Physics for Scientists and Engineers: Oscillations, Waves, Electric and Magnetic Fields

Brent Corbin

Physics for Scientists and Engineers: Oscillations, Waves, Electric and Magnetic Fields

Physics department

Brent Corbin

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from 68 users

Ratings

Bad
Overall 3.8
Good
Hard
Easiness of class 1.8
Easy
Heavy
Workload 2.8
Light
Not Clear
Clarity of professor 4.0
Clear
Not Helpful
Helpfulness of professor 3.9
Helpful
AD

Tags

  • Tough Tests
  • Engaging Lectures
  • Often Funny
  • Would Take Again

Grades

Spring 2020
48.8%
40.7%
32.5%
24.4%
16.3%
8.1%
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.

Summer 2019
24.1%
20.1%
16.1%
12.1%
8.0%
4.0%
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.

Winter 2019
28.0%
23.3%
18.7%
14.0%
9.3%
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.

Fall 2018
26.6%
22.2%
17.7%
13.3%
8.9%
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.

Summer 2016
34.9%
29.1%
23.3%
17.4%
11.6%
5.8%
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.

Spring 2016
25.7%
21.4%
17.1%
12.8%
8.6%
4.3%
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.

Winter 2016
23.1%
19.3%
15.4%
11.6%
7.7%
3.9%
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.

Summer 2015
23.9%
19.9%
15.9%
12.0%
8.0%
4.0%
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.

Spring 2015
22.3%
18.6%
14.9%
11.2%
7.4%
3.7%
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.

Summer 2014
32.1%
26.8%
21.4%
16.1%
10.7%
5.4%
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.

Summer 2013
26.5%
22.1%
17.7%
13.3%
8.8%
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.

Spring 2013
26.1%
21.7%
17.4%
13.0%
8.7%
4.3%
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.

Winter 2013
27.4%
22.9%
18.3%
13.7%
9.1%
4.6%
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.

Spring 2010
30.6%
25.5%
20.4%
15.3%
10.2%
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.

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1 of 6

Reviews

Quarter Taken: Spring 2015 Submitted May 5, 2016 Grade Received: B-

If you are not a genius at physics, be prepared to get your mind continuously shafted day, after day, after day. You walk out of every lecture dazed and confused, and pondering your place on this Earth after feeling like you have been beaten over the head with a concrete cinder block multiple times. His tests and final are like being burned with a skewer after spending so many hours studying just to see yourself fail. He has a good rep most likely because the top 10% get some sick thrill from being challenged. Even by going to his office hours twice a week and taking notes like a madman every lecture, you still feel like you have no clue what you are doing on his tests. Unless you are a physics major with some sort of deranged need for complex problems, avoid him and avoid suffering.

Quarter Taken: Winter 2019 Submitted April 24, 2019 Grade Received: B

Tests too hard. People too smart.

Quarter Taken: Fall 2018 Submitted June 24, 2019 Grade Received: B

Coming back from some other professor's physics 1C and I would say something about Professor Corbin. Even though Corbin is a awesome lecturer, I will never recommend this class to anyone except those really strong in physics. The point not being his examinations are hard, but there is no easy way to improve your grade if you don't have a strong background. My physics 1C professor also had a ridiculously hard final and the median is comparable with Corbin's, but I did much better because that professor gave a lot of practice material very similar to his final, so at least me, not being strong in physics before taking that class, could practice on them and get familiar with how to do hard problems. This will never happen to Professor Corbin. There is only one guy I know of who has weak physics background but got a A for this class. Guess what he did? He did around 200 MIT physics hw problems and they are very similar to what corbin will give on his exams. So taking some other professor's 1B will definitely make your life easier.

Quarter Taken: Winter 2019 Submitted Dec. 11, 2019 Grade Received: C

As an EE who just finished my first upper div class, I would still say that Physics 1B with Corbin is the hardest class I have yet taken here. He's a nice guy but his exams will absolutely fuck you over if you are not really strong in physics. It's a hard subject in general and I wouldn't consider myself to be especially good at it, and it probably did not help that I took this with all the physics major.
Regardless, he gives a long list of recommended textbook problems that won't help you. The best advice I can give is to do some of them to get a good handle on the basic principles, but then try to find hard problems. If you can get some of his old exams that will really help, or maybe look up and do some MIT physics problems.
All in all, he's very passionate about physics and a great lecturer, but I would recommend skipping him if possible unless you're really good at physics and/or don't mind a GPA plunge.

Quarter Taken: Summer 2020
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Submitted Oct. 10, 2020
Grade Received: A

TLDR: If you enjoy physics and want to completely understand the different concepts in the class, I'd highly recommend Corbin. If you do not care too much about the subject and just want to get it over with as a requirement for your major, you're better off taking a professor who just uses formulas and asks direct questions in tests.

Corbin is an amazing lecturer with clear and engaging lectures. Attending office hours is tremendously useful as he covers a lot of examples. There is a lot of homework worth a total of 10% of your grade.

I'd recommend making a cheat sheet for every chapter, using it to do homework questions using variables and not numbers, and then plugging in the numbers to check if your answer is right. This is what I did and felt like it gave me good practice.

The quizzes were of moderate difficulty and you can get away with one poor quiz. The final, however, was a different beast with tough questions. I fell short of time but the curve carried me to an A.

Quarter Taken: Fall 2018 Submitted Nov. 19, 2018 Grade Received: N/A

Best professor in physics ever, though I'm not a physics major. Corbin is so nice and funny and accessible to students. He definitely cares about the students and the test are doable and a little hard.

Quarter Taken: Winter 2019 Submitted March 28, 2019 Grade Received: A

The main reason I would recommend taking him above others is that his classes are pretty much always entertaining, In addition to cracking jokes, the one thing he does that I have seen no other teacher really be able to do is that he brings in many cool examples and anecdotes from real life that make the class just much more lively in general.

(For example, while he was showing the theory on how Faraday shielding works, he brought in some electrical thingy that made a static-y noise in the presence of unshielded electromagnetic radiation. He brought it close to his phone, and it started ticking at a very constant rate! He explained that this had to do with the fact that the phone is constantly sending out signals to try to communicate with nearby cell towers. Very neat.)

Combine this with a very flamboyant personality, a little bit (sometimes a lot) of cussing, and this means that lectures will almost never be boring, (even at 8 AM).

However, this is where the good things I have to say about him end. While I mostly like his teaching style, his testing style is just a bit... mean. This is the only professor I've seen that's been able to make a reputation for himself outside of the classroom, and I was able to see why firsthand.

First off, I'll just say that even if it's as a joke, ANY professor that talks about how hard their tests are should be an immediate red flag. Heck, I'm still not sure why many professors even do this, but the reasons don't really matter. If you know the professor is making the tests hard on purpose, with intention, that's never a good sign.

I'll be the first to agree with what many others have said about the whole "take him if you want to be challenged to grow even more" stuff, which is that it's overall not true for most people. Even as someone regarded as a bit smarter than average throughout high school, I will say I felt pretty hopeless looking at the answer key to the midterms. He has severely damaged my own passion for physics, and undoubtedly for many others as well. He say the midterms are where you "learn from your mistakes", but what is there to learn from when you had no idea what to do in the first place? I'd love to go into more specifics but my resources are limited in a text-only review.

The final does seem to be a bit of a place to redeem yourself though, to me, it was quite a bit easier (with one problem being the exact same as an example shown in lecture), and it's worth more of your grade.

Either way, if you have already decided to take him, some more concrete advice: be prepared to study by just doing practice problems and examples over and over again. I'm tempted to say to make a list of the examples gone over in class and other good ones you find and just do them over and over again until you can do them perfectly without hesitation or even really thinking (it's what worked for me). It saves time, prevents lots of errors, and is often the basis for most of the tests actually. It lets you get onto the harder stuff on the midterms, which, I'll be honest, you can't really study for.

His office hours are fun and interesting where he talks a lot on how the concepts extend, but if you want more concrete practice for tests, go to the TA's office hours.

TL;DR - I overall recommend this guy as he is a great physics teacher, but be ready to study in a very particular way because he is not the best tester. His own office hours are interesting, but useless overall if you want to actually prepare for exams (go to TA OH for that).

Quarter Taken: Winter 2017 Submitted March 26, 2017 Grade Received: A

Great professor. He explains every concept with examples and mathematical deductions, which is the way university physics should be like. Exams are hard, but still someone will get high scores. So be one of those.

Quarter Taken: Fall 2018 Submitted March 27, 2019 Grade Received: N/A

By far the worst instructor I've had at UCLA. The physics postdocs, who are primarily doing research, teach the physics 1 series far, far better than this guy. This guy's only job is to teach, so its sad that he can't even outdo the overworked and underpaid postdocs.

The so-called "handouts" that he occasionally uploads throughout the quarter are hastily written, short, and pretty useless. He may as well just not upload anything onto CCLE. He just lectures off the board and his lectures are very average. Office hours are so packed that often one cannot even see properly. His office hours are a real pain to attend.

If you look at the grade distribution of other instructors teaching this class, you'll notice that Corbin's grade distribution is harsher. In other words, despite teaching this class in a mediocre fashion and giving tests too long to finish in the allotted time, he goes on to punish people with his curve.

Avoid this instructor and retain your peace of mind. Take it with anybody else.

Quarter Taken: Spring 2021
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Submitted June 14, 2021
Grade Received: A

Corbin is difficult for sure. Don't expect to do well on his tests. However, he curves like a god, is fairly approachable, and seems to care about his students.

1 of 6

Tags

  • Tough Tests
  • Engaging Lectures
  • Often Funny
  • Would Take Again
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