PHYSICS 4BL

Physics Laboratory for Scientists and Engineers: Electricity and Magnetism

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Theodore Allen Full Profile > N/A Overall N/A Easiness N/A Workload N/A Clarity N/A Helpfulness
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Katsushi Arisaka See Full Profile

Overall 2.7 Easiness 4.0 Workload 2.7 Clarity 2.7 Helpfulness 3.3

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TLDR: Easy busywork but depends on your group, TA, and helps if you have taken 4AL

This class is entirely dependent on your TA and your group. You are placed in a group at the beginning of the year and you stay in it for the whole quarter and are supposed to do all the work together (you pretty much do everything on your own and come together for the unit report and the final project at the end of the quarter). It helps a lot if you have already taken 4AL but I know 2 people in my group hadn't before and only struggled a little bit. There are 4 units, Training (reaction time), sound, circuits, and the final project. the first unit and the beginning of the second unit were copy-paste of the first and second unit of 4AL so it's easy to reuse work and data. The rest of the units are just a lot of busywork up until the final project which can be as fun as you make it (you choose to build something out of the UNO kit). My TA was horrible and my group was smaller than all the others but the work itself isn't very hard. If you need help you can ask your groupmates or go to the TAs office hours (I went once and I was the only person all quarter so if you want help but dont want to hurt your ego it's easy to ask questions alone). If you have problems with your group or TA make sure to change it defore the drop deadline because after almost nothing will change!

Fall Quarter 2020
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Arash Bellafard Full Profile > N/A Overall N/A Easiness N/A Workload N/A Clarity N/A Helpfulness
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Neel Bhuskute Full Profile > 1.0 Overall 4.0 Easiness 3.0 Workload 2.0 Clarity 1.0 Helpfulness
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Overall 1.0 Easiness 4.0 Workload 3.0 Clarity 2.0 Helpfulness 1.0

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Wesley Campbell See Full Profile

Overall 1.5 Easiness 1.8 Workload 1.6 Clarity 1.7 Helpfulness 1.5

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This class sucks. Some ways to make it suck marginally less:
- If you haven't taken 4AL, in the first lab try to figure out how many people in your section have. 90% of the points you lose will be on formatting details if you're new to writing labs like this. People who've taken 4AL will know how to do it and jack up the curve while you have to figure it out. If more than half of the people in your section have taken 4AL, switch to a new one immediately.
- Also if your TA is unhelpful or doesn't seem to know what they're doing, find a new section as well. I had to ask mine for clarification on almost every lab because the manual is so poorly written. Also make sure you know what your TA wants format-wise so you're not losing points.
- Reading at least the introduction section of each lab before you take the quiz will help you know what equations and concepts are important - makes it easier to figure out the questions.
- You don't have to read each lab in detail before you do it, but at least get a look at the questions for the worksheet and what data you have to analyze in the report. This'll tell you what parts of the experiments are actually important and you don't have to waste time on minor parts of it (especially for the labs where you'll probably have a time crunch).
- Try to do the analysis sections (graphing, linear regressions, etc.) in lab if you have extra time. That way you know you have everything you need and if something seems off about the data, you can ask your TA about it. If you're lucky, they won't dock you for your data seeming off if your procedure and analysis follow the correct steps, but it's good to ask them in lab and make sure.
- This will sound like a broken record but START EARLY. Writing up the labs are a lot of work but much more manageable as 1-2 hours a day. Especially since you have to pay attention to a lot of details like precision and significant figures, it's better to give yourself time to review it and fix stuff.
- As said before, most of the points you'll lose will be due to nitpicky formatting things. The only real way to see what was specifically wrong with your report is to check back on the Turnitin links for each lab after a week or so following its due date. If your TA leaves comments on the labs it'll help figure out where specifically points are being taken off and what you need to fix. A lot of the things I lost points for were formatting requirements my TA did not mention at all in lab.
- See if the TA would be willing to share information about score distributions for each lab after they're graded. Since the classes are curved by section, it'll help you get a better idea of where you stand compared to everyone else.

Fall Quarter 2018
Jr, Carmona See Full Profile

Overall 3.0 Easiness 3.0 Workload 3.0 Clarity 2.0 Helpfulness 2.0

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Lab sessions: He doesn't really come around to check on the groups, so it's a lot of independent work. He's also not that good at explaining concepts. My group was nice though so it was fun working through different labs with them.

Lab Reports: Graded fairly harshly and got points taken off for small writing style issues. These seem to be graded on a strict bell distribution. However, from what I heard, this seems to be a departmental standard for this course.

Overall: It was generally pretty chill.

Winter Quarter 2021
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Troy Carter Full Profile > 4.6 Overall 2.1 Easiness 2.3 Workload 4.6 Clarity 4.6 Helpfulness
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Overall 4.6 Easiness 2.1 Workload 2.3 Clarity 4.6 Helpfulness 4.6

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John Charters Full Profile > N/A Overall N/A Easiness N/A Workload N/A Clarity N/A Helpfulness
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Gary Chen Full Profile > N/A Overall N/A Easiness N/A Workload N/A Clarity N/A Helpfulness
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Krishna Choudhary Full Profile > N/A Overall N/A Easiness N/A Workload N/A Clarity N/A Helpfulness
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