Physics for Scientists and Engineers: Electrodynamics, Optics, and Special Relativity

Stuart Brown

Physics for Scientists and Engineers: Electrodynamics, Optics, and Special Relativity

Physics department

Stuart Brown

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Overall 3.2
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Easiness of class 2.8
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Workload 2.6
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Clarity of professor 3.4
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Helpfulness of professor 4.8
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Reviews

Quarter Taken: N/A Submitted Jan. 8, 2015 Grade Received: N/A

For Physics 1A, I had Mostafa El Alaoui-Nice guy, but with his overuse of examples ("Here is an example...Here is an example...etc, etc.) I barely got anything out of the class.

For 1B, I had Ni Ni, and oh dear, at least El Alaoui's accent was understandable. That said, I did learn more in 1B (not hard to achieve) but she was not a good professor.

Just as I thought it couldn't get worse, I was right-it didn't.

Brown is a decent professor. Not bad, like my two previous ones, but he's certainly no master at explaining concepts really clearly. Since he teaches mostly upper divs and is somewhat scatterbrained, he finds it difficult to phrase some concepts in class, but to his credit, he eventually does this in an understandable way most of the time.

The class is mostly concept based, and the Mastering Physics homework is easy gimme points -16 tries!

Both midterms, in retrospect were fair in content but the second one was much more time constrained (even though I did better on that one).

My recommendations are to follow his study guide, but beware-he has two sections-1) Concepts, defintions, equations (stuff you MUST know) 2) Concept keywords (he says to just have a feel of what these mean, but this is not always the case. For the second midterm, he didn't put the formulas for inductance, reactance, etc. in the first section-he put it in the second, but we still had to use those equations).

I never went to office hours, so I can't comment on that. Overall though, he gets the job done in an acceptable manner. I got a B+, and had I done better on the first midterm, I would have gotten at least an A-. He posts distributions for all exams, so I know that I am happy with how I did on midterm 2 and the final.

Another recommendation-when he gives you a problem, don't overthink it. Some questions don't even test your understanding of physics since they are mathematical derivations and manipulations, albeit not complicated ones. Just make sure your derivation is NOT crazy because it won't be that way on the answer sheet. Also look at the geometry of relevant questions (if I take sin theta of this, what do I get, etc). To reiterate, do not overthink because you'll be slapping yourself on the head (not really, but you get what I mean) when you see the solutions. Grading is also not harsh, and if you find a relevant mistake, just write what you want regraded and leave it on the desk during lecture, and Brown will look it over.

If you like learning concepts, not having to do tedious calculations with you TI-83 Plus during an exam, looking at the geometry/trigonometry of problems, and doing some mathematical manipulations, take him. If you like to do hardcore derivations in class and don't care a hoot about learning concepts, then I would look somewhere else. When you're taking his exams, just do not, do not, do not overthink like I did. Then, time constraint will be less, trust me.

Quarter Taken: N/A Submitted March 21, 2002 Grade Received: N/A

Off all the physics courses I took, I learned the most out of his 1C class, even though relativity isn't wxactly what I call exciting. If you know the basic concept in his class, you're good to go. On his first midterm I only got a 10/40 but after reading up more on concepts i gotta 36/45 on his second midterm. Granted, a lot of his class is concept-based, I would recommend him highly.

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