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Nice professor, but does not know how to teach lower division courses. Lectures were very conceptual, but he never explained or gave examples of actual problems. He spends most of the time doing demonstrations that he doesn't know how to perform himself, and then tries to explain the physics behind them, but not in a helpful way. His tests were full of errors that made it really hard to figure out what he wanted. Make sure you have a good TA and tell them to tell Fronsdal what was wrong with his lectures and the tests because most of the time they will understand and fix it.
He is super concern about his students, and he wants everyone to understand what his love and passion for physics. He tries his best to explain things, but since he doesn't use a mic, and his words are all muffled together, his lectures are very unclear most of the time. Sometimes even if you can hear him, his lectures are difficult to understand. He does do a lot of experiments, but if you don't understand physics, you wouldn't know what he tried to demonstrate. I think his homework are hard, and beg your TA, there are always problems that you'd be stuck on. In addition, most of his problems for the midterms are very vague, so put down/ write as many things down as you can, as it might just be what he is looking for. His test usually consist of conceptual questions that requires lots of "think outside of the box." If you understand how to apply calculus and physics in general, this class would be super easy for you. Otherwise you'd feel like you are mentally challenged. Grading as of now is 10% midterms (you will have two), 30% homework (personal tip: don't miss out on the day you have to hand in homework), and the remaining are from the finals.
It might be easier if you took 32A before you enter his class, as his lectures does involve a lot of applications with math.
Professor Fronsdal, unless you feel pretty confident about physics in general, is a very difficult teacher in that his lectures are not very helpful. You would think the examples he goes over in lecture would help but you soon realize there is no real purpose in showing up cause the problems on the test are way different. He tries to be fair and he does care (there is no doubt). But because hes not very good at explaining things--its gonna be harder for you. Overall, hes like any physics teacher--not very good. So you would think it should be easy to handle. The problem is that both his TA's are horrible. One takes forever in solving a problem and the other is practically apathetic to getting the message across. This made the class harder than it should have been. The only good thing is that his midterms are 10% each and HW is 30%. Just watch out for the final--thats the main factor in your final grade. The only advice I got if you're taking him for a lower div, get a lot of friends who are good in teaching physics.
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