Nature of Universe
Winter 2019 - Overall I would say that this class was an easy GE. The material is super engaging - it covers the mind-boggling distances and masses, such as the distance from our galaxy to the nearest galaxy being some millions of light years and the mass of our sun being compressed into areas the size of LA etc. Prof. Consiglio was also very enthusiastic about the lecture material and made a good effort to convey her love of astronomy to the class, as her slides were interesting. Also, the homework was all online on Kudu - an online textbook/quiz site for $50. The homework was mainly based on the videos included on the website, from Crash Course Astronomy - these videos were very interesting and watching them didn't feel like studying. The labs were very easy and I usually finished a good time before they ended. The exams were also pretty easy - all multiple choice, based mainly on homework stuff along with a bit of lecture material. Practice exams were extremely useful as some questions were even re-used on the actual exams. Also, 3% extra credit was possible - 2% for going to Griffith observatory and 1% for something else, however I didn't avail this. Now for the donwsides - it is not very easy to take notes in the class as Prof. Consiglio moves along pretty quick and sometimes she skips slides altogether. Unless you have a laptop and can type reasonably fast (~50 wpm), note taking won't be worth it. All the lectures were available on CCLE afterwards anyway however they're usually about. 60% fluff 40% material. Also, the online textbook Kudu was a bit irritating as I don't usually like to watch videos and I found it very difficult to answer the homework questions with just the text as the questions usually asked for very specific facts only mentioned in the video. The exams were easy however sometimes they would ask very specific facts (such as the orbital period of the moon) which was annoying - for the first midterm we were told that it would focus more on concepts than facts but this was not the case. Overall I would recommend this class if you want an easy GE (especially if its P/NP like me). It can be a bit hard to study for the class but it's so easy that it doesn't matter anyway. As long as you have a decent memory for random things like the rough temperature of the surface of the sun, you should have no problem getting an A.
He was great for Astro 3. Very excited and interesting in lecture. I never fell asleep. He uses lots of slides to keep the class interesting and teaches the class very straightforwardly. You can tell he really cares about the subject matter and his students. I really enjoyed Astro 3 because of him.
Fall 2022 - I did not like this class at all. The homework was all online through the text book and Fitzgerald was incredibly boring. He also flagged me for plagiarism since one of my answers was similar to a quizlet he found online and I had to fight it through the dean. Would not recommend this class to anyone. The midterm and final were difficult and all multiple choice.