UC Berkeley Astronomy/Physics Lower Division, Fall 2008

Physics 7A, Physics for Scientists and Engineers
Some dude named Speliotopoulos is teaching 1 section. WHO?

The other section…Alex Zettl, 4.6 out of 5
TuTh 2-330, 1 LeConte

“Explains concepts very well in lecture. A bit obsessed with derivations, went into some stuff that was outside the scope of the class to prove theorems…As for the exams, he places an emphasis on both physics and calculus; if you have a good calculus background and understand *what* an integral is (not how to solve one), then you should do well…Neat handwriting. Some of his lectures go over proofs, which may or may not be helpful to you. I felt that his lectures and demos were more focused on furthering understanding than putting up notes for students to copy down…Explains content very well. Interesting lectures that flow. The best lecturer I’ve had.”

Texts: Physics for Scientists & Engineers, Vol. 1 (Chs 1-20) (4th Edition) by Douglas C. Giancoli

Physics H7A, Physics for Scientists and Engineers
Damon English (no ratings; yeah I know lame)

Texts: Vibrations and Waves (Mit Introductory Physics Series) by A.P. French, An Introduction To Mechanics by Daniel Kleppner and Robert Kolenkow

Physics 7B, Physics for Scientists and Engineers
Xiao-Sheng Huang, 3.8 out of 5
MWF 11-12, 1 LeConte

“Good teaching. He really explains the concept and also the way to solve problem…Overall very good quality, strong point is definitely in thermodynamics, the E&M lectures were a little iffy but still clear and understandable… He used to teach the honors version of 7B, so he tends to make things unnecessarily complicated for the regular version. Makes frequent errors on the board during lecture, which get annoying. Tests are easy and predictable; has multiple questions directly from lecture or homework on each test. Need a good GSI.”

Stuart Freedman (no ratings, although someone gave him a 5/5 for Physics 220)

Andrew Charman, 3.1 out of 5
TuTh 8-930, 1 LeConte

“If you expect physics at Berkeley to be easy, you are still naive. Do every problem in the portable TA and you will do fine in the class. All physics professors do proofs in physics, he is no exception…very good professor: cares a lot about students. curves are nice. portable ta is mandatory to do well on exams…His lectures were clear, well crafted and interesting. But the best part about his class was the tests he wrote; They were actually interesting to take. He was also really helpful in office hours…lots of history in lecture, doesn’t really help on tests, helpful in OH’s.”

George Smoot, 2.5 out of 5
TuTh 11-1230, 1 LeConte

“Smoot won the freaking Nobel Prize while I was his student! This is a very good thing for us undergrads, because he probably wont be teaching any more undergrad classes…His notes are always clear and easy to read, and he does TONS of demos in class, so you can actually see what’s going on. He obviously cares about his students and wants them to do well…Obviously a very smart professor. His tests are crazy- hard. During lecture, I usually felt lost. He was a physics-math major at MIT, so a lot of his explanation is just justifying the formulas and not much of actual application…His lectures are a bit nebulous and boring. He takes his test material from all the available resources, so if you put in the time to read the book, look at old tests, go to lecture…”

Texts: Physics for Scientists & Engineers Vol. 2 (Chs 21-35) (4th Edition) by Douglas C. Giancoli

Physics H7B, Physics for Scientists and Engineers
Irfan Siddiqi (one rating)
MWF 9-10, 2 LeConte

“Good professor. Follows the material in the book and explains it very well.”

Texts: Electricity and Magnetism, Vol. II by Edward M. Purcell

Physics 7C, Physics for Scientists and Engineers
Leroy Kerth, 3.5 out of 5
TuTh 2-330, 4 LeConte

“Kerth’s boardwork is very sloppy; it’s illegible, it’s full of errors, and there is so little of it. He also mumbles in a very low voice. As a result, lectures were completely incomprehensible…Excellent professor. You can tell that he really likes to teach. Very helpful during office hours. Made me proud to be a physics major. Midterms were very easy (so easy that nearly everyone gets close to a perfect score). Overall,the course was a joke. But to his benefit Kerth is a nice guy…Great guy to talk to, especially in office hours. Very nice and helpful. Gave me good advice about going into physics.”

Texts: Physics for Scientists and Engineers with Modern Physics, Volume 5, Chapters 39-46 (with PhysicsNow and InfoTrac ) (Physics for Scientist & Engineers) by Doug Giancoli & Modern Physics by Paul A. Tipler and Ralph Llewellyn

Physics H7C, Physics for Scientists and Engineers
Fa Wang (grad student, you are SCREWED for ratings)
TuTh 930-11, 3 LeConte

Texts: Modern Physics by Raymond A. Serway, Clement J. Moses, and Curt A. Moyer & Schaum’s Outline of Optics by Eugene Hecht

Physics 8A and 8B (See Pre-Med Pre-Reqs Page)

Physics C10, Descriptive Intro to Physics
Richard Muller (4.4 out of 5)

“Really passionate about everything he teaches–great lecturer. All you really need to do is read the book to do good on the tests (2 midterms and final)…He definitely knows his stuff and is enthusiastic that his students are learning the essentials of physics…You will learn stuff that you find useful and interesting. However his lectures are a boring rehash of the book. Also getting a straight A is more difficult in this class and requires more work than in most breadth courses…Muller makes science interesting by focusing on relevant topics such as nuclear weapons, digital cameras, and computers…interesting lecturer, but his textbook is written as he speaks. learned a lot of useful information in his class. a bit cocky, but in a funny, not annoying, way.”

Texts: Physics for Future Presidents: The Science Behind the Headlines by Richard A. Muller

Astronomy 7A, Intro to Astrophysics
Geoff Marcy, 4.2 out of 5
TuTh 1230-2, 56 Barrows

“Good teacher and presents the material well. Sometimes seems like he offers more attention to the females in the class, but that may just be an attempt to help minorities in general in the class…Really makes an effor to make sure students are with him in lectures. Answers email within minutes usually for questions. Nice guy, tests are fair and on the easy side. Definitely recommend…He can be a bit boring…I enjoyed the Course and his presentation. I came out understanding the material very well. After getting used to him he is really quite enjoyable.”

Text: Introduction to Modern Astrophysics, An (2nd Edition) by Bradley W. Carroll and Dale A. Ostlie

Astronomy 10, Intro to General Astronomy
Steven Stahler, 3.5 out of 5
TuTh 11-1230, 100 Lewis

“Professor Stahler seemed to make astro more difficult that it needed to be. Exams were ridiculously easy compared to the material he lectured on. Class was boring and pointless, and according to the GSIs the homework was unnecessarily hard…Prof. Stahler is an entertaining, funny guy who is obviously an expert in his field. The homework is killer, but the exams are remarkably easy…He is a really poor professor. His lectures, while having colorful slides, lacked clarity and were often confusing. It seemed like when he taught he felt like he was teaching to people who already knew astro, so he was just “repeating” stuff, even though he wasn’t. HARD EXAMS! take p/np!!”

Text: Cosmic Perspective, The (5th Edition) by Jeffrey O. Bennett, Megan Donahue, Nicholas Schneider, and Mark Voit

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