Physics for Life Sciences Majors: Mechanics and Energy
Summer 2020 - I’ve never taken physics before, but Bauer definitely made the class as manageable as possible. He is very clear during lecture and gives many examples to solidify topics. He is also pretty active on campus wire to answer questions if you have any. We had weekly quizzes, and the difficulty varied tbh. Some were easy and some were hard, it just depends on the week, but he does give partial credit so its not all bad. He also posts practice exams that are pretty representative of the quizzes. There are no midterms, only 5 quizzes and a final exam, and he drops the lowest quiz. We had FRQs, but he removed them for 5B during session C because they took too long to grade, so I don’t think he’ll add those again. The only extra credit is through campuswire.
Fall 2018 - Heard he's not teaching the 5 series anymore, which to be honest is for the best. This was the first class I had ever failed at UCLA, and now I can't sleep the night before an exam I'm stressed about because of PTSD from this guy. Took this class later with Samani and went up two letter grades. Some people like this guy, but his teaching style did not work for me AT all.
Spring 2020 - Prof Brown was one of the most accommodating professors I had during the COVID emergency. He was flexible with his exams although they were challenging at points everyone in the class did very well. He described problems that we did in class very well and made sure that everyone understood how things worked before he moved on. During the end of the quarter when the Black Lives Matter movement started to gain speed he altered our final exam to make it less of a burden on us. Prof Brown is overall very kind, understanding, and I can tell he wants to see his students succeed in his class.
Fall 2019 - He is an extremely tough professor. He is so profound at physics to the point where he probably doesn't fathom that we don't understand everything immediately. He zooms through the material and diverges a lot from what the book says or the order that it's supposed to be in. He is pretty impatient and is not afraid to subliminally belittle you when you ask him a question in class. His midterms were OK but oftentimes he would not be clear on what he expects us to know. The final was tough and included like 2/6 problems we've never seen variations of. Says he curves the class, but he barely did.
Fall 2017 - Do not take this class with this professor even if it's your last option. His exams are inexplicably difficult, and I would say to the point of impossible. Many students consistently complained about his exams failing to mirror what was taught during lecture, which, by the way, was a nightmare in and of itself. This professor cannot make the material accessible to students if his life depended on it. He's a genius in his profession, but he simply isn't able to relay this information in a student-friendly manner. Please, do yourselves a favor, and avoid this professor at all costs. Both I and a friend dropped this class week 9. We were utterly destroyed even considering both of us had taken AP Physics (Mechanics) during high school. Wrap.
Summer 2021 - This review is for PHYSICS 5B. Kamaga was very disorganized and didn't communicate well with students about logistics. Not many people attended class because her lectures were mainly going over the textbook. She did try to make her own demos and talk to students and was a nice person. The discussion worksheets were graded on completion and you don't need to attend discussion because no one really works together anyways. Quizzes and the final were on gradescope and the questions were worded weirdly. She does drop your lowest quiz and there were some opportunities for extra credit.
Fall 2020 - I do agree with the other reviews that the tests were very rushed and that sometimes we would have to teach ourselves the concepts, but in all honesty this was something I expected, especially with COVID. Prof. Lancaster gives us practice tests about a week before our exams which are pretty much the same as our exams, and he will solve them with us in office hours and post the notes for those who couldn't go. While this does help, often times his notes are all over the place and it will be difficult to understand them if you don't go to office hours. The mastering physics, which is our homework, can take a while, and after a week or two you'll start to notice a trend which is that lectures teach you the basic concepts, the homework is significantly more difficult than the lectures (most of these questions are on slader, chegg, brainly, etc., with steps so you'll always be able to figure it out), and the discussion homework, which is most similar to our exams, are really difficult to work out alone in my opinion. If you take this class with prof Lancaster (which a lot of people are bound to bc of how quickly 5a fills up) here are some tips: - Do the discussion problems with a friend (it's better to do it with one person than a group of like 5 people because then it just gets overwhelming) and also do the practice exams with them - After doing the practice exam write out a list of the steps you did to solve each part that you can refer to during the exam, and also write out a formula sheet - Also look at what values you had to make up in the practice exams and make up a second set that you can use for the actual exams so that you don't waste time making them up. - Always try to do the more difficult options in the discussion homework so that you can get used to it since these points help a lot in the tests (discussion homework is graded on completion not accuracy) - as much as you might want to just read the slides, watch his lectures (I watch them at 2x speed) because he might write some things that aren't in the slides that can be helpful. Overall, this class can be a lot, but it's definitely doable. While a lot of people complained (and they had a right to because he was not very accommodating) the average on both midterms was a high B, and I have a feeling the final will be the same. He gives you a lot of resources that you can use to practice, and those practice tests that he gives out will be the absolute best thing you can use. I'm putting out this review before we take the final but I have a feeling that a large portion of the class will have an A just based on our averages. Mastering Physics: 5% Discussion Sections: 5% Labs: 15% Midterm 1: 25% Midterm 2: 25% Final: 25%