Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Western Michigan University - Physics is a Mess!

So I attend college at Western Michigan University. I went to Kalamazoo Valley Community College for the first two years of my college career and, I must say, I actually had fun in my classes I took there. And for the last two years I have attended WMU and I started out as a Physics major. What a long, long, loooooooong two years they were. After just two years in the Physics department, I have come to a final conclusion:


The department is a living hell; I am not over exaggerating. Only a fraction of the professors can actually teach and you would be lucky if you had a semester with just these teachers. Unfortunately, the physics department rotates it's professors - so the same person will not teach the same class twice in a row. I took Physics 4200 Analytical Mechanics and my professor actually admitted that he has not teach higher than a 3000-level course in almost ten years. 10 YEARS!? And that class was borderline impossible for me. 

My personal opinion is that all the professors are only there to do research. Most of them, if not all (I am not quite sure), do not have teaching degrees. Do not mistake my intentions here - these people are all extremely brilliant individuals. The Western Michigan University Physics Department is full of bright people. The biggest problem I have with them is that they are not the best at teaching - in fact, the professors that I have been forced to 'learn' from have been sub-par at best! I take classes in other departments (like the Geoscience department and the Foreign Language department) and I become envious (hence my change in major - now I am a part of the Geoscience department!).

Here is a list of the faculty of the WMU Physics Department:
  • Nora Berrah Atomic & Molecular Physics
  • Clement Burns Condensed Matter Physics
  • Sung Chung Condensed Matter Physics
  • Michael Famiano Nuclear Physics
  • Thomas Gorczyca Atomic & Molecular Physics
  • Dean Halderson Nuclear Physics
  • Charles Henderson Physics Education
  • Philip Kaldron
  • Emanuel Kamber Atomic and Molecular Physics
  • Asghar Kayani Condensed Matter Physics
  • Kirk Korista Astronomy
  • Arthur McGurn Condensed Matter Physics
  • Paul Pancella Nuclear Physics
  • Lisa Paulius Condensed Matter Physics
  • Alvin Rosenthal Quantum & Non-Linear Optics
  • David Schuster Physics Education
  • John Tanis Atomic & Molecular Physics
  • Alan Wuosmaa Nuclear Physics
All right... So how many of these professors have some sort of teaching degree? Two. Case closed.

Don't worry folks! I am free of this crazy department come Spring 09.


admin said...

It's not the only department. They have been giving ten year to those without a solid certification.

It's kind of a joke really. And while they are doing this they are packing more people into each of the classes and charging more every year.

Joel said...

I get this at my school too. My networks professor right now is one of the worst teachers I have ever had. Brilliant guy, can't teach worth a wooden nickel.

Mole said...

My product realization professor is a joke. He isnt a professor actually, he is a research engineer. I swear he literally prepares his notes for class on the walk down from his office.