Jan 2008

Very interesting course, but rather hard to follow. It moves at a relatively quick pace with lots of complex derivations. The homework can be somewhat difficult and mildly annoying with the little details that one is required to know/remember. You end up learning a lot, but you'll have to read the book (it's a pretty good book, but do NOT skim it). You will need to understand the material pretty well for the final. It's good course though and presents another aspect of the physical world in a more intuitive, and much more fundamental way than when I learned thermo in Chemistry courses.

Jan 2007

Modi is one of the most reasonable professors I've had here so far. He actually seems to care that students understand the material. He also encourages student interaction, which is helpful because then he can tell what he's explaining well and what isn't clear to the class (and overall, he does a clear job teaching). The TA was also excellent.

Jan 2006

Lectures are alright, nothing too exciting, nothing that boring. When he gets bored, he likes to randomly call on people, but this only happened in a few classes. He says he wants to help people, but he seems very unapproachable (The TAs on the other hand...) Homework is necessary because of the nature of the class. Fall behind one week and you might regret it come midterm time. Thermo is basically the same thing all semester, just adding new concepts so you must be on top of the material. Dropping three homeworks is enticing and not doing a few more doesn't really hurt because HW is only 5%, but you probably will want to resist that temptation. Grading is very strict. He hates to change grades. Argue too long and he'll start finding things that he can take more points off than on. For the midterms, you have your TAs, but for the final, you don't really have a chance. He curves to a B-, and all the grades are distributed fairly equally (same number of As, A-s, B+s, Bs, etc.) I think there were about 3 A+s in a class of ~80. Basically, this is a performance driven class (midterm/final). Don't think homeworks will help your chances at boosting your grade. I had a 99% HW avg... which did absolutely nothing for me. I could have done 0 homeworks and received the same grade.

Dec 2005

terrific instructor but not so generous with grades. The class is curved to B-/B, and there is no doubt that he's the pioneer of grade inflation figher.