Brown, Ronald  

Physics

1.97/4.00

120 evaluations


PHYS 122


Sophomore
A
Required (Support)
Apr 2015
He is a pretty boring lecturer, but I really loved that his tests were all conceptual. However, it was a little nerve-wracking that he didn't explicitly state our grades-ever. He would say "here is the distribution for the test, don't worry about the number grade" and things like "I'm looking for improvement throughout the quarter- if you go from a C to an A, you'll probably do well in the class." But, anyway, he's definitely not the worst the Physics department has to offer (he's probably one of the best).

PHYS 131


Junior
C
Required (Major)
Aug 2001
Although I didn't do as well in this class as I would have liked, I don't put it on Brown at all. I like his teaching style. He seems to get involved in the subject instead of just rattling off a lesson plan. He injects personality to his lectures. However, he does test hard, so you have to step up to do well.


Sophomore
C
Required (Support)
Oct 1999
Dr. Brown is willing to help during office hours and accomidate to your schedule (I was able to rescedule two midterms, because of other tests I had the same day). But this class is extremely tough, and I recommend keeping up with the reading and homework. That was hard for me, because he does not collect the homework.


Sophomore
C
Required (Support)
Oct 1999
I really don't think I deserved to pass this class, but I did because I am young and female. Dr. Brown does help during his office hours, but he definitely pays more attention to the attractive women in his class.


Sophomore
F
Required (Support)
Feb 2000
Brown is really a prick. There is no point for taking him for a class. I made that mistake and had to retake the course. Don't be fooled he tells you the first day of class that he is the hardest teacher and gives you a sheet to read with his previous evaluations on it. If you want to learn something I suggest taking Ozawa, not this jerk who constantly has his female students in his office and completely ignores you.


Freshman
C
Required (Support)
Mar 2000
First of all let me say that yes Prof. Brown does fawn over the pretty girls in class, so what, we all do, live with it. The Lectures are ok, some cool demonstrations, GO TO HIS OFFICE it helps.


5th Year Senior
A
Required (Support)
Aug 2000
I have never seen someone work harder to help a student having difficulty with the material than Dr. Brown. I watched him explain deceleration (negative acceleration) 5 diferent ways to help one student understand. I took him over 5 years ago now, but still remember him being a great teacher. I have no memory of him fawning over the girls. Overall, I think he is an excellent professor, who genuinely cares about his students. On a side-note... anyone else think he looks a little like ET?


Freshman
B
Required (Support)
Mar 2001
This is the most unconsistent teacher i have ever had in my entire life. He says he grades on your knowledge of the "concepts" but really contradicts himself when grading. If you take the time to notice you will also see that the same mistake you make (if you are a guy) may cost you 5 points (maybe forgeting a factor of 2 or something), while it may cost another GIRL 1 point. He also takes more time in the lecture talking about what he is 'going to teach' than actually teaching the material. He does have the right idea as to teaching the concepts rather than solutions, but that is not what he grades on. Try another teacher.


Freshman
C
Required (Support)
Mar 2001
Dr. Brown teaches his class as a purely conceptual course. This is great if you love physics and have a burning desire to learn about it. However, if you are a normal human being (i.e. NOT a physics major) you will probably have a hard time understanding the material. He is helpful in office hours.


Freshman
B
Required (Support)
Sep 2001
Well if you dont like calculating numbers, this guy is the one for you. He basically wanted us to come up with a formula for every thing instead of plugging in numbers to get an answer. I was having hard time doing that but if you ask him questions during his office hours he would be very glad to help you. His lecture arent very clear and the book is useless. He grades based on a progressing scale so if you are doing better on each tests even though you failed the first one you probably would pass the course. I love and hate this guy but just make sure you ask questions.


Freshman
B
Required (Support)
Mar 2002
If you get this guy you'll be glad he curves the grades. His lectures seem to get everything across, but then you try the homework and tests. To do well in his class you MUST do all the supplemental notes problems--they are very similar to the test questions. And the tests are all of your grade. One more thing about the notes/test problems: I showed them to a good student in another class, someone also taking 131 but getting a strong A from another teacher. He had extreme difficulty in even starting the problems. Ron Brown's problems are hard. Expect to have trouble.


Freshman
F
Required (Support)
Apr 2002
One word to describe his class: Overwhelming. He gives so much information and ideas in class that you have problems comprehending it all before tests. And tests make up the entire grade. He wanted you to understand every little thing, not just how to work out problems but what each little part means and how to manipulate it for some odd reason. If you took AP Physics in high school you'll make it but if you don't absolutly love physics or don't have a strong backround in it avoid Brown, let some other fool take him and get another prof.


Freshman
Credit
General Ed
Apr 2002
I had this guy for lab and actually fell asleep once. (That doesn't sound like much, but it was a first for me.) He lectures way too much for a lab, and what he says doesn't make the material clearer. He was picky about the write-ups, and it seems like I spent more time doing homework for his lab than my actual lecture class. If you can avoid Brown's lab, do so.


Sophomore
B
Required (Support)
Oct 2002
Dr. Brown is probably the best physics teacher at poly. He has a genuine interest in physics and his students. He'll help anyone in office hours and figure out exactly what you don't understand about the concepts. His grading is quite lax (40/60 can be an A, vs a D with other teachers). His labs are really long (see other posts). My recommendation is to take him for lecture and get someone else for lab, since most labs are silly anyways.


Freshman
N/A
Required (Support)
Feb 2003
While Dr. Brown did have the ability to present the material clearly, I still did not enjoy his class. He often only used conceptual examples, which, if you've had physics before, can be a little annoying. And he often took a very long time coming to his point. As far as office hours, I have gone once, to turn in homework late. He didn't care that I had slept through class. I'm not sure if that's because I'm female or not, I'll let you decide. He is always answering his email though, so I tend to get my questions answered that way. I also had him for lab, which could be quite the painful experience. We were there for the full 3 hours, and since he doesn't like plug and chug problems, it seemed a little difficult to me at first to apply his conceptual ideas to our experiment. All in all, he's a good professor, but I would much rather have had someone else.


Freshman
B
Required (Support)
Nov 2003
I was kinda bummed because in addition to doing all of the work and being pretty good at physics, I also went to Dr. Brown's office hours regularly hoping to make an impact on him and get a better grade in the class (i am female) despite my vallant efforts, i still recieved a B. what is that crap?


Freshman
C
Required (Support)
Mar 2004
Professor Brown is a nice guy, even if he may treat girls differently. I certainly never felt uncomfortable around him. During lecture, he teaches theoretical physics, which can be confusing, especially when you ask a question from the homework and he goes off on the derivation of a formula you will need to use to solve it. If you want him to really assist you, you'll have to go to his office hours, during which he's extremely helpful. Take advantage of the fact that he's usually there! Homework isn't really counted, so the tests basically make up your entire grade. He's mediocre when it comes to partial credit, so you still have to work your tail off to get the grade you want. Overall I would recommend Brown for students who love physics and aren't afraid to go to office hours for extra help.

PHYS 132


Sophomore
B
Required (Major)
Aug 2001
Prof. Brown is a really, really great teacher. He gives tough tests, but is always willing to help. He is the kind of teacher that takes time to get to know his students and their opinions. He is constantly trying to improve his class lectures, and welcomes feedback. I cannot say enough good things about him. He is one of the best teachers here, by far.


Sophomore
B
Required (Major)
Jun 1999
Dr Brown is among the best teachers I had at Cal Poly. All the above comments give a good description of what he is about. He gives the most difficult midterms and a grade of 40/60 is considered an A. He gives a lot to his students - and expects a lot in return. His finals are a little easier than his midterms. One piece of advise, make sure you buy his Supplement - most of the exam questions are similar (if not the same) as the ones at the end of the Supplement Chapters. Visit him regularly in his office and he will try and solve all your problems. Don't forget to check out his website, it gives you an insight into what he is....


Sophomore
A
Required (Support)
Jul 1999
I had Dr. Brown for my lab in physics 132. He started every lab by doing a quick (hour-long) overview of the important material for the lab. We then did the lab, and would later have to get together with our lab group to do a write-up. He is a very good teacher, and a heck of a nice guy. But I didn't like the way he ran the lab class, we ended up sitting around for an hour learing about things that we had already learned in Lecture class, and we also had to find time to get together and write a Lab Write-Up. Finding a time that all 3 of us were avaliable was hard enough. Overall: Good teacher, but questionable taste in scheduling lab time.


Junior
B
Required (Support)
Aug 1999
Am I the only person that wants to throw up when I hear brown speak? Take his class and join the ron brown fan club. Be prepared for the ego cult of ron brown. He certainly has his followers. A tip to do well in his class, go to his office and chat with him at least 2 times a week. He will love you and grade you accordingly. In class, watch how he smiles and fawns over the pretty girls, and his other favorites.


Sophomore
A
Required (Support)
Feb 2000
I really liked the way this guy taught. He avoided the pointless, grunt work homework and his test really tested you on how well you know the material. He never really cared about numbers and you could round whatever constants you needed. My only complaint is that his lab writeups were rather involved and tedious for a 100 level class. A cannot reccomend this professor highly enough.


Sophomore
B
Required (Support)
Dec 2000
Dr. Brown is a great Instructor. He grades on whether or not you know the major concpets. He could pretty much care less what you get on the midterms or the quizzes. He uses the final exam (which was pretty easy), how well he knows you (go to office hours), and your gender (female's have a definite advantage) to determine your final grade. He is definately more atracted to the women in the class, and they will receive his attention over the guys. But all in all, I would say he is a good teacher, but be prepared to learn the material, not just memorize equations. Don't bother with the homework from the book (i didn't use teh book at all), buy the supplemental notes and do the problems, and talk to him in office hours.


Junior
F
Required (Support)
Apr 2001
Alright, let's be fair...Ron Brown is a teacher that you will either love or hate. However, the only way you will love him is if you love Physics. How many people really love Physics? In other words, you will probably hate this guy. He teaches conceptual Physics and expects that you care. Most of the comments above are pretty much correct about his style of teaching. And don't forget, if you are a girl, you will probably do just fine in this class...


Junior
B
Required (Support)
Jun 2001
Dr. Brown's lectures are amazingly easy to follow, and his Supplemental Notes are the only thing you'll need to read for his course. Overall, a very good professor. I didn't need to study much because he explained the concepts so well. I don't like his subjective grading style. By his own admission, he grades each student based on his personal "feelings" at the end of the quarter. In my case, I believe this hurt my grade.


Sophomore
C
Required (Support)
Sep 2001
Brown seemed to care about his students, but I will never take him again if I can avoid him. He seemed to already have his mind made up about my grade during the first week of class. His grading policy is very loose, and I hated coming to hear him lecture everyday. Take someone who teaches better if you can get them.


Sophomore
B
Required (Support)
Dec 2001
Dr. Brown is a fabulous professor. My lecture teacher was somewhat difficult to understand and without Dr. Brown's help, I don't think I could've pulled off an A. I don't particularly like Physics but he seems to love it and he did a great job making it interesting. I was worried about how I would do in PHYS 132 because I didn't learn anything in 131. I think PHYS 132 is less difficult to understand and if Ron Brown is available, I recommend taking him.


Senior
F
Required (Support)
Jan 2002
His lectures are boring. He doesnt' know how to teach. He talks too much in lab and in lectures. He wouldn't let you leave in lab until the last minute. His grading skill is terrible. If he doesnt' like you, you'll get a bad grade. Even if you went to his lab and he can tell you a week later that you never went to lab. He doesn't know how to grade exams. He underline a part of my answer on the midterm and wrote "so false" on it. Therefore, I put a totally opposite answer on the final. He then mark me off for that on the final again. I bought the midterm and told him about what he mark on my midterm earlier and all he said was "I didn't mean your explanation was so false". I dont think he have any idea on what he is doing. Just dont take him!


Junior
C
General Ed
Jan 2002
He's a great instructor. He does a pretty good job presenting the materials. He doesn't write on the board much so you won't have that much notes, but he does have a physics study book that he wrote that you buy from 2nd edition. Just read that instead of the text book, you'll have a better chance of passing. The only thing wrong w/ this instructor is that his test are so freakin hard. He loves proofs and concepts, his test will be mostly about proving this and that... its not your usual physics class where all you gotta do is plug in numbers, numbers and the least of your worries. His grading style is good.... no matter how you do in the class, just do all the work, quizes, and pass the final and you pass the class.


Sophomore
B
Required (Support)
Feb 2002
Dr Brown was a different type of instructor than I was used to. I had read about him on Polyratings and was not sure what to think first day of class. I really enjoyed his lectures, which he did with no notes and was able to combine questions in class with new material for a most interesting lecture. There was some grumbling in my class after the first test. The first test was theoretical and not what I was used to in an exam. However if you buy the supplemental notes, attend lab, and do the homework the class is not that hard. Dr. Brown is most helpful in his office hours, which I learned later in the quarter. He wants the students to succeed and is passionate about physics. Take him if you want to expand your knowledge base and walk away from the class with a deeper understanding of the world around you.


Junior
C
Required (Major)
Feb 2002
This class is a little different from the other Physics classes that I have taken. The lecture is based off the questions that you have of the information. So, you have to come to lecture having already looked over the information (which no one in our class ever did). Thus he just put up information on the board to help us when were actually attempting the problems. However, if don't understand the material, his office hours are even better then the lecture. Also buy the supplemental notes as these are where the test questions come from and they actually explain everything that you need to know for the course. Even if you don't take Dr. Brown, buy the notes, they will help you immensely in the other sections of 132. So to sum it up, if you are well disciplined and do the work beforehand, this will be a good class for you, however, if you aren't that disciplined, you will struggle in the class. Therefore with a little work on your part I would definitely reccomned that you take him for any of the Physics courses that he teaches.


Sophomore
Credit
Required (Support)
May 2002
So I gave Dr. Brown a decent grade because, honestly, he deserves it. HOWEVER his lab is the biggest pain in my ass, and it'll be yours, too, if you take it. You can't do the lab report in class because he thinks you should take home to "think" about what you did. This wouldn't be so bad but you can't turn it in at the next lab meeting, either, you have to turn it in either two or three days before. He also makes you do two "solid formal lab reports" which is very annoying. Focuses a lot on concepts like veryone else has said and he really is a good teacher...I honestly think I learn as much from him as I do from my lecturer, but such a pain in the ass! If you have a heavy load (like I did, 19 units) avoid the aggrevation that is Dr. Brown...if you don't though definitely go for it, it might be more difficult but you'll learn more and grade really can't suffer. I have to admit, I'm better for it, and I think that's his goal.


Freshman
B
Required (Support)
Jun 2002
Prof. Brown is a good instructor....if you are very interested in Physics and are willing and have the time to spend every minute with it. He has a unique teaching style of asking questions and then lecturing about what the students don't understand. His method would be great for a person very interested in physics who can spend a lot of time on it. But for most people who DO want to know the material, but aren't necessarily crazy about simple harmonic motion and oscillations will struggle. He does give very difficult tests, but his grading style is VERY fair. He doesn't set a 90%=A 80%=B grading scale. He makes the grading scale reflect the class average, curving it in his own way. It is very fair. I would recommend him to those who are very interested and have the time to spend on physics, otherwise you might think of another prof.


Junior
B
Required (Support)
Jun 2002
Dr. Brown is one of the worst professors I have ever had at Cal Poly. His lectures are about conceptual ideas and are extremely vague. He has a inferiority complex and makes every person (except his little favorites in class) fee stupid. All of the questions he asks are conceptual. There are no plug and chug type problems in his class. He doesn


Freshman
N/A
Required (Support)
Jul 2002
Throughout my high school career I was enrolled in many nationally ranked universities and no where else have I had the pleasure of meeting a better educator. Dr. Brown is the best professor I have ever taken. I was enrolled in both his 131 and 132 physics lecture/ lab. As many of the other students have mentioned, he is an instructor that tests on the conceptual. His exams are thorough and that is what makes them semi- difficult. If you complete the supplementary note problems it will assist tremendously in your success on Dr. Brown's exams. He is almost always in his office so it is really easy to clarify any problems that you may have. He does not assign homework from the Benson text, only the worksheets he hands out in class. You will learn more in this physics class than any other. Dr. Brown is a great professor. If you take an interest in his class then you will excel. You have to put the time in to earn a good grade, unlike some courses, for this class that time is well-spent.


Sophomore
C
Required (Support)
Nov 2002
Well, yes, he is a dirty old man. He managed to make me very uncomftorable on several occasions. His tests and assignments are very hard, because he is so focused on you understanding the concepts rather than plugging numbers into formuluas. He is very understanding of students problems (illness, work, etc.) and will accomidate you as much as he can, especially if you kiss his ass by going to office hours. And that'll help you anyways. You will learn a lot, but you'll also have to work pretty hard to do well in the class.


Junior
N/A
Required (Support)
Dec 2002
I just want to say that professor Brown CREEPS ME OUT!!!!!! I'm pretty sure that I will pass this class because I am a girl. He is so touchy feely, and he greets you by looking at your boobs. Wow. It is violating. I do like how he teaches, and I certainly appreciate his grading scale. But something is wrong when I turn in mediocre work, and my male buddy turns in superb work and we both get the same grade. I hate running into this guy alone in the hall, because there is no escaping his hands on your back or your arms or hands, uhhghh. uhghhd. I like his conceptual explanations, and his test problems are very similar to the homework. I'll just never get over the creepiness, and I'll be caught dead alone with this guy in his office hours. uhgghhh.


Sophomore
N/A
Required (Support)
Dec 2002
I had Professor Brown for lab. He is really good at explaining the material, but takes quite a bit of time doing it. If you take his lab, expect to be there for the full 3 hours, because he spends the firt hour and a half explaining and answering questions. However, he is very helpful if you struggle in class and can help you undertsnd the material.


Freshman
A
Required (Support)
Dec 2002
My best professor so far, definately take him if you can. In lecture he goes slower than other professors and takes time to answer questions. At the beginning of the quarter he gave us the option of taking quizzes or not, rescheduled a midterm for us, and on the final let each person decide how much to make it worth, after you took it. Material isnt that hard compared to 131 and 133, but definately not a piece of cake class.


Freshman
B
Required (Support)
Mar 2003
Prof. Brown was a great instuctor. I really enjoyed his class and I learned a lot. His lectures are difficult to take notes off of, but its nice that he focuses on whether or not the class is understanding the material. I admit that there is a little favoritism towards girls, but he really doesn't ignore the guys. Hes very helpful and accomadating to everyone in the class. If the whole being nice to girls thing does creep you out, then just don't take the class -- but I didn't find it creepy, he was just being helpful. Also, you get to choose how much your final is worth after you take it, and the class gets to decide whether or not they want quizzes. I found supplemental notes to be the most helpful for this class. Honestly I didn't open the textbook more than twice. You have to put effort into his class (even if you're a girl), but you'll learn a lot.


Sophomore
A
Required (Major)
Jun 2003
Take him if you want to sleep through class and get an easy A or B. As long as you do the homework. Thats what got me through it. But if you want to learn physics, take someone else. I didn't learn anything in this class.


Junior
Credit
Required (Support)
Dec 2003
He is a good guy but he makes you work too much for the 132 lab wich is credit/no credit. This becomes very difficult when you really don


Freshman
A
Required (Support)
Dec 2003
Brown is an awesome professor. He explains the main ideas and concepts of the material very clearly and is willing to help clarify if you have any questions. He's very friendly when you goto his office hours also. Excellent teacher.


Sophomore
B
Required (Support)
Feb 2004
its not that dr. brown was such a bad guy, but his labs always lasted the three frickin hours! he would lec for the first hour and its pretty much everything we had already heard in lec, plus very boring at 8 in the morning. then he expected COMPLETE lab reports, with EVERYTHING in them and above. he really expected a lot from us, so if you don't plan on writing perfect lab reports for the rest of your life plan on not taking him.


Senior
C
Required (Support)
Apr 2004
This guy is pretty easy going. He doesn't do a very good job with lecture time. He does not do example problems. He does a great job explaining conceptual physics, but that is all. He even says that thats what really matters; however that is not what your grade is based upon. Likewise he says that physics isn't about calculations, yet does not allow calculators on quizes and tests and he expects you so simplify to the simplest solution (that causes me a lot of time and points).


Freshman
B
Required (Support)
Jul 2004
Dr. Brown was a great teacher, he really cares about his students and gets to know you. His tests are hard and sometimes he will spend 20 minutes talking about a concept that you dont even have to know for the test. Also, don't expect to get out of his lab early. Overall, I really enjoyed having him as a teacher.


Freshman
B
Required (Support)
Dec 2004
Dr. Brown is a nice guy who sincerely cares about his students' success and about the subject he is teaching. He gets really excited about physics, and will sometimes explain things that you don't need to know for the test, but that are still related to the subject. I had him for lecture and lab, although lab rarely finished early and lab reports were required I felt that the lab time was valuable and that writing the lab reports was beneficial. I'm a female and I never felt uncomfortable around him, I think that a lot of people are just getting worked up over nothing. He just wants his students to succeed, but he requires that they know the material. The tests were difficult, but he threw in a nice curve at the end.


Freshman
C
Required (Major)
Jan 2005
Putting aside whether Dr. Brown is a nice person or whether he ogles the ladies, this guy is quite annoying and a very poor teacher. First, most of the lecture time is spent explaining, ad nauseam, something very minute and relatively unimportant, such as the thermal expansion of a metal disk with a hole in the middle. Second, is that he does not require homework. Instead, he will recommend a large number of problems from the text and supplemental workbook (more than I had time to do). He does give homework handouts he makes up himself, but these are not for credit and will only be checked if you turn them in the next class period, but most of the time they weren't even graded anyway, so I had no idea what, if anything I was doing correctly. Third, are the tests. I believe there were three midterms and a final (the longest test I have ever taken), none for which he allows calculators. This is especially annoying because he expects you to completely simplify answers or find a "reasonable approximation. The worst time was when my class needed to find the arcsin of a number (one that was NOT obvious) and instead of letting us leave it the way it was or use our calculators to find it, Brown went to his office and photocopied a small piece of paper with the arcsin function. Test grading is almost completely subjective, too, so there is no guarantee of partial credit. Worse yet were the labs. He always kept us the entire three hours and made us do complete lab reports, two of which needed to be "formal reports". To give an example, my formal reports were usually about 8 pages long and included meticulously drawn diagrams. I never knew calorimetry could be so complicated. Last but not least is the topic of "garvity waves", something of which is introduced in some 400 level physics courses. Brown argued with a Christian fundamentalist on at least two occasions about the existence of such waves, embarrasing himself and wasting my time as well. Anyway, to sum things up, I don't think Dr. Brown is a perv and I don't think he's mean or condescending, either. He's just a crappy teacher. Oh, I'm also a physics major. If Dr. Brown can make ME dread physics, imagine what he can do for someone else.


Sophomore
N/A
Required (Support)
Feb 2005
HE IS A FAIR PROFESSOR. PERIOD. TWO MIDTERMS, TWO QUIZZES. THE EXAMS ARE MORE DIFFICULT THAN OTHER 132 SECTIONS, BUT YOU WILL LEARN SOME FUNDEMENTAL CONCEPTS/APPLICATIONS. NOT SURE ABOUT THE WHOLE BIT WITH BROWN BEING WEIRD WITH FEMALES; I HAVEN'T SEEN IT. HE IS AN INTELIGENT HOMBRE. TO THE PHYS606 GUY BELOW- YOU LOST ALL CREDIBILITY YOUR BIASED LITTLE RAVE WHEN YOU LABELED ALL ENGINEERS AS NON-THINKING WHINERS. WHEN IT COMES DOWN TO IT, YOU ARE IN THE SAME BOAT AS EVERYONE AT THIS COLLEGE- FROM THE WISE WORDS OF MOTTMANN (THE ONLY WISE THING HE SAID) "YOU DON'T KNOW SHIT, AND MOST OF WHAT YOU DO KNOW IS WRONG." I AM A CO-OP WORKING AROUND SOME OF THE BRIGHTEST ENGINEERS AND PHYSICISTS IN THE NATION. NO PHYSICIST OR ENGINEER WOULD GIVE CREEDENCE TO YOUR SORRY RANT. I'M SURE THEY WOULD JUST SIMPLY CONCUR THAT YOU, BEING A FIFTH YEAR SENIOR, HAS NOT QUITE MATURED. MAYBE YOU HAVE BEEN BITCHED SLAPPED A FEW TIMES, AND YOURE BITTER; HOPEFULLY YOU'LL MATURE BY YOUR FOURTH YEAR AS A SENIOR. I DUNNO... QUITE FRANKLY, I WOULD LIKE TO SEE HOW YOU WOULD FARE IN A DIFFICULT EE CLASS THAT IS APPARENTLY NOT "REAL." I'M PRETTY SURE YOU'D GET BITCHED SLAPPED...


Freshman
A
Required (Support)
Mar 2005
I loved professor brown. His lectures were always exciting and I had an awesome time in his class. He is definitely a tough professor but I can't believe how much I have learned. I worked hard in the class, but I am glad that I did because it definitely paid off in the end.


Sophomore
C
Required (Support)
Jul 2005
Brown is very passionate about his work, he doesn't stress the use of the text book, and the supplemental notes that he's written are all you need..mastering physics is optional...you need to understand how amazing Brown is, he cares sooo much, is very personal and offers fluff points (5 free points) on his exams..If I could take any teacher for any physics class I would take brown..TAKE HIM..oh yeah he does give out weekly problem that are due, take him for lab and lecture


Sophomore
C
Required (Support)
Sep 2005
This guy is super fair. He also provides the students with his own outline of the actual text book, which means that buying the book is not neccesary. If you don't understand something going to his office hour is the best thing you could do, because he is helpful to students. He teachers like you would expect a teacher to teach and acts like a normal person, meaning he is not too nice, or too mean, just average. he really makes you learn the material becuase none of his test are number crunching, just understanding exactly what the equations mean. He also test us on the labs, not in lab, but he will give problems that speak directly to what you do in lab. so if you can handle not doing plug and chug stuff then take him.


Sophomore
B
Required (Support)
Jan 2006
Dr. Brown is a nice guy, but there is not a large amount of information given to the students during lecture. We were tested on what we figured out ourselves, not what we were taught, and the homework was impossible. Labs were better, but overall this class did not teach what it was supposed to. Take Brown if you have to, but if you can, get someone else.


Sophomore
C
Required (Support)
Apr 2006
Ronnie Brown is an intelligent, friendly, and experienced professor. Any rating less than a 4 is absolutely wrong. I took him for 132 lecture and lab, the "most difficult physics course" that I would have to take, and I learned a great amount from him. I didn't do any (maybe one assignment) of the homework the entire quarter. I went to all the lectures and did all the labs. Learning enough from the labs and lectures, I pulled a C in the course. He gives you lots of homework problems and practice problems that he never factors into your grade (but his grader does grade them) so you get a great feel for his problems before he tests you. His tests are, for the most part, a lot like the homework problems that he gives you, which I think is not a common trait among professors. Speaking of uncommon, Ronnie is uncommonly a great professor among many horrible physics instructors. He also gives you plenty of one on one attention as you need it. If you have the opportunity, take Ronnie Brown!


Junior
N/A
Required (Support)
Oct 2006
Professor Brown is a pretty good teacher. He expects a lot from you, but it's bearable. He also looks like Randall from the Disney cartoon "Recess".


Sophomore
N/A
Required (Support)
Oct 2007
Ok so I took 2 years of Physics in high school and PHYS 141 my 1st year at Cal Poly and I got an A in all those courses and understood everything pretty well, but I didn't have a clue what was going on in this class. Honestly he talks about the same thing for all of the 90 minute lecture and never really goes anywhere with it. I don't mind reading the text book to learn but I felt like I didn't get anything out of the lectures at all. And all the problems are all variable problems with no numbers, which for me makes it much harder to understand. So I guess don't take this guy unless you don't mind teaching yourself from the book and working hard.


Sophomore
N/A
Required (Support)
Oct 2007
Terrible teacher... Rambles on about how he knows physics and how bad the book sucks, but in his rambling about the book he forgets to teach you anything about physics then gives you ridiculously hard hw and tests that my tutor struggled with. DO NOT TAKE!


Freshman
N/A
Required (Support)
Nov 2007
Ok. Ronnie Brown is an awesome professor. Is he harder than some other professors? Yes but he makes up for it by presenting the material so anyone can understand it. Thats the mark of a good professor anyone can make smart people understand but to make everyoune understand now thats where Ron Brown is amazing. I started out the course reading the book and all that did was lead to misunderstanding. I started legitimately paying attention in class and said screw you to Knight and everyting made sense. There is no required homework for this class. He gives problem sets which are relatively difficult, but if you can do them you will ace the tests. He is great in office hours as well. Eager to help. If your not a Physics guy maybe Ron Brown will change your mind.


Sophomore
B
Required (Support)
Nov 2007
Spends a lot of time on easy concepts and skips hard stuff that is on tests. rambles about how bad the book that "his friend Randy wrote." if you are a girl you might be alright definitely tends to my needs more than boys, but dont take if you have a choice.


Sophomore
B
Required (Support)
Dec 2007
Worst teacher i have had in my school career. other than that. Hw every once in awhile which will really help you on the test which he does post the answers too which was the only way i learned. 2 midterms very similar to hw probs that gives you and probs in supplemental notes. this was very good. unfortunately he did not teach you how to do these problems. he just rambles in class about nothing. i got a tutor thats how i passed. labs help you learn some. this teacher does not!


Freshman
A
Required (Support)
Dec 2007
Ron Brown is a tight professor. Very confident with the material and always willing to help students out. Going to office hours is a must. Labs take forever but they help out. Try to get him with the lab as well as the lecture.


Sophomore
C
Required (Support)
Mar 2008
Dr. Brown really knows his physics, and how to apply the in-class topics (simple harmonic motion, wave motion, sound, light/optics, and thermodynamics) to real-life situations. He answers all questions thrown at him in a way that makes physics understandable (although he may take a long time to get to the point of his answer!). Great lecturing/relating course material to students aside, his tests and grading reduce his shine. He doesn't seem to curve his tests or assign much partial credit. His tests are mostly about setting up problems and working with variables to derive expressions (like his homework sets). He posted homework and midterm solutions in a billboard outside of class, and only every so often. That's not a good thing, since his homework problems and tests are his own (only sample problems come from the book), thus the answers to the problems may not be blatantly obvious. I seriously recommend going to his office hours if you have even one question on a subject. On the other hand, if you're struggling in the class (as I was), then he will see if you did considerably better on the final than on the midterms and raise your grade accordingly. Overall, he's a solid professor who knows how to relate information to students...just a tough grader. And I don't know about the whole thing about Brown and women everyone else talked about here...it made me laugh, though.


Sophomore
B
Required (Major)
Apr 2008
horrible teacher, rambles about worthless stuff he finds interesting for the entire class period. I really don't care why when I blow on my hand its cold but when I breath on it Its hot, but he thinks that mumbling about crap like this for 90 minutes straight is same thing as teaching thermodynamics. If you have the intellect of a six year old, you may find browns class interesting but regardless you won't get anything useful out of his lectures. His tests were totally subjective. Instead asking you to solve physics problems he wants a paragraph or so describing how you would solve it along with an estimate of the answer, the problem with this is its hard to tell what the hell he wants, basically he's looking for buzz words, this annoyed the hell out of me, its physics class not psychology. I had AP Physics B in high school so I already knew most of this stuff, good thing because I don't think I would've passed otherwise.


Sophomore
C
Required (Support)
May 2008
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Sophomore
D
Required (Support)
Jun 2008
Think critically before you take this "teacher". HE CHEATS ON HIS WIFE WITH STUDENTS (he was kicked out of Poly for doing this), has two kids, and has the nerve to brag about how much he loves his family. If he can't make the right choices in life, how can you ensure he will make the right choice to evaluate you as a student? He actually lost his right at Cal Poly to pass out his own "teacher evaluations." Furthermore, University Police staff is required to hand out these evaluations in class. If you want, you can ask University Police for his file. If you can, submit a request to remove Dr. Brown from any courses that he teaches. As you can tell, Dr. Brown is a creepy man that loves to flex his power on students. If he doesn't like you, you're done. He won't even give you a chance. If he doesn't like you and you're an attractive woman, he might try to have sex with you in exchange for a good grade. Either way, he seems to be a man that enjoys flexing his power by playing "grading" games with students. He is the master of disguise, and I guarantee you won't be able to tell what kind of man he is when you first meet him. You can never judge a book by its first chapter. I think part of his problem was his dad. Maybe he could share with you more on this subject. Regarding grading policies, Dr. Brown is not flexible to read answers that aren't his own fabricated answers. To him, there is only one solution, his solution.


Sophomore
A
Required (Support)
Aug 2008
You 4 or 5 honors kids below are jokes. Its too bad that when your KNOW IT ALL selves take a class that forces you to learn (cause you really know jack shit)you cry like babies. News flash...It's college not 6th grade. Whining won't get you anywhere. Buck up! Brown has his own teaching style. He presses algebraic solutions not plug and chug. Honors students should know that algebraic solutions are superior. If you want to take a hard professor, take the only R.O.U.S (Rodent of unusual size) Jim Locascio


Sophomore
B
Required (Support)
Oct 2008
Brown is actually a great teacher to take. Most people don't realize that he puts just enough material into his lectures that you can take notes while doing the crossword and sudoku, and not miss anything. In all seriousness though, this guy is totally useless. It's entirely possible that he knows about physics, but he's totally incapable of teaching. His lectures are a shambles, because he doesn't plan them out. On an unrelated note, he is a very snappy dresser.


Freshman
C
Required (Support)
Nov 2008
This class was not difficult only because I had taken 132 before. If I had to rely on the fountain of "knowledge" spewing forth in lecture from his mouth I would have surely failed. I understand that you have to interpolate thermodynamic properties, but doing so 800 times in the course of a 50 minute tests seemed a little overkill. All in all, the Joker receives a poor grade in my book. "Where does he get those wonderful toys?"


Sophomore
A
Required (Support)
Dec 2008
Dr. Brown is a very fair and good teacher. You just have to put a decent amount of effort into the class, but if you do, your understanding of the material should definitely be helped out. The lab reports, although they might take some time to do well (I took forever to do the formal reports), REALLY help out with learning the material. It isn't just the labs, but the process that you evaluate what happened in the lab that is such a help. The tests are difficult, but again, they're fair, since if you do the homework (and the supplemental problems from his handout book) and understand it, you should be able to get the gist of how his tests work. My major difficulty with the test was being pressed for time, but then again, I'm not the best test-taker. Lastly, don't expect to learn everthing just by going to lecture! You'll definitely want to go to lecture so that confusing concepts can be dealt with, but read his supplemental notes.


Sophomore
B
Required (Support)
Dec 2009
Dr. Brown is a twisted old dude. To address all those rumors about him and his female students, as my lab class saw there is likely truth to that. I do, however, like his concepts focus over boring plug and chug problems. Workload is not heavy at all. He does spend too much of time talking about how bad it is to memorize formulas and that understanding concepts is more important. Exactly Dr. Brown! Let\'s stop talking about this and get to those concepts! In conclusion, I\'d say he is very much like Bill Clinton. Lots of exellent stuff, but the morality may not all be there. If that\'s a problem for you, don\'t take him. Otherwise, not a bad choice of teacher.


Sophomore
A
Required (Support)
Mar 2010
PHYS 132 was not as bad as I was expecting... Dr. Brown knows a ton about physics, and is VERY conceptual on the types of questions he asks. Don\'t expect this to be a plug and chug course like PHYS 141 or high school physics...almost everything he asks involves analyzing the question, selecting the appropriate equations, and manipulating variables to get to the final conclusion (not answer!) This method made problems more painful and longer to solve, although I do feel as if I learned more about physics than ever before. He is also very picky about lab reports...they can\'t just contain what you did and your results, you have to do a lot of explaining about how the physics works and why you manipulated your data how you did. The principles must all be there to get full credit. If you have a lot of time and interest to devote to physics, this would be a great class. Otherwise, there are easier choices.


Freshman
B
Required (Support)
Apr 2010
I believe he is retired now. He is a really smart guy and knows what he is talking about. For me it was hard to learn in his class because every problem is all variables, there are barely any numbers in his problems. He also does not write much on the board so you have to listen the whole time. He has a weird grading style. If you show him you know physics by the final, he will boost your grade. The other poly ratings are a pretty accurate description to a certain extent. He will help in office hours and he does care about his students.


Sophomore
N/A
Required (Major)
Dec 2010
Not going to lie...he is a creeper. Being a female I noticed this very quickly into the quarter. But other then his creeperness he could teach alright. Even though I liked the way he tested, very conceptually with variables, most people don\'t. So if you are used to plug-and-chug its pretty difficult to get used to at first. Over all he wasn\'t great but not super terrible.


Sophomore
N/A
Required (Support)
Dec 2010
This class was not what I expected. Brown tests on the concepts. The tests, although some number calculation required a lot of explenation. I honestly was unable to finish either of the midterms, in addition to the final. Its just to much writing for the time given.


Sophomore
C
Required (Support)
Jan 2011
Ron Brown does all lectures from his head. His class is disorganized. We only used his supplemental notes, never the textbook. His HW doesnt count as a % in your grade, he just changes your borderline grade if he see's you've done it. His HW is only worksheets that he ONLY passes out in class because no will attend so he thinks it will motivate people to come. He doesnt use blackboard or email HW solutions, he posts hand written solutions outside his lab. All exams are in variables and fustrating.


Sophomore
C
Required (Major)
Jan 2011
If you expect physics to be "plug-and-chug" take someone else. Trust me, you have to change your way of doing physics to conceptual thinking, relying on derivations and explanations. Speaking of explanations, he LOVES to ask you to "justify" your answer, which often leads you to having BARELY enough time for the midterms. That being said, while his age and monotone voice may put you to sleep, Dr. Brown is helpful when you genuinely ask him, and he does curve your grade if you prove to him on the final that you can grasp everything.


Senior
B
Required (Major)
Jan 2011
One would think that after 30 years of teaching Brown would have a some sort of a lesson plan for this class, he doesn't though. He grabs some physics toys from the supply closet a few minutes before class starts and tries to fly by the seat of his pants. The first 20 minutes of each class was spent outlining the topics he planned to cover. I think this is more for his own benefit then the students, he tries to remember what he's supposed to teach. He didn't go into any detail about the subjects he just lists them and talks about how interesting he thinks they are. The kicker is he almost never finishes the topics on this list, and he routinely complains about how 2-80 minute class periods per week is not enough time to teach what he wants. The next 10-15 minutes he'll spend going over what he thinks are appropriate study skills for a physics class, which is basically the same thing word for word every week. The next 5 he'll spend on whatever is on his mind, be it current events, stories, ect. Now that class is half way over he begins to cover new material. He doesn't give lectures, he has what he calls “discussions”. He will pitch some open ended questions to the class and call on people until he gets a response that contains his desired buzz words. There are long periods in class where nothing is really going on, brown will be silently standing in front of the room for several minutes waiting for someone to to give the response he desires. Every now and then he'll rephrase his questions, but the class is not moving forward. Then class is over. He almost never writes on the board, he never derives anything, he doesn't do examples (with or without variables). This class was not a good experience, not because he favors conceptual physics over application, or because he uses all variables for his examples, or because his expectations are too high. His lectures simply lacked substance. Honestly in the 40 minutes he'll spend covering new material he'll cover one, maybe two new concepts, and those 2 concepts are not the most fundamental or the most confusing, they're the ones he thinks are the most interesting. If he would make an effort to collect his thoughts, organize his lectures and manage class time more efficiently he might be alright. But after 30 years of doing things his way I doubt hes willing to change.


Sophomore
C
Required (Support)
Feb 2011
if you want to actually learn physics take this guy. his lectures are disorganized and not helpful but in the lab its a completely different story. he is very helpful and knowledgeable. be prepared to stay the full three hours and write really intense lab reports.


5th Year Senior
D
Required (Major)
Mar 2011
In this lab I feared for my virginity. His quiet standing behind my back and breathing over my shoulder day by day still haunts me. He used to whisper profanities in my ear. Bottom line dont take this sick fuck.


Freshman
F
Required (Support)
Mar 2012
Never get on his bad side or it is completely over for you.


Sophomore
N/A
Required (Major)
Nov 2012
This profesor takes a not-so-standard approach to teaching physics. He teaches students all of the concepts behind physics and not just the arithmetic behind it. He is very helpful in office hours and truly understands student's problems when learning intro level physics. He never assigns homework that is due--it is up to the student to complete hand problem sets he hands out if that student wants to succeed. The only downside I can think of with Dr. Brown is the lack of updated grades throughout the quarter. He never tells you what your grade is and doesn't stick to the conventional objective grading system. He grades more subjectively (it sill seems like a fair system, however). I would strongly recommend Dr. Brown to any student on campus.


Sophomore
B
Required (Support)
Dec 2012
"There's no definite, precise way of grading your tests. This isn't a diving competition, I can't give exact points. I can only grade your tests by how well I feel you understood it." Your reaction to this quote from about 4 weeks in will decide whether or not you will be happy with him. Nevermind that this is Physics 132, a supposedly easy class; the averages for the midterms lingered between 50-66%, appalling for just about any class. Never have I been so annoyed at a professor as a person AND as a lecturer. The lecture is just exactly that, he stares at you and rambles for 50 minutes, usually giving you about 6 lines of valuable notes in the entire time. Don't really expect equations.. or an understanding of the process behind what's happening.. or anything deeper than a physics picture book. The lecture is simply a quick overview of the material you would be learning, had you a different teacher. To get any actual information, you have to pick it up from the lab, the book, or his "Supplemental Notes" that he emails to you. He asks the class whether they would like the homework to be graded, which is nice, but he seems to have a firm stance on not posting the solutions to the problems in any format other than in a glass box next to his office. What this leads to is a line of students standing there, phones out, snapping pictures every week and then leaving. Definitely did not understand what the students were struggling with, which was reflected during the exams with "I thought you'd all have an easy time with *this* and a hard time with *that*, but it was the other way around," though it should be expected since he seemed to hate to give examples. If you catch an error on grading he'll get hostile with you, and he has a definite "Stuck-in-my-ways" attitude that leads to an unhealthy way of conversing with students. He also loves to mention how he knows Randall Knight (the textbook author), which shouldn't be that spectacular since he's a Cal Poly professor. Finally, he will love to bring up the fact that he *thinks* no one is doing the problem sets because we are all lazy, uncaring, ungrateful students. He does this about two times a week. Strongly, Strongly recommend you to avoid.


Sophomore
Credit
Required (Support)
Oct 2014
This gross man will sadly leave a bad taste in your mouth for physics. All of the previous ratings are spot on. He is a grade A creeper dude. For me, as a guy with a woman friend in the class we were both treated 100% differently. He knew her name and laughed at all her words and when I asked him if I could make up points he got pissed and told me to leave. Terrible lecturer, I mean seriously, I depended on Hugh O'Neil in lab to actually teach us(I went to his office hours instead of Ronnies). Ronny will just sit his ass on the front table and ask convoluted questions that only his girlies can get correct. He gave my class the wrong test (for a 1.5hr class) and didnt really correct that because he was too proud! I could go on and on but when you find out your hidden STAFF physics prof and its Ron Brown, you better nope out of there and drop it!!!! one last quote "What is Cal Poly going to do? Fire me?"- Ronald Brown.


Sophomore
C
Required (Support)
Dec 2014
Ron Brown is an awful professor. All of the students in our class relied on learning the information from our lab teacher who was not Ron Brown. Brown was also a very creepy guy towards girls and it crossed the line many times. There were only a small handful of students who received A's and B's in his class and the rest of the class received C's. The majority of the class should have at least received B's. He is just not a great professor.

PHYS 133


Sophomore
N/A
Required (Major)
Aug 2004
Ron Brown is a pervert and he always stares at the female students. Any time he is in the hall talking you can be sure he is scoping out all the females. I feel sorry for his wife. The physics dept. should do something about this guy. Sick!


Freshman
C
Required (Support)
Dec 2004
Ron is a great guy. His lectures are funny and he explains well with appropriate demos. Oh and I'm female.


Freshman
B
Required (Support)
Oct 2008
Please do yourself a favor and don't take him. If you have bad priority and don't have a choice, then take bowling or something instead. It will be an equal waste of your time. His lectures are completely irrevalent, the material he covers has almost nothing to do with the homework. That, coupled with a book that would be better off left at firestarter, makes for a crappy class. Avoid this guy like... I don't know. Something really bad.

HNRS 141


Freshman
B
Required (Major)
May 2008
He belongs on the streets with beggars and thieves, and not in our education system.

PHYS 141


Sophomore
F
Required (Support)
Feb 2005
He teaches conceptual physics, so if you know your physics but don't know your theory of physics, you will fail. i am retaking physics and i am getting straight A's... because i understood the material, but i didn't understand the conceptual part, which isn't really needed for an engineer. He is a really difficult and theoretical teacher, but some people thrive on that. depending on what you want, he doesn't really collect homework or do anything to help you, he seeks people to go to his office hours where he will degrade you for not knowing basic concepts. not a great lecturer at all. i came out of lectures learning absolutely nothing.


Sophomore
D
Required (Support)
Mar 2005
Brown's awesome! He explains the things better than any teacher i've had at poly. he is, by far, more helpful in office hours than any teacher i've had. the D was my fault. he made mastering physics optional and i shouldn't have taken advantage of that. i got through it and understand the material, but i blew the tests because i didn't do enough homework. he's real laid back and wants to help you out. you'll get a few quizzes, 2 midterms, and a final (obviously), all of which are pretty straight-forward. Brown's a genious, loves teaching, and cares about his students. Regarless of the grade you recieve, you'll learn physics and like it.


Sophomore
C
Required (Support)
Sep 2005
I really liked this guy. He presents the material clearly and he really tries to make sure that everyone is understanding. He does use lots of variable type equations in his explanations and tests, so if you can't stand those dont take him, but I took this class once before and failed during a rough quarter and took him over the summer and I feel like I learned everything for the first time. No comparison to the first prof. I never went, but he has many office hours and is an open guy. Tests are not over bearing and he DOESNT DO MASTERING PHYSICS! He gives out his own problems which helped me learn better then that crap program. I would take him again.


Senior
C
Required (Support)
Sep 2005
Prof. Brown teaches concepts, and concepts only. He rarely if ever assigned a problem in which you actually solved for actual values. All the in-class problems as well as almost all the homework problems were conceptual. He ackowledged that he heavily favors conceptual; for some unfathomable reason, he feels that practical application of the concepts is in no way necessary insofar as mastering physics is concerned. Some people thrive on this. I hated it. I personally think it is a poor way to teach, and it leaves some (most?) students in the lurch, because while learning concepts and principles is fine and dandy, actually puting those ideas to use is half the battle and is arguably just as important it not moreso than the concepts. Anyways, the midterms (2) and final, although challenging, were very fair; most of the problems were very similar to homework or in-class problems. He is more than wiling to meet with you in office hours, and is very friendly and eager to help students. Nice guy, but he just doesn't seem to understand that there is more to physics than simply understanding the theory behind it. C'est la. He's retiring soon anyways.


Freshman
C
Required (Support)
Mar 2006
Teaches completely theoretical material... if you can call it teaching. He'll talk about trying to find "interesting" variations of problems. But not many care for 141 due to the difference in the number of physics majors and the number who take the course for some sort of support class. Everything is done with variables. There were several tests and quizzes in which the only numbers were the numbers of the problems. Great if you're a fan of doing everything algebraically but if you're like me and you like putting in numbers and stuff and getting a definite answer, this class is going to be torture.


Freshman
B
Required (Support)
May 2006
Brown is amazing. I really like how he would mostly have us do problems out with variables, because then you start to recognize whether or not you are using the right formulas for the situation. A lot of kids just wanted plug and chug, but I had people in my dorm asking me questions on their homeworks because they never knew if they were doing it right. The reason I got a B was because I was lazy regarding doing homework, so when the tests came around I had to figure out how to do them without a lot of time. Also, his supplemental notes put everything you need to know clearly and concisely, so you don't have to search the book for some obscure equation.


Sophomore
A
Required (Support)
May 2008
This guy is a joke, and the one of the worst teachers I've ever had. brown shouldn't be considered a teacher. He is depressing to listen to and his lectures are a waste of time, there is really nothing that will help you learn anything from his lectures. The only good thing about his class is the supplement book that basically teaches everything for you. He won't help you at all, and as no respect for your concerns. His office hours are worthless, and he shouldn't be teaching. My suggestion would be to take another teacher and buy his supplement book. Don't waste you time with this guy because your wasting his.


Sophomore
B
Required (Support)
Jul 2008
Ok, so Brown is horrible, this we all know. His weasly smirk and darting gaze may have convinced some that he was really a R.O.U.S. (rodent of unusual size). He wears socks under his Teva sandals and his oversized, untucked polo is constantly covered with a wafting later of yellow chalk. Some of you may recall how Ben Franklin first invented those special bifocal lenses back in 1784... Well he gave a pair to Brown as a bar mitzvah gift, and he wears them proudly. I got a B in this class because I taught myself Physics, as Brown was too busy drooling over the girls in his class to teach. So thank you Dr. Brown, for absolutely nothing you blithe cockroach of a man.


Freshman
B
Required (Support)
Aug 2008
I'm not very fond of this buffoon. I get lost amidst the bullshit of his lectures. I cannot go to sleep because all I see is images of me prying his skull open with a cleaver. I only grasped the smallest amount of the material in during class, so homework was my only hope. When i couldn't figure out the homework i went to his office hours and he just looked at my boobs the whole time and not once at the book. He would occasionally look up at me and pretty much say " SUCK IT" with his eyes. HE IS A DISGUSTING, SCROTUM CHEWER! I want to see him skinned! What a slime ball!


Freshman
N/A
Required (Support)
Mar 2014
Horrible professor that potentially fucked me over


Freshman
C
Required (Support)
Mar 2014
Brown is not the greatest of professors and quite frankly, does not intend to be. Brown's teaching philosophy is great but Brown is not the best person to teach that philosophy. His approach teaches you conceptually what physics is. If you think this is going to be a plug and chug class, prepare to suffer. The class barely deals with numbers, does not do "mastering physics" (that's a win I guess), and has a pretty helpful "textbook" he provides for you via email. DO NOT, I REPEAT, DO NOT try to memorize processes on how to solve problems and really look at what is EXACTLY going on in the problem FROM ALL ANGLES; or else Brown will throw curveball questions at you that are almost guaranteed to screw you over (whether you know how to answer the question or not) because there is a rather specific way Brown wants you to answer things. His lectures are horribly disorganized and in office hours you kinda have to force him to answer questions, otherwise he is just going to lecture you for a long ass time on some extraneous information. The homework problems and the test questions are rather similar but the test questions have the gift of test anxiety to screw with you. So make sure you do your homework and are sure of HOW and WHERE you got your SOLUTION not so much your answer. A SUPER DUPER HELPFUL tip for asking for help DIRECTLY from Brown: bring a PRETTY girl with you into office hours. already one? bring another. Tactically, it will make him more eager to talk and will squeeze relevant answers out of him faster. creepy, yes, but it gets shit done.


Freshman
F
Required (Support)
Apr 2014
One of the worst professors I have ever had. He does not explain concepts well or in an efficient manner whatsoever. His lectures are very disorganized and he rambles on and on and never really gets to the point. AVOID him at all costs. He is terrible and perverted and creepily smiles at all the pretty girls in class. I don't know why Cal Poly hired him again after he retired...


Freshman
B
Required (Support)
Jun 2014
During the beginning of the quarter, I actually liked Ron Brown and was a little confused as to why everyone was annoyed with him and his class. I was getting mid-high Bs and exams while a great majority of the class was failing. Assuming he would curve the class, I thought I was on track for a solid A. However, he doesn't curve the tests or class, but makes two finals. One of which caters to the failing portion and it gives them an option to get a C- if they pass. The other is just a regular final which has no curve once again. He is somewhat of a nice guy for curving the lower half of the class by giving them an option to not fail, but he also should reward the kids who deserve to get an A when they are in the top 10% of the class.


Freshman
B
Required (Support)
Jun 2014
I don't understand how someone can be so clear in supplemental notes yet so convoluted in class. If it weren't for his supplemental notes, I do not know if I would have passed this class. There is no clearly structured lecture, he just has "discussions" where he asks the class vague questions that he hopes they will have answers to and occasionally will try to redirect the conversation in the right direction. Buy his supplemental notes. Also, his grades are extremely subjective and based on how well he thinks you understand the material. I think this is his way of justifying having a very low class average on all of his exams. It is nearly impossible to know your standing in his class based on exams which makes his class even more stressful.


Freshman
F
Required (Support)
Jun 2014
I had a C I got severely sick on the final and failed. He said he gives finals to see how much you improved. TOTAL BULLSHIT. I emailed explaining my situation and him realizing I do understand the material he still failed me. Thank you Ron Brown for making lose my scholarship.


Freshman
A
Required (Support)
Jun 2014
Meh physics 141 is an annoying subject, but if you read the supplemental notes and do the problems it will be fine. I hear he teaches differently from other physics teachers (and many people say he teaches nothing lol). But really, most of the period he goes over problems people need help on/need to review in class. If you have prior physics knowledge you'll probably be bored and skip class, but if you don't you should definitely attend. If you are not good at teaching yourself, explaining yourself, or setting up problems for more general solutions, you may want to avoid him. His tests stress algebraic solutions and explanations, and they are quite lengthy; most people have trouble finishing them well. And also be careful because the majority of your grade rests on two midterms and one final. Oh, and about him liking girls more this is definitely true, but if you are a girl, he's not going to do anything bad to you. Not too bad of a teacher -- definitely knows what he is talking about -- but his teaching style definitely isn't for everyone.


Freshman
C
Required (Support)
Oct 2014
Absolutely the worst professor I have ever had at Poly. His lectures are improvised, uninformative, and unorganized. His grading is absolutely ridiculous, often giving students he likes a whole letter grade above what they "deserve." He's creepy, has bad breath, and is terrible. His supplemental notes are the only way I made it through the class, everything else he offers is a waste. There is a reason why he fails so many of his students.


Freshman
C
Required (Major)
Dec 2014
Ron Brown is the most vague and creepy professor, but he is nice (to girls). Ron Brown made Physics 141 very difficult for me. The material you cover in 141 is not difficult, but he makes it very confusing and is very unclear about EVERYTHING. His tests are impossible, and you do not know your grade at any point in the quarter. He doesn't put them in the computer and may not even document them anywhere but instead gives you a grade based on "how well he feels you understand the material." I failed every quiz and test and passed the class probably because I am a girl and he's a creep. He touched my friend's thigh, hugged me, and stopped his office hours to talk to me. If you are a girl, you will feel uncomfortable around him and if you are a guy he will not like you. Also every friend of mine failed his class. If you take him be prepared for 10 page long emails every other day covering what should've been covered in class.


Freshman
C
Required (Support)
Jan 2015
This guy is bad. During lecture he just talks about random stuff from his old friend that visited to his wife and her car. He loves the girls in his class and makes weird gestures at them which is kinda funny sometimes. He gives out very general problems and hates dealing with numbers which makes sense but is also annoying. If you study hard then you will be a master at any physics problem so if you are a physics major i recommend him but otherwise hes just really really horrible.


Freshman
N/A
Required (Major)
Feb 2015
Ronald Brown is quite literally one of the worst professors to take at Cal Poly. All of his exams and quizzes are conceptual based. Which leads to my next point. This class is not going to be a walk in the park for anyone who does not have prior knowledge in physics (And I mean AP). If you struggle in the class, do not expect him to change his teaching style. In his eyes, you will be the one who does not put your dedication into this. He does answer questions you have, but in a condescending manner. Overall, do not take him.


Freshman
N/A
Required (Major)
Feb 2015
There are several reasons why I dislike Ron Brown. Once we had our first midterm, he was fairly disappointed at all the low scores. And you know what his response was? Not that there was something wrong with his teaching style, but that no one was reviewing the homework problems. Believe me when I say you will not receive any constructive criticism from him. In fact, you will not even receive criticism. He literally has his grader take your homework and put a number on it. No, take this path or this and that. Just a number. Good luck reviewing for his exams because you will have absolutely nothing that could possibly help you. Want to do problems from the textbook? Too bad because everything he throws at you is conceptual. You want to study off of your homework? Well you better damn well be sure it's correct, because he does not tell you if it is. You want to study off of his supplemental notes? Well good luck, because not even those have the answers to the questions in each section. On top of all of this, get ready to be confused out of your mind by the most simple concepts ever to be introduced to physics. This man is literally a horrible professor. My suggestion? Drop the class and wait until next quarter for another shot.


Sophomore
N/A
Required (Support)
Mar 2015
Ron Brown is the worst professor I've ever had, for a variety of reasons. These reasons include largely unclear and irrelevant lectures, failure to review whatever material is on the exams, his inability to recognize whatever issues students were having with the course (like a previous rater mentioned, he suggested after the first midterm that "all scores were surprisingly low" and that "we should've been doing the homework more," of which >90% of the class completed. ). Speaking of the homework, the grader was utterly useless, simply leaving a random number at the top and not actually correcting anything wrong with it. Ron Brown's lectures, while well-organized, only serve to complicate even the simplest concepts until the are no longer understandable. 1/10, would not recommend.


Sophomore
C
Required (Support)
Aug 2015
Ron Brown is by far the worst/terrible teacher and lecturer I have ever met. He not only didn't teach, but lectured on things that benefitted no one. If you have not taken physics before and he is your first physics teacher, my advice is to drop out immediately. If you have taken physics before, you better be amazing at it otherwise you're looking at a C grade. I am currently trying to look for an upside/compliment to taking any of his classes, but to no avail. He had two midterms that he didn't prepare anyone for, and then decided to throw in a third midterm a week before the final (that he also didn't prepare anyone for). After the third midterm, he saw how bad the grades were and decided to make a BASIC final for people that were failing the class (I'm talking 15% out of 100% here)so that they could receive a C- to move on. You might be saying "Oh he cares about his students because he gave another midterm and basic final," and if you are, stop it. The solution isn't making more tests but actually teaching for once. I learned from Kahn Academy and other sources to survive the class. Yes, SURVIVE. The way he words questions on a test is idiotic and trips up even the most brightest students. Now, the only reason he made the basic final previously mentioned was because he would've drawn attention to how terrible of a teacher he actually is. It wasn't because he cared but because he needed to keep his job. I am here today to stop the calamity that is known as Ron Brown. The only reason I wanted to share my story is because his current poly rating is too high with a 2 out of 4. It needs to be 0 out of 4. I apologize for being very critical on this rating, but I am being as truthful as possible. Oh and you know how you should take a grain of salt with everything you here? This isn't one of those. Listen, Please.


Sophomore
A
Required (Major)
Sep 2015
Ron Brown is a very reasonable professor, and I really enjoyed his class. He's a nice guy, and obviously cares a lot about his students' success. Office hours were hectic at times, but if you catch him when not many other students are there he's much more helpful. His tests are almost exact copies of the homework; as long as you practice those problems and go to office hours, you will probably do well.

PHYS 142


Junior
C
Required (Major)
Dec 2012
You have to approach this class very differently compared to other physics courses. The midterms are all conceptual and you have to "justify" every problem. He is very helpful in office hours but the lectures are unorganized and he makes them up as he goes.

PSY 256


Freshman
B
Required (Support)
Aug 2001
Mr. Brown was on top of everything. He REALLY knows his stuff. He was very energetic about his course, and I loved hearing his stories. He has the normal two midterms and a final. There was one paper that was challenging but I learned so much from it. No homework other than than, and the grading policy was norm. Take him!

HUM 260


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

PHYS 405


Senior
B
Required (Major)
Jun 2002
His lectures were very entertaining. He is one of the best lecturers I have ever had. Take his class if you have the opportunitty to do so. His exams were difficult, but his grading scale was not. (he offered extra-credit) But read the book carefully.

PHYS 412


Senior
A
Elective
Feb 2005
Dr. Brown is a good teacher. Boring as can be, he teaches "squishy" physics. Don't expect to see a real proof or any type of mathematical derivation, "it goes something like..." Although your quantitative skills will get rusty in class, you will come out understanding the core concepts. Oh yeah, and don't leave your girlgfiends alone with him....


Senior
B
Required (Major)
Jan 2009
Wow. This is probably the worst teacher I've had at Cal Poly yet (and that bar has been raised quite a few times). All quarter he failed to explain anything. His class notes were a ridiculously jumbled garble of unintelligible information. Hes a nice enough guy, and knows what hes talking about, he just needs to organize his scattered thoughts into actual lectures instead of making it up as he goes.

PHYS 606


5th Year Senior
N/A
Required (Major)
Feb 2005
To the idiot below: you are so typical of engineers at this college, thinking that there is some tangible barrier between applied and theoretical science. Do you really expect engineering to be taught in a physics class? Do you by chance expect calculus to be taught in a history class? Your self-assessment of "knowing the material" is laughable: if you "know the material", you do not get an F. Good old engineers, ready to blame the professor and anyone else instead of looking right into the mirror, all the while bringing down the curve for everyone else. You guys really should stay in your cocoon in Engineering, because when you wander into real courses where you have to actually think, you tend to get bitch-slapped. XYZ.


5th Year Senior
N/A
Required (Major)
Mar 2005
To the ALL CAPS "I AM A CO-OP" sophomore below: How many typos and grammar errors can one guy make before he looks like a complete tool? What a laugh riot. By the way, I've had my share of EE courses, taught by some very good Cal Poly professors to mainly undeserving and slothlike students. They're not easy, but certainly nothing compared to mechanics or e&m. Or even quantum for that matter. Face it, the culture of engineering is "C is good enough" or "D is for done." They care more about doing the absolute minimum possible to scrape by, not about learning anything. I know this from experience. And science professors who teach engineering students tend to get blasted in polyratings because the arrogant (yet stupid) fucks think they're above it, all the while barely squeezing out a passing grade. Dr. Brown, by the way, is great. XYZ.