Physics for Scientists and Engineers: Oscillations, Waves, Electric and Magnetic Fields
Spring 2019 - Overall, the class was okay. Chaney is not the best lecturer in the world, but she is clear enough such that the class material is communicated effectively. The tests for this class are pretty tough, but you should be fine as she adjusts the grading boundaries to help the class grades (she also offers test corrections sometimes).
Spring 2015 - If you are not a genius at physics, be prepared to get your mind continuously shafted day, after day, after day. You walk out of every lecture dazed and confused, and pondering your place on this Earth after feeling like you have been beaten over the head with a concrete cinder block multiple times. His tests and final are like being burned with a skewer after spending so many hours studying just to see yourself fail. He has a good rep most likely because the top 10% get some sick thrill from being challenged. Even by going to his office hours twice a week and taking notes like a madman every lecture, you still feel like you have no clue what you are doing on his tests. Unless you are a physics major with some sort of deranged need for complex problems, avoid him and avoid suffering.
So..for about the first 2-3 weeks, I had no idea what was going on in the class! For some reason Coroniti thought it would be fun to give us proofs out of our ass..that after 15 minutes, he would tell us we would not even have to know! However, after a fear of failing..I studied my ass off for the first midterm and surprisingly did really good! The average was 48/100 and I got a 59..Despite his rampant proofs, Coroniti is really nice, and begs (literally) for questions during lecture. He also tells you exactly what types of problems are going to be on the tests and he really guides your studying so that you can study efficiently. He did not recommend us to do random practice problems, like we did in 1A..so I didn't! The lectures get SO much better after the first midterm once you get into Electric fields and Gauss's Law and Electric Potential. They really helped, especially with example problems. The second midterm was fair as well, however I underestimated the difficulty of Taylor series expansions which were a significant part of the grade. The test was also way to long for a 50min class! The average was a 55/100 and I got a 51 (& the graders are GREAT with partial credit). The last stretch of material, circuits and magnetic fields are surprisingly really interesting (despite having to use torque again). He once again told us all the types of problems that were going to be on the final. And for all of his tests he recommends doing all the homework problems as practice problems (which i think helped)..The final was hard as shit though (but doable), he somehow made a vertical mass on a spring hard as hell! But in general, if you studied well, one could literally get more than half credit on each problem. And some of them were so reminiscent of previous midterm problems but with a slight twist they were still okay. Some of the problems were daunting at first, but after sitting and thinking about them, you could definitely have a couple of epiphanies during the final. I ended up with a B in the class (and i hate physics with allll of my heart & soul)..Even though i think I should have got a B+!
*Lectures I found to be informative and easy to access on his website. *Homework was frustrating at times, but if Mastering Physics was at fault a TA can fix the problem. *Tests were challenging, but very doable. He allows one to use any non-electronic notes. The majority of Prof. Cowley's classes will say the course was hard, and they will be correct. The main thing that bothers me though is that everyone has a negative reaction to having to work for a grade. It's not Prof. Cowley's job to spoon feed every bit of information to you. He is there to lay a foundation for us to build on. We have to think for ourselves for once. Prof. Cowley can not cover everything in great detail, it is our jobs as students to fill in what is left. If something is difficult to understand on the homework or the class in general there are many options a student can take to remedy this. For one students need to learn how to read a science textbook. If this fails then go to the internet for help, then after that seek help from TA's and staff.
Winter 2020 - Overall, Thomas is a good prof. He is always willing to help students working out their problems. And his midterms seemed to be hard but actually doable if you truly learned something. The only thing that he needs to improve is his logic when lecturing. He likes to jump to a brand new concept without any notification. But I do recommend his course.
He's a decent professor. Very helpful and nice. MAKE SURE YOU GO TO HIS REVIEW SESSION or at least do his review problems he posts online as the midterms and finals have almost the exact same problems. I cannot stress that enough. He also takes problem from the homework so if you can solve the homework and his extra problems you should be fine. His tests are fairly easy and almost all problems are computational which is very nice. Would recommend him again if you want a fairly easy 1B teacher.
Spring 2019 - Prof. Garcia is fairly new to lecturing, but I think he still did a good job of covering material. His 1B class is way easier than other professors' (like Corbin's), but you still learn. Granted, you may not learn to be the expert problem-solver that you may think you need to be, but you will still learn enough to understand the basics of electricity. Garcia's usage of Kudu was a bit frustrating (because Kudu sucks), but he promised that he will use the textbook the next time he teaches this course. His exams are very fair (he adjusted after the first midterm) and are actually medium-level difficulty if you study problems out of the textbook (ones he recommends and other extra ones). As far as helpfulness, Prof. Garcia is probably the best in that department. He is very easy to approach and answers questions very positively without any judgement. In other words, if you ask a stupid question, Garcia will still call it a "good question" and answer it without making you feel badly. His office hours are very helpful, as he goes over the problems students have difficulty with, and he is very supportive of setting up personal appointments if you need them. Overall, Prof. Garcia's class is a bit easier than other 1B classes, but I'm sure he will learn to toughen up in the future. I would definitely take another class with him if I can. Thank you for a great quarter, Prof. Garcia.