Echols, Robert  

Physics

3.31/4.00

78 evaluations


ASTR 101


Senior
B
Required (Major)
Jun 2002
Dr. Echols is a bright cheerful professor that tries very hard to make his class a fun learning experience. He presents the material very clearly and gives one the opportunity to ask questions during his office hours, as well as, after class. His tests are a bit difficult but he grades fairly! He also is open to allowing you to do extra credit! I would highly recommend him to anyone whose major is not in the sciences.


Sophomore
A
Elective
Jun 2002
Prof. Echols is great. Although at first he may seem a little childish, he's just having a good time, which actually is great because a ways into the quarter you being to realize that he aboslutely loves the stuff he teaches, and it makes the stuff that much more interesting. He can be somewhat boring at some times, but I think that anytime you take a 100+ person class, that is bound to happen - all in all, he did a great job presenting the material and defintely made it fun to learn.


Freshman
B
General Ed
Jul 2002
Echols rocks!!! He is one of the nicest professors I have had here, and it makes me laugh how excited he can get about astronomy, he makes it interesting! Especially when he runs around the classroom imitating the earth revolving the sun! He really cares about what grade we get, and I learned a LOT from this class. He is incredibly fair and I would recommend him!! Take Echols!

ASTR 102


Freshman
B
General Ed
Mar 2001
Dr. Echols is a wonderful teacher. He is incredibly excited about the course material and relates to the students well. I enjoyed attending class everyday and he is interesting to listen to. His enthusiasm is contagious and sparks interest in the subject. If you have the opportunity to take Dr. Echols I would recommend him very highly.


Junior
A
General Ed
Feb 2002
This class wasn't about what I expected or as easy as I expected, but it's interesting. It's in a huge lecture hall so there's not much interaction, but he's pretty good about recognizing the people who come to class, etc. Use the website, the previous quarter quizzes are extrememly helpful! He was great!


Sophomore
B
General Ed
Dec 2002
Simply put, Echols is the man. His class was very interesting, especially toward the end of the course. He is funny and cool and keeps your attention throughout the entire class. He is dorky but in a really cool way and is just blast to listen to. So many random and quirky things. I didn't read the book at all and still got a B. Just go to lecture and pay attention. You gotta take Echols, it is simply a must.


Freshman
A
Elective
Feb 2003
Dr. Bob is f&#king awesome... I have never seen a teacher who is that involved with teaching such a subject as astro. He really gets into it,and although he is a dork...the class becomes more interesting with his goofey little jokes. If you take notes and pay attention you'll do just fine. He doesn't collect the homework, but you might want to perhaps consider it if you are somewhat weak in physics.


Sophomore
B
General Ed
Mar 2003
I was so scared when I found out I was enrolled in a pyshics course... I thought I was going to learn about the stars and look at them in the telescope. Dr. Echols is an amazing teacher though! He's always provides visuals and explains everything, if you ask. He's very willing to arrange different times for office hours too if you can't make it. He writes notes on the board during lectures and they are pretty through... that way you know you are getting what he's talking about.


Freshman
B
Elective
Apr 2003
He made astronomy fun and interesting. I took this class for kicks, as it gives me no real credit. I found myself enjoying lectures and willing to do the homework. If you have any interest in stars or want to have a teacher who is very excited about what he does, take a class from Echols. You will not be disappointed.


Freshman
B
General Ed
Apr 2003
Dr. Echols rocks!!!! I had the biggest crush on him because he is so cute when he stuts arounds the room trying to reproduce orbits. The midterm and final are easy if you study. This is the funnest class I've had at Cal Poly.


Freshman
A
General Ed
Jul 2003
Dr. Echols was one of the best teachers that I've had at Poly! This class wasn't easy, but it was a lot of fun. Echols is really passionate about the subject, yet he can still explain it so non-science people can understand him. Readings for every chapter and homework assignments that you don't need to turn in. A quiz every few chapters, which makes up a lot of your grade. If you don't understand something, don't just blow it off, you'll be screwed. He was always so nice and helpful, I was never afraid of asking him a question in fear of sounding stupid. Our class included a lab portion which was pretty easy. We also had to do an Astronomy Journal tracking the sun, moon, and some planets. Not that big of a deal. I had a lot of fun and am now really interested in astronomy. His midterm and final were challenging, but you're allowed to bring in a full page of notes. If you're willing to work to get an A then take this class. Dr. Bob is great, don't miss out!


Freshman
N/A
General Ed
Aug 2003
Dr. Bob ROCKS!!! This guy is an awesome teacher. He really knows his stuff and it definatly shows through his lectures. His lectures always make you laugh and smile, while learning the material all at the same time. He looks his students in the eye and always stops to answer students questions. You never feel that he'd rather be doing something other than lecturing to you. He also incorporates videos, illustrations and models to furthur explain and support his lecture material. I also had the lab for this class. The labs he set up for the class to do each week really helped you to understand the concepts that he lectures about and that the book explains, as well as being a really cool. He would also take the class to the observatory to look at stars, planets and galaxies. That was truly amazing! On one particular night I saw Saturn and its rings and I also saw Jupiter and its moons. After taking this class looking up at the night sky is so much more interesting and I now have a greater appreciation for our universe. I can truly say that Dr. Bob is one of the best teachers at Cal Poly. Everyone should take this class from him, even if it's as an elective. You will certainly not be dissapointed!!!

ASTR 103


Sophomore
B
Elective
Jan 2004
for a freaking 100 level GE, he really gives you the screw job. getting an A is pretty hard. a B is easily attainable. he's not that great of a professor. he's kind of a space cadet, but hey, i got a B, so can you.

PHYS 111


Freshman
C
General Ed
Jul 2007
Echols is a fabulous teacher. Physics 111, or "Physics for Poets" (a polite way of saying "Modern Physics for Those Who Cannot Do Math"), is a glorious course--"sexy physics," as I like to call it. General and special relativity, 11-dimensional wonders, supersymmetry, string theory..amazing, mind-blowing ingredients. The only textbook is a completely affordable novel-esque book called "The Elegant Universe"--it's very readable and even enjoyable most of the time. Echols delivers the course material enthusiastically and lucidly--it's tough stuff, but he makes it easy, or at least less difficult, to grasp. Also a very friendly, fun teacher. I highly recommend this course with this professor!


Freshman
B
General Ed
Aug 2007
I'll be frank, Dr. Bob is a great man, who really promotes success in his class. He offers tons of office hours, and even when people (like me) had schedule conflictions, he made an effort to meet at other times. There is no way I could berate this man, because he is just too cute and amped about physics, but I was a little pissed at the end of the quarter. I worked my ass off throughout the whole thing, never missed a day of class, AND got A's on every single quiz (there's quite a few,) but i decided to do the extra credit of reading STEPHEN HAWKING'S A BRIEF HISTORY OF TIME, just to ensure that an A was coming. Apparently, didn't excell final time, because i ended up with a B in the class. It was pretty disappointing after the relentless effort put into the class. And it kind of ticked me off, considering he saw first hand exactly how much effort i was putting in. Make sure you GO TO CLASS, and keep up with the reading, it really HELPS! He's a great guy though, if you can, take Dr. Bob.


Sophomore
B
General Ed
Dec 2008
Br. Bob is really nice and also very energetic when it comes to teaching physics. He is very well informed on the subject, and the lectures are prertty easy to follow. He gives 5 quizzes and drops the lowest score. the quizzes are pretty simple it you do the lecture focus questions before hand. Also, it really helps to do the reading along with the lectures to get a better understanding of the material. The midterm and final are both multiple choice, but are more difficult than the quizzes so you really have to have a pretty good understanding of the material. He offers one extra credit assignment. Also, at the end of the class you have to write a poem which is kind of fun and you can get as creative as you want. And if you arent good with physics, dont be worried, you dont have to be good at physics to do well in the class.


Sophomore
B
General Ed
Mar 2010
Bob is very passionate about the subject, which makes learning from him a blast. He is such a goof and is always lauging at his own quasi-jokes, but it makes the class atmosphere pretty fun. I went into this class hoping to learn a bit about the mystery of quantum physics without learning the actual equations behind it (I hate math all together) and this class was perfect for kids like me. His quizzes were a little difficult, but really all you have to do is follow the ONLINE FOCUS QUESTIONS and youll pass easy. I would take this class over again a million times if I could. Fun stuff.


Freshman
C
General Ed
Apr 2010
I found him to be an excellent professor. The quizzes were very straight-forward (the same exact questions as his lecture focus questions), while the MC tests were a bit more difficult. He makes the material much easier than it is, and I would have had a B or maybe even an A if I hadn\'t missed a few lectures in a row. Very fun class though.


Freshman
B
General Ed
Mar 2011
Dr. Bob is great! I liked going to class everyday. He's goofy and definitely makes the material more understandable. Definitely take PHYS 111 with him if you need to take a science for GEs


Sophomore
A
General Ed
Mar 2012
TAKE PHYS 111! Dr. Bob is a super corky professor and super nice. He'll constantly try to make sure you're entertained and he's super understanding. He is very clear with what he expects, and although his tests can be difficult, its all laid out for you so if you want an A you can go get it. The class is pretty simple, he'll lecture everyday and give out a quiz once a week basically. Just study the lecture focus questions and you'll be fine. His tests can be difficult, just take your time and study really hard. It's not difficult at all because the class is super interesting, there's no math involved, and it's all about theoretical physics and really changes your views on the world. Take this course!


Freshman
A
Elective
Mar 2012
Dr bob is a really cool professor. He is super passionate about what he talks about (string theory and M-theory). I took him because i wanted a better understanding of physics and fundamental particles. He clarified everything and more. He's a very fun guy and even though the material is dry for most people, he tries his best to make it interesting. He is the epitome of a physics geek in high school. To pass his class, i suggest bringing the lecture focus questions and try answering all of them. He gives you the answers as he lectures but they're usually in a different order that's listed in the questions. Once you miss a lecture, you do miss information so it's a good idea to make a friend and get some notes. He has quizzes every week or so and they're straight from the focus questions but his midterm and final are multiple choice. Multiple choice that's HARD.like is it A. A and B or B and C. or all of the above or none of the above. do well on the quizzes and your grade wouldn't suffer too much on the midterm and final. he's a great guy, go to office hours if you need clarification cause the material is generally pretty hard to absorb. Goodluck!


Freshman
B
Elective
Mar 2013
Great professor, cheap book ($12.00 new), and super chill class. First half of the class is awesome and trippy, some really mind-bending idea's. Second half is kinda overboard and confusing, if it makes sense it definitely went over my head along with the majority of the class. Test questions are worded very poorly so you really need to know your stuff in detail. But take this class if you want a fun elective, not an easy A but still worth taking. Only down side is Friday class.


Sophomore
B
General Ed
Mar 2016
Dr Echols is a great guy and he has a great personality with entertaining lectures. however, conceptual physics is veery hard to grasp. I thought it would be a lot easier of class, lots of memorization. He gives EC and curves his tests and class. I would recommend if you are not good at math since none is involved.

ASTR 112


Freshman
C
General Ed
Dec 2005
Echols is a passionate and charismatic professor. He livens up any lecture and you cannot help but laugh at his dorky jokes. However if you are taking Astronomy 112 for an easy way to get rid of your physical science and lab


Freshman
B
General Ed
Dec 2005
Dr. Bob is a really entertaining teacher. For the most part the class is very straight forward. If you take notes and study them you will do fine on all of the quizzes, and he also drops your lowest quiz score. The midterm and final are not as straight forward as the quizzes so make sure to study more than just your class notes for it. Also the lab part of the class is pretty easy and usually you end up getting out early. Overall a good class, and a great professor.


Sophomore
B
General Ed
Jan 2006
Very sweet guy!! He teaches the class with a lot of energy and excitement. The material was hard and the tests were very difficult. There are about 6 tests within the quarter and 2 midterms. For the midterm you get a one-sided page of notes and for the final you get a full-page front and back. You should go to both the lectures and read the text. The journal project is very interesting and fun to do. The lab for this class is easy and very informative. He is very approachable. Take Echols!!


Sophomore
Credit
General Ed
Feb 2006
Prof. Echols was a very fun professor. This class however is in no way easy!! The average for the first test was a D. The material at times is difficult to understand but it is definitely interesting. If your looking for an easy A, no way!! There is periodic quizzes, midterm, journal, and the final. I never opened the book once or did any homework and did get credit though. So....you can definitely get by with a C.


Freshman
B
General Ed
Feb 2006
very fair teacher, class was pretty easy. Interesting class, i enjoyed going to the labs. overall good


Freshman
C
General Ed
Feb 2006
First of all Dr. Bob is a great guy who has such a wonderful passion for astronomy that he's lectures always intrested me. Unfortunately, they were also sometimes so mathmatically oriented that they confused me to no end. This class needs to be a priority for you if you want to get an A. I couldn't give it the time necessary for it. Also physics should be a pre-req for this class because all we really delt with was the mathmatical reasoning behind the stars and I wish it focused less on that. He really tries to explain things to his students over and over and he will gladly, but sometimes he explains them in the exact same angle, which doesn't help things much. However, he is a good teacher I just think he would be better in a higher level class where the students all know a lot about physics.


Sophomore
B
General Ed
Nov 2006
Dr. Bob is probably the only professor that could get me excited about science. His labs are very easy and helpful. ALWAYS go to them because that is what helps your grade. His tests are hard, but he does take into consideration the class average. Which on the midterm was %63 so he curves at the end. I loved watching him get so excited about teaching. He jumps around the room and def. manages to grab everyones attention! Not the easiest class but one of the most fun. TAKE DR. BOB!!!


Sophomore
B
General Ed
Dec 2008
This class is a lot of fun and got me excited to go to class, despite my lack of overall interest in science. The labs really help you get down the harder concepts in lecture and he's more than willing to get you all the help you need. The midterm and final are tougher but he curves generously (my D went to a B for the midterm). The quizzes are easy enough as long as you study a little bit, and the reading is a definite must to go along with the lectures.


Freshman
A
General Ed
Dec 2008
I absolutely loved this class. Dr. Bob is so passionate about what he teaches, and makes everyone really excited to actually go to class. I didn't miss a single one. Make sure you read the chapters, it helps if you read the chapter before he does the lecture. He gives you notes for the midterm and the final. They are multiple choice. There are about 4 to 5 quizzes in between, and those are pretty easy as long as you know the material for that week, and those are short answer. The lab is definitely helpful. It allows you to apply the concepts you learn in lecture. He's also really great in office hours and very patient. He loves to tell stories too and he's just an all around nice guy!


Sophomore
A
General Ed
Jan 2009
Dr. Bob is the man. I have never met a professor as passionate about their subject or class as he was. He made the class interesting and fun. He is super goofy but is a cool guy and definitely willing to help out anyone stuggling in class. Just some heads up though, the midterm and final are difficult, but it's worth it.


Freshman
B
General Ed
Jul 2009
I LOVE DR. BOB!! I would take any class with him again in a heartbeat. He is super helpful and will answer any questions and make sure everyone understands. He is super goofy and is great at making lectures interesting.

ASTR 121


Sophomore
B
Elective
Apr 2002
Echols is and was by far the best teacher I have incountered here at cal poly. His enthusiasim made astronomy a fun class. Demonstrations and random acts of goofiness made students WANT to pay attention. Some of his questions on his tests are a little tricky but if you have the chance Echols is the best!!!

PHYS 121


Freshman
Credit
Required (Support)
Mar 2001
Dr. Echols is a generally nice and understanding guy who does a good job of presenting material he really enjoys. He's very laid back about labs and what's required; he understands that we're not as enthusiastic as he is about the subject but requires that we know what we're doing. He even let us skip lab for Mardi Gras! He always answers any questions from lecture in the beginning of the lab and makes sure that everything is understood before moving on.


Sophomore
B
Required (Support)
Apr 2001
I had 'Dr. Bob' for lab. He cared about the students and would do his best to explain the material but for one reason or another was difficult to follow. He was an OK lab instructor, but I don't think I would like him for a lecture.

PHYS 123


Junior
A
Required (Support)
Mar 2002
I had Dr. Bob his first quarter teaching at Poly. Although he was new, his enthusiasm and knowledge of the material made him a great instructor to take for the class. The homework load is what would be expected for a physics course, and because it was required, it actually makes you do it. The tests were pretty straight forward but the finally was huge. The first person to leave the class was at 2.75 hrs. He might have gotten better since then. PS He will help you if you are in a different class too. He is great to go to about conceptual questions since he really does know the info.

PHYS 131


Freshman
C
Required (Support)
Jun 2000
This guy is a decent teacher, but he makes the class a lot harder than it should be because he never takes time to go over the homework. So you're screwed if you don't understand it. The quizes are reasonable, the tests are hard, and the final is impossible. The lab is only worth 5% of your grade, which doesn't make sense to me. I would suggest that the average student take someone else.


Freshman
C
Required (Support)
Jul 2000
Dr.Echolos is a good teacher with a weird sense of humor. He likes what he teaches. Hes always willing to help you. He collects homework regularly and gives quizzes weekly. The only thing I didn't like about him is he didn't give many examples in class. His test were problems very similar to the book, homework problems and examples in class.


Freshman
B
Required (Support)
Nov 2000
Dr. Echols is a great professor. He explains concepts well and is very helpful during office hours for those who need it. He gives weekly quizzes which are similar to homework problems. Most of the problems on exams comes from homework but he also includes example problems from lecture so study your notes. I strongly suggest Echols for any class in the 131 series.


Freshman
B
Required (Support)
Mar 2001
The best teacher for studio physics around.People always complain that studio physics is horrible but this guy makes up for it.Great teacher for a book that is horribly written.If you have to take studio, take it with him.He's the best chance you got if you want to do well in 132.


Freshman
A
Required (Major)
Feb 2003
He is quite possibly the best physics teacher that ive had. He knows his stuff and he presents it clearly. If your willing to learn, you'll do great. He sometimes goes fast, but he is Very helpful in office hours and with a little help i guarantee you will see the light. Dr.Bob will make you glad you came to Poly.

PHYS 132


Sophomore
B
Required (Support)
Aug 2000
I really enjoyed this class with Dr. Echols! His lectures are a bit hard to follow sometimes but all questions can be clarified in his office hours. Home is due every class meeting and graded so make sure you have everything correct. The test were more than fair, as long as you know how to do every type of problem you will do fine, he's fair and simple. I really got great use of his office hours, he's so helpful and kind. I would recommend him to anyone, I know I'd take him again.


Sophomore
B
Required (Support)
Feb 2009
overrated, helpful in lab, his lectures are poorly organized which makes studying from your notes harder than just studying from the book


Sophomore
C
Required (Major)
Mar 2009
Good guy. Always smiling, tries to be funny at time. The material is hard, most people failed the midterms. Final is really important, if you get a good grade on the final, most likely you will pass the class. Sometimes his lectures are just him deriving formulas on the board and everyone in the class being confused as hell. I say one of the better 132 teachers.


Sophomore
B
Required (Major)
Jan 2010
very enthusiastic about physics. Best lecturer I have ever had because he actually made me interested in learning physics. His tests are very hard but if you work hard it is very possible to do well. Probably one of the better profs in the physics department


Freshman
A
Required (Support)
Mar 2010
Dr. Bob is an excellent teacher who really actually helps you understand physics. He is a kinda geeky guy but it makes class fun. His tests can be difficult but if you put in the effort studying you will be fine. He is a great teacher with alot to offer so TAKE HIM


Junior
C
Required (Support)
Jun 2010
Echols is definitely not the easiest teacher at Poly. However he is a good one. Kinda nerdy like some else said but very friendly and helpful in office hours. He loves physics and does a good job in showing that. The bad thing is he spends all day deriving equations instead of solving them which can be frustrating. However, if you go to office hours for the HW\'s he will most often help you and GIVE YOU the answers. Mastering Physics sucks but it can help your grade given you have the solution manual which he provides. His tests are tricky and full of curve balls. On the bright side, he curves the class. Funny and cool guy. If you want an easy A, look for somebody else. If you want to know methods for obtaining engineering formulas in the real world (pretty useful considering we\'ll all have to do this eventually if you\'re an engineer)then give Echols a try. Hint: go to his office hours and read/skim the textbook. It will clarify his lectures SO much! He is also a good teacher to choose if you want an easy C


Sophomore
C
Required (Support)
Aug 2010
I LOVE DR. BOB!!! Physics is not an easy subject for me, so having such a passionate physics nerd teaching it made class enjoyable. Although the class was definitely not an easy one, I feel it was one of those classes where my grade didn\'t necessarily reflect all that I learned. DEFINITELY recommend this big goof ball!


Sophomore
C
Required (Support)
Mar 2011
Physics 132 is a horrible hard class, but Dr. Bob is AMAZING! he is so enthusiastic about physics and is super helpful in office hours and he just wants you to do well! TAKE HIM!!!


Junior
C
Required (Support)
Mar 2011
Yes, Dr. Bob is a very nice guy and he's enthusiastic about physics. Yes, he wants you to do well. But he is not a good teacher. He spent most of the lectures deriving equations and hardly ANY examples were done. The midterms were too long and basically nobody finished on time. They were also extremely difficult. The labs were boring and they didn't make me understand the class any better. If you want a nice teacher, take him. But unless you want to spend 6 hrs a week watching him derive stuff, then avoid him.


Sophomore
A
Required (Support)
Jun 2013
This is an excellent Professor! Please disregard all negative comments of students below. He was very clear about what was going to be on his midterms and final, and did an excellent job of preparing us for them. Yes, the material is very challenging but if you know how to do the problems he does in class you will do very well on the tests. Anyone who says he is a bad teacher either did not show up to classes, or should transfer to a liberal arts major. I highly recommend this professor for any physics course. Great job Dr. Bob!

PHYS 133


Sophomore
C
Required (Support)
Dec 2010
Echols is a very cool guy who loves what he does. Classes were interesting but he always focused on taking derivations. Where other teachers show you haw to solve a problem using a given formula, Echols has you find the formula. Mastering Physics is pointless considering it doesn\'t reflect what will be asked on the test. When studying go over notes, written homework, textbook, then homework. If you want a C doing the first two will be enough. Echols is a nice guy, his tests just don\'t always reflect it, but if you want to learn alot take him. If physics 133 was a common final he would be the one to take since he prepares you so much more than other teachers.

PHYS 141


Freshman
A
Required (Support)
Feb 2005
This teacher is kind of crazy... a bit of the wall but it's obvious he enjoys teaching. The material is easy... not much point in lecture if you read the textbook. Homework is easy, except that Mastering Physics blows... Tests can be difficult... but he curves them as well as curving the overall grade. Hard, but fair teacher. Also: some concepts are difficult and are not fully explained in class. If you want to understand everything, you must go to his office hours. Then he is very helpful and infromative.


Sophomore
A
Required (Support)
Mar 2005
Dr. Echols is one of the best professors I've ever had, he is so enthusiastic and very willing to help. Tests are fairly difficult and there's a lot of outside work, but if you stay on top of it, its definietly possible to get an A.


Freshman
C
Required (Support)
Mar 2005
He is a decent teacher. all your grade really depends on is the final. I had bombed all of his midterms but studied my butt off for the final and he gave me a C. So study hard for the final that is all i have to say. It is incredibly long and incredibly hard. Good luck to all who dare.


Sophomore
A
Required (Support)
Sep 2005
Dr. Echols is a great professor. He


Sophomore
B
Required (Support)
Dec 2005
Dr. Bob is a great guy, he has this gusto for Physics that seems so rare in todays teachers. He really does enjoy teaching this stuff and will gladly veer off topic a little to explain the mysteries of the universe. The course was time consuming, but not overly difficult. I feel like I really could have gotten an A if I had studied for the midterms more (there were 4 of them, he dropped the lowest in the end though) and the final focused mostly on the material covered in the last few weeks. All the tests were fair and balanced, but you really do need to understand this stuff to do well on them. (PS. He seems to LOVE graphs, velocity v. time, Energy v. distance, etc. so expect to see a graph question of some kind on every test)


Sophomore
C
Required (Support)
Mar 2006
Hard test, but he makes up for it at the end. I cant imagine how much he curved the class. His passion for the material makes you want to go to class everyday. He reminds me of Bill Nye the science guy when he gets really excited about what he is talking about. Take him if you can.


Freshman
B
Required (Support)
Mar 2006
Echols is a highly engaging, often humorous professor that strives to make physics interesting. The in-class lectures often focus on deriving equations (which can get pretty boring), and sometimes he teaches at a level beyond the comprehension of his students. Homework consists of roughly two online assignments and one turn-in per week. BE WARNED... he uses the online program mastering physics for the majority of your homework, and you will be very frustrated by its time-consuming, "you have 4 tries left" bull sh*t! If there was any negative about his class, it was that stupid online homework that consumed my afternoons and nights. On the positive side, it is a lecture and there is no lab. There are four exams, about two weeks apart, covering about two chapters a piece. The lectures and homework can almost prepare you for a decent grade, and going to his website and looking @ detailed solutions for homework is very helpful. The pace of the class sometimes feels frantic.. we were always far ahead of the other physics classes. Chances are you won't do very good on his exams, granted they are very difficult and incorporate applying concepts. Luckily he curves a little bit so don't be too alarmed as long as you are near the class average. It is tough to keep up in the class, and between reading the book and trying to understand his lectures you will get pretty fried (but it is doable). Final exam is three hours and is loooooong (once again though, doable). I think ours was about 7 or 8 questions (1 extra credit) and each had about four parts abcd or something. Office hours are helpful, especially prior to exams. He is a very nice guy, somewhat eccentric, and has a clear love for physics and teaching it to us. The class is challenging, but he gives partial credit and wants you to do well. Take Echols if you are up for a challenge...


Freshman
N/A
Required (Major)
Mar 2007
If you're coming into this class with no prior physics experience then it is not suggested. Echols is a great teacher but goes crazy in class and often times cannot explain things too well. However, he is very into the material and really wants you to learn it so office hours is a great way to learn the material. His average test grades are usually around 50-60% so prepare to fail midterms!


Freshman
B
Required (Support)
Mar 2007
DR. BOB IS VERY ENTHUSIASTIC AND LOVES PHYSICS BUT HIS TEACHING STYLE WAS KIND OF CONFUSING. I HAD TO GO TO OFFICE HOURS EVERY WEEK TO GET HELP ON WHAT WAS GOING ON AND THERE WERE ALWAYS QUITE A FEW PEOPLE THERE WITH ME SO I WASNT THE ONLY ONE WHO WAS LOST. BUT IN OFFICE HOURS I LEARNED A LOT AND HE WAS VERY HELPFUL. HIS TESTS WERE HARD, BUT I SOMEHOW GOT THROUGH. TOUGH CLASS. NOT A BAD TEACHER IN CLASS, BUT A BETTER TEACHER IN OFFICE HOURS. SPENDS THE WHOLE CLASS DERIVING EQUATIONS BUT NEVER SHOWS YOU HOW TO USE THEM SO THATS KINDA CONFUSING!


Freshman
N/A
Required (Major)
Mar 2007
Don't take this class please... he does not go over any example problems and expects you to be able to do them on your own. Office hours always has bunches of confused students trying to go over what was taught in class. Unless you already have a great background in physics, I advise you not to take it.


Freshman
B
Required (Support)
Jun 2007
Dr. Echols is a great professor. He has a passion for Physics and makes has a lot of enegery during his lectures. He makes it so that students want to go to class. His midterms are pretty difficult, however he does curve. He is really helpful during office hours. However, he may be a little more challenging that other professors, but It will just help you get prepared for Statics and Dynamics. Take him if you can.


Freshman
B
Required (Support)
Jun 2013
Professor Echols is a difficult teacher. A lot of students say that he is the best physics teacher out there since his homework assignments/exams aren't as straightforward. I only somewhat agree with this. I like how Echols challenges us and prepare us for statics. I have looked at other professors' exams and found them to be easier. For instance, one question has you drawing a motion diagram of a ball in the air and that is it. Echols quizzes consist of problems much more challenging than that and they usually have multiple steps to them. I've spoken to friends from other physic classes and showed them what my exams looked like. They had no clue how to approach the problems. Each day, he assigns us Mastering Physics homework that is to be due the next day. The homework ended up taking me about 1-3 hours long (depending on the section). He also gives us homework activities and in class lab assignments each week that we are to finish the rest of after class (usually due in one or two days). On the other hand, I do not think Echols is the best lecturer. He is very enthusiastic. However, I was always really confused. He likes to go over concepts rather than actually doing the problem. Hardly anything covered in the lectures have any numbers. He seems a bit disorganized and not everything is very clear. I hardly read from the textbook because his exams usually covered what he taught in the lectures and in the Mastering Physics assignments. Your grade is only determined by three exams (50-55%), the final exam (30-35%), and the homework/activities (15%). I don't think I would have passed his class if it weren't for the curve. The exams were really hard. The average on the exams were roughly in the D range. There are no quizzes at all. He doesn't have a PolyLearn, so you have no clue what your grade is in the class. Overall, I wouldn't say that Echols is the best teacher. He is a good teacher in that he challenges you a lot, but his lectures aren't the best.


Freshman
B
Required (Support)
Jul 2013
Dr. Bob was a good teacher. Physics was difficult for me and he made it a little easier. He does require mastering physics for hw but you can find most of those answers by googling them. Not a bad teacher to have especially compared to how terrible most of the other physics teachers at Cal Poly. Oh and he looks and kind of acts like Bill Nye so that's humorous.


Sophomore
N/A
Required (Support)
Dec 2013
He's an okay professor. Like others have mentioned, his tests are EXTREMELY difficult, even when this is my 2nd time in 141 I still failed 2 (or 3, I don't know) of the midterms. His class is very "scattered", meaning there really isn't any flow in the class. We kind of abruptly end one section and just plow through the next one. It may just be a teaching/learning conflict between he and I, but it still doesn't explain why the class averages for each midterm was roughly %50. I need an explanation how this works with other various sections, rather than treating each section within its own realm. He basically just derives, derives, derives, for one specific problem. HE DERIVES. DERIVES!!!!! So if you like working with numbers and prefer more actual examples than 1 example to apparently cover them all, DO NOT TAKE HIM. Take Gillen instead. Gillen focuses more on examples than just deriving. Echols is just very mechanical when he derives. Class usually begins with questions from the MasteringPhysics assignment from the night before. Depending on if he actually covered the material for that night's assignment, you either completed it without any major hiccups, or you were completely lost and had to use good 'ol Yahoo Answers for help(or you could spend an hour or two teaching it to yourself then attempting the MP, which takes another hour or two). And did I say, THERE IS MASTERING PHYSICS EVERY DAY YOU HAVE CLASS!? MP within itself took a good portion of my study time away from physics and it made me loathe it that I had no motivation to study it. Counter-intuitive much? He should just assign problems from the book and grade those. At least then you get some credit on a problem you spent 30 minutes working on. Mastering Physics blows. Get ready for some late nights. The good part is that MP isn't graded that heavily (7.5% of total grade, the other 7.5% being other small homework assignments). Speaking of small homework assignments, he'll usually assign a few "in-class" assignments. They're also difficult, but going to office hours helped because there were many people asking help for the same thing. They're time-consuming, but Echols, or the physics tutors in the 3rd floor of the Baker building are generally helpful and will guide you along. These assignments come about 4 times a quarter. The assignments are usually on the midterms, so memorize how to do the derivations and you should be somewhat prepared. With this class, no matter how hard I prepared, I still ended up with F's on the midterms. He'll do demos in class as well and those will definitely be tested on the midterm to some extent. Don't get me wrong, he's a nice guy and loves his job, but 1 derivation to rule them all? It sucks. Either do some actual, applicable examples that intrigue the class rather than spending 1 whole period deriving one example that won't be on MP or the midterms.


Freshman
C
Required (Support)
Jan 2014
Dr. Bob was a great professor and always had a great mood in class. He truly seemed like he cared about the students. He presented and taught the material very quickly and you had to make sure you were well rested or else everything would go over your head. If there is something you don't understand he is very helpful in office hours and after class. As other's have said, his tests are very difficult especially the final. I studied for the final for about a week and a half straight and I felt like I knew almost everything he could have thrown at me but I was only able to attempt to answer about 80% of the exam. Daily Mastering Physics was also the bane of my existence as I would mostly spend my nights frantically trying to finish homework that I didn't understand before it was due. Overall the class was great everything that had to be graded was difficult but if you went to office hours Dr.Bob was sure to help you understand the material and walk through the homework with you. Would recommend but with precautions.


Freshman
N/A
Required (Support)
Feb 2014
IF YOU AREN'T ALREADY GOOD AT PHYSICS, DO NOT TAKE BOB ECHOLS!!! He doesn't teach the basics of physics, and skips straight to the middle of each concept. He may be an entertaining person, but his teachings are very disorganized. Most of the class is spent on going over mastering physics problems, which leaves hardly any time for lecture. Also, be prepared to do mastering physics EVERY SINGLE DAY. The tests are extremely hard. However, if you're already amazing at physics, then go ahead and take this class-you'll most likely really enjoy it.


Freshman
N/A
Required (Support)
Feb 2014
Avoid. Difficult tests, scattered lecture notes, lack of clarification for concepts, excessive homework. Would not recommend.


Freshman
N/A
Required (Support)
Mar 2014
RT!!!!! BEST DESCRIPTION A STUDENT CAN WRITE ON ECHOLS!! IF YOU AREN'T ALREADY GOOD AT PHYSICS, DO NOT TAKE BOB ECHOLS!!! He doesn't teach the basics of physics, and skips straight to the middle of each concept. He may be an entertaining person, but his teachings are very disorganized. Most of the class is spent on going over mastering physics problems, which leaves hardly any time for lecture. Also, be prepared to do mastering physics EVERY SINGLE DAY. The tests are extremely hard. However, if you're already amazing at physics, then go ahead and take this class-you'll most likely really enjoy it.


Freshman
C
Required (Support)
Mar 2014
His tests are very hard, but he truly wants each and everyone one of his students to pass. He will work with you in order to get you through it!


Freshman
B
Required (Support)
Mar 2014
I'm really torn on Dr. Bob. The class was super difficult, lot's of homework (I'm sure you've all heard of masteringphysics at this point), somewhat scattered lectures, and really tough tests. I had to put a lot of work in just to pull off a B-. I wasn't a huge fan of his lectures either,I learned the majority of the coursework form the book, and found some of his explanations hard to follow. However, Dr. Bob is an awesome guy that really wants to see you succeed. His office hours are a fantastic resource and he really takes the time to make sure each individual passes his class with a decent understanding of physics. So I guess in the end, I would recomend Dr. Bob, but just be aware of the work you'll have to put in.

PHYS 408


5th Year Senior
B
Elective
Jan 2004
Although Dr.Bob goes quickly, he is very helpful outside of class. He is good at presenting difficult information in a clear manner. He gives a lot of required homework, but that is to be expected in physics. Dont do the homework if you dont want to do well. One of my favorite things about him is you can do poorly all well, but if you get an A on the final, you'll probably get an A in the class.


Senior
B
Required (Major)
Aug 2006
Dr. Bob is an awesome professor. I would definitely take him again. One of the best the physics dept. has to offer

PHYS 424


Senior
C
Required (Major)
Aug 2004
Bob Echols is a stud. This man will always present the craziest material with a huge smile and an abundance of enthusiasm. I failed his final and he graciously passed me in his class. I really recommend him to anyone because he is an excellent example of one of the few high-quality physics professors CalPoly has to offer. I am sure he is regarded very well among the majority of the other physics majors.

VGSC 747


Sophomore
A
Elective
Nov 2016
Fuck this guy. Id like to stick my tounge up his ass.