Electronic and Magnetic Properties of Solids

Feb 2011

This class, if you don't have previous knowledge is a very dense class. It covers electromagnetism, solid state physics, semiconductor physics, magnetism, reciprocal spaces and x-ray diffraction each of which can be a course itself! However with his organized notes Bailey is on top of it. He's really smart and knows his area very well. But sometimes due to the time constraint, he just rushes into one topic and tries to finish it in 1 lecture so it is a MUST that he skips some of the steps. However if you try to understand the notes, ask questions during the lectures or check out the references he mentions, there's no reason not to be able to get a good grade. Bailey is extremely helpful during office hours, and he even answers questions from other courses! However you should act like a senior/grad student and shouldn't expect answers to the hw questions. I remember asking him a question outside his office hour (7 pm) and we discussed it for 1 hour without him showing any sign of exhaustion. I asked him a couple of questions through e-mail and he answered me right away which I really appreciate. As for grading, he is always on time, gives out solutions, goes over the problems during lectures and he is fair. The midterms were so easy but the final was not. However he solved all the questions in a previous final he posted and our final was similar to that. If anyone didn't get a good grade that's totally NOT Bailey's fault. He is also very much involved in magnetism (his research area), so if you want to learn the stuff Bailey is the one you should go to.

Apr 2004

Wow, is this class ever boring. And hard. Bailey seems like a fairly nice person ,and one gets the feeling that his efforts to succeed as an instructor are sort of "cute" but by the end he's totally annoying. He speaks in a monotone, and a soft monotone at that. He isn't a fan of eye contact. And he gives you a packet of the notes at the beginning of every class that he basically just reads from the whole time. These aren't handwritten spotty notes, but pages of paragraphs gleaned from the textbook he appears to be writing. So, you feel like you shouldn't have to take notes, but the packets are fairly difficult to breakdown on your own, so you probably should. The most frustrating thing is that Bailey seems to enjoy being cryptic about tests and homework and questions in general. When you ask reasonable questions as to the information you should focus on, he dodges them like nobody's business. And while he is available for office hours, he doesn't actually like to go over the specific homework problems in detail. He'll mention the sneaky math trick (use the Hamiltonian!) that you were supposed to miraculously divine, but he won't tell you when or where to use it. Or he will respond to emails regarding tests with "Don't worry. The test will be fine," and then give everyone Cs. He's just very difficult to really feel out. And since his communication skills leave a lot to be desired (he speaks english perfectly, but he doesn't like to give clear/concise/useful answers about anything) you find yourself sort of swimming in a world of nebulous concepts - it's not particularly conducive to learning. And he expects you to know a lot of complicated math. So, unless you're taking this class because you have to, don't do it. The amount you learn isn't nearly worth the stress. If you're taking it because you must, you'll survive but mostly due to your own efforts to learn the material on your own. Finally, Bailey says that about 5 books are required for the course. NONE OF THEM ARE - don't waste your money. He writes all his own problem sets with the exception of a few problems from Griffiths (if you want a textbook, get this one), and the materials is exclusively from the notes he provides.