Introduction to Classical and Quantum Waves

Apr 2021

Took this Fall 2020 - Szabolcs is one of the nicest professors I've had, but the class wasn't that organized. He barely follows the textbook and the lectures/slides aren't that clear. However, the homeworks do closely follow the textbook, which is largely unrelated to the material taught in class. The exams don't cover the homework material but do cover the lecture material. A lot of the material didn't make sense until we were given actual practice problems before the exam. We didn't have a TA for the first month or so, but once we did the class improved significantly. (Andrew Sullivan is the GOAT). His review sessions and recitations clarified so much of the material. If you ask questions in OH and try to understand the practice exams, the class becomes much more doable. The actual exams mirrored the practice exams super closely, and the final was around 50% questions from the midterms and practice exams. This class is supposed to cover a lot of material, but we probably got through only two-thirds of it. If the TA is good and you're comfortable with learning from review sessions and practice problems, then the class is definitely manageable.

Jan 2021

This class is a joke. Quite literally from start to finish, an actual joke. The lectures are incoherent, the problem sets are taken from one book while the lectures follow another, and the exams are just random. The grading feels like Marka threw a dart at the wall and gave you the grade it landed on. In this class, you will learn no physics. You will learn, in fact, absolutely nothing. You will get to hear Marka semi-coherently whisper about oscillators and bridges, and you will get some good inside jokes out of it. I can't believe this class is required for my major, and I can't believe I go to an Ivy League institution.

Jan 2015

Professor Hailey was an atrocious professor for this course. I was excited as hell when I saw the silver nugget. Do not make this mistake. Hailey makes it painful to attend his totally unorganized lectures in which he'll spend more time attacking students for their questions than teaching correctly. You never really do figure out what's important and what's not, and you end up studying solely from his problem sets, which are never graded on time, and his practice exams. In fact, his problems sets are typically graded AFTER the relevant exam grades have been posted. His problem sets would be appropriate difficulty for this level if he EVER taught the material that he tested us on, or he EVER gave us relevant readings. It would have been far more useful to have a single, unified textbook for this course than the hodgepodge of irrelevant notes that Hailey posts on Courseworks. The little optics handbook was actually quite useful. The modern physics textbook we used two chapters of and had to pay over a hundred dollars for. Hailey is always going on about his important research and how great of a professor he is - why doesn't he just write the relevant textbook? No matter how much I disliked Hailey as a person/professor, I do have to respect the fact that he had basically a 24-hour office hours policy where you could knock at any given time and ask him about something, or shoot him an email, etc. That sort of policy is something that really good professors put into play, and I'm pleased that Hailey, at least outwardly, makes that effort. But that's sort of muddled by the fact that any time you ask a question that he deems too "simple" or even too "advanced", he'll throw it under the rug and launch into some ad hominem attack on other majors or something. It's a shame to see such a good policy in use by a professor that simply does not make it work. I definitely learned a lot from this class, but I think I would've learned as much by just buying a modern physics textbooks and doing some practice problems. I don't think that's supposed to be the point of the course. I really think this course needs a major overhaul.

Aug 2014

I took the 1403 as a summer course and got an A without much pain. To clarify, I am an engineering student who has to take an annoying natural science course to fulfill my track. Being said, I am not a physics person. Professor Dodd is, as mentioned in all comments, warm, helpful, approachable. It was a pity that I didn't take much use of his office hour, but I am sure it would be of great help to everyone. Professor Dodd assigns homework through Wiley Plus web assign, which is exactly the same thing as the textbook exercise. However, there was a time that he assigned several non-textbook problems which required some derivation. Not that intimidating at all. Jeremy also posts literally ALL the helpful stuff on coursework's. Don't forget to take full advantage of them. Our TA was Zac. I barely went to his recitations though I think they would be helpful if you need someone guide you through textbook exercises. Honestly, I really preferred solving them by myself. The midterms and the finals are pretty reasonable in difficulties. If you solve all the problems he assigns, well at least that's what I did, you will probably get a grade better than your expectation. DO take Professor Dodd's class! It's painless, clearly structured and, better than most physics classes in high school, won't make this subject intimidating for a non-physics-major student like me.

Jan 2014

LECTURE: Professor Brooijmans has a fairly straightforward lecture. However its pretty much right out of the book. I found that he clarified parts that I found confusing so tl;dr it was helpful. HOMEWORK: He assigns an optional problem set with corresponding sections hes covered. However, I didn't find them particularly indicative of exam questions. They are good practice though. EXAMS: He always says if you do all the two dot problems in the textbook you'll be okay for the exam. I know people that did and they were indeed okay but I never had time for that. GRADING: You have a total of 3 midterms and 1 final that count for your grade. One of the midterms is dropped. That gives you a total of 30% for each of the two midterms counted and 1 final that is worth 40%. The dropped midterm is based on net grade and not how well you did in comparison to others. For example, the last exam on relativity was the one with the lowest grades with an average in the single digits. If you got a 15/30 on that exam, but 20s on the other ones where the average was about a 20/30, your dropped grade would be the 15/30. Sucks. tl;dr: fair section of physics 1403, don't expect magic and/or magnificent grades

Jan 2014

Brooijmans is a good lecturer who clearly has a deep understanding of the material especially particle physics, largely through his experiences at the ATLAS experiment in Geneva. His lectures parallel the textbook almost exactly. The material in this course is really interesting, as it covers everything from sound, light, and even nuclear reactions to a survey of the many subatomic particles. In general the textbook does a good job of explaining the material, though Brooijmans inserts relevant anecdotes, uses interesting examples, and provides cool supplementary info into his lectures.

Jan 2013

This is my first time to review a course/professor here but I'll try to be objective. Prof. Mawhinney is kind/nice and he is willing to answer your questions during/after each lecture. However, I have to say he did not seem to care about how well students followed his lecture. At the beginning of the semester, he mentioned the topics we were going to learn would be conceptual and might be difficult to follow. You know Einstein's Special Relativity and Quantum Mechanics are one of the most difficult subjects in Intro level of science courses. However, his class is more than that. His lectures are full of mathmetics, such as extremely complicated integrals, Fourier Transforms, and trigonometry, which is certainly useful if you are going to study advanced physics courses. But this is a 1400 level course and the title of this course is "INTRODUCTION to wave......", and I think that this course is NOT supposed to be that hard. You have the Halliday's textbook from last two semesters and this was also our official textbook. However, unfortunately, this professor did not teach along with the textbook. It is helpful if you read the book and solve the problems in the book. I actually felt the book was quite great in terms of describing somewhat complicated Einstein's theory and Quantum physics. I found myself being interested in those topics because the textbook was quite straightforward and easy to read. However, as I said, professor Mawhinney made everything difficult, even more complicated. I believe he taught Fourier Transform, which you could not find in the textbook, in 1/3 or more of his lectures, and it was on the midterms, and the final. We had 2 in-class midterms and a cumulative final exam. The first midterm was OK(average 70s) but guess what? The average of the Exam ll was around 30 out of 100. I was shocked the average could be that low in an Intro level of course. What's more, the second midterm was one month before the final exam and he let us know the average of the exma ll right before the final exam. No one had known how class performed in that exam. I expected he mentioned something. (why the mean was so low, whether the exam was too difficult, or what we should do for better performance). But he said nothing about the exam ll. The only thing he mentioned was we could drop one midterm. We were supposed to be assinged weekly problem sets. But it turned out we had 9 problem sets due to several reasons. He posts the problem set on CourseWorks. But he did not do it regularly. For example, if he said in Monday's lecture that homework would be posted shortly and it is due Friday, you had to wait for the problem set to be posted until like Tuesday night or Wednesday morning. I'm not exaggerating. That happened many times. He is too busy to take care of the course? I usually make a study-plan each week, but due to this course my schedule was often messed up. Finally, today is 3 weeks after the final exam, but we are still waiting for the final grade.

Dec 2011

Sadly I had to take a 3rd semester of Physics for EE, but Dodd made it pretty painless. I twas unfortunately a 9am class, but this area of Physics seems to be Dodd's specialty. Dodd isn't as engaging as Hailey, but I think overall does a better job teaching the material. That said, E&M is probably harder to teach. Dodd is very well organized, well spoken, articulate, and capable of doing problems in a straightforward and instructive manner. Some reviewers blame him for regurgitating the text book too much; I didn't find that was the case for this portion of physics, because it is his specialty, I think. Dodd's online-posted notes are very useful, even if his hand writing is hard to read. He did not prepare any practice exams because he "had not taught the course" before.

Dec 2010

Professor Brooijmans is a good professor. His lectures are straightforward and yes, bear a striking resemblance to the book. However, it's an intro physics lecture--they are ALL straight from the book. He presented the material clearly. While it's not necessary to go to class to get new information on the topics he discusses, it is useful to go because he does not cover every section from each chapter. You'll save yourself reading/studying time if you go. His problem sets are not really relevant. They're only 5 problems each, and he seemed to just randomly pick problems that weren't necessarily more important (or indicative of exam questions) than the many problems he didn't pick. He says that if you can do each two dot problem in the book, you'll be fine on the exam, and he's right, but there are tons of problems. Don't just focus on the psets.

Dec 2008

I never went to class and got an A- even though I failed the 2nd midterm with a 9/30 (more than 1 standard deviation under avg.) The trick is to make good cheat sheets for each midterm, and also do the practice midterms and make sure to understand them since midterm questions tend to be similar each year.

Dec 2008

Silver star? Give me a break. This is quite possibly the laziest, most unoriginal, unprepared lecturer in the entire department, and that is saying a lot. Bring your book along to whatever class you are taking with him. You will quickly find that the lessons are taken word for word from the text, except that the text is invariably more transparent and detailed. Do yourself a favor and skip the lectures. There is hardly anything to be gained from them. Or, better still, do yourself an even bigger favor and skip the course if that's an option for you.

Jan 2008

He really bothered me. I found him to be ncredibly boring an unorganized. Also, he has a thick accent. Classes were really unnecessary and since they were at 9 am, few people attended. However, its not a difficult class and had an easy curve. Also, he was helpful during office hours, probably because no one uses them.

Mar 2007

I liked him. His notes are very organized and parallel the book, and his exams are reasonable--no harder than the 2-dot problems in the Halliday/Resnick/Walker textbook. I do recommend you actually do the homeworks and not just copy out of the solutions manual because it'll make life easier for you for the midterms and final. 9 am lecture was a little brutal but he's easy to understand and tries to crack a joke or two to wake people up. Average grade seemed to be a B+ which is good.

Dec 2006

I think I was given the wrong impression of the 14 level with Westerhoff who, while a perfectly competent teacher, was a bit too difficult for a physics class of this level. Prof. Brooijmans, on the other hand, was totally aware of the overall student level and presented the material/midterms at an appropriate level. His English is perfectly comprehensible and he is very approachable. For all you in 16 level E&M and are debating if you should drop down for Quantum, I completely recommend it; your life will be much easier and you might enjoy the material more if the level of stress decreases.

Dec 2005

I have had physics phobia from previous professors and was going to change my major to English just so I could never take physics again. Well, I ended up taking my final semester with Broojimas...and not only do I think I survived (i didn't get my grade yet)...but it was one of my favorite classes. He is very helpful in office hours and tries to make sure we learn the material. The homework is not too bad once you understand the material (which can be hard)...I recommend him.

Jan 2005

There is no way out. He is the only 1403 instructor. I think the 1402 reviews were a little too lenient, and over the years, this professor has become even worse. Possibly one of the most boring lecturers encountered in the 1400 physics track. By week four, the lecture room was half empty. His notes are very concise and organised, and yes, I'll admit his explanations make sense..... if only you could get over his poor grammar and decipher his accent!!! The fact that the 1403 physics was at 9 am didn't help, but again, you don't have a choice, therefore, I shall stop bitching about him and give some advice. GO TO THE TA RECITATION SECTIONS because the TA will do the homework for you.... if you don't go, the other students will get full marks for sure and you won't - keep in mind homework is 20% of the grade. Good news is he grades around a B+. Bad news is you have the 1600 dropouts wrecking the curve. The book is pretty good, so use it as a guide, especially since you'll most definitely skip at least 4 or 5 lectures (falling asleep during lecture counts as missing a lecture). Try doing the problem sets yourself. Bank the midterm because the final is going to be a KILLER and no matter what you will have studied, he will ask you to apply the knowledge to situations you've never seen before - three dimensional calculus (calc IV anyone?). The relativity section is a joke so make sure you know that too.

Mar 2002

Before taking Cole's class last semester, I read the review above by a student who took his 1401-1402 course. Due to the scathing nature of this review, I prepared for the worst. What I found completely flabbergasted me. Professor Cole is one of the nicest human beings in the physics department, always available and glad to see students in his office hours. He is patient, enthusiastic, and really cares about his students. Every class he asked if there were any problems with his homework sets or with their due dates. He held extra lectures on his own time to catch us up when we fell behind in material, and even scheduled a fun optional lecture on quantum tunneling at the end of the course because he thought the material was so cool. He also likes to see enthusiastic students poke their heads up above the silent crowd. His chalkboard notes weren't perfect, but he really reaches those who truly listen to him. His explanations made sense! I learned more in his one-semester course than I could have possibly imagined, and I now feel significantly better prepared for future study in physics than the students who took the two-semester 2801-2802 track. For whatever reason, the student who did the previous review was completely out of his/her mind, and I think it would be a shame if other students missed out on so good a professor because of that terrible and unfair review.

Nov 2001

Avoid this man like the plague. He has never taught undergrads before, and makes his lack of respect for students completely apparent. A very intimidating guy, Miklos claims he is approachable, but he has such disdain for students who don't understand, that there's no point. The material he teaches is very far beyond what anyone has seen in prior physics classes, not because it's actually that complex, but because he refuses to use math that anyone knows how to do. Remember everything you learned how to do with sin and cos to solve wave problems, forget it all...he teaches by the Euler method. Unfortunately, the textbook does not, nor do any other textbooks, so after he flies throught incomprehensible lectures and you don't get it, you're totally screwed. The physics help room is at a loss, and the TA for the class thinks you belong on the ground with your nose in the dirt if you don't understand what is happening. After numerous complaints by students to deans, the work and teaching style got a little better, but this is still a really hard class and Miklos doesn't really give a shit if he lectures to you and you learn it, or if he just gets to talk for awhile. The only saving grace is that everyone is generally lost, so the curves are terrifically low.