Physics Class

kpdad2023

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Feb 26, 2019
Messages
97
What branch of physics is taught in the first year at USMMA? Is it mechanical physics? What are the teaching methods used? My DS (a high school senior) is currently into his 2nd semester of AP Honors Mechanical Physics having completed a non AP physics class his junior year. He is also taking his 2nd semesters of calculus. Wanting to understand how prepared he will be.
 

kpmom2013

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Apr 14, 2009
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He will be very well prepared. My DS did not take physics in high school. My DD took physics in high school, but it was not AP. Both did well in KP physics. Physics is one of the classes known as "plebe killers," meaning that a number of plebes fail the course, especially Physics 2. The key to success is seeking help early and often.
 

kpdad2023

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Feb 26, 2019
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97
Is the class more geared toward classical Newtonian mechanics or Quantum mechanics or both?
 

beyond

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Dec 8, 2010
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559
The farther I get from the day I graduated the less qualified I become to answer these questions... but when I was there Physics I was Classical Mechanics, drop a ball from a cliff, rotational inertia, and the like. Physics II was Quantum Mechanics, electricity, waves, refraction, heat transfer, etc. If your son can hang in AP Physics with a good high school teacher KP will be no problem. I had Honors Physics my Junior Year of high school, and was at least aware of everything that was covered at KP.

It's been 8 years since I was a plebe though... yeeesh.
 

Mr2020

U.S. Merchant Marine Academy '19
Joined
Dec 27, 2018
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362
The farther I get from the day I graduated the less qualified I become to answer these questions... but when I was there Physics I was Classical Mechanics, drop a ball from a cliff, rotational inertia, and the like. Physics II was Quantum Mechanics, electricity, waves, refraction, heat transfer, etc. If your son can hang in AP Physics with a good high school teacher KP will be no problem. I had Honors Physics my Junior Year of high school, and was at least aware of everything that was covered at KP.

It's been 8 years since I was a plebe though... yeeesh.

Did you have Serafino for physics 2? I had Doumas for 1 and it was a breeze, then Serafino for 2 and I almost tanked it. That was a hard class, the tests were like 4 questions and the class averages were 50-60, so he would curve them to about 70. The Ponies helped a lot in that class though.

There's this new guy named Stancil that makes tests that average out from 30-50, then he does an enormous curve at the end. Hopefully your kid doesn't get that guy.
 

beyond

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Dec 8, 2010
Messages
559
Did you have Serafino for physics 2? I had Doumas for 1 and it was a breeze, then Serafino for 2 and I almost tanked it. That was a hard class, the tests were like 4 questions and the class averages were 50-60, so he would curve them to about 70. The Ponies helped a lot in that class though.

There's this new guy named Stancil that makes tests that average out from 30-50, then he does an enormous curve at the end. Hopefully your kid doesn't get that guy.

I had Hogan for physics 1, he was hard, but it was fair. Kind of like Serafino I think, though based on my limited interactions with him I think Serafino was a better teacher. They both had a good command on the subject and could communicate it. Physics 1 was hard, I had to work at it but I knew what I needed to do to take care of business.

I had Fedunion for physics 2 and oh holy hell what a mess that was. The language barrier was awful and I hadn’t seen as much electricitcy and magnetism stuff in highschool. I found myself 100% zoned out in class, I saw early it was going to be a blood bath. Me and a buddy went in together on paying for a private tutor who taught at a local comunity college. The tutor would work with us for and hour and half in the 4th co study room, neither one of us were particularly smart, but we absolutely destroyed the curve for the class because of the private tutoring. We both beat the class average on the first two tests by 30 points. Absolutely tanked the final, but I had enough points in the bank to pull a B- in the class, and I was plenty happy.


professorbam.com/bam/bam.html is the tutor. He wasn’t cheap, but 3 or 4 days of third mate OT covered his cost easily.
 

kpdad2023

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Feb 26, 2019
Messages
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How much did it cost for the private tutor if you don't mind me asking? Sounds like Doumas want, but both Serafino and Stancil do nice curve at end of the class term. Can you choose the class section and professor like you can at other colleges?
 

Mr2020

U.S. Merchant Marine Academy '19
Joined
Dec 27, 2018
Messages
362
I had Fedunion for physics 2 and oh holy hell what a mess that was. The language barrier was awful and I hadn’t seen as much electricitcy and magnetism stuff in highschool. I found myself 100% zoned out in class, I saw early it was going to be a blood bath. Me and a buddy went in together on paying for a private tutor who taught at a local comunity college. The tutor would work with us for and hour and half in the 4th co study room, neither one of us were particularly smart, but we absolutely destroyed the curve for the class because of the private tutoring. We both beat the class average on the first two tests by 30 points. Absolutely tanked the final, but I had enough points in the bank to pull a B- in the class, and I was plenty happy.

Ah....Good old Fedy. I had him just for lab during physics 1. The lab was a bloodbath. The purpose of the lab was only to learn significant figures and excel, and I would fail my lab every week. I eventually just decided to stop caring and continue failing because I was doing OK in the lecture.

Serafino was certainly a very good teacher and probably the best there now, but his tests were just tough and abstract, much more so than Doumas' stuff.

How much did it cost for the private tutor if you don't mind me asking? Sounds like Doumas want, but both Serafino and Stancil do nice curve at end of the class term. Can you choose the class section and professor like you can at other colleges?

Not sure, I never got private tutoring. But if it makes the difference between passing and failing the money is WORTH IT. You really want Doumas. The other guys don't tell you about the curve because they don't want everybody relaxing. They want you to work like you're going to fail, the curve doesn't happen till the very end.

You will not pick a single class/section/professor until you're a 1/C (Senior). I've been able to sign up for ONE class in almost four years, and it was a Humanities class.
 

beyond

10-Year Member
Joined
Dec 8, 2010
Messages
559
How much did it cost for the private tutor if you don't mind me asking? Sounds like Doumas want, but both Serafino and Stancil do nice curve at end of the class term. Can you choose the class section and professor like you can at other colleges?

Haha. Choice? Free will? Not at KP. You give up any semblance of control over your life, so no, you don't get to pick. Honestly though, don't fret about it, it is what it is, you can get through it, and thousands of people already have. You're gona have some bad professors and it's going to suck, you'll have some good ones (Tisch, Nicholas, Rogan, Barchita, etc). KP isn't rocket science, if you bust *** and you're a good dude it is 100% doable.

It's been 8 years since I used the tutor... I'm sure you can reach out to him and ask, link in the other post. Your kid might not need him, if he's doing AP Physics well enough that he think he's going to pass an AP Exam, he probably will be in pretty good shape at KP.
 
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