Brent Corbin

1 of 2
Class Most Helpful Review
1 of 2

CLASSES

PHYSICS 1A
Physics for Scientists and Engineers: Mechanics Full Profile > 4.8 Overall 1.4 Easiness 2.0 Workload 4.6 Clarity 4.4 Helpfulness
Is it the toughest physics class UCLA has to offer for the series? Yes I've heard he uses only...
Winter Quarter 2016
PHYSICS 1A
Physics for Scientists and Engineers: Mechanics See Full Profile

Overall 4.8 Easiness 1.4 Workload 2.0 Clarity 4.6 Helpfulness 4.4

Most Helpful Review

Is it the toughest physics class UCLA has to offer for the series? Yes

I've heard he uses only variables in all his questions "Yes. You've heard right. Nowhere in the course would you encounter a single problem that uses a number"

But do you feel fucking awesome and a deep sense of fulfillment after reaching where he wants you to reach? FUCKING YES. If you plan to have a career in a science, don't miss the opportunity to have this man as your professor and his squad of awesome TAs

Winter Quarter 2016
PHYSICS 1B
Physics for Scientists and Engineers: Oscillations, Waves, Electric and Magnetic Fields Full Profile > 3.7 Overall 1.1 Easiness 1.5 Workload 3.7 Clarity 4.1 Helpfulness
If you are not a genius at physics, be prepared to get your mind continuously shafted day, after...
Spring Quarter 2015
PHYSICS 1B
Physics for Scientists and Engineers: Oscillations, Waves, Electric and Magnetic Fields See Full Profile

Overall 3.7 Easiness 1.1 Workload 1.5 Clarity 3.7 Helpfulness 4.1

Most Helpful Review

If you are not a genius at physics, be prepared to get your mind continuously shafted day, after day, after day. You walk out of every lecture dazed and confused, and pondering your place on this Earth after feeling like you have been beaten over the head with a concrete cinder block multiple times. His tests and final are like being burned with a skewer after spending so many hours studying just to see yourself fail. He has a good rep most likely because the top 10% get some sick thrill from being challenged. Even by going to his office hours twice a week and taking notes like a madman every lecture, you still feel like you have no clue what you are doing on his tests. Unless you are a physics major with some sort of deranged need for complex problems, avoid him and avoid suffering.

Spring Quarter 2015
AD
AD
PHYSICS 1BH
Physics for Scientists and Engineers: Oscillations, Waves, Electric and Magnetic Fields Full Profile > 4.2 Overall 1.0 Easiness 1.0 Workload 4.5 Clarity 4.8 Helpfulness
DON'T TAKE HIS CLASS IF YOU ARE NOT A PHYSICS MAJOR OR HAVE AN ABSOLUTE DEVOTION TO THE STUDY OF...
PHYSICS 1BH
Physics for Scientists and Engineers: Oscillations, Waves, Electric and Magnetic Fields See Full Profile

Overall 4.2 Easiness 1.0 Workload 1.0 Clarity 4.5 Helpfulness 4.8

Most Helpful Review

DON'T TAKE HIS CLASS IF YOU ARE NOT A PHYSICS MAJOR OR HAVE AN ABSOLUTE DEVOTION TO THE STUDY OF PHYSICS. THE GUY IS KNOWLEDGEABLE, BUT HE INTENTIONALLY MAKES HIS TESTS DIFFICULT MAINLY TO BREAK YOUR SPIRIT. I'M NOT SURE WHAT LOW AVERAGES ARE SUPPOSED TO TEACH US. HIS LECTURES ARE ORGANIZED, I JUST LOST RESPECT FOR HIM WHEN HE CLAIMED HIS MEMORY WASN'T AS GOOD BECAUSE OF "THINGS HE SMOKES". HMMMM........MAKES ME WONDER WHAT I SHOULD BE LEARNING FROM HIM.

PHYSICS 1C
Physics for Scientists and Engineers: Electrodynamics, Optics, and Special Relativity Full Profile > 4.4 Overall 1.1 Easiness 1.2 Workload 4.6 Clarity 4.5 Helpfulness
By the time you take Corbin, you will have heard how hard he is and how great of a professor he is....
PHYSICS 1C
Physics for Scientists and Engineers: Electrodynamics, Optics, and Special Relativity See Full Profile

Overall 4.4 Easiness 1.1 Workload 1.2 Clarity 4.6 Helpfulness 4.5

Most Helpful Review

By the time you take Corbin, you will have heard how hard he is and how great of a professor he is. While both of these are mostly true, there is a little more to it than this.

Though his final and midterm scores are extremely low, the tests themselves aren't as hard as they seem. The main problem on the midterm is time. The problems are pretty predictable, and even if you miss all of the challenging parts you can still score way above the average because most people freak out for these tests and neglect to study the basics. If you don't waste time on what you don't know and think carefully before attempting each part then time is the only thing holding you back. This means practicing many problems is key so that you can recognize what to do quickly. The final gives you a lot more time per problem, but there is also a LOT of material that is fair game. If you have kept up with the material all quarter long then you should be fine. The questions themselves are much easier than the midterms if you studied the right things.

He is a great professor for many people, but not all like the comments seem to make you think. If you are someone who understands physics and math pretty well, then Corbin is about as good as you can get. If you don't have a very strong background in physics and math, then you will often get lost in his lectures. If you just write everything down and go back and look at your notes after you have practiced some problems, then things will go more smoothly. But if you are still having trouble then each lecture will get more and more confusing because his lectures really do build upon one another. And his office hours are apparently great, but good luck getting one-on-one attention if you need it.

If you are good and physics and want to become great then this is the guy for you. If you are shaky at physics and want to get better, then there are probably better options, unless you have a very good TA. Also, he often lets it be known how bad most textbooks (including the one for the class) are, but the practice problems and the simplified explanations actually complement his notes perfectly, in my opinion. Also, he makes it sound like the notes that you take are the key to doing well, but often other explanations can help make things make sense too. So, while he is a GREAT teacher, he's not quite as immortal as he wants to come off as.

Bottom line: Don't let him intimidate you. You'll hear many stories about how hard and scary he is, but he gives more A's than any other lower division physics professor, makes very useful notes to help summarize what he does in class, doesn't collect homework (but still gives suggested problems), gives a TON of partial credit, gives very predictable tests, and considers all of the test in you grade, so one bad test won't hurt you much at all.

In short: take him if you like physics and are at least moderately good at it, and don't take him if you struggle, as you will fall through the cracks. I learned to love physics even more than I did, and I got an A without going to any office hours or doing a ton of homework, but the experience is different for everyone, so, while he is a great professor, he isn't for everyone.

PHYSICS 4BL
Physics Laboratory for Scientists and Engineers: Electricity and Magnetism Full Profile > 4.8 Overall 1.0 Easiness 1.0 Workload 4.5 Clarity 4.5 Helpfulness
CORBIN ROCKS! He's really nice, wants you to learn, gives VERY clear and straightforward lectures....
PHYSICS 4BL
Physics Laboratory for Scientists and Engineers: Electricity and Magnetism See Full Profile

Overall 4.8 Easiness 1.0 Workload 1.0 Clarity 4.5 Helpfulness 4.5

Most Helpful Review

CORBIN ROCKS! He's really nice, wants you to learn, gives VERY clear and straightforward lectures. Nice guy, funny and cool, and absolutely crazy with physics... If grades are your main concern and your not up for pouring your life into this class, you should probably opt for anyone else. If you want to leave the class actually having learned more than you thought possible even though it will require 24/7 devotion, he's the man to take. People can tell you the tests are hard, even wicked, even INSANELY DIFFICULT, but these are all understatements, i promise. You'll fail, honestly, the top score is even likely to be a failing one. First midterm, a 25.7% mean. Dont let this scare you away. Just think about it like this: Any single person in Corbin's class could walk into an exam given by another professor and get the top score, no contest. Overall, take him if you are a good student, he's really cool and you wont regret it.

PHYSICS 6A
Physics for Life Sciences Majors: Mechanics Full Profile > 4.2 Overall 1.0 Easiness 1.0 Workload 4.7 Clarity 4.7 Helpfulness
Brent corbin YT review http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RtZcYDpphSE
PHYSICS 6A
Physics for Life Sciences Majors: Mechanics See Full Profile

Overall 4.2 Easiness 1.0 Workload 1.0 Clarity 4.7 Helpfulness 4.7

Most Helpful Review

Brent corbin YT review
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RtZcYDpphSE

AD
AD
PHYSICS 6B
Physics for Life Sciences Majors: Waves, Electricity, and Magnetism Full Profile > 4.7 Overall 1.0 Easiness 1.0 Workload 4.6 Clarity 4.9 Helpfulness
I took 1B with Brent in the summer. His lectures were very organized and he explained the concepts...
PHYSICS 6B
Physics for Life Sciences Majors: Waves, Electricity, and Magnetism See Full Profile

Overall 4.7 Easiness 1.0 Workload 1.0 Clarity 4.6 Helpfulness 4.9

Most Helpful Review

I took 1B with Brent in the summer. His lectures were very organized and he explained the concepts very clearly. I liked how he wrote everything on the chalkboard instead of just bringing in slides to show on the projector like so many other science professors.

Brent had office hours every single day for 2 hours, although I didn't go to a single one (had another class).

There were no midterms but we had weekly quizzes. His exams were very tough and you really had to study a lot for them. Going into the final I thought that I was going to get a C or worse because I had done poorly on the quizzes. The final was difficult, but there were no curveballs. If you do well on the final he is more likely to give you a good grade even if you didn't do so well in the rest of the quarter.

Overall the class was very challenging but I came out with a solid foundation in physics. You may think you're doing poorly in the class but his curves are HUGE!!!

PHYSICS 6C
Physics for Life Sciences Majors: Light, Fluids, Thermodynamics, Modern Physics Full Profile > 4.2 Overall 1.0 Easiness 1.0 Workload 4.4 Clarity 4.4 Helpfulness
I have mixed opinions about Corbin. His lectures are entertaining (especially the physics puns) but...
PHYSICS 6C
Physics for Life Sciences Majors: Light, Fluids, Thermodynamics, Modern Physics See Full Profile

Overall 4.2 Easiness 1.0 Workload 1.0 Clarity 4.4 Helpfulness 4.4

Most Helpful Review

I have mixed opinions about Corbin. His lectures are entertaining (especially the physics puns) but he has a bit of an inflated ego. His tests are crazy... if you're scoring 60% you're doing "well". At first, this kinda hurts your sense of progress. You could study all night and still score in the 50-60% range: it's discouraging. After the first test, I learned really quickly how to take his midterms successfully. Don't start at the beginning of the test; flip through all of the problems. Don't attempt to start the difficult problems until later. Pick a problem you KNOW you can do well, then move onto other ones, because the time limit (50 minutes) is the biggest issue, and you want to rack up all the points you can get. Write something down for every part of every question, because even when I pulled answers out of my ass that made no sense, the TA would give me 1-2 points out of 5. Partial credit is the key! I basically didn't study more than 1 hour for each midterm, and 2 hours for the final, but I got an A because I understood the concepts and I could explain myself through sentences on the exams, even when I couldn't recall the correct equations. Attend lecture! and when I attended office hours once, I realized that the OH regulars probably got a TON of hints about exam problems. This class is intimidating, but doable. Sean is an amazing TA, so attend his review sessions and discussions when you can. (Also, I never even did one problem from the book, but they probably help you become more familiar with the equations.)

PHYSICS 6CH
Physics for Life Sciences Majors: Electricity, Magnetism, and Transport Full Profile > 4.3 Overall 1.0 Easiness 1.0 Workload 4.8 Clarity 4.8 Helpfulness
Yes, Brent was tough and his midterms often impossible to finish in the alotted time, but that just...
PHYSICS 6CH
Physics for Life Sciences Majors: Electricity, Magnetism, and Transport See Full Profile

Overall 4.3 Easiness 1.0 Workload 1.0 Clarity 4.8 Helpfulness 4.8

Most Helpful Review

Yes, Brent was tough and his midterms often impossible to finish in the alotted time, but that just means PARTIAL CREDIT. I got away with so much partial credit on problems I didn't have a freaking clue how to do. Just write down shit on the tests and you're bound to get some credit. NEVER leave a question blank, always write what you know, equations or what you think you might do if you had the given time/prerequisite answers. In general, as hard as people say his tests are, they are do-able. The final especially is on the caliber of the midterms, but you have an extra hour for two midterms worth of material. So it is totally do-able. Also, if you are willing to do the homework, many homework problems do share similarities to his test problems, even though he states they are nothing like them. If you fully understand the homework you should do fine. All I have to say is ride the curve. Also, his workshops are a real plus, since he gives you really good problems that are taken from his own midterms and you get an exact feel for it.

Overall he was a great guy and he was enthusiastic and I loved his sometimes morbid humor. Either way he was out there enough to get a good laugh out of the class. Great professor and incredibly knowledgable. If you're here to learn (which you should be) you should take him. It's not all as bad as some people make it out to be.

PHYSICS 19
Fiat Lux Freshman Seminars Full Profile > 4.7 Overall 1.0 Easiness 1.0 Workload 4.7 Clarity 4.3 Helpfulness
If you don't love physics, do not take a class with Brent. He is a superb teacher and a very...
PHYSICS 19
Fiat Lux Freshman Seminars See Full Profile

Overall 4.7 Easiness 1.0 Workload 1.0 Clarity 4.7 Helpfulness 4.3

Most Helpful Review

If you don't love physics, do not take a class with Brent. He is a superb teacher and a very reasonable guy, but he expects his students to be fully committed to his class. His weekly homework assignments usually consisted of about 15 of the hardest problems. His exams are notoriously difficult, and the material isn't so easy to begin with. Put simply, his class is tough, and you will definitely have trouble if you aren't serious about it from the beginning.

With that said, there are a few things that you should know if you do decide to sign up for a class with Brent. First of all, do not let his first week scare tactics get to you. He doesn't exaggerate about the difficulty of his class, but he does intentionally gloat about it at the beginning of the quarter to weed out students who aren't sure they want to be there. Secondly, partial credit is the KEY to surviving his exams. On all three of our exams, no one came even close to 100%. This is mostly because his tests (especially the midterms) are too long to complete in one hour. Finish one or two problems that you're confident you understand, and then use the remaining time to get down whatever you can for the other problems. The graders award credit for just about anything, even memorized forumlas. Finally, take advantage of Brent's daily office hours. He is happy to go over homework or even discuss potential exam questions. He is a really nice guy and he enjoys helping his students.

AD
AD
1 of 2