His lectures are conceptual and so are most of the homework/test questions. His teaching... is a bit confusing (he switches notations or messes up a bit), but it's a good kind of confusion. It's the kind that makes you want to figure out what the heck is going on, and the kind that allows you see how a physicist SHOULD think. There is no doubt he actually cares about the students learning, but I'd guess that people in our class are a bit intimidated or something (or that he doesn't hear us ask questions sometimes). Also, he (or his graders) grade very leniently. The bottom line is, this guy is a genius, and his derivations (although many of you might hate those) are quite brilliant once you figure out his line of reasoning at the end. I hope he teaches again next quarter because I feel myself slowly learning to hone my intuition and generate physical interpretations from seemingly random equations.
This guy is easy. The homework is straight out of the book (though I warn you, the 105 A book is terrible), and very do-able. It is also only due every 2 weeks, and that flexibility is nice. The tests are pretty easy, though beware the multiple choice sections: there are tricks everywhere. Physics classes shouldn't have multiple choice anywhere as far as I'm concerned. He is an okay lecturer, nothing too special, through what he says he says clearly (his voice resembles Kermit the Frog's, so there is some humor there). he had a few relevant demonstrations. The one thing that bothered me is that of the 8 chapters the syllabus said we were supposed to cover, we only did 6. 105A is a class for physics majors who actually need to know what they are learning, so I am concerned that missing this material will come back and bite me in the future. Easy professor, nothing special.
Spring 2020 - Disclaimer: Took this class during the online quarter, so final was "no harm" grading. Professor Kraus is decent. He follows the textbook pretty closely and does what he is supposed to do. However, his lectures are hard to pay attention to, because he is so monotone. His voice fades away as he talks to the point where he is just mumbling before he picks it up and we go on the ride again. He assigns a decent amount of homework every week, but the problem is, his homework does not look like his exams. His exams are much harder than his homework. For example, almost every problem from the Chapter 7 homework had given coordinates to set up the Lagrangian, but he never gives you the coordinates on his exam, as you are to figure them out. Not giving coordinates is completely understandable, but his homework shouldn't give coordinates either. Also, his lecture examples are not similar to the exams either. His exam questions are completely new and are very much on the harder side. Also, he makes questions that should be straightforward into questions where you are bound to lose points. For example, he gave a straightforward final question but gave an ugly integral, which caused me to lose points. His grading is also hit or miss. Most of the time, he is a easy grader, as he gives plenty of partial credit, but sometimes, he takes off a lot of points for the most ridiculous math problems (e.g. setting up the entire problem correctly but not being able to do the integral). Overall, Kraus is a very textbook professor.
Hands down, one of my favorite upper-div professors. The material is difficult (105A and B), but he explains it pretty well and assigns very good homework problems. I like how he doesn't bother with really bullshit topics. He'll ask fair questions on the midterm that are homework-difficulty, so if you can do the harder homework problems without the solutions manual, then you'll do well. Take him if you can; I wish he taught all the upper-div physics classes. He's also hilarious and nice and seems to enjoy the class as well as his students.
Winter 2022 - Professor Naoz was a great teacher. She is sweet and emphasizes that you don't need to be a genius or have some sort of "physics intuition" to solve physics problems. There were participation quizzes, homework, two midterms, and a final. The participation quizzes were just graded for completition and to make sure you're actually showing up to class. The homework was very fair based on what was learned in lecture, and the deadlines are usually about a week. I thought that the midterms were easy, they touched on the main concepts of the homework such as the lagrangian and central potential. The final was fair, however it was very long. Just study the homework and the practice final exams and you should be fine. The exams were all take home this quarter, and you had about 4 days to complete them. If they were in person I think that they would have been a little too much work to complete in an hour, but for take home they were great. There is an optional Mathematica component to this class, which offers 15% extra credit. I would recommend anyone to take this class, as the labs were fair and didn't take up too much time. Also, I think Mathematica is a valuable skill, and Corbin was a great professor, so I think it's worth it if it fits with your schedule. The only problem that I had with Naoz was that she would walk around and ask everybody who they were working with for the in-class problems. I would have preferred if she would just let us work and we would go over it as a class at the end. This is pretty much just nitpicking though. Overall Naoz was a great professor and I'm taking her again for 105B!
- For this class, you really do have to have a strong foundation in physics to have traction in this class. The prerequisites are the 1-series or the 6-series, but even with that foundation, I struggled for the most part. I had heard from Professor Ong surveying the students that they took other classes like 17 and 18, as well as concurrently taking another upper division physics class, and they were the ones who did better in 105A, so I would suggest doing that as well first to get better footing for this class. - As for 105A, Professor Ong teaches this class with the assumption that you have a solid foundation in the lower-division courses because he goes right into the topics and does a few examples in that manner. In the 50-minute period, those are done fairly quickly, which was another factor that made it difficult for me (before using an audio recorder). - There are 9 weekly homework assignments (15%), 2 midterms (20% each), the final (35%), and a recently-added series of 6 Mathematica homeworks (10%). - In the case of Mathematica, another professor, Brent Corbin, is the professor to go to for questions, to turn in those homeworks, and anything Mathematica-related. - Workshops were provided twice a week to get help, though from Winter 2012, the hours were questionable because it was Tuesday and Thursday at the same time, which didn’t work for everybody. Mathematica proved to be more a hindrance than anything because of the time it took along with the regular homework, but hopefully, the kinks get worked out to where it benefits instead of hinders. - Discussion section was also based on the fact of having a strong physics background, so for me, I didn’t see it very useful. - Overall, though Professor Ong is willing to help as much as possible, putting in the time and having a strong physics foundation is vital to success in this class.
I had him for Physics 105A and 105B. It seems like some people don't like him because of his thick accent, but it is pretty understandable and if you are ahead of your reading you will find his lectures are pretty good. His tests are open book and easy. His grading method is generous. When I visited him during his office hours, he seemed to be very concerned.