Gerfen, Jeffery  

Engineering

2.86/4.00

84 evaluations


EE 0


Graduate Student
Credit
Elective
Jun 2009
I flipped to fox news one day and saw his evil twin, you figure out who it is.

EE 112


Junior
N/A
Required (Major)
Jun 2004
Gerfen is an OK teacher. There isn't much good or bad to say about him. His lectures consist mainly of doing 1 or 2 problems out of the current chapter, then the class would end. Since it was only 2 units, we only met for 1 hour twice a week, which is pretty stupid. The school should not have broken EE213 into 2 different classes, the pace of this class was way too slow.


Junior
C
Required (Major)
Aug 2004
I've had him twice now, for two different classes, both times only because I had to. He clearly doesn't know the material as well as he should to teach it. A lot of the time if a student asks a question about a problem it will throw him off and as someone else said, he confuses himself and just about everyone else in the class after he does that. He also is terrible about grading and handing work back. He does an okay job teaching, but what he does teach is pretty easy to understand itself so he's not the worst you can get.


Sophomore
B
Required (Major)
Jun 2006
He seemed a bit unprepared for EE112, but the material itself isn't too bad, and can be self-taught. One thing to point out though, was that every time we would go over a problem and if he made a mistake, he would become startled and confused, and it would usually take a while to figure out what was wrong. You're probably better off going to his office hours. Grade consists of homework (15%), a midterm (30%), two quizzes (i think 15% each) and a final (roughly between 35-40%, and he weighs it more if you score above 90%). He also seems to want you getting the hang of using MicroCap to check your homework (he assigns HW problems for you do in MicroCap as well). He doesn't go too in depth with derivations, instead, he assumes you already know the math to solve the problems (nope, he doesn't cover matrix methods, which is very helpful when doing nodal and mesh analysis). But then again, the class only met twice a week, and he spent much of his time cramming concepts and example problems. Overall, not too bad of an instructor, though I think he should stick to teaching CPE classes, which are more of his strong side. There are better options for EE112 though.......


Junior
A
Required (Major)
Jul 2006
Nice guy, very easy to talk to. I took this course once before, but did poorly. I thought this time around, the material was covered much more clearly.

CPE 129


Sophomore
B
Required (Major)
Feb 2005
Professor Gerfen is an interesting one. First of all, like everyone else has said, students questions "throws him off" and most of the time unable to answer your questions in class. Sometimes it's funny when you think about it but after a while--you NEED to understand this material to be alright in future CPE/CSC courses (for those CPE and CSC students out there). Second of all, he's not a tough teacher at all. Overall, you'll learn everything you'll learn but I suggest you to either go to his office hours to get things clarified or at least work with someone in the class and you'll be fine.


Sophomore
A
Required (Major)
Mar 2005
Not the most clear lecturer, but if you have to take Gerfen he's not that bad. Homework is collected and graded. The first midterm was very difficult, but he made the second midterm and final much more fair. Posted lots of helpful answers and previous years midterms/finals on Blackboard, which I found very helpful. Always willing to go over problems in office hours. Tests are open book and open note, and the final was open calculator. On the syllabus he says he reserves the right to weigh more heavily finals over 90% or under 60%, so if you get mediocre grades during the quarter but ace the final, you can do well. I think that's how I received my grade. I hadn't got an A on any assignment until (presumably) the final. Overall, Gerfen tries his best, and he's a nice guy, but I can't recommend him if there are better choices.


Junior
A
Required (Major)
Jun 2005
He presented material very well in class, but he never prepared you for the homework and was not much help at all in office hours. If he could help, it took a long time.


Junior
C
Required (Major)
Aug 2005
Jeff is a very good teacher. After visiting him during office hours I began to appreciate just how busy he was. Other students have mentioned that he seems to be distracted or thrown off by student's questions or that students have to correct him in class. This is true, but he always admits his mistakes and doesn't get offended that he is being corrected. He was helpful during office hours. I received a "C" in the class due to my failure to prepare for one of the exams, not because of poor instruction. The only complaint I have about Mr. Gerfen is that sometimes homework took a while to be returned.


Sophomore
N/A
Required (Major)
Nov 2005
Gerfen is a very incompetent teacher. He is late to class almost everyday we met. His knowledge of the material is vastly under average and he relies heavily on his notes to carry him through the lecture. If a student asks him something it takes about a minute to get a clear response. He claims he has been working in electronics for twenty plus years but you wouldn't know it. He is very disorganized and is always botching homework assignments at the last minute. He stumbles over logic fundamentals which creates great confusion for a student new to the material. GERFEN, DO US A FAVOR AND GO BACK TO YOUR RANCH, YOUR INTENTIONS OBVIOUSLY AREN'T FOCUSED ON CULTIVATING TECHNOLOGICAL MINDS. GO ROPE YOUR COWS. If you can take MEALY instead!


Junior
A
Required (Major)
Dec 2005
His lectures were clear and helped a lot. His tests are very straightforward and are similar to the old tests he posts up on blackboard. Homework can be a pain because two assignments are due every week. However, he changed the due dates around when he saw that the class had difficulty on the homework or if it was too long. Gerfen even gave extra credit on a few assignments to people who finished it on time. Homework isn't worth a whole lot at the end though. He explained that at the end, homework scores usually average about 60% and he curves it. Tests are curved too. Great professor. I'd take another course with him in the future.


Sophomore
C
Required (Major)
Mar 2006
Gerfen is a nice guy, infact the last day of finals he brought us in cookies. But this guy can NOT teach. Many times he showed up late to class. Every test was either too long or did not apply to what he had taught us in class. In fact it became so common, that before each test he would try and go over what he wrote on the test and would sit there for 5-10 mins on one problem wondering what in the world he was really trying to ask.. Also, before each test he'll tell you he curves the grades, this is because he expects no one to do well on these tests. You shouldn't have to curve EVERYTHING, i mean he even curved homework scores. I had the lab on a thursday of the week and his lectures would Still be behind the lab. CPE 129 is not a difficult class and if you do get stuck with this professor (like i did) i do recommend just teaching yourself the material.. good luck.


Junior
C
Required (Major)
Mar 2006
Gerfen is the worst professor I have ever had. He was late to class for the first half of the quarter. Not only that, he does not understand the material well enough to teach it. Whenever someone asks him a question, he would become completely startled and confused. The other CPE 129 classes were much better than his, as their tests are actually covered by the material. Every single one of his exam problems are outrageously difficult. He does curve for the two exam, but the averages were really low.


Sophomore
B
Required (Support)
Mar 2006
Gerfen is a nice guy, don't get me wrong, but this class was terrible. The first few weeks we went VERY slow, which was nice, until we realized that the important and hard stuff were crammed within the last 3 weeks, which everything was barely touched. The book didn't help at all, and exams were NOTHING like the homework. I mean, he showed us sample tests from prior quarters, and they were a piece of cake. Our exams were impossible, with everyone rushing to get as much done as possible. He had to curve everything, because maybe two students got things right. I think this quarter was particularly bad, because it looked like he had other things on his mind (like another job or something), so he showed up late and didn't even look over the exams which he gave us, spending 5 minutes figuring out what his own exams were asking. Overall, don't expect much if you take him for this class. Sucked a lot that many of us used a priority to get mealy, but ended up getting him. OVERALL, funny guy, completely unfair exams, don't take him for CPE129!


Sophomore
A
Required (Major)
Apr 2006
Professor Gerfen is better then the average EE teacher but can be a little confusing at times. Overall a really nice guy, goes off on some confusing tangents; but if you do the homework and look through the sample exams on blackboard you will do just fine.


Sophomore
B
Required (Major)
May 2006
He's a good teacher and really helpful in office hours. The one thing I want to warn people about is that the answer key to the homework is WRONG some of the time. This has been brought to his attention but it seems he hasn't done anything to fix it so far. So if you're copying homework - watch out, you could get problems wrong if you don't pay attention to what you're doing. This also means that you better check your homework after you get it back to make sure you didn't get something wrong that you know you did right.


Freshman
C
Required (Major)
May 2006
Gerfen is one goofy bastard.


Sophomore
A
Required (Major)
Jun 2006
I had Gerfen for both EE112 and CPE129, but let me first say that these two classes are ENTIRELY different. For CPE129, Gerfen was pretty well prepared and presented the material clearly. Your grade consists of the homework (15%), two midterms (45%) and the final (40%). If you get above 90% on the final, he will weigh it more heavily. The homework, however, was pretty frustrating and time-consuming (of course, we have to learn from a sh*tty textbook), but he awards extra credit to those who turn it in early. He also postpones due dates if the class finds it to be too excruciating. The lectures are very straightforward, and he sometimes takes time to answer any questions on the homework. The material isn't too hard to grasp, and he's also pretty helpful in office hours. All homework solutions are posted on blackboard, along with past midterms and finals, which really helped a lot. Surprisingly enough, our midterms and final were quite similar to the ones given in the past. Overall, Gerfen is an excellent instructor for CPE129, though he seems to have some trouble with the EE112 stuff (and that class is a different story).


Freshman
B
Required (Major)
Jun 2006
He is a good teacher. He trys really hard to be fair. His class time isn't quite as efficent as it could be. He needs to pick his examples better. This is a hard class in general, but Gerfen tries to make it interesting. Don't avoid him, but don't jump on him either.


Sophomore
A
Required (Major)
Jul 2006
I think the sad part is that this is perhaps the very last quarter that Gerfen will be teaching 129, since the EE department now wants the course to be taught by full-time tenured professors. Other than that, Gerfen did a pretty good job of presenting the material across, and he would also postpone homework assignments if the class found it to be too tedious or overwhelming. Really nice guy too.


Freshman
B
Required (Major)
Jun 2008
Very fair teacher, his class is completely different from other professors. He doesn't teach VHDL at all so the labs will be very difficult. This quarter he decided to add some projects to the class that take up a lot of time. Since he never teaches VHDL , you will need to find time to teach yourself that. VHDL doesnt really appear on tests at all, but that is no reason not to self teach it, those labs rely on it.


Freshman
B
Required (Major)
Aug 2008
Not a bad professor. He is self-absorbed and plays favorites. If you sit in front and make eye contact and pretend to be enthralled by what he is saying, you will probably be a fav. Not a bad class and not a bad professor. I have to take him next year.


Junior
N/A
Required (Major)
Nov 2008
this guy is a real character. it seems like he came right out of the 50's because of the way he dresses and talks (says stuff like "golly" and "gosh darn it!"; he even apologized for saying "crap" once.) he's a really good professor though. gerfen is pretty clear with his examples and notes. tests aren't too bad and the class in general isn't very work intensive.


Sophomore
B
Required (Support)
Nov 2008
Gerfen is a genuinely nice guy and a fairly good professor. You will enjoy the lectures, although you may need to go to office hours because there are things that he skims over than end up being incredibly difficult. He teaches very little VHDL and then gives you projects to do with VHDL which was really annoying. I had little trouble with the course outside of the VHDL. (He curves like a mofo)


Sophomore
A
Required (Major)
Dec 2008
Gerfen explains the material fairly well and is very understanding of student needs and difficulties. One of his midterms was a bit more difficult than I think he planned, but he curves everything so it evens out in the end. Overall a great professor that I would recommend to anyone.


Sophomore
A
Required (Major)
Dec 2008
Gerfen is the man.


Freshman
N/A
Required (Major)
May 2010
He speeds the material so fast and BADLY. Half the time he just seems to expect that you know what you\'re doing but doesn\'t explain anything. For example, when he was teaching us about MUXes, he basically said what they were in one sentence and then moved on without letting it sink in or emphasizing the important concepts. A lot of my time is spent blankly taking notes in class or teaching myself the material...

ENGR 129


Sophomore
D
Required (Major)
Mar 2009
worst prof ever do NOT take!!!!!!

CPE 133


Sophomore
B
Required (Major)
Apr 2013
Professor Gerfen is a good professor for 133. He is able to clearly explain concepts in lecture and is helpful in lab. 133 is a studio class where the lecture and lab are together and Gerfen did a good job of combining the two. He does not collect homework although he highly encourages that you do it; it is good practice for the tests. 25% of the grade comes from lab assignments and the rest is from the two midterms and final.


Sophomore
B
Required (Major)
Dec 2014
Gerfen is an interesting dude, he's definitely smart as hell, but he sometimes has issues with understanding how quickly students can complete assignments. I had him for lecture and lab, we would have about one experiment/lab activity in VHDL per class (never was any homework), and then a lab report due with either two or three experiments in it. He had very high standards for professionalism in his lab reports, so be prepared for a lot of 'this needs to look better' comments. One great thing he did was he was wonderful at understanding when to give lab report extensions for us. His exams were extremely fair, and one thing I loved was that he had a TON of resources like previous midterms and textbook problems available. Never anything unexpected, just be prepared to put in the work.


Junior
C
Required (Major)
Dec 2014
I'm on the fence about Gerfen. I found his lectures to be helpful but he spent SO MUCH lab time continuing to lecture so it made it very hard to follow after the first hour. It's a lecture/lab class meaning 1 hour lecture followed by a 1 hour lab. Some days we would get maybe 30 minutes of lab, which isn't enough considering the computers themselves take at least 10 minutes to start. He's also quite disorganized during lecture, but to be fair, it did get slightly better toward the end of the quarter. Speaking of labs, they were easy at first. The progression of lab difficulty skips around from one being really easy (less than 5 minutes) to the next lab being very hard (hours of work). But the labs ARE NOT HIS, they are Mealy's so I can't blame Gerfen for someone elses work. His expectations of finishing labs are also quite...off. When you give us only 30 minutes a class to do labs PLUS a lab report (I'll get to that later) you can fall behind really quickly. But thankfully he recognized that and began to push back due dates, which was helpful, but the stress of not knowing if a lab report would be pushed back was not helpful. Don't tell us the day of, tell us the class before the due date. The lab reports are meh. He has (once again, my opinion) the most inconsistent grading of any professor I've had a Cal Poly so far. Lab reports are graded very harshly, marking off points for some white space, margin in questions not aligned, questions not italicized etc. Of course this seems like no big deal except for the part where he didn't give us any template to follow so you had to just do trial and error. The example he had posted was mediocre at best and was removed from Polylearn a week later. Some reports that were called horrible (in his own words) were scored higher than some reports that were called good. Things that were marked down were fixed, only to have him mark the corrections as mistakes on the next report! What? BUT WAIT, HOPE IS NOT LOST! Gerfen, is a WIZARD in Office Hours. I don't know why, but if you went to office hours just once a week, you would find yourself so much better off. He knows just what to hit, and will make up examples and explain concepts again until you get it. If you have any questions about grading too, go to his office hours and I can guarantee you will get back some points (helpful for the lab reports!) His tests were very difficult in my opinion., the final especially. Studying helps but the exams cover every square inch of detail; every minute or remote thing he said in class or he did on the board will probably be on the exams. My last note. It is very easy to fall behind in the class. Don't do it. Do the reading and do the suggested homework problems for study and exam preparation (do them twice, one for each) and you should be good.

CPE 169


Sophomore
B
Required (Major)
Mar 2008
Gerfen is a laid-back guy who doesn't seem to care as much for his students as his lab assistant does. I didn't think much of his teaching style...he seemed to forget to talk about certain topics, introducing them only after lab started. His grading reflected his personality, for the most part.


Freshman
B
Required (Major)
Apr 2008
I had him for lab and honestly he really didnt do much of anything. He lectured for 15 minutes before a couple of the labs, but it wasnt very clear or helpful. To be honest his TA practically did all of the work for him in lab.


Freshman
A
Required (Major)
Jul 2008
As longs as you pay attention in lecture, Gerfen's lab will not be difficult. Gerfen does not explain things very well, but at least he seems to realize it. If you don't understand, he will explain in different ways until you finally get it.

EE 201


Junior
B
Required (Support)
Dec 2003
i started out liking the guy, but began to hate him as the quarter progressed. his lectures werent very good, and every time i asked a question, he couldn't answer it. i dont mean out-of-left-field questions either. im talking about basic questions about fundamental concepts. he's a really bad public speaker, or he doenst know his shit at all. either way, the man shouldnt be teaching. his tests and quizzes are fair, but he takes at least 2 weeks to grade them. 2 weeks to grade a 10-minute quiz. he assigns tons of homework which isnt very much like what he does in class, but he doesnt collect it anyways. the only reason i got a B was because the course material really isnt that hard. there are only 2 positive things about this guy: he speaks english (which is rare in the EE dept) and he made the final optional. probably because he's too lazy to grade it.


Junior
B
Required (Support)
Dec 2003
okay so really the only good thing about jeff is that the final is optional. and that he speaks good english, which is rare in the EE department. but he's not much of a teacher. his lectures are all examples and no theory, and when he does try to explain theory he confuses himself along with everyone else. it takes him 2 weeks to grade a 10-minute quiz, and 2-3 weeks to grade midterms, so you never really know how youre doing. homework is assigned, but not collected, so of course no one does it. the only work i did in this class was the prelabs for 251. so i guess he's pretty easy, but a lot of people did badly too. if you get stuck with him, just go to class, and dont talk in class.


Sophomore
A
Required (Support)
Mar 2004
Gerfen is an ok guy, just pretty boring. His class was pretty easy, 2 midterms and about 4 quizzes and an OPTIONAL final. Homework not collected, problems in book are about 10x harder then his quiz and exam ones. Go to class, try to stayt awake, study before exams, and youll get at least a B.


Junior
A
Required (Support)
Jun 2007
Gerfen is an AWESOME guy. He is very funny in his lectures and doesn't hesitate to tell you some funny anecdotes to relieve the stress in the class. This class was very simple, as it should be for an entry level EE course. The tests were extremely fair and adequately covered the material learned in lecture, homework, and lab. This class is definitely a grade booster if you do the homework and study for the tests.


Sophomore
A
Required (Support)
Jul 2007
Gerfen's a great dude. His midterms and final are pretty predictable, though the homework is a pain in the ass because I put it off and did all of it from a 2 week period in one night. Good teacher though, he'll do his best to answer your questions if you actually participate.


Junior
A
Elective
Jan 2012
Nice guy. Very helpful in both class and office hours. Homework is difficult, as are some of the test/quiz questions, but they are doable if your paying close attention. Gerfen will go out of his way to help you.

CPE 229


Sophomore
A
Required (Major)
May 2009
Gerfen is an AWESOME teacher...He is so helpful in office hours, and explains clearly the material, and understands if people need more time on their project. Very understanding. Definitely recommend taking him.


Junior
A
Required (Major)
May 2009
I had Gerfen for both CPE 129 and CPE 229. He is very knowledgable, approachable, and down-to-earth. I left both classes feeling like I had a really good understanding of the material. Midterms are definitely very LONG - he crams a lot into them and you definitely have to work fast in order to finish in 50 minutes. If you know the material, you should be fine. He publishes a list of "critical learning objectives" before each midterm and the final; go down the list and practice everything and you will be good. He also curves like crazy, so don't fret if you get a score that's lower than what you wanted. Another thing that's really good about Jeff's classes is that he assigns practical VHDL design projects that really support your understanding of the material. You get to partner up with someone (if you want), which can offset the workload. Take Gerfen. You'll learn a lot, and you'll have some fun in the process.

EE 229


Junior
B
Required (Major)
Dec 2008
Gerfen is a nice guy and genuinely wants his students to do well and really UNDERSTAND the material of this class. He seemed somewhat disorganized at times, but told us he was teaching more units that he would have liked to this quarter. Even through all that, I still thought he was a good teacher. The class has two midterms and a comprehensive final, with just enough homework for you to get a grasp on the material and do well on the exams. During lecture he basically walks through the notes provided by Professor Mealy, but it's still beneficial to attend since he lets you know what is and is not important. Overall, Gerfen tries really hard and thats all a student can really ask from a teacher. Take him.

CPE 233


Sophomore
N/A
Required (Major)
Feb 2011
This was the first time CPE233 was offered (replaces 229/269). Gerfen is definitely not the most organized professors and often changed assignments or pushed back due dates. However, I think this was a strength this quarter in that he was flexible and extremely willing to take student difficulties into account. He also instituted a policy of a 10% credit deduction per class day something was late. I don't know any other class in which you could turn something in a day late and still get 90%. Overall, Gerfen really cares that his students learn the material and take something meaningful away from the class. If you are expecting an easy A, don't take Gerfen. If you want to learn something and are willing to put in some time (which is important in major classes like this), take Gerfen without hesitation. I am still taking the class as I'm writing this but thought it could be helpful for those thinking about taking 233 spring quarter with Gerfen.


Sophomore
N/A
Required (Major)
Mar 2011
Gerfen is incredibly unorganized and incompetent. Labs weren't worth bothering to even attempt until the day before they were due to the degree that he would change his mind on what he expected from us. From about the 5th week on, this class became an absolute nightmare with the start of the construction of the processor. The processor was extremely difficult to get working correctly and took a substantial amount of time to complete. Gerfen was totally worthless when it came to this project, as when asking for help he would just say to watch out for inferred latches and gated clocks, neither of which were ever the problem. Despite having very little lecture, Gerfen insisted on a midterm and a final that he told us would be very similar to what we did in lab. It turned out that this was a total lie, and they were both extremely difficult and had very little to do with what we actually did in the class. They were impossible to study for and completely irrelevant. He has not decided yet on how he is grading, but if that processor is not worth at least 70% of the class grade I will be extremely pissed. I am never taking Gerfen again, and I am never taking a new course again.


Sophomore
B
Required (Major)
Mar 2012
I feel that Gerfen does try his hardest to present a course which is not also hands on, but also analytical in Vhdl modeling. Yet, sometimes his explanations can go over your head if it be the first time you've done modeling on a microprocessor. I would definitely say his class w expects hardware modeling compared Benson's assembly problems. Vhdl is extremely important in this class so go in for help always with emails or office hours if you have problems.


Sophomore
A
Required (Major)
Jun 2012
This class is a lot of work. Older reviews show people complaining about Gerfen, but it would seem to me that is more of a reflection how the course wasn't fully developed yet. With the exception of the switch debouncer, the class was very smooth considering the scope of awesome things you get to do [model a micro processor in VHDL and make a game for it]. The last few labs involving putting the pieces of the processor together are challenging, but Gerfen has a solid understanding of all the processes in micro processors, and was pretty good helping students out. One of the nicest things about this class was that the tests truly reflect what you actually do in class: If you get the labs done and understand them fully, you will get an A on the tests without too much extra work.


Junior
N/A
Required (Major)
Dec 2012
Ned Flanders.


Junior
N/A
Required (Major)
Dec 2012
This class is basically one big 12 week project, in which you have to design a RAT CPU in VHDL, and then use it in some sort of project. That being said, I though Professor Gerfen was a great teacher overall. He has a good understanding of VHDL and processors, and he's also a great professor to talk to. One of the great things about his class is that his 2 midterms and final are on exactly what he goes over in lecture and what's going on inside the RAT CPU. If you pay attention in class, and you do the labs you should have no trouble passing the class or even getting a B. One tip for the midterms and final: for the first midterm know how to reverse engineering prog rom, for the second midterm know how to do a timing diagram for all of the different components in the CPU, and how to do a memory map, and for the final know how to write in RAT assembly, and know your interrupts. Overall, great professor, one of my favorite classes I have taken


Sophomore
N/A
Required (Support)
Mar 2013
Gerfen is a Boss! CPE 233 is a LOT of work, and you'll spend most of your time completing the 'labs' outside of class- that being said, you won't learn more with any other professor. If you want an easy professor, look somewhere else; however, if you want a solid understanding of the hardware, look no more.


Junior
A
Required (Major)
Mar 2013
Gerfen is the funniest, most down to earth professor ever. He is helpful in labs. The lecture material was fairly simple and boring so he kept lectures short. I would take him again every time I can.


Sophomore
A
Required (Major)
Mar 2013
The reason why his Polyratings GPA is low is because he taught 133/233 when the curriculum was still being established. There are no organization problems now as there were a few reviews down. CPE 233 is a difficult class with or without a solid grasp of 133, so no teacher is going to give you an easy way out. I felt like Gerfen really understood and cared about student difficulties, and that can be seen in his day-to-day attitude. Really cool guy, approachable, great 'stache, etc.


Junior
A
Required (Major)
Apr 2014
Let me update Gerfen's Polyratings a bit...Gerfen is the boss! Well, not exaaaactly, but he's still a solid prof. This class, and 329 as far as I can tell, are fairly new but cover A LOT of material. Basically, these courses along with 357 make up the CPE core curriculum (sorry guys). Gerfen and Mealy (sure, and Benson, why not) basically make up the CPE department (fine, Oliver too). Get to know Gerfen because he is kinda the epitome of Cal Poly. Learn by doing, smart, efficient, disorganized, but gets the job done well. Take Gerfen if you can, just expect to be doing a lot of work but learning A TON at the same time. CPE FTW


Junior
B
Required (Major)
Oct 2014
Taking him is like taking an Online course. He is there, but he does not say anything at all. You are gotta be working by yourself the whole quarter without a professor.... avoid this guy!


Sophomore
A
Required (Major)
Nov 2014
Grefen is the best. really helpful and conveyed the material pretty well in the class. He wasn't particularly harsh on grading and I thought his exams covered the material he taught very well. Overall I would take him again


Sophomore
N/A
Required (Major)
Mar 2015
He has a great personality and is a very helpful teacher. The material is a lot but you gotta stay on top of the material to do well. Very helpful professor.


Sophomore
A
Required (Major)
Mar 2016
Great professor, TAKE HIM. Initially, he expects a lot out of you and it requires your full focus to understand what he's saying. He's a really fast talker. His lectures might not be his strongest suit but fortunately most of the knowledge of the class comes from the experiments. He goes out of his way to understand your issue and spends the time to help you fix it. He's very approachable and easy to contact. He generally understands the difficulties his students are going through and is willing to extend deadlines or even cut a midterm. Do yourself a favor and take him!


Sophomore
B
Required (Major)
Mar 2016
I expected this class to be very similar to CPE 133 (which is was) but the material is very heavy for this course. There is a lot of conceptual learning which the reading for the class did not seem to be as helpful. In my opinion, you will do better by understanding and doing every experiment. This class can be broken down into a few components: a midterm, experiments, design project and a final. His grading for the midterm was brutal. He subtracts points for errors instead of looking at the problem in an overall scheme. Making a mistake will screw you over on his midterms. However, I talked to him about a few of the mistakes I made and he gave me back 10 points. He is very willing to talk to you and help you when you make the effort. He can be very scatter brained but that is just his personality. OFFICE HOURS ARE GREAT!! But come early as a line forms very quickly... I studied approximately 15 hour for his final and I thought it was extremely difficult (along with many of my classmates). However, I ended up with a B and got mostly 100% on experiments and the final project. So even if you don't do too well on exams, do good on the rest and you should pass. I liked Gerfen because he was willing to help you no matter what. Although, he can be very preoccupied with other matters and it may take him awhile to get back to you. Just be persistent. Don't hesitate to double email this guy.


Sophomore
B
Required (Major)
Mar 2016
Gerfen really cares about his students. Don't be afraid to ask questions when stuck. The class was fun and I enjoyed the final (it was very challenging but was like solving a puzzle).


Sophomore
A
Required (Major)
Oct 2016
This guy is amazing, Gerfen is a true homie. He may not have the clearest lectures (he goes really fast) but he's really helpful one-on-one. If you have to choose him or Mealy, go with Gerfen. Mealy would screw you over with his 80% final while Gerfen would recognize that his student are having a hard time and postpone a midterm. Just pay some attention, do some research and ask for help.


Sophomore
B
Required (Major)
Mar 2017
This is my first polyrating but I felt like this guy deserved it. Gerfen was an amazing teacher to take for 233 however don't expect it to be easy. Also he talks fast but clearly and so when he lectures you don't fall asleep because hes direct and to the point with no BS. There is a midterm, 8 or so labs, a final project, and a final. The lab reports often stretched to 15-20 pages including the VHDL and programming assignments so stay ahead on those if you want to survive. A big recommendation of mine is that if you have his earlier classes listen to his lecture then and get as much work done and then come back to his night class and get help from the TA's and Gerfen because that class is usually empty and it's basically office hours (if you mainly work on it outside of class you'll get stuck more often than needed). You will have one lab partner for the entire quarter. You'll be seeing and talking to them more than you will with you actual friends so CHOOSE WISELY. I straight up got a D on the midterm and I'm fairly sure I didn't do great on the final, and got pretty good grades on the labs (do any and all the extra credit he give you on labs it helps a lot when the TA's kill your lab report grade) but still ended up with a B+. Gerfens a homie take him.


Junior
A
Required (Major)
Mar 2017
Gerfen can seem scary at first glance, but he turned out to be one of the most helpful professors I've had at Cal Poly. He assumes the entire class has a good grasp of the material already, so if you didn't have a proper teacher for 133 then utilize your resources and it'll be a smooth class. He is fairly lenient on students, and it's usually the TAs that will bomb your lab report grades so make sure to get every little detail down properly! If you make sure to understand all the details on the labs, it'll be fairly easy to pass the midterm and final exam without studying at all.


Junior
A
Required (Major)
Apr 2017
Gerfen is a pretty good teacher. He rides his bike to class which makes him late quite a bit. He also crashed and missed a day of class. Other than that this class was hard but not impossible. Just stay on top of the labs cause they all build on eachother and start working on your final project early so you arent trying to finish it at 3am during dead week. Theres only one midterm and he had a study session before it where he went over all the types of problems we would need to do.

ENGR 269


Sophomore
B
Required (Major)
May 2012
Why is everyone rippin' on the Gerfmeister? This guy kicks ass, all ass.

EE 295


Junior
A
Required (Major)
Jun 2009
Anytime I asked him a question, 70% of the times his answer was "You know who I would go ask? I would go ask professor Nafisi." I just have one question to ask you gerfen "Why the heck are you teaching this lab if you don't know what the heck is going on!!!" Even though I got an A in the lab, I did not learn anything new in there. I did not take this class just so I could get an easy A, I actually wanted my questions answered. Dont take him. He shouldn't even be teaching at CalPoly.


Senior
A
Required (Major)
Jun 2011
Gerfen is a cool guy, and I do not understand why everyone is ripping on him. Gerfen clearly explains the lab procedures with instructions, what to expect, and diagrams prior to the experiment. He even provided all the necessary formulas (including the ones not printed on the lab manual) to speed up the lab report process. Gerfen even provided a copy of a finished lab as reference to the entire class should anyone have any question. I saw many people from his other class sections dropping by for help and to take quizzes with. I witnessed him being very helpful to them and walked-through students who had a very specific problem (e.g. CPE233). I would definitely take his courses should they be offered!

EE 307


5th Year Senior
C
Required (Major)
Mar 2005
OK hes a cool guy and pretty good on the grading. He is huge on partial credit however, his average grades for his midterms were F's. To me this is just not acceptable although im sure the EE Department is all smiles. It seems EE just isnt EE unless your class averages an F for tests. I hate EE. Anyhow i recommend him....he's extremely fair compared to other EE's. This is my last EE class thank god. Screw this shit.


Junior
C
Required (Major)
Mar 2005
Gerfen comes off initially as a very nice guy, and is indeed very approachable. However, that reflects nothing on his ability to teach whatsoever. This guy is one of the WORST lecturers I have ever had. He makes on average 3 mistakes each day in class, sometimes when writing some very important formulas on the board. If it weren't for the super-geniuses in the room, the whole class would've copied down the wrong equation and done everything from homeworks to quizzes to midterms wrong! He does grade fairly easy and gives partial credit on exams. His exams were do-able, but his final was by far one of the hardest that you will ever see. There was a big curve to the class, so people still got good grades. Bottom line: very bad lecturer, okay grader, average workload, you will be forced to do lots of learning on your own from the book (which is horrible and full of errors) and with other students. Avoid him if possible.


Junior
B
Required (Major)
Apr 2005
I have never met a professor who cared more about his students than Jeff Gerfen. He will do whatever it takes to help you learn the material. This is a tough class and you really have to put in the effort to learn the material. Gerfen does get confused and makes mistakes in class, but he always clarifies them later. His tests are difficult, but grading is fair.


Junior
B
Required (Major)
Jun 2005
Mr. Gerfen should not be a professor at Cal Poly. Students get the idea that he is at their level or only slightly higher - not a position to be an instructor. The smart students in the class have to correct him when he makes mistakes in class (which happens often). The only way to do well is to form study groups and make sure you are studying with people that learned EE from other instructors. I have no idea why Mr. Gerfen is still teaching, the EE department could find a better instructor. My advice...take another instructor, you may not understand them as well verbally but they actually know what they are teaching.


Senior
B
Required (Major)
Aug 2005
Gerfen is that nerdy lanky kid from high school that is always acting clumsy. He is a really nice guy though and tries hard to make the students learn. Grading is very fair. It would be nice if he was more organized like Braun, but I guess you cannot ask for everything. Definitly take him if you can.


Senior
A
Required (Major)
Aug 2005
Jeff was an excellent instructor. He doesn't pretend to know everything like several of the other EE profs here... he is genuinely interested in helping students learn the material. Prepare to work in his classes and you will do great. A+++


Senior
A
Required (Major)
Jan 2006
Gerfen's EE-307 class was one of the best EE classes I've had at Cal Poly. He gives good lectures, is a very fair instructor, and cares about how everyone is doing in the class. Before each exam, he scheduled extra time to meet and answer questions and problems, which helped boost exam grades a lot.


Junior
A
Required (Major)
Apr 2007
This is Gerfen's class. He knows the stuff and he knows how to teach the stuff. Plus he's actually cool, which is one in a million with EE profs.


Senior
A
Required (Major)
Dec 2007
Gerfen is a pretty cool guy. He's also good at explaining how electronics work. I took EE 306 with Braun and found that the difference between the two profs. is that although Braun may have more knowledge about electronics, Gerfen presents material better. He's a pretty normal dude (not a super geek like most EE profs.) and he's very approachable. His tests are quite tricky, so be prepared for that, but he isn't malicious about it or anything. One of my favorite things is that he has a sense of humor which is almost non-existent in the EE department. If you really want to learn electronics from a helpful and talented prof., take Gerfen. Nothing against Braun or anything, but it is just much easier to ask questions in Gerfen's class and he's not a freakin' wierdo.


Junior
C
Required (Major)
Jun 2009
Okay, so prof Gerfen seems to know what he is doing at the beginning but as soon as the harder material was introduced, he got stuck and confused. The class averages on both midterms were F's. The main reason that the class was not doing well is because prof Gerfen doesn't know his material as well. He makes so many mistakes while lecturing. Thanx to all the students who read the book ahead of time and corrected him most of the time. Here is a really good example of him getting stuck on a problem: There was a 2 hour study session held before the final exam and I swear to god that prof Gerfen got stuck on a simple problem for hour and half. I thought this was just Ridiculous. Most of the students knew how to do the problem and they tried to help him out but he still didn't get it. So far I had a 3.90 GPA and taking this course with him just messed it up. I am very very mad. The EE dept should not allow him to teach any upper division courses. He is good with teaching CPE129 so please keep him there.


Junior
B
Required (Major)
Mar 2015
At the beginning of the quarter, he doesn't seem that bad. He skips around a little and assigns homework that's more in depth, but that's typical of engineering professors. However, once the second half of the quarter started, this guy had NO idea how to teach. You all will become professional at "ball park"ing because he actually doesn't know how to mathematically solve for values. His final must've had an average of an F because he merged so many topics together I didn't even know how to begin a question and somehow I got a B. For half of the homework assignments I had to copy off of another class' solutions because he hadn't taught us the material. Good luck, and stay away from this guy.

CPE 329


Junior
B
Required (Major)
Aug 2016
This was my second time taking professor Gerfen as I previously had him for CPE 233. I personally think he is a great professor. Sometimes the class would feel a bit disorganized, but usually he would lecture for the first 40 minutes to an hour and the rest of the class we would focus on finishing that week's project. He always seemed very helpful and he was receptive to student feedback. He would move due dates back when many in the class were struggling. In the end, I took a lot out of the class and I am much more interested in micro-controllers to the point that I may get a job in the field upon graduation. In my opinion, Gerfen is one of my favorite professors in the EE department.

EE 347


Senior
A
Required (Major)
Jan 2004
Very helpful in lab. The last lab was concidered the final, which was a good thing. If you get stuck on something in lab, sure trouble shoot for a while, but then call him over. He knows his stuff.


Senior
B
Required (Major)
Feb 2004
Dr. Gerfen ROCKS!. By far the best lab instructor I have ever had. I learned so much in this class its nuts. The prelabs were a bitch thats not his fault. If you have problems he TEACHES you. Take him if you can.


Junior
B
Required (Major)
Mar 2006
This guy is great for lab, especially if you take braun for lecture so you actually know what's going in lab. He goes over all the designs so everyone is doing it right in lab however if you don't know what's going on in the first place, you'll have some trouble. Take him for lab but not lecture because he's not that great at teaching stuff if you're hearing it for the first time.

CE 423


Senior
A
Elective
Oct 2002
Professor Gerfen is a nice guy with great intentions. However, he is a bit disorganized. He isn't really a CE or a CE professor, thus his lecture was lacking in any sort of transportation theory. It was a great overveiw of technology, and taught at a slow enough rate that even a Civil Engineer can understand Computer Engineering principles.


5th Year Senior
A
Elective
Mar 2006
This class is set up to be "team taught." In reality it ends up being two completely different classes. One for Gerfen and one for Mastako. It still seemed like an experimental class. Instruction was very rough around the edges. There was no midterm so the final covered all 12 weeks of school, and was rediculously long.. consisting of a 4-5 page take home essay given by mastako, an in class portion by mastako, and an in class portion by gerfen. Overall I did end up with an A but had to suffer through 6 hours of lecture per week. Mastako was cool, she let the class go early a few times, Gerfen likes to gab in circles about stuff he won't test on. Not sure if this class will survive much longer.

SS 655


Sophomore
C
Required (Support)
Nov 2016
What the guy/gal below said. Amen. I too took this class and have long since graduated from Poly, but I was cruising Poly Ratings for a kick and thought that I should pipe in and let you know how much of a joke this prof is.