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Waung is a great professor. He explains things very clearly and simply so it is easy to understand. In high school i didn't get physics at all but now i feel like i do. The exams are not that hard. The midterm questions were very much like the old midterm questions he posted with answers on the web. MAKE SURE YOU DO THE OLD MIDTERM PROBLEMS HE GIVES YOU! doing them is the best review. The final was somewhat harder. It is completely comprehensive so you have to know a lot but very doable. Also he lets you have a cheat sheet for each midterm and final. you can put anything you want on it. Waung is also very nice and happy all the time. He is always smiling and willing to help students who need help. I loved his jokes too. He trys to tie them into physics and lecture and i thought they were hilarious. I highly recommend anyone to take physics with professor waung!
Waung teaches equations... and that's about it. He DOES NOT TEACH concepts, which unfortunately are what his exam test. I agree with the last reviewer who said his homework problems and class examples ARE NOTHING like what he gives on exams. In addition, the lecture examples even ARE NOT GOOD ENOUGH to do the homework!!!
Waung definitely got tougher this year, because I had many of his older exams, and let's just say those were a cakewalk compared to what he gave to us. I tested myself with those exams in the 50 minutes that you are alloted during tests, and I breezed by those rather easily... couldn't say the same for the actual tests Fall '01 quarter.
Lastly... the final was killer. Multiple concepts in one problem X 8 problems! We had a couple concepts that were not even given in class or homework problems of. In fact, there was one problem during the final in which I asked the TA proctoring the exam to clarify for me. His answer was to the like of "Don't bother with that one, just try do it if you have time".
If you want to go to his office hours, that's fine... that is if you are already in the top 5% of the class. When I went to one of his office hours to try and understand a concept on which I was completely lost, Waung made me look completely dumb in front of other people when he kept staring at me for an answer when I told him that I don't know the answer and that is why I came to him for help. Nice job...
He used to give lots of A's and may have gotten a bad rap for doing that, but giving less A's is fine as long as you still do a decent job of preparing students for your exams... which obviously Waung failed to do so last quarter.
I could have done better had it not been for the 2nd Midterm in which the class average was 57/100 with a Standard Deviation of 22! I've never seen a test where the SD is 20% of the points on the test! All that shows was a bad job of making a test.
I guess if you want to do well in his class, you just have to deal with all this and study very hard every little concept because anything is game for his tests. I did and I got a B+.
Prof. Waung *DOES NOT* teach concepts. He teaches his course like a math course with word problems based on physics equations. After taking a course with him you will inevitably be blown away in succeeding physics courses b/c you will not have acquired any conceptual understanding. You will move on with nothing more than useless equations that have little meaning. He does not derive any of the fundamental equations and thus doesn't show how concepts are interrelated. This forces students into memorization of equations. This sort of acquired attitude carried to other physics courses is deadly. This is *especially* true if you intend to take the MCAT--where conceptual understanding is vital. If you don't like physics, you will suffer regardless so you might as well learn something in the process. An "A" in his course is meaningless--trust me, I know, it's not worth it.
He was a great teacher and the exams were straight-forward and completly fair. Then came the final and he got sneaky. It was very long and very complex and suddenly the problems became much harder. Great teacher but watch out on the final.
Professor Waung is one of the better professors I have encountered at UCLA because of his approachable, empathic nature. Unfortunately, judging from the reviews and my personal experience, he _has_ gotten harder since the last few years. The final of Fall 2001 was amazingly difficult; of course his curve seems pretty fair, but his tests are not as simplified and condensed as his lectures. He's very detailed, very meticulous in his lectures; of course what he lectures on are relatively simple concepts. Homework is no more complicated (except for some of the Bruinsma problems, which are actually more confusing than conceptual). The midterms are not half as difficult as the final (though relatively speaking, they have gotten harder); the final, however, is a killer. I distinctly recall him stating that even though the midterm takes the entire 50 minutes (if not more, to complete), the final should be finished in plenty of time -- a complete contradiction as he had to give us more time to finish (of course, this might have been in consideration of a major typo in one of his questions). If you have taken Physics previously, it will definitely be to your advantage, but this class is no easier than your other science classes. He WILL test on major concepts--in fact, he attempts to fuse as many concepts as possible on the final in a single question--so do as many practice problems as you can. A BIG RECOMMENDATION: Get his practice tests (the ones other than those which he posts on the webpage -- the ones from previous years), his sample problems that he used for those PDP sessions, and even tests from other professors (many of whom are even more difficult). Keep in mind, that Dr. Waung recycles a lot of his questions. I had the opportunity of getting an AAP packet, which introduced me to a couple of questions that were to be on the final. If you take his class, try to allocate as much time as possible (at least 3 days) to study for the final. The midterms can be studied for in less than day; but the final is, as I stated earlier, nothing like the midterms. If I had to give him a grade for his Fall '01 course, I'd give him a B. He's a little better than your average professor.