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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!!
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
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.
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.
As a CS major trying (struggling) to get through the physics requirements, Rombes was an amazing professor. I tend to forget old physics material from 1A and 1B, but he often reviewed the necessary material before diving into new 1C content, which made it much easier to follow along in lecture.
His HW are "problem sets" of maybe one or two problems that he writes himself, and around 4 problems from the book. Some of the problems were pretty challenging (the three dot problems in the book), but for the most part they were...doable. It was more of getting burnt out in the continuous HW cycle because of summer session constraints, but I think in regular quarters it might be less stressful.
The midterm and final (cumulative, emphasis on second half) were both 24-hr, open note, open internet, exams. It honestly depends on how much time/effort you spend on it, because I think they were fairly made and definitely not made to be impossible.
Overall, I really enjoyed 1C with Professor Rombes!! He's a very clear lecturer, and he was very accessible either through office hours or through campuswire to ask further questions.
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.
I took both 1B and 1C with Rombes and had a good experience overall, so this is more like a review for both classes, since they are similar in structure and difficulty. The lectures are clear and helpful, and Rombes does his best to make sure that we have our questions answered. The class campuswire is always active, so it is definitely helpful to check that whenever questions come up. It is very likely that someone else has already asked about the same thing and has received answers for that either from the professor or classmates.
The reason that the campuswire is active, however, is that that neither this class nor the 1B class is easy. The weekly assignments and discussion worksheets will take some, but it is completion-based and you will get full points as long as you complete all questions. The tests, however, are very hard. They are open notes, open book, open internet, and have a 24-hr period to work on, but you will not find direct answers from anywhere. I spent incredibly long hours in tests for both his 1B and 1C classes. You will have to conceptually understand the materials to answer his test questions. They are ultimately doable, but only if you work hard to follow with the materials.
Overall, I left the class maybe not with all the formulas in my memory, but definitely with a better understanding of how to do physics. Not the easiest class, but would recommend to anyone who needs the 1-series