon fed straight to you. You have to put in the time and effort. If you do, itíll reflect in your grade, as Jayís grading system is very fair. I totally recommend taking his class!


Freshman
A
Required (Major)
Oct 2015
erker is bae.


Sophomore
C
Required (Support)
Mar 2016
Dr. Erker is a super nice guy and is very helpful in office hours (when they aren't so crowded that you can get a question in). HOWEVER, his lecture style was very hard to get used to, he kind of talks in whichever way his brain goes instead of in a way that makes sense to students. I barely scruffed by with a C, and I studied for the final for about 5 days straight...


Freshman
N/A
Required (Support)
Feb 2017
I would highly recommend not taking this professor for Chem 128, or any of the general chem series. I took him for 128 and had huge difficulty in his class. I am a hard worker and don't slack off and normally can at least pass a class on my hard work and time commitment, but what Erker asks of you is ridiculous. This past weekend he gave us a homework assignment that took 12 hours to complete for me and even up to 17 for other students. There were about 25 students, over a third of the class, in his office today for office hours and yet he still doesn't seem to be bothered by the fact that we were all having panic attacks on the quiz for the homework we worked on. Additionally, he didn't even know half the questions on the assignment and said he was unsure about several of the answers. What kind of professor doesn't know the homework he gives his students? I have gone into office hours to ask for help and generally feel chastised for not understanding the material. He makes it seem like students haven't done enough work thinking about the problems or concepts when we have spent ample time on it. I read the textbook and take notes and STILL can't follow his lectures. They are disorganized, all over the place, hard to follow, and practically impossible to take notes for. During lectures he also asks people to put a number up, 1-5, based on how comfortable they are with the topics he taught that day, and if he sees even a couple 4s or 5s no matter how many 1s or 2s (being uncomfortable with the topic) there are he moves on to the next topic. He even knows that his class is hard and harder than other chem classes and yet still refuses to curve more than from like a C to C+ even if nobody is close to an A in the class. He creates quizzes off of homework which is nice if you have done it and gotten the right answers but he refuses to make an answer key or let you check your answers because apparently "it's part of the process of learning". His midterms are not like the quizzes and seem abstract. I would really recommend not taking this class. I know one or two people that are fine in the class and like him but personally I did not agree with how he dealt with the class, students, office hours, or tests. Even if I end up passing this class, no way will I ever take him again because the amount of mental stress his course has given me is not worth it.


Freshman
B
Required (Major)
Mar 2017
ERKER FUCKING SUCKS, no matter how hard I tried, he was such a fucking asshole. Unless you want to kill yourself, don't take his class!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Sophomore
A
Required (Support)
Mar 2017
Dr. Erker is a fine person, but a pretty bad professor. In class his lectures are unorganized, chaotic, and he fails to see when the class is not understanding the material. Even when 75 percent of the class is giving a 1 or 2 on his 1-5 understanding scale he will still continue forward with the lecture rather than clarifying the material. In order to succeed in his class one needs to attend office hours at least once a week. I understand that in many classes going to office hours is important, but with Dr. Esker's class I think that too much of a student's ability to succeed in the class in dependent on their ability to attend office hours. If you have class conflicts with his office hours you're pretty screwed. I also heard Dr. Erker say to a student that he was going to make the final harder because the class average for Lab was too high so the class curve was too high. I don't understand this. Why not be happy that students are succeeding and understanding the labs and make the final an appropriate difficulty? Why does the curve need to be low? Even if he was going to do this I think it is unprofessional to say that to students. Erker is a fine person but I think that he makes the content harder to understand that it needs to be. If you've ended up in his class and can't change your schedule my recommendations are to 1) Attend office hours as much as possible. It's the only time you can make sure you did the homework right and essentially where most of the learning for this class is done. 2) Always do the homework. Getting good quiz grades could save you. 3) Before midterms know the conceptual stuff (read textbook chapters/look over his slides again), their easy points on the midterms.


Sophomore
C
Required (Support)
Jun 2017
Ruined my GPA


Sophomore
A
Required (Major)
Oct 2017
Erker is by far my favorite teacher at Cal Poly. Super smart guy. I would have his babies because I want kids as smart as him.


Sophomore
N/A
Required (Support)
Nov 2017
Dr. Erker is a nice guy and is very smart!! Unfortunately he does not present the class in a way that makes it possible to learn. His slides are never helpful and taking notes in class is difficult because he is so scrambled. Also he never gives answer keys to his homework which makes it impossible to know if you are dong it right. His tests are unreasonably hard and he had to curve the class almost 15% just to have enough students pass. Over all I had a really hard time in this class and he should be avoided at all costs.


Sophomore
A
Required (Major)
Dec 2017
If you're not a dumbass who needs to be carried by your professor, this man is the best.


Freshman
N/A
Required (Major)
Feb 2018
Dr. Erker is an awful teacher and an awful chemist. His lectures consist of ramblings, confusing/pointless real-world applications, and powerpoints chock-full of countless equations, figures, and graphs he makes no effort to explain. He skips around on slides, showing some for a second at a time. Erker also consistently makes typos on ALL his material (homework, quizzes, midterms) that he will definitely not notice until someone points it out. Erker posts "homework" on PolyLearn that isn't actually due but is supposed to help you study; however, he never reviews it or posts the correct answers on PL. Finally, he will probably never answer an email from you, or even read it. Several times a day, Erker will ask the class to hold up 1-5 fingers based on how well they understand whatever concept/process is being discussed. Most of the class doesn't participate in this, and Erker only needs to see a few people holding up 5 to be convinced that the entire class gets it. Even when people show 1 or 2 fingers, he ignores them and moves on without further explanation. I think this system is extremely flawed and is a terrible metric of how well he is teaching. Labs are usually rushed because Erker wasted so much time earlier in class. I say he's a bad chemist because he is totally fine with your group getting a single data point instead of doing multiple trials. This makes labs easier, but you don't really learn from them if you just copy trial data from another group who did a different experiment. The average score on Midterm 1 was 54%, with a standard deviation of around 16. This is the sort of class average I expect to see on ochem tests, not 100-level chem tests. I study the material, do the labs, and participate in class, and even then, I was completely lost and guessed or didn't get answers for half of it. My score was near the average. Most students I spoke to felt the test was unfairly difficult. Many of the questions on the midterm were extremely confusing and poorly worded, and I had a hard time figuring out what they were asking. Erker laughed about how low the scores were as if it were all a big joke before announcing that he decided they were too low to curve. Switch the fuck out if you get him, seriously. I wish I did.

CHEM 129


Freshman
B
Required (Major)
Jun 2014
Dr. Jay is the nicest and most enthusiastic professor I have ever had and his lab was actually fun! He is kind of disorganized in lecture and his exams are extremely lengthy and difficult. I worked so hard in this class and still could not get an A.


Sophomore
B
Required (Major)
Dec 2014
This dude is really cool. He's also very smart. Too bad he can't teach or write a test. Ah well, some people should just stick to research. Avoid if possible.


Freshman
A
Required (Support)
Oct 2015
Erker is the best professor I have had at poly! He is so helpful in office hours and you learn about chem and so much more. If you're willing to make the effort to try and learn, he will be a huge help and you'll have a great experience in his class. I highly recommend him!


Sophomore
B
Required (Support)
Dec 2015
Jay is a really nice guy but not the best professor. You can tell he has a real passion for what he is teaching but that doesn't make up for his lack of teaching skills. His lectures are powerpoint presentations with blocks of text and he moves very quickly. He bases the speed of his lectures on the number of fingers students hold up. This system sucks because half the class never does it and the ones who do always hold up 5's (meaning they understand and should move on to new material). His quizes are the exact same questions that he assigns for homework, so this is clutch. Midterms are super hard. The average for both of mine was 63% and 64%. Overall he is slightly below average. But he has a good sense of humor and its pleasant to be around.


Sophomore
A
Required (Major)
Mar 2016
Erker is the true homie (not just because he's nice, either. He can actually teach this stuff really well).


Freshman
C
Required (Support)
May 2016
Erker is one of the best professors I've ever had, high school included. This is my third consecutive quarter with him for both lecture and lab, and I have no regrets. He's very passionate about what he teaches, but the material is not easy. Chemistry is hard as fuck, yo. That being said, he's equally passionate about making sure his students succeed. I was genuinely terrified I was going to fail CHEM128 last quarter, as I failed the first two midterms, but he graciously met with me MULTIPLE times before and during finals week leading up to our final exam to go through my old midterms and quizzes, and I ended up passing the final with flying colors. He cares so much and he's such a nice guy. He can get a little off track during lectures, and sometimes he gets things wrong, but he admits to his mistakes and corrects himself and explains why. Biggest suggestion? GO TO HIS OFFICE HOURS. He explains everything that doesn't make sense during lecture IN DETAIL. He goes through the homeworks (which is exclusively what the quizzes are comprised of) problem by problem.


Sophomore
B
Required (Support)
Dec 2016
I know this is long but its worth it. alright, here's what's up. Erker is super smart, but cannot explain ANYTHING worth shit. His slides are so spastic and he just flips through them, then finds a random problem and won't even finish it or do it so fast that no one had any idea what just happened. I can't even explain how bad his teaching was. Coming to class is a waste of time, i never learned a single thing from him. Chem is a hard subject for me, but I'm a hard working student. Ive never failed a test, or gotten anything below a B in a class. With that being said, my friends, the internet, and kahn academy taught me the entire quarter. For the first midterm, i studied my ass off because i had heard he was really hard. Within 15 minutes of that test i had decided that i already failed. The free response was a joke, and the long multiple choice was extremely hard. All of my friends and i came out of that test are were like WHAT THE FUCK JUST HAPPENED. He makes his free response something you've never seen before on purpose, and expects you to somehow figure it out. You can literally just tell by the questions he writes that he's an ass and is trying to make the test impossible. He expects way too much out of his students. My feeling after the test was right, because Erker told us that MOST people got below a 40%. He then proceeded to say "but, i have a group of about 10 students who got A's, so that tells me that all of you failing is not my fault. If you're not gonna work hard, then i have no problem failing all of you." WHAT??? ARE YOU SERIOUS??? I was so pissed. Just because you have 10 students who are really smart and probably took AP chem doesn't mean you taught them shit. I was mortified and discouraged with my grade. I went into his office hours to explain myself and he said if i did well on the next 2 exams he would make my first midterm worth only 10% of my grade. So I worked my ass off and got a B+ on the second one. I didn't get my hopes up too much though because i knew the final was going to wreck me. The final was hard as shit. One of the free response questions was literally just straight up impossible and nothing like anything we'd ever done before. I ended up pulling a C though somehow. He gives a lot of partial credit because no one has any clue what the fuck is going on. Anyways, he ended up rounding everyones grades at the end of the quarter almost a full letter grade because he knows he sucks and too many people were failing. This was the most stressful class of my entire life and I'm not joking, unless you're insanely good at chem and teaching yourself, DONT TAKE HIM. My friends who had other professors would look at my tests and would be like wtf is this??? It would be better for you to just take it another quarter and wait. this class is a disaster and caused me so so so so much anxiety and was so much harder than it needed to be.


Sophomore
D
Required (Support)
Mar 2017
NAH FUCK HIM


Sophomore
B
Required (Support)
Jun 2017
His ability to convey the material in a way students can actually understand what the heck he is saying is absolute shit. GOOD LUCK! I would recommend a different professor, just run away!!! run!!!!


Freshman
A
Required (Major)
Jun 2017
Erker may not be the best at explaining concepts in a way that students taking the general chem series may understand, but boy do I love this man. His lectures were stressful, he jumps around through his slides quite a bit, and never really seems like he knows what he wants to teach each day, but he is still a great professor that genuinely wants his students to learn and succeed. That being said, Jay's office hours are THE BEST. I went both days he held them every week, and they helped so much. Erker is funny, extremely intelligent, and very helpful. If you put the effort into this class, you will succeed. His midterms and final are the absolute worst, and while they may seem terrifying at the time, everything works out in the end. I got a low B on the first midterm, a high C on the second, and I have no clue what I got on the final, but I somehow ended up with an A- in the class. His quizzes are based entirely on homework he gives (not mandatory to do, but the quiz questions are literally copied and pasted from the homework), so it's pretty easy to get 100% on all the quizzes if you prepare and do the homework problems. Erker made me miserable, but I still think he's great, so that's saying something.


Freshman
A
Required (Major)
Oct 2017
Is Erker October 10th? Because he's a 10/10 !!!!!


Sophomore
N/A
Required (Support)
Nov 2017
I have many mixed feelings regarding Dr. Erker.... I'll begin with the negatives. Dr. Erker's lecture class has been one of the most confusing, disorganized classes that I have taken so far at Cal Poly. His teaching style is very different from most because he never truly breaks down problems, but rather skips steps assuming that all of the students have learned it or remember it from previous classes. He will go off on complicated subjects WAY above the level at which our class is, and then at the end will say "But that isn't something you need to know". I have never had a class that has left me questioning my intelligence and worth like this class has. His quizzes are easy because they are the same problems you see on homework, but the midterms and final are absolutely absurd. Positives: There is absolutely zero argument that Dr. Erker is an extremely intelligent man. He is incredibly knowledgeable and enthusiastic. He cares about his students and wants us to learn. He is helpful in office hours and kind and patient. His lab is also fun because he gets really into it and breaks it down nicely so that everything goes smoothly. You almost always end an hour early if you've done it right. Overall, Dr. Erker is unorganized and has high expectations, but wants his students to do well.


Sophomore
A
Required (Support)
Dec 2017
Erker is legendary. If you think his class is hard, just go to office hours, he is extremely helpful. The quizzes are basically free points because they are verbatim from the homework. Midterms are a little hard, but its a chem class - its not meant to be easy. That being said, everything on the exams is totally possible to do if you practice. He also curves generously.


Sophomore
B
Required (Support)
Dec 2017
This guys is nuts. Super disorganized, skips over examples and expects you to intuitively figure it out on the spot. Best option is Office hours cause honestly he’s pretty bad in lecture. Relies heavily on PowerPoints which screws him over during class. Super cool guy and wants you to do well, but he just doesn’t understand how to properly convey the material to the class. Avoid this guy unless you want a big challenge.

RELS 593


Senior
B
Required (Support)
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.