Professor

Robijn Bruinsma

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Easiness 2.5 / 5
Clarity 3.5 / 5
Workload 2.5 / 5
Helpfulness 3.8 / 5
Most Helpful Review
Winter 2019 - I see that none of the reviews here are newer than 2015, so let me provide a quick update. The first lecture seemed promising and Professor Bruinsma came off as a sweet Dutch man who would make this quarter enjoyable and manageable. If only that were the case. The weekly homework assignments usually consisted of a MasteringPhysics assignment (10ish modules) and a written portion due in class. The MasteringPhysics was manageable and honestly quite helpful, but the written portions of the homework assignments (anywhere from 6-9 multipart questions) were A.) illegible, B.) more conceptual based and confusing (my excellent TA, God bless his soul, had issues understanding what was being asked sometimes), and C.) ultimately not helpful in terms of the midterms or final exam. The lectures were 1 hour 50 minutes long and were boring beyond belief. You could just chalk that up to the material at hand, but from my experience, physics doesn't have to be boring. Corbin's physics lectures are informative, engaging, and as entertaining as physics can get (seriously, take Corbin if you can). Perhaps it would've helped if I could actually read what Bruinsma was writing on the board. I kid you not, at one point Bruinsma had a student from lecture REWRITE his notes in real time and have them projected on the big screen. Where's the logic in that? He also made mistakes quite often that had to be corrected by students in lecture. Lecture attendance was "mandatory" in a pretty loose sense. Every so often, a sign-in sheet would make its rounds, but this happened so sporadically and seemingly with no rhyme or reason. Discussion section attendance was mandatory, but I'm glad it was because my TA (Patrick) did such a good job at explaining loose ends from lecture, as well as helping us figure out the homework assignments. Seriously, thank you Patrick. As for the exams, both midterms and the final had "bonus questions" that could be a blessing or a curse depending on what side of the curve you find yourself on. For example, the bonus question (worth 25 points) on the first midterm brought the average up to near perfect, with some people scoring 100/75. I personally didn't care too much about the bonus questions being included, but when you explicitly state that the second midterm WILL NOT have a bonus question, and it ends up having one, it's not the best look.. Similarly, Bruinsma stated that the final exam would not have a double-slit problem, but lo and behold question #6 I think was a double-slit problem. There also was not a single question on optics, despite putting quite a bit of emphasis on it in lecture and the homework assignments. I don't know if Bruinsma was deliberately misleading us, or if he just doesn't read his exams before making 200 copies and distributing them (typos galore as well), but come on, get it together. Overall, I can not recommend this class to anyone taking 1C. You'll likely ending up teaching yourself from the textbook and Mastering Physics. There is also the chance that by the grace of God, have a TA like Patrick who makes life so much easier, but that's not a guarantee. Take Corbin if you can.
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Easiness N/A / 5
Clarity N/A / 5
Workload N/A / 5
Helpfulness N/A / 5
Easiness N/A / 5
Clarity N/A / 5
Workload N/A / 5
Helpfulness N/A / 5
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