Physics for Life Sciences Majors: Mechanics
Abachi may have not been the most effective lecturer, but he is without a doubt, a brilliant man. I had Abachi the 1st quarter he taught 6A, & it was fairly difficult at first. But if you study his practice tests beforehand and understand the HW prob's, you should do fine. He makes up problems and solves them right in front of the class, showing how intelligent he really is: He never uses a calculator. Although this made lectures hard to follow, the main topics he discussed were there. Abachi is used to teaching graduate courses, so you can imagine how difficult it is for him to teach an introductory physics class. He usually answers questions posted on the class website's bulletin board, so you can always post questions there. I was also the lecture-notetaker for his class the 2nd quarter he taught 6A, so I saw that he improved in lecturing style. Overall, Abachi is reasonable to take for 6A.
I had Maha for 6A, and she's one of the few professors here who genuinely want you to succeed in her class. Her midterms are straightforward, with 1 or 2 nearly exact homework problems. That's not to say that it's an easy A, just that she doesn't throw you any curveballs like other professors might. She was willing to hold extra office hours on the weekend right before the final, and she even gave her phone number so she could better explain a problem than through email. She goes through a lot of examples in class, which is what you really need for physics.
Bertello is a very nice guy, very approachable, patient, and friendly. His class is also very easy because he lets you know what will be on the exam. That is to say, his practice exam is almost like the actual exam, except he asks for a different element (for instance, he asks for 'final velocity' on the practice exam. He will ask for 'time' or something else on the actual). The problem-- what makes it difficult-- is that everyone does well, which makes the curve ridiculously skewed to the right. Class average is SO high, it is in the 90's. What chance have you if for any reason you don't do well on one exam? Everyone is already clambering to get over 90. About (over) half the class has a pre-final 'A.' He covers only a few types of problems in class, but not because he can't do difficult problems. He's intelligent and knowledgeable in the subject, and he'll help you with a miscellany of problems if you go to his office (he's always there when he's not teaching a class). It's just that he believes those kinds of problems are most important. But I'm not convinced that's a great idea if you don't have him again as your professor for the next class in the series.
I found Professor Bozovic very easy to understand despite what other people say. She has a slight accent, but I thought she was very thorough at explaining the problems and how to use calculus to solve them, so that people with little experience should understand them. In lecture, she goes over problems of varying difficulty but her tests only have very straightforward problems that don't require calculus to solve. Proffesor Bozovic does not collect homework, only counts the higher of the two midterms, and allows a page of notes on the midterms and final. I took AP Physics a couple years ago, so I already knew everything except the last two chapters. I stopped coming to class since I got 100 on the first midterm, didn't watch the podcasts or do the homework, and only studied a couple days before the final. If you don't know physics that well, you can still ace the class, just study harder and watch her lectures. The most important thing you can do is go over the practice tests she posts online and her past midterms and finals because A LOT of problems on the midterms/final were from her previous tests.
My goodness everyone needs to stop bitching-- Bruinsma was a great professor. Everyone was shocked to get less than 50 on the second midterm. I find these people absolutely ridiculous. If they took a real physics class (with Corbin for instance, where the averages are in the 30s), then you would cry, literally. So stop complaining when you had the easy physics with the easy professor. By the way, I got an A- without any high school physics, so clearly I could do it.
He is a very good lecturer, very smart (he is a double maj in aero engineering and physics, summa cum laude in both degrees). He's caring but also intimidating. He expects you to work hard, and there are many requirements in his Physics 6A class, especially when he teams up with Dr. Wallny. His tests are pretty challenging. Please do all the work and you will benefit much from him and his class. I dropped his class (and aced 6A in the summer anyway), but also I was reminded that classes are like jobs; if you don't want to get fired or to fire yourself, you have to do the work. If the work is too much, don't put it on your plate; you'll end up not doing well. Take it sometime else.
I took astronomy 5 this quarter. This professor and his assistent laura, kept saying "don't worry, don't worry," the whole quarter. We don't know too much about this class, it is the first time that we are teaching it, don't don't worry don't worry." At then end they were very tough for grading this class despite the low quality, and the hard to hear voice this teacher has. I don't recommend to take classes with this professor because he pretends to be honest but he doesn't. He will screw you up at the end.
Spring 2017 - This was a tough class, but professor Davidson was a fair teacher imo. I took this class when the physics series was still the 6 series, so I am not sure how much the workload will differ between Physics 6a vs 5a. The workload was the same across all physics 6a courses (masteringphysics is what is was called?) and as long as you knew how to do those problems, you were pretty much set. Most of the questions I was able to find on Chegg, so I highly recommend getting a chegg account to help out with homework problems. Pretty boring professor, but made a nice joke from time to time. Nice guy tho. I went to Samani's lecture for physics 6a, and his class was A LOT harder than Davidson, and his exams were typically around 50%, from what I have heard (but he does curve). Davidson didn't curve, but at least his exam averages were fair. Would take again if possible.