Based on 6 Users
Pretty easy GE if you are interested in this subject. Even if you are not, it's fascinating to learn about life in the universe. Homework load light, due once a week. Powerpoint slides posted on the class website so technically you do not even need to go to the lectures...
This class is incredibly tough. I came in thinking that it is a relatively easy class to get an A in, but my class's fall 2015 grade distribution says otherwise. The professor gave ambiguous tests so you have to think like Professor Hansen. If he did give a lenient curve (which he did not) I would love this professor since the material and his style of teaching are very good.
The class is not curved. I had a 79.92 and it's a C+ not a B-.
Professor Hansen is the best!
I have had interesting conversations with him about astronomy and he definitely made me interested in pursuing astronomy.
Ok about the class:
Homework is easy. Midterm is ok. Final was terrible. I had an A going into the final but I got a C+ on the final because some stuff is not really enunciated on the slides and I missed quite some questions on that part of the exam. It was my fault for underestimating the difficulty of the GE but o well, at least the material is interesting and I get to learn about life in the universe
This class is definitely amazing. You get to learn about whether there is life in the universe and you explore different areas like within our solar system and beyond. Although the material is interesting, the professor's lectures are a bit dry.
Homework is weekly assignments. These should be grade buffers. However I was the other way around. I messed up homework (missed 1-3 questions each netting a B+ homework average) but got high A's on my tests, but see below for general advice for others to get an A in this class.
Grading breakdown of the class:
Homework: try to get close to a 100% because it serves as a buffer to the exam scores.
Midterm/Final: Exams average a B- median C/C+ mean. They are by no means easy. The exam consists of multiple choice, short answer, and true/false/plausible/implausible hypothetical questions. Those are generally the toughest, as you need to apply what you learned to determine whether the hypothetical statement is reasonable or not in the future. Do look over the slides because most content comes from the slides. However, do skim/read the textbook as it helps you piece together the concepts. I can certainly say I do very well in the exams because of using the textbook while looking over the slides. Also, do the sample midterm/final posted or take the sample midterm/final during the review session. Some concepts may be tricky but the professor and TAs can help you clarify and keep you on the right track.
Note: the consensus is this GE is on the more difficult side, but if you put in some work and not miss points here and there, an A is definitely possible.
Great professor! Clearly an expert in his field. Lectures can be boring but if you pay attention you will periodically be blown away by some of the awesome information he shares.
Homework is super easy. Midterm was easy. Final was easy. I got a 92.7% on midterm, 90% on final and something like 97% in homework.
The content of this class is great, especially if you want to take a life sciences GE and hate biology like I do. The biology context is light, while the physics and astronomy content is heavy.
The online homework assignments during the COVID-19 pandemic were extremely easy, especially given the fact that you can use the website’s interface to check whether or not your answers were correct before the assignment deadline.
The exams during the COVID-19 pandemic, however, were challenging. They are written exams submitted through GradeScope, and you have a whole 24 hours to complete them. For every unit covered before the exam (around 5 units), there is mix of approximately 3 multiple-choice questions, 3 plausibility questions (in 2-3 sentences, explain why a certain concept is plausible or implausible), and 3 long-answer questions (in a paragraph or more, explain a concept). In total, that is around 15 of each type of question. I estimate that I spent around 8 hours on each exam and still never scored 100% on either. I still managed to get an A+, however.
To be completely honest, I never studied for this class but did have the advantage of taking CLUSTER 70 last year. This class is very doable and does not require much commitment at all.