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The only reviews for this class & professor are about 10 years old, so hopefully I can provide an accurate review as of March 2022.
Putterman is very kind, and definitely cares a lot about student's understanding the material and doing well in the course. Despite this, I do not know that I would say that I left this class with a full understanding of the material, despite doing well grade-wise in the course.
Putterman's lectures are exclusively proofs, and I usually left lecture with no idea how to actually implement any of the concepts or equations in practical problems. Without the TA showing us how to do each and every homework question, I would not have been able to complete any of the problem sets. (That being said, the process of trying to figure out what the fuck was going on with the homework questions did usually leave me with a small bit of further understanding by the end.)
Because of this, the 2 midterms and final were basically a "write down whatever equations, derivations, and random scraps of information that might be applicable and get some partial credit" experience. The few times midterm questions were very similar to homework questions, I was able to handle it a bit better, but it was still a generally rough experience.
There was no syllabus for this class - we had no idea what the grading scheme was. Despite this, he seemed to provide the class with a very generous curve and most people I know did well grade-wise.
Putterman was very thoughtful about helping us out - when students messaged, he allowed the homework due date to be pushed back to Thursday instead of Wednesday, and he asked for our input on whether the final should be online or in person. I do feel like I know more information than I did when I came into the class (mostly about wave equations, thermodynamics, and statistical mechanics), but I also feel like there are probably large, gaping holes in my overall knowledge.
The course is called INTRO to ELEMENTS of statistical and quantum mechanics. But, I walked away with a graduate level understanding of Thermodynamics. If you want to learn everything about what Dr. Putterman thinks is important (which is he adds to every lecture), than take a class with him. His lectures are very entertaining, the homework is from some lost tome of graduate school, and the tests are horrifying. Overall, it's more of a hazing ritual than a learning experience.
Dr. Putterman has a great sense of humor. If you plan to pursue a career in Research and Development, you should take his class just for the experience. However, for Physics 17, if you want to actually understand what is going on in lecture, you should take the following classes beforehand:
I ended up using a graduate level thermodynamics textbook to study for this LOWER DIVISION class. Good luck!