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I took Physics 1B and 1C with Richard basically because i knew him from my summer 1B class. first of all, he is not the most eloquent lecturer, for that, go see Corbin. Richard's strength lies in his concern for his students and his desire in helping them succeed. he often tries to tell jokes and some students don't consider him very funny because his jokes are rather nerdy, but even if nerdy, it shows his desire in keeping things interesting. but make no mistake, his greatest strength is in working with the "less than stellar" students like me who weren't born with a natural physics aptitude. before i took him, i had repeated my first physics class multiple time, so i needed a professor who was like a "Physics for dummies" type of professor. I took Brent Corbin, and was mesmerized by his lectures and how funny he was. some students compare all other physics teachers to Corbin because, hey, he's a great lecturer... and i won't deny him that, but i don't care for his requirements that you memorize the formulas and his frequent divergence from the book. each of those assessments is NOT value based, some folks prefer a teacher who diverges from the book and who makes you memorize, and to them i suggest Corbin, to the rest who prefer to focus on problem solving because in real life you have formulas at your disposal all the time and adherence to the book (because those of us who read the book benefit by having difficult passages clarified), i would recommend you seriously consider Richard. since Richard often let us bring in formulas, some students believed tests would be easier, but Richard always put in a humdinger of a problem that reminds you never to underestimate the difficulty of a test. I was not good in math nor physics, so i often went to see Richard, and in the fall when i took 1C, i also went to PDP workshops (a MUST for non-geniuses) where i got my fill of Professor Corbin's chalk throwing anecdotes... for me, this was the perfect combination because i got to interface with both of them... Corbin's engaging style without being tested, and Richard's "down to business" style.
testing, as i said, is not easy, but its not hard either. its usually 4-6 problems, but you rarely finish them all given the fact they rely on a fundamental understanding of the concepts... so formulas were allowed... which gave a false, sense of security to many who bombed the first midterm... DON'T make that mistake! having formulas doesn't make your test easier, it merely allows the professor to focus on more complex problems since he knows you brought formulas. I got by with doing tons of homework, more than what he assigned by about 50%. in the end, i got a B in both classes, which was better than i thought i would do given my previous negative experience in physics. in other words, a physics dummy like me did quite well because Richard was there to insure i understood the principles, because his tests were no-nonsense and had no surprises and because i took the PDP.
in short, you can't go wrong with Richard because he's fair and cares. his jokes might miss the target, but who cares? as long as he is there to help you succeed, succeed you will.
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