[PHYS 0110]
Electricity and Magnetism

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Professor: Wolfson R

Value of Course / Overall Score

Not Much (0%
Average (0%)
Valuable (100%)


Friendly (0%)
Average (0%)
Competitive (100%)

Class Atmosphere

Boring (66.7%)
Average (33.3%)
Fascinating (0%)

Prep Time Needed

1-2hr (0%)
3-5hr (40%)
6-8hr (60%)
9-11hr (0%)
12+ hr (0%)

Grade Weighting

Harder (40%)
Average (0%)
Easier (60%)

Adequate Assistance

Yes (80%)
No (20%)

Would Recommend Class

Yes (100%)
No (0%)

Evaluation Comments for Wolfson R

  1. No Comment
  2. Wonderful class. Wolfson cares deeply about his subject, and wants you to learn it. As a rising senior, I can definitely say The lab for this class was the best science lab I've had at middlebury in terms of making me think of new things. The class could have been a little more challenging, but all in all a great experience. If I had taken this class coming in, I might have been a physics major.
  3. Great class on physics. Could have had more calculus. One of the best labs I have ever had at Middlebury. Wolfson is a great professor. The natural sciences are one of Middlebury's strongest features; by missing them, you do yourself a serious disservice.
  4. The material in this course doesn't come naturally to everyone, yet Wolfson makes the material approachable. My major critique is that there was only a practice exam for ONE of the THREE exams this semester, which made studying difficult.
  5. EM is one of the best classes I have taken at Middlebury; the material is truly enlightening. Unfortunately, Professor Wolfson is one of a handful of profs I have encountered at Midd who make me question why I didn't shell out half the money for education. Yes, Wolfson is very enthusiastic. Yes, his demonstrations and energy attracts more attention than the material might normally demand. However, Wolfson is a rigid man who does not hide his biases. One could begin with his constant reiteration of important women in science for a soft example (only has daughters) or the subtle reminders that his name is heralded by our entirely mediocre textbook (and that he sometimes eats lunch with NEILS BOHR'S NEPHEW!). Perhaps, though, what is most unsettling about this professor is the blatant favoritism he places on physics majors. The biggest mistake I made in this class was letting Wolfson know that I didn't plan to use this class for anything more than a stepping stone (as most premed students do with EM). From that point on I was a second rate citizen in his class, despite my interest in/after class and office hour visits. Finally, after a semester of rigid calculus on the tests the final exam had about 25% left up to verbal descriptions of Maxwell's four laws and qualitative descriptions of laboratory apparatus. For the first 2 of 3 exams, calculus and quantitative problem solving were of utmost importance. I (and other students) could not see a motive behind this drastic shift in the final beyond allowing Wolfson the freedom to grade subjectively. Great course, bad prof; expected better from Middlebury and from an academically awarded professor.
  6. Wolfson is a great professor - super enthusiastic, helpful, available all the time. The material was challenging, but not impossible, especially considering how easy it was to find help (from the professor, TAs, and other members of the physics faculty). Tests were straight-forward for the most part (check out the practice exams!!), but not necessarily easy.

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