James Applegate

Apr 2021

I don't care if he's a nice person, this man literally assigned a take-home midterm due during the last week of classes. He is the epitome of one the teachers who thinks his class is the only class you're taking. The workload is lighter than average but without the TAs, you have literally no support. Again, he's a nice person and his love of science is endearing, but you cannot be a good professor if you think it's okay to skew your assignments towards the end of the semester -- none of us know what our grade really is in this class

Nov 2020

The lectures are extremely dry and you would better spend your time reading the textbook.

Nov 2018

This is supposed to be a class designed for non-science majors and is instead an intro to Astrophysics. The material is ridiculously complex. Very math intensive. If you are weak with numbers like I am, do not take this class. Find another science class to fulfill your requirement. His style of teaching doesn't make sense and he bulldozes through so much work in class you will get lost. He doesn't stop or pause to see if we have questions or to explain it again slowly. He assumes you know the material already and that is how he instructs the class. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND YOU FIND ANOTHER SCIENCE CLASS.

Dec 2014

This class was amazing. The professor has a way of breaking down complicated concepts, which not only makes you feel smart for understanding but gives you confidence to attempt to understand others. Who knew I would be able to calculate orbital periods of planets after the end of this course? Certainly not I! Seriously though, the class gave me a good working basic knowledge about the Earth, Moon and Planets which comes in handy every day. Every time I watch a science fiction movie about the solar system, this comes to mind. Articles about satellites and the discovery of Earth like planets, which are always on the news are no longer intelligible. The professor is also very approachable in the class but also office hours. I recommend this class to all. You won't regret taking it. (I am not a science major, took this as part of my Core)

Jan 2013

This class was.....interesting. This class should be under the physics category instead of astronomy. The class is divided into two sections: first, calculate rotations, distance of stars and how they interact with other bodies in space, The second part is the evolution of stars and their lifespan. The first test is completely math based and the second test is math based and short answer. This class is an easy A IF you go to class and pay attention. You cant just sign up and expect to show up for the review sections and ace the test. Also I felt for the most part I learned stuff but one of the questions on the final I felt like we had to completely memorize what he wrote and I feel like that isn't learning. Also he would talk about stuff so deep it was almost irrelevant for the class because most of us were only taking it for the science requirement, My advice, this class gave me more stress than I wanted from a silly general ed class and I only missed class once or twice. There are better classes out there for the science requirement. Applegate is awesome as a person but you could tell it was hard for him to explain something so complex to students who will not continue this area of study. FIND ANOTHER CLASS

Aug 2012

He's teaching style is horrible! I took this class because I thought it was going to be an easy A, yea right...This is truly an organized Astronomy class if you have taken AP Astro or any prior astronomy course, and you ACTUALLY like astronomy, then I think you'll be fine, otherwise choose another professor unless you want to have a shitty semester. Because of this class my GPA went down, and come on, we ALL care about our grades and GPA's so trust me when I say this class is just plain crap.

May 2012

I don't usually like reviews in which the first sentence is "DO NOT TAKE THIS CLASS." And yet that is exactly how I and many, many of my peers felt during this course. Yes, it is true that his exams are just repeats of the problem sets, and that he doesn't give any homework. But these are probably two of the biggest problems of the class. You don't learn anything-- his lecture style is painful, doesn't follow a logical flow, and is mind-numbingly boring especially as the semester progresses. And this stuff is actually pretty complex: it requires a lot of visualization which he was not able to provide despite his rotations of magic 8 balls around his head. To get the hang of this stuff, you need at the VERY least a globe that can spin on a tilted axis. An projected animated image of the rotating planets would make it even clearer... but he gave us nothing. Therefore, when you need to repeat it on the exam, it is almost literal regurgitation. Even though all the answers are provided to you before hand, memorizing them when you never grasped them in the first place (despite attending all of his lectures) is almost impossible. Explanation is the only way to understand something, and is the best way to be able to do well on a test. I know most people who take this course don't care about the subject matter, but even if your goal is just to get a good grade, there has to be SOMETHING of interest in the way it's taught. Secondly, optional problem sets? Yes, there are some students who do them diligently for their own good. But the majority of us are not like that. Even if you are, you don't go over them in class; if you're interested you could probably meet during office hours to chat about the homework but otherwise all you have as a resource to know if you're understanding the problems or not is a hastily handwritten solution set made by Professor Applegate. There is a reason that homework is usually assigned and checked! If you are looking for an easy A, to learn a bit about astronomy, or even just to get through the science req--Do Not Take This Class.

Apr 2012

I took this class because I thought it would be interesting and an easy elective. Turns out it's more of an introductory physics course than astronomy. We could have easily covered many of the same topics without the intensive math. The class is advertised that anyone with a basic high school understanding of math can be successful - and that may be technically true. I assumed that meant that there wouldn't be a whole lot of it. Instead, it was extremely math intensive and I was overwhelmed almost immediately. The one exam we had that wasn't math-based was graded harshly, so I was bummed about that. But he did warn us ahead of time that he cares about the details. Applegate is a great professor. If you like science and you are GOOD at mathy stuff, then take this class. Attendance is very optional, the knowledge is interesting, and Applegate is very funny. The mathiness killed me, but you may fare better in that respect. There were no surprises in this course.

Dec 2011

This class was fairly easy and the exams were pretty much exactly the problem sets. I felt bad because people kept leaving halfway through the lecture but to be honest attending really is optional. To his credit, Applegate is HILARIOUS and his humour will either make you cringe or burst out laughing but either way you'll look at the person next you awkwardly. He drinks seltzer out of a coffee thermos and is wonderful. I recommend this class to those trying to fulfill their science requirement. The workload is completely manageable and there is no homework.

Jun 2011

Applegate is by far the best professor (besides Frits) I've ever experienced at Columbia. He hands down completely knows what he's talking about and how to explain it. That, and if you don't get it, he is completely approachable and has no problem explaining all the material to you AGAIN. Seriously, people just need to stop being so lazy and just do the reading. You do the reading, and go to class (not only will you explore some incredibly interesting material and LEARN SOMETHING) you'll get an A or an A+. Applegate wants his students to understand his class, and the material, because unlike most professors at Columbia, he's not an arrogant jerk with his own agenda. He'll take time to meet with you, help you, etc. He really digs astronomy, and it shows. You'll leave this class with immense background knowledgde, and easily a good grade. Definitely worth taking. This class was the deciding factor in my major choice of astrophysics... this stuff is mind-boggling. Take it.

May 2010

After taking two Astronomy classes with Applegate, I strongly suggest this class to anybody wanting to boost up their GPA. There is absolutely no homework, but it is vital that you just SHOW UP to lecture. Applegate writes all the notes you need on the board, so you don't even need to listen to him, just write down what he says and pay attention when you are interested. There is absolutely no homework, don't even bother buying the book. His midterms are literally his problem sets, with one or two added questions. He is a very charming man, and his jokes start to grow on you. TAKE THIS CLASS IF YOU WANT AN EASY A.

Jan 2010

This was a super easy and relax class. Professor Applegate's humor always made the class laugh, though usually just because we sympathized that his humor was so awkward. His tests were really straightforward- they were taken directly from his problem sets, so as long as you memorized the problem sets and understood the basic concepts, you are good to go. I skipped tons of lectures, memorized the problem sets and got an A. His final was surprisingly difficult, but I think he curved the class. As long as you pick up the problem sets, everything is great! I am just sad that I can't take his class next semester, as well, since now I need another semester to complete my lab requirement...his class is definitely a good way to get rid of science requirements. easy and painless!

Dec 2009

Such a great professor! Although his sweater-vests were abominable, and his jokes even worse, Applegate definitely knows his stuff. The class was easy enough, but it's definitely recommended that one attend his lectures. The key to success on exams is taking the problem sets and attending the review sessions, where he explains EVERYTHING he'll be looking for. There are no surprises, and the exams are very straightforward. He also provides interesting insight into the field, especially for non-science majors, with him having been a scholar in astronomy for a long period of time. No more advice can be given- go to class, get the problem sets, go to the review sessions. It's that simple.

Sep 2009

In retrospect this was the perfect class to take for your science requirement. Most of the time I didn't understand what he was talking about, mostly because I hadn't unwrapped the textbook and hadn't reviewed anything until 3 days before the final, but partly because he talked a lot about things that wouldn't be on the exams, like history or minor details by which I was very intimidated. Everything that will be on the exam is actually very basic and straightforward and the textbook explains very clearly, so open it and read it and do the problem sets to test your understanding before the exams. In my opinion, the textbook was very easy to read and helpful; I only studied from the book right before the final. The second half of the semester is heavily math-oriented but there are only a few difficult questions. Basically, you just need to plug numbers into a simple formula. Trust me, my math score on SAT was 500 and I loathe math and I was supposed to fail, but the book helped me understand fundamentals and was still able to get a B in the end. If I opened the book sooner and studied for midterms, I could have gotten an A for this class.

Dec 2008

Many people complain about this class. It really is not that hard. Here is how you get an A in this class: 1. Read the chapter thoroughly. This is not hard because there is not a lot to read. 2. After you read, attend class. Professor Applegate explains things very well and is actually pretty funny. Sure, the lectures are kinda boring, but stick it out. Go to class! 3. Then, do the problem sets. These are an excellent tool because they are pretty close to identical to the tests and they come with solutions, so if you mess up you'll know it. You don't have to turn them in, but do them! 4. Kick butt on the tests 5. You got an A! The problem here is that a lot of people don't go to class and have never opened the textbook. You won't understand the problem sets if you don't do those two things. If you don't understand the problem sets, you can't ace the tests.

Jan 2008

You can tell that Prof. Applegate is actually a really nice guy, and he can be really funny. But this past semester there were some serious issues in his class. The lectures were fairly boring, and even though I was interested in the class, I had an EXTREMELY difficult time staying awake during them. That being said, the lectures were really helpful for the midterm and final. Originally, we were supposed to have two tests and a final, but he sort of stopped coming to class for a few weeks, so we didn't do the second test. He gave us problem sets with the answers to review with for the midterm and final, and they were straightforward tests. The problem sets were basically the questions. He had office hours, but I never needed to go to them. I tried to e-mail him for my midterm grade once (after not getting the grade for well over a month) but he never responded.

Dec 2007

For those expecting slides of pictures from the Hubble Space Telescope and Star Trek style lectures about space being the final frontier this class will be a disappointment. It is an introductory astronomy course which means a lot of theory with a sprinkling of math. Professor Applegate isn’t going to hold your hand through this course. If you’re looking for coddling go home to your parents and find it there. He presents the material clearly, and in an engaging style, but it is up to you to do the work to learn what he offers. Memorization won’t help you in this class. He teaches concepts and expects you to apply them. Those who want to regurgitate their notes and expect an A will be disappointed. That said, Prof. Applegate is extremely generous with his time. He schedules multiple review sessions before each test where he is willing to answer any questions you have and he is very accessible during his office hours. He expects you to be an adult and take responsibility for your education by actually studying the material. Shocking! If you’ve paid attention, looked over the review problems he hands out, and gone to at least one of the review sessions then the tests will be easy. He never tries to trick you. It’s not an easy A, but it’s not a hard one either.

Sep 2007

This class is for those, like me, who hate science but are forced to take science classes anyways. I found this class to be fairly easy, very little work, just like 3-4 problem sets which he gives you the answer for and doesn't collect, the tests are basically just like the problem sets. With only 2 tests worth 25% each and a final worth 50% each, you can't really bomb them, but this is fairly easy stuff. The lecture, though, is tediously boring, so use it for naptime or other work.

Jan 2007

I was persuaded to take Applegate's class in a last minute shift (already missing the first class)feeling terrified after reading all the reviews about him (particularly the one "C visited me the first time ..." resonated with me. He might have been a bad professor during last classes which I had never taken probably due to his personal family problems But with all honesty, I found Applegate a very special professor and his class an easy one to follow. I have not got my grades yet, but I am sure I have got either an A or A+. Prof. Applegate is a traditional American Prof, no-nonsense, straightforward (when it comes to exams), fluent English, (good for me, coz English is not my native) mastery of the subject, with his special sense of humor, (you have to realize the depth of his jokes, to laugh your head off). If you want to do well, go to every lecture, master the problem sets he hands out and you can buy the book (you don't have to) just to look up some topics he discusses in class, but you don't get it. I promise you will fullfill a headache free science requirement with a good grade.

Jan 2006

What everyone failed to mention is his stupid grading/curve style. There IS no curve. He simply says if you get an A on your final, then the two midterms won't matter, he'll give you an A. But what are the odds of that happening?

Dec 2005

HORRIBLE. Every single time I sat through this class I felt like I had done myself a disservice. His lectures are boring and redundant, and they are littered with his juvenile and pathetic attempts at jokes/wise cracks. It is incomprehensible to me that anyone would enjoy his course. It is bad on all levels and you would be much better off teaching yourself the material out of the textbook. STAY AWAY.

Nov 2005

The "C" fairy visited me for the first time at Columbia in this disaster of a class. Not only did I make an effort to come to every class (big mistake), and try to follow along with his incomprehensible lectures (stupid move #2), but I refused to cheat on the midterms and finals like so many others seemed to be doing (strike three!) Somehow, I really must have been remiss in understanding how awful this could really be. Apparently with someone like Jim Applegate, there's just really no way of getting out of the class after the drop date except dropping yourself out of the high window in the back of the lecture hall onto 120th Street.

Oct 2005

SAVE YOURSELF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THIS WAS BY FAR THE WORST CLASS I HAVE EVER TAKEN AT COLUMBIA!!!!! James Applegate expects noone to come to class so when no one shows up, he doesnt seem to care. People would randomly leave throughout his lecture for which he would droan on and on about such complex math problems that noone could understand or follow. After going in and asking him for help, he was even more of a jerk off. Don't be fooled by rumors of an easy A, its nothing of the kind and the man has no problem giving out bad grades. There is also rampant cheating that occurs throughout the year for which he also doesnt give a s**t

Aug 2005

Jim Applegate was by far the WORST PROFESSOR I have ever had at Columbia in my opinion. Not only is he boring and dull, like the other reviewers said, but he treated me with no respect whatsoever. I attended every class and there wern't that many of us so he must have known who I was. Sometimes I would ask him questions about the tests and what the answers "should have been". He would automatically assume that I was trying to fight for a higher grade and dismiss me. I never once asked him to raise my grade, I was only interested in finding out what my mistakes were because all of this information would be on the final. He would never look directly at me or place his full attention on my question, no matter what it was. By the end of the semester he was plain rude to me. His attempts to be funny in class were pathetic. Nothing he said ever came close to being funny or interesting. I basically had to learn the material on my own with the help of my lab instructor because Applegate is a horrible professor. I I wanted to teach myself everything I wouldn't be paying to go to Columbia. I think he is a weakness in the Columbia staff and should be fired. He is a bitter person and a horrible professor.

May 2005

ATTENTION STUDENTS W/ DISSABILITIES!!! This class is said to be an easy A, but that is not so. In fact, it is ABSOLUTELY false! The way the course is structured makes it incredibly easy not to come to class ever, so pretty much nobody does. He hands out problem sets and then the next class he hands out the answers to them, which look strikingly like the tests. I know it sounds easy - never come to class, he gives you all the answers - but somehow it's not quite that simple. I can't figure out if it's his grading or what, but I know very few people who got A's in this class. The review sessions he offers before each test are absolutely useless, don't even bother with them. My biggest gripe, though, is that if you are a student with a dissability and you take the tests with ODS, he does not treat you with the same respect he treats the other students with - you won't get your exams back in a timely manner as the rest of the class does. He did not grade our exams at the same time as the rest of the class's, so we didn't get them back for about another week and a half. Further, he promised me several times he would get them graded by the "next class" and it never got done. Only after an administrator from ODS contacted him, did we recieve our graded tests. I was absolutely shocked that he thought he could treat students with dissabilities with such nonchalance and when questioned about it he acted as if it was no big deal that he blew us off and that, in fact, it was quite all right to do as if our tests were more difficult to grade. I can't tell you how mistreated he made me feel!

May 2005

Prof. Applegate is the man! He is fun, dorky, funny, smart...all in one. Oh, and this is an easy science-fulfilling class. What's not to like?

Jan 2005

Jimmy Applegate is by far the most quotable professor you'll ever have. Whether it's about throwing virgins down volcanoes, complaining about his friends and coworkers, mocking people in the front row and the inexplicable people in the back that urgently leave in the middle of class, or sacrificing goats, his bizzare and endearingly dorky sense of humor makes the lectures worth going to. Besides the fact that this class is meant for the "jocks," the material does go into some physics concepts that can be relatively challenging even for relatively bright people. But don't worry too much, the enrollment is so filled with somewhat--thick-skulled people--that the curve is immense. Just don't expect to be star-gazing and learning constellations.

Jan 2005

Applegate knows his stuff, but you'll soon find out that this is irrelevant. He is a master at pretending as though he is teaching you the material of the course thoroughly, but come test time you woefully discover that unless you have been reviewing your notes constantly and doing your own studying through the semester that you will have to haul ass to pass with a good grade. This class previously had the reputation of an easy A, so, just to clarify: an A is possible in this class, however, you have to be willing to cram or be self motivated enough to review the material on a regular basis.

Jan 2005

The best thing about this class is that it is over. For some reason I managed to sit through each class which really seemed like a huge waste of time. The subject is actually interesting but it seems like you can catch up on all of it on your own or by simply going to the review sessions before each exam. Applegate likes to ramble a lot and repeats himself at the beginning of every class. I only took this class to finish my science requirement, so if you are looking for an easy way out I recommend this course. However, if you don't want to be bored out of your mind every class, don't do it.

Jan 2005

I really don't understand what the majority of reviewers are bitching about. The class is not particularly easy for the art majors - ok. For the rest it should be a piece of cake. Prof. Aplegate is really adorable - explains everything clearly and with a great sense of humour. He really ENJOYS teaching the class, although it is far beneath his competences. Overall a great class and a great professor.

Jan 2005

This class isnt an easy A in the sense that you have to do no work. You definitely do have to study for the exams if you want to do well on them. That being said, if you do study, it shouldn't be too hard to get an A. He passes out review sheets and answers and if you are confident with all of them you should be fine on the exams. The material is about half conceptual and half mathematical -- but he gives you the equations for the tests so you dont even have to memorize them. In the beginning of the semester I thought Applegate was funny/amusing/quirky and the class was not boring; towards the end it did start to get extremely boring. As other reviews have said he could have given the lectures in about half an hour. Its not a joke class, but it is a relatively painless way to fulfill the science requirement -- the material isn't incomprehensible and if you study it is very possible to get an A.

Jan 2005

I feel like Jim Applegate was going through a rough divorce or something this semester, because he was hardly as carefree and funny as previous reviews stated. He did make the occasional joke, and could be sort of quirky, but he seemed like a battered dog or something. Aside from that, this class is relatively painless in that there is no regular homework. The only disconcerting thing for non-science people like me is when the class abruptly switches from conceptual information (like which phases of the moon you can see from the north pole) to physics (how large a planet is if something orbits around it at such a speed), which requires me both to have to somehow remember formulae and do high school math that I didn't do well in high school, and can hardly remember now. That's the difference between the first and second midterm. One is conceptual, and one is physics. Unluckily for people like us, physics is most of the remainder of the class - and you keep thinking it might go away, but it doesn't. Until after the second midterm, and then with the 3 weeks left of class, you have a conceptual/physics together block, that is comforting, cuz you get what he's talking about again. The final is cumulative. Its true that most people don't go to class (its funny to see how much fuller that room is on test days), but I went to every class, and still felt abused by the second (physics) midterm. I don't really know what to tell you. He says that he bases your final grade on how you did on the final most of all, but I can't validate this because, as a previous review stated, his is the only grade I haven't gotten back yet, while all my other grades were submitted A WEEK AGO. But Jim Applegate isn't a monster, but he isn't your best columbia professor either. I do think he's a guy doing his best who desperately wants to be liked, and is a nice man and kind of funny.

Dec 2004

I feel like I should warn people, because many kids probably read all these reviews and think that this really is going to be a joke class, and thateveryone will get an A. Well, remember, there can never really be a class where everyone just gets A's, especially in a class with about 200 students (or more?). The whole reason there is that gigantic curve is because half of the kids fail the final miserably, so that the kids who thought they might just get B's end up getting A's. And the reason that half fails is because most of the students never go to class. Really, MOST of them don't go. Applegate even acknowledges this. He likes it. He said once in class that he's glad, because the classroom can only fit like 100 students. So you really CAN'T have everyone go to class all the time. It's just ridiculous that they would even set up a class like that at Columbia, where you really are expected not to go to the class. The problem is, it's really hard to just learn the stuff on your own, even if it's not exactly rocket science. But you can't go to class all the time. The seats all fill up and then the overflow people have to sit on the floor. It sucks. That's if you even muster up enough motivation to go to class, which is very tough for a lot of people because it's so boring and stupid. Like some of the other reviews said, the only real information he gives out in his lecture takes about 25 minutes. The rest is just bull crap. Really. You almost can't believe it. The guy paces back and forth in front of the room, whether he's speaking or not. He reaches one wall and then does and about-face and marches right back to the other wall, over and over again. Sometimes there is just dead silence, while he's thinking of some stupid, inappropriate joke to say. So it's basically torture to sit through this one hour fifteen minutes class, for 25 minutes of information about basic astronomy/physics. And the reason that it's so hard to teach yourself this information is that, even though it is basic, it's very _specific_ stuff. You have to do the formulas and everything the way HE does them. So even if you are a science major with exceptional math and science skills you still couldn't just walk in and do the stuff. But apparently that is what Columbia expects of half of the students, the half that probably AREN'T science majors because they're just taking this class for an easy A to fulfill the science requirement. But there still aren't enough seats for this half of the class to actually attend the lecture, even if they will themselves to put up with a full class of torture for about 20 minutes worth of information. Fair warning to all--this class is not a joke. A LOT of people get A's, but that's mostly because a LOT more do terribly on the midterms/finals. It's better to take a science class that may be a little harder, but will be more interesting to you than astronomy with some strange professor, so that you might actually go to class sometimes AND actually have a seat to sit in when you go.

Nov 2004

Applegate is not the sweet, bumbling professor that many of the other reviewers descirbe -- rather he is extremely crabby and though quirky not very amusing. He doesn't seem to like teaching this class much and it shows. THIS CLASS IS CRAP. If you are interested in astronomy and wanted to learn interesting stuff about our planet and the galaxies and the moon and so on then DON'T take it. The class is basically a review of high school physics and 8th grade algebra - but who remembers how to do physics and algebra?? I didn't do any work for the class -- most people didnt even show up to the lectures -- except for cramming before the exams, which was such a shag. Absolute bollocks.

Apr 2003

This class is a joke. I genuinely wanted to learn astronomy, but am dissapointed to learn that we only got through half of the second semester material. If you want an A and a class you never have to go to (he's recently started giving the same lecture twice in a row) this is the class for you. I was dissapointed.

Mar 2003

If you want to learn about how to drop projectiles from tops of buildings onto Columbia College Deans' heads, this is the class for you. In the 75 minutes of this class, there is about 25 minutes of lecture, and 50 minutes of stories about how he subverts authority or humorous anecdotes (particularly humorous to him). I think the man just likes to hear himself speak.

Jan 2003

This is an EASY class. Any one at Columbia could get an A in this class with no sweat. The lecures are amsuing, but you don't need to attend religiously to still get high marks. If you are looking for a low-strees way to get a science class in this is the way to go.

Jan 2003

just a word to the wise...if you'd like to get your Fall semester grades back before you start your Spring semester, avoid this professor. 1-21-03 and I still have no clue how I did in this class or what my GPA for last semester is. That said, Applegate is a smart fella with some REALLY quirky teaching habits. If you can put up with Mae West and Buzz Lightyear quotes and the fact that you won't know whether you're discussing planetary rings or global wind patterns, go for it

Jan 2003

If you took AP physics in high school and did well, this class will be a breeze for you. For those of you who are not into science, it is still manageable. Applegate is a little odd, but he repeats things so many times that you almost have to learn them.

Dec 2002

Prof. Appelgate epitomizes wilson from Office Space to a hysterical degree. The class is boring as hell until he gets going on a story, or some sexually vulgar tangent. The average IQ in the class is less than that of a turtle, but if you can deal with it, it should be a VERY VERY VERY easy A (if not A+).

Dec 2002

DO NOT TAKE THIS CLASS. Out of the 100+ students who took the class, an average of 50 showed up, understandably so. Applegate treats the class like it's a blow-off, which makes staying awake damn near impossible. I did, however, get lots of homework for other classes done. If you're looking for an easy yet EXCRUCIATINGLY boring A, take this class. Personally, I don't even think its worth it.

Feb 2002

Professor Applegate is one of the favorite professors i've ever had at columbia. as for the previous review, that he never took attendance in class, it is a ONE HUNDRED person LECTURE. as long as one understands how to do the problem sets (by going to class- much clearer than the textbook), one should be fine on the midterm and final. Applegate is kind, a bit screwy and very understanding if one should have problems understanding the work.

Jan 2002

James Applegate was an uninspiring professor. He was a little quirky and made strange noises while pacing back and forth in front of the blackboards. He told odd jokes and tangential stories instead of teaching. What he did teach, he undermined by telling us that by the next semester we would learn that it was untrue. During class I copied notes off the board, and later I had to teach myself most of the concepts. The only thing I learned from this class was what I was taught in lab. In the three hour review session before the final, he retaught the entire class in its condensed form. I wondered why I had even bothered going to class at all, because he never took attendance anyway. On the other hand, it was a really easy A due to the enormous curve triggered by all the people who never came.

Nov 2001

Professor Applegate is your typical college professor-- slightly nerdy with an oddball sense of humor that can be quite funny at times. He is genuinely interested in teaching the class (even though he acknowledges that most of us in there are humanities majors trying to fulfill our science requirement in the easiest way possible) and always willing to help. If you've taken physics in high school, this class shouldn't be too hard.