Professor

Nicholas Rombes

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4.3
Overall Ratings
Based on 42 Users
Easiness 3.0 / 5 How easy the class is, 1 being extremely difficult and 5 being easy peasy.
Workload 3.2 / 5 How light the workload is, 1 being extremely heavy and 5 being extremely light.
Clarity 4.5 / 5 How clear the professor is, 1 being extremely unclear and 5 being very clear.
Helpfulness 4.6 / 5 How helpful the professor is, 1 being not helpful at all and 5 being extremely helpful.

Reviews (42)

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PHYSICS 1B
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
June 24, 2021
Quarter: Spring 2021
Grade: A

Taking 1B with Rombes was all right. Although to be fair, this class is excellent in every aspect except for one - the exams. Rombes is a good-looking young man who is very passionate about physics and the student's comprehension of the material. Ask for help and you will ALWAYS receive it in this class. He gives out pretty solid lectures, and I think that the lectures are interactive enough so that you could ask any questions you have on the spot without fear.

Regarding the workload of the class, there are two types of homework that you have to turn in: Mastering Physics homework on the Pearson website (the textbook website) and his handwritten PSets (problem sets) each week. The M.P. (Mastering physics) problems were supposed to be easier than the PSets, but throughout the quarter, it is often the MP problems that gave me the most trouble (and my tendency of starting these problems last minute). The MP problems are graded on accuracy, but you get a limitless number of attempts. On the other hand, it is evident that prof. Rombes puts in a lot of effort writing the PSets each week. They are exploratory questions that are often fun to solve. If you can't figure out the solution, no worries, just show that you tried your best. The PSets are graded on completion.

Discussion sessions often have a worksheet that you have to turn in a day after or so. But the TA should go over the answers in class. At least, my TA did that. Jonah Hyman was my TA and he was literally the best TA that you can get (actually idk I didn't have the other TA). He is knowledgeable, has good communication skills, and is just so good overall. Also, the worksheets are graded on completion as well.

The only thing that makes this class sometimes a stressful experience is its exams. The first midterm whatever, it's handwritten by Rombes (again, he really cares about teaching). It wasn't short, but he gave us 24 hours for all exams. Although I am not sure will that be the case once in-person instruction resumes. The second midterm was the bane of humanity. It was 11 pages. All of them are free-response. Many took more than 10 hours to complete this exam and there were a few questions on it that either required extensive thinking or just was too difficult. Professor did acknowledge the length issue of the exam though. The final was 14 pages, but it was not that bad after an 11-page midterm. HOWEVER, don't be discouraged b/c of the length of the exam or their difficulty. They are often a spinoff of the PSets. Plus, they are VERY generous on partial credits.

Do make sure to get the extra credit from your campuswire standing, and also fill out the course eval.

That being said, he did say (in his 1C course) that he is going to change the way that exams are written and the difficulty of the MP problem sets. So mayhaps this class is going to be more enjoyable than it was for me.

Oh, also he showed us his cats so that's very pog.

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4 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
PHYSICS 1C
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Sept. 22, 2020
Quarter: Summer 2020
Grade: A

Review I wrote on Reddit.

Initial feelings before midterm:
Rombes is not bad so far! He writes a few problems for the HW sets and the others are out of Young and Freedman’s University Physics 15th Edition. He is good at explaining things and he doesn’t assume his students know everything that he is teaching. One thing to note, he often assigns two or three dot problems out of the textbook which are extremely hard, harder than the questions he writes usually for his HW.

Feelings after final:
We just had our final on Friday which was not that bad! Both midterm and Final were 24 hours and they were fairly reasonable. Rombes does not curve the class, its based on a straight scale so that is something to keep in mind, but given that the average for midterm was 85% which was a B, i feel like the scale worked pretty well. Keep in mind that this was for the Summer Session so im not sure if it will be the same for the Fall since it was much more hurried (6-week course), but his class seemed pretty reasonable!

How to prepare for the class:
I think you should review the Electricity and Circuits part of 1B, as that is the focus for the first ~25% of the class (Electricity will be replaced with Magnetism in 1C, and instead of DC circuits you learn about AC circuits in 1C). For the rest of the class, you should read ahead in the textbook (Young and Freedmen 15th edition, chapters 27 - 39 is basically the full span of the class).

Overall feelings: He was a great professor and for his first time teaching, compared to the previous physics professors I had at UCLA, I really liked him and his teaching style. His exams were not too difficult and had a decent average unlike other professors, which was probably due to the lack of a curve, but its honestly a confidence booster when you don't get a 20/100.

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3 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
PHYSICS 1C
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Dec. 23, 2020
Quarter: Fall 2020
Grade: A+

Best physics class I've ever taken at UCLA!! I did pretty bad in 1B so I was scared for this class, but turns out I had nothing to worry about. Rombes is by far the best choice prof for 1C. Lectures were very clear and way more interesting than I thought they'd be, tests were super fair, and the grading scheme wasn't stressful (35% hw, 5% discussion worksheets, 20% each for 2 midterms and the final, all of which weren't cumulative). Exams were 24 hr and explicitly open note and open internet, which I do actually think helped me learn more information long-term than if I had just crammed all night as I would have for a traditional in-person exam. The format of things might change once it's back to in-person, but if you're taking this as an online class it doesn't get any better than this. Wish all my classes were like this one!!

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2 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
March 29, 2022
Quarter: Winter 2022
Grade: A-

Rombes is okay. He's an okay lecturer but I found myself fighting for my life to stay awake in lecture. Professor usually just reads off his slides but I learn better in person so I made sure to go. 5A content was so uninteresting to me so I found it hard to study/pay attention in this class. Exams were fair but I found the final to be harder. One thing I will say is that he is really responsive to his students. He had a really hard problem on our first midterm and after everyone told him how difficult it was he made the TAs grade it really fairly. Since I didn't find the first midterm too difficult I didn't study as hard as for the second one and my grade reflected it. It does suck that even missing partial points on problems can significantly drop your grade. He also doesn't round so if you're at a 89.9 you're fucked.

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2 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
March 29, 2022
Quarter: Winter 2022
Grade: B+

Starting the Physics series was super scary for me. I'd never taken physics before and was nervous based on everyone elses experiences with Physics. However, I think it was pretty fair. Rombes was extremely approachable and was pretty responsive to his students. The only funky thing was his grading, on the first midterm we were graded very leniently but it changed after the second midterm. but overall he was a really nice professor!

One note though was discussion. It was honestly really helpful, but Hui was the worst TA. He was mean, unapproachable, and I literally dreaded when he would enter our breakout room. But our LA Nathan was extremely helpful and honestly was our TA for that discussion section

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2 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Dec. 22, 2021
Quarter: Fall 2021
Grade: A

Rombes is pretty knowledgeable on the topics, but lectures are very theoretical and focus on derivations (as well as the exams), which can be pretty dry. I stopped going to lecture after week 3, and consequently, my exam scores also had a downward trend. The grade allocation for this course is generous, with 40% being homework, and most of the homework being graded for completion. I don't think the exams are too difficult if you took the time to really study and review concepts, but I didn't, and so it often involved a lot of learning time when the exam window was open. The exams are graded very leniently though, and this is definitely one of those classes where you don't want to turn in a question blank (especially since tests were 24 hours during COVID). Based on the Gradescope rubric, it looks like the only way to get a question totally wrong is to either leave it blank, or write something completely irrelevant. For the tougher questions, as long as you were on the right track, you usually would only get a couple of points off, even if your answer was pretty wrong.

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PHYSICS 1C
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Feb. 24, 2021
Quarter: Winter 2021
Grade: N/A

I started this class full of excitement knowing that everyone in the past said that he was really good. Well now I'm stressed because of how tough this class is. The professor really expects us to understand very complicated physics. The midterm was really hard. It was more essay writing than solving problems. You really had to understand the concept extremely well. He writes new exam problems where it has never been tested before, with confusing wording. I felt that I wasn't given the right tools to be prepared for this class whether it be the discussion worksheets (where it were always things that were not covered yet), the problem sets (where the questions he writes are extremely hard and the help/hints provided are minimal), and the lectures. The students who are succeeding currently are most likely spending hours on external sources rather than what is provided. I just felt let down from the expectations I had.

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3 1 Please log in to provide feedback.
PHYSICS 1C
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Sept. 28, 2020
Quarter: Summer 2020
Grade: B+

Loved the professor. He was very good at explaining all the concepts, even when they were difficult to grasp. Tests were decently tough, but he gave us 24 hours for them, so it was totally okay, and felt very fair to all the students in the class. The only reason I feel like I didn't get an A was because my effort wasn't quite where it needed to be during the summer. I feel confident that anyone taking this class with Rombes who puts in the time and effort can achieve an A, as tests are overall very fair and he definitely teaches all the things he tests on. Overall, great class, would definitely take another class with this professor.

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1 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
PHYSICS 1C
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Aug. 12, 2021
Quarter: Summer 2021
Grade: A

I took both Physics 1B and 1C with professor Rombes and it's safe to say he is among the top tier of lower-division professors at UCLA. His lectures are clear and focused, but the best part of his teaching is the amount of time and importance he dedicates to students' questions. He was willing to answer them at any time, which was monumental in my mastery of the material, as I was able to have my misconceptions remedied almost instantly. Professor Rombes' class format was a little confusing at first, as the grade consists of two types of homework (Mastering Physics problems for accuracy and written problem sets for completion), with the former being more standard short problems that one would expect from a physics class and the latter being long-form and often exploratory. Before the first exam, I was quite curious about which form the test would take, but in all honesty the tests are an even mix of both problem types, but rarely had something that we had never been introduced to, they were mostly questions similar to the written problem sets but often with another layer of complexity. Interspersed with these questions were conceptual or plug-and-chug questions more similar to the Mastering Physics problems. Overall, I would highly recommend taking Professor Rombes' class, and although the exams are challenging, if you ask questions in lecture and office hours and understand all of the homework assignments, you'll be in a good position to succeed

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1 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
PHYSICS 1C
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
July 31, 2021
Quarter: Summer 2021
Grade: N/A

Physics with Prof. Rombes has by far been the best lower-div physics experience of the 1-series. He's a theoretical physicist, and so makes an effort to make sure that you understand why a phenomenon occurs, but isn't pedantic about it. You can tell he's really passionate about physics and teaching it well, and it really helped with keeping up with the content during Summer. There were two worksheets assigned a week from the discussion section, a weekly written problem set submitted through Gradescope and some MasteringPhysics problems. His tests weren't unreasonably difficult either.

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1 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
PHYSICS 1B
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Quarter: Spring 2021
Grade: A
June 24, 2021

Taking 1B with Rombes was all right. Although to be fair, this class is excellent in every aspect except for one - the exams. Rombes is a good-looking young man who is very passionate about physics and the student's comprehension of the material. Ask for help and you will ALWAYS receive it in this class. He gives out pretty solid lectures, and I think that the lectures are interactive enough so that you could ask any questions you have on the spot without fear.

Regarding the workload of the class, there are two types of homework that you have to turn in: Mastering Physics homework on the Pearson website (the textbook website) and his handwritten PSets (problem sets) each week. The M.P. (Mastering physics) problems were supposed to be easier than the PSets, but throughout the quarter, it is often the MP problems that gave me the most trouble (and my tendency of starting these problems last minute). The MP problems are graded on accuracy, but you get a limitless number of attempts. On the other hand, it is evident that prof. Rombes puts in a lot of effort writing the PSets each week. They are exploratory questions that are often fun to solve. If you can't figure out the solution, no worries, just show that you tried your best. The PSets are graded on completion.

Discussion sessions often have a worksheet that you have to turn in a day after or so. But the TA should go over the answers in class. At least, my TA did that. Jonah Hyman was my TA and he was literally the best TA that you can get (actually idk I didn't have the other TA). He is knowledgeable, has good communication skills, and is just so good overall. Also, the worksheets are graded on completion as well.

The only thing that makes this class sometimes a stressful experience is its exams. The first midterm whatever, it's handwritten by Rombes (again, he really cares about teaching). It wasn't short, but he gave us 24 hours for all exams. Although I am not sure will that be the case once in-person instruction resumes. The second midterm was the bane of humanity. It was 11 pages. All of them are free-response. Many took more than 10 hours to complete this exam and there were a few questions on it that either required extensive thinking or just was too difficult. Professor did acknowledge the length issue of the exam though. The final was 14 pages, but it was not that bad after an 11-page midterm. HOWEVER, don't be discouraged b/c of the length of the exam or their difficulty. They are often a spinoff of the PSets. Plus, they are VERY generous on partial credits.

Do make sure to get the extra credit from your campuswire standing, and also fill out the course eval.

That being said, he did say (in his 1C course) that he is going to change the way that exams are written and the difficulty of the MP problem sets. So mayhaps this class is going to be more enjoyable than it was for me.

Oh, also he showed us his cats so that's very pog.

Helpful?

4 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
PHYSICS 1C
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Quarter: Summer 2020
Grade: A
Sept. 22, 2020

Review I wrote on Reddit.

Initial feelings before midterm:
Rombes is not bad so far! He writes a few problems for the HW sets and the others are out of Young and Freedman’s University Physics 15th Edition. He is good at explaining things and he doesn’t assume his students know everything that he is teaching. One thing to note, he often assigns two or three dot problems out of the textbook which are extremely hard, harder than the questions he writes usually for his HW.

Feelings after final:
We just had our final on Friday which was not that bad! Both midterm and Final were 24 hours and they were fairly reasonable. Rombes does not curve the class, its based on a straight scale so that is something to keep in mind, but given that the average for midterm was 85% which was a B, i feel like the scale worked pretty well. Keep in mind that this was for the Summer Session so im not sure if it will be the same for the Fall since it was much more hurried (6-week course), but his class seemed pretty reasonable!

How to prepare for the class:
I think you should review the Electricity and Circuits part of 1B, as that is the focus for the first ~25% of the class (Electricity will be replaced with Magnetism in 1C, and instead of DC circuits you learn about AC circuits in 1C). For the rest of the class, you should read ahead in the textbook (Young and Freedmen 15th edition, chapters 27 - 39 is basically the full span of the class).

Overall feelings: He was a great professor and for his first time teaching, compared to the previous physics professors I had at UCLA, I really liked him and his teaching style. His exams were not too difficult and had a decent average unlike other professors, which was probably due to the lack of a curve, but its honestly a confidence booster when you don't get a 20/100.

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3 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
PHYSICS 1C
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Quarter: Fall 2020
Grade: A+
Dec. 23, 2020

Best physics class I've ever taken at UCLA!! I did pretty bad in 1B so I was scared for this class, but turns out I had nothing to worry about. Rombes is by far the best choice prof for 1C. Lectures were very clear and way more interesting than I thought they'd be, tests were super fair, and the grading scheme wasn't stressful (35% hw, 5% discussion worksheets, 20% each for 2 midterms and the final, all of which weren't cumulative). Exams were 24 hr and explicitly open note and open internet, which I do actually think helped me learn more information long-term than if I had just crammed all night as I would have for a traditional in-person exam. The format of things might change once it's back to in-person, but if you're taking this as an online class it doesn't get any better than this. Wish all my classes were like this one!!

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2 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
PHYSICS 5A
Quarter: Winter 2022
Grade: A-
March 29, 2022

Rombes is okay. He's an okay lecturer but I found myself fighting for my life to stay awake in lecture. Professor usually just reads off his slides but I learn better in person so I made sure to go. 5A content was so uninteresting to me so I found it hard to study/pay attention in this class. Exams were fair but I found the final to be harder. One thing I will say is that he is really responsive to his students. He had a really hard problem on our first midterm and after everyone told him how difficult it was he made the TAs grade it really fairly. Since I didn't find the first midterm too difficult I didn't study as hard as for the second one and my grade reflected it. It does suck that even missing partial points on problems can significantly drop your grade. He also doesn't round so if you're at a 89.9 you're fucked.

Helpful?

2 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
PHYSICS 5A
Quarter: Winter 2022
Grade: B+
March 29, 2022

Starting the Physics series was super scary for me. I'd never taken physics before and was nervous based on everyone elses experiences with Physics. However, I think it was pretty fair. Rombes was extremely approachable and was pretty responsive to his students. The only funky thing was his grading, on the first midterm we were graded very leniently but it changed after the second midterm. but overall he was a really nice professor!

One note though was discussion. It was honestly really helpful, but Hui was the worst TA. He was mean, unapproachable, and I literally dreaded when he would enter our breakout room. But our LA Nathan was extremely helpful and honestly was our TA for that discussion section

Helpful?

2 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
PHYSICS 1B
Quarter: Fall 2021
Grade: A
Dec. 22, 2021

Rombes is pretty knowledgeable on the topics, but lectures are very theoretical and focus on derivations (as well as the exams), which can be pretty dry. I stopped going to lecture after week 3, and consequently, my exam scores also had a downward trend. The grade allocation for this course is generous, with 40% being homework, and most of the homework being graded for completion. I don't think the exams are too difficult if you took the time to really study and review concepts, but I didn't, and so it often involved a lot of learning time when the exam window was open. The exams are graded very leniently though, and this is definitely one of those classes where you don't want to turn in a question blank (especially since tests were 24 hours during COVID). Based on the Gradescope rubric, it looks like the only way to get a question totally wrong is to either leave it blank, or write something completely irrelevant. For the tougher questions, as long as you were on the right track, you usually would only get a couple of points off, even if your answer was pretty wrong.

Helpful?

2 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
PHYSICS 1C
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Quarter: Winter 2021
Grade: N/A
Feb. 24, 2021

I started this class full of excitement knowing that everyone in the past said that he was really good. Well now I'm stressed because of how tough this class is. The professor really expects us to understand very complicated physics. The midterm was really hard. It was more essay writing than solving problems. You really had to understand the concept extremely well. He writes new exam problems where it has never been tested before, with confusing wording. I felt that I wasn't given the right tools to be prepared for this class whether it be the discussion worksheets (where it were always things that were not covered yet), the problem sets (where the questions he writes are extremely hard and the help/hints provided are minimal), and the lectures. The students who are succeeding currently are most likely spending hours on external sources rather than what is provided. I just felt let down from the expectations I had.

Helpful?

3 1 Please log in to provide feedback.
PHYSICS 1C
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Quarter: Summer 2020
Grade: B+
Sept. 28, 2020

Loved the professor. He was very good at explaining all the concepts, even when they were difficult to grasp. Tests were decently tough, but he gave us 24 hours for them, so it was totally okay, and felt very fair to all the students in the class. The only reason I feel like I didn't get an A was because my effort wasn't quite where it needed to be during the summer. I feel confident that anyone taking this class with Rombes who puts in the time and effort can achieve an A, as tests are overall very fair and he definitely teaches all the things he tests on. Overall, great class, would definitely take another class with this professor.

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1 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
PHYSICS 1C
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Quarter: Summer 2021
Grade: A
Aug. 12, 2021

I took both Physics 1B and 1C with professor Rombes and it's safe to say he is among the top tier of lower-division professors at UCLA. His lectures are clear and focused, but the best part of his teaching is the amount of time and importance he dedicates to students' questions. He was willing to answer them at any time, which was monumental in my mastery of the material, as I was able to have my misconceptions remedied almost instantly. Professor Rombes' class format was a little confusing at first, as the grade consists of two types of homework (Mastering Physics problems for accuracy and written problem sets for completion), with the former being more standard short problems that one would expect from a physics class and the latter being long-form and often exploratory. Before the first exam, I was quite curious about which form the test would take, but in all honesty the tests are an even mix of both problem types, but rarely had something that we had never been introduced to, they were mostly questions similar to the written problem sets but often with another layer of complexity. Interspersed with these questions were conceptual or plug-and-chug questions more similar to the Mastering Physics problems. Overall, I would highly recommend taking Professor Rombes' class, and although the exams are challenging, if you ask questions in lecture and office hours and understand all of the homework assignments, you'll be in a good position to succeed

Helpful?

1 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
PHYSICS 1C
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Quarter: Summer 2021
Grade: N/A
July 31, 2021

Physics with Prof. Rombes has by far been the best lower-div physics experience of the 1-series. He's a theoretical physicist, and so makes an effort to make sure that you understand why a phenomenon occurs, but isn't pedantic about it. You can tell he's really passionate about physics and teaching it well, and it really helped with keeping up with the content during Summer. There were two worksheets assigned a week from the discussion section, a weekly written problem set submitted through Gradescope and some MasteringPhysics problems. His tests weren't unreasonably difficult either.

Helpful?

1 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
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