Physics for Life Sciences Majors: Mechanics and Energy

Joshua Samani

Physics for Life Sciences Majors: Mechanics and Energy

Physics department

Joshua Samani

Add Review
from 40 users

Ratings

Bad
Overall 3.6
Good
Hard
Easiness of class 2.4
Easy
Heavy
Workload 2.6
Light
Not Clear
Clarity of professor 4.0
Clear
Not Helpful
Helpfulness of professor 4.0
Helpful
AD

Tags

  • Gives Extra Credit
  • Is Podcasted
  • Engaging Lectures
  • Uses Slides
  • Tolerates Tardiness
  • Appropriately Priced Materials
  • Often Funny
  • Tough Tests
  • Participation Matters
  • Has Group Projects
  • Needs Textbook

Grades

Spring 2019
18.8%
15.7%
12.5%
9.4%
6.3%
3.1%
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.

Winter 2019
18.9%
15.7%
12.6%
9.4%
6.3%
3.1%
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.

Fall 2018
19.3%
16.1%
12.9%
9.7%
6.4%
3.2%
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 2017
35.9%
29.9%
23.9%
17.9%
12.0%
6.0%
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.

AD
AD
1 of 4

Reviews

Quarter Taken: Winter 2019 Submitted April 6, 2019 Grade Received: N/A

Do not be mislead by the grade distribution from Fall 2017 or the reviews below that say this class is easy. While Samani is a nice guy and does provide many resources for us, this class was still extremely hard, and I do not recommend taking it. I am not sure if Samani changed the way he grades, but I find it hard to believe that as many people got A's in Winter 2019 as they did in Fall 2017. The class is not curved AT ALL, but there is extra credit. The class is out of 100 points, and if you do all the extra credit, it will bump your grade by a little over 5 points. The grade you get after extra credit is factored in is the grade you get. There is no scaling, rounding, or curving. Samani does give engaging lectures, but his exams are killer. When I say killer, I mean it. The things he teaches in lecture are not sufficient enough for us to do well on the exams. The tests are ridiculously hard, and you end up not learning anything. This class has a TON of homework. Nearly every week, you have Mastering Physics, Practice Exam Packets, Discussion Worksheets (Discussion is mandatory btw), Pre-lab, and Post-lab. These are only the required assignments, and do not include the extra credit assignments that are given every week. The Exam Packets are super hard, and he expects you to kinda figure out things on your own. Luckily, these are only graded on completion, but even then, it is hard to come up with a reasonable solution for the problems. Samani does offer midterm redos, which I did appreciate, but even then it is a struggle to do super well in the class. Take Physics 5A with a different Professor.

Quarter Taken: Spring 2019 Submitted Dec. 21, 2019 Grade Received: A-

I. Love. Samani. I was terrified of 5A content because the first time I took this class with Bondarenko, I got a C-. Samani alleviated all of my anxieties within the first week. I went to his office hours starting week 1 because I figured that since I'm retaking, I have to absolutely CRUSH this subject. He walks in and upon opening his office, he asks me what my name is. Two days later at his next office hour, he remembers me and says hello. He's the first professor I've ever had that I feel like truly cares about his students, and he's willing to go the extra mile for those students who want to do well. I highly recommend going to his office hours! Sometimes, he takes scenarios students give him, tweaks it slightly, and it ends up on the next exam. He has incredibly engaging lectures and demonstrations to help solidify the concepts. I got a 92% on the first midterm, and a 90% on the final! He has a participation component via Clicker questions, but you get two personal days. This class isn't by any means, but he gives us enough resources to do well if we put in the time.

Quarter Taken: Spring 2018 Submitted June 26, 2018 Grade Received: A-

TAKE PHYSICS 5A WITH SAMANI! I guarantee you that this will be the one of the best classes you will take, and that Samani will probably be one of the best professors you will ever have.

Samani is very straightforward, gives plenty of examples, and explains topics very thoroughly. As someone who did not take Physics (let alone AP Physics) in high school, Samani did an excellent job at creating an environment in which I can succeed.

The exams are pretty tough, but its because they are meant to gauge whether or not you are LEARNING the material, not MEMORIZING it. The midterms and the final will depict scenarios that are not addressed in lecture, but will build off of the topics and concepts addressed during lecture.

Discussion sections are actually quite helpful, and the worksheets drive you to think of different physical scenarios. (Shoutout to Teresa for being such a great TA)

The labs also do a good job at reinforcing lecture, including how to appropriately use equations to solve for unknown quantities.

Overall, a great (but difficult) class with an awesome professor. 10/10 would recommend. Yuh.

Quarter Taken: Fall 2019 Submitted Dec. 24, 2019 Grade Received: A+

I'm conflicted about this class with Samani. I really enjoy physics so I did not put much effort into the class and still did fine, but I'm not sure I really enjoy the way everything is set up. I liked the group tests for the review purpose, but I absolutely hated that I scored higher on my individual portions and my group basically just relied on me to do the test, thus everyone gets a grade bump except for the people that did really well. Mastering physics was not helpful for homework, honestly just chegg the answers and save yourself the time. I think Samani does a really good job at making the concepts accessible to everyone, but I really miss the mathematical sense and rigor to physics the way he teaches lacks. I feel like I didn't really learn much new or gain some great understanding from the way he teaches, but just relied on my background. In regards to his tests, I do not think they were killer hard: they were fair but we are all used to being babied in other LS classes. They require you to know what is going on and don't leave a ton of room for complete guesswork, but reward you immensely for the process and place little value on getting the actual answer so so long as you vaguely know what to do you will get a large amount of partial credit. I think he provides a lot of opportunities for practice and extra problems. Overall I think he is easy and more than fair, but he takes a lot of the joy and fun out of it by removing the portions that make physics really logical. (we legit never even saw vector brackets like pls samani bring back some of the math)

Quarter Taken: Fall 2019 Submitted Dec. 15, 2019 Grade Received: I

He made this class hard again

Quarter Taken: Fall 2019 Submitted Jan. 15, 2020 Grade Received: B

Everyone will tell you that Samani is a great professor, and this is true. He is an enthusiastic and engaging lecturer, but his exams are SO difficult. They are not straightforward at all, very conceptual based (kind of reminds me of AP exams). If you're looking for an easy time and simple exams where you can plug in numbers into formulas -- this is not it. Also, he requires you to use a lot of "common sense" during exams and estimate values such as mass, height, velocity etc. of objects. As someone who had never taken physics before, this was a challenging class. Unless you are very confident about your physics understanding, this class will be tough.

Quarter Taken: Fall 2019 Submitted Jan. 5, 2020 Grade Received: B

There is no curve for this class. No scaling. Nothing. Friends in previous quarters said that he adjusts your grade at the end but that was definitely not the case. I ended up with a B in the class and really thought that would be curved up to an A (obviously he is not required to do this and I am happy with a B but friends in past classes got a B with no curve and ended with an A in the class). His tests were very hard, especially since the examples he does in class are so simple compared to what he expects you to solve. Mastering physics problems also were completely useless. Ultimately, if you're looking for an easy A class this definitely isn't it, don't let the grade distribution fool you because things have definitely changed.

Quarter Taken: Fall 2019 Submitted Dec. 31, 2019 Grade Received: C+

Do not go by the grade distribution, it does not a great predictor. Professor Samani is an incredible lecturer, like seriously great. BUT i felt like his lectures should have a bit more practice problems because his tests are really difficult. He is very much into theory and does not give formulas. We do not need a calculator (he does not allow one) because a lot of the tests answers are in variables. I really enjoyed his class, but I would not take it unless you have an easy workload. His tests are very difficult, but the TAs give descent amount of partial credit. There are weekly hw assignments and practice tests which do take quite a bit of time. Overall, I think he is a great lecturer and the class is enjoyable, but it could hurt your gpa if your not careful. Take his class if you want a challenge while enjoying the lectures. If you want a typical physics class, take another professor since it's probably easier. DO NOT take this class with more than two stem classes, like seriously!

Quarter Taken: Fall 2019 Submitted Dec. 23, 2019 Grade Received: NR

Professor Samani is a chill guy that is easy to follow during lecture, but his exams are pretty tough. For the first midterm, very few people finished and I saw people frantically write random shapes for their graphs as the TAs came to collect the exams. Since you are not allowed calculators on exams, calculations can get a bit stressful and tedious especially when you start dealing with huge values that need to be plugged into Newton's equations. The good thing about his exams is that he gives you 15% of the points that you missed back if you do a redo. The class is slightly curved up to account for the averages on the exams.

Quarter Taken: Winter 2019 Submitted Dec. 22, 2019 Grade Received: B

Tough class. Although he is very helpful, the workload and difficulty of the class is extremely hard. Do not skip classes or any thing and attend discussion.

1 of 4

Tags

  • Gives Extra Credit
  • Is Podcasted
  • Engaging Lectures
  • Uses Slides
  • Tolerates Tardiness
  • Appropriately Priced Materials
  • Often Funny
  • Tough Tests
  • Participation Matters
  • Has Group Projects
  • Needs Textbook
ADS

Report Review

Did this review contain...

There are errors in the report form.

Thank you for the report!

We'll look into this shortly.

It seems like you’re

using an ad blocker. :(


Bruinwalk is an entirely Daily Bruin-run service brought to you for free. We hate annoying ads just as much as you do, but they help keep our lights on. We promise to keep our ads as relevant for you as possible, so please consider disabling your ad-blocking software while using this site.

Thank you for supporting us!