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Professor Althouse was easily one of the best instructors I've had at UCLA. He cared a lot about his students understanding the material, gave fair tests, and was extremely helpful in office hours. If I had another opportunity to take him I would choose him in a heartbeat.
Althouse is a funny guy and a good lecturer. He does a good job explaining the material, and does cool demos during class. I guess my only complaint is that he teaches 1B like a high school class so I didn't learn very much. Still, I'd probably recommend him over many other professors.
All of his exams were fair (but incredibly easy.) They covered just the basic concepts and didn't require too much complex calculations.
Professor Althouse was awesome. He was very concerned about the success of the students. It was very obvious he took a lot of pride in his job and really cared about teaching.
Lectures were very well organized and he would usually lecture on concepts Monday and Tuesday and then lecture on pure example problems which were similar to the homework and midterm problems on Wednesday and Friday. This class isn't too tough conceptually but problems can get difficult so it was great he did examples. Coming from Zocchi for 1A, Althouse blew him out of the water.
The tests were almost always fair, with always one really tough problem but doable. He's one of the few professors I've had whose tests actually made sense and were properly testing us instead of trying to fail us. The averages were like 76 and 67 or something. The final wasn't too bad either, equal weight from all aspects of the course.
Grading was super fair too since homework was 25% of the grade and then each midterm was 25% and the final 50%. Each "unit" corresponded to 25%. So the midterms and homework were 1 unit each and the final was 2 making a total of 5. But he would drop the lowest unit. So if you did well on midterms he would make your final only 25%. But if you bomb a midterm he will drop it and weight your final as 50%. Very good system and you're never screwed, there's always a chance to increase your grade up through the final.
He ran a great class and I'd take him for any other Physics course at UCLA regardless. He was also fresh out of Grad school so he's young and understands how to work with undergrads. TAKE THIS GUY. And I did not get an A or an A- so this is completely objective and not coming from someone who just liked him because they got a good grade. He's a great professor.
Professor Althouse is by far one of the best physics teachers I've had so far. He is very concerned with his students' learning and brings physics alive with his own stories and demonstrations.
His tests are pretty tricky, but you know EXACTLY what the questions on the test will be like because of the way he lectures, so the textbook becomes more a supplement to his lectures. His tests are comprised of 3 questions each with subparts. Most of the subparts require plugging and chugging and some thinking, but the last subquestion is conceptual and requires you to UNDERSTAND the material.
Discussions are very useful especially because questions given for practice are different from the book and really help for the tests because there's a limit to how hard one can write a physics question (I recall 2 questions total from all of the tests being from discussion).
Masteringphysics can be a pain, but help can be found from friends, the Internet, and TA/Althouse.
Overall, I recommend this professor just because he's funny/interesting and a good teacher and I think he gives everyone an A or a B, B- being the lowest grade you can possibly get.
Prof Althouse was very concerned (he hosted his own separate review sessions before each of his two midterms as well as the sessions his TA's held) and kept on asking us after each new concept if we understood him (and took the time to answer). He also took 5 min. before each lecture to do a mini review of concepts/equations from the previous lecture, which I really appreciated. He's very clear most of the time about his lectures - they are very, very geared to making you understand what is going on. A little boring, but that was mostly due to the lecture material. He's very clear what will be on the tests, which were fair (and were very similar to problems he went over in class or were in the textbook). Grades: 4 units from 5, best grade given; (1) HW, (1) for each of 2 midterms, (2) final. I kept dozing off during lecture and slacked off majorly, but if you put in some effort and pay attention, an A will definitely be doable (haha not in my case). He also did a lot of cool demonstrations and really wanted us to like physics. Practice midterms/final were also provided. TAKE HIM!
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