[PHYS 0101]
Physics and Reality

Rate This Class

Professor: Wolfson

Value of Course / Overall Score

Not Much (50%
Average (12.5%)
Valuable (37.5%)


Friendly (37.5%)
Average (25%)
Competitive (37.5%)

Class Atmosphere

Boring (0%)
Average (100%)
Fascinating (0%)

Prep Time Needed

1-2hr (12.5%)
3-5hr (12.5%)
6-8hr (25%)
9-11hr (25%)
12+ hr (25%)

Grade Weighting

Harder (62.5%)
Average (12.5%)
Easier (25%)

Adequate Assistance

Yes (37.5%)
No (62.5%)

Would Recommend Class

Yes (37.5%)
No (62.5%)

Evaluation Comments for Wolfson

  1. Don't take this class. Wolfson doesn't seem to think non-science students are intelligent human beings; I felt like I was in 6th grade most of the time. If you do take it, don't bother doing his assigned readings or going to lectures. Go to discussion, do the written homework, and READ HIS BOOK right before the exam. It's easy, but the grading is pretty arbitrary. He's looking for his own key phrases, so read his book, and spit it all back like a parrot. Now that's real learning . . .
  2. Best class I've taken at Middlebury... led to my decision to major in philosophy... Have never had a better professor or experience in any class, ever!
  3. Wolfson is famous. But don't let that fame fool you into thinking that he is a good professor. Far from it. As with most fame seekers, he is mostly about show and has little substance to back it up. The positives are that classes ARE lively, which helps you stay awake during it cause the reliance on cheesy powerpoint gets old. Thats it for the good characteristics of the class. The negatives of taking a class with Wolfson are many more. Because the good professor let the attention get to his head, prepared to get absolutely NO HELP with class material or anything else. Unless you are one of his prechosen possible converts to either physics or philosophy forget talking to him. His favortism becomes appearent once class begins and never ends. To add insult to injury, Wolfson's exams are structured to test on material that he barely covers and often resorts to recalling minor facts that are NOT RELEVANT to the material he covers. The most important failure of the class and Wolfson in particular is he PREDETERMINED GRADING RESULTS. He bascially will set the course and adjust grade using a hard to understand, therefore hard to challenege. He uses this to defer criticism of his sometimes unfair grading. For example two students may answer a question simlarily, but one will recieve full credit and the other receives a nice fat ZERO. But since most questions are subjective to a point he claims that something (without explanation) was incorrect. Wait til you ask him how he gives out final grades. His system of using scores (fair), performance history (reasonable), complex forumla of his to "even out the grades" (ridiculous). It is really that hard to just let students know their grades and scores. If you don't get an assignment back Wolfson won't tell you what you got, instead he asks that you ask your classmates for that piece of work (assuming someone else has it). Sure thats a GREAT idea, especially since the class has around 80 to 100 people in it. I think this course would be a great one and has the potential to teach non-physics types much about the science, but that needs much compromise from Wolfson. Or a new professor.
  4. Study hard and do great. Wolfson is a decent prof with a few little problems. Average course. Take another Physics course if you want to learn about it.
  5. Skip it.
  6. Decent class with interesting material. Some of the material is advanced and takes lots of time to understand. Homework is reasonable, however the tests are on the hard side. Averages in the class as in the C range. If you are not one of the "bright" students then the professor makes little effort to help you so make sure you buy his book to explain concepts more clearly. Class is relatively lively considering its post lunch placement and in class demos are pretty neat. Wolfson likes to often comment on his personal success in correcting the "mistakes" of other sources. Gets a bit old after you hear how he singlehandedly changed the Magic SchoolBus physics theories and more. Another negative point is his policy of not giving out perfect scores. Not a huge deal, but a bit annoying since it always seems like there are more points to be lost on problems than one could possible get if it was perfect. However, that being said if you pay attention in class, study hard and buy the book he wrote you will do decently in the class. Good luck.
  7. Wolfson's definitely a decent professor. Makes classes interesting, but tends tends dwell on certain points, even after he's made them abundantly clear. Overall good course, though. Good subject matter. Overall, presented well
  8. For non-math and non-science students, this class is a godsend! It is rare to be able to study the concepts of science and their implications without having to learn to apply them technically (which I would never do anyway). If you're interested in relativity and all the philosophical issues that arise from it, TAKE THIS COURSE! At times it is mind-bending, but that's why it was so great.

INSTRUCTIONS : Click class or professor names to see scores, Click to submit your own review.

All classes taught by Wolfson :

All professors who teach this class:

Evaluate this course

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


My Evaluation of Physics and Reality by Wolfson

1 Value of course and concepts to overall education:
2 Did you find the material presented ...
3 Overall class atmosphere:
4 Hours per week spent preparing for class:
5 Were your grades deserving of your efforts?
6 Professor or assistants were available to help, if needed:
7 Would you take another class with this professor?
8Would you recommend this class to a friend: