general physics

Dec 2006

I disagree with a lot of these reviews. Well I agree that he's a nice guy who likes to joke during lectures. However, he doesn't ruin your grade. I got my grade today and it was pretty good so I'm saying this from direct experience. He always has one or two problems on the midterm LITERALLY from the practice tests he gave you. So if you study the practice tests well you will do well on the midterms. He usually has about two new problems but they don't diverge too much from the previous exams. The exams aren't usually that hard, if you get the concepts from the previous exams. The homework I will admit can be quite a pain. The homework to do it properly actually takes more than an hour or two. The first few easy chapters can be done quickly but as the material gets harder it requires more time. He actually grades them so the homework gets really annoying as well. I never went to the recitation so I can't say much. To prepare for his exams effectively do all the practice exams and know them all. They can be quite a burden since he like gives you about 3-4 at a time. But if you do them right, they will ensure you a good grade. This is a lot of work but I didn't find it necessary to study physics everyday. For like midterm I just studied for a day or two. He isn't exactly the best lecturer in the sense that what he teaches isn't what is on the exams. Also he covers concepts very vaguely. The textbook isn't specific either so that doesn't help at all. But if you use his practice tests they will teach you all that you need.

Apr 2005

Professor Blaer is incredible. Simply put, he is the best professor I've ever encountered. Period. I switched from Professor Budick's class to Professor Blaer's for the second semester of general physics and it was the best decision I've ever made. Many people say that Blaer is easy--what they don't realize is that you really do learn the material inside and out. I think many of us are suprised to get an A or a B+ on a physics exam because we've never had such an incredible professor before; we're used to going into an exam "somewhat" knowing the material and coming out with a "so-so" grade. I find that when Prof. Blaer simply reviews a concept from first semester ("Recall that. . . ") I actully understand it! When I was in professor Budick's class I had no idea what angular momentum was, but then Blaer mentions it to clarify a point about electric fields and I actually get it. This makes me angry that I wasted my money with Budick while some students got to have two semesters of Blaer, but at least I got a semester. When I go back and study E and M for the MCAT, I'll look over my Blaer notes and forget that awful textbook. The man is a genius; his lectures are absolutely flawless. Take this class even if you're not a premed; take it just to learn about electricity and magnetism. If you're in another class with someone else, do yourself a favor and go to Blaer's lectures once in a while, just to really learn the material. Finally, Blaer just inspires his students. You genuinely like physics during your time in his class--a class many students loathe. If I was an undergrad taking this class, I think I would probably concentrate in physics, just because Blaer made it so interesting and engaging. Note that I came out of first semester with Budick wanting to study anything but physics. I think it's one thing to be wowed by a class, and it's another to be inspired by it.