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CC114: Minutes of meeting of Thursday 20th May 2004

Physics Consultative Committee

CC114: Minutes of meeting of Thursday 20th May 2004

Present: M Banglawala, Ms Carley, Mr Cheadle, Mr Credgington, Mr Hopkinson, Mr McNeil, Mr Plant, Mr Yianni, Prof. Longair, Dr Allison, Prof. Parker.

Apologies: Prof. Needs, Mr Revill, Ms Guebert.

1. Minutes

Minutes of the last meeting were approved.

2. Matters Arising

There were no matter arising.

3. Teaching Committee Matters

The main issue is the IB course: the thermodynamics course, dynamics, theoretical physics and maths. The thermo course will be replaced with a new lecturer. Dynamics will be cut and the examples simplified. A working party has reported on theoretical physics and maths, and it recommends that the purpose of the course is clarified, and material refocussed. These changes were welcomed by the student representatives.

4. Part III

Examples classes (Dr. Warner) Score 4 (2 replies)

Not very well attended, perhaps of clashes with the project writeups.

The style of project writeups was discussed, and the problem of writing up problems encountered. It was emphasised that difficulties encounted should be written up, and marks would be awarded - marks were not depended on success of the project itself, but on the quality of the work done.

Students did not realise that feedback forms for the projects were available, so response was poor.

Students are encouraged to feedback comments on the structure of the course for the revisions coming next year.

5. Part II

Examples classes (Prof. Liang) Score 3.3 (3 replies)

Generally well received. Perhaps more tripos style questions would be useful. Attendance was respectable, but some students had not realised that they were taking place. It would be a good idea to publicise them more in lectures. The teaching office could send emails warning of deadlines and

Experiment E2 (Dr Sirringhaus et al.) Score 3.3 (3 replies)

Some experiments had computing problems, but in general were ok. Some feel that not enough credit is given for further work compared to exams. It was noted that the total load in Part II will be less next year.

6. Part IB

Quantum Mechanics (Dr Hughes) Score 4.0 (83 replies)

Interesting course with a very good lecturer. The humorous touches were much appreciated. There is a lot of new material and examples to cover in the last section of the course. It is unsatisfactory that the microphone in the Cockcroft was not fixed over the length of the course.

Statistical Physics (Dr Allison) Score 3.5 (72 replies)

Many positive comments, and the lectures were enjoyed. The handout was considered confusing, with some material appearing without backup. The intention was that this material could be found in extra reading noted on the website. The other area of concern was that the questions didnt seem closely based on the course.

General Comments: Well liked, much better than IA.

7. Part IA

Statistical and Quantum Physics (Prof. Longair) Score 3.8 (70 replies)

Excellent and enthusiastic lectures. Material was considered hard (especially the statistics and quantum), many people liked parts but not all of the course. This is difficult to digest at the end of the year. The handout was considered dense. Perhaps a rearrangement into columns of maths and text. The intention was to highlight important points in margin boxes.

Statistical and Quantum Physics (Dr Alexander) Score 3.3 (73 replies)

Some people find it hard to concentrate over the full lecture, and would appreciate a change of pace in the middle of the lecture. The simulations were generally appreciated.

Practicals (Dr. Ford) Scores: A course 3.0 (67 replies), B course 3.1 (70 replies)

The choice of practicals was much appreciated, although the scrum to allocate them was not liked. Some mechanism should be invented to allocate fairly. Spreadsheet physics and Fourier were liked, while Polymers was really disliked.

General Comments: emails to the whole yeargroup is very useful. It would be helpful if the reps could send mails directly to the list.

8. Any Other Business

The members of the Consultative Committee were warmly thanked for their work during the year.

9. Next Meeting

The next Consultative Committee meeting will be on Thursday 2nd December 2004 at 09:30 in the Committee Room.

MAP, May 2004