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.
--ASTR 5-- Final Grade: A+ Grading: Generous Curve. Examinations: MT 1- 50ish mcq mt2 - 60ish mcq final - 79ish mcq with repeats Lecture: Unnecessary How to get an A: I had Julia as a TA. Go to discussion the day before the midterm, and she tells you everything. Professor: He explains it well.. He's not the most personable, and most eloquent guy but he knows his stuff. Everyone who got confused in lecture (I heard a lot of complaints after classes) is just dumb-- very simple concepts. Astro is in the middle of a breakthrough area in its science, so a lot of the material is young (exoplanets just a few decades) and it's a large part of the class, so it's obvious some of the stuff said isn't 100% explainable and frankly, some of it's bullshit. If you're looking for a GE, this is very very easy and interesting, but I also took Astro 3 with Mclean and liked that better.
ASTRO 5: Easy class. Reviewed all my notes the night before the exam, not intensely either, and I was good to go. The topic was interesting, tests were fair, I think a lot of people found it easy as well. Discussion sections (with Julia) helped too. I can't figure out whether attendance to them were mandatory but I'm under the impression that they were anyway. I'm terrible at science, mediocre at memorization, but this class made sense and I still got an A.