Astronomy/Physics, Lower Div

Astronomy 7B, Intro to Astrophysics
Joshua Bloom, TuTh 2-330, 9 Evans
Avg GPA: 3.36, 47% A, 42% B, 11% C
“I took this class just for the hell of it and I thought Professor Bloom was a great professor- very clear, entertaining and the class was fair. The tests were not too hard, but you were allowed a notecard. I would definitely take another class with him again, if I wasn’t majoring in something other than astro…A really wonderful and enthusiastic professor. The midterms and final are fairly easy. There are weekly problem sets, all very helpful. Easy to do well, and a great lecturer.”
Text: Introduction to Modern Astrophysics

Astronomy 24, Space, Time, and the Cosmos
Alex Filippenko, Th 1-3, 544 Campbell (One of the best teachers in Berkeley, of course)
Texts: A Briefer History of Time, The Fabric of the Cosmos Required, What Your Astronomy Textbook Won’t Tell You Recommended

Astronomy 39, “Life in the Universe?”

Marc Davis, Tu 230-4, 544 Campbell
“REALLY nice, very smart & experienced… but has had a stroke, so his handwriting is very hard to read, and his lecturing is completely disorganized, makes frequent mistakes, goes off on tangents, & the midterms are badly worded/confusing. read the book & go to discussions and you should be fine. he’ll explain anything if you take the time to ask….Davis is a very nice guy, and you know he likes and loves what he does, but as a teacher who is responsible for upper level education he lacks in clarity, structure, and fails to present the material in an interesting yet alone comprehensible manner. I LOVED astro. b4 this class, but not nemore. Lots of useless homework/reading.”
Text: Rare Earth, What Your Astronomy Textbook Won’t Tell You Recommended

Physics 7A, Physics for Scientists and Engineers
Steven Boggs, MWF 11-12, 1 LeConte
Average GPA in 7A: 2.92, 29% A, 40% B, 27% C, 2% D & F each
“Great lecturer, very clear and neat. Tests range from straightforward to very difficult, but if you are comfortable with the math (multivariable calculus, differential equations) most of the material will make conceptual sense, even if some of the questions do not. A very good professor…Very boring lectures, but that’s physics. Does his best to make the material interesting. Some of the demos are cool. With the exception of the first midterm, tests are hard. The class is heavily curved so it is possible to do far less than stellar and still secure at least an A-. Do not take this class at 8 AM…The first midterm was easy enough (mean in the 80s), the second was killer (mean in the 40s). My advice is to work on understanding concepts at a deep level, and focus primarily on the hardest problems in the book. Better screw up in the comfort of your own home than on your final. Boggs is great, and if you’re not, at least he curves!”

Alessandra Lanzara, TuTh 8-930 & TuTh 11-1230, 1 LeConte
Average GPA: 2.71, 24% A, 38% B, 31% C, 7% F
“Was a fair professor. The accent was not bad compared to other professors. Does make an effort to go at the student’s pace if enough people voice their opinion. If you have a problem, voice it because she will listen. Midterms are not easy but the curve makes it all better…Great teacher…the accent may be a little hard at first…pay attention to examples she gives in class they are sometimes very similar to her test…She’s the type of professor that if you treat them with respect they will in turn respect you…Prof. Lanzara’s lectures were pretty straight-forward. The midterms are hard (OK though) but the final was much much harder. But do all the problems in the book and you should be fine. A word of advice – check out old exams from other colleges like MIT, Cornell, Caltech, etc. I saw a few very similar problems on her midterms.”
Text: Physics for Scientists and Engineers, Volume 1

Physics 7B, Physics for Scientists and Engineers
Richard Packard, MWF 8-9, 1 LeConte
“Wow… prof. packard is awesome, and he teaches in a way for the student to actually understand. His class was at 8 in the morning and every time I went I never went to sleep, thats how great the lecture was. I definitely recommend taking him…Great lecturer. He goes over the most important topics in class, and goes over them in great detail. I love how when he goes over a concept, he tells a story about it: about its discovery, or an interesting use of the concept in technology. This means he does not lecture on parts of the reading, but he takes questions on them. Also great demos…Great lecturer, tries very hard to clarify difficult concepts. good demos done in class. he tends to digress a lot but that just made the class more interesting. midterms aren’t very difficult, the second one was actually pretty easy, final wasn’t bad since 3 of the problems were taken from the homework. overall, excellent professor.”
Average GPA: 3.16, 40% A, 41% B, 17% C, 1% D & F each

Alex Zettl, TuTh 2-330, 1 LeConte
Average GPA: 2.86, 35% A, 32% B, 21% C, 7% D, 5% F
“Awesome professor! Great lectures with really cool demos. Lectures are organized and handwriting is neat. Tests are extremely hard, really takes some thinking as well as creativity. But overall it was a good experience…you have to pay attention in this class, but it’s not hard to. he goes over material nice and slow and has one of the most presentable drawings and handwriting i’ve seen in years. the tests are extremely difficult, so, prepare to study; he wants his students to know what they’re doing. just work, and you’ll do fine…Man, such a good teacher. I think he is the best professor in the Physics department. So please take his class. You might regret if you don’t have him!”

Texts: Physics for Scientists & Engineers Vol. 2, Portable TA (Volume II)

Physics H7B, Physics for Scientists and Engineers
Irfan Siddiqi, TuTh 930-11, 2 LeConte
Average GPA: 3.08, 38% A, 46% B, 8% C, 8% F
“Good professor. Follows the material in the book and explains it very well.”
Texts: Electricity and Magnetism, Vol. II

Physics 7C, Physics for Scientists and Engineers
Robert Lin, MWF 11-12, 4 LeConte
Average GPA: 2.88, 30% A, 37% B, 27% C, 4% D, 2% F
“Physically, he looks like the turtle master from Dragon Ball Z. Psycologically, he is a funny chinese guy without a thick accent. Overall good guy…His lectures focus a lot on proofs and complicated math. The example problems he does in class are very difficult to follow. Discussion sections are much more helpful than lecture. I feel like he’s almost too smart to be teaching intro physics because when he answers questions, it tends to only confuse me more…Nice guy, no accent. Lectures are mostly derivations that are not useful. Discussions are a lot more useful. Labs were mostly worksheets. Midterms/Final were on the diffcult side (hey what do you expect, it’s physics) but still reasonable, and the curve ensures that if you do the work, it shouldn’t be too hard to end up with a B.”

M Battaglia, TuTh 8-930, 4 LeConte
Average GPA: 2.76, 17% A, 58% B, 16% C, 8% F
“Overall, horrible class and definitely worth waiting to take if Marco is the only one teaching it that semester. His tests were completely different than anything we’d seen in HW or class. I learned nothing from his lectures and wasn’t prepared for my upper division classes that were based in the quantum from this class…Accent takes some getting used to. Lectures were interesting, and he was good at connecting the topics together. Tests were difficult, but he’s very helpful if you ask him questions. Some test questions were on topics from lecture that weren’t in the textbooks. He’s friendly in office hours and will walk you through problems or concepts…Class was ridiculous. the mean on one of our tests was like a 30%. Only savior was looking at previous midterms for hours (book was not too helpful in this class). Avoid!!!…Really cool class, in my opinion. The material was really dense, so I suppose there’s no easy way to teach it. Battaglia is a particle physicist, and he incorporated his research into his lectures/tests. ‘Twas really hard at first, but you can learn alot from his class.”
Texts: Physics for Scientists and Engineers with Modern Physics, Volume III, Modern Physics

Physics H7C, Physics for Scientists and Engineers
Leroy Kerth, MWF 9-10, 2 LeConte
Average GPA: 3.16, 44% A, 35% B, 18% C, 2% D & F
“Writes very faintly on blackboard. Can do strange things like get the direction of a magnetic field wrong and claim that “direction doesn’t matter”. Can’t answer questions well and tends to be condescending about them anyway. Thank goodness for the GSI… The Chalkboard bit is true, and sometimes he can seem a little muffled and confused in lecture, However I have found to be very approachable and very helpful during office hours.”
Texts: Schaum’s Outline of Optics, Modern Physics

Physics C21, Physics and Music
Saul Perlmutter, MW 1-2, 1 LeConte
Average GPA: 3.59, 74% A, 19% B, 4% C & F
“Took Physics & Music in spring 07- was his 2nd semester teaching ever. Very enthusiastic and spoke more quickly when he got excited so sometimes difficult to follow. He obviously loves teaching which made the class better. Lots of demonstrations and prof and GSIs helpful in answering questions…Awesome teacher, really loves teaching and is a very smart man. “Physics and music” is a really easy class. just go to class and do the homework and there’s no way you can’t pass. good way to get physic breadth out of the way.”
Texts: Measured Tones

Physics 24, “Space-time, Relativity and the Universe”
Christopher McKee, W 10-11, 395 LeConte
“He was a very kind and clear lecturer. He seems to care about his students and adjusted homework to a reasonable amount. His exams were challenging but he seems to grade fairly. The only thing was that he went through a lot of material within a single semester…One of the easiest professor in Berkeley.”
Text: Space-Time Physics (buy from UC Bookstore)

Physics 24, From Mythbusters to Science Fiction
Robert Jacobsen, W 11-12, 395 LeConte
“Actually teaches the physics of situations, not the math. Lectures always interesting… Lectures are for the most part useless except for that they give you the general headlines of what you should know. In reality though you have to know much more than what is lectured…amusing guy, likes to go off and talk about things that may or may not be totally related, but are fun to learn. however, i find him to be a very scary guy when facing him one on one.”
Texts: None, but you might think of buying this.


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