Winter 2023 - Dr. Bauer tests us fairly and adjusts the difficulty of future exams according to our past performance (he aims for a B/B- median overall). The textbook, homework, and lecture all complement each other. Lectures are extremely clear, with a good amount of relevant derivations and examples. Discussion worksheets are really challenging for some reason (how many times did the binomial theorem/miscellaneous approximating assumptions crop up?), but they're only graded for completion.
Spring 2019 - I took this class Spring '19 and it was very well organised. The tests weren't too hard (MT1 mean was ~70%, MT2 ~79%, Final TBA). He is very clear and uploads his super helpful, typed out lecture notes on CCLE. Also, shoutout to possibly the best TA in the physics department, Nathan Tung - I learnt more in his two pre-final review sessions than I did with weeks of self-studying. A couple days before the final, he emailed all the enrolled students the 150-page notes that he had written up for his discussions with elaborate explanations of all the concepts. Absolute legend.
Fall 2017 - I actually had Physics 4BL with David Bauer, but he is by far the best TA I've had for any physics class. Most of the time I sent him an email, he replied within the same day, sometimes within an hour. Also, his grading is actually fair and reasonable. For 4AL, I had Eric Kramer, who was nice enough but his grading was absurd. If you want a good grade on your lab with Kramer, you HAVE to finish it early, go to his office hours, and let him correct it for you. I had a conflict with his office hours, so I missed out on this one-on-one correction. I was only marked down on the actual content of my lab maybe once or twice; a majority of what I was marked down for was "incorrect line spacing" or "not enough tick marks on the graph". I ended up with a B- because Kramer didn't like the style of my reports. This is why Bauer is MUCH better. For one, he provided us with a style guide to follow, thus avoiding these issues in the first place. Also, whenever I asked him about the formatting issues, he response was typically "___ is what you should do, but I won't mark you down for something minor." Long story short, 4AL and 4BL are difficult classes, expect to spend about 8 hours a week on your lab report, but if you have a chance to take it with Bauer, do it.
Spring 2022 - Dr. Bauer is possibly one of the most passive-aggressive, rude, uncaring professors at UCLA. When I first came into contact with him, I thought he was accommodating and chill because I had a complicated circumstance and he allowed me to take one of the exams online to make up for it. After finishing the quarter I realized how he is completely unwilling to help his students genuinely learn, and if you do not understand a topic the first time then he thinks you are simply incompetent. I had failed the first midterm (due to having a horribly strict TA who graded me unfairly) but scored above the average on all subsequent exams. I had discussed this with him and my worries about not succeeding in the class because I did so poorly on the first midterm and he offered no guidance or reassurance. He essentially told me, "I don't know if you pass. You should just study better." I found this outraging as someone who spent almost ALL OF MY TIME studying for this course singlehandedly. The class average was 60-75% on all exams with *no* curves. Also, the extra credit is worth a measly 0.3% of your grade at the most... so it's practically pointless. He once even said in his final review session "I don't know how this will help any of you at all." which goes to show how much effort he puts into preparing students for his finals. His 2-hour zoom session, indeed, did not help at all. Don't be fooled by all the good ratings. If you are not already well-rounded in physics and you are taking this class in person, it is NOT EASY.
Fall 2020 - I'm going to be honest with y'all. Taking Bauer during fall quarter absolutely sucked. I heard from all my friends who took him in the past that he was a pretty chill dude so I was excited to take the class. However, I guess after doing spring and summer online and having kids receive a shit ton of As that made him become a bit jaded and make the class a bit more annoying to complete. Initially, the class seems like your average physics class with discussions (10%), labs (15%), and homework (10%), and quizzes (40%). However, he attempted to mix up the class a paper that counted as a midterm (2.5%) and a final paper that was worth (12.5%). For the first paper, I'll give him a pass because it didn't really matter since it was worth so little and was supposed to be a litmus test for what he was looking for in the final paper. But the problem was that he didn't even give proper feedback to the first paper so we couldn't even learn from our mistakes coupled with the fact that we had a final and final paper in the class due just made the whole process so stressful. Not even to mention he originally had the basis of an A increased that a solid A was a 95 as well. I just feel overall he really seemed like he wanted to reduce the number of As in the class but I just felt like the addition of the papers as well as his stubbornness regarding grading as well just left a sour taste in my mouth. I'm sure in person he's a decent person to take but as for online I say just avoid him all together unless you absolutely have to.
Winter 2022 - Just like for Physics 5B, Bauer was a very straightforward professor. The quizzes seemed a bit harder but maybe that's because he made them open note this quarter. He ended up giving us a free 100% on a quiz and also dropped our lowest quiz. The midterm, at least personally, I felt was a lot easier than the 5B midterm. The final was meh, definitely did not understand 2 of the 7 questions, but his generous partial credit pulled through and I still got an 85% on that final. Honestly, the class content is a lot easier than 5B and I think that reflects in his grades of this class as I put a lot less effort in this class. Bauer is a pretty decent professor and I don't have any big complaints on this class.