Brent Corbin
Department of Physics
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3.7
Overall Rating
Based on 95 Users
Easiness 1.5 / 5 How easy the class is, 1 being extremely difficult and 5 being easy peasy.
Clarity 4.1 / 5 How clear the professor is, 1 being extremely unclear and 5 being very clear.
Workload 2.6 / 5 How light the workload is, 1 being extremely heavy and 5 being extremely light.
Helpfulness 3.7 / 5 How helpful the professor is, 1 being not helpful at all and 5 being extremely helpful.

TOP TAGS

  • Tough Tests
  • Engaging Lectures
  • Often Funny

GRADE DISTRIBUTIONS

53.4%
44.5%
35.6%
26.7%
17.8%
8.9%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

22.8%
19.0%
15.2%
11.4%
7.6%
3.8%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

19.1%
15.9%
12.7%
9.5%
6.4%
3.2%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

30.3%
25.3%
20.2%
15.2%
10.1%
5.1%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

28.6%
23.8%
19.0%
14.3%
9.5%
4.8%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

25.4%
21.2%
16.9%
12.7%
8.5%
4.2%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

26.2%
21.8%
17.5%
13.1%
8.7%
4.4%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

30.1%
25.0%
20.0%
15.0%
10.0%
5.0%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

28.4%
23.7%
18.9%
14.2%
9.5%
4.7%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

29.7%
24.7%
19.8%
14.8%
9.9%
4.9%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

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Reviews (77)

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Quarter: Fall 2021
Grade: A
Dec. 19, 2021

I wish to write this review in order to help those who will, must, or want to take Corbin's class in the future to know about the whole picture of this class, about Professor Corbin, and about his exams. Just a few words before I start: DO NOT TAKE THIS CLASS if you want an easy A ge. DO NOT TAKE THIS CLASS if you are not that good at physics (no foundation, poor at physics, etc.). DO NOT TAKE THIS CLASS if you are not good at math. Otherwise, you will SCREW you gpa. Just a kind reminder.
-
Grade Distribution: Five biweekly quizzes, each consists of a 30-point, 4-subpart questions. Every quiz is worth 12%, in total quizs worth 60% of your grade. Final Exam is worth 30% of your grade, which consists of five 30-point-quiz-like questions. Homework on Pearson is worth 10% of the final grade. Professor Corbin will replace your lowest quiz by your second lowest.
-
About Exams: Corbin's exams are absolutely DISASTERS. Those horrible quizzes, in general, have a mean grade around 58% and median around 61% out of 100%. Corbin never give simple questions like multiple choice or short answers. The worst thing is, not a single question has a number in it, which means every question he gives you'll have to deduct expressions with unknown quantities. Do the derivation and integration based on unknown quantities, which its difficulty is normally not suitable for a class like 1A. Final exam is worse, the mean grade is around 48% out of 100% (72 out of 150), median around 50%. If you are not that good at physics, you might find you cannot solve a single subpart of a question. Frankly speaking, Corbin's exams are so tough that your preparation through homework and lectures might be completely useless. For those who have to go with Corbin, I can only suggest you to go over his notes and lectures again and again, fully understand every single question on hws, go to office hours more often to figure out what you dont understand. Let me put in this way: Corbin's exams are designed for those top and genius science students or those with very very good physics foundation/very good at physics. His exams remind me of the day I was practicing for Physics Bowl and International Physics Olympiad Comp, that's how it is, somehow as as difficult as those comptition-kind questions. For those who have options other than Corbin, do it anyway.
-
About Lectures: Professor Corbin may be one of the best lecturers I've ever met at UCLA. His class is well organized and super clear. Detailed explanations and demonstrations on the questions and contents are very straightfoward, so even if you have no physics basics, you can definitely follow his steps and learn some physics in class (Well, his exam is another story). Besides, his class is also very interesting and intriguing. You wont fell boring during his class, and I can assure you that you can absolutely learn something here. And Professor Corbin is a very nice and professional instructor.
-
About the Curve: As far as I know, Corbin's curve is QUITE NICE. For those who can score a couple of points higher than the median every time, you have a guaranteed A. Here's our educated guess based on our grades and information: Getting Around 70%-75% out of 100% in the final grade, you have a very high possiblity to get an A (my friend got 78/100 = A in the total final grade), Above 80% is a guaranteed A (I got 80.6/100 = A, and everyone I know above 80 is an A through out the entire academic year). Overall, around 30 to 40 percent of the entire class can get an A, so the A rate is not that low. Do not panic if your score seems to be low on an absolute scale. ALWAYS COMPARE WITH STATISTICS PROVIDED. As long as you score above the mean, you will be fine. If you score above the median, you did pretty well and dont need to worry at all. If you score one standard deviation above the mean, then you are awesome and in the A range.
-
In general, if you are not that confident with your physics/math, or if you want an easy A ge, or if you want to get a good grade and gpa, AVOID THIS CLASS AT ANY COST. If you are stuck with him and dont have any other options, I would say follow his lectures and notes, spend lots lots of time studying physics, get some practice on the internet, and go to his office hours to ask questions, and I hope that every of you can get the grade you want. Good Luck to the future generations!

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Quarter: Winter 2017
Grade: C
March 31, 2017

I'm pretty sure this review will be pretty derivative given how many reviews there already are for Corbin, but I'll take my shot anyway.

Everything you read about him is true and more. His tests are so hard that you start questioning your existence during exams. He's a pretty good lecturer and a funny guy in total (he especially likes to allude to a sketchy past), and a fun character to try to figure out.

Class averages will be pretty low, but of course most people would just be concerned on trying to ride the curve. I personally was below both midterms and was hella stressed for the final, but I managed to pass with a C after intense studying for 2 weeks.

My advice will be to of course do all the homework he "assigns" (textbooks aren't mandatory for his class and he claims you can use any but he will give out homework problems for the 12th, 13th, and 14th edition of University Physics). It's true you can't really know physics until you practice, practice, practice. Do the problems and if you have trouble, ask your TA or find a useful TA, or if not, find a study group to try to figure them out together. I personally didn't find Corbin's office hours helpful as he didn't like to do homework problems, and it usually was like a soft intro to the next lecture (if you want to go, phrase your questions conceptually). The class is made up of two midterms both 25%, and the 50% final, but Corbin tests are so wtf that the best way to study is just doing a shit ton of problems. Don't just practice problems, though, but practice approaches, especially since his midterms are usually made of 3 really hard problems (challenge problems type in University Physics) that you have to complete in 50 minutes. It's hella stressful so don't blank. There isn't actually a lot of math in his midterms (in my experience); the hardest were simple integrals/ derivatives. The final however, did have taylor series for gravitation. Overall, don't get behind on his class, which is easy to do bc the "homework" isn't due (its roughly a chapter a week, sometimes faster), and especially for the last chapter don't forget to study his last examples (like the wobbly star problem), because they might show up on the final.

I honestly don't know if I would take Corbin again for 1A. He was a good lecturer, lively and engaging unlike many others. What he especially taught me is how to approach weird insane physics problems in a short amount of time, but honestly I was so stressed out about his class, since there's no cushion. If you're confident in your physics skills and have done well in say AP Physics, then you'll probably do better than me haha, as long as you don't fall behind on your work, but if you know you're a little worse in physics, then maybe consider taking another professor, because it's not worth it imo (I probably put in close to 40 hours of studying for the final - that's how much work it can be). Good luck to future generations, but fuck those tests!

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Quarter: Winter 2022
Grade: A
April 30, 2022

I have the exceedingly unpopular following opinion: Corbin is great!
.
However, before I even go into why I hold such a radical opinion, some important concessions to the majority:
• If you don't have physics experience going into this class (AP Physics 1 is what I had), you will with a high certainty be in a tremendous amount of pain. This holds for any Physics 1A professor, since it's quite a conceptual leap for a single quarter, but like, Corbin isn't the most beginner-friendly.
• Even if you do have physics experience, if you didn't enjoy that physics experience or didn't grasp it that well, you may, again, enjoy taking the class with another professor more.
• Corbin's tests *are* quite hard. Corbin *does,* however, highly curve. If seeing a final exam average of just over 40% stresses you out beyond belief, that's very understandable; this may not be the course for you. If you recognize Corbin recognizes the tests almost always fail to exceed a 70% average, and thus curves (in the good way) highly, and you're OK with this grading scheme, then you'll do just fine here.
• Corbin is not very accommodating. We initially were online and thus the class was recorded, but after about two lectures in person he claimed the recording wasn't working and stopped moving the camera to follow what he was writing on the chalk board. His mic also died a record number of times during lecture, something I've never seen elsewhere. He either has a curse with technology or has cursed technology, but whatever it is he'd rather you show up in person and likely won't negotiate.
• The homework (Mastering Physics) is often pretty painfully long and complicated (HIGHLY recommend doing it with a friend or friends), but well prepares you for exams. I couldn't make it to office hours, but he won't go over homework there (likely due to the problems' drawn out natures), instead focusing on concept discussion.
.
If that hasn't turned you away, let's talk about the good side of this mischievous man! First and foremost, Corbin's been around for a while, so he knows what he's doing. He has his lectures pretty well curated; he always knows what he's talking about and lectures on the fly, solving physics problems in depth but skipping a bunch of mathematical steps. It's at a reasonable enough pace to write down everything he does, although you will likely have to look back over notes to fully understand what he wrote (and fill in the missing mathematical pieces). This style leaves time for more examples and clarifying discussion. Sometimes the math gets a little bit challenging, bringing in concepts from calculus that you may not have (fully) learned yet; these mostly don't come up in homework and exams, but are good to try and understand if possible. But generally I'd say he lectures well and gives ample examples to discuss the topics he's covering. You'll see that exams often have problems very similar to examples given in class.
.
And why I enjoyed the class most: on top of clearly knowing what he's talking about, Corbin has a fun time lecturing! Every once in a while he'll throw in a fun, short story about when he was younger, or make a joke that wrestles a smile out of your sleep-deprived soul struggling to recover from whatever bad decisions kept you up the night prior. He sometimes wears entertaining t-shirts and has no trouble really letting you know how he feels. I'm sure if you get him in a fully in-person quarter, you'll have entertaining physics demonstrations, too (we only heard stories). Some fun quotes from him I wrote down over the quarter include "each of you is right in your own interesting way"; (in addressing a common misconception) "total absolute pure sheer unadulterated bullshit"; and "[My wife] is always trying to tell me 'I'm not dignified' in lecture. Like what the hell does that mean??"
.
I'd say Corbin is an endearing a**hole; I love this, but it's not everyone's piece of cake.
.
The short and quick of it is if you want a fun time, but not necessarily an easy time, and you've enjoyed physics in the past, take the class. If you have a lot of calculus experience, that helps too. If anything in my review or someone else's review terrifies you, that's also perfectly reasonable; probably avoid Corbin.

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Quarter: Winter 2022
Grade: A
Feb. 17, 2022

Corbin is a fantastic lecturer. He is extremely clear, funny, and all-around informative and engaging. I really like him as a lecturer.
He doesn't like to answer homework questions in Office Hours or anything which is a little unhelpful.
His tests and quizzes are hard, but not impossible. In my experience, for *most* (not all) of our quiz questions, he did an adjacent problem in lecture.
The curve is very very generous. I averaged an 80% on the quizzes and got a 42% on the final, but managed to get an A in the class.
My largest word of advice is to do the homework on a weekly schedule. Do one chapter a week because you're going to have the worst time Week 10 if you save it all to the end!

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Quarter: Fall 2021
Grade: B
Dec. 7, 2021

When I enrolled in Physics1A with Corbin, I didn't even know about Bruinwalk at the time. God damn, I wish I did because this quarter was not a fun experience. When people say his tests are hard, THEY MEAN IT. His tests have no numbers in them; they're all with variables, but the setups are really hard a lot of the time.

I think a lot of people on Bruinwalk say that Corbin is an excellent lecturer, and I would say that he's a good lecturer, but no matter how good he is at explaining things, you won't be ready for his tests unless you do a stupid amount of studying. You might be thinking, "oh I'll be able to learn the material more", but no, please it's not worth it. I HIGHLY recommend taking a different professor sorry Corbin :)

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Quarter: Winter 2017
Grade: NR
June 27, 2017

This was the hardest class I have taken so far. I studied really hard to just get a C. I left every lecture even more confused.

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Quarter: Winter 2018
Grade: B
March 30, 2018

Personally, I did not enjoy Corbin's class. Everyone told me to take him if I wanted a challenging class where I would really learn Physics. However, that was not my experience. His lectures were interesting and not terribly difficult to follow, but I feel like they did not teach me physics. He often blew over the algebra parts of solving, and he was not receptive of questions. His tests are ridiculous and even though he ends up curving the class a bunch in the end, I personally feel that it is not a good learning environment. There's no homework technically due in class and although the book problems are helpful to do, nothing can prepare you for his crazy tests. The final however is a lot better than both midterms, and even though I was below average on both midterms, I got a B in class and I believe it's because the final was much more straight forward and you actually had time to think and work through the problems. Overall though, I wish I had not taken his class and I would not recommend anyone else take it either.

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Quarter: Winter 2021
Grade: A
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
March 24, 2021

To put it simply, this class was quite difficult, but Professor Corbin made it engaging and worked to ensure that his students understood the material. I personally find Physics to be a subject that's inherently hard, and so it may have been near impossible to pass this class without going to both Professor Corbin's and my TA's office hours. The homework is also quite challenging, and for this online Winter quarter (so might not be applicable in general), the professor had all the assigned homework due simultaneously the week before finals, so it was important to not hold off on all the assignments till the end. The most difficult part was definitely the biweekly quizzes which really test your theoretical understanding, but thankfully the final "curve" at the end of the quarter was really good despite my pretty abysmal scores on the quizzes. Overall, if you put in the necessary effort and consult the TAs or professor to clarify any doubts, this class should be fine.

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Quarter: Winter 2021
Grade: A
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
March 23, 2021

I got pretty frightened with previous reviews but honestly Corbin is a really great professor overall. You might struggle with him if your maths isn't strong (he skips a lot of steps) but generally you'll learn a LOT even if the tests seem really hard. He makes them hard on purpose and doesn't want the average being so high because its meant to be a challenge, but the curve in this class is EXCELLENT!!

The graders are so lenient <33 this quarter, since it was online, he split our midterms up into 5 quizzes (every fortnight) which were each amde up of a 30 point midterm question (12% each). we also had mastering physics homework which took AGES and was worth 10% which was kinda annoying because it took over a day per chapter - from what I know he doesn't usually do this for his in person classes and he meant for it to help our grade, but i think he just didnt realise how long the questions really were.

overall I'd honestly recommend him - i didn't really have a strong physics background but he explains things really well! he goes a bit fast so if that stresses you out you can watch the recordings or take another prof but im ngl i started enjoying some of the content later on! some midterm questions were really hard and in the final as well but again as long as you write something youll get points for it !

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Quarter: Winter 2020
Grade: A
April 20, 2020

If Walter White went back to teaching. As other posters mentioned the class averages for the midterms are below 50%, but that said he is still a good lecturer and with the curve the grading scheme isn't so bad. If you want to learn physics, take this course; if you want a better chance at a good grade, take someone else.

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Quarter: Fall 2021
Grade: A
Dec. 19, 2021

I wish to write this review in order to help those who will, must, or want to take Corbin's class in the future to know about the whole picture of this class, about Professor Corbin, and about his exams. Just a few words before I start: DO NOT TAKE THIS CLASS if you want an easy A ge. DO NOT TAKE THIS CLASS if you are not that good at physics (no foundation, poor at physics, etc.). DO NOT TAKE THIS CLASS if you are not good at math. Otherwise, you will SCREW you gpa. Just a kind reminder.
-
Grade Distribution: Five biweekly quizzes, each consists of a 30-point, 4-subpart questions. Every quiz is worth 12%, in total quizs worth 60% of your grade. Final Exam is worth 30% of your grade, which consists of five 30-point-quiz-like questions. Homework on Pearson is worth 10% of the final grade. Professor Corbin will replace your lowest quiz by your second lowest.
-
About Exams: Corbin's exams are absolutely DISASTERS. Those horrible quizzes, in general, have a mean grade around 58% and median around 61% out of 100%. Corbin never give simple questions like multiple choice or short answers. The worst thing is, not a single question has a number in it, which means every question he gives you'll have to deduct expressions with unknown quantities. Do the derivation and integration based on unknown quantities, which its difficulty is normally not suitable for a class like 1A. Final exam is worse, the mean grade is around 48% out of 100% (72 out of 150), median around 50%. If you are not that good at physics, you might find you cannot solve a single subpart of a question. Frankly speaking, Corbin's exams are so tough that your preparation through homework and lectures might be completely useless. For those who have to go with Corbin, I can only suggest you to go over his notes and lectures again and again, fully understand every single question on hws, go to office hours more often to figure out what you dont understand. Let me put in this way: Corbin's exams are designed for those top and genius science students or those with very very good physics foundation/very good at physics. His exams remind me of the day I was practicing for Physics Bowl and International Physics Olympiad Comp, that's how it is, somehow as as difficult as those comptition-kind questions. For those who have options other than Corbin, do it anyway.
-
About Lectures: Professor Corbin may be one of the best lecturers I've ever met at UCLA. His class is well organized and super clear. Detailed explanations and demonstrations on the questions and contents are very straightfoward, so even if you have no physics basics, you can definitely follow his steps and learn some physics in class (Well, his exam is another story). Besides, his class is also very interesting and intriguing. You wont fell boring during his class, and I can assure you that you can absolutely learn something here. And Professor Corbin is a very nice and professional instructor.
-
About the Curve: As far as I know, Corbin's curve is QUITE NICE. For those who can score a couple of points higher than the median every time, you have a guaranteed A. Here's our educated guess based on our grades and information: Getting Around 70%-75% out of 100% in the final grade, you have a very high possiblity to get an A (my friend got 78/100 = A in the total final grade), Above 80% is a guaranteed A (I got 80.6/100 = A, and everyone I know above 80 is an A through out the entire academic year). Overall, around 30 to 40 percent of the entire class can get an A, so the A rate is not that low. Do not panic if your score seems to be low on an absolute scale. ALWAYS COMPARE WITH STATISTICS PROVIDED. As long as you score above the mean, you will be fine. If you score above the median, you did pretty well and dont need to worry at all. If you score one standard deviation above the mean, then you are awesome and in the A range.
-
In general, if you are not that confident with your physics/math, or if you want an easy A ge, or if you want to get a good grade and gpa, AVOID THIS CLASS AT ANY COST. If you are stuck with him and dont have any other options, I would say follow his lectures and notes, spend lots lots of time studying physics, get some practice on the internet, and go to his office hours to ask questions, and I hope that every of you can get the grade you want. Good Luck to the future generations!

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Quarter: Winter 2017
Grade: C
March 31, 2017

I'm pretty sure this review will be pretty derivative given how many reviews there already are for Corbin, but I'll take my shot anyway.

Everything you read about him is true and more. His tests are so hard that you start questioning your existence during exams. He's a pretty good lecturer and a funny guy in total (he especially likes to allude to a sketchy past), and a fun character to try to figure out.

Class averages will be pretty low, but of course most people would just be concerned on trying to ride the curve. I personally was below both midterms and was hella stressed for the final, but I managed to pass with a C after intense studying for 2 weeks.

My advice will be to of course do all the homework he "assigns" (textbooks aren't mandatory for his class and he claims you can use any but he will give out homework problems for the 12th, 13th, and 14th edition of University Physics). It's true you can't really know physics until you practice, practice, practice. Do the problems and if you have trouble, ask your TA or find a useful TA, or if not, find a study group to try to figure them out together. I personally didn't find Corbin's office hours helpful as he didn't like to do homework problems, and it usually was like a soft intro to the next lecture (if you want to go, phrase your questions conceptually). The class is made up of two midterms both 25%, and the 50% final, but Corbin tests are so wtf that the best way to study is just doing a shit ton of problems. Don't just practice problems, though, but practice approaches, especially since his midterms are usually made of 3 really hard problems (challenge problems type in University Physics) that you have to complete in 50 minutes. It's hella stressful so don't blank. There isn't actually a lot of math in his midterms (in my experience); the hardest were simple integrals/ derivatives. The final however, did have taylor series for gravitation. Overall, don't get behind on his class, which is easy to do bc the "homework" isn't due (its roughly a chapter a week, sometimes faster), and especially for the last chapter don't forget to study his last examples (like the wobbly star problem), because they might show up on the final.

I honestly don't know if I would take Corbin again for 1A. He was a good lecturer, lively and engaging unlike many others. What he especially taught me is how to approach weird insane physics problems in a short amount of time, but honestly I was so stressed out about his class, since there's no cushion. If you're confident in your physics skills and have done well in say AP Physics, then you'll probably do better than me haha, as long as you don't fall behind on your work, but if you know you're a little worse in physics, then maybe consider taking another professor, because it's not worth it imo (I probably put in close to 40 hours of studying for the final - that's how much work it can be). Good luck to future generations, but fuck those tests!

Helpful?

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Quarter: Winter 2022
Grade: A
April 30, 2022

I have the exceedingly unpopular following opinion: Corbin is great!
.
However, before I even go into why I hold such a radical opinion, some important concessions to the majority:
• If you don't have physics experience going into this class (AP Physics 1 is what I had), you will with a high certainty be in a tremendous amount of pain. This holds for any Physics 1A professor, since it's quite a conceptual leap for a single quarter, but like, Corbin isn't the most beginner-friendly.
• Even if you do have physics experience, if you didn't enjoy that physics experience or didn't grasp it that well, you may, again, enjoy taking the class with another professor more.
• Corbin's tests *are* quite hard. Corbin *does,* however, highly curve. If seeing a final exam average of just over 40% stresses you out beyond belief, that's very understandable; this may not be the course for you. If you recognize Corbin recognizes the tests almost always fail to exceed a 70% average, and thus curves (in the good way) highly, and you're OK with this grading scheme, then you'll do just fine here.
• Corbin is not very accommodating. We initially were online and thus the class was recorded, but after about two lectures in person he claimed the recording wasn't working and stopped moving the camera to follow what he was writing on the chalk board. His mic also died a record number of times during lecture, something I've never seen elsewhere. He either has a curse with technology or has cursed technology, but whatever it is he'd rather you show up in person and likely won't negotiate.
• The homework (Mastering Physics) is often pretty painfully long and complicated (HIGHLY recommend doing it with a friend or friends), but well prepares you for exams. I couldn't make it to office hours, but he won't go over homework there (likely due to the problems' drawn out natures), instead focusing on concept discussion.
.
If that hasn't turned you away, let's talk about the good side of this mischievous man! First and foremost, Corbin's been around for a while, so he knows what he's doing. He has his lectures pretty well curated; he always knows what he's talking about and lectures on the fly, solving physics problems in depth but skipping a bunch of mathematical steps. It's at a reasonable enough pace to write down everything he does, although you will likely have to look back over notes to fully understand what he wrote (and fill in the missing mathematical pieces). This style leaves time for more examples and clarifying discussion. Sometimes the math gets a little bit challenging, bringing in concepts from calculus that you may not have (fully) learned yet; these mostly don't come up in homework and exams, but are good to try and understand if possible. But generally I'd say he lectures well and gives ample examples to discuss the topics he's covering. You'll see that exams often have problems very similar to examples given in class.
.
And why I enjoyed the class most: on top of clearly knowing what he's talking about, Corbin has a fun time lecturing! Every once in a while he'll throw in a fun, short story about when he was younger, or make a joke that wrestles a smile out of your sleep-deprived soul struggling to recover from whatever bad decisions kept you up the night prior. He sometimes wears entertaining t-shirts and has no trouble really letting you know how he feels. I'm sure if you get him in a fully in-person quarter, you'll have entertaining physics demonstrations, too (we only heard stories). Some fun quotes from him I wrote down over the quarter include "each of you is right in your own interesting way"; (in addressing a common misconception) "total absolute pure sheer unadulterated bullshit"; and "[My wife] is always trying to tell me 'I'm not dignified' in lecture. Like what the hell does that mean??"
.
I'd say Corbin is an endearing a**hole; I love this, but it's not everyone's piece of cake.
.
The short and quick of it is if you want a fun time, but not necessarily an easy time, and you've enjoyed physics in the past, take the class. If you have a lot of calculus experience, that helps too. If anything in my review or someone else's review terrifies you, that's also perfectly reasonable; probably avoid Corbin.

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Quarter: Winter 2022
Grade: A
Feb. 17, 2022

Corbin is a fantastic lecturer. He is extremely clear, funny, and all-around informative and engaging. I really like him as a lecturer.
He doesn't like to answer homework questions in Office Hours or anything which is a little unhelpful.
His tests and quizzes are hard, but not impossible. In my experience, for *most* (not all) of our quiz questions, he did an adjacent problem in lecture.
The curve is very very generous. I averaged an 80% on the quizzes and got a 42% on the final, but managed to get an A in the class.
My largest word of advice is to do the homework on a weekly schedule. Do one chapter a week because you're going to have the worst time Week 10 if you save it all to the end!

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Quarter: Fall 2021
Grade: B
Dec. 7, 2021

When I enrolled in Physics1A with Corbin, I didn't even know about Bruinwalk at the time. God damn, I wish I did because this quarter was not a fun experience. When people say his tests are hard, THEY MEAN IT. His tests have no numbers in them; they're all with variables, but the setups are really hard a lot of the time.

I think a lot of people on Bruinwalk say that Corbin is an excellent lecturer, and I would say that he's a good lecturer, but no matter how good he is at explaining things, you won't be ready for his tests unless you do a stupid amount of studying. You might be thinking, "oh I'll be able to learn the material more", but no, please it's not worth it. I HIGHLY recommend taking a different professor sorry Corbin :)

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Quarter: Winter 2017
Grade: NR
June 27, 2017

This was the hardest class I have taken so far. I studied really hard to just get a C. I left every lecture even more confused.

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Quarter: Winter 2018
Grade: B
March 30, 2018

Personally, I did not enjoy Corbin's class. Everyone told me to take him if I wanted a challenging class where I would really learn Physics. However, that was not my experience. His lectures were interesting and not terribly difficult to follow, but I feel like they did not teach me physics. He often blew over the algebra parts of solving, and he was not receptive of questions. His tests are ridiculous and even though he ends up curving the class a bunch in the end, I personally feel that it is not a good learning environment. There's no homework technically due in class and although the book problems are helpful to do, nothing can prepare you for his crazy tests. The final however is a lot better than both midterms, and even though I was below average on both midterms, I got a B in class and I believe it's because the final was much more straight forward and you actually had time to think and work through the problems. Overall though, I wish I had not taken his class and I would not recommend anyone else take it either.

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COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Quarter: Winter 2021
Grade: A
March 24, 2021

To put it simply, this class was quite difficult, but Professor Corbin made it engaging and worked to ensure that his students understood the material. I personally find Physics to be a subject that's inherently hard, and so it may have been near impossible to pass this class without going to both Professor Corbin's and my TA's office hours. The homework is also quite challenging, and for this online Winter quarter (so might not be applicable in general), the professor had all the assigned homework due simultaneously the week before finals, so it was important to not hold off on all the assignments till the end. The most difficult part was definitely the biweekly quizzes which really test your theoretical understanding, but thankfully the final "curve" at the end of the quarter was really good despite my pretty abysmal scores on the quizzes. Overall, if you put in the necessary effort and consult the TAs or professor to clarify any doubts, this class should be fine.

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COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Quarter: Winter 2021
Grade: A
March 23, 2021

I got pretty frightened with previous reviews but honestly Corbin is a really great professor overall. You might struggle with him if your maths isn't strong (he skips a lot of steps) but generally you'll learn a LOT even if the tests seem really hard. He makes them hard on purpose and doesn't want the average being so high because its meant to be a challenge, but the curve in this class is EXCELLENT!!

The graders are so lenient <33 this quarter, since it was online, he split our midterms up into 5 quizzes (every fortnight) which were each amde up of a 30 point midterm question (12% each). we also had mastering physics homework which took AGES and was worth 10% which was kinda annoying because it took over a day per chapter - from what I know he doesn't usually do this for his in person classes and he meant for it to help our grade, but i think he just didnt realise how long the questions really were.

overall I'd honestly recommend him - i didn't really have a strong physics background but he explains things really well! he goes a bit fast so if that stresses you out you can watch the recordings or take another prof but im ngl i started enjoying some of the content later on! some midterm questions were really hard and in the final as well but again as long as you write something youll get points for it !

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Quarter: Winter 2020
Grade: A
April 20, 2020

If Walter White went back to teaching. As other posters mentioned the class averages for the midterms are below 50%, but that said he is still a good lecturer and with the curve the grading scheme isn't so bad. If you want to learn physics, take this course; if you want a better chance at a good grade, take someone else.

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1 of 8
3.7
Overall Rating
Based on 95 Users
Easiness 1.5 / 5 How easy the class is, 1 being extremely difficult and 5 being easy peasy.
Clarity 4.1 / 5 How clear the professor is, 1 being extremely unclear and 5 being very clear.
Workload 2.6 / 5 How light the workload is, 1 being extremely heavy and 5 being extremely light.
Helpfulness 3.7 / 5 How helpful the professor is, 1 being not helpful at all and 5 being extremely helpful.

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  • Tough Tests
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