Feb 25, 2020
I really liked the concept behind this course. Offering a class to teach somewhat-advanced topics in quantum physics, for people that aren’t (or aren’t planning to become) experts in the field, is a fantastic idea. That being said, I personally found a few issues with the class.
First of all, the “about” section describes it as: “An introduction to quantum physics with emphasis on topics at the frontiers of research…”. However, in no shape or form this is an introductory course to the subject. I think someone without any previous exposure to quantum mechanics will find the material very difficult to follow. For instances, concepts like operators, Dirac notation, time evolution, commutators are used in the first few lectures without a formal introduction. I think that perhaps having some exposure to introductory concepts in quantum mechanics (like in my case) is probably a prerequisite to really be able to get through this course and make it enjoyable. I believe that if I hadn't previously taken another intro course to quantum mechanics, I would have most likely given up after the first lecture.
Second of all, although the first half of the course is very well organized and self-contained, the second half is extremely hard to follow and requires a good amount of extra work to really understand the material. It isn’t necessarily that the material is harder, it is just not explained very well. Also, all quizzes are quite difficult, but the material covered in the first 4 weeks is enough to provide the tools required to solve its homework. Now, for weeks 5 through 8, you are probably going to spend twice (or three times) as long solving the problems; particularly the ones for week 7.
Lastly, I think there is a problem in the way the final exam was structured. The instructors decided to split it into two separate parts, one with 10 question and one with only 6 questions. In order to pass the class, you have to get at least 70% on each of these separately, and you only get one attempt. That means that, in the second part of the final, you can only get one out only six questions wrong, otherwise you fail the whole course! Furthermore, this second part corresponds to the material covered in the second half of the course (which is harder to follow), and there are several question that are NOT multiple option; you actually have to input a number with significant digits and exponents as an answer. This means that, if you get one wrong answer, and let’s say make one single typing mistake inputing another of these answers, you will fail the WHOLE course. I did managed to pass the exam only getting the last question wrong, but the amount of stress I had at this point after realizing I could only make one mistake, and having payed for a potential certificate, and dedicating weeks of my time taking the course very seriously, was ridiculous. I really hope they fix this.
por Anna C•
Feb 06, 2020
too difficult for beginners