Spring 2020 - The class ended up not being too tough, but it did feel like a lot of work for not too impressive of a result. The pre-labs and post-lab analysis are mostly just about following directions, you barely even need to know any of the physics that are being discussed since they basically hold your hand through everything, including giving you all the Arduino code that you need to work with. The lab reports are, as advertised, a pain in the butt. They take a good amount of time if you want a good grade, and everything feels really vague in terms of requirements, since there's no clear rubric – you're kind of stuck guessing in the dark for what kind of analysis they want you to make. They do make up a substantial portion of your grade, so make sure that you get a good group, since those reports are enough of a pain with a group working on it, let alone doing it on your own. Not a big fan of the class, but it's also not exactly Professor Arisaka's fault. It's a good introduction to how to write lab reports, but unfortunately, that's all I really got out of it.
Fall 2020 - TLDR: Easy busywork but depends on your group, TA, and helps if you have taken 4AL This class is entirely dependent on your TA and your group. You are placed in a group at the beginning of the year and you stay in it for the whole quarter and are supposed to do all the work together (you pretty much do everything on your own and come together for the unit report and the final project at the end of the quarter). It helps a lot if you have already taken 4AL but I know 2 people in my group hadn't before and only struggled a little bit. There are 4 units, Training (reaction time), sound, circuits, and the final project. the first unit and the beginning of the second unit were copy-paste of the first and second unit of 4AL so it's easy to reuse work and data. The rest of the units are just a lot of busywork up until the final project which can be as fun as you make it (you choose to build something out of the UNO kit). My TA was horrible and my group was smaller than all the others but the work itself isn't very hard. If you need help you can ask your groupmates or go to the TAs office hours (I went once and I was the only person all quarter so if you want help but dont want to hurt your ego it's easy to ask questions alone). If you have problems with your group or TA make sure to change it defore the drop deadline because after almost nothing will change!
Professor Arisaka has a rather heavy accent, which made his lectures fairly difficult to understand for the first couple of days; however, like he said, we soon got used to it and understood most of his lectures. What I like about him is that he seems to listen to his students; for example, for the first couple of meetings he lectured from the overhead. He went really fast, not giving us enough time to copy down all his notes. When some students complained, he decided to make copies of all the transparencies in a thick packet to be passed out in the beginning of every lecture. That's like 30 pages + per packet and per lecture! It probably isn't completely necessary to go to every lecture, but be warned: on the tests he throws in a few questions to which you would only know the answers if you had been in class to listen (he didn't put them in the assembled packet of notes). The textbook was called "The Big Bang"; I don't think many of us actually read the book at all. All you have to do is study the lecture notes. He didn't pass out practice tests for or class until the final came around, but if you get them, definitely study them (most of the answers are on them). If things don't make sense in the beginning or the middle of the class, they will by the final. Arisaka is good at tying things up (or, as he calls it, showing "the big picture"). If you can, get Mark McGovern as your TA. He answers every e-mail in-depth and is very helpful in office hours.
Winter 2019 - This is a review for Physics 5C which is the the successor of 6B. DO NOT TAKE THIS CLASS WITH ARISAKA!!!! 1. His accent is hard to understand 2. His lectures are pointless. He spends the entire time either deriving all these random equations using other random equations. P.s. He's in love with Gauss' Law, which he doesn't adequately explain 3. All his lecture slides reuse the same exact information almost every single week. He rushes through everything not explaining conceptually. 4. His exams are a direct copy of his discussion sheets with an extra "hard" problem. 5. He does not let you use a calculator, or cheat sheet with the equations. 6. His lectures do not help. His mastering physics homework does not help. In all honesty, the best thing to do is to get help from the TAs and memorize the discussion sheets. 7. On the plus side, the class was not that bad. But I had a background in physics (IBHL Physics) which kinda helped. But, if you've never taken IBHL, AP Physics B/C, good luck. Oh, and try asking him questions. He'll go off topic and shrug it off.
He's so great. Exams were easy, just straight out of notes. Didn't work all that hard and got an A in the class. The honors section is a little terrifying. You have to give a presentation at the end, and he tore a few people apart, seriously TORE THEM APART. I thought the first guy was going to cry, but he's just trying to teach you how to do proper research. Everyone still gets As. He sends really nice, encouraging emails weekly. He's really passionate in lecture. He has an accent, but after a few classes, you'll understand him.
middle column: cumulative percentage of students right column: percentage of students in that grade category. A+ 11.0% 11.0% A 24.2% 13.2% A- 38.3% 14.0% ------------------------------------ B+ 54.0% 15.7% B+ 72.2% 18.2% B- 82.1% 9.9% ------------------------------------ C+ 90.6% 8.5% C 96.4% 5.8% C- 99.4% 3.0% ------------------------------------ F 100% 0.6% distribution for 6C winter 2015