Echols, Sean  

Physics

2.40/4.00

47 evaluations


PHYS 122


Senior
N/A
Required (Support)
Oct 2012
Let me start by stating that I am not just some pissed off student that gets upset when classes are difficult and blames the teacher for my lack of effort. Iam a senior with a 3.7 GPA, I'm in the top 15% of my class and I take my studies very seriously. With that said Sean Echols is one of the worst teachers I've ever had in my entire life. He can't teach. period. The guy is smart no doubt and he definitely knows what he is doing, but he is unable to convey his knowledge of the subject to his students through lecture. He sits there and does dumb demos and derives equations and talks about theory for 98% of each lecture. The last 2% is used to actually teach you how to use the information to solve problems. I have been literally teaching myself the course through the book on my own. Going to class is a complete waste of time and if it werent for the fact that he collects example problem papers in class for credit I would attend none of his lectures and he would likely be teaching to an empty classroom. Even if you need this course desperately I would drop it if you have him as a professor. Cal Poly is embarrassing itself and tarnishing its reputation by employing clowns like this guy as professors.


Junior
N/A
Required (Major)
Nov 2012
Echols is a nightmare of a physics teacher. On days that I have his class I purposely drive to school without my seatbelt on, that way there's at least the chance I might die in a horrific car accident and will not have to sit through his lecture that day. I honestly think theres a chance Echols has major blackmail on someone at Cal Poly that hired him. Theres really no other excuse for him to have a job as a professor here.


Senior
N/A
Required (Support)
Nov 2012
I'm currently enrolled in Echols class and I can tell you first hand that he does a good job overall...yes it can be frustrating at times because he does a lot of derivations of equations in class and they seem meaningless in lecture...but once you hunker down to read the book and study for the exam you can see that he does a good job of giving you the equations you will need to solve the problems. He boxes the important equations during lecture so just dont get too worried about all the other stuff and try and pay attention...Recently I stopped taking notes and just try to listen to the lecture as he teaches, then I go on poly learn and use his notes that he posts. This may not work for everyone but I am able to listen better when I am not constantly writing. His labs are long but he gives you extra credit opportunities in lab and on every mastering physics assignment. Just hang in there and do your hw and study...I thought I was completely lost heading into the first midterm but somehow pulled out an A so obviously he is doing something right as a teacher.


Junior
B
Required (Major)
Mar 2013
OK this is my first review ever. And honestly, the negative reviews below are much too harsh. The guy below who said he has a 3.7gpa is probably lying, and is also narcissistic. He thinks he's the shit and wants others to know. He didn't even provide his grade; probably failed. Anyways, with regards to Echols, he's a pretty cool dude. He may derive stuff frequently, but it makes the necessary equations make more sense, and also you see intermediate equations which you can use on exams (if you're smart on picking these up). Like already stated, he boxes the MOST important information and equations. His examples and demonstrations clarify the concepts well. He posts all his notes online which are helpful especially because you can see how he went about example problems, or if you're sick one day, you can look those over, but DON'T think you can just skip class all the time. His lecture is crucial. You do practice problems in class which he always goes over how to reach the correct answer. Mastering physics homework sucks, but it is seriously helpful. XC given on every assignment. Like one guy said, he gives extra credit problems in lab too every week. He presents material clearly in lecture; the only problem is if you have people in your class who just don't have a clue and ask a bunch of nonsense questions, this slows down lecture and then he's pushing to get through material fast. The best thing to do is get to know the dude, and ask questions in Office Hours and especially Lab. You always have extra time in lab, and he's extremely approachable for questions, and personally I felt he explained concepts and clarified things very well on a 1 on 1 basis. Also, he posts PRACTICE EXAMS, which are quite helpful, with solutions. He also posts SOLUTIONS to QUIZZES after the fact. If you understand his system of posting all the stuff online AND put in the time by reviewing what you missed on quizzes, taking the practice tests, etc, you really can learn and make sense of the material. ECHOLS IS VERY FAIR


Sophomore
N/A
Required (Support)
Feb 2017
This is the worst f*ckng teacher ive ever had here. not done with the class yet but this he is the absolute worst


Junior
B
Required (Support)
Feb 2017
Not sure why everyone is ripping on Echols but he's honestly been one of my favorite professors I've had at Poly. He gives awesome notes that are easy to follow and gives you a lot of links on polylearn to old notes, quizzes, and exams to study. Lab seems kind of pointless but it's easy. He gives a quiz weekly in lab that is open notebook so there's really no excuse to do poorly if you take good notes. He does participation points by making you turn in a paper with an example problem from class for each lecture with people around you but it's graded on participation not accuracy so you just have to be there. His midterms were 50/50 with conceptual multiple choice and long answer but you are allowed to have a note sheet so its really not that bad. I'm not a physics person. I'm an asci major who loathed phys 121 but I really enjoy this class and feel like it's pretty straight forward and easy if you just pay attention.


Sophomore
N/A
Required (Support)
Mar 2017
He is the worst physics professor I have ever seen. The lecture does not cover anything he assigned for homework. We just have to figure everything out by ourselves. He acts like a jerk too, never replies my email. Very cocky and arrogant.

PHYS 131


Freshman
B
Required (Support)
Jan 2011
This was the first time I had taken a physics class that was not based on simple equations with one missing variable and Echols failed at communicating the more difficult concepts. Lectures were disorganized and did not help students learn anything that would help on tests or quizzes. I learned from friends in the class who had been able to take AP Physics in high school and would rather have them as a teacher for another physics class over Echols. The weekend before finals 16 hours worth of homework were assigned making it extremely difficult to prepare for any finals... don't take this guy


Freshman
A
Required (Support)
Jan 2011
While Sean Echols is a fairly friendly fellow, he isn't the most capable teacher. Often his lectures were hard to follow and he didn't explain concepts entirely. Fortunately I had taken AP Physics in high school so I was not as lost as some of the other students in the course. There was one time when he said something blatantly wrong and when asked about it, he replied he would explain in the next lecture, but never did. He is very fond of Mastering Physics and will assign a pretty good sized workload, but it's still somewhat reasonable. I also had him for the lab section. In lab he basically just left us to our own devices and would not explain any part of the procedure which often left us in the class feeling a little (or a lot) lost. His tests aren't too bad. The final was a little unfair because he made the biggest portion of it on rotational dynamics which he only spent an hour lecturing on in class without going over any example problems. He tried to make up for this by assigning a lot of extra homework problems on the material, but this was really counter productive as it took about 16 hours to do leaving little time to study other topics that we needed to know before the final. Ultimately, Sean Echols is a nice guy who just isn't very experienced or effective as a teacher. He's alright to take if you are already somewhat familiar with the material.


Freshman
B
Required (Major)
Feb 2011
Here is a really cool professor, who seems like he would be a cool guy outside of academia. However, his labs for 131 are nothing short of brutal. Don't expect to get out in any less than three hours, and probably expect to be doing some lab report writing outside of that. His tests are somewhat difficult, and he blows through the material quite quickly, so be prepared. If you already took AP Physics in high school, the material will probably be nothing new to you. But if you have not taken AP Physics, like me, this class could be a challenge for you. Also, Mastering Physics sucks. Hard.

PHYS 132


Junior
A
Required (Support)
Jun 2011
Okay, Dr. Echols isn't the greatest teacher ever, but for the Cal Poly Physics department he is one of the better ones. His class isn't all that hard if you just read the material. Everybody says that phys132 is so hard, but if you just read the material it's not bad. He assigns Mastering Physics homework that kinda sucks but he gives extra credit problems that can really help your grade. All of his class notes are online so if you jest read the book going to class isn't all that important, he does give some in-class exercises that are worth a couple of points. All of his lectures are straight from the book. I don't know why people say he does so many derivations because HE DOESN'T!!! All of his tests have a crazy curve because they are kind of hard. I don't feel that the tests are all that hard but more of a time crunch. Overall: Echols is super easy to get a C in, and if you put in some effort a B or A is achievable. I can't comment on his office hours b/c I never went but he is pretty open to questions and will clarify anything in class. I would recommend him/ take him again


Junior
B
Required (Support)
Jul 2011
Dr. Echol's lectures aren't very helpful, but since it's a physics course, most of your learning will be from doing the homework. Taking him for lab is tough, because he requires reports and it's never clear what he wants on them. The labs also usually took the entire 3 hours.


Freshman
C
Required (Support)
Jun 2012
Echols is a very good professor, at least when it comes to comparing him to the rest of the Physics department at Cal Poly. He lectures on the material in a very planned, recited manner, and he goes about half and half between the math involved in, and the concepts behind, the material. He provides all of his notes on PolyLearn, however this doesn't mean you can necessarily skip class because a lot of the important concepts that you'll be tested on are conveyed during lecture usually with a model/experiment made in class, and aren't found in his notes. All of his tests are fairly difficult, including the quizzes, and you need to really be on the ball keeping up with studying and homework in order to do well on them, otherwise you'll find yourself lost on most of the tests. You do get to make your own equation sheets for the tests, but you're expected to know basic formulas for the quizzes. Overall it's a very difficult course, and you'll need to do a lot of work for this class to do well in it. Actually reading through the textbook and TRULY understanding the material while going through the homework will help a lot. Simply going through the homework without letting anything sink in just isn't enough. Echols is a fair, sometimes lenient grader, and although he can't help with 100% of the questions students asks, he's extremely knowledgeable and reasonable. Long story short, if you want to learn a lot and are willing to work a LOT for it, then by all means take Echols. If you're looking for an easy A or you just want to slide by, you might want to find someone else.


Freshman
B
Required (Support)
Jun 2012
Echols is not bad. I absolutely hated his lectures because 90% of the time he just derives stuff instead of explaining things or doing examples. His mastering physics assignments are extremely frustrating, but they are helpful. His quizzes are okay, the averages are usually 6-7/10. The labs are quite long and boring, plus you have to finish these very difficult problems by the end of the 3 hours, on top of finishing the lab. His midterms are challenging, but they're not impossible. He's generous with partial credit so people do okay on them. He's helpful when you ask him questions. Overall, he is a good teacher but his lectures are almost pointless to attend.


Freshman
A
Required (Major)
Jul 2012
The rating for Echols is much lower than he deserves. The entire physics department has something to be desired and I'd say Echols is probably the best TEACHER you will get. He has helpful office hours and definately wants his students to succeed. But his class is very difficult no doubt about it. He has weekly quizzes in labs that you need to memorize the formulas for and he will ALWAYS take the whole 3 hours for the lab because he assigns worksheets which he grades. The quizzes arent curved but his tests are HEAVILY curved because they are extremely challenging. D's will usually be B's after the curve. Read the book and truly work through the homework, it helps. Unlimited tries on mastering physics, but be prepared for loooong homework assignments. overal echols is better than his rating portrays him. You WILL work for your grade, but his classes are not dreadful and a C is completely easy to reach if you try a little bit!


Sophomore
B
Required (Support)
Mar 2014
I took 132 with Sean in my Freshman year, of course, but as I am about to go into another class of his (Modern Physics) I thought I'd compare his polyratings to other professors I could have taken, for the heck of it. Looking at his score I'm shocked - Echols has been one of the best professors I've had at the school period, not just in Physics. He truly has a passion for what he does and is a wonderfully intelligent man and an awesome guy. He does a great job of laying out clear, yet concise, examples that are great at explaining concepts that can be sometimes difficult to convey with words alone. I must say I had the misfortune of being in the class with some people who refused to grasp certain concepts, and even still he did an excellent job of ensuring everyone in the class had a firm understanding of the topic at hand (or at least, a satisfactory grasp of it) before continuing on in class, but managed to pace us through all of the topics intended to be covered. I do not know how he is in office hours as I never went, but assuming he's even half as helpful then as he was multiple times in lab, his office hours are likely incredibly helpful to anyone struggling with class concepts. In lab he was patient and thorough in his explanations of the experiments both initially and when we came across some frustrating issues, and still made sure we understood why we had the issues we did. He was pretty laid back about some of the demonstrations in the lab, a couple times bringing in ones that allowed for us to participate. The lab reports were not terribly demanding whatsoever, even with the process our group chose of giving one person the job of doing the report each week and rotating through (in a 3-person lab group). The one thing to be careful about going into his class is that he DOES write LONG and CHALLENGING tests, but at the same time curves always ended up very favorable - most increased an average C score (75) by 10-12% into a high B grade (86/87ish percent). Earning higher than a mid-C (uncurved) would basically guarantee a B+ or even occasionally a low A- on tests. Weekly lab quizzes were sometimes a drag but not ever overly hard, and the only thing I truly disliked about the class was the fact that Sean uses Mastering Physics for homework assignments. I tended to not do almost all of them, and still managed a B in the class so they are not integral to UNDERSTANDING the material as he does an excellent job of this, but they are worth something like 10% (maybe 15? don't really remember) of the grade in the class.


Sophomore
C
Required (Support)
Oct 2015
If you want your tuition money to go to the recitation of equations from the book, take this professor. You are going to have to teach yourself everything, he just derives the equations that you could read from the book and provides MINIMAL examples.


Sophomore
B
Required (Support)
Dec 2015
Echols is a very good teacher and really knows his stuff. That being said his homework takes forever, quizzes and tests are too difficult, and he holds you in lab the whole time. He is not the end of the world, but if you are not good at physics, you will spend a lot of time with his class


Sophomore
C
Required (Support)
Dec 2015
Echols was one of the worst teachers I've ever had at Poly. He spent all of lecture deriving equations, NOT teaching applications. His tests and quizzes were absolutely ridiculous, and the averages were always in the 40-60% range. He was particularly demeaning in office hours as well. The one redeeming quality of the class was that he curved about 10% on each exam. He relies on MasteringPhysics too heavily, and doesn't answer questions well. I regret taking him for lecture!


Freshman
A
Required (Major)
Jan 2016
Dr. Echols is a good teacher who legitimately loves physics. The class did feel really rushed, but I think that was more of a result of the amount of material in Physics 132, rather than Dr. Echols' teaching. If you want to do well in the class do the mastering physics every week and go to office hours when needed. Dr. Echols is extremely helpful in office hours. I would recommend taking him if given the opportunity.


Sophomore
B
Required (Support)
Jan 2016
Professor Echols is one of those professors who lectures about the derivations for formulas the whole class time. I did do well in this class, but I could have done better if there was a better alternative to the Mastering Physics program. I spent a couple hours each day for that program and always got all the questions right. I thought I understood the whole concept whenever I finish a Mastering Physics assignment, but that was not the case during the Midterms. I visited his office hours a couple of times but he seemed like he didn't like my presence and would always try to rush through the questions I asked. At the end I got a D on the final, which is surprised me since I studied a whole week for. Overall, he is a good professor for Physics 132 if you want to pass the class with a good grade.


Freshman
N/A
Required (Support)
Jun 2016
Echols is dope. He portrays the information so well. At times it may seem like he goes a little fast, but I'm sure after just one visit to his office hours or even just an email would clear everything up. Dr. Echols is the man, mainly because he reminded me why i loved physics. Sounds cheesy, right? But seriously, he makes physics fun and he's accidentally funny. Plus he totally knows how it is being a college student and realizes that you need time to relax and have fun. TAKE THIS AWESOME PROFESSOR IF YOU CAN.


Junior
B
Required (Support)
Jun 2016
I have to disagree with the lot of people on here. I had Echols for Physics II and I thought he was a pretty good teacher. He is extremely passionate about physics and his lectures were organized and had examples scattered throughout to reinforce new concepts. He also posts practice midterms and final which are super helpful. The one drawback was that he makes his students buy MasteringPhysics which was pretty expensive. I also did the weekly homeworks on MasteringPhysics with my lab group and we would sometimes literally spend 5 hours on a Sunday doing them. I would say one of the better physics teachers at Poly though.

PHYS 133


Sophomore
B
Required (Support)
Mar 2011
Echols is smart, and he loves physics. What he does not seem to understand is not everybody feels the same way. He is a very difficult teacher, with very high expectations. The test are very difficult, but they are curved (to the point were an F is a C). In class he mostly just lectures out of the book, and never has enough time to finish so he goes all the way to the end of the lecture EVERY TIME. So, if you like physics and are good at it you will do fine in his class...but if you don't its do-able, but a challenge.


Sophomore
N/A
Required (Support)
Mar 2011
Sean Echols should only be able to teach upper level physics classes. He thinks everyone shares his passion for physics so he tried to "challenge" us by giving us tests where the averages are below 60% so he has to curve everything. Any teacher who makes tests, expecting students to fail is not the professor for me. He assigns more work than any other 133 prof and the labs are harder and more involved as well. here's you warning, you're in for a LOT of work if you signed up for one of his classes.


Sophomore
N/A
Required (Support)
Mar 2011
He's a super nice guy and loves physics but unfortunately HE SUCKS at teaching lower level physics classes. way to much work. our ave grades on the 2 midterms were 67% and like 30% he curves it all but it suckksssss and labs are longer than any other 133 classes


Sophomore
B
Required (Support)
Mar 2011
super hard teacher.. hardest class ive taken here for sure. everyone fails the midterms but they are curved and 30 masteringphysics problems per chapter to still fail the midterms


Sophomore
B
Required (Support)
Mar 2011
Decent professor. He generally explained stuff clearly. Lecture could be boring but he usually had denos in the middle of it. Expect really hard tests, but know they'll be curved generously and you get a cheat sheet. They're definitely doable if you study before hand and don't rely on notes.


Sophomore
C
Required (Support)
Apr 2011
i feel sorry for any physics 133 teacher. this shit is hard to relay to students. first off dr. echols is a really nice guy and if you actually talk to him you will create a friendship that will help you out in the long run. i'm not saying kissing his ass will bump you up a letter grade cuz it won't but if he knows you and you know him he will be way more helpful during lab. also don't get fooled by his practice midterms, they are nothing llike the real one so study a lot harder. his class has two midterms a final, online hw the lab and a take home final. all of the aspects were pretty tough but thats 133 for ya. i would recommend him because he's a nice guy and he curves really well. 40's on test usually result in the 70's


Freshman
A
Required (Support)
Nov 2013
Echols was a pretty good professor. His tests were really hard but his curves were fair, so its not terribly hard to do well. In lab he is really helpful and will answer any question you have about the class in general very thoroughly and helps you along to the answer so you know why that is the answer. He is a cool guy and I would often stay after lab to ask questions beyond the scope of class and he would give very good answers. If you want to learn a lot take him and ask lots of questions he knows some really cool stuff.


Freshman
B
Required (Support)
Jun 2014
Although I struggled with this class, I think Echols is a good teacher who was extremely passionate about physics. His tests and quizzes are hard but he does put a substantial curve on the midterms and final. Yeah, Mastering Physics is annoying and takes a lot of time to do. Overall, I would recommend him.


Sophomore
C
Required (Support)
Dec 2014
Echols is a good lecture teacher and makes the material easy to understand. However, I completely disagree with his grading policy. He curves the class so that the average is an 80%, which means half the class gets a C or lower. He makes his tests very time constrained so the average is about a 60% then he curves it to match his grading style. This course is pretty hard but he makes it even harder to get a good grade in the class. If you have to take him he's a good teacher but his grading policy is terrible.


Sophomore
B
Required (Support)
Jan 2015
Echols is a good professor, he explains clearly and he teaches at a good pace. But as said before, his grading policy is not the best, but don't let that stop you. The curve is generous but that's not an excuse to slack off and hope for that push. I just wish he would explain more in depth and conceptual problems since he does use mastering physics. Not a bad professor, has some room for improvement, but fair and I would take him again if need be.


Sophomore
N/A
Required (Support)
Mar 2015
Dr. Echols has done an excellent job teaching this course: he explains the material very well, answers questions willingly and without making you feel like an idiot, and he has a very fair grading policy (a contrast to some of his earlier poly ratings). He has a very well structured lecture that goes strikes a good balance between a conceptual understanding and the practical mechanics of solving problems. He also occasionally speaks about relativity and quantum physics which are very interesting and enjoyable. He is very helpful and understanding in office hours and is always good for a conversation about the universe, philosophy, or pretty much anything. I would highly recommend Dr. E.


Sophomore
C
Required (Support)
Mar 2015
Professor Echols is a pretty good Physics professor who definitely knows all of the material taught in the class very well. However, his lectures, while for the most part pretty clear and consistent, are also very long and winded. This is probably because of the sheer amount of material presented in this class, but oftentimes it is all too easy to get lost in the middle of a lecture simply because he goes over it so fast. Not to mention that his lectures are almost all theoretical and are filled with proofs rather than worked examples. Also, his exams are very long and unless you know all of the formulas like the back of your hand (and how to use them), there's a good chance you won't get enough time to properly finish. Luckily, the curves he gives these exams are pretty generous, so even if you got an F as a raw score, you can still obtain a C from the same exam. Lastly, he likes to use Mastering Physics, which is a major pain but at least he changes the grading system so you don't lose points if you get a free-response question wrong and try again. Overall, Professor Echols is a pretty decent professor as long as you put in the necessary time and effort into his class (which is quite a lot).


Sophomore
N/A
Required (Support)
Mar 2015
Dr. E is super chill. You may be a little intimidated by his serious-tone lectures, how organized he is, and the extremely difficult exams (which do have a heavy curve), but he's actually really helpful if you ask questions and he's very fair. Went to his office hours a couple times and he was always understanding. The class itself is naturally super hard, and Mastering Physics blows, but if you put some time into understanding the material, Dr. E is great. Just don't expect an easy A.

PHYS 141


Freshman
A
Required (Support)
May 2010
Echols is a new teacher and he shows it. I would not take this professor if you\'ve never taken physics before. He doesnt explain stuff well at all, and if you go in at office hours he has to look it up in the solutions manual. But if you already did, and you know it pretty well you\'ll do fine. He took all of his furloughs on class days and then took more days off because he was sick. We were way behind in the material so he just rushed it in the last two days and put it on the final. His tests are multiple choice and some to work out problems. If you do the practice tests he gives out you\'ll do well on the problem part of it, the problems are almost exactly the same as the practice test. The multiple choice can be complete bull shit, most of which he didn\'t even touch on, but he curves everything, even hw. he has a few quizes that are not too bad, just have a decent knowledge of the material. the in class problems are way too much for the amount of class time, but its all curved so don\'t worry about it.


Freshman
B
Required (Support)
Dec 2011
I am convinced Sean Echols will be one of the best teachers I'll have at Cal Poly, especially in the physics department. He is young, fun, interesting and completely clear. You know what he wants from you the first day of class. If you're new to physics, the material won't be easy, but he teaches it the best I've ever seen. The homework is a bit ridiculous and lengthy, but it definitely helps you to learn the subject. He posts everything online (including lecture notes and test answers), so it makes studying very easy (but you definitely DO need to study). He has short weekly quizzes, which ended up boosting my grade. If you need or want to learn physics, I definitely recommend taking him.


Senior
B
Required (Support)
Dec 2011
I don't know what all the hate is on Echols. Maybe he has gotten a lot better lecturing. He is a little quick but very helpful during lecture. He clarifies any question asked. He really cares for us to do well in the class, which is always pretty cool. He thoroughly tells us when hw is due(which he puts on a later day if anybody asks for more time). He puts all solutions and notes up on Blackboard. The exams are a little tricky, but just make sure you keep up with the hw, as well as doing the practice exams. Do well in quizzes, because it will be a lifesaver at the end. Overall awesome professor


Sophomore
B
Required (Support)
Dec 2011
Lectures were drier than the Sahara. Often would fall asleep. Grades with a large curve. If you took AP Physics C in HS, you are set, otherwise have fun with this guy. Notes were sporadic and kinda hard to follow. In class participation is done though worksheets (don't buy the book though, you can probably bum some off a friend or online) or on-the-board problems. Finally, this guy LOVES mastering physics. On dead week, he assigned 60+ problems and a take home. At least you get unlimited tries...


Freshman
B
Required (Support)
Mar 2014
These reviews are beyond exaggerated. I had Dr. Echols this winter quarter 2014 and tried to switch out based off reading these reviews. I thought he was going to be some teacher who couldn't teach well and was going to screw my GPA over. I am so freaking glad that I did not switch out. The first day of class, Dr. Echols said this, "there are two things I love in this world, Physics and Electro music." This man is so incredibly passionate about Physics that its absurd. Asking him questions in class would put a smile on his face and yours as well because you see how much he loves to teach. His lectures can vary from good to bad, but for the most part 141 shouldn't be that difficult to begin with. He provides practice midterms and finals prior to your actual midterm and finals so there is no reason one should feel they are seeing brand new stuff. Office hours are your best bet if you don't understand the material. Furthermore, Echols is generous with curves and you'll probably end up with what you deserve if not better on the exams. He gives plenty of partial credit. Echols is incredibly helpful one on one and wants to see his students succeed. HW is the only downfall I have for taking echols. Mastering physics is the biggest waste of time and you'll probably see 1-2 questions from mastering physics on your tests. Aside from that, Echols is the man and I would love to have him for Physics 133 and 132.


Freshman
B
Required (Support)
May 2014
Sean Echols is a decent professor. He's not the best, but not the worst, and that's saying something considering the physics department here. He would lecture and do example problems that made enough sense in class, but as soon as you sat down to do homework (he uses Mastering Physics which is the root of all evil), you would have no idea what to do. It felt like his class problems in no way prepared you for what was on MP and definitely not for the test. His tests seemed to come out of nowhere with their problems, and I got a D on the final and it was curved to a B+, so at least he is favorable with grading. He is also nice with the hell that is Mastering Physics, because he gives you unlimited guesses, hints, and extra credit. There are a lot of opportunities for points in class, so really it isn't too hard of a class, but he is still a bit average when it comes to conveying material


Freshman
A
Required (Support)
Feb 2015
Having already taken the entire Cal Poly engineering physics track but not getting credit because I took the wrong AP test, this class was a complete joke. There are in-class activities, all of which I missed, but that don't detract from your grade at all, mastering physics homework, which sucked, very straightforward weekly quizzes, and two easy midterms. I can't speak for someone who has no prior physics knowledge, but rest assured that if you already know this stuff, Echols makes it so that you don't have to waste any time. I skipped 90% of class and still got an A.


Freshman
C
Required (Major)
Jun 2015
Professor Echols is one of the nicest professors I've ever had the pleasure of taking. He explains the material very well, and also writes everything you need to know on the board so if you take notes and study them, you will do well. The tests are a little on the challenging side, but he curves them all and prepares you well for them. He is also very understanding and willing to work things out with you if you need help. Definitely recommend taking his class if you have the opportunity.


Freshman
C
Required (Support)
Feb 2016
I really liked having Echols for 141. He says that he teaches the method of physics and not just memorization which is entirely true. He is a very fair grader, but it seemed like that was an understatement in my case. In my opinion he gave more points than I deserved on midterms and quizzes which really helped my grade, not to mention a very nice curve. Quizzes are very similar to the workbook problems which are posted online. He uses mastering physics which is kind of a pain in the ass, but it's an easy A in that section with the aid of the internet. He posts all his notes on Polylearn which was helpful when I could not make sense of my own notes. He does lots of demonstrations to illustrate concepts which aided my learning. He's a laid back guy but not a push over, definitely would recommend for beginning physics, especially for people who are outside colleges of engineering or math and science.

PHYS 211


Sophomore
B
Required (Support)
Feb 2015
I had him for 211 spring quarter 2014. I have never written a review for a professor on here before, but he was so good that I decided to finally come back and do it. His lectures were extremely organized and carefully planned out. He encouraged class participation and never seemed annoyed when students interrupted the lecture to ask a question, like some profs do. On multiple occasions he stayed around after class to answer questions that I had about the material. It's obvious that he puts a lot of effort into the class. He's a super chill dude and I highly recommend him.

TH 754


Senior
A
Required (Major)
Nov 2016
BOYCOTT!!!