Professor’s Protips — Prof. Enderle

This week in another installment of Professor’s Protips, we met up with Professor Enderle to get some helpful tips on how to succeed in Chem 2A-C.

Bryan Enderle grew up in Modesto, CA and he currently lives in Davis, CA with his wife, Peggy, and son, Isaac. Enderle works full-time in the department of Chemistry at UC Davis. Enderle primarily teaches to freshman students.

Enderle is deeply invested in science as well as theology/philosophy. Enderle earned two BS degrees in Chemical and Petroleum Engineering before pursuing an MS and PhD in Chemical Engineering. For theology, Enderle pursued an MA in theological studies and is continuing to pursue a ThM.


What is your favorite course to teach?

Whichever one I haven’t taught in a while; sometimes if it’s a class I have taught a lot it gets a little old.

Any basic tips or tricks on how to pass your classes?

They need to do practice exams. Really as many as possible. Timing themselves and grading themselves against the means. Looking at a few practice exams in a row and seeing what they commonly miss and then focusing on those topics. I was an engineer and that’s literally what I did, took as many practice exams as possible.

Would you say your sample tests are similar to the actual test?

For sure, I think that can be said about most professors. It’s the new instructors that are the most unpredictable. If it’s someone who has been teaching for a while, they are going to do some similar stuff. At most, I’ll have one or two really creative questions.

Would you say the textbook is a good way to learn for your class?

On a practical basis… no. A hard no. We did a study in my class to rate the resources and we found the resources are only useful if you go to class. You have to go to class. If you go to class, the most useful resources are the practice exams, and then my reader, then my videos, office hours, study groups, then the book. It’s good as a resource and is helpful for practice problems. When I sort of figured out how to study in my junior plus years of grad school, I used the book for practice problems. Not everyone is my style, but I never read the textbook, and in grad school I never bought the textbook. I would just get them at the library if I really needed them.

You mentioned lecture videos. Are those just recordings of your previous lectures?

The videos are from my lectures, review sessions, and office hours. They are pretty similar to current lectures. Sometimes I might choose different examples or explain things differently. Overall, it’s about 95% similar.

What is the biggest takeaway from your classes?

In the sense of preparing students for the next class, I will teach them what they need to know to get through the Chem series. In the sense of general class preparation, I hope students improve their problem solving skills. In the general sense, I hope that students hate chemistry a little less.

We are thankful for the opportunity to talk with Prof. Enderle and hope to get more professor interviews! Do you have a professor we should interview? Let us know!

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