Buffa, Anthony  

Physics

2.63/4.00

52 evaluations


PHYS 121


Junior
Credit
Required (Major)
Aug 2001
Buffa is a great lecturer. I didn't have to force myself to pay attention to him. He's not dried out from years of teaching and seems to enjoy himself. Tests were difficult (but I'd never had physics before). His problems on exams were really unlike the homework, and far harder than anything presented in class. If his tests were more in line with the level of difficulty he presents in class, I'd say he was a perfect teacher.


Sophomore
B
Required (Support)
Feb 2000
Dr Buffa is a great professor. You won't need to read the book because you will already understand everything from lecture and be able to do every assigned problem. But, surprise, that won't help you on the tests. He throws some crazy stuff in. He's one of those "conceptual" teachers. So be ready for that, hard tests. Oh and if you do decide to take him...if you don't do well on a test, don't sweat it. Just do better improve on that section on the final. He's pretty cool about that kind of stuff, he knows he's a tough professor. 80% is an A. 70% is a B. And so on. He's a good professor, he knows his stuff...but he's really hard.


Freshman
B
Required (Major)
Jan 2002
Professor Buffa's class appeared hard at first because we all did pretty badly on his first of three exams. It turns out that your improvement plays a great role in your final grade. Not to say that if u start out with an F and improve that he'll give you an A. But if you go to him for help, and start improving your exam scores, he tends to forget about any poor grade you may have gotten due to shock on the first exam. The exam questions are similar to in class examples. Although I really didn't do any of my homework, I would always hear students say, "Thank god I did the homework, that was practically the same problem on the test." Buffa also gives a review sheet before each exam with sample problems. There are usually atleast 10 short answer problems/multiple guess and a few long problems worth the mojority of the test points. Buffa was very kind and willing to help whenever he could. The course is difficult but Buffa wrote the text book, so he's well rehearsed in presenting the material.


Junior
A
Required (Support)
Sep 2002
Dr. Buffa is definitely an interesting character. He is a great lecturer- you won't have any problems staying awake in class. He cracks jokes all the time and I think he gets a kick out of himself. There were a lot of times when he would go off on a tanget but all his stories were worth listening to. At the first lecture he hands out the homework assignments for the quarter. None of the homework is turned in but it in your best interest to do it. Before each exam he hands out a sample exam. Be prepared because the sample exam is not nearly as hard as the actual exam. There are four tests and a final. He doesn't curve but anything over 80% is an A, 70-80% is a B. . . . If you show improvement on the final he takes that into A LOT of consideration for your final grade. I had a 69% going into the final and ended up with an A- in the class. I would recommend Dr. Buffa who has to take physics!


Sophomore
B
Required (Support)
Feb 2004
Great guy. Easy class. Didn't have to turn in any hw allows a cheat sheet for every test plus gives you a study guide that is pratically the test's twin. Just don't completely blow off any tests other wise you'll only get a B


Junior
A
Required (Support)
Jan 2005
dr buffa presents material in a totally straight forward way, he wants you to learn physics, not just a bunch of math. His "test announcment" sheets are rad, they go over exactly what is on each exam. there are not any suprises. lectures are always interesting, easy to follow. i had him for lab also, i learned alot in there too. the cut off for an A is 80%... rad.


Junior
N/A
Required (Major)
Aug 2005
bad grader


Junior
C
Required (Support)
Sep 2005
Dr. Buffa makes you feel really stupid if you ever ask him a question. I really cant figure out why everyone here seems to like him. When I took the class I think that about 15 people ended up droping it... because its impossible. The questions on the test are really hard and not anything like the homework... This guy is not easy, especially when it comes to politics, because I learned more about his political views then physics. BAD PROFESSOR stay away.


5th Year Senior
F
Required (Support)
Sep 2005
Great guy, good teacher. Very helpful and approchable. But why do the tests have to be entirely different from the book, homework, and class material? Watch out, this guy is harder then he seems.


5th Year Senior
B
Required (Support)
Nov 2005
buffa is the best. i dropped physics twice before taking him and was just shy of getting an A in his class. he is a wonderful teacher and is very willing to help in office hours. he definantly knows his stuff (he wrote the text). he's awesome. i would definantly reccomend him for any physics course.


Sophomore
B
Required (Support)
Dec 2006
Buffa is so enthusiastic about physics and makes the class very interesting and easy to understand. Even though I don't think he will be teaching at Cal Poly much longer, I would highly recommend taking any of his classes!


Sophomore
A
Required (Major)
Dec 2007
Buffa means well however half of his class he talked about stuff that had nothing to do with what we were learning, which was frustrating and a waste of time. The tests were different than what was taught in class, and often much harder than the questions that were presented on the study guide. In fact for our first test the average was a 55%, but his curve (80%=A)brings grades up tremendously.


5th Year Senior
B
Elective
Nov 2008
I was dissapointed by Dr. Buffa's class. He teaches in a way that may score him high points on polyratings--mainly because his curve allows for an easy a, and that's all underclassmen care about, but (call me an ageist) he needs to retire because he is out of touch and his class moves way too slow. Good teachers can make you want to attend class because their lectures keep something dull like physics really fresh and just generally interesting, but when I sit in the back row if buffas lecture, the a students are just playing games on their laptops, texting their buddies, and sleeping.


Junior
B
Required (Support)
Jan 2010
Avoid this professor if possible. Though his ratings from previous years were good, I was very disappointed. His lectures left students confused and bored. He does curve the final grades which was nice, but it is not worth suffering all quarter through his class.


Junior
N/A
Required (Major)
Aug 2012
He is a nice guy and wants you to do well, but he is retired for a reason. He does not present the information too well and it is up to you to try and figure things out. He sometimes forgot what we did or didn't cover and was ready to put something on the final we had not covered the week before finals. He talks the material versus teaches it which can be difficult for a lot of people and doesn't help too much.


Junior
A
General Ed
Nov 2012
Buffa is a good teacher for any student. If you've never taken a physics class before, it's a good introductory course where you'll learn a lot. If you've taken physics in high school, the class is a breeze, since an A is an 85% in here. He's an awesome teacher, but you never get out or class early if that's what you're looking for. Assigns homework as "you should try these" problems, never collects. 3 midterms, 1 final. Good professor, but having him for physics? Amazing. Don't know if you can search for him, since PASS will label all the physics classes as "staff." So my advice is, if you get this guy, thank whatever god you believe in


Sophomore
B
Required (Support)
Dec 2012
At the beginning of this quarter, I unfortunately got appendicitis, had surgery, and missed over a week of class. However, Prof. Buffa wouldn't give me an extension on the first exam, saying "everyone has to go through the same hurdles" and "I don't want to make another test". Bullshit. So, I got an F on that exam because he was an asshole. Since everyone else apparently did bad as well, he made every exam afterward open-book and open-notes (even the final) and he really tried to be more helpful. I then went to every lecture, got extra help, studied my ass off, and managed to get a B-. Overall, I'd say this class was more trouble than it was worth, but it's definitely passable.


Junior
F
Required (Major)
Feb 2013
This guy..... yes I failed, yes it was technically my fault. I stopped going halfway through the quarter because Buffa annoyed the crap out of me. He has an extremely high energy level, yet doesn't engage his students at all. Doesn't present material in an organized way, due to his scattered, frantic energy. The class was graded on two midterms and a final, and if you do well on the final that can boost up your grade if you did poorly on the midterms. 121 is not for physics majors or engineers so must of us are not math/physics types, so a 121 teacher should explain things very clearly. Buffa doesn't, and he makes concepts harder than they need to be.


Sophomore
A
Required (Support)
Jan 2015
He is incredibly enthusiastic about physics but honestly cannot present material clearly. I did well because he gives a lot of partial credit on tests. Buffa was a decent professor but he needs to work on focusing on the material, presenting more examples, and being more helpful to struggling students.


Sophomore
D
Required (Major)
Dec 2015
I am no physics student in any sort but I have never had this much trouble understanding a professor (NOT THE MATERIAL). I had a tutor for multiple hours a week and I would completely understand concepts then come to class and take tests that would have TRICK QUESTIONS ALL OVER. In class his logic and examples are scattered and he makes it next to impossible to understand. In office hours I'd have homework and test questions and he refused more than once to show how to solve a problem in a way that I understood. He has been the worst instructor at poly for me.


Sophomore
F
Required (Support)
Dec 2015
I didn't fail the class because I didn't try. OHHH I TRIEDDDD. I attended all his office hours before our two class meetings each week, I had a 1-1 tutor who I meet with twice a week for an hour and a half, and I was in a study session for this class. I understood all the concepts of what we were learning when Buffa isn't the one explaining/teaching it. His tests are filled with trick questions. I rather have him show us how to do the problem rather than him just using this little machine thing that projects a small metal ball and expects us to know how to do a projectile motion. I tried my best to pay attention in his 2 hour long lectures and try to take as much notes as possible but nope...I took little to no notes and for the notes that I did take, they weren't helpful. This guy doesn't assign homework that you need to turn in but I still did them. If I had questions on a problem, I would take them to office hours and ask him about it. The suggested homework he assigned for the week doesn't even correlate with what we are doing in class. I did the homework, had a question, asked him and he replied, "We aren't there yet. I'll give you the equation but you don't need to know how to do it yet." Well how would I have known that. His teaching style is very scattered and unorganized and that is just not how I learn.


Sophomore
A
Required (Support)
Jan 2016
Dr. Buffa was interesting. He's like a really quirky grandpa so I don't understand not liking him as a person. I'll admit his lectures are unorganized but it is not an extremely difficult class. I spent most of the quarter on my phone and only looked up to write what I thought might be important, then went home and did some of the practice problems. He is not the best teacher in the school but compared to the horror stories I've heard of other physics teachers, he's a good teacher to take.

PHYS 122


Sophomore
A
Required (Support)
Jun 2000
Dr. Buffa's lectures are not exactly exciting, but of course, how exciting can physics be? This guy knows his stuff. His tests can sometimes be insane, but his grading system makes up for it(80% is an A). He assigns homework problems, but you do not have to turn them in. He is always ready to answer any questions you might have, and is really passionate about physics. Dr. Buffa "tries" to tell jokes, so just smile and nod no matter how many times he performs the nose test (you'll understand once you take the class).


Junior
A
Required (Support)
Jun 2001
Buffa is a really great guy. he's one of those professor's that it's really obvious they are passionate about what they are teaching. and he's a goofy guys who tells random jokes to keep lectures interesting. if you've already had physics before, this class is a breeze. and if not, he's always around and willing to help out. i would definately recommend him for the 120 series.


Junior
A
Required (Support)
Mar 2002
Dr. Buffa is a smart man. He knows his stuff so well that he makes it seem like piece-of-cake. His curve is fixed: 80%=A, 70%=B, and the C range starts from 55%. If you attend his lecture don't do homework, you can get at least a low "C." However, if you attend lecture and do some homework problems, there's no reason to not get lower than an "A." Impressingly, he hands out practice tests that tell you exactly what type of problems you'll be tested on. Thus, you only need to make sure to master those problems, which are usually two. However, there are short "quick calculation" problems that don't take more than a minute that either come right out of the homework or lecture (that's why it is important to attend lecture and do the homework). This guy is a fair grader. I had a 56% in his first midterm, and earned an "A" in the course. His jokes parallel his intellect. His jokes either crack you up or make you think. He's not a slacker when it comes to grading, so you can always expect to get your midterm back the following lecture after a midterm along with the answers to the midterm (too bad he doesn't hand these before the midterm).


Junior
A
Required (Support)
Mar 2004
buffa rocks. he has the gift of relating physics to real-life examples. fairly simple course material. take if you can!


Junior
B
Required (Support)
Apr 2004
Dr. Buffa is so enthusiastic about physics, so for non-physics majors it is great. He is one of the best physics tachers i've had. He is always willing to help and does alot of demos to help the student understand. He also realted alot of the physics material to everyday class. I would totally recommend takig physics w/him.


Freshman
B
Required (Support)
Mar 2008
Good teacher, explains material well, he wrote the book. He does things his way, regardless of what the department thinks. loves to comment on life. good guy helpful. tests aren't too bad, doesnt collect homework. overall all good teacher


Freshman
A
Required (Support)
Mar 2008
his grading system is pretty lenient. 80% curve for an A in the class. when it comes to the final grade, he puts in to account what problems you did well on the final (he's generous when it comes to bumping up your grade). of course it's still a physics class and you do have to put effort in it. do all the hw problems, and study a lot because the test problems can be tricky and will take some thinking.


Sophomore
A
Required (Support)
Mar 2011
Buffa is a really likable guy. He tries to integrate some humor into his lectures to make it more interesting. He is a fair grader and if you study the cover sheet and study guides he gives out you will do fine on his tests. He gives some multiple choice for about 30% of the points and then the rest of the points in two big questions for all of the tests. He will try to make you think on the two big questions but if you understand the material you will do fine.


Junior
A
Elective
Dec 2011
At first I wasn't sure abou Buffa, but after the first week I was sold. He makes lecture interesting and pulls in analogies that make the concepts way easier to understand. Overall we had a take home test, 2 midterms, and a final. The take home test was easy points and you can go to him to ask questions on it. His office hours were really helpful and he was great in lab!


Sophomore
N/A
Required (Support)
Mar 2013
Professor Buffa is very enthusiastic about the material he teaches in PHYS 122! While it may be difficult to follow his train of thought sometimes, he makes the material interesting with many drawings and demonstrations. He also intersperses many funny stories during lecture. The lecture consisted of three midterms, two of them being half take-home/half in class and the other fully take-home, and a final. The lab had weekly quizzes and very short lab reports. Overall, I would recommend Professor Buffa to anyone planning on taking PHYS 122, as he made physics both enjoyable and stress-free.


Sophomore
N/A
Required (Support)
Feb 2017
He was terrible. He knew a lot about physics but was horrible at teaching it, and his tests were impossible. The good thing is he curved a lot but maybe if he actually taught well and gave more reasonable tests he wouldn't have to curve so much.


Sophomore
N/A
Required (Support)
Mar 2017
oooookkkaaayyy so i have no idea what all of these great reviews are from like 10 years ago, but let me tell you, its not the same. I have never been so frustrated with a professor in my entire life. NOT because this is a hard class and i don't understand the material, but because he's literally insane. I went to every class, tried hopelessly to take notes, but it was just impossible. He cannot explain anything worth shit. Class usually consisted of him going on tangents and scribbling random pictures on the board and everyone just started at each other like wtf is going on??? I didn't learn a single thing from him. Im a bio major, i have good study habits and Ive never gotten a C in a class or failed a test. I studied my ass all for both of the midterms and felt extremely confident going into both of them and got an F on the first one and a C- on the 2nd one. His tests are FULL OF BULLSHIT. Literally trick questions everywhere. I got so many questions wrong simply because he words them in the most confusing, unfair way as possible. OH AND LETS NOT FORGET that his tests are literally impossible to finish in the time he gives you. His tests gave me so much anxiety because they were so confusing and stressful with the time limit. He also grades like a fucking prick. On 20 point problems i will write one little thing wrong and he would put -15. Like alright there goes 15% of my grade for a calculator error???? After being extremely frustrated with both of the midterms I went into talk to him privately and told him i had really bad test anxiety and started crying in the middle of the test because i was so stressed out and pissed because i knew the information but the test was just too confusing. I showed him my test and areas where i had the right work written down where he marked me off insane amounts of points and his response was "well you obviously have no idea what you're doing." He was incredibly rude to me and made me feel so stupid and even after i started crying he just shrugged at me and said "i can clearly see you don't know the material so don't act like you do." He's fucking awful in every single way. Cant explain shit, impossible tests, fucking asshole..... theres no upside to him. Pray for me that i can pass this class.


Sophomore
C
Required (Support)
Mar 2017
Honestly don't walk away from this class just RUN LIKE USAIN BOLT cause this grandpa ain't know shit on how to teach. I got more jokes out of him than i actually did physics. Like who da fuck let this turtle teach. Like shit Cal Poly be on one. Honestly tho, no one pays attention in class, lol no one even shows up to class. Out of 74 students we would get 30 on average to come to class if it wasn't a midterm or final! His curves are ridiculous, you would think we were making a u-turn going 95 because his test are that hard. LOVE YOURSELF AND DON'T TAKE THIS CLASS WITH THIS PROFESSOR!


Sophomore
N/A
Required (Support)
Mar 2017
DO NOT FUCKING TAKE THIS TEACHER. I AM WARNING YOU NOW. IF THERES NO OTHER TEACHERS TAKE THAT SHIT ANOTHER QUARTER. THERES NO POINT OF TAKING THIS MR. ROGERS LOOKING OLD ASS MAN. First of all, he doesn't lecture. Yeah it's called a physics lecture but trust me he doesn't lecture. All he does is try to joke around with his old man joke which aren't even funny. He once told us "sorry for going off in a tangent". Your whole fucking class is a tangent... No one ever shows up to class because no one knows wtf he's saying. I know you're thinking, "oh why doesnt this student go to office hours". Bitch trust me I have. He is fucking rude and unhelpful. Bottom line DO NOT TAKE THIS DUDE

PHYS 123


Junior
A
Required (Support)
Jun 2003
Buffa was the most concerned physics teacher I've had at CP. He was very willing to help students when they needed it. His tests are hard, but he's a very fair grader. I would highly recommend him for physics. Getting to know him on a personal level helps, too.


Junior
A
Required (Support)
Jun 2003
Buffa is the man. He is way chill about talking to you about grades and problems you are having. One of the most laid back professors I have ever taken. Dont be intimidated just because he wrote the book and is really smart, because his lectures explain the entire book and there are really no tricky questions because all of the material is from his knowledge, which is really the book. Strongly recommended!


Sophomore
A
Required (Support)
Jun 2003
Dr. Buffa is a great professor, I strongly recommend taking him. I had him for both 122 & 123. 123 is definitely harder, but he curves a lot (80% is an A) so if you put in a little effort, you can get an A pretty easily. Do the review sheet he gives you and the homework problems which seem most relevant. The problems on the test are always a little harder than on the review sheet, but you do get to have a notecard and calculator. He goes off on tangents sometimes, but they're usually pretty interesting. He's a nice guy and very helpful in office hours too. The only bad thing I could say about him, which isn't that big of a deal anyway, is that he always goes at least right to the end of lecture and frequently five minutes over.


Junior
C
Required (Support)
Aug 2004
Dr.Buffa is AWESOME...he is genuinely concerned about his students...I took the whole sequence and this class by far was the hardest...he is a gracious grader, come to class do moderately well and you will pass!!!

PHYS 131


Sophomore
A
Required (Major)
Aug 2001
Dr. Buffa is a good teacher. His tests are more difficult than other physics professors. I remember him asking atleast one unreasonable question on each test. This simply means that he expected the student to understand the course material slightly beyond what he had lectured in class. Despite that fact, he is a good teacher and presents the material of the course well.


Freshman
B
Required (Major)
Aug 2001
Dr. Buffa is not necessarily a bad teacher, but he is not someone that I would recommend. He always talks about how easy things are and how you should just use the formulas, but then once you do that on the tests, you get it wrong and he says, "Don't just use the formulas." Also, he is very lazy, especially when it comes to the office hours around the last week of the quarter and there is a midterm. Plus, he doesn't collect homework, which might sound great if you manage to keep yourself up to date even when there is no work due, but if you can't, you will get behind.


Freshman
A
Required (Support)
Sep 2002
Let me start off by saying that I got a B- in high school physics, so I was pretty scared when I enrolled in this class. I studied for a couple of hours before each test and the day before the final I had a 91% in the class (80% is an A). The final was ridiculously easy. I think somebody said this before but I'll reiterate it here: If you pay attention during the lectures, take a few notes, and do some of the exercises, you shouldn't have a hard time getting an A in this class.


Freshman
B
Required (Support)
Nov 2002
This guy was really into it. Overall a great teacher. I had like a D going into the final and came out with a B+ yeah baby! The curve rules! Granted I took AP in highschool and got a B. I took 131 in the summer here and did not goto class for two weeks and still got the B+. I thinik that speaks for itself.


Freshman
B
Required (Support)
Mar 2003
All I can say is that this guy has the most awsomee, godly curve in the universe! I got D's on two of the midterms and probably an A on the final and a B+ in the class!


Freshman
A
Required (Support)
Jan 2011
Buffa was a pretty good professor. I had taken AP Physics in high school, but that doesn't get MEs out of anything, since they have to take a Lab. Because of this, I already knew most of the material, so the class was very easy for me. He doesn't collect HW. If you have him for lab, he will have a few quizzes near the midterms. These quizzes are exactly the sorts of questions that will be on the midterms, so pay attention to where you go wrong on them, and pay attention to the process he wants you to take while solving. He has a set curve of 85% being the bottom line for an A, so if you pay attention, understand the concepts, and try on the tests you will be fine. Awards partial credit, always attempt every question on midterms or final.

PHYS 132


Freshman
B
Required (Support)
Jan 2001
This guy is great. Take him if you can and study hard because you will be rewarded. He is a professional and one of the best physics professors here.


Freshman
A
Required (Major)
Mar 2015
Buffa was a great teacher, I really liked how straightforward his quizzes and tests are. He's very clear about what you need to know, and he teaches everything in class (and obviously emphasizes the important information). If you understand the lecture material you will be able to do really well on his exams.


Freshman
F
Required (Major)
Apr 2015
Best physics teacher at cal poly. He is very clear in lecture and lab, but gives difficult exams. While I unfortunately got a 30% on my first midterm, he was still very uplifting and motivating until the final day of class. I loved Buffa! My failing was my own fault, this professor was amazing. I would recommend x 10000.

PHYS 133


Freshman
N/A
Required (Support)
Feb 2016
Buffa spends more time on useless tangents than actually teaching the material. When he does teach the material, it doesn't actually make sense. I show up to every lecture, take notes, do the reading, go to office hours, do the suggested problems that are not graded, and his tests are still the biggest pile of bullshit I've ever laid eyes on. Not bullshit as in easy, but bullshit as in questioning what orifice he pulled the questions out of. The material covered in the tests is not covered in the readings or in class. He expects us to have a doctorate in physics or something. People who do well in the class have taken it before. If you haven't taken the class, expect to not know what the hell you're doing. His class is cruel and unusual punishment, as is listening to him ramble on about gravity waves instead of teaching relevant information. It's a shame he sucks at teaching because he is a very nice individual.


Freshman
C
Required (Support)
Nov 2016
He was honestly awful. I took AP Physics C in high school and got straight A's ( my high school is ranked top 50 in CA) and he still gave me a C-. I took the first midterm and did very well but i received a C, so i went in to talk with him about my grade and he said i did most of it correctly, but he wanted more ( he told me he wrote the problem incorrectly) but would not give me points back. My parents both EE ( one has undergrad in physics) said i should have gotten an A on the test. But I didnt. JUST DONT TAKE HIM for 141,132,133 other lower level i think he is fine

CHEM 352


5th Year Senior
B
General Ed
Nov 2016
This is the first C I have recieved in my entire life. I hope that says something to all of you out there watching their GPA. Do not take him--this class was a nightmare!