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I've just gotten back my second midterm and I'm writing an updated review. I will try to be as objective as possible. Here goes....
I HATE HER I HATE HER I HATE HER I HATE HER I HATE HER I HATE HER I HATE HER I HATE HER I HATE HER I HATE HER I HATE HER I HATE HER I HATE HER I HATE HER I HATE HER I HATE HER I HATE HER I HATE HER!!! OH MY GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I didn't sign up for this!!! I am enrolled in Niemann who is conceptual and for some crazy reason I am taking Shaked's midterms which are numbers oriented. Let's just say that I am enrolled in Shiemann (Niemann+Shaked). YES. I am enrolled in freakin Shiemann's course! I didn't sign up for this hell ride!! Wtf is this!!!!!
Don't take Shaked (in other words, don't commit GPA suicide). She's crazy. Her obsession with estimating numbers has ruined 6B for some 400 ucla students. It's insane. I was off by a magnitude of 10 on one of the questions. Formula was right. Work was right. Units was right. Explanation was right. Estimation just a bitttt off. I got 2/9 points. The entire exam only has 40 points. Madness.
Yes, she is a nice professor. Too bad her niceness won't save my GPA. The fact that there is going to be a curve doesn't make me any less pissed off at her. It's bs that I spend hours studying only to have her ridiculous exams thrown at my face. I got a freakin A from 6A with Huang who is considered difficult and I am getting a score from Shaked that hurts me whenever I say it!!!
JUST TESTING THE WATERS HERE..
IS ANYONE ELSE FED UP WITH SHAKED AND FEEL LIKE EMAILING THE PHYSICS DEPARTMENT REGARDING THIS. LET'S JUST SAY THAT I AM CONSIDERING IT. IT'S JUST NOT FAIR THAT WE'RE TAKING 6B WITH ONE PROFESSOR, BUT BEING TESTED BY ANOTHER. LIKE MY POST IF YOU THINK I SHOULD, ASK YOUR CLASSMATES TO LOOK AT THIS POST AND PLEASE SEND AN EMAIL YOURSELF IF YOU SHARE MY FRUSTRATIONS.
Email the academic coordinator, Francoise at
Niemann claims to have changed his test format for good. If this is true, then the exams will now be a lot harder for Niemann so keep that in mind. For example, a typical 6B problem might ask, "Find the amount of charge on the capacior." His new exams questions will ask something like, "An axon can be modeled as a capacitor. Given the action potential graph below, find the number of sodium ions on the edge of the axon." His new exams have a biology spin to them intended for pre health students. This adds another layer of sophistication to the course. In my opinion, it makes sense to do this for the 6 series, but 6B is just such a hard course already. Do we really need to make it more complicated?
I can't believe this focker. He gave Shaked the keys to the class. Damn Shaked wanted to coordinate the two lectures which sounds like a good idea, but the problem was that freakin Shaked's questions on the exams were nothing like what the students taking Niemann would have expected. And the bulk of the points came from Shaked's questions. Niemann himself is a good lecturer, but I can't believe that he allowed Shaked to dictate the exams and homework. It's absurd.
Selling the three textbooks you need for the Physics 6 series, the UCLA store sells the bundle for $177 but I'm selling for $100 and they're in mint condition! (no highlights, marking, rip tears, etc.) text me if interested 7025562436
The previous reviews are pretty weird and unhelpful, so I'll try my best to help out future bruins taking his class. Also, on a side note, this dude apparently has two bruinwalk pages, his name is Christoph Niemann, and an electrical engineer with the physics department. On his other page, there is a grading distribution for the class for you to look at if you need that stuff.
Anyways, he's probably the best physics lecturer I've had for electro-mag. He really focuses on making sure everyone has a conceptual, intuitive understanding of the material rather than a heavy math based one. Also, its lifesci physics so he can't really get that in depth. Most of the conceptual bits he goes over regard relationships. If you separate the capacitor, what happens to electric field? etc.
To succeed here, I strongly recommend attending lecture and paying fullest attention. This quarter his class was in 9am so it was quite a challenge, but he goes over a ton of examples of problems you might be encountering. Also, his powerpoint slides feature information that multiple choice questions will ask about, so pay extremely close detail to each slide, since I missed some details and got it wrong on a midterm. Finally, he uploads 3-4 practice tests before each one.
As for the tests themselves, they're kinda annoying. The midterms are only 30 points so every point is absolutely crucial. Succeed on them for a buffer.The first midterm was buttfuck easy, the second one not so much (but that's because I started skipped some lectures and fell asleep in others) , and the final seemed ok.
For homework, its masteringphysics (again, forever always). Labs are the same bullshit get it done and get out lab, although it depends on the TA's niceness.
I think the best part about his class are the sheer amount of demos he does. I think almost every single lecture featured a demo to showcase the concepts he was trying to teach, so that was a great help to visualize the relationships of stuff he will ask about.
In office hours, he was extremely helpful. I pestered him for detail past the course material and level of understanding and he was willing to help out.
He's also a pretty funny guy, although unintentionally. Or at least I thought so.
As someone who has always done bad in math classes and who got a C+ in Physics 5A, Niemann was the best decision I ever made! His class helped me thoroughly understand physics and I really like how he doesn't emphasize equations or derivations, but rather mostly tests you on conceptual problems. His midterms were relatively easy, I got an 89 and a 96. He lets you bring a 3 x 5 flashcard (front and back) to the midterms, which is really helpful! However, he doesn't give you any constants or equations so you need to make sure you write that all down. The final was definitely harder for me (I didn't really study due to other finals), so I got a 65 which ultimately dropped me down to a B+. Bummed about dropping the letter grade but definitely happy about the improvement from 5A. I would definitely recommend taking Niemann. I'm taking him again for 5C in the Fall and hoping to keep my A then!
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