Brent Corbin
Department of Physics
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4.0
Overall Rating
Based on 54 Users
Easiness 1.3 / 5 How easy the class is, 1 being extremely difficult and 5 being easy peasy.
Clarity 4.4 / 5 How clear the professor is, 1 being extremely unclear and 5 being very clear.
Workload 2.3 / 5 How light the workload is, 1 being extremely heavy and 5 being extremely light.
Helpfulness 4.3 / 5 How helpful the professor is, 1 being not helpful at all and 5 being extremely helpful.

TOP TAGS

  • Engaging Lectures
  • Appropriately Priced Materials
  • Often Funny
  • Tough Tests
  • Tolerates Tardiness
  • Would Take Again

GRADE DISTRIBUTIONS

51.0%
42.5%
34.0%
25.5%
17.0%
8.5%
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.

45.5%
37.9%
30.3%
22.7%
15.2%
7.6%
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.

25.8%
21.5%
17.2%
12.9%
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.

34.4%
28.7%
23.0%
17.2%
11.5%
5.7%
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.

30.1%
25.1%
20.1%
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.

27.1%
22.6%
18.0%
13.5%
9.0%
4.5%
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.

25.8%
21.5%
17.2%
12.9%
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.

32.1%
26.7%
21.4%
16.0%
10.7%
5.3%
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.

30.3%
25.2%
20.2%
15.1%
10.1%
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.

32.3%
26.9%
21.5%
16.1%
10.8%
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.

27.9%
23.2%
18.6%
13.9%
9.3%
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.

31.9%
26.6%
21.3%
16.0%
10.6%
5.3%
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.

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Reviews (40)

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Quarter: Fall 2019
Grade: A
Dec. 19, 2019

Bring a lot of lubricant and prepare your posterior to be intellectually violated. You might as well throw away your self-esteem because unless you're one of three people who sit in the front row, you're going to fail every single exam. And that's okay, as long as you don't fail harder than your seat partner.

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Quarter: N/A
Grade: N/A
June 16, 2011

I'm posting this on my way to the mental trauma center at Ronald Reagan after getting absolutely ravaged in the ass by his midterm. I thought i was good at math and physics(5s on both parts of physics C, 5th highest grade in my 32A class) but this was unlike anything ive ever experienced in my life. Completely blanked out and maybe got one of 3 problems. If I'm lucky. Jesus ****ing Christ in heaven, this was a gang rape. I even saw a couple of chicks bursting into tears afterward. To those considering taking this guy, think about whether a brilliant lecturer is worth the crushing blows to your morale and GPA that comes with getting blown out after studying 6 hours. Holy ****. If you want an A or even a B, reconsider now!

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Quarter: Fall 2019
Grade: A
Dec. 26, 2019

1C was conceptually difficult. You start the quarter with magnetism and AC current, both of which are difficult topics that require a fair amount of calculus. EM waves relies on both 1B knowledge (know how to find electric fields in a capacitor, for instance) and magnetism, along with introducing curl and divergence. The first half of the quarter just keeps building upon itself, so make sure you keep up with the material.

Although optics seems easy at first, it gets annoying real fast, and optics problems can get creative, making them some of the more difficult problems. Special relativity is a lot of complex information, and Corbin spends a lot of time on relativity, going beyond Lorentz transformations to particle collisions.

However, because all of these topics (with the exception of geometric optics) have extremely steep learning curves, 1C problems are generally a bit more straightforward, and the scores this quarter were pretty low. If you enter this class with a solid background in electricity from 1B, you'll be well-prepared. I would also advise having a good foundation in single and multivariable calculus (should be able to calculate reasonably complex integrals, be familiar with Stokes' and Divergence Theorems), and having linear algebra down will make relativity a bit less intimidating.

Corbin is an awesome lecturer who is clearly passionate about teaching physics. Go to every lecture, review your notes frequently, go to office hours with questions, practice often, and read his CCLE handouts. Textbook questions aren't super helpful but can be a good starting point to help you familiarize yourself with equations and concepts. The best study material is the lecture notes. Try looking over the examples that he goes over in class, changing something about the system, and then rederiving equations.

Overall, I enjoyed this class. The material was interesting, lectures were awesome, and tests were challenging but doable. Midterms are huge time-crunches, but the final is reasonable and you have time to reason out an answer for most of the questions. Don't underestimate optics, and don't slack off on special relativity, even though it might be Week 10.

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Quarter: Fall 2019
Grade: B
Dec. 21, 2019

Overall I liked this class. Corbin gets a weird rep but I honestly didn’t mind his tests. I wouldn’t pick him if there are easier options, but really the curve will probably save you. Focus on memorizing equations and look at previous tests. As others have said, grade scheme is a simple 25% for each midterm and 50% final. If the average is ~35% as long as you get partial credit on each question you’ll pass. Definitely try to find friends in this class so that you can suffer together.

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Quarter: Fall 2020
Grade: A
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Dec. 24, 2020

This class is extremely difficult. I felt defeated after submitting my final exam, as well some of the quizzes. However, I was able to get an A, so the curve must have been generous. I think the following factors contributed to my eventual success in the course:

- I attended the lectures live, and I watched the lecture recordings later on to reinforce the material.
- I made it a goal to be able to be able to solve most of the examples / derive most of the formulas from lecture. This prevented me from flipping through my lecture notes and tricking myself into thinking that I knew the content.
- Near the end of the quarter, I attended a couple of office hour sessions. I found these to be moderately helpful in reviewing some of the core concepts.

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Quarter: Fall 2019
Grade: B
Dec. 21, 2019

The man really does live up to his reputation. I personally found this class to be really, really difficult. The practice problems he assigns as (unchecked and ungraded) homework do not reflect the difficulty of exam problems at all. You either know the material on an intuitive level or the exam will whack you. The only consolation is that the exam whacks a good 80% of your peers too, so the overall curve is surprisingly kind (I got a 21/90 raw score on my second midterm and still got a B in the class. Hold that).
His lectures are hit or miss for me. He is very engaging, but I wish he had used the giant projection screens in the lecture hall rather than writing on the blackboard (my vision is doodoo and it was difficult to see what he was doing sometimes with more complicated work, even when sitting near the front of the hall). He also uses minimal premade lecture notes, so his lectures can be difficult to follow sometimes, but YMMV. It's often not clear what he is leading into until halfway through that topic's discussion, which can be jarring. I will fully admit that this was partly my fault for not reading along in the textbook until Week 8 or so, but I've never had to do that in 1A or 1B either.
Corbin emphasizes development and familiarity with "first principles" of whatever topic is currently being covered. He doesn't allow cheat sheets or notes during exams for this reason, and expects you to derive expressions for physical phenomena from basic ideas rather than writing down a memorized or recorded formula (this is why his exam problems usually look so convoluted). Usually, this boils down to a few equations or qualitative rules about what you're studying, so if you can get familiar with those for each topic and your intuition for physics is strong, you're pretty well set for exams. FYI: he will probably tell you that the final is going to be relatively "straightforward". He really does mean it. On my final, two of the questions were almost directly lifted from work we wrote down as notes during class and were almost simple as a result.
THE BEST ADVICE I CAN GIVE TO PREPARE FOR HIS EXAMS IS TO LOOK AT PROBLEMS DONE IN CLASS and then considering how he could make the problem even nastier (what if this quantity that we take to be constant isn't a constant? what if this quantity we assume is zero is not actually zero? etc.). This sounds super masochistic, but I promise that this is the best (and possibly the only real way) to prepare for his problems without having access to past exams.

tl;dr hard class with an even harder instructor. If you can, enroll in 1C with a different instructor, and go to Corbin's lectures to learn the material in great depth.

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Quarter: Spring 2019
Grade: A+
June 16, 2019

Super nice professor (and person)! His lectures are super clear and funny, and help me a lot understand the concepts of some abstract materials such as magnetism and relativity. He doesn't have mandatory homework, but it's always a good idea to try to practice as much as you can. Problems on the textbook are not that helpful. One reason is that those usually involve numbers, but Corbin only uses letter variables in his exams. GO TO HIS OFFICE HOURS!!! I've never heard a professor who has as much as FOUR WHOLE HOURS for office hour per week except him! It's a golden opportunity to reinforce the materials on the lecture, and have more practice, with some fun personal stories of him as a small boost. I had my lunch time overlapped with his office hours, but I still went to his office hours often, at a cost of not having lunch, as I thought it helped me a lot. Midterms are tough, and the time is tight. NEVER DO THE FIRST PROBLEM FIRST. For the 4 midterms I had for him for both 1b and 1c, the first problem was always the most comprehensive one, and I always lost points for not fully understanding the problem. Though it may not always be the case, a better strategy is to look at each problem first before you work on them. Choose the easiest one first, and leave the more challenging ones after. Again, SUPER NICE PROFESSOR AND PERSON!

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Quarter: Fall 2020
Grade: P
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Jan. 4, 2021

AVOID THIS PROFESSOR AT ALL COSTS!
His lectures are unclear and rambling, his tests are super difficult and have nothing to do with the homework, and no one learns very much.
The only thing I can thank him for is making the curve so easy. The average grades on the 5 quizzes were (out of 30), 13.2, 13.3, 13.42, and 14.6 (I don’t know the average of Quiz 1). That’s an average of 45.4%!! This should be proof enough that either Prof. Corbin’s online teaching style is insufficient, or that his quizzes were way too difficult (or both).
The average on the final was 59/150--that's a 39.33%! I got around this average (as did most of my friends), and we passed, so its not that he is tough on people who fail, but rather that the whole class failed and didn't really learn any physics.
The class itself had serious issues. In the class, he basically discouraged questions, always treating them as annoying or silly (he even went so far as to call them "interruptions"). He often made a student feel dumb for asking anything, so after the first week, the class became silent with entire 2 hour lectures going by with zero questions. This discouraging environment was not just felt by me, but many of my friends, and is perhaps the most common complaint on Bruinwalk, going back years. In future, he needs to stop and ask if anyone needs something explained more in depth, and he needs to treat all questions, no matter how basic they seem to him, as serious for that student.
Finally, unlike in all my other classes where the forums section of CCLE was a place to ask questions of students and the professor, in Corbin's 1C we were provided no official place to ask the professor questions or hold a serious discussion of the material. The "Forums" of CCLE contain only two posts for the entire Quarter: a link to the GroupMe, and a link to the Discord. THAT'S ALL.
Instead, students were left to fend for themselves on a private GroupMe, with TA or professor to help.
This class had a cold, business-like feel, with the professor doing the bare minimum of teaching during the lecture time, and being completely absent otherwise.
I'm not idly complaining here. I enjoy physics and have gotten good grades in all other physics classes. The F AVERAGE of every quiz and the final should speak for themselves.
If you get stuck in this scary place, do yourself a favor and take it P/NP.

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Quarter: Fall 2020
Grade: A
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Dec. 23, 2020

This was my favorite class in the Physics 1 series by far! Corbin made it seriously so interesting--especially special relativity, Maxwell's equations, and interference (those were my favorite). By far, this class was super hard and I studied a lot. However, you honestly learn so much and get a lot from how Corbin makes sure you understand things conceptually and aren't chugging textbook problems. Corbin is very scary at first but he has a big heart hiding behind is exams. Definitely, the final matters a lot--I did poorly on the quizzes throughout but did pretty well on the final. He grades on improvement and I think if you study enough, you definitely can get there.

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Quarter: Fall 2018
Grade: B
March 19, 2019

Another good review for Corbin. Honestly, I'm just an average joe, but I found an appreciation for physics after this class. There's no bullshit to get in the way between you and actually learning the material. Your grade is based on three things: one final and two midterms. That's it. There is nothing to distract you from actually learning the material, no menial time-wasters. You'd just better know your shit on the day of the exam.

And the day of the exam is always a hard one. There are three questions and each really demands something from you. I feel like I realized homework can make you intellectually lazy... once you've done it all, you get confident. "Oh, I've done the homework, so I'll just study old problems and the exam will be doable." True, for the most part. But what happens when there IS no homework? What happens when you can't simply memorize a general process/formula/pattern to solving the problems? Well, then you're forced to actually learn and use that knowledge creatively and artfully on the spot. That's the essence of Corbin's teaching style.

One thing: if you can get your hands on old tests HE designed, this is the best study material. I was fortunate to have a few to go off of, but even then you cannot fool the test. I was weakest in optics, and even though I knew what he was gonna ask on the test, I could hardly attempt the optics problems. I was strongest in flux calculations, and I even knew the type of question he'd ask on the exam, but there was a unique spin (he makes a new exam every time) that required me to know wtf I was doing, and I did! It feels great and gratifying when that happens. The test is intended to make you say "OH, that's what I should have done!" after you walk out and really think about a problem you were close to solving. Another tip--attempt every problem. Partial credit is extremely important, especially when the curves are always low. Even one point on everything you didn't know adds up and counts.

You need to understand what kinds of questions he likes to ask. *ATTEND LECTURES*. Go to his office hours! Those are pretty much sermons by Jesus himself. Pay attention to his thinking style--sometimes in office hours he will give what is basically a midterm problem. When he's done giving the basics of a concept and then says "Now what if we put this unique spin on the problem?" PAY CLOSE ATTENTION. Those are really what his midterm problems are like. "What happens if you take this concept you should know the ins-and outs of and put this unique restriction on it? What does this physically mean in the real world?"

He's not a perfect teacher by any means, but no one will argue that he's a bad one. I'd say anyone who has to take 1 ABC series should take at least one Corbin class, even if you suffer for it. You'll feel very accomplished for passing the class, no matter what your grade was. My only regret is that I wish I could have studied more for the final. Highly recommend this professor.

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Quarter: Fall 2019
Grade: A
Dec. 19, 2019

Bring a lot of lubricant and prepare your posterior to be intellectually violated. You might as well throw away your self-esteem because unless you're one of three people who sit in the front row, you're going to fail every single exam. And that's okay, as long as you don't fail harder than your seat partner.

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10 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: N/A
Grade: N/A
June 16, 2011

I'm posting this on my way to the mental trauma center at Ronald Reagan after getting absolutely ravaged in the ass by his midterm. I thought i was good at math and physics(5s on both parts of physics C, 5th highest grade in my 32A class) but this was unlike anything ive ever experienced in my life. Completely blanked out and maybe got one of 3 problems. If I'm lucky. Jesus ****ing Christ in heaven, this was a gang rape. I even saw a couple of chicks bursting into tears afterward. To those considering taking this guy, think about whether a brilliant lecturer is worth the crushing blows to your morale and GPA that comes with getting blown out after studying 6 hours. Holy ****. If you want an A or even a B, reconsider now!

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4 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2019
Grade: A
Dec. 26, 2019

1C was conceptually difficult. You start the quarter with magnetism and AC current, both of which are difficult topics that require a fair amount of calculus. EM waves relies on both 1B knowledge (know how to find electric fields in a capacitor, for instance) and magnetism, along with introducing curl and divergence. The first half of the quarter just keeps building upon itself, so make sure you keep up with the material.

Although optics seems easy at first, it gets annoying real fast, and optics problems can get creative, making them some of the more difficult problems. Special relativity is a lot of complex information, and Corbin spends a lot of time on relativity, going beyond Lorentz transformations to particle collisions.

However, because all of these topics (with the exception of geometric optics) have extremely steep learning curves, 1C problems are generally a bit more straightforward, and the scores this quarter were pretty low. If you enter this class with a solid background in electricity from 1B, you'll be well-prepared. I would also advise having a good foundation in single and multivariable calculus (should be able to calculate reasonably complex integrals, be familiar with Stokes' and Divergence Theorems), and having linear algebra down will make relativity a bit less intimidating.

Corbin is an awesome lecturer who is clearly passionate about teaching physics. Go to every lecture, review your notes frequently, go to office hours with questions, practice often, and read his CCLE handouts. Textbook questions aren't super helpful but can be a good starting point to help you familiarize yourself with equations and concepts. The best study material is the lecture notes. Try looking over the examples that he goes over in class, changing something about the system, and then rederiving equations.

Overall, I enjoyed this class. The material was interesting, lectures were awesome, and tests were challenging but doable. Midterms are huge time-crunches, but the final is reasonable and you have time to reason out an answer for most of the questions. Don't underestimate optics, and don't slack off on special relativity, even though it might be Week 10.

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2 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2019
Grade: B
Dec. 21, 2019

Overall I liked this class. Corbin gets a weird rep but I honestly didn’t mind his tests. I wouldn’t pick him if there are easier options, but really the curve will probably save you. Focus on memorizing equations and look at previous tests. As others have said, grade scheme is a simple 25% for each midterm and 50% final. If the average is ~35% as long as you get partial credit on each question you’ll pass. Definitely try to find friends in this class so that you can suffer together.

Helpful?

2 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Quarter: Fall 2020
Grade: A
Dec. 24, 2020

This class is extremely difficult. I felt defeated after submitting my final exam, as well some of the quizzes. However, I was able to get an A, so the curve must have been generous. I think the following factors contributed to my eventual success in the course:

- I attended the lectures live, and I watched the lecture recordings later on to reinforce the material.
- I made it a goal to be able to be able to solve most of the examples / derive most of the formulas from lecture. This prevented me from flipping through my lecture notes and tricking myself into thinking that I knew the content.
- Near the end of the quarter, I attended a couple of office hour sessions. I found these to be moderately helpful in reviewing some of the core concepts.

Helpful?

1 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2019
Grade: B
Dec. 21, 2019

The man really does live up to his reputation. I personally found this class to be really, really difficult. The practice problems he assigns as (unchecked and ungraded) homework do not reflect the difficulty of exam problems at all. You either know the material on an intuitive level or the exam will whack you. The only consolation is that the exam whacks a good 80% of your peers too, so the overall curve is surprisingly kind (I got a 21/90 raw score on my second midterm and still got a B in the class. Hold that).
His lectures are hit or miss for me. He is very engaging, but I wish he had used the giant projection screens in the lecture hall rather than writing on the blackboard (my vision is doodoo and it was difficult to see what he was doing sometimes with more complicated work, even when sitting near the front of the hall). He also uses minimal premade lecture notes, so his lectures can be difficult to follow sometimes, but YMMV. It's often not clear what he is leading into until halfway through that topic's discussion, which can be jarring. I will fully admit that this was partly my fault for not reading along in the textbook until Week 8 or so, but I've never had to do that in 1A or 1B either.
Corbin emphasizes development and familiarity with "first principles" of whatever topic is currently being covered. He doesn't allow cheat sheets or notes during exams for this reason, and expects you to derive expressions for physical phenomena from basic ideas rather than writing down a memorized or recorded formula (this is why his exam problems usually look so convoluted). Usually, this boils down to a few equations or qualitative rules about what you're studying, so if you can get familiar with those for each topic and your intuition for physics is strong, you're pretty well set for exams. FYI: he will probably tell you that the final is going to be relatively "straightforward". He really does mean it. On my final, two of the questions were almost directly lifted from work we wrote down as notes during class and were almost simple as a result.
THE BEST ADVICE I CAN GIVE TO PREPARE FOR HIS EXAMS IS TO LOOK AT PROBLEMS DONE IN CLASS and then considering how he could make the problem even nastier (what if this quantity that we take to be constant isn't a constant? what if this quantity we assume is zero is not actually zero? etc.). This sounds super masochistic, but I promise that this is the best (and possibly the only real way) to prepare for his problems without having access to past exams.

tl;dr hard class with an even harder instructor. If you can, enroll in 1C with a different instructor, and go to Corbin's lectures to learn the material in great depth.

Helpful?

1 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Spring 2019
Grade: A+
June 16, 2019

Super nice professor (and person)! His lectures are super clear and funny, and help me a lot understand the concepts of some abstract materials such as magnetism and relativity. He doesn't have mandatory homework, but it's always a good idea to try to practice as much as you can. Problems on the textbook are not that helpful. One reason is that those usually involve numbers, but Corbin only uses letter variables in his exams. GO TO HIS OFFICE HOURS!!! I've never heard a professor who has as much as FOUR WHOLE HOURS for office hour per week except him! It's a golden opportunity to reinforce the materials on the lecture, and have more practice, with some fun personal stories of him as a small boost. I had my lunch time overlapped with his office hours, but I still went to his office hours often, at a cost of not having lunch, as I thought it helped me a lot. Midterms are tough, and the time is tight. NEVER DO THE FIRST PROBLEM FIRST. For the 4 midterms I had for him for both 1b and 1c, the first problem was always the most comprehensive one, and I always lost points for not fully understanding the problem. Though it may not always be the case, a better strategy is to look at each problem first before you work on them. Choose the easiest one first, and leave the more challenging ones after. Again, SUPER NICE PROFESSOR AND PERSON!

Helpful?

1 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Quarter: Fall 2020
Grade: P
Jan. 4, 2021

AVOID THIS PROFESSOR AT ALL COSTS!
His lectures are unclear and rambling, his tests are super difficult and have nothing to do with the homework, and no one learns very much.
The only thing I can thank him for is making the curve so easy. The average grades on the 5 quizzes were (out of 30), 13.2, 13.3, 13.42, and 14.6 (I don’t know the average of Quiz 1). That’s an average of 45.4%!! This should be proof enough that either Prof. Corbin’s online teaching style is insufficient, or that his quizzes were way too difficult (or both).
The average on the final was 59/150--that's a 39.33%! I got around this average (as did most of my friends), and we passed, so its not that he is tough on people who fail, but rather that the whole class failed and didn't really learn any physics.
The class itself had serious issues. In the class, he basically discouraged questions, always treating them as annoying or silly (he even went so far as to call them "interruptions"). He often made a student feel dumb for asking anything, so after the first week, the class became silent with entire 2 hour lectures going by with zero questions. This discouraging environment was not just felt by me, but many of my friends, and is perhaps the most common complaint on Bruinwalk, going back years. In future, he needs to stop and ask if anyone needs something explained more in depth, and he needs to treat all questions, no matter how basic they seem to him, as serious for that student.
Finally, unlike in all my other classes where the forums section of CCLE was a place to ask questions of students and the professor, in Corbin's 1C we were provided no official place to ask the professor questions or hold a serious discussion of the material. The "Forums" of CCLE contain only two posts for the entire Quarter: a link to the GroupMe, and a link to the Discord. THAT'S ALL.
Instead, students were left to fend for themselves on a private GroupMe, with TA or professor to help.
This class had a cold, business-like feel, with the professor doing the bare minimum of teaching during the lecture time, and being completely absent otherwise.
I'm not idly complaining here. I enjoy physics and have gotten good grades in all other physics classes. The F AVERAGE of every quiz and the final should speak for themselves.
If you get stuck in this scary place, do yourself a favor and take it P/NP.

Helpful?

3 2 Please log in to provide feedback.
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Quarter: Fall 2020
Grade: A
Dec. 23, 2020

This was my favorite class in the Physics 1 series by far! Corbin made it seriously so interesting--especially special relativity, Maxwell's equations, and interference (those were my favorite). By far, this class was super hard and I studied a lot. However, you honestly learn so much and get a lot from how Corbin makes sure you understand things conceptually and aren't chugging textbook problems. Corbin is very scary at first but he has a big heart hiding behind is exams. Definitely, the final matters a lot--I did poorly on the quizzes throughout but did pretty well on the final. He grades on improvement and I think if you study enough, you definitely can get there.

Helpful?

2 1 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2018
Grade: B
March 19, 2019

Another good review for Corbin. Honestly, I'm just an average joe, but I found an appreciation for physics after this class. There's no bullshit to get in the way between you and actually learning the material. Your grade is based on three things: one final and two midterms. That's it. There is nothing to distract you from actually learning the material, no menial time-wasters. You'd just better know your shit on the day of the exam.

And the day of the exam is always a hard one. There are three questions and each really demands something from you. I feel like I realized homework can make you intellectually lazy... once you've done it all, you get confident. "Oh, I've done the homework, so I'll just study old problems and the exam will be doable." True, for the most part. But what happens when there IS no homework? What happens when you can't simply memorize a general process/formula/pattern to solving the problems? Well, then you're forced to actually learn and use that knowledge creatively and artfully on the spot. That's the essence of Corbin's teaching style.

One thing: if you can get your hands on old tests HE designed, this is the best study material. I was fortunate to have a few to go off of, but even then you cannot fool the test. I was weakest in optics, and even though I knew what he was gonna ask on the test, I could hardly attempt the optics problems. I was strongest in flux calculations, and I even knew the type of question he'd ask on the exam, but there was a unique spin (he makes a new exam every time) that required me to know wtf I was doing, and I did! It feels great and gratifying when that happens. The test is intended to make you say "OH, that's what I should have done!" after you walk out and really think about a problem you were close to solving. Another tip--attempt every problem. Partial credit is extremely important, especially when the curves are always low. Even one point on everything you didn't know adds up and counts.

You need to understand what kinds of questions he likes to ask. *ATTEND LECTURES*. Go to his office hours! Those are pretty much sermons by Jesus himself. Pay attention to his thinking style--sometimes in office hours he will give what is basically a midterm problem. When he's done giving the basics of a concept and then says "Now what if we put this unique spin on the problem?" PAY CLOSE ATTENTION. Those are really what his midterm problems are like. "What happens if you take this concept you should know the ins-and outs of and put this unique restriction on it? What does this physically mean in the real world?"

He's not a perfect teacher by any means, but no one will argue that he's a bad one. I'd say anyone who has to take 1 ABC series should take at least one Corbin class, even if you suffer for it. You'll feel very accomplished for passing the class, no matter what your grade was. My only regret is that I wish I could have studied more for the final. Highly recommend this professor.

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