The Shining Lights (Ten of the Best Professors This Semester)

Posted by: Avinash on Tuesday, August 21st, 2007

Standing ovations. You don’t do this often. Maybe at a basketball game, maybe after a great musical. But these teachers? They lecture so perfectly that you can’t help but stand and cheer. So in case you want a great experience in class along with your good grades, obsessively stare at your waitlists and try to barge in on these classes.(Textbooks available online are pictured after each course.)

Ron Gronsky, Engineering 45, Properties of Materials
Introduction to Materials Science for Engineers (6th Edition)
(5.0 out of 5.0): “Awesome class, awesome dude…He gets you through the vast amount of information at a very nice clip, and always engages the class and makes the subject so easy and fun…Made me want to major in Mat Sci. Tests are fair, if do the homework and labs you’ll do fine…go to office hours!”

Mary Kelsey,
Sociology 111, Sociology of the Family
The Way We Really Are: Coming to Terms With America's Changing FamiliesThe Price of Motherhood: Why the Most Important Job in the World is Still the Least ValuedThe Second ShiftFlat Broke with Children: Women in the Age of Welfare Reform
(4.8 out of 5.0): “You will learn a lot from this class. I urge you to try this class at least once. Kelsey knew my name really quickly and she cares about all her students…She is such a sweet person. She has a great personality. Her humor and personal stories make class interesting.”

Zvezdelina Stankova, Math 16A, Analytic Geometry and Calculus

Brief Calculus and Its Applications (11th Edition)Calculus and its Applications (11th Edition)
(4.7 out of 5.0): “Her lectures are clear, organized, and surprisingly stimulating… do hw…that’s all the preparation for quizzes/midterms you need…her accent is awesome…She’s pretty hot too…so so much better of a professor than all the other tools in the math department!”

Jon Ellman, Chemistry 112A, Organic Chemistry
Introduction to Organic Laboratory Techniques: A Small-Scale Approach (Brooks/Cole Laboratory Series for Organic Chemistry) Organic Chemistry and Organic Chemistry: Study Guide and Student Solutions Manual, Volume 1 & Volume 2
(4.7 out of 5.0): “His tests are tough and only get tougher as the semster goes by…test are extremely fair, easy if you know your reactions. he teaches everything on the test, no tricks involved…prepares very well, and he cares about student understanding. very approachable during OH, although people rarely go… GREAT CLASS, GREAT PROFESSOR.”

Robert Beatty, MCB 55, Plagues and Pandemics
MCB 150/150L, Molecular Immunology and Lab

Kuby Immunology
(4.7 out of 5.0): “The exams for this class were never easy, required tons of writing and serious understanding of the material. But Beatty did a good job reiterating the important concepts…very passionate and involved in the subject he teaches, which really passes on to his students… He is very approachable so don’t be scared. I’m gonna miss this guy.”

Alex Zettl, Physics 7A, Physics for Scientists and Engineers
Physics for Scientists and Engineers with Modern Physics, Third Edition
(4.6 out of 5.0): “Class is not easy, but it’s Berkeley, and you could easily have been **** everyday in Chico but that’s not that path you took, is it?…Easily approachable and makes every effort to take into account feedback on lectures and tests…goes over material nice and slow and has one of the most presentable drawings and handwriting i’ve seen in years…”

Robin Einhorn, History 7A, The US from Settlement to Civil War
Black Hawk: An Autobiography (Prairie State Books)The World Turned Upside Down: Indian Voices from Early America (The Bedford Series in History and Culture)Uncle Tom's Cabin (Bantam Classics)Notes on the State of Virginia (Penguin Classics)Common Sense (Penguin Classics)The Sovereignty and Goodness of God: with Related Documents (The Bedford Series in History and Culture)The Classic Slave Narratives (Signet Classics)
and History 103, “Interpreting Politics of Early U.S.”
(4.6 out of 5.0): “I’m not a history person, but I learned A TON in her class…Her lectures are amazing! I was totally captivated from the moment class began until it ended. Students clapped at the end of some of her lectures…Some people were simply born with an ability to teach, and Robin Einhorn is one of those people.”

Babak Ayazifar, Electrical Engineering 20N, Structure & Interpretation of Systems and Signals
Structure and Interpretation of Signals and Systems
(4.5 out of 5.0): “Hardest Prof. I have ever had at Berkeley… challenged me to the limits and beyond…He is funny, helpful and unusually clear and I say unusually because EE classes are hard to understand…He’s brilliant, articulate, personable, and an excellent lecturer. Truly one of the best. BONZAI!”

Alex Filippenko, Astro C10, Intro to General Astronomy
The Cosmos: Astronomy in the New Millennium (with AceAstronomy, Virtual Astronomy Labs Printed Access Card)
(4.5 out of 5.0): “Just the most inspiring, passionnate, generous, and dedicated of professors. He makes science meaningful, not just in and of iself, but in the larger context of life…he’s an interesting and passionate lecturer, brilliant and experienced, and also friendly and funny…It’s an honor to sit 50 feet from Alex as he takes you through the universe. It’s also the only class in which the material was so engaging that I absorbed everything instantly and didn’t have to cram at all.”

Ole Hald, Math 1A, Calculus (4.4 out of 5.0): “The only bad thing about taking his class is I was so spoiled by his sheer awesomeness that all the other math professors and classes I’ve had since are such disappointments…He must have been a stud in his younger years…he did Tai-Chi during my midterm.”

Who are/were your favorite professors at Berkeley? Tell us about the good memories in this thread.

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