I was originally enrolled in ENGG1500 but on the first lecture of that course I dropped out because I didn't like the content. I then enrolled in CHEM1100 but dropped out of that before my first class as I got put in a bad practical class time of 5-8 pm on Tuesday which means I would miss the Block. I then enrolled in PHYS1002, what a naive child I was.
Some off you may walk in there with rumours from others about how hard this course can be while others of you may walk in expecting it to be a small extension to high school physics like I did. Regardless of what you expect with the course, you will soon realise that the content in this course is extremely hard and Till's calves are HUGE.
Now don't do what I did and think that a clicker is not needed unTILL the 4th lecture because they have bonus clicker questions that can increase your grade by 0.5 of a grade (i.e. 5 to 5.5), however, these questions are pretty much impossible unless you really focus on the pre reading.
You are then hit with your first mastering physics online quiz which can boost your mark or result in you failing, so make sure you do it.
A few weeks into the course you think all is going well and then you get your first assignment which hits you hard and you realise how hard this course is. Along with the practical reports this can really get you motivated or demotivated depending on how you understand the content.
The midsem was easy at first unTILL it was voided as students cheated however this could have been prevented by more supervision. This resulted in another midsem that resulted in a low average grade of 51%.
As the content moves to magnetism and then to quantum, you understand that a lot of study will have to be dedicated to this course. The final was hard to study for as the only past exams to study for had already been covered in the assignments.
My main tip would be to become great friends with TILL who also loves ultimate frisbee and to have a great understanding of the textbook that set me back $180. If you want to get on Davo's good side he loves his morning coffee but always seems to forget to have it which he mentions in every lecture before midday.
Ultimately I did enjoy the content but did not enjoy the thought that failing is a high possibility in this course. Fortunately I passed and have chosen to pursue Civil Engineering which PHYS1002 has absolutely no relevance to.
UnTILL next time...
Semester 1 - 2015
This is a course of extremes. Extremely important content, taught in the most painful way possible. If you're studying electrical engineering, the content forms a basis for literally everything else you'll learn. However, the course is probably the most painful course you'll ever take. The sheer amount of time and effort required is astounding: you have to crawl through the mud for every fraction of a mark.
The course readings are essential - there's no point going to the lectures if you haven't done it, but when you have, the lectures are great at helping you understand the content. Till is a good lecturer, and tries to get you to think through the concepts. David was very unprepared, didn't explain concepts very well, and wasted a lot of time trying to find his mistake in worked examples. He was also quite rude at times.
Mastering Physics is a set of weekly online quizes, and they'll be the bane of your existence during the semester. You have to pass every single one to pass the course, but they're only worth 5% total, and each one takes hours upon hours, as you struggle to find where you've gone wrong in one of the 8 steps of calculations, or whether your answer is just in a format that the system doesn't like. It gives basically no feedback, and you'll learn nothing from completing them, except that you have the capacity to feel ... just ... so much rage...
The assignments are both conceptually complex and time-consuming, and simply getting the answer right will only get you a pass; to get better, you have to write an essay for each question explaining the concepts and your assumptions. The labs are designed to give you terrible data that is of no use, just so that you can practice the art of explaining why your data was so bad.
The mid-semester was poorly held, with barely any supervision, and many students cheated; as a result it was voided, and we had to sit another exam which was extremely poorly written and much harder than the original, and as a result the average mark was 51%.
The great finale to this course was a final exam that I could have easily spent 2 days answering, let alone the 2 hours that we were given.
tl;dr - if this course isn't compulsory, run far away and hide in a cave.
Semester 1 - 2015
This course is a lot like putting your socks on in the morning and finding scorpions inside them.
It starts smoothly as Joel Corney seduces you with his authoritative voice and majestic beard. He explains electromagnetism with a passion vaguely reminiscent of Rutger Hauer's soliloquy in Blade Runner, except not at all like that and really just indicative of a great lecturer. The clicker system and class discussion lets you quickly identify those who will lag behind in the course, and ostracize them right from the get go.
Much like my last partner, however, the course slowly segues from being a caring lover who will whisper meaningless platitudes in your ear while you sleep (and maybe nibble on your earlobe a little if you're into that) into an abusive husband who you can't help love despite the constant beatings.
You'll be asked to use vector calculus you won't learn until MATH2000, You'll answer so many trick questions you begin to instinctively assume you're wrong about everything and slink into deep depression. You'll perform practicals that give you awful data which ought to be analysed with statistical methods they never teach you to produce a meaningless conclusion because the error bars are so large that to graph them properly you won't be able to identify the data point they're centred on.
You will despise electromagnetism with a passion vaguely reminiscent of Joe Pesci's short temper in Goodfellas, except again not at all like that and really just indicative of a very tough segment in the course.
Then, abruptly, that segment ends. It's much like that scene in the last Matrix movie where they're flying through the storm and break through the clouds and it's all sunshine and rainbows and heavenly except no rainbows and you don't have to go back down through the storm and it's just quite nice is what I'm trying to say.
The rest of the course is remarkably easy. Relativity and quantum require some intuitive leaps, but the math itself is simple enough. Optics will send you to sleep, so you'll probably end up learning the content just before the exam, but it's not too difficult either. The second practical report you write will be no more difficult than high school physics. In general, the second half of the course is a breeze, or to be more precise, a southerly breeze that dries the sweat from your brow after climbing a lightly vegetated hill by a coastline that grants a remarkable view and would be a great place to take a girl on a date if only you knew how to talk to one in the first place. The final exam is much the same - a difficult electromagnetism segment, and an easy optics, relativity and quantum segment.
Complete every possible piece of assessment. Each individual assignment or Mastering Physics quiz is worth very little, but you can't rely on getting a good grade in the other material, and you want as many marks as possible going into the final. Unless you're a girl, that is. Girls just want to have fun.
If you have difficulty with the integration required, ask a MATH2000 or MATH2001 student to help you out. If they refuse, find their weaknesses and exploit them until they accept.
Every lecturer says "don't fall behind on your readings". PHYS1002 is one of the few courses where that's necessary advice. Keep the textbook in the bathroom and browse through it while you're on the loo, but - and this is the crucial part - BEFORE you wipe. Learn from my mistakes, folks.
Overall... this is an incredibly profound course that will help you understand one of the fundamental forces (electromagnetism) as well as the two greatest developments in modern physics (relativity and quantum). It's worth doing, but you're in for a hell of a workload.
Semester 2 - 2013