ASTR 5

Life in Universe

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PROFESSORS

Simon Balm Full Profile > N/A Overall N/A Easiness N/A Workload N/A Clarity N/A Helpfulness
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Most Helpful Review
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David Cline Full Profile > 3.2 Overall 2.5 Easiness 2.5 Workload 2.5 Clarity 3.7 Helpfulness
This was, despite being easy, the most frustrating class I've ever taken at any level of schooling. Cline is a nice guy, and a genius, but he has no bus... (Jan. 8, 2003)
David Cline See Full Profile

Overall 3.2 Easiness 2.5 Workload 2.5 Clarity 2.5 Helpfulness 3.7

Most Helpful Review

This was, despite being easy, the most frustrating class I've ever taken at any level of schooling. Cline is a nice guy, and a genius, but he has no business teaching an intro class, this one at least. The course boils down to two facts: the universe is really, really big, and we don't know if there's any other life in it. That's it. It's mind-bogglingly boring. If you want to raise your GPA I guess it would help, but you're going to suffer for it. Take Astro 3. You won't regret it.

Jan. 8, 2003
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Ferdinand Coroniti Full Profile > 4.0 Overall 3.8 Easiness 4.1 Workload 3.3 Clarity 3.6 Helpfulness
I've gotta say, this class was a really interesting experience... I took this class because I needed 4 random units for the 180 requirement and I saw th... (Winter Quarter 2018)
Ferdinand Coroniti See Full Profile

Overall 4.0 Easiness 3.8 Workload 4.1 Clarity 3.3 Helpfulness 3.6

Most Helpful Review

I've gotta say, this class was a really interesting experience... I took this class because I needed 4 random units for the 180 requirement and I saw that there's literally no assignments for this class, just 2 midterms and a final.

The material itself is kinda difficult, but maybe it's because I only showed up to one lecture and my "studying" mainly consisted of racing through the lecture powerpoints (he posts them online) as quickly as possible. I also never showed up to discussion, but I know someone who went to a few discussions and he told me that the TA just ran jeopardy review rounds (so people got up and left in the beginning lol).

Somehow I got median on both the midterms; I actually wasted more time walking around and doing laundry while reviewing for the second midterm than actually studying. He didn't show the grades for the final which is unfortunately cumulative, but I'm guessing I got around median, or a bit lower. To my credit though, I only reviewed for approximately 70 minutes the night before.

Overall this class is insanely chill...well maybe not "insanely" if you actually care about your grades. Sure I only got a B in the class, but c'mon I didn't do jackshit and I showed up to exams 2 more times than I did for the actual lectures. I probably should've taken it pass/ no pass, but the $5 fee was a bit too expensive. Take what you want from this, but I think I've never put in less work into a class- the only comparable course is probably EPS 3 (that's a whole other story though).

Winter Quarter 2018
Laura Haney Full Profile > N/A Overall N/A Easiness N/A Workload N/A Clarity N/A Helpfulness
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Bradley Hansen Full Profile > 4.8 Overall 5.0 Easiness 4.8 Workload 4.8 Clarity 4.6 Helpfulness
This class is definitely amazing. You get to learn about whether there is life in the universe and you explore different areas like within our solar sys... (Fall Quarter 2016)
Bradley Hansen See Full Profile

Overall 4.8 Easiness 5.0 Workload 4.8 Clarity 4.8 Helpfulness 4.6

Most Helpful Review

This class is definitely amazing. You get to learn about whether there is life in the universe and you explore different areas like within our solar system and beyond. Although the material is interesting, the professor's lectures are a bit dry.

Homework is weekly assignments. These should be grade buffers. However I was the other way around. I messed up homework (missed 1-3 questions each netting a B+ homework average) but got high A's on my tests, but see below for general advice for others to get an A in this class.

Grading breakdown of the class:
30% homework
30% midterm
40% final

Homework: try to get close to a 100% because it serves as a buffer to the exam scores.

Midterm/Final: Exams average a B- median C/C+ mean. They are by no means easy. The exam consists of multiple choice, short answer, and true/false/plausible/implausible hypothetical questions. Those are generally the toughest, as you need to apply what you learned to determine whether the hypothetical statement is reasonable or not in the future. Do look over the slides because most content comes from the slides. However, do skim/read the textbook as it helps you piece together the concepts. I can certainly say I do very well in the exams because of using the textbook while looking over the slides. Also, do the sample midterm/final posted or take the sample midterm/final during the review session. Some concepts may be tricky but the professor and TAs can help you clarify and keep you on the right track.

Note: the consensus is this GE is on the more difficult side, but if you put in some work and not miss points here and there, an A is definitely possible.

Fall Quarter 2016
Brad Hansen Full Profile > 4.4 Overall 3.3 Easiness 3.1 Workload 4.0 Clarity 4.0 Helpfulness
Great class. (Fall Quarter 2016)
Brad Hansen See Full Profile

Overall 4.4 Easiness 3.3 Workload 3.1 Clarity 4.0 Helpfulness 4.0

Most Helpful Review

Great class.

Fall Quarter 2016
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Michael Jura Full Profile > 2.4 Overall 1.1 Easiness 1.7 Workload 2.1 Clarity 3.1 Helpfulness
very hard to follow in lecture, tends to digress and mumble. organization of class is not great and it is sometimes hard to draw broad themes and conce... (March 1, 2005)
Michael Jura See Full Profile

Overall 2.4 Easiness 1.1 Workload 1.7 Clarity 2.1 Helpfulness 3.1

Most Helpful Review

very hard to follow in lecture, tends to digress and mumble. organization of class is not great and it is sometimes hard to draw broad themes and concepts that make sense out of the class. BUT exams are based almost entirely on lecture, so its easy to miss something and then get screwed on the test. that said, he gives study guides and grading can work to your advantage if you do invest extra time to know the answers to each of the study questions. make sure you go and talk to your TA frequently and ask questions. interrupt prof jura in class if he is going too fast and you get lost.

March 1, 2005
Matthew Malkan Full Profile > 3.0 Overall 2.0 Easiness 3.0 Workload 2.0 Clarity 2.0 Helpfulness
DO NOT TAKE MALKAN IF YOU HAVE NO PREVIOUS KNOWLEDGE IN ASTRONOMY OR PHYSICS!!! Even when I felt confident about the midterm he put topics that WE DID ... (Fall Quarter 2017)
Matthew Malkan See Full Profile

Overall 3.0 Easiness 2.0 Workload 3.0 Clarity 2.0 Helpfulness 2.0

Most Helpful Review

DO NOT TAKE MALKAN IF YOU HAVE NO PREVIOUS KNOWLEDGE IN ASTRONOMY OR PHYSICS!!!
Even when I felt confident about the midterm he put topics that WE DID NOT FOCUS ON. He assumed we had previous knowledge in physics, which I did not. Lectures were interesting, but the exams were by far too difficult for a GE!
Would only take if you are prepared to invest A LOT of time into this class.

Fall Quarter 2017
Ian Mclean Full Profile > 5.0 Overall 5.0 Easiness 5.0 Workload 5.0 Clarity 5.0 Helpfulness
Professor McLean is friendly and always eager to teach. He always came to lectures prepared and I liked how he used a variety of photos so that the powe... (Winter Quarter 2017)
Ian Mclean See Full Profile

Overall 5.0 Easiness 5.0 Workload 5.0 Clarity 5.0 Helpfulness 5.0

Most Helpful Review

Professor McLean is friendly and always eager to teach. He always came to lectures prepared and I liked how he used a variety of photos so that the powerpoint slides wouldn't just be text. He also has a great sense of humor and made us laugh/smile. I had never taken an astronomy class before and I took this class as a Science GE, but he made the class very manageable and did review sessions before the midterm and final.
Professor McLean is a very fair grader and he wants students to do well in his class. The midterm and final are all completely multiple choice and the majority of the questions on the exams were the same exact questions as the ones in the weekly homework, so as long as you review all of the homework assignments before the exams and memorize the bolded terms/concepts in the powerpoint slides, you are guaranteed to get an A :)

Winter Quarter 2017
Mark Morris Full Profile > 4.4 Overall 3.8 Easiness 3.5 Workload 3.9 Clarity 4.1 Helpfulness
This class isnt as easy as its made out to be, but its still pretty easy. The homework is graded really hard so you have to do a good job, but some of ... (Spring Quarter 2017)
Mark Morris See Full Profile

Overall 4.4 Easiness 3.8 Workload 3.5 Clarity 3.9 Helpfulness 4.1

Most Helpful Review

This class isnt as easy as its made out to be, but its still pretty easy. The homework is graded really hard so you have to do a good job, but some of it is completely unrelated to the textbook and you have to do some research on your own. He's a pretty boring lecturer (I went to 4 lectures the whole quarter after falling asleep in the first two) but just listened to the lecture podcasts leading up to finals week and took some notes on those. Some of the ones late in the quarter you can skip since a lot of the end of the course is theoretical and doesnt show up on the tests, which are still pretty easy if you put in a bit of studying. In terms of science GEs, this is a good one.

Spring Quarter 2017
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