Fernsler, Jonathan  

Physics

2.61/4.00

41 evaluations


PSC 101


Freshman
B
Required (Major)
Dec 2011
I took PSC 101 for my LS major. There were 2 other teachers that taught this course and from what i hear they were both much better. Fernsler is a very very nice guy and he is very approachable, but he is not a good teacher. It was his first time teaching this class, and you could tell. He did not present the material clearly at all and did not prepare us for the final, yet graded very harshly on it. Definitely have to teach yourself in this class, which is hard because the book sucks. Pretty easy class until the final lowers your grade. Advice: Get study buddies from those with a different professor.

PHYS 121


Sophomore
B
Required (Support)
Aug 2013
I took Physics 121 during the summer and I believe it was Fernsler's first time teaching 121. Overall it was a pretty doable, good class. The 2 hours flew by because we were given time to try and work out problems individually and within groups so you would know right then and there if you were understanding the concepts or not. We had mastering physics hw due every week, my best advice is DO HW WITH A GROUP. You lose points for every wrong answer so working in a group is great to get second opinions/ have different people submit answers. The quizzes were fairly easily and straight out of the lectures. The tests were definitely the hardest part about this class, but Fernsler gives tons of partial credit. Just for writing something down you will probably get half the points. Fernsler is such a cool guy and a decent professor.

PHYS 122


Sophomore
N/A
Required (Support)
Jun 2017
I think this was the first time Fernsler taught this class and it was so awful. He spent the entire class period asking us to try problems that we hadn't practiced yet and then singled out students to answer the question in front of the class. When we didn't get it right he just acted annoyed and treated us like we were stupid. "Come on, you should know this" should be the title of the class. There were many times he went to far with this and really embarrassed students who didn't know how to answer a question, or who tried and were incorrect. He has no interest in actually helping students learn the material and just expected us to know the correct answers right away. Because he spent so much class time on questions like this, he rarely got through all of the material and ended the class almost daily saying "well you should be able to figure out the rest". He was upset with the average on the first midterm because it was "too high" and then proceeded to give us a second midterm which was nearly impossible and when we asked what the average was on that test, he literally laughed. All in all, he doesn't express material clearly or thoroughly and is not very helpful or understanding in office hours.

PHYS 131


Freshman
N/A
Required (Support)
Feb 2011
While he is a very nice professor I found that his way of teaching is mainly based on in class examples and while that helped refresh my memory of last year's high school physics, it didn't help when I was lost on the more difficult topics. Also the homework is due before he teaches the concepts on class which makes it more difficult than it needs to be. I haven't have been able to go to his office hours due to class conflicts but haven't really needed to. His midterms are similar to the homework problems from MasteringPhysics.com and he sorts you into about twelve groups of three so it's good to get to know your partners as you might get to work with them in the lab section. The labs are easy and tend to get out a half an hour early if you don't goof around but it is super annoying that you'll do all of the calculations and answer all of the questions on the lab and then he tells you that he wants the work for all of the equations and other information which you have to go back and recompute as you usually have excel do your computations for graphs. It helps if you ask him specifically what he wants before getting too far into the lab. One thing I found really helpful is the weekly quizzes on Fridays that cover the information from the week and the online homework. He is just not the best at teaching the information from different angles so if you are confused by the way he teaches a certain concept, it might take him a few times to catch the fact that you don't understand. Overall a very nice guy that has fun with physics and the in class demonstrations but can be a bit lacking on the teaching skills.

PHYS 132


Sophomore
N/A
Required (Support)
Feb 2009
If you want to learn anything don't take him!!!!!!!!! He is the most unorganized teacher I have ever had! He just read from slides all quarter, and taught ZERO about anything. The tests were random and not based on the homework at all! Office hours are also useless. For 132 he was clueless.


Junior
B
Required (Support)
Mar 2009
This guy is great, not the best teacher out there, but definitely one of the better ones. He's lectures are a bit unorganized, but he manages to make them always entertaining with some pretty cool examples and demos, and if you ever need help, he's more than willing to help you out on your problems. He's truly into physics. The tests were very fair, and on the first one where not everyone did so good, he allowed corrections. The weekly quizes can get tricky though because they're usually always conceptual based, and nothing else. So don't expect to just pop in numbers into given equations in his classes. The only bad part is that he seems to rush a bid to try and get things covered, but I found it not so bad, as long as you do the homework and go to him for help when needed you shouldn't have any problems.


Freshman
N/A
Required (Support)
Jul 2009
i'm currently taking fernsler for the summer and he's a cool guy. however, regardless of doing the homework and going to office hours, it's definitely been a struggle so far with the midterms. maybe it's the cramming of the information in 8 weeks, but so far, fernsler's lectures consists of reading powerpoint slides that are basically copy pasted from the book, and it hardly helps with the masteringphysics.com homework that, by the way, is graded for accuracy - that's right...homework graded for accuracy. Learning just got that much harder when practicing gets graded. not only that, but the homework hardly matches up with the midterms. maybe 1/4 of the problems on the midterms are actually similar to the homework which makes doing the homework ridiculously annoying. maybe he's better during 10 week periods and a student grader. i'll give him the benefit of the doubt and say he's average.


Freshman
N/A
Required (Major)
Mar 2010
Fernsler is way better than people give him credit for. He is an awesome interesting and passionate professor who happens to be very lazy. Mastering physics sucks, but it is really not that big of a deal, his tests are pretty easy and he grades really nicely. Fernsler was not bad at all and I would be lucky to take him again


Freshman
B
Required (Support)
Mar 2010
fernsler is a very good teacher. The hw on mastering physics sucks and doesnt really apply on the midterms but the question you turn in does. The midterms are fair and the final is fair too. He teaches well and does cool demonstrations. He knows his stuff and is great in office hours.


Freshman
C
Required (Support)
Jun 2011
Physics at poly is hard, but Fernsler makes it much easier. He a really good professor who teaches well, has you work out problems, and does tons of demos in class. 15% of your grade is from lab, 15% is homework, and 10% are his simple quizzes. If you can just nail those parts, it won't be too difficult of a class. The midterms and final are tough, but nothing out of line. Fernsler really lays out the course material well, grades everything really fair, and won't test you on any material that wasn't covered. If you have to take a physics course, I would definitely recommend professor Fernsler.


Junior
N/A
Required (Support)
Sep 2011
Terrible teacher. Took this as a summer course and was expecting it to be pretty straightforward since I was retaking this class. Turns out it was the exact opposite. He basically just read off the slides that he took from the publisher. He explained things somewhat, but since I was retaking the class, it was fairly obvious that he was failing to discuss key points leaving students confused. The midterms were fairly challenging and only somewhat related to the material presented. We would spend a descent amount of time on certain topics, and you would think he was going to ask it on the midterm, which was not true.


Freshman
B
Required (Support)
Jun 2015
Fernsler is such a homie. It seems like a lot of people don't like him. He's a totally laid back surfer bro who looks like Thor, sounds like Thor, is built like Thor, he probably is Thor. Fernsdog loves deriving equations on the board and then leading that into a problem. He also loves to inject himself into conversations that students are having which is pretty entertaining haha. Watch out if you're surfing Hazards because Fernsdog will fail you from the class if you burn him on a punchy looking right-hander.


Freshman
B
Required (Support)
Aug 2015
I really liked Fernsler. Definitely a surfer dude, the most laid back professor I had for sure. (I am a junior now) But his "chill vibes" didn't come across as unprepared or unorganized to me. He always had a plan for lecture and usually accomplished what he planned. Sometimes he went over the hour but always apologized and understood if you had to leave, maybe he has since worked on that. Super helpful in office hours. Tests were pretty easy. Hw was online on mastering physics. doing it wasn't fun, but its an easy A in HW and it gets you the practice you need for the tests. Just park yourself somewhere nice with your laptop and a place to write and it goes quickly. 10/10 would recommend Fernsler


Sophomore
B
Required (Support)
Dec 2016
My favorite class of this quarter. Hes a very energetic and excited guy which is a big plus for lecture and lab. Hes really interesting and the content of it was well explained and helped make the tests easy!

PHYS 133


Sophomore
B
Required (Support)
Dec 2006
Dr. Jon is by far one of the best professors I've had at Cal Poly (seriously). He's really fun and easy to approach if you ever have a question on anything. In his class he likes to use alot of cool demonstrations and sometimes he'll go off and tell a story about his specialty or some of his old jobs. As far as his class structure homework is given out of the text book and workbook about once a week (usually a chapter) but if you need an extension he'll usually give you an extra day or so. The homework doesn't take too long to finish but be prepared to spend a couple hours towards the end of the quarter when you start learning about magnetism and induced currents. Quizzes are also weekly and there are three exams (two midterms and a final). The quizzes are really easy and are conceptual in nature so as long as you follow along with the reading and pay attention in class you should ace every single one. Overall I HIGHLY recommend him for both lecture and lab.


Sophomore
B
Required (Support)
Dec 2007
Dr. Fernsler was a very nice guy throughout the quarter, but he wasn't a very good professor. His lectures weren't very informative, and I had to do the bulk of my learning from the book. Like, when it came time to do the homework, I would have to constantly look through the book for material that wasn't even covered in class. Another thing that annoyed me was his PowerPoints. He would constantly switch between the chalkboard and the PowerPoint, and it was never clear what students should write down. He didn't go over derivations either, and just threw equations at us. So, I learned a lot of formulas in lecture, but not the concepts or ideas behind them. I still got a good grade in the class, but I can say with confidence that it was no thanks to Fernsler.


Junior
A
Required (Support)
Dec 2007
hawt stuff


Sophomore
N/A
Required (Support)
Jan 2008
Professor Fernsler is very down-to-earth and makes you VERY comfortable with the material. I only had him for lab for PHYS133, and probably earned an A or B in the lab. I really enjoyed working in his lab, his youth and positive attitude makes phys halfway decent. Aside from his teaching, the write-ups in the 133 lab really sucked, usually over 10 pgs long in questions and graphs.


Sophomore
B
Required (Support)
Aug 2009
dr fernsler is alright. he doesn't really know everything about physics, i went to his office hours and asked him a problem i wasn't able to solve on the homework and he didn't know how to do it. he's pretty lazy also, he takes forever to post up slides on his website. his teaching methods arn't very helpful either. his slides are copy and paste of the old physics book and he uses examples from the old physics workbook so it doesn't correlate to the book we're using. his midterms were alright. study lectures more than the homework because thats where he gets the most material from.


Sophomore
N/A
Required (Support)
Mar 2013
Starting with the CONS: Unorganized. Very little structure to lecture. Has no sense of time. Wastes time in class. Assigns mastering physics which can take hours. Is fairly new at teaching and not great at explaining material coherently PROS: Nice guy. Midterms aren't terrible. SUMMARY: If you're an engineer who needs structure and organization i suggest finding a different professor. Everyone else.... I also suggest finding a different professor. Though our Physics department needs work there are better professors than Dr. Fernsler


Sophomore
C
Required (Support)
Mar 2013
If you are the kind of person that doesn't excel in physics, this is a terrible fit for you. Fernsler is a cool guy, but definitely not a good teacher. Mastering Physics sucks, the final was harder than the midterms, and he obviously didn't curve anything. Some advice: he uses (basically) the same midterms each quarter, so if you want an edge, find someone who took him before. Every sign pointed to me getting a B in this class but it came out a C for some reason (yeah, I'm bitter about that). Try to avoid this professor.


Sophomore
B
Required (Support)
Apr 2013
He never posts grades online. Online hw every week was useful and easy points. One problem was turned in every week, which was graded by a TA. Grading on tests was pretty easy and he was very helpful during office hours. tests were based upon lab and homwork problems. His lectures are entertaining, and usually informative.


Sophomore
B
Required (Support)
Aug 2014
All the concepts needed to answer questions on the exams were presented either in the lecture, lab the Mastering Physics assignments. If anything was unclear, (e.g. Mastering Physics questions) he discusses your method of problem solving and clarifies whatever misconception you may have had. Very cool professor that definitely wants all his students to understand the material. The best professor I have had in my required physics classes.

PHYS 141


Sophomore
N/A
Required (Support)
Feb 2007
He uses Mastering Physics online (which sucks in itself)...and he said at the beginning that he expects you to learn by reading the book, not from his lectures. If this is your first time taking physics....don't take him! He isn't very clear, and although he tries to play "the cool teacher" calling himself "Dr. Jon", it's difficult to learn the material from him. If you've already taken physics before, like me, then it isn't horrible. However, if it's your first time, I'd HIGHLY suggest someone else.


Freshman
D
Required (Support)
Apr 2007
Ehhh, it sucked... badly. I mean, Fernsler is a good guy, awesome at one-on-ones and office hours, but I think he falls apart when its a class lecture. He spends all class doing 1 example and its usually the easiest one of the chapter. I see him more as a friend than an instructor, since I basically stopped going to class and went to office hours since he's better there. He grades really really... risky. It's not bad when you know your stuff, but Midterms and Finals consisted of 4 question total; 25% each question. They all consisted of conceptual questions, no numbers whatsoever... which made my studying useless. I think I deserved my grade but he's an awesome guy. If you remember a lot of High School Physics, I say go with Fernsler. Ohh, and "Mastering Physics" will beat the butt out of you.


Freshman
A
Required (Support)
Feb 2008
Fernsler could be really confusing to someone who does not have any background in Physics. I only got an A because I took AP Physics in high school and really understood the material.


Freshman
A
Required (Support)
Mar 2008
Fernsler was awsome. Get him as your teacher. The material was presented clearly and even though I took standard physics and AP physics at my high school, this class was still fun. The tests are short and you get most of the points by demonstrating that you know how to do the problem. My only complaint is that you do the homework online with this terrible program that won't accept an answer unless everything is correct including capitalization, greek letters, and spacing. I wanted to murder the person who created this system. It was a waste of 50$ just to get an internet code. This class is real easy to get an A in if you have been exposed to physics before.


Freshman
A
Elective
Apr 2008
Dr. Fernsler.... He was... an above average professor? He definately could teach the material... but I just felt like something was missing. His weekly lab quizes were helpfull and would usually test on the weeks material and should come easy with the homework... But i don't know, others said he should be viewed more as a really good friend, and yeah, he's a great guy and I really liked him... In the beginning of class he tells you that you need to read the book in addition to attend class and this is really true.... the book is a must for this class.. About the tests, they end up being pretty easy, just make sure you understand the concepts of the material cus he usually asked questions with little or no variables.(Like having a picture with two boats at different distances away from a ship, and their trajectories, and asking which one would get a box of donuts fired from the ship first)... and ps, when studying for his final make sure you review the inclass examples and the hardest problems from the kinematics chapter... our test consisted of mc questions, and then the same questions from our in class examples with a difficult kinematics problem. Overall, i'd definately take him again if i got the chance.


Freshman
B
Required (Support)
Jun 2008
Pretty good teacher, really tries hard. tests aren't too bad, just do the online homework (not just using the answer guide) and you should be okay.


Sophomore
B
Required (Support)
Oct 2008
He's a great guy, and his tests match exactly what you've discussed in lecture, but at the same time, it feels to simple. He doesn't go in depth with many of the ideas and as long as you get the simple examples you should do well in class. I got a B without ever reading the book or really studying, and I skipped the last weeks homework. As a side note it sucks that he requires you to buy the $50 key to use mastering physics (the book plus student handbook is already expensive enough), where all the homework is done, things have to be in perfect format or even the slightest thing will make the answer wrong.


Freshman
A
Required (Major)
Nov 2008
Lecture isn't exactly exciting, but he does give some really cool examples sometimes. Quizzes every last day of the week that can be tricky sometimes, but otherwise no problem at all. Midterms are very fair. He uses masteringphysics and he does give no-credit practice problems noone does, but I noticed sometimes those would appear on tests. I felt he prepared us very very well for the common final. But then again 141 is by far the easiest in the physics lineup.


Sophomore
N/A
Required (Support)
Nov 2010
Fernsler has been one of the best teachers in my time at Cal Poly. This bro is probably the greatest Physics teacher possible. Mastering Physics sucks, but the tests/quizzes are easy.


Sophomore
D
Required (Support)
Jan 2011
I have never took phys before, so that's a problem. He likes concepts alot and he really likes to give out examples during class for students to solve. he isn't really good at explaining stuff. so if you can't really self-learn or had no experiences with phys, dont take him. i kinda regret taking him, he doesn't really know how to recognize students' issues in learning. but he is a really chill dude.


Freshman
A
Required (Support)
Jul 2011
Dr. Fernsler is a fairly chill professor who really wants his students to learn. His lectures weren't the greatest, but at least his tests and quizzes were not that hard. He's also understanding outside of class so office hours are a good idea.


Freshman
N/A
Required (Major)
Feb 2015
Take him! He's a down to earth, funny guy and he really wants his students to learn the material. Seriously he's dope af.


Freshman
N/A
Required (Support)
Mar 2015
If you haven't taken physics before, I would strongly recommend you NOT to take Fernsler. He is a happy-go-lucky guy who seems knowledgeable about the material, but he lacks teaching skills. The way he runs class is by putting up a problem on the board and saying, "Talk to your neighbors and see if you can figure this problem out". After about 5 to 10 minutes of this nonsense, he then calls on students to tell him how to do the problem. His teaching method is basically just agreeing or disagreeing with what students tell him. He talks to us like we know the material already and often gives this reasoning for not finishing problems in class: "oh you guys should know what to do from here". Uh excuses me, there's a reason why we are taking physics. It's because we don't know physics. One day he told the class he forgot his lesson plan and I laughed because I didn't know he lesson planned at all. He is a very unprepared, lazy professor who uses Mastering Physics (annoying online homework that you have to purchase) and seems to be always "busy" during office hours. If you are stuck with him, your best bet for learning is by reading/taking notes from the textbook and even sitting in other physics classes, that's what I had to do. Good luck!


Freshman
B
Required (Major)
Jan 2016
Fernsler was honestly my favorite teacher the quarter i had him. he was fun in class, taught the material well, gave loads of examples in class to work on with groups, and was just overall a fun person to have as a teacher. the online homework was a pain to do while you were doing it but it helped a lot in review for the final. the only problem with ferns is that his midterms were literally impossible. he does curve them a bunch t make up for it, but they were just hell. i studied obscene amounts and scraped by with a B in the class. do the homework and the study for the quizzes, and you'll be fine. overall good teacher

PHYS 142


Sophomore
N/A
Required (Major)
Mar 2009
Great guy to take physics with. He's definitely one of the easier profs. His test problems are very straightforward, and there are usually no tricky/involved calculations. If you can do the harder problems on your homework, you will be more than prepared for his exams. While there isn't much problem-solving, Fernsler DOES stress theory. You'll find that all his quizzes test your general knowledge of the subject and alot of what you do in lab will creep up in the exams. That said, it would be wise not to skip his lectures.


Sophomore
B
Required (Support)
Apr 2009
Ferndog was a very mediocre teacher. He wasn't bad but wasn't great. If you don't struggle with Physics, go ahead and take him. He's a pretty cool guy but, again, mediocre as a teacher.

PHYS 145


Freshman
A
Required (Major)
Feb 2016
A good teacher, who will sometimes get a little confused during the lecture. Explains topics pretty quickly occasionally leaving out some details. However, he does assign problems and walk around the class and does a very good job of helping you individually.

MCRO 465


Junior
C
Required (Major)
Nov 2016
Fuck this guy. Id like to stick my tounge up his ass.