Based on 44 User s
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.
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.
He is a 4/5 Professor. My only issue with the class was the weird wording on some of his exams and the TA. The exams were mostly very analytical and you had to know the material well to know how physics would be applies to certain situations (limit as the magnetic field approaches infinity blah blah etc). Very engaging lectures and overall a nice guy. Mastering physics and problem sets were 35% of your grade. M1, M2 and Final were each 20% with the lowest being dropped (only the midterm can be dropped). He had a bad habit of posting things late every now and then. He's a younger Professor and likes to argue (he doesn't get mad just hard to convince when you have an issue about the class).
The TA was nice but overall pretty bad. They definitely need to change the structure of discussion (also part of your grade, 5% I believe). He would give us a worksheet and post the solutions later in the day. Yes, we can ask questions but it would be way better for him to work out the problems through the board. Overall I'd give him a 1.5/5. He mostly seemed like he wanted to get every discussion over with and he almost never made an attempt to engage with the class (reach out and ask how we're doing on number one or ask if anyone needed help). Again, yes we can ask questions but the TA should at least reach out and ask at least once through the quarter. He never replied to my emails once throughout the quarter. It would be dead silent for 95% of the discussion period. So much time could've gone into actually learning but instead were spent scratching your head on the very difficult discussion problems.
Overall a solid class the definitely improved my understanding of physics!
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!!
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.
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
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.
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.
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
Nico is definitely the goat. His lectures are pretty clear and he's really helpful for anyone who asks a question. As someone who hates the physics 1 series, nico did a splendid job making the class a welcoming and interesting experience. the homework was a couple book problems along with a couple problems he writes. exams were very fair and reasonable, especially with the 24 hour time window. you don't need to buy the inclusive access mastering physics stuff (yeet). highly recommend for anyone. again, as someone who hated 1a and 1b, 1c with nico was a game changer and made me appreciate the material a lot more with plenty of room to breathe.