Physics Consultative Committee
CC117: Minutes of meeting of Thursday 26th May 2005
Present: Joseph Bae, John Edmundson, Rhodri Mainsell, Alice Myerson, Lionel Matsuya, Andy Nowacki, Steffen Sahl, Katrina Soderquest, Erica Thompson, Prof. Longair, Dr Allison, Prof. Needs.
Apologies: Prof. Parker
Minutes of the last meeting were approved.
2. Matters Arising
There were no matter arising. Andy Nowacki apologised for his own absence, and that of his deputy, at the last meeting.
3. Teaching Committee Matters
A web-based coursework system will be implemented from October 2005. IB Advanced Mathematical Physics will be allowed to run for one more year and then reviewed.
New Part III options next year will be Quantum Optics and Quantum Condensates. The Entrepreneurship exam will be reconsidered. The Part III Review is requesting more flexibility with more sharing of courses across the NST. The Bologna process expects 3 years for a Batchelors degree, 2 for a Masters and 3 for a PhD. We need to make our Part III consistent with this. The Review of Physics wants more formal feedback from the TC to the CC.
4. Part III
Examples classes (Dr. Warner) Score 4 (2 replies)
Attendance was half that of other classes before the project hand in. Need to consider removing one examples class and making the Friday before projects are due free. Some of the questions are two hard.
Overall Part III was regarded as very good.
5. Part II
Quantum Condensed Matter (Prof. Littlewood) Score 3.0 (49 replies)
Very hard course. Well lectured and interesting. Lecturer too fast and some of the explanations beyond the students. Revision in lectures was appreciated. Too much material in course, and the supervisions were not satisfactory.
Astrophysics (Profs Gull and Lasenby) Score 3.4 (64 replies)
Style and content were very different between the two lecturers. Gull was enthusiastic but the handout was confusing, disorganised, with errors. There was too much material on fluids. Lasenbys material was difficult, but the lectures were liked very much.
Particles and Nuclear (Dr Gibson) Score 3.3 (50 replies)
Wide but shallow course, with a lot of material treated at a superficial level. Handouts were well organised. Overall an enjoyable course.
Soft Condensed Matter (Prof. Donald) Score 3.1 (54 replies)
Overall, well liked, and a good lecturer. More qualitative and less mathematical course. Some examples just require numbers to be put into equations, and were not liked. Others were very hard and could not be answered from the course material. In the handout, some equations were not derived, and it was not obvious what needed to be learnt. The demonstrations were liked.
In general, more supervisions were requested. Also, mock exam papers are needed for new courses. Students liked the further work.
6. Part IB
Quantum Mechanics (Dr Hughes) Score 3.1 (60 replies)
The lecturer was very clear, but the style was not exciting. The course contained a lot of material and some found the maths hard. Algebra sometimes obscured the main ideas. The handouts were excellent.
Statistical Physics (Dr Allison) Score 3.5 (61replies)
Good explanations and engaging lecturer. The handout was too brief and did not give enough explanation. Students would like to have three lectures per week so that they finish earlier and have more time to revise. The handouts are a bit crowded, but it is good that there is enough room to write comments on them.
General Comments: Students would like past exam papers on the web.