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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.
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.
I gotta say, there are taking Rombe's Physics 1B class was one hell of a ride. He is one of the nicest and most helpful professor's I've know. His lectures are very clear and understandable, and his course content is understandable and pretty interesting. Homework he assigned was pretty helpful, and his grading was pretty fair: if you tried on the HW, even if your answers are wrong he'll give full credit. Grading scale was pretty forgiving, with 40% of your grade determined by HW participation, and opportunities for extra credit are available (up to 0.75% give or take). He was brilliant and very understanding in office hours, which were held twice a week.
But man, the tests. This might not reflect the current situation with Rombes' Physics 1C, but since I took it online, he made the tests extensively hard and long. I do appreciate and understand the reason he does this; since exams were online, there's nothing stopping students from using online notes and answer keys, which leaves him little choice but to design his own, comprehensively difficult exams with allotted time of 24 hours to take and submit them. His exam's aren't impossible though, and the class average for them tends to be pretty decent since he's a pretty fair grader, but just prepared to sink enormous amounts of time into exams; my first midterm took me 9 hours, second midterm took 14 hours, and final exam took over 20 hours. Getting great exam grades is not hard to come by in Rombes' Physics 1B class, but just be prepared to sink as much time as your willing to get out of it.
this was a completely online course. Lectures were solid and he seemed to take past students' advice and make the exams shorter. that being said, I personally found the material pretty difficult conceptually and definitely struggled more in the second half of the class, especially since nico uploaded 3 extra lectures to watch during week 9 -- it just felt like a lot of information to take in. A strength of this course was my discussion section: my LA jessica was super knowledgable and helpful with our questions.
My advice for this class is to study the discussion worksheets and problem sets the most since he makes them himself, and go to office hours!
The previous reviews sum up Rombes' Physics 1B experience very well. Rombes really cares about his students' learning and is always willing to answer student questions during live lecture. His explanations are extremely clear- he cleared up many misconceptions regarding physics students had. He is helpful during office hours and it's clear he wants you to come!
His tests, while doable, were pretty challenging. Good thing we had 24 hours to complete the midterms and the final - I would definitely not have finished under a timed 1 hour setting (midterm 2 alone took me 8 hours). His exams are difficult because they in a way force you to really UNDERSTAND the material. They consist mostly of conceptual, short essay questions that ask you to explain the physics behind a certain scenario. You might know how to solve all of the textbook/Mastering Physics problems and the example problems in lecture, but if you cannot clearly explain in words the physics behind what you just solved, you will probably struggle come exam time. His tests are very different from the textbook problems and even the written Problem Sets he writes for homework.
His grading scheme is nice enough - 40 % of your grade comes from homework, and his written Problem Sets were graded for completion. The other 60 % are the exams. Exam averages were around 80 %. So overall, Rombes made physics manageable, but this class is still pretty hard nevertheless.
Prof Rombes is a very clear and helpful professor - I would regularly go to office hours to get questions answered, and his explanations were normally very helpful. He's also really nice and approcahable. Homework was alright - it consisted of mastering physics problems and handwritten ones. I found these to be really challenging sometimes, but office hours always cleared them up. The worst part about this class, though, were the exams. They're pretty conceptual and aren't really based on any textbook problems, so it was super hard to study for them. We had 24 hours, and I would say I ended up spending a solid 10 hours on each midterm and the final. Because each exam is only weighted 20%, they're less stressful in that regard, but were still really hard. I ended up scraping an A because I did well in the first midterm and got extra credit, but the second midterm and final were really difficult for me. Overall, make sure you really understand the concepts the most, and go to office hours and really pick his brain about concepts you don't understand.
Professor Rombes recently finished his PHD at UCLA so he's pretty excited to teach and its very noticeable. His lectures are straightforward and easy to comprehend. He breaks down concepts for the students to understand easily and goes through examples problems in class step by step. Everything about this class is perfect (there's even extra credit), except for his exams. He mentioned in class due to the nature of online learning his exams must be hard because they are open book and open internet. His exams are definitely challenging but not impossible, and often times you can find intuition for the solutions online, but you really need to test your knowledge of physics to get it right. If you put the work in and study well, a B and above is very doable, but I would say getting an A is quite challenging and not guaranteed. The grading is good though, and you get lots of point just for showing some work.