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.
My goodness everyone needs to stop bitching-- Bruinsma was a great professor. Everyone was shocked to get less than 50 on the second midterm. I find these people absolutely ridiculous. If they took a real physics class (with Corbin for instance, where the averages are in the 30s), then you would cry, literally. So stop complaining when you had the easy physics with the easy professor. By the way, I got an A- without any high school physics, so clearly I could do it.
Bruinsma was a nice guy who taught Physics well. He's not the best teacher I've had and he's definitely not the worst. The thing I really enjoyed about his class was his ability to entertain students with his quirks and "multimedia" presentations. His grading policy isn't too bad, so that shouldn't be too much of a problem--I got an A and I think most others got an A or a high B. I would reccomend him, but I should also tell students that he can sometimes be a bit confusing. And also--he wrote the book that you'll be using--and sometimes, that's a bad thing.
I hated 6A and have always found physics pointless and boring. I was not looking forward to 6B. But Bruinsma totally surprised me. His excitement about the material is catching and I now feel that 6B is one of the best science classes I have taken at UCLA. He is 100% concerned with students actually learning this stuff. I definitely reccommend taking 6B with Bruinsma.
I had Bruisma for 2 consecutive quarters (105A&B). Here are some things to consider before taking a class with "Ze Flying Dutchman". Pros: Prof. Bruinsma is the BEST lecturer I have encountered so far in my time at UCLA, or anywhere else for that matter. He genuinely wants you to learn, and will answer any question have about the material, regardless of how obvious/trivial until he is satisfied you understand. The tests are all curved with the average roughly set at a B-. (May not sound like a good thing, but when 60% on an exam gets you an A, it is.) His Dutch accent provides endless entertainment. (Don't worry, he's not difficult to understand.) Cons: The tests are all curved with the average roughly set at a B-. His tests are hard. Very hard. Every midterm had an average of 40-50%. He's a mathematical bad-ass, and tends to forget that undergrads typically aren't. Whatever subject the class is, you can be sure he will find every possible example that relates back to Holland or was discovered by some other crazy Dutchman. My opinion: Yes, his classes are hard, but they're hard for everyone. Since it's curved, all you have to do is beat the curve. No physics professor is going to just give away A's. Might as well take him, have an awesome, entertaining lecturer who will actually teach you something.
Winter 2017 - Professor Bruinsma's sense of humor is incompatible. It is natural. He doesnt even try to be funny but he will make you laugh during every single lecture. Beside, he cares about his students. He takes the time to explain something that might not be clear or difficult to understand. His tests are reasonable as long as you pay attention in lectures and understand the homework. I had amazing TA when I took this class the Winter quarter so that was one of the reason why I was able to do well.