Based on 19 Users
This woman is absolutely amazing. Her lectures are clear and she actually explains what she's doing (unlike most professors) and even though the class isn't curved her exams are very fair and usually more straightforward than the homework. If you understand the homework the exams are pretty doable. She was also very understanding with the corona virus situation and handled the final and determination of final grades very well. She's also just a really fun and cool person in general. 10/10 would take a class with her again.
Professor Naoz was a great teacher. She is sweet and emphasizes that you don't need to be a genius or have some sort of "physics intuition" to solve physics problems.
There were participation quizzes, homework, two midterms, and a final.
The participation quizzes were just graded for completition and to make sure you're actually showing up to class.
The homework was very fair based on what was learned in lecture, and the deadlines are usually about a week.
I thought that the midterms were easy, they touched on the main concepts of the homework such as the lagrangian and central potential.
The final was fair, however it was very long. Just study the homework and the practice final exams and you should be fine.
The exams were all take home this quarter, and you had about 4 days to complete them. If they were in person I think that they would have been a little too much work to complete in an hour, but for take home they were great.
There is an optional Mathematica component to this class, which offers 15% extra credit. I would recommend anyone to take this class, as the labs were fair and didn't take up too much time. Also, I think Mathematica is a valuable skill, and Corbin was a great professor, so I think it's worth it if it fits with your schedule.
The only problem that I had with Naoz was that she would walk around and ask everybody who they were working with for the in-class problems. I would have preferred if she would just let us work and we would go over it as a class at the end. This is pretty much just nitpicking though.
Overall Naoz was a great professor and I'm taking her again for 105B!
Take her, she's a queen <3 I thought she was intimidating at the beginning because she looks serious just like all the other stem professors but as I got to know her through office hours, I learnt that she is probably one of the most caring people. If you are having any difficulties just go talk to her and she's gonna try to help you a lot. I had an F on my first midterm but I went to talk about her about my difficulties, studied hard got friends in class to help me and got a perfect score on the second midterm and overall ended up with an A. Her HW is pretty heavy I think personally, but her tests are easier.
Lectures are a complete waste of time as she spends the two hours doing proofs on the board without attempting to relate the mathematics to anything tangible. However, there are participation questions so you pretty much have to sit through the lectures. The tests are significantly easier compared to the material covered in lectures and discussions, so you could probably get by by self-studying if you're mathematically oriented.
Naoz really cares about her students, but she is a lousy lecturer. She spends a lot of time going over confusing proofs that are really not helpful or relevant. She made it seem like her class was going to be very difficult, but it wasn't, so don't worry!
Her first midterm was super easy, and the second midterm and final were of medium difficulty. Some problems were right off her example problems, so memorize those! She gives too much extra credit on the tests, and the averages are high.
Weekly masteringphysics. She gives optional problem sets with solutions that have some mistakes, but are very similar to the tests so you should do them.
There is a participation grade for answering polls in class (like online polls, with your phone, not a clicker). You can miss a couple though and not lose points.
I really liked Dr. Naoz. I don't think she was exactly the best professor I had, but I only say this after having tons of other amazing teachers. She is definitely up there, but certain things kinda didn't do it for me. The class itself is super interesting, there is tons of fundamental and interesting concepts brought up throughout the quarter. The first 3 weeks are a review of freshman physics, especially oscillations. She particularly emphasizes these, heavily I should say, but they are extremely important. Then you learn calculus of variations and are introduced to the Lagrangian which you spend most of your time on. You do examples of this and then jump into Central Force problems, which I found kind of dull and information dense, so towards the last 3 weeks got boring for me.
I think a lot of times she is great, she heavily emphasizes derivation which I personally enjoyed. I think when derivations started to dwell a bit too far into pure math topics, she definitely got lazy and cut some corners, so when lectures around that time were a haze and I couldn't follow too well. She is fantastic when it comes to working with the class and I think she is better suited to teaching small classrooms. She would stop class to work on problems and she would walk around the class, but she could not ever get to most students. The thing I really HATED about the class is that she does not believe in curving. This was pretty scary, especially once you get so used to it from other classes. Her problem sets were challenging for me and took tons of time, but she offers extra credit and you need every ounce of it unless you're just a physics genius, which I am not.
On the midterm: KNOW HOW TO SOLVE NON-HOMOGENEOUS 2nd ORDER DIFF EQS. She asked this every year she taught, including ours. On the final, good luck, that shit was not easy, so just be extremely familiar with every problem on the problem sets and spend time with the TA's, they'll drop some pretty hefty hints.
Out of 82 people 20 people managed to get an A which is pretty low compared to the grade distribution shown for 2016 so don't get too deceived by how easy the class seems in the first several weeks and even past the midterm. I think she does an impressive job of designing tests that are pretty fair in difficult that they don't need to get curved. The midterms seemed stupid easy but the final will make or break your grade.
MATHEMATICA: This does not appear on your class planner, but it is 10% of your grade. Corbin hosts 2 hour labs on teaching you this crap which ends up being your life-saver and best friend on later problem sets if you take the time to learn it. A good majority of the class was lazy af and didn't do it completely but it is honestly free points, Corbin is pretty chill about grading if you get the good majority of it.
Naoz wrote her own problem sets and they were perfect difficulty level and memorable. I wanted to like the proofs in lectures, but whenever I tried to replicate them after class, I wasn't able to. But her lectures were pretty engaging and she's a great storyteller.
One time she also made this astro computer simulation about a concept after people asked her questions in office hours, and it struck me how cool and caring she was. Awesome professor and very supportive of diversity. also like the straight grading scale so students aren't competing with each other.
Naoz is a very caring and fair professor. But, she is not a very good lecturer. She likes to do a lot of proofs on the board but skips a lot of steps or context in between, leaving me too bogged down by math to learn the actual physics behind it. You will have to self study and go to your TA's office hours to understand what is happening in this class.
However, she is very fair with her tests and she makes it clear what she expects. She does not test on concepts just recently taught and provides practice problems so you know what type of questions to expect. I would take another class with her solely because she is very careful with the level of difficulty of her tests to make them doable, and easier, than the problem sets.
Also, don't procrastinate the mathematica labs. Actually try to do them weekly. You don't NEED to go to the lab sessions as long as you study the virtual labs well. They are free points that many people won't even end up doing cause they wait till the end.
I love Smadar. Her midterms are completely reasonable, she overprepares you for them with the homeworks so you shouldn't need to study much. Homeworks can be difficult but go to her office hours. She'll make you try to work it out yourself but she's very helpful. I could always follow with her lectures and she also offers an extra 10% extra credit if you take the mathematica lab. Overall, was a great experience, highly recommend taking her for both 105A and 105B.
I was really intimidated by this class (first upper division physics class moment), but having Smadar as my professor made the entire experience much better. She emphasizes a really good mindset towards physics - that struggling doesn't mean you're failing, that nobody is born with an inherent ability to do physics, that "intuition" is learned and something anybody can do.
You can tell that she truly cares about her students and their success. I couldn't make her office hour time, but sent an email with questions about lecture one day, and she took the time to not only answer my email, but discuss the questions during the next lecture.
The homework felt fair - I always could tell exactly how it was connected to the material we learned in class - but it also took a large amount of time each week. I really, really recommend working on the problem sets with other people from your class. Bouncing ideas off of others and working together was the only way I made it through some of those later week homework sets.
The midterms & final were also very fair, with no trick questions. The optional mathematica lab does require some extra time commitment, but the 15% extra credit was heavenly.
Overall, highly recommend this class with Prof Naoz!