Based on 29 Users
NOTE: I took this class during COVID-19 quarantine online. I don't know how different it was from a regular Astro 3 course, but I thought it was relatively easy.
-LOTS of online coursework, all answers can be found online. I usually finished within 20-30 mins
-Participation isn't necessary with lab sessions, just make sure you turn in the labs every week. One week it was just me and the TA doing my whole lab together. It like office hours and honestly great.
-Rich is a boring lecturer, but honestly all the info on the slides are crucial to beating the exams. Just go over each of the slides in depth. Know them all.
Strengths- The content of this class is so cool. I looked forward to learning about whatever the new topic was for the week, and it was even more interesting to see how each topic built on one another as the course progressed. Professor Rich is incredibly open to students asking questions and always gave us an opportunity to seek help when we needed it. I really appreciated that.
Weaknesses- Professor Rich can be somewhat of a boring lecturer. He sometimes goes off on tangents about something that he discovered that relates to what we're learning, but has no resounding significance to the course. Additionally, the Mastering Astronomy assignments are quite pointless and I don't even see most of that information on tests.
Overall, a great class and I would highly recommend it to another student who is looking for an interesting G.E. that will keep them busy with lots of information to take in. Professor Rich is passionate and I enjoyed going to his lectures to listen to him talk about the universe!
maybe it's because i'm a complete idiot but this was not an easy GE like everyone says it is. i just taught myself pretty much all the material. i could tell professor rich was super passionate about astronomy. he's always more than willing to help students in office hours, and he gives out extra credit up to 2%. despite this, he wasn't the most interesting lecturer. he goes off the slides. i could tell that a lot of students got bored, because some would just be going on their phones. a lot of people just didn't bother attending lecture.
we do our homework on this website, which we have to pay for, and you can almost always find the answers online. the lectures aren't enough to be able to do the homework. you have to read and take notes through the textbook yourself. as for the lab, it wasn't super easy, but it was doable. everyone in the class pretty much worked with the people around them, and the TA would be walking around to help.
take these factors into consideration, as well as the fact that i'm kinda a dumbass (but i did end up passing the class) overall, i would not take again
Non-mandatory lectures, all posted the day of. Professor Rich was extremely helpful throughout the online process. Lateness policies on assignments were lenient. Large portions of homework graded on completeness. Labs can be worked through individually, but there are plenty of opportunities to seek help if necessary.
ASTR 3 was not an easy A for me. Granted, if I could do it again, I would have definitely attended lecture more (something that I stopped doing after a few weeks into the quarter) and kept on top of the reading schedule - I think both would have made working to get a good grade a lot less of a struggle. Regardless, the content of astronomy itself was a brand new topic to me, and I had greatly underestimated what exactly it would consist of - i.e. a lot more physics and a LOT of brand new terms and concepts than I had expected. Some of it - such as learning about black holes - was extermely interesting. Some of it was harder, denser and not quite as exciting. This was made more difficult due to the weekly homework assignments (not difficult but just somewhat time consuming) and the nearly 2 hour weekly labs which were DENSE and somewhat tricky. To anyone taking this class, also be warned that the second half of the quarter picks up quickly and the chapters go into a lot more detail than the first half of the class.
I believe the reason I walked away with an A is because I was able to self teach myself like crazy before each test - I read every chapter and would test myself like the professor recommended (I would definitely recommend watching crash course as well, to anyone taking the class, as it really helps you visualize some concepts). As someone mentioned below, the professor will often put some of the review questions on the actual exam! Do not disregard this helping hand.
Professor Rich is clearly a passionate and caring professor (and offers lots of extra credit opportunities), so if you do end up taking this class, you're in good hands! Just know you MAY have to work harder in this class to do well than what you may expect from its reputation
If you have a pulse, you will pass this class. I stopped attending lecture after week 1, but was still able to do well using the online study resources provided on mypearsonlab. If you need an easy science GE, this is the class for you. The only thing that was slightly difficult, was the random historical questions that the professor put into his midterms and finals. Overall it was a non-stressful class. Take a deep breath, it's not that deep.
Very passionate professor, absolutely in love with astronomy, and just wants to share his knowledge and findings. Offers extra credit! Rather rudimentary astronomy knowledge, nothing too extreme. Just keep up with lecture content.
Many students do not attend his lectures (they can be a little boring for some). He does post slides. I honestly attend for snip-bits of his adorable humor about astronomy, and he points out what is or will not be on the exams.
Prof. Rich is very generous with his grading and often rounds up the exam grades higher than they should be. Cares about students' education, means for them to learn and not be too harshly restricted by exams; largely why he is also so generous with extra credit opportunities.
I recommend attending his remote observing sessions! Very interesting, and a great opportunity to see how imaging galaxies work.
Give Prof. Rich a chance, for an easy GE and a wholesome soul :')
Michael Rich is an interesting guy. He knows how to teach a GE, and he knows exactly what to teach. Lectures might be boring, though.
You will use an online textbook for your readings and homeworks (based on the readings), pre-made by some publishing company. I used this to learn all the material, since I couldn't pay attention in class.
Lab assignments, homeworks, and exams are pretty straightforward. No tricks. What you see is what you get.
One of my classmates showed up only on the first day of class and the time of the final exam, and this person passed. If you wanna take a P/NP physical science GE, look no further.
The class is pretty straightforward in regards to coursework. You have hw with every chapter, eight total labs, midterm, and final. Attendance is not mandatory (pretty dull and clustered slides that the professor reads off of); however, attendance is mandatory for labs! The midterm/final are multiple choice. Make sure you study the practice questions (usually on the exam) and review all the topics from his study guide. You can get extra credit from the hw and 2% from short papers. Overall, it's not extremely difficult or easy.
This class has a lot of online homework but honestly it was pretty easy and really helped me learn the information. Besides that you have to do an easy lab each week and as long as you cram for the midterm and final you'll get an A.
I took Astronomy 3 in order to get one of my prerequisite out of the way because I am social science major. I will say this, if you do not find anything interesting in learning about stars or space, then I would suggest to look into another class that fulfills a science with lab. Do not get me wrong, Professor Rich is very enthusiastic about astronomy and his research, but the learning for me was not interesting so I quickly stopped finding interest in studying. The midterm is 30% of your grade and the final is 40% of your grade and is cumulative whereas the lab and homework make up 30% of your grade. The homework is done online and can be easily found on quiz let (about 90% of the time). Overall, if you study for the class and can push through the quarter, a B and even an A is very manageable, but it can be easy to stop going to lecture or do the readings.