May 18, 2003

Mukherjee, Reshmi Silver_nugget
[PHYS BC1207] Optics, Electricity and Magnetism and [PHYS BC1206] Mechanics Lecture + Lab

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

Professor Mukherjee is extremely kind and intelligent and cares deeply about her students. If you have any questions or concerns about problem sets, exams, or the class, you can always approach her and she will be more than happy to help clear up any confusion. However, beware, because she does not have a lot of office hours (only two hours per week) so if you can't make it then, you should email her. The lectures were very fast-paced, and I found it difficult to keep up a lot of the time (as did many other students...but hey, its Physics!). If anyone has questions during lecture, she will always stop to answer them. The first semester is not as difficult to understand, but E&M is insanely hard. The material is mainly derivatives, and the entire lecture time is spent doing derivations of formulas, so even though you get formula sheets on the exams, they won't be much help. In Mechanics, there are two midterms and a final, as well as three quizzes (she drops the lowest grade). The quizzes are not bad and the midterms are also doable, but the final exam is insanely hard. In E&M, there is only one midterm, and it is all derivations (very difficult, but there is a decent curve), four quizzes, and a final exam that is even more difficult than the first semester. She has a policy whereby she will count the final exam as 80 percent of your grade if you do not do well on the midterms, etc, but don't put all of your hopes in that final because trust me...the final will more than likely lower your grade. There are weekly problem sets which can vary from difficult to easy (usually there are at least a few difficult problems), but she is sweet enough to solve some of the problems for you in class (usually the most difficult ones!). Also, the labs are easy but you do have to work on them at home; they are a great way to boost your grade because they are 20 percent of the overall grade. Overall, the material is very hard (it's Physics, so I wasn't expecting much clarity there!!), the exams are tough, but in the end, it will all turn out okay. She is a very generous grader and your overall grade will turn out well. She always gives you the benefit of the doubt and your grade will turn out to be fine, so don't worry about it. I recommend this class, because Professor Mukherjee is extremely nice and because even for someone who is not nearly a Physics "master" (and even though it is calc based) I found it to be very doable, and well worth the work.


Weekly problem sets that are not too difficult because she solves some on the board in lecture and because she explains them to you at office hours if you need help. Mechanics: 3 quizzes but the lowest grade is dropped, two midterms and an insane final. E&M: Four quizzes, one midterm, and an impossible final (but don't worry, as long as everyone else finds it difficult, you'll be fine).