English, D on Ninja Courses

Average Ratings based on 26 ratings

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
78 76 62 81 85

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Instructor Ratings

PHYSICS H7A (Fall 2008)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
56 100 32 77 84

Comment: This instructor is meh, and the exams are super hard. But the honors physics curve makes up for it. Also the book is really good, and you learn so much from doing the homework.

PHYSICS H7A (Fall 2008)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
100 100 100 100 100

Comment: The best instructor I have had at Berkeley, (and arguably one of the best in the school) its a pity that the department doesn't want to pay him to teach. Very challenging professor. Homework routinely took 8-10 hours, Exams were trying (averages in the 50's and low 60's), and the lectures required you to be awake. He cuts away all the algebra and arithmetic in lectures, this makes them super dense in material, and challenging on the brain, you have to absorb the concepts AND justify his mathematics to yourself at the same time. Loves to throw out math at you that you haven't heard of (and he knows this), giving a quick 5 minute primer on whatever that may be. Despite the difficulty, the final grade was fair. This gives you room to challenge yourself and fail but still maintain a GPA. Most people got a B or an A. With a difficult class - EVERYONE is feeling the burn, which is somewhat freeing because you don't have to worry about every little point because it really won't change your grade. The result - one of the best classes I have had at Berkeley. The reward was worth the effort

PHYSICS H7A (Fall 2008)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
77 63 67 69 77

Comment: awesome class but really hard and time sucking

PHYSICS H7A (Fall 2008)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
86 85 79 91 93

Comment: This was a very difficult and rewarding course. Dr. English is a very good instructor, was helpful in office hours and would even come to the GSI's office hours and help students with homework or difficult concepts. The tests were very difficult. The Mechanics textbook is great, the textbook for fluids and springs are pretty bad, making the last part of the class not as fun.

PHYSICS 110A (Fall 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
73 83 59 70 80

Comment: First off, this class gets a bad rap because it's often taken concurrently with 137A. During the semester 137A covers 4 chapters and 200 pages while 110A covers 9 chapters and 400 pages. As a result of this, 137A seems better paced and more manageable than 110A regardless of the relative strengths of the professors. This was not an easy class by any means, but the homework was always well-written and fair and lecture normally did a very good job preparing us for it. The first 2 exams were very well-written (although the 2nd was much much too long) while the final was so-so. Damon is great at being available for students in OH however he spends too much time with each individual to actually accommodate the majority of the students who attend. In class he comes off as either very very nice or incredibly fake based on the comments that he makes, some of which are downright hilarious. I'm pretty sure he just cares lots about the students so don't be put off if he says sounds condescending at times because that's not his intent.

PHYSICS 110A (Fall 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
84 77 68 100 83

Comment: In my opinion one of the best physics professors I've had at Berkeley. The assignments were tricky, but after completing them I felt like I actually learned from doing it. Exams were kind of strange, mostly in terms of grading and point values, but the class was curved anyway. I thought lectures were interesting, and I appreciated the number of examples he'd put up on the board. Professor English was also very accessible through numerous office hours held throughout the week, and he was always helpful and willing to give that 1-on-1 attention during his office hours.

PHYSICS 110A (Fall 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
40 54 40 50 55

Comment: Not the greatest teacher but not terrible. Homeworks were very challenging, but in a way it was the best way for us to learn. Still does not understand his students wants and needs.

PHYSICS 110A (Fall 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
86 92 64 80 87

Comment: Gotta agree with the strange grading of exams - sometimes would change the point values. I'm kind of salty because each time it did not help me - I'm one of those who does track point values and I'd do questions according to the points.

PHYSICS 110A (Fall 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
94 84 79 78 93

Comment: Excellent professor. A little rough around the edges (sometimes doesn't answer questions well, exams have some weird grading scheme, etc.) but overall is one of the best professors at Berkeley. Very enthusiastic. Highly recommend!

PHYSICS 110A (Fall 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
93 100 61 100 100

Comment: His assignments were tough but very helpful. After I finished the homework, I could look back at it and feel like I got a better understanding of the concepts (oh so slightly). I always worked with a regular group so I can't imagine having done this class alone without the collaboration of my colleagues. I found him very enthusiastic, though I found it detrimental at times in office hours. His one hour office hour may be spent only working with two or three students due to the fact that he got too excited about their question. However, he offered a lot of office hours, and I can't possibly negatively rate him for his passion. I find him to be one of the most helpful professors I have studied under. What really differentiates him from other instructors is his attempts to bridge the gap between the faulty undergraduate understanding of physics to his postdoc understanding. While he may not always successfully bridge it, he's definitely putting much more effort into it than any other instructor I've met. As for his exams, the first was well made, second poorly made, and the final was well made though it was much easier than his other exams and thus seemed uncharacteristic. Good instructor. It was a pleasure to have learned from him. If there's something he'd like to take from this review: vet those exams more, keep attempting to reach our understanding, and keep striving to be that greater instructor.

PHYSICS 110A (Fall 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
93 100 90 100 80

Comment: Overall, a good professor. He did a few things in the middle of the semester that annoyed me a bit (After a much too long second midterm, he sent out an email to the class saying basically that the scores we much to low because some of us didn't know how to study properly, and were probably cheating on the homework. Also did have a tendency of playing favorites with students who ask good questions in lecture...hence the fuel for the infamous review below). Besides that, however, I would rate him as highly as any other professor I've had here. Exams and homeworks were (mostly) fair, and Damon was very helpful in both class and office hours. By the end of the semester, he had done enough nice things to mostly un piss me off, so all's well that ends well. (By the way, I had no problem with my discussion section, so it may have depended which GSI you got).

PHYSICS 110A (Fall 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
85 44 81 91 94

Comment: Solid professor. 110A has a lot of material to cover, and he kind of gets a bad rep for going too quickly and making his lectures somewhat convoluted, but honestly he did the best that he could and he made the class run as smoothly as possible. He's extremely helpful during office hours and reaches out to the students. He's also a great person to talk to about the applications of the material -- I'd often stay around after class and ask him about how E/M applies to areas in optics, solid state physics, and particle physics and he was able to answer them pretty clearly and accurately.

PHYSICS 110A (Fall 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
74 86 72 94 78

Comment: This class had some good and bad points, but the bad points were mostly the fault of the awful GSIs. The problem sets weren't too long, and they got a lot shorter toward the end, which was a nice break for the last few weeks of the semester. The problems themselves were really well-made did a good job guiding us through the material which, as always, is helpful. The midterms were a big time crunch since they usually weren't problems you could just confidently do outright and not look back (it took some thinking...), but they were curved so it's all good. The lectures followed the book pretty closely, but usually with different (or rephrased) explanations from those Griffiths gave, so they were fairly helpful, although I'm not much of a lectures guy. Also, I never went to office hours, but I have to say I've never seen any professor offer SO MANY office hours. That must have been pretty sweet for the people who went. My biggest complaint is that we went a little slow at the end and didn't cover chapter 9 very thoroughly (the homework on it was just plugging into equations). I was really looking forward to chapter 9... Really, though, Dr. English was probably the best thing about this class. He was really there for his students, with extra office hours, email responses, decent lectures, and lecture videos. The GSIs, on the other hand, dragged this class down. The discussions and midterm reviews were utterly useless. I'm not one to skip discussions usually, but they were just a terrible waste of an hour.

PHYSICS 110A (Fall 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
58 29 25 90 79

Comment: Overall a good professor, however I personally thinks that 1. he expects too much out of students at times 2. I feel like the class would be MUCH more manageable if HWs were given in the way that more over will "walk you through" the problem rather than expect you to make intuitive leaps at times. Though I understand that you "learn" more the way he gives HW now, it would be much easier while overall gaining the same thing from the HW.

PHYSICS 110A (Fall 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
60 75 89 73 65

Comment: Very approachable and helpful outside of class. Neat and organized on the board. I like that he dismisses garbage questions in lecture. Exams were first too easy, and then too hard, but the class is curved anyways. Homework is less time consuming than average.

PHYSICS 110A (Fall 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
88 85 61 85 87

Comment: Well prepared and clear lecturer. He tries to answer all the questions but given the short amount of time we have, he may sound rushed at times. Though I haven't been to his office hours due to schedule conflicts, he offers office hours every week and extra if circumstances call for it. I have to say he needs to gauge the length of his midterms. Homeworks are time consuming but the results are enlightening. And his handwriting is not tiny. I sit in the last row and I can clearly read every letter. Juz sayin'

PHYSICS 110A (Fall 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
100 100 70 100 100

Comment: Damon is an awesome instructor. Very clear lectures, and helpful homeworks, though they were sometimes slightly tedious. He was quite helpful when asked questions outside of class as well. The exams were long, but that is standard in upper division physics, and he was very open to input about how they could be improved.

PHYSICS 110A (Fall 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
86 56 59 90 75

Comment: This is mostly a response to the 12% rating below. For the most part, the professor was very helpful in answering questions, sometimes even accidentally giving the homework answer before stopping himself in the process. His jokes aren't awful; he should make jokes more often actually. I found the professor very approachable and not passive-aggressive at all. You can say all Physics professors are somewhat passive-aggressive, but at least English is very respectful and patient with students. With respect to midterms, I agree that the MTs are tough. The 2nd midterm was graded unfairly in my honest opinion: the last question was conceptually easier than the earlier problems but was rewarded with more points. The time was drastically short, so I did not have time to see the last question, resulting in a relatively low score that could have been much higher. I guess the best test-taking strategy would be "breadth over depth:" answering all questions partially will give more points than answering a few questions in-depth.

PHYSICS 110A (Fall 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
100 100 84 100 100

Comment: I've been rather lazy and chosen to read reviews and not leave any myself in the past. But after seeing such a poor review of this amazing teacher I feel compelled to inform the reader of how inaccurate of a portrayal that comment gives. He has covered all of the material incredibly thoroughly, providing insight and avenues for further independent study for those who appreciated the details. The homework has been hard enough to be interesting but never out of reach. The second exam was longer than it likely should have been, but the teacher admitted his mistake and the exam was curved so life goes on. Additionally the teacher has been responsive to all of my questions and has gladly offered answers. Finally, the teachers jokes are funny and making decent physics jokes is no easy task. Case and point, it took me ~5 minutes to find a joke not completely terrible to post and it wasn't even relevant. Q. Why is Epsilon afraid of Zeta? A. Because Zeta Eta Theta!

PHYSICS 110A (Fall 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
93 62 45 100 100

Comment: EM is a very difficult and unintuitive subject for many people. So, some struggling in the course is expected due to the nature of the material. Overall, he has been one of my better professors in my physics career. He does have some ridiculous assignments and exams and it does get quite frustrating sometimes. However, that has little to do with the quality of the professor and more to do with the fact that this is a hard subject for me personally. He has done everything he could to try teach us the material and is very thorough in his explanations. Even though some of the homework have been frustrating and seemed ridiculous, he is easily accessible and very thorough in replies if you ask for help in the emails or in office hours. He is very eager to help students understand the material and his jokes are quite amusing. Good professor, frustrating, but fair homework and exams.

PHYSICS 110A (Fall 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
86 83 69 75 85

Comment: Cool guy. Makes physicist jokes during class, which as a physicist, he should. Lectures are one of the more legible ones I had out of all my physics classes, and he tries to improve by recording lectures- I mean, not many professors try to record his own lecture to see how he can improve himself, right? He holds his office hours in reading room, which is somewhat more accessible. His homeworks are fair if you try to read the book and listen to his lectures- but hard enough to challenge you, which is how an upper division homework should be. I don't think he should be accused for not giving enough prep material for midterms, since some professors- even one of my favorite ones- didn't give any practice homeworks- its more of an optional, not a 'responsibility' of a professor. first exam was fair, though required bit of thought. Second exam was hard, given the number of problems for the time constraint, but except one of the homework problems, most of them were, as he said, straight out of homework. I think if he allotted more time for MWF students(including me), we could have done better. He does dodge some of the time consuming or less relevant questions, but as some below says, it is fine- they can ask it later if they are interested enough it in, right? Overall, clear boardwork, decent homework, LOT OF(much more than usual professors) enthusiasm for teaching, good knowledge of his subject. Can't help if you don't like his style, but I must say he is a pretty good professor.

PHYSICS 110A (Fall 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
90 84 74 87 100

Comment: Also writing this to compensate for the nasty posting below. The class is actually very fair and manageable for an upper division class. The problem sets are fairly long--but nowhere near as long or exhausting as some other problem sets I have received in other classes (see Chandler, Stat Mech....now those are truly long and exhaustive problem sets that never end). The homework was long enough to be effective at teaching us how to manipulate the concepts and solve classical problems, but not long to the point of tedium. Yes, it does take hours. But it's how you learn. In terms of lectures, English is not the best lecturer I've had, but not the worst either. The main thing that I like about his lectures are that he teaches in a fairly organized fashion, writes the subject titles on the board, and writes down the important text pertinent to the derivation or concept or problem. (There do exist professors who write only equations on the board...and all over the board). Furthermore, he strives to conceptually explain the various concepts and ideas--which is very handy, seeing as all of his problems rely on utilizing your understanding of the concepts, applying them to set up the problem--and then solving the problem is just calculus and algebra. When students ask questions, I have never perceived any condescension. In fact, a few times it appeared he was just as confused initially, then gave it some thought, and came up with an explanation. Sometimes the answers might seem circuitous, but most on-the-spot answers from professors in physical sciences are circuitous. The key is to listen for the main concepts being used, maybe write them down, then go home, and think about how those main concepts mentioned lead to the explanation or solution. Furthermore, English does mean well and seems to genuinely want to help students--what Berkeley professor adds extra office hours for the week? And the exams are completely fair for upper division coursework. I get the feeling that many of the students in the class are juniors taking their first upper div classes--so they still think that they're supposed to ace exams. In reality, though, the exams are supposed to be challenging and yield averages below 50%. I like to think of it as a constant reminder that in the sciences, no one knows everything. You're supposed to feel stupid at a certain point. The key to getting through the score you get on an exam is to simply take a deep breath, and check up on how close to the average you got. That's all that really matters, score-wise. Then the rest is learning how to solve the problems, and remembering for next time. Actually, I'd also like to point out that technically English's exams aren't that bad--a lot of the time it's actually the same set of concepts used as in a homework problem, except with some twist. Finally, I think that in terms of Physics 110a, the greatest weakness of the course is in the discussion section. I think that the discussions simply are not rigorous enough. The discussions in other physical science classes I have taken were much more information and problem-solving dense, packing in much more theory review, clarification/re-explanation of concepts in lecture, example problems, and even homework hints. In 110A I leave the weekly discussion sections having learned 1 or 2 things. In other discussions for physical science classes, I have left having learned 5-6 things. There is also the issue that physics GSI's are not required to attend lecture--which means half the time they're asking the students what we covered in lecture. And so then the discussions aren't necessarily complementary with the lecture. Had the GSI's attended lecture, they might have been able to patch holes in or clarify English's explanations much more effectively. GSI's can be the best secondary liaison between the professor and students, since they're typically young enough to most effectively connect with undergrads.

PHYSICS 110A (Fall 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
72 69 38 80 94

Comment: Professor English may not be the best teacher ever but he is definitely not the worst. Although sometimes he can come off as passive-aggressive when answering questions I do truly believe that the tries hard and does his best to be earnest and helpful. I think he is extremely smart and has a great deal of knowledge regarding the subject at hand. Sometimes lectures move a bit faster than I find comfortable and he gets a bit too into the in depth mathematics, but if you are reading the book and doing the homework you should be okay. The homework is extremely challenging, as are his exams. However one should note that this is and upper division class at Berkeley and this sort of difficulty is to be expected. Where can this professor improve? More patients, moving more slowly through the material, making slightly easier homework problems, and making shorter more do-able exams. Where does he excel? In knowledge, passion, enthusiasm, and willingness to improve. If you are willing to talk to him, he is extremely helpful. I suggest taking classes with English, but just be willing to work extremely hard.

PHYSICS 110A (Fall 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
100 91 50 85 100

Comment: I'm writing this review partially to compensate for the horrible and completely unwarranted review posted below. English is a good lecturer and I found his boardwork to be very neat and easily readable, though I always sat in the first few rows. If you don't sit in the back you should be fine. He takes some time after going through difficult or especially confusing topics to field questions from the students. What's even better is that he defers stupid questions, telling people who are obviously trying to show off or who are just not getting it to talk to him after class, enabling him to cover more material in lecture and spend more, less-constrained time responding to queries that most of the class might find tiresome. He has a good sense of humor which made me look forward to class. Homeworks were fairly straightforward, at a level appropriate for an upper-division EM course, gave plenty of practice with the core concepts, and made me feel like I really knew the material by the time I finished. Regarding the exams: the first midterm had too high of an average, by his estimation, and I believe he overcorrected in the second midterm. Scores were low, but the class is curved, so it really isn't that big of a deal. He raised the point value of one of the questions on the second midterm during the grading process, which I take issue with and which is the reason for the relatively low exam score, because good test taking strategy directs focus towards the more valuable questions when time is restricted, and had my classmates known I'm sure many of them would have opted to spend more time on that question. At the beginning of the semester, on the bspace page, professor English told us what weeks (6th and 11th) we would have midterms and that the exact days would be announced closer to the time of the tests. If you know how to count and can find a calendar, this should not be a problem. I'm unsure what privacy violations the previous reviewer experienced, but as far as I know professor English only released the exam score histogram, average, and standard deviation, and graphs relating midterm scores to total homework scores. Numbers only, with no names attached. In summary, one of the best professors I've had at Berkeley. Smart, reasonable, and conscious of student needs. If given the opportunity again, I will definitely sign up for his section.

PHYSICS 110A (Fall 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
12 26 13 10 71

Comment: Easily the worst instructor I've ever had. Lecture makes no sense, he writes reeeeaaaaly tiny and gets annoyed if you ask him to write bigger (and I find him to be a bit passive-aggressive in general). He always takes time to see if the class has questions, and when we do ask questions, English makes sure to give gives the most circuitous, unhelpful "answers" ever. He makes horrifically awful jokes that make you feel uncomfortable on his behalf. Individual exam questions are fair considering the homework (which is really hard), but he assigns 4 or 5 ~15-20 minute problems for a 50 minute exam (even my GSI thought the exam was too long). Also some of the point values on exam questions were reduced during the grading process, making it difficult to gauge how much time you should spend on a problem. English does not provide definitive midterm dates until ~2 weeks before the midterm (if you ask to early, he might say a midterm will be in the tenth or eleventh week, but he really doesn't know, even though he's supposed to provide a syllabus with those dates the first week of class). Also doesn't seem to have much respect for student's privacy, particularly in respect to divulging information about their grades.

PHYSICS 137B (Spring 2009)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
50 50 50 50 50