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Physics from an Astronomy Professor

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by shaq93, Jul 28, 2011.

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Which Physics teacher would you take?

  1. Take physics with the "nice" astronomy teacher

    12 vote(s)
    60.0%
  2. Take physics with the experienced physics teacher

    8 vote(s)
    40.0%
  1. shaq93

    5+ Year Member

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    I am signed up to take physics 101 with an astronomy professor who is nice (sounded nice over phone) but will be teaching physics for the first time with me being in his class; as a result of him being a first-time physics techer, I cannot look him up on rate my professor. I also have the chance to take physics with a physics professor that has about a 50/50 rating of being a good/bad teacher on rate my professor (http://www.ratemyprofessors.com/ShowRatings.jsp?tid=236209&page=1).

    Since this will be the first time that the astronomy professor is teaching physics, he may not know the material well and get frustrated quickly or he may be extremely lenient. I dont know who to take :confused:

    Who would you guys recommend?
     
    #1 shaq93, Jul 28, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2011
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  3. Tapepsi

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    The one with the 50/50 rating. The consensus seemed to be on there that if you put in the effort you should get an A. The one who said "Worst teacher EVER" gave no explanation.

    Take this from someone who had a new physics prof and had the highest grade in the class (an A-).
     
  4. aSagacious

    Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

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    More times than not the curriculum is standardized across the department, eliminating any discrepancies in instructor quality, etc. By the same token, sometimes even the lecture notes and exams are identical (or at least very similar) between professor, since they often share or recycle over the years. Physics is one of those subjects where lecture is not terribly important to your success, since that will largely be determined by keeping up with practice problems and deriving equations on your own.

    Tl;dr it doesn't matter which professor you go with
     
  5. Gnomes

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    I dunno about that. "Good" and "Hard" are orthogonal.
    Good + Hard: Good for MCAT.
    Good + Easy: Good for GPA.
    Bad + Hard: Bad for GPA.
    Bad + Easy: Bad for MCAT.
     
  6. aSagacious

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    I'm only going to consider 'hard' for the sake of this discussion, since anyone can teach themselves any material regardless of the instructor (see: medical school). You have one guy with a middle-of-the-road difficulty rating and another who is completely unknown... impossible to make an educated decision on this one.
     
  7. JESSFALLING

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    If he has a PhD in Astronomy, then he also LIKELY has a firm grasp on PHYSICS. Astronomy requires a strong understanding of mechanics, e&m, optical physics, as well as advanced concepts such as special and general relativity, and cosmology. Basically, Astronomy is General Physics + a bunch of other things....(kind of like DO = MD + OMT... hehehehe)

    Go with the Astronomy professor if you like. He may tie some of the concepts into interesting applications.
     
    #6 JESSFALLING, Jul 28, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2011
  8. wanderer

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    My general experience with new professors is that they are more lenient, because they haven't yet become able to detach themselves enough to give a lot of poor grades.
     
  9. vanillabear55

    vanillabear55 just keep swimming
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    THIS.

    my physics II class is being taught by an astronomy professor. He's taught physics like 10 or so times before, so he isn't new to it, but he definitely ties it into really interesting real life applications.
     
  10. shaq93

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    cool, do you think that he is more lenient towards the class since he is originally an astronomy professor?
     
    #9 shaq93, Jul 28, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2011
  11. vanillabear55

    vanillabear55 just keep swimming
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    compared to my physics I professor..YES.

    Its also a summer session so theres <10 people in the class, so he's just very lax about most things cause he knows us pretty well now. His tests are upwards of 2.5 hours each though - but I'm managing to do a hell of a lot better in his class than I did in physics I.
     
  12. shaq93

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    Damn, 2.5 hours :eek: But are you taking calculus based or algebra based?
     
  13. vanillabear55

    vanillabear55 just keep swimming
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    algebra

    I should've done calc-based though, but I didn't want to have to take calc II at my university again though, cause it only transferred as a math elective from a high school extension class.
     
  14. shaq93

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    does, anyone else have any suggestions
     

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